Homeowners are presented with a never-ending dilemma on how to best allocate their next home improvement dollar. Generally we have two broad spending options: visible cosmetic changes, or invisible functional improvements.
Most homes will require a healthy mix of both types of improvements. However your personal bias can easily lead to an imbalance and overspending in one category at the expense of the other, and this can cost you.
What Buyers Expect
Cosmetic and functional spending are both important. Rarely will you find eager home buyers that love your furnace, rock-solid foundation, lawn sprinkler system, and shiny water heater. Invisible essentials like these are expected at a minimum, and all in working order.
What Buyers Want
The average home buyer is drawn in by the curb appeal; drooling over granite countertops, stainless appliances, spa-like master baths and contemporary decor. People are naturally attracted to properties that they would be proud to own and happily entertain company in.
Balancing Rookie Home Buyer Spending
We’ve spent an absolute fortune on our first house. With the rubber-stamp of a building inspector hand-picked by our real estate agent we dove into homeowner DIY bliss. All those hours watching HGTV could finally be put to practical use as we proceeded to facelift just about every room.
Three years later we’re still going, but along the way we’ve had to pay more attention and money to the invisible issues. It seems that our 15-year-old house decided that it needed a new roof and HVAC system last year, plus a laundry list of major upgrades prior to that. Had we planned for these major expenses we may have throttled back the cosmetic updates to a more sustainable pace. Some people pay utilize payday loans to secure sufficient home improvement capital.
What Landlords and Renters Want
The truth is that we need this house to be in great functional shape as we’re renting it out later this year. Hopefully this means fewer service calls. Also, the cosmetic improvements were equally necessary and will help to secure good tenants, quickly, for a fair price. That’s the way we’ve balanced our visible vs. invisible improvement spending and only time will tell as to whether our decisions are justified.
Take Our Survey
Your values will largely depend on your pespective as either a home buyer, investor, or tenant. Please take a few seconds to let us know what you think. Choose the option on the rating scale that best describes your home improvement spending preference. I look forward to sharing the results with you in an upcoming post.
Thanks for participating!