You’d think that adding a pool to your backyard may not be the greatest investment in terms of return in every part of the U.S., where summer sometimes lasts only about three months of the year. After all, if you can only use it such a short time, it becomes something to stare at the other 9 months of the year. But you’d be wrong.
A recent report by the National Association of Realtors of single family homes of $150K or more found that outdoor projects can help boost a home’s value by up to 10 percent. Outdoor showers, barbecue stations, entertainment pools, and fire pits were names as the top projects that researchers found led to the biggest potential increases to a home’s price.
An outdoor shower offers the biggest return on investment, according to realtor.com®’s research. Homes with outside bathing areas had a 97 percent price-per-square-foot premium. Of course, if you figure that homes with outdoor showers are usually found in homes that are near a beach or an expensive property with other luxury amenities, it makes perfect sense.
And then there’s outdoor eating. The study also found that homes with barbecue stations are 26 percent more expensive than those without. In Utah, homes with barbecue stations tend to be listed for 58 percent more per square foot than other homes in the state. Goes to show you that if buyers expect outdoor amenities in certain price ranges, providing them can offer sellers a big payback.
The other feature that’s a hit is the entertainment pool — a pool that offers enough space around them for others to lounge but doesn’t take up the entire backyard. Even having a pool to stare at could give a home a 26 percent increase in its value. In New York state, homes with such entertainment pools were 224 percent pricier per square foot than those without.
Fire pits and backyard fireplaces are also proving to be a hot way for homeowners to boost their home prices, adding a 25 percent premium, according to researchers. It seems those memories of sitting around the firelight at summer camp ended up inspiring adults enough to recreate it at home.
“Outdoor features can give a home a special quality in the market,” says Javier Vivas, realtor.com®’s director of economic research. “And anytime you have a unique feature, it can bolster the prospective value of a home.”
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