The Renovation Revolution Created by High Home Prices

By: Anneken Tappe · April 12, 2024 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

Dream Homes

With home prices and mortgage rates high, buying a home feels out of reach for many Americans. But that hasn’t stopped some from investing in their dream home, even if they don’t own it.

Rather than saving up for a down payment, millennials instead try to create their perfect home in a different way: renovating their rentals.

Housing Struggles

The housing affordability crisis means that many Americans, especially younger ones who are looking at buying their first homes, are finding it hard to succeed in this housing market. Home prices have boomed over past years, and despite elevated interest rates, prices have remained high.

The homeownership rate for older generations was 70% or above in 2022, but only 52% for millennials, according to data from . Nearly a quarter of millennials expect to rent forever.

So what to do if you’re tied to your rental but you’re not feeling at home. Millennials are increasingly fronting the cost for improvements to their rental units, paying for things such as new rugs, shower heads, or fresh paint. The trend is gaining steam on social media too, where content creators document DIY rental renovations.

Hunting For a Home

Renovating a rental may not make financial sense on paper. Why pour money into improving the value of a property you don’t own? Indeed, it is advisable to consult with your landlord and closely read your lease before making any renovations, as improvements made without consent could put your security deposit at risk.

That said, even minor improvements to your space can yield meaningful results to your mindset. A comfortable living situation can help boost productivity, improve your mental health, and provide a feeling of peace. A rental renovation doesn’t need to be a massive, expensive undertaking either. There are plenty of easy renter-friendly updates to help anyone improve their rental space.

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