Home Renos That Pay For Themselves
Home renovations. Oh how we'd all like to think we are Chip & Joanna, fixing houses, flipping them & always turning a profit. Let's all pause and recognize that that isn't really reality. Don't get me wrong, it's a great TV show, but the numbers don't always look like that. So unless you love the process of a home renovation or have endless money to spend, its best to carefully consider it.
Meanwhile, I'm over here at the start of the biggest home renovation we've ever tackled. And while I made the decision to move forward on it in less than 10 minutes, that was only because I knew the numbers well enough to know that this project is not an expense, but an investment. There is a big difference there. Sometimes renovations are worth the expense, replacing the backsplash I didn't love, an expense that has been worth it to me every day since. However, there are some projects that are always worth the investment. In fact, even if I didn't need the additional space in my house, I'd still take on this project, the numbers work so good.
So how do you tell the difference?
First, let me walk you through what we're doing to our house, then we'll get to the really fun part of why it's an investment as opposed to an expense. Our current house is 4 bed, 3 bath + loft, those numbers work fine for our family, except with a baby on the way we don't love that our 4th bedroom is downstairs. Not to mention it currently serves as office. Neither my husband nor I loved the idea of moving my office or of having someone sleep down there by themselves.
After a few ideas we abandoned (did you see me think through them all on Instagram stories?) we realized we were both willing to give up our two-story entryway. As we looked at it, we decided, in literally 10 minutes, we'd turn the loft into a bedroom & build out a loft over our entry way. Did you catch all that?
The existing loft (pictured above, after we'd already moved out the couch and TV) already had a closet & the necessary window that opens, so it was easy to put up a wall & make it a bedroom.
Over top the entryway, is where our new loft will be. The one thing we will lose in this renovation is our entry light fixture...I'm really going to have to find something amazing, because a 2-story entry is quite dramatic, but I know I'm going to love the loft much more. We'll be extending that floor all the way to the wall.
Some might be wondering why we didn't keep the loft the loft & just make this addition the bedroom. If I'm being honest, that was our first thought, mostly because we already had the loft furnished and our current couch isn't going to be perfect in the new loft space. But if we made the entry way a bedroom instead of a loft, we we're going to have to change those exterior windows up there. To be to code, bedrooms must have windows that open & none of those do. Furthermore, we have a portico roof line on that exterior wall, making the change in windows astronomically expensive...more than buying a new couch if we need to. So we flipped them and it worked out even better.
Now to the numbers & why this is an investment as opposed to an expense aka the fun part.
Like I said, our current house is 4 bed, 3 bath + loft and just under 3000 sq ft. New build homes in our neighborhood are going for about $140 sq ft...without backyards in them. Add a larger lot + a killer pool, which we have, we'd probably be able to pull at least $150 sq ft conservatively. As a note, when you're running numbers, always go the conservative route!
Our project is going to add 175 sq ft of living space AND a bedroom. So instead of being 4 bed, 3 bath + loft, once construction is done, we'll have an additional 175 sq ft and be at 5 bed, 3 bath + loft. If I take that 175 at $150 sq ft, the loft/bedroom addition gives me an added value of $26,250...and that's just counting the square footage, not the increase in bedroom count.
Since construction costs are quite a bit less than $26,250, that makes this project an investment. Not only will I get to enjoy the additional living space, but I'll get every single penny plus more of this project back in my pocket on resale.
So while I don't love the construction aspect of this project I do love the numbers...annnnd I might like the finishing aspect too. A few images that I'm hoping to channel into this new space, you can see more here.
click on images for source
If you've got a home reno on the brain & wonder if its an expense or an investment, or worthwhile on resale, please shoot me an email & we can set up a free consultation. I'm more than happy to help you sort through your options, break down the numbers & even open up my book of contractors for you.
Hi, I'm Amy. When I'm not scouring the valley for the perfect new house, you can usually find me in the kitchen with a gaggle of kids. Chips, salsa and a Diet Coke are usually in hand.