Remodeling projects on the rise
Compared to 2010, the volume of common remodeling projects has increased, according to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), with remodelers reporting that kitchen and bathroom projects remain the most popular remodeling jobs with home owners, as they decide to stay in their current homes longer and upgrading these rooms while making major repairs.
Nearly half of all remomdelers report seeing an increase in the number of homeowners who undergo remodels to “avoid moving,” compared to the 2010 survey. Bathroom remodels were cited as a common job by 78 percent of remodelers, and 69 percent said kitchen remodels were common, both up 17 percent from two years ago. Since 2009, the NAHB reports that bathrooms and kitchens have switched places in popularity, with bathrooms sliding into the top spot. Other popular remodeling projects include window and/or door replacements (44 percent), whole house remodels (35 percent), and room additions (33 percent), all in support of the report’s assertion that homeowners are staying put.
“As the priorities of home owners shift, remodelers have to adjust to the needs of their clients,” said NAHB Remodelers Chairman George Moore Jr., and owner/president of Moore-Built Construction & Restoration Inc. in Elm Grove, LA. “And while the motivation behind a home owner’s decision to remodel may have changed, their desire for quality, professional results have not. Professional remodelers remain committed to the highest industry standards.”
Repurposing spaces, hiring remodelers
The top reasons cited for customers hiring a remodeler is for repairs and replacements of old components, along with upgrading amenities – more than three in five remodelers reported increased demand for repairs and replacements of old components over the last two years, with over half saying a desire for upgraded amenities rose.
The NAHB points out that over 20 percent of remodelers said there was a drop in customers remodeling to increase their home values as an investment.
“Home owners are repurposing spaces and making more efficient use of their home’s square footage,” Moore said. “Whether it be young families or couples aging in their homes, people want to let their house adapt with their needs as they change over time.”
Last month, the NAHB released their 2012 home design trends report which repeats much of what Moore notes – homeowners are not only staying longer, but reworking spaces, expanding amenities, focusing on efficiency, and building around multi-generational living.
Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home
When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?
Looking at the bigger picture
(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).
That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).
They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.
“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”
Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?
With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.
The average home age is higher than ever
(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.
With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.
Prices of new homes on the rise
Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.
Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?
The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.
Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes
(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.
Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.
So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.
1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues
It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.
Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.
2. Two major media brands emerge
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