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Nearly half of new homeowners face unexpected renovations

by Morgan Mereday

Whether hiring help or tackling a do-it-yourself project, home improvement is expensive, time consuming, and typically more than most have bargained for. However, homeowners are discovering that juggling home repairs are a lesser compromise when exchanging rent for mortgage payments.  

The 2018 NerdWallet Home Improvement Report found that 44 percent of Americans who have ever purchased a home experienced an unexpected renovation within their first year of possession, while 12 percent of respondents even experienced repairs within the first month.

“Typically, renovations happen just before or just after a home is sold,” said Holden Lewis, NerdWallet home expert.

Around 85 percent of U.S. homeowners believe their largest investment is their home, with $450 billion spent on Americans’ home development between the years of 2105 and 2017 according to the American Housing Survey. In fact, 113 million home improvement projects were completed within those years, and that most repairs consisted of repairs such as leaks, damaged pipes, kitchen restorations, and upgraded security systems. 

The Home Improvement Repot found that with the shortage of affordable homes and the rising mortgage rate it is no surprise that people are choosing to stay in their current homes longer.

“Mortgage rates have been rising for two years and lots of homeowners are locked into low rates they don’t want to give up by selling their current home, so they’re fixing up instead of moving up,” Lewis said. “This, paired with first-time homeowners buying homes in need of renovations — because that’s what’s available — seems to be driving a lot of home improvement spending.”

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