Many people buy their first house without plans to make it a forever home. This is the purpose of a starter home and, even for a second or third house, it can be more practical to buy if you're staying for several years. Of course, with homeownership comes the temptation to renovate. Wouldn't you just love an updated kitchen, a cozier master bedroom, or a more elegant deck? An empty space might look infinitely better with custom cabinets, that old attic might make the perfect loft, or your master bath might become a perfect oasis with just a few luxurious little changes.
Of course, if you're not staying forever, should you invest in renovations? It depends. Renovations can improve your enjoyment now and your resale value later, but there's some strategy to consider. At Edesia Kitchen & Bath Studio, we know all about renovating non-forever homes and can offer a few helpful pointers to make your current house more delightful and profitable at the same time.
Questions to Ask Yourself
First, ask yourself a few questions about your motivations and what you want to get out of the renovations. Weigh your priorities, your budget, and your plans to determine the right balance of renovation investment.
How Long Are You Staying?
The longer you're staying, the more renovations are worthwhile. You probably bought the house because you plan to stay for 5 years or more. Each year that you stay, you will get more personal value from renovations that you love. Functional renovations like upgraded kitchens and storage will improve your day-to-day life while beautiful renovations will uplift your spirits each day you live there.
If you're leaving more quickly, consider smaller upgrades that could be considered touch-ups to prepare the house for market.
How Much Investment Do You Want Back?
How much of what you pay for renovations do you expect back in home value? Most renovations offer less than 100% home value ROI (return on investment) on resale, but some offer more. Consider the value you get in daily enjoyment versus the financial value you can get back at resale.
Are Your Changes Universally Appealing?
Universally appealing and on-trend renovations are more likely to make the house sell faster and at a higher price, while quirky unique renovations are best to save for your forever home.
What Can Be Undone or Taken With You?
One interesting consideration is whether some renovations can be taken with you. A unique light fixture, partially built-in cabinets, and custom furniture might enhance your next house in addition to improving your enjoyment of your home today.
A Temporary Paradise: Features You Love (That Others Will Too)
Many homes have renovations that are universal upgrades. Modernizing the kitchen, bringing in more sunlight, better indoor lighting, replacing old flooring, more airy doorways; these are upgrades that any future home buyer could appreciate.
Making a home more welcoming by improving it's utility, flow, and ambiance will improve your current living experience and will appeal to future buyers. These are always the smartest renovations to choose in a home that is not your forever home.
ROI: How Much Value You Will Get Back
Not every home improvement project will offer perfect ROI, but there are a few tricks to getting most of your investment back. Upgrading the shabbiest/oldest parts of the house to modern - elegant yet neutral - standards are the most profitable. Minor bathroom and kitchen updates often offer the best ROI, while all-out luxury renovations tend to offer the least returns.
The more practical and "shab to fab" the update, the better ROI you will typically see.
Some custom features can be detached or replaced when you go, taking something perfectly personalized while leaving a neutral space where the next owners of the house can write their own story. If you want a unique light fixture, for example, you can swap it out for a plain light when you go and install your favorite fixture in your forever house later on. You can have a custom bench or cabinet design installed and then leave a blank painted wall when you depart. Things like play houses, loft beds, and Murphey furniture can become part of your forever home later, and still enjoyed as partially built-in today.
Always Choose Professional Work When Resale is the Goal
Lastly, don't be tempted to DIY your non-forever-home updates. Think of this house more like the investment property that you're currently enjoying. When it comes to renovations, you want it done by a licensed professional with perfect finished quality and all the right paperwork so that you can sell the house efficiently when the time comes. DIY can result in little flaws that can turn into disasters during a home sale (ex: leaks of any type), and the guarantee of flawless professional work will always be in your favor when planning to sell the house at a profit.
Renovating Your Non-Forever Home with Edesia
At Edesia, updating kitchens and bathrooms is what we do best, and it's also one of the most profitable upgrades you can make when planning to resell a house in the near future. Let us help you design beautiful home upgrades that can increase your home value so that you can find greater joy in your current home and greater profits when it comes time to sell in your search for the perfect forever home.
If we're in the neighborhood of your forever home, give us a call, and we'll help you design a kitchen and bathrooms you'll love for decades.