According to HousingWire, (via BuildFax), Home remodeling has been at a post recession high for the last few months. However, they touch mostly on the facts regarding that reality, and avoid the implications and interpretations of that fact.
So, what does an increased occurrence of home remodeling tell us? How is this for definitive? Not any one particular thing. An increase in home remodeling speaks to several different factors and indicators.
People have more disposable income and are putting that toward projects around the home. Simply an economic indicator that times are improving and people are feeling more confident and secure in their financial position.
Home owners are preparing to list and sell their property. It is always true, but in our recent experience it is especially true today that more and more buyers want a turnkey transaction rather than a place with “potential”. A dated bathroom, or an non-remodeled kitchen quickly makes a buyer’s list of discounts, so it can be valuable to make these changes before listing a property. If done wisely this work can often pay itself back in the sale, and it also give the home a much better chance of selling quickly.
Home owners are planning to stay put rather than sell and move up. Many home owners who had planned to own the home they were in until they outgrew it or could afford more are now laying down roots and adjusting their existing home to meet their needs. Be it basic remodeling or gut renovations with additions home ownership has migrated back to a long term play for many. Though, in some cases people find that it is more cost effective to sell and buy the house that works for them, it all depends on the nature of the existing property and the challenges it presents.
Spring came early. It is important to remember that 2012 has not been your typical year. Personally, I had to mow my grass for the first time in February, and I was dodging daffodils to do it. It is quite possible that we will find out that, quite simply, more people did projects now instead of later because the weather was nice.
The answer to the overall question of why home renovations projects are on the rise will be different depending on location and home owner circumstances, but at the very least I felt compelled to add some context to the basic facts.
Kristin, the founder of The Ramsbury Group, has been representing clients and redeveloping properties in the Washington DC area for over a decade. She has represented residential and commercial clients in transactions ranging from $200,000 to $4 million in value as well as commercial leases up to 15,000sf.