L.A. Homeowners Prioritize Style Over Profit
Written by Liza Hausman
Even as new and existing home sales and prices climb, Los Angeles homeowners are prioritizing aesthetics before profit, according to a recent Houzz & Home Survey conducted among users of the Houzz app and website. Houzz is an online platform for home design and remodeling, with more than five million unique users of the site and iPad app each month.
The recent survey of nearly 30,000 Houzz users nationwide found that homeowner priorities when it comes to remodeling and decorating are to improve their own quality of life. In L.A. specifically, 85 percent of homeowners cited “improving the look and feel of the space” as an important driver for remodeling projects, 61 percent cited “improving the flow and functionality” while only half cited ”increasing home value.”
Among Los Angeles area homeowners on Houzz, 73 percent plan to decorate or redecorate, 46 percent plan to remodel or construct an addition in the next two years, 12 percent plan to purchase a new home, and 6 percent plan to build a custom home.
Bathroom remodels, kitchen remodels, and Patio additions or landscaping are the most popular major projects among L.A. area homeowners surveyed, with 61 percent of respondents redoing a bathroom and 59 percent planning a kitchen remodel, and 57 percent recreating their outdoor space in the next two years. Angelenos are budgeting an average of $25,800 for their kitchen, $13,000 for the new bath and $8,400 for a new patio and landscape, figures that are 21 percent, 19 percent and 20 percent above the national averages respectively.The majority of homeowners in Los Angeles are taking on projects are hiring some help. 65 percent of area homeowners planning to complete a project in the next two years will hire a general contractor, 37 percent will hire a landscape architect or designer, 35 percent will hire an interior designer and 33 percent an architect. About a third — 39 percent — say they will consider saving money by completing some projects themselves.In this economy, prioritizing livability over return on investment may seem like an irrational approach, but people today are looking at their homes as a long-term sanctuary, not a quick flip. This new rationale is also reflected in homeowners’ approach to financing. When asked if they are planning to take a line of credit to fund their remodeling projects, 71 percent of homeowners in L.A. said “No way.” They’d rather cut back on vacations or other major purchases to make their dream home a reality.