How much value can a backyard add to your home?

Thanks to Southern California's near-perfect weather, many potential home buyers are just as interested in the outdoor areas of a house as the indoor ones. In a city with more than 330 days of sunshine a year, it's crucial to have a beautiful backyard with plenty of seating and entertainment space. For sellers looking to move into some real estate in Los Angeles, a manicured backyard could be your ticket to getting the most out of your home's value. Here's how you can up your home's selling price by taking good care of your outdoor areas.

Consider a pool
In colder areas, a pool is a big liability. Cleaning out falling leaves is a massive chore, and cold weather can cause the water to freeze over, cracking cement and even bursting pipes. But in Southern California, where temperatures rarely dip below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, a pool isn't nearly as much maintenance as the feature might require elsewhere. A weekly sweep with a skimmer is about all it takes to keep your SoCal pool in swimming condition!

By some estimates, an in-ground backyard pool can add as much as $20,000 in value to a home. Families with kids love the entertainment a pool can provide, but those with young children may want a fenced-in area to prevent accidents. Couples also recognize the value of a pool for entertaining and relaxing, especially in the summer.

If you already have a pool, you can highlight its value by investing in some lounge chairs and other seating options to show that even if you're not swimming, a water fixture can be a great addition to any home.

A hot tub is another great option for those who don't want the responsibility of a full pool. And since it heats up, a hot tub is great for a romantic evening even in the winter.

Showcase outdoor entertainment
Great weather means lots of time can be spent outdoors. Show off the entertainment potential of your backyard by illustrating the kinds of activities that can be held there.

An outdoor grill - or, better yet, a full outdoor kitchen - gives any backyard a special and unique touch. A fridge or cooler to store drinks, a sink for washing dishes, a counter for cutting up fresh veggies and meat and a grill for cooking out will add an enormous amount of value to any home.