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    More Than Just Square Feet: Home Additions that Boost Property Value & Quality of Life

    After moving to New England from Hawai'i, one family wanted to create an addition that fit well into the region and allowed for an effortless flow between indoor and outdoor living. An around-the-world move is an extreme example, but the fundamental question for homeowners considering an addition is the same: how do you decide whether adding this space will be worth the investment? The right addition can boost your quality of life and enhance your property value.

    The first big decision: should you move or renovate? This decision can be driven by many factors. For instance, if children are settled into routines, uprooting them from friends and a good school system can be challenging. Suppose the location and other factors are all positive. In that case, it makes sense to renovate so the home grows to accommodate your needs. 

    Typical Issues that Spark the Desire for a Home Addition

    How do you know it is time for a home addition? Here are a few of the most common challenges homeowners want to solve when considering adding square footage to their home.

    • A Growing Family: Do you feel like you are bursting at the seams in your home? This is common, especially if you bought a house at one stage of life–before kids– and now the family keeps growing.

    • Deferred Maintenance: Mechanical, electrical, or plumbing systems are failing. Roofing or siding might need to be replaced. A renovation project is an excellent opportunity to roll some of these maintenance issues into the overall scope of work.

    • Built in a Bygone Era: Your home was designed for another time, with small, compartmentalized rooms that don’t fit how you live today.

    • Small Garage: An older New England garage is not built for today's vehicles, which are often too small for a large SUV. Many needed to be larger for growing families and more spaces for modern life.

    • Bedrooms: They are either too small, or the home needs more bedrooms. The house may need more bathrooms.

    • Entertaining: When hosting holiday parties, the space is cramped, dark, and outdated.

    • Play Space: You can either entertain or have a play area, but you can’t do both. Storage is in short supply, so clutter is a problem.

    • Basements and Attics: The potential is there, but the space needs to be more usable or accessible.

    • Home is More Central: Home can now be a gym, an office, and a school. You need space so you are not infringing on each other's activities.

    What Will We Gain by Building an Addition?

     Room to breathe is just the start of the potential upside of building an addition. When you carefully assess what is most important for you, a well-executed remodel can transform the family’s life experience.

    An addition often comes about because minor annoyances pile up into significant aggravation. An addition can alleviate this, creating storage and organization for areas that have gotten cluttered.

    Spaces and activities like cooking, entertaining, and spending time as a family will flow together more efficiently as room is added and the flow between spaces is considered more holistically. An addition and a plan for how to integrate the new space means you have room for guests, your children have a place to play, you can work from home, and you are in a place you are proud to call home.

    The Financial and Emotional Benefits of Investing in a Home Addition

    You purchased a home that has increased in value since you bought it. That is the ideal. But will an addition make financial sense in your situation?

    A Realtor establishes a value for a home based on square footage, along with added value for bedrooms, bathrooms, and the home's overall condition. If there are two homes in a neighborhood in similar condition and similar square footage, but one has an additional bedroom, the one with an extra bedroom would have the higher value.

    From a financial perspective, if you are adding square footage, you are adding value. That's why a construction loan for an addition generally makes sense to lenders. While square footage, bedrooms, and bathrooms add value, some less glamorous work, like replacing windows, painting or insulating the home, or replacing the roof, falls more under the maintenance category. The goal is to seamlessly tie new into existing sections of the house, with a mix of added square footage and updated materials where that makes sense. For this reason, the financial ROI may not be immediate. Over time, the growth of the value of the home results in a positive ROI.

     We worked with a client who purchased a home in 2012 for $450K. We designed and built a beautiful addition for them. In today's market, the home's value is in the neighborhood of $910K. The current value exceeds the original purchase price plus the addition cost. Plus, the family experienced a significantly improved quality of life during the 12 years while the home appreciated, which is priceless.

    Examples of projects that enhanced the family’s quality of life

    Medfield Colonial

    When a family came to us with hopes for their 1980s front entrance box colonial-style home, they wanted to add to their existing home and completely remodel the interior to better suit their lives. Putting an addition on the back of the house created plenty of space for an expanded kitchen, breakfast nook, and a beautiful new family room. The home is now ideal for family time and perfect for entertaining.



    Walpole Indoor/Outdoor Transformation

    This family wanted a home that felt like a vacation destination. After moving to Massachusetts from Hawai'i, they were excited to recreate the paradise they once lived in. The exterior of the home was completely updated. It included all-new siding, trim, windows, doors, a front porch, a two-story back deck with an outdoor kitchen and dining area, and a complete landscape transformation. This home has definitely become its own New England paradise.



    Southwest Suburb Primary Suite +

    The challenge faced by this client was a small home and a growing family with a small one-car garage that needed to be bigger for modern cars. The house was becoming outgrown and outdated. The solution: an addition was added over the existing one-car garage to give space for a second vehicle and an entirely new primary suite above it. A new front porch, siding, and a new roof were added to the home.

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    Planning Your Addition

    Is a new addition worth it? With the proper planning and forethought, it definitely can be. Suppose space is becoming tight and frustrations are running high. In that case, a well-designed addition can enhance your everyday living and increase property value.

    To learn more about home additions, please download our FREE eBook - Home Additions 101: How to Plan a Home Addition That Perfectly Meets Your Family Needs. And if you are ready to speak about your next renovation, please schedule a home renovation discovery session.

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