Home Decorating and Value

Home decorating and renovation programs on TV are very popular these days. It is great fun to watch as an old, run-down home is transformed into a beautiful showpiece right before your eyes. Outdated designs and systems are replaced with better floor plans and new technology. It is amazing to see all the new products and ideas that have been developed over the last few years. Granite, quartz and Silestone have become the standard for kitchen countertops. Rich hardwoods and polished stone floor selections are almost endless. Appliances have been redesigned to be more energy efficient as well as attractive and functional. There are even refrigerators that will tell you what groceries need to be restocked. Window design and technology has taken quantum leaps over the past decade. Energy efficient windows are engineered to tilt and twist to allow cleaning from the inside. Electrical and lighting systems are more complex and involve engineered intelligence that beautifies and saves energy at the same time.

There are so many new gadgets to buy and projects to complete. Some of these programs make statements like "you will get $2.00 back for every $1.00 invested in this kitchen or that bathroom renovation." Many clients ask me if these formulas are accurate. They want to know if they put money into renovations and upgrades, will their home value increase as a result. There is no easy answer to this question but I will share a couple of thoughts with you.

First, be very careful about accepting at face value any formula that promises a specific return on a particular project. These statements can be misleading. Each case needs to be examined carefully in context of the local real estate market to see whether or not it applies. With the recent downturn, I have seen decorating and home staging projects that did not result in any value increase. They did however result in the home selling when adjacent properties continued to sit on the market. Having a home staged properly to look its very best is an important selling strategy, but one that needs to be approached with great care.

Secondly there are two types of value. The first I call tangible – the value that results in a specific dollar return by way of increased home value. If you put $5,000 into a home project, you actually increase its market value by an amount pretty close to the $5,000 investment. The second is intangible – the joy that comes from living in a home that has design features that make living pleasurable. In other words, you enjoy your new carpet, paint or kitchen so much you really are not concerned whether or not you will recoup your dollars invested in the upgrades. Only you can decide which is most important to you.

1 comment:

Adam said...

Buying a home is an exciting time in one's life. Making the smart move of choosing a realtor is your first step to ensuring that your new home and community meets your needs.


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