When my husband and I were searching for our first home it was all about the neighborhood and the school district, there was barely a thought of it being the single largest financial investment we would make in our lives. As long as we were pre-qualified, we were good to go.
We were young and naive and as luck would have it, we did make a sound investment. Though looking back now, I’m amazed by all of the influential people around us who encouraged us to just “Go for it!” without really considering the huge decision we were making. Were we all just blindly following the American Dream? Fall in love, get married, buy a house, have 2.5 children and live happily ever after…God willing!
In the midst of a down economy with houses still headed to foreclosure the realization is that it’s not about the American Dream, it’s about stretching and growing the American Dollar. Our homes are investments just like our IRA’s or 529’s. The intention is for them all to grow and become more valuable over time. Remove the emotions from the equation. Forget the picket fence and the hardwood floors and look at the facts.
- Has the property steadily increased in value over its lifetime?
- Is it surrounded by more valuable properties?
- Will your renovation be in keeping with others in the area?
- Will the town approve of your plans?
- Will you be hiring professionals?
- Do have a good idea of how much it will cost?
If you answered yes to all of these questions, an investment in home improvement would very likely increase the overall value of your home. But before you grab the sledgehammer, be sure to have your ideas evaluated by a professional. Their insight and suggestions could greatly improve the function and value of a space just by catching details you might have overlooked.