Imagine a couple working with an interior designer on a combination family room and kitchen renovation. They can’t seem to come to agreement. They continue wrestling over what they would prefer versus what they think they need to do to increase the resale value of their home. The remodel project stalls because they don’t know how to move forward. This scenario isn’t really unique. Indeed, it is pretty common. In the many years we’ve been involved in interior design, we have discovered something very important: it’s okay to remodel for yourself. You matter too!
Why do you want to remodel?
If you are purposely remodeling because you are planning an immediate sale, that’s one thing. Just remember that kitchen and bath renovations, while they may attract buyers, can cost more than the amount of value they add to your home. And remodeling on the cheap might not do you any good when push comes to shove, and it may actually devalue your home.
On the other hand, maybe you’re not planning an immediate sale. You think you might sell five or 10 years from now. So your current remodeling plans are more about making your house more comfortable or functional. That’s great! Remodel for you, not for future buyers who won’t even be looking at your house until years down the road.
What would be the ideal remodel?
We might say to the fictional couple this post started with, “What would be the ideal remodel to you? What would it look like?” This is the foundational starting point of interior design.
Once we know what the ideal scenario is, we can begin to address the details. For example, this island might look good in your kitchen, but it would also inhibit function. We can make an adjustment or two that meets a happy compromise and provides functionality.
We might also remind the couple that they are the ones who will be living in the home for the foreseeable future. Would they rather wake up to a brand-new kitchen designed around future buyers they have never met, or one that they absolutely love to cook in themselves?
Can you really ever know future buyers?
The danger of remodeling just to be able to sell your home for a higher price is found in the fact that you can never really know who your future buyers will be or what they will prefer. We recently ran across a piece on the Realtor.com website that spoke on this very topic.
Apparently, a Brooklyn real estate agent once had a client who went all out remodeling her kitchen with high-end appliances, new countertops, and new floors. When all was said and done, the buyer who finally made an offer didn’t like the kitchen. Plans were being made to rip everything out and start over even as negotiations were ongoing.
What is the moral of the story?
Home remodeling is a pretty broad topic. It can be as basic as a new coat of paint and some carpets or as extensive as a complete gut and rebuild. You can do everything yourself or hire professionals. Regardless, the proverbial moral of the story is to remodel for yourself.
You may decide to sell at some point in the future. With that in mind, take good care of your home and choose quality materials. Put time and effort into routine maintenance so that small problems do not become disasters.
As for remodeling, it is more about what makes you happy than what may, or may not, increase resale value. Remodel to make your home more comfortable and enjoyable for you. When you’re ready to start your remodel project, check in with Triple Heart Design, and see how we can help.