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Younger Homeowners Are Driving the DIY Home Improvement Wave

Younger homeowners have become more willing and able to take on DIY home improvement projects during the pandemic. Here's why and how.

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Young couples dead-set on buying turnkey homes with no projects on HGTV’s “House Hunters” may be a little more TV than reality.

A 2021 Homebuyer Insights Report from Bank of America found that 72% of younger homeowners have done DIY home improvement work around their home in recent months.

In fact, many young homebuyers are specifically looking for a home with projects. Forty-two percent of young prospective buyers said they would prefer a fixer-upper to a move-in ready home.

What’s driving the DIY wave?

Younger homeowners are leading the charge on home improvement projects.

Sixty-five percent of younger homeowners (ages 18 to 43) said they are likely to renovate or remodel in 2021 compared to 22% of older homeowners (ages 57 to 73).

Much of this has to do with people spending more time in their homes and using them as offices, classrooms, and recreation areas due to the pandemic.

Sixty-seven percent of all respondents said they were making home improvements primarily to enjoy their home more while the other 33% were seeking to improve the value of their home.

“Building equity is more important than ever, and younger generations are looking to fixer-uppers and other affordable homeownership options so they can begin building their long-term wealth,” said Neighborhood and Community Lending Executive AJ Barkely.

Technology is enabling and inspiring more homeowners to take on fixer-uppers and DIY home improvement projects. Fifty percent of consumers used online videos to research home improvement projects and 39 percent turned to TV shows for tips.

Younger homeowners are also motivated by environmental sustainability and energy savings. Fifty-one percent said they plan to renovate to install solar panels (compared to 33% of older homeowners), and 48% plan to install energy efficient appliances.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About the FHA 203k Loan

Paying for renovations

Home improvement projects can lead to energy savings and increased home value, but many require substantial upfront costs. The report identified four ways younger homebuyers would fund home renovations.

Funding method Share of respondents
Use money in savings62%
Take out a home equity line of credit32%
Put costs on credit card24%
Use money invested in stock market18%

Unsurprisingly, renovators are least happy during the budgeting phase and most happy when all the work has been finished.

A new, move-in ready home may be the dream for some homebuyers, but many have found the renovating route easier and more rewarding.

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