A higher standard

The recent “hoopla” over Congressman Anthony Weiner’s alleged porn star Twitter pal, Ginger Lee, his reputed on-line flirtations with five other women and the newest revelations about photography of his body parts that he may have distributed through email did not even cause me to raise an eyebrow as I have unfortunately (and unnecessarily) learned of the sexual foibles and peccadilloes (as well as much worse) from scores of politicians on both sides of the aisle in recent years. In reality, these salacious events should appeal only to sensationalism seekers as they are neither news-worthy nor deserving of air time or page space as they take our time and attention away from the truly important matters that we face every day in this country and the world.

The bottom line for me from this episode is a reinforcement of my belief that we, as the public, are simply foolish when we hold our elected officials and other public figures to a higher standard of conduct as we will constantly be disappointed as we find that for the most part they are simply fallible human beings.

However, in the business of homebuilding we do have a higher standard and we often tend to forget the true value that this creates. I posted an article on Linked In last week reiterating my position that the media needs to stop concentrating on the S&P/Case Shiller index as it is heavily prejudiced by foreclosures and is based on only 20 volatile, larger, mostly coastal markets and therefore diminishes the apparent values of all housing nationwide. Instead, I suggested that we need to focus on more realistic sources such as the CoreLogic index which excludes foreclosures or the Altos Mid-Cities Composite™ index, both of which show that non-foreclosed housing values across the country have generally either stabilized or are experiencing appreciation.

There has also been a substantial amount of media coverage lately reporting on both the declining prices of new homes as well as the shrinking differential in pricing between new homes and used homes. What these stories suggest is that new home values are falling when, in fact, this is simply not true. These price declines primarily reflect revisions in home sizes and features as homebuilders move from building for the move-up markets to targeting the newly emerging Gen X and Millennial first time buyers – smaller homes with less “goodies”, necessary to satisfy the more cost-sensitive buyers, will obviously sell for lower prices.

The indisputable fact is that regardless of the news media continuing its campaign of sensationalistic reporting on housing, new homes are better than “used” homes in almost every way – they should have higher values and we in the homebuilding industry have failed to properly get this message out to the homebuying public.

New homes do have higher standards:

– New homes are better designed with rooms, space allocation, utilization and traffic patterns that are appropriate for the way people live today.

– New homes are light, bright and comfortable providing an enhanced living experience.

– New homes provide new mechanical systems and appliances with manufacturer warranties that will save homeowners substantial aggravation, time and money.

– New homes typically include builder warranties further saving buyers time, money and grief.

– New home are “new” – they are fresh and clean and homebuyers can choose the finishes that they want to reflect their individual and unique tastes and lifestyles.

– New homes have modern kitchens and bathrooms that increase the convenience, enjoyment and psychological benefits of home ownership.

– New homes are far more energy efficient and provide buyers with substantial financial savings over the term of their ownership while benefitting the environment.

– New homes are technologically current and ready for the information age.

– New homes tend to be located in new communities that are planned to provide better living environments.

– New homes are sold by new home professionals who have complete knowledge about the homes, the community, and the homebuying process and make the entire purchase experience far easier and less stressful.

– New homes benefit the economy by creating and supporting high paying jobs that stimulate economic prosperity.

– New homes have historically provided greater appreciation than used homes.

That’s just my opinion and, as I am not a politician and do not have Twitter relationships with porn stars, it will probably not get the publicity that it deserves.

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