Buying a new construction home in 2022 is different than it was just a few years ago. All around the country, homebuilders have had to deal with a major imbalance: unexpected and unprecedented demand for new construction homes and the shortage of available building materials, supplies, and labor. “The way we’ve always done it” has shifted dramatically. But through it all, New Home Inc. is keeping the homebuying process buyer-friendly.
How we got here
Here’s a snapshot of the state of the building industry.
As people spent more time sheltering at home, they became dissatisfied with their living space. There was no room for a productive home office and a place for the kids to do online schooling. Gyms were closed so if you wanted a good workout, you needed to do it at home—but there wasn’t room for that either. And all this togetherness at home was making the space feel a lot more cramped.
Add in the temptation of low interest rates on mortgages and homeowners became homebuyers. They flooded the market with demand. A lot of them steered toward new construction instead of resale homes. The idea of a brand-new home—never before inhabited—with all the latest in energy efficiency and indoor air quality features was more appealing.
Demand exceeded supply of new homes. And builders had the added problem of the shortage of materials for new homes along with finding skilled labor to build them.
What do you do when buyers want to buy, and inventory is seriously lagging behind?
You adapt! This is how New Home Inc has worked out a solution.
Delays are inevitable. Plan ahead.
It’s no secret that builders all over the United States are struggling to keep up with the demand for new homes. Builders know it. Buyers know it.
Although manufacturers have been working diligently to close the gap on supply shortages, we’re not yet at pre-pandemic levels. Back then, you could count on having windows delivered to the job site in about 4 weeks from placing the order. That span stretched to almost 6 months at one time in 2021. Right now, we’re looking at up to 20 weeks for delivery.
It’s our job to manage the delivery of supplies, based on current levels and schedules. It doesn’t make sense to frame out a house and then have it sit while you wait for windows, or worse yet; continue to build the home WITHOUT windows. We’re not going to insert our buyer into a scenario where their home is built but it has no windows—although some builders are doing just that.
At New Home Inc., we’re working closely with our suppliers and crews to develop a schedule that accommodates the longer delivery times into a realistic production schedule. It makes sense to work WITH availability rather than try to skirt around it, right?
Price increases happen. Don’t act surprised.
Along with the delays in materials has come the price increases. Lumber prices jumped 180% between June 2020 and April 2021 before reaching an all-time high a month later. The price dropped a bit before starting to creep back up this year.
And it’s not just lumber, but a wide range of products also experienced price increases. Paint, copper pipe and tubing, wood window and door frames, steel mill products, siding, asphalt, cement, and appliances are just some of the items on the list of things that are more expensive now.
So, the prices are higher. Do you keep telling your homebuyer, “Oh well, your price went up”? That erodes their confidence and creates anxiety—an unhealthy situation for everyone involved.
New Home Inc. looked for a way to manage these price increases. Again, we work with our suppliers to gain a commitment to delivery and price. When we have a predictable price and delivery timeline, we list the home for sale, not before. This patience and planning has allowed us to give our buyers the peace of mind that we aren’t going to hand them an unwelcome surprise of a higher price and massive closing delays.
Understand what buyers want in their new homes.
In a more static housing market, buyers would choose their site, floor plan, and design selections. To eliminate the issues of delays and price increases, New Home Inc. opted to take the home farther along in the construction phase, eliminating the step of floor plan and design selections.
On the plus side, a buyer has a more reliable move-in date, which is particularly critical when you have to sell your current home or manage your lease terms. These homebuyers also avoid the disappointment when a selection is no longer available or has an extended delay, which is becoming a common scenario.
Although the design selections—flooring, paint, cabinetry, hardware, lighting, etc.—are made by New Home Inc., they are carefully thought out. We have a full-time designer on our staff. She uses her knowledge of current design trends to put together choices that homeowners will love. We’ve done extensive research to design our homes—inside and out—so that we have an in-depth understanding of homebuyers’ design preferences.
How many times have you been frustrated from not getting information you needed in a timely manner? Whether it’s someone canceling at the last minute or not getting a response to a request, not knowing is far worse than the bad news someone is trying to avoid telling you.
It’s our goal at New Home Inc. to never leave you guessing about the status of your home, or any situation related to it. We’ve set up a process for communication that keeps everyone in the loop. When you sign your contract to buy a new home from New Home Inc., we’ll outline our system for keeping in touch. You’ll have contact information for every person on the team you might need to reach. You’ll get weekly updates with photos. And when you have a question, someone will get right back to you with an answer—even if that answer is, “I’m looking into it and will get back to you in 24 hours.”
You buy the process with the home
There are plenty of builders who can build a wonderful home. But there are fewer who are committed to making the homebuilding process a truly pleasant one. New Home Inc. values the trust and confidence you place in us. We will work hard to earn it when you’re buying a new construction home from us.
We’re currently building communities of townhomes and new homes for sale in the greater Raleigh area in the surrounding suburbs of Fuquay-Varina, Selma, and Apex, NC. When these new construction homes are framed up and have drywall installed, they’ll be listed for sale. At that time, we’re excited to share them with you. If you want to be one of the first to be notified when we have new homes for sale, sign up for the New Home Inc. VIP List.