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Tax Deduction for Home Elevator

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    Tax Deduction for Home Elevator

    I had an elevator installed in the house I moved into this past spring and am looking for other's experience with a medical tax deduction after installing an elevator. I've extensive research and the official rule is that I can only deduct the cost of the elevator above what it increased the value of the home.

    For any of you that have installed an elevator in an existing home, how did you calculate the number? Did you have an official appraisal done before and after installation? Have an appraisal done that you just say "tell me the value with and without the elevator"? Take a guess?

    I spent ~$78k on the elevator all said and done. I know there is no way it increased the value of the home by anywhere near that number. I'm just trying to decide if it is worth paying $450 for an appraiser to come out and provide an actual number or if an estimate is good enough.

    #2
    When my Dad moved back into his house after home modifications were done (wheelchair lift outside, staircase lift inside), we hired an appraiser to come. We didn't spend $450 because we didn't ask for a full detailed appraisal appropriate for the bank etc.. We just asked him to write a letter for tax purposes addressing the only question - did the modifications increase the value of the home, and if so, by how much?

    He actually documented that it did not increase the value at all and in fact decreased the value since the modifications are not appropriate/needed for the typical buyer of that type of home and will hurt the resale value. In fact, they will likely need to be removed before the house could be sold.

    Unless you installed some sort of luxury elevator in an ultra high end house, I suspect that your situation may be the same.

    We called a local realtor that was a friend of a friend, who understood what was needed from the beginning.

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      #3
      Thank you for the feedback. We did install a very nice elevator (I don't know I'd go as far as luxury) and it is fully integrated into the house, so there is no chance of removing it. Our house is on the nicer side and was already handicapped accessible on the first floor (it is two stories with a large unfinished basement) that was designed by the previous owner to house his aging parents. I share your appraiser's concern that this will limit the possible buyers to either those with a disability or people planning for retirement. My concern about attracting retirees is that it is a huge house (6 bd, 6 full bath, and 2 half bath) and I generally think of retirees wanting to downsize.
      Anyway. Thanks again for the feedback and I'll call up the realtor who got us this house and see what she recommends.

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        #4
        Sheesh, does it really cost 80k to have a decent elevator installed these days?

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          #5
          Technically the elevator was about $36k and the shaft was another $35k (prior to additional $4k to move a couple footers in the basement and $3k in cost overruns related to things they found after opening the walls). I didn't get a super nice elevator. It is your standard wood walls and cable driven lift with machine room. In reality I have no room to really negotiate since it was really them or nothing.

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            #6
            Originally posted by ToastGuard View Post
            Technically the elevator was about $36k and the shaft was another $35k (prior to additional $4k to move a couple footers in the basement and $3k in cost overruns related to things they found after opening the walls). I didn't get a super nice elevator. It is your standard wood walls and cable driven lift with machine room. In reality I have no room to really negotiate since it was really them or nothing.
            Good to know. If I ever buy a house, I'll make sure it's a single story!

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              #7
              dang i have a outside elavotor in florida my house is 20 feet in air on concrete piling my cost was 17500. it will stop where i want it to. my sis nd brother have a legacy wich my brother he is 22 feet in air 13350

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