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Saucon Valley Property Pulse: Can That Extra Room Pay for Your Kids’ College Tuition?

Saucon Valley Property Pulse is a sponsored column, exclusive to Saucon Source, featuring expert insight and analysis of the real estate market by realtor and Lower Saucon Township resident John Cummings. Whether you’re looking to buy, sell or are simply interested in local housing trends, we hope you’ll find the information in it helpful.

Est. Read Time: 6 mins

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Catchy title right? If that doesn’t pull you in, I don’t know what will! However, the title wasn’t just meant to pull readers like yourself in. It is also a shocking truth I learned while diving into the topic of home improvements and what impact they have on the resale value of properties. One question I seem to get over and over again as a realtor is a variation on “How much will XYZ project increase my property value?” Today I want to dive into the most common home renovations and what their average return on investment (ROI) is, as well as look at the most profitable projects in our local area that homebuyers care about in 2023. So if you’re an investor or just a homeowner who’s considering doing some remodeling, let’s take a look and see what the people in Saucon are valuing.

Most Common Projects with their Associated ROIs


It’s easy to see that many simple home improvement projects can have a major impact on your home’s value. However, in the Saucon area, what has the biggest impact on home values more often comes down to what you can do with your existing space. How many bedrooms do you have? Is it worth finishing your basement? Should you convert the garage into more living space? What about a pool? What’s interesting is that in Saucon (and the Lehigh Valley), the answers to these questions largely depend on what the footprint of your current home is.

Bedroom Count

For homeowners in the Saucon Valley School District, it seems that the more bedrooms you have, the better. In contrast to that, if you’re in Southern Lehigh, average home prices actually decrease once you go from 5 to 6 bedrooms. But the good news is that for both areas, most homes are in the 2-5 bedroom range, so it’s safe to say that if you have a room that can be converted to a bedroom, it is well worth the investment. The added value to these homes in 2023 could easily pay for the national average in-state and out-of-stat college tuitions for four full years!



Bathroom Count

The average cost to add a bathroom to a home is around $20,000 and can be upwards of $30,000 depending on your home’s layout. Could it really be worth it to add another bathroom to your home? The trend is clear for Saucon residents. We like our bedrooms and we like our bathrooms. This makes sense due to the area’s popularity with families who move here for the school district. Large families need more bedrooms and bathrooms. Again, the added value of these additional rooms far outweighs the costs associated with creating them.



Should I Convert My Garage?

Based on this information, it would be wise to consider converting a garage to a bedroom. Let’s look and see what the average sales prices in 2023 suggest. For this analysis, we’ll just look at 2-4 bedroom homes as that is the range in which most of the homes in the area fall.


With the average cost to convert a garage to a bedroom between $15,000 and $20,000 the only time it would be worth it based on buying conditions in 2023 is if you live in Saucon Valley School District and would be bumping up to 4 bedrooms. Overall, I would say we value our garages in Saucon and I’d let it be.

Is a Finished Basement Worth It?

This one really came as a surprise to me, but until you hit the four bedroom mark, finishing your basement really doesn’t seem worth it as it mainly decreases your home’s value. Especially for those who have bought homes in Southern Lehigh, even four bedroom homes, basements do not seem to be the priority. This also may be due to water issues in the area and general upkeep. Although I was surprised by this, I can see where a finished basement isn’t really valued until there is a larger family to use it.


Pool Not in Use?

The final improvement I evaluated was the addition of a swimming pool. Surprisingly, Saucon residents and the rest of the Lehigh Valley disagree on the value of a pool in your home.


Maximize your ROI

If you want to maximize your ROI in Saucon, it is clear that adding a bedroom to your home is the most valuable thing you can do, followed by adding a bathroom, and that these improvements can in fact pay for your kid’s college tuition!

About the Author

John Cummings 1Hey there, I’m John Cummings, and I’m thrilled to be your local Saucon Valley real estate expert! As a proud resident, I feel incredibly fortunate to have discovered this charming community alongside my wonderful wife and three boys. My mission is simple: to share the joy and excitement of living in Saucon Valley with you and your family. Whether you are looking to buy or sell a home, I am dedicated to making your real estate journey a seamless and rewarding experience. With a deep understanding of the local market and a passion for helping families like yours, I’ll go above and beyond to find the perfect home that matches your needs and desires. I believe that finding the right home is not just about the property; it’s also about finding the perfect place to create cherished memories and build a fulfilling life. When I’m not busy making real estate dreams come true, you can find me exploring the beauty of Saucon Valley with my family, attending community events and giving back to the place we proudly call home.

Phone: (484) 280-8433
Office: (610) 882-1653
Email: Jo*************@gm***.com
YouTube: @Johncummingsrealtor



Disclaimer: The information provided in this real estate newsletter article is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be considered as professional advice or a substitute for seeking professional advice. The content presented in this article is based on the knowledge and information available up to the publication date. Real estate market conditions, regulations and practices can vary over time and differ based on location. Therefore, it is essential to consult with qualified real estate professionals and experts for specific advice tailored to your individual circumstances and location. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability concerning the content. Any reliance you place on the information in this article is strictly at your own risk. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any real estate agency, organization or publication. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage, including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, arising out of or in connection with the use of this article. By reading this article, you acknowledge and agree to these terms and conditions. If you do not agree with this disclaimer, we recommend refraining from using or relying on the information presented herein.


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John Cummings

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