Renovation Motivation: Resale Value or Personal Style?

Renovation Motivation: Resale Value or Personal Style?

Tara Bellucci
May 10, 2011

Renovating your kitchen or bathroom can be time-consuming and expensive. The payoff is that when it's done, you have a room that you love and more value to your home. But is style or resale value your main motivator? Here are some tips on how to maximize both.

1. Do it right. Don't know what you're doing? Hire trusted professionals to do the work. Crooked cabinets or poorly cut tile will be more of a problem than differences in individual taste. Also, if you're DIYing and not familiar with the building codes and permitting in your city, you may have a huge and costly problem come home inspection.

2. Invest in quality fixtures & appliances. Quality never goes out of style.

3. Consider your neighbors. What kind of area or building do you live in? Modern? Traditional? Creative? If you live in a classic brownstone with period detail, going stark white and minimalist probably won't net you a profit. Choosing the best appliances and fixtures you can afford is a great rule, unless your imported Italian tile and Viking 6-burner make you the nicest house in the neighborhood. If your renovation values you significantly above surrounding homes, it will be harder to recoup your investment.

4. Forever home or home for now? The longer you plan to stay in your home, the more personal your renovations can be and likely still net positive at resale. If you're settling in for 10+ years, go ahead and tile your kitchen lime green if that's what makes you happy. You may even find a buyer who shares your funky style.

5. Don't live or die by resale value. Yes, your home is likely your largest investment, so renovating to increase its resale value is a good financial decision. But you're the person who has to live through the renovation process and pay the bill, so you better like the final product! Also, future worth is never guaranteed, so it's best to find a comfortable balance between the two.

So what's your renovation motivation? Resale or personal style?

All Images: Tara Bellucci

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