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Should resale value factor in when you’re remodeling?

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POSTED January 24, 2014 8:14 p.m.

To the Good Old Real Estate Boys: My wife and I are having a rather heated disagreement about adding a room onto our home.  The man of the house, that’s me, wants a man cave where I can go and watch the 49ers on Sunday afternoon with a few friends, male of course, or  maybe on a special day like New Year’s go and spend the entire day watching the college games.  The Olympics are coming and I could go shut the door and just enjoy on my big screen.  On the flip side my beautiful, kind wife, Wilma, mother of Pebbles, is totally NO WAY!  Her thoughts are if we add any rooms it will be a family room for all of us to enjoy.  You guys carry a lot of weight with her so your answer will get me my room.  Yabba, Dabba, Doo.

— Fred Flintstone

Dear Mr. Flintstone: Are you crazy?  Do you really think the Boys are going to take your side on this one?  We are both married and in no way would we touch this one with an answer, right Larry?

Well Lloyd, this is the only question we received this week so I’m thinking we better answer it. 

Then you answer it, Lar!   Yabba Dabba Doo I’m on it Lloyd.

There was a cartoon years ago that featured the Flintstones where a hapless Fred took advantage of Wilma.  Seems to me you have a similar relationship where you feel you can go sit in YOUR man cave and not share it with your wife or daughter.  Let’s look at this purely in the real estate sense, changing the shape of your room so it fits the décor of your present scheme of things. 

Okay, you add your “man cave” to the back of the house.  It ends up being 15 feet wide and 18 feet long.  Because you are a handy man, don’t forget to add a built-in wet bar with a cooler for your keg of Hops of Wrath from the Dust Bowl.  You also must install a small refrigerator and fill it up with Son of Wrath and Great Impressions, all again from Dust Bowl.  The coupe de hops, you put all sorts of neat pictures of Farrah Fawcettstone on the wall and have your high school stereo with quadraphonic speakers and surround sound for the sports events on TV.  It’s a great room for the guys and all your guy friends are impressed.  Wow man, your wife sure is cool letting you have this room.

Now from your wife’s side, she sees the same sized room as a place where you and kids can go when friends come over for a visit.  It’s decorated a little different than your “cave” — more country with antiques like a dish cabinet made of granite where she has transformed it to a wine storage cabinet, an old ice box used to store wine glasses, maybe an old pre-historic styled library table to be used as a table to set meat and cheese trays, a dish of smoked oysters or a cool mini keg of beer from a local brewery.  It’s bright and cheery inside with a lot of sunlight, even a ceiling fan or two.  The coupe now is the 72-inch HD flat screen TV on which you get to watch your sporting events.  The room can then be enjoyed by the family and occasionally you have some incredible BBQs eaten in the room with your buddies and their families or just your buddies on Super Bowl Sunday. 

You might even create a reservation board where you can reserve your room for you, your friends and your games. And the kids can sign up for perhaps movie time on a Tuesday afternoon or Thursday.  Wilma can have it on Thursday evenings for Bunko, of course when football is over. Your lovely wife can now have a really roomy spot to have over her reading group or quilting group. She will then know that the room will be her space for her reserved time. And when that time is reserved everyone else stays in the rest of the house.

Remember, redecorating an existing room does not require a permit. Any new building or wall moving would. Check with the city first.

By decorating your “man cave” in a less tacky manner and by sharing your space you might stay away from the Hops of Wrath from your wife and you become a Great Impression to your kids. 

Fred, even Barney would agree that if you ever go to sell your home a man cave may not add much value, other than for the man who may be looking for the potential buyers.  The real value is in the shared look.  If you really want a value-added room you might try painting your garage floors gold, the walls half up red with the top half white.  Paint on a shiny seal coat on the floor and you have a man cave for all your toys.  Larry’s wife approved of this idea and Larry did it. Turned out nice.  And it is now very easy to keep clean. 

While this may sound like a silly little article, the point is Fred should look at the possible return on anything that he does to the house.  We are a moving society and numbers say we move about every five to seven years on average.  If that’s the case for Fred, he really should look at the resale values when he puts something on the walls.    

  — Lloyd was a farmer for 27 years and is well versed in ag and homes. Lloyd has been a Realtor since 2000. He is active in the Realtor CanTree project and was a Board member with the Central Valley Association of Realtors. He was honored by his peers as the 2006 Realtor of the Year.

Larry became a Realtor in 1983 and a broker in 1987. He was appointed to the Turlock Planning Commission and then elected to the Turlock City Council. He is a past President of the Central Valley Association of Realtors. Larry has also donated over 13 gallons of blood to the Delta Blood Bank!

Lloyd and Larry have ventured out and opened their own real estate office, Turlock Realty Group, located at 1505 Geer Rd., Turlock. They are located directly behind String’s at the Geer and Hawkeye intersection.

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