Plight of perpetual home improvement
When someone moves into a new home, the nesting phase sets in and most people flock to home improvement shows for inspiration and guidance. A new esure.com study in the United Kingdom reveals that as a nation, there is a dedication (some would say addiction) to home improvement that we believe translates to American and Canadian residents as well.
British residents spend over $92,000 on home improvements over a lifetime, eleven days every year, five hours per week, and an average 18 months over a lifetime devoted to home improvement. The esure study points to home shows as residents aspire to “match properties featured in TV shows.”
MTV Cribs and various HGTV programs has fueled the home improvements with non-functional decor taking up roughly $820 of an average Brit’s annual budget and over $600 in a lifetime on home items (silverware, linens) that they will never use in fear of ruining them.
Financial and psychological impact
Nikki Sellers, head of home insurance at esure, said, “The rise in popularity of television shows featuring showcase desirable homes has given rise to a new breed of homeowner driven to create a beautiful abode but almost too scared to enjoy it.”
The fear translates into feelings of inadequacy, with five percent of those studied noting they can no longer invite people into their home for fear visitors may spill something or break items the host has worked so hard to obtain in an effort to keep up with the Joneses (or MTV Cribs). One in four admitted they are too anxious to touch anything in their overly house-proud friends’ homes, with one in fifteen saying they’ve turned down invitations to friends’ homes that are overly perfect, simply out of fear.
Some parts of America and Canada produce home-aware renters and homeowners that are aspiring to have MTV Cribs-esque homes that take up a larger and larger portion of incomes and increased anxiety over these possessions.