Interest rates tick up for the first time in 4 weeks
  • Post By : New Home Ambassador
  • new homes,mortgage rates,interest rates

The anticipated increase in mortgage interest rates occurred during the week ending August 13. According to the weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey released by Freddie Mac, fixed mortgage rates ticked up for the first time in four weeks. 


Buyers of New Homes Want These Features
  • Post By : New Home Ambassador
  • new home,new home features

What builders are focusing on speaks volumes about the way we live now.


Outdoor kitchens are "out" and closets are "in," according to a recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) on the most and least common features in newly-built homes. The survey found that practical features trump leisure-focused niceties. In other words, built-in shelving is the new fire pit.


New Home vs. Resale: Which is Right for You?
  • Post By : New Home Ambassador
  • new build,new home construction,new homes

Is a newly built home right for you? Do you want a home that you’ve helped design and that offers the latest in energy efficiency and design? Or a previously owned home that may need fix-ups, paint jobs, and walls moved around to create the types of open spaces that make sense today?

These are baseline questions that confront many home shoppers early in the process. Your own answers are likely to depend on your lifestyle preferences, financing needs, and the priorities you put on features like high energy efficiency, functional arrangements of interior living spaces, and your desire, budget and aptitude when it comes to repairs and capital improvements.

There are a number of reasons you might prefer a resale house, even if it needs work. For instance, you may have your heart set on moving to a specific neighborhood in the city or a close-in suburb, where newly-constructed houses are rare or not available unless you buy an existing home, tear it down, and build a new home on the lot. Or you may be a do-it-yourself aficionado and relish the opportunity to take an old house and transform it, even if that takes considerable time and money.

So it’s understandable that some buyers prefer an existing house in an older neighborhood. But have you seriously considered the potential advantages of buying new? Here’s a quick overview of some of the important pluses of new homes to think about:

Energy Consumption/Green Building: If you care about “green” — whether that means the money you spend on energy bills every month or your concern about the environment — a newly constructed home is virtually always the better option. Homes built today must meet far tougher national code standards for energy efficiency than just a few years back. Most newly-built homes, in fact, come with energy certifications covering walls, roofs, windows, doors and even appliance packages. Virtually no resale homes offer certifications because they were built to much lower standards — often decades ago, when energy usage was an afterthought.

You can retrofit many elements of an existing house to improve its energy efficiency, but it’s costly. Even then, because of design shortcomings, you may not be able to achieve the level of efficiency that is now routine with a newly-constructed home. In addition, new homes typically offer better air filtration which increases indoor air quality, reducing symptoms from those who have asthma or allergies.

Flexibility for Space and Wiring Customization: When you buy a resale house, you get what’s already there. That may include room layouts, ceiling heights and lighting that may have made sense in the1950s or earlier — formal dining rooms, small kitchens, fewer bathrooms and windows, and the like. With a new home, by comparison, you can often participate in the design of interior spaces with the builder, in advance of actual construction. Plus many new homes come with the sophisticated wiring that’s needed for high-speed electronics and communication equipment, entertainment centers and security systems. With an older home, you may have to spend substantial sums of money to take down walls where that’s possible — some are so-called load-bearing walls that are not easily moved — to enlarge rooms in order to create the flowing, more open living space that is preferred today.

Replacement Costs: By definition, with a new house everything is new, including costly components — such as the furnace, water heater, air conditioning unit, kitchen appliances and roof, — and doors, windows, and more. In a new home, most of these components come with a warranty, sometimes for up to 10 years. With a resale house, the equipment and structural features you buy have been in use for awhile, and may be close to needing replacement. There may or may not be warranties, but if there are they probably have significant limitations.

Consider some of these typical capital improvements that may be part of the true cost to you over the early years of a purchase of an existing house:

• Heating and Air Conditioning: The typical furnace has a 20 year life expectancy; the typical central air system 15 years. Replacing them could cost you $5,000 (air conditioning unit) and $4,000 and up for the furnace, depending upon the system you choose.

• Flooring/Carpeting/Tile/Hardwood Floor refinish: You’re virtually guaranteed to replace some carpeting in a resale home and you may need to upgrade other flooring or finishes. Costs can run anywhere from a few thousand dollars to well over $15,000, depending on your choices.

• Roof: the average shingled roof lasts about 25 years. Replacement costs can be anywhere from $5,000 up.

• Exterior Painting. With a new house, you get to select the color. With an existing house, there’s a good possibility you’ll want to repaint. Typical cost: $5,000 and up.

• Interior Painting: Again, with a new house, you choose the wall colors of the rooms as part of the package. With an existing house, you’re probably going to want to repaint some of the interior. Even if you do it yourself, it will cost money and time.

• Kitchen Remodel: think anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000.

• Master Bath Remodel: $15,000 and up.

Bottom Line Here: Although you — and your budgetary resources — control what you improve and when, it’s highly likely that you’re going to spend money on at least several of these capital improvements in the early years following purchase of a resale house. They are the unadvertised costs of not buying new.

Safety Features (Especially from Fires): Newly-built homes come with modern fire retardants in materials such as carpeting and insulation, unlike most existing houses. Builders also hard-wire smoke and carbon monoxide detectors into their homes, making it unnecessary for new owners to install less-dependable battery-powered detectors. Many builders also back up their hard-wired detectors with battery power to handle electrical outages.

Mortgage Financing: Builders often have mortgage subsidiaries or affiliates, and are able to custom-tailor financing — down payments, “points,” other loan fees and even interest rates — to your specific situation. Many are also willing to work with you to help defray closing costs at settlement. Sellers of resale homes may be willing to offer contributions to settlement charges, but you can be certain they don’t own a mortgage company and thus have the leeway to come up with the loan you need. When you finance a resale purchase, you are basically on your own.

Resale Value: You may plan to live in your next home many years, but at some point, most people sell a given home for any of a myriad of reasons — moving to a bigger home to accommodate a growing family, moving down to smaller digs when children are gone, moving across town or across the country for another job, etc. While the home you sell will (by definition) no longer be new, a 5-year old home will often be more desirable — given all the features above — than a 25-year old home at resale.

The decision to buy a newly built or used home is ultimately best made by each home buyer. Now you know the questions to ask, and the relative costs involved, in order to make the best decision for you.


Schools make a difference in selecting a New Home!
  • Post By : New Home Ambassador
  • new homes,new home communities,new homes and schools

For many parents — particularly those moving out to the suburbs from the city — figuring out which neighborhood has the best balance of quality education and reasonably-priced homes can be a challenge. Journal columnist Katherine Boehret looks at three Web sites that aim to help. All provide school comparisons that include information from various sources on demographics, test results, teacher-to-student-ratios and more. Certainly, the Web is an important resource in gathering data on school systems, but parents also take recommendations from friends and family into account.


The Smart Home - No Longer the Home of the Future – It’s Here!
  • Post By : New Home Ambassador
  • smart home,new home,new home construction,new build

The Smart Home is the next big trend on the horizon.  Technology has impacted so many parts of our lives why not take advantage of the opportunity to advance home performance.  These new technologies will make life easier and more efficient. 

The ”whole house system” design has afforded builders to optimize performance of all the major components within the home such as water, HVAC, lighting and appliances.  It starts with a central hub or “brain” so the various systems can “talk” to one another and take home performance to a whole new level.  So much is available now and more will be available within the next 5 – 10 years. 


Buying more affordable than renting in two-thirds of US counties
  • Post By : New Home Ambassador
  • buying versus renting,home buying,New homes,Builders

A higher number of individuals might decide to apply for a U.S. home mortgage instead of signing another expensive lease for an apartment. According to RealtyTrac, investing in a house is more affordable than renting in most major counties.



  • Post By : New Home Ambassador
  • top builders,DR Horton,Pulte,Lennar,KB Home,Taylor Morrison,Toll Brothers,Ryland,Meritage,Richmond American,K Hovnaian

Which markets are millennials flocking to, and which builders already control the market?


What if Houston becomes less important to builders as boomers age in place? It might be a few years before markets shift to cater more to millennial home buyers, but most indicators of where millennials choose to live shows Austin will be the most important Texas city for builders whose core target may be younger buyers.


Construction Labor Market
  • Post By : New Home Ambassador
  • new home construction,new homes,new home starts

Quoting, John McManus writer for Builder Magazine's June 26 blog from the PCBC, " After a couple of days' immersion amongst residential builders, developers and other denizens of the Pacific Coast Builders Conference in San Diego this week, it's clear that people, writ large, is the No. 1 issue stressing the business right now."



  • Post By : New Home Ambassador
  • millenials,new homes,new home construction,housing


Studies show that more millennials are renting now than they were five years ago, but most of them still dream of owning their own single-family home in the very near future.  The National Association of Home Builders survey found that most millennials intend to purchase a new home in the suburbs rather than the city.  Interestingly in 2014, more millennials moved to the suburbs from the city.  The housing industry has been studying and surveying this generation because they need to know where and how they will live and most importantly, how soon.  Millennials are the largest consumer group since the Baby Boomer generation. 


Housing's No. 1 Challenge Right Now
  • Post By : New Home Ambassador
  • home builders,PCBC Trade show,jobs in home building

Word from the PCBC trade show floor, the sessions, and the corridors is that 'people' is the biggest pain-point

There are good jobs in the home building and building materials and products manufacturing business right now.

Each month, the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey affirms that job opportunities abound. National Association of Home Builders tax and policy expert Rob Dietz stays current on monthly JOLTS reports for residential construction, and he notes that the industry is running at "cycle highs" in unfilled payroll positions.


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