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Fireplace

Posted by chrisdoc (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 10, 12 at 7:50

I'm purchasing a new home and I am trying to decide on whether or not I should have a fireplace. I really don't see the need for one. We have a couch in front of the fireplace where and all it does is collect spider webs.

But my realtor is suggesting that I get a fireplace for "resale value". Now I'm probably not getting one because I think they get interfere w/ the layout of the family room. Sure it looks nice to have all of the furniture set up around the fireplace but we don't sit around and just look at the fire, we watch TV.

I wanted to hear what others thought of fireplaces. So please let me know your thoughts. Would it turn you off from buying a house without a fireplace?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Fireplace

Are you paying extra for a fireplace? If so, and you don't want it, then don't pay for it. It's your home, not a mutual fund. Anything that you get added in "resale value", you likely lose in purchase price anyway. eg if you pay and extra 1k and make an extra 1k when you sell it, you aren't really gaining anything.


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RE: Fireplace

Agree with billl... don't bother if you don't want it.

I have a gas fireplace (insert) and love it! $$ well spent, since I enjoy it so much, and around here it will probably help resale, because they're popular, & great for cool fall & spring nights.


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RE: Fireplace

I don't like fireplaces too much. Our current house has a gas FP but we have probably used it 5 times in the 10 years we lived here. My wife likes it as it is something to put things (holiday nicknacks ect) on. Also we use it as a place to take photos. I am glad that it is a corner fireplace and that it does not occupy too much space on the TV wall.


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RE: Fireplace

We've got a gas fireplace and we use it a lot in the winter. It heats up the house nicely. So nicely that when we lost power for 2 days in a February ice storm it kept our upstairs bedroom at 60 degrees while it was in the 20's outside. I wouldn't want to go without it.

In my last house I had a woodburning fireplace and didn't use it once. I'm definitely more of a "push the button" rather than a "haul wood and clean up the ashes" kind of girl. :-)

Would I buy a house without one? That depends on the other features and how they stacked up to my other choices. But it would definitely be a detractor.

You shouldn't build a house purely for resale, though, unless you know you're moving soon. Features that some value others don't. You can never make everyone happy, so don't try. Build for how you live and then someday sell it to someone else who lives like you.


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RE: Fireplace

Take it as it comes. If you find a great home that has everything you want, and it has a fireplace, then buy it. If it doesn't, then still buy it. Don't let a feature that you don't care for one way or another influence your decision about buying a home.

DO let in influence you if there isn't enough room in the home to arrange the furniture logically for how you would use the room.

DO let it influence you if the fireplace is in bad condition and cannot be used. (Insurance companies are likely to want you to repair it, even if you never use it.)

DO let it influence you if you have comparable homes, yet one is higher priced just because they have a fireplace. A fireplace is like a pool. Some people view it as a bonus, and some don't.

In any case, it never greatly affects the home value one way or the other unless it's something that the seller senses that is attractive to you.


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RE: Fireplace

As a buyer, a FP is only a selling point to me if it's gas. Wood is too messy; I doubt I would use it. I know that lots of people feel the opposite.
I don't think you should require one for the resale value, if you don't like them yourself.


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RE: Fireplace

I think a lot depends on location. For me a wood burning fireplace or stove is a high priority. In my area we have frequent power outages and that may be the only source of heat.


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RE: Fireplace

Just looking at some appraisals, a gas fireplace is valued from $2,000 to $3,000 here in my area.
The last 3 builders when we were buying were charging around $3,500 for a fireplace.


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RE: Fireplace

My house is on the market and several have commented that they wish the house had a fireplace. We thought at the time that this was likely our last home, and therefore did not add that feature since we don't like them on energy grounds (at the least the wbfp's), and the amount of work they involve, space they take up,etc.

When our home sells, we'll likely put in a fireplace just in case we're wrong again about it being our last home. :]


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RE: Fireplace

A fireplace is on my wish list for my next house, along with a screened porch, a pantry and all hardwood floors, a quiet street and room for a garden.

If I found the perfect house in the perfect location and the only thing that was missing was a fireplace, I'd probably buy the house. I could always add a gas fireplace, or a wood burning stove.

In fact, I'd buy the perfect house in the perfect location even if it was missing the pantry, the fireplace, the hardwood floors and the screened porch. It's a lot easier to add those things to a house than to make a noisy street quiet or to add land for a garden.


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RE: Fireplace

It probably wouldn't stop me from buying a house that had many of the other amenities I would be looking for, but it would seem odd not to have a wood burning fireplace or stove in my area of the North. I like a wood burning fireplace more then the "fake" gas ones. They don't solicit the same ambiance, warmth or crackling sound that a real fireplace does. NancyLouise


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RE: Fireplace

We recently built a log house in a rural area in WV, visitors always ask why we don't have a fireplace. We like them but decided that we didn't want to lose the wall space in the great room. We have a stone chimney on the outside of the house for a wood stove in our finished basement- this way we get the warmth and charm of the fireplace without the hassle of working around it for furniture.

If we were buying a house, a fireplace wouldn't be a deal breaker either way if the rest of the house was what we needed and wanted.


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RE: Fireplace

A house with a wood burning fireplace would hold much more appeal to me than one without.


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RE: Fireplace

A wood burning fireplace was a definite 'must have' for me when we were looking for our retirement home. It's a good way to save money on heating expenses, and can be important in the case of a power outage. We did find a home with one, and we use it frequently.

If you're looking to see what others are looking for (for resale value) you've got a fair number of assorted replies here. If you're going to be selling in the next 5-10 years, it might be a good idea to consider what's popular. If, on the other hand, you're planning on being in this house for a few decades, then why get something YOU don't want, but will have to live with?


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RE: Fireplace

I think it depends on where you live. Our friends in Denver are thinking about remodeling to remove theirs since Denver has a lot of air quality dys where they can't use theirs during appropriate weather. Dh and I only buy houses with a fireplace where we can have have a wood stove. We went through two crippling ice storms without power in an all electric house. It was awful. After that, we have installed wood stoves in the fireplaces of all of our homes. It helped keep the house nice and toasty during last years extreme snow/blizzard weather when the kids were home for nine days in a row.


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RE: Fireplace

As a person who grew up in the Northeast where you can lose power due to ice storms or floods I insisted we have at least one working fireplace in our home.
it's paid off for us several times over the years.


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RE: Fireplace

I think wood burning fireplaces stink up the neighborhood. When we bought a older home with a woodburner a few years ago, we installed a gas insert.


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RE: Fireplace

I would want a gas fireplace if I was looking to buy.


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RE: Fireplace

I think wood burning fireplaces stink up the neighborhood. When we bought a older home with a woodburner a few years ago, we installed a gas insert.

How would the fireplace do that?
Is it the smoke from the chimney?
Are they used that regularly?


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RE: Fireplace

"I think wood burning fireplaces stink up the neighborhood. When we bought a older home with a woodburner a few years ago, we installed a gas insert."

We replaced our wood burner with a gas log several years ago and love it. But the one thing I miss is the smell of the fire.

I love it when our neighbor is burning wood in his fireplace on a cool fall evening. The aroma drifts over.


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RE: Fireplace

We have a wood burning fireplace, a gas log fireplace, a fire pit outside and a generator.
The only one I would not want to be without is the generator! Buy a generator, cheaper than a fireplace and it runs the whole house when there is a power outage!

Kathy G in MI


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RE: Fireplace

"I think wood burning fireplaces stink up the neighborhood. When we bought a older home with a woodburner a few years ago, we installed a gas insert.
How would the fireplace do that?
Is it the smoke from the chimney?
Are they used that regularly?"

Who knows what people are burning? Without wind or an inversion that does not let the smoke rise, I might as well start smoking again.


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RE: Fireplace

"I love it when our neighbor is burning wood in his fireplace on a cool fall evening. The aroma drifts over."

It's ok when one neighbor is burning, but...

When I first met my husband, he lived in a condo complex where every unit had a wood burning stove. On a winter evening it was hard to breathe going from the car to his front door. This was in Colorado where there were lots of cold evenings.


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RE: Fireplace

I agree with Kathyg and would spend the money on a generator.
The weather has been so strange all over the country so whole house generators (if you have gas) are more of a plus than a fireplace. If done during construction they are not that big of a deal. Yes a fireplace will provide some heat if no power, but what about the rest of the household needs. I have a fireplace, but fired up a generator with manual transfer switch to power part of the house for 10 days in 2011. A whole house generator is on my short list now. If natural gas is not available a least have a generator transfer swicth installed for portable generator use. A lot of the new houses are prepping for a whole house generator or even installing as a selling feature.


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