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More 2013 Remodels Keep Cost And Livability In Mind [AUDIO]

Homeowners are planning to spend more this year on home remodeling projects, but they are no longer doing so with resale value in mind.

Housing Construction
Spencer Platt, Getty Images

“In 2011, people spent 3.5 percent more on remodeling projects, last year spending on such projects was up 4.5 percent,” said Steven Melman, director of economic services for the National Association of Home Builders. “This year, there will be a 2.4 percent increase. So, remodeling will continue and the reasons are very traditional. Many are repairing and replacing components that need replacing. Then there are those who want new amenities and better features in their homes.”

“It’s a combination of preserving their investment and improving it,” said Melman. “The return on a remodeling investment is no longer 100 percent. In fact, recent surveys suggest that the return is only about 75 percent. So, the reason people are remodeling is to help their living situation and to improve the efficiency of their households. There is no intention to add a room and then sell the house in a year and make a whole lot of money. They would add the room if they needed that room.”

Recent surveys by the National Association of Home Builders find that the most common home improvement projects are bathroom remodeling, kitchen upgrades, windows and door replacements and repairing property damage. “The return may not be as great these days, but people are looking for value and the quality of their lives, spending more time with their families and less time on maintenance,” said Melman. “People want to stay in their homes and they have the long term in mind when they do these repairs.”

Homeowners are also looking to cut costs.

Many are replacing old appliances with new, energy-efficient ones and planning projects in stages, often starting with the appliances and then moving toward the floors, walls, etc. “People often like their neighborhoods, schools, entertainment options and friends and they feel more strongly about that then ever, so in order to accommodate a growing or changing family, remodeling is the best option and can do that,” said Melman.


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