I find myself constantly thinking about how to make our first home, “home”. Alex and I are going into this totally carte blanche. We’re starting our life together and there’s nothing we want more than a cozy, comfortable, and welcoming place for us. With neither of us having had a place of our own in the past, it’s a lot to think about when we have to stock our new home with everything we will need – even the little things we won’t realize we need until we’re in the middle of a recipe or project.
A huge decision we are facing right now is whether we are going to renovate – or not… Yes, there’s always the option of doing the renovation projects little by little. But our 800 square-foot 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment is so tiny it seems like it would do more harm than good to constantly be in the middle of construction. If we do renovate we have to act fast and start making decisions so that our home will be move in ready after the honeymoon. We currently have the unit rented out so that we could save up for our home improvement projects, so once our tenant is out of there, it’s show time! Here are some things we’re thinking about to help make our decision:
Budget: Nothing gives you a reality check like looking at your budget. We will definitely appreciate the renovations while we are living there and while we will probably (and hopefully) outgrow our first place fairly soon we intend to keep this apartment in the long run.
Style: This is the first time ever that I have to consider someone else’s style and preference when making a space “my own”. Lucky for us, we have a very similar style and vision so it’s not so difficult to compromise! In a world where digital content and inspiration are everywhere, we sometimes may get flooded with images and ideas for the perfect look. I think that dreaming of our perfect home is a great way to start but it’s so important to be realistic. Even more importantly, to create a home that is true to us and our lifestyle.
Investment: Ideally, we would not want to sell this apartment. We bought it at a good price and it’s in a prime location. It’s someplace we would love to move back into in the (very distant) future, too. If we ever NEED to sell it, I believe we’ll definitely recoup the value added.
Other Expenses: Aside from considering the cost of renovating the space we also have to remember that we have absolutely no furniture, kitchen tools, or linens, and so much more. The list quickly becomes very long!
So far, the biggest renovation question mark is with the kitchen. We’ve gotten started with a designer and love it. The renovated kitchen would open up the space so much by making some simple adjustments. There would be a seamless flow between the kitchen and living areas.
And here’s the idea…
We have a lot to learn but we are really enjoying going through this new experience together. I think it’s so awesome to be making decisions, to be putting so much effort into this, and most importantly, to be doing it together. If you have any ideas or suggestions that would help us make a renovation decision I’d love to hear them! What are some things we should consider that we’ve overlooked?