Barndominium Features Worth Having?
New barndominium owners often assume any upgraded features will make their place more valuable. While it is true upgraded kitchen features, a carriage style garage door, or real wood floors may add value and make your home more desirable for resale, there are other projects providing very little return. Here are some most common.
An inground pool
Lounging on a pool float with a cool drink in your hand sounds like a great way to spend a summer. But installing a pool is not only an expensive project, it is expensive to insure and maintain. Plus, when it’s time to sell, potential buyers may see this feature as a headache or a safety concern.
If you’ll use a pool regularly, and plan to stay in your barndominium for several years, then by all means, go for it. But before you make any big financial decisions ask yourself:
- How many days will you actually be able to use it?
- How much will a pool increase energy and water bills?
- Will you pay someone for maintenance or take on this task yourself?
- How will an inground pool affect your homeowner’s insurance premiums?
- Can you afford these extra costs?
I had an inground pool installed in my home in Oregon in the mid-1980s. Poor investment, I probably could have sold for more if I had filled it in with earth.
An outdoor kitchen
Outdoor kitchens have emerged as a growing indoor/outdoor living trend. And while dining alfresco sounds idyllic, it is an expensive upgrade – one may not be worth it’s investment.
An outdoor kitchen could cost anywhere from $4,800 to $21,300 or beyond. In warmer climates (south or southwest), you’ll likely see a higher return on investment because outdoor kitchens are almost expected, especially in higher-priced homes. Anywhere else, where the climate is more unstable, outdoor kitchens don’t get as much use and aren’t as valuable to buyers.
Unless you plan to stay in your barndominium for many years, think twice about over personalization.
Have lots of children? Rather than having all sorts of very small bedrooms so each child has their own space – institute room sharing, incorporating larger bedrooms with walk in closets. While lots of small bedrooms may work well for your lifestyle, it is a personal design choice not appealing to most potential buyers.
In National Association of Home Builders’ 2019 “What Buyers Really Want” report, custom upgrades, like a wine cellar, a dog washing station, master bathroom dual toilets, and cork flooring are among the top ten most unwanted home features.
Custom features may wind up costing you come listing time, as many buyers factor in money they’ll need to spend to change your house to suit their own tastes.
Keep your regional standards in mind. Being a little nicer than other barndominiums around you can be a selling point, but once you go overboard, you’ll lose potential buyers and your wallet may take a hit.
Your resale competition will not include just other barndominiums, but also stick built homes.
When planning your kitchen, for instance, tour some open houses in your general area. See how these kitchens look before you invest a small fortune in quartz countertops and high-end fixtures and appliances.
But, just like life, building is a balancing act, and smart barndominium owners need to balance dollar value and value through enjoyment.
If your upgrades will improve your quality of life and allow you to stay in your barndominium longer, then costs may be worth it. But if you plan to sell in a few years, remember over-improving can come at a cost.