A funny thing happened on the way to the remodel, the house remodel, that is. Just like a stew can be destroyed when too many cooks start messing with it, so can a remodeling project get derailed with too many decision makers.
The house in question was about 660 square feet, one bedroom, one bathroom, and a tiny yard. It didn't have enough room for a lot of people to have living space and it wouldn't be the kind of home millionaires were buying. It was a great home for the right person. It had been decided by the entire family that the home needed a remodel.
A normal course for one family member was to research every item going into the home. Not only would quality, price and function be considered by this family member, but also, what the latest trends in the market were. It was discovered that oak was out and maple was in. Laminate was out and granite was in. Carpet was out and wood floors were in. The list went on and on. But, for resale . . . began the researcher's plea. The problem was resale was not the goal. The relative on the opposing side lobbied for the home's occupant to like what was put into the house. Besides which, if high end, expensive choices went into the house, the house remodel would cost more than it was worth!
As I watched the debate, I thought of Jennifer Kirby's blog article, "Are Buyers Spoiled?" Like Jennifer, I believed our years of prosperity have raised the bar on what buyers expect in a home. This little St. Paul house was an entry level home. Someone would buy this as their first or starter home.
My experience has been that first time buyers are so thrilled to get a house, they sometimes overlook the picky little details. The ones who are starting small with hopes of moving up to a bigger house actually may prefer oak cabinets over maple! They might like the clean laminate countertops. They actually might like carpet on the floors! Those buyers who are starting small are grateful for a clean well-kept roof over their heads. Those who don't want to work their way up from a small beginning might reject a house because it didn't have the amenities. That is one of the risks a remodeler makes, but it's only one of the risks. Another risk is to make the house more expensive than the buyer can afford. Or to not ask the occupant about their choices in the remodeling!
This particular project will be an interesting one to follow if for no other reason than to watch the family dynamics.