Outdoor living isn’t just a fad, it’s become a way of life. Homebuyers today are looking for functional, aesthetically-pleasing outdoor space and they’re willing to pay for it. Just look at this quote from a recent study by the National Association of Home Buyers:

When it comes to outside additions and alterations, including addition of patio, terrace, new driveway, fence, new home buyers outspend existing home buyers and non-moving owners by far.”

Builders looking to attract buyers are smart to maximize every inch of outdoor space, particularly in areas like Charlotte that are seeing size-challenged infill projects pop up on every available lot. You don’t have to have acres and acres to create an inviting outdoor oasis…just a little forethought. Here’s which outdoor design features buyers are really looking for.


Outdoor “Rooms”

It’s no longer enough to slap some patio pavers down and call it a day. Buyers – particularly new home buyers – want to feel like they’re getting a home that’s been designed for their lives, all the way to the lot lines. Smart builders are working with outdoor designers to incorporate traditionally indoor features such as TVs, full kitchen setups, and stationary furniture into outdoor spaces to make them more inviting. Features like built-in firepits, pet-friendly staircases, and multi-level entertaining spaces add to the appeal of an otherwise ho-hum backyard. Once designed, these imminently-usable yards should be incorporated into the main living areas of the house using huge windows or sliding glass doors and design tricks like similar fabrics or color schemes indoors-to-out.


Illusion of Privacy

In the 1980s and 90s, homes were generally built on larger lots and the more mature the tree growth in a neighborhood, the better. Today’s construction standards call for less space per home, and lack of inventory in the U.S. means developers want to be in and out quickly, causing them to raze swaths of land before building. This leaves buyers with little mature landscaping and privacy concerns. No one wants to drink coffee on their back porch while staring into their neighbor’s master bedroom. Creating the illusion of private, oasis-like yard spaces involves strategic placement of fencing, tree saplings, and design elements like terraces and pergolas. This is particularly important in “cookie-cutter” developments where every yard risks looking exactly the same; each outdoor space should offer something unique and all should have a measure of separation even when completely adjacent.


Proper Lighting

Lighting is one of the most important design considerations inside, so why shouldn’t that hold true for the outside of a home? Exterior lighting is one an oft-overlooked consideration but does wonders for curb appeal, both before and after a sale. On the front of the house, buyers want decorative lighting that serves a purpose: illuminated entry ways, side-by-side garage lights, and uplighting of design features like columns or trees. In the back, lighting should provide options: flood lights for utility, side lights for coming and going, and dimmers for ambiance.

Need help developing an outdoor design plan that actually sells homes? Creative Model Designs provides innovative solutions for model homes, spec houses, and developments all over the greater Charlotte area. We know what Charlotte buyers want. Call us today!