18 Feb Time for Home Improvement?
Time for Home Improvement?
The nation’s love for their homes has increased in the last 12 months as homeowners spent an estimated £39 billion on home improvements during the pandemic.
According to Checkatrade Home Pride Index, last year saw many of us spending more time at home than ever before – and that affected our relationships with our homes. It make us more likely to take on home improvements, and more adventurous in creating new spaces in the home to match our new lifestyles.
When it comes to financially investing in our homes, British homeowners have spent an average of £2,608 on home improvements this year – that’s up 15% collectively in 2019. Kitchens and gardens had the most money invested into them – with gardens (+43%) and home offices (+21%) showing the biggest percentage increase in money spent respectively.
2020 changed many people’s plans and encouraged many to also fully renovate their homes. Last year was also the year where people began experimenting more with their homes, with ‘shoffices’ (shed offices) – making working from home easier – at the top of the agenda, followed by home cinemas, snugs, and an at-home bar. Even a rage room made the top 10 on the Checkatrade list.
It’s clear that the additional time spent at home has made home owners more adventurous when it comes to making big changes, prioritising new spaces that allow us to focus and creating new spaces that help us relax.
Despite how house proud we are, 79% of homeowners think there’s still room for improvement in their homes. According to Checkatrade’s research, redecorating the living room/ bedroom/ bathroom (30%), giving the garden a revamp (23%) and flooring (22%) are amongst the top renovations people want to do in 2021.
Another trend that will continue is the focus on making an energy efficient and environmentally friendly home, with searches for energy efficiency-related projects, such as insulation, seeing a 96% increase from June to November 2020. This can be attributed to the Green Homes Grant effect, whereby one fifth (21%) of British homeowners are planning to use the government’s Green Homes Grant, which sees the government offering to support some of the cost of making eligible energy efficient home improvements.
What’s the best way of funding home improvements?
If you don’t have the cash to spare, the type of loan you take out, whether it’s secured or unsecured, will depend on how could your credit history is and how much you need to borrow. Credit cards and unsecured personal loans only allow you to borrow up to a certain amount without collateral, so they may be suited to small improvements. Disadvantages include that they will both involve high interest rates with limited payment flexibility. For major renovations, remodelling and extension work, however, a secured loan is probably the only way you’ll be able to borrow enough money.
In this case it’s important to speak to a financial adviser or mortgage broker who can help you to evaluate your current financial circumstances, scan the whole market and find the best deal for you. This may involve remortgaging for home improvements. If you have enough equity in your home, a remortgage could give you plenty of cash to invest in your project. If your application gets accepted, you may secure yourself a better deal and sufficient funds for your home improvements.
The connection between investing in the home (be it time, money or effort) and investing in our own well-being suggests we’re in for a year of exciting home updates. From changing the flooring to creating a home cinema, home improvements large and small are going to be an ongoing focus for the British public.
The Checkatrade Index takes a detailed look at a host of factors including money spent on dwellings, time spent on home improvement and number of unfinished jobs left to do, from research with over 2,000 homeowners. Read more about the Checkatrade research here > https://www.checkatrade.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/CAT-Home-pride-Index.pdf
It is important to take professional advice before making any decision relating to your personal finances. Information within this document is based on our current understanding and can be subject to change without notice and the accuracy and completeness of the information cannot be guaranteed. It does not provide individual tailored investment advice and is for guidance only. Some rules may vary in different parts of the UK.
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