As someone raised and born and central Indiana, I have been spoiled with real estate all my life. The first house we ever purchased (and we still possess as a rental property) set us back a whopping $102,500 and came with three bedrooms and 2 baths. Our house payment, and oh has been less than $700 per month!
Ever since that time, we bought a 2nd three-bedroom, two-bath leasing property for under $100,000, also our second house for $155,000 (that we sold later for $160,000). Even our present residence, which we intend to reside in forever, just set us back $187,000. Before the housing market roared back into life — back in 2013, it’s around feet, also has been one of the very expensive homes in our community when we purchased it.
Home Upgrades and Repairs I Simply Won’t Make
Since we bought our house, we have put in a great deal of hard work to bring it up. We knocked out a wall to start up the downstairs floor plan, laid wood flooring (performing the bulk of the grunt work ourselves), and painted this place from the top to bottom.
We replaced several non-matching kitchen countertops that purchased new carpet for our upstairs made no sense, also re-stained our kitchen cabinets, that are 30 years old. In total, we have spent $20,000 upgrading our house over the four years we have lived here.
There’s plenty more to do, however, at a certain stage, you need to understand when to stop. While some updates are worthwhile since they truly increase the value and utility of your house, you need to understand where to draw the line — or risk over-improving and losing money in the long run.
While I am all about dolling up my primary residence, here are some repairs and upgrades I am not willing to make:
#1: Replacing Ugly Peel-and-Stick Floors
Had an interesting sense of style. When the master bathroom was remodeled by them, they chose flooring that looks great from a distance but insanely cheap. The strangest part about it, nevertheless, is the simple fact the floor pieces actually move sometimes since they are literally “glued” into the floor planks with adhesive.
But, do I take action? Not actually. The matter about our master bathroom — and the reason I won’t replace this flooring — is that it is not seen by anybody else. I can not think of a single person who has been aside from our children in our bedroom over the last few years.
We might need to replace the flooring if we wanted to sell our house, but it’s perfectly good to our eyes. Rather than paying1,500 to $3,000 in an nobody will ever see, we have chosen to pocket that money instead.
#2: Replacing Kitchen Cabinets
Our kitchen cabinets are first to this house, so they are 32 years of age. They had been in great shape when we purchased our house, albeit somewhat dated with country theme and a light oak stain.
I thought hard and long about everything to do with our cabinets before we decided to sand and then re-stain them ourselves. In the end, I couldn’t actually justify replacing our entire kitchen when the cabinets seemed okay, functioned fine, and had the capability to be even better.
At this point, I doubt we replace our kitchen cabinets. Not purchasing new cabinets is easily a savings of around $ 20,000, because the previous counters were mismatched while we spent about $ 200 on our cabinets and materials to sand and an additional $.
#3: New Windows
Our windows are first to this residence, which is part of the rationale they’d be expensive to replace. Being 30+ years old, how they’re made from timber frames that match our inner wood moldings and trim.
We’ve got 18 dividers, and 16 of them are still ideal. Two of them have noticeable openings to the exterior (which I’ve fixed temporarily with insulating material), and one of these two features a compromised seal. Fortunately, the window with the endangered seal (that is always slightly cloudy) faces the backyard and not the front.
We’ve thought hard and long about replacing our windows a few times, even going so far as obtaining a quotation from two different businesses. $ 18,000 was wanted by the other company, while one wanted around $ 15,000! I really could get more economical windows, however I know I would not be happy together. So, why bother?
Either way, we can not really justify the cost. Our windows work good and also our utility bills have been low. Because I doubt replacing our windows would result in any savings on gas or electricity, this can be.
#4: Replacing an Old Fence
Our house came with privacy fence that encloses our yard. This is a real advantage in our own eyes because we have two children, and the fence has continued to serve us well ever since we adopted a shelter dog in December.
The fence looks great from a distance. When we took down part of the fence to bring in our new drop before this summer, we found that our fence is not nearly as sturdy as it looks. My husband needed to do some repair work merely to set the thing!
After that, we got an estimate for fencing: $8,000. We knew that it would not be economical, but we’re surprised it’d cost that much for a fundamental shadowbox style. Obviously, till it falls down we’re likely to continue accepting our fence as-is.
#5: Repaving Our Driveway
It is not happening any time soon, while we have to repave our drive in the future. Our neighbors recently repaved their driveway and I’ve discovered that can not cost more than the job.
Our driveway isn’t broken it worn down and lacking the perfect black surface of driveways on our street. We’ll have to live with it the way it’s, and for now, and will they. I can not justify spending $8,000 to get a update when we have other important, aims to save for.
#6: Guest Bathroom Revamp
There are really so many things wrong with our hallway guest bathroom to count. Among those dual sinks is overlooking its own “plug” or stopper completely. After a piece of art was knocked off the walls, some of the tile near the toilet was broken.
The shower enclosure is original not exactly the latest style. The bathroom cabinet is over 30 years old, and the countertop is made of Formica, and each of of the hooks and hardware are all mismatched.
This is but it’s not happening any time soon. Considering that the bathroom needs a re-do, the project could easily cost $10,000 to $15,000. We could do some of the work ourselves, but I bother if it’s not likely to be exactly what I want. Like our master bathroom, people see this bathroom anyway.
The Most Important Thing
While I love this home and attempt to make it as amazing as you can, I also know that some house repairs and upgrades won’t ever pay off. If I did all the upgrades and repairs with this list, we would easily pay $50,000 or even more without including over a couple thousand dollars in value to our house.
Sooner or later, you need to understand where to draw the line — or danger over-improving into the detriment of your financing. For the time being, we’re going to continue to keep our additional cash and to be happy with what we have.
Holly Johnson is an award-winning personal finance author and the writer of . Johnson shares her obsession with all frugality, budgeting, and traveling at .
Are there any home improvements or updates you refuse to make? What are they?
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