If selling your home is a possibility down the line, it’s never to early to start making updates and improvements to increase its value. By tackling projects gradually over time, it’s much more manageable for the budget, and for your family; after all, most home improvement projects come with some displacement and inconvenience. Besides, it’s nice if you and your family can enjoy the enhancements for a while.
It’s important to do some research before shelling out lots of money with the aim of increasing your home value. There are some areas where it’s easy, with just about any update adding value. Bathrooms and kitchens are the two room types where that holds most true.
But then there are things people commonly think add value that invariably cost more than the return on investment they provide. For example, in-ground swimming pools are highly desirable, and definitely add appeal to a home. But it’s not unusual to pay $30,000, $50,000—even up to $100K to add one. The pool isn’t going to raise your sale price enough to break even, let alone turn a profit.
Below are some ideas for backyard improvements that increase your home value and that can be counted on to enhance its general curb appeal. Any of the following additions or adaptations will be enjoyable for you and your family, and for the family that follows.
Backyard Features that Raise Home Value
- Less lawn means less mowing, weeding, watering, and upkeep. That’s why all sorts of other types of lower-maintenance ground cover—pavers, brick, travertine, mulch, pebbles, shells, and so on—are increasingly popular as major backyard features and add value to a home.
- Shade trees and hedges never go out of style, and they make a backyard more pleasant, private, and like a natural sanctuary. Avoid fruit trees, though, as most people see them as little more than insect-magnets and sources of yard litter, plus they need regular pruning.
- Paver patios or wood decks are ideal for relaxing and entertaining out back. Adding one of these outdoor living spaces is an excellent investment into your home’s value and curb appeal.
- Outdoor kitchens are highly coveted and are sure to offer a return on your investment. That’s because there are so many benefits of outdoor kitchens, and they effectively add another room of living space onto the house.
- Grill stations are a smaller-scale alternative to outdoor kitchens. If you’re not looking for extensive cooking capacity, or if you don’t have the space or layout for an entire outdoor kitchen, consider this option. It’s very practical and appealing, and although it doesn’t add as much value as a full kitchen, it obviously costs considerably less as well.
- Water features like a small pond, fountain, or hot tub help transform a backyard into a peaceful escape. It’s not hard to get a return on your investment with water features, and they have an almost magical way of making people feel relaxed and at home.
- Paver or brick pool decks make your backyard feel more like a resort. As noted above, adding a pool is highly unlikely to be a worthwhile investment into your home’s value, but if you already have one, this is a smart improvement. It makes the pool more appealing and well suited to lounging around and entertaining.
- An irrigation system is a sought-after feature for sizable lawns or garden areas, as it makes maintenance much more convenient. They can cost a few thousand dollars, but can be reasonably expected to tack on enough value to be worthwhile.
- A fire pit encircled by a seating wall is an amazing hardscape yard feature. Fire pits offer lots of benefits, and have a unique way of adding a fun, mystical, and practical element that’s perfect for the family and for entertaining.
- A pergola over your deck, patio, outdoor kitchen, pool deck, or other backyard seating space is a great investment, offering practical and aesthetic benefits. For example, it adds shade, helps delineate the space, supports vines or other plants, can have lighting along the top, and can have outdoor curtains to let the breeze in but keep bugs out.