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Now that fall is almost here you may be thinking of tackling some exterior remodeling jobs before winter. If you are thinking of selling your home in the future, which projects pay off the most to potential home buyers should be of interest. Certain remodeling projects can up the appeal of your property to potential buyers and some projects can give you a bigger return on your investment.

What is the outdoor project that has both the biggest appeal to potential buyers and offers the best return on investment? According to a survey done by the National Association of Realtors, upgrading your landscape and/or using a professional lawn care service. It is estimated that you can recover 300% of the cost of a lawn service and up to 100% of upgrading your landscape when selling your home. Realtors know the value of curb appeal to potential buyers and often suggest sellers put some money in to upgrading their landscaping before putting their house on the market. The first impression a buyer gets from your home is the exterior. If it has no curb appeal, a buyer won’t be as anxious to see the interior.

Next in line for value added for potential buyers is adding a new patio or deck. Potential buyers will see a new patio or deck as additional living space and added value for entertaining. This project not only increases the appeal to buyers, it also adds to the current homeowners’ satisfaction with their home and 51% of home owners say it has increased the enjoyment of their current home. The estimated return on a $10,000 deck investment is 106% when selling your home.

Adding to or upgrading your current landscape can also pay off in both buyer appeal and return on investment. Installing stone walkways and planters, adding window boxes, planting flowering shrubs, adding trees and even simply mulching existing planting areas can all add value to your home. A well maintained yard

gives a buyer the impression that your home is well cared for and can translate into a higher selling price.

One of the newer trends in outdoor remodeling is adding an outdoor fireplace and an outdoor kitchen. In our climate, there is a shorter time that you can be outside so the return will not be as large as it would be in milder climates. This outdoor living area concept is trending big right now and is very appealing to buyers but there is a limit to the return you will get on your investment. Both an outdoor fireplace and an outdoor kitchen can be pricey and generally do not result in a huge return on investment. This type of project can increase your enjoyment of your home and that may make the investment worth it to your family.

Rounding out the list of exterior remodeling projects is a swimming pool. According the NAR survey, a pool ranks last on the list of both buyer appeal and return on investment. There are buyers that are willing to pay more for a home with a pool and current homeowners that make the investment for the enjoyment of their family and not expecting a return at resale. There are also buyers who don’t want the maintenance or liability of owning a pool. If you decide to invest in a pool at you current home, do so with the intention of enjoying it while you live there and not with the expectation of a high return on your investment.

When doing any remodeling project, you need to balance the cost of the project with the benefits to your family and the potential return on that investment when you sell your home. Your decisions may be different if you are planning on selling soon or if you are looking at living there for a longer period of time. If you want to get the most bang for your buck consider hiring a lawn service. It has the potential for the biggest return on investment if you sell and if you aren’t selling you can relax while someone else mows your lawn!

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