For centuries, the fireplace is where we’ve retired to gather with family and friends at the end of a long day. After so many generations, it’s no wonder fireplaces are in the top three most desired features home-buyers are looking for.
Measuring a Fireplace’s Value to a Home
There’s just nothing like shaking off the winter chill by cozying up around a fireplace. In fact, we’ve been doing that very thing since the beginning of time. The fireplace represented the flickering heart of family gatherings, providing safety, security and a sense of home to those who gathered round. In many ways, they still do. For centuries we’ve kicked our feet up after a long day (hunting and gathering, accounting, personal training, you name it!) by the fireplace. After so many generations, it’s no wonder fireplaces are in the top three most desired features home-buyers want.
Keeping their enduring popularity in mind, it may come as a surprise to know that about half of the 40 million homes built in America since 1973 did not include them. If you find yourself in one with them, it might be worth considering the addition of this long-standing amenity. Approximately $12,000 worth. That is the amount the National Association of Realtors reported that fireplaces add to a house’s value. They also reported that 46% of homebuyers would pay extra (a median of $1,220) for a home with a fireplaces. So what’s the deal? Why have fireplaces, specifically those of the electric variety, become such a ‘hot’ commodity since the early ‘70s?
The obvious advantage is heating a room without ever having to touch the thermostat (and see your energy bills skyrocket in the colder months). This is especially true for electric fireplaces. Traditional fireplaces loose a lot of heat—and allow the cold outside air in—through the chimney. On top of that, there are maintenance costs to factor in. Electric fireplaces are easy to buy and install at a fraction of the cost of traditional fireplaces, yet you get all of that bill-slashing heat without the additional investment of firewood.
As our society becomes more and more cognizant of our effect on the environment, electric fireplaces are showing up on the shopping list of features homebuyers want more and more often. By relying solely on electricity, not only does the lack of combustion eliminate the risk of CO poisoning, but it also eliminates the need to rely on natural resources, reducing the overall consumption of wood and fossil fuels. There is even an electric fireplace that acts as an air purifier as well.
Fireplaces have become such a staple on the list of home features buyers are looking for that, according to the U.S Census Bureau, 53% of new homes built in 2008 included at least one. So, if you’re looking to add serious value to your property, or even just a cozy ambiance to your next night in, a fireplace could be just what you’re looking for.
Learn more about electric fireplace efficiency.