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Thread: Does Accessible design add to value of home

  1. #1
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    Does Accessible design add to value of home

    Just wondering...since David got MS 4 years ago I have completely remodeled our home (mostly by myself). 36 in. doorways, solid hardwood floors, ceramic tile floors, 5x5 roll in tile shower with a vertical spa, automatic door openers, etc. etc. Anyway, with all of this and his meds, etc. I have accumulated a great deal of debt so we are in the process of refinancing our home to group all of our bills together, lower interest rates and be able to survive thru the trying time. Well, the bank sent out an appraiser and he appraised the inside (at my request) and the outside. While he was here, I was explaining all that I had done to make the house accessible and he basically just snarled up his nose and said "that doesn't really matter, I'll put it in the report, but its not going to add to the value" Has anyone else ever dealt with this? I worked my a** off to get the house perfect for David and I truly believe every house should be accessible but...it doesn't make it worth anymore??? Just wondering.

  2. #2
    That's true in my area : buyers worship the almighty price per square foot, and so you really get a marginal (if any) bump for accessibility (that goes for higher-end finishes as well). The problem is that accessibility a feature that only matters to a relatively small segment of the population.

    Real-estate dollar-wise, the improvements with the biggest value are the ones that appeal to the broadest range of buyers.
    Daniel

  3. #3
    sorry to say he was right...I passed my state exam a couple months before my sons injury. it is sad, but true, and often times homeowner diy's will create less value unless done up to par with a professional. When you sell you would think people would be interested in those features, often they are not because "heck, they are never, ever gonna need that roll end shower or huge doors" so they don't even look...enjoy your home, I hope it appraised well and you can now breathe!

  4. #4
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    It seems with the aging baby boomer generation things like accessibility should become more and more valued. There is an entire generation who will be giving up their two story townhouses and their third floor walk-ups. In my neighborhood they have already changed all the street signs. Not because there was anything really wrong with them, but the increased the size of the lettering quite dramatically so that aging folks could read them easier.

  5. #5
    Eileen, what you say is so true... market value is based on what people are willing to pay ...the mess in CA is a great example, especially in the bay area where people would list their homes for x number of dollars...a buyer would come in and pay x plus more$$$$$...guess what...the neighbor's house is now worth that More$$$$...and people kept buying... then pop went the bubble...

  6. #6
    Some features that would be considered "accessible" are actually turnoffs for many buyers. For instance, for some, a downstairs master-bedroom would be considered less safe than a bedroom on the second floor. Handrails and grab-bars are considered unsightly. People often prefer a tub/shower to a roll-in shower. Even stuff like higher-end finishes like hardwood and tile floors don't always bring much an increase in value when compared to costs.
    Daniel

  7. #7
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    I see what you are all saying, but it is just so frustrating. I don't know what the house appraised at yet. My fingers are crossed it did well enough to suit our needs with the refinancing. Not to brag, but I am my dads little boy so to speak (he had no boys, just us three girls) and have done a near professional job with the remodeling. Saved ALOT doing it myself. I have tried to make everything look "normal" and not like a handicap person lived here. I am still sure it will appraise at more than what I got into it doing it all myself, its just those words were so hurtful. Like accessible? So what, that dont mean anything, youre the only one that needs that, you just ruined this house for everyone else.

  8. #8
    Really anything you do to your house these days doesn't add value to the house, it just helps getting it sold. We sold our house a couple of years ago when the market was going bad quick. Each offer we got was lower than the one before. We did a lot to the house, but the value was based off the foreclosures in the area and square ft., and number of bedrooms. Nothing else mattered. It was a terrible experience.

  9. #9
    Another issue that I just went through with the friendly IRS is the issue of tax deductions of the cost of remodeling for accessibility. You can deduct it by the amount that does NOT increase the value of the home. So we built an elevator. We had to get a 2 appraisals. One before the remodel and one afterwards to prove that the elevator did not increase the value of the home in our neighborhood. Then we could include the cost as a deduction.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Foolish Old's Avatar
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    As disappointing as it may be that all your hard work may not have added as much as you hoped to the appraised value of your home, take satisfaction in knowing that it has added real value in a most important way. While a home may be our biggest expenditure, its primary value is as a residence, not as an investment vehicle. You have made your home more useful to the people who live there. No greater reward can be accomplished through renovation. I am sure you are getting a fantastic return on every penny spent, and every second of your hard work. I also believe that "universal access" will appeal to more buyers as the population continues to get older.

    It's great that you are able to do your home remodeling. A skilled and careful DIYer will almost always produce an equal or superior product to a professional trades-person who must work against the clock to turn a profit. I bet I'm not the only one here who would enjoy seeing pictures of your work.

    Hopefully, the appraisal will get you where you need to go. Shop hard for a deal you like, and ask if there are any government backed programs for people in your situation. Good Luck!

    Quote Originally Posted by MSWIFE1 View Post
    I see what you are all saying, but it is just so frustrating. I don't know what the house appraised at yet. My fingers are crossed it did well enough to suit our needs with the refinancing. Not to brag, but I am my dads little boy so to speak (he had no boys, just us three girls) and have done a near professional job with the remodeling. Saved ALOT doing it myself. I have tried to make everything look "normal" and not like a handicap person lived here. I am still sure it will appraise at more than what I got into it doing it all myself, its just those words were so hurtful. Like accessible? So what, that dont mean anything, youre the only one that needs that, you just ruined this house for everyone else.
    Foolish

    "We have met the enemy and he is us."-POGO.

    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."~Edgar Allan Poe

    "Dream big, you might never wake up!"- Snoop Dogg

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