New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 26, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas
July-August, 1985THE REAL ESTATE NEWS
Builders are not the ones to blame for rising ceiling of house prices
Evaluating A Home —Inside and Out—
NEW YORK (AP) — A glance at a chart of housing costs seemingly reveals the extraordinary story of why a house priced at $9,500 in 1949 cost more than seven times that amount, or $70,000, in 1982.
Almost as a reflex, some people put all the blame on the builder, but the facts usually do not support the accusation.
The real culprits, the statistics and charts show, have been the sharp rises in the price of land and the cost of financing, the former accounting for 24 percent of costs and the latter 15 percent.
Back in 1949 those components were only a fraction of what they are now. l and made up ll percent of the price of the typical new single-family house, financing just 5 percent.
Overhead and profit, the two components for which the builder alone is responsible, varied little over the 23-year period, the percentage being 15 in 1949, 17 in 1969 and 16 in 1982.
And so, it seems, the story is told — except that it is not, says Clyde Carter, a former Connecticut builder who retired in Santa Rosa, C alif.
Somewhere in those percentages — perhaps in the land category — there is the inflationary impact of the ‘‘do
gooders, politicians and entrenched public officials.”
‘‘The do-gooders, environmentalists, politicians and entrenched officials — most of whom already own houses of their own —- find the builder easy game,” he says, explaining that they ‘‘find popular support of the idea that if the builder wants to build, he has to pay.”
He lists these as some of the roadblocks, or fees, set up during this period that inevitably add to housing costs:
Permits to support “bureaucratic” building departments; fees to short-term, midterm, long-term planning departments; money to design review departments; unrealistic inspections; funds for group studies of compliance with energy regulations; and costly and timeconsuming environmental studies.
The do-gooders, environmentalists, politicians and entrenched officials ...find the builder easy game.
You may have fallen in love with your dream home but don’t forget that there is more to a home than meets the eye. Here are some tips on how to evaluate the condition of the home and thus prevent the need for extensive repairs in the future.
• Front and rear yard. Check the lot after a rain shower. The yard should be graded so that there arc no serious drainage problems. You should be comfortable with the size of the yard and the landscaping.
• Walkways, steps and patio. These should be relatively free of cracks, missing bricks, stones or planks.
• Driveway. Check the condition and grading of the driveway. Puddles of water can damage the concrete or blacktop of the driveway.
• Exterior siding and or paint. Is the siding and/or paint in good condition?
• Roof and gutters. Is the roof in good shape? Any evidence of mivsing shingles could mean a new roof is needed. Do the gutters leak? Are they properly attached to the house? Are the gutters debris-free and do the spouts allow for adequate drainage?
• Foundation. Are there any gaps or craks in the foundation?
• Room size. All rooms should be large enough for your furniture. Is closet space adequate? Are there enough electrical outlets?
• Appliances. Check the operation of all appliances that will convey with the home. Run the dishwasher, washer, dryer, disposal, oven, microwave and test burner.
• Doors and windows. Open and close all doors and windows. Does the house include storm windows? Screens? Are doors and windows properly weatherstripped?
• Plumbing. Turn on alt faucets on hot and cold Run the shower. Flush toilets.
• Electrical outlets Is there an adequate number of electrical outlets? In the bath? In the kitchen?
• Kitchen. Are there plentv of cabinets and storage space? Is the floor easy to care for? Is there enough counterspace? Are countertops in good conditon?
• Basement and crawl space Check for water marks along the walls and floors that would indicate a wet basement. Is there a musty smell or is there evidence of mildew?
• Docs the crawl space have a vapor barrier covering the ground? Is it ventilated? HY AC Systems?
• Water pipes. In older homes, pipes should be copper rather than iron. Some newer homes may have copper or polybutylcne water pipes with PCY’ drainage pipes.
• Hot water heater. Is the
capacity the recommended 40 gallons for gas and 80 gallons for electric? Is the water pressure good?
• f urnace. Has the furnace been checked recently? Is it in good condition? Are heating pipes and ductwork well-insulatcd?
• Air Conditioning. If the house does not have central air conditioning do the air conditioning units convey? Is the cooling capacity adequate? Is the airconditioning unit or system in good condition?
• W iring Die house should have copper and not aluminum wiring and the wiring should be Ul I isled. Does the home have enough circuits and adequate voltage?
These are a few of the things to look for when you are seriously considering buying a home. It is also a good idea to pay a professional home inspector for a handwritten report on the condition of the home. An inspector can many times detect defects that could reduce the price of the home so it is worth the $50 — $200 charge. Then, at least, you won’t have any unexpected repairs.REAL ESTATE SALESTUE CAREER FOR WOMEN OF TODAYCOULD THIS BE YOU?She is a Professional... a Homemaker . . . Confident. . . Self Assured . . . Successful.
She has Ihe best of both worlds, tier career in real estate sales gives her the opportunity to grow profesionally, and she has the independence to set her own schedule . . . with the flexibility for those times when only Mom will do.
lf you would like all these advantages and unlimited financial rewards, look into real estate sales.
Call our nearest office for a confidential interview today!Spring Meadows* A Refreshing New Community*
It you made a checklist of all the things you wanted iii the neighborhood. Spring Meadow s would answer your needs. A dramatic new community of fine homes from Ray Edison with below-market VA-FHA-Conventional financing available.
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