Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New Home Focus for Future Resale Gain

In the building industry we hear all the time customers asking what is the best way to gain equity quickly and see a nice return when a home is sold in the future. These are important questions and ones that builders quite frankly like hearing. These types of questions are not only buying questions but signal a buyer who wants to make a smart and educated decision. It also means that they trust their builder and their builders input. The easiest way to figure out how to see a resale gain is to start by focusing on areas of the home that are the most important to you but also future buyers. According to a recent survey three rooms have taken to the forefront for prospective home buyers 

The first and most important room to most buyers in the KITCHEN. This is a room where family gathers, holidays are celebrated, and where that home cooked meal from your mother was made. It is and always should be a focal point to the builder and buyer.

The second important piece to a new home is the MASTER BEDROOM/BATH. This is a room that is a retreat or at least should be built and presented in such a manner. This room can have great impact for re-sale. The simple things like a double vanity, soaking tub, or steam shower can make a homeowner see themselves in the house and comfortable with the home as a whole

The last area is not a room but rather a gateway to the outdoors. OUTDOOR LIVING is a must at this point in the industry. If you are building homes at some point you will have to move towards and address outdoor living with your customers. Even models that builders are constructing are calling for in the very least a paver patio. This area flows with the kitchen and with the beautiful spring and fall weather who wouldn’t want to enjoy a patio with an outdoor fireplace.

 So I hope our readers have a little more insight into what is making buyers buy and, as always, we welcome more input from you the consumer. Follow us @CSHOhio on twitter and tell us what makes you fall in love with a home!


Sunday, April 22, 2012

MARKET WATCH April 22nd, 2012

Here’s the news for this week…

Interest rates held steady.  A “Construction – Perm” mortgage (one that is a construction loan during construction and then automatically converts to a permanent fixed rate loan upon completion of your new home) held steady this week at 3.975% on a 30 year mortgage. To those who follow us, you’ll remember that the 40 year average (“Normal Market”) is 8.81%.  Rates are at a once in a lifetime opportunity level.  Oh, and a 15 year fixed is at 3.225%!!!

We’re facing construction material price increases starting in August.  At this point the August increase, after tabulating all the various increases, will amount to about $8,000 per house on average.  We are blessed with trades who will lock the construction costs for those customers that commit to build before the increase takes effect even if the actual start of construction falls after the increases.  Please call us if you have a need to build your dream.
Oh and here’s a good one for Columbus… a REALLY BIG ONE!  Read the Grubb & Ellis article on the recovery.  This is why the Central Ohio economy and the custom new home markets are thriving and the resale markets improving! 

Where the Jobs Are, Redux
Every few months, it’s good to check the health of the labor markets in different parts of the country. One way is to compare how fast different areas are recovering the jobs they lost during and after the Great Recession – the recovery rate. This graph shows the percentage of jobs recovered in the U.S. and the nine Census regions. As of February, the U.S. has recovered 46 percent of the jobs lost, meaning that, since employment hit a trough, the U.S. is 46 percent of the way back to its prior peak. Only two regions are beating the U.S. average: West South Central (Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas), which has surpassed its prior peak thanks to the booming oil industry, and Middle Atlantic (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania), powered by a strong recovery in New York City. But every region has its overachievers:
  • In the Pacific region, it’s San Jose with a 71 percent recovery rate. Bakersfield and San Francisco also have above average recovery rates.
  • In the Mountain region, Salt Lake City leads with a recovery rate of 83 percent. Denver is also outperforming.
  • Columbus, Ohio leads the Midwest (the East North Central and West North Central census regions) at 66 percent followed by Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • In the Southeast (East South Central and South Atlantic census regions), Nashville is ahead of the pack with a recovery rate of 83 percent. Other markets with above average rates include Charleston, S.C., Raleigh-Durham and Louisville.
  • In the Northeast (the Middle Atlantic and New England census regions), New York City beats all other markets with a recovery rate of 133 percent, meaning that it is well past its prior peak. Washington, D.C. also has set a new peak while Pittsburgh is close.
  • And finally, in the West South Central region, it’s tough to find a market that isn’t outperforming, but Austin stands out with a recovery rate of 184 percent; the recession was shallow in Austin, and it recovered quickly.
Of course, there are laggard markets as well, but – since this is Good News Friday – we will save those for another time.