More homeowners invest in outdoor living spaces

Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 5:58 PM CDT
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CALEDONIA, Ill. (WIFR) - John and Kris Hamaker moved to Caledonia nearly 25 years ago.

John loves to build things and dreamed of adding a sky deck and outdoor patio to their home. But, it wasn’t until the pandemic hit that his dreams grew too big to ignore.

“We finished off a pub in our lower level. And figured that you know, the outdoor space we had a patio where we had a small deck off our master bedroom and thought that this would be a logical next step,” he said.

Between November 2020 and May 2021, John worked hard on his outdoor space, even adding a TV and fire pit. Local realtors recognize his hard work, giving him a “thumbs up” on the project. With average home prices rising, they say more owners must think outside the box to entice potential buyers and increase their home’s value.

“Years ago, if you’d listed a house with a swimming pool, it was like, well, it might be tough. Not everybody wants a pool, but nowadays, it seems like people want those things,” says realtor Scott Gesner.

Real estate experts say demand for outdoor living spaces increases during the pandemic when people spend more time at home and want to maximize the value of their property. This also comes when demand for homes increases. Northwest Illinois Alliance of Realtors CEO Conor Brown says the average price tag for home sales almost reaches $190,000.

“People are seeking those outdoor spaces out. It’s almost like an extension of the home. It’s like an additional room to the house. And so the more you can have it upgraded tricked out, the more likely your house is going to sell.”

John says there are endless possibilities for home improvements but it’s up to the owner to come up with affordable options that will make the biggest impact.

“We enjoy the outdoors. We enjoy being active people and this is very much an extension of our family and what our beliefs are about being fit and enjoying outdoor space.”

John also made adjustments so they can use the patio during winter. He added crank-down windscreens and heaters. He says his next project will be a sit-down bar area.

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