How Much Is The Backyard Oasis You Built in 2020 Worth Now?

The Backyard Oasis

Across California, and especially in Southern California, having a backyard is a huge asset when selling a home. Who wouldn’t want to take advantage of our beautiful weather all year for barbecues and parties? When Covid-19 changed our world, The Backyard Oasis became even more important. 

A study from Home Innovation Research Labs found that outdoor home improvement projects increased as much as 21 percent from 2019 to 2020. Homeowners were focused more on increasing the relaxation vibes at home, than getting a return on their investment when adding decks, and outdoor kitchens that went beyond barbecues to include ranges and even refrigerators. The question is, how much will these revamped backyards be worth in the future, and will homebuyers pay more for an updated outdoor space? The experts at HomeLight asked real estate agents to weigh in about the return on investment for backyard updates and what buyers are looking for. Here’s a closer look at outdoor kitchens and decks, and the return they might offer for sellers.

Get cooking, outside

Across the West, agents are saying that the value of an outdoor kitchen has increased in the post-Covid world. Before Covid-19, buyers would pay an extra $7,760 for a home with a kitchen in California, and now that number is up to more than $12,500. On average, the value of an outdoor kitchen has increased by 60 percent since before Covid across the country. This could be good news for sellers who upgraded their kitchens last year, but the return on investment will depend on the price tag for that new kitchen. With luxury upgrades ranging from $22,000 to $100,000 and a basic outdoor kitchen starting at around $5,000, basic kitchens are likely to have the best return on investment. 

Let’s take a seat

The difference between a yard and a full on outdoor relaxing space like The Backyard Oasis is a dedicated area for entertaining and lounging. Decks, which first gained popularity in the 1980s, had a comeback in 2020. In fact, a study from Principia Consulting found that 31 percent of homeowners with a decking project built a new deck in an empty space with no deck in 2020, up from 25 percent in 2019. Like outdoor kitchens, the value of a deck has increased in the West in the last year. Before Covid, buyers would pay more than $5,000 for a house with a deck, while after Covid, that number is up to more than $9,000. With HomeGuide estimating that the cost to build a deck landing is between $4,380 and $10,080 it’s certainly possible that sellers will see a return on their investment.

It’s clear that the value of outdoor spaces has gone up in the post-Covid world and that’s good news for sellers. California buyers are likely to put outdoor features as among their top amenities when looking for their next home, especially now. A real estate agent along with an appraiser can advise you about how much value to put on updated kitchens and decks.


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