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The new room making, breaking home deals

By David Parrish

A recent survey by Realtor.com identified a trend that I have been noticing more and more lately.

While the kitchen is still the room that frequently makes or breaks a deal, there is an increasing shift of focus to another “room” for making a sale.

That room is the back yard. Yes, I said the back yard.

For those of you that have known me for a long time, you know that I have a little experience in this area as a former garden center and professional landscape design and construction operator. When in that business, we frequently talked about the landscape with our clients as an outdoor room, or rooms. In the 1980s that was a “newish” concept to the public, but a useful method for communicating key landscape design philosophies and concepts.

In today’s world, we are increasingly seeing homeowners making use of the outdoor space for more than a children’s play area. Today there are outdoor kitchens and living spaces that include TVs, WiFi and other family attractions used to enhance and expand the family’s living area. The practice of using these spaces in such enhanced fashion is rapidly becoming mainstream to the point of impacting the desires and expectations of homebuyers.

For our market this is especially true in, but not limited to, homes in the above $200,000 price range.

Now as with most home improvements, such improvements do not return dollar-for-dollar invested when you go to sell. But, they can definitely impact the sale-ability of your home. With that in mind and the arrival of summer you may want to take another look at that back yard and that unused swing set/play area and begin creating that new room that you can enjoy now that will also prepare your home for the market when the time comes to sell.

May the market be with you.

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