removing a fireplace & impact on house value?

Asked by Marc M., 22101 Mon Sep 13, 2010

Will removing the gas fireplace in the living room of a 4 bed SFH detached house have any impact on value of the house when we eventually decide to sell it?
We don't currently use them and I'd like to close them to 1) have better insulation and 2) expand the closet in the Master BR. Would many people be put off by the fact that the house doesn't have a fireplace? Compared to having a much larger closet for Mr & Mrs?

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Erik Weissko…, Agent, fairfax, VA
Mon Sep 13, 2010
I agree with most in that removing the fp may not be a good thing. Most people will value the fireplace and most appraisers will give it 3-5k at least. I have 3 fireplaces in my own home..2 of which I never use..but I still would not get rid of any. The age of your home factors in quite a bit with the importance of the fp. I suspect your home is older since the closet space is not as great. I believe the previous posts..should validate your question.

Most likely the removal of your fireplace would only be validated if the cost of repair exceeded to cost to replace.

Kind Regards,

Erik J. Weisskopf, ABR,CDPE,CRS,GRI
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Jay Hurst, Agent, Washington, DC
Mon Sep 13, 2010
There are various conditions that might suggest you remove a fireplace.
To us, we see them in the same set of features as a hot tub.
Some like them, some do not, and if they are faulty, you will need to either credit money after a home inspection,
or do costly repairs.

I do agree that in some older homes - like the bungalows in North Arlington, the living room can be built with the FP as a centerpiece. So, you need to consider that.

It would depend on the condition of the FP and how it adds to the look and feel.

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John Fitzger…, , Fairfax County, VA
Mon Sep 13, 2010
A fireplace in an older home is a must-have. I suggest you go to a good fireplace contractor and do two things. First, buy a flue that shuts tight. Make sure you can turn off the gas fireplace first. If you don't have an electric pilot light on the fireplace already, you need to install one. Second, get the same contractor to install a fitted glass door. For closet space, go to someplace such as Oak Post or Ikea and buy an armoire, after going to some place such as Closet Stretchers, to deal with MBR closet issues.
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Vicky Chrisn…, Agent, Purcellvile, VA
Mon Sep 13, 2010
In general, I agree with the previous poster. There are people (like me) who won't buy a house unless it has a fireplace. Closets are important, too. But, if your home is an older one (which I am guessing by your post) fireplaces are going to be considered normal and larger closets are not as common. You want to meet buyer expectations when you sell, otherwise it will likely cost you a bit.
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Jim McCowan, Agent, Arlington, VA
Mon Sep 13, 2010
I wouldn't lose a fireplace just to get a bigger closet. A nice size master closet is great, but I think most people would appreciate a fireplace and it does add value to your home!
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