On May 17th, the U.S. Commerce Department announced that housing starts climbed 6.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.17 million units. Since there are fewer existing homes currently listed for sale compared to the last few years, and given that the economy continues to improve, demand for new construction homes continues to grow. In fact, ground breakings for single-family houses are running ahead of last year’s pace.
Despite the recent rebound, the U.S. residential market still hasn’t fully recovered from the crash caused by the subprime mortgage flood that occurred almost a decade ago. New home construction remains below its annual pace of approx. 1.5 million during the 1990s which is due in part to higher housing costs and the aftermath of the recession.
Looks can be deceiving. You may enter a beautiful model home and assume it is energy code compliant, but is it?
At Echelon Home Builders, we take into account the energy efficiency and eco-friendliness of materials and systems we use at each step of the construction process. When you walk through one of our model homes, you can rest assured that it has been built to comply with energy efficiency standards, including minimizing air leakage.
What is air leakage and why is it important?
Air leakage is caused when outside air enters a home and conditioned air escapes through cracks and openings. Air leakage can cause moisture issues that may adversely affect the health of the home’s occupants, and the durability of the structure itself. Openings can cause pipes to freeze and create uncomfortable drafts. Minimizing the amount of air leakage in and out of homes is a cost-effective way to decrease heating and cooling costs. Additionally, it helps sustain the overall structure and create a healthier indoor environment.
Whether you are planning to break ground on your dream home in the New Year or are already in the process of selecting finishes, keep these top design trends in mind.
1. Painted and dark finishes trump oak for cabinets. If decorating or watching HGTV show marathons is a hobby for you, you’ve already seen how simply painting cabinets can make a huge impact. Dream home builders are also opting for painted cabinets given the wide range of color options. Dark finishes are the other top choice for cabinets in the New Year. You will see less natural oak and cherry cabinets, and more contemporary paints and stains, so keep this in mind when selecting cabinets.
Raised ceilings have been a trend for quite some time due to their immense impact. Ceilings raised 12 or 15 feet open up even relatively smaller spaces, such as a powder room or foyer. Many model homes feature high ceilings coupled with a grand staircases to the second level which also creates the illusion of more space.
To witness the impact of high ceilings, tour two homes with similar square footage—one built in the 60’s or 70’s and a current model home. As you walk through the newly constructed home, you will sense that every room feels a bit bigger even though the overall square footage is the same as the home built a half a century ago.
When you’re looking for a home builder you can trust, it makes sense to do your homework. Besides reading all the paperwork before you sign on the dotted line, check out the builder’s reputation. Valuable sources of information are in your community, available online, at the better business bureau, and through word of mouth. Here’s your guide to the top factors to consider before choosing a a good home builder.
How many years of experience does your home builder have?
Look for builders with at least 10 years of experience. The longer they’ve been in business, the better. Experienced builders stay on time and within budget. They’ve learned a thing or two about efficiency and how to build a customer-centric team of designers, sales people, construction crew, and bank lenders.
Buying a new home in 2014? Be aware of your home mortgage options
Buying a new home is serious business and knowing your home mortgage options can save you time and money. Echelon Homes, Nick Bitell, has been working with our lenders for many years. This video touches briefly on the options available and misconceptions some may have about mortgage lending. For more information about us browse our website or contact us for available home lenders. We strive to assist all of our customers in being well informed, this way you can make the best new home sale for you and your family when choosing a new home community.
Article by: Jennifer Elkow
Is Your Home Ready for Michigan Weather?
The weather is suppose to be in the low 70’s today, however, it could be in the low 50’s tomorrow or next week. Where do we live? Yup, that’s correct, Michigan and we love it here.
Echelon Homes builds new homes in some beautiful communities and we are lucky to enjoy all four seasons in Southeast Michigan. However, sometimes that does occur in one 24 hour period, no really it has…
This makes me think about home winterization tips. We all want to do these projects when the weather is nice. As a home builder in Michigan and home owners ourselves, we know how important it is to take care of our homes, stay warm during those cold winter months and save some money while doing so. We wanted to share some easy ideas to prepare your home for those cold days.
We have a system approach to building homes. Our subcontractors are more than that, they are our valued trade partners and we work closely with them to have the best communication possible. Our superintendent, Josh, is an amazing juggler and keeps all of our home construction running smoothly. Robin, our controller, is organized in the billing department and stays on top of all of the paperwork with our title company. Nick and John, our sales managers, well, they are an amazing team, and are here to answer any question you have in during the building of your home.
Are we be perfect? No, but one thing about us is that we work diligently to make our customers happy in every one of our communities. Thank you Builder Magazine for reminding Echelon Homes why we are in the home building industry in the first place to build your home right the first time, and to have fun at it Rick would say. Because none of it is worth it if you are not enjoying the ride. Whether you build your new home with us or one of those other guys, make sure the commitment is there to do it right the first.
Article by: Jennifer Elkow
And hence, Rick got his license, became a home builder and has enjoyed the ride of it all ever since. Wow, that was back in the 90’s and here we are today with three new home communities and another one in the works, projecting to build 35 new homes in 2013.
As I perused the internet today I came across a quote from Audrey Hepburn “Nothing is impossible, the work itself says I’m possible”. I have read this quote many times and I have always liked it. However, as I sat at my computer trying to think of reasons you may want to build a home with Echelon Homes and learn more about us, this quote meant more to me today than ever before. Now do I think Rick has ever really watched a movie that Audrey Hepburn was in let alone the ever popular Breakfast at Tiffany’s? That is a definite NO. He has, however, truly embraced the I’m possible attitude and that shows in every home we build and the amazing Echelon Homes team he has created.
So when someone tells you it’s impossible, please thank them and say why YES I’m possible! Hope to see you soon at one of Echelon’s communities in Lyon Township, Commerce Township and Howell, and just for fun tell them Audrey sent you…
Article by: Jennifer Elkow
Yes I know, it’s about time, right? Well, Echelon Homes has finally taken the plunge with our YouTube channel, TheEchelonHomes. I guess I shouldn’t say plunge, we are dipping our toes in, and the “water” is great! In case you were not aware of it, I have the luxury of being married to the boss, so some of those husband/wife teams may understand this situation all too well.
When it comes to marketing ideas I sometimes have to work a little harder at “selling” Rick on certain ideas than others. So when I started telling him we needed to get on board with “this YouTube thing”, he was not completely sold. So I kept mentioning how helpful it would be to our customers to do some informative videos about the Echelon Homes team and our new home building model.
Fast forward to the International Home Builders Show 2013 in Las Vegas. I get a text from “the boss” telling me how important YouTube is for home builders. Better late than never I say, oh and I may have said I told you so…
So we then enlisted the help of Matt Trevarthen, Marketing and Video expert, and also an Echelon Homes resident. Guess what? Rick and Nick did an amazing job and the video Matt created is also fantastic and creative. We will be sharing the first videos on YouTube later this week with more to come, yay!
Next on the list we will be showing our home owners and future new home owners what makes the Echelon Homes Experience unique by walking you through our home building process with some of our team. We also hope you will come visit our movie star Sales Manager, Nick Bitell, for information regarding our communities in Lyon Township, Commerce Township and the Howell area. Please no autographs…
Article by: Jennifer Elkow
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.