Today I want to talk about "starter houses" — you know, the house you buy because you're going to be living in the same place for at least a couple of years, but that you know you won't be staying in forever. Our current townhouse is a "starter." We have owned it for two years, and we'll be here for about two more, until Matt graduates with his Ph.D.
Where I've been struggling lately is toeing the fine line between wanting to make changes to this house to make it more "us," and knowing that any major changes we make will probably affect how we eventually sell.
For example, our recent, minor backyard renovation. We got sick of looking at the ugly crabgrass, so it had to go. It wasn't expensive to fix, but chances are good it will not increase the value of our home. (We have one of the nicer townhomes on our street, which is right on the edge of the sketchy part of town. We don't imagine we'll be getting anything out of our home, other than what we put into it in the first place, no matter how many awesome changes we make.)
Which leads me to our ongoing dilemma. Our kitchen.
I'm not a fan of the "white" laminate countertops. We've gone back and forth about whether to replace them, because they stain and chip ridiculously easily. I also recently suggested painting our cabinets to something that isn't orange wood. While Matt didn't specifically have a problem with my wanting teal cabinets (inspired by this pin, though the color is not teal), he commented that we'd probably have to paint them back to a normal color before we tried to sell, and that maybe two years of enjoyment isn't enough for the the effort it would take to fix them in the first place.
How long do you think you should plan to live in a house before you feel comfortable making changes to make it "your own"?