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Home Improvements: Lifestyle Verses Return

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You’ve lived in your home for five years and you’re thinking about updating your kitchen.  Do you install granite counters tops, refinish the cabinets, change the flooring, and add that beautiful new backsplash you just saw at the home improvement store?  Well, it depends.  Many times our clients will ask our opinion on home improvements and if they are a good investment.  There are probably two reasons a homeowner is motivated to improve the home.

The first reason is for personal satisfaction.  You’re tired of living with a twenty year old electric cooktop that has only three working burners left and you decide to invest in a high-end gas cooktop because you love to cook.  Or you spend a lot of time in the backyard and finally decide to add a custom designed arbor and outdoor kitchen so you can enjoy your backyard even more.   Theses types of home improvements are lifestyle projects and they can enhance the beauty and enjoyment we find in our own homes.  A swimming pool may not be a good investment but it sure can bring a whole lot of personal satisfaction on a 100 degree summer day in Texas!

The second reason we consider home improvements is because we’re thinking about selling the home.  In that case, the renovation goals are completely different.  Your cooktop may need to be replaced but instead of buying the most expensive one, you replace it with an appropriately priced product for the market.  And if you haven’t added that custom designed arbor yet, you’re not going to because you won’t recoup the amount you spend.  When selling a home, it’s important to prioritize what is important to sell the home and what will gain you the most return on your investment.  Remember, you won’t be there to enjoy the improvements.  You’re choosing things to sell the home, not to please yourself.

So when trying to decide on whether or not something is a good investment, you’ve got to ask yourself, “Am I dwelling or am I selling?”.  The answer should help guide you in the right direction.  The bottom line is to know your motivation behind your home improvements before you write the check.  Are you improving to enhance the home for your personal enjoyment or are you improving in order to sell the house?  Either way, quality improvements are the ones that will stand the test of time.  If you ever need advice on a particular project, we’re always here to help.

 

 

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Grange

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Light Farms Barn

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comptroller of texas

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