Superficial vs. Enduring

[ 0 ] March 27, 2017 |

As we see it, there are two types of improvements you can make to your home — we’ll call them “Superficial” and “Enduring.” A “superficial” change/improvement could be new paint, new countertops, or maybe new floor coverings. What we’re calling an “enduring” improvement might be a change to the floorplan, an addition to the home, or even the planting of trees in the yard.

Superficial improvements start dying a slow death the moment they are completed

Superficial improvements are generally easier to plan for and are often less expensive, but they (generally) start dying a slow death the moment they are finished. Even if the kitchen you remodeled 10 years ago is still in good shape, it’s likely the finishes you chose at that time are no longer in style. So not only do you now have a kitchen with some level of wear and tear but you also have a kitchen with finishes that were popular 10 years ago.

Enduring improvements can add value over the long haul  

Most of the improvements we would put in the enduring category will generally be more expensive and will likely require a bit more planning (because there is a good chance some sort of construction will be required). But, if completed the right way, these types of improvements can add value over the long haul. Yes, the materials you use will age and depreciate, but the effect of the changes may very well endure — adding value to your home not just now but going forward as well. Making changes that open up your floorplan or increase natural light are examples of potentially enduring improvements. Planting trees that create a desired effect in your yard and/or adding on to your home are two more examples of improvements that have the potential to endure.

Good general rules, yes…but no absolutes

In the end, there are no absolutes. There are subtleties and “in betweens” to be addressed, depending on the situation. For example: 1) The finishing of a basement could potentially fall into either of these categories (depending on things like basement ceiling height & window size [which affect natural light], floorplan and cost). 2) There are situations when, because of poor  planning & design, an enduring improvement can actually do more harm than good (in the short and long term). And 3) while value gained from a superficial improvement  will generally trend down, this isn’t always the case. It is possible for these types of improvements will add value in the mid and long term — not just short term.

We’re here help you make good/informed decisions

In the end, every situation is different, and the factors that affect each situation are different. If you need our help, please don’t hestiate to call. We’ll help you understand, based on your specific circumstances, the potential impliciations of one decision over another. We’ll help you make a good/informed decision on how to proceed with any remodeling project.

Category: Real Estate

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