We bought this house almost three years ago. And I say bought in the most liberal since of the word. The bank will give us the title as soon as they get their money. We knew before we bought it that we would be going through a series of renovations. You can see the chimney being renovated in the photo above that we had that done last month. Our last three houses have all involved little improvement projects and I’m just now starting to get decent at handling these projects. I’ve told the better half that this is the year I start doing some of them myself and I’ve already begun to acquire the tools. Every man needs tools right? Regardless, the reason I’m thinking of this because I also like to publish a list of home repairs and improvements to communicate with contractors and so that, if the time comes, I have a record of everything that’s been done to the house. Here is the page I’m using for this house.
We are about to begin one of larger renovations removing a wall from our kitchen and living room. I’ve worked up the specs and drafts for our quotes from contractors. It’s been a learning process for me. The process of dealing with contractors and bids can be a bit tricky to navigate and that’s an entirely separate post for another day. I’d like to focus on why we’ve focused our attention on renovating this home. We’ve been it a little over two years now and have made some minor improvements. We like the neighbors and hood. And although we considered other moves before we came here, we’ve been happy with this house.
I created a business built on real estate ten or so years ago now. I had a real estate license in three associations at one point, so that I could access the data for the multiple listing services. I still enjoy the real estate game. And I say game because, not unlike any business, there is a certain acumen needed for real estate. Homes, much like other major purchases tend to shed their value the moment they become occupied. It’s like driving a new car off the lot. In that respect, I’ve found that economic factors are the most important factor, but there are other more important issues I have when finding homes.
I remember buying my first house and my father was adamant in his “this is the best thing you can do”. That was 2006, they year before the market took at tumble and I was upside down within six months of purchasing the home. Live and learn… and what I’ve learned is that life is not a series of investments. You can’t calculate your life into net worth targets. You do however have to live with your circumstances everyday and I’ve found that the most important thing in a home is livability. Livability in the sense that it works for your life. And with that in regard, it’s the distance from work or the grocery store and your neighbors that matter more. So sure, you should always consider the resale value as an investment, but I don’t think it should be the single deciding factor.
This home works for us. And as of now, we have no plans to migrate anytime soon. With that in mind, we’re going to be putting a bit of effort, time, and money into it in coming years as a fun project. We’ll be overhauling the kitchen next and then the master bathroom. I’ve heard nightmarish stories of folks losing their marriages, minds, and finances over home remodeling projects. Let’s hope that isn’t the case with this one. I’ll keep the project page for the house updated for any of you who have nothing better to do than follow along.