Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, most people have been forced to spend more time at home—a lot more time at home. Our homes have become our gyms, our offices, our daycares, our movie theatres, and often, our classrooms. As what we need from our homes evolves, many Americans have become quite dissatisfied with their homes.
According to a Porch.com survey, forty-four percent of homeowners are less satisfied with their homes since the beginning of the pandemic and homeowners with children are even more likely to be dissatisfied with their homes. With new demands for space and functionality, many people’s homes just aren’t working for them!
As a result, overwhelmingly, Americans have been investing in making their homes more usable for their new needs. More than seventy-five percent of homeowners have done some type of home improvement project during the pandemic and have collectively spent a median of $17,140 on projects. As of September, home improvement spending was up eleven percent from last year.
Home projects have been a valuable way for homeowners to spend their time in many ways. Thirty-four percent said it has helped their mental health and forty-nine percent believe it has given them an enjoyable way to fill their time. The most common reasons for homeowners taking on projects now are finally having the time, wanting to add value to homes, and wanting to make homes cozier and more comfortable.
So, what trends are we seeing?
Among the most popular improvements have been outdoor spaces and bathroom upgrades. Sixty-one percent of homeowners upgraded their garden or patio, and with extra time spent at home, having extra, useable outdoor living space has become invaluable. Things like fences, decks, and landscaping have been in high demand. Also topping the wish-lists of many homeowners for desirable additions are home gyms, home offices, gaming spaces, and additional kitchen space.
How are these projects being financed?
Homeowners are financing their projects by tapping into their savings, using credit cards, government stimulus checks, and by cashing in on their home’s equity. With a robust housing market and home values increasing, reinvesting equity gains back into their homes is even more valuable for homeowners. Additionally, by not spending money on things like eating out and going on vacation, many people have extra cash and are choosing to put it toward their homes instead.
As we have shifted priorities and our bubbles have shrank, people are choosing to focus on their homes and adjusting them to the demands of the ‘new normal.’ The pandemic has changed many things in our lives, including the meaning of ‘home sweet home.’
More than 75 percent of homeowners have done some type of home improvement project during the pandemic!