The Property Value Myth & The Outdoor Living Space

As an Outdoor Living Designer we hear the phrase “property value” all the time.

“Am I going to get my investment back on this new patio?”

“What do you think the return on my investment will be?”

When did a landscape project become a financial investment? An Outdoor Living Space is an investment in your personal life, entertainment, and health.

We have become a society of people who have traded personal values for property values. Property value doesn’t really mean anything anymore unless you own your home free and clear. Most of the homes we buy are because we can afford the monthly payment. The payments over a 30-year loan total 3 times the cost of the initial cost of the home.

I wonder sometimes, when people buy their new cars are they concerned about resale value too? I hope not, because when that car leaves the lot it has already lost 20%, and up to 40% in value by the second and third year.

The value that you get out of your home should be enjoyment, friendship, and fellowship. So then I ask, “How can you put a dollar amount on family enjoyment?”

There is no such thing as property value when we are talking about what you want. It is definitely not in that new car you just bought contrary to what people believe.

If you ask any real estate agent about getting a low cost patio, basement, or kitchen renovation, they will advise you that it’s better not to do anything to your property than have low cost renovations that do not compliment your home. The first thing on the potential buyer’s minds is that they will have to redo the work.

Donald’s Trump, the real estate mogul always says that in order to control property value in your area you would have to advance your property to a higher level. Trump spares no expense on the renovations of his properties. By doing so, it forces everyone around him to advance or rather elevate their renovations. When everyone has the same goal in mind, it influences the property values in the whole neighborhood.

I am beginning to think that people shying away from upgrading in their properties, especially the outdoors is just an excuse. It’s like telling a car salesman you are “just looking” when you are clearly there to purchase a vehicle.

If you upgrade and add tons of features to your home, you are not just raising the property value but you now dominate the area. All of the home prices will start to reflect yours and as your value goes up your neighbors will be forced to do the same.

With today’s technology and advancement of the web, consumers use pictures and other sources over the Internet in selecting homes that are prospects. The first thing a prospective homebuyer will see when they look at the house is the exterior. If the curb appeal of the yard is not properly maintained or neglected, it will instantly throw them off and force them to look at another property. It’s almost like online dating. Haha!! If the yard or landscape is done poorly they will automatically assume the rest of the house is the same. Which lowers the home values in the whole neighborhood.

I have met potential clients with ultra-custom homes and all they have is a square deck or a rectangle patio using the cheapest materials possible. These types of cheap upgrades bring down the property values in the area.

I tell my clients to get what they want. Stop worrying about the value of your home. We all saw back in 2009, with the housing market crash, that our homes became substantially devalued almost over night. My house was down almost 24% in less than 2 years after I bought it. So I saw it firsthand. My wife and I still upgraded the house for our enjoyment.

So, it’s best to get what you want and enjoy your new outdoor living space. In life all we have is now. So that nice water feature, gas fire pit, pergola, or built in bar that you saw and want, treat yourself to it. You will be happy in the long run. You will get to enjoy those features now. After all, we work so hard and never enjoy the fruits of our labor. The lesson here is get what your heart desires and live in the NOW. Make sure to make the outside of your home as important as the inside. Presentation is everything!!!!

Duane Draughon

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VizX Design Studios 

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