Two rather large and emerging issues are facing housing — huge increases in trucking costs and a shortage of skilled craftsmen. Today’s column focuses on the trucking crisis facing America. Next week, we’ll discuss America’s shortage of skilled craftsmen.
According to RealtyTrac, Florida leads the nation in foreclosures, despite an overall 3.9 percent decline since last August. More troubling is the 74 percent increase in new foreclosure filings from July to August, and that number is up 24 percent from the prior year.
Most well-constructed homes in Lake and Sumter counties begin with a strong concrete foundation and slab, built with high-quality concrete by experienced craftsmen. A good concrete foundation has properly sized footers to support the load-bearing points of the home. The concrete slab should be level, with minimal cracking and a finish that is almost chalky white in appearance, and prepped for flooring.
Let’s face it, when it comes to home repairs there are some people who are just better and more astute with a do-it-yourself project than others. If you don’t have an inkling of how to tackle a DIY project, then don’t. Instead, hire a professional.
Home inspections have become an important part of the home-buying process, as insurance companies no longer automatically insure homes constructed with outdated building codes, and financial institutions seek assurances the homes they are financing are free of defects.
Right now, tens of thousands of baby boomers are daydreaming about the day they can retire to Florida. Pictures of tropical weather, golf courses, beaches and the homes of their dreams have been vividly etched into their subconscious. For the first time in their adult life, it’s all about them and what they want.
I n late July, the Lake County Board of County Commissioners voted 4-1 to increase the property tax millage rate by 18 percent to fund raises for county employees, the purchase of new vehicles, expansion of parks and more money for the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.
For millions of Americans, the inability to obtain financing for a new home or remodel has created a sense of entrapment and hopelessness.
Slick wordplay has become the jewel of fast-talking marketers and politicians. For instance, when a politician talks about increasing revenues, what he really means is he wants to raise taxes. In the construction industry, the term "value engineering" doesn’t mean building to higher quality but rather taking a shortcut to meet bare minimum standards in order to save money.
No item used in a home during construction or maintenance is more important than caulk. For many homeowners and builders, caulk is the least researched and most misused product in the home.
The largest investment most people will ever make is their home, and there is no better advocate for homeowners in regard to affordability, building standards and consumer protection than the Home Builders Association of Lake-Sumter.
With heavy rainstorms so prevalent this time of year, many owners of manufactured homes, businesses, homes with metal roofing, campers and flat roofs battle endlessly against roof leaks. Unlike roofs with conventional three-tab or architectural fiberglass asphalt shingles, in which roof penetrations are typically easier to see, these other roofs can develop leaks anywhere. Finding a leak in a manufactured home, flat roof or camper is virtually impossible in some cases.
It’s summertime in Central Florida, and in a matter of minutes the weather can go from hot and sunny to stormy with the temperature dropping 25 degrees. Extreme weather changes are rough on your roof and, according to Mike Curry of Curry’s Roofing, most homeowner’s have no idea until it’s too late.
Patience is a virtue, but when it comes to painting it is a necessity. A successful paint job starts long before the first tint is added or bucket is opened; it begins with thorough preparation of the surface. Slapping a coat of paint on an unprepared surface is like applying makeup to a dirty face — it just won’t look right.
Many homeowners who start remodeling projects, which require room additions, are stunned with sticker-shock by the hidden costs of this type of project. Most of them think, and rightly so, adding a room to a house should be really simple and not too expensive. However, that is not the case in Lake County or the state of Florida.
With the base price of most new homes anywhere from $80-$120 per square foot, savvy homeowners understand the necessity of utilizing every available space.
On March 21, President Obama signed the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 into law. This legislation repeals and delays certain aspects of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, which was put in place to eliminate the federal subsidizing of rates for homeowners and businesses in known flood areas.
New technology in residential electrical boxes and breakers has made homes safer, but these products have created some unintended problems for homeowners according to Kelly Lenhart, owner of Lenhart Electric Company in Wildwood.
The American and local economies heavily depend on a robust housing market because a house is the one true product manufactured in America. In addition, it is the best catalyst for a household formation.
An air conditioner breaking down in the midst of summer is the worst time for a homeowner not to know anything about their cooling and heating system.
The old adage, “They’ll steal anything that is not nailed down” is truer today than ever before, especially on construction jobsites.
For many home buyers, an Energy Smart Home typically means a home built with costly, high-tech gadgets. However, there is a movement in home design that takes a less costly, passive approach by incorporating energy-saving features into the building plans. By focusing on practical, proven methods of construction in the plans, builders are able to offer to their buyers homes with stunning energy savings. The real challenge with these designs is making them unseen to the home buyer.
How many times a day do you go through your front, side or garage-entry door and wince because of how ugly, worn-out or beat up it looks? Florida’s rainy, hot tropical climate is brutal on doors and for years, homeowners had to accept ugly doors as a reality. Today, thanks to technology, beautiful, long-lasting doors can be found at very reasonable prices.
Reverse mortgages have become one of the more popular home mortgage options available for seniors in the area, but for many, reverse mortgages remain a mystery and are viewed very skeptically. Most reverse mortgage pitches seem too good to be true and it leaves seniors looking for the hitch.