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In case you missed the post earlier this week about our attic renovation, I detailed how all of the work and supplies totaled just about $14,000. Anyone knowledgeable in real estate or home values will rightly ask – did we increase our home's value enough to make the project worth it? As with most home improvement projects (unless you are skilled and do the labor yourself), probably not. But this was still a frugal decision… and I will explain why.
Here were the alternatives:
Like I mentioned in an earlier post, we were SERIOUS about moving. Our house was on the market, and we had found another home. But something didn't quite feel right, and we decided to stay put. We spent the next several months going back and forth between moving, finishing the attic, or doing nothing. But once baby Abby was born and I decided to leave my job, it was clear that doing nothing was not an option.
So we considered the cost of moving:
With the possible exception of small fixes to your current house, all of the above costs are “money-out-the-door”, meaning they are not investments in the property that you might recoup a portion of at the time of sale. Adding all of this up, it would have cost over $10,000 plus hours and hours of work to move, compared with the $14,000 it cost to finish our attic.
Those were really our only 2 options; whether through cash, using equity in the house, or financing, we were going to have to shell out at least $10,000 to make our living situation work for our family. With the renovation of the attic, if we increased the value of our home by more than $4,000, then it actually ends up being the better deal. And we have good reason to think that we did okay, attic renovations are considered to be one of the better home investments in terms of recouping your investment:
My first thought on the stats above are: our $14k cost looks pretty good compared to an average cost of $48k! My second thought is: we might have increased the value of our home by $10-$12k. But who knows… and we might not ever know. It depends on if we decide to put our house on the market anytime soon… but since the goal of the renovation in the first place was NOT to move, we don't plan on finding out our home's market value.
So was the renovation worth it? Absolutely.
Have you ever renovated to save money so you didn't have to move? We would love to hear your store!