Saturday, 7 January 2012

Is "Pretty" Worth It?

source via pinterest
 We live in our second home that we own.  The first was a little townhouse.  We lived there for three years and only did renovating the last year we were there, except for the main bathroom which had water damage issues.  It forced us to do something about it.  Essentially, we did all the painting on the main floor, installed laminate flooring over the vintage vinyl, and replaced the fixtures in the half-bath…all for the new owner, a very sweet woman, to enjoy.

This house, a duplex, is also not our forever home.  I’m not sure that concept really exists anymore.  Families no longer live and die in the same house, passing it on to their children.  So what I really mean by “forever home” is a house I feel I can love and transform to reflect our family and feel settled in.  Not one whose very footprint irritates me.  Seriously, there’s not even any floor space in the bathrooms to put a scale, never mind any kind of storage.

The first year we were married, we lived in a 400-or-so square foot one-bedroom apartment in a kind of grungy neighbourhood (there was a Showgirls just a few blocks away!).  After our 1-year lease was up, we moved into a much nicer, 200sqft-bigger apartment in a better area.  We stayed there for two years.  Then we bought our townhouse and lived there for three years.  We’ve been in our duplex for three years now.  Based on our track-record, we may only be living here for one more year!  I’d like to make it two years, until our mortgage is up for renewal (or whatever you call it).

But either way, I can’t love this house because I know it's temporary.  There are things I could do to make me love it…white planks around the fireplace, new lighting, painted cabinets…  But is it worth it?  Should we be putting money into cosmetic changes like that, which don’t really affect the resale value of the house?  Paint, I know is important (especially compared to the dinged up yellow we have on most walls), as well as finishing the basement.  That kind of change affects either the prospective buyer’s perception of the house, or the actual value of the house.  But replacing a perfectly nice (but not my style) light fixture does nothing for resale value or convenience while we live here.  Essentially, it’s just pretty to look at.

Is pretty worth it?

source via pinterest

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