Curb Appeal in Albany>Question Details

Jenni, Other/Just Looking in Albany, OR

what adds more value to a new home- a landscaped backyard, or a hardscape with fire pit?

Asked by Jenni, Albany, OR Wed May 14, 2008

We have a new home in Albany oregon. They backyard is smallish and fenced and now its just dirt. I don't know what to do. Grass and trees and shrubs with a small pond, or a hardscape with slate floor, fire pit, and pergola. What adds more value?

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Phyllis Lerner’s answer
Either one will add value... just choose the option that you like the best and get the most use out of... or even better maybe you can somehow mesh both options?... consult a landscape professional... you'll be astounded what they can do with a small backyard...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 18, 2008
If most houses in your area have a landscaped backyard and your home doesn't, landscaping the backyard is probably a good idea. You can expect at least a full return on this investment. If, on the other hand, most (or all) homes on your street or in your neighborhood had a fire pit and/or pergola, these would be appropriate considerations. You want to invest on improvements that potential buyers will expect to find. Like the saying goes, everybody is "...keeping up with the Jones'."
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 10, 2008
The value is in the eye of the user. If it is a new home and you plan to live there - then install which ever landscape YOU will get the most enjoyment out of. Whose to say that if you install a hardscape - that the next homeowner will have kids or a dog and want the grass! So, go with what you want and enjoy it to the fullest!
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 4, 2008
If you have to choose between the two, I would add the hardscape. The clients can easily imagine the yard with the added shrubs and grass.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 3, 2008
The hardscape. Why? Because you will have fewer maintenance issues while you own the home and for resale - the hardscape will be unique in the market. The perception will be that the hardscape provides greater outdoor living area. By defining the space for outdoor living, the access area (living room or whatever room leads outdoors) will seem bigger. That creates value to any home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 28, 2008
I would contact somebody familiar with your specific neighborhood and region. In Las Vegas where I used to live, the hardscape would be more appealing to a prospective buyer (possibly increasing market value), here in Albany, NY, the slate tiling may be less appealing due to the winter weather. The phrase "which adds more value" is difficult to answer because a lot depends on how well designed and executed the work is. Keep in mind, you probably will not recover as much in market value for backyard work as you would for upgrading or rehabbing kitchens or baths.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 24, 2008
Hi - just an FYI you posed this question in Albany NY not Albany Oregon. :) Anyway I agree with Gail, how will you use the area most? However, IMHO, I would go soft - you could always have one of those portable fire pits and add a covered area later with some trailing vines. If you have children an area of grass / mulch / pebbles is always good. If it's small I would keep the work small as well - look for gardening books that reference compact areas to get the most of what you have.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 14, 2008
I assume you just moved in. Do not worry at this time about what adds more value. This is your home. Which option will give you more enjoyment?
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 14, 2008
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