Recently, we talked about inexpensive improvements to make to your home if you are considering selling to increase value.
This week, we are going to talk about improvements you make simply because you want to make them.
Picture yourself as a new buyer settling into your new house and probably not thinking whatsoever about moving again. Yet the house that you just purchased, even if you think it is your forever house, may not be. There could be an unexpected job change, a death in the family or something similar that would cause you to leave your home that you were not expecting.
I feel like I am running around in circles here about this week’s column. So let me start with where this came from. There is a house that I pass fairly regularly as I am out and about. The owners bought the home recently and have done a lot to the exterior – from windows to landscaping to the painting of doors. It looks great! But you know what? It looked good before. In fact, if I did not fairly regularly pass this house, I would not have noticed that any improvements were done.
What I mean is that when doing improvements, decide why you are doing them. For yourself or for resale? Either answer is fine but the purpose should determine the project. In other words, this family didn’t add dollar value to their house but I am sure they are enjoying the changes because they did it for them. Now if the exterior of the house or grounds had been falling apart this would be a different conversation. But they weren’t. The curb appeal was there – just not what the new owners were looking for. They wanted to add their personal touch. If they were looking to add value, most likely they would have chosen different projects, probably on the interior.
Like the reason you do most things in life, it comes back to your “Why.” Why are you doing a certain remodel or change? For you to enjoy it? Go for it! It is your house and should feel and be exactly what you want in the order that works for you and what you can afford. But if your “why” is to add value to your home, seek advice from a professional first.
Just like when I go to the salon, I ask my hair stylist what products to buy to wash my hair. It is my hair and up to me what I wash it with but she knows what kind of hair I have (super thick – think horse’s mane) and what product will work best. So I trust her judgement.
Your Realtor is a great place to start to get that advice. They sold you the house and should know your goals and dreams and probably even your “why.” If your “why” is to increase value, they can help. If your “why” is to make it your own, whether it adds value or even decreases value (for example taking a three- bedroom house and making it a two-bedroom), then they can let you know that too. At the end of the day, a house isn’t just a five or 10-year business plan. It is your home. And I sincerely hope, whether it is your forever house or not, you make it your own and enjoy every minute of living there.
Esta Ryder, Broker/Owner
Ryder Realty, LLC