Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Cost VS Value / Kitchen and Bath Remodels

I hope the past few Cost VS Value posts have informed you well! Have they? Value can be a relative concept. After all, value is often determined by what we want and how much it matters to us.

Why do people remodel kitchens?

There are so many answers to that question. Maybe you are just tired of the old layout, cabinets,or counter tops. Perhaps you bought a house, and you have a vision of making it yours, by updating it. Maybe you have recently redecorated and want the kitchen or baths to compliment the new look. Are you planning on relocating , thus listing your current home for sale? If so, updated baths and kitchens truly add value. Are you asking yourself how to pursue the dream of a new kitchen or bath wisely?

May I suggest you stimulate ideas and organize your thoughts by considering actually imagining
functioning daily in your new space. Wow, that may seem daunting. However, if you tune in to your own internal dialogue. you will discover thoughts in my our mind every time you walk into and cook in your kitchen or access your bath. For example, they tend to go like this!

" I hate this corner cabinet, everything gets lost in it! I want a lazy susan corner cabinet where I can see everything I want to access."

"I thought these pull out shelves would be great but now I would like pots and pans drawers. I would only have one step to get what I need."

"I hate hauling this heavy spaghetti pot from the sink all the way to the stove for pasta. My friend's new kitchen has a faucet that extends over her cook top and fills her pasta pot on her stove! "

Write all these thoughts down and keep them in a a folder with pictures of ideas you like. That is where to begin designing your perfect kitchen or bath.  If you go to  our archived blogs, you will discover one about your Design/Dream Folder. Basically, that contains ideas, pictures, articles and items you collected over time. Looking at that will solidify your taste and subconscious preferences. It can be a wonderful stimulus and tool to stay on target with your taste and budget. There are so many possibilities. No one can have everything they want! Yet, allowing yourself to dream and list every possible wish and desire will give you a great start. Pretend money is not an object and write it all down. Then, mindfully prioritize. You will be pleasantly surprised to discover you may be able to accomplish much more than you expected. We are here to help you think about it all and determine your best options for the way you live.

Another very important consideration is the value of your home and others in your neighborhood.
 We highly suggest researching Real Estate values around your home. Why would I begin there? If you have lived in this home awhile, you may not know its current value. This is important for a number of reasons. Just as homes and neighborhoods vary in value. Kitchen cabinet lines and all components placed in the new space do as well.

Important considerations are the price point and values of the homes around you, in your neighborhood, and city. Do you plan to remain in this house as your forever home? Are you planning on selling it to downsize or upgrade? How dated are your current baths and your kitchen?
Why all the questions? Let me explain.

Have you ever been in a middle class neighborhood and seen a mansion? Yes, sometimes you will.
Most likely your immediate thought is why is this expensive house in this neighborhood? That is a great question that explains the mystery and wisdom of being aware of your surroundings. There are usually two possibilities.

Maybe the expensive home originally owned all the land around it. The owner may have sold part of their land to a developer.  Another possibility is the original home is a family home occupied for years by the same family or various members of it. Often family homes such as this are remodeled to meet the desires and needs of the growing family. It is considered a "forever home".  Updating such a home for the needs and enjoyment of the current owners makes remodeling past the appropriate price range of the neighborhood it sits in okay. However, realistically, the owner needs to factor in this fact. When you remodel a house extravagantly whose resale value would normally be compatible with the neighborhood's price/value range, you will NOT enjoy a good cost to value ratio.

Always prepare yourself with this knowledge. It is not wise to put a million dollar remodeling project into a middle range neighborhood. It is equally unwise to make a  conservative "budget end"  remodeled bath or kitchen into a million dollar home. The average buyer knows instinctively when discrepancies like this happen. They will be uncomfortable and pass on purchasing the house.

Always keep in mind a fact seen every day in every town in New England. Zoning can be tricky , especially in New England. Sometimes there are businesses, mid range homes, old shack like buildings, and expensive homes on the same street! Home builders are shifting to balance neighborhoods. That is important and a good thing! I am teaching you hoping you will be aware and wise as you consider purchasing or remodeling a home. Appraisers value a home factoring in the neighborhood. A less desirable home in a great neighborhood can be impacted positively. The opposite is also true.

Being home builders as well as a remodeling contractor, we have seen it all. We love to consult with home buyers and homeowners. Our experience covers every factor in both industries. We consider ourselves fortunate to inform and help people get the best value for their investment. So come talk to us. We are happy to share information that will help you make good decisions.


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