The current trend for building barndominiums started in the mid 2000s, and really got into the swing among millennials when it was featured in the well known HGTV show, Fixer Upper.
More recently it was dubbed the hottest building trend for 2021. People just love the idea of building a unique barn-aesthetic home that’s away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and is instead much closer to nature and the countryside.
But it’s not just the location of barndominiums that has captured so many hearts. They provide plenty of relaxing open space, and the flexibility to customize them however you please. They are also lower maintenance on the whole, and they tend to be more energy efficient to boot. You can surely see the appeal.
So with all this interest generated, it’s going to make you wonder. Are barndominiums a good investment?
In this article we attempt to answer that very question as best we can. And several other relevant questions besides. Feel free to scroll through.
Is a Barndominium cheaper to build?
Of course the two factors that determine the return on your investment in a barndominium are the initial building costs, compared to the amount that you will be able to sell it for at some point in the future.
So, let’s address the first of these two factors. At face value, you’d assume that barndominiums are cheaper to build because there are fewer walls to be put up. Moreover, barndominiums are not built with traditional construction materials but with solid wood timbers, steel, and metal components. And this too affects the building costs.
We have it on good authority that the data shows that prefabricated barndominiums often cost an impressively small 50 percent of the cost of a building of the same size made of traditional construction materials.
Therefore, we can safely conclude that a barndominium is a far more affordable investment than a more traditional building. As to whether it’s a worthwhile investment requires a little more digging, which we’ll be getting onto very shortly.
We address the question of barndominiums being cheaper to build a little more deeply in another of our articles, entitled “Is a Barndominium cheaper to build?” which is available on this link.
What's the average cost of a Barndominium?
So, let’s get down to numbers shall we?
The average cost for building a barndominium in 2020 was between $95 and $125 per square foot…
And that’s for a full turnkey build. And that includes having many important features already built in, such as granite countertops, nice fancy roll-up glass doors, and your Andersen windows, amongst many other welcome amenities.
This average price takes quite a bit into consideration. There’s the basic kit, the construction materials, and the labor cost. But on top of that you will also have to pay out for any electrical work and plumbing.
The total average cost for a 2000 square foot barndominium comes in at around $220,000 to $260,000 to build. That’s at the higher end with all the modern conveniences. But bear in mind, that also entails the architects plans and the hiring of a general contractor
You can really save money by going for the DIY kit route rather than by hiring an architect and a general contractor. In stark contrast, the price for buying a barndominium shell comes in at between $20 to $40 per square foot. Which by my rough estimate means that you’d pay between $40,000 to $80,000 for the same 2000 square foot barndominium.
There is however considerable variation in price. You can get barndominiums that are low priced, mid priced, and relatively high priced. And of course, each of these can also vary in size, which also significantly impacts the cost.
Do Barndominiums increase in value?
We are very pleased to report that since the trend for building barndominiums began as we said in the mid 2000s, they have seemed to retain their value and sell quite competitively.
Barndominiums are still very popular and their popularity is still growing, and there is no evidence that their popularity is in any way declining.
We believe that you will certainly make a profit from any barndominium that you choose to invest in, and that you will certainly gain more from the selling of the property than you spent building it or getting it ready for sale.
There are, of course, several factors that can affect the sale price of your barndominium. And you should certainly take these things into consideration if a return on your investment is your main aim in this endeavor.
These factors include such things as:
- The convenience of the location, transport routes and such like
- Any included land that comes with the property, perhaps for keeping animals or growing vegetables
- The exterior aesthetic, whether it is pleasing to the eye
- The interior layout, whether it is well designed and has modern facilities
- The financing, which can be more difficult to arrange with barndominiums
Conclusion - Are Barndominiums A Good Investment?
We, then, are happy to conclude that barndominiums are in fact a good investment. They are comparatively cheaper to build compared to a more traditional building, particularly if you go down the DIY route.
Interest in the buying of barndominiums is not expected to decline any time soon, and we can quite safely predict that you’ll be sure to make a profit on it. But do take into consideration all of the factors that we have talked about. Factors that will directly affect the building cost, and factors that will affect the resale cost when the time comes.
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