October 23, 2014
Resale Vs. Enjoyment: The Ultimate Home-Improvement Quandary
We’re all looking to make smart investment choices. Whether it’s a college savings plan or a home improvement project, the goal is to get the greatest rate of return. While I am a thoughtful investor—and I see the value in doing my homework before I make a financial commitment—too often I see homeowners over-think decisions about home improvements.
Here’s what I mean: On about 90% of the jobs that I quote, the first question that I’m asked by homeowners: “Is this worth it for resale?” What’s crazy is that a lot of people stress over resale value when they actually have no intention of selling their home in the near future.
If you are planning to sell your home within the next two years, then resale value is definitely something to consider. But your tastes and your enjoyment of the space should be the most important piece of the puzzle. After all, it’s your home and your money—design it for you.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you make remodeling decisions and finish selections:
Your house is your home.
Your remodeling choices should reflect your lifestyle and your personal likes and dislikes. One of the leading questions that I get on bathroom remodels is, “Do I need a bathtub?” The recent trend is leaning toward large, walk-in showers in lieu of tub and shower combinations. The real question becomes “Do you use a bathtub?” If enjoying a relaxing bath is part of your routine, then keep the tub. If the existing tub in your bathroom goes unused—and especially if you have a bathtub in another room in the house—then by all means, eliminate it and gain more space for what you do love.
Personal style rules.
Your style and taste should always trump the notion of choosing “safe” or “neutral” fixtures and finishes. And while I don’t advise going with hot pink walls, if pink is your color, then find ways to incorporate it into your design. More often than not, I find that when people are looking at new homes, they like to see homes that have personality—and maybe that’s because it helps them to picture themselves living in the space. Going too blah or neutral doesn’t always garner universal appeal.
Be your own trendsetter.
When I sit down to meet with customers on new kitchen designs, many customers what to know what other people are putting in their kitchens. Right now, many homeowners are choosing quartz over granite for counter tops. There are fabulous quartz options available, but if you are one who really likes the look and functionality of a granite surface, then that should be your choice.
Texture is another hot new trend that is finding its way into both kitchen and bathroom remodels by means of flooring, tile and sinks. If you want to touch on that trend without fully committing, you may choose to add textured hardware to your cabinetry for an inexpensive update—it’s one that can be changed down the line – or by a new owner should you decide to sell your home.
As with any selection, trend should not dictate your final decision. Sometimes trends can come and go, and then you’re left with a finished project that feels dated. To get the look that you really love—and that you want to live with over time—it’s best to look past your neighbor’s selections and choose what appeals to you.
The Best Is Yet To Come,