Home Dreams vs. House Realities

It’s fun to dream, but there always comes a time when you need to determine the difference between what will always be a dream and what is actually possible. And so it is with our house.

My dream is to have wood flooring throughout the house. Real wood – not too dark, not too light. Wide planks. Perhaps they’ll be made of maple. But the reality is that wood flooring is expensive and this house is not our forever home. I’m still trying to figure out whether it’s worth the expense – will we get back what we spent in resale? – or swallow my pride and install economical laminated flooring instead. I need one of these real estate experts from HGTV to come to my home and tell me what the right choice is. I’m still not sure.

Source: feedly.com via elisa @ on Pinterest

My dream is to have a beautiful patio with tiles on the ground and a fan above. Our master bedroom has a window that overlooks the backyard and we’ve been dreaming about changing that window into french doors and adding a balcony right over the patio. How beautiful would that be. I image us sipping a cup (or three) of coffee in our robes (that we don’t own) and chilling on our balcony in the morning dew. But I can’t even imagine how much money that would cost. I still want to put down tiles for our patio and possibly have some kind of shade – a pergola, perhaps? Again, it all comes to resale, it’s not about what I want.

Something to consider is the area where we live. I’m sure that certain improvements count more or less depending on the neighborhood. Right?

There are tons of other examples where my dreams and my reality collide, but these two are what I’m struggling with the most. And we’re also trying to decide which of these projects we should do first. The patio, so we can enjoy our backyard sooner, which we haven’t been doing because there’s nowhere to sit? The floor, so I can get rid of the cheap carpet that hurts my eyes and my heart and that’s probably hiding thousands upon thousands of… I don’t even know what and I don’t care to.

Any advice? Any real estate experts out there? Any offers of free labor? If you just want to commiserate with me, that’s allowed, too.

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13 Responses

  1. You are not alone! I am often caught between my home dreams and home reality. And I’m super impatient. I want it ALL and I want it all RIGHT NOW! lol (The poor hubs.) Part of me thinks our current home will be our forever home, but part of me wishes the farm up the road would come up for sale. For me the answer is baby steps. I put in a garden pond with a bistro table where I dreamt we would sit every morning and sip our coffee. My husband doesn’t even like coffee LOL and I sat there once. I would love all hardwood floors, but I’m lazy and I know I’ll never want to do the maintenance. So we’re putting in laminate wood flooring. And for budget purposes we’re starting small. We’re doing the entry and half bath this month ($250 installed for a quote for Pergo) and then we’ll move to the kitchen and just work our way around. No matter what you decide I’m sure it will be great!

    • Try coercing your husband to sit at the table with a glass of beer or whatever he likes to drink? šŸ™‚ I think your method of doing flooring in stages is a smart one. We’re considering maybe doing the first floor first and then the second floor later on, that would help in terms of money. Hmm

  2. I know nothing about real estate but I would say enjoy your home and do improvements for yourself and not necessarily for resale. (This is from a chick who does not even own a home.)

    • Normally, I would agree with you, but when I think about spending 10k on something, I start to have second thoughts and wonder if I should save that money for our next home instead of this one… You know?

  3. I vote patio first then flooring. Not being able to use and enjoy your back yard makes it a worthless space. If you DIY with pavers and a rented compactor you can save a lot of money but still make a big impact.

  4. YES I know exactly what you mean but have no solution, only commiseration.

  5. Gorgeous flooring inspiration photo! I wish that was my entryway.

  6. I struggle with the same thing. There is so much I want to do to our house, but a lot of it just isn’t practical because we plan to be out of our house within the next five years. Also, we’re currently $125,000 under water and I’m hesitant to sink any more money into a house we’re going to take such a bath on. On the other hand, there are things that I’d love to have because for the next five years they’d make living here so much nicer, so it’s definitely a fine line between want and need.

  7. Our wide plank natural oak engineered floors were 13k for 1100 sq ft (plus stairs, which added about 2k to the total), so yes — wood is pricey.

    I say don’t do laminate. If you looking for a cheaper option, do a really handsome tile and carpet combo. There are some awesome choices out there, like ceramic pavers that look like brick and nylon loop carpets that look like sisal.

    You may not get all your money back, but nice floors will sell a house.

    • Thanks for the advice… I think I’m definitely saying NO to the laminate. I’m really eh on the tile and carpet – I know there are pretty ones out there but I think I’m just in love with wood. I guess I have to figure it out…

  8. Try builddirect.com I ordered my flooring from there. I got handscraped engineered wood flooring, 11oo square feet for $5,000. Mine also included stairnose and underlament. I love my flooring!! http://www.builddirect.com/Engineered-Hardwood-Floors/-Birch—Sunset/ProductDisplay_8804_p1_10075491.aspx

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