Archive for the ‘Home Building News’ Category

Government Tax Credit to Defray Building Costs on Window Replacements

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Building costs can be prohibitive whether it be a new home or a renovation. For consmers looking to commence home improvements a little help from the is more than welcome. There is a tax credit for home improvements that is set to expire at the end of 2010 and forms part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009.

Homeowners are using it mainly for window replacements and the tax credit is equivalent to around 30 percent of the cost of the product with a ceiling of $1,500. The cost of installation is left out of the computation and the credit can only be applied to the primary residence, which disqualifies new construction.

The building costs range from $7,000 to $20,00 and this is quite high as it involves not only on the quality of the window it also takes into account the intricacies of installing replacement windows including leak damage prevention. There are other specifications that homeowners need to adhere to like the energy savings standard governed by a rating system to check the cost efficiency of the windows. Some window replacements actually do not meet the building requirements and are disqualified for the credit.

The windows that consumers need to use to qualify for the credit and bring down building costs should have the seal of the National Fenestration Rating Council. The ratings of the council are labeled on the product and indicates the energy rating among other product specifications.

Another energy rating honored by the government is the Energystar label that is more widely used in the cold regions of the country. The Energystar label is from the US Environmental Protection Agency and labels products meeting the highest energy efficiency levels. But there are some Energystar labels that do not qualify for the tax credit because energy savings depend on where the window labeled with the Energystar rating is being installed.

It is always a good practice to consult experts before embarking on a window replacement home improvement to ensure that building costs are kept in check and that the tax break can be availed.

New Tax Credit Disappoints Home Building Industry

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

As part of the new administration’s rescue plan for the ailing US economy, a new housing tax credit of $8,000 will be given to first-time buyers. However, the release of this news disappointed home builders, saying that this is not enough to help the housing industry.

The past year was a very difficult time for the US and the whole world as well. The economic recession is the worst that the US has experienced. This has caused massive unemployment as large companies declared bankruptcy. This is a trend that continues up till today, so the new government under the leadership of President Barack Obama is taking necessary actions to reverse this trend.

In particular, the housing industry suffered greatly, and is even contributing to the worsening economic crisis. Thus, a significant part of the government’s bailout plan is dedicated to extend help and support to home buyers and homeowners as well.

The new housing credit was actually scaled down, from an original amount of $15,000 for home buyers. This is also limited to first-time buyers who will start construction within the start of the year to November.

Not only are the home builders disappointed. Most buyers who were expecting the $15,000 are now reconsidering if they will continue with their plans of home building, after the new tax credit was released. According to Beazer Homes USA Inc., a lot of people got interested in new home construction after learning of the tax credit. This can also put home builders in jeopardy, as less people are likely to start home construction.

On the other hand, this may have a good effect on the real estate industry. According to Paula Swayne, a Sacramento, California real estate broker, they are expecting an increase in home sales because of the low tax credit for home building. Moreover, since there are a lot of foreclosed properties in that area, the value of homes are very affordable. The National Association of Realtors are even expecting 200,000 property sales, as an effect of the new tax credit.

Home Builders Show Efforts for Reinvention

Monday, December 15th, 2008

The need for reinvention in the home building industry arises as home builders try to cope up with the challenging economy. Builders continue to diversify by tapping their other skills or reinvention their roles in the industry.

One interesting case is that of Curtis Perlman of Empeco Custom Builders, who has gained knowledge about property tax assessments while being a home builder and an owner of rental properties. He has familiarized himself well with the appeals process; ad now, he is doing property tax appeals while working with a real estate attorney and an appraiser. He has gained a lot of clients and has won business from his competitors in the home building industry.

The study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders has shown that builders consider the remodeling industry as a relatively safe haven. This means that while few consumers spend on home remodeling, the business is still doing better as compared to the construction of a new home because homeowners would rather remodel their homes if they do not want to move or if they cannot qualify for a mortgage.

Bryan Nooner, the chairman of Distinctive Cos., has introduced landscape and remodeling divisions this year, schooling employees who would work in a home with people in it, rather than building in an empty area. He also had to investigate legal issues concerning remodeling.

Another new move of home builders is working with banks that are forced to play the role of property developer, home builder, and landowner whenever strapped companies yield project control.

Gladstone Builders & Developers has formed Gladstone Special Asset Solutions to aide lenders controlling real estate assets that have to be repositioned and to attract new investors; for example, working with a municipality to turn a 4-unit townhouse into a two-unit building.
With the continuous role reinvention of home builders, the home building industry can go a long way despite the tough economy.

High-Tech Home Building for the Elderly

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

The Eskaton Senior Residences and Services, an assisted living facility based in Carmichael, California, opened a single-story, two-bath and two-bedroom model home for the elderly on October 23, 2008. It is a house construction project that provides a glimpse of the role of technology on home building for older people. The in-home technology featured in […]

Continue Reading: High-Tech Home Building for the Elderly