Where to scrimp – where to spend

Here’s a quick discussion of the primary factors that influence design/construction spending, value and return-on-investment (ROI).

Clearly the location of your home or business trumps all other factors: simply because it is the most difficult to change and affects so much else.  Don’t scrimp here. You are also protecting your investment because the better neighborhood or region has many safeguards that help prevent a highly impactful down-turn in rough times (i.e. how much better 5th Ave. NYC property values did that Rockland County during 2008-2011)


Don’t scrimp on the infrastructure. Again because it is too difficult to upgrade and is usually concealed.  If you read the Power Broker you know Robert Moses understood this. He’d get the systems, infrastructure in place then as funds, resources and star-alignment were ready- he’d develop those areas and address the needs as more information, resources and development patterns emerged.


The premise is that you buy/build in a good area, and trade building or home size for superior location knowing that you can leverage the future development rights and create more value than just a larger structure in a mediocre location could provide. Plan for several phases that build upon eachother.

Design and development advice at the earliest possible moment of the process can have the highest ROI , since the fundamentals are more easily addressed.  So yes, scrimp on the size of your building  Better design will yield a more usable building in less space. You can add on later! The design and planning effort is a higher-level investment, not an afterthought…. with very real consequences and significant value.


Size may matter, then again…