Home The Outdoor Feature Nearly 70 Percent of Homeowners Say They Need (Way More Than a Pool!) Three-quarters of buyers say they'd pass on a home without it. By Marisa Spyker Marisa Spyker Marisa Spyker is the Senior Writer at Southern Living, where she enjoys dabbling in stories throughout the magazine, from gorgeous home features to profiles of the South's creatives. Prior to joining the team in 2019, Marisa was an editor at Coastal Living, coastalliving.com, and Luxe Interiors + Design. Her career spans nearly 15 years, much of which has been spent staring at photos of pretty homes and gleaning inspiration for her next beach vacation.While born and raised in South Florida and a proud University of Florida alum (Go Gators!), she currently lives with her husband and two daughters in Santa Cruz, California. She can often be found schooling West Coasters on the joys of Southern charm and Key Lime Pie. Southern Living's editorial guidelines Updated on March 12, 2023 Fact checked by Jennifer Hawk Fact checked by Jennifer Hawk Jennifer Hawk is a former English professor with 24 years of experience guiding even the most reluctant through the labyrinths of writing, rhetoric, and research. brand's fact checking process Share Tweet Pin Email When shopping for a new home, we all have our own little list of non-negotiables. Baking aficionados might yearn for a spacious chef's kitchen with top-of-the-line double ovens, while car buffs might balk at any garage that fits less than three sets of wheels. And then there are those features which generally appeal to most of us. These days, that might include an open plan living area, high ceilings, and lots of natural light. And, as buyers put more of an emphasis on indoor-outdoor living, house hunters are increasingly ranking a home's exterior assets at the top of that list. Maskot/Getty Images According to a recent survey of 1,000 homeowners by home renovation site Porch.com, there's one alfresco feature in particular that tends to catch buyers' eyes the most. And it all boils down to this: Beautiful home, plus lots of land, equals happy homeowner. Beating out popular extras like a front porch and entertaining space, a large backyard ranked first in the list of outdoor features survey respondents couldn't live without, with nearly 70 percent ranking it as a "must-have." (In comparison, only 25 percent of those surveyed said the same about a pool.) Emphasizing the outdoor feature's importance, 77 percent of homeowners then revealed that, in future house hunts, a home without a large backyard would be an instant deal breaker. When you think of the possibilities a large backyard brings, it's not all that surprising that homeowners would prioritize it in their home search. Outdoor spaces often serve as a home's primary entertaining spot, where additions such as cozy furnishings, throws, fire pits, and fans can extend the yard's use nearly year-round (depending on where you live, of course). Extra space also brings the option of adding amenities, like wet bars and fully outfitted kitchens, later on for an increase in functionality and appeal—plus a license to host all your neighborhood block parties from then on out. Comparatively, when you think of the investment associated with maintaining a pool, it makes sense that the backyard perk wouldn't exactly make a positive splash on everyone's wish list. But, then again, is there anything more satisfying than dipping your toes in a body of cool blue water on a hot summer day? So, what tops your list of outdoor must-haves—a front porch, a back deck, a swimming pool, or simply more space? Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources Southern Living is committed to using high-quality, reputable sources to support the facts in our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we fact check our content for accuracy. Top Outdoor Features Desired by Homeowners. Porch.