Has The Pandemic Caused Higher Returns On Home Sales

The COVID-19 pandemic brought with it many financial hardships, but has it caused higher returns on home sales?

Now that the pandemic’s end is in sight, many homeowners are wondering if their home’s sale could recoup some of the burdens caused during the pandemic.

The good news? If you’re thinking of selling, there really couldn’t be a better time. Home prices are on the rise across the nation, and the vast majority of real estate agents would dub the conditions a seller’s market. This means you’ll not only sell profitably but also rather quickly.

Before dipping your toes in the market, it’s important to know how much your home costs now and how much you could afford in a new home. Thankfully, if you’ve done any home renovations in the last few years, especially outdoors, you’ll find these renovations may see considerably higher returns on home sales than before the pandemic.

Hot tub

Inground and freestanding hot tubs

Inground hot tubs can convert a plain backyard into a luxury outdoor oasis, especially when paired with a pool. It’s no wonder that the value of an inground hot tub has skyrocketed since COVID, increasing by 71% according to top real estate agents in HomeLight’s Summer/Fall 2021 Report.

In general, homebuyers are extremely interested in idyllic outdoor spaces after more than a year of being locked away at home. Prior to COVID, an inground hot tub added about $4,052 to a home’s cost, while buyers will now pay an estimated $6,925 for the same amenity.

If you don’t currently have an inground hot tub, be careful about installing one right before you sell. While they’re great amenities, installation costs can range anywhere from $8,000 to $15,000, which means you might find yourself losing money if you decide to install an inground pool before selling.

If your main focus is on return on investment, you’ll have better luck with a freestanding hot tub. Unlike inground hot tubs, freestanding hot tubs only cost about $2,000 to $8,000 depending on the type. Since buyers will cough up an additional $1,999 for a freestanding hot tub, you may be able to recoup the entire cost when it comes time to sell.

in-ground hot tub

Outdoor kitchens

Everyone loves their outdoor barbecues. Upgrading your lone grill to a full outdoor kitchen — complete with a sink, mini-fridge, bar, countertops, cabinets, and maybe even a flat-screen TV — will definitely impress your friends, not to mention your buyers.

According to HomeLight’s survey, the value of an outdoor kitchen increased from $6,156 to $9,751 during the pandemic. The cost of an outdoor kitchen can vary, but a basic one can cost around $5,500, so you’ll see a relatively good return on investment so long as you keep your outdoor kitchen simple.

House with increasing arrow showing higher return on house vale

Backyard decks

Decks have been a quintessential part of American life since the 1980s, but their popularity drastically rose during the pandemic. Decks are now worth around 65% more now than they were prior to COVID.

A deck adds about $7,014 in value to your home now, while pre-pandemic a deck only added about $4,252 in value. If you don’t have a deck but are thinking of installing one, it’s important to know that a deck can cost anywhere from $4,380 to $10,080 to install. As long as you keep the material and size of your deck reasonable, you should be able to recoup most of this investment.

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