Home Trends: The Rise of Outdoor Living

Judie Parks of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Parks & Weisberg, REALTORS® discusses the rising popularity of pools and outdoor living


By Sarah Carter Levitch
Photos by Adam Hancock


As life begins to open up more than ever since the COVID lockdown, our lifestyles and living habits haven’t necessarily reverted to “normal.” It’s fair to say we’ve evolved, and we’ve come to know ourselves and our families on a deeper level. Out of everything we’ve learned, one thing stands out: the value of outdoor spaces. Our collective appreciation of the outdoors has undoubtedly increased, whether for restaurants, parks, or patios. We spoke with Judie Parks at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Parks & Weisberg, REALTORS®, to learn more about the increasing value of outdoor living.

What trends are you seeing in outdoor living?

The one thing that has become popular and valuable is a pool. Because of COVID, pools have become a hot commodity. If you want to add a pool, it will take you about 1 ½ to 2 years to get that pool and probably cost double. The most significant mind shift is that now people are willing to pay what the pool is worth. If people have to pay an extra $50,000 for a house with a pool, it’s a win-win.

What are the most popular features in outdoor kitchens?

Most people try to make it look like a fixture. They’ll be surrounded by stone, truly built-in, with maybe a gas cooktop, a fridge and a sink. It’s meant to look permanent and blend into the environment. If their outdoor space is open, they’ll have lots of landscaping around it, like grasses and taller bushes, to give some privacy. They go the extra mile to get nice patio furniture, not just the table and chairs, but some club chairs and a coffee table. For the porch, many people have curtains. It makes it look like another room. People are using their outdoor spaces as an extension of their homes.

How do you think an outdoor space elevates a home?

It gives you a whole other space to use that you don’t use all the time. More people are embracing that outdoor living is its own unique space. I know Spring is officially here when I clean out the porch, get potted plants, and start sitting outside. I call it the “Great Migration.” It becomes something to look forward to.

What advice can you give to homeowners or buyers about outdoor living?

When you’re making improvements, you have to think about what will bring you joy. You shouldn’t think about if you’re going to get 100% of your money back because the odds are you’re not. You’re doing it because it’s how you want to live, but keep in mind that this is how more people want to live now than ever before.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
Parks & Weisberg, REALTORS®
1701 Herr Lane, Suite 100
Louisville, KY 40222