Finding Real Value

Looking to sell your home in the near future? How do you gauge its worth? There are several factors that determine how much value a given home has on the market, such its location, and the popularity of the neighborhood surrounding it. Unfortunately, those factors are mostly out of your control.

What is under your control is the condition of the property. If — like 70% of American homeowners — you believe your house is your biggest asset, it makes sense to take into account the sales value that any additions or renovations will add to your home, even if you aren’t in the market to sell right away.

Certain home projects will always add value to a home, such as a newly renovated kitchen or bathroom, or the addition of a room or story. But many homeowners sink large amounts of money into projects that are merely trendy at the moment, and may find it more difficult to get a return on their investment.

Let’s look at a few home additions that are very popular today, and see what impact they may have on your home’s market value.

Hardwood Floors – Valued for their stylish look and charm, wood floors are a popular alternative to the carpeted floors of old. Their true value lies in their durability, and the relatively easy manner in which they can be cleaned. However, your best bet is to use soft, neutral colors, as more vivid hues and patterns may be a turn off for potential buyers.

Verdict: Definitely adds value.

Outdoor Kitchens – A classy add-on that benefits both resident and guest, outdoor kitchens have exploded in popularity in recent years. They allow homeowners to entertain friends and family, or simply eat family dinners outdoors without making too many trips in and out of the house. The right amount of outdoor space is key, and homes in warmer climates will definitely benefit even more from an alfresco alcove. The most important factor in regards to value is to make sure that you don’t fall prey to adding too many bells and whistles that cause the construction cost to outweigh the added market value.

Verdict: Likely to provide value (if not overdone).

Wine Rooms and Cellars – This one may completely depend on the size/style of the home. Many potential buyers will see a wine room or cellar as a ‘wow’ factor, adding a touch of class and luxury to an upscale residence. But for homes with less square footage, or who reside in more modest neighborhoods, it may be difficult to justify such an expenditure. According to, wine cellars rank highly among home buyers who have incomes greater than $150,000. Others may simply see it as wasted space.

Verdict: Maybe. It all depends on the home, and the right kind of buyer.

When it comes to determining the true value of your home, your best bet is to call your dedicated d’aprile properties agent, who will run a free comparative market analysis for you. Only then will you know how your home stacks up against others in your neighborhood.

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