5 Reasons to Upgrade Your Backyard

When looking around your home for a place to upgrade, you may want to look outside. In Arizona, residents spend a good deal of time enjoying the year-round warm weather, doing activities including cooking, playing and entertaining outdoors.

Improving your outdoor living areas can not only increase your living space but also add another level of appeal when it comes time to sell. Here are five reasons to consider the renovation possibilities in your own backyard.

1. Arizona Weather Makes Outdoor Living Features Usable Year-Round.

Imagine stepping through multi-slide, exterior doors onto your patio — in February. When other parts of the country are dealing with snow, Arizonians are typically enjoying sunny skies and a monthly average temperature of 60 degrees.

Since the expansion can be used most of the year, installing a concrete patio, deck, outdoor kitchen and/or outdoor fire pit in a fenced-in area feels like it adds to your home’s square footage. Other elements that can enhance the outdoor experience are a multi-room audio system, ceiling fans, seating/dining areas and lighting (including the trend of hanging string lights). So be sure to include pre-wiring and connectivity for electricity, cable, water and gas in your renovation planning.

2. Patios and Decks Have Strong ROI When It’s Time to Resale.

According to HGTV.com, patios, decks or porch additions have an average return on resale of upwards of 90 percent. For example, the home-and-garden website estimates a homeowner will spend about $11,000 on a 16 x 20 ft. pressure-treated wooden deck with a simple pattern and can expect about $10,000 of that back when selling the home.

Less expensive than decks, brick patios start at approximately $11 per square foot and can be installed by contractors for about $3,500. Concrete is a little more costly than brick, or you can splurge on flagstone at $15-$18 per square foot.

3. Landscaping Is a Cost-Effective Way to Improve Your Home’s Value and Curb Appeal.

When it comes to planting pretty shrubs and bushes, it’s a win-win proposition. Buyers love xeriscaping, and it’s not a big-ticket expense – this is something you might even be able to complete as a DIY project! The average homeowner spends about $3,502 for landscaping, says the American Nursery Landscape Association. HGTV.com estimates the average of resale on landscaping at 100 percent. In short, homeowners love desert landscaping.

4. Buyers Appreciate Additional Space.

Of the top 10 features homebuyers want, open concept homes with spacious, flowing floor plans rank #1. If you have an older home, adding more room with outdoor living space can create that feel easier than adding another bedroom or office/den. Creating a sunroom can give you a place to enjoy year-round, regardless of the weather. It can also be an investment for you because when it comes time to sell your home, buyers may be interested in the extra space that you have created. According to a National Association of Realtors study, every 1,000 square feet added to a home can increase the sale price by more than 30 percent.

5. Your Home’s Equity Can Be Used to Make Renovations That Increase Its Use and Value.

To finance renovations, many people look to the home itself. A home equity loan is a financial line of credit secured by the value of your home. You can work with your credit union to establish how much equity, or value, you have acquired in your house, how much is available to borrow and what loan terms work best for your budget.

With these ideas, you can turn your backyard into a desert oasis. Most experts recommend that you renovate your house and outdoor space based on your own tastes and budget, regardless of popular trends, though; so make sure that you create a space that you will love. After all, home is where the heart is.

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The material presented here is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to be used as financial, investment, or legal advice.