There are many ways to improve your home's value. One way is by creating sanctuaries. The more sanctuaries you can create, the more you will enjoy your home and the more you'll get for it when you sell.
A sanctuary is a place where you can be alone for hours with your thoughts. The world is chaotic. The pandemic has locked millions of us at home longer than we probably want. Having a sanctuary room allows one to recharge. For a writer, finding a quiet place to work is especially important.
After going through five months of pain building a master bathroom extension, I thought I had built my one and only sanctuary. I've already spent over a hundred hours in the jacuzzi tub. But I'm pleased to say that after only three days, I've built another!
Improve Your Home's Value By Creating Sanctuaries
When I bought my fixer, it had an old rumpus room downstairs that had been left untouched for 65 years. The floor was covered in peeling linoleum, and the ceiling consisted of office-like squares with water stains spread throughout. But instead of seeing the space as ugly, I saw it as an opportunity to make something beautiful!
I replaced the walls with new sheetrock, and divided the rumpus room into a master bedroom and a walk-in closet. The walk-in closet is 7 feet wide by 16 feet long, large enough to have a his and hers side.
A year after the room was built, however, I realized the closet was wasted space. As I no longer had a day job, there was little need to ever change into any business attire. My new uniform was t-shirts, jeans, and sneakers. The closet became the least visited room in the house and a part of me wished I had created a larger master bedroom instead.
One of my mistakes in building the walk-in closet was that I failed to install a window before the sheetrock was being replaced. There was a water pipe in the way, and I thought it would be too much of a hassle to change the route. My contractor at the time also wasn't the most competent of people I've ever worked with.
It was silly of me not to proceed with building a window since the closet faced west towards the ocean. Not only would a window bring in natural light and better feng shui, but a window would also increase the value of the property.
Given one of the takeaways from the post, “Stock Market Meltdown Implications For Everyone,” is to figure out alternative ways to invest money on things that can last, it was time for me to get back to work!
Creating Home's Value By Creating A Window
Here's a picture of my walk-in closet that I created after replacing all the walls and windows. It's large enough to be another bedroom at 120 square feet, but it lacked a window.
Creating An Office Out Of A Walk-In Closet
When I had to clear the room of all my clothes and shelves, I had an epiphany. Without all the clutter, the room felt much bigger. So instead of hanging back up all my clothes, I decided to just give most of it away. It was then that I realized I could create a standing desk!
Granted, I've still got a lot of decluttering to do given there are so many ties I will never use anymore. But one thing at a time! The ties actually serve as an anti-glare screen from all the sunlight that's now coming in.
The walk-in closet, which I never used, now serves as my “dry sanctuary” where I can write posts, take a nap, play the guitar, exercise, or simply look out the window during sunset. It's my version of the man-cave. Putting the daybed the length of the room totally opened the space up as well.
The window immediately improved my home's value by opening the room up.
The Cost Of Improving Home Value
Unlike my master bathroom expansion, this project didn't need a spreadsheet. The cost is as follows:
- Window: $400
- Permit: $550, covers replacing a total of eight windows in the house. See: Remodel With Or Without Permits
- Two days of labor: $1,250
- Painting: $0, because I painted the trim, moldings, and wall myself
Spending $2,200 is a no-brainer and such a better return than investing it in the stock market. I'm now fully utilizing 120 sqft of space that was seldom ever used. I absolutely love getting up from bed, walking to the next room and doing some work in this sanctuary. The place is even large enough to conduct business meetings, play some piano or guitar, and do some art work.
In my mind, spending $2,200 improved my home's value by at least 10X. In other words, I believe installing a window improved my home's value by at least $22,000. After all, a four-bedroom is worth more than a three-bedroom!
Based on my income tethering philosophy, the $2,200 will come from working extra hours consulting with corporate clients. I've now got extra motivation to see what else is out there.
Work To Improve Your Home's Value
For those looking to create more wealth, once you're willing to put some sweat equity into more things, you'll be able to create a lot more value than someone who is more passive. It's like the difference between people who like paying a premium for an already renovated home vs. those willing to use some elbow grease to remodel an ugly duckling.
I firmly believe creating as many sanctuaries in your home as possible is what's going to create the most value. Sanctuaries help create an emotional bond with the potential buyer. Emotions could be the difference between a house that just sits vs. a house with multiple offers.
When it's time to sell your home dow the road, if you improve your home's value by creating sanctuaries, there's a high chance future buyers will appreciate what you've don as well. Once you make special rooms and great connections with your sellers, the value of your home goes way up.
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Updated for 2021 and beyond.