Lots of homes in San Diego have increased in value over the last year or so. It’s great when the value of your home increases for any reason, but there is a difference between an increase because of market conditions and an increase due to improvements to the home.
Homes that go up in value simply because of a strong housing market can just as easily lose that value if the market weakens. A home that’s been improved is less likely to lose the added value if things go south, since their increased value stems from tangible things like additional rooms, or an updated interior.
Here in Clairemont where I live, many homes look virtually the same as they did when first built in the 50′s. While “original condition” might be good when you are talking about classic cars, or collectibles, when it comes to a home, it’s not always so good.
This is especially true if you are planning to sell your home in the next 5-10 years. You’ll be competing for a buyer with newer homes and updated homes, so your “50′s original” is going to look poor in comparison, and you are likely to have to settle for less in the sales price.
Even if you aren’t planning on selling, building materials and techniques used to build the 1950′s home can’t compare with today’s energy efficient and convenient home features. Take windows for example: in the 50′s, it was significantly cheaper to heat and cool a home, so the thermal loss through windows wasn’t a big issue. I don’t have to tell anyone in San Diego that that isn’t true any more. Today, the investment made in new dual pane windows can be recovered in savings on the old power bill.
And there’s another consideration-lifestyle. Think about how many entertainment options your family enjoys at home–renting movies and DVDs, video games, the Internet, dinner parties– so why not make your home as comfortable as it can be? An extended family room, an eat-in kitchen, a luxurious master bedroom and bath suite could convert your “plain old” home into the home of your dreams.
With the political situation in the world being what it is, you may be thinking that this might not be the right time to spend the money on your home. You might be concerned about our economy in this time of war overseas and terrorism here at home.
The way I see it is this: if we stop spending money–fixing up our homes, buying big screen TVs, taking vacations– then we become part of the problem. The best thing we can do to keep our economy strong is to continue to invest in it. Buy stock, improve your home, take that trip to visit your relatives back east, and know that you are supporting the world’s greatest economy.
And don’t forget to support your neighbors, the locally owned merchants– like K-Co!