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.