Reasons To Build A New Home

Not sure whether building a new home is right for you? Let’s consider the benefits to building a new home. 

Here are some of the top reasons that building might be a good choice for you.

Want Something New

The idea of living in a home that wasn’t previously owned before sparks interest. Since all inspections are up to code when you move in, any surprises or unexpected repair jobs won’t be a concern. Your home will be equipped with all modern conveniences and will be truly ready to move in. 

Go Green

Incorporate smart home technology with new modern appliances and luminescent lighting. Adhering to all up-to-date codes, you can live environmentally-friendly which saves you money. With modern eco-friendly and energy-efficient features, take pride in going green. 

Specific To You

If you are someone who cares about keeping up with the latest design styles, building a new home is the best way to achieve this. It gives you the ability to customize it exactly to your needs and wants. You can design a floor plan that is specific to you and your lifestyle, customize aesthetic features tailored to your liking, and install any kind of walk-in closet, boudoir, or master bathroom your heart desires.

Live Where You Want 

You have the perfect home in mind, now you need the perfect location. Find an available plot of land, then build your dream house in your dream location. Imagine choosing between the kind of neighbors you’ll be inheriting or no neighbors at all. Give yourself more privacy by installing a fence around the property or remain completely isolated by utilizing a tree-lined environment. 

Choose Your Builder

Building a new home enables you to pick your own builder. If you do your research and pick a high-quality, professional builder, you can be rest assured that you’ll end up with a sturdy, well-built home. You’ll be entering an exclusive relationship dedicated to making your needs a priority. This requires building communication skills and being fully transparent with what you want. 

Don’t Rush Your Decision

Bidding wars can make you feel rushed when buying a home. If you want to take your time making a decision rather than rushing into a very expensive purchase, building property is the right choice for you. It’s a very slow paced process, and you’ll have full autonomy and final say. Not to mention this takes away competition. 

Conclusion

There are many perks to building a new home. A home is an expensive investment and building is the best way to ensure you get exactly what you want. It’s important to be carefully detailed with what you and who you’re working with. When presented with tile or hardwood floor options, be sure to take your time. 

Want to learn more about home construction?

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.

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!

Guide to Building a New Home

With low inventory in real estate markets across the country, many people are considering new construction. Although the process can seem overwhelming from start to finish, working with the right people and knowing what to expect can make the entire process less daunting. 

Keep reading for what you need to know about the home building process before getting started. 

Secure Your Financing First

Most homebuyers use financing when purchasing a home, and the same goes for new construction. If you were previously searching for an existing home and are approved for a mortgage, that won’t carry over to new construction. 

Speak with your lender about obtaining a new construction loan. Like mortgage loans, new construction loans are easier to get if you have a strong credit history. This loan will enable you to pay your contractor as the work is being finished. Once the home is completed, the loan is converted to a mortgage. 

Who You Work with Matters

Once you know you have appropriate financing for new construction, look for a builder who meets your needs. Research and meet with prospective builders to learn more about their style, quality of work, and rates. 

Take the time to learn about the builder’s developments, warranties, reputation, and communication style. You will also want to learn how the builder handles permits and hiring for specific jobs. A builder who understands your vision and communicates throughout every step of the process will ease stress and give you confidence in completing your new home. 

Plan, Plan, Plan

After getting approved for a loan and selecting a contractor, the planning begins! With your builder, you can start to focus on planning your dream home. You’ll discuss the larger picture, including:

  • Style of the home
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Number of bathrooms
  • Floorplan
  • Storage needs
  • Outdoor space

As you review the type of home you want, your contractor will share a projected timeline and completion date. In addition to planning what your new home will look like, be sure to plan where you will live during construction, as well as a backup plan in case the completion date needs an extension.

Purchase Your Lot

Some new construction takes place in a new development, where the builder owns several lots.  In this case, during your planning phase you will select an available lot where your new home will be constructed. If you are not building in an established development, you will need to start looking for land for sale in your desired location. Once you have acquired land, your contractor will clear the lot before construction begins. 

You Get to Choose

The final stages of construction are often the most fun. As you oversee the building process, you’ll discuss what you want to see in the design’s finishing touches. This includes selecting: 

  • Cabinetry
  • Countertops
  • Paint color
  • Light fixtures
  • Appliances
  • Flooring
  • Custom options

Throughout the entire process, stay in communication with your builder to stay updated on the timeline, build, and budget. 

5 Benefits of New Construction

With low inventory in most real estate markets across the country, more buyers are looking at new construction. Whether the home is already being constructed, or you buy a lot and start from scratch, there are many benefits to building a new home.

Move-In Ready

When you buy a previously-lived in property, inevitably, there will be something you want to change. Some homes just need minor improvements, like a fresh coat of paint, while others require a complete gut job. One of the best parts of a new construction home is that it is fully move-in ready. 

You can rest assured that plumbing and electrical are in working order, new appliances are installed and ready for first use, and every room matches your style. The only thing left to do is unpack. 

Designed for You

Starting with the layout, all the way down to countertops and color schemes, new construction is designed for you. 

When building new, you can work with your contractor throughout the entire process to make sure the floorplan meets you and your family’s needs. Open floor plans, high ceilings, and space for a home office, gym, or studio can all be incorporated into your new home.

As construction nears completion, you can select countertops, appliances, colors, light fixtures, and more. Your contractor will guide you through design options while helping you stay within your budget.

Lower Maintenance 

As a homeowner, maintaining your home is essential. With new construction, modern technology keeps maintenance to a minimum. 

Your home will be built to the most up-to-date codes and safety standards, with new plumbing, HVAC, appliances, windows, and roofing. This not only creates less work for you over the years, but maintenance costs will be less as well. 

Energy Efficient

New construction also utilizes green practices for highly efficient homes. Often, a third-party will rate the home’s energy efficiency, ensuring it meets requirements. With proper insulation, high-efficiency appliances and systems, your home will have a low carbon footprint and low utility bills. 

Home Warranty

Builders don’t just walk away after it is completed. A new home comes with a warranty, so you can feel confident about how the construction will hold up over the years. Should any issues arise during the warranty period, the builder will work with you to solve the problem. 

To make the most of these benefits, make sure you find a contractor you like and trust!

Horton Group Project Recap

As the holiday season gets underway, we can’t help but look back on the past year. Amid the challenges and unforeseen circumstances, we’ve witnessed incredible things happening in our community.

Small businesses exceeding expectations to meet the needs of the people they serve. 

Individuals going above and beyond to help others. 


The Horton Group team working together to provide the very best service to our clients. 

Every year, we’re grateful for the work we do, and this year, we feel even more honored to be helping people feel at home. 

As we move into 2021, here are some updates on our current projects:

The Residences at 66 High Street

The Social Redesign is completing a unit at 66 High Street! Nicole White, along with designer Mary Ellen Sullivan and the Horton Group team, is working on completing the newest unit in the Leete Building. The best part? You get a say in the final design of the unit! If you haven’t been following along, visit The Social Redesign on Facebook and Instagram for your chance to vote. 

In addition to new units being completed, outdoor living spaces are also coming to fruition. The pool is in at 66 High Street! Residents will be able to enjoy an inground pool overlooking the Long Island Sound come summer. We can’t wait!

Overland Lofts

The Overland Lofts is now leasing units! This project with Davenport Companies has been an exciting project. From a Willys-Overland factory to residential lofts with commercial space, this historic building is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts revitalization project. The Overland Lofts include 60 market-rate apartments, retail space, and dog park, and more!

Coming in 2021

We’re excited about a new project happening in 2021! Stay tuned for more details on this commercial space in Branford, as well as other residential and commercial development projects.

How Homebuilding Can Aid Economic Recovery

2020 is a year like no other, where communities must join forces (socially distanced, of course) and make a collective effort to support local businesses in an attempt to keep small-town economies alive. 

A major proponent to flourishing local economies is steady home building. People attract business, and housing attracts people. This year more than ever, the market is experiencing low housing inventory in many suburban communities across the United States. Housing developments create new jobs for citizens and provide desired housing options that attract residents. 

The National Association of Home Builders has tested these economic effects and have divided the economic influx into three phases. 

Phase I

Phase I includes the effects that result directly from construction activity and local industries that contribute to it. This consists of all contracted services, such as electricians, plumbers, architects, and engineers. Phase I also includes related jobs, such as truck drivers, developers, and bankers.

Phase II

Phase II includes the effects that occur as a result from the wages and profits from Phase I being spent in local economies. 

Phase III

Phase III is an ongoing effect that includes property tax payments and local spending by the occupants of the new housing units. 

As shown in the NAHB three-phase economic process, multiple forms of local income can be generated through residential construction. From more basic flows of income, such as workers spending their hourly wages on local goods and services, to more steady streams of income like annual property taxes paid. Local governments prosper from new residencies and more activity within the community. 

Masonry Construction

Building with masonry is a timeless art form that goes back many centuries. Nowadays, masonry construction is a choice for many homeowners due to the aesthetic appeal it adds to a home. 

 

Masonry consists of assembling structures from single units that are laid and bound together with mortar. This construction technique is popular for various projects due to its many advantages. Here are a few of the great benefits of masonry construction: 

 

  • Masonry is non-combustible and offers high resistance against rotting, termites, mold, and fungus.
  • Masonry structures have long lifespans and require less maintenance than many other building materials.
  • Being both durable and resistant, masonry withstands large amounts of weight and heavy storms, heat, and cold.
  • Finally, this construction technique can add insulation, ultimately lowering your utility bills.

 

Brick, stone, and concrete blocks are the most common materials used in masonry construction. We’ll dive into the advantages and disadvantages of each material.

 

Brick Masonry

brick masonry

Bricks are easier to handle and transport, not to mention cheaper than stones and concrete. Depending on the structural requirements, they adhere to different types of mortar. On the downside, bricks are less durable than stone and concrete. There are also fewer options in regard to size and color. 

 

Stone Masonry

stone masonry

This construction technique is used for building foundations, floors, retaining walls, arches, walls, and columns. Stones used for masonry construction are natural rocks and are the most durable building materials. Compared to bricks, one of the main benefits of stones is the variety of colors, sizes, and textures. However, stone masonry does require skilled workers due to ensure the structure is safe. 

 

Concrete Block Masonry 

concrete masonry

Also known as concrete masonry unit (CMU), concrete block masonry consists of solid or hollow blocks found in many sizes and colors. Concrete blocks can be manufactured to meet any size requirements for specific projects. The material is the most resistant to weather, mold, and pests. On the other hand, concrete masonry requires more manpower. Concrete blocks also increase the amount of steel to reinforce cement concrete structures. 

 

Builder Confidence Increased in July 2020

News about low inventory and historic low mortgage rates has been garnering a lot of attention in the housing market. While real estate agents have been noticing a recovery in the market for the past couple of months, the latest NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) is also showing an increase in builder confidence. 

 

July 2020 Builder Confidence

 

In July, builder confidence in the market for new single-family homes jumped to 72 points, up from 58 points in June. This is a significant increase from April, when builder confidence plummeted to a low of 30 points, the lowest level since 2012.

 

The HMI is a monthly survey that has been conducted for 30 years. It gathers information about builder perceptions and buyer traffic for single-family homes. Anything above 50 points indicates a positive outlook for the market, and below 50 indicates a negative outlook. 

 

The Appeal of New Construction

 

Buyers are actively searching for homes. With low inventory and the desire for a floorplan to meet needs created by the pandemic (like home offices and outdoor living spaces), builders are seeing more interest from prospective buyers. 

 

“Builders are seeing strong traffic and lots of interest in new construction as existing home inventory remains lean,” said NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke.  “Moreover, builders in the Northeast and the Midwest are benefiting from demand that was sidelined during lockdowns in the spring. Low interest rates are also fueling demand, and we expect housing to lead an overall economic recovery.”

 

Low mortgage rates aren’t just for existing homes, they extend to new construction. If you are a prospective buyer who isn’t haven’t luck with current inventory, consider building new or looking at new developments.

New Construction Loans

Buying a home may require a mortgage, but building your dream home requires a different type of mortgage – a construction loan. New construction loans can help pay for home building or renovations and work differently from traditional loans. We’ll delve into what you need to know about a construction loan and how it works. 

 

What is a new construction loan?

A construction loan is a short-term loan that covers the costs of work and materials for new-build homes. Some of the items you can finance with a construction loan include permits, contractor labor, roof framing costs, and many other expenses that come with building a house. 

 

Types of New Construction Loans

Construction lenders provide different types of loans for a variety of homebuilding scenarios. Here are some financing options when building a new house:

 

Construction-to-Permanent

Also known as “single-close” construction loans, this type of loan converts to a permanent mortgage after construction is completed. The benefit with construction-to-permanent is that there is only one set of closing costs to pay, reducing your overall fees.

 

Construction-only

Construction-only loans are also referred to as “two-close” construction loans that require closing on two different loans. The first loan is taken out for the construction. Once work is completed, the loan is paid off with a new loan, called an end loan. The end loan is based on terms locked-in as the home nears completion. 

 

Renovation Construction Loan 

If you want to upgrade your existing home instead of building one, you can look for a renovation loan. This type of loan comes in various forms depending on the amount of money you’re planning on spending. 

 

How Construction Loans Work

As mentioned previously, new home construction loans work much differently from the typical mortgage loans. The lender pays the loan to the contractor, not the borrower, in installments. Once the project has been completed, construction loans can be either converted to permanent mortgage or paid in full. 

 

How to get a Home Construction Loan

Before applying for a loan, the borrower should meet with the designated contractor to understand the total cost to build so a  loan amount can be established. The lender will then review a borrowers’ employment history, savings, income stability, and ability to pay back the loan. A property appraisal will also be obtained to support the value of the project. To qualify you will need an excellent credit score, stable income, low debt-to-income ratio, and a down payment of 20 percent. 

 

How to Find a Lender

It is important to find a lender who specializes in construction lending and isn’t new to the process. Research several lenders to obtain detailed information about their background and specific programs. We recommend that you compare construction loan rates, terms, and down payment requirements to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible. 

 

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