“When the tide comes in, all ships rise.”
One of the most common mistakes we see in houses we walk through is an inconsistency of upgrades. What do we mean by that? Investing a significant amount of money into a specific part of the house; which, as spectacular as that upgrade may be, just ends up making the neglected portions of the house seem out of date, dirty, cheap, and/or unkempt.
For example, we recently walked through a 1920’s farmhouse with a kitchen that had been remodeled spectacularly!! The countertops were a deep, rich, charcoal limestone, the hammered copper sink showed like a museum piece set in the new countertops- its custom-built cabinets were nothing but the finest, and the Miele appliances stood out as a remarkable quality statement! To top it all off, the high-end light fixtures made the whole kitchen a simply remarkable masterpiece of visionary remodeling, and we were thoroughly impressed!
However!! Just down the hall, the family room stood untouched as a window into what the house looked like decades prior-the unfinished fir floors had character but needed to be sanded and sealed, and the original trim had long since outlived its style, and in no way did the kitchen remodel compliment the originality or character of this historic farmhouse. The dramatic contrast between the stunning kitchen remodel and the rest of the rooms in the house that hadn’t been touched, made our hearts sink, and inspired us to share this timeless real estate wisdom with you.
We live in a Navy community; and as they say, “When the tide comes in, all ships rise”. We like to apply this to the remodeling strategy-make sure that your home upgrade plan is like the rising tide, and consistently applies your available improvement funds across the whole house: Here is what we would recommend for the perfect remodeling plan:
First: Fix anything that is broken! If your furnace isn’t working, or a window is cracked, or the drywall has a hole in it- these types of fixes are the first place that home improvement money should go-
Second: Plan to make conservative upgrades across the whole house so that when you are done, there is a consistent upgrade feel throughout.
Better to use cheap cabinets and countertops in your kitchen and have money left over to upgrade your trim and bathrooms than to spend all your money in one room of the house.
Third, and lastly: Set aside a part of your budget for a couple of bold pops of style.
This could be similar to the fancy hammered copper sink that we saw the other day; mentioned earlier, which was surprisingly the least expensive part of the whole kitchen. Or one of our favorite additions-unique light fixtures!!! Unique lights and GOOD LIGHTING are some of the most effective ways to make a finished remodel project pop!
Even a conservative upgrade consistently done throughout the home will simply shine with a couple of remarkable and noticeable investments in finishing touches that stand out!!
Examples of these include:
*Accent wall- this could be a pop of color, texture, or design such as wallpaper or a board and batten interior wall.
*Unique tiled backsplash
*Stand out tile floors in the bathroom
*and as mentioned before: light fixtures, light fixtures, light fixtures!!!!
Speaking of common mistakes that we see…….possibly the most common remark that we hear after coaching clients through a remodeling plan to maximize their home’s value is: “Honey, why didn’t we do this 10 years ago so we could have enjoyed it” So may we humbly recommend, DON’T BE THAT GUY!
Give yourself the gift of an upgraded home, enjoy it while you’re there, and also enjoy knowing that once all the upgrades are done You’re sitting pretty, ready to cash in on the highest possible return on your real estate investment whenever the time comes and enjoying it to the fullest in the meantime!