From senior housing to affordable housing to private homes, a place with an outdoor space has an edge on the competition. It’s a memory point, and when all things are equal, a home with a thoughtful outdoor space is guaranteed to sell better that one without. It can be a place to grow zinnias, to cultivate heirloom tomatoes, to barbecue, or to splash in the pool (we’ll have a slideshow on pool spaces coming up in the next few weeks, just in time for the dog days of August). And it’s a low-cost option for bumping-up living space, especially when a fireplace and some shelter are included, making it possible to take in the outdoors rain or shine.

Senior editors Amy Albert and Claire Easley contributed reporting to this article.