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Agent Survey: Top Upgrades for Home Entertainment Areas

In the backyard, a fire pit/bench ranked first followed by upgraded lighting. In the kitchen, a bar area with seating led the list followed by a place “for gathering.”

NEW YORK – As owners remodel and buyers look for that perfect home, with the prospect of entertaining guests in the near future, entertainment updates are gaining popularity.

The top entertainment updates to a home – with the potential for the largest return on investment at the time of sale – center around the backyard, kitchen and, for homes that have them, basements, according to HomeLight’s Top Agent Insights for Spring 2021 report.

In the backyard, a fire pit with a bench or couch ranks as the number one backyard entertainment feature. Nearly 77% of real estate pros surveyed cited this as a top upgrade among homebuyers in their market.

More than half of real estate pros also cited ambiance with a warm glow from lighting as a top backyard entertainment upgrade. This could include the use of spotlights, string lights and more.

Top backyard upgrades

  • Fire pit and bench/couch area: 76.8%
  • Lighting (spotlights, string lights, lanterns or recessed lighting): 54.4%
  • Built-in grill: 53.9%
  • Outdoor living room: 52.4%
  • Space for yard games: 43.2%
  • Elevated deck/lower patio combination for multiple outdoor spaces: 35.9%
  • Television set: 35.6%

The kitchen is often the center for home entertaining. Kitchen islands remain a spotlight, along with stools to accommodate extra seating.

Kitchen upgrades

  • Bar seating: 65.8%
  • Island or peninsula with a raised countertop for gathering: 62.3%
  • Combination family room/kitchen on the main floor: 56.8%
  • Large pantry with counter/ability to hide food prep mess: 55.7%
  • Wine fridge: 41.2%
  • High-end, quiet dishwasher: 37.5%
  • Showcase lighting to highlight backsplash, upscale drinkware: 31.9%
  • Luxury range such as Viking or Wolf: 30.8%
  • Luxury refrigerator such as a Sub-Zero: 30.5%

The basement is also getting more attention among homeowners who have a basement. Nearly 59% of real estate pros cited a basement guest suite as the top upgrade among homebuyers in their market.

Basement updates

  • Separate bed and bath for guests: 58.8%
  • Rec room setup for ping-pong or pool: 55%
  • Fresh carpet or flooring: 49.2%
  • Separate playroom for the kids: 44.6%
  • Wet bar: 38.6%
  • Separate workspace: 37.1%
  • Separate storage space to preserve finished side: 33.9%
  • Upgraded lighting: 33.3%

Source: “Top Agent Insights for Spring 2021,” HomeLight (2021)

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