What's "IN" Outside

Real Estate Agent with Zach Taylor Real Estate 213-638

Its just another "Great Room", but many buyers and sellers are finding that if you have one done right the buyer will pay for it and the seller normally reaps two rewards, that of the use and gets his money back.

It seems to be one of the latest trends, and now with gas prices going up more and more people are staying close to home or at home.

Many people are designing their backyards with the same approach as they would a room inside their home.

Decisions, decisions, do you use, concrete, wood decking, pavers, grass, flagstone, tile, what style, country, kid friendly, rustic, traditional, formal, contemporary, nature?

Now that the floor has been decided on what about the ceiling, do you cover it completely, use pergolas, awnings or just mother natures tree shading?

Determine how you are going to the use this "room", to help you make your decisions. Do you need a full kitchen or just a grill, do you entertain alot, do you entertain your family and friends formally or casual?

Will you use this area when the temperatures are cool, do you need an outdoor fireplace or fire pit?

How about seating do you need (what) several sitting areas so people can break up into small groups or do you want everyone together? What type of seating? Sofas, ottomans, coffee tables, or relaxing chaises, today there are so many great fabrics that are made for the outdoors and are more weather-resistant.

And last, what about the water, do have or are you going to add, a pool, spa, waterfalls, ponds?

Just remember to put yourself, your personality into your apace so that you will enjoy it for years to come.

All these decisions are just too much for me right now, I think I'll have some ice tea and sit in my plastic lawn chair with my feet in the kiddie pool and ponder, what should I do?


Doris Freeman -


Reliant Realty

Comments (16)

Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 AdrianWillanger-broker.com - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

Doris, right on, I totally agree with you, as a matter of fact I just built an outdoor kitchen sitting area. 


Have a great 4th!

Jul 04, 2012 09:03 AM
Jenny Durling
L.A. Property Solutions - Los Angeles, CA
For Los Angeles real estate help 213-215-4758

This is so true!  In Los Angeles, where the weather is nice for most of the year, the backyard truly becomes and extension of the house. indoor-outdoor flow is an important consideration.

Jul 04, 2012 10:04 AM
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Doris... the is very true.. and that is why when spring came to NH last year, I told the seller it was time to "stage" the backyard!

Jul 04, 2012 10:52 AM
Doug Bullwinkel
Envoy Mortgage,NMLS ID 6666 - Sacramento, CA
Mortgage Loan Originator NMLS #281609

I was worn out right along with you.  Too many things to consider when planning an outdoor space.  One thing you also need to consider is maintenance and how much is required for the things that you want.  Pools and water features require continual cleaning and chemicals to keep them in shape.

Jul 04, 2012 11:25 AM
Donald Reich
Prudential Centennial - New Rochelle, NY

To add to Joan Whitebook's comment, staging the outdside is crucial. To many homebuyers the outside is more important than the inside. And in most homes the outside is both the first, and last impression, you will get of a house.

Jul 04, 2012 01:27 PM
C. Lloyd McKenzie
Living Albuquerque - Albuquerque, NM
Living Albuquerque

Hello Doris, Excellent post..congratulation on beng featured. I took a client to view a home last week, the inside was great, the outside left little to be desired. 

Jul 04, 2012 03:57 PM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Congratulations on the featured post. Thanks for sharing the great tips.

Jul 04, 2012 08:24 PM
Mark Delgado
houses for rent, Solano County & Glen Cove - Benicia, CA
Benicia and Vallejo, Property Management, rental h
Wonderful post that also lends itself well to discussion on what improvements to make to a rental home. Maintenance of the yard and landscaping become significant considerations.
Jul 04, 2012 09:40 PM
Kim Boekholder Utah Real Estate
Results Real Estate 801.580.5624 - Draper, UT
Broker, Results Real Estate
I recently visited California and toured some homes that had amazing outside living areas. Fantastic idea I'm sure many areas could benefit from. Thanks for putting this out for others to read
Jul 04, 2012 10:48 PM
Fernando Herboso - Associate Broker MD, & VA
Maxus Realty Group of Samson Properties - Clarksburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

My dream backyard has a fireplace, a pool and a huge TV to watch sports!

The local weather plays a major role in the planning of a backyard. .

Jul 05, 2012 12:02 AM
Chris and Dick Dovorany
Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida - Naples, FL
Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty

Here in Naples we have alot of "outdoor living rooms".  We were out to dinner 2 nights ago with a customer who (renting right now) pretty much only sleeps in the house.  Their cat is even on the lanai in an air conditioned cat house.  There are always extremes.

Jul 05, 2012 12:34 AM
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

Huge fan of the outside rooms. We see them a lot in my area and I'd love and outdoor fireplace. I have a pit, but would love a hearth

Jul 05, 2012 03:47 AM
Patsy Barten
Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene - Post Falls, ID

Thanks for sharing.  I am always trying to figure out ways to include the outside.  We are up here in the Northern tier in North Idaho but when the weather permits we all move to the outside we are blessed in not having too many bugs.  But I cannot always get the folks to stage the outdoors, i will keep working on it.  Thanks

Jul 05, 2012 04:29 AM
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Doris,  Interesting post and comment thread.  Gas prices have far reaching effects on us all.

Jul 05, 2012 04:44 AM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Doris - I see some amazing backyard spaces as I show homes even with the limited lot sizes we have here.

Jul 05, 2012 03:07 PM