Profile picture for user919545

I want to put it a heated driveway with pavers. Is this a good idea/investment..??

The real market value of the home is 650,000 according to comps. Just purchased for 550,000. During housing bubble it was listed for 900,000$. (geez no wonder so many people got in trouble) The driveway is 1/8 mile unpaved. Elevation is 10,000 feet. Concrete will crack up here. Asphalt would need to be reapplied yearly due to plow damage at a cost of several thousand dollars. Plow service would be 150$ every snowstorm. Buying our own plow truck would be 2-5000 minimum. I'm a med student. He works 60+ hours a week. Neither one of us have time to plow a driveway. The driveway we want could cost 90,000$. Despite the personal need for a heated paved driveway, and the conditions of living in colorado at 10,000 feet with huge dumping snowfalls of a foot or more...and the fact that the pavers allow for suitable expansion and freeze during the 9 months of icy winter... And considering comps, would it be a smart for home equity to put this driveway in? There is no "norm" for driveways, everything from dirt washout to the heated pavers we want exist around us in the mountains. The home is upgraded on the inside including sleek modern bathrooms, a soundproof theater, 4 bedrooms, 5 baths, three car garage. Brand new IPO board decks off every entry and bedroom...Views across for hundreds of miles.. Outside is just unfinished dirt, and long dirt driveway. Almost looks like they ran out of money. So, with the house, comps, sale price, real market value all in mind, should we do it..??
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July 30 2012 - US
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Answers (4)

Profile picture for sixtyninejets
I have had the issue of needing two radiant heated driveways in nj.  One heated driveway was in Florham park nj at my parents home and one at my home in the summit florham park area.  At first my searching was not easy all the companies seemed out west.  But when i searched Heated Driveway NJ and Heated Driveway Summit i got the information i needed.   One company kept coming up snow melt inc.  They came out, measured, checked the area and within 7 days i had a quote back, they were professional and on budget.  My neighbor at the same time was doing his driveway and but called some company that does indoor heat and other work from somewhere south, he paid almost double the price... so in the end i guess its best to call someone that it all that they do all year. In NJ heated driveway is the only way to go, no shoveling no salt, or ice.   The appraiser for the refi said it added double almost triple what i paid for it as value compared to those without.  So 1- yes it adds value and 2- wow no more shovels..
TED J.
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February 21
Profile picture for wetdawgs
If you are planning to be in this house for the rest of your lives, then consider installing the luxury of a heated 1/8 mile driveway.   If I were in your shoes, I'd call a couple of agents in your direct neighborhood for their opinion on value added from an $90k driveway.  It could be 5% of installation costs (i.e. 4.5K) or a bit more or less.  Consider it an expense rather than an investment.

Meanwhile, if you are late or  missing tests and clinical rotations, come up with a contingency plan.   Motel? Friend's house with a sleeping bag on the floor?    We considered living in the glorious foothills of the Rockies when we were in Colorado for a couple of decades, but chose not to for several reasons (including one you touched upon).

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July 30 2012
Profile picture for user919545
Thanks for replying wetdawgs. We both have large suv's with 4 wheel drive. The driveway itself has a cliff drop off of 100+ feet. Last year, we had several times where the plow company's never showed up. I missed clinical rotations and tests. They explained that they had been called to do the highways and fire escape routes. Fine, but I was still screwed. Also, neither one of us know how to operate a plow, and the prices on a four wheeler with plow attachment are coming in at 15,000+ and still require one of us to go out there at 5 am to try and dig us out. Sometimes I'm at the hospital for 18 hours, and he fly's out of state frequently. I could never fid the energy to operate a plow with my work schedule. I also wouldnt want to with that cliff. We had person from Home depot look at the driveway and gravel is not an option because of the steep grade, we are looking at a significant cost in relaplacing graveldue to constant washout. The driveway has become a nightmare. With the financial details about the house and related comps in the area, I was hoping to make sure we weren't over improving the home? Also, can you be more specific in your meaning of "tiny"? Does that mean 5% ? 50% ? There are homes on the mountain with this tye of driveway, but only a few.
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July 30 2012
Profile picture for wetdawgs
Heated pavers wouldn't be an "investment" but a luxury.  Don't plan on it adding more than a tiny percentage to the value of your home.

A driveway of crushed rocks works well in the dry Colorado areas and adjusts to the heating/cooling of the Colorado area, and is perfectly fine for a plow. You can get 600 plows for the cost of a heated driveway, at perhaps 10 or less per winter, you'll be retired by the time costs break even.  Hopefully you have a Subaru and can zip through six to nine inches of snow. 
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July 30 2012
 
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