Recently the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released a statement regarding a study they did comparing homes built before 1960 with homes built after 2008 showing home buyers why they can afford a higher priced home —particularly one that is newly constructed from stock house plans.
Putting together data from the Census Bureau and the 2011 American Housing Survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development the NAHB found that buyers can afford to purchase or build a new home and achieve the same (sometimes lower) annual operating costs as an older existing home.
“Home buyers need to look beyond the initial sales price when considering whether to buy new construction or an existing home,” says Rick Judson, NAHB chairman and a homebuilder from Charlotte, NC. “They will find that with the higher costs of operating an older home, they can often afford to spend more to buy a new home and still have annual operating costs that fit their budget.”
Utility, maintenance, property tax and insurance costs vary depending on the age of the structure. Most homes built before 1960 have an average maintenance cost of $564 a year while a home built after 2008 averages $241. After taking into account the maintenance cost, they looked at operating costs. Operating costs for pre-1960 homes average nearly five percent of the home’s value while post 2008 homes average less than three percent.
After looking at maintenance and operating costs, the study compared the first year of owning a home by the year the house was built. They took into account the purchase price, mortgage payments, annual operating costs and income tax savings. When all of these variables were accounted for the data showed that homebuyers could afford to pay 23 percent more for a new house than one built before 1960 and still maintain the same amount of the first year annual costs.
Taking all this to account it is also important to note that mortgage payments will be greater with the higher purchase price of a newly-built home. However, the lower operating costs means that the home buyer will have annual costs that are the same as if they’d bought a lesser-priced, older home with a smaller mortgage payment and higher operating expenses.
Not only is the cost the same but benefits of newer homes also include open space floor plans, creative storage options and entertainment resources that cater to modern lifestyles. You will also have the peace of mind that the home you are buying is safe and meets modern codes and standards.
For a family working with a fixed annual budget, new-construction homes offer outstanding comfort, convenience and overall cost savings,” said Judson. “Put that together with today’s near-record low interest rates and competitive prices, and the time has never been better to buy a new home.”
So taking some advice from the NAHB and thinking about what you want in a home, perhaps it would be worthwhile to entertain building your own home to meet your needs. Take a look through The House Designers best-selling house plans and be on the way to the home of your dreams. The cost estimator can even help you figure out how much your new home with cost to build.
Recent studies by the National Home Builders Association and AARP show that baby boomers are leading the push in new home construction trends, influencing how builders, designers and architects modify their floor plans to meet varied lifestyles and changing needs.
Today’s 77 million Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964 and represent 26 percent of the total US population. Boomers make up 45 percent of the national work force and hold the largest amount of discretionary income in history. For these reasons, home builders, designers and residential architects are continuously modifying their floor plans and home designs to meet the ever-changing needs and demands of a generation that is not yet ready to head to the retirement home.
A study done by seniors advocacy group AARP shows that a large percentage of boomers plan to move when they retire. This trend was one of the major factors behind the housing boom of the previous decade. And while some boomers have been able to accumulate substantial home equity to purchase or build smaller, more affordable homes, many find themselves struggling with their current home loans.
“Boomers in a position to sell their existing homes prefer building a new home to take advantage of new technology and energy efficiency than trying to maintain or remodel an older home,” said Tammy Crosby, Chief Operating Officer of The House Designers, America’s leading house plan provider. “Baby boomers now look for house plans that are small but luxurious, and practical for their needs and lifestyles.”
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) confirmed this trend during New Homes Month in April by conducting a study, which showed home buyers that they can afford new construction that’s higher-priced. Using data from the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2011 American Housing Survey, NAHB found that buyers could purchase or build a new home and achieve the same annual operating costs as an older, existing home.
“Home buyers need to look beyond the initial sales price when considering whether to buy new construction or an existing home,” said NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. “They will find that with the higher costs of operating an older home, they can often afford to spend a bit more to buy a new home and still have annual operating costs that fit their budget.”
Whether boomers are remodeling or building new homes, this generation is more active than generations past, has a more sophisticated style and wants lots of options and choices in their home designs.
“This impressive generation has had a major influence on shaping the way society has grown and changed, including influencing new housing trends,” said Crosby. “Boomers have their own ideas about the features and types of homes they want to live in after retirement.”
Here are some popular home design features that designers, architects, homebuilders and remodelers report are in demand as they continue to cater to the boomer generation:
Baby boomers are sophisticated, savvy and active, which means they are looking for comfort and convenience, multi-functionality and spaces for relaxation and entertainment. They want a home that caters to their lifestyle and features plenty of high-end amenities. Downsizing or ‘rightsizing’ doesn’t have to mean sacrificing features in a well designed home.
Flex Living Spaces
Multi-purpose flex rooms are high on the list for active boomers who love to entertain, exercise and relax. These spaces can easily be converted to a guest room, home office, or an exercise or media room. Today every space needs to have a purpose; gone are the days of rarely used rooms like formal dining rooms.
Pampering Master Suites
Another hot trend in home design is having a large master suite with comfortable sitting areas, large his-and-hers walk-in closets, master baths with garden tubs, dual sinks and if space permits, a small patio or terrace.
Most Baby Boomers favor single-story homes over split-levels. They also like an open floor plan where there are fewer walls to obstruct views and to give the feeling of a much larger space.
Baby Boomers are very particular about their kitchens, as cooking and entertaining are typically at the top of the list for these active adults. They are seeking kitchens stocked with high-end amenities like professional grade appliances, granite countertops, hardwood flooring and custom cabinetry. Items like large pantries, center islands and cozy breakfast nooks are must-haves.
Indoor/Outdoor Entertainment Areas
Whether boomers are hosting an elegant dinner party or throwing a large cookout, they want an indoor/outdoor living space that can be used for both formal and informal occasions.
The House Designers has thousands of house plans that include the home design features boomers want. Some of these features include a collection of Empty Nester House Plans, Accessible House Plans, Small House Plans, Energy-Efficient Homes and many more which can be viewed at thehousedesigners.com
Growing up, I was raised on television. Many evenings were spent watching characters such as Cliff Huxtable from The Cosby Show and I was captivated by the comical antics of The Brady Bunch. Today I still find myself drawn to television because it allows me to build a relationship with the characters. As I watch these shows I tend to note things like home furnishings, architectural styles and floor plan layouts.
Today you can easily find floor plans to build houses that look exactly like the ones you’ve seen in your favorite television shows and movies. Everything from the San Fernando Brady Bunch house to The Cosby Show’s Manhattan dwelling can be found online. Designers are even making sketches for layouts of modern shows like Two and a Half Men, The Simpsons and How I Met Your Mother, classic suburban homes from I Love Lucy, Bewitched, Happy Days and The Golden Girls to sprawling mansions from Dallas and Dynasty.
Located in the San Fernando Valley, this home is generally a quiet landmark, in part because its appearance has been altered from what appeared on TV. The split-level San Fernando Valley home was the home of The Brady Bunch. What might throw you off is the absence of a second floor. When they found the home they loved the middle class California feeling but the constructed set was that of a roomy two-story dwelling. Production designers came to the rescue by attaching a fake window to give the house the appearance of a second story.
Animated series have a following all their own. For example, the immensely popular animated TV show The Simpsons has a house plan designed after it. In Henderson, Nevada there is a house that was designed to closely mimic that of The Simpsons. The designers viewed dozens of episodes but it became apparent that the cartoon house couldn’t actually be structurally sound. The finished house however, meets all building codes.
Spanish artist and interior designer Iñaki Aliste Lizarralde was interested enough in the layouts of famous TV show homes that he drew up very detailed floor plans, including the home furnishings. The collection includes the likes of The Simpsons, Dexter, Friends, Seinfeld, Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, and a handful others.
Caption: Lizarralde chose to draw the floor plan for Lucy and Ricky Ricardo’s rural home set in Westport, CT in grayscale to stay true to the classic black-and-white television show.
The homes our favorite fictional characters live in do exist, at least on the exterior level, but there could soon be a string of houses who’s exteriors also look just like the ones from your favorite movies or television shows. All that’s needed is a bit of architectural knowledge, a similar house plan and keen sense of interior design.
It’s that time of year again. Twice a year we change our clocks in accordance with Daylight Savings Time. On March 10th, we will once again switch our clocks an hour earlier so that we can spend more time in the daylight and less time in the dark. How nice will it be to walk out of work at five or six in the evening and find that the world is no longer shrouded in darkness.
In a March 7th article from the International Business Times, advocates are saying that if a move forward could make March more bearable for all, the question becomes what if we sprang forward but never fell back. Darren Soto, a Florida state senator filed SB 734, which will put the Sunshine State on Daylight Savings Time all year around.
“That’s a couple more rides at the park, another hour at the beach, and more folks enjoying restaurants,” says Senator Soto. His district encompasses the Walt Disney World resorts.
What does a state that runs on DST all year around mean? For a state like Florida, it would improve their tourism in winter and improve the quality of life for Floridians. Imagine, no one needs to suffer Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as Winter Depression, because of a few more hours of daylight. Additionally, it is projected that DST saves 3.4% of electricity during peak hours.
It’s hard to object to a few more hours of daylight in the winter. DST was originally meant to give farmers more time to work their land, but in this modern age, farmers know they don’t need a clock to tell them when to start working. Historically, the primary concern has been schools. Citizens are concerned about students waiting for the bus or walking to school early in the morning. Soto says that the bill would allow schools to adjust their schedules around the extended daylight hours.
While most of the feedback he has received for this bill has been positive, he does not expect it to pass anytime soon. Other senators have had problems trying to move their state onto DST permanently. Colorado tried and failed in 2000 and 2011. While it was rejected both times, the idea will be put to a referendum in 2014 for Colorado citizens to vote on.
The idea of having extra daylight all the time is an attractive concept, but regardless of what might lie ahead on a senate floor, remember to switch your clocks forward one hour on March 10th at 2 a.m.
When you are in the process of buying your first house plan you probably haven’t given much thought to what you’ll do with a basement. Your choices are really to finish it or leave it with just the foundation walls. Finishing a basement can be a costly venture but it does have its benefits.
A basement that is not in use can accumulate mold and mildew and can become unpleasant and hazardous. A finished basement on the other hand is a naturally temperature controlled environment. They are typically warm in the winter and cool in the summer, allowing you to take advantage of it for storage or living purposes.
A basement is not just used for storage anymore. It can be made into an extra bedroom, a game room, hobby room or even a man cave. And if you live in a tornado-prone area, you can make the basement into a comfortable place to take shelter with your family.
Additionally, finishing a basement also adds to the value of your home. Finishing a basement, however, requires adding insulation and the room then needs to be heated which can add to the cost of your heating bill. A finished basement also provides a problem when it comes to making repairs. Technicians who have to make repairs to pipes or the furnaces may have to cut out a portion of the wall to gain access to the wall. This can be messy and time consuming whereas with an unfinished basement the technicians would have direct access to the pipes.
There are several benefits to finishing your basement, it all depends on what matters most to you. In the meantime, take a look at some of The House Designer’s best-selling house plans, many of which come with multiple basement options.
Craftsman is one of the most popular architectural styles and as such is a popular choice in selecting a house plan. Craftsman house plans are designed around the trends from the early 20th Century arts and crafts movement. There are a number of options when it comes to a craftsman style house plan. They can range from a small bungalow to a spacious two-story home, but they are always designed to be informal, warm and inviting.
Craftsman house plans emerged from the American Victorian style with changes being made to suit the lifestyle of the emerging American housewife. For example, since an American housewife typically did not have live-in servants and did much of the housework herself, including watching the children, a floor plan with clear sight lines had to be constructed. This meant the kitchen had to be integrated into the main house and the dining room pantries replaced the typical Victorian butler’s pantry.
Elegance was also at the heart of the Arts and Crafts movement by incorporating handcrafted wood, glass and metal work. The Arts and Crafts movement also preached a philosophy that encouraged originality, simplicity of form, local natural materials and visibility of handicraft. The craftsman style remained popular until the 1930s, but its timeless design still makes it a popular house plan style even today. Take a look at our collection of Craftsman house plans for a home that is sure to inspire you.
The word Victorian seems to be thrown around a bit when describing house plans. Characters in books and movies constantly seem to be living in Victorian houses, but what does Victorian really mean today?
When you hear the word Victorian used as an adjective, it describes something that dates back to the reign of Queen Victoria. Many notable changes occurred during Queen Victoria’s reign, including architecture itself. Today, a Victorian house plan is patterned after the 19th and 20th century styles of architecture, including gabled and hipped rooflines, bay windows and a generous use of decorative trimmings.
There are notable differences between today’s Victorian house plans and the Victorian houses erected in the 19th century. For instance, a historical Victorian house plan wouldn’t include a garage, mostly because cars hadn’t been invented meaning there was no need for a garage. Chimneys were also a common feature in historical houses, because houses were heated by a fireplace. Most often, a fireplace would be in every room. Today, Victorian house can be found without chimneys since house are warmed by the use of central heating.
One common feature in Victorian house plans are sash windows and bay windows. Plate glass arrived in 1832, five years before Queen Victoria took the throne. True Victorian windows had six and later four paned windows with a vertical glazing bar down the middle. Bay windows were also a feature of Victorian houses. If you want something that is truly Victorian inspired, then you should consider decorating around your windows exterior.
Of course, technology today is different, and while we don’t need a fireplace in every single room, the decorative look of a Victorian house plan is a draw for some people. With its asymmetrical facade, decorative porches, and steeply pitched roofs, whether you want a house out of the history books or something with a bit of a modern edge, a Victorian house plan is usually a good choice. Check out our collection of Victorian house plans for functional, decorative takes on this popular and timeless design.
Portland, Oregon (PRWEB) September 30, 2012
The House Designers, which is comprised of the leading residential architects and designers in the United States, is pleased to announce the addition of three new house plans to its collection of best-selling, builder preferred house plans. These wonderful new designs offer the very best in flexible living spaces, and showcase the ever-popular Craftsman and cottage styles giving these newly-inked designs a timeless appeal.
“Our designers and architects are committed to designing the most innovative, affordable and energy efficient house plans for consumers and builders interested in building a new home,” said Tammy Crosby, Chief Operating Officer of The House Designers. “These new home plans feature all the amenities that consumers demand like outdoor living areas, private master suites, bonus rooms and basement options.”
The House Designers offers an easy-to-navigate website, with a newly redesigned plan page which provides detailed information about the floor plans including foundation options, all with high quality color renderings and photographs of actual built homes.
“One of the most common questions we get from consumers and builders looking at our house plans is, “How much will it cost to build?,” said Crosby, who has a partnership with the home building experts at StartBuild. “This information is extremely important in helping consumers and builders accurately determine how much a home will cost to build. Our interactive Cost-to-Build Estimator is based on current costs for customized product selections and labor specific to a location.”
For a nominal charge of $24.95, visitors can use the interactive program for 30 days exchanging products for planning and budgeting. Consumers who purchase this program also receive a $50 discount for any house plan purchase. There is also a free cost estimator for those looking for a simple rough estimate based on their region. According to The House Designers, builders looking to offer their clients a selection of affordable plans to choose from have found the Cost-To-Build Estimator to be especially useful and accurate, and appreciate the free modification quotes on all house plans.
All 6,000 plus construction drawings on thehousedesigners.com are builder-friendly and include detailed, dimensioned floor plans, basic electrical layouts, cabinet layouts, structural information, cross sections, roof plans and elevations, as well as general specifications. To encourage builders to use stock house plans, The House Designers created the Preferred Builder Program, which is free to all members of the National Home Building Association (NAHB).
Membership in The House Designers’ Preferred Builder Program includes 15% off all house plan purchases with every eighth plan(up to $1000), free. Additional benefits include:
- A directory listing where consumers may search for local contractors
- Custom marketing materials
- Free modifications quotes
- Immediate delivery of digital PDF house plan packages.
Here are three new home designs fresh from the drawing board of America’s leading architects and designers, which can be previewed by visiting thehousedesigners.com:
The Cherry Creek House Plan was created due to popular demand for a slightly larger footprint of an already popular plan. This new home design features 2,495 square feet of living space, a three-car garage and a 625 square foot bonus room. Highlights of this floor plan include the increased bedroom sizes and the addition of walk-in closets and new open living spaces. An oversized island with plenty of seating and a cozy breakfast nook overlooking the porch highlight the kitchen. Access to the basement level is conveniently located just down the hall from the foyer. A larger bonus room is still an option for this plan. View all additional highlights of this new plan by clicking here.
The Cedar Crest House Plan is a two-story Craftsman home featuring a lovely facade with a large wrap-around front porch, custom windows, finished with a warm mix of earth shingles and stone. A side-entry garage with bonus space above and decorative shop bay enhance its award-winning curb appeal. A spacious informal family area with a covered patio, ideal for outdoor entertainment complements a vaulted formal living and dining room off the large foyer. Relax in the indulgent master suite with private sitting room and grand bath. The open kitchen floor plan features plenty of workspace and includes a large center island with cooktop and seating, cabinetry by Kitchen Craft® and solid hardwood flooring from Lumber Liquidators.® Take a photo tour of this 4,100 square foot home by clicking here.
This French Country Cottage house plan features the perfect layout for a growing family. The main floor has a spacious living area with kitchen center island and cozy breakfast room, both perfect spots for casual family dining. For outdoor dining and relaxation, there’s a screened porch and sundeck. The second floor features four bedrooms, including a luxury master suite with sitting area and fireplace. The additional bedrooms are perfect for children or guests, and have unique features like built-ins, balconies, attic access, a playhouse and much more. To view additional photographs and the floor plan for this innovative new home design, click here.
Consumers and builders alike may view all house plans by The House Designers by visiting thehousedesigners.com.
If your dream style lends itself to a contemporary flair, you’ll enjoy The House Designers collection of modern house plans, which blend comfortable, livable elements to create a sophisticated, fresh look and feel. All of these designs feature magnificent outdoor living spaces, large open living spaces framed by spectacular, custom walls of windows, luxurious master suites and modern, restaurant styled kitchens.
From the exterior, contemporary homes are very distinctive in styling from other residential architecture. They are typically geometric in form, which means a minimal roofline and plenty of large frameless or minimal frame windows throughout the elevation. The exterior facade is typically horizontal cedar or stark white render masonry with some addition of brick and stone accents.
Contemporary interior design follows the concept of clean, simple lines with minimal accents. The main living spaces share an open floor plan that’s functional and appealing. Key elements include using metals like stainless steel, chrome and nickel because they provide a sleek finish and clean look. Walls are typically neutral in color with bold, modern furniture and accents.
The editors of The House Designers have been busy going through over 6,000 best-selling house plans to choose their favorite designs from 2011. These particular house plans were chosen based on their innovation and energy efficiency as well as their interior detailing and curb appeal.
The Palladium House Plan was one of the newest additions to the traditional house plan collection. It was designed to create a multi-generational family-friendly home with flexibility and privacy throughout. The timeless exterior features traditional columns and arches, softened with Shingle-style accents and details. The welcoming front porch opens to a centered foyer, with an opposing den and formal dining room plus butlery and walk-in pantry. The beamed great room with built-in fireplace and entertainment center, gourmet kitchen with its huge island and multi-windowed eating nook create a spacious family area, all opening onto the large, wraparound outdoor living porch.
To view this dream home and many others visit the latest issue of Dream Designs.
Don’t miss out on previewing some of the newest, most innovative house plans from The House Designers by receiving Dream Designs each week. The next issue features Fun, Flexible Living Spaces and showcases some of the most innovative game rooms, entertainment rooms, wine cellars and much more. Simply click here to subscribe to this free newsletter.
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Send us your photographs of your new home and share your experience building one of our house plans by DECEMBER 20 and you’ll receive a $250 AMEX card if we use them on our home page. First 25 customers who send us photographs (we love interior shots) will receive $50.
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It’s not too late to get your home organized for back-to-school with these great tips from The House Designers.
With the new school year upon us, it’s the perfect time to get your home organized for all the papers, supplies and projects that will be making their way into your home. You can make the transition back-to-school a lot easier by incorporating some of these simple, cost-efficient organizational tips from The House Designers, America’s leading designers and architects of ready-made house plans.
If your mornings are already chaotic, you should try to create a practical schedule where you get as much done as you can the night before, like making lunches, getting clothes ready and packing backpacks.
You’ll want to create a dedicated area for homework. Take into consideration the age of your children and your home’s floor plan. Is their enough space in the children’s bedroom for a desk? Do you have a home office/den or a built-in desk in your kitchen/living area? Remember if you create a cool and inviting place for your children to do their homework, they may actually look forward to getting it done.
There are no avoiding lots of paperwork coming home every week, so you need to have a good filing system in place to help manage your daily schedule and events.
And let’s not forget all the A+ homework, projects and artwork that you will want to save. File boxes, portfolios and binders are great ways to store and save school keepsakes.
If you have extra space in your kitchen or mudroom you should try and hang a bulletin board so you can keep track of daily to-do-items as well as upcoming events.
Speaking of mudrooms, make sure that you create organized storage areas for your child’s fall sports and activities. Check out the article Getting Organized: Storage Solutions & Ideas.
Enjoy The House Designers Editor’s Choice Great Office & Homework Spaces from their latest issue of Home Ideas.
With summer right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to think about getting your home ready for summer and figuring out how to keep your cooling costs down. Check out the article Prepare Your Home for Summer where you’ll learn efficient and affordable tips about cleaning your refrigerator coils, installing ceiling fans, cleaning and replacing window and door screens and much more.
5 Simple Ways to Cool Your Home helps you access your cooling needs by recommending small, stylish ways to effectively cool your home without using air conditioners like ceiling fans, and solar window treatments. This is especially helpful during the early months of summer when it is so tempting to turn on the a/c.
Since most of us can’t wait to start cooking outdoors, our editor’s have selected some of the best grilling products for 2011, as well as their favorite house plans featuring well-designed outdoor living spaces featuring pools, patios, lanais, decks, kitchens and much more.
You don’t need to build a large home to make a big impact, you just need to start with a well-designed house plan that includes plenty of flexible spaces and innovative building products to create a fully functional, stylish and efficient living space. As you begin your search for the perfect house plan, determine the size and style and then assess our family’s needs. You’ll find that there are a wide range of floor plans and interior design elements available for homes that share the same square footage.
To help you identify a good floor plan for your family, list the rooms you’re currently using and imagine how your family might evolve over time. Consider your preference for a first floor master suite or for one that’s located upstairs with the other bedrooms. If you plan on entertaining look for an open floor plan where the kitchen and family share an open space. If you anticipate caring for an elderly parent or retiring in your home, a single story home may be a smart choice. Finally, review your needs regarding a basement, attic, garage, outdoor living, bonus spaces and storage. Now you’re ready to find your dream house plan!
You can never have enough storage space for all your things. This is particularly true as you get older and start a family and expand your interests and activities. If you’re building a new home, now is the perfect time to assess all of your storage needs and make sure that your house plan can accommodate these needs before you begin construction. If not, sit with your designer or builder and have them modify your existing floor plan. One of the simplest ways to increase storage space in a new home is to modify existing closets and/or add additional closets. Closets not only improve your storage needs but will help keep you and your family organized in your new home. With the demand for additional storage space by homeowners, you’ll find most new house plans feature large, walk-in closets and additional storage spaces throughout the design.
Our most recent issue of Home Ideas features two new articles – Getting Organized: Storage Solutions and Ideas and Choosing Cabinetry for Your New Home, as well as the latest cabinetry and storage units for your bedroom, mudroom, bathroom, kitchen, great room and garage.
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