With a seventh child on the way, my wife and I are feeling just a little cramped in our home. The natural question that arises is whether we move to a new house or add on to the one we have. Moving would require selling our current house, and in this market, that seems doubtful, so we’ve solicited bids to add an upstairs dormer to the back side of the house.
It really makes no economic sense, however. Home ownership has turned out to be a bum deal – I don’t ever expect to recoup the money that we’ve sunk into our house by replacing the windows, renovating the bathroom, upgrading the front porch, or replacing the roof.
Our dwelling is not an investment vehicle, and so I can’t bear to think about it in those terms. Rather than asking whether the two new rooms that we hope to gain will add as much to the value of the house as they will cost us, we have to ask instead how much we are willing to pay for the additional living space. If we consider what we are getting to be fair for what we are paying, then we don’t need to be overly concerned about the market value. Being underwater on our mortgage should only be a problem if we want to sell – which we don’t. We love our current location.
Unfortunately, the bank might not have the same attitude. Our finances have taken a serious hit this year. We hope that we will be able to reorganize our debt in a way that allows us to expand and still keep our heads above water, even if the resulting mortgage isn’t.