We visited a friend of the family on the way home from the Outer Banks. He and his partner acquired a half-million-dollar-plus home last year. It's in a New York City neighborhood that is only just now becoming desirable. And the home, previously used as a boarding house, was in terrible shape.
It =is= a very nice house.
They shared that, last winter (their first in the house), they kept their thermostat at 55 degrees. And that they'd had to climb through the rafters, eradicating raccoon and squirrel nests (and feces).
It sure put rehabbing our kitchen into perspective.
Today I'm at my sister's house, acquired the same time as my friend's house, and within 100K of the price of that home. All the detail was stripped from my sister's house, a Victorian. Paneling was put up on far too many walls. But now it's looking nice around here. It was looking nice at my friend's house as well. However, I am more-than-ever glad that we downsized.