The subtraction of valuable floor space is a rare event in the luxury market, given that a greater square footage generally means a higher asking price. But in cases where unsightly or clashing additions have been grafted onto a historic existing home, the removal of hundreds of square feet of space can recoup or even increase a home’s price, according to Stefanos Chen of the Wall Street Journal.
“We don’t live and die by square footage,” said real estate appraiser Jonathan Miller.
While cutting off too much square footage can be detrimental to resale value, he said most projects aim to replace that loss with something more appealing, like a gain in outdoor space.
In some jurisdictions, such as in Pasadena, Calif., removing later additions to a historic home and restoring it to its original state can qualify a homeowner or buyer for certain tax breaks, provided that they complete all planned renovations.
Juliet Cordeiro, a Keller Williams agent who works in the area, said removing unsightly square footage can both raise the sales price and attract more buyers, because her market prizes historic homes and original features.