Exclusive Research: The Great Outdoors

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The home building community shares insights abut using outdoor living features to help market and sell new homes.

Courtesy of Aquascape, St. Charles, Ill.

March 28, 2017

Savvy home builders and architects are increasingly using outdoor living space as a key element in standing out from the competition. An overwhelming majority of Professional Builder readers and members of Builder Partnerships, in Littleton, Colo., who also contributed to this survey, indicate that buyer demand for outdoor living features has increased, and creating an area for relaxing, cooking, and entertaining under the sun or in the shade is a key component to selling new homes. 

“Just showing outdoor activity space [to clients] creates an image of living there,” an Indiana custom home builder wrote. A Texas production home builder said that move-up buyers want outdoor living space, which most of the available resale homes don’t have. A Georgia custom home builder added that paying attention to outdoor amenities “extends the visual perception of additional living area that works in a temperate climate like Atlanta.” A Colorado custom home builder shared that his company built four models focused on outdoor living space during 2009/10 and the designs and features displayed have been successful in drawing customers ever since.

How builders and architects cater to this demand varies by ZIP code and price point. A Maryland builder of entry-level homes markets his company’s outdoor offerings with models displaying hardscapes and fire pits. Courtyards are the differentiator for a Colorado builder who targets active-adult buyers, while a Florida production home builder writes, “We offer a variety of outdoor living packages that fit every buyer’s needs.” More outdoor living insights are provided in the charts that follow.

(Click charts to enlarge)

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