Hippo, seeking to learn how the responsibilities of homeownership are affecting the current and future American homeowner, driven by inflationary trends and the pandemic, ran a national survey of more than 2,000 U.S. homeowners and renters. Not surprisingly, the majority of those homeowners surveyed (70%) still consider homeownership part of achieving their life goals, regardless of generation. 

Source: Hippo 2022 Homeowner Preparedness Report
Source: Hippo 2022 Homeowner Preparedness Report

As everyday life is undoubtedly changing in this new economic climate, we sought to provide a clear understanding of changing homeownership responsibilities through a real-life, up-to-date pulse check with current or aspiring homeowners. Ensuring that we are continuing to find new ways to be proactive protectors for our customers, whether through offering smart home technology or expert home care guidance, it's Hippo’s North Star.  
What we found through our survey is that homeowners are even more hesitant than in previous years to start or complete home maintenance projects, with nearly half of recent homeowners who bought a home since March 2020 putting them off due to inflation and price increases.

Source: Hippo 2022 Homeowner Preparedness Report
Source: Hippo 2022 Homeowner Preparedness Report

While putting things off until costs level out seems like a simple solution, this can have a negative effect on your home’s health. Keep reading for a closer look at current trends and how staying proactive and preventative when caring for your home can make all the difference in how a homeowner can crush the experience of homeownership in this new economic climate. 

Modern homeowners have high hopes  

Owning a home can be one of the most formative experiences in an adult’s life. However, first-time homeowners soon find out there's no one-size-fits-all instruction manual for the home, and what was once an exciting new chapter for many, can come with twists and turns, leading to unexpected costs and headaches, if not properly managed.  

As if the national inflation rates having reached 8.26% wasn’t enough to cause worry, homeowners also report how changes in climate are beginning to affect their home's wellness. Yet, homeowners continue to have high hopes for their homes, whether they’ve just moved in or have been a part of the neighborhood for years. Incorporating climate-change-conscious decisions into your homeownership strategy sooner rather than later can be a game-changer. As new responsibilities arise, Hippo is on hand to help homeowners proactively tackle their household to-dos by preventing small things from becoming big problems.  

Homeownership remains part of the American Dream 

Despite the external pressures brought on by the pandemic, resulting in heightened inflation rates and logjams in the supply chain, homeowners today continue to see homeownership as a cornerstone of their American Dream, regardless of generation. Even those aspiring owners surveyed are optimistic about homeownership, whether it's the next step in taking on more responsibility in their daily lives, or to be a part of a community. 

Because so many “younger generations” have become homeowners, whether through aging into the market like the older millennial cohort, or whether the pandemic worked out for younger millennials and Gen-Zer’s, these young homeowners (46% of those surveyed) were driven by their desire to own a home, with the vast majority (66% of those surveyed) agreeing that homeownership is an important part of the American Dream. 

Source: Hippo 2022 Homeowner Preparedness Report
Source: Hippo 2022 Homeowner Preparedness Report

However, today’s ever-changing macro-factors, such as the supply chain issues and resulting price increases, have made most aspiring buyers (3 in 5), prefer to pay more for a move-in-ready home, rather than save on a fixer-upper where they may have issues being able to complete necessary renovations.

Source: Hippo 2022 Homeowner Preparedness Report
Source: Hippo 2022 Homeowner Preparedness Report

Homeownership is so much more than a place to reside, which is why Hippo is working to offer proactive and preventative ways for current and aspiring homeowners to provide themselves and their families with a home that they aren't only proud of, but brings a sense of security, and comfort that, no matter what circumstances in life arise. 

New challenges for homeowners when it comes to responsible home care and maintenance 

Source: Hippo 2022 Homeowner Preparedness Report
Source: Hippo 2022 Homeowner Preparedness Report

Current economic factors, coupled with climate change, give the modern-day homeowner much more to contend with than previous generations. Homeowners are not only dealing with economic factors hindering home projects, but there’s also a hippo-sized challenge in the room that many homeowners haven’t proactively tackled: more severe and frequent weather as a result of climate change. 

Source: Hippo 2022 Homeowner Preparedness Report
Source: Hippo 2022 Homeowner Preparedness Report

In the current climate, proactive home maintenance can be the difference between mitigating small issues now or tackling more costly home repairs down the line. However, there’s still a handful of homeowners who choose to wait until something breaks to fix it. In today’s inflationary environment, material costs could continue to go up, so getting ahead of potential issues early can save so much time, money and heartache. 

Start small by taking note of the things that may need a slight upgrade around the home. Hippo offers a home maintenance checklist that can help turn a daunting list into more manageable pieces by breaking them up into monthly, seasonal and yearly tasks. 

Homeowners have big dreams of taking on more responsibility 

Even though the homeowners we surveyed express an eagerness to stay on top of their home maintenance, a majority said that they still ended up having to pay for unexpected maintenance costs or home upgrades this past year due to just not knowing enough about the inner and outer workings of their home. 

Source: Hippo 2022 Homeowner Preparedness Report
Source: Hippo 2022 Homeowner Preparedness Report

What’s even more surprising is that most homeowners have no set financial plan to handle unexpected repairs. This leaves homeowners vulnerable to a growing set of uncertainties - and, in today’s environment, having confidence and control in homeownership is key.

Source: Hippo 2022 Homeowner Preparedness Report
Source: Hippo 2022 Homeowner Preparedness Report

Getting a jump start on home care in the new economic climate starts with having a plan in place and covering the basics. While many people want to take action, we found that they’re skipping some of the most critical tasks to keep their homes protected.  

Fortunately, there is an easy fix for homeowners simply lacking the knowledge. Familiarizing yourself with your home, educating yourself on the basics of home maintenance, and starting to save for future home repairs will all serve to set you and your home up for success in the future. 

An abundance of resources are available 

With these external factors infringing on the homeownership experience, what is a homeowner to do? What should they handle first, and what's the priority? The good news is that there’s an abundance of resources available from Hippo for homeowners to achieve their dream of truly enjoying their homes.

Source: Hippo 2022 Homeowner Preparedness Report
Source: Hippo 2022 Homeowner Preparedness Report

Having resources like smart home devices, home maintenance apps, and access to home care services, all things that Hippo offers, gives homeowners the resources they need to take ownership of their homes. Practicing routine home maintenance doesn’t only prevent issues from occurring in the first place, it also enhances the knowledge of the homeowner by informing them of the state of their homes, reminding them what it will take to reach the goals they have set out for their homes. 

The joys of homeownership  

Owning a home has long been part of the American Dream and, as seen through our survey results, it continues to be today for many aspiring and current homeowners. As homeowners today face new challenges in proactively protecting their homes, having a partner in their home’s protection is essential. Hippo takes a proactive approach to homeownership by offering services and tools focused on preventative care that help customers reduce risks, including smart home devices and preventive home maintenance support, along with seasonal home care tips and advice. Hippo is here to help. Bundling modern coverage with smart home technology, and offering access to services like Hippo Home Care, Hippo keeps you ahead of problems so you can crush it as a homeowner.

Methodology
This Ipsos poll was conducted April 29 to May 1, 2022, on behalf of Hippo Insurance Services, using the probability-based KnowledgePanel®. This starting sample for this poll is a nationally representative probability sample of 2,104 adults age 18 or older. To qualify for the survey, respondents must own or rent the home they live in (n=1,915).
The study was conducted in English. The data were weighted to adjust for gender by age, race/ethnicity, education, Census region, metropolitan status, household income, and party identification. The demographic benchmarks came from the 2021 Current Population Survey (CPS) from the U.S. Census Bureau.

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