Home remodeling is more popular than ever as Americans remain in their homes longer. The surprise is homeowners are no longer saying that increasing a home's value is the #1 reason for home renovations.
According to the Houzz Survey: Livability Trumps Home Value (February, 2012), 84% of respondents (87% homeowners) said … improving the look and feel of their homes was the top reason for remodeling projects while only 47% said increasing home value was a reason for planned remodeling projects.
Keep reading if you're wondering how homeowners are planning to update their homes over the next few years.
Homeowners Talking About Home Remodeling
The Houzz survey on home improvements seems more realistic than the annual home Remodeling.com Cost vs Value survey. Remodeling.com asks realtors to compare the cost and resale value of 35 projects but we don't know how many homeowners are actually completing these projects each year. The Houzz survey asks homeowners directly and here's who they are:
- 89% of survey respondents are homeowners!
- Average home value is high at $450,000 … and likely that's because Houzz readers fall at the high end of the real estate market, and homes above $1,000,000 can significantly influence the “average” home value.
- Average household income is $124,000 which makes perfect sense, to support owning a home with average home value.
- 78% of homeowners are married and 24% are in their first home.
The Reasons Behind Home Improvements
Running my handyman business gave me a lot of insight into why people called for help with their homes. From that vantage point, we could see how many homeowners focused on home improvements in the first year after buying, and then when they were preparing their home for sale — and it made me wonder why not update and repair things as you go, so you can enjoy your home more? Then the US economy stalled and homeowners stopped making home improvements unless there were critical repairs that couldn't be delayed like a new roof or furnace.
Next came government tax credits to encourage homeowners to upgrade homes for energy efficiency. Many homeowners took advantage of these federal and state programs to tackle home renovations like upgrading windows or buying new appliances.
Now we seem to be settling into new housing trends. We're not moving as frequently so it makes perfect sense that homeowners want to improve their homes, as they expect to be there for years to enjoy their upgrades. People are focusing on quality of life and recognize that their homes play an important role, i.e. they want to improve the look and feel of their homes.
People are also spending more time at home — more people are working from home, we're making our homes more functional with gym and spa like features, we're entertaining at home versus going out and we're taking stay-cations. As people consider activities they're already doing, or would do with the right space and equipment, homeowners are investing in themselves and their homes. For example, I've been home based for more than 10 years now and we finally decided to create a home gym in our loft, as I don't seem to be getting to the gym enough.
Home Remodeling to Increase Value or Enjoy Your Home More?
There's so much more to share, so we'll save the following topics for future articles on home improvements.
- Home Remodeling to Enjoy Your Home More – Who's Doing the Work? … and you'll be surprised (or maybe not)
- Homeowners Favorite Home Remodeling Projects and What They Plan to Spend