Home Improvements in 2018

by | Jan 24, 2019

Do you know what home improvement projects your clients took on in 2018? Did you recommend any improvements that would have made one of your listings more marketable? Or maybe you made some much-needed upgrades to your own home? To answer these questions and more, personal finance website NerdWallet surveyed 2,001 U.S. adults (1,353 were homeowners) about their homes. Here are some of their key findings. 

  • Unprepared to cover repair costs. About three in 10 (31 percent) homeowners say they don’t have money set aside for home repairs and improvements—a matter of concern, considering 44 percent of those who have purchased a home experienced their first unexpected repair within the first year after closing. 

  • Lamenting the cost of professional work. 80 percent of homeowners say professionals charge too much, but 68 percent say those costs are worth it over having to do it themselves. 

  • Gung-ho about DIY. American homeowners DIY’d roughly 43 million home improvement projects between 2015 and 2017, according to census data. Nearly three-fourths (73 percent) of homeowners say there is a wide variety of resources that contain enough information that they could do all home repairs and improvements themselves, if they wanted to, according to the survey. 

  • If sometimes a little too gung-ho. But 35 percent say home improvement shows have led them astray—influencing them to take on a DIY project that ended badly. 

  • Spending far less on DIY projects than professional work. DIY projects account for 38 percent of all home improvements, but just 18 percent of all home improvement costs, according to NerdWallet analysis of census data. In the kitchen addition/renovation category, for example, the median project cost for handy homeowners was $22,000 less than for homeowners who hired professionals. 

  • Energetic (or savvy) when they’re young. Homeowners under age 35 DIY more than half of all their home repair and improvement projects—a larger share than homeowners in all other age groups. As such, they’re spending less; several hundred less on a typical project, according to census data. 

  • Exploring their funding options. According to NerdWallet’s survey, 56 percent of homeowners said they’d be willing to borrow money, from a lender or family member, for example, to do home repairs or improvements that they knew would increase the value of their home, and one-third (33 percent) would borrow from their retirement fund for a major home repair or improvement. 

  • Optimistic about the effects of their work. Most homeowners (72 percent) say spending money to improve a home always increases the value. 

To learn a lot more about what NerdWallet’s 2018 Home Improvement Report got to https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/2018-home-improvement