All of us know of the weakness in the global economy. For that reason I will not address those issues in this article. At the same time most people are cutting back on real-estate investment and construction projects, many of my clients are enjoying the availability of top notch contractors, the relative bargains for the homes they bought, and the over-all reduction in the finished price of their project.
I would never encourage anyone to spend money carelessly or to extend themselves beyond their means, but I don't recall a time in my 20 year career as an architect that the conditions have improved so dramatically for individuals who want to buy and build for their family. My sister-in-law who is a school teacher just purchased her first home well below the price she would have paid a year before. She bought an existing older home that needs extensive renovation and she will also be saving significantly on construction costs compared to just six months ago.
The following are 5 reasons I think this a great time to buy and build and renovate:
- Home prices are down dramatically from their recent highs.
- Commodity prices of many building materials are falling.
- Energy surcharges have been eliminated from most building components.
- Reliable high quality builders are available and are more competitive in their pricing than in recent memory.
- There are more 'green' and energy efficient materials and systems on the market now than we have seen in 35 years.
As we move toward a recovery in the economy, the same elements that caused the spike in real estate and construction will return: limited supply of fossil fuels, competition for resources from emerging nations, the desire to live in communities with good school systems and bucolic settings. The price to buy, build and renovate will begin to rise on a daily basis as it did for the last 10 years.
James M. Crisp, AIA is an architect working in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.Window Header Framing Problems