Fireplaces and Home Value
Adding a fireplace to your home increases your home's value both while you live in it and when it comes time to sell. A fireplace adds warmth, both literal and figurative, and gives the home a cozy feel. Real estate agents make sure to mention the existence of a fireplace as one of a home's selling points.
A fireplace can increase your home's livability, the feeling that this is not just a place where you happen to be but somewhere you've settled in comfortably. In these days, as many prefer to stay at home with the home theater system rather than venturing out, this is a definite plus. The prospect of curling up for a night in front of the fire has warm, even romantic associations that greatly increase your enjoyment of your living space.
Recently, a survey by the National Association of Home Builders, found that more than three-fourths of home buyers would like a fireplace in the family room, the room where they spend most of their time. Half would like a fireplace in the living room, which they use for entertainment purposes. So it's not surprising that MSN's "House and Home Advisor" lists adding a fireplace as one of the top three modeling jobs in terms of return on investment. This is a safe financial move.
Adding a fireplace can be done for far less than, say, remodeling a kitchen. That helps you recoup your investment as well. Large projects sometimes don't add as much resale value to the home as you'd like. But small projects like adding a fireplace easily increase your home's value by at least the cost of the addition. Indeed, you're likely to more than recoup that cost. The National Association of Real Estate Appraisers estimates you can raise the selling price of your home by 6-12% just by adding a fireplace.
This gives you a great deal of freedom as you choose the right fireplace for your home. You don't have to be cheap. A high-end fireplace will repay your investment as easily as a more simply functional model. You can select the best fireplace you can afford right now, confident that the money isn't gone for good. You'll see that money again when you sell.
Real estate agents know all this. They know how to use the fireplace to attract potential buyers. Especially if you're selling your home during the colder months, the agent will light a fire in the fireplace. Prospective buyers are drawn to it. They come and warm up in front of it. It provides a place for them to pause and reflect rather than just hurrying from room to room. And as they reflect, the fire keeps them cozy and casts a flickering interplay of light and shadow that fills the room with magic. They feel good about being there. They feel as though they're already home.
And that brings us back to the value you will gain, not down the road when you're trying to sell, but day to day as you yourself live in this home. People want fireplaces for a reason. You can benefit from that reason night after night. It isn't just strangers who will enjoy the warm comfort and the lighting magic. The fireplace can provide that atmosphere for you and your family as well.
The resources listed below should provide some interesting information on home value, homes and fireplaces, or home building.
Home Plans: Online store selling plans of homes of many sizes, shapes, and styles.