When Realtors and professional stagers talk about that infamous curb appeal, they are referring to the front yard. They are talking about the way the front of your home is impeccably maintained and how cute it looks as potential buyers drive by. What about the backyard? You can't see it from the curb, but it still can house several key selling points of your home.
1. Sports Court: Many HOAs now forbid the classic basketball net over the garage door. While it seems sad to lose this little part of Americana, many homeowners are now turning to their backyard and installing a professionally-built sports court.
2. Inground pool: A pool is a necessity in places like Arizona and Nevada, but homeowners in every state enjoy the ability to just head out their backyard to that glistening water. A well-maintained pool makes summers more fun and adds value to your home.
3. Putting Green: Wouldn't it be nice to work on your game from the privacy of your backyard? A putting green allows you to do just that and they are small so you can squeeze one into the unused side yard. If you have a larger lot, you could even expand the idea to include the ability to chip a few balls in.
4. Fireplace: Anyone can dig a hole or buy a portable fire pit, but to truly add value to your home, construct a free-standing, outdoor fireplace. This is one of the newest features that buyers are clamoring for in backyards. These permanent structures can be in the style of a southwestern kiva and covered in stucco or they can be traditional stone fireplaces. The choice is yours.
5. Outdoor Kitchen: Gone are the days of the simple BBQ grill. Buyers want full-on outdoor kitchens, complete with six-foot long grills, wood-fired pizza ovens, and smokers. They want an adjoining outdoor dining room with a hanging chandelier. They want a swim up bar (see #2). They want it all. The New York Times states that an outdoor kitchen can help you sell faster, particularly if you list your home in the late spring when everyone is thinking about all those potential summer BBQs.
While curb appeal is important to the sale of your home, backyard improvements are a close second. They not only add value to your home, but you can enjoy them until you are ready to sell.