Housing Trend: Interest in Accessory Dwelling Units Growing

Housing Trend: Interest in Accessory Dwelling Units Growing

Single-family detached homes are the most desired type of dwelling among homebuyers, but alternatives like townhomes are growing in demand.

 

One dwelling in particular, that has a long history of popularity, is becoming popular again: accessory dwelling units (ADUs), also known as “granny flats.” ADUs are ideal for individuals looking for a non-traditional living space in a traditional setting.

 

ADUs are self-contained living units with their own kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom.  They are located adjacent to, and on the same lot as, another dwelling, usually a single-family home.

 

Why are ADUs gaining in popularity?

Autonomous

ADUs are attractive for people who want independence but need occasional support from a neighbor. Aging parents, young adults who are in a housing transition, or a person living with disabilities often desire an ADU.

 

Affordable

In most cases, an ADU positivity impacts both the home owner and the occupant. Individuals living in an ADU find affordability, and the property owner receives income they often need to stay in their home. In fact, it is not uncommon for the landlord to live in the ADU and rent the main house in order to remain in their neighborhood when their housing needs change.

 

Accommodating

ADUs generally fit seamlessly with the character of the neighborhood. They often come in the form of a converted garage or other structure already on the property. And they don’t require new infrastructure to support them.

 

Environmental

ADUs are usually small and an environmentally-friendly way to add housing to meet growing demand.

 

Unfortunately, ADUs are only permitted in the unzoned areas of Greenville County. We know many exist without permission and it is time for our local officials to respond to a changing housing market and permit ADUs because they are part of the solution to address high housing costs.

You can meet professionals to help you with your housing project at the Southern Home and Garden Show September 20-22 at the Greenville Convention Center. Visit SouthernHomeandGardenShow.com to see a list of exhibitors.

Four Things to Know About Home Water Use

Four Things to Know About Home Water Use

You probably don’t spend much time thinking about your home’s water consumption. You take a shower in the morning and water the lawn, but you probably use far more water in your home than you realize.

  1. Indoor Water Use

The majority of the water used in your home is in the bathroom. Toilets and showers are the biggest users.  Each flush use 1-6 gallons, depending on the age of your toilets. After the bathroom, the laundry room is in second place.

A recent study by the National Association of Home Builders found that single-family homes built after the 1990s have an average of 3.1 toilets, 2.6 showers, and 2.3 bathtubs. Luckily, innovations in water-saving technology for showers and toilets have resulted in greater water efficiency in the home.

  1. Leaks Are Your Enemy

After bathrooms and the laundry room, leaks are the third highest consumer of indoor household water. Just one dripping faucet wastes gallons of expensive water each day.  Make sure you are not throwing money down the drain and hire a professional to fix leaks, even when they seem minor.

  1. Kitchens Are Actually Pretty Efficient

You might be surprised to learn that when it comes to water use, kitchens are low on the list of consumers. Modern dishwashers are very efficient and effective. You can save water, and time, by not prewashing the dishes. Hand washing dishes tends to waste a lot of water.

  1. Lawns, Gardens, and Swimming Pools

The average home uses 276 gallons of water per day, and half is used outside the home.

Watering the lawn is obvious, but more and more homes have swimming pools that also contribute to high rates of outdoor water use.

Knowing more about how and where your home uses water will not only give you a better understanding of your monthly water bill, but it also can help you prioritize water usage and save money.

Find professionals to help you with your home’s water usage by visiting HBAofGreenville.com. You can also meet the professionals by attending the Southern Home and Garden Show September 20-22 at the Greenville Convention Center. Visit SouthernHomeandGardenShow.com to see a list of exhibitors.

Affordable Rooftop Solar Can Boost Your Home’s Value

Affordable Rooftop Solar Can Boost Your Home’s Value

The sun is high and bright in the sky. Did you know the sun can save you money? Once considered expensive and desired only by the most committed environmentalists, rooftop solar is gaining popularity among value-conscious home owners.

 

Today, 1.3 million homes and businesses have solar systems, and solar is the top source for new electric generating capacity in the U.S.

 

The cost of solar panel systems has decreased dramatically. Tax incentives and Energy-Efficient Mortgages help make investing in solar more attractive financially.

 

As a result, homebuyers are adding solar to their new home wish list and appraisers are incorporating the value of green features into their appraisals. This means that installing solar panels will not only help you save on your electric bill now, but it may make your home more marketable when you are ready to sell.

 

And, if you don’t like the look of traditional solar arrays, solar-powered rooftop shingles that blend seamlessly into your existing roof are a great option.

 

Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping solar for your home:

  • Calculate how much energy your household uses now – and will use in the future.
  • You will still receive a bill from your power company. Even the most energy-efficient homes will still draw energy from the grid at various times during the year.
  • Check out the incentives, tax credits, and grant programs available at www.dsireusa.org. Your installer will be knowledgeable on incentives as well.
  • Protect your solar power investment. Be sure to learn about warranty coverage both by the panel manufacturer and the panel installer. Be sure to tell your home insurance provider about your new system as well. It is important to understand who is responsible for the various components of the system.

Once you have made the decision to go with solar, find an installer who is a member of the Home Builders Association of Greenville by visiting HBAofGreenville.com. You also can visit with solar installers by attending the Southern Home and Garden Show September 20-22 at the Greenville Convention Center. Visit SouthernHomeandGardenShow.com to see a list of exhibitors.

Are You Ready to Become a Homeowner?

Are You Ready to Become a Homeowner?

June is National Homeownership Month. Are you a homeowner yet?

According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), a majority of seniors (56 percent) and millennials (50 percent) who are planning to buy a home have moved beyond planning to searching.

The NAHB Housing Trends Report reveals that millennials expect house hunting to become easier in the months ahead, and they dispel the misconception that millennials view home buying as a burden. As a result, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the national homeownership rate is on an upward trend.

Building Equity

The benefits of homeownership are numerous. Owning a home is an important step in Building wealth. Building home equity when the value of your home appreciates is one of the significant long-term financial benefits of homeownership.

Starting Your Home Buying Process

Purchasing a home requires research and planning. The first step is qualifying for a mortgage and saving for a down payment. In today’s tight housing market where demand often exceeds supply, pre-qualifying for a mortgage will give you an advantage when you are ready to make an offer over buyers who have not pre-qualified.

Financing Your New Home

Step one is to choose a mortgage lender. Visit HBAofGreenville.com for a list of lenders who specialize in new homes. In addition, some home builders can help you, but since you know how much money you can borrow, you will know how much house you can buy.

Prioritize Home Features

Before you start, make a list of the home features that matter the most: size, floor plan, finishes, location, and house type (detached, townhome, or condo) are important factors. New construction, newish, or a fixer-upper are also important questions to consider.

Start Your Search with a Realtor

Once you have financing and your priorities lined up, you can start your search online—most buyers do. However, a realtor who knows the market is an invaluable resource. Get help by visiting HBAofGreenville.com to find the professionals you need to help you find you dream home.

Get Your Home in Shape for Summer

Get Your Home in Shape for Summer

The recent cool weather recently may belie that we have officially entered summer, but now is a great opportunity to refresh your home. Simple home improvements made now can help you avoid significant repairs and costly utility bills later.

Temperature Check: Installing a programmable thermostat can help you save on heating and cooling costs. You can customize your indoor temperature throughout the day, which usually leads to lower utility costs. Celling fans are another energy-efficient way to feel cooler on hot days without spending a lot on utilities.

Heating and Cooling: Have you replaced your filter lately?  If your air conditioner is in good shape, adding curtains, shades, or blinds to windows help keep your home cool by blocking out the sun’s intense rays, which can warm your home’s interior.

Replace Windows: New windows can also increase your energy efficiency and provide a return on investment. If old windows are replaced now, the new ones will help prevent heat gain this summer and heat loss during the winter. If you already have new windows, cleaning them will help refresh your home’s exterior.

Pressure Wash: A thorough exterior cleaning can help your home shine. Winter and spring storms cause debris and dirt to build up on the exterior of your home. Pressure wash to remove dirt, mildew, and unwelcomed residue. While you have the machine rented, clean walkways and decks to help your home stand out from the rest.

Landscape: Planting trees and pruning shrubs can brighten the exterior of your home. Before the heat of the summer takes over your lawn, check the condition of your sprinklers and garden irrigation for optimal use.

Inspect and Clean Your Dryer Vents: Dryer vents get clogged with lint, which can cause your dryer to perform poorly, has the unwanted effect of adding unnecessary heat to your home, and, of course, could be a fire hazard. While the weather is pleasant, inspect and clean the vent from inside and outside your home – and of course, clean the lint screen after every load.

Ready to build or remodel your dream home?  Get help by visiting HBAofGreenville.com to find the Approved Professional Builder who can help you with your new home project.

Top Home Features Baby Boomers Want

Top Home Features Baby Boomers Want

Everyone writes about what Millennials want, but we forget that Baby Boomers are still a very large and formidable generational cohort. Boomers have a few distinct preferences when it comes to their home, according to a recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

 

Boomer homebuyers overwhelmingly preferred to live in the suburbs compared to other age groups. When asked about community features, Boomers wanted to be near shopping. They also had a strong preference to live in a pedestrian-friendly community with trails and a park area. Compared to Millennials, playgrounds and swimming pools are not popular community features for Boomers.

 

Older buyers prefer a smaller house with high-quality finishes and amenities compared to Millennial homebuyers. Boomers prefer a one-story home, while Millennials prefer two-stories.

 

Nearly half of older homebuyers consider a full bath on the main level essential, compared to less than a third of younger homebuyers. A significant percentage of older homebuyers do not want a whirlpool tub, skylight or dual toilets in the master bath, while younger buyers do express a greater preference for these features. Specialty rooms, like a media or game room, appeal less to Boomers compared to Millennials.

 

Although most homebuyers in each generation consider energy efficiency an essential or desirable home feature, this preference increases significantly with age. A majority of Millennials (76 percent) want ENERGY STAR-rated windows in their homes, compared to an overwhelming majority of Boomers (91 percent).

Ready to build or remodel your dream home?  Get help by visiting HBAofGreenville.com to find the Approved Professional who can help you with your new home project.