To Remodel, or Not to Remodel?

When considering having work performed on your home, there are many factors to consider.  If you are in this position, remember the following 5 qualifications:

  1. Proximity to work or leisure – You probably chose the home you are in for a good reason.  Maybe it was close to your job, where you take your kids or family for recreation time, or you just liked the area.  Ask yourself – does this still hold true today?  If the answer is yes, then remodeling is for you!  In no other way can you get precisely what you want in a location that you want to be in.
  2. Is there anything wrong with your home? – If you are renovating because you simply want a change in your home (as many of our clients do) then that’s one thing.  If not, is there really anything wrong with your current home or its condition?  In most cases, there are at least some rooms or areas that need attention.  What you need to do is determine if there is any reason you are remodeling/changing your space or if you would be better off making updates throughout the home.
  3. Uniqueness – This can either be a really good point or a really bad one!  If you plan to sell your home in the following few years, make sure you look at the work you are performing from the eyes of your potential buyer.  Avoid super trendy items such as that hip 1990’s teal color scheme(just plain wrong in most folks opinions!) and instead go for timeless pleasing colors such as earth tones or tans.  When we consult with a client we try very hard to cover all the positives and negatives from our experience regarding their selections.   We do however like to impress that having some quality unique features about their home, such as a beautifully finished study or some architectural columns at a room to room transition will get potential buyers emotionally interested in your home.  In addition, you will have a great feature in your home that you can enjoy talking about with friends and family.
  4. Efficiency – In today’s building environment, it’s all about green!  You simply cannot go wrong by including a higher efficiency hot water heater, furnace, or appliances as part of your remodel.  Yes, there will be higher efficiency units available soon (as technology is constantly evolving) but in the end you will be saving money and saving your environment by getting rid of that old, ill maintained furnace!
  5. Time – In order to recoup at least a reasonable amount of your investment, you really need to see yourself in the home for the next 3-5 years.  In almost all cases, you will be there longer then you are able to project.   I cannot begin to tell you how many of our clients mentioned they would be moving in 2 years and are still in their homes 10 years later!  Time goes by quickly and you might as well enjoy your environment while you are there.  To some degree, remodeling a home is a consumable item.  This means that just because you put $25,000 of work in your home now, in 5 years there is depreciation due to use of the items.  The great part about remodeling is that historically housing prices more than accelerate past the cost of renovations.  Unlike volatile stock market investments, you will likely never lose much on the money you put into your home AND you will get to use and enjoy it along the way! 


If you consider these 5 items while you are thinking about remodeling your home, you can rest easy that you have made the right decision.  The joy of making your home “your own” will last much longer then the impulse purchase of that gotta have it item you have had your eye on lately.  There is an old adage that says “real estate is a great investment because they aren’t making any more of it!”  Well, not unless you’re Donald Trump anyway!  Happy remodeling!


John Markowski
Dream Builders & Remodeling