Category: Home Building

8 Jun 2016

Millennials … Why are you still renting?

If you’re a Millennial, you’ve probably heard it from your parents until they are blue in the face – and you’re tired of them preaching to you: Why are you still renting? Allow me to join the discussion (as a friend), and share some cold, hard facts about today’s housing market. Since I am obviously appealing to your high level of intelligence and good judgment, I trust that this information will shed some new light on the situation and get you aboard the buying band wagon: Money is cheap. With good credit and steady income, you can get a 30-year mortgage for as little as 4 percent interest. Credit qualifications have eased up, making it easier to qualify for a loan. ...
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1 Apr 2016

New Home Rental Communities: The New Phenomenon

Remember the “Great Recession”? While it ended about three years ago, there are a plethora of articles on how far behind the new home industry was on supplying new single-family homes. The figures were staggering: more than two million single family homes behind, just to get us back on par. And that didn’t include the new demand. As the recession started to wind down, there were a tremendous amount of apartment complexes being developed. Talk was that lenders felt more comfortable lending for apartments since there were all these pre- recession buyers who needed housing but could no longer afford to buy. During that time, we also saw a spike in the number of single-family home starts, but this market sector...
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29 Feb 2016

Buying New Construction: Price per Square Foot

In many parts of the country – especially in the Southeast – the “price per square foot” is the standard by which we buy new construction. Builders use it in their literature; Realtors® use it when they provide comps for their buyers; and appraisers use it in determining the value of a home. But the problem with using “price per square foot” is that it often does not represent the true value of the home. The main criteria in pricing a home on a price-per-square-foot basis is usually the “heated living space” of the home. That means the main structure, not the outside porches, garages and in some cases, the unfinished basement (even though it may be a heated space.) For example,...
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13 Jan 2016

The Millennial Dilemma

Millennials are defined as people born in the U.S. between 1981 and 1997, which puts them in the age bracket of 19 to 35.  This ethnically diverse group is 66 million strong and the second largest defined marketing group behind the Baby Boomers.  They are also the sought-after prize for the homebuilding industry … if builders can figure out how to get Millennials in the market to buy a new home. What home builders know is that this group WANTS to buy.  But market conditions and buying preferences are creating some roadblocks that are preventing Millennials from jumping in. The most talked-about barrier facing Millennials is the mountain of college debt that many of them face.  This is closely followed by lack...
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1 Jan 2016

Housing Leads the Way in 2016

It’s official. 2015 is in the books and we’re moving full-speed ahead into 2016. When it comes to real estate, we have much to be thankful for and encouraged about. Housing leads economic recovery as well as economic downturn. This has always been the case throughout history. This recovery has been long and steady, unlike no other. Prices, however, recovered faster than anyone anticipated. This appreciation has been brought to you by lack of inventory. Builders have taken a cautious approach. Baby boomers are taking their good old time downsizing; they are simply staying put. And active buyers are all competing for the same properties and price points. There are two interesting trends we are seeing. It seems more and more buyers of...
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9 Dec 2015

Home for Christmas

Is a brand new home on your Christmas list? Then I’ll let you in on a little secret. Home builders are no different than your local retailer. This time of year, builders need to sell off their inventory in order to make way for new product for next year. Just as a retailer’s earnings are affected by how many times per year they turn their inventory, builders – especially the publicly traded ones – work under the same premise. Don’t expect to see “door busters” – or BOGO (buy one get one free) specials when it comes to new construction. But I can assure you that if you are serious about buying a new home before year-end, there will be some great...
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9 Oct 2015

Outdoor Living Spaces: The Place to Be

As we enter into our newest phase of housing trends, we are seeing a desire from buyers for alternative living spaces. Areas such as mud rooms, home offices, in-law suites, fitness rooms and mechanical rooms are among those “new” spaces that have become requirements for some home buyers. According to the American Institute of Architects’ Home Design Trends Survey for Q2 2015, the top request from home buyers for special function areas is outdoor living spaces. Overall, we are seeing a decrease in demand for the interior square footage – but buyers are taking it outside. Empty nesters in the South are seeking outdoor spaces with screened-in porches, hot tubs, fireplaces and TV’s. The spaces are not necessarily large, but they are...
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13 Apr 2015

The World of a New Home Agent

Once again, the new construction market is healthy. As you drive past these new communities, did you ever wonder what goes on in the world of the new home agent? It looks like a dream job: coming to work at 10 a.m. to a posh, decorated model home, just waiting for someone to come by and ask “Would you please sell me one of your homes?” Well that’s the perception – but it’s certainly not the reality. A new home agent starts their day like the rest of the working world, usually with an 8 a.m. meeting with their sales manager, then off to the model by 9 a.m. The model doesn’t open until 10 a.m. but there’s plenty to do before...
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23 Mar 2015

Get Ahead on Your Offer

The “spring” real estate market has certainly started early this year, and we’re seeing lots of buyer activity. And with tight inventories in some markets, we are also seeing a resurgence of multiple offers. So what can you do, as a buyer, to make your offer stand out? The answer, indisputably, is pre-approval. This requires you as the buyer to gather all required documentation upfront and complete a full application – as you would if you had already found a property. Pre-approval is particularly important if you are a first-time homebuyer – and that’s 33 percent of today’s buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors 2014 Survey of Buyers and Sellers.  But the paperwork required to get a mortgage is a turn-off...
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16 Mar 2015

New Home Trends: Good for Some, Not So Good for Others

Recently, an article was published in our local newspaper about the success of one of our high-end custom home communities and the resurgence of this segment of the new home market. It was a well-balanced article, highlighting the builders, developer, sales team – and even a human interest side about a particular family that purchased there. I was extremely proud of the article, and equally proud of team of people profiled. This segment was, by far, the hardest hit in the new homes market. Casualties were severe in the custom world during the “Great Recession.” The majority of high-end and custom builders were forced out of business; lots went back to the banks; and buyers (if there were any) could not...
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