Published on March 18, 2021

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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. 

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