Roanoke 540-563-5020 | Lynchburg 434-239-5077 | Winchester 540-665-1827 | Culpeper 540-727-0361 | Clarksburg, WV 304-566-7696 | Smith Mountain Lake 540-719-0181

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News from David James Homes

Rich House, House Poor

What does it mean to be house poor? According to the website Investopedia, the definition of house poor “describes a person who spends a large proportion of his or her total income on home ownership, including mortgage payments, property taxes, maintenance and utilities. House poor individuals are short of cash for discretionary items and tend to have trouble meeting other financial obligations like vehicle payments.”

There are two ways to become house poor.  Sometimes funds for essentials, such as  mortgage, property taxes, maintenance and utilities, coupled with living expenses are underestimated or life circumstances change the amount of your total income. That is why budgeting and knowing how much cash you will have on hand after your mortgage payment is vitally important.

“Experts say consumers should plan to spend approximately 25 percent of their income on home expenses,” the Investopedia website reported. “If a homeowner has few other expenses or no additional debt they could potentially spend up to 30 percent.”

With older existing homes expect the unexpected, because there may be more  expenditures with maintenance and upkeep. With new homes that is much less of an issue.

If a new home is in your future, check out David James Homes. With numerous family-friendly floor plans available, generous standard features and numerous options from which to choose, David James Homes may be the solution to your home-building dream. To find a design center near you, visit www.davidjamescustomhomes.com/#location.

 

Where do the buyers of David James Homes come from? (Part One)

That answer depends on the design center and office because every sales market is different.

David James Homes, Smith Mountain Lake/LakeWatch

Smith Mountain Lake is a resort community that encompasses three rural counties. Built as a hydroelectric dam in the mid-1960s, the 20,000-acre lake is a recreational playground for thousands. Many of thousands who visit eventually decide to make the lake their permanent home upon retirement.  The majority of those who relocate are retirees coming from the northeastern U.S., with the highest percentage from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Northern Virginia/Washington, D.C. In addition to the lake, the area features a  low cost of living, as well as low taxes. The median ages of those buyers are between 50 and 60 years old, according to Sales Manager Michel Kordich.

David James Homes, Winchester, Virginia

Located at the upper tip of Virginia and linked by the main corridor of I-81, the Winchester office of David James Homes caters to a disparate assortment of customers from a tri-state region. Winchester’s office serves customers who are commuters to Washington, D.C., residents of  West Virginia and those who live in outlying areas of Loudon County and Front Royal. The biggest factor that is driving housing in Winchester  is the lack of inventory. Availability of affordable housing is causing people to consider building as a viable alternative. The median age of home buyers in this area is between 40 and 50 years old, said Sales Manager Dan Connolly.

David James Homes, Roanoke, Virginia

Surrounded by the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Roanoke, Virginia is a vibrant city that offers a myriad of outdoor activities. Located in Southwestern Virginia, the majority of homes built by the Roanoke office of David James Homes are in surrounding counties where land is abundant, including Botetourt, Franklin, Montgomery and Bedford counties. Approximately 70 to 80 percent of Roanoke’s customers are home-grown while 20 to 30 percent are from out of the area, usually from the northeast. The median age of those who  are building are in their 50s, according to  Brian Wescott.

Are you a potential David James Homes customer? Want to know more about the advantages of building with David James Homes? Visit www.davidjamescustomhomes.com/#location to find a location near you.

Superior Basement Walls, a Popular Option at David James Homes

As an alternative to the standard poured foundation basement walls at David James Homes, there is the popular option of Superior Walls. Superior Walls are insulated, pre-cast concrete basement wall systems that are built off-site using formed molds. The concrete is strengthened with fiber reinforcement and rebar then cured and affixed steel studs and insulation. David James Homes specifies their basement walls at a height of 9 feet, pre-insulated R23 in West Virginia and R15 in Virginia.   

The biggest reason why people are choosing Superior Walls is because they save time in completing your home. Having an insulated foundation already prepped allows for efficiencies to occur in the interior of the home. Another plus is the overall strength of the panels and their dimensional accuracy.

Superior Walls are tried-and-true foundation systems that are used in thousands of homes per year. Surprisingly, pre-cast concrete walls do not require concrete footers to be poured. Instead, compacted, crushed stone is used, which provides for a strong base and a better weight distribution, as well as improved drainage.

Want to learn more about Superior Walls and the other home products offered by David James Homes? Your first step is to talk to a David James Homes sales specialist who can explain the construction process and can show you a myriad of options and standard product offerings. To find a David James Homes location near you, visit www.davidjamescustomhomes.com/#location.

Combined Living Might Be Your Answer to Home Ownership

It may not be commonplace, but Sonya Davis, Sales manager David James Homes Lynchburg office has noticed possibly a trend emerging in her market area; people, not necessarily connected by marriage purchasing homes together. After doing a little research this trend isn’t as rare as you might think. Blended families, as in the Brady Bunch have long combined into one household but as it turns out people from all walks of life are buying homes together. This includes sets of couples, best friends and relatives. Sonya reports that she has two best friends that have lost spouses have purchased a home together as well as a mother and a daughter. The combined living scenario could be a good fit for many households but preparation is key to making it work. The first thing that needs to be achieved is a written contract, The contract is necessary to document the financial agreement regarding the payment of mortgage and utilities, as well as how to deal with contingencies as in what happens if one of the occupants dies or is unable to pay. Shared Monthly Expenses The biggest advantage to combined purchasing and living arrangements is monthly expenses are shared. As the owner of the property you are obligated to meet your monthly mortgage as well as keep the property clean and well maintained. Sharing that expense makes it much easier to bear, as well it can help you in your personal finances in your ability to save for the future.  Getting a Mortgage Getting a qualified for a home mortgage might also work to your advantage. Your lender will require a credit score no less than 680. When you purchase a home with another person, two people are guaranteeing the loan and your odds of getting the loan are increased. As well another benefit is that down payments and closing costs are also split. Home Equity Gains Obviously after you purchase a home you will be paying a monthly mortgage. With those payments you are in effect purchasing a part of that home with each payment, thus gaining more equity in the home, meaning you’ll own a larger share of the home versus what is owed to the lender. When the home is eventually sold, per your agreement the proceeds from the sale will to be split, hopefully making you money. This differs from renting. When you rent, you are left with maybe only your security deposit after leaving the dwelling. Mortgage Interest Deduction As opposed to paying your monthly rent you will be paying the bank a mortgage a payment for use of their money. The interest you pay on that mortgage will at least be partially tax deductible. No matter what living arrangement you choose, building a home with David James Homes is a good option. Simply begin by visiting www.davidjamescustomhomes.com/#location to find a convenient location near you.

Active Housing Market Gives Prospective Homebuyers More Choices.

There has always been perception that existing houses are always less expensive than new construction. That myth is debunked in the Lynchburg, Virginia housing market. In Lynchburg, as well as many other markets, people are now realizing that they can build their own custom home at a comparable price to buying a used home.  Another issue when buying an existing home are the repairs that may be needed. “ It’s a beautiful home except that it needs a new roof or a new furnace and air conditioning” or “ I love the home except for the kitchen or bathroom.”  Those are added costs that need to be figured vs. everything being new and exactly what you choose when building.

While real estate numbers are ever changing, according to the website, Trulia, the median home price in Lynchburg from mid-summer into fall 2018 was $169,900, with an average square foot cost of $119.00. The median number represents half of the homes sold were either above or below that median amount.

The numbers bear out, that building a new home with your choices, on the land that your choose, is a viable and cost-effective way for you to fulfill your home building dream. The final cost of your home will depend on multiple factors, including the home plan, square footage, optional amenities and home site.

The best way to begin your home building journey is to start asking questions and to consult a David James Homes sales representative near you. Just visit www.davidjamescustomhomes.com/#location to find a convenient location.

 

David James Homes Supports the Local Economies

Fortunately, homes are not imported from China, and the buy local movement has caught on in America. That buy local label has applied to everything from tomatoes to craft beer, but what about housing as a local product?

When you invest in building a new home, you also are investing in your local economy, community and country. It is the single best way to build equity, and building a new home puts people to work in your community.

When you build a home with David James Homes, you fuel economic activity. David James Homes operates five offices throughout Virginia and West Virginia, and each office is invested in those communities. Each office employs its own local construction supervisor. The construction superintendent uses local tradesmen and subcontractors to complete your home. Subcontractors may include carpenters, roofers, electricians, plumbers and heating and air specialists all from the local area.  

“We make a great effort to use local subcontractors and locally sourced products in many instances,” said Matthew Malone, manager of the Clarksburg, West Virginia office. “For example, locally we use OC Cluss Lumber for our wood needs, as well our flooring is sourced from WCO Flooring America in Fairmont, West Virginia. Our ultimate goal is to satisfy our customers, but if we can help local businesses and people in the community at the same time, that’s an added bonus.”

If you are looking to build in the Clarksburg area, David James Homes is here to help you in your home building journey. Visit www.davidjamescustomhomes.com/clarksburg-wv-sales-center/for more information or contact Matthew Malone at m.malone@davidjamescustomhomes.com or 304-566-7696.

Winchester, Virginia is on the Rise

Our office in Winchester, Virginia, is the most competitive office in the David James Homes family of locations, according to manager Dan Connolly. In Winchester, competition is everywhere, from large tract and custom builders to single contractors working out of their pick-up trucks. With federal agencies opening Homeland Security and FBI offices, and its proximity to the Washington, D.C. metro area, and Tri state, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland markets, Winchester remains an active housing market. 

David James Homes is very competitive in the Winchester market. The advantages are the same throughout all the company’s offices. “We are well-positioned in this market because there is a lot of demand and low housing inventory,” Connolly said. “People do not want to settle for a tract home because of the limited plans and lack of choices. If they do find an existing home in the square footage they desire, extensive renovations are usually needed. If they build with David James Homes, they can get a new custom home with the amenities they want at a price they can still afford. Everyone is happy.”

Connolly said  David James Homes is most competitive in the $200,000 to $400,000 market, and that includes people from all walks of life, such as seniors interested in downsizing to millennials buying their first home.

If you are looking to build in the Winchester area, David James Homes is here to help you in your home building journey. Visit www.davidjamescustomhomes.com/winchester-va-sales-center/ for more information or contact Dan Connolly at d.connolly@davidjamescustomhomes.com or 540-665-1827.

Comfort Height Toilets

To most, a toilet may seem like an afterthought, but at David James Homes, it is a featured option. Your toilet is probably one of the most used items in your home, and if you are planning to build your forever home, it should be a priority. Comfort height toilets that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, have become increasingly popular, and from an Aging in Place perspective they are a necessity.

A comfort height toilet, which measures 17 to 19 inches from floor to seat, is considered chair level. Standard toilet measurements are, on average, about 15 inches from floor to seat. Those extra inches make a considerable difference when sitting and standing or transferring from a wheelchair onto a toilet seat. Regardless, many prefer these toilets over standard height toilets because of their comfort and ease of use. When planning to build a new home, consider the selection of toilets that are available.

Comfort height toilets are another example of the Aging in Place optional product offerings by David James Homes. Stop by one of our conveniently located Design Centers to see them and other products you might like to choose for your new home. Visit www.davidjamescustomhomes.com/locations to find Design Center near you.

Wash your Hands Easier

Sometimes it’s the little things in a home that can make it more livable. David James Homes offers eight comfort vanities that come standard in all bathrooms. While other builders might not bother worry with them, comfort height vanities are taller than conventional vanities and reduce the aggravation of bending and stooping to reach the sink. No matter whether you are tall or shorter in stature most everyone agrees that once you become accustomed to a comfort height vanity, you’ll find it more comfortable and instantly be able to tell the difference between standard vanities that can be up to 6 inches shorter.

Comfort height vanities are one of numerous offerings that you can come and experience while visiting a David James Homes Design Center. To find one near you, visit www.davidjamescustomhomes.com/#location.

Zero Threshold Showers

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines Aging in Place as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age, income or ability level.”

People who choose to build their forever home are selecting products and conveniences that will aid them as they age. An example of this is zero-threshold showers.

Every year more than 235,000 people are hurt while in the bathroom, and more than a third of those injuries happen while entering or exiting the bath or shower, according to a report in the New York Times. Zero-threshold showers are one solution to help prevent these injuries and are offered as an option in homes built by David James Homes.

Zero-threshold means there are no barriers between your bathroom floor and your shower and won’t require you to lift your leg to step into the shower or tub. Whether or not you have mobility problems as you age, this feature adds simplicity and ease of use to an everyday routine.  As we age even stepping over a 4-inch threshold, which is the height of most thresholds, can become problematic, if not dangerous.

Zero-threshold showers are just one of many optional Aging in Place offerings by David James Homes. Stop by one of our conveniently located Design Centers to see the products you would like to include in your new home. Visit www.davidjamescustomhomes.com/locations to find one near you.