by Phillip B. Burum, Executive Vice President, Diversified Pacific,
President, Building Industry Association (BIA) Baldy View Chapter
In his book, The Epic of America, James Truslow Adams defined for all what it means to be an American and why each citizen can obtain the American Dream. In 1931, he wrote “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.” June wraps up our season-long celebration of what I believe to be the core of the American Dream with National Homeownership Month.
Though the years have changed the definition of what the American Dream is for each generation, for all of my living years, homeownership has been the central feature. Initially, the thought conjured a picture of a suburban home with sprawling green lawn and a white picket fence, but that image has evolved over the decades to include the “tiny house,” cabins in the woods, penthouses on Park Avenue and dwellings of all shapes and sizes. The single connection being that, regardless of the structure, it is a home and it is owned by those who occupy it.
The image that fills your mind when you picture achieving your portion of the dream may be studio sized condo at the beach or an estate home overlooking the Hollywood Hills. Whatever that image is, it can be satisfied as today’s homeowners are offered more choices than any other time in history.
More and more people today are finding that condominiums, or ‘condos’, are the best fit for the modern lifestyle. For clarity, when I speak of condos, I am including a multitude of different types of architecture under one umbrella. My definition only requires that the condo is a multi-family structure, meaning that one building includes more than one individual residential unit.
Condos are sometimes an economic choice but, more and more, they are becoming a lifestyle choice. Condominium communities typically offer a wide range of activities or services that are not likely found in a traditional single-family neighborhood. These services, whether including a full concierge or simply a community game or gathering room, appeal to millennials and seniors alike. Such a broad market appeal has led builders to developing more and more multi-family units each year.
The increase in construction of these units means that today, homebuyers can choose from a far wider selection of multi-family home opportunities than ever before. Innovations in design, building technologies, and materials combined with the interest in the lifestyle have led to creative solutions to problems historically associated with condo living.
A major advancement in modern condo design is the increased focus on sound-proofing units so a condo owner may be living in a building with neighbors yet will feel as if they are in a separate structure. Noise is also mitigated by designing buildings so that bedrooms in one unit do not share a wall with a higher-noise room such as a kitchen or laundry in the adjoining unit.
In addition, most multi-family developments are centralized to downtown or commuter-centric areas making condos more accessible to mass transit, health care options, shopping, fine dining and entertainment than single-family homes.
Because the Baldy View Region is home to such a diverse population, diversity in housing is crucial to the ongoing economic growth of the region. At a recent conference co-hosted by the Baldy View Building Industry Association (BIA) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), experts forecast a housing shortage in San Bernardino County that will exceed 65,000 units by 2020. With San Bernardino already near the top of California’s list of the most overcrowded counties in the state, we need to find a way to fill the housing gap. Multi-family communities are a great way to help fill the void quickly. These communities provide younger families with affordable opportunities to own a home while offering seniors convenient/low maintenance living conditions that so many of us are attracted to as we grow a bit older. America acknowledges National New Homes, Remodeling and Homeownership months to inform, support, and celebrate today’s homeowners and homebuyers.
For more information on homebuying, remodeling, or just enjoying your home, visit our www.biabuild.com website and have a great Fourth of July.