The supply of modestly priced starter homes continues to drop nationwide. A recent report by Realtor.com found that the number of homes priced above $750,000 grew 11 percent last year, while the number of starter homes priced under $200,000 fell by 8 percent.
Home values and rent continue to increase, but average salaries across the United States are not increasing at the same percentage. Consider that the average home value in 1950 was $7,400 and the household median income was $2,990. In 2010, however, the median home value was $221,800 (an increase of nearly 2900%) while the household median income was $49,445, which is an increase of only 1554% (source: U.S. Census Bureau via Curbed). That disparity is one of the reasons that the American starter home is out of reach for many entry-level buyers.
But designing and building starter homes doesn’t have to be restrictive in order to keep costs at bay. Rather, smart design and smart product selection can help buyers achieve the American dream without sacrificing quality.
Some of the challenges when building starter homes:
KB Home, who partners with LP, takes advantage of LP® TechShield® Radiant Barrier, an easy, low cost energy efficient upgrade, and is at the forefront of companies trying to boost the supply of affordable entry-level homes. In KB Home’s Q1 earnings call, Chairman/CEO Jeffrey Mezger said that “offering more affordable products within our communities is also key. Our efforts to address affordability concerns by expanding the choice of square footages available to homebuyers are well underway, and we expect to continue to introduce lower square footage plans in select communities in the months ahead. A good example is our new Autumn Winds community in Riverside County, California. We added 1,400 and 1,500 square-foot plans to complement our initially planned lineup for this community, which had ranged from 1,600 to 2,400 square feet. Since the opening, these two small plans have generated about 25 percent of this community’s net orders.
Nationwide, smaller metro areas continue to be the most affordable entry points for first-time homebuyers. A recent U.S. News and World Report found that would-be buyers in Huntsville, Alabama, and Ft. Wayne, Indiana, only needed to earmark 19 percent of their income toward housing – far less than the percentage needed in the top 20 markets in the U.S.
Radiant barriers have become very popular with efficiency-minded builders in the recent years. This is largely due to the fact that when installed properly, a radiant barrier can reduce the impact of summer heat and yield tangible savings in cooling costs of a home—a persuasive selling point when addressing potential homeowners. But how does radiant barrier work and what exactly are its effects?Continue Reading
LP Building Solutions uses engineered wood to create a portfolio of products that help professionals build smarter, better and faster. The innovations of engineered wood siding are relatively new. For instance, LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding was introduced in 1997. Thanks to its advanced manufacturing process, it is one of the most durable siding solutions available. Sometimes people are skeptical of things that are really that good. So, let’s crush a few myths with engineered wood facts.
Pier and beam design was among the most popular foundation techniques until the 1960s when concrete technology improved its floating slab system. Many builders use slab-on-grade construction—especially in warmer regions. We’re going to find out why professionals Jordan Smith of @jordansmithbuilds and Kyle Stumpenhorst of @rrbuildings chose pier and beam over slab-on-grade for the All-in-LP Build in Bellville, Texas. But first, let’s delve into pier and beam foundation.
From destructive hurricanes to fierce tornadoes, it seems news of catastrophic events is happening with alarming frequency. In fact, on March 3, 2020, an EF3 tornado tracked less than one mile from the LP Building Solutions headquarters in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, ripping through homes and businesses. While no traditional building can withstand the tremendous forces of disastrous weather events, it reminds us that embracing resilient construction and adopting stronger building codes could help protect our families, friends and neighbors.