March 6, 2015

2015 Already?!

I can't believe the last blog post for the Manor was in December. The Master bathroom refresh is complete and the rough-edge shelves are awesome. We are enjoying the clutter-free arrangement and lighter color in the small space! There's nothing like freshly painted bathroom baseboards!

I have been thinking about our home-renovation philosophy and always having a project going. We have a master plan that involves a porch conversion, and a few more large scale landscaping projects that I'm chomping at the bit to get done. House/garden projects are my favorite creative outlet, but lately I've felt a the need to dial back the big $$$ projects. There are two reasons: the first is that it's probably foolish to spend all one's money on home improvements, and more importantly: it's also unwise to invest so much into an asset that isn't really appreciating. Comparable houses in the neighborhood are selling for way less than we bought our house.

I'm fine with being a little upside down or flat in value. We didn't buy the house as an investment really, but rather a place to live. But it seems silly to pour every spare dollar into a house that has flat (at best!) value 7 years after purchase.

Part of launching the blog was to keep track of the improvements to the property, to see how far we've come, and to loosely keep track of the time and money we've put in. And it's been a lot. The roof, kitchen, fence, front landscaping, front door, patio, insulation, security system, exterior paint - we're talking thousands of dollars over the years (not to mention the blood sweat & tears!)

Most years, we have a plan for what projects we're saving up for. For 2015, we're switching gears. We're maintaining everything, doing a little garden work, but not spending the moolah. We can continue with the upgrades that don't cost anything and keep them more in line with what the neighborhood and markets will support.

Ongoing posts will consist of less hammer and nail kind of stuff, and more posts of things like: flower arrangements (yes, I'm a sucker for those!), garden edibles, plants that I dug up from one part of the yard and replanted in another (a favorite free hobby), and hopefully clutter clearing projects.


  1. Our house has barely maintained its purchase price value in 7 years despite things like a new roof, new furnace and major landscape updates. For some reason those kids D's of projects never help with resale value. However I don't plan on selling anytime (ever?). This year I have two rather spend projects on the docket - I have to complete both the bathroom and kitchen restorations that I started 6 years ago. I've resolved to stop buying new plants for the garden projects at least. There are plenty that can be divided and transplanted though. I've spent so much in plants that I've allowed to die for lack of water the first year. If my transplants die, at least they didn't cost anything.

  2. Good point about the roof, updated furnace, etc not really increasing home value. They seem like key components and cost a lot, but don't do much for a return on investment.

    I hear you on plants! I'll also be dividing as many as possible, which I think has the added benefit of working off of plants that are healthy in current conditions and won't need too much watering.

    Good luck with the bathroom and kitchen!