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New Homes are Less Expensive to Maintain

April is new homes month. And one of the virtues of a newly constructed home is the savings that come from reduced energy and maintenance expenses.

In a previous analysis, we used data from the 2009 American Housing Survey (AHS) to offer proof. The AHS classifies new construction as homes no more than four years old.

For routine maintenance expenses, 26% of all homeowners spent $100 or more a month on various upkeep costs. However, only 11% of owners of newly constructed homes spent this amount. In fact, 73% of new homeowners spent less than $25 a month on routine maintenance costs.

Similar findings are available for energy expenses. According to the 2011 AHS, on a median per square foot basis, homeowners spent 81 cents per square foot per year on electricity. Owners of new homes spent less: 68 cents per square foot per year. For homes with piped gas, homeowners spent on average 50 cents per square foot per year. Owners of new homes spent just 34 cents per square foot per year.

The 2011 data show similar results for various other utilities. For water bills, homeowners averaged 28 cents per square foot per year, while owners of new homes averaged 22 cents.  For trash bills, the median for all homeowners was 15 cents per square foot per year, while for new construction the median was 13 cents per square foot per year.

These data highlight that a new home offers savings over the life of ownership due to reduced operating costs. And in fact, these reduced costs result in lower insurance bills as well. The median cost for all homeowners of property insurance is 39 cents per square foot, while it is only 31 cents per square foot for owners of new homes.

These reduced expenditures represent one of the many reasons that the current system of appraisals needs updating to reflect the flow of benefits that come from features in a new home.


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Ready for Real Estate Love?

home crush and real estate love survey by realtor.comJust in time for Valentine’s Day, have released their “Home Crush” survey.

If you’ve found yourself swooning over a home, you are not alone.  69 percent of the 1,000 people who responded said they have had a “home crush” – a home they liked so much that they were drawn back to looking at it more than once online or in person.

As with romance, men and women respond to their home crushes differently. Women were more likely than men to have a crush on a home that was out of their league financially, while men moved from one home crush to another more frequently than women.

Men and women tend to fall for the same things when it comes to real estate.  54 percent of women and 46 percent of men said they tended to fall in love with outdoor living spaces. Women also swooned for open floor plans and appliances and fixtures, while men’s hearts raced over a good garage and curb appeal.

Top attributes that make consumers fall in real estate love:

For women
- 54% found that outdoor living spaces trigger real estate love
- 42% shared open floor plans
- 29% swoon for curb appeal
- 29% revealed updated appliances and fixtures

For men
- 46% indicated outdoor living spaces make them fall in real estate love
- 40% swoon for garages
- 35% reported curb appeal
- 30% revealed open floor plans

If you’re looking for your perfect real estate match, stop by one of our Open Homes this weekend.  Our New Home Consultants will help you convert your home crush into homeownership love.  You may also call us at (716) 651-HOME or contact us online.

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Consumers Optimistic About 2014 Real Estate Market

Prudential Real Estate, today released results of its fourth quarter Consumer Outlook Survey indicating that consumers’ perception of residential real estate is increasingly favorable, and that consumers are more committed to buying and selling homes in 2014 than they were during the previous year.

Favorability toward real estate reached 78% among all respondents, a 5-point jump from the previous quarter and 15 points higher than at year-end 2012. Millennials’ perception of real estate is most favorable, peaking at 87%. Respondents’ growing optimism also indicates an increasing likelihood of action with 76% of likely transactors and 63% of all survey participants indicating they are more committed to buying/selling homes in 2014.

“Consumers understand that the U.S. economy and residential real estate continue moving in positive directions,” said Earl Lee, CEO of HSF Affiliates LLC. “Accordingly, they’re feeling much better about their personal situations and want to take advantage of attractive home prices in many markets and interest rates that remain low by historical standards.”

Respondents look to the new year with anticipation: A full 65% are optimistic about the housing market in 2014 and a nearly 60% believe home sales will increase during the year. Half of all respondents believe that the rate of appreciation in U.S. home values will slow this year after a strong run in 2013.

“Normalcy is returning to residential real estate,” said Lee. “People are seeking homes for all the right reasons – to gain shelter and security, raise a family and generate long-term wealth.”

While financial concerns certainly play a role in the decision to buy or sell, homeownership remains a deeply personal decision. Owning a home is important to 96% of Americans, and 78% agree that homeownership is an important part of the American dream. When asked about their experience buying and selling in today’s economy, 72% of respondents said that finding the right home and community are crucial to their family’s happiness.

Forbes Capretto Homes builds custom homes in the most desirable neighborhoods or on your own land.  To get started on your path to homeownership, please call  a New Home Consultant at (716) 651-HOME or contact us online.

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Forbes Capretto Homes announces new home sites in Knoche Farm Estates, Orchard Park

Forbes Capretto Homes is delighted to announce the availability of new home sites in the new Orchard Park community of Knoche Farm Estates. Homeowners will enjoy the rolling landscape, which includes a 5-acre pond and seven acres of recreational space. Knoche Farm Estates is located off Milestrip Road by Transit Road in the desirable Orchard Park school district.

A limited number of select home sites are now available. They range from ½-acre upwards with the option for rear yards bordering the recreational area. Prices start from the mid $300s, including land. Homeowners can choose from a wide range of ranch and two-story home styles, each of which can be fully customized to meet the homeowner’s specific needs and personal style.

For more details about Knoche Farm Estates, please call Carrie Farrell at (716) 243-6994 or visit our model home at 9 Evergreen Trail, Orchard Park (open 1-4pm, Saturday and Sunday).

Forbes Capretto Homes builds custom homes in the most desirable neighborhoods or on your own land. Call a New Home Consultant at (716) 651-HOME or contact us online for more details.

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Forbes Capretto Homes announces new home sites in Lake Forest North, Amherst

Forbes Capretto Homes is delighted to announce the availability of a limited number of exclusive home sites in the upscale community of Lake Forest North. Choose from a tranquil cul-de-sac setting or water view. Homeowners can select from a wide range of home styles, each of which can be fully customized to meet the homeowner’s specific needs and personal style. Prices start from the $400s, including land.

Lake Forest North is located in the top-rated Williamsville school district with easy access to nearby shopping, golf courses and restaurants.

For more details about Lake Forest North, please call Stacey Spokane at (716) 830-3113 or visit our model home at 16 Penny Lane, Amherst (open 1-4pm, Saturday and Sunday).

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