There’s a lot of interesting information to chew on from this article in Builder Magazine on “the New Normal”. With all the news about renting on the rise, and conflicting accounts on where the market is in terms of the housing recovery, it’s useful to see some real qualitative research on what people in the market are thinking.

Seven out of 10 people responding to our survey said it’s a very good time to buy a home. They see that home prices have declined, mortgages are cheap, and lots of bargains are available. But many people don’t have the money, the credit, or the inclination to go out and participate in what could be the housing market of a lifetime.

This rings true. We’re encountering very little doubt among those who visit our developments that it is an attractive time to buy a home, the complications come from personal circumstances. Fortunately, we’re finding that those complications can often be mitigated.

Americans have a conflicted view toward housing today, to be sure. The survey findings show that a full 72 percent of the country still believes that owning a home is an important part of their family’s dream and the American economy. And in our focus groups most people concurred that achieving homeownership says something about a family’s success and stability.

With the world moving faster and faster, it’s no surprise that people want a sense of permanence where they can attain it. The conclusion I draw from the article is that the “new normal” isn’t very different from the “old normal” or “normal normal”, in that people want to own a home, and many would prefer a new home, but reaching that goal can be harder.

Builders really have their work cut out for them today, considering that more people prefer existing homes over new homes, and that those existing homes are perceived to be much less expensive. Even so, 29 percent of current homeowners would prefer to buy a new home, if they bought another. What do people like best about new homes? “Everything is new” was the top response, cited by 82 percent of current homeowners.

New homes have some practical advantages as well. Our survey shows that the next hottest buttons are low-maintenance and energy-efficiency. People are drawn by the opportunity to save precious time spent on home repairs, and they understand that a more efficient home will have a better chance to retain its value due to lower operating costs. It’s significant that these attributes finished higher than traditional drivers of new-home purchases—fresh floor plans and the ability to customize the home, though those finish high on the list, too.

If you are in the market for a new home, whether it would take some troubleshooting to do so or not, it would be our pleasure to assist you. We’re all in this together!