In the backyard, people like a comfortable spot to hang out, says King. Think decks or patios.
Other personalized options, such as fire pits, outdoor kitchens, fountains and lighting, are things that make a backyard more of a paradise, says Lucco. "You don't just walk out and look at a fence."
Only install a fire pit, outdoor kitchen or water feature if you want them because you likely won't recoup your money, says King. "A small statue fountain is less money and maintenance and may not be overwhelming," he says. But, "Anything over $5,000 that's hard-scape in those categories, do (it) because you want it, not because you're doing it for resale."
These features can positively impact an appraisal if they're quality construction and well-maintained, says Woda. Some materials are better than others. A cobblestone patio is better than poured concrete. A stacked-stone retaining wall is more appealing than railroad ties. "That said, railroad ties and a poured concrete patio are better than one lacking any patio or any retaining wall where one is needed," Woda says.
As for furniture, it doesn't have to be expensive, but it should be in good condition, says Woda. "Power-wash it if needed. Get new cushions. That's an inexpensive way to dress things up," she says.