One of the ground rules of polite society is to never talk about politics in mixed company. Especially in presidential-election years. It’s right up there with talking about Cal or Stanford football.
A real estate blog has no business talking politics, either, beyond hushed discussions of interest rates and mortgage-tax exemptions. So it is with no small degree of trepidation that we point out that HomeAdvisor, a website connecting consumers and home contractors, included political affiliation among the data points in a recent survey of 1,650 homeowners nationwide.
The results are included in HomeAdvisor’s 2016 True Cost report. It found that Democrats, generally, will pay more for home maintenance, repairs, and improvement projects than Republicans. Also, Democrats are more likely to hire professionals and contractors to do the work for them, according to the survey.
Republican homeowners tend to choose do-it-yourself household projects.
Democrats, on average, spend about six months researching home improvement projects before they start them They spend an average of $3,417. Republicans spend about three months investigating their home-improvement projects, and they spend an average of $2,194, according to the survey.
Clayton Nall, a political science professor at Stanford University who reviewed the survey for Realtor.com, speculated that Democrats tend to spend more on home-improvement projects because they are more likely to live in urban areas, where homes tend to be older and are likely to require more maintenance.
The survey also found home-improvement differences by age. Generation X homeowners tend to make the fewest home improvements compared with other generations, and they also are more likely to spend the least amount of money on improvements — $3,723, versus baby boomers’ average expenditure of $7,842 and millennials’ $6,063.
Some local findings:
- San Francisco is the most expensive metro area in the U.S. in which to remodel a kitchen ($34,364); the third most expensive to update a garage ($14,883); and the eighth priciest to renovate a bathroom ($14,747).
- Santa Rosa is the ninth most expensive city to maintain a lawn, at $318.
- San Jose is the most expensive city to install an alarm system ($1,181) and the second most expensive city to remodel a swimming pool ($14,750).
(Photo: Flickr/Jeremy Levine)