The top 5 remodeling projects Bostonians are dreaming about

SEATTLE — A new year means new resolutions, and at the top of the list for many will be making their home more functional. Zillow Research has found that 72% of homeowners will consider at least one home improvement project in the coming year, which makes sense, considering most people spent more time than ever in their homes the past 22 months. Partnering with Realm, Zillow is now sharing which renovations homeowners are most likely to make in 2022 and which ones will add the most value when it comes time to sell.

Bathroom remodels are the most popular project to tackle; Zillow found that more than half of the homeowners surveyed would consider a bathroom renovation next year. Buyers also are willing to pay a premium for spa-inspired bathroom features, such as “curbless” showers (3.6% price premium), heated floors (3.2%), and free-standing bathtubs (2.6%).

“Most homeowners say they plan to stay in their current home for at least the next three years. And while uncertainty, pandemic precautions, and affordability concerns keep many homeowners in place, most are willing to consider improving their current home,” said Manny Garcia, a population scientist at Zillow. “From adding a backyard cottage to improving a bathroom or renovating the kitchen, most homeowners say they would consider at least one home improvement.”

Kitchen remodels are also widely popular, with Zillow’s research showing 46% of homeowners would consider that project in 2022. Luxury kitchen amenities were must-haves over the past year, and that will likely continue as people spend more time cooking and eating at home.

“Thousands of homeowners across the U.S. use Realm as they plan the projects they’re going to do next based on their budget, local regulations, weather, trends, and return on investment,” said Realm’s founder and CEO, Liz Young. “The most popular projects continue to be interior renovations, such as kitchen and bathroom remodels, but outside of those, we see a lot of variance from city to city.”

While kitchen and bathroom renovations made the top five planned projects in every US city, other projects appear in the top five for only some cities: landscaping (97.1% of cities), first-floor addition (51.4%), deck (34.3%), backyard home (17.1% of cities), exterior and interior painting (both at 17.1%), and installing a pool (11.4%).

A bar chart showing that bath and kitchen renos are most in demand in Boston, with landscaping, first-floor additions, and basement conversions not far behind.
. —Realm

As consumers tackle these projects, they should consider long-term implications, such as prioritizing projects that will also yield a strong return on investment when it comes time to sell. Data from Realm, a centralized source of actionable home data and insights, finds that the projects with the highest ROI potential are low-cost ways to add living space, like conversions or additions in which the original structure isn’t impacted. Building a backyard cottage, finishing a basement, converting a garage, finishing an attic, and remodeling a kitchen are projects that have the highest return on investment potential, according to Realm.

Creating more livable space is a consideration for many homeowners, Zillow survey data indicates. Projects that are highest on their wish lists for 2022 include adding or improving an office space (31%), finishing a basement or attic (23%), and adding an accessory dwelling unit or guest house (21%).

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