Commentary by Carrie Holle
People spend their money on all sorts of things. Some like to travel, some like to go to every Colts game and some collect Beanie Babies (OK, that last one was for my mother-in-law). Frankly, the way you spend your money is nobody’s business. It’s yours. You’ve worked hard for it.
I’m often asked if I think doing “such-and-such” is a good investment for a home. Well, if we’re going textbook here, yes, there are some things that traditionally are good for resale: Updated kitchen and baths, flooring that’s on trend and in good condition, good windows and roof, etc. Yawn.
And there are some obvious things that aren’t good for resale: A home that has not been maintained, a home that is totally outdated, a home that smells or is haunted (wink, wink).
Most home improvements benefit your lifestyle, not your investment portfolio. There are some things you can do that will recoup a nice percentage of your money and others you do purely because you want it or like it. On average, home improvements saw a 56 percent return in 2018 (down from 64 percent in 2016). The best returns on investment are garage-door replacement (98.30 percent), wood deck addition (82.8 percent), minor kitchen remodels (81.10 percent) and window replacement (74.3 percent), according to the National Association of REALTORS.
People often say, “I have X-dollars invested in my home and want to get that back out of it.” If only it was that easy. There are very few people who will recoup dollar-for-dollar out of their home. And that’s OK. After all, it is your sanctuary, the place where you spend most of your life, the place where memories are made and where your family lives, loves and grows.
So get that pool! Put the hardwood upstairs! Buy those $20,000 worth of new doorknobs! If it makes you smile, then do it. You can’t live for what you think everyone else wants. This home is yours, not the next owner’s.
Carrie Holle has been a Realtor for 23 years and owns Highgarden Real Estate in the Arts and Design District in downtown Carmel. She serves on the Carmel Plan Commission and is on the board of Porchfest. She resides in Carmel with her husband, Brian, and three sons.