Home improvement plans
As the song goes, if you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with. That might explain a recent American Express survey, which found that nearly two-thirds of homeowners are planning home improvement projects this year.
Average amount the polled folks intended to spend: $6,200. So we're not talking about gut rehabs. The most popular projects were cosmetic work, redoing a room and new flooring.
Most of the homeowners planned to pay with cash. Few expected to rely on loans.
A small amount of the work -- about 5 percent -- is getting ducks in a row to list for sale, American Express says. Many homeowners said they just want their property to look better.
Some of the motivation, of course, is probably homeowners settling in to try to wait for prices to rise. (Asked when they thought a seller's market might return, just over half of homeowners said they're not expecting it for two years or more.)
Wonk reader ruth noted this week that she has a different reason: "We definitely want to move and as we are looking to downsize it should be workable. What holds us back? Aging parents. Plain and simple. We're stuck, until this situation resolves. So, in the meantime, we remodel. As time passes and enough remodeling goes on, what's the sense of moving? We have a feeling we're not the only ones out there like this."
So, all you folks with experience, help out the raft of homeowners (me included) who are trying to get some improvements done this year:
What went right?
What went wrong?
How did you decide what to do yourself and what to hand over to a pro? (And was it the right choice?)
How did you find good contractors?
What's the most important lesson you learned?
We who are about to remodel salute you.