People Are Staying Put
Thanks to increasing interest rates, it is significantly more expensive to buy a home this year than it was last year. With the cost of borrowing so high, renting has become a more attractive alternative for many Americans.
In September, it was $888 cheaper each month to rent a single-family home in the US than to buy one. This could be part of the reason why lease-renewal rates reached an all-time high last year.
However, even though many Americans have locked themselves back into rental leases, they still want to live like they’re in their dream homes.
This is part of a larger home improvement trend that began during the pandemic. Since more people work from home, there’s increased incentive to make those homes into places they want to spend time. Even with restrictions lifted, houses often double as living spaces and offices now, meaning many still spend more time at home than ever before.
Traditionally, upgrading a home is seen as a financial investment, primarily into properties you own, as renovations help boost resale value. But now, this trend seems to be spilling over into the rental market.
While there is no monetary return on upgrading a rental, renters are willing to make the financial sacrifice in exchange for comfort. According to the online furniture retailer Wayfair (W), bookings for easy-to-install home improvement features like new doorknobs or drawers have tripled since last year.
Make the Improvements?
Even pre-pandemic, the average person spent about 50% of their waking time at home. If you work remotely, this number is likely much higher. While it doesn’t provide a return on investment in the literal sense, improving your living space can still provide immense value to your life.
For example, spending money on an improved mattress is an investment that will significantly improve your sleep quality. Painting your room another color or filling it with plants can be a boost for your mood and mental health. And something as simple as buying a new piece of furniture can breathe new life into a room.
So, if you’re renting, it might be time to start making the roof over your head feel more like home. Just be sure to read the fine print of your lease first.
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