Kiplinger has a short guide to backyard improvements. Do you expect the value of your house to increase due to your money, time, and hard work spent making improvements in the yard? Well, you probably won’t recover 100% of the value of that effort, but here are a few guidelines.
* Covered patio: adds value.
* Fireplaces: no return.
* Kitchen: adds value.
* Television: no return.
* Swimming pools: maybe.
* Water features (fountains, ponds): maybe.
If you’re adding on to your yard because you can afford it and because you want to enjoy it, go ahead. Just don’t expect the resale value of your home to recouperate the cost required to create and maintain these features. You may be talking about six figures worth of “investment” without much return other than the enjoyment you convince yourself you get from its use.