Making a House their Own

Recent home buyer article

When does your house start to feel like home? For many, it's not when you put your final signature on the stack of paperwork that never seems to end. Rather, a house starts to feel like home when you put your own personal touches on it. The time spent around this is often filled with a flurry of activities around the house. HIRI’s newly released Recent Home Buyer Study examines those who have purchased a home within the last year and digs deep into what type of work they have done and plan to do to their house.

In terms of what home purchases were made, most recent home buyers (55%) sold a home before they bought their new home, and it took about an average of just under four months to do so. The time to sell their previous home dropped by more than 20% compared to 2016, which speaks to how tight the housing market currently is. Supply for homes has continued to drop year-over-year which leads to a much quicker sale of houses that do go on the market.

First-time home buyers represented a little over one-third of those who bought a home within the past year, which stays roughly consistent with what we have seen in past years. Also staying consistent from the last time this study was conducted is the size of the home. The “average” house purchased is a roughly 2000 square foot, single-family, detached home with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.

Of those who purchased a home, 7 in 10 made improvements to the house with no one area dominating any others. Kitchen, landscaping, and bathroom improvements were all done in more than a quarter of these homes, with living room and bedrooms closely following behind. While the areas that were improved varied, painting was a common thread with painting materials being purchased in more than 60 percent of the projects. The median spend on home improvements was $5000 per household. One thing to note, of those who sold a home when they purchased their new one, more than 60 percent made improvements to their previous home to get it ready to sell. The overall makeup of types of improvements made was similar to the newly purchased homes, but there was a significant drop-off in how much was spent on these projects, compared to the homes they recently purchased.

Members can access the report on HIRI's website.  If you are not a member and interested in learning more about HIRI, view HIRI's member benefits.

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