OverGrading Your Upgrade

January 17, 2010

Design and Decor

When I bought this old house, I knew it needed work. I was actually thrilled to get a house that I could do “my” way. I envisioned solid-surface countertops, brass fixtures, a jacuzzi in the Master Bedroom Suite, a Family Room with a great big stone hearth, and solid oak flooring everywhere!

Whoa, Nellie. I have since learned a thing or two. One: There’s NO WAY I can afford that!! And Two: I’d never recoup my investment with such a glitzy upgrade, not in this neighborhood. I live in a depressed area (this is New York) and the average value of homes here (currently) is a miserable $90,000. I got my home for $63,000 twelve years ago. The appreciation STINKS around here. I could never dump $60,000 more into my home and expect to recoup it all, not in this area and certainly not at this time.

When you decide to upgrade, don’t go overboard, don’t overvalue your renovations more than your neighborhood allows. Unless of course, you have tons of money to burn and want to do so for the sheer enjoyment of it. That’s cool. But if you are looking at your property as a partial investment, then it’s not cool to dump a lot of money into your Money Pit.

So now that we have lived here for a few years, I’ve tempered my dreams. I guess you could say that, thanks to experience, they’ve undergone the best weight loss supplement treatment. Skip the Jacuzzi, I’d just like to have ELECTRICITY in the bathroom again. And solid surface countertops for $5,000? No way– give me laminate and I’ll use the rest of the money to plant a flower bed or make a few more windows.

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