Category: Home Building

9 Feb 2015

A Look Back on New Construction in the Carolinas

As we take a look at how new construction fared for 2014, I’d have to say we did “okay.” I can’t be exuberant, but then again, I’m not disappointed either. It was not a year of big increases like 2013, but rather, small gains and notable trends. Residential building permit data for the Carolinas is compiled by The Market Edge, a specialized information reporting service. Data is obtained directly from code enforcement offices in each county, then analyzed and provided to subscribers who provide goods and services to the residential and commercial construction industry. In the Carolinas, we monitor building permit data for four regions: The Charlotte, Triad, and Triangle regions of North Carolina and the Upstate of South Carolina. In 2014,...
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12 Jan 2015

How to Negotiate With Your Builder … Post Recession

A few years ago, I wrote about this same topic … but those were different times. We were just coming out of the “Great Recession.” Buyers were coming back into the new home market and trying to figure out what builders would be willing to give them. And builders were trying to figure out how to get new buyers – without giving away the store. Now that the economy is getting back to normal, new construction buyers are thinking that it’s “business as usual” – and go in with a “lowball” offer. Unfortunately for buyers today, there is even less negotiation than just after the recession ended. The new home industry is still not back to pre-recession days, so builders remain very...
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17 Dec 2014

The Carolinas: The Most Affordable New Home Markets in the Country

We have all been hearing how affordable new homes are in the Carolinas – and now there are stats to back that up. John Burns Real Estate Consultants, the premier new home analyst in the country, has just released their latest stats on the least and most affordable new home markets. I don’t think it would come as a surprise to anyone that Portland, Oregon and Los Angeles, California are the two most expensive new home markets in the country. But on the other end of the spectrum, the No. 2 and 3 most affordable markets in the entire country are right here in North Carolina: Raleigh at No. 2 and Charlotte at No. 3. So what does this affordability stat mean?...
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10 Nov 2014

New Construction: The Numbers Can Be Confusing

Just about everyone today who owns a home – or aspires to own a home – is tuned in to what’s going on in the economy. It affects whether we stay in our current home and remodel; go out and buy a resale home; or commit to having a brand-new home built. The third option – building a home – is truly an economic driver and bellwether for the economy. At the end of each quarter, statistics are released about what has happened with the home-building market. Since new construction is a driver of jobs (and lots of them), these stats impact everyone: from the builders, developers, suppliers and home furnishing companies, to the average person looking to jump into the market...
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8 Oct 2014

The Millennial Gap

For decades, builders based their business on the premise that young adults graduated from college, got a job, bought a starter home, lived in it for 5-7 years and then moved up. Roughly every 5-7 years, they moved again – and that was the new home “food chain.” Builders had this great pool of potential buyers that would scarf up their entry-level homes and start the process of buying new homes for the next 30 years. In the past decade, that process has changed, with the Great Recession redefining how Millennials (age 18-34) feed that food chain. The Millennials now graduate from college with mounds of debt. The majority either move back with Mom and Dad, or rent a home or apartment...
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24 Sep 2014

Nothing but Blue Skies

What’s the forecast for new construction? The sun is shining brighter – and the skies are definitely bluer – when it comes to the rebounding housing market in the Carolinas. Both Charlotte and Raleigh are among the fastest growing cities in the country, which is certainly good news for housing. But let’s take a closer look. Prior to the recession, the United States was permitting more than 1.5 million single-family homes per year (including townhomes, but not condos or apartments). Post-recession, we have been permitting on average 400,000 single family homes annually. If you do the math, you can see we need a whole lot of new homes just to catch up – and that doesn’t take into consideration moving forward. The Carolinas...
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11 Aug 2014

A Six-Month Look Back on the New Homes Market

It’s hard to pick-up a newspaper or magazine or glance at your favorite online news feed without reading something about the new homes market. So let’s take a peek back on the past six months and see what’s been going on. For the past three months, most reporting agencies that track new construction have been trying to put a damper on the market by reporting bad news. But let’s look at where we were four years ago and where we are today. In 2013, we saw the most new home starts since 2008 – a stellar year! And while the first six months of 2014 may not have been quite as good as 2013, they haven’t been too shabby, either. The new home...
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4 Aug 2014

Do you need a survey?

A land survey is the legal graphical outline of a property, prepared by a licensed professional known as a land surveyor. It provides an overall picture of the features of the property, as well as boundaries and easements. A land survey helps ensure what you are buying is legally documented – and what you see is what you get. It may be required by the title company, if one has not been done in more than 10 years, or if there has been an addition to the property. A survey can also help you in the following situations: When you are selling your property. Having a current survey on file could improve the marketability of your home. An accurate survey can give prospective...
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23 Jul 2014

In the Carolinas, Business is Building

If your daily commute involves more than a few miles, there’s a good chance you’ve been stuck behind a construction truck in recent months. And while that can be frustrating, it’s also a good thing. In 2013, the Carolinas were one of the top regions in the country for the most single-family home starts, according to U.S. Census Bureau building permit data. In 2014, we’re continuing to see strong activity with new construction. Are we in the midst of another building boom? Perhaps, but I see this trend more as creating more opportunities for buyers who are ready to sell now. In the July-August edition of Allen Tate’s Carolinas Market Update, I explain that when new construction is available, this puts more...
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7 Jul 2014

Build an Idea Book for Your New Home

When you build a new home, the choices and decisions can seem overwhelming. So how do you manage the process without stressing out your family? Make the experience fun and exciting by creating your very own “Idea Book.” Start by visiting new homes and models prior to building. Take pictures (if allowed) and make good notes on design features that you like. Be sure to include everyone’s comments. Next, keep a running “specifications” sheet of items you want in your home. This will help keep your thoughts organized and make sure you don’t forget anything important. Keep in mind that this is a working document and may need to be modified depending on your budget or other factors. This spec sheet should include basic...
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