In Boston, a new kitchen adds more than $30,000 in value

by Kerrie Kennedy

The coronavirus pandemic has been an accelerator for change, and it may be that the area where that is most apparent is in the way Americans view and use their homes. Suddenly, a home is no longer just a place to live — it is also a place to work, learn, exercise and stay safe.

It’s no wonder that lockdowns have inspired many homeowners to upgrade their homes, either to make them more livable or to make them more valuable when they put them on the market. But how much should they spend, and what are buyers actually willing to pay for?

A new report conducted by Wren Kitchens surveyed 2,000 U.S. homeowners and renters to reveal how much homebuyers would increase their offer by based on different home upgrades.

Looking at nine different metrics, if Boston homeowners tackled every item on the survey’s list, they would reap as much as $264,602 when it comes time to sell.

It’s no surprise that a new kitchen is the project that brings in the best bang for the buck, with homebuyers willing to increase their offers by more than 5% of the property’s market value for one. In Boston, that translates to $33,333 in added value for a new kitchen.

A new bathroom was second highest on the list, averaging $30,818 in added value, while new floors/carpet is worth $29,465.

While outdoor living spaces have been growing in popularity and amenities for years, coronavirus restrictions have spurred even greater demand as homeowners look for a safe place to connect and relax outside. According to the report, a “garden makeover” in Boston will add $26,370 in value to an average home.

According to the report, the average age of first-time homeowners has increased — the median age is now up to 33 — and along with that, so have their expectations. Digitally savvy and well-informed, they’re not overlooking the nuts and bolts of the home.

Homeowners who install new double-glazed windows will recoup $28,755, new electric will bring $29,851 and a new HVAC system will add $30,625 in value.

Also, homeowners who are able to convert attic space might consider doing so. Whether for a dedicated home office, playroom or workout room, that extra bonus space is in demand right now. According to the report, an attic conversion in Boston will add more than $27,208 in value.

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