House with a Gym: Selling or Buying a Home

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Years ago, when I was writing a daily real estate blog for NBC Universal, I did a series of posts on houses with gyms for sale. These were indoor workout spaces that really set these homes apart from other places on the market.

Not surprisingly, the target audience were either people who were devoted to fitness or families raising children who they hoped would be future NBA or WNBA stars or Olympic athletes. These at-home gyms were serious business.

House with basketball gym

For example, one of these posts that focuses on houses with gyms were homes with a basketball gym. I’d done this article in time for that hoops crazy March month when the NCAA tournament is all over TV. One home was a 22,000-square-foot mansion in Santa Monica, California, with a half-size basketball court in the basement. The basement had 15-foot ceilings.

Another house with a gym in Potomac, Maryland, has a 4,000-square-foot guest house, which is where it housed the home gym. That home gym included a full-sized, regulation basketball court. 

Popularity of homes with gyms for sale

There’s no question that the past year has forced so many of us to exercise at home. Even as the world opens back up, many people will continue to workout inside their house. Because of that, a house with a space for health and wellness at home is one of the big trends Zillow sees for this year. Realtor.com concurs.

While only about four percent of Zillow listings include mention of a gym, workout space or other fitness amenities in the house, the Zillow article linked to above says that 80 percent of homeowners are likely continuing to pursue their exercise at home. And who can blame them?

Marketing a Peloton room

Over on my Real Sophisticated Consumer blog, I did a post about having a Peloton room. As a Peloton devotee, it’s important to have a space dedicated to my exercise practice. 

So, when we were selling our house in New Jersey a few years ago, we couldn’t advertise it as a house with a gym. But we could advertise it as a home with a Peloton room. And we did. 

This is the Peloton room of the house we sold in New Jersey, and the picture that appeared in our real estate ad.

Since I love looking at real estate listings for fun, I’m not surprised when I see a Peloton show up in one. In fact, I’m surprised that more people aren’t advertising them–even if the Peloton bike doesn’t come with the house. But knowing there is a space for it could be a big deal.

I spotted the Peloton in this condo listing on Redfin.com.

Featuring Peloton in house with gym

I recently dug deep into real estate sites like Realtor.com, Zillow.com and Redfin.com to look for mentions of houses with a gym, and specifically a Peloton bike. I came up with thousands of listings that did mention a Peloton bike.

In addition, I found tons of real estate articles about how to market a house with a gym. Specifically, these articles focus on how to design a space with workout equipment like a Peloton or a home gym so they are aesthetically pleasing for real estate listings. This would include home gyms with other brands of exercise equipment, such as the Tonal or Mirror systems.

In fact, I hope to write an article for this blog very soon on just that topic. This will be good information for people selling a house with a gym. 

So, what do you need to know if you’re selling a house with a gym or want to buy a house with a gym? Here are some tips to keep in mind.

Selling a house with a gym

What if you’re selling a house with a gym or a workout space? What’s the best way to use this to your advantage?

According to Realtor.com you should embrace the home gym and play it up rather than try to hide it. For example, rather than fold up a treadmill and roll it into an already overcrowded closet, show how you can use the treadmill in a family room. 

Create a workout nook

Delineate the workout space within an existing room by putting mirrors on the walls and clever storage containers on the floor. If the room has hardwood floors, put down carpet tiles or rubber gym tiles to outline the workout space. 

Decorate to reflect the gym aesthetic

If you’re lucky to have a gym or fitness space in the house, decorate it as such. I’ve seen plenty of Peloton rooms with art to match. These could be motivational fitness quote decals attached to the wall or shelving for cycling shoes and yoga mats.

Add greenery to soften the space

A home gym could appear cold and uninviting. That’s the opposite effect you want to have on would-be buyers.

So, go with a Zen-like approach by using paint and greenery to soften the space. Think lavender color or scents for a calming effect, and plants or green shades to create an inviting home gym.

Thinking about painting? Here is my article on what is greige.

Do home gyms add value

Having a home gym may not add value to your final selling price. However, it’s sure to attract a certain buyer who may be willing to pay more or bid higher for a home with a gym. According to this article about the pros and cons of a home with a gym, “For buyers who are comparing your home to a similar one without a gym, the fitness space could be the deciding factor.”

I know that was true about the home we bought last year in Maine. This house had a large family room off the back of the home. With hardwood floors and windows on three sides–plus a skylight–I could envision this as the home gym. It had plenty of room for my Peloton plus the treadmill, and space to spread out my yoga mat for my practice. 

Buying a house with a gym

If working out at home is important to you, then seeing homes with a gym is a great way to envision yourself living there. Tell your Realtor that you want to focus on homes that already have a gym or have space where you can create one. 

Filter your search to find a home gym

Unfortunately, the filters on popular real estate websites do not include the option for a home gym. Many also do not include a home office, which, frankly, I find strange in this day and age. 

Some filters allow you to add your own terms. Even so, when I tried recently to add “gym” or “fitness” to my search, I got zero results. 

Use Google image search tool

Perhaps a better way to search for homes with a gym is to use the Google image search. When I typed in “house with gym for sale” plus the town where I was looking, and then clicked on “Images” in my Google search, I got a ton of results. 

Final thoughts on selling or buying a home with a gym

So, to wrap up, here are some final thoughts about a home with a gym. If you’re selling a house with one, definitely make the space as nice as possible before listing your home. You definitely want to stage the space to appeal to the most buyers as possible.

Here are my tips on staging a home on the cheap.

If you’re looking to buy a home with a gym, then use filters on your favorite real estate websites or apps to identify homes with one already. No options in the filters? Then maybe look for spaces with a home office–which could be converted to a home gym–or use the Google image search tip I mentioned above. 

Finally, if you’re looking for ideas in general on how to set up a home gym, try this trick: book your next vacation rental in a home with a gym to get ideas on how to set up your own home gym. This article on vacation rentals with a Peloton includes nearly 100 homes that have a workout space that you can use when staying in these homes. 

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