When people talk about home “affordability” it boils down to one number: the asking price. But home “attainability” is a more complex equation. Attainability refers to a prospective buyer’s ability to find an entry-level home (no easy task these days), obtain a loan and pay for 30 years of ancillary costs like utilities, maintenance and insurance.
Here’s a shocking statistic that shows why home attainability is out of reach for millions: according to government figures, the median net salary of U.S. workers is $31,561. That means that after taxes, 50% of American workers take home less than that amount.
Some cities are now homebuyer magnets because they offer a real shot at attainability. In El Paso, for example, a worker can qualify for a new home loan with an annual gross salary of just $32,185. In Oklahoma City, a gross salary of $33,507 is all that’s required. There are many other cities across America that have ample attainable housing, including Roanoke, Va., Battle Creek, Mich., and Binghamton, N.Y.
Builders in these communities are providing plenty of starter homes, not just high-end models. In El Paso, half of all new homes cost less than $158,000. That makes the long-term costs of insuring and maintaining a home much easier to bear.
The bottom line: we can’t all live in Beverly Hills. Fortunately, there are still builders who understand that society benefits greatly when housing is attainable.
What will the tipping point be for homebuilders to enthusiastically embrace off-site construction? When the labor force constricts even tighter and wages rise even more? Will it take more weather woes or neighborhood noise ordinances that further reduce the number of workable daylight hours? The number of progressive homebuilders using off-site construction methods are rising, but the industry in the U.S. as a whole continues to trail behind other countries.Continue Reading
Achieving a tight building envelope is the new objective for many homebuilders and homeowners. A systems-wide approach combining thermal insulation techniques, various construction types, and high-performance water and vapor barriers can change a home’s energy efficiency.
Traditional sheds offer practical storage for items like tools, garden equipment and out-of-season toys. Today, sheds are becoming an extension of the homes’ living areas, offering versatile and multi-functional space. You’ve probably heard of them by several names, like She Sheds, Man Caves, Hobby Sheds, Backyard Bars and more.
The last Wednesday in October has been designated Sustainability Day throughout the world. Since the mid-1990s, LP has made great strides in sustainable forest management and manufacturing – and both Donna Kopecky, LP’s Public Policy & Sustainability Manager, and Kevin Warkentin, LP’s Business Environmental Health and Safety Manager for OSB and EWP, have been there every step of the way.