Today is the last day for the Parade of Homes so slip on some comfortable, non-tie shoes, and check out the latest trends in new construction. Despite the slow start for builders in 2016 due to the implementation of the New Title 21, there are thirty-one entries to view from Potter Highlands to Eagle River; from entry-level condos to luxury homes and every price point in between. This year you’ll continue to see the open living concept with the formal living room replaced by a flex room off the entry. But, what’s new are barn doors and waterfall countertops. Who would have thought that barn doors hinged from the top would replace the look of the paned double French doors but so they have, as the northwestern craftsman style continues to dominate.
Tired of granite? Try quartz with under-mounted sinks. Quarts has a lot less movement, is more quiet, and goes with just about every table top imaginable. But, the latest countertop is the laminate waterfall with a forty-five degree edge that falls to the floor on the sides of the islands. It’s a sleek modern look and can add color to an otherwise neutral kitchen. So what about color? Is grey really the new neutral or have we returned to white? You’ll see both at this year’s Parade of Homes from noon to 6 pm today.
So why buy a new home? They’re more expensive and on lots that are smaller. First off, they’re more energy efficient and as a result cost less for utilities which always go up and never down. All homes in the Parade are built to at least five star energy standards. A home built in the l980’s is only four star. They also have better air ventilation which improves your indoor air quality. Plus, you will have the assurance of fewer repairs and less maintenance because all homes come with a ten year structural warranty and one builder, Hultquist Homes, even offers a two year interior warranty, as opposed to the standard one year.
But thanks to Houzz, Pinterest and Pantone, buyers want to choose their own plan and customization to their personal tastes. That just doesn’t happen with the never ending remodel. I’ve done the remodel and there are three things I can guarantee you. First, it costs more than the budget you’ve planned for. Second, it takes longer and so you live longer with the inconvenience which includes more take-out and eating out because you’ve lost your kitchen. Third, it never stops. Suddenly, that snake light fixture with hanging orange pendants just doesn’t work with your new countertops so out it goes and so does your budget.
Finally, if there ever was a time to buy a new home, it’s now. New construction prices have stabilized and interest rates are STILL low. But, I’ll bet that new light fixture that after this presidential election, regardless of who wins, and I will keep my voting preference to myself, they will go up. And it’s the interest, not the price of the home, that is the overarching cost of a new home.