The Sevier County Home Builders Association (SCHBA) is a professional trade association committed to promoting a standard of quality housing. We are the leaders in providing education for the construction industry. We benefit the public by representing our industry before legislative and regulatory bodies to ensure our continued ability to provide safe, affordable housing.
Our primary goal as the leading authority in the housing industry is to continue to influence the decision making processes which control our industry and thereby our community.
Check complaints against contractors, Contractor’s License and monetary limit along with their original license date at http://www.state.tn.us/commerce/boards/contractors/
To make a complaint against a contractor or check their reputation; write: State of Tennessee, Board for Licensing Contractors
500 James Robertson Parkway Davy Crockett Tower, Suite 110
Nashville, TN 37243-1150
With the economy and housing market still recovering, some potential first-time home buyers may be hesitant to invest in a new home. Yet there are several reasons why now is a great time for Millennials and other first-time home buyers to start building their American Dream.
1) Interest rates are low.
Today’s historically low interest rates are helping first-time home buyers find affordable housing options. Average weekly interest rates for a 30-year fixed mortgage remain under 4.5%.
But it’s important to keep in mind that interest rates are sensitive to market forces and can change quickly. There’s no indication that rates will suddenly surge upward, but even a slight rate increase can push monthly payments to the point that a buyer might miss out on their first choice for a new home.
2) Huge downpayments are not necessary.
While lenders are looking more closely at borrowers today than in recent years, there are options for purchasing your first home without a 20% downpayment. For example, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers loans to first-time home buyers with downpayments as low as 3.5%. However, these loans require mortgage insurance.
To ensure that the financing process goes smoothly, buyers should consider pre-qualifying for a mortgage and having a financing commitment in place before shopping for a new home. Buyers also may find that some home builders have arranged favorable financing for their customers or offer financial incentives.
3) New homes are built to fit your lifestyle.
Designed to accommodate today’s busy lifestyles, new homes – including urban condos and single-family homes – feature open floor plans, flexible spaces, low-maintenance materials and other amenities that appeal to younger buyers.
With energy costs near the top of consumer concerns, it’s good to know that new homes can be more energy efficient than ever. Innovative materials and construction techniques mean that today’s new homes are built to be much more energy efficient than homes constructed a generation ago. Not only can they be more affordable to operate, new homes also are significantly more resource efficient and environmentally friendly.
4) Technology makes house shopping fun and easy.
Today’s tech-savvy home buyers use mobile apps to quickly gather all of the key information on a property and to see extensive photos from their cell phones or tablets. For example, Homesnap allows you to snap a picture of any home and get all the relevant property details, including any interior photos for homes on the market.
If you’re just beginning your search, Realtor.com is a popular app because it generally contains the most accurate information gathered from more than 800 local MLSs (multiple listing services).
If you’re checking out homes in an unfamiliar area, AroundMe helps you get a quick sense of the neighborhood by telling you the location of local restaurants, supermarkets, other businesses and attractions.
There also are several free mortgage apps to help you determine how much you can afford and to compare real-time rates from multiple lenders. Popular mortgage calculator apps include Zillow and Trulia.
5) Owning a home can help young families build wealth and combat rising rents.
For most Americans, homeownership is a primary source of net worth and is an important step in accumulating personal financial assets over the long term. Although property values have declined in many markets, Americans have more than $10.8 trillion of equity in their homes, and for most families, home equity represents the largest share of net worth.
At the same time, rent prices continue to climb – 2.8 percent in 2013 – as rental vacancies dropped to their lowest point since 2000, according to a recent report from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. That makes now a great time to start investing in your future – instead of your landlord’s.
For more information on resources for first-time home buyers in the Sevier County Area, visit nahb.org/forconsumers.
Home owners considering planning to stay in their home should know about remodeling projects that increase the home’s usefulness and make it better to live in. A 2012 National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) survey of remodelers found the following five most common remodeling jobs.
Housing market data reveals that small, smart remodels reward home owners with better return on investment and can help update and customize a home. Review these top five remodeling projects and begin planning to remodel during National Home Remodeling Month.
- Remodel the bathroom
Payback on remodeling a bathroom can reach 65 percent with new fixtures, tile, toilet, vanity and lighting. Low flow toilets consumer less water and can decrease the monthly water bill.
- Remodel the kitchen
A minor kitchen remodel can improve the look and utility of the space without costing a bundle, and yields a 75 percent return. Consider replacing backsplashes, cabinet fronts, countertops, and flooring. Installing low-flow faucets and energy-efficient appliances can also reduce water and energy expenses in a heavily trafficked room.
- Replace windows and doors
Updating windows can also return a solid portion of the investment (73 percent for wood frames and 71 percent for vinyl). New, energy-efficient doors and windows also help reduce energy leakage from the home and can bring down heating and cooling bills.
- Repair property damage
Property damage is a common but unfortunate occurrence. Seize misfortune as an opportunity to customize and upgrade the home. If you are already going to be inconvenienced with major home repairs, take that time to plan and incorporate home remodeling that may have been put off in the past.
- Whole house remodeling
Repairs and replacements of old components and the desire for upgraded amenities were cited as the top reasons for customers to hire a remodeler. Evaluate the use of the entire home to see if it fits your needs. Home owners are repurposing spaces to fit their families and making more efficient use of their home’s square footage and equity, rather than moving to a new home and mortgage.
Smart remodeling projects for improving the home can make the home more comfortable for your lifestyle.
For more information about remodeling, visit www.nahb.org/remodel
By Dan Mitchell, President
Sevier County Home Builders Association
While careful attention to detail and directions can help a DIYer with a successful remodel, NAHB Remodelers warns against non-professionals attempting certain jobs because of the damage and life-threatening risk these projects can create. The following projects should only be done by professionals:
- Electrical – unless you are a licensed electrician do not attempt to rewire their home. If done improperly you can burn down your house.
- Structural Changes – do not remove or add any walls or cut holes into the roof or floor joists. You run the risk of compromising the structural integrity of your home and having a large hole in your roof or floor.
- Plumbing – moving pipes can cause a swimming pool in your home at anytime.
While many projects look manageable at first glance, there is a difference between what is spent and the “real” cost generated on a project.
A good rule of thumb for any would-be DIYer is to avoid projects that require a license. Leave these in the hands of professionals with the proper training.
If projects are done incorrectly, homeowners can end up paying for an unintentional Extreme Home Makeover.
Remember, DIY projects should be fun. If you don’t see it as fun, then DDIY (don’t do it yourself).
If you have already created a DIY disaster that needs to be fixed, hire a professional to do the work by searching the our Directory.
By: Dan Mitchell
President, Sevier County Home Builders Association
The National Association of Home Builders recently announced the winners of the Best in American Living Awards – a prestigious award program that spotlights design excellence for the entire residential building industry.
Award recipients represent the forefront of innovative design in America, and are lauded as the most creative and inventive builders, remodelers, architects, developers, land planners and interior designers in the nation.
Based on submissions from this year’s crop of winners, some of the newest trends in design that home buyers will see over the next several years include:
White on White – Cabinets, flooring, backsplashes, counters, fixtures and appliances are beginning to lighten up. Layering white on top of white is a new approach in many kitchens and bathrooms that is giving way to a fresh and light feeling. To achieve clean lines and a modern feel, designers and builders are selecting European cabinetry, adding shiny surfaces via appliance, backsplash and countertop choices, and incorporating glass walls.
Bold Exterior Colors – Bold colors are making their way to the exterior of homes. Whether it’s through paint, a mix of cladding materials, doors, windows, porches, shutters or trim, an extra layer of drama is being adding to the design of elevations, further enhancing curb appeal.
Interior Courtyards – Interior courtyards are popular in all housing types right now. The primary difference is scale. Within single-family homes, courtyards provide private and safe outdoor living areas and are being shifted to side yards.
Specialty Lighting – Specialty fixtures are “lighting it up” this year. Regardless of whether it involves a custom or a stock fixture, designers are finding ways to showcase them as pieces of art rather than just a functional element. Lighting is being paired with wood ceiling details to further enhance the room’s design and create a feeling of warmth.
Historic Style with Modern Flair – New or remodeled homes, whether they are Craftsman, Prairie, Mid-Century Modern or another historic architectural style, are adding modern flair to their traditional designs through color, finish, fixture and lighting selection, while continuing to be influenced by the past through the use of reclaimed building materials and classic proportions and detailing.
Blurring the Lines Between Inside and Out – Lines continue to be blurred between the inside and outside of homes. No longer limited to areas with warmer climates, this is being seen all across the country. More homes now feature moveable glass walls, gourmet outdoor kitchens and interior courtyard pools, adding more everyday living space.
To find an industry professional ready to bring these exciting new trends to your new home or remodeling project, visit our Builder or Associate Directories on this website.
At a lunch meeting on January 9, 2014 Sevier County Home Builders Association elected their new Officers and two new Board of Directors with Rep. Andrew Farmer conducting the installation ceremony.
Join us in congratulating our new officers.
Also congratulations to our two new Board of Directors
President, Sevier County Home Builders Association
Family households consisting of three or more generations, or “multigenerational households,” have become increasingly popular in the 21st century. According to the most recent Census, approximately 4.4 million American homes had three generations or more living under one roof in 2010, a 15 percent increase from two years earlier. This is 5.6 percent of the total of 76.4 million U.S. households with more than one person.
There are many reasons for this trend. The recession caused many adult children to return home after college, either because they weren’t able to get jobs that would cover rent, or they wanted to save up to buy homes of their own. According to Pew Institute research, the share of the U.S. population aged 18 to 31 living in their parent’s home increased to 36 percent or a record 21.6 million young adults in 2012.
For many ethnic and immigrant groups, multiple generations of a family living together is a common cultural custom.
Multigenerational households also form so that grandparents can help take care of their grandchildren, and as they age, their children can care for them. This type of arrangement can ease financial burdens as well, with several generations contributing to the mortgage payment and not having to incur the expenses of childcare, retirement housing or professional care-giving environments.
Home builders and remodelers are building and renovating homes to meet the needs of multigenerational households. These designs allow many generations of the same family to live together under one roof yet have private areas as well as combined living space.
Features of multigenerational home plans can include in-law suites within the main home with separate areas for independent living. These often have kitchenettes and en suite bathrooms, and sometimes private entrances from the street. They frequently include “universal design” products, which focus on maximum usability by people of all ages and abilities. Examples include walk-in showers, smooth flooring transitions, and cabinets with pull-out drawers.
Building professionals who have earned the National Association of Home Builders’ Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) designation have received training on how to build or renovate a home so that the occupants can live in the home safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of their age or ability level. They have been taught the strategies and techniques for designing and building aesthetically pleasing, barrier-free living environments. While most CAPS professionals are remodelers, an increasing number are general contractors, designers, architects, and health care professionals.
To learn more about multigenerational home plans or to find a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist in Sevier or Cocke Counties, contact Sevier County Home Builders Association at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to nahb.org/capsdirectory.