3D Printed Homes
Construction technologies firm Icon is a Texas-based company that may have an answer to better housing affordability. Recently, Icon previewed the Vulcan II, their next generation 3D printer for homes.
We have been hard at work developing the next generation of our technology and are thrilled to unveil the Vulcan II printer, and announce we will begin shipping them and actively accepting requests for 2020.
Jason Ballard, Icon's co-founder and CEO
The technology uses 3D robotics, software, and advanced proprietary materials including a concrete mixture called "lavacrete" which has passed every Icon structural test to ensure safety.
Icon is a small company of only 20 full-time employees, but raised an astounding $9 million last year towards its mission to build affordable housing around the world, faster and cheaper than traditional methods.
Last year Icon debuted a 3D printer at the South by Southwest Festival that built a 350-square foot house in 47 hours of printing, and it only costed $10,000! The company is finally excited for their technology to move from the lab to the real world.
With a partnership with a San-Francisco based company, New Story, they will begin breaking ground in Latin America this year. This partnership will serve more than 400 people without access to adequate housing for less than $200 a month.
Ultimately, Icon's goal is to make homes at a cost of up to $125 per square foot, a 30-50% reduction from traditional construction costs. It's a little early to know what the true costs will be considering factors like size, layout, and mechanical systems. In addition, constraints come into play because you simply cannot 3D print the land, utility connections, finishes, fixtures, or construction workers for all the specialty trades. Not to forget also developmental costs like interim taxes and construction financing.
The Best Time to Sell Your Home
According to the Florida Association of Realtors, the most ideal day to list your home is April 1st! Although June is considered the peak of the home buying season, listing in April positions sellers to get the top dollar for their home, reducing the risks of price cuts and competition from other sellers. This is most likely due to the time it takes from listing to closing.
Homes listed the first week of April can experience:
- 14% more views
- 5% less competition
- 1% less chance of a price reduction
- 6 day faster close
With the recent, and surprising, decline in mortgage rates in mid-March, no time is better than the present! Experts are predicting one or two rate hikes this year, with an interest rate up to 5%, compared to the 4 rate hikes last year.
It is said that homes sell the fastest and for the most money in April/ May. This year we are seeing more buyers looking for homes than homes on the market for sale, so the increased competition has caused this shift from the former March/ April window.
In May buyers can get anxious to find a new home for their family before the new school year begins, and may be more willing to pay a premium to get the deal closed.
Nationally and historically, homes sold in May can sell for 18.5 days faster for 1% more than the average listing. That's an additional $2,000 for a $200,000 home!
House Hunting Mistakes to Avoid
According to a recent article by Money Talks News, here are things to avoid when house hunting...
IGNORING YOUR CREDIT SCORE: Your credit score is one of the main determinants of your mortgage interest rate. Lenders view your credit score as a way to calculate how likely it is that you will pay off the loan. The higher the credit score, the less the risk of default, and vice versa. On a $160,000 mortgage loan, a 1% difference in interest rate can mean increasing your monthly payment by about $100, and about $30,000 over 30 years!
NOT GETTING PREAPPROVED: Generally, "prequalified" and "preapproved" are terms that are used interchangeably, but the small difference is that you are prequalified before the review of your financial documentation and preapproved after the verification of your financial documentation. It is not a guarantee of a loan, but an excellent determinant on what you can afford. Having this completed will give you an edge in today's competitive market, as you will be able to provide this with an offer to show you are ready to make a deal.
NOT CHOOSING THE RIGHT LOAN: Make a budget and be honest determining what you think you can afford, before you are told by a bank what they think you can afford. Stretching your budget to it's limit may prove catastrophic in the event of a job loss or other unplanned event. Be comfortable knowing the types of loans you could qualify for, and which are best for your particular situation. Adjustable rate and interest only loans may sound good, but be aware of what the payments will be in the future.
NOT USING A REALTOR®: You want someone representing your best interests who is ethical, an expert of the home-buying process, objective, well-informed, knowledgeable in negotiating, and up-to-date. If you choose to not work with an agent, please at least consider a real estate lawyer to review the contracts and paperwork.
BUYING BASED ON EMOTION: Decide what you can afford, and stick to it. Don't look outside of this price range. There are many costs to maintaining a home you should also consider - property taxes, utility bills, pest control services, and other repairs/ maintenance. Talgov.com allows you to look up a home by an address and see their past utility bills. Finally, try not to get wrapped up in everyone else's opinions. It is natural to want to ask friends and family to get reassurance about such a big decision, but be sure you are focusing on the best decision for you and your family.
SKIPPING THE INSPECTIONS: Inspections are crucial, even for new construction! Home and pest inspectors can find violations, safety threats, and structural damage you may not be aware of. We have new construction home inspections all the time that find several things we would have never thought to look for on our own. It gives you the opportunity to work with the builder before closing, when getting the deal closed is the priority. After closing, it may be hard to track a builder down to get minor things repaired.
NOT HAVING A PLAN B: There are many reasons a deal doesn't close: poor home inspection, low appraisal, loan underwriting issues, etc. This is where your Realtor® should keep you calm and work through the process with out to avoid losing any deposits you have already put down.