Broker Check

When Home Improvement Makes Things Worse

| October 22, 2019
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Before I'm pointed out being hypocritical, I fully understand that this applies, in some parts, to Allison and me, as well.

The economy seems to be doing rather well.  The stock market is at an all-time high, unemployment is at 50-year lows, and I see more home improvement, lately, than in recent years.

I'm even seeing some people pour all available extra resources, and then some, into additional borrowing into perpetual home improvement projects.

While home maintenance and periodic upgrades are important to maintain the value of your home, I believe that frequently, the needs prioritization process is confused by this strong desire to invest in our homes. 

Ultimately, new floors or smooth ceilings won't make us happy long-term.  Though, financial security for our loved ones and ourselves is almost universally more important than these other priorities. 

However, it's easy to look around at your surroundings and think of things that are wrong or not perfect or things that you'd like to tweak.  Then have a list of projects ready for whenever you have extra resources. 

I urge people to consider, instead, the big picture view of how their long-term goals are tracking, if they even know, and whether or not a set of new windows is going to help or hurt those long-term goals. 

I can't help but think that a lot of this money that is being spent at Home Depot and with contractors should be used to pay down debt, fund college savings plans, or increase retirement contributions, even if by a small amount of 1% or 2%. 

These changes can make a lasting positive impact on your life; whereas, excitement around a depreciating bedroom remodel will fade to almost nothing. 

Over improving is also a potential problem.  You don't want to be the nicest house on the street, and after a certain hygiene element of updates and repairs, incremental improvements don't make as much of a difference.

If you find yourself with a laundry list of things that you wish you could do to improve your home, surroundings, or landscaping, also think about the big-picture. 

What's most important to you and your loved ones, and are those needs met? 

Are those needs more important? 

Then you can make an informed decision to spend money on the house without guilt and without jeopardizing your future. 

How much do people spend annually on home improvements? 

How much do you think you need to save to reach your financial goals? 

Thanks for taking a look, and I hope you, too, will be okay!

 

Tom

 

 

This article represents opinions of the authors and not those of their firm and are subject to change from time to time, and do not constitute a recommendation to purchase and sale any security nor to engage in any particular investment or legal strategy. The information contained here has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed for accuracy.

 

 

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