How to add value to your cabin.
Many cabin owners are generational – they’ve inherited the family cabin that grandpa and his buddies built in the 1950s. Some have gotten a great deal on a little log cabin that was once loved long ago, but has suffered from neglect. Unless you are one of the lucky few who can start from scratch and build the lake home of their dreams, you will likely need to do some work on that old little cabin of yours. What are the best ways to add value to your cabin?
Cabins are generally for those who love and crave the beauty and quiet of the great outdoors. So cabins NEED to maximize all things that highlight the trees, the water, and the wide open skies.
If your cabin is boxy and dark, it’s time to open things up with new windows and doors to take that beautiful view and bring it indoors. Replacing doors and windows can dramatically improve the aesthetic of your cabin as well as help improve energy efficiency.
Every cabin needs a beautiful deck or patio to enjoy star-gazing at night or a cup of coffee in the morning. Perhaps a screened porch would be beneficial for late-night card games in a mosquito-free environment. Fire-pits are easy to add and create a gathering spot for young and old. Make the most of your outdoor space.
Upgrades to your well for clean drinking water, and electrical and plumbing systems so that they are in top condition will help enjoy your cabin without worry. Don’t forget about your septic system either! Consider freeze alarms that will notify you when its sensors detect abnormal conditions (i.e. temperature extremes, power failures, intrusions, water incursion). Having systems in good working condition is good for not just you, but for a future buyer as well.
Cabin kitchens are a big deal for value, just as they are in your primary home. And yet you don’t need to go over the top on finishes. Well-designed work space, solid surfaces and quality appliances will be sufficient. Many cabin dwellers prefer to do dishes by hand (to foster family bonding), however for resale, you might want to consider adding a dishwasher and disposal.
Cabins used to be an electronic-free zone. Many old family places don’t even have antennas for TV reception, not to mention internet capabilities. You and your family will decide what your needs are for these kinds of upgrades. For resale, access to technology is probably a good idea.
If you are lucky enough to own a cabin, make the space functional, comfortable and easy to maintain. You have that place to create memories with family and friends and to enjoy the great outdoors. Maximize the value of your home with good upkeep and a few upgrades, and then, enjoy.
The Minnesota Association of REALTORS® is the largest professional trade association in the state with more than 17,000 members who are active in all aspects of the real estate industry.