Saturday, June 17, 2017

Housing Starts Indicating a Slowing Trend

For the third consecutive straight month with the May report it shows signs a future shortage of houses. A recent report from the Commerce Department indicated housing starts which had a 2.7 monthly decline in April and a 7.7 drop in March show a 5.5% drop in May. Although home construction is up 3.2% year to date. News reports indicate optimism in sales from home builders, yet the overall number of homes for sale has shown a steady decline over the last two years. Another major real estate indicator is building permits. That number has drop precipitously 5% to just over 1 million nationwide. We don’t have the local numbers in Los Angeles County, but found that the Wells Fargo builder sentiment index is 67. This is a positive number as any reading above 50 is a positive number and that number has been well above 50 for the last nine months.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Building a Custom Home

A lot of property in Lancaster and Palmdale is advertised as build your dream home. It is easier said than done. First you need to budget for it. A custom home can cost from 150k to $450k with the average being $300k. But first you must buy the land, and the land location is tantamount. Many buyers buy land without power, water, or city services. Once you get the permits to build on such a property then you will need propane tanks for power, drill a well for water and use septic for sewage. All doable tasks. But getting the water 1500 feet below the surface is the first real trick. This is typical in Lancaster and LA County. A popular option is a modular home or prefabricated home. They almost look like a normal home, but you will have to disclose that the house is a modular home, and the selling price may be lower to reflect that. If you choose to build it yourself then you may need estimates for the cost to do so in your area. Plans and designs must be submitted to the city or county and then permits and inspections follow once initially approved. A builder will likely have several inspections along the way. Then you need a construction loan, or a construct to perm loan. A construct to perm loan can involve the land purchase as well. There are numerous factors that affect the cost such as square footage, number of stories, roof type, finishing’s, and issues like if power, water and sewage are available. The propane tank is reasonable if you go the lease option. It may cost only a few hundred to install, and the cost of a simple slab. A septic tank can run $1500 to $4000. A well estimate is $5k to $40k, but on average $25 a foot. The average in Lancaster and Palmdale area is $20-$25k for a well . In the end it may takes years to complete.