By Ali Sahabi of Optimum Group, LLC
President, Building Industry Association (BIA) Baldy View Chapter
This April kicks off America’s season-long celebration of the myriad benefits of homeownership with National New Homes Month. This month we celebrate the innovations in the building and manufacturing trades that makes the new American home a marvel of modern technology and design by examining homeownership’s role in forming the foundation for homeowners’ wealth and future and the role the American home plays in creating healthy communities and economies.
As an example of the benefits home ownership plays in keeping our economy heathy, in March the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported that employment in the residential construction industry reached 2.68 million jobs in January of this year which represents an increase of more than 700,000 jobs since 2011, according to Paul Emrath, Ph.D., NAHB Vice President for Survey and Housing Policy Research. Each one of those jobs comes with what is known to economists as a “job multiplier,” which means that each occupation will support additional jobs and services (such as retail, insurance and other occupations) in the community.
In addition, new homes are growing increasingly healthier and environmentally-friendly. Nationwide, more builders are incorporating green products or practices into their products with nearly a quarter of American homes now certified to a green standard. Here in the Baldy View Region, nearly all of the homes built actually exceed industry standards. This means that new homeowners will save money on energy costs while reducing our impact on the environment. For example, according to recent studies the vast majority of American home builders are incorporating energy efficient windows and high-efficiency heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems into their designs.
Every year homebuilders unveil new designs in houses and new home communities that ensure that today’s new homes will always be state-of-the-art because today’s homebuilders expend a considerable amount of research and resources to keep their products on the cutting edge of industry advances. Last year, NAHB issued a study tracking the evolution of homebuyer preferences titled Housing Preferences of the Boomer Generation: How They Compare to Other Home Buyers” illustrating how various designs influence the home purchase decision along with key factors such as location, features and size of the home consumers want. Months of scientific analysis of data compiled for the report were analyzed for all home buyers in general and also across generations: Millennials (born 1980 or later), Gen X’ers (born 1965-1979), Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964), and Seniors (born 1945 or earlier). The findings helped homebuilders anticipate the wants and needs of homebuyers in the future.
For instance, the study found that:
- Nearly two-thirds of buyers would like a single-family detached home.
- Traditional forward mortgages are the preferred method prospective buyers across generations would choose to pay for a home.
- Overall, modern homebuyers preferred homes with a median 2,020 square feet of finished area, about nine percent larger than they have now. Millennials and Gen X’ers preferred over 2,300 square feet; Boomers and Seniors less than 1,900 square feet.
- 64 percent of homebuyers prefer a single-story home, but preference rises with age: Millennials (35 percent), Gen X’ers (49 percent), Boomers (75 percent), and Seniors (88 percent).
- About half of all buyers want a home with three bedrooms, but 30 percent want at least four. Over 40 percent of Millennials and Gen X’ers want the latter, compared to only 20 percent of Boomers and Seniors.
- Buyers remain focused on features that will help them save energy and keep the home organized. ENERGY STAR® appliances and windows, insulation rated higher than required by code, a laundry room, garage storage, and a walk-in pantry are features the vast majority of buyers want. Also very influential in most buyers’ purchase decision are exterior lighting, a patio, a full bath on the main level, and hardwood on the main level of the home.
- Of 19 community features home buyers were asked about, a typical suburban neighborhood with only single-family detached homes was the most wanted, rated essential/desirable by 72 percent. Over 50 percent would be positively influenced by the presence of a park area, being near retail space, walking/jogging trials, and a lake.
As you can see, today’s new homes are being built to meet the needs and wants of today’s – and future – homebuyers and their families – and why today’s new home is both the finest home ever built and the best investment most Americans will ever make in their lifetimes.
The BIA Baldy View Chapter seeks to advance the opportunity to attain the American Dream of home ownership. For additional information on homebuying, home improvements or the benefits of homeownership, go to www.biabuild.com on the web.