The Decline of the Suburbs Could Affect Home Remodeling

August 14, 2013

The suburbs have long been a staple of American living. For the past 70 years or so, neighborhoods and towns have seen record expansion on the fringes of major cities. These neighborhoods — connected to downtown areas and business cores by highways — have allowed Americans to raise families on a plot of land while providing a sense of security that some felt was lacking in more densely populated areas.

While suburbia hasn’t exactly been problem-free over the years, it has still served as a lasting symbol of the American dream and family ideals. For generations, a popular perception was that those who “made it” were those who were able to move to the suburbs and raise their children away from the dangers of the city. But as the United States economy recovers from a massive tailspin, that perception is being fading away.

Americans are Moving Back to the City

suburban sprawn

Although cities such as Las Vegas have seen expansive suburban growth in recent years, sights like this are becoming less common around the country, as homeowners gravitate toward urban cores. (Image courtesy: Daniel Ramirez/flickr)

More and more Americans are looking to move from the suburbs to urban areas. In the book The End of the Suburbs, author Leigh Gallagher states that urban centers outgrew suburbs nationwide in 2011. The U.S. Census Bureau also estimated that more than 12 million people in the South moved to a new home in the same state that they had previously been living in between 2011 and 2012. A good amount of those people moved from the suburbs to revitalized urban cores in several metropolitan areas.

A changing cultural landscape is responsible for this shift. Rising energy prices and a move toward reducing emissions have made car-friendly living areas less friendly to many Americans. Changes in societal perceptions have made single-family homes less desirable than they once were, and the growth of mobile technology has placed an emphasis on bringing people together more frequently. A regrettable increase in drunk driving has also made car-centric suburbs more of a danger zone than a safe haven.

Work Needed For Revitalization

While Americans are moving inward toward urban cores, those areas must often be overhauled in order to handle this shift. Although most metropolitan areas started in urban cores, many central regions were left dilapidated when their residents rushed toward suburbs on the outer fringes of these areas. More and more of these neighborhoods are now being revitalized as families move back from those suburbs.

Since many houses already exist in these areas, there is a push to renovate these homes — giving them a modern look and amenities. These needs are keeping the home remodeling industry extremely busy in urban cores — especially since more homes are being renovated than are being built in these neighborhoods.

And it’s not only homeowners that are looking to remodel. The real estate industry has caught on to the urban-focused housing trends. Many real estate companies are now looking to renovate homes in urban areas before they hit the market, in order to help raise listing prices.

Urbanization Might Affect Home Renovation Costs

georgetown homes

While Georgetown in Washington, D.C. has long been an example of a prosperous urban neighborhood, homes in other neighborhoods nationwide are being overhauled as Americans gravitate back to urban cores. (Image courtesy: David Wilson/flickr)

Homeowners in urban cores might have to pay a bit more for renovations than their suburban counterparts. Many neighborhoods closer to urban centers are very old; these neighborhoods predate suburbs and often even the era of the automobile. The homes in those neighborhoods must undergo bigger overhauls to meet modern standards than suburban homes, which were designed specifically for the needs of modern homeowners.

Yet, these renovations are worth the higher investment. As urban neighborhoods are becoming more desirable, resale values of remodeled homes in these areas will likely skyrocket. And those looking to move to these neighborhoods — or remain in homes there — will be also be able to reap the benefits of this urban revitalization in a more stylish, modern home.

If you’re looking to remodel your Houston-area home, turn to Best Investments Siding and Windows. We have a A+ raring from the Better Business Bureau, and we won the 2012 Pinnacle Award from the Houston BBB. To request a free quote, click here or call (281) 852-1866 today!