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Fireplace vs Wood Stove: Which adds value

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Coreen in Alaska is on the line and has a question about real estate value. Tell us about it.

    COREEN: I live in an older condo with a wood fireplace.

    TOM: OK.

    COREEN: Would a wood fireplace be more – have more resale value or would a free-standing stove?

    TOM: I think a fireplace probably would have more value. It certainly might make the place more attractive to most buyers who make more emotional decisions than practical decisions.

    LESLIE: And I think from a decorating standpoint, I know that freestanding wood stoves, to me – while, yes, they create a cozy little seating area, sometimes they pose a ginormous decorating dilemma.

    TOM: Well, true, because they just have to be out there in the middle of everything, so how do you work around that?

    LESLIE: Right. And they’re usually a certain color. It’s not the easiest thing to paint or change the look of.

    TOM: Yeah, so I would stay with the fireplace. Wood stoves are more efficient but I wouldn’t replace it if you’re getting ready to sell the house. I would keep the fireplace. I think if you did something to dress up the fireplace, if you needed it – with a new mantle, that kind of thing, cleaning up brick, whatever; just make it look good – I would just stop right there. I don’t think putting the wood stove in is going to be something that you’ll get a return on that investment from, Coreen.

    COREEN: OK, great. Thank you.

    LESLIE: Thanks so much for calling The Money Pit.

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