Is My Home Remodel an Investment?

Today I spoke with a nice lady who told me she would be living in the house she planned to remodel until she died. Once we both agreed that we hoped that wouldn’t happen anytime soon, she then said she wanted to make sure her remodel was going to be a good investment.

What? If that doesn’t sound strange, think about it this way – if you’re never going to sell the house, how could the remodel be an investment? If you’re never going to move, the remodel is for enjoyment, maintenance of your home, increased efficiency, etc. Even reading that sentence back to myself, that sounds like some serious salesman stuff.

It is true, BUT it’s not ALL of the truth.

If you’re not ever moving, then resale is not the point. The value of the remodel shouldn’t be measured in the resale, it has to be measured in its’ use. What are the sum total of all the benefits the remodel will bring to your life? Here is where you factor in all of the intangibles: how will it change our families interactions, how will it increase my enjoyment of my home, how will it decrease some of the less enjoyable aspects of my home, how many nagging maintenance issues does it solve, how much time will it save me, will I be able to say in five years, “I am SO glad I did that remodel, why didn’t I do it sooner!”

Then, on the other side of the ledger, you have to ask yourself if the budget you are considering is really worth spending on the first list. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. One thing I know for sure, I don’t care how experienced, creative, efficient or detailed your designer or contractor is, they cannot possibly answer that question. Only you can answer that question.

If you’re moving in five years, ten years, 15 years, each of those time periods should feature resale in your decision making process, to varying degrees. That’s another article. But for now, if you’re not ever moving, consider your remodels value in relation to it’s use.