GOLDEN, Colo. (May 3, 2006): With tax refund checks finding their way into bank accounts, many Americans are turning their attention to how they are going to spend their return. According to a new survey released today, paying-off debt and investing in ones home top the list of how Americans plan to spend their 2005 tax refund.
ServiceMagic asked over 500 homeowners, how they planned to spend their extra income in an online survey. According to the results, 41 percent of the respondents plan to pay-off debt while 31 percent plan to do home improvement projects.
When asked what projects homeowners had in mind, 46 percent of the respondents planned to invest in larger, more involved projects such as kitchen or bath remodels and home additions. Other popular projects were interior and exterior painting and landscaping as homeowners prepare their homes for the spring.
"As home prices continue to increase in many areas throughout the country, many people are staying put and choosing to invest in their existing homes by remodeling or building additions," said Andy Zurcher, vice president of ServiceMagic. "We continue to see a high percentage of homeowners using our service to connect with remodeling professionals. Kitchen and bath remodels have been two of our Top 10 consumer service requests for the last two years."
While do-it-yourself (DIY) has become a popular tend, more than half (55 percent) of the respondents plan to hire a professional, particularly for larger, more complex home improvement projects. Interestingly, the majority of respondents doing smaller painting and landscape projects also prefer to hire a professional to handle the task.
"Investing in your home is a great way to use your 2005 tax refund, but to get the most out of a home improvement investment, it's important that homeowners make smart decisions when hiring a residential contractor," said Zurcher.
Tips for Hiring the Right Contractor
ServiceMagic helps consumers save time by prescreening its member businesses for applicable state licensing and insurance and providing past customer feedback. To avoid home improvement contractor nightmare stories, ServiceMagic encourages consumers to do the following homework, especially if they are working with a non-ServiceMagic contractor.
ABOUT SERVICEMAGIC, INC.
ServiceMagic, Inc., headquartered in Golden, Colo., is the nation's leading online marketplace connecting homeowners with prescreened and customer-rated home service professionals. Using proprietary technology to match consumer service requests with local service professionals in real time, the company addresses more than 500 different home service needs that range from simple home repairs and maintenance to complete home remodeling projects. ServiceMagic's nationwide network is made up of nearly 40,000 prescreened and customer-rated home service professionals. The company is an operating business of IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ: IACI). For more information, visit ServiceMagic.com.