We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

For hands-on advice from designers and pro DIYers, plus more scrappy before-and-after transformations, subscribe to Reno. Let your in-box do all the hard work—for now.

If you want to up your home’s value, you only really need to invest in one room: the kitchen. Six out of the top 10 features that will help your house sell for more than expected fall within this space, according to a new Zillow analysis. Outshining them all is a handy appliance that makes food taste way better—and, no, it’s not an air fryer. 

A steam oven is the hottest feature to put in your home if you’re thinking about selling. It’s associated with a 4.9 percent premium (compared to this same time last year, the addition has surpassed 24 other “must-haves”). Seeing that dining in has become our new norm, it’s no wonder buyers are willing to pay a bit more for a place with the amenity, which is all about healthier living. By cooking in a steam oven, you retain up to 25 percent more vitamin content in food than if you cooked conventionally, and you get that moist-on-the-inside, crispy-on-the-outside finish every time. 

While stand-alone steam ovens that fit on your countertop do exist, we’re talking about the built-in type. Psst: Many manufacturers make combination convection-steam ovens (Miele sells one in the $4,300 range). It’s important to note that this update doesn’t have anything to do with return on investment. Instead it should be looked at as a signal to buyers out there that your home is generally well crafted and thoughtfully designed. “For instance, if a home has a steam oven, it likely has other high-end finishes that buyers are willing to pay for,” says Zillow senior economist Jeff Tucker. Listings with butcher block and quartz countertops send a similar message, as do curbless showers and heated floors. 

While these appliances typically require some plumbing if you want to avoid the hassle of having to refill a water tank, it’s worth going full steam ahead. 

Our Winter Renovation issue is here! Subscribe now to step inside Leanne Ford’s latest project—her own historic Pennsylvania home. Plus discover our new rules of reno.