With the influx of warmer weather and the optimism of sunny economics on the horizon, an investment in your own backyard, or properties that encourage outdoor living, could be as profitable as the enjoyment they promise.

However, when thinking of short or long term influence on your real estate investment, an acknowledgment of use versus value is debatable on a number of fronts.

First and foremost, and as Niagara residents, we are fortunate to have the variety of every season available to us to enjoy. Depending on global warming patterns, one or two of these seasons is often elongated providing us with a longer winter, or a sustained summer season overlapping well into the fall. While some venture north to cottage country in the warmer season and others escape down south during the winter, many of my clients have decided to diversify their investment portfolio to include an appreciation of outdoor living on their current property.

If you have available backyard space, an outdoor entertaining venue is an enticing option to better maximize both the use and value of your home.

From heated pool settings, to lush landscaping with up-lit lighting, to out-door kitchens, which are trending more and more these days, many savvy clients are deciding that one of the best use to value ratios they can achieve on their money is a thematic outdoor living space.

If you have sun and water (pool) already in the tableau, why not create a resort style entertaining space right in your own backyard? Gone are the days where homeowners would automatically accept a loss on their pool investment, and historic are the times when a buying client would discriminate about a pool in the backyard. In this day and era, the career professional, or deserving retiree, has earned the right to create an escape right in his/her own backyard. And why not? Your backyard is within easy proximity of friends and colleagues in the area, and the space can be accessible at all times of the day, so use is never an issue, nor is the added value of a picturesque setting to gaze at, inspiring rest and relaxation from the virtue of the visual alone.

If escape remains a priority in your appreciation of outdoor living, why not invest in a seasonal property.

Niagara is currently hosting a number of co-ownership opportunities and land leases that at affordable prices can provide both use and rental income to diversify how you see your vacation money. If escaping into Niagara is still not enough, there are numerous cottage (both seasonal and full year) options available in northern surrounding areas that are always in demand, both as investments and rental income opportunities. Why not invest in a four-season cottage that you can also escape to in the winter, in order to enjoy the outdoor luxuries our province has to offer within a two to three-hour drive span.

In the hustle and bustle of a busy work schedule, Niagara residents have embraced the notion that winter is not necessarily about hibernation and summer is not only about finding a place with air conditioning. Outdoor living, glamping, luxury waterfront properties, and your own backyard offer a variety of options to fully find real estate value and personal use with an investment in outdoor living.

Ryan Serravalle is a Real Estate Broker and the Owner of Revel Realty.