In the early 2000’s there was a shifting trend in homeownership. Low interest rates, interest-only loans and rapidly rising home values made it easy to purchase property with little up-front cash. Investors and homeowners alike were looking at the short-term potential to gain fast equity and cash out.
Home improvement projects reflected that short-sighted mentality and tended toward inexpensive cosmetic fixes. In a market where people were scrambling to get any offer accepted in that short selling window, buyers weren’t looking closely at the quality of finishes and sellers were looking to maximize profits.
As we look back a little over a decade later we can now see the real estate market becoming stronger. Families forced out of homes due to foreclosure are recovering financially and are purchasing homes again. Loan programs are much more conservative and longer-term fixed mortgages are the norm once again. People are staying in their homes longer than ever before, and new buyers are purchasing with the intent to stay as well.
The graphs below, from the NAR Profile of Buyers and Sellers show that the median time to own a home has risen steadily since 2007.
Homeowners are now looking at home improvement projects from a new point of view. Because they plan to stay in their home much longer than in the past, they want products that will benefit them while they are still living in the home. Energy-efficiency is a top priority. Quality products with comprehensive warranties are gaining popularity even though many people are still very budget-conscious.
As new home development slowed during the recession, the sale of existing homes increased. According to The Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends, 50% of homes owned were built before 1980. As new owners move into aging homes, many upgrades are not just desired but are a necessity.
At R&K we are here to meet these needs. We sell quality products manufactured here in the U.S. Our vendors have worked hard to answer the call for better energy-efficiency and have developed new technology and materials that last longer and require less maintenance.
For example, popular choices for entry doors are now made from fiberglass and composite materials that resist warping, don’t require re-finishing, and have superior insulation qualities to reduce heat transfer and noise. New windows have low-e glass and gas-filled dual pane designs as well as frames made from materials that are stronger, last longer and perform better. Insulation for homes has expanded into new territory with the introduction of spray foam and radiant barrier applications.
If you own a home or plan to purchase a home with the intent to stay for several years, let our experts show you how to maximize your benefit from home upgrades that will save you money and create a more comfortable home while you reside there.