PALO ALTO, CA - Even as new and existing home sales and prices climb, homeowners are prioritizing aesthetics before profit, according to a recent Houzz & Home Survey conducted among users of the Houzz app and website. Houzz is the leading online platform for home design and remodeling, with more than four million unique users each month.
Among homeowners planning to build, remodel or decorate in the next two years, 86 percent cited "improving the look and feel of the space" as an important driver for remodeling projects, while only 47 percent cited "increasing home value." The gap between these priorities was consistent across all income levels and demographic groups.
Homeowners say they are more likely to cut back in other areas, such as vacations and other big-ticket purchases, than to delay or decrease the budget for their home improvement plans.
"We expected that in this economy Americans' highest priority would be increasing home value, but instead we found people are focused on pleasing themselves, not the next owner," said Liza Hausman, vice president of marketing for Houzz. "Homes today are doing double or even triple duty as workplace, stay-cation, gym and more."
Take out a loan to get that beautiful home?
"No way," say 70 percent of today's homeowners.
They'd rather cut back elsewhere or do some of the work themselves.
In fact, even upscale homeowners are taking a hands-on approach to building, remodeling and decorating projects. The survey found that while 45 percent of homeowners at upper income levels ($150,000+) are choosing to hire an architect, interior designer, general contractor or another remodeling or decorating professional to complete a project in its entirety, an equal number of them are combining professional help and DIY efforts, a proportion only slightly smaller than the 49 percent taking this combination approach in lower income brackets.
Kitchens and bathrooms are the most popular remodeling projects among Houzz users, with 48 percent of respondents planning a bathroom remodel, and 45 percent redoing a kitchen in the next two years. Midwesterners have the highest budgets for kitchen and bath remodels at $30,500 and $13,600 respectively, while the South is allocating the least at $23,800 and $11,600.
The Houzz & Home Survey analyzes the remodeling and decorating project history and plans among Houzz users in the U.S. and Canada, motivational drivers behind these projects, homeowners' plans for hiring remodeling and design professionals, the factors that go into selecting a service provider and the impact of the economy on residential decorating and remodeling plans.