May 27, 2018

Realtors® Find Remodeling Projects Gain Equity, Bring Joy to Homeowners


Aaron Taylor
2018 NETAR President

May is National Home Remodeling Month, a time of the year when many local homeowners daydream about sprucing up their homes to gain equity, resale value or simply add to the livability of their property. Hot housing markets in our area and throughout the South are expected to be the leading areas for upgrades and renovations big and small this year.

According to the National Association of Realtors®(NAR), many homeowners find the idea of a remodeling project too overwhelming to take on. In fact, 35% of U.S. homeowners said they would rather move than remodel their current home.

Yet, after completing a remodeling project, 75% said they have a greater desire to be in their home; 65% say they have increased enjoyment in their home; and 77% feel a major sense of accomplishment when thinking of their completed project, according to NAR’s 2017 Remodeling Impact Report

Last year was a good year for local home supply spending and for the professionals in the remodeling or home improvement business. And it's not expected to let up this year because a growing number of retirees would prefer to "age in place" rather than relocate or downsize. That usually means anything from minor to major renovations like adding a master suite downstairs. At the same time projects like "Remodeling the Model City" are alive and well as owners and flippers look to give new life to some of the region's aging and sometimes the not-so-old housing inventory.  

Realtors® understand how remodeling a home can benefit the homeowner looking to sell, whether by impressing potential future buyers, increasing the number of offers or growing equity in the home. Interior projects, such as kitchen renovations, hardwood floor refinishing and insulation upgrades, often yield the largest financial returns for homeowners.  

They also understand that some homeowners undertake these projects to get more enjoyment from spending time at home. Below are four remodeling projects that scored a perfect Joy Score from consumers in NAR's Remodeling Impact Report -  indicating the greatest happiness from a completed project: 

Added bathroom: The desire to improve livability, especially as a family grows, often leads to home renovation projects. According to the survey, 6 out of 10 homeowners said they have a greater desire to be home since adding a new bathroom, and nearly 80 percent of owners feel a major sense of accomplishment when they think of their project.

Complete kitchen renovation: One of the most used rooms in the home, consumers often draw up their plans for renovating their kitchen first. Ninety percent of consumers have a greater desire to be home since renovating their kitchen, and the top reason for the renovation was to upgrade worn-out surfaces, finishes, and materials.

Closet renovation: A dream renovation for many consumers, renovating a closet to improve organization and storage was the top reason for 50 percent of homeowners who flipped their closet. Seventy-one percent of homeowners have a greater desire to be home since completing their closet project, and 65 percent have an increased sense of enjoyment when they are home.

New fiberglass front door: Consumers have energy efficiency in mind for many renovation projects, with over 40 percent choosing to install a new fiberglass front door in their home. Consumers find that the most important benefit of a new fiberglass door is better functionality and livability, as well as durable and long-lasting results, materials, and appliances.

The 2017 Remodeling Impact Report surveyed Realtors® and consumers who have completed remodeling projects. The report explored homeowner's reasons for remodeling, the success of certain remodeling projects and the increased happiness found in the home once a project is completed. Find the report at

Aaron Taylor is the 2018 president of the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors®. The real estate education and trade group is the voice for real estate in the Tri-Cities and has over 1,200 local Realtor® members and almost 100 affiliates