Housing starts are on a strong upswing, but studies show that millennials are more hesitant than their parents’ generation to buy a home for the first time. While some want to avoid debt, down payments and loans, others are playing it safe in an economy that’s still recovering. There’s an art to turning renters into buyers, and according to a recent article in Builder, it’s a matter of cutting costs.
Here are seven strategies to consider when it comes to design, land and labor:
- Avoid rising land costs. If building a new home, look for land in a more remote location, at a more affordable price. If you’re renovating an existing home, look for areas where housing is older and worn out. Commercial spaces that were once shopping centers are taking on new value for buyers. Our customers report that investing in refurbishing an old building in an older, urban area that is gentrifying has great ROI potential.
- Up the curb appeal. Don’t go overboard, though. Simple, creative details like bluestone walkways and open-air patios produce standout homes at any price point. Likewise, selecting mechanical systems that are small in footprint and that easily blend in with the exterior go a long way in creating a visually appealing structure.
- Consider high-performance techniques. Incorporating advanced technologies like a tight building envelope and an efficient HVAC system can help to conserve valuable time and money in the short-term, while dramatically reducing long-term energy costs – an appealing factor to help budget conscious first-time buyers.
- Think smaller. Focus on an open floor plan with livability and functionality, and creating stunning views from one space to the next. Designing small is a challenge. It requires more planning and prioritization of space than designing for a larger space. Investing in compact kitchen appliances, a smaller washer and dryer, or a heating and cooling system with a smaller footprint (like ours, which requires no ductwork and has a compact outdoor unit) will maximize living space.
- It’s all in the details. Concentrate on details that homeowners experience daily. Spend more time and energy on kitchen cabinets, taller ceiling heights or transforming an often overlooked entryway from a garage to the kitchen.
- Less is more. Offer clients a limited selection of eye-catching, yet reasonably priced products. Fewer design choices will diminish the amount of time and expenses needed for selection, ordering and installation.
- Don’t let labor shortages affect your bottom line. A lack of qualified workers has led to a labor shortage that’s driving up construction costs. Combat this by hiring, training and retaining talented employees by building strong industry relationships and using quality resources such as low-cost manufacturer training sessions. Likewise, choose subcontractors – like electrical and HVAC – wisely. Many subcontractors go through certification programs through manufacturers, which guarantee they are experienced with and trained in the particular equipment they are installing.
Do you have a tip for enticing first time buyers? We’d enjoy hearing your thoughts.