Thursday, March 24, 2011

February New Home Sales Down in February

According to estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, sales of new single-family houses in February 2011 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 250,000.  This is 16.9% (±19.1%) below the revised January rate of 301,000 and is 28.0% (±14.8%) below the February 2010 estimate of 347,000. This is the single biggest decline since the Kennedy administration in the 1960's.

The median sales price of new houses sold in February 2011 was $202,100; the average sales price was $246,000. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of February was 186,000, a supply of 8.9 months at the current sales rate.

These numbers are based on signed contracts, not actual closings.

There are builders working in Mercer County NJ and surrounding counties, and they have houses to sell.  If you are interested in purchasing a new home in Hamilton or Robbinsville, call or email me and let's talk about your options.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
609-658-2612
jgiancarli@remax.net
http://www.joegiancarli.com/
http://www.njhomesource.com/
http://www.njhomesource.blogspot.com/
www.activerain.com/blogs/josephgiancarli

Find homes for sale using my new mobile app. Just text JOEG to 87778 and you will be sent download instructions. Once installed on your device, you will be able to do searches and see complete listing details including photos and prices. If your device is GPS enabled you will also see the listings on a map. (Data rates may apply.)

How to Reuse when you Remodel

A growing number of homeowners, architects and builders are trying to reuse or recycle construction materials during remodel projects, for reasons both environmental and aesthetic.

For example, architect Anthony Garrett, of Bilow Garrett Group in Ridgefield Park, NJ, recently renovated a building in Hoboken.  He reclaimed the wooden floor joists and trucked them to Montville Twp, where they were reused as flooring and exposed beams in a planned mixed-use development.  He explained, "“I can’t think of anything more sustainable than that; there’s an embedded energy in that material that we salvage, and we don’t have to cut any more trees down.”

Construction waste can total 25-50% of the stuff in landfills, and this waste of resources has spawned interest in salvaging building materials.  Anne Nicklin, executive director of the Building Materials Reuse Association, an Oregon-based trade group, said, "Reused materials are not just better for the environment; they also can be higher quality.  You can’t buy old-growth timber at home improvement stores, but you can find it in a building that’s coming down.”

The trend can be seen in faster permits issued by municipalities for deconstruction, rather than demolition, in training for federal workers on salvaging building materials, and the increase in non-profit outlets creating a marketplace.  Habitat for Humanity's ReStores are nationwide, and Build It Green in Queens are two examples.  They both accept materials and give discounts to buyers.

Green Demolitions, in CT, targets affluent homeowners who just want to remodel.  By donating materials to his company, homeowners can save disposal costs, plus get a tax deduction, because Green Demolitions’ profits go to support addiction treatment programs.  The company sold 600 kitchens last year in its 3 stores.  Most were donated by homeowners, but 1/6 by kitchen remodeling contractors.  They estimate their efforts kept 2 million pounds of debris out of the landfills.

As reported by RISMedia.com, "Reusing or recycling materials can help builders get the environmental stamp of approval known as LEED, for Leadership in Energy and Environmental design. The LEED certification is awarded by the nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council, which gives builders credit for keeping materials out of landfills.  Because reusing materials requires careful deconstruction of a room or building, it is usually more time-consuming and can be more expensive than simple demolition. But it also doesn’t create the clouds of dust—potentially laden with asbestos or lead paint—created by demolition."

A decade ago, “the marketplace was unsophisticated in its ability to effectively divert a large amount of materials from the landfill,” said Daniel Topping, an architect with NK Architects in Morristown, N.J. But it’s a lot easier these days to find a new home for old materials. “It’s just a little more legwork,” Topping said.

(read more at  RISMedia.com)

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
609-658-2612
jgiancarli@remax.net
http://www.joegiancarli.com/
http://www.njhomesource.com/
http://www.njhomesource.blogspot.com/
www.activerain.com/blogs/josephgiancarli

Find homes for sale using my new mobile app. Just text JOEG to 87778 and you will be sent download instructions. Once installed on your device, you will be able to do searches and see complete listing details including photos and prices. If your device is GPS enabled you will also see the listings on a map. (Data rates may apply.)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Multifamily Development Forecast Positive

Two quarterly indices produced by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) indicate a return to healthy market conditions for both new and existing apartment and condominium buildings.  The Multifamily Production Index (MPI), which tracks developer sentiment about new construction on a scale of 1 to 100, is at 40.8—up more than five full points since the previous quarter and the highest number since the fourth quarter of 2006.  The MPI component tracking developers’ perception of market-rate rental properties is at 51.7—the first time this component of the index has been above 50 since the second quarter of 2007.

The Multifamily Vacancy Index (MVI) is also positive, declining to 33.3, the smallest number since the third quarter of 2006,and half of what it was a year and a half ago. Smaller numbers indicate fewer vacancies.

“The renewed optimism evident in this index indicates that developers are beginning to increase production in order to meet pent-up demand,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “However, the lack of construction financing constrains their ability to do so at levels sufficient to meet that demand.”

“Apartment developers are happy to be back in the business of building new rental apartment homes. The lack of adequate new supply, however, will put inflationary pressure on apartment rents for the next few years,” said Charles Brindell, Chairman of NAHB’s Multifamily Leadership Board and Chairman.

These conditions will increase rents in many areas of the country.  So don't wait - start looking for a new home now in Mercer County NJ or surrounding counties and townships.  Call or email me to talk about your dreams and options.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
609-658-2612
jgiancarli@remax.net
http://www.joegiancarli.com/
http://www.njhomesource.com/
http://www.njhomesource.blogspot.com/
www.activerain.com/blogs/josephgiancarli

Find homes for sale using my new mobile app. Just text JOEG to 87778 and you will be sent download instructions. Once installed on your device, you will be able to do searches and see complete listing details including photos and prices. If your device is GPS enabled you will also see the listings on a map. (Data rates may apply.)

New Home Starts Dip in February

New residential construction of single family homes was down in February, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Privately-owned housing starts in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 479,000. This is 22.5% (±9.8%) below the revised January estimate of 618,000 and 20.8% (±9.0%) below the February 2010 rate of 605,000.  Single-family housing starts in February were at a rate of 375,000, 11.8% (±10.0%) below the revised January figure of 425,000. The February rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 96,000.

Privately-owned housing completions in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 581,000. This is 13.9% (±16.8%) above the revised January estimate of 510,000, but 13.0% (±14.9%) below the February 2010 rate of 668,000.  Single-family housing completions in February were at a rate of 468,000, 11.2% (±15.6%)* above the revised January rate of 421,000. The February rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 107,000.

(resource:  WorldPropertyChannel.com)
Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
609-658-2612
jgiancarli@remax.net
http://www.joegiancarli.com/
http://www.njhomesource.com/
http://www.njhomesource.blogspot.com/
www.activerain.com/blogs/josephgiancarli

Find homes for sale using my new mobile app. Just text JOEG to 87778 and you will be sent download instructions. Once installed on your device, you will be able to do searches and see complete listing details including photos and prices. If your device is GPS enabled you will also see the listings on a map. (Data rates may apply.)

Home Builder Confidence Rises in March

After four consecutive months hovering at the same low level, builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes improved by a single point in March, rising to 17 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). This is the highest level the HMI has reached since May 2010, when the survey period corresponded with the final days of the federal home buyer tax credit program.

"Builders are cautiously looking forward to the spring home buying season in hopes that improving economic conditions will help bring more buyers to the table," said NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen. "However, the same factors that have been weighing down the market are still very much in play, particularly competition from short sales and foreclosures, consumers' inability to sell their existing homes, appraisals that are coming in below construction costs due to the inappropriate use of distressed properties as comps, and restrictive lending conditions for both buyers and builders."

"While many home buyers are still holding off on making a purchase, builders did indicate slightly increased optimism about the future with a two-point gain in the HMI component gauging sales expectations for the next six months," added NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "In fact, prevailing indicators portend some improvement in the overall economy, which should generate modest housing market gains later this year." But, he added, "Unfortunately, most small builders report that they are no more able to obtain credit for new construction today than they have been in the past year, and this is a major impediment that is keeping them from putting their crews back to work."

If you want to purchase a new home in Mercer County NJ or the surrounding areas, I am working with several small builders who are confident in the market and offer great products.  Call or email me for suggestions.

(resource:  WorldPropertyChannel.com)
Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
609-658-2612
jgiancarli@remax.net
http://www.joegiancarli.com/
http://www.njhomesource.com/
http://www.njhomesource.blogspot.com/
www.activerain.com/blogs/josephgiancarli

Find homes for sale using my new mobile app. Just text JOEG to 87778 and you will be sent download instructions. Once installed on your device, you will be able to do searches and see complete listing details including photos and prices. If your device is GPS enabled you will also see the listings on a map. (Data rates may apply.)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

New NAHB Study on New Homes Predicts Greening & Casual Trends

A recently-released study by the National Assn of Home Builders (NAHB) shows that the recent housing downturn has changed what buyers want in their next home.  Presented at the annual NAHB International Builders' Show, the results strongly indicate the indelible mark left by the recession on home buying trends.
Here are some key findings:
  • Builders who were surveyed expect homes to average 2,152 square feet in 2015, 10% smaller than the average size of single-family homes started in the first three quarters of 2010.
  • To save on square footage, the living room is high on the endangered list—52% of builders expect it to be merged with other spaces in the home by 2015 and 30% said it will vanish entirely.
  • 54% of builders said the family room is likely to increase, making it the only area on the new home to get bigger.
  • The relative size of the entry foyer and dining room are likely to be diminished by 2015.
  • The average new home of 2015 is likely to feature a great room comprised of the kitchen, foyer and living room; a walk-in closet in the master bedroom; a laundry room; ceiling fans; a master bedroom on the first floor in homes with two stories; and a two-car garage.
  • 68% of builders said that homes in 2015 will include more green features and technology, including low-E windows; engineered wood beams, joists or tresses; water-efficient features such as dual-flush toilets or low-flow faucets; and an Energy Star rating for the whole house.
Visit NAHB.org for more information.  I've been working in the building trades for more than 20 years here in Mercer County.  Call or email me with your questions on what our local builders are planning for their inventory in the next few years.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
609-658-2612
jgiancarli@remax.net
http://www.joegiancarli.com/
http://www.njhomesource.com/
http://www.njhomesource.blogspot.com/
www.activerain.com/blogs/josephgiancarli

Find homes for sale using my new mobile app. Just text JOEG to 87778 and you will be sent download instructions. Once installed on your device, you will be able to do searches and see complete listing details including photos and prices. If your device is GPS enabled you will also see the listings on a map. (Data rates may apply.)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

26 Wildflower Trail, Windsor Meadows, Robbinsville, NJ

Watch the video on this home for sale in Robbinsville:
26 Wildflower Trail, Windsor Meadows, Robbinsville, NJ

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
609-658-2612
jgiancarli@remax.net
http://www.joegiancarli.com/
http://www.njhomesource.com/
http://www.njhomesource.blogspot.com/
www.activerain.com/blogs/josephgiancarli

Find homes for sale using my new mobile app. Just text JOEG to 87778 and you will be sent download instructions. Once installed on your device, you will be able to do searches and see complete listing details including photos and prices. If your device is GPS enabled you will also see the listings on a map. (Data rates may apply.)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Slow Home Movement in New Jersey New Home Construction

The "Slow Home Movement," pioneered by John Brown, architect, realtor, and professor in Calgary, Alberta, is gaining momentum with builders.  The philosophy of home design that emphasizes livability and sustainability. It’s about building a home that works for the occupants.

Brown explains, "“You can think of the typical cookie-cutter house as being like fast food—often supersized and designed to satisfy our craving for beauty.  It’s a house that’s designed to seduce us into buying by feeding our fantasies of a more glamorous life, not one that’s necessarily easy to live in or easy on the environment. 

"A slow home, on the other hand, is reasonably sized and carefully designed to support its occupants. It might have an entry where family members can easily take off their boots, stash their keys and store their backpacks, for example. It might have a living space that encourages people to talk or read, not just watch television or surf the Internet. It’s energy efficient, filled with natural light and designed for easy flow among rooms and access to the outside. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It just has to be easy to live in." 

Visit his Slow Home Studio or read his book, What’s Wrong With This House? Fast Houses, Slow Homes and How to Tell the Difference, for more insight into his ideas.

Brown isn't the only advocate for sensible building.  Architect Hallie Bowie of Akron, Ohio, uses a similar philosophy.  She sees the movement as a marriage between green building and the “not-so-big-house” idea, a concept championed by architect Sarah Susanka.  At its heart, a slow home is really about good design, she said. “It seems to me the slow home has a real values kind of focus.  Its design grows from the occupants’ emphasis on the quality of time they spend with family and friends, not on the quantity of their possessions or their desire to impress people."  A family who wants less emphasis on television, for example, might create a viewing area that’s separate from the great room,  A family who wants to interact more with neighbors might have a front porch.

Brown feels slow homes eliminate the little annoyances that tend to add stress to our lives, annoyances such as entries without closets, bathrooms that open directly to living areas, or laundry rooms so close to the back door that people are constantly tripping over laundry baskets when they enter.

Author Shannon Honeybloom envisions a slow home as one which creates an environment that supports your goals for how you want to live or raise your family.  She explains, “I think the reality of life these days it that life is really fast-paced." She advocates creating a way of life and a home that put less emphasis on instant information and entertainment and more on encouraging interaction, imagination and learning.  Home elements that could achieve this might be a backyard garden, a computer room separate from the children's play room, or putting the TV in a cupboard so the doors can be closed.

Ideally, Brown said, a slow home would be designed from the start by an architect who takes into consideration the occupants’ interests, needs and habits.  But he adds that you can "slow" an existing home with gradual changes made by an understanding of what inside your home is causing stress.  While older homes, designed before the 1950s, were "simple" and created to "work for the occupants."  But in the last 60 years, homes became "products" designed for quick resale instead of livability. 

Basically, the slow home movement is a way of helping consumers get homes to better serve their needs.  Call or email me to find builders here in Mercer County NJ and surrounding areas who will work with and listen to you.

(read more at RISMedia.com)

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
609-658-2612
jgiancarli@remax.net
http://www.joegiancarli.com/
http://www.njhomesource.com/
http://www.njhomesource.blogspot.com/
www.activerain.com/blogs/josephgiancarli

Find homes for sale using my new mobile app. Just text JOEG to 87778 and you will be sent download instructions. Once installed on your device, you will be able to do searches and see complete listing details including photos and prices. If your device is GPS enabled you will also see the listings on a map. (Data rates may apply.)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Home Sales Down in January

It's no surprise to those of us who live in New Jersey that new home sales dipped 12.6% in January.  The weather was all but inviting for touring new homes under construction, or building them either.

According to estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, sales of new single-family houses in January 2011 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 284,000.

This is 12.6% (±11.2%) below the revised December rate of 325,000 and 18.6% (±15.4%) below the January 2010 estimate of 349,000.

The median sales price of new houses sold in January 2011 was $230,600; the average sales price was $260,300. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of January was 188,000.

This represents a supply of 7.9 months at the current sales rate.

Now that the weather is warming up, call or email me when you are ready to start looking at all the great homes under construction in Mercer County and surrounding areas.  Take a look at one in Dogwood Meadows of Hamilton, and two in the Ridings of Robbinsville on my new home web site.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
609-658-2612
jgiancarli@remax.net
http://www.joegiancarli.com/
http://www.njhomesource.com/
http://www.njhomesource.blogspot.com/
www.activerain.com/blogs/josephgiancarli

Find homes for sale using my new mobile app. Just text JOEG to 87778 and you will be sent download instructions. Once installed on your device, you will be able to do searches and see complete listing details including photos and prices. If your device is GPS enabled you will also see the listings on a map. (Data rates may apply.)

Friday, February 18, 2011

January New Housing Starts

New residential construction statistics for January 2011 dipped slightly.

Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 562,000. This is 10.7% (±1.2%) below the January 2010 estimate of 629,000.

Privately-owned housing starts in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 596,000. This is 2.6% (±9.8%) below the January 2010 rate of 612,000.

Privately-owned housing completions in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 512,000. This is 22.7% (±8.3%) below the January 2010 rate of 662,000.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
609-658-2612
jgiancarli@remax.net
http://www.joegiancarli.com/
http://www.njhomesource.com/
http://www.njhomesource.blogspot.com/
www.activerain.com/blogs/josephgiancarli

(resource:  RealEstateChannel.com)

Find homes for sale using my new mobile app. Just text JOEG to 87778 and you will be sent download instructions. Once installed on your device, you will be able to do searches and see complete listing details including photos and prices. If your device is GPS enabled you will also see the listings on a map. (Data rates may apply.)

Builder Confience Flat in February Numbers

According to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes remained unchanged at 16 for a fourth consecutive month in February.  "While builders are starting to see more interest among potential home buyers, we are also dealing with a multitude of challenges, including competition from foreclosure properties and inaccurate appraisals of new homes, which are limiting our ability to sell," said NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen. "On top of that, an extremely tight lending environment continues to make it almost impossible to obtain credit for viable new and existing projects, and most do not see that situation improving anytime soon."

"Builders are telling us that some pockets of optimism have begun to emerge, but many prospective purchasers are concerned about selling their existing home in the current market, or face difficulty securing credit for a home purchase -- even when they are well-qualified," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "Adding these concerns to the severe difficulty that builders continue to confront in obtaining acquisition, development and construction financing, you can understand why builder sentiment has not improved over the past four months."

On a regional basis, HMI scores were mixed in February, with gains reported in two parts of the country and declines in two others. The Northeast registered a two-point gain to 22, the South posted a one-point gain to 18, the Midwest posted a one-point decline to 12 and the West posted a two-point decline to 13.
(resource:  RealEstateChannel.com)
Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
609-658-2612
jgiancarli@remax.net
http://www.joegiancarli.com/
http://www.njhomesource.com/
http://www.njhomesource.blogspot.com/
www.activerain.com/blogs/josephgiancarli

Find homes for sale using my new mobile app. Just text JOEG to 87778 and you will be sent download instructions. Once installed on your device, you will be able to do searches and see complete listing details including photos and prices. If your device is GPS enabled you will also see the listings on a map. (Data rates may apply.)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Thinking of Selling your NJ home and Trading up to New? Here are 5 Mistakes to Avoid

When you want to sell and trade up, there are specific considerations not present with a home purchase alone.  Not only is there the issue of financing, but you also have to sell your present home at exactly the right time in order to avoid either the financial burden of owning two homes.   Just as problematic is the dilemma of having no place to live during the gap between closings. 

Knowledge of possible mistakes you might make, and the strategies to overcome them, will help you make informed choices before you put your existing home on the market.

1. Rose-colored glasses

Most of us dream of improving our lifestyle and moving to a larger home. The problem is that there's sometimes a discrepancy between our hearts and our bank accounts. You drive by a home that you fall in love with only to find that it's already sold or that it’s more than what you are willing to pay. Most homeowners get caught in this hit or miss strategy of house hunting when there's a much easier way of going about the process.

For example, find out if your Realtor (me) offers a Buyer Profile System or House-hunting Service (I do), which takes the guesswork away and helps to put you in the home of your dreams. This type of program will cross match your criteria with all available homes on the market, including new construction, and supply you with emailed information on an ongoing basis. A program like this helps homeowners take off their rose-colored glasses and, affordably, move into the home of their dreams.

2. Failing to make necessary improvements

If you want to get the best price for the home you're selling, there will certainly be things you can do to enhance the house in a prospective buyer's eyes. These fix ups don't necessarily have to be expensive. But even if you do have to make a minor investment, it will often come back to you ten fold in the price you are able to get when you sell. It's very important that these improvements be made before you put your home on the market. If cash is tight, investigate an equity loan that you can repay on closing.  Check with your Realtor (me) about which repairs should be completed before putting your home on the NJ real estate market.

3. Not selling first

You should plan to sell before you buy. This way you will not find yourself at a disadvantage at the negotiating table, feeling pressured to accept an offer that is below market value because you have to meet a purchase deadline. If you've already sold your home, you can buy your next one with no strings attached. If you do get a tempting offer on your home but haven't made significant headway on finding your next home, you might want to put in a contingency clause in the sale contract which gives you a reasonable time to find a home to buy. But because this is a buyer's market, not just in New Jersey but nationwide, try to find another option.  You might want to rent your home and putt it on the market later, particularly if you are selling a smaller, starter home.  Investigate the tax rules if you choose to become a landlord.

4. Failing to get a pre-approved mortgage

While it doesn't cost or obligate you to anything, pre-approval gives you a significant advantage when you put an offer on the home you want to purchase because you know exactly how much house you can afford, and you already have the green light from your lending institution. With a pre-approved mortgage, your offer will be viewed far more favorably by a seller, sometimes even if it's a little lower than another offer that's contingent on financing. Don't fail to take this important step.  And don't get just a pre-qualification letter, get pre-approved.

5.  Failing to coordinate closings

With two major transactions to coordinate together with all the people involved such as mortgage experts, appraisers, lawyers, loan officers, title company representatives, home inspectors or pest inspectors the chances of mix ups and miscommunication go up dramatically.  The professional help of a Realtor is invaluable in this timing.

There are many new homes under construction in Mercer County NJ and surrounding areas.  Builders are anxious to sell.  Seriously consider selling your current home and taking advantage of the ability to buy a new home at low prices and low rates.  Call or email me to discuss your needs and plans.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
609-658-2612
jgiancarli@remax.net
http://www.joegiancarli.com/
http://www.njhomesource.com/
http://www.njhomesource.blogspot.com/
www.activerain.com/blogs/josephgiancarli

Find homes for sale using my new mobile app. Just text JOEG to 87778 and you will be sent download instructions. Once installed on your device, you will be able to do searches and see complete listing details including photos and prices. If your device is GPS enabled you will also see the listings on a map. (Data rates may apply.)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

If You Want to Remodel your New Jersey Home, try Deconstruction instead of Demoliton

Deconstruction—the careful removal of salvageable hardwood flooring, light fixtures, cabinetry, doors and nearly everything that makes a house a house—is gaining momentum. As a result, more than three-fourths of the house can be re-used and recycled, instead of ending up in the dump. More than 30% of waste that goes into landfills consists of building and construction materials, much that can still be used.

Besides being easier on the Earth, deconstruction—if you donate your home’s salvageable materials to a nonprofit like Habitat for Humanity ReStore—can be lighter on the pocketbook than demolition. However, initial costs don’t reflect that. The average one-week demolition is $10,000 to $20,000. Deconstruction, which can take a month or two, is typically $20,000 to $35,000.  Deconstruction takes someone who isn’t afraid of waiting until taxes are filed to get the money back.  To recoup costs, you have to hire an appraiser who specializes in deconstruction.

“Deconstruction means taking it apart by hand instead of by machine,” says Lance Houston, owner of Houston Excavating and Demolition in Liberty, Mo. “Habitat ReStore takes out what can be salvaged—sinks, cabinets, so forth. We’ll de-nail it, cut off bad ends, band it and wrap it to go to Habitat ReStore. All metals, like copper piping, can be salvaged at the scrap yard.”

On average, more than 75% of a home can be reused and recycled. Items that typically can’t be repurposed, explained Mark Bullock, deconstruction manager for Habitat ReStore in Kansas City, Mo, are insulation, PVC pipes, roofing, old carpet, brittle sheathing and fragile tile.

If you would like to consider this environmentally-friendly way to remodel your New Jersey home, contact me for names of appraisers who understand the process and your financial commitments.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
609-658-2612
jgiancarli@remax.net
http://www.joegiancarli.com/
http://www.njhomesource.com/
http://www.njhomesource.blogspot.com/
www.activerain.com/blogs/josephgiancarli

Find homes for sale using my new mobile app. Just text JOEG to 87778 and you will be sent download instructions. Once installed on your device, you will be able to do searches and see complete listing details including photos and prices. If your device is GPS enabled you will also see the listings on a map. (Data rates may apply.)

Builders Forecast Demand Exceeding Supply of Multi-family Housing

New job creation amid a slowly recovering economy is creating increased demand by renters, but the lack of credit needed to finance the development of apartments is already causing rents to increase.  This supply/demand ratio will most likely to lead to a shortage of available apartments in the next few years, as forecast by the nationwide builders' association, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

“Although we are forecasting construction of 133,000 new multifamily residences in 2011,” said the NAHB chief economist, David Crowe, “that is far short of the 250,000 to 300,000 units that would be required to keep supply and demand in balance. In addition, we have yet to make up for the insufficient number of new apartments that should have been built over the last two years. The capital needed to finance that construction is just not available to apartment developers.”

Even affordable rental housing is feeling the pressure. Robert Greer is president of Michaels Development Company, Marlton, N.J., a company that develops and manages affordable rental communities throughout the country. According to Greer, “Affordable housing, which is primarily driven by the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program, is rebounding. Investors are slowly coming back into the market, and deals are getting done…which is good news. But the bad news is that given the depth of the current recession, more people than ever need affordable housing, and the demand far outstrips the supply.”

If you are a builder who wants to develop some multi-family units in Mercer County or the surrounding areas, call or email me and lets talk about your options.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
609-658-2612
jgiancarli@remax.net
http://www.joegiancarli.com/
http://www.njhomesource.com/
http://www.njhomesource.blogspot.com/
www.activerain.com/blogs/josephgiancarli

Find homes for sale using my new mobile app. Just text JOEG to 87778 and you will be sent download instructions. Once installed on your device, you will be able to do searches and see complete listing details including photos and prices. If your device is GPS enabled you will also see the listings on a map. (Data rates may apply.)

Robbinsville, NJ - The Ridings - New Homes for Sale - 329 Gordon Rd

329 Gordon Road is a custom 3,000 SF home, 4 bedrooms/2.5 baths, to be built on a 4-acre estate lot in Robbinsville, in the prestigious neighborhood of The Ridings.  This is the best new home construction, value opportunity, in Robbinsville, by the highly respected local builder, JRM Construction.  Standard features of the Washington Model include a 2.5-car side entry garage; brick front; 9’ ceilings throughout the first floor; hardwood floors in foyer, kitchen and breakfast room; wall-to-wall carpeting; wood-burning fireplace; 1st floor office/study; separate laundry room; 2-zoned natural gas heating & AC; full basement; and Energy Star certification.  The cook’s gourmet kitchen will offer custom 42-inch cabinets, granite tops, and built-in dishwasher, gas range, and microwave.  A master bedroom suite has 2 walk-in closets, master bath with soaking tub, separate stall shower, double vanities, and ceramic tile floor and surrounds. Options are a full bath on the 1st floor, and a 5th bedroom.   The builder will grade and seed the acreage, which will create a private estate atmosphere.  You will have room for a garden, sports, play sets, pool, and to enjoy the natural surroundings and beauty of rural New Jersey.  Of course, JRM Construction offers a 10-year homeowners warranty.  And if you act soon, you’ll be able to choose custom paint and carpet colors.  Full list of standard features available on request.

Contact Joe Giancarli, 609-658-2612, for details.




Robbinsville, NJ - The Ridings - New Homes on Gordon Rd

331 Gordon Road is a custom 3,000 SF home, 4 bedrooms/2.5 baths, to be built on a 2-acre estate lot in Robbinsville, in the prestigious neighborhood of The Ridings.  This is the best new home construction, value opportunity, in Robbinsville, by the highly respected local builder, JRM Construction.  Standard features of the Presidential Model include a 3-car side entry garage; brick front; 9’ ceilings throughout the first floor; hardwood floors in foyer, kitchen and breakfast room; wall-to-wall carpeting; wood-burning fireplace; 1st floor office/study; separate laundry room; 2-zoned natural gas heating & AC; full basement; and Energy Star certification.  The cook’s gourmet kitchen will offer custom 42-inch cabinets, granite tops, and built-in dishwasher, gas range, and microwave.  You have the option of a full bath on the 1st floor.  A master bedroom suite has a sitting room (optional), 2 walk-in closets, master bath with soaking tub, separate stall shower, double vanities, and ceramic tile floor and surrounds.   The builder will grade and seed the acreage, which will create a private estate atmosphere.  You will have room for a garden, sports, play sets, pool, and to enjoy the natural surroundings and beauty of rural New Jersey.  Of course, JRM Construction offers a 10-year homeowners warranty.  And if you act soon, you’ll be able to choose custom paint and carpet colors.  Full list of standard features available on request.

Contact Joe Giancarli, 609-658-2612, for details.



Thursday, January 27, 2011

Home Remodeling Expected to Increase in 2011

"Remodelers are starting to see an uptick in interest from consumers who are considering future remodeling projects," said NAHB Remodelers Chairman Bob Peterson.. "Home owners are also showing more willingness to undertake larger remodeling projects."

"Remodeling activity has been rising slowly since the first quarter of 2010. Expected improvements in the job market and the overall economy are beginning to increase homeowners' confidence and remodelers are seeing indications that business will pick up," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "More remodeling jobs will unfold as consumers in more secure financial positions enter the remodeling market. A more robust recovery in residential remodeling will depend upon future improvements in labor and credit markets."

Current conditions indices for remodeling improved in two regions, the Midwest and South.  Future market indicators grew significantly in nearly all regions.

To find a builder who can help you with remodeling projects, call or email me.  I work with all the builders in our central New Jersey area, and can give you recommendations for just about any project you want to do.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
609-658-2612
jgiancarli@remax.net
http://www.joegiancarli.com/
http://www.njhomesource.com/
http://www.njhomesource.blogspot.com/
www.activerain.com/blogs/josephgianarli

New Resource for the 55+ Housing Market Released

The MetLife Mature Market Institute (MMI), in partnership with NAHB (National Association of Home Builders), has produced the Builder Survey Chart Book, dated Sept, 2009:  55+ Housing-Builders, Buyers, and Beyond

Established in 1997, the Mature Market Institute (MMI) is MetLife’s research organization and a recognized thought leader on the multi-dimensional and multi-generational issues of aging and longevity. MMI’s groundbreaking research, gerontology expertise, national partnerships, and educational materials work to expand the knowledge and choices for those in, approaching, or caring for those in the mature market.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing more than 200,000 members involved in home building, remodeling, multi-family construction, property management, subcontracting, design, housing finance, building product manufacturing, and other aspects of residential and light commercial construction. Known as "the voice of the housing industry," NAHB is affiliated with more than 800 state and local home builders associations around the country. NAHB’s builder members will construct about 80% of the new housing units projected for 2009.


Here are some highlights from the report.  Topics covered are:
*Location
     Location of 55+ Communities
     55+ Customer Relocating from
     Motivation in Relocation
*Features, Amenities, Services
     Includes these topics for 2008 and plans for 2009
     Studied are both 55+ Communities and Single-family homes
*Mortgage Financing Options
*Technology in Homes
*Green Amenities

While the timespan seems outdated, there are more Baby Boomers than ever and these trends will certainly be a factor for builders in 2011.

If you are interested in the 55+ housing options in Mercer County and surrounding areas, call or contact me to discuss your options.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
609-658-2612
jgiancarli@remax.net
http://www.joegiancarli.com/
http://www.njhomesource.com/
http://www.njhomesource.blogspot.com/
www.activerain.com/blogs/josephgiancarli

New Home Sales up in December

As reported by RealEstateChannel.com, "According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), sales of new single-family houses in December 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 329,000.

"This is 17.5% (±17.7%) above the revised November rate of 280,000, but is 7.6% (±17.0%) below the December 2009 estimate of 356,000.

"The median sales price of new houses sold in December 2010 was $241,500; the average sales price was $291,400. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of December was 190,000. This represents a supply of 6.9 months at the current sales rate.

"An estimated 321,000 new homes were sold in 2010. This is 14.2 percent (±4.2%) below the 2009 figure of 375,000."

Call or email me to find the new home developments in Mercer County, NJ and surrounding townships and counties.

Joe Giancarli, SA
609-658-2612
jgiancarli@remax.net
http://www.joegiancarli.com/
http://www.njhomesource.com/
http://www.njhomesource.blogspot.com/
www.activerain.com/blogs/josephgiancarli

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Builders See Rising Demand in Apartments

One of the findings to emerge from the National Assn. of Home Builder's (NAHB) convention held recently in Florida was the increased demand for rentals, because of the new job creation in a slowly-recovering economy.  However, the lack of credit needed to finance the development of apartments is already causing rents to increase and is likely to lead to a shortage of available apartments in the next few years.

"Although we are forecasting construction of 133,000 new multifamily residences in 2011," said the NAHB chief economist, David Crowe, "that is far short of the 250,000 to 300,000 units that would be required to keep supply and demand in balance. In addition, we have yet to make up for the insufficient number of new apartments that should have been built over the last two years. The capital needed to finance that construction is just not available to apartment developers."

Multifamily developer Bill McLaughlin, of Washington, DC, said he sees demand for apartments increasing, but noted that the cutback in multifamily development in 2009 and 2010 has resulted in a "woefully inadequate supply" of new multifamily rentals to meet the rising demand.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
609-658-2612
jgiancarli@remax.net
http://www.joegiancarli.com/
http://www.njhomesource.com/

2010 2nd Worst Year in 50 for Builders

MSNBC.msn.com reported today that "Builders began work last year on the second fewest number of homes in more than half a century, as the weak economy kept people from buying houses.  Builders broke ground on a total of 587,600 homes in 2010, just barely better than the 554,000 started in 2009. Those are the two worst years on records dating back to 1959.

"In a healthy economy, builders start about one million units a year. They built twice as many in 2005, at the height of the housing boom. Since then the market has been in decline.  One positive sign is that builders appear to be planning more projects in 2011. Building permits, considered a good barometer for future activity, rose 16.7% in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 635,000, the best pace since March.

"Housing construction fell in all parts of the country in December except the West, where activity surged 45.8%. Construction dropped 38.4% in the Midwest and was down 24.7% in the Northeast and 2.2% in the South. Severe winter weather likely affected activity in the Northeast and Midwest.

"The stagnation in housing is weighing on the overall economic recovery. Each new home built creates, on average, the equivalent of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in taxes, according to the National Association of Home Builders."

Call or email me to talk about options so you can buy a new home in 2011 in Hamilton or Mercer County and surrounding counties.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
609-658-2612
jgiancarli@remax.net
http://www.joegiancarli.com/
http://www.njhomesource.com/

December a Slow Month for New Home Construction

The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development have announced residential construction statistics for December 2010.

Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 635,000. This is 16.7% (±2.1%) above the revised November rate of 544,000, but is 6.8%(±2.8%) below the December 2009 estimate of 681,000.

Privately-owned housing starts in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 529,000. This is 4.3% (±14.1%) below the revised November estimate of 553,000 and is 8.2% (±14.4%) below the December 2009 rate of 576,000.

Privately-owned housing completions in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 585,000. This is 4.1% (±17.7%) above the revised November estimate of 562,000, but is 22.2% (±11.3%) below the December 2009 rate of 752,000.

For information on single-family and multi-family numbers, read the RealEstateChannel.com article.

Call or email me to talk about new homes in Mercer County and our surrounding areas.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
609-658-2612
jgiancarli@remax.net
http://www.joegiancarli.com/
http://www.njhomesource.com/

















New Jersey Builders Plan for Trend to Smaller Houses

Buyers want smaller houses, and builders nationwide are listening.  “Most builders will build smaller and lower-priced homes in 2011,” said Rose Quint, a researcher with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). “Our experts expect the average home size in 2015 to be around 2,150 sq ft.”  That’s down from the 2,377 SF average size of single-family homes in the US in 2010, and significantly below the 2,500+ SF average size at the top of the market in 2007.  Home sizes are, on average, almost 50% above what builders offered in the 1970s.

NAHB surveyed builders across the country, and 60% said they are planning to cut the sizes of the houses they will build in the next few years.  This only makes sense if that is what buyers want, and it is a combination of the economy and changing lifestyles.  To accommodate the smaller footprint, builders are replacing formal living and dining rooms with multipurpose areas, or "great rooms."  More than 80% of the builders responded that they expect the formal living room to vanish, as will houses with 3+ baths and 4+ bedrooms.

"There are factors behind the decline that are longer-term and will stay with us,” Quint said. "Costs savings and demographics are also shrinking houses.  There is an overwhelming desire in the population to keep energy costs down.  20% of our population will be over 65 in a few decades. They don’t want a big home,” added Quint.

Green features are growing strongly in popularity, with both builders and buyers.  More than 80% of buyers list energy-efficient heating, air-conditioning and appliances as “must-haves” in their new homes.

The recession and drop in home values have also tempered home buyers’ desires. “People don’t have a lot of equity in their homes to roll into a bigger home. Those times are over,” Quint said. “People have come to realize, ‘Let’s buy what we need, not what we don’t need.’”

To find New Jersey builders who are offering products you want and that fit your lifestyle, call or email me.  Not all new home developments in Mercer County and surrounding areas are the same, and not all builders are as "green" as others.  Let me know what you're looking for.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
609-658-2612
jgiancarli@remax.net
http://www.joegiancarli.com/
http://www.njhomesource.com/
http://www.njhomesource.blogspot.com/
www.activerain.com/blogs/josephgiancarli

Report on International Builders Show in Orlando

At the recent Builders Show in Orlando, there was plenty of pessimism, but glimmers of hope.
 
Two housing economists, Frank Nothaft, chief economist for Freddie Mac and David Crowe, chief economist of National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) were optimistic. Nothaf predicted a 20% rise in home building for 2011. Both economists acknowledged that any increase would be starting "off a really low base."  Crowe forecasted slow but steady growth going forward that will build momentum.
 
Both agreed that the housing economy has bottomed out.  They named several key indicators, including low mortgage rates, lower asking prices for new and existing houses, and marginally better numbers in the economy as a whole.  They agreed that it would take "at least" two more years before there is a balance between buyers and sellers.

Other positive factors mentioned are:
  • Homes are affordable and mortgage rates are the lowest "since the 50's".
  • There is pent up demand for new rental units and rents are stable or rising especially "for professionally managed large properties" according to Nothaft.
  • There is pent up demand of 2,000,000 household that were not formed because of the economy.
  • Younger people are staying longer with their parents who would have normally have formed households.
If you would like to purchase a new home this year in New Jersey, call or email me and let's discuss your options.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
609-658-2612
jgiancarli@remax.net
http://www.joegiancarli.com/
http://www.njhomesource.com/
http://www.njhomesource.blogspot.com/
www.activerain.com/blogs/josephgiancarli

US Home Builders' Confidence Stagnates

According to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes held unchanged at a relatively low level of 16 for a third consecutive month in January 2011.

"As we emerge from the traditionally slow holiday season, builders continue to look for signs of improvement in the economy, home buyer demand and builder and consumer credit conditions," said 2011 NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen. "Unfortunately, a severe lack of construction financing, and widespread difficulties in obtaining accurate appraisal values, continue to limit builders' ability to prepare for anticipated improvements in buyer demand in 2011."

NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said, "At this point, housing remains on the sidelines of a weak economic recovery as consumers and builders wait for clear and consistent indications that jobs and economic output are reviving. Meanwhile, the problems that builders continue to confront in obtaining production financing, and in maintaining performing lines of credit, threaten to significantly slow the onset of a housing recovery."

I know the builders in central New Jersey, Mercer County and surrounding counties.  Call or email me to talk about buying a new home in 2011.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
609-758-2612
jgiancarli@remax.net
http://www.joegiancarli.com/
http://www.njhomesource.com/
http://www.njhomesource.blogspot.com/
www.activerain.com/blogs/josephgiancarli
(resource:  RealEstateChannel.com)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Build a Dude Den into your New New Jersey Home

We've all read about personalizing the kitchen of your new home for the "little woman" of the house.  How about a Dude Den for the man/men?  Builders in Mercer County and surrounding areas want buyers, so you might take a few ideas from this post and incorporate into a new home this year.

More and more homeowners are converting their finished basements, attic spaces, or spare rooms into masculine refuges.  While "man caves" often revolve around the time-honored rite of male bonding that is spectator sports, there is no single blueprint to a comfortable male refuge. Some guys turn their basements into full-scale game rooms where pool, air hockey, and arcade games rule the space. Movie buffs turn spare rooms into home theaters complete with surround sound and recliners on stadium risers. And many men create their very own pub.

Where to start?  The last thing you want is a room crammed full of everything you can jam into it. Before you begin, start thinking about what kind of activities you want to enjoy there. Is your main goal to have a perfect place to watch the big game? Looking for a permanent home for poker night? A place to work out in comfort, or a workshop?   Decide on a focus, then tailor furniture, d├ęcor and space to match.

It may help to pick one element (home theater system, a pool table, jukebox, etc.) as both the centerpiece and inspiration of the room.   Measure all dimensions of the space you have available, and do the same when considering the purchase of any furniture, hardware or stand-alone game systems. Maintain open walking paths throughout the room. If you're centering the room around a home theater system, keep in mind that you'll want to keep clear sightlines for the main seating areas in the room.

Choose granite, laminate, or durable wood surfaces for bar countertops, end and coffee tables. Pick thicker commercial-grade carpet, and stick with darker colors. Thicker carpeting helps with soundproofing, which will help keep the rest of the household happy.

The 3 key elements will be seating, entertainment center, and refreshments.  Wrap-around couches are better space savers than individual recliner chairs, but you may want both.  Large flat screen TVs are commonplace and affordable, and you can incorporate more technology into that wall as your interests change.  You may want a wet bar, and probably at least a dry bar with counter space and mini-refrigerator for snacks and drinks.

Finishing touches could include pool or poker table, game tables, elevated seating, and custom lighting.  Within square foot limits, you can have your Dude Den plus a great kitchen in a new home in Mercer County.

Call or email me for the names of builders and developments here in Central New Jersey and let's look at some homes under construction you can personalize to your tastes.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
609-658-2612
jgiancarli@remax.net
http://www.njhomesource.com/
http://www.joegiancarli.com/

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