What to Look for in a Professional Remodeler

May is NAHB’s National Home Remodelers Month, and the past year has been a busy one when it comes to remodeling! 

With so much time spent at home these days, chances are, you are thinking of making changes to your home. Perhaps you’re thinking of pulling out your toolkit and DIYing it. 

However, large remodeling projects usually call for an expert. Here’s how you can find the right contractor for your home project!

Why You Should Hire a Professional

  • Property Value

Remember that your house is a valuable asset. All upgrades need to be of professional quality to increase the value of your property.

  • Safety

A professional contractor knows how to bring your remodeling dreams to life in a way that is safely constructed and up to code. As a trained expert, a remodeler has a firm grasp of the requirements to meet city ordinances, regulations, and permits. 

  • Expertise

You are not just hiring a professional remodeler for their labor; you are hiring them for their expertise. Through years in the industry, they know where to get the best prices on labor and materials, and how to design the best solutions for your needs and your budget. 

How to Find a Professional Remodeler

  • Search for Remodelers in Your Area

The National Association of Home Builders has a Directory of Professional Remodelers that you can search to find professional remodelers in your area. Search the internet or social media for remodelers in your area and pay attention to reviews from previous customers. You can also reach out to friends in your community to see who they recommend. 

  • Reach Out for Quotes

Contact a few of your top picks to discuss your project and your budget. A professional remodeler can provide you with work samples to prove their expertise, and a detailed proposal on how they will achieve your vision within your budget. Do not immediately go for the lowest price offered. A price that seems too good to be true can mean poor quality work or a lack of professionalism.

  • Check Their Credentials

Do some background research on your potential remodelers to make sure they are running a legitimate business. They should have the proper licenses to conduct their work, and general liability insurance in case of accidents on the jobsite. It is also great if they are part of a trade association. A remodeler who meets all these criteria should be reliable and knowledgeable about all the newest industry trends and legal requirements.

Are you interested in learning more about the remodeling process?

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!

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.

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? 

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? 

Most Wanted Features in a Laundry Room

Laundry may not be your favorite chore, but laundry rooms are among the most wanted features in a home, according to the National Association of Home Builders study What Home Buyers Really Want (2019).

More homeowners are moving their laundry rooms out of the basement and into the main living areas of the home. Not only is this more convenient – no more trips down to the basement – but a well-thought-out laundry room provides room for storage and organization. Keep reading for tips on making your laundry room functional and beautiful – no matter the size. 

Mud and Laundry Room Combo

If you are fortunate enough to have a mudroom, you may as well make the most of it! Add a sink for quick rinses, nooks for coats and shoes, and an area for folding, ironing, and hanging clothes. 

Make the Most of a Closet

If you don’t have an entire room that you can dedicate to laundry, don’t worry. Converting a closet is an option that can help you stay organized while keeping the machines out of sight. Stack the washer and dryer, and utilize the rest of the space for storage.

Use All Accessible Space

Use the space you have wisely. Wall space, cabinets, and shelves can be utilized for organization. Create distinct areas for storing cleaning supplies, folding station, drying, laundry baskets, and sorting clothes. 

Hang Dry

Space to hang dry delicate items or freshly ironed garments should not be overlooked. Instead of a bulky drying rack that takes up floor space, install a couple of towel holders, closet poles, or a wall-mounted drying rack. 

Play with Design

The laundry room is the perfect place to play with design. Bold colors, wallpaper, or a textured accent can liven up the laundry room. Since laundry rooms are typically small spaces, you can get creative with your design. 

What does your dream laundry room look like? 

 

Builder Confidence Reaches 20-year High

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home, you may have heard that at the end of 2019, the national inventory declined by 9.5%, according to realtor.com

What does this mean? With fewer homes on the market, and buyers actively searching for their next house, experts predict inventory will remain low into 2020. 

It also means that builder confidence levels are breaking records.

National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index

Every month for the past 30 years, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) conducts a Housing Market Index survey. This survey gauges builder perceptions of current single-family homes sales and sales expectations for the next six months.

The last two monthly surveys – December 2019 and January 2020 – have the highest confidence levels for builders since 1999. The confidence level reached 76 points in December and decreased by just one point in January. To compare, builder confidence in January 2019 was 58 points. 

What does this mean?

With low inventory levels, low mortgage rates, and a strong labor market, builders are going into 2020 with high levels of optimism. 

NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde said,

“Low interest rates and a healthy labor market combined with a need for additional inventory is setting the stage for further home building gains in 2020.”

Builders are prepared to tackle the problem of low housing inventory, particularly for single-family homes and starter homes. Buyers who are frustrated with a lack of housing options can work with builders or search for new development projects in the area. 

Are you considering building in 2020? Contact us today!

 

 

Most (and Least) Wanted Features in a Home

We’ve all thought about our dream home: the features, design, and amenities we would select if there were no limiting factors. 

In What Home Buyers Really Want (2019 Edition), a study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders, close to 4,000 home buyers were surveyed to determine the most desirable features when looking for a home.

The survey found that the most desirable features are all about practicality. 

Most Wanted Features

In the survey, participants ranked each feature as Essential, Desirable, Indifferent, or Do Not Want. These were the top ten features buyers look for in a home, according to the survey:

Feature Percentage of People who Rated the Feature ‘Essential’ or ‘Desirable’
Laundry Room 91%
ENERGY STAR rated windows 89%
Patio 87%
ENERGY STAR rated appliances 86%
Ceiling Fan 85%
Garage Storage 85%
Exterior Lighting 85%
Walk-in Pantry 83%
Hardwood Flooring 83%
Double Kitchen Sink 81%

 

A laundry room came in as the most desired feature in a home, with 91% noting this was important in their home search. Having a laundry room in the primary residence is convenient and saves our most valued asset: time. 

The remaining top ten features focus heavily on sensible and sustainable features. Two spots in the top ten show that ENERGY STAR ratings are essential to today’s buyers.

In addition to ENERGY STAR windows and appliances in the top ten, ENERGY STAR for the entire home came in at number 11, with 81% of buyers stating it was essential or desirable in a home. Green construction is important to consider when moving into a new home, and ENERGY STAR features are one of the easiest ways to implement a sustainable lifestyle. 

Storage is another factor homebuyers seriously consider, with both garage storage and a walk-in pantry making the top ten features. 

Least Wanted Features

As far as what buyers are not looking for, here are the most unwanted features in a home:

Feature Percentage of People who Rated the Feature ‘Do Not Want’
Elevator 66%
Wine Cellar 57%
Day Care Center 50%
Plant Covered Roof 50%
Pet Washing Station 49%
Dual Toilets in Master Bath 48%
Cork Flooring 47%
Golf Course Community 47%
Two Story Family Room 47%
High Density Development 46%

 

The top two unwanted features in a home were an elevator, with 66% of home buyers stating they did not want one in a home, and a wine cellar, with 57% of participants stating they do not want one.

Other features that are unwanted by home buyers are focused on community amenities. Ones that made the ‘do not want’ list include a daycare center, plant-covered roof, pet washing station, and golf course community. 

What are your most desired features in a home?

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