National Home Remodelers Month

April was New Homes Month, but now that we have entered May, remodelers are in the spotlight. 

May is NAHB’s National Home Remodelers Month, and with a resurgence of remodeling activity in 2021, now is a great time to highlight what is happening in the remodeling industry. 

Full Recovery

After a slow down in remodeling projects last year, remodelers’ businesses have picked back up to full speed. 

“The remodeling market took a hit last year at the start of the pandemic, but it’s completely turned around now,” said NAHB Remodelers Chair Steve Cunningham, a remodeler from Williamsburg, Va. “Now, remodelers are facing intense backlog on projects due to supply chain delays, continued labor shortages and an abundance of project leads.”

NAHB’s Remodeling Survey

A recent survey conducted by NAHB revealed what type of projects homeowners are requesting from remodelers. Here is what the survey found:

Most Common Consumer Motivation for Remodeling:

  1. Better amenities
  2. Need to repair or replace older components
  3. Desire or need for more space

Most Common Remodeling Projects:

  1. Bathrooms – 74% of remodeling projects involved bathrooms.
  2. Kitchens – 67% of remodeling projects involved kitchens. 

Bathroom and kitchen remodeling projects have been in high demand for several years, but this year, even more homeowners are reaching out for remodeling projects. 

“As home prices and interest rates rise, many would-be home buyers are instead opting to stay put and make improvements to their current homes.”

NAHB

Are you planning on making any renovations to your home this year? Let us know!

Horton Group Showcases MHK’s New Office at 350 Goose Lane

MHK is the newest addition to 350 Goose Lane!

The new office for MHK, which is part of the Hearst Health network, takes up levels one and two of Building C, for a total of 14,450 square feet of space. 

New Layout for Changing Times

Horton Group worked closely with MHK to ensure the layout of the office would ensure safety as people return back to the office. Prior layout designs were altered to solve space configuration needs. The final design includes workspaces to benefit employees now and in the future. 

“They were involved every step of the way,” stated Horton Group President Kenny Horton. “We wanted to ensure their layout allowed for proper distancing and a healthy workplace.”

Kenny Horton

Take a look at how the office came out!

MHK office space incorporates meeting rooms of varying sizes for collaboration, desk configurations that allow for distancing, and ample windows and glass walls for natural light. 

350 Goose Lane Office Park

350 Goose Lane Office Park is an ongoing development consisting of three buildings on a professional campus. MHK joins Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the Stone Agency, and American Cruise Lines, among other local businesses inside the Office Park. 

Set on 16 acres, 350 Goose Lane Office Park was once Wilber & King Nursery. Horton Group has maintained the integrity of the former site, with beautifully landscaped green space, pond views from every building, and a courtyard with access for all tenants. The campus includes ample parking for all three buildings and is conveniently located off I-95, with easy access to the train station in Guilford. 

6 Outdoor Design Ideas You’ll Love

Outdoor living spaces can be designed to fit your needs and style, and remain an important feature for homeowners and buyers alike. From hosting daytime gatherings to relaxing evenings, your property expands your living space and allows you to enjoy the outdoors. 

Here are six design features to take your outdoor living space to the next level:

Patio Doors

Oversized doors leading out to your patio or deck extend your interior living space to the outdoors. French patio doors are easy to open, bifold doors can create a larger entrance, and multi-slide patio doors can extend the length of the wall, with panels that tuck into pockets. Each one of these options opens up your indoor and outdoor living spaces for entertaining or relaxing at home. 

Covered Outdoor Area

A covered space creates more opportunities to be outside, whether the sun is shining so brightly you need shade, or a light rain begins. You can also create separate outdoor spaces, keeping one covered and others uncovered to meet everyone’s preferences. Awnings, gazebos, and screened porches are all options for covered outdoor space. 

Outdoor Kitchen

If you love to entertain, an outdoor kitchen makes it more convenient to prep food and drinks while hosting, but also limits the number of times your guests walk in and out of the house. 

Built-in cooking and prep stations provide everything you need to make meals outside, so you can enjoy your company and the weather. 

Irrigation System

Beautiful landscaping can be admired throughout the warmer months, making your property a serene reatreat. An irrigation system allows you to maintain your landscaping with less maintenance, giving you more time to enjoy the outdoors. 

Privacy

There are numerous ways to create privacy, no matter what type of property you own. Fencing, hedges, and landscaping can all create a private oasis for you to enjoy. 

Fire Pits

An outdoor fire pit is a wonderful way to create ambiance in your outdoor living space. Whether you opt for a built-in or portable fire pit,  you can cozy up on chilly evenings and extend the use of your outdoor space. 

Cost vs. Value of Home Improvement Projects

Homeowners who are ready to remodel usually have a budget in mind. Another factor to look at when making upgrades is what you can expect for the project’s ROI. During remodels, not all costs are recouped, but they can add value to your home. 

The Cost vs. Value Report compares the average costs for 22 remodeling projects with the value they retained at resale across 101 U.S. markets in 2020. 

Take a look at the average costs and resale value before you take on your next project!

ProjectJob CostResale ValueCost Recouped
Manufactured Stone Veneer$9,357$8,94395.6%
Garage Door Replacement$3,695$3,49194.5%
Minor Kitchen Remodel | Midrange$23,425$18,20677.6%
Siding Replacement | Fiber-Cement$17,008$13,19577.6%
Siding Replacement | Vinyl$14,359$10,73174.7%
Window Replacement | Vinyl$17,641$12,76172.3%
Deck Addition | Wood$14,360$10,35572.1%
Window Replacement | Wood$21,495$14,80468.9%
Entry Door Replacement | Steel$1,881$1,29468.8%
Deck Addition | Composite$19,856$13,25766.8%
Roofing Replacement | Asphalt Shingles$24,700$16,28765.9%
Bath Remodel | Midrange$21,377$13,68864%
Bath Remodel | Universal Design$34,643$21,46362%
Roofing Replacement | Metal$40,318$24,68261.2%
Major Kitchen Remodel | Midrange$68,490$40,12758.6%
Master Suite Addition | Midrange$136,739$80,02958.5%
Bath Remodel | Upscale$67,106$37,99556.6%
Bathroom Addition | Upscale$91,287$49,96154.7%
Bathroom Addition | Midrange$49,598$26,80754%
Major Kitchen Remodel | Upscale$135,547$72,99353.9%
Grand Entrance | Fiberglass$9,254$4,93053.3%
Master Suite Addition | Upscale$282,062$145,48651.6%

As you can see, manufactured stone veneer and new garage doors have the highest resale value, with over 94% of costs recouped for both projects. Other projects that recoup a high percentage of remodeling costs include a minor kitchen remodel, siding replacement, window replacement, and deck addition. 

This does not mean that remodeling projects are not worth your time or money. You should also factor in your specific wants and needs and how long you plan to stay in your residence after the remodeling is complete. Once you set your budget and your vision, talk with your contractor about any concerns you may have about the resale value. 

What remodeling project are you most likely to take on in the next year? Let us know in the comments!

First Time Homebuyers in the Market for New Construction

Over the past year, the buyer’s market has been extremely competitive in many markets across the US, due in part to low inventory. With a limited number of properties being listed for sale, it makes sense that more buyers are turning toward new construction. 

Take a look at the results from recent surveys from the National Association of Home Builders in regards to new construction and first time home buyers:

First Time Homebuyers considering New Construction

The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) is a monthly survey of the National Association of Home Builder members, designed to rate the market conditions for the sale of new homes and the traffic of prospective buyers of new homes.

The February 2021 survey showed that builders reported an overall average of 43% of new construction sold to first-time home buyers. Sixty-six percent of builders said that more than 20% of their homes were sold to first-time buyers. 

An Upward Trend

The number of first-time buyers who purchase new construction has steadily increased over the past five years. In 2016, an average of 19% of sales of new homes went to first-time home buyers. The number grew to 32% in October 2018 and jumped to 43% in February 2021. This shows that every year, more first-time buyers are considering new construction.

Celebrate New Homes Month

April marks a special one for The Horton Group: not only is it New Homes Month, but two more units at the Residences at 66 High Street recently went under contract, which means there is just one unit left!

This month, we’re taking the time to reflect on the work we do, and share the benefits of new construction!

Rise in Popularity

New construction continues to rise in popularity among home buyers. In fact, 60% of buyers say they prefer new homes, according to a recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders. This is the highest level since 2007.

This year, buyers are turning to new construction even more. With low inventory and multiple offer situations across the nation, buyers are finding it more challenging to find a property that fits their needs. 

Benefits for Buyers

As people have spent more time at home over the past year, many want a home that satisfies their wants and needs. With new construction, buyers can select their preferred floor plan and finish design touches. 

The NAHB survey found that buyers want more bedrooms and bathrooms compared to previous years, noting that an increase in square footage is essential for many. Buyers also want features including a laundry room, energy-efficient features, outdoor living, and walk-in pantries.  

As builders enter the final stages of construction, buyers enjoy selecting finishes, fixtures, flooring, and paint colors. When they move in, there is nothing to change or update because they fulfill their needs from the start. 

Benefits for the Economy

New homes benefit both the homeowner and the economy. The construction of 1,000 single-family homes creates 2,900 full-time jobs across all US industries. Not only does this open up more job opportunities, but also brings in more to federal, state, and local tax revenues. 

Are you interested in seeing new homes in Connecticut? Join us for HBRA’s 2021 Spring Parade of Homes, taking place April 24 and 25!

Most and Least Desirable Home Features

Every year, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) conducts a survey to determine what features home buyers look for in a home. 

This year, priorities have shifted as people began to look for more space while adapting to remote working and learning. 

Keep reading for more insights from NAHB’s 2021 What Home Buyers Really Want report. 

Most Essential Home Features

According to the survey, in which 3,000 recent home shoppers and buyers participated in, there is a growing demand for more square footage. As people look to expand their living spaces, here are the features they consider most essential:

Home Feature% Who Consider it Essential
Laundry Room87%
Exterior Lighting87%
Ceiling Fan83%
Energy Star rated windows83%
Patio82%
Double Kitchen Sink (side-by-side)81%
Walk-in Pantry81%
Front Porch81%
Energy Star rated appliances81%
Hardwood Flooring81%
Full Bath on the Main Level80%
Energy-efficient lighting80%

The survey didn’t stop with overall features. Below are top features, broken down by room.

Top Kitchen Features

  1. Double sink (side-by-side)
  2. Walk-in pantry
  3. Table space for eating
  4. Central island
  5. Water filtration

Top Outdoor Features

  1. Exterior lighting
  2. Patio
  3. Front porch
  4. Rear porch
  5. Deck

Top Accessibility Features

  1. Full bath on the main level
  2. Doorways at least 3 feet wide
  3. Hallways at least 4 feet wide
  4. Non-slip floor surfaces
  5. An entrance without steps

Top Technology Features

  1. Programmable thermostat
  2. Security cameras
  3. Video doorbell
  4. Wireless home security system
  5. Multi-zone HVAC system

Least Essential Home Features

In addition to noting what’s most important, buyers also provided input on what they consider turn-offs in a home. Here are the least desirable features in a home or complex:

Home Feature% Who Consider it Least Desirable
Elevator56%
Glass Walls54%
Daycare Center in the Development50%
Wine Cellar48%
Pet Washing Station47%
Roof partially or completely covered by plants46%
Golf Course46%
In-law suite42%
Cork flooring (on the main level)41%
Dual toilets in primary bath40%

What features are a must-have in your next home? 

A Look Inside the Whitfield Penthouse

Every unit at the Residences at 66 High Street is special. Designers worked with the owners to complete the Whitfield Penthouse, ensuring that every detail fits their vision. 

Scroll through the slideshow to see the expectational craftsmanship in this unit!

  • Whitfield Penthouse

Are you interested in learning more about the Residences at 66 High Street?

Buyers’ Search for Energy Efficiency

Over the past year, buyers have been searching for properties with more indoor and outdoor living space, private home offices, and plenty of storage. 

In addition to more space, a recent report by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) shows that buyers are also looking for energy efficiency when looking at new homes.

Top Energy Efficient Features for Buyers

The report surveyed 3,000 homebuyers and was presented during NAHB’s 2021 International Builders’ Show. As buyers search for homes, they are keeping an eye out for eco-friendly design and green features. 

The top three energy-efficient features buyers look for are:

  1. Energy Star rated windows and appliances.
  2. Efficient lighting that uses less energy than traditional light bulbs.
  3. Energy Star rating for the whole house.

Willing to Pay

Since energy-efficient features often result in lower utility costs, buyers consider this when buying a new home. If green features will save homeowners money toward utility bills every month, buyers surveyed said they are willing to spend more money upfront.

On average, buyers said they would pay over $9,000 more upfront for a home if it would lower annual utility costs by $1,000. Buyers are also willing to spend more than $2,000 upfront for a home certified above-code for health and wellness, which includes features such as zone heating and indoor air quality. 

Homeowner Education

It’s not enough to just start installing green features into new homes. Homeowners must also know and understand how the features work. Part of regular home maintenance is ensuring that the green features are serviced and properly working. In addition, homeowners need to know how to use green features to their full potential to gain all the benefits. 

Brandon Bryan, the founder of Red Tree Builders, stated,

“We’ve got to teach people how to live in green homes, how these homes operate, and even before we build to let them know what we could do because a lot of times we could do so much more for their life.” 

What green features are important to have in your home? 

What is Adaptive Reuse?

Adaptive reuse is the process of reusing an old building or site for a new purpose. While this can include the historic preservation of a site, it can also include taking an existing structure and transform it into something new. 

The Horton Group’s Adaptive Reuse Projects

Two of Horton Group’s developments include adaptive reuse: The Residences at 66 High Street and Overland Lofts Springfield. 

The Residences at 66 High Street

At 66 High Street, the historic Mill Building was previously a factory that made everything from torpedoes to lollipops. Now, the building houses luxury condominium units, keeping intact many original features. 

Overland Lofts

The historic Willys-Overland Building in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts once included an automotive showroom, sales facility, and 1,000-car garage for the motor company that became Jeep. Now, the 76,000 square-foot building has transformed into Overland Lofts, which includes residential apartments and retail space. 

Why Adaptive Reuse?

Adaptive reuse can be an excellent alternative to new construction, especially in established locations. Here are some benefits to adaptive reuse:

  • Maintains Historic Sites. Adaptive reuse is a form of preservation for historic sites. Builders work with the town or historic district to preserve the buildings’ significance while utilizing the space for a community need.
  • Lower Construction Costs. When compared to new construction, adaptive reuse often has lower construction costs, due to fewer materials needed, as well as local and federal historical tax credits. 
  • Speeds up Construction. New construction may require clearing the property and starting with a foundation. Adaptive reuse projects are often completed in less time, especially when the majority of the work is cosmetic and not structural. 
  • Unbeatable Architecture. When preserving a historic building, builders often incorporate architectural elements that cannot be replicated in new construction. This may include exposed beams or original flooring, adding character to the final design. 

Adaptive reuse projects and developments always inspire the Horton Group. What are some of your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

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