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A Pleasant Home Is an Asset

According to research from the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released by the Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) of Harvard University’s Remodeling Futures Program, increased spending in homeowners’ annual repair and renovation will continue in 2021 through the next year, with a gain of 3.8 percent at the end of 2021 and 4.8 percent in the first quarter of 2022. Remodeling Futures Program Associate Project Director Abbe Will projected that annual homeowners’ renovation spending will reach $352 billion in 2021 and $370 billion in early 2022.

The Remodeling Futures Program at Harvard University’s JCHS releases the LIRA three weeks after the close of each quarter. JCHS Managing Director Chris Herbert stated that homeowners are investing in home improvements because of rising home prices, a strong housing market, and recent federal stimulus payments. With the recovery of the economy, he expects homeowners to go beyond repairs and replacements to larger home improvement projects.

Real estate sources predict a 30 percent or more growth in remodeling expenditure in Austin, Texas; Naples, Sarasota; and Fort Myers, Florida. They forecast a 25 percent or more growth in renovation spending in Nashville, Tennessee; Fort Worth, Houston; Dallas, Texas; and Raleigh, North Carolina. On the other hand, they expect more modest growths of nine to 10 percent in the largest U.S. cities, New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

Why People Make Home Improvements

“2020-21 Home: By the Numbers,” a study by TRUE Global Intelligence for Lowe’s, shows that 64 percent of homeowners stated that their home “means more to them now” and 33 percent spent more on home improvement during the pandemic than they did before. Forty-six percent spent their money on home improvement even if they could have spent it on something else, and 20 percent stated they plan on spending more. People built home offices, home classrooms, and home gyms. Sixty-five percent said they will try gardening and 45 percent said they want to improve their outdoor space, such as creating outdoor escapes or physically distanced spaces.

A study by CouponFollow among more than 1,000 homeowners and renters shows that 90 percent of homeowners and 78 percent of renters tackled a do-it-yourself (DIY) project in the first half of last year. Of these, 64 percent of homeowners and 63 percent of renters said they were “very satisfied” with what they did. The respondents were 56 percent millennials, 28 percent from Gen X, and 10 percent Boomers.

The most common motivation for the majority or 55 percent was being home because of social distancing rules. Twenty-eight percent did it to occupy themselves in their spare time while working from home and 17 percent did it in the time they saved not having to commute.

Almost half or 49 percent said the activity gave them enjoyment while under quarantine, and 34 percent said it helped support their mental health. Twenty-two percent said they did the project because they were unhappy with the appearance of their home.

Others did it for financial reasons, with 30 percent wanting to increase their home’s overall value, 25 percent wanting to save money, and 25 percent wanting to eliminate the need for contractors.

Home Improvement and Your Well-being

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Like most people, having to stay home during the pandemic showed you what you need to repair in your home. More than that, it showed you what else you can do to make your home a comfortable haven so that staying home becomes a welcome idea.

New needs surfaced during quarantine, such as a quiet office space, a quiet study space for students, and a home gym. You also need an extra room for isolation in case someone in the family gets exposed to Covid-19. Plan the remodeling of your indoor space to accommodate these needs.

You also need breathing room outdoors. This can be the right time to get a waterproof concrete-floor coating for your deck or patio so you can spend more time there and even exercise outside. Plant vegetables, fruits, and herbs in pots to add edible greenery that not only looks good but tastes good on your table, as well.

Seeing things in a state of disrepair and living in a space that no longer adequately meets your needs can cause stress. You now have all the time you need to do something about it. You can do DIY projects or hire professionals or do a mix of both.

In the end, not only will your newly repaired and remodeled home be more pleasant and restful to live in, but it will also have a higher market value that is like money in the bank. This will give you peace of mind both at present and in the future.

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