Private residential construction spending is spending on construction by private parties and homeowners.  Data about this construction spending is collected from retail and wholesale outlets nationally. It seems that homeowners and small builders have a positive outlook on the economy and are spending money on new home construction on their own land or lot, as well as additions and remodeling to existing homes that they own.  Many people buy land12-196 Bedico Creek Mud Room and hold it for awhile before they decide to build a new home.  By owning land, there is an opportunity for new home builders to be able to more easily qualify for a construction loan by utilizing the equity in the land.

In addition to new home construction, homeowners are improving their homes as well, by contracting popular remodeling projects, such as kitchen, master bath, and outdoor area remodels.  Additions of pool houses, mother-in-law suites, and over-the-garage apartments are also popular construction projects for existing homeowners, which contribute money to the total amount of private construction spending during the month of July.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) did an analysis of the Census Construction Spending, and the data showed an increase of private residential construction spending of .8% in July over June, 2017, to an amount of $523.1 billion.  This increase was also an 11.6% increase year-over-year compared to 2016, and it was the third consecutive monthly increase for private construction spending after it went down slightly in April, 2017.

The breakdown in construction spending between single-family home construction and home improvement of existing homes shows that new home construction went up by .8% compared to June to reach $264.1 billion, and $192.4 billion was spent on home remodeling or renovation, which was a 1.41% increase month-over-month.  Also remodeling / renovation spending was up a total of 16.5% year-over-year compared to July, 2016.

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The U.S. National Home Price NSA Index is reporting an increase of 4.3% over the peak of the same index in 2006, which was at its highest level right before the housing crash.  Home prices went up in June, 2017 5.8%, which was slightly higher than May’s 5.7% increase.  The index, which is formally called the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. 6-Lot 127 Maison du Lac Kitchen IslandNational Home Price NSA Index, was also up 43.7% above its lowest point in 2012 after the housing market crash.  Home prices have continually risen since the real estate market began its recovery, and they continue to climb. In fact, housing pricing reached another all time high in June.

“The trend of increasing home prices is continuing,” says David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Price increases are supported by a tight housing market. Both the number of homes for sale and the number of days a house is on the market have declined for four to five years. Currently the months-supply of existing homes for sale is low, at 4.2 months. In addition, housing starts remain below their pre-financial crisis peak as new home sales have not recovered as fast as existing home sales.”

According to Blitzer, the housing market now has the “problem” of not having enough supply to meet the demand.  Even with the increase in home pricing, there is a reason that home buyers are still purchasing homes for sale despite the continuous price increases.  Unemployment rates continue to decline, and jobs are being added to the market at an average pace of 200,000 jobs per month.  Mortgage rates have flinched with increases from the Federal Reserve, but they are still holding steady at or below 4%, which is a historically low interest rate for home buying purchases.

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There are many tools that you can use during the home buying process.  You can do the majority of your own research by using online resources on the Internet.  You can manage your finances and credit and get quotes from lenders and banks on your mortgage.  You can research different areas of town to find the best locations to buy your home by checking out reviews of area information.  Once you find out how much you are able to spend, where youAgent with Contract want to purchase your home, and different homes that you would like to actually go out and visit, you can retain a Realtor to act as your buyer’s agent to buy your new home.

Even if you hire a Realtor, you are going to want to stay the savvy, “in the know” home buyer who knows the questions to ask and the information to get in order to get the best home for the huge investment that you are going to make on your home.  Below is information which is important to know when buying a new home.

What Is Allowed

Unless you are buying a home in an established community with known restrictive covenants and a homeowners association, you are going to want to make sure that anything you want to do to or store at your home is allowed. 12-22nd Avenue Patio & Pavers Zoning laws can hamper a new homeowner’s aspirations by not allowing you to run a business out of your home, build a workshop at your house, build a fence, store your boat or RV, or add an addition.  So, before you sign on the dotted line, be sure to know if the home you are buying has any zoning or covenant restrictions.

Use an Inspector

If you are buying your home “as is” with no changes or required improvements by the seller, then you won’t need to worry about the condition of the home.  However, if you want to make sure that you get your return on investment, and don’t “buy a lemon,” you will want to make sure you get a home inspection.  Realtors know many people in the real estate industry, so they may be able to recommend a quality inspector to you, but make sure that the inspector they use is extremely thorough and has your, as the buyer, best interests in mind when making the inspection.  You definitely don’t want an inspector who glosses over a report so that your Realtor can “make the sale.”  You may want to get a referral and hire your own inspector.  If necessary, get the seller to cover the cost of a home warranty that covers all major appliances and structural systems of the home to “cover your bases,” as well.

Your Contract

Just like your parents and teachers always taught you, don’t sign anything unless you read it.  This applies to every piece of paperwork that you are going to sign regarding your new home purchase, from your contract, to counter 6-22nd Avenue Backlit Cabinetryoffers, to waivers, to your closing documents.  Not only should you make sure that you read everything, but you should also be sure to “read all of the fine print.”  If there is anything that you absolutely don’t understand, make sure you get it clarified before you sign anything.  Another important point about this is to get everything extra in writing.  This includes everything that is outside of or not written on the paperwork that you are reading and signing.  If the seller promises to fix a faucet, repair a door frame, or include additional equipment to “make the sale,” make sure you get it in writing.

Negotiate Everything

Most everything is negotiable when buying a home from the home price, the purchase of a warranty, home repairs / deductions, and closing costs.  Any chance you see to save yourself some money, attempt to negotiate.  It never hurts to ask the seller, especially if you are already qualified with guaranteed money from your lender.  The worst thing that can happen is that the seller can so no.

Using the tips above along with the other tools at your disposal to make a good home buying decisions, you can retain a Realtor and then monitor the process yourself to make sure that you are fully informed during your home buying process.

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Finding a new home to buy is an exciting and even entertaining way to spend your time.  The thrill of knowing that you are soon to become a homeowner and “have your own place” is one of the best experiences that you can have.  However, below are some tips on how to be the expert home shopper when it comes to finding either your dream home or your next investment.


There are a couple of things to take care of before you start your home shopper experience.  First of all, make sure you give yourself plenty of time, dependent on your personality, to make a good choice of a home to buy.  This means that you don’t want to start looking for a new home when your lease is about to expire in a week or your are required to move within a couple of weeks.  Because it’s such a huge investment, buying a home shouldn’t be a rushedShowing Homes decision unless you are good at seeing something and making a quick decision, and you are comfortable with this process.

Secondly, find out how much home you can buy – how much you can afford. You will want to carefully and thoughtfully narrow your search to homes for which you are able to actually get a loan, so you don’t waste your time touring homes that may be out of your price range.  Also, be sure to put yourself in the best position as a buyer by getting a lender commitment letter to show that you pre-qualify for the financing on a new home.

Decide Your Features

This is your dream home, so dream big.  Sit down and brainstorm the features that you want in your new home.  Decide what you can and can’t live without and then stick to your list.  If a home that you are touring measures up to most of your wishlist, and you are willing to compromise on some items; that’s o.k. as long as your began your search with a clear idea of exactly the type of home you wanted to buy in mind.

Be Organized

Once you have given yourself plenty of time, gotten pre-qualified for your loan, decided what you wanted in a house; then you can begin the home buying process.  Stay organized by possibly using an app to map out the homes you are going to look at, take notes about the homes that you especially like so you can keep your choices straight, and make sure you have enough time in a day to tour everything you want to see. If necessary, break up the tour days to allowappraisal of your home yourself time to take a lunch break, relax and consider home options, and simply take care of yourself.  This isn’t a race, it’s a marathon, and there may be many homes in the bunch that you look at before you find the perfect one.  Dress comfortably with the weather in mind, and you might even want to wear shoes that slip on and off for those particular homeowners who require you to keep their floors neat and clean.

A Second Look / Comparison

Once you have your list of top selections, go out and tour them again because the second time through might help you see pros and cons that you didn’t see the first time through.  You will want to do this in a timely manner for homes that you really like because real estate is booming throughout the country, and homes are not staying long on the market. Home inventory is down to just over a 4-month supply which is the sign of a healty economy.

If you are interested in buying a new home for sale, Contact Ron Lee Homes at 985-626-7619 or E-mail for more information on New Homes for Sale.

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Since the late 1990’s, home buyers interested in a buying a home have dramatically increased their usage of the Internet to find available homes for sale. In fact, 2016 statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that 95% of home buyers used Internet searches throughout their home buying process.  Of that 44% of home buyers started their home search online. And, 100% of home shoppers used the Internet to search for a specific property address.

Of these home buyers, 99% of Millennials, the new generation of home buyers, used the Internet to search for homes for sale compared to 89% of the Baby Boomer generation.  And, Millennials are known for their intensive and overwhelming dedication to complete research of any product that they will buy.  This generation is known for17-12 Bedico Creek Private Back Patio visiting multiple websites to compare just one product before purchasing it.  Also, Millennials are just now able to find employment in their field and begin to pay off student loans and begin their search for a home now that employment is on an upward trend after the Recession.  Because of the limited availability of extra cash for a down payment and the tightness of home inventory available to new home buyers, especially first-time home buyers, Millennials are interested in purchasing a home that does not need a lot of work or improvement in order to be able to support themselves and not spend money on repairs or renovations.

What has materialized out of this information is that Millennials may purchase a new home for sale, built brand new buy a builder instead of a “fixer-upper” home that requires additional money for upgrading or improvements.  Also, Millennials typically purchase their “starter home” with plans to move again soon in the future to a 2nd or 3rd home choice, so they actually spend less time in their first home purchase than previous first time home buyer trends would indicate.

This information has given valuable insight to professionals who assist Millennials in the search for the home that they are buying.  Builders know that Millennials may prefer to buy a new versus a previously owned home, so as long as they are a quality builder whose work is showcased effectively to a Millennial buyer, they start out with an “edge” over the competition.  This information has also helped Realtors who assist Millennial buyers by helping prep home sellers who have homes to sell in the price range of Millennial buyers to make sure their homes are improved, upgraded, and ready to sell without any additional construction or renovation work required.  Millennials tend to buy homes that are “just right.”

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There is absolutely no doubt that the housing market is recovering steadily without any pit stops along the way. As statistics are released each month by multiple agencies, the news is always the same: records are being set, year-over-year increases in new home sales, existing home sales, and all home sales are happening almost every quarter, 12-932 Beauregard Pkwy. Custom Pavers in Courtyardand the built-up housing inventory of the Recession is in its 103rd consecutive month of year-over-year decreases since the market dropped out in October, 2008.  That last statistic is pretty mind boggling when you think about how bad builders and home sellers alike were suffering, holding onto properties and paying the taxes, mortgages, and expenses on these properties – waiting for the market to turn.

Well, the good news is – it has! May, 2017 is showing the strongest sales numbers for any May in the 9-year history of the RE/MAX National Housing Report – a 20.6%, year-over-year increase of total home sales compared to 2016.  Two other records were also set during the month of May: the average time a home for sale was on the market was only 51 days, and the housing inventory supply shrank to a 4-932 Beauregard Pkwy. Batten Board and Wooden Beamshockingly low time period of only a 2.6 month’s supply.

What isn’t news and is still being watched by many economists is the average home price increased to $232,500 – the second highest price in the month of May in the history of the report behind the median sales price of $236,062 in August, 2008, right before the Recession. Home prices and rising interest rates have been a concern as home buyers are trying to get loan approvals to being the home buying process.

“In May, we saw an uptick of both loan applications and home sales, which is encouraging in terms of more people getting into the market for homes,” said Adam Contos, RE/MAX Co-CEO. “We don’t expect that the Federal Reserve’s announcement on Wednesday to raise interest rates a quarter of a point will greatly affect the market’s momentum. But housing demand only intensifies the tug-of-war with tight inventories driving prices up.”

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Do you ask yourself the question should I rent or should I own? If you are looking for a smart investment then owning is the way to go. Here are some things to think about when weighing owning versus renting.

Whether you are renting or purchasing your money matters!  Research where to get the most return for your money.2-753 Bedico Creek Custom Paver Entryway The amount housing prices go up will greatly affect your return.  There are many resources to tap into where you can find great information about retirement, saving for college, investing and online financial services.

Look at a mortgage on a home as a means of saving money. A great advantage for homeownership is the ability to deduct your mortgage interest from your taxable income.

“Another primary advantage is the opportunity to build wealth via earned equity that is not available through renting,” says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president for ATTOM Data Solutions. “We know that home values do not always go up. But over the long term, they have consistently trended higher.”

Many people think of stocks, bonds, savings accounts, retirement accounts and cd’s as solid ways to save your hard-earned income but there can be challenges with these as well.  You might plan on and begin to set away a certain amount of income to one of these investments each month, however a life-changing event such as aging parents, growing children, job loss or health issues can wreak havoc on this plan.

Right now, a mortgage is more affordable than rent.   According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban 20-324 TerraBella Custom Hot Tub & PoolDevelopment, Bureau of Labor Statistics and Realty Trac, fair market rent on a 3-bedroom home is less affordable than a mortgage on a median-priced home in a majority of the counties across America.  Monthly rent takes up 38.6% of average wages where a mortgage only requires 36.6%.  Fair market rents across America are rising faster than the average wages.

Blomquist comments, “Today’s near record low homeownership rate, combined with low inventory of rental property, have combined to push rental rates higher during the housing recovery. In the majority of markets, home price appreciation has been outpaced by growth in rental rates.”

Remember it is not just a financial choice but an emotional choice as well when making a decision on your primary dwelling. Where we live makes a huge difference in our everyday life. From use of space to a lush backyard garden, to the installation of a fountain, outdoor kitchen, firepit, or home pool, Homeowners can enjoy more privacy and flexibility to make changes to their living space.

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To see national total homes sales which include single-family homes and condos grow 5% year-over-year and 1.4% compared to the 4th quarter, 2016, reaching a total of 5.62 million total sales is incredible for the first quarter of 2017, but to know that it is the second highest growth rate in real estate sales since 2007’s 5.66 million is outstanding.  However, that is where home sales stand in the first quarter of this year.  Currently, there is only a 3.7Lot 52, Willow Bend month supply of homes available for purchase, turning the market into a buyer’s market vs. a seller’s market.  Unfortunately for buyers, this has caused a problem when trying to buy affordably because home pricing has once again been on the rise after leveling out after the Recession.

For three quarters in a row, home prices have been on the rise.  The national median sales price for a single-family home was $232,100 in the 1st quarter which is an increase of 6.9% in a year-over-year comparison with 2016.  The highest growth of prices was actually seen in the 2nd quarter of 2015 when prices went up 8.2% in one quarter. This is the second highest growth rate since. During the 4th quarter of 2016, home buyers experienced a 5.9% in home prices, so the startling upward trend in the 1st quarter of the year is of concern with inventory dwindling and more buyers entering the market.  The most problematic part of this is that as home prices rise, the interest rates have also been increased, so the combination of 5-Lot 91 Maison du Lac Rustic Kitchen Design with Granitethe two have shown a slight lull in home sales as buyers have had to adjust and try to qualify with the new pricing and rates.

“Prospective buyers poured into the market to start the year, and while their increased presence led to a boost in sales, new listings failed to keep up and hovered around record lows all quarter,” Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist said. “Those able to successfully buy most likely had to outbid others – especially for those in the starter-home market – which in turn quickened price growth to the fastest quarterly pace in almost two years.”

Added Yun, “Several metro areas with the healthiest job gains in recent years continue to see a large upswing in buyer demand but lack the commensurate ramp up in new home construction. This is why many of these areas – in particular several parts of the South and West – are seeing unhealthy price appreciation that far exceeds incomes.”

In the southern region, there is encouraging news as total home sales increased 5.8% year-over-year compared to the 1st quarter of 2016 but also quarter-over-quarter as compared to the 4th quarter of 2016. However, one thing to watch was the 8.8% increase in home pricing compared to the first quarter of 2016, bringing the average home price to $209,000 in the South.

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With home pricing increasing in the last 3 consecutive quarters of 2016 and 2017, interest rates inching up because of the Fed allowing interest rate increases, and the supply of housing dwindling because of an active real estate market, the home buyers in the market to purchase a home are in for a lot of challenges as they try to find a home to2-324 TerraBella Front Porch View buy. Interestingly, the demographic of home buyers entering the market this spring is predicted to be 45% millennials.

“Millennials are mostly first-time buyers and they are competing against repeat buyers who have more buying leverage and experience,” said Javier Vivas, manager of economic research for He added that Millennials recently became the dominant group of users searching for homes on the website.

Most millennials will probably be first-time home buyers, and these buyers new to the market will be going up against seasoned home buyers who know how to bargain and bid for the homes that they have been evaluating since last year. Combined with a rise of 7% in home values (according to Zillow) and a shortage of home for sale inventory in the housing market – approximately a 3% drop 2-352-B TerraBella Custom Home Exteriorcompared to the same time last year; millennials will need to approach their purchase decisions prepared both financially and proactively.

Homes going on the market in this type of environment are typically swooped up quickly or immediately have several people bidding on one house. Advice to these first-time buyers would be to establish your loan approval before even beginning the home search process so that you know exactly the type and price of home you can afford. Then, move quickly on any new homes for sale that come on the market.  If the bidding war gets out of control, move on to the next prospect because going out of your approval amount or budget will only hold up your ability to close the sale. Most of all, don’t get frustrated – interest rates, though going up slightly, are still historically lower than in any years past, making now an excellent time to buy a home.

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One of Mandeville’s treasured landmarks which also services up to 1 million visitors a year, Pelican Park was recognized by the Louisiana Recreation and Park Association, receiving the Excellence in Parks Award for 2017 at the association’s recent annual conference in Baton Rouge.

Pelican Park and the Castine Center are located in an independently goverened district in St. Tammany Parish calledPelican Park Recreation District No. 1.  All oversight for this district is handled by a seven-member administrative board. The district takes in sales tax from its approximately 70,000 and uses the funds to run the park and event hall of the Castine Center.

Pelican Park itself offers 33 athletic fields, 2 gyms with a total of 4 courts, a dog park, walking trail, outdoor volleyball courts, and an 18-hole disc golf course. Events are held regularly at the Castine Center’s 46,000 square-foot facility located on the Park grounds.  Care and maintenance of Pelican Park and the Center are actually done by a lot of volunteer work.

“Thanks to the past and present dedicated volunteers, coaches and staff who have all contributed to making Pelican Park what it is today,” said Kathy Foley, Pelican Park Director, regarding the presentation of the Award of Excellence.

St. Tammany Parish’s Recreation District No. 1 recently bought approximately 100 acres to expand the services offered by Pelican Park.

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