A new study from Harvard University suggests that a growing number of American homeowners are opting to complete home improvement and remodeling projects on their current homes rather than moving.
According to a February 1 Philly.com article, discretionary spending on home remodeling projects grew by about $6 billion from 2011 to 2013 — the first time this kind of spending has increased since before the Recession. The housing crisis of late last decade may have actually contributed to this shift toward home remodeling, as more people would rather stay in their current homes instead of spending more money to move to a larger, newer dwelling.
This is especially apparent among the Baby Boomer population, according to the Wall Street Journal. Rather than moving out upon retirement, today’s Baby Boomers are choosing to settle into their homes and complete home improvement projects like extra handrails, first-floor bathrooms and other amenities to make aging in place easier.
The most popular projects other homeowners are choosing? Energy-efficient upgrades like vinyl windows that are rewarded with federal stimulus funds, kitchen and bathroom makeovers, siding replacements and new roofing installations, the article reports.
That’s because these projects all boast a significant return on investment (ROI). A simple mid-range siding replacement carries an 81.6% ROI for the homeowner and helps boost the home’s value. Investing in an energy-saving home improvement project also saves money in the long run; getting new energy-efficient windows and doors can cut one’s energy bills anywhere from 7 to 15%.
All of these factors will help make 2015 the biggest year for remodeling spending in the last 15, the Wall Street Journalreports, with $330 billion expected to be spent this year alone. And as new home prices continue to rise, it’s unlikely that this growing trend of opting for home remodeling over moving into a new house will stop anytime soon.
What are your thoughts on this story? Are you going to remodel your home rather than moving into a newer house? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.