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New Couch Syndrome: The Real Deal

First-time homebuyers spend their money differently than experienced homebuyers after they move, according to a new study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Using data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey gathered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the NAHB found that homebuyers that were new to the home buying market had the highest average expenditures for both appliances and furnishings, and outspent experienced homebuyers and nonmoving homeowners in both these categories.

New homebuyers spent an average of $3,094 on appliances, compared to an average of $1,889 of existing homebuyers’ expenditures. New homebuyers also outspent existing homebuyers on items such as washer/dryers, refrigerators, televisions, freezers, and lawnmowers and yard equipment. Nonmoving homeowners only spent an average of $1,182 annually on appliances.

Furnishings are also popular purchases for first-time homebuyers, who outspent experienced homebuyers $3,778 to $2,258. According to the report, new homebuyers spent an average $687 on living room tables and chairs, and $345 on dining room and kitchen furniture. Window covering was also a popular purchase among first-time homebuyers, who spent on average $215 for a little privacy. Existing homebuyers only bought $78 worth of window coverings, and nonmoving owners spent a meager $21, which is 10 times less than first-time homebuyers. Annually, nonmoving homeowners only spent a total of $708 all year on furniture.

The only category in which existing homebuyers outspent new homebuyers was in alterations and repairs—which was an average of $4,085. New homebuyers only spent $3,729 on repairs and alterations, but were more likely to outspend their experienced counterparts when it came to outside projects, such as fencing, a new driveway, or a new walkway. Nonmoving homeowners spent more annually on repairs and alterations than appliances and furnishings combined. Collectively, however, nonmoving homeowners drive most of the demand, and spend the most money, on appliances, furnishings, and repairs, but only because there are more nonmoving homeowners in a given year than there are homebuyers, whether first-time or experienced.

About Author: Joey Pizzolato

Joey Pizzolato is the Online Editor of DS News and MReport. He is a graduate of Spalding University, where he holds a holds an MFA in Writing as well as DePaul University, where he received a B.A. in English. His fiction and nonfiction have been published in a variety of print and online journals and magazines. To contact Pizzolato, email joseph.pizzolato@thefivestar.com.

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