Did you know that the space outside your home is just as important to your wellbeing as the inside of your home? Life is simply better when the environment around your home suits you, your lifestyle and your personality. Knowing your outdoor living personality, in fact, can help you identify your priorities and guide your homebuying decisions. Although we’re all individuals, most people can recognize themselves in one of five distinct types: The Entertainer, The Peace-Seeker, The Fitness Buff, The Gardener/Nature Lover and The Activity Coordinator. Let’s take a closer look.
If you love to host, look for a new home that offers opportunity for outdoor entertainment features, such as a patio or roof top balcony, an outdoor kitchen with a grill, pizza oven and/or a mini bar. You might be interested in multiple gathering spaces, too — one for smaller, more intimate groups and one for bigger get-togethers. As for landscaping, keep things simple with a lawn that’s friendly to foot traffic and/or hardscaping that’s both attractive and easy to hose off and keep clean.
Note: Being an Entertainer doesn’t mean you have to have all of these features in your home. Many community amenities offer poolside cabanas, dining spaces and even kitchens for your next fun event.
If your primary goal for your time outdoors is to enjoy some quiet time, look for a new home that gives you the opportunity for tranquility. This can take the form of a yard overlooking a greenbelt, a covered patio set apart from the main outdoor space, or simply a small serene balcony. Water features help block noise and also contribute that sense of serenity (ditto for windchimes). As for landscaping, consider native grasses and other plants that flow in the breeze, as well as balanced groupings with an emphasis on texture and a muted color palette.
When evaluating different communities, look for greenspaces, walking trails and pocket parks. And don’t forget to check out what’s going on within your community for options such as yoga in the park, meditation classes or perhaps a soothing creative pursuit you can share with your neighbors.
The fitness buff
Those who never miss an opportunity to work up a good sweat are likely to seek variety and flexibility. That means spaces around the home that can do double duty, such as a patio area that can host parties but also be your personal HIIT workout zone. Naturally, an avid swimmer will be interested in a lap pool for the backyard, or at least a few lanes up at the community pool. In terms of landscaping, some Fitness Buffs favor practicality. Who wants to mow and rake when you could be out there crushing another personal record?
Don’t forget to look for fitness opportunities around the community — running trails, bike paths, etc. A gym or sports field at the amenity center can help you connect with neighbors who enjoy the same activities.
The garden nature lover
Some of us really come to life when engaging with nature. If that’s you, look for outdoor spaces that make room for gardening around the home — whether it’s a “blank slate” area to create your dream garden, well-defined garden beds you can fill with your own plantings, or even just a simple balcony with room for your favorite pots.
Community gardens are a desirable amenity in some regions, and they’re a great way to satisfy your green thumb and get to know other people. Nature trails, small lakes and ponds are also very popular. Communities that emphasize native plantings and wildflower meadows provide both visual beauty and a chance to view birds and other wildlife neighbors.
The activity coordinator
This personality is always on the go and looking for adventures, indoors and out. If you’re the Activity Coordinator, look for homes with multiple types of outdoor space — a grassy area, some hardscaping, maybe a patio perfect for putting a puzzle together or even a pool. Consider features such as an outdoor TV so you can chill and watch the big game, too. Your landscaping style is probably geared for minimal upkeep, and you might appreciate dedicated storage for lawn toys, sports gear, bikes and more.
Around the community, opportunities for active outdoor living might include a dog park, activity lawn, playscapes for the kids, even a fishing pond. Certainly, a bustling amenity center will be a priority, especially if there’s a full-time Lifestyle Director to plan parties, concerts, field days, fun runs and more.
The truth is, most of us are probably some combination of the above. We hope these outdoor living personalities have given you a starting point to clarify your own personal priorities and plans for your new dream home.