The pandemic forced people to spend more time at home, making homeowners across the country look at their properties with new eyes. Many saw opportunities for remodelling and updates to accommodate spending the majority of time within the confines of their homes. And with many businesses still not conducting business as usual, Americans have spent the last year creating multipurpose areas in and around their homes, especially for recreation and entertainment. Let’s take a look at some of the top backyard upgrades.
HomeLight’s Spring 2021 Top Agent Insights Survey provides a bevy of insights for both homeowners and homebuyers. More than a thousand successful agents from across the country responded to questions about their markets, providing a glimpse into the state of real estate this year.
Were you one of the many Americans scrambling to put in a pool last year, hoping to create a backyard oasis and exercise outlet? What was once viewed as a detractor that limited the buyer pool (pun intended) is now a hot commodity. With swimming pools in demand, homeowners will be happy to know that their pool party pad is not only perfect for making your place the summer hangout, it’s also added significant value to your home.
If you’re still on the fence, check out what agents have to say about upgrading your yard with a swimming pool. Pre-COVID, a house with a pool sold, on average, for $16,137 more than a home without one. In today’s market, homes with pools sell for a whopping average of $27,199 more than those that don’t. Go for it; you’ll get a nice return on your investment! However, don’t head into a pool installation thinking you’re increasing the value of your home. With the average cost of an inground pool hovering near $50,000, a 50 percent return on investment shouldn’t be the determining factor.
Fire pit with seating area
A staggering 76.8 percent of agents say that a fire pit with a couch or seating area is the number one backyard upgrade in 2021. Fire pits are typically a popular backyard feature in cooler climates, such as the Northeast and Midwest. So, having the majority of agents across the country respond that a wood-burning area with seating is the hottest backyard upgrade is a bit of a surprise.
Pool parties are great, but guests want lighting to keep the party going once the sun goes down. Fifty-four percent of agents say that lighting is a popular upgrade. Whether it’s adding lighting to walkways, string lights lining your entertaining area, pool lighting, or recessed lights on a screened-in porch, all of these make for warm and welcoming spaces, not to mention when you go to sell (and buy your next home).
Cook and relax
Built-in grills make the top five sought-after upgrades, with nearly 54 percent of agents recommending creating a space where you can cook and entertain outdoors. Closely following the grill area is outdoor furniture, such as sectionals, coffee tables, and dining pieces. Homeowners across the country are investing in these pieces to make their backyard an all-in-one relaxation and entertainment area. And rounding out the list, agents report dedicated gaming areas as a top upgrade, whether it be for horseshoes or cornhole.
If you’re dreaming of outfitting your backyard to transform it into an entertainer’s dream, try starting with some of these sought-after and popular upgrades. You don’t have to dedicate yourself to a pool installation to have a spot worthy of gathering – a fire pit, built-in grill, and seating area will do the job nicely.