The Single Most Important Question To Ask BEFORE You Make Home Improvements
New kitchen, build that deck, add an extra room, convert the garage. Whatever it is that you want to do to your home, the big question to ask yourself is…
Is it for your own enjoyment or is it to increase your home’s resale value? Ideally, it would do both but that is generally not the case.
Whenever someone is ready to sell, they want to bring out the receipts of everything they’ve done and add it to the price. “We spent $6000 on that new deluxe furnace.” or “That deck, kitchen, or sprinkler system cost us $20,000.” Sorry, but it doesn’t work that way. There are ways to improve value, but most people don’t do the necessary research before they forge ahead.
You are assuming that the next buyer will value what you value. Trust me, they almost never do. If you like green, they like blue. You put it in, the next guy rips it out.
You are also assuming it retains it’s original value. Also, not so. Think of it like a new car. We all know what happens the minute you drive that new car off the lot, don’t we? The same thing happens when you drive that furnace or carpet off the lot. What’s a used furnace worth on the open market?
Separate maintenance from improvement. Some things are just expected by any buyer. They expect a functioning roof. New roofs, while appreciated, are not improvements. That’s a maintenance item. A new roof can certainly be an incentive to the buyer. It could edge your home in front of the competition without new roofs and create a quicker sale, but don’t expect to recoup the cost.
Sometimes enjoyment is your only repayment. Is that so bad? You always wanted a big deck and a hot tub. The three key words are “you always wanted”. You can’t assume the next buyer “always wanted”.
One of my favorite things about homeownership is that you can make it your home. You can make it reflect what you most value. It could be comfort, peacefulness, drama, or playfulness. It’s your choice. It’s your home.
If everyone examined their “why” before they spent money I think there would be a lot of different decisions being made.