Home’s with top-notch outdoor spaces have become key in the housing market. This may come as no surprise to those who’ve been keeping up with the real estate trends in the aftermath of COVID-19. When the pandemic forcibly locked families away at home, the need for a private space to relax and enjoy some fresh air was key.
Buyers who’ve entered the housing market in recent months are on the lookout for ultimate outdoor living. One of the top amenities they’re looking for? The outdoor fireplace.
Not to be confused with the more casual outdoor fire pit, these outdoor fireplaces have become the epitome of outdoor luxury. Who wouldn’t love sitting outside and warming your feet beside a crackling fire?
While outdoor fireplaces may not be for everyone, there’s no doubt that adding one to your property will increase your home’s value substantially, and they’re a sure way to attract plenty of buyers once you decide to sell.
What’s caused buyer interest in outdoor fireplaces to spark?
We have the COVID-19 pandemic to thank for the rise in outdoor fireplaces. When families are searching for new homes nowadays, they’re seeking properties that would be suitable and enjoyable should stay-at-home orders be enforced once again. Any home with plenty of outdoor entertainment will be extremely desirable for buyers, and outdoor fireplaces are considered a top wish-list item for buyers.
According to HomeLight’s Top Agent Insights for End of Year 2021, 65% of the realtors claimed that buyer interest in outdoor fireplaces has increased since March of 2020. This is especially true in warmer areas. In the South Central region, for instance, 69% of agents claim buyer interest in outdoor fireplaces has spiked.
The value of an outdoor fireplace
As interest rises for the outdoor fireplace, so does it’s value. In March of 2020, an outdoor fireplace added about $3,337 in value to a property. In the aftermath of COVID-19, this value has risen by a dramatic 72%. Outdoor fireplaces are nationally worth about $5,753.
For warmer regions, outdoor fireplaces hold even greater value. In the Pacific region, their worth grew from $4,254 to $9,497 — an increase of 123%.
In terms of desirability, the gas fireplace is slightly more preferable to the wood fireplace, though not by much. Gas fireplaces require much less ongoing maintenance, and wood fireplaces sometimes violate local fire bans depending on the area.
If you’re considering adding an outdoor fireplace right before putting your home on the market, be careful.
There’s no denying the value of an outdoor fireplace, however, building costs are just as extreme. Estimates show custom work for an outdoor fireplace can easily exceed $20,000 depending on the extravagance. If you’re purely renovating for the ROI, be sure to keep it simple.
When renovating, think complete outdoor living
Building an extravagant outdoor fireplace may not be in everyone’s budget. As a prospective seller, you’ll be glad to know buyers are on the lookout for homes with top-notch outdoor spaces, but that doesn’t mean they require luxurious amenities.
First, worry about simple outdoor maintenance like mowing the lawn and adding privacy features like fences or shrubs. If you have the budget to add a small stone patio or grill, that will be more than enough to have plenty of buyers knocking on your door. Reach out to an experienced real estate agent once you’re ready to get started!