Treehouses and playhouses add value to a home

While a treehouse or playhouse is still most commonly associated with kids’ games in the summer, it can make a home seem much more luxurious — and bump its sales price.

According to the latest data released by Zillow, a treehouse was the outdoor feature that brought with it the sharpest increase in sales price. Listings that mentioned it saw an average sales price increase of 2.2 percent, compared to 1.6 percent for a hot tub and 0.7 percent for a finished basement.

Naturally, treehouses in listings can show great diversity in terms of both size, level of comfort and how involved they are — some are small play structures that the families built themselves while others are full-on guesthouses with electricity, canopies and head-turning views.

“Buyers looking to snag a home near a park or with a treehouse better act
fast,” Zillow economic data analyst Nicole Bachaud said in a statement. “In a hot housing market like the one we’ve seen this past year, highly desirable homes are flying off the market at break-neck speeds. Homes with these features are being snatched up even faster, showing the intense competition buyers looking for family-friendly features are facing.”

Particularly after a year of heightened travel restrictions, homes with ample outdoor amenities sell faster and for more — a home mentioning a backyard sold 5.2 days faster than expected while those mentioning nearby parks or a playground sold 4.5 and 2.5 days faster, respectively. Other types of popular homes include “swing set” and “bonus space’ — listings mentioning these home features sold for 0.8 and 0.7 percent percent more, respectively.

“And while this doesn’t mean sellers should add these features before they list or that these features alone will yield a high return on investment, they should definitely flaunt them if they have them,” Bachaud said.

Owning a backyard with plenty of activities built in for the kids to do is very important these days whether you’re moving or not. If you don’t already have a treehouse, playhouse or play structure in your backyard, you can easily build one. There are tons of free plans offered online, or buy a pre-fab kit from any hardware store. Everything you need can be delivered to your home, along with detailed plans, and if you’re really not handy, can also be assembled for you. Wooden play structures combine the best of both worlds, with ladders leading up to a playhouse and a slide leading down along with swings and monkey bars for active play.

If you’re building your own, the style of playhouse is limited only by your imagination or budget. If you’re a renovator, you probably even have leftover wood, doors, windows and fancy trim from other projects that you can use. You can build a modest, cute little cottage, but up the charm factor by adding shutters and a window-box with flowers to the window, curtains, a Dutch door, mailbox and picket fence. Or go high-end and build a two-storey tower playhouse resembling a castle with a working drawbridge and surrounded by a moat full of koi.

If you build a treehouse, don’t forget to add a pulley with a basket so toys and snacks can easily be raised up to waiting hands. If you don’t have a large or sturdy enough tree in your yard for this, you build the treehouse between more than one tree, or you can build a playhouse raised on stilts to get the height that kids enjoy so much.

Even simply adding a swingset will not only add value to your home when it comes to resale, but something for the kids to do when you tell them to put down their tablets or homework and go outside to play.

— Inman News