Home Projects and ROI

We are old house people. When I live in a new house, I lose interest and want to move within 9 months. An old house can keep my attention for a long time with all the possibilities and projects.

While many of us who work on our homes do so for our own enjoyment, there is always the thought of adding value to the home. I recently checked out Remodeling Magazine’s  2009-2010 Cost vs. Value Report to get an idea of how much of a return a seller can expect on their investment in various home improvement projects.

The ROI for so many of these projects has gone down over the past few years, so it is more important than ever to make smart decisions while spending money fixing up an old house.

Since we are a young family with a tight budget, we are big fans of DIY projects, thrift store finds, and easy cosmetic fixes. Our kitchen renovation cost about $500, and for that money we: we painted cabinets white, rearranged the appliances, added a dishwasher ($30 at Habitat for Humanity ReStore) and more counter space on top of it, put in open shelving, and put in a new (to us) sink, also from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Our kitchen is certainly not a dream kitchen – it doesn’t have the stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops that buyers on HGTV shows are crazy for – but considering that this is a 2 bed, 1 bath teeny tiny house, those kinds of things would be over improving and we would definitely not see that money again when it comes time to sell.

Kitchen Before:

Kitchen After:

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