New Real Estate Trend Gives Hope to DC Homeowners

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    As U.S. homeowners begin feeling more confident about the value of their property, they’re apparently deciding to increase it even further. According to Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, the growth of annual spending on home remodeling is expected to rise from 2.4% in the second quarter to 6.8% in 2016’s second quarter.

    “Home improvement spending continues to benefit from the last years’ upswing in housing market conditions including new construction, price gains and sales,” said the Joint Center’s managing director, Chris Herbert. “Strengthening housing market conditions are encouraging owners to invest in more discretionary home improvements, such as kitchen and bath remodeling and room additions, in addition to the necessary replacements of worn components such as roofing and siding.”

    Increasing property value is not the only motivation to remodel. According to the 2014 Houzz and Home Survey, 52% of homeowners remodeled to increase home value, while 78% remodeled to improve the look and feel of the space. While it’s certainly possible to do both in one project, the difference between the two amounts shows that homeowners are more concerned with the aesthetics of property than its value.

    This trend of increased spending on remodeling is good news for Washington, DC. The price of homes in the District has tripled over the past 15 years and affordable living spaces are becoming more difficult to find, the Washington Post reports. However, it’s still possible to purchase a house in Washington even if a person doesn’t have a fortune in his or her bank account. The key is purchasing fixer-uppers.

    According to Shemaya Klar, an associate broker with Abbott Klar Real Estate Group, homes that haven’t been on the market in 30 or 40 years are now being listed for sale. Though they’re dated, they’re more affordable, and with some remodeling, they can become valuable properties once again.

    “The requirements for making a house livable or nice are just not that scary or overwhelming as people think they are,” Klar told the Washington Post. “If people would just have a tiny bit of vision, there’s a lot of great houses to buy. It’s sometimes stressful, but in the end you get a house the way you want it and you did not have to pay for the developer’s profits.”