The storage features that add value to a home have changed quite a lot over the past couple of years, just like most other home buyer expectations. Our homes are now the centers of our lives in ways they haven't been for a long time, and the storage needs that home buyers now have reflect that.
We've asked real estate and house flipping professionals for their take on the best ways to add value with storage. The consensus is that everyone wants more – and better – storage, preferably in a separate room. Here are the top areas to focus on if you're selling.
1. A laundry room
There is no doubt that laundry rooms are having a huge revival, with laundry room ideas dominating buyers' wish lists, particularly if they are after a substantial family home. Realtor and author Jason Gelios (opens in new tab) doesn't hesitate when naming laundry rooms 'one of the best storage rooms that add value': 'First-floor laundry rooms with additional storage cabinets or it’s own closet is a huge selling feature. I have seen homes sell for thousands more just by having a laundry or mudroom.'
Speaking of mud rooms, they are the ones to watch as well as laundry rooms, according to Jason: 'A mudroom is a huge trend right now with many new home builders adding this type of room as a must-have.'
2. Extra closet space
This will surprise no one who has looked at trendy bedroom ideas lately – built-in closets are a must, the bigger the better.
Tomas Satas, Founder, and CEO at Windy City HomeBuyer (opens in new tab), highly recommends adding more closet space if you want to sell: As far as I'm concerned and in my experience, you can never go wrong with more closet space. Closet space tops the list of many prospective home buyers today, especially in the post-pandemic era.'
It's not just people want more space for their clothes – these days, walk-in closet ideas branch out into working from home territory: 'I've recently had several clients who will accept a large walk-in closet in lieu of office space and another who wanted one to host her podcast from. This spring I sold a house to a guy who wouldn't look at a house unless they had pictures of the closets on the listing.'
Tomas summarizes the popularity of additional closet space brilliantly: 'Closets are the new chef's kitchen!'
3. A multi-functional storage room that can become a home office
Some buyers aren't really sure of what they will need in the next year or so, and it can pay off to leave a space in the home empty. However, it's important that any additional room that is being sold as a potential storage space also has the potential to become a home office.
Volodymyr Barabakh, the Co-Founder and Project Director of Fortress Home (opens in new tab), explains: 'Given that remote working will become a regular arrangement for many Americans from now on, there is still a huge demand for homes that have spare rooms that can conceivably become a home office. These rooms are most likely to be used for additional storage space when they are not being used for work.'
Volodymyr stresses that 'for a spare room to have office potential, it needs to have a few features, these include:
- A North or East facing window (to let in light in the morning)
- Enough space for a desk, chair and a bookcase
- At least three plug sockets
- Sufficient distance from the lounge or living room so sound from these rooms does not penetrate it.
Get it right, and you're looking at a pretty decent value add-on. Volodymyr concludes: 'If you have a spare or utility room that has these characteristics, then this can add an extra $2,000 to your home sale value, particularly if you live in an area popular with young professionals.'
Be strategic with what storage you add, and where, and you could add thousands.
Anna Cottrell is Consumer Editor across Future Plc Home titles. She has a background in academic research and is the author of London Writing of the 1930s. She writes about interior design, property, and gardening .On H&G, she specializes in writing about property – buying, selling, renting, mortgages – sustainability and eco issues.
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