2015 Parade of Homes®
Show dates for our annual Parade of Homes® have been announced. Presented by ORNL Federal Credit Union, new homes for sale will be on display three weekends in October: 9-11, 16-18 & 23-25, from noon - 5 PM each day. Admission is FREE, more information will be published this fall. 2014 Parade homes can be viewed online at www.theparadeofhomesknoxville.com. Don't forget to download the mobile app for your smart phone and tablet.
Top 5 Tips for Hiring a Remodeler
Are you among the growing number of home owners who are choosing to remodel their homes to fit their changing needs, rather than selling their home and buying another one? If so, you’ll soon learn that even simple remodels can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. With that type of investment on the line, it’s important to find a contractor you can trust.
As the home building and remodeling industry celebrates National Home Remodeling Month in May, here are the top five tips to ensure you make the right decisions when you find, evaluate and hire a remodeler.
1. Always Go with a Pro
The best place to start is the Directory of Professional Remodelers at hbaknoxville.com/directory or contact the Home Builders Association of Greater Knoxville. A professional remodeler will uphold the highest professional and ethical standards in the industry. These sources can also help you find a remodeler who specializes in a specific type of remodeling if you need it, such as a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) to help modify your home to better suit you as you age, or a Certified Green Remodeler (CGP) to make your home more energy-efficient.
2. Do Your Research
Look at the prospective remodeler’s company website and social media accounts to see photos of their work. Visit review sites like HomeAdvisor, Houzz, etc., to see more pictures and to read reviews of remodeling companies. Take the good with the bad when reading online reviews and focus on the descriptions of experiences and qualities that are most important to you as a customer. Ask for referrals from friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, and others who have had remodeling work done on comparable homes under similar schedules.
3. Create Your Short List
Once you have a list of potential home remodelers for your project, do a little more background research to verify that they are appropriately licensed and have a good business track record. Look them up with your local or state office of consumer protection. Verify that the remodeler has the appropriate licenses and registrations.
4. Start Taking Notes
When you begin meeting with remodelers, you want to find out information such as:
- How long they have been in business in your community? Can they provide references from customers and suppliers they work with?
- Do they carry insurance that protects you from claims arising from property damage or job site injuries? Ask for a copy of the insurance certificates.
- What is their working knowledge of the many types and ages of homes in the area, and what sort of issues could arise?
- Do they arrange for the building permit? (The person who obtains the permit is the contractor of record and therefore liable for the work)
- Do they provide a written estimate before beginning the work, and a detailed contract that spells out the work that will and will not be performed, protects both of you, provides a fair payment schedule contract and complies with local, state, and federal laws?
5. Trust Your Instincts
Make sure you are compatible with the contractor you select. Beginning your project with mutual expectations will go a long way towards a smooth remodel. You’ll spend a lot of time with your remodeler so it’s important to have a good rapport and trust in him or her. For more detailed checklists for finding, evaluating and working with a remodeler, as well as other information about remodeling your home, go to nahb.org/remodeling.
2015 Officers and Directors Announced, 2014 Member Awards
President: Brian Shugart
Vice President: Julie DuPree
Secretary/Treasurer: Dan Mitchell
Associate Vice President: Larry Jackson
Immediate Past President: Blane Chrisman
Alan Van Why
Award Winners & Special Honors
Paul Shamiyeh, 2014 Associate of the Year
Alan Van Why, 2014 Builder of the Year
Deanna Arnott, 2014 President’s Award
Dennis Sewell, Honorary Life Director
Home Ownership Remains a Key Part of the American Dream
There’s been a lot of talk in the news lately about Millennials delaying marriage, kids and homeownership. So it would be easy to think that perhaps the traditional American dream of owning home is slowly dying. In fact, the opposite is true: Research shows that homeownership remains a goal for the vast majority of American renters.
A recent survey by Freddie Mac revealed that 91% of renters believe homeownership is something of which to be proud. And, younger renters are making plans to buy homes in the near future. In fact, nearly half of renters in the 25-to-34 age bracket – and nearly 60% of renters ages 35 to 44 – indicate that they plan to buy a home in the next three years.
Benefits of Homeownership
These would-be buyers recognize the many benefits to homeownership, including the fact that homeownership is a primary source of net worth for many Americans, and is an important step in accumulating personal financial assets over the long term.
In fact, 90% of the survey respondents said that being able to pass their home on to their children is one of the top three benefits of homeownership. Although property values have declined in many markets, Americans have more than $10.8 trillion of equity in their homes, and for most families, home equity represents the largest share of net worth.
Overcoming Obstacles to Homeownership
Qualifying for a mortgage and saving up for a downpayment remain primary obstacles to homeownership. To help address these concerns, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) – recently announced new low-downpayment mortgage programs geared primarily toward the first-time home buyer market.
These lenders will now offer mortgages with 3% downpayments, allowing more creditworthy borrowers who lack the funds for a large downpayment to obtain a home mortgage.
To ensure that the financing process goes smoothly, buyers should consider pre-qualifying for a mortgage and having a financing commitment in place before shopping for a new home. Buyers also may find that some home builders have arranged favorable financing for their customers or offer financial incentives.
Recent analysis by the National Association of Home Builders reveals that financial concerns remain front of mind for many first-time home buyers. In fact, Millennial home buyers – those in the 18-to-33 age bracket – are more likely to let financial reasons influence their house choice, while older generations consider the right size most often. And the homes Millennials buy are smaller, older and less expensive than homes bought by older generations.
That’s not surprising, since Millennials also are more likely than older generations to finance home purchases through current income than accumulated wealth, according to the NAHB analysis of the 2013 American Housing Survey. So, while Millennials may be taking a little longer than previous generations to reach some of these traditional milestones, their goal of building their own American Dream remains strong.