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    Real Estate
    Sunday, April 14, 2024

    Most desirable outdoor features

    Many homeowners want an outdoor space that brings the comforts of inside outdoors and is useful to the owner's specific needs, interests and lifestyles. One of the wonderful advantages of homeownership is the freedom to renovate, construct and decorate to suit one's own specific tastes and desires without having to first obtain the permission of a landlord. However, if there are plans to sell the home someday, permanent or large-scale design and renovation ideas that may seem unique or eccentric to the general public should be seriously considered before implementing or possibly avoided. If not avoided, it's advisable to remove or replace these unique features before putting the home on the market.

    For example, it might be advisable that a backyard landscape design that features a festive Christmas scene painted across a section of a privacy fence be painted over before showing the house to potential buyers. On the other hand, there are plenty of ways to create a comfortable outdoor space that will be attractive, useful and will also be an asset when it's time to sell.

    According to the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) nationwide survey taken in the summer of 2020 two of the most desired outdoor features when shopping for a house were exterior lighting and a patio. Exterior lighting is a good safety feature especially along walkways and other areas of the property that might be used at night. Outdoor lights can also light up the patio and other outdoor gathering spots to enable their use at night as well as during the day. Check with local authorities to learn about any local laws that might be in place regarding placement and brightness of exterior lighting.

    A variety of outdoor lights are available depending on need and budget. Manasa Reddigari and Kathleen Corlett writing for bobvila.com say, "The three main types of backyard illumination are safety lighting to deter prowlers and improve navigation, landscape lighting to accentuate garden features, and accent lighting to put the focus on the hardscape." Some lights like security lighting and any other lighting requiring wiring should be installed by a licensed electrician but solar lighting can be installed by the homeowner.

    Patios can be designed for different purposes such as a base for landscape structures like pergolas, firepit surrounds,  outdoor bars and kitchens, surrounds for swimming pools or simply for a place to relax and entertain. Patios can be either adjacent to the house or a distance away depending on convenience and the area available. Another possible patio location is under an existing upper-level deck. Placed under a deck a patio will have plenty of shade and some shelter from the weather. However, if a patio under the deck seems too confined or crowded, a patio out in the yard furnished with a table umbrella can provide some shade without the crowded feel. Several patio building materials like stone, concrete or pavers are available to choose from depending on purpose, budget and taste.

    Combining both features is another option for homeowner enjoyment as well as a way to impress home shoppers when the time comes for selling. Solar lanterns, wall sconces, table lamps and string lights are some options for patio lighting that doesn't require wiring but will provide light long past sunset. Any lighting that requires electricity should be installed by an electrician to ensure the fixtures are properly and safely wired to the house and that the job is up to code.

    An illuminated backyard patio allows daytime fun to extend well into the evening and creates a pleasant, relaxing atmosphere while also making the walkways safer to travel at night. Additionally, adding some lights to the front of the house along sidewalks, porches and driveways creates a warm welcoming atmosphere while providing safety and security.

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