Home Remodeling Trends: Staying Put

As a home remodeling contractor, one of the biggest changes we’re seeing is a trend that has come to be known as “staying put.”

For most homeowners, the turbulent housing market changed the notion that a home or condo is a fast-growing investment that can – and should – be traded in for a bigger, more expensive one every few years. With the “trade in” mindset, home remodeling priorities were about making improvements that would increase resale value rather than focusing on the personal preferences and unique lifestyle of the current homeowner. The goal was, after all, to move up to a bigger, better home that would ultimately have all those personal touches and comforts.

Now, however, it may take years for homes just to get back to their former values, not to mention gaining enough equity so that selling makes sense. Instead, staying put makes sense. And, instead of looking to the “next” home, remodeling contractors nationwide say their clients are increasingly looking to customize their current home for their own unique tastes, lifestyle and dream features.

Like other contractors, we’re seeing this shift from remodeling for resale value to remodeling to improve “right now” livability. For example, instead of looking to safe, generic choices (like stainless steel and granite in the kitchen), clients are thinking carefully about what they really like and making very creative choices in terms of everything from materials to home layouts.

In terms of what homeowners are choosing to remodel in our area, kitchens continue to be top priorities. After all, if you’re going to live with a kitchen for years to come, you want it to look good, function well and not be cut off from what’s happening in the rest of the house.

Traditional layouts are also getting a fresh look. For example, while a real estate agent might recommend leaving a center-hall Colonial layout just the way it is because future buyers might value the separate living room and dining room. “Staying put” homeowners, however, might want us to remodel those rarely used spaces into a more open floor plan that works better for their own family right now.

The take-away is that “staying put” doesn’t mean homes have to stay the same! When you’re remodeling for yourself – instead of for someone who may someday buy your home – you’re free to make choices that are creative, custom … and just plain fun!

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