Friday, April 28, 2006

This weekend, Alex and I will be heading to Home Depot to get some ideas for our kitchen reno.

We're going to be putting in a dishwasher and new countertop, after the floors are put down and we're still figuring out exactly what we want.

At the same time, we're considering a bigger reno. We're talking tearing down one wall to open it into the back room, closing off the access to the basement from the kitchen and moving the door to the front room instead (maybe a hidden door?) and then putting in more counter and cupboards where the door used to be.

This is big.
So we're going to be looking at quotes.

My real estate agent (whom I love) recommended checking out the Appraisal Institute of Canada. It tells you there that kitchens provide one of the highest payback potential.

This is good news, of course, because we actually WANT to renovate the kitchen. But the question remains: what TYPE of reno actually provides payback?

How do we know whether just doing a cheap reno would provide the most payback? Maybe most people would actually not like the wall being taken out! Or maybe this change would net us a HUGE payback because it made the kitchen so much more functional.

The advice I got from one person was to just do whatever I want for ME. I'm going to live in this house for about 5 years, so it should just make me happy. Good advice.

Problem is, I'm pretty OK with it now. It's fine. It's OK. It's better than what I have now and I love my apartment. I'd be happy with the cheap reno. Happy enough, anyway. But making the kitchen bigger and more integrated with the next room would maybe make me happier. Tough to know until it's done, but it seems like a nice idea.

Hence, my anxiety over the house situation grows. I need to figure out how to be calm about it, but let's keep in mind:
a) it's my first house
b) it is the first time I've ever contemplated this kind of reno
c) I've heard many horror stories

However, since the anxiety is making Alex crazy, I will endeavour to curb it somehow, and just focus on how exciting it may be to spend $10k on a reno that may or may not actually improve the kitchen.


Raye said...

ahhhh, the joy of home-owning. My stepdad is actually a real estate appraiser. I'd offer his advice but he's really conservative about renovations - he and my mom have been fighting over it for 10 years!

My view? I would leave it if I was happy with it and wasn't planning on living there "forever". The place is not gonna de-value no matter what you do so you'll likely earn on your investment in 5 years even if you do nothing. The buy, improve and flip thing is a full-time job - I think I would rather just live in my house. I would totally do what I wanted for MY house. That would be my only motivation to do anything.

Guess that makes me cheap. Or short-sighted. Or non-real-estate-savvy. I'm comfortable with all that.

Unknown said...

I'm cheap and non-real estate-savvy.

But if the price and contractor is right, we could do the reno almost entirely before we move in.

Even if that didn't happen so quickly, we have a second kitchen in the basement if we wanted/needed to use it.

I guess this is all moot until we actually get a contractor to quote on time and money.