Does a Wine Cellar Add Value to Your Home?
For the passionate wine lover, a cellar can be an essential part of a home’s living space, every bit as important as the living room, bath, or kitchen. But does it add to the value of a home?
Value can be defined in several different ways, from the quality of life in the house to the actual asking price of the house itself.
If you’re considering adding a wine storage space, here are a few thoughts on creating a cellar or room that adds value in your own life, when selling, and long after you’ve moved out.
Wine Cellars Add Value – In the Right Context and Market
A 2017 report from the National Association of Home Builders found that among buyers who make over $150,000 a year and for homes priced over $800,000 a wine cellar is almost expected at this point. Even if the buyers don’t drink wine, they perceive it as added value. And luxury home builders Toll Brothers saw a 50% increase in requests for wine cellars in their Arizona market. Buyers are reportedly paying anywhere from $15,000 – 60,000 extra for the amenity.
Most Real Estate experts will advise you to make home improvements that are on par with the scale, architecture, and market value of your home. It’s important to be honest with yourself and know your surroundings. Design a cellar or wine room that fits the home and even the neighborhood it’s in. A multimillion-dollar house will demand a different approach than a modest home in the suburbs. Don’t over- (or under-) improve.
Building the Wine Cellar: It Pays to Do it Right for You and the Future Owners
First and foremost, what matters is the enjoyment that you get from your wine collection and the place you’ll potentially keep it. It should be everything you dream of and a place where you want to spend your time after it’s built.
But it pays to think of the future. If and when you sell your home, what adds value?
Not all home improvements are created equal. and will be among the first targets for a sledgehammer. Attention to technical details, the quality of the materials and the design are essential. Hire professional designers, installers, and go for the best materials money can buy.
For the buyer, a home is a financial and an emotional investment. And a fantastic wine cellar or room can really move the needle. What people feel when they look at your storage space will help them make their decision and name their offering price. Build it in a way that people can recognize the quality and see it as an improvement to the home and to their lifestyle.
Make an Appeal to the Wine-Curious
If you find a buyer who is already into wine and has a collection, it’s obvious why having a wine cellar adds value. Many upscale buyers seek these features out when they purchase a home (realtor.com actually has a, “with wine cellar,” filter on their home search tool now). If you’re lucky enough to find a wine-savvy buyer, problem solved.
But you might be selling to someone who is a casual wine drinker or (gasp) maybe not even into wine at all. In which case, it’s about helping them to see the feature as a lifestyle enhancement.
Wine is gaining in popularity in the United States, with about 60% of the population now enjoying a glass of wine regularly. Most beginners typically start small with an under-counter wine fridge in the kitchen and as their passion grows, so does their collection.
Collecting wine and moving to a large, high-end cellar is a big jump that takes time to work up to. But a well-designed mid-sized cellar, like an under stairs wine cellar can spark interest and encourage the budding wine aficionado to make an easy step up.
Wine Rooms: Sell the Sizzle, Not the Steak
Realtors will tell you that the key to selling a home is in appealing to aspirations: Potential buyers want to see themselves living in your house, and not just living but thriving. In this way, a wine cellar or room should inspire them to dream about their future there.
Since most cellars are too cold for entertaining, a more practical approach is a wine room or wine display. Rather than isolate the cellar from the rest of the house and treat it as an afterthought, bring it into view and make it a part of everyday life!
A wine room in the main living space is the perfect mix of both worlds; it stores your wine and touts the beauty of your collection in full view – as you dine, entertain and celebrate. A great room, den, dining room, or kitchen that displays the wine collection as a work of art can be the main feature of the house and a major selling point, right up there with a swimming pool or a home theater.
Wow! factor is always important and any opportunity to create spaces that are both breathtaking while livable, will most definitely pay off in the form of higher value.
The Real Value: A Wine Space That Brings People Together and Life to the Home
It’s important to be pragmatic when it comes to building a wine room or cellar; you may not recoup your investment when selling your house. Although there are no guarantees, you’d do well to consider the big picture – what matters now, and in the long run – to you, and to others.
Wine is a living, breathing joy that should be celebrated. Creating an exciting, engaging environment to celebrate it in, is part of the magic that makes your home a living thing too. Of course, you want to get all of the technical aspects right and make your storage space perfect but don’t lose sight of the true goal: Build it with real life and real people in mind – and they will inherently recognize the value in it.
Lastly, it’s important to remember that value is not always measured in potential dollars. The joy that your wine collection brings to you, including the space it occupies in life and in your home, is priceless.