Outdoor Living, Year Round
Western Washington is known for its relatively mild weather, but we do have seasons. An outdoor living space that’s enjoyable to use during our Pacific Northwest summers may not be the most practical choice in the winter months. The solution? An outdoor living space that can flex with the seasons. My personal favorite is an outdoor living room with a partially covered patio or deck, an outdoor fireplace and an outdoor kitchen/grill area. Add a little drama with large sliding glass doors or bi-fold walls that open to your outdoor living room from the inside. By creating an outdoor living room that can be used year round, you essentially double your capacity for entertaining.
Adding Value with Outdoor Improvements
The best way to maximize your return on investment is to add outdoor amenities that are easy to maintain and usable rear round. Adding a swimming pool may sound like an attractive idea right about now, but pools aren’t as practical in the Pacific Northwest as some people might hope. Most potential buyers think pools will involve more work than pleasure. That’s exactly what you do NOT want with an outdoor space. When clients ask me for suggestions for outdoor upgrades that will add value, three things come to mind.
1. Functionality. Make sure the improvements you have in mind will actually increase your usable space.
2. Lighting. Put some thought into lighting for your outdoor living space and your landscaping. I can’t overstate the importance of outdoor lighting. It can add a completely new element to the mix, transforming an average outdoor landscape into a work of art.
3. Water features. A well executed water feature can add more impact to your landscaping than you might think. It doesn’t necessarily need to be an elaborate waterfall. An attractive plug and play fountain can do the trick.
Simple Exterior Upgrades to Consider Before Listing
Knocking out a few small weekend projects before putting your house on the market can have a big impact on your sale price at a relatively small cost.
1. Garden bed clean up. Weed the beds, prune the plants, shape the hedges and add some black mulch to give your garden beds a fresh, well-maintained look and create a nice, sharp contrast to your house and your lawn.
2. Lawns. Hopefully you’ve been fertilizing your lawn on a regular basis. It’s a practice that’s often overlooked, but you’ll be thankful if you did it. Either way, make sure your grass is mowed and edged.
3. Staining. If you have a fence or deck that’s been crying out for a face lift, spend a day or two and give it a quick pressure wash and a fresh coat of stain. Stain will make a HUGE difference.
If you’re thinking about putting your house on the market and you’d like some additional guidance from me, please don’t hesitate to give me a call. I’m here to help.
Miles Eaton is a top-producing Realtor with Windermere Professional Partners, specializing in residential real estate in Tacoma, Gig Harbor, University Place and Lakewood.
Miles Eaton: (253) 355-5862