Ever wonder what appraisers think of the really cool improvements to Boston downtown condo? I recently read an interesting article written by appraiser, that points out most improvements to your Boston condo for sale will not increase your home’s value by the amount that they cost. He says, “Just because it was expensive, doesn’t mean it’s valuable.”

What his article says is true for our area too and acts as a good reminder for sellers that just because you spend money on Boston Seaport condo improvements, it doesn’t mean you will be able to increase the sales price of your home.

I’ve picked out a couple of his best points and added my perspective as an downtown Boston condo broker to give you the hard truth about home values. Before diving in, it’s important to note that features and upgrades may be considered more valuable depending on the price range and location.

“Buyers don’t often pay the cost of what the owner spent (except on HGTV)”

This is a common issue that many Beacon Hill condo sellers have a hard time with. In fact, I’ve seen sellers get so hung up on over-the-top improvements not translating into value that their homes have languished on the market for months because they’re overpriced.

For example, say you recently upgraded your dated kitchen by installing premium granite countertops and custom cabinetry for your Boston Charles River Park condo for sale. Great choice! However, your buyers will not be willing to pay a premium for those upgrades. I often recommend sellers do more midrange upgrades, depending on the price range of your home, so their costs are more aligned with the perceived value.

I also recommend that if you are planning major upgrades to your Boston condo and you plan on selling within the next few years, that you give me a call and we can talk through how your upgrades may translate into value at sale…or not. I’m a Certified Pricing Strategist so I have unique training in this area. Having this information can help you make better decisions with your remodeling budget.

Buyers will not pay for typical upkeep and maintenance

Boston condo for sale buyers —and Realtors® and appraisers—expect you to perform typical maintenance on your Boston midtown condo for sale. That means that the condo association should be painting the exterior at least every 10 years; replacing the roof. Also in regards to the interior, when needed; refinishing your wood floors, etc. 

 Buyers will not pay more for features that are expected

If there are features in comparable homes in your neighborhood and/or price range that are considered typical, and you’ve recently upgraded your home similarly, those upgrades will not translate into dollar-for-dollar value. For example, you added a second bathroom to your three-bedroom home because you needed it.  All the other homes in the area are also three-bedroom, two-bath homes. Well, that second bathroom is an expected feature, and buyers will not pay a premium because it’s a new bathroom.

Things that do add value with millennial buyers

a large block of the Boston condo for sale buying population— are looking for smart technology upgrades. Yep, according to an article I read about a recent survey, 86 percent of millennials are willing to pay 20 percent more for a home that includes smart technology, such as electronic home access, keyless locks, interconnected doorbells, and security systems controlled by smartphone apps.

Do you wonder what is considered valuable to today’s buyers?

It depends a great deal on your neighborhood, price range, age of home, etc., so your best bet is to ask a Realtor®—me!—about what adds genuine value in your specific case. I’m happy to help!

Boston Condos for Sale

Sorry we are experiencing system issues. Please try again.

Author Profile

John Ford
John Ford

Over the course of 20 years in the Boston downtown real estate market, John represented and sold numerous, condominiums, investment and development properties in Greater Boston and in the surrounding suburbs

In addition to representing Boston condo buyers and sellers, John is currently one of the most recognized Boston condo blog writers regarding Boston condominiums and residential real estate markets. John's insights and observations about the Boston condo market have been seen in a wide variety of the most established local & national media outlets including; Banker and Tradesman, Boston Magazine The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and NewsWeek and Fortune magazine, among others.


For over 24 years, John Ford, of Ford Realty Inc., has been actively involved in the real estate industry. He started his career in commercial real estate with a national firm Spaulding & Slye and quickly realized that he had a passion for residential properties. In 1999, John entered the residential real estate market, and in 2000 John Started his own firm Ford Realty Inc. As a broker, his clients have come to love his fun, vivacious, and friendly attitude. He prides himself on bringing honesty and integrity to the entire home buying and selling process. In addition to helping buyers and sellers, he also works with rental clients. Whether you’re looking to purchase a new Boston condo or rent an apartment, you’ll quickly learn why John has a 97% closing rate.


Back Bay

Beacon Hill

Charles River Park


North End

South End

Seaport District

South Boston



Surrounding Communities of Boston
John Ford and his staff can be reached at 617-595-3712 or 617-720-5454. Please feel free to stop by John's Boston Beacon Hill office located at 137 Charles Street.

John Ford
Ford Realty Inc
137 Charles Street
Boston, Ma 02114



Call Now