Buying a house is a huge financial undertaking, and the down payment is only a start. Homeowners spent an additional $6,649 on average in the past 12 months on home improvement projects, according to HomeAdvisor’s 2018 True Cost Report.
Older generations are shelling out the most cash on upgrades. The report, which surveyed more than 1,000 homeowners across the U.S., found that boomers spent an average of $7,524 over the past 12 months, while Gen X-ers spent $6,582 and millennials just $5,693.
However, young people are getting the most done: Millennials completed 18 percent more projects than Gen X-ers and 42 percent more projects than boomers. That’s because millennials often can’t afford to buy bigger, nicer homes, so they’re settling for fixer-uppers they can upgrade themselves.
“Most millennials have had to compromise on the size and condition of their starter homes — with many purchasing older homes in need of repair just to be able to afford home ownership,” Brad Hunter, HomeAdvisor’s chief economist, said in the report. “Many of the millennials who did buy a home in the last few years are seeking to upgrade. But a lack of housing inventory, coupled with inflated home prices and rising mortgage rates, has them renovating their existing homes instead of selling and moving.”