The 3 most important features that you should design into a new home that can add value upon re-sale are an exposed basement, a 3-car garage, and a ground level master bedroom. These are some of the most desired features by home buyers. (The definition of adding value is when the price you can sell those extra features for exceeds the cost to construct them.)
Basement: An exposed basement can have either a full exit door and windows or simply be partially exposed at the upper half of the wall with half height windows that also provide an emergency exit. The entire basement does not need to be exposed, but enough for a door and/or a few windows will enhance value.
3-car garage: A 3-car garage is one of the least expensive things you can do to enhance value and attract a larger buyer group. The third garage costs little since it is not heated or cooled, nor finished like the interior, but everyone loves having the extra space for either storage or the hand-me-down teenager’s car.
Master Bedroom: With an aging population, designing in a ground level master bedroom not only attracts more buyers because empty nesters who are tired of climbing stairs can then consider buying your home, but it also allows you and your spouse to remain in your own home well into your senior years. Plus, it’s easier to keep track of those pesky teenagers coming and going late at night!
So when you’re considering designing a new home, be sure to include these three valuable features in your plan. You’ll be happy you did!
Terrence R. Wall, Housing Developer
Former university lecturer and teacher of Real Estate Development
And creator of the first university level course in Sustainable Development
M.S. in Real Estate Appraisal and Investment Analysis from the
Graaskamp Real Estate Department, UW-Madison
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