A House As An Investment Or A Place To Live

Men and Women Argue about Their Personal Spaces, but What If They are having the Wrong Argument?
Men remodel for pride and ego. They want to impress other people with their intelligence and discerning taste.
Often they will fall in love with a particular house and buy it. Then they will use whatever they can find about the property that makes the purchase seem like a brilliant move as bragging rights.
But then comes decorating and remodeling.
Let’s spend some REAL $$$!
They want to buy or build the best home for the best price and then use the perceived value of the property to justify whatever they want to do to it. They also want to decorate the place to impress their peers. It’s the same impulse that makes them buy luxury cars and Rolexes.
You may apply the “All hat, No cattle” rule freely here.
All this bragging may not have any positive effect on their net worth and may only be negative.
Some remodeling is awful applied to real estate values.
So if you want to view your property as an investment, don’t build that hard contemporary pool addition on your colonial house. Also skip the party bar, bowling alley, and round bed and mirrored ceiling in the master.
What works for a house flipper will not work as well for a longer term resident. People who want to live in a house have different needs. Trying to act like an investor when all you are is a homeowner never works.
Homeowners do things to their houses flippers would never do. It’s difficult to be disciplined enough to be a successful flipper if you are remodeling for fun and ego.
Many and argument has occurred because a man wants a man cave and a woman wants a new master bath and/or kitchen. Women like to have a pretty luxurious home that is comfortable in the kitchen, laundry/mudroom, and master bath and beautiful, too.
They also like to create spaces that reflect their own changing style and comfort. They like beautiful furniture their favorite paint colors and whatever they want at the moment. They may hesitate more to do expensive decorating projects unless they have deep pockets…or their significant other does.
But men like to have more impressive public spaces that wow guests.
Women’s decorating styles may vary over a very wide spectrum, some being conventional and some being really NOT. Some of the really WILD SPACES are the work of women and may go well at resale or not.
A decorator I know says she wishes people with money had taste and people with taste had money, as though it HAS to be one or the other.
But what if you are planning to live in a home for many years? An older couple added an indoor pool to their home after a serious injury requiring physical therapy. Swimming is easy on old joints. But what if, instead of building a pool, they had sold their lake front home and moved to a senior living arrangement with a pool someone else maintains?
Yes, it might work, but there is another issue. These senior living homes are NOT cheap. Some are incredibly expensive.
Their current home is mortgage free and they can pay their own pool service.
Decorating styles come and go. Things break and must be repaired. Your own needs and desires change. Go with what YOU want or need and forget resale until it’s time to think of it.
While many people want to buy nicer homes and move up throughout their lives, there are also a lot of people who live comfortably in a house for all of their lives. They make changes, move relatives in and out, remodel as needed over a LOOOONG period of time while the property values increase and decrease over time.
An older couple recently passed and the heirs put the house on the market. It was built over a half century ago for less than $20,000 (but the FED says there is no inflation). It sold for more than 10 times the actual building cost recently even though they only did some painting to prepare for resale. Values in the area are not great now, either. Over the years the couple did necessary remodeling and repairs like shower grab bars, etc., things potential buyers would not want.
If it’s OK with Warren Buffet it might work for the rest of us, too. His beach house in California recently sold for an incredible amount of money. The family did some remodeling for their own pleasure, not for resale. His investment paid far better than the other couple’s, but even they did pretty well on a location in the flyover zone that was far less desirable.
Buy, keep and remodel as needed. Skip the big mortgage. Pay for repairs and remodels out of pocket. Do as you wish and have fun.
The only justification you need is that you want what you want. Decide to go or stay and act accordingly. If your goal is resale, keep it at the top of your list. If your goal is to stay where you are, that goes at the top of your list. Don’t try to have it both ways. It does not work.
The question you must answer in your own mind is whether you want to invest in real estate like flippers, developers and investors in rental property do, usually with the help of a commercial bridge loan, or if you want a place to live.
We all have to live somewhere, but maybe you really want to be an investor…like Warren Buffet…instead of owning a home that is your largest investment. Think it through and decide what you really want.
Applying a bit more logic to your decisions might bring you everything you want without having to move regularly.