Political Preferences Align With Home Improvement

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Report reveals differences in how Republicans and Democrats approach home maintenance and repair projects.

You can predict people’s politics by their approach to home improvement projects, says a new report.

Democrats are willing to spend 1.5 times more money on a home maintenance or repair project than Republicans, but Republicans are more likely to complete “do-it-yourself” projects, according to HomeAdvisor’s 2016 True Cost Report.

Six in 10 Republicans — compared with just 4 in 10 Democrats — say they will do a project on their own when they think it will be too expensive to hire a professional, says the report by the matching service for contractors and clients.

“Political affiliation, age and geographic location can significantly affect American homeowners’ attitudes and decision-making when it comes to home improvement and repair projects,” said Leah Ingram, cost adviser for HomeAdvisor.

Among political differences:

  • Home improvement: Democrats are willing to spend up to $3,417 on a project, while Republicans would spend up to $2,149.
  • Home repairs: Democrats are willing to spend as much as $2,343, compared with $1,499 for Republicans.
  • Project research: 1 in 4 Democrats spend six months or more researching a project; 6 in 10 Republicans spend under three months.
  • Economic outlook: Nearly 3 in 10 Democrats feel the economy will get much worse in the next 12 months; almost twice the ratio of Republicans, nearly 6 in 10, feel that way.
  • Generations party on: 18 percent of millennials cite the Republican Party as their political affiliation versus 28 percent citing the Democratic Party; for Generation X, it’s 22 percent Republicans, 32 percent Democrats; for baby boomers, 25 percent Republicans, 34 percent Democrats.

The 2016 True Cost Repair report also examines generational differences in approaches to home ownership:

  • Millennials and baby boomers complete more home maintenance and repair projects than any other age group.
  • More than 9 in 10 homeowners pay for home maintenance and repair projects with cash.
  • Home improvements rank second only to vacations when it comes to what homeowners save money for — ranking above cars, jewelry, home appliances and furniture.
  • Homeowners are most focused on remodeling, routine maintenance and repair, and energy and security projects, with alarm installation and locksmith services ranking highest among homeowner requests in the past year.

“In the past 12 months, there was a 47 percent increase in homeowners who spent more than $1,000 on home improvement projects,” Ingram said. “We attribute this rise to the shrinking housing inventories and escalating home prices.”

Does your home improvements approach match your political party?

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