Published on May 11, 2021

treehousePin It
Photography by Kat Skye

A treehouse is never just a treehouse—it’s a pirate ship, the top of a volcano, a palace. When you’re a kid, having a hangout nestled between the branches is a little luxury, which explains why families looking to buy homes these days consider one a hot amenity. According to new research from Zillow, not only are outdoor features prompting faster sales, they’re associated with a higher sale price. For starters, properties that mentioned a treehouse in the listing description sold for 2.2 percent more (and five days faster) than expected, one-upping Jacuzzis; swing sets; and, yes, even pools

While this doesn’t necessarily mean you should go and build a little leafy getaway of your own before you list your house or that a treehouse alone will yield a higher ROI, it is an indicator that if you’ve got one, flaunt it. Plus it doesn’t hurt to make a few low-lift, design-focused updates to the wood-clad structure (or put a spin on the traditional type altogether).

Make It Feel Like Home

painted inside of treehouse with windowsPin It
Photography by Chelsey Nilson

A mini version of her family’s mid-century ranch, Chelsey Nilson’s treehouse boasts a mod interior with orange-and-white–striped floors (they help hide dirt and dead bugs), chic solar-powered pendant lighting, and large plexiglass picture windows that flood the spot with natural light. Consider this the ultimate summer reading spot. 

Build From the Ground Up

twinly lights around fortPin It
Courtesy of Randy Engler

If you don’t have a giant maple or pine from which to construct a house in the sky, simply start from the grass. Builder Randy Engler put his own spin on the elevated fort by opting for a 2 1/2-foot-high platform that holds a basic box with a hatched window for airflow, planters, and string lights. 

Swing Into Action

kids swinging around treePin It
Photography by Sam Frost

Who said a treehouse has to have a roof? This family’s epic 55-foot-high ficus is outfitted with swings (which according to Zillow’s findings also help sell homes for 0.8 percent more than expected) and a ladder, making it equally majestic. Go ahead, parents: Tap into your imagination. 

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