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2012: New Year, New Home Remodeling Decisions

January 19, 2012 |

It’s 2012. New year, new beginnings, new statistics and ideas for home remodeling projects.

There has been a significant and noticeable shift in preferences with regard to new-home purchases from late 2011 and into the fresh beginnings of 2012. This purchasing impact is a result of the struggling economy, still-shrinking construction market, and the need and desire for smaller homes.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, builders and contractors expect newly built homes in 2012 to average between 2,000 and 2,150 square feet by 2015. That is over 10% smaller than previously estimated desired home sizes.

To maintain the consistency of simplicity and small-size, luxuries will likely fade out in home remodeling and practicality will move in. Formal living rooms are going by the wayside, making room for much smarter and multi-functional home layouts.

In 2012, you can expect to see a lot more of those once-forgotten small spaces: eat in kitchens, and large social areas that can double as office space and entertainment rooms. There’s going to be a decrease in the interest for remodeling or even building dining rooms and great rooms; these simply will become unnecessary.

“Keep the following tips in mind if you’re thinking of investing in an addition or a significant remodel:

* Select a professional contractor with experience, knowledge of local codes and a good reputation for quality work.

* Before you finalize your remodel decisions, research the improvements that will likely bring you the highest return on your investment. A minor kitchen remodel should return more than 70 percent of its cost at resale, according to the 2010-2011 Remodeling Magazine Cost vs. Value Report. Adding a bathroom pays back more than 53 percent.

* During the latest housing boom, remodels were all about big and bold. Now there is less emphasis on luxury and more on practicality. Take advantage of that trend, and you’ll make your home more competitive at resale, and your dollars will stretch a lot further.”