If you’re preparing your home for sale in today’s market, it must feel move-in ready. But what areas are worthy of a facelift from a prospective homeowner’s viewpoint? Today’s homeowners are most interested in outdoor living spaces.
Here in Boulder County, the love of the outdoors has always been a characteristic of those who live here. A connection to the outdoors and outdoor entertaining ranked on the top 10 list of design drivers nationwide in “The Future of Home Design,” a recent survey by the New Home Trends Institute (NHTI) in collaboration with Pro Builder magazine. More than 300 residential architects, designers and design-minded builders across the country responded to the survey about trends in new-home design.
Based on survey results, connection to the outdoors — at 58% — and outdoor entertaining — 45% — are predicted to be the most significant driver of design choices over the next three years, second to value and cost considerations. Designers and builders say our love of the outdoors might be partly a holdover from the recent stay-at-home past, but rather than a new trend; it’s a shift in the type of outdoor living we seek. These evolving preferences may also be in response to higher housing densities, which can result in smaller individual yard spaces. Survey respondents cited several reasons for moving toward higher-density housing, including land cost or availability, affordability concerns, designing for different product types and seeking higher-density projects.
Large, green backyards are one area of evolution. Contrary to homeowners’ desires in the past, today, only 28% of buyers prefer an open backyard. In comparison, 73% want covered or open-air outdoor rooms, 68% like patios, and 55% want a deck, according to the survey.
While outdoor space is desirable, it’s not likely to come at the expense of less interior space in a home. Instead, look for trends that make the transition from indoor to outdoor more seamless, such as floor-to-ceiling glass doorways, enclosed patios, partially covered gardens and outdoor furniture with more of an indoor feel.
Pro Builder magazine writes, “When asked, 48% of designers said the allocation of interior and outdoor square footage remained the same compared with 2019, while 29% gave slightly more space to the outdoors and 18% allocated slightly more space to the home’s interior.”
The trend is for multi-functional outdoor spaces with added built-in features. Those surveyed expressed a desire for firepits or fireplaces — 73% — outdoor kitchens —68% — gazebos or pergolas —44% — and pools and hot tubs at 36% and 20%, respectively.
Indoor-outdoor rooms, often in the same style as the home’s interior, are increasingly popular. Features include a covered space that is inset into the home’s interior and shielded from neighbors and passersby.
Rooftop decks are growing in popularity, especially for those in higher-density detached living in desirable locations. The front porch remains a sought-after feature to help promote community connection, with 53% more architectural designers including a front porch in 2020 than in 2019, according to the survey analysis.
The takeaway: If you are preparing your home for sale, pay special attention to your outdoor areas. Even if you don’t make major changes before putting your home on the market, you’ll want to ensure it looks its best and use staging techniques to help home shoppers visualize the possibilities.
Read the full article at probuilder.com/whats-driving-outdoor-living-trends.
By Tom Kalinski. Tom is the broker/owner of RE/MAX of Boulder, the local residential real estate company he established in 1977. He was inducted into Boulder County’s Business Hall of Fame in 2016 and has a 40-year
background in commercial and residential real estate. For questions, email Tom at [email protected], call 303.441.5620, or visit boulderco.com.