Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What's It Worth To You?

My husband and I are avid do-it-yourselfers and I have training in interior design, so I'm always interested in home improvement projects. I like to read articles in magazines, peruse do-it-yourself websites, and watch home improvement shows on television.

Today, I was reading an article about determining what home improvements you should consider based on your home's value. The number one tip they had was not to over improve you home. They suggested you research home selling prices in your neighborhood before starting any project so you wouldn't risk making your home more valuable than you might be able to sell it for.

If you purchased your house strictly as an investment, that's probably good advice. If, on the other hand, you purchased your house because you love the area and want to have a comfortable home to raise your family in, I don't think it makes any sense at all. Why should you stop short of making it your dream home just because you might not get back what you spent?

Home sales are in such a slump where I live that it wouldn't be profitable to do much of anything to our house. I would love to rip out the tile in the bathroom and replace it with something entirely different. I would love to replace our kitchen countertops. I would love to replace the bathroom vanities with granite or quartz. None of those projects are in the budget right now, but if they were, we wouldn't hesitate for a moment about spending the money on them. The value comes from our enjoyment of what we put in our home, not what we'll get back when and if we ever sell this place.

Maybe I can't wrap my mind around the idea of making purchases based on resale value because you don't buy most items, other than vehicles, with that in mind. After all, who wonders what their shoes might sell for in the future when they buy a pair of Ferragamo's? If you can't get back what you spent on them, should you settle for a pair from Payless instead?

Our house was a fixer-upper when we bought it and we had to renovate/remodel/rebuild all the way down to the wall studs. We chose every light fixture, appliance, faucet and paint color in the house. Not once did we pass up what we wanted in favor of what might have a better resale value. We didn't just want a house, we wanted a home. For us, that's priceless.

8 comments:

5thsister said...

Well written! "We didn't just want a house, we wanted a home." I really enjoy your writing style and look forward to your posts. Keep 'em coming!

Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

I totally agree. Unless you're buying a house to use as a rental or do not plan on living in it very long, why would the resale value even matter?

Purple Flowers said...

Totally agree!

Chicago Mom said...

Our house originally belonged to my husbands great-grandparents. There were several projects that HAD to be done since the house was built in 1920, but there are several more we would like to do but can't right now. Also, I thought we would stay here forever, but the neighborhood has been changing and now I am not so sure I want to plan to dormer the roof. Maybe we should move to a nicer neighborhood instead. But you are right, we have to do what brings us enjoyment in our homes and not just think of the resale value!

Kathy said...

I do like a nice house, but I watch how much work we do. We have done many things since we moved in and I always choose things that I love. We have drawn the line at a large addition because some houses in the area have suffered from over building. Buyers will not pay the huge price for a neighborhood with lower price homes. If I wanted a larger home, I think we would sell and size up.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Yep, a home is priceless! I couldn't agree more!
xo

PurpleHoodieChick said...

I love your house. Probably because I pretty much live there as much as you do! lol

Deidra said...

I've moved so many times, and I've heard that advice repeated over and over. I never pay attention. I want my house to be a home to my family, no matter how long we live there. It's more than a listing price, in my eyes. And from what I've seen here, what you've done with your home is absolutely priceless!