I used to be overly concerned with our home’s resale value, and the likelihood of whether we would see much of a return on our renovations. Truth be told, our renovations have been a little unconventional. We spent a lot energy making sure the changes were attuned to our needs and preferences, which doesn’t always match up with those of other people.
When my husband and I designed the new kitchen, we used butcherblock countertop, and someone suggested that we update it later with granite. I’m sure granite would make our kitchen slightly more marketable, but right now, I’m really pleased with our choice. The wood, which was an immensely affordable option, brings a warmth to the kitchen that other materials can’t match.
Another consideration is permanence: are the changes something you can live with forever? I think in some respects, the lifetime expectancy of an architectural or design element is something that is a mandatory consideration: think hard to remove tiles, flooring, fixtures, roofing, plumbing, etc. But everything else? Tastes change. Furniture can be rearranged, given away, or repurposed. Hardly anything lasts forever.
But here is the reality: my husband and I are not going anywhere anytime soon. We have lived in our house for nearly a decade and have spent so much time and effort into making it a really enjoyable place to live. Why not enjoy it now? Why spend so much time worrying that we won’t get the most return on our investment, or that we made the wrong decision when we painted our dining room? (We did, and we changed it when the time was right.)
At the moment, I have a few basic goals with any change I make in my home. Will it help me be more functional? Is it easy to clean? Aesthetically pleasing? Priced reasonably per use? An efficient use of space and energy? Worth keeping or letting go? These considerations have nothing to do with the future, near or distant. They have everything to do with how I am living now.