How Much Is The Backyard Oasis You Built in 2020 Worth Now?

Backyards got upgraded across the Bay Area in 2020 and sellers are now wondering, will that backyard offer a return on my investment in 2021? The answer is that it depends on a lot of factors such as how much a homeowner put into the upgrade and the market value for homes in their neighborhood. With outdoor living areas ranking among the top three homebuyer priorities, according to recent data from the real estate experts at HomeLight, homeowners who spent their pandemic days creating the backyard oasis of their dreams may be seeing benefits when it comes time to sell. Here is a look at one of the most popular backyard upgrades from last year, hot tubs, and what they might be worth when it comes to sale time. 

Relaxation or regret with a permanent backyard spa?

Without needing to go anywhere, a permanent hot tub creates a backyard that can feel like stepping into a resort (especially one that is paired with a pool). Nationally, the amount of value an inground hot tub adds to a home has increased an estimated 71 percent since the arrival of Covid-19. Moreover, agents estimate that prior to Covid, a house with an inground hot tub would have added an estimated $4,052 to a sale price. Data shows that if a pool also has a hot tub, sellers could get $7,000 more on top of what they are already getting for the pool. With a hot tub alone, post-vaccine, buyers are said to pay an estimated $6,925 more. Looking specifically at homes in California, the value of an inground hot tub has increased 63 percent since pre-Covid times. Realtors in the West shared in the HomeLight report that before Covid buyers would have paid $4,860 more for a home with an inground hot tub, while post Covid they are said to pay $7,924 more. With the cost of installing an inground hot tub at $8,000 to $25,000 according to HomeGuide, the question of whether you will get a return on your investment really depends. 

What if you take your hot tub with you?

But what about above ground hot tubs? Unlike inground tubs, an above ground hot tub is not considered part of a home’s property value and can be used as a negotiation tool for buyers and sellers. With a lower upfront investment, some homeowners opted for this upgrade to get the relaxation of a hot tub, without the high price tag. In the West, agents shared that the value of a freestanding hot tub at sale time before Covid was $1,424, while post Covid that number is up to $2,195.  According to HomeAdvisor, entry-level hot tubs cost between $2,000 and $6,000, while mid-level ones cost $4,000 to $8,000. That means sellers may be more likely to take their hot tub with them, depending on how much they invested and how much a buyer might offer them to leave it behind. 

As the data shows, hot tubs are literally hot. If you added one during the pandemic, it may be a nice selling feature when it comes time to find the perfect buyer.