post

New Home Construction Cost Increases

As if 2020 wasn’t challenging enough, home builders are seeing new home construction cost increases during the peak season this year. With as much as an 80 percent increase in the cost of lumber over the last four months*.

While the cost of new homes has risen gradually over the last few years, a recent spike in softwood lumber prices has caused an increase of over $16,000 to the average single-family home in just a few months. As of July 2020, the national median home price surpassed $300,000 for the first time ever.

Quickly rising costs and supply chain shortages for lumber and other building materials combined with economic uncertainty because of the coronavirus pandemic might seem like the recipe for a major slowdown in the housing marketing, however 2020 is not a typical year. Pent-up buyer demand coupled with historically low interest rates and limited inventory have combined to create heavy competition for homebuyers hoping to lock-in a low fixed-rate mortgage on a new home.

The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Index, which measures home builder confidence, hit an all-time high of 78 in August 2020. That confidence is bolstered by the fact that the supply of new home inventory is currently very low.

Historically low interest rates

According to a July CNN Business article, “The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to a record low of 2.98% this past week, according to Freddie Mac. That’s the lowest level in the nearly 50 years of the mortgage giant’s survey. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 2.48%.”

Between historically low interest rates and limited inventory on the market, many Realtors and Builders are seeing homebuyers in bidding wars to try and secure a new home even with the new home construction cost increases that have occurred over the last four months.

The price of lumber

*According to a recent NHAB article, … by the time Random Lengths reported prices on Aug. 21, the cost to builders had risen to $30,470 for the softwood lumber products in an average single-family home, and $11,061 for the products in an average multifamily home. This is a $13,543 (80%) and $5,122 (86%) increase respectively, in only four months.

The sudden spike in lumber prices coupled with the supply chain slowdowns and interruptions because of the coronavirus pandemic have increased the cost and time to build new homes. This has resulted in available inventory on the market shrinking to a three-month supply.

Other Factors Limiting New Home Inventory

Shortage of buildable lots and increased land prices

The lack of buildable lots is one of the largest issues facing home builders and one of the reasons that new home inventory is not keeping up with demand. Many builders don’t have the resources to develop their own land and depend on large developers to create buildable lots. This has created a backlog and increased the cost of new lots.

Increased regulatory costs

Local land use policies have made it more difficult to develop buildable lots and increased regulations have made the lots more expensive. This is leading to smaller lots and homes with higher costs that can make it difficult for builders to deliver new homes at a price the market can bear.

Shortage of Skilled Labor

With approximately 300,000 unfilled construction jobs as of June 2020, new home production has been greatly constrained which is another factor preventing home builders from meeting the demand for new homes. When the recession hit in 2008, many workers left the construction industry for other careers. Fewer young people are interested in construction related careers these days with parents steering them toward technology and white-collar careers.

Conclusion

Even with new home construction cost increases and limited new home inventory, the real estate market is experiencing a buyer’s frenzy this summer as homebuyers look to lock-in a low interest mortgage on a new home.

It is unlikely that new home prices will go down anytime soon, if ever, but the mortgage interest rates will eventually go up. That makes this a great time to buy a new home, even if they are getting harder to find.

More Info

For more information about McKee Homes communities, floorplans and quick move-in homes, please use the form below, our website contact us page, or give us a call at 910-672-7296 to talk with one of our friendly New Home Specialists.

post

More Room, More Flex Space for Life

Now more than ever … you need more flex space for life.

Home was just a home … until it wasn’t anymore. Now it’s a classroom, an office, a gym, a restaurant and a daycare. Luckily, McKee Homes multi-functional floorplans with up to 3 stories of living space, give you enough flex room to transform your home into what you need … and make doing life together at home much easier (and enjoyable)!

Below we are highlighting how McKee Homes floorplans support your new way of living. For as difficult of a time as it has been, we are infusing a little humor into scenarios that have become all too familiar for all of us. We hope you enjoy!

*Please note that features vary per floorplan. Some floorplans may incorporate features listed below and others may not.

*All bitmoji’s included in this diagram are of McKee Homes employees.

Large Backyard & Covered Patio:
Also Known As: The Backyard Escape & Dog Park

Luckily, you’re never “stuck” inside with a McKee Home. The covered patio serves as a great extension of every floorplan, offering additional living space with a colorful backdrop. The spacious patio provides an expansive space for a table and chairs, outdoor sofa and fire pit or a set of rocking chairs & foot stools. Whatever you envision as your outdoor sanctuary, McKee Homes creates a big-enough outdoor haven to make it possible. Take happy hour, Zoom lessons, kids homework or game nights outdoors for a change of scenery and fresh air that always keeps the mind and body healthy! Fido will be thankful for the space to explore and do its business in the large backyard, too. Think about all the memories you (immediate & fur family) can make during this time together with an outdoor entertainment pad. #Priceless

Best For:

  • Reading & Relaxing
  • Game Nights
  • Grilling & Summer BBQ’s
  • Being In Nature
  • Smores by the Outdoor Firepit
  • Date night for Mom and Dad

*Luckily the covered patios are spacious enough to accommodate the extra space between guests!

 

Large Open-Concept Kitchen with Kitchen Island
Aka The Snack, Homework & Baking Lounge

When you’re forced to stay home together, the kitchen – the heart of the home – becomes a multi-purpose room for cooking, snacking, homework, mini date nights and everything in between.

Luckily, the McKee Homes blueprint is based on a spacious open-concept plan that seamlessly connects the most-frequented rooms of the house – the family room, dining room, casual breakfast nook and kitchen – making the beautiful chaos of everyday family life easier.

A staple of our kitchens is the large chef-worthy peninsula and island that serves as:

  • A SNACK BAR: The kitchen island doubles as an eating (or snack) bar with ample room for bar stools for the whole family.
  • A BUFFET BAR: The large counter space is valuable for the cook in the family to chop, prep and layout a buffet-style meal for the entire family.
  • A HOMEWORK BAR: Little did we know when we designed our kitchen floorplans with large families in mind, that in 2020, this extra counter space would afford Mom and Dad enough room to spread out and make sense of the kids homework (we are in awe of all the parents out there!).
  • A SANITY SAVIOR: To keep your sanity while home-schooling, the expansive style of the kitchen allows you to overlook the cozy family room, enjoy the glow of the fire while playing the latest Hallmark movie.

No longer should your time together be stifled by a chopped up first-floor living plan that is “so 1980’s.” Allow the fun, laughter and memories to flow through your McKee Home with the kitchen being the core that keeps you together.


Finished 3rd Floor
Also Known As The Sports Club

When cooped up, the first thing to go is likely your sanity (sound familiar?).

When we thoughtfully laid out our multifunctional floorplans, we designed many of our blueprints with a third floor (finished and unfinished), not knowing that this additional living space would come in handy as a daily sports club during a nation-wide lock-down. Now that families are forced to stay inside, it’s paramount to incorporate body movement to fight off boredom, burn additional calories and increase endorphins that will keep you mentally and emotionally stable!

Here at McKee Homes, we are committed to saving your mental health! With optional full bath and kitchenette, your extra 3rd floor living space can serve as a full-functioning gym (or apartment, hotel, media room, _________ fill in the blank). Hang your big screen, switch on Beachbody On Demand and push yourself through a grueling yoga or cardio workout.

Doesn’t the ability to get away, even for a minute, sound dreamy?


Sunroom
Also Known As: The Zen Den

Another benefit of our creatively laid-out floor plans is the sunroom that sits off the main living area. With a dividing wall and fireplace, this room feels private and tranquil. In addition to the large windows that span every wall of the sunroom allowing natural light to seep through (we all need Vitamin D during this time), the secluded nature of this space makes it the ideal sanctuary for mindset work.

Feel free to set up a ‘Zen Den’ with blankets, pillows and a comfortable seating arrangement for meditation, journaling and breath work. This will help you manage stress, anxiety and uncomfortable thoughts and emotions that this time has most certainly brought on.

Large Garage
Aka The Man Cave

You have to have your “play” space too, we get it. That’s why we build in a space that can easily translate into the “man cave” or “she shed.”

The spacious 2 or 3-car garage (depending on your preference) is wide-open without any wasted square footage. Without worrying about scratching floors or ruining the carpet, you can set up furniture, arcade games, a big screen and a bar to make the ideal hangout. The garage is large enough to leave a vehicle parked, while enjoying the second-half of the room, too. It’s a win/win space.

Long Driveway & Front Yard
Also Known As: The Driveway Happy Hour Spot

Since de-stressing at a restaurant or bar after a hard day of work was out of the question, it doesn’t mean cocktail hour had to be … in a McKee Home.

McKee Homes makes happy hour at home easy with our expansive homesites that offer front yards large enough for an entire daycare (if you need to keep the kids in eyesight) and driveways long enough to crack open a cold beer and still maintain 6 ft from your favorite neighborhood friends.

The next time you’re ordered to stay at home, rest assured that McKee Homes designs a home that makes driveway happy hour not only doable, but enjoyable.


Office
Also Known As: The Zoom Room

No longer are people traveling to and from work, networking at conferences or hosting meetings in person. But adhering to deadlines and making the boss happy is still at the top of the priority list. The problem is that sitting at the dining room table while kids are screaming won’t produce your best work. To continue to meet expectations as a trusted employee, it’s imperative to have a sacred space that’s clean, quiet and all yours.

The McKee Homes first-floor Zoom Room (aka the office or flex room) offers a spacious office big enough for a large desk, chairs (6 ft apart) for visiting colleagues and a side table for printer and office supplies. We promise it will feel like you’re in a regular conference room when you log into your live Zoom Calls.

Although private, your office is still convenient to the rest of the open-concept first floor main living area, including your break room (sitting area) and cafeteria (kitchen) when it’s time to take a quick clarity or coffee break.


Open-Concept Living Room
Also Known As: The Google Classroom

Before, the living room was meant for game night after a family dinner or morning coffee over good conversation. Now, the kids are home and you’ve morphed into a 5th grade math teacher with no actual desk space, classroom materials or teaching credentials.

Don’t fret. To make the transition into home schooling easier, our open-concept first-floor layout features 9 ft trey ceilings that make the room feel much larger than it is. Additionally, the home seamlessly connects each room of the main living area, freely flowing through the family room, kitchen, casual breakfast nook and outdoor living area. The kitchen is grand and contemporary with a massive, chef-style island that serves as the ideal eating bar. What once was counter space for chopping and buffet meals is now extra room to spread out homework, calculators, rulers and more. Since the kitchen overflows into a casual dining area, you’re able to hop from one kid to the next to assist with all of their distant learning needs.

And, when the kids need to refuel their minds before submitting their final work, snacks are just a reach away.


Covered Front Porch
Also Known As: The Cozy Corner for Rest & Relaxation

After a full day inside with kids and your spouse, fresh air and nature always does the mind (and body) good. Not only does McKee Homes offer large homesites with spacious backyards and covered patios with a screened-in option, we also build in an luxurious outdoor living space in the front of the home, too. With a covered front porch that spans much of the home façade, you can create a R&R (rest & relaxation) shelter right out front. Position two rocking chairs or a slider bench to cozy up for:

  • Star gazing
  • Coffee break
  • Night cap
  • Good conversation with neighbors
  • Snuggle session with your significant other

Designed with a roof, you can escape anytime rain or shine.

Spa-Worth Master Bath
Also Known As: The Wellness Haven

During trying times, it’s essential to maintain a self care regimen that will strengthen your mind, body and spirit. Fortunately, our master suites come with a spa-worthy master bath fit for a king and queen … the “wellness haven” as we call it these days.

Escape to your five-star retreat within your own home at any time you need to refuel your tank. Rejuvenate yourself:

  • GARDEN TUB: Draw a bubble bath, put on a calming face mask, light a lavender candle and open a good book.
  • SEPARATE, LARGE TILED SHOWER: Put on a guided meditation or relaxing music and let the hot water soothe you.
  • DOUBLE SINK VANITY: Stretch out your skin care arsenal to really enjoy your “me” time.
  • WALK IN CLOSET: Slip on your most comfortable robe that you can find in the spacious closet connected to your master bath.

 

There you have it.

Your daily life doesn’t look the same anymore, which means your home can’t either. As you acclimate to a new way of living, the home that once supported your everyday life, all of a sudden doesn’t. Now that your home is a haven for so much more, it needs to support all the new functions it has been forced to take on. With McKee Homes’ multi-functional floorplans that come in all sizes and shapes, you can rest assured that this extra time at home with family will be easier and even enjoyable. We promise … more room and more flex space for life.

Interested in more room … and more flex space for life? Browse our available homes or homesites to find a home that fits your new needs. Feel free to call or text our friendly and knowledgeable Online Sales Team for more info, to ask questions or book a 1:1 private or virtual showing.

Call/text: (910) 672-7296
Visit: McKeeHomesNC.com
Fill out the form below.

post

Buying A Home Online: The Digital Home Buying Process

Just because you have to stay at home during this time, doesn’t mean you should stop the pursuit of your dream home. The concept of buying a home online might be foreign to some, but if you’re in the market for a new home, NOW is still the time to buy (and we’re not saying that just because we’re in the home buying & building industry).

The fact is … home buyer purchasing power is at an all-time high with interest rates at the lowest they’ve been in a decade (and they are expected to decrease even more through May 2020)! If you want to explore this unique opportunity that doesn’t come around often, we’re here to help with buying a home online (or at least starting the process), utilizing our easy-to-use digital tools.

Whether you’re looking for already-built, quick move-in ready homes or available homesites that you can build a new home from the ground up, we’re ready to give you a customized new home buying experience from the comfort of your current home.

Sounds too good to be true, right?

Wrong. Let’s break down how this process would work …

Let McKee Homes bring your new home to you …


First, Do Your Homework: Research McKee Homes Neighborhoods & Homes

McKee Homes builds new homes across North Carolina, in markets such as Southern Pines, Fayetteville, Wilmington, Raleigh and surrounding areas. You can find information on all of our communities on McKeeHomesNC.com/Find-A-Home, where you can learn about available homes and homesites, our portfolio of floor plans and features, neighborhood amenities and more.

Since home shopping online can be overwhelming, we have a few digital tools that will help you get clear on exactly what you are looking for:

  • Interactive Design App: You have an idea in your head of what you want in a new home, but don’t know how to bring it to life? Use our Interactive Design App to pick your floor plan, exterior colors, upgrades and more! Designing your new home from the comfort of your couch has never been so easy.
  • 3D Virtual Tours: Walk every single one of our floor plans as if you were in the home, right from your computer. Our interactive video tours allow you to walk through every room in the house with a click of the mouse, so you can experience the floor plan and special details for yourself.
  • Photo Galleries: Professional real estate photographers have captured every detail of each floor plan, which are showcased on our website. We also share photo galleries that feature design ideas for your future kitchen and bathrooms to inspire your inner designer and help you get a feel for what you’d like in your own home.


Try to visualize the long-term picture: an investment today will increase savings in the long run.

We can’t stress this enough … now is the time to buy. Interest rates are at a historic low and are enabling new homeowners to get more house for less at a lower monthly mortgage payment. Long-term this means saving more money for college tuitions, family vacations and retirement.


McKee Homes is here you for you, virtually, every step of the way!

McKee has always offered ways to facilitate the homebuying process electronically – including home tours via video chat, electronic purchase agreements, secure payment process for deposits and text, phone and email correspondence with our Builders, Design Consultants and New Home Sales Agents. Although nothing replaces the joy we get from face-to-face interaction with our new home buyers, we’re happy to be able to offer these virtual capabilities at a time like this. McKee allows homebuyers to tour their future homes virtually (or through a private 1:1 scheduled appointment), ask questions with our sales consultants and loan offers, sign a contract, pay deposits, pick design selections and do final walk-throughs of their homes from the comfort of their current homes. Go To Meeting, Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, Houseparty … you pick! We’ve used all of the virtual technologies and are happy to conduct a virtual home tour with your online video chat of choice.

At the end of the day, our sole mission is to match your family with a new home or homesite as quickly, easily and safely as possible. So, we’re here, virtually, ready when you are.

Have peace of mind with our trusted lender, Vision Lending

Getting a home loan for building a new home is not hard, especially digitally. Through Vision Lending’s secure online hub and mobile app, you can get pre-qualified and start your application, calculate payments with a built-in mortgage calculator, view your progress, securely scan and upload documents and easily message your loan officers as you go. Access to our loan officers via text, phone and FaceTime is available, too!

 

Private 1:1 Home Appointments: Our homes are thoroughly cleaned, top to bottom!

Your safety is our top priority, above any home sale. We have gone above and beyond to ensure the sanitation and safety of our homes – hand sanitizers, face masks for builders and trades, additional cleaning measures and strict social distancing rules as recommended by the CDC. As of right now, we are operating “By Appointment Only” for in-person tours where you can schedule a 1:1 private home showing with one of our New Home Consultants. More popular as of right now are our LIVE video home tours that you can book and conduct from any computer or phone.

 

Our home buyers are part of the McKee Family and we take care of family members. Have the comfort of knowing that we are here and doing everything we can to meet your needs, even during these trying times. If you’re ready to take advantage of the low-interest rates or need to move quickly due to work or family, let us know how we can help make your new home dreams come to life!

Feel free to reach out to us on the phone at 910-672-7296 or fill out the short form below!