2021 has been a challenging year for the global real estate industry, although it seems that things are looking up for the Australian property market, at least for the foreseeable future.
With that being said, quarantine has pushed many homeowners to finally undertake the home improvement projects they have been meaning to for months or even years.
Improvements and renovations to one’s property often add value to the property – provided they are not unnecessary repairs that barely do anything for the home’s aesthetic value.
The American home improvement website Porch recently ran a survey to get the gist of what kinds of projects Americans have been tackling during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the results are quite interesting and perhaps on par with the changes that Aussies have been making to their humble abodes with the extra time on their hands.
Here is a rundown of the results.
Why homeowners have decided to make renovations and improvements
Not surprisingly, most Americans surveyed cited finally having time for the projects they’ve wanted to undertake as the most prominent reason for ultimately doing home improvements during the pandemic, with 25% of respondents answering in this way. Hot on this answer’s heels, 21% of the people surveyed stated that they were motivated to do home improvements because they add value to their property, while another 21% said the cosiness improvements brought to their homes were their motivation.
16% of respondents intricately tied the decision to renovate or repair their property to Covid-19, stating that it was a part of adapting to a lifestyle under the pandemic. Many other reasons that respondents gave also have to do with the lifestyle changes that the coronavirus has brought, with 14% making improvements to make their home “smarter”, 11% making improvements that make it easier to work from home, and 7% stating that their property needed improvements to make the environment more conducive to home-schooling. The environment is still at the top of the agenda for many homeowners, and the 11% of people who replied that they were renovating to make the home more eco-friendly is a shining example of this.
A large swath of the Americans surveyed carried out at least one home improvement project since the start of the pandemic (76%), and 78% of respondents said that they were planning on undertaking at least one home improvement project in the next year.
What kinds of home improvement projects have been most popular during the pandemic?
According to Porch’s survey, the most popular home improvement projects that respondents have taken on have been of the outdoor variety. This seems quite obvious, because while the pandemic has forced us to stay at home, many people have discovered the oasis that the yard and garden can be when one isn’t allowed to visit their favourite outdoor spots in their city or suburb.
Porch’s survey shows that garden landscaping topped the list of improvements during the pandemic, with 26% of respondents saying that they took up garden landscaping projects during lockdown. Fixing or adding a lawn to the property was another popular endeavour, with 18% of the people surveyed stating that they had done so.
It would seem that many American homeowners also got tired of the way their walls were looking – trust quarantine to point out just how ugly that out-dated paint colour is! 24% of respondents replied that they repainted the inside of their property during the pandemic.
Technological improvements to the home were also quite widespread: 21% of people surveyed had improved the home’s connectivity with high-speed internet, while 16% said that they had installed security cameras.
Among improvements to the interior, repainting was the most given answer (25%), followed by installing new light fixtures (16%), upgrading the kitchen (14%) and flooring (12%), and undertaking bathroom renovations (11%). This is very much in line with the recommendations that real estate agents usually make, as kitchen and bathroom improvements, a fresh coat of paint and new flooring consistently rank among the home improvements that provide the greatest return on investment when the property is ultimately sold.
External improvements were mostly focused on the garden and yard – landscaping and adding a lawn were the two most popular improvements in this regard, with 26% and 18% respectively saying that they had tackled these types of tasks. Giving the outside of the house a fresh lick of paint was also among the top responses (13%), as was fixing or replacing windows (15%).
Upgrading the home to something that is more eco-friendly has been a trend for the past few years, as the general public tries to reduce their carbon footprint in the fight against climate change. In Porch’s survey, this trend was also quite prominent, with the most popular eco-friendly projects being the installation of smart lighting (14%), installing smart devices (9%), installing a heat pump (9%), installing solar water heating (8%). 8% respondents decided to start a compost heap during lockdown.
Interestingly, there is a marked generational difference among the people who had or were planning to make changes to their property that would be beneficial to the environment. Just 14% of Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) replied that they were planning to make certain eco-friendly improvements or additions to the home. 43% Gen X (born between 1965 and 1980) said that they were planning to make eco-friendly improvements, while a whopping 56% of Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) said that they were planning additions or renovations that are eco-friendly.
Especially as we spend more time at home, upgrading the property with all the technological bells and whistles was high up on many respondents’ to-do lists. In the age of regular Zoom meetings, installing high-speed internet was an improvement that 21% of respondents undertook. 16% installed security cameras, 13% fitted their front doors with smart doorbells, 11% invested in smart assistants and 10% made smart thermostats a part of their home’s technological repertoire.
Covid-19 forced many of the people who took part in Porch’s survey to make certain improvements, whether they were planning to do so, or not. For example, 33% of American homeowners stated that they had installed a high-speed internet connection since the pandemic started, or were planning to do so in the next 12 months. 17% of respondents had or were planning to set up a home office, and 16% had or were planning to get a home gym going.
Are renovations really necessary?
The answer to that question will differ from person to person. Some of us can live with a less-than-perfect paint job, while others can’t stand the sight of something that isn’t just right.
However, if you are a homeowner, planning to sell within the next year or two, looking into making home improvements or undertaking renovations around the house should be high on your priority list, especially if the home needs a significant amount of work.
There are certainly home improvements that won’t give you the return on investment you might be looking for, but a real estate agent that knows their stuff will be able to make recommendations based on their extensive experience in the world of real estate.
If you are thinking of selling soon, you’re better off rather starting with said renovations and repairs early. This not only helps you to gradually and more affordably upgrade your home to impress prospective buyers, but also gives you more room to make more improvements over time, instead of having to hurry to get the property ready just before it goes on the market.
A Porch.com survey found that a significant proportion of homeowners decided to assume the responsibility of improving and upgrading their property since the Covid-19 pandemic started gripping the world.
While a great many respondents of the Porch survey said that they did so because they finally had time, a large portion of home improvements were done because the pandemic forced homeowners to do so.
Installing high-speed internet was one of the most prominent improvements in this regard, as the workforce was compelled to earn their bread and butter from home, mostly making use of online tools.
An awareness of environmental matters also sprouts from the result of the survey, as many homeowners said that they undertook renovations that would make their home more eco-friendly. Solar power, compost heaps and smart devices to make the property more energy-efficient were some of the most widely reported improvements as far as eco-friendly upgrades go.
Many people who took the Porch survey said that they made improvements to their yard or garden, including giving the home’s exterior a fresh coat of paint, and repainting the interior was also high on many respondents’ list. Other interior improvements were kitchen and bathroom remodels, as well as flooring repairs and renovations. All of these improvements usually rank among the type of renovation procedures that usually yield a good return on investment.
When it comes to improvements that will help your home to sell in the current economic climate or in any other, having a trustworthy real estate agent is crucial to selling fast. Perfect Agent recommends an agent according to your needs and preferences – contact us today!