Unwilling to Sell, Many Homeowners Remodel Instead

The home remodeling market is continuing to be fueled by homeowners choosing to remain in their current homes as their mortgage rates are too good to give up in today’s real estate landscape.

U.S. News & World Report ran a nationwide study of 1,202 homeowners between May 23 and 30 who are undergoing home improvement projects. This study was conducted through PureSpectrum. Homeowners were asked a series of questions about their renovations, including how they plan on paying for them and why they’re deciding to make improvements to their home.

According to U.S. News & World Report, it was found that:

  • Many Americans are finding ways to improve their current space because they can’t afford to move. Over half of homeowners (57%) feel they’ll have to live in their current home for longer than previously expected due to rising mortgage rates and home prices, and 47% are making improvements to their home because they feel “stuck” where they are. Most (52%) say they bought a starter home that they think might now be their forever home.
  • The most common reason homeowners took on their projects was to make their space better fit their needs or desires, with 49% saying so. A quarter (25%) need to make necessary updates and repairs, while a fifth (20%) want to add value to their home. A small amount (7%) are making home improvements to get their property ready to list for sale.
  • Respondents favor small home improvement projects over large-scale remodels. About two in five (42%) are planning light aesthetic projects, such as painting or landscaping. Thirty percent are doing full renovations, such as kitchen or bathroom remodeling, while 28% are doing moderate functional projects, such as replacing windows or flooring.
  • Homeowners aren’t afraid to put in a little bit of sweat equity. While 21% are hiring a contractor to do all the work, 44% are completing their projects all by themselves. Among DIYers, the most common reason they aren’t hiring a contractor is that they have the skills required to tackle this type of project (36%), followed by wanting to save money (28%).
  • Most homeowners will have to borrow money to help pay for their renovations. About two-thirds (64%) will use savings to help pay for their home improvement projects, but just 43% will be able to pay using only savings. A third (34%) will tap credit cards to help fund their projects, and 15% will borrow a personal loan. What’s more, 18% of homeowners say they have no emergency fund to cover urgent repairs.

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