Man Caves and Real Estate Value

Real Estate Listings in Iowa City and Coralville IAMan caves have become as American as Mom, Apple Pie and well, the Super Bowl. Since they first hit the home improvement scene in 2007, Google reports interest in these masculine retreats has grown steadily, peaking December through February every year, just in time for college Bowl Games, the Super Bowl and March Madness. Interestingly enough, the most searches for the term “man cave” occur in Iowa, according to Google Trends.

As a home design feature, the man cave (also known as a man space for the more evolved among us) is an in-home retreat specifically designed around male dominated interests like sports, cars, beer, and guys just generally doing exactly as they please while avoiding their womenfolk. They come in all shapes and sizes but they do have certain similarities: “masculine” colors and materials, grown-up toys like big screen TVs, pool tables and motorcycles with comfy areas (recliners definitely allowed) for the guys to hang out and relax.

Real Estate Value and the Man Cave

Will a man cave help you sell your home or will it make it harder to sell? It’s tough to say for sure. Once a trend like this takes hold, prospective homebuyers may be looking for homes that have a great man space already in place or at least with the potential for one. This is particularly true in high-end neighborhoods where the space to convert whole rooms or garages is more readily available.

On the other hand, it might be a turn off for some buyers. If you are thinking in terms of man caves and real estate value, there are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Don’t assume buyers won’t mind losing out on that third bedroom, storage space or garage to accommodate a man cave. A man cave generally falls on the “nice to have” list for prospective homeowners so make sure your home retains all the other “must haves” on the list for houses in your price range and style.


  1. Rooms decorated entirely in the sport team motif of your choice can be difficult to sell. For instance, an Iowa State room decorated top to bottom in crimson and gold (or ketchup and mustard in the eyes of some Hawkeye fans) may repel potential home buyers. If you must decorate your man space to show your true loyalty, be prepared to get out the paintbrushes and tone it down before your next open house.


  1. Keep in mind that a man cave is almost always a labor of love, not a money maker. According to HGTV, home improvements that pay off are usually major maintenance projects, kitchens and bathroom remodels. Having one may make it more appealing to some but it probably won’t increase the resale value like some other home improvement projects.

If you have any questions about buying or selling a home in the Iowa City / Coralville area, give us a call today and the real estate agents of The Johnson Team will be glad to help you.

The Johnson Team

The Johnson Team