Are Home Improvements Worth It During a Pandemic?

As Americans spend more time at home, many folks all across the nation made a lot of home improvements to make staying at home a lot more comfortable and pleasant.

And even though many of us were hit hard financially because of the pandemic’s adverse effects on the economy, thousands — if not millions — of Americans proceeded with their own home improvement and renovation projects. Some had to dig into their savings to get it done, others had to take on renovation loans, and still, others used their stimulus checks to fund their projects. Regardless, a significant number of Americans chose to make themselves productive during the lockdown season by updating and upgrading their homes.

Home Improvement Projects in 2020

When the year 2020 started, we never expected things to turn out the way they did. We went on and lived our lives, not thinking that a global health crisis will hit us and send us back into our homes to avoid the risk of getting infected.

With businesses closing their doors and people getting laid off left and right, plenty of Americans suffered anxiety and depression. They struggled to look for ways to relieve themselves of the stress that’s bothering them and overcome the depression they’re sinking into.

Since almost everyone was stuck at home, someone somewhere decided to make their staycation a bit more pleasant by updating their surroundings to make it more appealing to the senses. We may not know who this person is that started the home improvement movement across America, but we’re assuming that it’s safe to say a lot of us owe that person a lot.

Since the pandemic started, about 90% of homeowners and 78% of those renting properties started their own DIY projects at home. According to a survey from CouponFollow, out of those numbers, 64% of homeowners and 63% of renters, respectively, said they were quite successful in their DIY projects. The most common home upgrades performed are bathroom renovations and improvements, interior painting, and bedroom remodeling. If we were to break this down generationally, millennials mostly did bathroom renovations, Gen X-ers painted the interiors of their homes, and Boomers were the ones who mostly remodeled their bedrooms.

The thing is, these home improvements did more than improve properties. They were also very effective ways to release stress and helped people’s mental health during the global health crisis.

To put things in perspective, any home improvement project, whether it’s DIY or with a contractor, will cost money. Depending on how big the project is, the cost could eat up hundreds to thousands of dollars. On average, millennials were found to have spent $414, boomers put out $359, while Gen X-ers paid $290 for their different home upgrades.

55% of them tapped into either their savings or emergency funds. 31% used their credit cards. 26% took the funds from their stimulus checks. The home upgrade that most people spent the most money on was installing cabinets and shelves, while the least home project they spent on was garden and lawn improvements.

Now given the expenses and the inconvenience of having a messy home for the duration of the remodeling, people still chose to proceed with them. 55% of those who decided to push through said that the quarantine was the main reason they wanted to renovate, stating that this was the perfect time to get some long overdue home upgrades done. 49% said they did it for the sheer joy and pleasure of creating something new at home. A third of those who took on renovation work claimed that it helped their mental health during these trying times.

Just because many people are strapped for cash doesn’t mean that they intentionally upgraded their homes to have them listed on the market. In fact, most of them who initially planned to sell their homes before the pandemic are now uncertain where they stand. In fact, out of the 1000-plus people who participated in the survey, 46% said they will wait until after the pandemic to list their properties, while 42% said they will be selling now. 34% plan to renovate and remodel and then sell afterward, while 33% plan to observe the market movement before deciding to sell.

Whatever your decision is, whether you have your property listed or decide to hold on to it for a little longer, a home renovation during this time is not a bad idea. You get to add value to your property, and you create a home that’s more comfortable and pleasant to be in, even if the new normal lingers longer than expected.

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