“But how will that affect the future resale value of my home?” is a common refrain from many clients when they are considering decorating and / or improving their home. This is an interesting question and my answer is usually not expected.
Typically, I encourage my clients to pursue their passion and improve their home for their enjoyment. We have all seen formulas for returns on certain improvements. To those formulas, I san “So what?”
You take vacations, attend theater, shop for unnecessary, but desirable things, go to the spa, and purchase a host of other “pleasure” related things without concern of future return. All of a sudden, when it comes to changing a wall color or adding a distinctive fabric, the breaks screech to a halt and the fretting begins. So the question is, how long do you plan to stay in your home? This answer will help you determine the wisdom of painting a wall chartreuse or building the outdoor kitchen.
Over the last 30 years, trends have shifted. Perfectly operating appliances have been discarded and many people have spent thousands of dollars keeping up with their neighbors’ improvements. However, what really makes you happy? Is the color du jour really your taste? Will you cook more at home with stainless steel appliances over the ones you have, and will you bathe/shower longer or better in the huge tub and/or shower? Will you be happier if your bank account has an extra zero?
Celebrating my 30th anniversary since my career change to real estate, this year, I have become pragmatic about improving, enhancing, or diminishing home values. Over this period I have learned valuable lessons. I share 5 of those lessons with you below:
1. Happy homes sell.
2. Well-decorated homes with personality (regardless of color scheme) sell.
3. Clean, well maintained homes, and tidy landscaping sell.
4. Location sells.
5. The right price will sell any time.
It is easy to get caught up with TV trends and neighbors’ improvements. I always recommend careful examination of the motivation of a proposed “improvement.” Unless, you will wake up and be deliriously happy to see and/or use the improvement, bank the cost. If, on the other hand, you will enjoy the improvement, without concern about future return, then treat it as if it were a vacation and get it done.
Be happy in your home and pay attention to its maintenance – both indoor and out. The worst that can happen is you’ll eventually have to repaint a few walls or you have paid to enjoy a particular feature that was important to you.
Have some fun and enjoy your home.