Home Selling in Rockford>Question Details

Dustin Waller, Home Seller in Rockford, IL

my wood burning fireplace was deemed unusable because of the chimney -would it be worth $2,500 to get a wood burning insert for the resale of house?

Asked by Dustin Waller, Rockford, IL Mon Dec 13, 2010

we would be possibly renting or selling the house next year.. but would love to enjoy some fires this winter.. just dont know if its worth spending the money on the fireplace if its not going to help with the value of the house at all.

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Dustin -

A fireplace is a good selling point in a home. Putting a dollar amount on the worth, however is difficult. But I think the bigger issue here is if you have a part of a home that is not functioning properly, you will have to disclose when selling. With the market now, chances are a buyer is going to make it part of a negotiation and take more than $2500 off their offer price to fix it. Or they will have you fix as a part of the negotiations. Either way, you could get stuck with it. $2500 may be better spent other places, but it isn't worth losing a deal over. I always encourage sellers to fix everything in the home. You don't want an inspection killing your deal or reducing the price even more. And with renters, the other comments are right - how do you know they won't try to use it.

Before you make a final decision, I would make sure you are getting enough opinions and prices on the repairs. There are some prefab options that are not woodburning that would give you a functional fireplace and are less expensive. Good luck and good question - a lot of people don't think far enough ahead regarding resale.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 14, 2010
If there is a problem with the chimney you will have to disclose that. I would say the repair may not bring added value, but with out doing the work it will make your home harder to sell. Many buyers do not have the cash to do expensive repairs after their down payment to buy the home.
Charlie Roos
Gambino Realtors
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 14, 2010
I think you have 2 issues. First you have an unusable fireplace that you have to stop renters from using, or convince buyers to take on that project. Second you want to spend good money -maybe chasing bad. Will the $2500 not be better spent on a neglected part of the home (kitchen or baths)? You won't see dollar for dollar back on your fireplace investment. If fires are important to you this winter... live life and enjoy!

Your other solution is offer money to buyer to fix the fireplace/ chimney issues. Get 3 contractors' estimates. This way you won;t spend cash until you have a buyer in hand.
Best of luck,
Jerry Grodesky
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 14, 2010
If I understand your question, you're not asking if replacing the fireplace would be worth $2,500. You're asking if you'll get that money back on resale. And the answer is no, you won't. I've put the link below for the cost vs value report published by remodeling magazine if you'd like to take a look at what kind of returns people are getting on various kinds of projects these days.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 14, 2010
All inserts are different and chimney requirements differ. Check with a reputable dealer before making a decision.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 13, 2010
It be worth $2,500. (or less?), to get a wood burning insert for the fireplace. However, get at least 2 opinions and 2 licensed contractor bids!
Web Reference: http://sierraproperties.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 13, 2010
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