As part of its 2023 Remodeling Impact Report, the National Association of Realtors recently looked the impact outdoor features—such as landscape lighting, in-ground pools, etc.—have in the valuation of a home. This report was done in collaboration with the National Association of Landscape Professionals and looks at why homeowners are pursuing these remodels and how satisfied they are after such upgrades.
According the report, most realtors (92%) suggest that sellers improve the curb appeal of their home before listing it for sale.
“The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way Americans use their homes for daily living, relaxation and entertainment,” said Dr. Jessica Lautz, NAR deputy chief economist and vice president of research. “Homeowners have embraced their outdoor spaces — transforming them into oases with pools, patios, plants and greenery. These outdoor features are embraced by the homeowner and can also attract buyers if the owner wants to sell.”
The 11 outdoor features in the report include: fire feature ($9,000), in-ground pool addition ($90,000), irrigation system installation ($6,000), landscape lighting ($6,800), landscape maintenance ($4,800), new patio ($10,500), new wood deck ($16,900), outdoor kitchen ($15,000), overall landscape upgrade ($9,000), tree care ($2,875) and standard lawn care service ($415).
When ranked on a scale of 1-10 as to how much “Joy” each project brought homeowners, the report found that consumers ranked all 11 projects highly. However, the highest “Joy ratings” were an in-ground pool (10), landscape lighting (10) and a new patio (9.9).
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This is even though the report found these features often offer the lowest cost recovery for homeowners (in-ground pool sees 56% of its cost recovered while landscape lighting sees 59%).
For this reason, most professional realtors suggested landscaping elements, such as landscape maintenance (74%), standard lawn care services (53%) and tree care (44%) prior to selling a home.
Mirroring these recommendations, the most sought-after outdoor projects tend to be focused on landscaping, with an overall landscape upgrade (61%), landscape maintenance (58%) and a new patio being some of the most sought after remodeling options by homeowners.
“It’s no surprise that nearly all realtors and most homeowners place a high value on the curb appeal of a well-maintained yard,” said Britt Wood, NALP CEO. “Healthy outdoor living and green spaces help the environment, increase home values, make communities more desirable, and improve people’s mental and physical health.”