Picture this: you’re famished, in line at your Favorite Burrito Chain. You watch longingly as the chef layers cilantro rice, pinto beans, fajitas, carnitas, and salsa verde onto your lunch burrito. You’ve worked hard today, answering multiple (yes, multiple!) emails, staying hydrated, putting on a nice shirt for your virtual 9 a.m. all-hands. You’ve earned this. 

“Guacamole, please,” you blurt just before your lunch delicacy is snuggled into the embrace of its foil wrap. “Guac is extra,” you’re told, the now-universally familiar siren call of ripe avocado-y goodness. Baby, you’re worth it. 

“I’ll take it,” you say, like some mysterious multi-millionaire waltzing in and out of a Lake Como villa alongside your Realtor who signals to the seller to draft the paperwork. You’re already on a jet to Montecatini.   

Some things in life are worth the splurge. Whether it’s the irresistible flavor of a thick, creamy guac, the upgraded package at the car wash, or the hot oil add-on at the nail salon, there are moments in life when spending a little more money can go a long way in brightening your day. 

But when it comes to real estate, the benefits of some splurges last longer than an afternoon or a week. While it’s not unusual for homeowners to spend more on features or renovations that will bolster the home’s property value, it’s totally reasonable to spend a little more on something that will directly impact the owner themself. One feature that’s always worth the splurge? It has nothing to do with that fancy kitchen countertop or bathroom remodel. According to Chicago-based Realtor Amy Wu, the answer is simple: sleep!

Wu, a Realtor who works around the clock for her clients, understands viscerally the value of a good night’s rest. “We spend one third of our lives sleeping and sleep can either make or break our health, how our day goes, how we think and act, how we do everything, basically.” Wu says. As someone who rarely sleeps and, when she does, has wildly vivid horrific nightmares endlessly until the sweet relief of daybreak, I must say — she’s onto something!

For those embarking on a house hunt, take notice of where the bedrooms are located in the home. Natural light, windows for airflow, and any bordering rooms are all indicators of the potential quality of a good night’s rest. My previous apartment was located behind a row of restaurants and bars, and had garbage pickup seemingly every morning at 6 a.m. Look out those windows and avoid that brutal wakeup call.

Wu shares that it’s not just the location of the bedroom and home, but also the tools you use that optimize your sleep quality. “There are more and more studies coming out that emphasize the importance of quality sleep, so I feel that buying a great bed and anything else that will enhance sleep will be helpful, such as black-out curtains, a humidifier, etc.,” Wu says. 

If you haven’t upgraded your mattress lately, check to see if it’s time to invest in a new one. Conduct some research on the type of pillow that works best for your sleep position and patterns. And put some extra money and effort into ensuring that your sleeping quarters are a tranquil place to hit the hay. In addition to installing black-out curtains, this might also mean splurging on a diffuser for sleep-inducing essential oils or painting your walls a soothing color.

There’s no substitute for good sleep, and budgeting to spend a little more to ensure quality sleep is an investment worth your money.

Sarah Magnuson

Contributor

Sarah Magnuson is a Chicago-based, Rockford, Illinois-born and bred writer and comedian. She has bachelor’s degrees in English and Sociology and a master’s degree in Public Service Management. When she’s not interviewing real estate experts or sharing her thoughts on laundry chutes (major proponent), Sarah can be found producing sketch comedy shows and liberating retro artifacts from her parents’ basement.

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