With home prices in parts of the country slumping to a 15-year low, homeowners continue to look at putting money into their existing residences rather than trying to sell them. Sales dropped on resale homes by a painful 27 percent in July 2010, and with potential buyers awaiting the free fall to hit the bottom before seeking loans, homeowners may find their plans to sell and move beyond their capabilities.
According to Yahoo Finance, the biggest drop in sales was for low and middle price range homes. In the American Midwest, sales of homes in the $100,000 and $250,000 range dropped by 47 percent over the 2009 levels for July. In some cities, the average wait time to sell a home has increased to more than year. Now what? Do you put more into your home in hopes of entering a different bracket?
Making Smart Home Improvements
Last Spring, The Los Angeles Times reported an upswing in remodeling projects. The newspaper said that 62% of homeowners planned at least some kind of improvement project for the balance of 2010. Home improvement giants like Home Depot and Lowe's have predicted a rise in sales of materials for renovation or repair projects.
A sizable amount of spending, according to EcoHome Magazine, will be for energy efficiency improvements. Homeowners in cool winter climates like Colorado and Washington state are conducting energy audits to determine where projects like replacement windows, doors, or HVAC equipment can make a difference.
Green remodeling has found a niche, especially in the last few years with the federal government offering tax credits for materials that meet guidelines for energy conservation. Green remodeling has also become a passion for what EcoHome Magazine has termed "aging-in-place baby boomers" who are trying to hang on to their residences while maintaining security and reigning in energy bills.
For many, it simply makes more financial sense to upgrade their existing homes than to sell them off in favor of another house. For those in the habit of flipping homes, it's also a good time to circle the wagons, modify spending to must-have upgrades or improvements, and wait for the inevitable upturn. It's been proven even in this economy that home-buyers are looking for places where owners have put thought and money into energy efficiency and green living. For those who cannot afford a new green home, your upgraded old home may prove a solid option when the time is right.