Outdoor living space has always been popular and something buyers seek. However, recent surveys indicate your deck may hold more value than you may realize.
According to the American Institute of Architects First Quarter 2016 Home Design Trends Survey, about 69 percent of architecture firms surveyed said they experienced an increase in demand for outdoor living space.
The results from a survey conducted by Home Innovation Research Labs shows that bigger is better. Over 1,300 builders stated that the average size of decks on homes, especially luxury homes, is growing. In the Northeast, where we love outdoor entertaining right up through those crisp autumn nights, the average deck measured 406 square feet, which is an increase of 53 percent from 2014.
What does this mean to you as a home seller? It means you need to make the most of this opportunity.
If you have a deck, here are 4 tips to show it off:
Clean, re-stain, or seal the deck before your next showing. Buyers will take notice of any signs of rot or lack of care. If mold is growing on the deck, you can make yourself a weak bleach solution to apply with a sponge before using the pressure washer to remove mildew. Mildew can ruin a deck and simply put, mold makes buyers run away. Once cleaned of dirt and/or mold and mildew, sand any rough spots and apply a good stain and sealant.
If your deck needs renovations, consider making the investment. Depending on the size, materials, and the condition of the ground where the deck will be placed (how much clearing and leveling and prep work of the ground is needed) a typical deck budget can run a homeowner anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000. More extravagant decks with special design features can cost as much as $65,000 or more depending on size, style, design lighting, built-in grills, and other enhancements. Decks can bring you about a 70 percent return on your investment when the time comes to sell your home.
Stage the deck to say “welcome home” to buyers. Consider adding new patio furniture that looks ready for entertaining friends or curling up with a good book and a glass of lemonade.
Add color and light. Invest in a few large potted plants with seasonal blooms to add beauty and interest to the area. Buy a colorful new welcome mat for the door. Purchase a few solar lights, which can be an inexpensive way to add more lighting around the deck if the wiring isn’t in place. This sets the stage for night time barbecues and summer parties.
A beautiful, well-maintained deck will easily attract the attention of most buyers. More and more, we are seeing that it adds valuable appeal to a backyard by offering more living space. So don’t let it hide under clutter, debris, or even worse, lack of care. Your deck is in demand, so show it off to its full potential.