by: Paul Steeno
Posted: / Updated:
APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV)-Buying or building a home is a milestone in most people’s lives.
Part of the purpose of the Parade of Homes in the Fox Cities this weekend was to give people who are in the process of or considering building or buying a new home inspiration by looking at beautiful homes in the area that have just been built. The Parade of Homes was put on by the Home Builders Association of the Fox Cities.
The Parade of Homes happened this weekend and continues Feb. 10-13.
“It gives us a pulse of what is going on in the marketplace,” says Tom Rooney who is the president of Mark Winter Homes and built one of the homes that was showcased in the Parade of Homes on Saturday. The home is on the northeast side of Appleton.
“Just like a vehicle you wouldn’t buy a vehicle without seeing it so it’s nice to see a home,” says Brian Calmes another local builder who participated in the Parade of Homes. He’s the owner of Calmes & Rohm Construction.
Since the pandemic began, local builders say they are still building homes as quickly and cost effectively as possible but there’s some added adversity they’ve had to deal with.
“We are definitely feeling the effects of the supply chain shortage and COVID is affecting all of that,” says Calmes.
“Housing prices and prices of things that go into the houses are up considerably since the pandemic started,” says Rooney.
Both builders said the current supply chain snags and labor shortages means it’s harder to get the materials they need for building projects. Windows, appliances, and specialty items are particularly difficult to get.
All of this means it’s taking longer to build homes which impacts the overall housing inventory in Northeast Wisconsin. Calmes said it’s taking between three and six months longer than normal to build houses while Rooney says it’s taking his company about a month or a month and a half longer to build homes.
“When you’re looking at a balanced market you’re looking at a six month supply right now we’re running between a month and a month and a half worth of inventory,” says Jill Rooney who is the sales manager at Mark Winter Homes.
Jill Rooney said baby boomers who have homes aren’t wanting to sell because they are worried about the market. Meanwhile, millennials are at the age where they are in the market to begin purchasing their first homes. The supply simply can’t beat the demand right now.
It also doesn’t help that it’s expensive right now to build a home.
Builders said they have tried to address the challenges by planning and ordering products well in advance.
If you’re buying or wanting to build a home right now, builders say to do your homework and make sure the value of what you’re buying matches what you’re expecting. They say to cast a wide net and don’t just look at one home. They also say to do a new home inspection.
Jill Rooney says she doesn’t expect home prices to come down soon. However, she advises people that now still might be a good time to build or buy because interest rates are so low.