April 27, 2022

Post-pandemic projects require patience

Home improvement picked up throughout the pandemic as households modified their living spaces for work, school, and leisure.

Now that the post-pandemic era seems well within reach, homeowners are even more pumped about undertaking home remodeling and repair.

Here’s the problem: Like many other things, COVID-19 wreaked havoc on the supply chain.

Contractors are in short supply too. Even if you find one available, their services are likely to cost more than before. And with rising interest rates, financing a big renovation may seem even less appealing.

It’s causing a full-on home improvement traffic jam. And here’s the fun part. None of these issues is expected to resolve any time soon.

The human home improvement spirit isn't being squelched. Despite the drawbacks, renovations are projected to rise 17% in 2022, up from 9% in 2021. Historical average annual growth is about 5%.

Here is how: Make adjustments to home improvement plans instead of putting projects off. If you are financing, those rising rates could be a signal to start sooner rather than later.

Be flexible the scope of the work, materials needed, and your timeline. Have patience with contractors and their schedules. Rearrange your work schedule to fit their availability.

There is nothing wrong with doing a project piecemeal. Simply start with what you’re most excited about. Buy new appliances instead of remodeling the whole kitchen. Do the bathroom tiles instead of a full refurb.

Look at it as a savings opportunity. Paying cash for discretionary and non-urgent purchases is a better alternative than going into debt – and it’s interest free.

If you do choose to finance, home refinance rates are still historically low. Other home equity products may be available. Your trusted Bay Equity loan officer can discuss all the options for funding needed upgrades.

According to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing studies, sustained growth in home remodeling is expected.

Multi-generational households have increased, and younger buyers have committed to more fixer uppers amid rising competition. These appear to be lasting trends, fueling remodeling activity for years to come.