While fireplaces generally enhance home value, it's important to note that the installation expenses can be substantial, potentially leading to a situation where you might not fully recover your investment when adding one to your home.
Is there anything better than cozying up next to a roaring fire with your loved ones on a chilly winter’s night? It’s easy to see why any homeowner may be considering adding a fireplace to their house or why potential homeowners may seek out a home with a fireplace already built in. Fireplaces come with many personal benefits, you may be wondering if it's worth installing one before you sell, especially since there are some home improvements don't add value to a home’s future sale price.
Fireplaces have a unique way of transforming a house into a home. The crackling sound of burning wood, the flickering flames, and the radiant heat create a warm (quite literally) and cozy atmosphere.
Beyond their practical use, fireplaces serve as architectural focal points, enhancing a home's aesthetic appeal. From traditional wood-burning fireplaces to modern, energy-efficient electric ones, the options are diverse, catering to various tastes and styles. Even a simple wood stove can catch your eye and make a home feel a bit more comfy.
According to a survey conducted by Angi in 2016, a significant 70% of real estate agents considered fireplaces to be a valuable addition to a home. Additionally, a staggering 77% of potential buyers expressed their willingness to pay a higher price for a home that already had a fireplace.
A majority of real estate agents believed that having an indoor or outdoor fireplace could increase a home's value by anywhere between $1,000 and $5,000. Surprisingly, only about 35% of buyers shared this perspective. Nearly a quarter of the respondents felt that a fireplace warranted an additional value of no more than $1,000, while 23% of buyers were not inclined to pay anything extra for a home with a fireplace already in place.
Installing a fireplace typically ranges from $500 to $5,000. It’s a bit hard to say if adding a fireplace guarantees a large enough ROI boost to cancel out fireplace installation costs, but if you are going to stay in the home for many years, you need to consider how much use and enjoyment you stand to gain from it. The type of fireplace you choose to install can also impact how much you need to invest. Please also keep in mind that your location, the professionals you hire, and the chosen materials can all impact how much you actually spend on a fireplace installation.
There is no one best or most valuable type of fireplace to have in a home. Which type of fireplace appeals to the next homeowner can depend a lot on their personal preferences. Here is a closer look at popular fireplace types and what makes them stand out.
Wood-burning fireplaces hold a timeless charm and are appreciated by buyers who enjoy the traditional crackling sound and aroma of burning wood — especially during the holidays. Homes with well-maintained wood-burning fireplaces may see an increase in resale value, particularly in colder areas.
Gas fireplaces are valued for their convenience, cleanliness, and energy efficiency. Homes equipped with efficient gas fireplaces tend to attract buyers seeking hassle-free heating solutions. This convenience can positively influence the resale value of a home.
Electric fireplaces gained popularity in recent years due to their modern designs, ease of installation, and versatility. While they may not offer the same warmth as traditional fireplaces, their aesthetic appeal and flexibility in placement can enhance a home's overall ambiance, potentially impacting resale value, especially in urban areas or homes with limited space.
Fireplace inserts, which can be woodburning, gas, or electric, are valued for their efficiency in transforming existing fireplaces. They enhance heating capabilities while maintaining the charm of a traditional fireplace. Homes with well-installed fireplace inserts can see a positive impact on resale value.
Ethanol fireplaces, which burn clean and do not require a chimney, offer a modern and eco-friendly option to homeowners. While they might not significantly impact resale value on their own, their presence can appeal to environmentally conscious buyers, especially in areas where sustainable living is a priority.
Several factors can influence the value of a fireplace in a home, making it a more appealing and valuable feature for potential buyers.
When trying to decide if buying a home with a fireplace is a priority or whether you want to add this project to your renovation to-do list, you may want to keep home value and personal value top of mind. On a personal level, if you appreciate the cozy ambiance and warmth it offers, a fireplace can enhance your living space, making it a valuable addition. Additionally, in regions with cold winters, it can serve as a practical heating source, adding to its appeal.
If ROI is top of mind, you will also want to consider the local real estate market. If fireplaces are in demand in your area, they can significantly boost your home's resale value. However, if you live in a warmer climate where a fireplace may not be a necessity, the cost and maintenance involved may outweigh the benefits. Do some research on your local housing market, as well as fireplace regulations in your state or local municipality. For example, in California, a rule established by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District in October 2015 prohibits the installation of wood-burning heating devices, including fireplaces, stoves, or fireplace inserts, in new construction houses. This regulation aims to address air quality concerns by restricting the use of wood-burning appliances, thereby promoting cleaner and more environmentally friendly heating options in newly built homes, but this rule can be a major turnoff for some homebuyers. If you buy an older home in that part of the country with a wood-burning fireplace, you have quite a valuable fireplace on your hands.
It's crucial to evaluate your personal preferences and the specific needs of your household before deciding whether a fireplace is worth the investment, ensuring it aligns with both your lifestyle and potential future resale value.
Here are a few more details about the value of fireplaces in homes.
Yes, fireplaces can typically enhance a home's value since they’re largely appealing to homebuyers.
Fireplaces can be a desirable feature, potentially setting your home apart from others in the market and leading to a higher resale value, but keep in mind that you may not necessarily recoup the costs of installing it, which can run high.
As charming as a crackling fireplace is, having one can lead to increased homeowners insurance premiums. Fireplaces, especially wood-burning ones, pose a higher risk of accidental fires, which is a concern for insurance companies. How much your premiums are affected will vary based on the type of fireplace, safety features installed (such as spark guards and glass doors), your location, and the insurance company's policies. Reach out to your insurance provider for more details about premiums and if there are any safety measures you can implement to mitigate potential costs.
Yes, regions with colder climates often place a higher value on fireplaces, as they serve both functional and aesthetic purposes, providing warmth during colder seasons.
In many cases, yes. Consulting with a professional contractor is crucial to assess the feasibility and cost of adding a fireplace and chimney to your home. Factors such as existing infrastructure and local building codes should be considered.
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