The housing market sucks. Really. The days of buying a house “as an investment” are pretty much over, though owning a house still offers some pretty big perks, from allowing you to pick your own appliances to leaving you free to blast Robyn at ear-bleed volume at 2 a.m. But I’ve heard some pretty strange conversations at the local big box lately. Those same folks who bought $500,000 houses on sub-$100,000 salaries a few years ago, you know, for “an investment?” They’re into remodeling now. And you should hear the cockamamie reasons they’ve dreamed up to buy more things they can’t afford.
The number one excuse I hear for home improvement extravagance is “improving resale value.” No, I’m not kidding. Even thirty seconds of Googling shows how bad an idea that can be. While buyers may love your granite countertops and huge pool, they’re not likely to shell out extra cash for it — especially in today’s market. The best article I found (from HGTV) touted 93% as the best return rate one can expect on home improvements. And those were more practical jobs like upgrading siding and minorly fixing up a crappy kitchen.
So despite HGTV’s multiple design-centric shows, they recommend something boring and sane: Fix your busted house first. Forget majestic bathrooms and bling’d out pools. Fix the damn leaky roof.
And let me offer a piece of advice, too: Don’t lie to yourself. If you want luxury items in your house, there’s nothing wrong with that. If a pool makes you happy — and you can make the payments — knock yourself out. Just don’t imagine that you’re “making an investment.” You’re not. You’re just buying cool crap. Stop BSing and enjoy it.
(Check out the Luxuo “Luxury Blog” for more pics of that palatial bathroom pictured above.)