As a Realtor, I see many houses each week. Each house is different but all houses have one thing in common. At one point they were brand new and shiny. The pride of the new home owners. But time moves on and what was once new isn’t the latest and greatest any more. Home ownership is a process, it isn’t a one time deal. In order to get the most out of your investment you need to keep up on it and improve it and this is most easily done incrementally.
I go out to look at houses and find that many original owners liked their choices of carpet, counter tops and wallpaper so much that they haven’t changed them for 20 or 30 years. Many times these houses are well maintained but they are not updated. To the owner it’s fine. To a prospective buyer it’s a fixer upper!
This brings me to Kristy’s rule for home ownership (Kristy is my wife). In order to keep on top of a house you must do one project a year. This could be new counter tops or new carpet or new paint or new flooring in the bathroom or new doorknobs on the interior doors or … The list is endless and it depends upon the house about what needs to be done.
Action Step: Write out a list of needed projects without the baggage of how hard or expensive it will be. Prioritize the list in terms of needs. Then re-priortize the list in terms of cost and logistics. The main objective is to know what you need to do and then get started on it. If your first project will take 7 years to pay for, most likely nothing will get done. So my advice is to knock off a few ‘easy’ projects first.