Remodeling & My Parents

I grew up in a household that wasn’t financially efficient, so it shouldn’t surprise me that my parents, like many Americans, continue to throw money into their homes when the actual home value will never be worth a lot more.

They claim they are making the updates for their own quality of life, and I believe it, but the actual amount of money they are putting into my childhood home is outrageous if you look at it from a financial perspective.

In addition to adding on a new room to the house and continuously collecting “art” clutter for the walls, my parents are now on to the next improvement. It does make sense for them to upgrade the old bathrooms, but my father seems set on pulling out the walls in the master bedroom to put in a bigger bathroom and closet. This is his fantasy of how the room should be, but I’m pretty sure it won’t add any value to the house.

The reality is that my father is sick and it’s unlikely he will live to 100. It’s not necessarily wise to put your money into a home as if you only have a year left to live (that could honestly go either way) but it just seems wasteful to start redoing an old house. If you really want a nice, large bathroom and walk-in closet, while I don’t want my parents to move out of my childhood home it really would make more sense for them to sell and move into a newer property with what they want. The house is already the most expensive in the entire development, so I doubt it would go for much more with a bigger bathroom.

Anyway, it’s up to them if they want to put their retirement savings into fixing up the house. Maybe my mom will end up living there for many years. She’s only 60 and it’s a reasonably nice complex to grow older in. If they want to spend $40,000 on redoing two bathrooms in a $500,000 house then go for it. Whatever makes them happy. That’s the point of making money, so you can eventually spend it, right?

For better or worse, my childhood home is looking foreign to me now when I go home. I’m 30 so that’s acceptable, but I still feel very attached to this house as it’s the only place I grew up. It will be very hard on me in the future when my parents move out and it’s sold. My parents also want to redo the room I grew up in, which is a good idea since my teenage angst collages are still half-up all over the slightly torn wallpaper, and the carpeting is covered in paint stains from my crafty days. Yet that room still feels like home, when I go home.

With the whole upstairs being redone it won’t be home anymore. Yes, yes, I’m 30, and it’s time to grow up and move on (I’ve actually lived out of my house now for 12 years!) but it still feels good knowing that I can go back there. I’m a bit sad that they’ll be remodeling the upstairs bathroom as well. I’ll miss the ugly wallpaper and the leaky bathtub. But I guess this is a sign that it’s really time for me to establish my own roots and to grow up.



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2 thoughts on “Remodeling & My Parents”

  1. Some people are very sentimental about their childhood homes and others – like me- could care less. I actually wish my mom would have done more to the house but she always said it was good enough for her no matter how decrepit it seemed to me. As she aged she was almost obsessively attached to that house and when we finally had to sell it she stated that she hoped the new owners never changed it at all. On the other hand, I have very little sentimentality for a building and just wanted to be rid of it, all the while trying to be mindful of my mom’s attachment.

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