I was reading a good article by some folks that know a lot more than I do about real estate values. It has to do with applying around $10,000 in renovations to your home in order to add value to it. There is no doubt that adding $8,000 in kitchen upgrades and a few grand in your bathrooms will add value to your home, but here is the kicker: ..

Why don't you do a quality renovation to your home because it will IMPROVE YOUR HAPPINESS while you live in the home????

You see, I had this conversation a couple of weeks with some clients. They had purchased a condominium that was in fair condition, and hve dome some wonderful sweat equity (actually split between their sweat and the sweat of contractors). I was asked, "Did we spend too much?", "Will we get this back?". My response to this question is always the same...

"Do these improvements make YOU happy?" The answer to this is always a "yes". If so, then it is worth it, whether you have purchased a home in Hot Springs, Arkansas or in Avon, North Carolina.

In my opinion, and I suppose it is an expert opinion because we have proven over and over again that "experts" do NOT have the proverbial crystal ball when it comes to real estate now....   Part of this mess with real estate came about when we were basically trading our homes like stocks on the Dow. Do you margin stocks often? If so, you have quite a stomach for risk, or need to, so if you are worrying about the housing market like you would having several hundred thousand dollars worth of MARGINED stocks, there's a problem, isn't there?

Your home is an investment in money and time... if it is a HOME and not merely a house (the two are far different), then it is also an investment in LOVE. I'm guessing that that's a bit sappy, but it's true with me at least. I try hard to find people HOMES.

My home here in Hot Springs is modest, but I love it. It's a bit "dated" and overly cluttered with memories of wonderful living and loving and family. It has GASP, laminate countertops and vinyl (OMG NO!!!) floor covering in the kitchen and bathrooms. But you know what? It's home and it's comfortable and I love where it is and how it looks (except all my junk on the side porch...that bothers my wife too). Here's the point... I sold a bunch of my stocks to purchase this home, and you know what? None of those stocks EVER kept the rain off my head or kept the cold out...

Do what makes you happy. Live your life. DO WHAT YOU CAN COMFORTABLY AFFORD.