Why bathroom remodeling is at an all time high
A trend in the remodeling industry for the past several years has been towards bathroom remodeling, and this can be attributed to a number of factors: more people are experiencing luxury spas on vacation and after a particularly stressful workweek and want to bring a little of that into the home, there are numerous bathrooms in one home and each will eventually need an update, families can quickly outgrow a bathroom far faster than other rooms, and people are spending more time in the bathroom than ever leading them to desire a more comfortable and welcoming room. However, there’s another aspect to the rise of bathroom remodeling that’s hinting towards an even greater increase, and that is homeowners staying in their homes longer than they originally anticipated and making the decision to personalize their home through bathroom remodeling in preparation for the long haul.
In addition, the poor economy is forcing many adult children to move back in with their parents, or elderly parents to move in with their adult children to save on expenses, and this is also encouraging remodeling over buying new. It will be far less expensive to remodel every bathroom in the house to accommodate aging parents and the storage needs of additional family members than it is to purchase a whole new house, and the choice seems like a no-brainer.
How the housing market is affecting bathroom remodeling trends
A study recently commissioned by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), a highly respected association, shows that more and more Americans are remaining in their homes for longer or are making the decision to stay beyond the time they anticipated, often as long as an additional 16-20 years, according to the study. These homeowners most likely had hoped to be able to sell within a decade or two at a profit (one of the driving reasons Americans are so attracted to home ownership) but are being forced to reconsider their plans in favor of riding out the poor economy. In almost every county in the United States, homes that are on the market are being sold at a loss or are foreclosed upon because the original owners could no longer afford the mortgage. This means the only homes on the market in most places can be had for a steal, which also means very few people are willing to sell at such a low price. The buyer’s market is certainly favorable if you have the cash or equity to buy and can qualify for a mortgage, but not only are fewer and fewer Americans in a position to do so, they’re more likely to be looking at homes that are in serious need of some TLC, which only adds to the cost of ownership.
Bathroom remodeling increases the quality of life
Whether a home was purchased new or used, chances are the owners moved in with ideas for renovations and upgrades that would either better suit their own needs or make the home more appealing (and more valuable) when the time comes to resell it. These plans almost always include updating at least one bathroom, which would explain why bathroom remodeling has always been a popular option. The trend to flip a home – buy a fixer-upper, renovate, and sell at a profit – made some homebuyers believe they can do so in a matter of a few years. This also encourages home owners to let certain improvements slide (fixing minor inconveniences, upgrading old materials) and focus on the remodeling projects that are most likely to add value to the home. Neutral colors and popular fixtures and appliances once dominated bathroom remodeling, but now homeowners are starting to personalize their bathrooms and their homes with colors, fixtures and decorating ideas that suit their personality, but aren’t necessarily what future buyers would like. The quality of life for the next 10+ years is far more important than the risk of alienating a few potential buyers years or decades down the road.
No doubt homeowners are hoping that by sticking it out an extra 10-20 years that they can reap the rewards they were counting on when they originally purchased, and by then they’ll have the renovations to add to the home’s value. At the very least, those choosing to stay and remodel will have the personalization that makes their home perfect for them, and at the end of the day that’s really what home ownership should be about.