Is there anyone out there that didn’t know we’re renovating our home?! It’s been a long haul to get to where we are at the moment but, as I sit here tapping away in our new living area, I can’t help but think it’s worth it. But is our home really worth the investment?
Last year, we undertook a huge extension which completely altered the look and feel of the downstairs of our home. We removed walls, extended the entire back of the house and added a porch. It’s turned our dark maze of a home into something open and free flowing; a space that has quite literally changed the way we live our lives. There’s more interaction, more room for play, more access into the garden.
When we did the work, we weighed up the cost versus the value that it would add to our home. Our house is detached in a defined plot of land that is bordered by neighbours on all sides. There’s always going to be a maximum worth to it based on those space constrictions. And, whilst we have no intention of moving (ever again!), it’s always a thought that’s at the back of our minds… would we want to spend more on it than we’ll get back?
In our first home, we were very focussed on the end goal; to sell and move up the property ladder. As such, we kept a close eye on what we were prepared to spend on the house. We knew we didn’t want to raise a family there, or see ourselves spending any extended length of time living there so in a way it was far easier. It really was about maximising return and getting back into the housing market as quickly as possible.
The housing market isn’t like it used to be when my parents bought their home. The value of their house now compared to what it was when they bought it all those years ago is hugely different according to this calculator. They’re entering their sixties now though and are thirty years further down the line than us, who knows what could happen to us in thirty years!
So far, the purchase price of our home and the additional expenditure for the building work add up to roughly the market value. However, our long term plans include adding a further extension above the garage. We’ll be sacrificing a room to use as access so it won’t add to the number of bedrooms but it will change a small bedroom into a master bedroom with ensuite. In reality, it should add a small amount of value to our home but due to the amount of work that would need to go in to making the existing garage structure compatible, the cost is going to far outweigh its long term worth. Something which we’re having to consider carefully.
It’s a difficult decision for us. Do we go with the more financially sensible one and not extend? Or do we follow our hearts and invest the money in order to create a better living space that suits our needs, knowing that we’re unlikely to see that investment back at any point but also knowing that we’re unlikely to move for decades? Should you really treat a home purely as a long term investment? Can you put a value on creating a home? There are so many questions we have yet to answer! What would you do?