According to key facts from the latest edition of the report, Demographic Change and the Remodeling Outlook, prepared by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, the amount that Americans are spending on updates and other home remodeling projects continues to grow annually. In 2015, the industry reached an all-time high of $340 billion U.S. dollars.
Much of this growth has been driven by improving economic conditions, as well as the difficulty that many prospective home buyers face in finding and purchasing a home that has all the features that they want and is move-in ready. While most homeowners are choosing to update their home to improve its comfort, others are renovating simply to add value to their homes so that they will be easier to sell should they choose to live elsewhere in the future.
The following is a brief overview of three of the most popular upgrades that new home buyers are searching for now when they purchase, that will also increase your enjoyment of your home.
Upgrade Your Home’s Energy with Solar Panels
As temperatures continue to climb each summer, and the number of extreme weather-related events increases annually, a growing number of folks are turning to alternative sources of energy, to power their homes. While some homeowners look to renewable forms of energy like solar as a way to lower the cost of their electric bill over time, the benefits of solar panels go beyond saving money on the electric bill.
Most solar installations feature, sleek, modern, designs that are as beautiful as they are functional. In addition to saving money on your electric bill, updating your home with solar energy means that you are doing your part to reduce your carbon footprint.
When combined with other conservation efforts, the use of solar energy means that there is a decreased need to burn fossil fuels to generate electricity. This means that rather than harming the environment, you are helping to protect the one and only home that we all share, our planet.
Finally, as more individuals become aware of the devastating harm caused by other forms of energy generation, renewable energy sources are increasingly becoming the normal expectation for home buyers. Investing in a solar upgrade now can make it easier to sell your home at a later date in the future should you choose to do so.
Increase Security and Comfort with Home Automation
With the recent explosion in Wi-Fi availability and the increase in the number of devices that use the Internet of Things (IoT) technology to communicate, home automation is one of the most popular home updates today. Some of the most popular home automation packages allow homeowners to install smart door locks, motion and light sensors, video cameras, and additional smart devices that allow users to control the environment in their homes remotely.
Improved security is a key feature of this upgrade, and it goes well beyond the automated burglar alarms of the past. With this technology, not only are the police or other personnel notified in the event of an emergency, but homeowners can unlock the door to their home remotely should they need to let a delivery or other person inside while they are away. They can also turn their thermostats up and down, turn their lights on and off, and receive automated alerts when sensors detect movement or other signs of a break-in.
Some home automation systems are designed to work with smart appliances such as refrigerators, coffeemakers and ovens. In this scenario, smart refrigerators notify the homeowner’s local grocery store when supplies of specific food items run low and arrange for their purchase and delivery. Coffeemakers and ovens with smart technology can be preprogrammed, or, turned on and monitored remotely, so that dinner is ready when the homeowner arrives.
Create Outside Rooms
Adding a garden or patio space to your home is a great way to increase its curbside appeal. When combined with additional updates, such as seating, and new doors and windows that connect this natural space to the home, and increase your home’s natural lighting, it is a way to bring the outside in and create an additional, outside room.
Adding a fountain, small pool, or other water feature, as well as a grill, fire-pit, or even a fully equipped outdoor kitchen to this space will also increase its usefulness and the enjoyment that you experience when dining, entertaining or simply relaxing in this extended living space.