From Renee on May 12th, 2009 in General Remodel
Photo credit: RJK Construction Inc. & Design/Skill
There’s no denying it’s a buyer’s market, and not just any buyer’s market, but the “best of times” for the consumer and the “worst of times” for builders and remodelers, according to NAHB chief economist David Crowe. Why do homeowners have everything going for them today, as opposed to last year? In fact, a combination of factors have come together to create the golden ticket for home makeovers, and taken as a whole, the picture looks pretty bright, if you act soon.
In honor of National Home Improvement Month, here are 5 reasons you should invest in home improvement — right now.
1. Building material costs are at record lows.
br>Photo credit: onecog2manyAccording to the Producer Price Index released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the price of materials used in all forms of commercial construction dropped in the past year. With the nationwide slump in new construction, prices for several building materials such as structural steel, plywood, and lumber have gone down along with demand, and overall construction costs have fallen between 10 and 20 percent.
2. Builders and contractors are vying for your contracts.
Falling material costs aren’t the only thing you can take advantage of; labor prices are also being discounted left and right. Remodeling pro Randy Angeloci, President of Home Pro Inc., has been in the industry for 45 years and says he’s now charging his lowest prices in five decades, and other remodelers are doing the same. One couple featured in the New York Times got their second bathroom at a 30% discount. At the same time, you can enjoy a more hands-on approach from contractors, including company owners, who were way too busy during the real estate boom to give you the time of day. Today, if you have the money to put down, these same remodelers will come to you.
3. Investment value is stable, earning major returns.
According to the most recent Cost vs. Value report, exterior upgrades from vinyl and fiber cement siding to wood decks still earn over an 80% return. Window replacements and kitchen remodels also expect high rates of return close to 80%. When you take in the savings on your job due to discounted prices and the anticipated resurrection of the real estate market, you can sit quite smugly in your newly renovated home.
4. Get bigger payback on energy efficiency upgrades.
Here’s where Obama’s stimulus package comes in. Because $300 million went into Energy Star funding, you can receive a 30% rebate on upgrading your HVAC system or windows. Low-income families also get help with weather stripping and insulation through the Weatherization Assistance Program, and solar tax credits are still going strong.
5. Quicker remodel.
Get it done and get the construction crew cleared out so you can enjoy your newly renovated home. “Ahead of schedule.” You’ll hear that more often now that contractors have much more time on their hands to focus on you.