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Saunas have long been appreciated for their health benefits, personal enjoyment, and even opportunities for socializing. But, do saunas add value to homes? It depends on a few factors. By considering the pros and cons of a sauna before making a purchase, you can reap the benefits without worrying about future resale value.
Is a sauna worth it?
In somewhere like Finland, most potential buyers would be surprised and disappointed if a home did not already include a sauna. However, the story is quite different in the United States, where sauna use is not as widespread. While that doesn’t mean that a sauna won’t add value to a home in North America, it does complicate the question of whether adding a sauna is worth it, from a user’s perspective. resale.
To put it simply, saunas are considered a non-essential luxury for most home buyers. Having a sauna is unlikely to be a selling point for a potential buyer, but it might please an already interested buyer. However, if the house is lacking in other areas, such as outdated living spaces or maintenance issues, then it is wise to focus on improving these before spending funds on a sauna.
The good news is that saunas are reasonably priced compared to a hot tub or pool, making it easier to relax when you’re on a budget. The national average for a sauna is $ 4,500 for a steam sauna for four people. On the low end, a small sauna with stone heater could cost around $ 2,000. A high-end infrared sauna can cost more than $ 10,000.
Saunas are also relatively inexpensive to install and maintain. But while most sauna systems aren’t very complicated to operate, they can be intimidating for potential buyers who aren’t used to using one. It is possible that including a sauna in the sale of your home will deter some potential buyers. For this reason, you must ask yourself whether you will personally enjoy the sauna while you are living in the house.
Tips for adding value to a home with a sauna
If you are already considering the resale value of your home, try to see the big picture through a buyer’s eyes. While many people can enjoy a sauna, the top priorities will be essential living spaces. As a “luxury” item, saunas may not be suitable for all homes.
For example, a starter house that is short on space and does not have high-end finishes may not benefit from the inclusion of a sauna. On the other hand, a custom home that incorporates a sauna without significantly eating into other usable spaces can generate a better return on investment.
For many people, the biggest downside to saunas is that they take up space. For this reason, outdoor saunas are generally better from a resale standpoint, since they do not take up indoor square footage.
If you are selling a home that has a sauna, make sure it is properly staged for photos so potential buyers can imagine themselves enjoying it. It can also help ensure that the sauna is in perfect working order and that the operating instructions are written for the next owner’s reference.
Benefits of sauna
There are many reasons why saunas are so popular in some cultures. From helping you relax at the end of a long day to relieving muscle and joint pain and more, you’re almost certain to come out of your sauna vacation feeling rejuvenated.
Inexpensive to maintain
Although the cost will vary depending on the heat source, the average cost to heat a sauna is $ 30 per month. Additional maintenance costs, such as wood preservatives, are also minimal and expensive repairs are unlikely.
High perceived value
As a luxury item, many people will overestimate the cost of a sauna. If you keep your budget under control when purchasing the sauna, the “added value” to your home when reselling may be greater than the actual investment.
Disadvantages of the sauna
May deter some buyers
The biggest downside to saunas in North America is most people’s lack of knowledge. While this can be beneficial when it comes to high perceived value, it can be a downside if the potential buyer is intimidated by the maintenance of a sauna.
Takes up space
When installed indoors or outdoors, saunas take away otherwise usable space. This is a bigger concern with indoor saunas. From a resale perspective, it is also unwise to convert a bathroom into a sauna. This will almost certainly create a negative value situation.
Expensive to relocate
If you would rather relocate your sauna than include it in the sale of your home, it will take some effort. Depending on the size and installation of the sauna, you may need to hire specialist movers to help you.
If you plan to have a lot of use and enjoyment from a sauna, then the investment may be worth it. However, if you plan to relocate in the near future, a sauna is unlikely to recoup a full return on its investment with new home buyers.