Get Your Home in Shape for 2019

Home renovation shows are all the rage on TV networks like HGTV and DIY, and the home renovation bug has rubbed off on thousands of Americans. Following in the footsteps of Chip and Joanna Gaines and the Property Brothers, homeowners across the U.S. spent an estimated $337 billion on remodeling their homes in 2018, and a majority planned to make some extensive changes to their living spaces. With high risks but sometimes-higher rewards, we surveyed over 1,000 people about their home improvement plans for the new year. Read on as we break down how many homeowners are planning major renovations to their property, how much money they expect to spend, and whether selling their home is a motivating factor.

Renovation goals

Percentage planning major home improvements next year There are many reasons beyond increasing resale value to make major renovations to your property. Making large-scale changes can help update an outdated property and even help you avoid the stress (and cost) of buying a new house altogether. According to our survey, 69 percent of homeowners planned to make major home improvements or repairs in the next year. Some homeowners were even more ambitious. While 35 percent of those surveyed had just one renovation project planned, 22 percent had two projects outlined, and 6 percent planned on completing three projects in the new year. Hiring a contractor can significantly increase the cost of certain projects, but professional expertise can help homeowners avoid expensive mistakes and lengthy setbacks. Forty-two percent of homeowners planned to hire a contractorin the coming year.

Fluctuating valuations

Percentage believing home prices will rise or fall next year 2019 could be the biggest year for the housing market in the last decade. With massive shifts in the U.S. economy, analysts eagerly await a clear sign as to how volatile the stock market and trade wars might impact the price of housing. Opportunity Zones (introduced as a part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Job Act) should have a positive impact on the housing market, but changes to the mortgage interest deduction (introduced in the same bill) could hurt it. Overall, a majority of homeowners were confident the value of their homes would favor a seller’s market in the coming year. Compared to fewer than 20 percent who saw home prices declining, 52 percent expected the housing market to rise, including 3 percent who expected it to rise significantly. Renters and homeowners, though, differed in how likely they thought the market would change. Renters were nearly twice as likely to believe housing prices would fall in the succeeding year.

No easy job

Percentage finding home improvement projects stressful, by selling plans Some projects are more for homeowners’ enjoyment than anything else. In fact, some changes (including a high-end kitchen or luxury bathroom) can hurt the home’s resale value. For homeowners looking to get the most bang out of their buck, sticking with projects like deck additions or replacing the garage door are the most likely to grant the highest return on investment in terms of the cost and added resale value. According to homeowners surveyed, 28 percent anticipated selling their homes within the next five years. Homeowners who planned on selling their house in the short-term (next five years) were more likely to say that homeownership was stressful and more than twice as likely to say owning a home was “extremely stressful” than those without plans of a short-term sale.

Finding the funds

How much do homeowners have saved for emergencies? Committing to extensive home repair projects can be costly, and it’s important that homeowners don’t spend their entire maintenance budget on elective or cosmetic upgrades. One of the most stressful parts of being a homeowner is often managing the unexpected, and some repairs can break the bank when they catch you by surprise. As we found, homeowners had a median amount of $3,000 saved up for an emergency, although nearly 1 in 3 had $1,000 or less. If they needed to replace their roof, homeowners would need $5,000 on average (and even more in the event of internal damage to the sheathing or attic). Other repairs can be even more expensive than replacing the roof. When asked about dealing with a $10,000 home emergency, only 35 percent said they had the money available in savings, while more than 1 in 4 would pay for the repairs with credit and 17 percent would take out a personal loan.

The best time of year for every project

Porch's recommendations for seasonal home improvement projects Home renovations can be expensive, and even more so if you’re planning to hire a contractor. Depending on the project, the cost can fluctuate wildly over the year, peaking and falling based on the weather, overall demand, and availability of resources. This guide will help you plan out the best time of year for various renovations and repairs both inside and outside the home. Before starting a project you might not be able to finish, consult this guide to help you understand which tasks are better suited to the season at hand and which you might want to wait before initiating. In the spring, you might want to consider inspecting the basement for water damage before the rainy season fully kicks in, and in the summer, you should consider checking and replacing all of the air conditioning filters to avoid unnecessary outages during the warmer months.

Setting yourself up for success

If you’ve got more than one renovation or repair job on your list, you’re not alone. The average person has nine pending home improvement projects, and many are putting off the work they know needs to get done. According to our study, more than 2 in 3 homeowners planned to make major changes to their home in the coming year, and many hoped to undertake more than one project. While most homeowners believed these changes would positively impact the value of their homes, some were still nervous about the experience. At Porch, our mission is to help make home improvement as easy as possible. Using our Home Assistant tool, you can start checking those DIY projects off your to-do list like TV mounting and have the peace of mind that they’re getting done by the best professionals in the business. No matter what project you’re taking on whether it’s replacing a window or hanging art, our Home Assistant will match you with one of our Porch Services pros (or recommend someone from our network) to help you every step of the way. Stop putting off the jobs you know need to get done. Visit us at Porch to learn more. Methodology and limitations To compile the data in this study, we surveyed 1,015 people about their home behaviors and intentions going into 2019. For the maintenance tip section, we used Porch’s monthly home maintenance guides. Of the 1,015 people surveyed, 617 respondents were homeowners, while 398 were renters. The respondent gender demographics were 52.6 percent male, 47.1 percent female, and 0.3 percent who selected another option. Because the data came from a survey, they may be susceptible to issues and biases common to any survey, such as telescoping and recency bias. The data were collected to the best of our intention and ability, and outliers were omitted to validate the data. Fair use statement Think your readers may have been bitten by the renovation bug? Help them by sharing the results of this study for any noncommercial use. Just include a link back to this page in your story so that our contributors get credit for their work too.

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