The Deed: Chicago

Why a real estate mogul says a $16,500 door is worth it

When you can buy a front door from Home Depot for $187, it may seem extravagant to spend $16,500.

But real estate mogul Sean Conlon says a door can be $16,500 well spent.

In the debut episode of CNBC's "The Deed: Chicago," Conlon helps a completely overwhelmed novice house-flipper rescue a mismanaged renovation project. And when it comes time to pick a front door for the Chicago townhome, Conlon agrees with the decision to spend five figures.

"You can never underestimate the power of curb appeal." -Sean Conlon, real estate mogul

The custom door costs $11,000. Getting the door air-shipped to meet their deadline, plus taxes and fees, brings the total cost to $16,500.

Sean Conlon and novice house flipper Berta Beranek admiring the door that ended up costing $16,500 in "The Deed: Chicago."
Photo courtesy The Deed: Chicago
Sean Conlon and novice house flipper Berta Beranek admiring the door that ended up costing $16,500 in "The Deed: Chicago."

"$11,000 may seem like an awful lot of money for a door, but you can never underestimate the power of curb appeal," says Conlon. "When you are renovating a house you want to find ways to make it stand out from all the other homes on the market and what better way than having the most beautiful entrance on the block. Buyers lap that stuff up."

Similarly, Conlon says that, when selecting the appliances, flooring and counters to go inside a premium house, you can't pinch pennies.

Sean Conlon
Photo by Brandon Ancil, CNBC
Sean Conlon

For a house that ends up going on the market for $1.625 million, the team budgets $150,000 for fixtures.

"That's a high number, but absolutely necessary," says Conlon. "You can not under-deliver on your finishes in this price range. ... If you try to save money here, your house could sit on the market for months."

Watch Sean Conlon in CNBC's "The Deed: Chicago," on Wednesdays 10:00 PM Eastern.

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