With home values down and sales still soft in San Diego, many homeowners will look at ways to improve their existing footprint. Even when homes start to increase in value again, many homeowners will still opt to stay put and remodel or add on instead of selling.
According to the National Association of Home Builders’ Remodeling Market Index (RMI), hit a five-year high in the fourth quarter of 2011.
[See the 5 Best (and Worst) Home Remodeling Projects.]
Home remodeling decisions are reflective of the times, and resale values. Here are some trends that are constant:
Home again. Remodelers are seeing a bigger demand for “companion units” (typically called granny flats whether children or parents are moving in) as part of new additions or as a detached building. Some baby boomers are already reaching their golden years and families are remodeling their homes for aging in place a creative long term care solution. For many families, this is a lower-cost option than retirement homes or assisted-living.
According to the National Association of Home Builders, 62 percent of builders surveyed were working on home remodeling for aging in place 2010. AARP is working with builders on a designation for Certified Aging in Place Specialists. There are builders trained in designing and remodeling buildings for the elderly. Approximately 3,000 builders, contractors, remodelers and architects have already been certified.
Outdoor Spaces. In San Diego, increased property values led to the development of luxury outdoor living spaces like stone hardscapes, gourmet grilling kitchens, and elaborate patios with fireplaces. The recession may have slightly dinged the remodeling industry when it comes to outdoor spaces, but the concept survives. The investment in outdoor living spaces is a necessity even for homeowners that are budget minded. Consumers may be scaling back their wish list, but improving their outdoor living spaces for entertaining and family time is still popular. After all, families are traveling less, and staying home more.
Efficient Kitchens. Efficient means you can cook meals in a shorter period of time. At the peak of the real estate market in San Diego, you would hear words like “granite” and “high-end appliances”. Now, “cost effective” and “value” are key words for kitchen remodeling. Homeowners are willing to give up a little food preparation area in favor of larger eating areas and family rooms. Large islands with ample storage and eating areas are very popular and help make kitchens look less like a work space and more like an expansion of the family room.