Nearly 60% of homeowners surveyed are putting off home repairs due to cost


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Nearly 60% of homeowners surveyed are putting off home repairs due to cost

A steel wrench against a background showing a drawing of a red house

Home improvements and maintenance are expensive, especially given recent inflation and rising homeowners insurance premiums. The national average cost of homeowners insurance has jumped 21% since 2015 while premiums in storm-prone states like Florida and Texas have skyrocketed — up 57% and 40%, respectively.

The research team at Today’s Homeowner surveyed 1,000 U.S. homeowners about homeowners insurance and how rising prices affect their decision to address home repairs and maintenance. A secondary survey of roughly 3,700 American homeowners was also performed to better understand their home improvement plans for 2023. For more information on how we gathered the data, please see our methodology section.

Key findings

Highlights of the homeowner survey results:

  • Most respondents (82%) claim that at least one area of their home needs maintenance.
  • Nearly 60% of respondents say they’re putting off home repairs because they can’t afford them. 
  • 31% percent of respondents have $1,000 or less saved for home emergencies. 
  • Over half of respondents (52%) have seen an increase in homeowners insurance.
  • An overwhelming majority of respondents (81%) are stressed about the cost of their homeowners insurance.
  • 40% of respondents need to replace their windows, plumbing, and/or roof in the next five years.



Today’s Homeowner

82% of respondents need at least one repair

A chart showing Most Common Issues Homeowners Are Putting Off

Most respondents have at least one issue in their home that needs to be addressed, our survey found. Of those homeowners, nearly 45% have one to two issues that need repair, while nearly 30% have three to four issues that need repair. Almost 9% of respondents say they have five or more home issues.

Nearly 79% of homeowners surveyed say they plan to address their home repairs within the next six months. Why are they waiting? According to our survey, 59% cannot afford repairs right now.

40% of respondents will need major replacements within 5 years

While many homeowners can’t currently afford to make repairs, 40% of those surveyed admit there may be more pressing maintenance issues in the future. Most survey respondents said they’ll need window replacements, roof replacements, and plumbing replacements within the next five years. 

Below is a breakdown of what homeowners surveyed said they’d need to be replaced within the next five years. Some homeowners chose more than one answer:

  • Windows (41%)
  • Roof (40%)
  • Plumbing (40%)
  • Electrical (21%)
  • HVAC (21%)
  • Driveway (20%)
  • Siding (18%)
  • Other (11%) 

Upcoming repairs may be stressful for some homeowners given that many said affordability is a concern. Window replacements can cost between $300 and $800 per window, while the average cost to replace a roof is between $5,000 and $12,000. 



Today’s Homeowner

Why are homeowners putting off repairs? Nearly 60% of those surveyed can’t afford them

A bar chart showing Why is There a Delay in Addressing Home Repairs?

Finances are the main reason that homeowners are delaying repairs. Although most homeowners say they have issues that need to be addressed and plan to do so within the next six months, nearly 60% in our survey say they can’t currently afford repairs. The survey asked respondents whether or not they plan to address their home repairs within the next six months; the following are example responses received: 

“If I had the funds, I would repair them.”

“Hard to answer due to financial situation.”   

“When I can afford to do so… I cannot afford repairs at this time.”

Meanwhile, 28% of homeowners surveyed said they are delaying home repairs because they have debts they need to pay off first. About 11% said they need to prioritize saving for a future big purchase. As the 2023 holiday season looms, many homeowners appear to be waiting until after the giving season to address home repairs. 



Today’s Homeowner

How will homeowners finance home maintenance?

chart showing 5 Most Common Ways Homeowners are Financing Repairs This Season

There are many ways to buy now and pay later when it comes to financing home improvement projects. But nearly half of respondents plan to buy and pay later: 46% of survey respondents aren’t considering financing any repairs until they can fully afford it.

Meanwhile, 21% of respondents said they’d finance home repairs using credit cards. Tied for the third most popular option (13% each) are personal loans and emergency savings.

Fewer than 4% of respondents said they plan to take out a home equity line of credit (HELOC) or use retirement savings. No respondents said they plan to use a government loan to finance home repairs. 



Today’s Homeowner

Can homeowners cover an emergency home repair?

A bar chart showing how much money certain groups Have Saved for Home Emergencies?

An emergency home repair costs around $2,000 on average. Most survey respondents say they have between $1,000 and $5,000 saved for an emergency repair. But 11% don’t have any money set aside for a repair they may need in a pinch. 



Today’s Homeowner

Homeowners are ‘stressed’ by rising insurance premiums

A bar chart showing the changes surveyed homeowners made to their insurance policy

Homeowners may be able to save money by delaying home repairs and reducing home improvement spending, but they probably don’t have as much control over the cost of their homeowners insurance. Most (81%) respondents reported being at least a little stressed by rising homeowners insurance costs.

According to the survey, 52% of homeowners saw an increase in their homeowners insurance premiums despite 58% of them not changing their coverage plans.

Of those who did make a change to their homeowners’ insurance policy, 51% increased their coverage, while 31% shopped around for a different provider. The most significant driving factor for changing the policy was cost, with 57% saying they made a change because of rising premiums. 

Where homeowners are spending less on improvements

Homeowners are often trying to reel in home improvement spending. Earlier this year, another Today’s Homeowner survey revealed that many homeowners planned to cut back on home improvement spending for 2023 due to inflation and the economic climate.

In four states — Connecticut, Wisconsin, New Mexico, and Nebraska — more than 60% of respondents said they would be reducing their home improvement spending. Even in Vermont, where the fewest number of homeowners planned to lower spending, 30% still aimed to spend less on home improvements this year compared to years past.

Both surveys made it clear that money is a main concern: Most U.S. homeowners are spending less on home improvement and home repair projects in 2023 due to the overall economic climate and rising insurance premiums.

Methodology

Home Repair Survey: We surveyed 1,000 homeowners about the state of their homes, unfinished repairs, and rising homeowner’s insurance premiums in September 2023. Using raw survey data, we weighted responses to align them with population demographics across age, gender, and income status to represent all U.S. adults. The margin of error for this study is +/- 3% with 95% confidence.

Inflation Survey: Today’s Homeowner surveyed roughly 3,700 American homeowners using a third-party platform to better understand their home improvement plans for 2023. Survey data for this report was collected in January 2023.

 

This story was produced by Today’s Homeowner and reviewed and distributed by Stacker Media.

 


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