The tank has been low on inventory for years, and with new construction still sputtering well below pre-recession levels, some homeowners may decide to take matters into their own hands—perhaps not build a new house, but at least remodel their current one.
A new Trulia survey of more than 1,300 U.S. homeowners aged 18 and older, conducted online by The Harris Poll, sheds some light on the state of remodeling. We found that:
- 90 percent of homeowners plan to remodel their home at some point, up from 84 percent last year.
- While homeowners with a future sale in mind will often undertake a remodeling project, most remodeling is likely for the homeowners’ enjoyment themselves. More than two thirds of homeowners who plan to sell their home in the next two years (68 percent) also plan to renovate or remodel in that time. But only 17 percent of homeowners planning to remodel within the next two years are also planning on selling in that time.
- Of homeowners planning to remodel, 47 percent are only willing to spend less than $5,000, while 20 percent are willing to spend over $10,000.
- The most popular projects homeowners planning to remodel will take on are in the kitchen (50 percent) and bathroom (45 percent).
Almost all homeowners want to remodel their home at some point—but most are putting it off. While 90 percent say they will ever remodel or renovate their home, only about two in five homeowners (39 percent) plan to do so within the next 12 months.
Some of these remodeling plans are by homeowners planning to sell their home. When it comes time to sell, homeowners may find their house needs a facelift. The quirks and kinks an owner may have let slide – leaky faucets, outdated appliances – can be a turn-off to potential buyers, and remodeling or renovating can make a home more competitive on the market. Indeed, we found that more often than not, homeowners will remodel in preparation for selling. More than two thirds of homeowners who plan to sell their home in the next two years (68 percent) also plan to renovate or remodel in that time.
But most of the remodeling that homeowners undertake is likely for their own enjoyment, not in preparation of a sale. When looking instead at homeowners planning to remodel in the next two years, only 17 percent say they’re also planning on selling in that time.
Are homeowners ever torn between staying in or selling their remodeled home? Turns out, once deciding to sell or remodel and stay, homeowners are largely set on their decision. Of homeowners planning to sell their home in the next two years, 83 percent would not consider renovating or remodeling it and staying there over selling it. Similarly, 87 percent of homeowners planning to renovate or remodel in the next two years wouldn’t consider selling their home instead of renovating or remodeling.
For homeowners planning to sell in the next two years, the top reason they won’t consider remodeling instead is because they’re selling to move to a different neighborhood (38 percent). Conversely, among homeowners planning to renovate or remodel in the next two years, the top reason for not selling instead is simply that they want to stay in their current home (40 percent), followed by homeowners saying they want to stay in their current neighborhood (28 percent). Homeowners planning to sell often won’t consider remodeling their current home because they want a different neighborhood entirely, and homeowners planning to remodel have already found the neighborhood and home they want – even if it may need some sprucing up.
Younger homeowners are more likely to remodel or renovate than older ones. Ninety-two percent of homeowners aged 18-to-34 say they would ever remodel or renovate, compared to 81 percent of homeowners 65 and over. These younger, likely first-time homeowners may be finding themselves in starter homes that need more fixing up. As more Millennials start to become homeowners, we’ll likely see an uptick in remodeling demand, driven by this generation’s propensity to fix up their homes. The share of homeowners that ever want to remodel or renovate is up from 84 percent in 2018 to 90 percent this year.
The most commonly cited rooms homeowners planning to remodel or renovate will take on are the kitchen (50 percent) and bathroom (45 percent). These rooms are perhaps the ones that most easily and quickly become dated in the house – hardware and appliances break down and need replacing, while finishings such as cabinets and countertops can fall behind the trends. But other rooms are often remodeled or renovated too – 28 percent of homeowners want to remodel the bedroom and 27 percent want to remodel the living room.
But on the whole, homeowners don’t want to spend much money remodeling. Almost half (47 percent) of those planning to remodel are only willing to spend less than $5,000, and only one in five (20 percent) say they’re willing to spend more than $10,000. Perhaps homeowners are too optimistic when tasked with setting a budget, but many renovation efforts can be minor and inexpensive – a fresh coat of paint can go a long way in sprucing up a home.
At Trulia, we understand that finding the perfect home and neighborhood is never easy. Before hitting the pavement this spring homebuying season, if you’re already living in your perfect neighborhood, you may find that your perfect home is closer than you think.
The 2018 survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Trulia from January 3-5, 2018 among 1,378 U.S. homeowners ages 18 and older, among whom 1,155 plan to remodel or renovate their home. The 2019 survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Trulia from February 1-5, 2019 among 1,373 U.S. homeowners ages 18 and older, among whom 1,283 plan to remodel or renovate their home. These online surveys are not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodologies, including weighting variables, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.