Staying Put, and Making Homes Nicer

By Salman, Josh | Sarasota Herald Tribune, August 18, 2014 | Go to article overview

Staying Put, and Making Homes Nicer


Salman, Josh, Sarasota Herald Tribune


A survey shows that home renovations have increased as confidence rises and the inventory for sale falls

HOMEOWNERS THROUGHOUT Southwest Florida are undertaking renovations that were put on hold during the Great Recession, boosting property values and revenue for contractors and home- improvement retailers alike.

The resurgence has been led by major kitchen and bathroom remodeling jobs, which have been fueled by increased confidence in Southwest Florida's economy and a desire to boost home values, which took a beating during the downturn.

But a new survey also shows some homeowners are choosing to rehabilitate their current dwellings because rising home prices and a limited inventory of properties for sale have prevented them from moving to a new home.

"I have been swamped," said Matt McMurtrie, owner of Decadent Design and Remodel Inc. in Sarasota.

"Some owners, some investment groups, some new construction -- it's all over the board as far as what type of customers and work."

More than two-thirds of homeowners who participated in a new survey by Realtor.com said they were planning at least some home renovation projects within the next six months.

More than 1,500 visitors to the consumer home-buying website from May 19 to 29 responded to the survey.

The most common amount spent on home improvement jobs was $2,001 to $5,000, an amount that might typically pay for new landscaping, painting or cabinet or fixture upgrades.

But 18 percent of those who said they plan to renovate before the end of the year expect to spend considerably more: from $10,000 to $20,000. Home owners are most likely to spend that amount remodeling kitchens, bathrooms or creating backyard patios.

Renovation motivation

Survey takers said their remodeling projects stemmed from a desire to enjoy their home more and to improve its appearance.

Nearly 40 percent also said they plan to stay put in their present residence for the foreseeable future.

The renovation trend also appears to have a geographic bent. Homeowners in the Southeast, including Florida, were more apt to renovate than any other area. …

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