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How Much Is Your Outdoor Space Worth?

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Chicago patio

When shopping for a new home, most buyers want to know about the outdoor space. For some, it’s a top requirement. They love to garden, sunbathe or just enjoy being outdoors. For others, it’s an afterthought or a “nice to have.” And outdoor space may even be a turn-off. Some millennial buyers may take one look at gardens or landscaping and think: “It’s too much work,” or “it’s too expensive to maintain.”

Here’s a look at the factors that can determine the value of your outdoor space.

Big cities = big premiums for outdoor space

Supply and demand can make your outdoor space extremely valuable, especially if you live in a big city such as New York, where private outdoor spaces are few and far between and therefore something to be coveted. For example, New York City apartments with a deeded, usable outdoor space often sell for considerably more than the same apartment without the highly sought-after outdoor access.

Other factors that can determine value

Even in New York, however, it can be extremely difficult for real estate agents to estimate a specific value on a property’s outdoor space because so many variables are at play. Those factors include:

Accessibility

The key word when identifying the value of outdoor space is accessibility, meaning the space is easily accessible from the house and can be enjoyed most of the year. Usable outdoor space definitely helps sell a property. If you’re a seller and you’ve got the goods, make the extra effort to showcase your deck, yard, patio or balcony.

Often, the most valuable outdoor spaces are accessible directly from the best parts of the home, such as the kitchen/living area or the great room/media room. These are the places where people tend to hang out the most. Having an outdoor space directly off a communal, desirable part of the house serves as an extension of that living area. And when designed correctly, it will give the inside living area the appearance of more square footage.

If your outdoor space is detached from the property, you should still point it out to potential buyers. Some examples would include a backyard one floor below a condo or a rooftop terrace to which you have rights but no easy access. Just realize buyers aren’t likely to pay as much for your place as they might for a similarly configured property offering direct, easy outdoor access.

Views

Is there a beautiful city view from your outdoor space? Does the backyard overlook or even connect to a lake? If so, the space is likely to add considerable value to your property.

Condition

Like anything else in real estate, a beautifully maintained outdoor space can add value to your property, particularly among buyers who covet outdoor space. On the flip side, a weedy, unkempt backyard is a turn-off to just about everybody.

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Author: kimhuntkw

We specialize in Real Estate in the Pleasanton, Dublin and Livermore areas of the East Bay in California

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