Having a highly functional outdoor kitchen area obviously enhances the home experience for the people currently living there. It also helps when buyers are looking for their next dream spot to call home. Brevard County homebuyers are seeing the value in adding what are called summer kitchens, whether they are permanently built in or portable.
As a real estate professional and long time Viera resident, I enjoy seeing these beautiful outdoor spaces while helping buyers choose their home. My wife, Kim, and I also love our own outdoor space. We have a gathering area, fireplace, grill station, and koi pond, all surrounded by lush landscapes.
Even though Florida summers can be long and hot, many homebuyers are looking for outdoor living spaces where they can relax on the patio with a cool beverage or host a backyard barbecue. If the particular home has the right area that allows for the extra space for gathering and includes a summer kitchen, people are willing to spend extra for it.
Although a basic grill and a picnic table was once an acceptable setup, many homebuyers are now attracted to outdoor summer kitchens customized with built-in grills, stainless appliances, granite countertops and bar seating.
We recently purchased the popular Big Green Egg combination, including the work station, from Wassi’s Meat Market in Melbourne. We wanted to shift away from gas and go with this very versatile appliance. It cooks with wood coal, it can grill, smoke — this egg can cook anything, even pizza!
“The big thing that people love about the Big Green Egg is the fact that it is the last grill you will ever buy,” said Wassi’s owner Janice Wassi. “It has a lifetime warranty, it built to exacting standards and you can expect this to last far longer than that rusty grill sitting on your deck right now.”
A lot of people are seeing the value in investing in a good grill. Wassi's Meat Market opened in 1986 and the family started selling the Big Green Egg about 10 years ago. Now with the title of largest Big Green Egg dealer in the country, they also host the annual Sunshine State Eggfest. This year’s event had 4,700 people!
Move it or leave it
You have options when it comes to summer kitchens. They don’t always have to be some huge built-in structure. The built-ins are great if you want to custom design in a certain space, and it does add value since it is part of the house. Portable stations are growing in popularity, though, and are a cost savings in most cases.
Some homeowners are willing to spend time and additional money retrofitting to meet their outdoor cooking and dining needs after they move in, but it’s a plus when a home comes pre-equipped.
The Koshlap family enjoys using their summer kitchen while celebrating or just soaking in their pool. They bought their home in part because the outdoor kitchen was perfect for their lifestyle.
“Just about any time we entertain, it’s outside,” said Kelly Koshlap, an airline pilot. “The kids swim in the pool, and it’s nice to be able to cook and entertain out there and not bring all the heat inside.”
Kelly and his wife, Aimee, have three daughters — Reilly, 15, Taylor, 13 and Lauren, 13. Dad said his favorite is cooking up a brisket on their Big Green Egg.
The Koshlaps redid the outdoor kitchen after purchasing their home. They replaced the tile and grout counter surface with granite and tossed stainless for teak.
Based on the feedback I receive and what past clients have added to their homes, this amenity is definitely one trend that is continuing to gain momentum.
Learn more about the Big Green Egg, including cooking classes at wassismeatmarket.com
Wassi's Meat Market
830 N. Wickham Road Melbourne, 32935
Wassi’s Meat Market is the No. 1 dealer in the country of the Big Green Egg. The alternative to gas grilling is gaining popularity because it’s more than a grill. It’s also a smoker, a brick-oven, and a convection oven all in one device.
Steve Vitani has been a resident of Brevard since 2002 and is a Real Estate professional with RE/MAX. He and his wife, Kim, reside in Viera and love their outdoor kitchen.