Those of us who focus professionally on Santa Barbara real estate trends can vouch for it: outdoor living sells! And depending on what life phase their family is in, homebuyers’ choices tend to follow similar lines.
The 2012 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey confirms again how important those backyard grills and dining areas are when it comes to what most people have at the top of their minds when they think about buying homes.
When potential homebuyers come to me, some of the features highest on their “must have” list virtually always have something to do with outdoor space. Young families buying homes, for example, are usually pleased to find a grassy area off the kitchen where their toddlers can toddle. High-profile clients often seek out impressive spaces with great foot-traffic flow for indoor/outdoor entertaining. Empty-nesters buying homes often come to me seeking the opposite -- less yard with easy- or no-maintenance landscaping. The point is, no matter what the age or demographic of the buyer, in today’s market, outdoor space sells.
So -- what is hot for those buying homes in 2012? The survey I cited earlier is one conducted every year by the American Society of Landscape Architects. This year they came up with some clear winners. According to the survey, top popularity goes to BBQ grill space (97.4%), followed by low-maintenance landscapes (96.6 percent), fireplaces/fire pits (95.8 percent), and dining areas (95.7 percent).
Not so obvious winners were decorative water elements such as ornamental pools, splash pools, waterfalls, grottos, water runnels or bubblers, and pergolas. Not as popular as they once were? turf lawns at 50.9%, gazebos at 49.1%, and hammocks at 27.4%. Go figure!