What’s the first question many people ask when they consider a remodeling project? “What kind of return am I going to get on my investment?” While everyone is trying to spend more wisely in uncertain times, opting not to undertake a project based solely on a projected financial ROI may actually cost you more in the long run – both in terms of your happiness and your finances. There are many factors that fuel what we feel can be a short-sighted approach: home makeover television shows and annual magazine surveys that focus solely on the bottom line, tighter loan restrictions that have homeowners digging deeper into personal resources to fund projects, and a more competitive resale market to name just a few.
In reality, there’s a lot more than ROI that homeowners should be focusing on when they consider a renovation project, the most important of which is how your home impacts you. Just think about how you feel and function when you have a messy, unorganized desk. You can’t find what you need, when you need it. You may even lose important papers or miss messages altogether. That same philosophy extends to your home. When your house doesn’t function as you need it to, your daily routine doesn’t flow as it smoothly as it should. That’s obvious when it comes to major issues, like a master bath that is no longer accessible to an aging family member, but it might not be as apparent when it comes to aesthetics (like an outdated kitchen in sore need of a makeover) or rooms that just don’t feel right (like a cramped or isolated family room that leaves family members feeling disconnected in the same home). Fixing these types of issues makes a huge difference in your quality of life that simply can’t be quantified by a monetary return.
Another key aspect to consider is how long you plan to live in your current home. Charts only account for how much of a return you will reap if you sell your home quickly (generally within one year). The longer you remain in your home, the more of your investment you’ll regain. If you plan on your current residence literally being your forever home, the dollar return quite frankly doesn’t matter nearly as much as your satisfaction, since you’ll only see the monetary benefit if you sell. Charts also don’t take into account things like the true costs of moving that you would incur if you decided to sell rather than invest in your current home.
Ultimately, the best investment you can make is one that improves the functionality and enjoyment of the place where you spend most of your time. What we hear from our clients time and again is that they didn’t realize just how much the poor design or illogical flow of their home impacted their lives until after it was corrected. Being able to entertain efficiently in the manner you want, to enjoy quality time with your family in functional surroundings that work for the way you live or to just enjoy a truly beautiful home are things that can’t be quantified – they have to be experienced to be fully appreciated.