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Does backyard play equipment for children increase my property value?

Crofton Real Estate Q & A

Q.  If I invest in backyard play equipment, will it increase my property value?  Will buyers find the home more desirable?

Girl on swing2A. When I advise home sellers to “neutralize” their home before putting it on the market, I’m not just referring to painting the place beige.  Sellers should do everything they can to make the property a blank canvas where prospective buyers can image their own family living, and that means removal of the seller’s personal memorabilia, religious symbols, and even play equipment.

Sorry, I know that’s not what you want to hear, but it’s been my experience that play equipment can be a drawback to many buyers and it certainly adds no value to the property at all.  If a prospective buyer happens to have children the right age for the equipment, they may think it’s “nice” but they probably won’t pay more for the property.

In fact, play equipment doesn’t even make the list of features on the 2010-2011 Cost vs.Value Annual Report for home improvements published by Remodeling Magazine.

My advice to anyone installing a swing set or other play equipment in their yard is to make sure it’s something they’re willing to take down when they put their home on the market for sale.

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