2016 home improvements: projects, costs and payment strategies

On February 22, 2016 in Home Improvement

2016 home improvements: projects, costs and payment strategies


More homeowners are taking on home improvement and maintenance projects, and they are open to spending even more money than in 2015, according to data from LightStream’s third annual survey of homeowners.

Conducted online by the Harris Poll in February 2016, the survey found 62 percent of homeowners plan to spend on home improvement projects in 2016, an increase of almost nine percent compared to 2015.*

Homeowners are open to spending more than in years past, an average of $6,239, as compared to $5,037 in 2015. Forty percent plan to spend $5,000 or more (up from 36 percent in 2015) and 22 percent plan on spending $10,000 or more (up from 18 percent last year).

Once again, the desire to update a home’s look, features and technology is the main motivation to remodel. The trend in outdoor living continues to dominate as the number-one home improvement project, with 45 percent planning to invest in decks, patios or landscape renovations. Other projects planned include:

  • bathroom remodels (31 percent)
  • upgrades to roofs, windows, HVAC and other technology systems (30 percent)
  • kitchen remodels (23 percent)

Sixty-two percent of homeowners planning renovations will pull from their savings. Credit cards will be used by 25 percent of homeowners; home equity lines of credit (9 percent), loans (6 percent) and investments (6 percent), are also cited in homeowner payment strategies.

According to research analysts at the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, the challenge for 2016 will be whether the industry can find solutions to ongoing hurdles, such as consumer financing concerns.

“Home remodeling costs are often paid for with savings,” said Todd Nelson, LightStream business development officer. “But as homeowners explore remodeling options, the scope of their renovation often grows. It’s always important for people not to overextend themselves on any project. However, financing can be a great solution to supplement a budget, without incurring more expensive credit card debt or having to tap into investments. A home improvement loan or home equity line of credit can be a smart option, as today’s continued low interest rates can underpin additional expenses and allow people to take advantage of the cost, time and labor efficiencies of doing their projects all at once.”

As of March 1, 2016, LightStream has lowered its home improvement loans to start as low as 3.99%** APR with AutoPay. This fixed-rate, unsecured home improvement loan allows people with good credit to borrow between $5,000 and $100,000, with no fees and no paperwork.

* Calculation: (62% – 57%) / 57% / 100

Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University

**Your APR may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term, and your credit profile. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount, which is only available when you select AutoPay prior to loan funding. Rates under the invoicing option are 0.50% higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Rates as of 03/01/2016.