It's a great time to begin designing the next award-winning home!
The Queen of England is renting party rooms at Buckingham palace, celebrity foreclosures are at an all time high, and your stock portfolio is still bouncing around like a street performer’s yo-yo. You have cabin fever and want to build a new house or renovate. What’s a person to do?
Let’s look at where others are investing?
Fine art auction houses are reporting record sales. Why? For starters, fine art holds its value. Perhaps another reason is that fine art is something tangible, unlike a stock portfolio. A priceless painting also has an emotional value. Someone took the time to craft it. It’s beautiful to look at. And, a good auction story is far better than a good stock sale story.
Fine homes are much the same. A quality designed and built home will hold its value and appreciate as the market rebounds. The key here is to know what value is in a fine home.
There are deals to be had even in building or renovating a fine home.
While materials may have seen some increases due to higher fuel prices involved in getting them from point A to the construction site, labor prices, generally speaking, are very competitive. Even the best of contractors are looking at gaps in their scheduling. The economy has weeded out a lot of the not-so-good contractors.
Contact a designer FIRST. The American Institute of Architects underscores the need to hire a licensed architect. But wait! There are deals to be had here too! Many architecture firms have laid off their workforce, and that out-of-work employee pool is usually full of go-getters. The waiter that just served you your appetizer salad may just be an aspiring architect in disguise, or at least on furlough. Not only is he (or she) itching to get back to what he loves best, but he’s more than competent. The underlings in firms are responsible for 95% of the design anyway. Also, most jurisdictions do NOT require an architect’s stamp on a residential project. (We work with a licensed engineer when the design requires it.)
Like fine art, “buyer beware” … or at least educated. There are many talented designers out there who do not have the project management skills to pull the whole thing off. The architect, or in this case, designer, is YOUR advocate and go to person between you and the builder. Getting a fine home from paper to move-in status requires a host of skills, not the least of which is the ability to negotiate, as well as to stand up to a know-it-all builder.
Thinking of hiring the biggest name out there? Consider saving a buck and giving someone who has not yet “made a name” for themselves a leg up. Just think how you can be the ONE to introduce them to your crowd as the latest and greatest find since sliced bread!
Incidentally, just prior to the holidays is a great time to begin the design process. Most designers (at least this one) will work through the holidays and be prepared to present you with beautiful sketches so that you will be ready to build as early as the weather permits. What better gift to give yourself or a significant other than a brand new house?!