Creating Desirable Outdoor Living to Maximize Property Values

By Jennifer Blake, Broker Associate, The Berkshire Group REALTORS®

It’s no secret Coloradans love the outdoors. Outdoor living spaces are important for Colorado homes. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to creating the perfect outdoor space, here are several ideas to promote resale potential for your property.

  • Become familiar with communities in the area and what’s desirable. A community with many families will see the greatest return with a yard configured to have enough grassy space to play. For a property in this type of neighborhood, positive improvements include ensuring an adequate amount of sod, trees for shade and privacy, shrubs and flowers for color and texture, and a deck or patio for space to relax and dine. Space permitting, other positive improvements include entertaining space with an outdoor kitchen, firepit, garden area, and playground. If the property happens to be in an area geared toward low-maintenance living then less grass to maintain and water with an emphasis on entertaining space becomes higher priority.
  • Invest in high-value curb appeal. Designing and maintaining a positive first impression of your home is always a smart investment. The amount to invest to receive an ROI will depend on values in the area along with the property’s current situation. When budgeting, I’d suggest keeping the investment within .1% to .5% of the home’s estimated value assuming average to well-maintained condition, or $500 to $2,500 for a $500,000 home. A couple of low-cost, high-yield curb appeal ideas include a well-maintained lawn, pops of color with flowers, properly positioned trees and shrubs, and a freshly painted front door with a bold color that coordinates with your home’s palette.
  • Extend the homes living space with a high-value outdoor space. The amount to invest to receive an ROI will depend on the values in the area, the home’s current exterior setup/condition, and the scope of the improvement. When budgeting, I’d suggest trying to keep the investment within 2% to 7% of the home’s estimated value, or $10,000 to $35,000 for a $500,000 home. Some popular outdoor living trends that could positively impact value include a stone patio, outdoor kitchen/cooking/serving area, built-in firepit or fireplace, outdoor lighting, water feature, and a covered area.

The housing market is always changing as are home improvement trends. If adding value is a key consideration for an improvement then it’s always best to reach out to your trusted real estate professional to provide expert guidance.

Currently, the Denver metro housing market is beginning to shift out of an aggressive sellers’ market. For the past several years, demand was so high and inventory low that sellers could put in little to no effort and quickly sell at top market value. Today, the Denver area has hot and cool pockets, requiring many sellers to put in some work if wanting to sell at top market value. With home values at an all-time high and an increase of homes available to choose from, it only makes sense that buyers are becoming more particular, so desirable outdoor living spaces will gain even more importance in home values and purchase decisions.

About Jennifer Blake: With more than 20 years of professional experience, Jennifer Blake offers buyers and sellers a high level of expertise to successfully achieve their real estate dreams. Jennifer has been recognized as a top-producing agent in South Metro Denver as a SMDRA Diamond Circle Member since 2014, and has earned QSC Platinum status with 100% customer satisfaction annually since 2014. She is also an Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR®), Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE®), Certified Residential Real Estate Specialist (CRS®), and Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES®), with a master’s in business administration (MBA). To learn more, visit