Posts in July 2020

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Building a House Your Entire Family Can Work and Learn In

July 30, 2020
If you are like most people in the U.S., you didn’t think much about a home office before 2020. Sure, you might have mentally designated a space to work on projects outside of the office or prepare to telecommute when your child was sick. But it was likely an afterthought. These days, however, it is at the forefront of most people’s minds. And it’s crucial to consider as a future home builder. When designing your house, think about how your family will live and work (or learn) from home. Here are a few recommendations for building a home for your new work-from-home lifestyle.Build a Home OfficeSetting up a temporary workspace at the dining room table or in your living room was fine for the first month or two. But you really need to be able to be careful not to let work bleed into your personal life. It’s easy to check emails, finish up a project, or get a head start on something for the next day when your work equipment is right there. Think about this when you are designing your home. An at-home office isn’t a waste of space, it’s a blessing. At the end of the day, you can step away from your desk and close the office door until morning. And that will make all the difference.Create Separate Spaces for Work and eLearningTackling the day from the comforts of your living room might sound nice now, but it can lead to blurred lines between your work life and personal life. Not to mention, shared spaces in your house are bound to be full of distractions. This is especially true if you have children at home instead of in the classroom or daycare.When designing your new home, designate spaces devoted to working and learning. Consider creating a single office large enough for everyone who might need it. Or, if you have the space, convert a den or spare bedroom into workspaces. Even if they are only offices during the workday and revert back to a guest bedroom or playroom during the weekend, they still act as quiet, separate areas for work.Design a Cozy, Functional Family RoomWe’re all spending a lot more time with our family these days. Over the past few months, many of us have discovered the games or activities the entire family enjoys. When you build your new house, keep this togetherness in mind. Design a cozy and functional family room that comfortably fits the members of your household. Your attention to detail here can mean far more evenings of family fun playing board games, putting puzzles together, or having a family karaoke night.This should remain a no work, no class space. Set this room away from areas the family works or does eLearning in, so there’s no association with anything but fun here.Creating a home office or even multiple workspaces might seem like a waste. It’s true that many people will be returning to the office or the classroom at some point in the future. But it’s also true that COVID-19 has changed how we work and learn forever. By putting in the effort now to build a home that has a home office, designed spaces for learning and working, and a family room made for everyone, the daily transition between work and home life will be much easier.

Why You Should Build – Not Buy – A New House in a Strong Market

July 10, 2020
Are you thinking about entering the housing market? Right now, the market is in a strange place: Low mortgage rates are driving people to enter a market with a decreasing supply of available homes. For prospective home buyers, this can be daunting. On the other hand, home builders are surging. People are turning to building, the ideal home that better suits their family’s changing needs. Here are a few reasons why now is the time to ditch used-homes and instead build your new home.The National Existing Home Inventory is ShrinkingThere are fewer houses for sale in the U.S. right now, which means competition is fiercer. June housing data shows the inventory of newly listed properties has declined 19.3% over the last year. And this number continues to dwindle as the months go on.What this means for home buyers – or people deciding between buying or building – is that they should expect to pay more for existing homes right now. According to the same housing data, the median listing price in June was $342,000, which is 5.1% higher than the previous year. Housing prices continue to rise as inventory shrinks. But there’s another factor that makes building a home much more attractive right now… and that’s low mortgage rates enticing buyers to enter the market.Low Mortgage Rates Are Bringing More Buyers into the MarketIn July, according to the Mortgage Banker Association’s latest data, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate fell to a record low of 3.26%. And predictably, home loan applications surged in the first week of July. More people are able to secure low-rate mortgage loans and enter the market, which further exacerbates the dwindling house inventory and skyrocketing home prices.If you’re on the fence about building or buying a home right now, consider what the process of buying a house in this market might be like. If you’re not ready for the bidding wars or settling at the higher end of your budget, consider building. Buyers turning to new construction homes is happening more than you might think right now.Builds Are Increasing Across the U.S.More Americans are working from home right now than ever. Some companies are transitioning their workers to the office in shifts, with people working just a few days a week in the office. Others are scrapping in-office work entirely in favor of telecommuting for the foreseeable future. If you’ve found yourself thinking about your home as a place for your family AND your business, you’re not alone.Housing production is growing. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department report that in June, housing starts increased by 8.3% nationwide. Single-family home builds increased by 6.3% -- its second-highest rate of the year. In addition to concerns about housing prices and smaller inventories, people are opting to build because they are investing in their future.There are a lot of reasons to choose to build rather than buy a used-house right now. If you’re looking to make the switch to a new home, take the time to figure out what your family needs. Building your house allows you to create spaces that are perfectly suited to your needs, whether it’s a floorplan made for entertaining, a walk-out basement, or a quiet home office. Whatever you need, your newly built home can provide. Historically low-interest rates may help your dream of building a new home be more attainable.
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