Many property owners pay as much attention to their yards as they do to their homes. Much like decorating and maintaining a house, creating an outdoor space -- regardless of size -- takes thought, effort and time.
Some homeowners are do-it-yourselfers, while others hire professionals. Either way, from lush gardens, koi ponds and outdoor kitchens to in-ground pools, tiki bars, gazebos and sports courts, these great outdoor spaces help sell a home. "They give buyers an extra experience," says Erica McKenzie of Andrew Stype Realty, who is marketing the Mattituck property featured on these pages. Great outdoor spaces, McKenzie adds, "definitely enhance the home."
And you don't need to spend a fortune to produce a welcoming environment, McKenzie adds, noting that a nice landscape with plantings, benches and chairs doesn't have to cost too much.
Take a look at a few properties with inviting green spaces that are on the market.
52 Rofay Dr.
Set in a gated community, this one-acre property is like a private resort, says the listing agent. Specimen plantings and trees, including fruit trees, serve as a backdrop to the in-ground pool, outdoor kitchen, gazebo, boccie court, firepit and three-tier fountain, which was imported from Italy. A hot tub overflows into the pool, which is surrounded by brick. A pergola is set up on one side of the pool, while a large screened gazebo in the distance is within view. The custom stone firepit is surrounded by stone seating. Right outside the house is the covered outdoor kitchen equipped with a gas barbecue grill, a pizza oven and an island with a granite countertop. A view of the fountain is straight ahead of the dining table. Outdoor speakers and exterior illumination are among the amenities. Features inside the updated nine-room Postmodern include wood floors, French doors and a gas fireplace. The new gourmet kitchen has a separate coffee and wine bar. The finished basement has a theater room with seating that will remain. There are four bedrooms and 3 1/2 bathrooms. Geri Ertle, Charles Rutenberg Realty 631-379-8157
4835 Oregon Rd.
Featured in several magazines, including Better Homes and Gardens in 1997 and the 1996 Family Circle gardening issue, this lush landscape -- just under two acres -- has gardens created by local designer Connie Cross. An assortment of annuals are complemented by grasses, spirea, bayberry, lilacs and euonymus. Tree varieties include weeping styrax, weeping beech, crape myrtles and Japanese umbrella pine. The heated in-ground gunite pool serves as the centerpiece, says the listing agent, noting there is also a pool house, a guest cottage with an updated kitchen, a large barn and a two-car garage. Looking past the koi pond, there are views of vineyards. The farmhouse -- built around 1900 -- has a covered front porch and a rear deck. Interior features include an open living area, a dining room, an eat-in kitchen and a sunroom as well as three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Erica McKenzie, Andrew Stype Realty, 631-603-4082
20 Sugars Toms Ridge
Walking paths and a koi pond with a bridge set amid an abundance of plant life and mature trees can be viewed from the rear raised deck on this 1.65-acre property. Japanese maples, umbrella magnolias, clematises (old-man's beard) as well as peegee hydrangeas, azaleas, lilacs, rhododendrons and mountain laurel are just a small sample of what is planted here. "This place is loaded with fragrant and big plantings," says one of the homeowners. Half the land is wild, the owner adds, and the bridge over the koi pond deters red-tailed hawks from fish poaching. The house -- a 1,227-square-foot ranch -- has an open floor plan with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Larry Schmidlapp, Piping Rock Associates, 516-375-3036
142A Beaver Dam Rd.
Rick Schneider of Goldberg & Rodler Inc. in Huntington designed the landscape of this property, which is just shy of one acre. Privately set, the parcel is surrounded on two sides by a 26-acre wooded lot and backs an organic farm. The yard boasts mature plantings as well as a kidney-shaped in-ground heated gunite pool with a diving board. The pool is on the side of the house. At the back is a deck, which has steps to a brick patio. Other features include a shed that matches the 2,800-square-foot home, which was custom built in 2005. Wood floors, millwork and two fireplaces are part of the design. The master suite occupies a wing on the first floor. It has a fireplace, and a bathroom with cherrywood cabinets, marble floors, a jetted, wall-less shower, a whirlpool tub and two sinks. There are another three bedrooms and 3 1/2 bathrooms. The kitchen, designed by Masterbrand, has granite countertops with tile backsplash, stained and glazed maple cabinets, high-end appliances and a radiant heat tile floor. Joyce Roe, Douglas Elliman Real Estate, 631-758-2552
4 Duane Lane
This 93-by-100-foot property features a koi pond with a waterfall surrounded by a Japanese maple and verdant plantings. The homeowner soaks it all in from a hammock, which is placed nearby. Other plantings, as well as a patio with a built-in barbecue and a rear deck, are also part of the outdoor scene. Inside the updated ranch is a sauna as well as a game room and movie room. Included with the sale are the movie chairs, lights, screen, pool table, poker table, video games and soda machine. There are three bedrooms and an updated bathroom with a rock sink, a waterfall faucet, and a towel warmer. A fireplace and a whole-house generator are among the amenities. Anthony Frisone, Laffey Fine Homes, 516-476-3351