How Much First-Time Homebuyers are Spending on Renovations

How Much First-Time Homebuyers are Spending on Renovations

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Brittney Morgan
Jun 14, 2017

While Baby Boomers and older generations—perhaps unsurprisingly—still spend the most on renovations in comparison to younger people, a recent study from Houzz found that Millennials and first-time buyers are spending more on renovations than they ever have before.

According to the study, renovators who bought their first homes last year spent an average of $33,800, which is actually 22 percent more than they spent the year before in 2015. And Millennial homeowners invested an average of $26,000 in home renovations, up 7 percent from 2015. However, the study did note that older generations still spend roughly 3 times more on renovations that Millennial homeowners.

2016 also saw a slight increase (up 2 percent) in credit card usage to pay for renovations. Overall, cash is most popular—91 percent of homeowners use cash to pay for renovations—but first time homebuyers are almost twice as likely as long-term homeowners (39 percent versus 21 percent respectively) to use their credit cards to pay for renovations. They're also 3 times as likely to use gifts (15 percent versus 5 percent).

As far as their actual renovation projects go, first-time homebuyers remodel 3.4 rooms on average, while repeat homebuyers remodel 3.7 rooms on average, and long-term owners remodel 2.5 rooms.

Houzz also asked respondents to share the biggest challenges they face while renovating. Staying on budget took the top spot at 36 percent, followed by finding the right products for their homes (32 percent) and finding professionals to do the work (29 percent).

And why do people renovate? For most people, it's just that they finally have the time and the financial means to do so—that's what 37 percent and 36 percent of respondents said, respectively. Twenty-seven percent of renovators said they're motivated by their desire to customize their homes, and 12 percent renovate to prepare their homes for resale.

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