Why is buying a new home that important? There are perfectly good existing homes out there, you might be thinking. Why should I buy a new one?
Selling a home will be one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. While some people like to go it alone, we advise against it for lots of reasons, and they aren’t selfish ones. You’re often too close to your home to make the best decisions, and sometimes you need someone else to “be the bad guy” when you can’t do it yourself.
That said, how do you find the right agent for you?
Homebuilders are happy with the current state of the economy, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI).
Any number above 50 on the homebuilder index is considered positive, and the national number rose three points, to 64 in October. That number is similar to what we saw in the home building boom in late 2005.
According to the NAHB press release:
“With October’s three-point uptick, builder confidence has been holding steady or increasing for five straight months. This upward momentum shows that our industry is strengthening at a gradual but consistent pace,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “With firm job creation, economic growth and the release of pent-up demand, we expect housing to keep moving forward as we start to close out 2015.”
Even regional numbers were up. While the West saw the biggest rise (5 points to 69), the South (our region) still saw a one point boost to 65, just above that of the national average.
The boom won’t last, however, if potential buyers don’t have access to loans. With that in mind, according to this article by CNBC, Fannie Mae has partnered with Quicken Loans to pilot new initiatives which will both allow more Americans to achieve home ownership, while also building a smarter mortgage system.
All good news to start our ride to the end of the year. Who wants to purchase a new home, either before the new year or early in 2016? Give us a call so we can show you how the Builder Trade In program can make that dream a reality!
New home construction is heating up, and that’s a good thing for the real estate market. Even if you own an existing home you’re thinking about selling, an increase in new home construction indicates the market continues to flourish, and that’s good even for you.
Check out the following infographic for more takeaways. Note particularly that Virginia has lots of new home starts and was called out as “the best state in America.” Okay, it was by the Washington Post, and they might be a teeny bit biased, but we tend to agree.
We don’t know if any of you are interested in a job in the construction industry, but the industry is thought to be growing by 15% between now at 2022. That’s a much more rapid pace than other job markets.
Are you thinking about buying a new home? Give us a call to talk about the Builder Trade-in program!
What’s your noteworthy takeway from the graphic?
On the one hand, it seems logical. A buyer’s agent finds homes for you to go look at. But if you’re buying from a builder, you don’t need someone to show you the homes, so you don’t need an agent. Right?
Not really. An agent does lots more than show you homes. An agent is trained to be a good negotiator. An agent can explain the endless documents you’ll be signing at closing. And most important, an agent is there to be your advocate if something goes wrong.
We’re not saying that something will go wrong when negotiating with a builder, but things happen. The builder brings in a city or county inspector, but that person didn’t represent you. What if something was missed? Once you’ve closed on the home, flaws may be your responsibility, and it could be complicated to get them fixed. If they are found by a home inspector before closing, possible flaws or defects can be handled, by the builder, before you close. Do you really want to find out there’s been faulty electrical or plumbing work after you move in?
An agent knows what sorts of concessions are customary and can negotiate on your behalf to get the best possible deal. An agent had fiduciary responsibility to you, the client. The builder does not.
And what if you are in a situation where you are selling your current home? What if that sales takes longer than expected? That’s a good reason to use an agent who is part of the Builder Trade In program. We can help that process go more smoothly.
What do you think? Are those all good reasons to hire an agent when buying from a builder?
Of course when you’re buying your brand new home, you’re probably thinking most about the options you want to enjoy while you’re living there. But odds are you’ll want to sell the home someday, so why not shop with some thought to how to maximize resale value. With that in mind, how do you juggle both future resale and current enjoyment?
1. Look at how long you’ll be in the home
If you plan to put down roots and stay in your home for 10 years or more, think most about what will make you happy while you’re living there. Options and upgrades won’t make much difference in resale value, if you are considering that kind of time horizon.
If however, you’re only planning to be in the home for three to seven years, you’ll want to consider your future selling options. Upgrades rarely pay for themselves, but they can make a home more attractive to potential buyers. Look at trends in smart home options, countertops and similar options. What is popular now? Those trends aren’t likely to change in just a few years.
Location is also important. Will there be new development? A mall going in? Fairfax County in Northern Virginia is experiencing property value increases driven by the new Springfield Town Center. Consider upcoming development or redevelopment when planning where to buy.
2. Remember space
Certain things aren’t likely to change soon. Open floor plans will remain popular for years, so keep that in mind when looking at floor plans. Multi-generational living is projected to become more popular as Boomers age. If your new home has space which is designed for or can be easily adapted to multiple generations, you’ll be ahead of that trend.
3. Invest in permanent upgrades and options
Many new home owners like to personalize their space with cosmetic changes, so spending lots of money of fixtures or lighting doesn’t make the most sense. However, kitchens and master baths are expensive to upgrade later, so potential buyers will appreciate the optional extras in those rooms.
Don’t forget to consult qualified designers and space planners. Investing a bit of money in the experts can lead to a quicker sale in the future.
Are you the kind of person who loves to wander around Best Buy or hhgregg looking at appliances? Do you like sleek black or chrome finish, and do you get all excited at the idea of smoothtop range?
Or, on the other hand, are you someone who worries that your older appliances are about to break down, and you dread the very idea of going appliance shopping because there are just too many options?
Either way, appliances are a reason to purchase a new home instead of an existing one. New homes come with new appliances, and there are solid reasons why that’s a good idea.
1. Save money
Did you know that if you upgrade appliances through the builder’s design center you may be able to roll the cost into the home and mortgage? No buying new appliances on your credit card. With home interest rates so low, you may actually save money on your new appliances.
2. Save energy
New appliances are often more energy efficient than older appliances. Make sure to look for an Energy Star™ label, and you’ll be saving energy while enjoying the updated features.
3. Coordinate the look
If you are selecting appliances at the same time as finish and countertops, you’ll be certain that the whole look of your home is in sync and looks good.
4. Fewer hassles
New appliances come with a warranty, so if something does break down, you’ll be covered. Plus, you don’t have to inherit anyone else’s problems or bad maintenance record.
Sound like another good reason to buy new? If you think so, give us a call to talk about the Builder Trade In program and why a new home may be more affordable that you think.
Image credit: “Modern kitchen gnangarra” by User:Gnangarra – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5-au via Wikimedia Commons –
We’ve talked about several reasons why you might want to buy a new home instead of an existing home, but today we’d like to talk about energy efficiency in new homes.
When looking at new homes, you’ll want to pay particular attention to builders who build ENERGY STAR certified homes. Here’s the benefit to you:
ENERGY STAR certified new homes are designed and built to standards well above most other homes on the market today, delivering energy efficiency savings of up to 30 percent when compared to typical new homes. A new home that has earned the ENERGY STAR label has undergone a process of inspections, testing, and verification to meet strict requirements set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), delivering better quality, better comfort, and better durability.
Savings of up to 30%? That’s huge.
How do they do it? Builders use any or all of the following methods:
- High Performance windows- improved frames and protective coatings keep the heat in during winter and heat out during summer.
- Insulation- Quality insulation as well as special attention during installation makes a huge difference in energy use.
- Air Sealing- Comprehensive air sealing helps reduce maintenance costs and lower monthly utility bills.
- Use of recycled materials as well as the latest energy efficient building materials currently available.
- Programmable thermostats
- Water management systems to lower water heater costs.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? An energy efficient new home saves you money and is good for the environment.
With the Builder Trade In Program, we can help you find the energy efficient new home of your dreams. Call us today for more information!
There’s often quite a bit of focus in real estate on the sale of existing homes, which makes sense, considering all the news about existing home prices and whether sellers will see a profit on the sale of their homes. But if you’re in the market for a home, don’t forget to look at new home construction. There are a number of advantages to it.
According to a recent Trulia study, 2 in 5 Americans prefer to buy a newly built home. Many of their reasons for preferring a new home are the ones we’re going to discuss here.
1. Modern floor plans and amenities
Newer homes just look different from older homes. Modern, more open floor plans are popular for a reason. More space equals comfort for many buyers. Then there are increased energy efficiency options, larger closets, kitchen islands and the other features buyers are increasingly demanding. While some home owners are retrofitting existing homes to include some of these features, your best bet for getting them, if you want them, is to buy a newly built home.
2. Ability to customize the home
Who wouldn’t want to be able to pick the features which mean the most to you? Want radiant heat in your bathroom? You can have it with a newly built home. Want to customize your floor plan? You can. Prefer granite counter tops to Corian? No problem. With new home construction, you have a much better chance of having your home just the way you want it.
3. Less maintenance
With a new home, everything is new, which means in some cases, it will be years before you’ll need to pay for anything other than routine maintenance (furnace check-ups and the like). That means less money out of pocket for many years.
4. More energy efficient
Energy efficient designs and materials are another way you’ll save money and be good for the environment. What’s not to like about that?
5. Superior safety code and design
Building codes have come a long way in the last decade, and new homes are built to reflect that. From better access for people with limited mobility to improved wiring, a new home will be built to updated codes.
Those are our top 5 reasons. What about yours? If you’re interested in learning more about how you can purchase a newly built home, please give us a call. Working with the Builder Trade-in program gives us great options to talk to you about.
Multi-generational living is becoming more common as Baby Boomers age and move through retirement.
Data from the 2009 – 2011 American Community Survey (ACS) reported that 4.3 million households were multi-generational. That’s 5.6% of the total of 76.4 million family households with more than one person. While this is a small percentage, it represents a significant increase in the share of multi-generational households. The increase is from 3.7% of total family households in 2000 and 4.0% of total family households in 2010. So not only is the percentage higher, the rate of increase is also growing.
A few new home builders have recognized this trend and are starting to build homes to accommodate multi-generational living. Lennar has the NEXT GEN line of homes while Richmond America and Toll Brothers have optional designs that can be added to existing lines.
These homes have some common characteristics. Most of them feature a private entry, often covered for the convenience of the added generation. While all of them feature an additional bedroom and living area, most often with a separate bathroom, some of them go so far as to have a full second master bedroom suite and bath. A few even have small kitchen areas for private food preparation and dining.
This style of home makes lots of sense for both adult children and their parents. It avoids the need and expense of assisted living. With the private entrance, hired care givers can visit their clients without disturbing the rest of the family. Grandparents and grandchildren can live close together and interact, creating memories for all the generations in the home.
According to this article, multi-generational homes make financial sense.
“With respect to mortgages … these are single-family homes with one person on the mortgage. In most cases, a senior parent moves into the 2Gen suite. His adult children who need more space occupy the main residence. The senior parent is usually the source of the down payment, and the adult children are responsible for the loan. It’s far more economical than seniors living in nursing homes.”
As we continue to serve the senior population, we’re certain we’re going to be assisting more clients with finding multi-generational homes. What about you? Do you have a parent who might like to live with you? With these floorplans and the Builder Trade In program, we can help!
Floorplan credit: Richmond American Homes