Westchester 2 Exterior After
I would never advise anyone on their personal investments in real estate or otherwise. I will only comment on the current market conditions I am seeing. Rarely in my career as an architect have I seen the economic conditions align so strongly in favor of the consumer. My sister-in-law, who is a schoolteacher, purchased her first home well below the price she would have paid a year before. While the house required extensive updating, she was able to save significantly on renovation costs compared to what it would have cost just a year earlier.

The following are 5 reasons I think this a great time to buy and build and renovate:

  1. Home prices are down dramatically from their recent highs.
  2. Commodity prices of some building materials have fallen, although others are rising.
  3. Energy surcharges from a couple of years ago have been eliminated.
  4. Reliable high quality builders are available and are more competitive
  5. There are more ‘green’ and energy efficient materials on the market than in years.

As we move toward a full recovery in the economy, the same elements that caused the spike in real estate and construction will return: limited supply of fossil fuels, competition for resources from emerging nations, the desire to live in communities with good school systems and bucolic settings. The price to buy, build and renovate will begin to rise on a daily basis as it did for the last 10 years.

The images shown are the before and after photos of a house our clients bought a few years ago on a great site in a wonderful neighborhood and with a leap of faith imagined a home they could love.

Levy 019 Before

About the Author: James Crisp

James M. Crisp has been an architect for well over 30 years. His architectural firm, Crisp Architects, designs projects throughout New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts. In April of 2007, Taunton Press published 'On the Porch' by James M. Crisp and Sandra Mahoney.

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