Homeowners indecisive on property upgrades

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Tepilo looks at how the ‘imagination’ gap is making homeowners indecisive about upgrading properties and the effect this could have when they come to sell.

As a homeowner, you’ll always be looking to improve, enhance and modify your home to keep up with the times, keep on-trend and, as an added bonus, increase the value of your main asset. That said, shopping around for home improvements doesn’t come without its downsides, as research from Manchester-based start-up DigitalBridge has revealed.

Upgrading a home can be a frustrating process, with some 28% of current homeowners dithering over a decision about home improvements in the last 12 months. In particular, doubts are driven by a failure to imagine what new products will look like in a given room.

For 51%, an inability to imagine new wallpaper or a different colour of paint is holding them back, with many consumers putting off a buying decision because of this issue.

What’s more, 51% of consumers have also put off purchasing new furniture because of the so-called imagination gap – where buyers can’t make the leap between what they see before them in a shop, online or in a brochure and how the item will look in their home.

Installing a new floor, too, can cause frustration, with 23% of those surveyed putting this off because of worries about the finished product.

Millions of Brits are becoming increasingly annoyed by the sheer range of choice on offer, with a seemingly endless number of products, styles and colour combinations to sift through. As a result, 25% of consumers admit to feeling overwhelmed by the choice that greets them when it comes to shopping for their home.

A big stumbling block when it comes to home improvements is getting things wrong from the start, which then involves time, money and effort to rectify the situation. It’s therefore understandable that 18% of those surveyed said they had hesitated on making a final decision over home improvements because of fears it wasn’t the right move.

Such indecision, as well as conflicting opinions on how a home improvement project should look, is also causing some couples to argue, with one in ten admitting that a row had broken out over ‘artistic’ differences. This is an issue that is exacerbated by the inability to preview products before purchase, which is further adding to buyer uncertainty.

The imagination gap is, however, being addressed, with the introduction of computer vision and augmented/mixed reality to enable people to preview products in their own rooms before committing to a purchase. Only some retailers offer such services at present, but this could become more widespread as the retail world looks to tackle a growing issue that is potentially eating into profits.

Of course, no home improvement project should be taken lightly, whether it’s installing a new floor, repainting the kitchen or bathroom, adding new wallpaper or purchasing new furniture. To avoid things going wrong or bad decisions being made, all home improvement decisions should be mulled over carefully, getting outside, unbiased opinions if necessary – parents are usually good at providing such a service, because they can be honest and blunt in equal measure.

If you are looking to sell a home in the near future, it pays to have one eye on what prospective buyers might like when you choose which home improvements to carry out. If you’re upgrading your home to list it on the market now, pay close attention to current trends and what the majority of buyers will be looking for.

Home improvements are vital to keep a home looking fresh and energised, rather than shabby and tired. Sometimes they might feel like an unnecessary and costly chore, and may cause anxiety and stress over how exactly they will look, but thinking long-term regular upgrades of your house will help to keep it in tip-top condition and, as a result, keep its value high too.

If you’re having trouble imagining how a home interior product will look in your property, it can be a wise move to sleep on it and come at things with fresh eyes and a fresh brain in the morning. If it’s at all possible to visualise it through virtual reality or computer vision, be sure to grab that opportunity with both hands.