NAR Study Reveals Top Home Improvements

Homeowners rank new roofs and kitchens as the most popular home improvement projects, according to the “2019 Remodeling Impact Report,” released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). It’s also logical to assume buyers factor in such improvements when shopping for a home, while real estate agents understand these can add value and enhance marketability.

Also proving popular with homeowners, in addition to kitchen upgrades, were closet renovations, HVAC replacements, new wood flooring, bathroom renovations and adding new bathrooms. On the exterior, roofs were seen as offering the greatest potential value and return on investment, but also gaining appeal were new vinyl windows and siding, garage doors and fiber-cement siding. Adding new steel or fiberglass exterior doors also scored high on the survey.

The interest in and willingness to undertake such improvement projects were partially credited in the NAR report to owners staying longer in their homes. This is leading to investment in projects they'll use on a daily basis, and that improve functionality and livability of a home.

Homes featuring renovated spaces and improvement, especially big-ticket ones, appeal to a type of buyer not inclined to undertake renovations and updating. Such buyers also are more likely willing to appreciate the value of such improvements and factor them into the price of a home.

According to the report, “Americans spend $400 billion annually on remodeling their homes. However, many find the idea of taking on a remodeling project too overwhelming to attempt. Thirty-five percent of U.S. homeowners would rather move to another home than remodel their current home. Fifty-five percent of owners in suburban areas and 52 percent of owners in urban areas say they would be willing to remodel their home. This jumps to 70 percent for owners in rural areas.”

Perhaps most important, 74 percent of owners have a greater desire to be in their home after undertaking improvement projects, while 65 percent expressed increased enjoyment with their home. For sellers, agents report improvements and upgrades having a positive impact on home sales.