The Return of the Backyard - Team Lassen

The Return of the Backyard

Before listing their Colorado home for sale, sellers will likely want to review the "backyard ambiance." One of the latest real estate housing trends is making home improvements to the outdoor living space. According to an article by, a Trulia report reveals the average new construction home boasts 7,048 of outdoor space ideal for entertaining and family time. Yard size is an important factor for home buyers in Colorado with small children. Few parents want their children playing in the streets even in low traffic subdivisions. Although some master-planned communities include children's play areas, the trend is to keep children at home. The return of the "American backyard" means homebuyers value large lots as well as outdoor kitchens.

Dealing with smaller yards

In some ways smaller yards help home owners because it's less area to mow and maintain. Experts point out that yard sizes began to shrink in the 1990s because of large home sizes. Builders saved money by letting the spacious homes eat up more of the yard space. Some of the best ideas for staging a home to sell include setting up outdoor living space with patio furniture, a fire pit, outdoor rug, patio plants and décor. While most HOA (homeowner associations) in Colorado don't restrict the use of patio furniture, some do require permission before putting up patio umbrellas or gazebo structures as well as more complicated outdoor living areas and landscaping.

Reflecting development changes

According to, yard sizes correlate with housing development trends throughout the U.S. In 1802, the average yard was about 1.5 acres. As people moved from rural areas to more urban areas, the outdoor space shrunk. Many homes in Colorado's more populous areas fall more into the "suburban" category. In 1975, yards expanded to 12,000 square feet but the price of land is now at a premium. In 2015, the average single-family home had about 2,467 square feet, which was up by 62 percent compared to the 1970s.

Giving home buyers what they want

Some homeowners today want the best of both worlds. They prefer more spacious homes as well as large lots so their families remain at home. But if they had to choose, many home buyers rather have more acreage than an extra fourth or fifth bedroom. Taylor Morrison conducted a survey which showed more than 50 percent of potential buyers said they would trade interior square footage for a large yard. Prospective buyers also said they would pay more for outdoor living features. Home buyers also want features that promote the indoor/outdoor connection such as retractable glass walls and tile floors that flow. U.S. Census Bureau data shows 91 percent of single-family homes built in 2016 had decks, patios or porches, which is up by 5 percent compared to 2010. For home sellers in Colorado with homes that don't already include patios or porches, adding outdoor space will mean a great ROI (return on investment) for such outdoor improvements.

Because of the beautiful Colorado views, home buyers are even more likely to expect great outdoor living space with cozy outdoor fireplaces or fire pits. When preparing your home to sell, pay as much attention to the exterior as the interior. A potential buyer who drives by a home for sale or glances at the backyard will likely schedule a showing as long as the yard has a wow factor. Although curb appeal is important, don't neglect the backyard.

At Team Lassen, we suggest home improvements that pay off for sellers. We specialize in the booming Colorado housing market.  For more tips on how to turn your yard into an oasis to attract buyers and other home-selling advice, please contact us.