Home Theater Appraisal value - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 04-24-2009, 07:58 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm re-financing my log home and the appraiser did his walk thru Wed 4/22, Tues 4/28 I should have the result.

Q:
For others with dedicated HT's who have gone thru the appraisal of your Home recently, within last 6-8 months max.

Did you get some detail on the "extra" value of your built in HT items?
(Items that stay with the home when/if you move, hung on stuff does not count, i.e., floor standing speakers don't but built in speakers would, etc.)

I don't want this to be a cost vs price vs value thread discussion.

Just interested if home appraisers do give value to things like:
-2nd row seat risers
-Custom built in AV racks
-soundproofing things done
-built in speakers (like my IB sub)
-pre wiring for speakers (since you can't count removable speakers)
-zone dim able lighting
-built in acoustical items (not hang on items)
-"upgraded thick carpet" (mine is 40oz vs 26oz)
-etc
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post #2 of 22 Old 04-24-2009, 08:08 AM
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Recently I had an appraisal done and specifically asked the appraiser. The answer I got was "zero." The assumption is that specialty rooms will be reverted back to average living space.

General soundproofing in the larger home context adds to value. HGTV tells us 130% return. Obviously that's a wild figure, really dependent upon a LOT of factors.

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post #3 of 22 Old 04-24-2009, 08:50 AM
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I see a well done theater in the basement just added to the finished sq ft calculation. Not worth more in the assessment than a nice rec room.

I recommend that anyone with a hefty investment in state of the art electronics substitute them out with value brand gear and take the good stuff with you.

There are obviously exceptions but very few buyers would know the difference between Triad platinum and Radio Shack speakers. I'm sure they could hear the difference if you gave them a good demo but chances are their decision to buy the house will not be based on a demo of the theater.
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post #4 of 22 Old 04-24-2009, 08:57 AM
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I asked this recently when I had an appraisal done on my house. Unless they can find comps in the area that show an increase due to the theater, you only get appraised value on square footage. Also, my (pretty expensive) Crestron system didn't add any value to the appraisal.

I think that this is one area where CEDIA might start educating the various realty groups.

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(a bunch of good reference links and material in first 15 posts)
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post #5 of 22 Old 04-24-2009, 09:18 AM
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I just had a refi done with appraisal. The appraisal guy said that because I had put in a set of cabinets with a sink, it counted as a "mini-kitchen" and did add more value to the home than just a basic room. But other than that, nothing else really mattered.

As a side note it was fun when he opened the door, stepped inside and said, "Whoa!" Makes you feel good

Mike
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post #6 of 22 Old 04-24-2009, 07:43 PM
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Having sold my old house that had a theater in it, I can tell you it counts for nothing on appraisal value any more than other finished space. Usually if it's in the basement it will just count for sq ft.

When I sell this house, whenever that is, I'm taking Bigs advice and swapping everything in my system out for a $299.00 home-theater-in-a-box

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post #7 of 22 Old 04-24-2009, 08:13 PM
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I just refinanced a couple of weeks ago and had a walk through with an appraiser about a month ago and she has echoed what other have said here. The only value comes from the finished space not the type of space. My appraiser stated she could not even count the work I have done to this point and as such my space is "unfinished".

She asked what my plans were for the basement so I gave her the cliff notes version and she said something to the fact "I hope your not expecting much back on your investment other than what you spend to finish off the space." We pointed out some of the other improvements we had made to our home and she again said that what we did was to "personalize" the property and that the improvements we made did not necessarily appeal to a "wide range of people" so our return on investment would be limited in her opinion.

I'm with others here that if I do ever sell/move prior to the listing I will be "downgrading" the equipment so if I do have to "bargain" with the purchaser then I can throw in the theater without loosing much. Good idea that is.

Regards,

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My (slower than molasses) HT build here.
Now a Certified Carpet Counselor and Plumbing Counselor (Self given titles - pay no attention).
Enjoying my "almost done" theater.
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post #8 of 22 Old 05-18-2009, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Well;

It took a while but finally the re-fi is proceeding!

First appraisal was low, way low, the person did not do a good job with the comps since I have a Log home.
2nd appraisal was "fair" IMO, considering the meltdown of homes.

Sharing here:
Livingston County Brighton/Hartland/Howell Michigan area:
My basement total finished space: 1,584 sq feet
# rooms: 4 + full bath.
-Big rec room
-Big 4th bedroom with closet
-Craft room with cork flooring
-HT room

Appraised value:
-extra $5k for full walkout basement (dual french doors) + 3 windows
-extra $2k for full bathroom
-extra $12k for finishing the basement

If not finished then just the $5k for the full walkout would still apply.

So, $14k added value for all the work done, if you look at it strictly from business viewpoint does NOT make cost vs value sense.

$14k/1,584 sq ft = $7.58/sq ft appraised value.

I was expecting a little more for the finishing the basement value, around $25k was my guess, oh well.
I'd still finish the basement again, it adds extra living space, a place for parents/inlaws to sleep, and of course the HT is why we are all here @ AVSforum.com !

Nothing for any of the built-in HT extras either!
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post #9 of 22 Old 05-18-2009, 01:19 PM
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My opinion is that Home Theaters are like pools. People are either going to love your house or hate it because of it. For me, when we go to sell, I'm banking on pulling someone in that sees the room and goes "whoa! We HAVE to have this house".
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post #10 of 22 Old 05-18-2009, 01:26 PM
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The cost vs. value is NEVER going to be in your favor. Same as modifying a car: you might get a small percent of money back. I did my dedicated room to keep a sh*t-eating grin on my face ever time I use it.. and never regretted it. I also put rims on my Mercedes..
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post #11 of 22 Old 05-18-2009, 05:11 PM
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We sold our previous home which had a HT in the basement at the height of the market in summer of 2004. Only a couple of people who looked even cared about the room. It did not help the appraisal one cent so I decided to take everything unless a buyer wanted to negotiate for it. We had a couple of buyers interested at once and we moved to our new home before selling the old one (something I said I would NEVER do). The market was strong and it was sold two weeks later. To my surprise, the buyers, who were younger, didn't want any of the HT. They wanted the room to be an open rec room.

Formerly known as J--- H----. Member since 11/2002. My real name was showing up in Google too much!

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post #12 of 22 Old 05-18-2009, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnwalters View Post

Having sold my old house that had a theater in it, I can tell you it counts for nothing on appraisal value any more than other finished space. Usually if it's in the basement it will just count for sq ft.

When I sell this house, whenever that is, I'm taking Bigs advice and swapping everything in my system out for a $299.00 home-theater-in-a-box

And don't forget to take the door with you as well !

By the way, I've been speaking with an appraiser recently and he informed me that he typically only adds $25k for a finished basement. I specifically asked him how he arrived at such a value. He said when he does comps the description typically does not give detailed info on the the extent of the finished basement so he just uses that one ballpark figure (even though he is aware that there are likely wide variations) since he is unable to get inside the house. Obviously, if he's able to do a site visit then he can estimate more accordingly.
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post #13 of 22 Old 05-18-2009, 08:20 PM
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I'm putting a lotta dough into my current home theater reno. And I don't expect to get a cent out of it if we ever sold. I've never been one to move around, this is our first house (been in it 12 years) and have no plans on moving. I know some people have jobs that force them to move around, but I nonetheless find it weird how many other people view their house as almost "just renting for now"...totally impermanent. And when decor or reno decisions are made it seems more weight is given to the next owner ("how would this affect the sale of our house?") than the current owner.

I just can't get into that mode of thinking. The whole point, to me, of owning a house is to finally make it into YOUR house, the way you want it, not how you think someone else after you would like it to be.
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post #14 of 22 Old 05-18-2009, 08:42 PM
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One of my neighbors is a real estate agent. I had her and her husband over for a playoff game and to check out my newly finished dedicated basement theater room. During the process of turning the unfinished space into the theater I did not try to kid myself that I was really adding resale price to my home beyond the finished square feet I was adding. If anything, I thought most folks would see the room as a bit odd or needing some work to reno back to "normal" living space- due to riser, stage, fabric on the walls, black ceiling and soffits...However, she surprised me in that, in her experience, home theaters tended to appeal to a higher price point client. Assuming the room was decent, the rest of the house fit that type of client and the theater square footage was not taken away from a normal room to have. I have no plans to sell, but it was still nice to hear that I might get something extra out of it. Or, if nothing else, it was good for WAF.

Location: Beaverton, Oregon
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post #15 of 22 Old 05-19-2009, 04:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoCaboNow View Post

One of my neighbors is a real estate agent.

What an agent says they can sell it for and what a valuer will put his balls on the line for (particularly in this market) are two totally seperate things....dont kid yourself, we do this for the love of film/music/games etc. Banks are the valuers clients, not the clients of the banks

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post #16 of 22 Old 05-19-2009, 06:15 AM
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Another thing to consider and this is from personal experience. I was doing some research of a potential retirement relocation and visited a number of new homes for sale. I paid particular attention to homes that had potential for a home theater, some models even had a designated theater room. As I toured the models my most frequent reaction was "I would have to tear this room down to the studs and start over" I was more attracted to homes with Raw space that I could create my "perfect theater"

My take away from this is I think the best resale market is someone who would like a theater, has no experience or time to build one themselves and has no pre-conceived notion of minimum design requirements.

By the way anyone wanting to buy my space, I saw a new house a block over last weekend that has a perfect space for a theater. So If you want to buy my house we can talk.
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post #17 of 22 Old 05-19-2009, 06:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

By the way anyone wanting to buy my space, I saw a new house a block over last weekend that has a perfect space for a theater. So If you want to buy my house we can talk.

What would shipping cost?
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post #18 of 22 Old 05-19-2009, 07:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamis View Post

What would shipping cost?

Have you ever watched that show on TV about moving houses? Unfortunately the part you want is in the part they usually leave behind.
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post #19 of 22 Old 05-19-2009, 07:33 AM
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I really don't care about the resale of my house, as I'm more interested in living in it than banking on it. Further, most of the cost of the HT build is going towards regular things needed to finish a basement (not going overboard with sound absorption, hang on sound panels at fist reflection points instead of full GOM floor to ceiling, etc.) or else towards things I'd take with (electronics, seats, etc.)

That said, I would envision one of two reactions in potential house shoppers. Either the man will look at it and think it would really be cool to have a HT in the basement, or the woman will look at it and think it will be a hassle to get that 13 riser and stage pulled out and re-carpet the floor.

I do not believe I would come across a person thinking that they will need to gut it and redo the HT to there liking, simply because I do not think there are that many of us out there.

-Suntan
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post #20 of 22 Old 05-19-2009, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

I really don't care about the resale of my house, as I'm more interested in living in it than banking on it. Further, most of the cost of the HT build is going towards regular things needed to finish a basement (not going overboard with sound absorption, hang on sound panels at fist reflection points instead of full GOM floor to ceiling, etc.) or else towards things I'd take with (electronics, seats, etc.)

That said, I would envision one of two reactions in potential house shoppers. Either the man will look at it and think it would really be cool to have a HT in the basement, or the woman will look at it and think it will be a hassle to get that 13 riser and stage pulled out and re-carpet the floor.

I do not believe I would come across a person thinking that they will need to gut it and redo the HT to there liking, simply because I do not think there are that many of us out there.

-Suntan

I agree. This is what I was getting at. It's either going to make or break the deal. I don't think there's any inbetween with buyers.
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post #21 of 22 Old 05-19-2009, 08:09 AM
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Well, if new home construction is any indication, home theaters or "media rooms" are on the rise. My wife and I went looking through several models in the area a few years ago and every single one of them offered a "theater option" in the basement buildout. I do think that says something for the industry. Granted it's just a simple room with DD, prewire, and maybe a riser, but still, I think it shows that there's enough interest by homebuyers.

Just my 4 cents (up from 2 cents due to the new Obama tax plan)
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post #22 of 22 Old 05-19-2009, 10:24 AM
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I have mentioned before that the theater in my place made my unit the first to go, but the value attributed was in line with finished SQ footage. Still a quick sale in a terrible market was a big plus.
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