Reflecting on life at the big house made us realize the crazy amount of money we invested in “home improvement” hoping that we’d recoup the costs upon the sale of our home.
We were wrong.
In the several years we “owned” the big house, we invested in the following:
- new roof
- new triple-pane windows
- new flooring
- new paint for every room
- new appliances
- completely remodeled bathrooms
- new countertop in the kitchen
- drywalled and insulated the two-car garage
Now, the house did need a need roof, so this was a necessity. Windows improved the house’s insulating properties a bit.
Did we need hardwood flooring throughout the downstairs?
Probably not. Definitely not. Sure, the house looks great, but the aesthetics had no bearing on the quality of our lives. Home Depot must have made a killing convincing us of what we needed. With all of the home improvement and upgrades, including things like new appliances and granite counters, we spent at least $30k.
Thankfully, we’re living in a far more manageable house that’s brand new–no need to improve and no desire to remodel. The best part? This house is one-third the size of the big house, which cut all of our expenses significantly, including the amount we paid for the house. Even the new appliances are far more efficient!
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Looking at the numerous upgrades in the big house, it’s no wonder where our money went or why we weren’t able to pay down the mortgage faster. And now, our house is for sale for the price paid several years ago–the investments in remodeling amounted to nothing in the end–no bump in price for these upgrades. In fact, we might even have to cut the price of our home again.
Excuse me, I am a little queasy.
Home “improvement” is a myth, a joke, a ruse. What we really needed was a swift kick in the you-know-what. While it was a difficult and expensive lesson, home remodeling for our primary residence is not a mistake we’ll make again. Where we should have put our remodeling time and money is in real estate investments, not in our own home.
Now that we’ve had the experience of remodeling a home as well as building a new house, I think we can safely say that we’ve learned quite a bit about the processes that we can put to good use in the construction of our tiny, Two Cup House. Perhaps, one day, I will say that the money we spent on the big house was money well spent. And maybe I will never say that. 🙂