Your primary residence might be the only property you own. But the reality is that buying a house is essentially investing in real estate. At some point, either you or your beneficiaries will profit from its sale, and often updates and remodels will add to its overall value.
Over the years, as my wife and I would discuss updates and remodels to our home, some would always say, “make sure you think about the ROI,” which stands for “return on investment” for those unfamiliar.
The suggestion always reminded me of my great aunt’s house, where her kitchen featured a fire-engine red enamel sink with white-washed cabinets and red handles.
While certainly not my taste, and no doubt would cause anxiety to some HGTV hosts, my aunt absolutely loved her kitchen and always found great joy every time she entered the room.
While her kitchen design was certainly not for everyone, perhaps most importantly, she didn’t worry about ROI as much as making sure she enjoyed her house for as long as she called it home.
I think there’s a big difference between someone investing in a house and others who are buying a home. Think about that.
A house is nothing more than building materials designed to protect you from the elements. But a home is less reliant on the overall structure and more about how the space makes you feel.
A home is our solitude from the chaos and uncertainty in the world. A place we’re accepted for who we are without circumstances. Where the warmth of its walls brings us comfort and security from the moment we walk through the door.
For those buying a home, the return on investment is not as significant as the living going on inside. The learning, the loving, the memories, the laughter, that’s something you can’t put a price tag on.
Yes, some updates and remodels might seem questionable for those always concerned with the ROI of owning a house. They may even constrain one’s desires to make certain alternations that would otherwise provide joy and fulfillment, fearing it would somehow impact their bottom line when selling.
But a home is NOT an investment. It’s a place where life happens with no assurance of its longevity. If there are updates and remodels you want to make on your house, remember that time is not infinite.
My advice for homeowners? Enjoy your investment for as long as you call it home. Make it a place you want to come home to and spend time in – to appreciate with family and friends on the ordinary days that fill our lives and fly by like the wind. For if there’s one thing life has taught me it’s there are no guarantees.