Guilty about my bathroom reno?


#1

I want to hear some thoughts about something that has been bugging me a little lately.

I live in an ancient house which is in a borderline neighborhood, and paid $79,000 for it almost 7 years ago. It is now worth about half to two thirds of that because the market crashed bigtime in Michigan.

I make a very decent salary, but I can’t get out of the house and “move up” yet because I don’t have enough equity in it. It had never occurred to me before I became Catholic to stay in the house I have, mostly because it would be considered a “starter house.” Where I work everyone lives in a very nice neighborhood and my boss, no kidding, just spent $47,000 alone ON HIS KITCHEN RENO.

I think that’s kind of nuts, but I recently have contracted to do a bathroom reno, which will cost about 4 grand. I am in love with nice bathrooms and my bathroom is out of date, has a too small tub, etc.

But I am worrying that it’s also unnecessary–I have never been greedy about money–hence why I bought a more less expensive house than I was approved for—but 4 grand seems like a lot to spend on a reno. I am doing it anyway, but I wonder.

Also, I worry about moving up to a grander house and wonder if I should not be doing that either. Everyone in this culture does, if they can… and I’ve worked hard since I was 16 and sometimes feel like I “deserve” it…but what do you think God thinks about this kind of thing?

I guess I’m worried somewhat about the moral implications of A. spending so much on a reno, and B. about wanting to buy a grander kind of house.

Thoughts?


#2

Improving your current home to help you enjoy it is less selfish than buying a new one IMO.


#3

Also, you are providing needed work for a contractor and his/her employees.


#4

We're meant to be good stewards of our money, so to the extent you are able, you should be supporting your parish, providing for your family, and saving for the future. Beyond that, there's nothing wrong with spending your income how you see fit. If you can afford to renovate your bathroom (especially for only 4k - wow!), then you are providing employment for someone else trying to make a living and improving the value of your current home. If the home is very old and outdated, updating the bathroom might be necessary if you ever do wish to sell.

It's also not selfish to want to move into another house that you can afford and maintain. Wanting a safer neighborhood, a shorter commute, friendlier neighbors, or more space for your family are all legitimate reasons to consider moving. There's also nothing strictly wrong with just wanting a newer or nicer house, though I'd caution against buying outside your means or trying to keep up with the Joneses. It's hard to know when you say "grander" what you're envisioning but, in general, there's nothing wrong with spending your own money how you'd like.

My advice would be different if you had lots of debt or were struggling to feed your family.


#5

No. You provided employment, from the workers who made the fixtures to the craftsmen who installed the bathroom. Enjoy. Unless you paid $26,000.00 for a waste basket you have nothing to feel guilty about.:wink:


#6

You earned your money honestly. Unless you’re taking away from family, children, etc. it’s yours to do as you please. Besides, if you plan to sell your house in the future, you’ll get all the renovation money back plus.


#7

$4000 is a very good price for a bathroom remodel. You should not feel guilty. You need to keep a home up, and the kitchen and bathrooms are the most important to keep up, and remodeling them will add value to your home.


#8

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