I’m a wee skeptical of The National Association of Home Builders 2018 survey of “thousands of U.S. homebuyers” for must-haves.

I have no doubt these things were tops on consumer’s wish list, and were accurately reported. I just think housing preferences are more regional. And this list is too national. 

These are features buyers ranked as most likely to be required in a house:  (more…)

Summit

From left, Metrostudy regional director Paige Shipp, Zillow Group Insights Director Mary Kaye O’Brien, and NAHB CEO Jerry Howard will speak at the Dallas Builders Association’s State of the Industry Summit on March 26.

From the Dallas Builders Association

The State of the Industry Summit, presented by Zillow Group, will feature NAHB CEO Jerry Howard, Metrostudy Regional Director Paige Shipp and Zillow Group Insights Director Mary Kaye O’Brien. The Summit, will be held on Tuesday, March 26 from 9 a.m. (doors open at 8:30) until 11:30 a.m. at Venue Forty|50 in Addison.

As the chief executive of NAHB, Jerry Howard’s leadership ensured that housing remained a priority in recent tax legislation. Howard continues to lead NAHB’s advocacy efforts through contentious times on Capitol Hill. NAHB recently scored key victories on regulatory reform, helped reduce the rising cost of lumber and assisted property owners facing regulatory overreach at the U.S. Supreme Court. (more…)

Just like school children, shades need recesses too.

Don’t let reports of a real estate slowdown (actually more of a return to normalcy) convince you that new homes aren’t being built – especially new, expensive homes. Having toured a few newly built homes listed above $1 million, I am surprised at what’s missing. I’m not talking about mink toilet seats and diamond-studded coffee makers. I mean more pedestrian things.

Here’s my unofficial list of relatively cheap things that should “just be there” in newly constructed homes over $1 million.

Recessed Motorized Shades

I’m nowhere near $1 million and I have motorized shades. Luckily, the original builder put in the necessary ceiling recesses where the shades can be slotted into for a smooth ceiling line. Back in the 1960s when my place was built, those recesses pushed curtain tops up so that light bleeds were minimized and rooms (especially bedrooms) were darker. During my renovation, all I had to do was get electricity up there (fairly easy when the walls are open).

In a new-build home, if the builder isn’t going to install the motorized shades themselves, it’s a pittance to put an electric outlet into window frame recesses. Buyers in this range should be looking for such things.

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Come learn, see examples, and sip some holiday treats from 2-4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12 for an informative panel discussion on right-sizing your home.

We don’t just want to show you 31 Abbey Creek Way in North Dallas, Hawkins-Welwood Homes’ brand new, easy-living model at the beautiful Lawns of Glen Abbey. We want to show you how to right-size — how to build a home with everything you want and need on a tighter footprint— at a CandysDirt exclusive expert panel discussion from 2-4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12.

You can get your tickets here.

We have put our heads together to assemble a panel of right-sizing (or, if you prefer the old-fashioned word, downsizing) experts including builder John Hawkins of Hawkins-Welwood Homes, Allan Ross of WaaL.Architecture, and certified professional organizer Nancy Peham.


Here’s more on the panel: (more…)

Staff Reports

Growing housing affordability concerns resulted in builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes falling eight points to 60 in November on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). Despite the sharp drop, builder sentiment still remains in positive territory.

“Builders report that they continue to see signs of consumer demand for new homes but that customers are taking a pause due to concerns over rising interest rates and home prices,” said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel, a custom home builder from LaPlace, La.

“For the past several years, shortages of labor and lots along with rising regulatory costs have led to a slow recovery in single-family construction,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “While home price growth accommodated increasing construction costs during this period, rising mortgage interest rates in recent months coupled with the cumulative run-up in pricing has caused housing demand to stall.”

With the prospect of future interest rate hikes in store, Dietz said that builders have adopted a more cautious approach to market conditions and urged policymakers to take note.

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Remember when this was how you controlled glare and solar gain?

The 1960s birthed the era of astronauts, free love, and me (no connection that I’m aware of). It was also the decade that saw the invention of self-darkening glass, first seen in sunglasses. Last month I wrote about glass capable of generating electricity. But since the US Department of Energy reports 30 percent of heating and cooling energy is lost through windows, I’m going to continue to explore.  This time I’ve looked into types of films that can cut electricity costs while making interiors cooler and possibly window treatment-free.

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solar power

The sunlight falling on an area this size would power the USA.

No, it’s not April Fools’ Day, it’s the future.

When you look at the types of renewable power available – hydro, geothermic, wind, etc. – only one has the potential to completely supply the world’s energy needs — solar power. Did you know that harnessing just 0.02 percent of the solar energy that reaches the Earth would power the world? The map above shows how much surface area is required to power the entire U.S. using solar power.

Like a bad boyfriend, we’ve heard solar’s unmet promises for decades. But unlike that boyfriend, solar has worked to meet those promises. It’s cheaper, thinner, less obtrusive and now, transparent.

As you can imagine, one of the impediments of traditional solar is the space it requires coupled with its typical unattractive industrial appearance. Tesla has created slim-profile solar panels and most recently solar shingles that blend into residential rooftops. These types of rooftop solar collectors have the ability to fulfill a home’s electrical needs.  But what about multi-story residential or commercial?

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The luxurious kitchen of the future?

Realtors will tell you that kitchens and bathrooms sell homes. What happens if there is no kitchen?  Investment bank UBS recently issued an investment note to customers titled, “The End of the Kitchen?” Not being a UBS-caliber customer, I’ve only been able to glean snippets from the private report from across the internet.

In a nutshell, UBS is taking note of the fast rise in food delivery services like Uber Eats, DoorDash, GrubHub, and yet to enter the US, Deliveroo and Foodora. The report postulates what happens to the food distribution and preparation market as food delivery grows in popularity. It’s all part of the larger trend of people outsourcing tedious tasks to those willing to do them for pennies.

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