More and more homeowners are investing in outdoor living spaces

CALEDONIA, Ill. (WIFR) – John and Kris Hamaker moved to Caledonia nearly 25 years ago.

John loves to build things and dreamed of adding an outdoor deck and patio to their home. But it wasn’t until the pandemic hit that her dreams became too big to ignore.

“We have completed a pub on our lower level. And I thought, you know, the outdoor space, we had a patio where we had a little terrace next to our master bedroom and we thought that would be a logical next step,” he said.

Between November 2020 and May 2021, John has been hard at work on his outdoor space, even adding a TV and a fire pit. Local real estate agents recognize his hard work, giving him a “thumbs up” on the project. With average home prices rising, they say more homeowners need to think outside the box to attract potential buyers and increase their home’s value.

“Years ago, if you listed a house with a pool, it was like, well, it might be difficult. Not everyone wants a pool, but these days it seems people do. those things,” says real estate agent Scott Gesner.

Real estate experts say the demand for outdoor living spaces is increasing during the pandemic when people are spending more time at home and want to maximize the value of their property. This also happens when the demand for houses increases. Conor Brown, CEO of the Northwest Illinois Alliance of Realtors, says the average price for home sales is almost $190,000.

“People are looking for these outdoor spaces. It’s almost like an extension of the house. It’s like an extra room at home. And so the more you can get it improved, the more likely your home is to sell.

John says there are endless possibilities for home improvements, but it’s up to the homeowner to come up with affordable options that will have the biggest impact.

“We enjoy the outdoors. We like to be active people and it really is an extension of our family and our beliefs about fitness and outdoor space.

John also made adjustments so they could use the patio in the winter. He added windshields and crank heaters. He says his next project will be a sit-down bar.

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