PhotoGood news for husbands who happen to be sports fanatics. Your wife's veto of your idea to build a man cave in the basement, decorated in homage to your sports teams, might not be all that justified.

At least, not if she uses the reason that the room would sink your home's resale value.

“As long as you don’t make it too specific, there tends to be a resale market for man caves,” said Stephanie Rauterkus, Ph.D., professor of accounting and finance in the University of Alabama-Birmingham (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.”

Knows from experience

She should know. Not only is she an economist, but she, her 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’” said 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,” said 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?”

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