Financial Expert Says Go Ahead — Build a Man Cave

Released: 9/21/2011 1:00 PM EDT
Source Newsroom: University of Alabama at Birmingham
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Newswise — With fall sports in full swing, there are two words that could distract a devoted fan away from the game and toward home decor: man cave. Or, if you prefer, “fan cave.”

The ideal man cave, or fan cave, is the perfect meld of well-worn recliner and high-tech TV, with an over-the-top motif sporting the cave dweller’s favorite team. But does pimping out a room of your house jeopardize the home’s resale value, even if your team’s a winner?

Cheer up, sports fans. The answer is no.

“As long as you don’t make it too specific, there tends to be a resale market for man caves,” says Stephanie Rauterkus, Ph.D., professor of accounting and finance in the UAB School of Business.

“No matter how crazy you get, there tends to be at least one or two other people in the world who have that same kind of craziness,” Rauterkus added.

She should know. Not only is she an economist, but she, her co-economist husband, Andreas Rauterkus, and their two kids hole up in their man cave each weekend.

“For ours I didn’t want to put a Bearcat claw on one wall, because even though it’s just paint, somebody who is not a Cincinnati fan may go ‘Uggggghhh, I gotta paint and do this and that’” says Rauterkus, author of the 365 Days on a Budget blog. “Plus, down here even if you go Alabama or Auburn you have a 50/50 chance of having a team that turns somebody off of buying your house.”

Being passionate about your interests is good, Stephanie Rauterkus says, “but there is a way to do it that doesn’t get you into too much financial trouble.”

First and foremost, Rauterkus says, “Don’t go crazy with it.”

• Rule One: Stay sane with the cost. Only spend what you can afford.
• Rule Two: Stay sane with the decor. In case you move or your team preferences change.
• Rule Three: Stay sane with the decision. Sleep on it as you would for all major purchases.

“Sports is all about emotion and that is how we get into trouble — when the emotions kick in,” says Rauterkus. “But when it comes time to write the check or plunk down the plastic somehow you have to get the emotion out. You have to ask yourself: Is this a smart decision? What are the long-term ramifications?”

Rauterkus does remind everyone to not let fanaticism become an obsession or an addiction. But that is another story for another expert.


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