i'm considering adding a full story to my 1.5 story bunglow, but am concerned about the resale potential for my property following this project.

Asked by ubl29, Arlington, VA Sun Dec 29, 2013

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Dale Falck’s answer
Dale Falck, , 64055
Thu Jun 5, 2014
I have done lots of renovation loans for my clients. What I would do is get a contractor to give you an estimated cost and then contact an appraiser to give you a value of the home with the improvements. This takes out all the guessing and gives you confidence that you are not over improving the property.
0 votes
Carol, Jerry…, Agent, Arlington, VA
Sun Dec 29, 2013
Ask yourself two questions. Have you seen many other properties with the type of expansion you're thinking of providing? Does this make your home materially different from others in your neighborhood?

Although there is always a range of buyers, in terms of taste, the trend in Arlington has been for buyers to look for the more standard floor plans and to want to purchase at the midpoint of the neighborhood. Renovations that provide open spaces on the main level are in vogue, ones that simply provide more bedrooms are not so much. Significant changes in appearance for the neighborhood, such as changing the façade to look contemporary in a traditional neighborhood, poses problems for the seller. It's not that no one will purchase houses that are unique, it's just that the pool of buyers is smaller.

Trying to visualize adding a full story to a 1.5 story bungalow is difficult, but, it suggests a colonial with a taller than wide aspect. If the front elevation is also changed to present a colonial appearance and the main floor is opened, the neighborhood isn't only bungalows and ramblers, you plan on living in the property for several years, and the costs make sense, this should be a reasonable project.

Finally, we encourage friends and clients who ask this type of question to consider what their house would sell for plus the cost of the renovation, and then to look at prices for a new home with the amenities they'd be adding, before starting on this kind of adventure.

Hope this helps.
1 vote
Tony Perez, Agent, Arlington, VA
Thu Jun 5, 2014
If you are in a neighborhood in high demand (and you are in that zip), the value will surely increase with the additional space. The catch or isuue to consider, is that whatever space you add should work for you, as well as potential, eventual buyer's of your home one day. The more versatile the space, the better. Of course you will need it to work for you, as well, while you are enjoying your home. The cost of the project, and addition in living space, in comparison to the re-sale value, per square foot in this neighborhood's recent sales, should be evaluated. I have 27 yrs. experience in Arlington and would be glad to provide additional answers, without any obligation, of course.
0 votes
Kent Finnerty, Agent, Fairfax, VA
Tue Feb 18, 2014
Depends on your lot size & which neighborhood you're in. If you are in North Arlington, it's probably a better financial decision, and may only be 100-200k more to tear-down and build a new 5,000 sqft home (at least from the builders I usually use). In either case you're going to be displaced for 6+ months (I've never heard of anyone managing to live in a pop-top during reno). In the case of a new home, you'd be well into the black, especially if you may sell that new home in the next 10 years. The trend is also to Tear-down and re-build, so if you pop the top, and your neighbors later-on are replaced by new homes, yours is less attractive (According to my buyers in 22207 & 22205, not to me; I happen to like older homes)...
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susanna bara…, Agent, Washington, DC
Wed Jan 29, 2014
Without seeing the property and neighborhood it's hard to advise. Theoretically, one could recoup the cost of a second story addition almost entirely, if not turn a profit on it.

Take a look at these Cost vs. Value numbers just published by Remodeling.com: http://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2014/south-atlant…

Again, it is hard to say anything with certainty without seeing your home, as every house is a unique case. If you would like to discuss this further, feel free to contact me anytime.

Kind Regards,

Susanna Barasch, REALTOR
Christie's International/Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc
Georgetown Office
0 votes
Cecilia Sher…, Agent, Rocky River, OH
Sun Dec 29, 2013
Are you planning on selling it soon? Is this for resale or for you to be happier in your home?

Are bungalows in your neighborhood all 1940s-1960s standard 1.5s? Will yours stick out and be very different?

If many in your area have done this and have gained the value, then by all means. The last thing you want it so be the biggest house on the street because then you may find the resale value will be subject to your neighbors.

Even the patio enclosure type additions may not bring the return home owners think they will.

If you're considering adding such a large, costly project to your home, have you considered adding a bit to your existing home, upgraded kitchen, flooring, mechanicals, etc and then selling it to find a new home? Using your second story as a down payment?

Definitely talk with a good Realtor in your area to weigh all of your options and see proof that it will work in your best interest.

Naturally, if you plan to live there forever, do whatever you want to the home as you're doing it for yourself and family. But if you're contemplating a large upgrade based on resale, be careful. It doesn't always work that way...
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Chris Ognek, Agent, Fredericksburg, VA
Sun Dec 29, 2013
All great posts that give you a lot to consider. The only other "big picture" comment I would make is that the cost of adding soft is not necessary linear. I would be wary of spending a lot of money making a home a "little bit" bigger. Doing a bigger bolder renovation to really change the home will more than likely give you a better return on your money. If you are limited by cash, consider refinancing into a renovation loan and include the costs of the addition in with the new mortgage. I'd be happy to talk you through some ideas or about reno loans if you need more info. Just shoot me an email any time.
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Gary Hughes, Agent, Arlington, VA
Sun Dec 29, 2013
It is very difficult to speak to your situation because there are so many variable to consider. In general, I would suggest that you should not expect a dollar for dollar increase in value. If you would like a more detailed discussion specific to your situation feel free to reach out to me or your Realtor.
0 votes
Christine Ri…, Agent, Arlington, VA
Sun Dec 29, 2013

I'd agree with the other posts, in short these are the variables to think about:
- your location (by zip, by neighborhood, by block)
- your lot size and shape
- how well integrated the addition/bump up will be and the quality of work done
- would this be done for a flip or do you intend to live there awhile?

You are considering a plan that many, many people in Arlington think about. Sometimes they do the renovation, sometimes they move, sometimes they hold off. It all depends on your personal situation. Know that buyers in Arlington will also do their own calculation about how much your renovation cost and whether or not they see the same value that you do. Sometimes they are thankful to get the house all done and are willing to pay for it, sometimes not, and it depends on the variables outlined above.

Hope that helps,
Christine Rich
0 votes
Daniel Piers…, Other Pro, Arlington, TX
Sun Dec 29, 2013
The specific decisions you make in adding sq footage to your home can have a big impact on the resale value. I've seen far too many additions to Arlington homes that I'm sure cost the owners a lot of money, but didn't result in the desired sales price when they eventually sold.

You may consider having a Realtor pull comps and provide a price analysis of your home as it looks now, and also provide an analysis based on what it would sell for after your addition is complete. You can then determine if it makes more sense to add the addition or sell and move up.
Web Reference:  http://www.piersonteam.com
0 votes
Colin Storm, Agent, Falls Church, VA
Sun Dec 29, 2013
What are your specific concerns regarding resale?

I would not expect to create a great deal of value beyond the cost. Though in many parts of Arlington you can come close to breaking even. You also want to make sure any plans create a cohesive product with the rest of the home and that the workmanship is solid, otherwise you can come out with a value that is below the cost.

There are a numerber of things to consider as you move forward as well, such as time you expect to remain in the home and trends in your neighborhood. If many of the homes on the street are being torn down and replaced then a major renovation/addition may not payoff in the long term.

These are just some initial thoughts and by no means represent the scope of the decisions and questions involved.
0 votes
Tim Schultz, Agent, Mankato, MN
Sun Dec 29, 2013
I worked for a custom home builder for nearly a decade before I became a Realtor.

Some improvements are obviously better than others when factoring in resale recoupment. However, there are very few things you can do to your home that will recoup full value upon resale of the property.

I usually advise my clients to do what "they" want to their homes, and not worry about what it will bring in the future. After all, they are the ones who will be enjoying the amenities.
0 votes
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