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Why Home Remodels Are Up Among Millennial Home Buyers

Home remodeling has been featured quite a bit in the news recently thanks to a substantial increase in renovations.

Many are electing to stay put rather than trade up because the inventory of affordable homes is so small – Wall Street Journal

Renovations on the Rise

According to the Joint Center of Housing Studies, spending on improvements and repairs to the owner-occupied housing stock is projected to reach almost $316 billion in 2017. Additionally, according to their Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity, spending will grow over 6% in 2018.

“Even with some easing this year, the remodeling market is still expected to grow above its long-term average,” says Abbe Will, Research Associate in the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center. “Over the coming 12 months, national spending on improvements and repairs to the owner-occupied housing stock is projected to reach fully $324 billion.”

Why I Chose to Remodel

Personally, I have been part of this increase in home remodeling. In fact, just three weeks ago, we started an interior home remodel project.

My husband and I bought our house two years ago, and for the past six months we have discussed this project. One year ago we tackled the backyard, which we knew we would do as soon as we bought the house. But we had been waiting for the right time to do the interior remodel.

The interior had been updated before we bought it, but we felt it needed a few changes to adapt it to our lifestyle. Two main things were critical:

  1. I needed a closed office space
  2. We wanted an open and connected kitchen to keep an eye on our kids

Home Buyers Want to Personalize Their Homes

We're not alone in wanting to make our home our own. This is in line with one of the findings of the 2017 Houzz & Home Survey, which found that one of the main triggers to start a renovation amongst both first-time and repeat home buyers is the desire to customize their home.

This was definitely our case: we found an “older” home at the right price and have been investing in remodels to customize the home to fit our specific needs.

The Houzz survey also showed that millennials and first-time home buyers experienced the largest increases in home renovations in 2016. The survey showed that the 25-to-34-year-old age group spent an average of $26,200 last year on upgrades, 7% more than they did the previous year. First-time home buyers spent $33,800, representing 22% more.

We are excited about our remodeled home and feel it was worth it, despite all the disruptions to our day-to-day life during the renovations.

We also believe this remodel will help sell the house faster, if we ever need to, and hopefully it will also increase its value. Of course market economics will play an even bigger role in that, and I always have my eye on those.

Here are the results of our home models pictured before (top) and after (bottom)
home model results before (top) and after (bottom)home model results before (top) and after (bottom)

This was my own personal experience. For the latest industry trends and market analysis on remodeling as well as new construction, check out our new market intelligence page.

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