How to Vet a Builder

If you’re thinking of hiring a builder for custom work, here are some points to consider:

  1. Hire a good real estate attorney who has experience with new-construction contracts, knows state law, and is familiar with the issues unique to the area in which the property will be built.
    • Talk to other customers. Ask how satisfied they are with the builder and how his projects have held up over time.Construction
    • Investigate. Search the builder’s name and company online and make sure that there aren’t lots of complaints about him.
    • Expect him to negotiate. In this market, a potential customer should be able to expect that a builder will be flexible.
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New Construction

For more information or to set up an appointment call Nesbitt Realty at (703)765-0300.

 

What Home Buyers Really Want in 2013

Home buyers want energy efficiency, according to a new study released by the National Association of Home Builders titled, “What Home Buyers Really Want.” Four of the top-ranked home features involve saving energy.

For example, 94 percent of buyers surveyed say they want energy-star rated appliances. Ninety-one percent said they want the whole home to boast an energy-star rating. What’s more, 89 percent said they wanted energy-star rated windows and 88 percent desire ceiling fans, according to the survey.

Home buyers are also paying more attention to the laundry room in homes. Fifty-seven percent consider a laundry room “essential” in a home and nearly every home buyer surveyed say they want one in their home.

Organization is also big for home buyers. All ranking high on their wish-lists: A linen closet in the bathroom, space in the garage to put sports equipment and gardening tools, and a walk-in pantry in the kitchen.

Meanwhile, what do buyers show little preference for? About 43 percent say they do not want a two-story family room, and 38 percent say they don’t want a two-story entry foyer. More buyers view these open spaces as less energy efficient, so they’re no longer as highly rated.

Source: “What Do Home Buyers Really Want?” RISMedia (March 3, 2013)

Tips for Choosing Upgrades for a New Home

Most home owners opt to add some upgrades to a new home, which can be rolled into the mortgage opposed to paying for them later on their own. But the choices of what flooring, lighting, or other upgrades to choose can be overwhelming.

Designer Candice Olson, author and host of HGTV’s “Candice Tells All,” says lighting and extra wiring are key upgrades new home buyers should consider.

“Adding lighting — or at least the wiring for it — means you’ll be able to have bathroom sconces instead of that one overhead light the builder gives you,” Olson says. “Your flat-screen TV can be where you want it. You’ll have a floor outlet for the lamp in middle of the open room. And you won’t be ripping out walls later to do all this.”

Also, she says home owners shouldn’t forget about the exterior lighting either. “Outside lighting, plus landscaping, will set apart your house from the others in the neighborhood where buyers chose from plans A, B and C,” Olson says.

As for flooring, Olson recommends hardwood floors for the main living areas, and cork floors for the basement, since there’s potential for water leakage in basements.

She also says the addition of taller baseboards, chair rails, crown molding, coffered ceilings, built-ins or a banquette also are smart investments for upgrades.

Source: “Decisions, Decisions: Add Character to Your Home With a Few Choice Upgrades,” Chicago Tribune (Feb. 4, 2011)

townhomes
Townhouses

Housing Starts Rise in September

Spending on construction rose 0.5 percent in September with home building and government projects leading the way, the U.S. Commerce Department reported Monday.

Spending on home building rose 1.8 percent, but the increase was offset by spending on commercial construction, which dropped 1.6 percent. Overall, non-residential construction was at the lowest level since January 2005.

Housing starts rose 0.3 percent in September, the Commerce Department said, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 610,000 units – still low, but improving.

Source: Bloomberg, Courtney Schlisserman (11/01/2010)

  • Inlet Cove is near Fort Belvoir and Potomac Mills

    Inlet Cove outside Belvoir
    Inlet Cove is alongside Route 1 This neighborhood of townhouses is near grocers and eateries Inlet Cove is close to Fort Belvoir, Alexandria, and Potomac Mills shops, in the city of Woodbridge Interior to these properties are multilevel Inlet Cove is serene

    Read More

  • Pending Home Sales on an Upswing

    home inspector
    Pending home sales increased again in March, affirming that a surge of home sales is unfolding for the spring home buying season, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in March, rose 5.3 percent to 102.9 from 97.7 in February, and is 21.1…

    Read More

  • A Good Time to Buy a High-End Home

    Station Square
    Some of the best housing deals are on high-end homes, many over $1 million. Some of them need TLC or they aren’t in the most-coveted locations. But there are plenty of desirable properties and lots of sellers who are getting impatient. Buyers with cash have the best opportunities. Buyers who need a mortgage should move…

    Read More

  • Looking for the big price drop?

    arrow down
    If you love price drops we have good news. NesbittRealty.com now features the biggest and most recent price drops on area real estate. We have condos, townhouses and houses all with big price reductions. These HOT properties will attract a lot of attention so contact us to take a closer look. In general we look…

    Read More

  • Who is today’s homebuyer and why are they buying?

    Nesbitt Realty 703 765 0300
    The National Association of Realtors recently did a study about the characteristics of home buyers. Some of the findings might surprise you. Thirteen percent of buyers purchased a home with one or more parents and grandparents together with adult children. There were several reasons given for purchasing a multi-generational home. Cost savings; Children over the…

    Read More

What’s New in New Housing Design

Here are the products grabbing the attention of the home building and remodeling industries, according to Bill Millholland, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Case Design/Remodeling in Maryland, and Jamie Gibbs, a New York-based interior designer:

  • Appliance Drawers. Small warning drawers, modest-sized dishwasher drawers for small loads, refrigerator drawers and microwave drawers.
  • Counter-depth refrigerators. Some are only 24 inches deep.
  • Motion-detecting faucets. Like you’d find in the restrooms of businesses.
  • LED (light-emitting diode) lighting. These are used under cabinets and in ceiling fixtures as a longer-lasting, more efficient alternative to compact fluorescent lamps and incandescent bulbs.
  • Electric heated floors. A nice touch in bathrooms,
  • Showers with multiple heads and body sprays. Bathtubs are out.

Source: The Washington Post (09/25/2010)

Housing Starts Rose in August

Housing starts rose 10.5 percent in August to an annual rate of 598,000 homes, the most since April, the Commerce Department announced Monday.

Housing starts were up 2.2 percent in August compared to the same month last year, while permits decreased 6.7 percent.

Construction of single-family houses rose 4.3 percent to a 438,000 annual rate after declining 6.7 percent in July.

Construction of multi-family homes increased 32 percent to an annual pace of 160,000.

Housing starts increased 7 percent in the South, 34.3 percent in the West, and 21.7 percent in the Midwest. Starts fell 24.3 percent in the Northeast.

Source: Bloomberg, Courtney Schlisserman (09/21/2010)

  • Inlet Cove is near Fort Belvoir and Potomac Mills

    Inlet Cove outside Belvoir
    Inlet Cove is alongside Route 1 This neighborhood of townhouses is near grocers and eateries Inlet Cove is close to Fort Belvoir, Alexandria, and Potomac Mills shops, in the city of Woodbridge Interior to these properties are multilevel Inlet Cove is serene

    Read More

  • Pending Home Sales on an Upswing

    home inspector
    Pending home sales increased again in March, affirming that a surge of home sales is unfolding for the spring home buying season, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in March, rose 5.3 percent to 102.9 from 97.7 in February, and is 21.1…

    Read More

  • A Good Time to Buy a High-End Home

    Station Square
    Some of the best housing deals are on high-end homes, many over $1 million. Some of them need TLC or they aren’t in the most-coveted locations. But there are plenty of desirable properties and lots of sellers who are getting impatient. Buyers with cash have the best opportunities. Buyers who need a mortgage should move…

    Read More

  • Looking for the big price drop?

    arrow down
    If you love price drops we have good news. NesbittRealty.com now features the biggest and most recent price drops on area real estate. We have condos, townhouses and houses all with big price reductions. These HOT properties will attract a lot of attention so contact us to take a closer look. In general we look…

    Read More

  • Who is today’s homebuyer and why are they buying?

    Nesbitt Realty 703 765 0300
    The National Association of Realtors recently did a study about the characteristics of home buyers. Some of the findings might surprise you. Thirteen percent of buyers purchased a home with one or more parents and grandparents together with adult children. There were several reasons given for purchasing a multi-generational home. Cost savings; Children over the…

    Read More

J.D. Powers: Builder Customer Satisfaction Up

Customer satisfaction improved for the third straight year and construction quality reached a record high in the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 U.S. New-Home builder Customer Satisfaction Study released Wednesday.

Here are the highest ranked builders in overall customer satisfaction in each of the 17 markets surveyed:

  • Atlanta, John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods
  • Austin, Texas, Standard Pacific Homes
  • Charlotte, N.C., Standard Pacific Homes
  • Dallas/Ft. Worth, Darling Homes
  • Denver/Colorado Springs, Classic Homes
  • Houston, Trendmaker
  • Las Vegas, Pardee Homes
  • Orlando, KB Home
  • Philadelphia, NV Homes
  • Phoenix, Shea Homes
  • Sacramento, Calif., JMC (John Mourier)
  • San Antonio, David Weekley Homes
  • San Francisco Bay Area, Shea Homes
  • Southern California, Shea Homes
  • Tampa, Standard Pacific Homes
  • Tucson, KB Home
  • Washington, D.C., M/I Homes

Source: J.D. Power & Associates (09/15/2010)

More Homes Accommodate Multi-Generations

Building and modifying homes to accommodate multiple generations is increasingly popular as more Americans struggle to accommodate both their older parents and their grown children under the same roof.

The National Association of Home Builders’ International Builders Show this year featured a single-level residence with a master suite at each end.

“The grandparents’ suite included universal design elements along with a small kitchenette,” says Stephen Melman, director of economic services at the NAHB. “The concept for this home was that the parents could get help with their kids from the grandparents, while the grandparents benefited by having household maintenance chores and meals taken care of for them.”

Melman said that it is difficult to predict whether this trend will diminish when the economy improves, but he pointed to the growing number of ethnic groups where multi-generational living is expected as a sign that the trend may stick.

Source: Washington Times, Michele Lerner (07/09/2010)