porch with 2 wooden chairs

The value of being outdoors has taken on new meaning during the COVID-19 pandemic. And, despite the increasing availability of a vaccine, it’s likely that the reinvigorated interest in outdoor activities is here to stay. 

Even before coronavirus became a worldwide concern, homeowners sought ways to take advantage of their outdoor spaces. Whether it’s your current home, or one you’re looking to buy, embracing these features can make life a little easier when it comes to entertaining and quarantining.   

The Front Yard

Curb appeal is an oft-mentioned way to make your home more attractive to prospective buyers, but there’s no reason to wait until your house is on the market before giving it an update. There’s also more to it than just a healthy yard and fresh paint. 

One of the simplest ways to add function to the front of a home is via a welcoming front porch. If your home already has one, the hardest part is already done. Making sure any decking or railing is in good shape and adding some comfortable outdoor furniture may be all you need to create a safe space to get to know your neighbors a little better. 

Houses lacking a front porch, or the practical ability to add one, may still offer other options. Landscaping that incorporates a small concrete or stone pad can create room for a chair or two. And regardless, adding some attractive plants, a self-standing swing or well-placed lighting can still give you a reason to spend more time enjoying an undervalued part of your property. 

The Backyard

Having a backyard oasis is the dream of many homeowners and is likely to already be on many wishlists. Whether it’s achieved via a home improvement project or upgrading to a new residence, there are ways to ensure it doesn’t become wasted space. 

The one factor that none of us can change is the weather. If you live in an area where extremes are a regular occurrence, don’t overlook how that can impact your usage of outdoor areas. It’s also worth paying attention to how your backyard amenities flow with your home’s floor plan. It’s best if it’s not too isolated and will serve as functional square footage when entertaining. 

And remember, in-ground pools are expensive, and the return on investment comes in the form of personal enjoyment rather than equity, making them a smarter choice in climates with longer summers. Similarly, outdoor kitchens or living rooms that can’t keep you comfortable during the highs or lows of a season will likely be abandoned for more accommodating indoor alternatives. 

Your Interests

The safest approach to creating outdoor spaces that you will love is to focus on the activities you most enjoy and use the area to encourage them, even if they don’t cost a lot. Gardeners can consider raised beds, while amateur chefs may opt for an outdoor grilling area. Start small and see where it takes you. 

The professionals at Open Mortgage are standing by to help you finance the home you’ve always wanted. Visit OpenMortgage.com to discover the many ways we can help make that happen, or call today to speak to a representative.

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