Fireplaces: Who knew?

When we buy homes and get 15- or 30- year mortgages, many of us will think about renovations—either early on or at some point in the future. Most renovations involve kitchens and bathrooms. Realtors tell us that kitchen and bath renovations will increase the value of our homes. But, wait, there’s one other renovation that surprisingly increases a home’s value: it’s a fireplace. Who knew?

According to a recent Angie’s List study of more than 2,100 home owners and realtors, fireplaces are in demand and on the list of must-haves. The study’s findings suggest that more than 76% of homes with fireplaces increase the value anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000. The study did point out, however, that wood-burning and gas fireplaces were preferable to electric ones. A wood-burning fireplace was slightly more preferable than a gas-burning fireplace across all demographics aged 25 to 70+.

Further, a 2013 “Home Features” survey by the National Association of Realtors bears-out the Angie’s List study. Fireplaces are a “coveted” home feature. And, in a survey by the National Association of Home Builders, more home-buyers indicated that looks (46%) were more important than quality (31%) with respect to fireplace characteristics.

So, whether you are adding a new fireplace or renovating an existing one, a fireplace feature adds value to your home.

12 more desirable home features:

  • Energy Star appliances (90%)
  • Exterior lighting (90%)
  • Energy Star rating for entire house (88%)
  • Energy efficient windows (87%)
  • Ceiling fans (86%)
  • Patios (84%)
  • Full bath on main level (83%)
  • Hardwood on main level floors (82%)
  • Insulation higher than code (81%)
  • Garage storage (81%)
  • In-kitchen dining table (80%)
  • Walk-in pantry (80%)

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