Archive for the Housing News Category

Design Trends for 2014 and Beyond

Posted in Around Your Home, Housing News, I Wish I'd Thought About That, Lifestyle, New Homes with tags , , , , on February 26, 2014 by Pat Hansen

The National Association of Home Builders recently announced the winners of the Best in American Living Awards – a prestigious award program that spotlights design excellence for the entire residential building industry.

Award recipients represent the forefront of innovative design in America, and are lauded as the most creative and inventive builders, remodelers, architects, developers, land planners and interior designers in the nation.

Based on submissions from this year’s crop of winners, some of the newest trends in design that home buyers will see over the next several years include:

Light Colored CabinetryWhite on White – Cabinets, flooring, backsplashes, counters, fixtures and appliances are beginning to lighten up. Layering white on top of white is a new approach in many kitchens and bathrooms that is giving way to a fresh and light feeling. To achieve clean lines and a modern feel, designers and builders are selecting European cabinetry, adding shiny surfaces via appliance, backsplash and countertop choices, and incorporating glass walls.

Bold Exterior Colors – Bold colors are making their way to the exterior of homes. Whether it’s through paint, a mix of cladding materials, doors, windows, porches, shutters or trim, an extra layer of drama is being adding to the design of elevations, further enhancing curb appeal.

Interior Courtyards – Interior courtyards are popular in all housing types right now. The primary difference is scale. Within single-family homes, courtyards provide private and safe outdoor living areas and are being shifted to side yards.

New Light FixtureSpecialty Lighting – Specialty fixtures are “lighting it up” this year. Regardless of whether it involves a custom or a stock fixture, designers are finding ways to showcase them as pieces of art rather than just a functional element. Lighting is being paired with wood ceiling details to further enhance the room’s design and create a feeling of warmth.

Historic Style with Modern Flair – New or remodeled homes, whether they are Craftsman, Prairie, Mid-Century Modern or another historic architectural style, are adding modern flair to their traditional designs through color, finish, fixture and lighting selection, while continuing to be influenced by the past through the use of reclaimed building materials and classic proportions and detailing.

Outdoor KitchenBlurring the Lines Between Inside and Out – Lines continue to be blurred between the inside and outside of homes. No longer limited to areas with warmer climates, this is being seen all across the country. More homes now feature moveable glass walls, gourmet outdoor kitchens and interior courtyard pools, adding more everyday living space.

This article is courtesy of the National Association of Home Builders.

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The Multigenerational Household Trend

Posted in Housing News, Lifestyle, New Homes, Renovation, The Drawing Board with tags , , , on January 8, 2014 by Pat Hansen

Family households consisting of three or more generations, or “multigenerational households,” have become increasingly popular in the 21st century. According to the most recent Census, approximately 4.4 million American homes had three generations or more living under one roof in 2010, a 15 percent increase from two years earlier. This is 5.6 percent of the total of 76.4 million U.S. households with more than one person.

There are many reasons for this trend. The recession caused many adult children to return home after college, either because they weren’t able to get jobs that would cover rent, or they wanted to save up to buy homes of their own. According to Pew Institute research, the share of the U.S. population aged 18 to 31 living in their parent’s home increased to 36 percent or a record 21.6 million young adults in 2012.

Multigenerational Home Plan
For many ethnic and immigrant groups
, multiple generations of a family living together is a common cultural custom.

Multigenerational households also form so that grandparents can help take care of their grandchildren, and as they age, their children can care for them. This type of arrangement can ease financial burdens as well, with several generations contributing to the mortgage payment and not having to incur the expenses of childcare, retirement housing or professional care-giving environments.

Home builders and remodelers are building and renovating homes to meet the needs of multigenerational households. These designs allow many generations of the same family to live together under one roof yet have private areas as well as combined living space.

Features of multigenerational home plans can include in-law suites within the main home with separate areas for independent living. These often have kitchenettes and en suite bathrooms, and sometimes private entrances from the street. They frequently include “universal design” products, which focus on maximum usability by people of all ages and abilities. Examples include walk-in showers, smooth flooring transitions, and cabinets with pull-out drawers.

Building professionals who have earned the National Association of Home Builders’ Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) designation have received training on how to build or renovate a home so that the occupants can live in the home safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of their age or ability level. They have been taught the strategies and techniques for designing and building aesthetically pleasing, barrier-free living environments. While most CAPS professionals are remodelers, an increasing number are general contractors, designers, architects, and health care professionals.

To find a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist in your area, go to nahb.org/capsdirectory.

This article is courtesy of the National Association of Home Builders.

Homeownership Tax Incentives Still Important to Americans

Posted in Homeownership, Housing News, Tax Incentives with tags , , , on September 4, 2013 by Pat Hansen

As House and Senate lawmakers consider slashing tax breaks as part of their tax reform process, they should listen to the voters who put them in office and they will hear a loud and clear message: Americans overwhelmingly believe the mortgage interest deduction is an important middle-class tax provision that is worth keeping. The latest poll documenting this strong belief is a United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll conducted in July 2013.

When the surveyed adults were asked how important it is to keep the mortgage interest deduction for people who own homes, 61 percent of respondents said it was “very important,” and an additional 25 percent said it was “somewhat important.”

The proposals that government policymakers are considering would greatly harm home owners, home buyers, the housing market and the nation’s economy—even though national policy has acknowledged the importance of the home in American family life for almost a century. These proposals include threats to the mortgage interest deduction, instituting a standard 20 percent downpayment on home loans, and ending the federal backstop for housing, which would make the 30-year mortgage less accessible and more expensive.

Americans’ opinions on these issues have remained consistent, even as the economy has struggled to recover from the recession.

Surveys conducted in 2011 and 2012 on behalf of the National Association of Home Builders by the Public Opinion Strategies and Lake Research Partners polling firms had similar results. Both surveys found that an overwhelming majority of American voters strongly value homeownership and would oppose efforts to weaken or eliminate the mortgage interest deduction or diminish a federal role to help qualified home buyers obtain affordable 30-year mortgages. And a 2011 New York Times/CBS News poll found that more than 90 percent of American adults said that it is important for the federal government to continue the mortgage interest deduction.

Owning a home has allowed generations of American families to build a sense of stability, pride and accomplishment. Homeownership has also always been – and continues to be – the single best long-term investment for most Americans, serving as a primary source of wealth and financial security, helping to provide for education, retirement and more for many households.

Homeownership contributes significantly to the nation’s economy as well.

Housing accounts for about 15 percent of the nation’s total economic output, including new construction of single-family and multifamily homes, remodeling and services provided by existing homes. Building 100 average single-family homes generates 305 jobs, $23.1 million in wage and business income, and $8.9 million in taxes and revenue for state, local and federal governments.

Politicians seeking to reduce the deficit by reducing or eliminating government incentives to own a home need to remember that Americans—and the American economy—remain committed to the American Dream of homeownership.

For more information on the value of homeownership, and how you can join the fight to protect it, go to ProtectHomeownership.com.

This article is courtesy of the National Association of Home Builders.

Beware Being Your Own Home Builder

Posted in Homeownership, Housing News, I Wish I'd Thought About That, New Homes with tags , , on July 10, 2013 by Pat Hansen

Homeownership is the foundation of the American Dream, and in today’s “do-it-yourself” culture where “how-to advice” for just about anything can be found on the internet, many people think they could save a lot of money by building their own home. But your home is likely the single largest investment you will make in your lifetime, and not hiring a professional home builder could be a costly mistake for many reasons—financial, emotional and physical.

Plan-SketchGetting financing is an important consideration. As a self-contractor, lenders have strict guidelines and limits on how much money they will give you, and they will require that you provide house plans, specifications and an itemized list of documented costs and bids beforehand.

Even if you feel that you have enough cash to do the job, it is wise to get a loan to cover material or labor cost increases, upgrades or material overruns. Many mortgage companies will not lend money to cover unanticipated costs on a home when construction has already begun.

There is a huge amount of bookkeeping if you act as your own general contractor. The IRS requires that you send anyone you hired to work on your home—subcontractors—who earned over a certain amount a 1099 form at the end of the year. You’ll have to be on-site to document delivery slips, check for inaccurate billing and track material returns in order to stay on budget.

Professional home builders are experts at the logistics and timing of building a home. It is an exact science to make sure permits are applied for, materials are ordered and delivered, subcontractors are hired, utility deposits are paid, and inspections are scheduled at exactly the right time. Even if you’re very organized, it is a process where many things can go wrong and a delay could cost you thousands of dollars and a lot of stress.

5DIMG_2430Building your own home is a risky proposition from a legal standpoint as well. Home builders carry Builder’s Risk, General Liability and Workman’s Compensation insurance on their building projects. As a self-contractor, you will have to assume most, if not all, of the same liabilities. You may want to consult with an attorney regarding potential liability issues, and with an insurance agent concerning appropriate insurance coverage.

Home builders have staff to take care of all the details of building a home, and established relationships with other professionals to complete the job, which is why they can build a home in a relatively quick timeframe. To build an average 1,500 square foot home, you need to be prepared to spend at least 35 hours per week for at least five or six months, and most people don’t have jobs with that kind of flexibility. You will also need the time to determine and order the materials, evaluate bids, and hire and schedule qualified, licensed, insured and/or certified subcontractors.

Finally, if you sell the home you’ve built, you may be responsible for any defects that are discovered afterwards. As the home’s builder, you or your estate will be responsible for claims brought by subsequent owners of the home.

These are just a few of the things you need to think about before building your own home. By hiring a professional home builder, you will get quality of workmanship, building code compliance and an outstanding level of knowledge.

For a free consultation, contact our Sales Manager, Pat Hansen at 248-895-1115, or visit www.RobertRJonesHomes.com.

This article is courtesy of the National Association of Home Builders.

The Economic and Emotional Value of Homeownership

Posted in Homeownership, Housing News, Lifestyle, Local News, New Homes, Sell your Home with tags , , , , , on July 2, 2013 by Pat Hansen

In good times or bad, there is one constant: Homeownership remains the American Dream for millions of American families. And there are many reasons why, both economic and emotional.

Robert R. Jones HomesMost Americans consider homeownership to be their single best long-term investment and a primary source of their wealth and financial security. Generations of families have counted on and used the equity in their homes for their children’s education, their own retirement and other milestone expenses.

Individual household budgets are helped by tax incentives that are designed to make owning a home more affordable. Deductions for mortgage interest and property taxes can result in thousands of dollars of tax savings, especially in the early years of the mortgage when interest makes up most of the payment. Home owners save nearly $100 billion annually on mortgage interest and property deductions alone.

And when home owners sell their primary residence, they get an enormous tax break. A couple who owns and lives in their home for two years and then decides to sell can keep up to $500,000 of the profit tax-free, and a single owner can keep $250,000.

A healthy housing industry means more jobs and a stronger U.S. economy. In fact, fully 15 percent of the U.S. economy relies on housing.

Most of the products used in home construction and remodeling are manufactured in the United States. Constructing 100 new homes creates more than 300 full-time jobs, $23.1 million in wage and business income and $8.9 million in federal, state and local tax revenue. New home owners spend money on decorations and furnishings, to enhance the landscaping and to become members of the community by patronizing local businesses and service providers.

Robert R. Jones Homes (interior photo)Yet a home is so much more than an investment. In good times and in bad, the opportunity to own a home has been a cherished ideal and a source of pride, accomplishment, social stability and peace of mind.  Homeownership strengthens communities as well as families.

Home building increases the property tax base that supports local schools and communities. When a family owns their home, it is an asset that has a direct impact on their financial security and future. People are more likely to take care of things they own so they remain valuable. And a home’s value is determined by how well it is maintained as well as by the condition of the neighborhood it is located in. So home owners have incentive to spend their time and resources improving their neighborhood, even if it is just to protect the value of their investment.

Homeownership builds stronger communities, provides a solid foundation for family and personal achievement and improves the quality of life for millions of people. The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Housing Commission has said that homeownership can “produce powerful economic, social, and civic benefits that serve the individual home owner, the larger community and the nation.”

Keys in DoorIt is important to know that despite the fact that housing and homeownership policies over the last century have contributed to the growth of the middle class and helped the United States become the most dynamic economy the world has ever seen, homeownership is under attack. Policymakers are proposing radical changes, including ending the mortgage interest deduction and mandating minimum 20 percent downpayments, that would threaten the dream of homeownership for millions of Americans.

The National Association of Home Builders’ website, www.ProtectHomeownership.com, has more information about the threats to homeownership and how to take action to protect it.

To learn more about homeownership in the metropolitan Detroit area, visit www.RobertRJonesHomes.com.

This article is courtesy of the National Association of Home Builders.

A Sign Of Recovery? The Rising Demand For High-End Homes

Posted in Housing News, Local News with tags , on January 9, 2013 by Pat Hansen

On Sunday, Dec., 30th, the Detroit Free Press featured a front page article about the rising demand for high-end homes, mainly the $1,000,000-plus market. There were 148 recorded sales of $1,000,000-plus residences in Oakland, Wayne and Macomb counties in 2012. That is a 66% increase from a year ago and the highest number sold at that price point since the Realcomp multiple listing service organized the million dollar- and-above category in 2003, the article pointed out.

Home Under ConstructionRealtors boosted sales at the high end of the market with high-earning business people in finance, automotive and health care industries as well as people relocating from places like Chicago and New Jersey as the Michigan economy continued to rebound. All but 16 of the sales were in Oakland County, including the chart-topping $4.5 million dollar deal in Bloomfield Twp.

Real estate insiders attribute the 2012 high-end boom to a number of factors that proved just as true for the lower-priced homes in the suburban market including low interest rates, slimmer inventories of for- sale, move-in ready homes and the realization by sellers who swallowed their pride and gave up on the idea of what their home was worth before the economy took a downturn.

The rise in high-end home sales has also been good news for the builders of high-end homes. There has definitely been an increase in building permits.  In Bloomfield Twp. alone, building permits issued in 2012 were up 22% from the past year, which saw only a 7% increase from the previous year.

New home construction and remodeling projects are very apparent as you drive through the neighborhoods in Bloomfield Twp. and Bloomfield Hills. This speaks to the willingness of buyers to consider the option of building what they want in a new home, instead of settling for an existing home.

As a builder of custom high-end homes, we at Robert R. Jones Homes are pleased to see the resurgence in new home construction. For information on our homes and availability of homesites, please visit our website at http://www.rrjh.com/.

We Will Build On Your Lot

Posted in Housing News, Manors of Deerwood, Renovation with tags , , , , on July 11, 2012 by Pat Hansen

In addition to building in our Manors of Deerwood community in Clarkston, MI, we will also build on customer-owned sites.  We often receive inquiries from people who own or are looking to own acreage or lake properties. While we currently do not have lake property, we can assist you in your search for a suitable lake lot.  There are lake lots available in Oakland County in areas where large, luxury homes have been built. There are also existing homes on lake properties suitable for tear-down.  It is not unusual to see new homes, both large and small, built on lake properties that at one time housed small cottages.  Orchard Lake, Commerce Twp., Sylvan Lake, Keego Harbor and West Bloomfield Twp. are all examples of this trend.

In addition to lake properties, there are also communities throughout Oakland County where older homes, built in the 50’s and 60’s, have been torn down and large, new homes have been built. Many of the tear-downs have been ranch-style homes. Many of the homes that have not been torn down have been remodeled with attractive, functional additions. These homes blend in well with the newly constructed homes giving the neighborhood an appealing presence.

If you are interested in building a new home or remodeling your present home, Robert R. Jones Homes can make your experience a pleasurable one. We have been building luxury homes for 33 years in our new home communities and also on customer-owned lots in Wayne, Washtenaw and Oakland Counties.

We have the in-house capability to design, engineer, coordinate and supervise the construction of your new home. We will provide you with guidance during the selection process for the exterior and interior finishes. Our customers are delighted with the color renderings we provide them at the beginning of the planning process. The color rendering, suitable for framing, enables you to envision the final outcome. From start to finish, our goal is to make the entire building process an enjoyable venture.

What our customers have to say…

“With Robert R. Jones Homes, everything was upfront…there were no surprises. The crew was friendly, the subcontractors were terrific and our sales associate was outstanding.” Carole & Gary Dimitry

“In the past 25 years, we have built three new homes.  Thus, we knew the challenges that were ahead of us. However, working with the Jones Team, each phase went smooth, and was rewarding.” Elaine & Fred Burger

If you have been considering building a home on your lot or ours, feel free to give us a call for a free consultation. You may reach Pat Hansen at (248) 895-1115.

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