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Spring is one of the most exciting and beautiful times of year in the Mid-South. Memphis and the surrounding areas come alive, from the start of festival season to the blooming trees and flowers throughout our neighborhoods.
The warmer weather, longer days, and picturesque settings make us all become more active. Drawn to the outdoors to enjoy everything springtime has to offer, we are all thrilled when “patio season” has arrived.
In the South, outdoor entertaining is a tradition we all enjoy. That’s why having a great outdoor space in your home is a sure way to increase home value, while creating memories that your friends and family will cherish.
According to a Remodeling magazine’s 2018 Cost vs. Value report, there are a lot of valuable exterior projects that can increase the value of your home. Not only do these upgrades make your home more desirable on the market, but they can also help create the elegant backyard you have always wanted.
As noted in the report, these mid-range home improvement projects almost always have at least a 50% return on investment for your home’s value. Even if you don’t plan to sell your home soon, these projects are worth the time, money, and energy to do now, and then reap the benefits down the road.
Consult with a Realtor on Your Home Improvement Project
When you first think of patio weather, you think of hosting parties, grilling out with the family, and chilling with your friends. Why not make this area even more appealing?
Adding items like an outdoor kitchen – complete with a grill, stove, and even a small refrigerator – can transform your space into an extension of your home. Adding a TV or seating areas can also make your space feel warm and inviting, making it the perfect place to host dinner parties in the summer and football game screenings in the fall.
While this type of renovation skews on the higher end of patio design, the investment can be well worth it. As noted by the Cost vs. Value report, the East South Central area of the country results in almost 50% of cost recouped in this type of renovation.
Adding an outdoor kitchen creates a second entertaining area for your home, increasing the amount of cooking space, storage, and refrigeration you need to keep a party flowing smoothly. If you are someone who loves to host a great party, consider how an added kitchen space could benefit your home and create an even better event!
Interestingly, the Cost vs. Value report noted that the addition of a manufactured stone veneer had nearly 80% of the cost recovered when selling a home.
A manufactured stone accent – whether along a wall, on a patio, or as a design element in seating or storage areas – makes an impact. Creating a rustic, warm look that people love, the addition of stone is both beautiful and functional.
Plus, a manufactured veneer creates the same aesthetic that a sturdy, natural stone does, but for a fraction of the cost. Additionally, these stone veneers can be relatively easy and inexpensive to install on your own.
With a variety of stone veneer options available, you can create a look that is uniquely yours. Use the veneers to create a dramatic effect around an outdoor fireplace, create contrast of stone veneer against wood, or just add the stone look to any flat, smooth surface where some visual texture makes sense.
Another project, where more than 50% of funds is recovered for your return on investment, is the addition of a deck. A classic home improvement project, a deck creates a central hub for your yard, designating where your entertaining space is for friends and family.
Decks also allow room for creativity. Adding benches for seating, planters for flowers, or even building your deck around a beautiful tree can result in a space that is fun and inviting.
Decks can also be used to establish boundaries in your yard. For instance, if you have small children or pets, adding gates to the wood deck can either create separation or containment, depending on your needs.
In the past, decks have typically been constructed of wood. However, over time wood requires significant maintenance, including weatherproofing and repairs. In recent years, the array of building products has matured. There are very attractive, weather-resistant, synthetic products which are very durable.
A well-designed and skillfully crafted deck can be a major selling point for any house. For those who love to entertain, knowing that a great deck is included in the home’s price can be very appealing.
Consider where we live. In the Mid-South area, our patio weather can quickly turn from pleasant to thickly humid.
To enjoy your outdoor space for more than just a few weeks, think of how cooling can be used to increase the comfort of your patio. There are a few ways that you can accomplish this.
Simply adding some outdoor electrical outlets allows you to easily plug in standing fans. This quick fix can also be helpful year-round, as a way to plug in Christmas lights, to charge outdoor tools, and more.
For a more permanent solution, ceiling fans can be installed in outdoor patios. In a nice, covered area with fans, you’ll never feel the heat of summer! Similarly, installing misters can keep active kids cooled down, while offering a refreshing reprieve from the heat of the day.
Or, choosing to install a screened-in porch, a patio umbrella, or a pergola are all options that can result in increased shade and protection from the sun.
Adding a focal point to your backyard will also increase the appeal of your patio space. When deciding what type of focal point is best for you, think about the mood and tone you want to set for your yard.
Do you want your yard to be peaceful and soothing? Do you want your focal point to serve a functional purpose or simply decorative? Do you want a focal point that can be used all year? Or do you simply want an addition that will make your home a festive location for a party?
Adding elements like a waterfall, koi pond, or babbling brook to your yard can create calming, naturally pleasing effects. Particularly for those who love to garden, walk in the yard, or even turn to the yard for yoga sessions, these water elements can soothe and inspire.
For an element that you can enjoy all year, think about installing a fire pit. Whether a high-end, permanent fixture, or a DIY adventure, creating a fire pit is a fun option that is possible for all budgets. Warm by the fire in the winter, enjoy drinks by the fire in the fall, and make s’mores – pretty much whenever you want to!
To become a party center, some homeowners instal a pool or hot tub. Depending on your budget and the type of vibe you want for your yard, one of these options can be very appealing. We recommend seeking the advice of a professional to install one of these items, and create a cohesive look that flows well with your patio space.
As with every outdoor project, a little curb appeal goes a long way. A visually pleasing space looks great in photos, which is often the first way a potential buyer will see your home.
Quick fixes, such as a string of patio lights, a neatly mowed lawn, or flourishing flower beds can make all the difference in catching a buyer’s eye. Even for your own enjoyment of your home, creating added interest to your yard can make the space feel more like home.
Larger budget items like automatic lighting and irrigation systems for landscaping can increase home value, offering luxury items that appeal to a buyer’s sense of security and ease of home maintenance.
When it comes to determining what home improvement projects will create the greatest return on investment, turn to your realtor for guidance. We are in a wide variety of homes on a daily basis. We have a pulse on the Memphis area real estate market, with a great understanding of what buyers are looking for and what home items make the biggest difference.
Because the Mid-South housing market is performing so well, we see homes that receive multiple offers quickly after being listed, resulting in bidding wars. As a seller, this means you can sometimes get an offer above asking price. To achieve this, you need to have a home that offers something more than just a house. It should have the feel of home, where a buyer can picture living for years to come!
For tips on improving your home from the inside out, contact us today. We can offer our guidance based on market trends and what we see each day!
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