By Terri Williams published
As a general rule, kitchens and bathrooms sell homes. However, those aren’t the only features that matter to buyers. They’re also considering spaces that they can use to relax and enjoy time outdoors – either alone, relaxing with family, or entertaining friends.
The right outdoor features can pull homebuyers in, and cause them to put your home on the top of their list. But that’s only if you know what they want when it comes to the top backyard ideas. So we went straight to the experts to get the lowdown on the outdoor features that buyers can’t resist. Keep scrolling to see what they said.
1. Beautiful landscaping
Landscaping isn’t limited to the front of your home or what’s visible from the street. It includes the entirety of your home’s exterior. 'Beautiful landscaping is mesmerizing,' exclaims Ellen Schwartz, a licensed associate real estate broker with Compass in Westchester County, NY, and Fairfield County, CT. 'This includes trees with colors, and perennials with lots of colors, as well as planted beds, planters with flowers, and hanging baskets.'
After a long, hard winter, she says these flowers and trees help homes come alive. 'Why do you think home gardening centers are so busy in early spring?'
Check out our backyard landscaping ideas for inspiration.
2. Raised garden beds
According to Rick Ruvin, lead partner with Falk Ruvin Gallagher in Whitefish Bay, WI, the pandemic has caused people to enjoy doing more things in and around their homes. 'So we are seeing more clients looking for raised garden beds.'
But what makes the raised variety so popular? Ruvin says they’re physically easier to work on, which takes less of a toil your back and joints. 'Second, because of their limited size, they tend to be manageable for someone just getting started in gardening.' Also, since they’re raised, Ruvin explains that they’re not as vulnerable to wildlife. 'And finally, if done right, they are beautiful to look at.'
3. A micro-orchard
Perhaps as a combination of spending more time at home, seeing empty grocery store shelves, and watching produce prices increase, buyers also like the idea of a micro-orchard. 'We are seeing clients creating a clearing and planting trees that yield fruits and nuts,' Ruvin says. 'This can be effective with as few as six varieties, and planting trees that produce during different seasons provides for the freshest of ingredients throughout the year.'
Want some ideas on what to grow? Check out our 5 fabulous fruit trees to plant in your garden.
4. Dedicated entertainment space
Entertaining indoors lost its appeal and practicality during the pandemic. 'Many of my buyers are looking for dedicated entertainment space outdoors,' says Colleen Davis, a realtor in Westfield, NJ. 'They want a second kitchen, a paver patio, and built-in seating, because many buyers want to have people over, but do it in as safe a way as possible.'
And with outdoor kitchen ideas that create a dedicated space for parties and socializing, Davis says both homeowners and their guests can feel comfortable and are free to actually relax and have fun.
5. An outdoor TV
Here’s another outdoor features that buyers won’t be able to resist. 'With more and more sports and entertainment at our fingertips, our clients are taking their viewing passions outside,' says Ruvin.
He recommends placing the TV where it faces north to limit the amount of direct sunlight bouncing off the screen. 'Buyers will also appreciate a rotational arm that allows tweaks in positioning to further reduce glare,' Ruvin advises.
Why not team it with our outdoor bar ideas for the ultimate outdoor party space?
6. A chiminea or fire pit
Davis says a lot of her buyers are looking for homes with outdoor heating ideas. 'They get really excited when they see a chiminea or a fire pit,' she adds. 'We are all craving that outdoor time and having a heat source allows us to gather safely a little bit earlier in the spring or even later in the fall than we normally would.'
Her view is shared by Mihal Gartenberg, an agent at Warburg Realty in New York, NY. 'Buyers love to walk through homes and imagine how they will utilize the space,' he says. 'The outdoor perks and the dreams that come along with them - warm, cozy nights by the fire, gatherings, and so on - can make a home feel irresistible.'
7. Stylish she-shed
Davis says her buyers are crazy about she shed ideas. 'These aren’t your typical sheds – they are finished on the inside – I’ve even seen one with a chandelier in it.' And even though it’s called a 'she-shed,' it can also be a versatile space. 'It doesn’t just have to be for the mom or the female partner in the family, it can be made into a playroom too.'
8. A spacious deck or patio
Including the latest decking ideas or patios are one way to extend your living space, and according to Cindy Biberaj, a realtor at Samson Properties in Chantilly, VA, buyers love them. 'Multi-functional outdoor spaces allow buyers to do everything outside that they do inside, and buyers want comfortable areas for work and play.'
9. Large yard for family fun
Another feature irresistible to homebuyers is a spacious yard. 'With many children in virtual classrooms and cut off from friends, yards are often the only playground for them,' Biberaj explains. 'Buyers want homes with large yards that can accommodate play structures, sport courts - such as basketball courts, batting cages, etc - and other activities to keep children busy and active.'
Head over to our family garden ideas for ways to transform your yard into a space that works for everyone.
Terri Williams is a journalist with real estate, home improvement, and product review bylines at Realtor.com, Bob Vila, Yahoo, MSN, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Houston Chronicle, and Apartment Therapy. She also covers business topics, with bylines at USA Today, The Economist, US New & World Report, Verizon, and several other brands that you’ve probably heard of. Follow her adventures on Twitter.
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