As the real estate market remains tight, homeowners are increasingly looking to boost the value of their homes instead of buying new properties.
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The median home value in the U.S. is $220,100, according to online real estate company Zillow, and those values are expected to rise another 6 percent over the coming year.
More than 70 percent of homeowners said the best way to add value to their existing properties is by spending money on home improvements, according to a survey from NerdWallet.
Americans spent nearly $450 billion on home improvements between 2015 and 2017, according to U.S. Census Bureau data cited by NerdWallet, on 113 million projects. Those projects included everything from kitchen repairs to repairing roofs.
However, financing those improvements isn’t an easy feat for some homeowners.
More than 30 percent of respondents told NerdWallet they did not have enough cash to make home repairs or improvements. That could pose a problem considering nearly half of homeowners said they experienced an unexpected home repair within the first year of ownership – and 12 percent said it occurred within the first month.
Most Americans opt to hire professionals to carry out the renovations, but 43 million homes were repaired by homeowners between 2015 and 2017 – accounting for almost 40 percent of total home improvements. The most popular do-it-yourself projects were landscaping, bedroom additions and renovations, recreational room additions, bathroom remodels and fence additions.
The majority of Americans consider a home their most important investment.
Sales of new single-family homes in September dropped to their lowest level in nearly two years, as homebuilding, permits and housing completions all declined as well.