Adding Home Value with an Outdoor Kitchen
Imagine you're, say, Samantha Stephens from that 1960's iconic TV show Bewitched. Darrin (York not Sargent) calls to say he's bringing home Larry Tate and a new client for dinner and asks you to grill up a few steaks. The evening is warm, quiet and perfect for entertaining. So, being Samantha, you simply twitch your nose and instantly relocate your kitchen and living room to the back yard. Voila. You have created the first outdoor kitchen!
As Endora would readily admit, outdoor kitchens make sense. Home buyers in the 21st Century gravitate towardoutdoor entertaining -- except they generally leave the furniture and appliances inside and buy new stuff suited for outdoor use. Make no mistake about it, though, the outdoor kitchen trend is not about your dad's weathered charcoal grill claiming center stage.
Value of Outdoor Kitchens
While you're shopping for homes with an outdoor kitchen, pay attention to the brand names and amenities. Don't make the mistake of leisurely strolling past the outdoor kitchen without noting specifically which items are included in the purchase price. Some outdoor kitchens are portable, and might not stay with the home, so ask.
The National Association of Home Builders estimates that outdoor kitchens can add as much 130% of their cost to the purchase price. But the initial cost of outdoor kitchens varies from $3,000 on the low end to $100,000 or more, depending on the layout, design, quality and type of improvements.
Make up a list of every item you see and ask your agent to include this list as an addendum to your purchase offer. Ask about the age of each item and its warranty. Moreover, check the items online for pricing to help you figure out if you are paying too much for the home. Remember, that unless the home is brand new, most outdoor kitchens are used, which means the appliances depreciate.
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