It probably comes as no surprise to find out that 2021 was the year of backyard home improvement projects across the country. In fact, a study from Home Innovation Research Labs found that outdoor home improvement projects increased by as much as 21 percent from 2019 to 2020.

Backyard TIPS

Hot projects were decks, patios, spas, and full on outdoor kitchens, to help people survive pandemic blues and maximize their relaxation at home in their outdoor spaces. The question now is whether those renovations might bring back a return on investment when it comes time to sell. Here’s a look at some of the most popular backyard improvements and how much they might be worth now, or in the future, according to a survey from the real estate experts at HomeLight. 

Hot tubs

Hot tubs are literally, hot. Nationally, the value an inground hot tub adds to a home has increased an estimated 71% since the arrival of Covid-19.

Across the United States, agents estimate that prior to Covid-19, a house with an inground hot tub fetched an estimated $4,052. Post-vaccine, buyers are said to pay an estimated $6,925 for the feature.

In the West, the numbers are even higher with an inground hot tub adding $4,860 in value before Covid-19 and $7,924 in post vaccine days. With the cost of installing an inground hot tub at around $8,000 to $25,000 according to HomeGuide, it’s unlikely that you’ll get a full return on your investment if you’ve added an inground hot tub, no matter where you live. 

Some homeowners, wanting hot tub luxury without the steep price tag of an inground tub, might have opted for an above ground version. According to HomeAdvisor, entry-level hot tubs cost between $2,000 and $6,000, while mid-level ones cost $4,000 to $8,000. According to insights from real estate agents in the Pacific region, buyers might be willing to pay over $2,000 for a home with a freestanding hot tub. 

Outdoor kitchens

An outdoor kitchen is more than a place to grill, with homeowners adding sinks, refrigerators, and full ranges to make culinary magic possible in the great outdoors.

Real estate agents across the country are finding that buyers will pay $12,508 more for an updated outdoor kitchen in the Pacific region and with HomeAdvisor reporting that a chef-ready space could cost from $5,500 to $22,000, that could be a strong ROI incentive. If you are thinking about adding an outdoor kitchen this summer and are wondering how much you might get back, a net proceeds calculator can help you see just how much your home is worth.

Backyard decks

Decks, which were popular in the 1980s, made a comeback in the face of Covid-19 and across the country, with agents now reporting that decks are worth 65 percent more than in years past.

While decks come in at many price points, HomeGuide estimates the cost to build a deck lands between $4,380 and $10,080. In the Pacific region, prior to Covid-19 a deck would have brought in an estimated $5,296 at sale time, while agents are saying that one now could garner up to $9,296 post vaccine. That makes a deck addition as one that could have a high ROI. 

A deck (and other elements of a backyard oasis) was an asset during Covid-19 and could be a desirable feature if you are looking to sell soon.

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