Renovation Nation: Why Everyone Is Upgrading Their Homes

Libby Kane
Posted

home renovationYour home would be perfect … if it just had walk-in closets. Or a kitchen island. Or another bedroom.

If you’re itching to tear down a wall or two around the house, you aren’t alone.

According to the Wall Street Journal, homeowners spent a collective $130 billion on upgrades in 2013. That’s 3.1% more than the year before and the highest renovation spending since before the housing downturn.

But why now? The Journal suggests that the rise in remodeling may be related to the slowing rate of new construction and the limited inventory of existing homes—why go through the hassle of building, selling and buying when you can just add instead? Another explanation could be the rise in home values, which gives owners more equity to leverage when applying for loans to finance their projects.

But don’t think that homeowners who keep money in their own backyard aren’t contributing to the economy—despite the popularity of home improvement and D.I.Y. blogs, many renovators aren’t going it alone. The bustling renovation market is helping boost business for companies like Lowe’s and Sherwin-Williams, as well as for architects and contractors.

If you’re considering making some big changes around the house, make sure to read up on how much home improvement you should do—and how to make it work for your budget. And if you’re deciding between selling and renovating, here’s an idea of what the real estate market will look like in the coming year.