Giving Your Tempe Home a Shot in the Arm

Tempe, Arizona is such a great community to live in that homes for sale practically sell themselves. Who wouldn't want to live in such a dynamic community, a place with easy access to Phoenix, Chandler, Mesa and Scottsdale? Tempe offers great schools, beautiful planned communities, and lots of variety, conveniences and amenities. If you own a home in Tempe, you've probably seen your home equity increase as your home appreciates in value. You may be tempted to sell your home and use some of the equity as down payment for a larger home in Tempe. Whether you plan to sell your home or not, chances are you'd like to make improvements to the property to increase its value.

What are some changes you can make to your property to keep that home equity growing? The answer may surprise you. The trend nowadays focuses not on the inside of your house, but the outside, the landscaping. Landscaping has become the hottest trend in property improvement. But the focus isn't on merely adding some flowers or shrubs to your property. New buyers are looking for landscaping that creates a livable area outside the home, a yard that expands the space of the home to the great outdoors.

The Arizona sun provides so many days of beautiful weather, it's a shame to waste time indoors. That's part of the reason home owners are looking for what amounts to an outdoor living room. Having a simple patio isn't sufficient. If you really want to improve your Tempe home, consider adding a patio or terrace that reflects the elegance of the rest of your home. Instead of a mere concrete slab patio, add paving stones or tiles.

Another important feature to consider is a covered area. As much as you may love the sun, having a sheltered or shaded area to take a break is an important part of creating the feel of an outdoor living room. The patio or terrace becomes an important part of the home for entertainment and enjoyment. What can you do to make your patio more functional, with a feeling of permanence? How about adding a built in grill, or consider making a mini-kitchen outdoors. It may take a little money to add the features, but its well worth it in terms of the value it adds to your home.

What living room is complete without a fireplace? Well, fireplaces are important parts of indoor living rooms, but not such a practical part of an outdoor living space. If you are considering adding an outdoor fireplace or fire pit, rethink your plans. These features add little value to the home because they aren't something that is commonly used by most residents.

Water features, like ponds or waterfalls, offer little desirability. The feature may be pretty, but in the end it's merely time consuming to maintain. A far better use of money is in a swimming pool.

Traditionally, swimming pools aren't considered a great equity generator in other parts of the country, but in Arizona, a pool can be a deal maker for a home. More and more home owners are investing serious money in the landscaping around their home. They find the investment pays off not only in future sale of the property, but also increases their enjoyment of the home. Consider making some improvements to the outside of your Tempe home, and you'll find that your house has a whole new lease on life.

Go to Central Arizona Homes and get a free copy of our 2005 Housing Appreciation Report. Search the Tempe MLS.

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