Living the American Dream


Hey now brown cow, it’s time to plunk down your dowry, passbook savings, piggybank jar, and money you stashed in the freezer in case Armageddon was just around the corner!  It’s time to own a home, and be a part of the great American Dream.  In this month’s Ipsos US Omnibus Infographic series, Living the American Dream, we explore this topic as well as consumer attitudes and behaviors towards home improvement projects.

Even though many financial advisors, friends and family, will tell you owning a home is not all it’s cracked up to be, an overwhelming 81% of Americans believe it’s truly the great American dream.  Now the brown cow may be loved and adored, but it probably won’t make it into many houses, or home improvement project wish lists, but his chocolatey espresso-like color may end up being selected as the new paint scheme on your dining room walls during a well needed home makeover.  Our study showed 52% of homeowners will complete a home improvement project in 2015, and roughly 2/3rds of these homeowners will spend at least $500.

Americans have to come to realize if you are making an investment into a house, you need to maintain it if you are to reap the benefit of the initial investment.  Of those interviewed, 88% believe it’s important to keep the house updated and looking fresh, and believe refreshing a room approximately every six years is important.

So Bob and Bobsy the builders what will it be?  What are the most popular home improvement projects being done by Americans today? Here are the top 5 most popular projects cited: interior painting (38%), yard or fence work (27%), remodeling a room (26%), installing flooring (25%) and exterior painting (22%).

I must admit, I would rather walk the Green Mile with Tom Hanks by my side, than having to paint.  I’m not sure I have the eye, patience, or wrists to make it the “end-all-be-all “project du jour for improving the Abbate-estate but it is one of the more reasonable projects for hiring a professional.

Let’s face it, Bob Vila would be proud of each and every one of us for taking home improvement into our own hands, and from what we learned in the study, nobody, or not too many folks are looking to go all in, and put themselves, or their house in jeopardy by tackling one the five toughest home improvement repairs cited by Emily Sennebogen from How Stuff Works: plumbing, electrical, asbestos removal, roofing repairs, or gas appliance repairs.  If you would complete one of these projects in your home, be sure to leave it to the skilled tradesmen and women who know what they are doing, and I promise your house will have a better chance of outliving you and the old oak tree in the back yard where the brown cow has laid himself down to chew some cud, and not await rain drops like the old myth told to me by Mrs. McEveeney in kindergarten.