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Dream Homes Building, Home Improvement & Real Estate Blog – 12-16-18 – RREM News New Funding? – Spring Home Shows & Free Seminar 1/16/19 – Add-A-Level in A Day from $99,880 – Premier Modular Homes joins Dream – Starting your project for 2019 – APP 2018 Reader’s Choice Winner

Dream Homes and Development Corp.

Dream Building LLC., Premier Modular Homes

Nearly Famous Building, Home Improvement and Real Estate Blog

12-16-18

Hello all –

Hopefully you and your family are doing well, enjoying the holiday season and getting ready for Christmas, which is actually in ….9 days?! Wow. That’s a sobering thought. Our Jewish friends started their holiday celebrations weeks ago and we wish them a Happy Hannukah…😊

We have a busy Winter and Spring season for shows and seminars. In addition to our Free Add-A-Level and Modular Building Seminar on January 16 at our office in Forked River, we’ll also be exhibiting at the following Home Shows:

Brookdale College – Jersey Shore Home Show – 1/25/19 – 1/27/19

NJ Home Show – Meadowlands Expo Center – 2/16/19 & 2/17/19

Ocean County Home Show – 3/30/19 & 3/31/19 – RJ Barnabas Center – Toms River

Save the dates and come meet the Dream Team. Join us for giveaways and specific advice on your project. Get a solid start for your 2019 project.

Thinking about going Modular for your new home? Let us compare custom modular with custom stick frame construction for you, on a lot of your choice.

Most companies don’t offer a complete selection of residential construction solutions, but we do.  Whether that means a new custom modular or stick built home, an elevation, renovation and addition, or Add-A-Level, let us find the right solution for you.

Dream Homes just added even more depth to our modular home capabilities with the addition of Premier Modular Homes in Little Egg Harbor. Premier Modular just joined the Dream Homes family in October and this is a really exciting development. With a full design center, office and construction space, we’ll be able to better serve our clients in Long Beach Island, Little Egg Harbor, Manahawkin and the entire Southern Ocean County area. A special thanks to our VP of Sales Lou Obsuth (Lou runs our Point Pleasant Modular Showroom and Kitchen Bath Design Center, and was absolutely essential in bringing this new association to fruition).

We’re proud – and honored – to carry on the Premier Modular Homes tradition of modular construction excellence. Thank you, Ron Hunsberger, for your help, excellent guidance and continued introductions to, and referrals from, over 300 of your satisfied clients.

Add A Level in A Day? Is that possible? With 100% financing? That’s Crazy!! It sure is a little crazy, but it takes a certain amount of crazy to even live in this state, and being a real estate developer for 25 years definitely makes me eligible for the Crazy Club of NJ (in a very good way for our clients!) Our newest service is going to revolutionize 2nd floor additions.

Are you out of space? Your family may be growing, but your house isn’t! (unless you’re already one of our clients!). So Don’t Move – Improve!!

If you thought you there was no way you could afford months out of your house to add to your living space, think again. We’ll Add-A-Level in A Day and often you’ll be back in your house in less than 2 weeks.

Thought it was too expensive? It’s not.

We’ll add a second floor to your home, and include up to 3 bedrooms and a full bath, for as low as $99,880! (<500 square feet).

For a 960 square foot ranch, the complete package, including up to 3 bedrooms, a full bath, stairs from below, all carpentry, plumbing & electric, and all engineering and architecture, will cost you $165,300.

With monthly payments as low as $428 a month, you can add up to 3 bedrooms and a full bath, BE SAFE FROM WEATHER IN 1 DAY and COMPLETE in 2 weeks! We stand behind that crazy offer and we don’t know anyone else who can make that claim.

How can we do that? We’re just better than everyone else. We’ve come up with some very innovative techniques and solutions that are effective, inexpensive and very time sensitive.

Call 609 693 8881 or 732 300 5619 today. Let us show you how we can help you Add A Level in A Day, Get Space and Grow Your House😊😊

NEED MORE MONEY TO FINISH YOUR SANDY RREM PROJECT?

You may qualify for a new $50 million program Sandy survivors can tap to finish rebuilding their homes. Funding for the program originates from the 2013 Sandy relief package. Through Gov. Murphy’s program, eligible homeowners can receive funds in the form of a zero-interest, no payment loan that is completely forgiven if the homeowner stays in their home for 15 years.  If you move out in 5 years you will only have to pay back the pro-rated portion.  This is a ZERO interest, ZERO payment loan as long as you live in the home.    Read about it 

https://www.menendez.senate.gov/news-and-events/press/6-years-after-sandy-booker-murphy-pallone-praise-menendez-celebrate-success-and-urge-congress-to-pass-menendezs-flood-insurance-reform-bill

This hasn’t been finalized and passed yet, but it is before Congress.

Tempus fugit! (that means Time is Fleeting, in Latin, and also stands for “Hurry Up and Start if you Want to be back in for Summer 2019!…”): We’re almost out of 2018 and time is running out for new home and elevation projects you want to have completed by Spring / Summer 2019 unless you have signed a contract and are actively working on engineering and plans. Ideally, you have your plans submitted already, or are submitting very soon. NEWSFLASH: with our new Add-A-Level in A Day, you could start as late as April and have you back in for May, but that’s only with our Add-A-Level program.

If you’re still on the fence and haven’t decided which way to go, or how to get started, call us at 609 693 8881 and we’ll help you get focused and moving forward.

Seminars and Events:  Can’t be there in person? Watch us STREAM SEMINARS LIVE on Facebook.

Our next Free Building & Real Estate Seminar is Wednesday, January 16th, 2018 at our main office at 314 S Main Street in Forked River. This Seminar is our first one for 2019, and the first ever in our main office, so we’ll be serving food, drink and dessert. Call now to reserve your space.

We’ll be joined by Kathleen Dotoli, Esquire, Robert Obsuth from Wells Fargo, and Scott Lepley from Adamson, Riva and Lepley Architects. We also stream on Facebook Live. If you can’t be there, watch us online and email questions or comments during the seminar.  If you’re planning a new home, elevation or renovation, you should attend. We’ve been offering this free seminar for 6 years, offer tons of helpful information and will help you get started on your project. For this seminar, we’ll also discuss modular homes and our newest offering – Modular Add-A-Level in A Day. We’ll have some excellent new Wells Fargo financing solutions for you as well.

We discuss architectural and engineering design, construction technique, RREM guidance, choosing the right builder and consumer safety cautions, financing your project, and tips about construction, renovation and home elevation in general. We also talk about RREM issues, (the lunacy of) managing your own project, and ways to avoid delays and going over budget. So, mark the date and call 609 693 8881 or 732 300 5619 to reserve your space if you want to attend. Food, beer, wine and soft drinks and dessert will be served. Space is limited so reserve early.

We’ll also be exhibiting at the following Home Shows:

Brookdale College – Jersey Shore Home Show – 1/25/19 – 1/27/19

NJ Home Show – Meadowlands Expo Center – 2/16/19 & 2/17/19

Ocean County Home Show – 3/30/19 & 3/31/19 – RJ Barnabas Center – Toms River

Save the dates and come meet the Dream Team. Join us for giveaways and specific advice on your project. Get a solid start for your 2019 project.

Dream Homes – Awarded the Best Home Improvement Contractor and Best Modular Home Builder in Ocean County for 2017 & 2018 in the Asbury Park Press Reader’s Choice Contest. That’s something we’re very proud of, but we’re even more proud that we’ve recently passed the milestone of 300 completed elevation/renovation projects since Storm Sandy. Dream looks forward to continuing to help our friends throughout New Jersey build & rebuild in the months and years ahead. Thanks to all the clients and friends who voted for us in that survey – last year and this year!

RREM News: Are Clawbacks a thing of the past? According to the word on the street, the whisper mill, and Governor Murphy, the Department of Community Affairs and the RREM program have decided to end the dreaded Clawback process. As of this date, this has not been put in writing, though Governor Murphy stated it on 10/30/18.  You can read the full story below.

This means that if this change is approved, RREM grant recipients would not be subject to the risk that a portion of their grant would be “clawed back” and they would be made to repay money that had already been received. Assuming the funds were in fact used for the improvement of the house, and more specifically to address needed additions to the scope of work, this is a very positive development. Many people who are currently subject to this potential risk, or who have already been notified of this possibility, can breathe a sigh of relief. We’ll see, and we’ll keep you posted.

Here’s the link to the Governor’s announcement.  https://www.app.com/story/news/politics/new-jersey/2018/10/29/hurricane-sandy-nj-phil-murphy-cory-booker-menendez-pallone/1808941002/?fbclid=IwAR0npm3H_4vnalVXIOuzgcwciTKsO_MGVqOhJlOJObP0ssUZmdoOnskKtZU

Welcome to our New Clients and Thanks to everyone for the referrals!

Today we welcome Deirdre & Eric from Bayville, who’ve retained us to build their new home in Bayville. We also welcome James and Nicki and Barbara & Steve, both from Seaside Park.

Thank you to all of you for trusting us with your home. In addition, since the APP Best of the Best Awards came out, and we started offering our fixed price, Add-A-Level in A Day, we’ve received numerous referrals from our clients and trade partners in the last few weeks. In any business, sincere referrals are the life blood. In building and construction, personal referrals are even more crucial, since they involve one’s most valuable possession. At Dream Homes, we value that trust, and take our responsibilities very seriously.

Why bother lifting your house? Simple. Flood risk, flood insurance rates and protecting the value of your largest investment.

As a reminder, being affected by another storm or hurricane is why people all over the world are elevating their homes. It’s not a question of if another storm will happen, but when it will occur. More people at the shore are just now realizing the need to retain a home improvement contractor or a new home builder registered or licensed in NJ to elevate or rebuild their homes. One of the most sobering recent statistics is that for the first time in history 2 separate Category 5 hurricanes hit the US mainland within one year (2017). To ignore this trend is foolish. One must accept that the fundamental choice is to move inland, away from the most probable path of hurricanes or to address the need to elevate your house at least 3’ above the base flood level in your area. 3’ above base flood also offers you the lowest available flood insurance rates.

Finally, by being proactive and elevating before an event, you insure that your home is always ready to either sell or mortgage, if you need to do either. Without being at the correct elevation, you’re going to take a $100,000 discount when you sell, and high flood insurance rates make it harder to finance or refinance your house.

Helloooo Winter…!! Simple, free, common sense precautions you can make to prepare for any weather event, to address power outages, evacuations, flooding, wind, or any other emergency. You can’t prepare for everything, but the very act of making some effort is invaluable – and could save your life. This is so good I unashamedly repeat it in every blog…but NOW IT’S HURRICANE / WINTER SEASON AND IT’S EVEN MORE IMPORTANT, SO DOWNLOAD IT AND PRINT IT NOW!!

I won’t list every item here, since I really want you to download and print the FEMA guide below so you have it (since it’s a real drag printing with no power or Internet connection) , but a few simple items you can do or collect include: a go-bag (with medicine, money, ID and valuables), candles and matches, batteries, water, removing all loose items from outside, getting gas in your car (and for your generator), making sure you have non-perishable food for 1-2 weeks, know your evacuation route, think about your pets, and get out if they tell you to leave.

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1494007144395-b0e215ae1ba6ac1b556f084e190e5862/FEMA_2017_Hurricane_HTP_FINAL.pdf

Also, go to www.ready.gov/prepare for more info. You can download a FEMA app to your phone and tablet at www.fema.gov/mobile-app.

RREM Grant – Use it or Lose it – Revocation due to Inaction & ICC Deadline – October 29, 2019

If you have a RREM grant and haven’t chosen a builder and signed a contract or otherwise signed a contract, you should do so – or risk losing your grant. That’s a reality.

RREM News – We know homeowners are having RREM grants revoked due to inaction. If you’ve been awarded a grant and haven’t done anything for a long time (1-2 years), eventually you’re going to lose your grant. You must make some type of progress – hire a contractor, or if not, at least engage an architect or engineer. This is a really important step to demonstrate that you are proceeding. If you’re in this category, call us at 609 693 8881 and we’ll help you get focused and moving forward.

One very smart choice you can make if you haven’t started your RREM project yet or chosen a builder, is to make sure you choose someone who is very familiar with RREM and RREM paperwork.

We are experts at RREM paperwork and can save you countless hours during your project and afterward until you are completely closed out. we’ve completed over 300 elevation and new home projects since Sandy, and 65% of them were RREM.

Disturbingly and to make things more difficult for RREM folks, recently there’s been a wholesale changeover in RREM project managers across the board. Now the DCA is administering the balance of the RREM program. There is much pressure to close old files, or revoke those that have been awarded but not started.

Are you on Facebook? Visit, like and review us at:

https://www.facebook.com/Dream-Homes-Ltd-395944987168142/

RREM Clawbacks –  How to Finish Your Scope of Work – Important for RREM clients.

Regarding your RREM scope of work (otherwise known as the ECR or Estimated Cost of Repairs), be aware that your general contractor does not have to do all the work (you can!), Painting, spackle and interior trim are items we regularly encourage homeowners to do themselves if funds are tight. You can do items yourself if you are handy and would like to invest some sweat equity and save money. However, someone must do all the items, or money will be removed.

Having money removed from your grant can be significant, or not. Usually, we’ve found that the cost to have the work done is less than what RREM is paying you, in which case it behooves you to finish all items. If you’re stuck in this situation or just starting a RREM project, give us a call at 609 693 8881. We’ll help get you back on track or avoid any problems when you start.

Our Old Frenemy – Cost / Benefit:  I hate to be repetitive, and I know it’s boring to some people…and I’ve written about this 2000 times, but many people consistently ignore the cost benefit equation. It’s vitally important to recognize and quantify the potential value you are gaining from improvements, versus the cost you are incurring. (I hate to keep including this in the blog, but it applies to everyone and is incredibly helpful. So, I keep repeating it).

My favorites are always decks, kitchens, baths and cosmetic improvements. I don’t like extensive remodeling for the sake of activity (unless it is a hobby for you and you have plenty of money), unless it includes one of the above categories. Refinishing basements and attics is also useful and cost effective – if you’re creating additional living or recreational space. However, these items must be budgeted so the cost doesn’t exceed the value you create.   

Added caution: Sometimes an improvement makes sense if done moderately but makes no sense if overdone or done to excess.

An excellent example is installing a $30,000 kitchen, which adds $30,000 in value (plus or minus) or installing an $80,000 kitchen, which adds….$30,460 in value, plus or minus.

Remember – no one but you cares about your costly upgrades. Sad but true.

Make sure you really love what you’re doing – and that the enjoyment and improvement to your quality of life are worth the cost.

There is a Zen koan that reads, “It is not our preferences that hurt us, but rather our attachment to them.” Sometimes you just have to let things go that make little sense.

Zoning issues – Building anywhere in NJ? Beware!! Partial repeat: In general, zoning officers can be difficult to deal with, and the experience is complicated by interpretation of codes and subtle nuances between townships. Many zoning officers we’ve dealt with in NJ don’t have a clue what they’re doing since Storm Sandy changed the playing field. Sad but true.

“Pre-existing, non-conforming condition” is exactly like it sounds – a condition that was approved years (or decades) ago which doesn’t meet current zoning requirements. A general rule of thumb is that if you don’t remove the item (house, deck, etc.) and you are doing an elevation project to meet new flood codes, you are ok.

For a good discussion and the remainder of this article on “pre-existing, non-conforming” conditions, see the 2/3/18 blog. Or come to our next FREE Building Seminar.

Please Note: This subject is complex, often much more than it appears. For assistance and consultation, call us at 609 693 8881 or 732 300 5619.

Building costs increased, for the third year in a row – Steel has increased 50% year to year – Lumber prices have increased 8% since the new Canada tariffs If you’ve quoted a foundation a year ago and waited until now, the steel in the foundation alone may be $500 – $1500 more. A 1200 square foot house lumber package has increased by $1400. Skilled labor has become more difficult to find and keep, although that’s getting slightly better. Keep these items in mind when you are finalizing your project costs and estimates. If you have an estimate that is a year old, expect that the project estimate may increase slightly (3%-4%). Another caution: Material costs have increased throughout 2018 and will continue into 2019. If you’re planning a project, try and secure fixed pricing now, or as soon as you can.

Design & Hiring Your Own Architect: The design & architectural fees are usually itemized separately and are (for us) a pass-through cost. In other words, we oversee the entire design process and it costs our clients the same amount (usually much less) of money than if the homeowner deals with the architect directly. This also results in significant savings in both construction design and redesign fees. Remember – the person who is going to build the project should be involved in the design from inception, so best practices can be designed in from the start. Author’s note from 2017: We successfully completed 42 projects in 2017, and 8 of them were with plans that the homeowner produced prior to retaining us. In all 8 projects, the plans and the scope of work had to be modified, the architecture and engineering cost was higher than we charge for the same work, and there were significant delays in each project.

Moral of the story and a word to the wise – for a new home, elevation or significant renovation, unless you really know what you’re doing and are going to oversee and build the project yourself, let your builder/general contractor provide you with a design/build package. It will save you time, money, grief and probably your marriage.

Dream Homes Products & Services – Did You Know We Offer all these services?

New Custom Site built and Modular Homes – Elevations and House Moves – Modular Add-A-Level in A Day – Interior and Exterior Renovations & Additions –  Kitchens & Baths – Roofing, Siding and Windows – Decks and railings – Masonry and Pavers – Engineering, Variance applications and Land Use – Permitting, Surveying and Project Management – Land Development and Approvals.

Call us for more detail on any of the above topics.

Dream Homes – Kitchen & Bath Design Studio & Custom Modular Division –

Though we’re known more for new homes and elevation projects than kitchens and baths, we also do quite a bit of remodeling. An excellent place for you to start is at our Custom Modular, Kitchen & Bath design studio at 2109 Bridge Avenue in Point Pleasant, with complete kitchen layouts, flooring selections and our own in-house modular home design studio. Since we’ve designed and built over 1800 new homes since 1993, we are well equipped to accommodate your remodeling needs, from the simple to the most complex. Call 609 693 8881 to schedule an appointment or just stop by. You’re invited to visit us and see what we have – hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 – 2, closed on Tuesday, with other hours by appointment.

Dream Homes FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) Partial Repeat

We have a great FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section on our web site. Click on www.dreamhomesltd.com and FAQs on the Home Page. Read what you can expect when you choose Dream Homes as your builder – and what we feel you deserve.

Solar Power at Home –More Info and link:  For the full story check the 10/29/17 blog, and here is the link.

http://www.builderonline.com/building/building-science/can-homeowners-use-rooftop-solar-power-during-an-emergency

Dream Homes & Development Corporation – About us: Dream Homes & Development Corp. (OTCOB: Ticker DREM) is a publicly traded, fully reporting (audited) company and is one of the region’s most trusted new home builder and home improvement contractors. Dream Homes was awarded the Best Home Improvement Contractor and Best Modular Home Builder in Ocean County for 2017 and 2018 by the Asbury Park Press. Dream Homes is growing, improving our operations and service and adding new members to our team to better serve you. You can view financials on our web site at www.dreamhomesltd.com. Click on the SEC tab at the bottom of the page for information. Our ticker symbol is DREM.

Dream Homes has a main office in Forked River a Jersey Dream Modular Design Center in Point Pleasant, and now our newest showroom location at Premier Modular Homes in Little Egg. We’re the only public company doing home elevation work in New Jersey, and one of the few to offer complete residential services, whether custom or modular, elevation or renovation.

You can view all the information about us online and if you like us and believe in what we’re doing, we would love to have you as shareholders. For more information and an information package, contact Matt Chipman, our investor relations person. Matt can be reached at (818) 923-5302, (310) 709-5646 or matt@GreenChipIR.com. You can view our operational results and financials at any time on our website at www.dreamhomesltd.com or at www.sec.gov.

Mission Statement and Comment: At Dream Homes, we’re the region’s most trusted builder and we’ll help you when no one else will. We regularly handle messy and unpleasant real estate, construction and renovation situations. We do the elevation, renovation and new home projects that few other people can do, and help people finish and get back in their homes. If you’re stuck and can’t figure out how to proceed, call us and we’ll do our best to help you.

At Dream Homes, we believe that taking on difficult unpopular projects is part of the social contract we have with the community and the Jersey Shore. We’ve never abandoned a client or failed to finish a project – we feel very strongly that it is our obligation to help Sandsters and others in need.

Insulation & Wall Thickness – How Much Is Needed and What’s Involved? See the blog of 11/18/17 for useful information on Insulation technique, wall thicknesses & energy efficiency

Siding, Trim and other Exterior Finishes: See the blog of 8/26/17 for useful information on choices for siding, trim and other finishes.

New Beach Bungalow on your lot from $89,800!!  This model is perfect for many small lots in the shore area including Ocean Beach, Lavallette, Ortley and South Seaside Park.

Seaview and Bayview Models: From $149,000 including demolition. These homes are 2-3 bedrooms and 2 baths and suitable for 40-60 foot wide lots. Call 609 693 8881 for details.

Is your home improvement contractor or new home builders willing to provide a turn-key project? This business is messy, requires diverse skill sets and deep administrative support and places all responsibility for everything directly on the builder’s shoulders. Dream Homes regularly perform turn-key renovation and design build projects and will remain as one of the best, solid companies in the years to come. This matters to you because if a company isn’t committed to being in the line of work for which you are contracting, they will not support it correctly during and after the project. That means less resources (personnel and otherwise) devoted to your project. We’re committed to the residential construction business in all forms, whether it be new homes, elevation /renovations, or Add-A-Level, we improve every single day – our commitment to provide additional, better resources to our clients is ongoing.

Moral of the story: Avoid working with any company not committed to the type of project you are undertaking. Ask to see current projects in process or being started.

Need to Phone a Friend? Need a Rescue? Scheduling for Priority projects – If you’re stuck in a stalled project for whatever reason (contractor in jail or indicted, bankrupt, lazy, inept, no money, etc.) we’ll help you with a prompt evaluation of your situation. We do consultation and estimates immediately for projects that are stuck. It doesn’t change what happened to you in the past, but at least you’ll know how to get back on track, without chasing someone for a month to get an initial meeting and written estimate. As a note, often we’re the only company willing to finish projects that have been abandoned.

Kathleen M. Dotoli, Esquire – Consumer Protection:  Kathleen is a workers’ compensation and disability attorney in Toms River and speaks regularly at our Rebuilding Seminar. Kathy gives an excellent presentation about consumer protection that will save you money and grief. (Next one is Wednesday, November 14th, 2018). Email Kathy at kmdotoli611@aol.com or call her office at 732 228 7534 for a copy of her seminar presentation or see her at our seminar.

Video & Past Seminars

Photos & Videos – Click on the link below

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/video-photo/

Future Homes & Townhomes for Sale:  We’re actively working on the development approvals for several properties in Bayville and Forked River.

Dream Homes at Tallwoods: We’ll be offering 13 beautiful new 3 and 4-bedroom single-family homes for sale in the mid $200,000 range in late 2017 / early 2019.

Dream Homes at the Pines: 58 new 2-3 bedroom townhomes, with garages, in a private wooded setting. Anticipated opening in spring / summer 2019.

Dream on the Forked River: 42 new 2-3 bedroom townhomes with garages and private boat slips. Anticipated opening in winter 2018/spring 2019.

If you’re looking for new homes this year or early next year, give us a call and we’ll get you information.

Yeah, We Do That for You…  This was an excellent article from the 1/8/17 blog, which received positive response from many people. If you missed it, go back and read it now at https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/2017/01/08/dream-homes-nearly-famous-rebuilding-blog-1-8-17-why-use-dream-homes-yeah-we-do-that-for-you-hometown-hero-award-in-brick-rebuilding-seminar-1-18-16/

Definitions & Important Considerations That Can Delay Your Project: Click on the link below

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/definitions/

References & Testimonials – Click on the link below

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/references/

Remember – if you have a specific question, send me an email or a text. Don’t wait for a seminar or a site visit to clarify a point. Whether you are a Dream Homes client or not, I’ll always try and help you or guide you in the right direction. If you’ve sent an email or left a voice mail and haven’t received a response, try and contact me again. Messages are lost occasionally.

Note to All: Though I write this blog and host the Building seminars to help guide homeowners through the maze that is any construction project, Dream Homes does all the work that I write about.  Dream Homes & Development Corp. and Dream Building LLC are new home builders and general contractors who are actively renovating and reconstructing projects up and down the shore. We supervise and manage elevation projects & house moves, demolish and build new homes, and develop and build entire new neighborhoods. In the past 25 years, we’ve completed over 1650 new homes, 300 + elevation & renovation projects and 500,000 square feet of commercial buildings. Over 40 of our elevation projects have been rescue projects, where we came in to save a homeowner when someone else left. Dream builds new homes, demolishes existing damaged homes, elevates and move homes, complete additions and renovations and rescues homeowners when their other contractors abandon them. We work with private clients as well as Path B clients in the RREM program. Call, text or email to set up an appointment for a free estimate on your rebuilding project.

That’s all for today friends. I hope my words help you move forward. As always, call or write with any questions.

If I don’t write prior, have a safe, peaceful holiday season and a Happy New Year!

Regards,

Vince Simonelli

Dream Homes & Development Corp. (OTCQB: DREM)

Dream Building LLC

Licensed NJ New Home Builder #049531

Home Improvement Contractor # 13VH09325600

Main office: 314 S. Main Street

Mailing: PO Box 627

Forked River, NJ 08731

Office: 609 693 8881 F: 609 693 3802

Cell: 732 300 5619

Design Center: 732-903-7780

2109 Bridge Ave., Point Pleasant

Email: vince@dreamhomesltd.com

Websites: www.dreamhomesltd.com

www.premiermodularhomesllc.com

www.jerseydreamdesigncenter.com

Blog: http://blog.dreamhomesltd.com

Twitter: foxbuilder

Events & Seminars

Call us to attend our next Building & Real Estate Seminar, which is scheduled for Wednesday January 16, 2019 at our main office at 314 S. Main Street (Route 9) in Forked River. We’ll talk about design, architectural, and construction advice for your new home project or renovation. Call 609 693 8881 or 732 300 5619 for reservations. Food and refreshments will be served.

Please refer us to anyone you think we might be able to help. We hold a Building Seminar every other month and write a helpful Rebuilding Blog. Ask about our referral program.

Please like us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

 

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Dream Homes Building & Real Estate Blog – 11-11-18 – Thank you to our Veterans! – FREE Building Seminar This Wednesday 11-14-18 – RREM Clawbacks No More? – $129,880 Complete to Add-A-Level in A Day – Thank You to Toms River & Surf City Bldg Depts – Dream Voted Best Mod Builder & General Contractor in 2018

Dream Homes and Development Corp.

Dream Building LLC.

Nearly Famous Building, Home Improvement and Real Estate Blog

11-10-18

Hello all –

Hopefully you and your family are well, enjoying your weekend and getting ready for Veteran’s Day tomorrow and Thanksgiving, which is early this year and is actually in….11 days?! Wow. That’s sobering.

First, we’d like to thank all our veterans, as well as all of those who currently serve in our armed forces, here and around the world. The reason we live and are reading this in a free society is due to the sacrifices that have been made, and continue to be made, by all of the men and women who defend that freedom. Thank you for your service. Tomorrow is dedicated to you.

Our next Free Building & Real Estate Seminar is this Wednesday, November 14th, 2018 at the Tuscan Bistro in Toms River. We’ll have some new speakers, including Robert Obsuth from Wells Fargo and Ron Hunsberger from Premier Modular Homes. This Seminar is our last one in 2018, so call 609 693 8881 or 732 300 5619 now to reserve your space.

Add-A-Level in A Day: I’m getting more and more excited our newest service – which is going to revolutionize 2nd floor additions. Now with 100% Financing, a $129,880 fixed price (< 960 sq. ft.) and a monthly payment as low as $619 a month, you can add 3 bedrooms and a full bath, BE SAFE FROM WEATHER IN 1 DAY and COMPLETE in 2 weeks! More on this below. That’s just a crazy concept but we’re going to stand behind that offer. No one else can make that claim. Call 609 693 8881 for more information and a FREE estimate.

RREM Clawbacks a thing of the past? According to the word on the street, and the whisper mill, the Department of Community Affairs and the RREM program have decided to end the dreaded Clawback process. This means that if this change is approved, RREM grant recipients would not be subject to the risk that a portion of their grant would be “clawed back” and they would be made to repay money that had already been received. Assuming the funds were in fact used for the improvement of the house, and more specifically to address needed additions to the scope of work, this is a very positive development. Many people who are currently subject to this potential risk, or who have already been notified of this possibility, can breathe a sigh of relief. We’ll see, and we’ll keep you posted.

Premier Modular Homes in Little Egg Harbor joins the Dream Homes family. This is a really exciting development and will allow us to much better serve our clients in Long Beach Island and Southern Ocean County. Give us a call and come visit our showroom.

Dream Homes – Voted Best of the Best in the Asbury Park Press reader’s choice for Best Modular Builder and Best Home Improvement Contractor (2nd year in a row!).

Thank you Toms River for some great service and courtesy! Thank you Surf City for being Voted the Most Efficient Small Community Building Department on Earth! Those of you who have followed my nonsense for the last number of years know that I’m not shy about criticizing the townships in NJ for sloth, inefficiency and general incompetence. Often process and procedure get in the way of the real intentions and purpose of zoning, planning and building departments, and the homeowner is ultimately the one who suffers.

Well, thank you Nicole and Daniel in the Toms River building department for taking a frantic last minute call on Friday afternoon requesting an immediate inspection, and you also Chuck Demay, for taking the time to stop on your way home when you absolutely didn’t have to. It’s much appreciated, by both the Dream Homes field teams, as well as the very happy homeowner. Again – Thanks a lot guys. I actually stepped down off the porch of the house in Island Heights (another lovely town where the building department is open for 2 days a week from 5-7 pm – go try and work with that schedule) where I was hoping and praying for a miracle and shook Chuck’s hand as he walked up to the house. I said, “You know, regardless of whether we pass this inspection or not, I just want to say Thank You for this courtesy. You definitely didn’t have to do it and I really appreciate it.”

To the folks at Surf City building department, you’re just the absolute beans. You do more, and get more accomplished in the 6 hours a week that you have (Tuesday & Thursday – 9-12 and no earlier or later), than most towns do in 40. At Dream Homes, we want to be like you! Surf City building and zoning is an outstanding example of how efficiently these departments can be run, with limited resources and time. No muss, no fuss – just results. And, they’re actually pleasant. You have to experience it to believe it. We’ve built just a few homes there, but I hope we build and rebuild 100 more in that town. Great job, ladies and gentlemen!

Schedule your fall 2018 projects NOW so you can be in for Summer 2019, and focus on how to expedite permits through the maze that is the permit process. We can help you with that.

Seminars and Events –

Can’t be there in person? Watch us STREAM SEMINARS LIVE on Facebook.

Our next Free Building & Real Estate Seminar is this Wednesday November 14th, 2018 at 6 pm at the Tuscan Bar and Grill on Hooper Avenue in Toms River, across from the Ocean County Mall. We’ll be joined by Kathleen Dotoli, Esquire, Robert Obsuth from Wells Fargo, Ron Hunsberger from Premier Modular Homes, and Jason Devooght from Devooght House Lifters. We also stream on Facebook Live. If you can’t be there, watch us online and email questions or comments during the seminar.  If you’re planning a new home, elevation or renovation, you should attend. We’ve been offering this free seminar for 6 years, offer tons of helpful information and will help you get started on your project. For this seminar, we’ll also discuss modular homes and our newest offering – Modular Add-A-Level in A Day. We’ll have some excellent new Wells Fargo financing solutions for you as well.

We discuss architectural and engineering design, construction technique, RREM guidance, choosing the right builder and consumer safety cautions, financing your project, and tips about construction, renovation and home elevation in general. We also talk about RREM issues, (the lunacy of) managing your own project, and ways to avoid delays and going over budget. So, mark the date and call 609 693 8881 or 732 300 5619 to reserve your space if you want to attend. Pizza, wine and soft drinks will be served, and space is limited.

A Warm Welcome to Premier Modular Homes – Newest Member of the Dream Homes family!

We’re proud to announce that Dream Homes has acquired Premier Modular Homes of Little Egg Harbor. With a full design center, office and construction space, we’ll be able to better serve our clients in Long Beach Island, Little Egg Harbor, Manahawkin and the entire Southern Ocean County area. A special thanks to our VP of Sales Lou Obsuth (Lou runs our Point Pleasant Modular Showroom and Kitchen Bath Design Center, and was absolutely essential in bringing this new association to fruition).

We’re fortunate to have met Ron Hunsberger, President of Premier Modular for 23 years, who was searching for a company he felt could successfully continue his legacy. Ron and his wife Pamela are winding down and retiring to Florida after having built a fantastic company with a tremendous reputation. We’re proud – and honored – to carry on their tradition of modular construction excellence. Thank you, Ron, for your help, excellent guidance and continued introductions to, and referrals from your over 300 satisfied clients. We look forward to seeing you at the November 14th seminar.

Dream Homes – Awarded the Best Home Improvement Contractor and Best Modular Home Builder in Ocean County for 2017 & 2018 !!! in the Asbury Park Press Reader’s Choice Contest. That’s something we’re very proud of, but we’re even more proud that we’ve recently passed the milestone of 300 completed elevation/renovation projects since Storm Sandy. Dream looks forward to continuing to help our friends throughout New Jersey build & rebuild in the months and years ahead. Thanks to all the clients and friends who voted for us in that survey – last year and this year!

Add A Level in A Day? Is that possible? With 100% financing? That’s Crazy!!

It sure is a little crazy, but it takes a certain amount of crazy to even live in this state, and being a real estate developer for 25 years definitely makes me eligible for the Crazy Club of NJ (in a very good way for our clients!)

Are you out of space? Your family may be growing, but your house isn’t! (unless you’re already one of our clients!). If you thought you there was no way you could afford months out of your house to add to your living space, think again. We’ll Add-A-Level in A Day and often you’ll be back in your house in a week.

Thought it was too expensive? It’s not.

We’ll add a second floor to your home, and include up to 3 bedrooms and a full bath, for as low as $79,888! (<500 square feet).

For a 960 square foot ranch, the complete package, including up to 3 bedrooms, a full bath, stairs from below, all carpentry, plumbing & electric, and all engineering and architecture, will cost you $129,888.

How can we do that? We’re just better than everyone else. We’ve come up with some very innovative techniques and solutions that are effective, inexpensive and very time sensitive.

Call 609 693 8881 or 732 300 5619 today. Let us show you how we can help you Add A Level in A Day and Grow Your House…😊😊

Tempus fugit! (that means Time is Fleeting, in Latin, and also stands for “Get the lead out, Mac…”): I’ve been banging this drum for years, but we all need to hear Calls to Action (myself included). Time will run out soon for projects you want to have completed by Spring / Summer 2019 unless you have signed a contract and are actively working on engineering and plans. Ideally, you have your plans submitted already, or are submitting very soon. If you’re still on the fence, call us at 609 693 8881 and we’ll help you get focused and moving forward.

Helloooo Winter…!! Simple, free, common sense precautions you can make to prepare for any weather event, to address power outages, evacuations, flooding, wind, or any other emergency. You can’t prepare for everything, but the very act of making some effort is invaluable – and could save your life. This is so good I unashamedly repeat it in every blog…but NOW IT’S HURRICANE / WINTER SEASON AND IT’S EVEN MORE IMPORTANT, SO DOWNLOAD IT AND PRINT IT NOW!!

I won’t list every item here, since I really want you to download and print the FEMA guide below so you have it (since it’s a real drag printing with no power or Internet connection) , but a few simple items you can do or collect include: a go-bag (with medicine, money, ID and valuables), candles and matches, batteries, water, removing all loose items from outside, getting gas in your car (and for your generator), making sure you have non-perishable food for 1-2 weeks, know your evacuation route, think about your pets, and get out if they tell you to leave.

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1494007144395-b0e215ae1ba6ac1b556f084e190e5862/FEMA_2017_Hurricane_HTP_FINAL.pdf

Also, go to www.ready.gov/prepare for more info. You can download a FEMA app to your phone and tablet at www.fema.gov/mobile-app.

Welcome to our New Clients and Thanks to everyone for the referrals!

Today we welcome Meryl & Joel from Rumson, who’ve retained us to build their new home after numerous discussions and meetings at our Point Pleasant showroom over the last 8 months. We also James and Nicki in Seaside Park.

Thank you to all of you for trusting us with your home. In addition, since the APP Best of the Best Awards came out, and we started offering our fixed price, Add-A-Level in A Day, we’ve received numerous referrals from our clients and trade partners in the last few weeks. In any business, sincere referrals are the life blood. In building and construction, personal referrals are even more crucial, since they involve one’s most valuable possession. At Dream Homes, we value that trust, and take our responsibilities very seriously.

Why bother lifting your house? Simple. Flood risk, flood insurance rates and protecting the value of your largest investment.

As a reminder, being affected by another storm or hurricane is why people all over the world are elevating their homes. It’s not a question of if another storm will happen, but when it will occur. More people at the shore are just now realizing the need to retain a home improvement contractor or a new home builder registered or licensed in NJ to elevate or rebuild their homes. One of the most sobering recent statistics is that for the first time in history 2 separate Category 5 hurricanes hit the US mainland within one year (2017). To ignore this trend is foolish. One must accept that the fundamental choice is to move inland, away from the most probable path of hurricanes or to address the need to elevate your house at least 3’ above the base flood level in your area. 3’ above base flood also offers you the lowest available flood insurance rates.

Finally, by being proactive and elevating before an event, you insure that your home is always ready to either sell or mortgage, if you need to do either. Without being at the correct elevation, you’re going to take a $100,000 discount when you sell, and high flood insurance rates make it harder to finance or refinance your house.

RREM Grant – Use it or Lose it – Revocation due to Inaction & ICC Deadline – October 29, 2019

If you have a RREM grant and haven’t chosen a builder and signed a contract or otherwise signed a contract, you should do so – or risk losing your grant. That’s a reality.

RREM News – We know homeowners are having RREM grants revoked due to inaction. If you’ve been awarded a grant and haven’t done anything for a long time (1-2 years), eventually you’re going to lose your grant. You must make some type of progress – hire a contractor, or if not, at least engage an architect or engineer. This is a really important step to demonstrate that you are proceeding. If you’re in this category, call us at 609 693 8881 and we’ll help you get focused and moving forward.

One very smart choice you can make if you haven’t started your RREM project yet or chosen a builder, is to make sure you choose someone who is very familiar with RREM and RREM paperwork.

We are experts at RREM paperwork and can save you countless hours during your project and afterward until you are completely closed out. we’ve completed over 300 elevation and new home projects since Sandy, and 65% of them were RREM.

Disturbingly and to make things more difficult for RREM folks, recently there’s been a wholesale changeover in RREM project managers across the board. Now the DCA is administering the balance of the RREM program. There is much pressure to close old files, or revoke those that have been awarded but not started.

Are you on Facebook? Visit, like and review us at:

https://www.facebook.com/Dream-Homes-Ltd-395944987168142/

RREM Clawbacks – Important repeat for RREM clients.

Regarding your RREM scope of work (otherwise known as the ECR or Estimated Cost of Repairs), be aware that your general contractor does not have to do all the work (you can!), Painting, spackle and interior trim are items we regularly encourage homeowners to do themselves if funds are tight. You can do items yourself if you are handy and would like to invest some sweat equity and save money. However, someone must do all the items, or money will be removed.

Having money removed from your grant can be significant, or not. Usually, we’ve found that the cost to have the work done is less than what RREM is paying you, in which case it behooves you to finish all items. If you’re stuck in this situation or just starting a RREM project, give us a call at 609 693 8881. We’ll help get you back on track or avoid any problems when you start.

Our Old Frenemy – Cost / Benefit:  I hate to be repetitive, and I know it’s boring to some people…and I’ve written about this 2000 times, but many people consistently ignore the cost benefit equation. It’s vitally important to recognize and quantify the potential value you are gaining from improvements, versus the cost you are incurring. (I hate to keep including this in the blog, but it applies to everyone and is incredibly helpful. So, I keep repeating it).

My favorites are always decks, kitchens, baths and cosmetic improvements. I don’t like extensive remodeling for the sake of activity (unless it is a hobby for you and you have plenty of money), unless it includes one of the above categories. Refinishing basements and attics is also useful and cost effective – if you’re creating additional living or recreational space. However, these items must be budgeted so the cost doesn’t exceed the value you create.   

Added caution: Sometimes an improvement makes sense if done moderately but makes no sense if overdone or done to excess.

An excellent example is installing a $30,000 kitchen, which adds $30,000 in value (plus or minus) or installing an $80,000 kitchen, which adds….$30,460 in value, plus or minus.

Remember – no one but you cares about your costly upgrades. Sad but true.

Make sure you really love what you’re doing – and that the enjoyment and improvement to your quality of life are worth the cost.

There is a Zen koan that reads, “It is not our preferences that hurt us, but rather our attachment to them.” Sometimes you just have to let things go that make little sense.

Zoning issues – Building anywhere in NJ? Beware!! Partial repeat: In general, zoning officers can be difficult to deal with, and the experience is complicated by interpretation of codes and subtle nuances between townships. Many zoning officers we’ve dealt with in NJ don’t have a clue what they’re doing since Storm Sandy changed the playing field. Sad but true.

“Pre-existing, non-conforming condition” is exactly like it sounds – a condition that was approved years (or decades ago) which doesn’t meet current zoning requirements. A general rule of thumb is that if you don’t remove the item (house, deck, etc.) and you are doing an elevation project to meet new flood codes, you are ok.

For a good discussion and the remainder of this article on “pre-existing, non-conforming” conditions, see the 2/3/18 blog. Or come to our next FREE Building Seminar.

Please Note: This subject is complex, often much more than it appears. For assistance and consultation, call us at 609 693 8881 or 732 300 5619.

Building costs increased, for the third year in a row – Steel has increased 50% year to year – Lumber prices have increased 8% since the new Canada tariffs If you’ve quoted a foundation a year ago and waited until now, the steel in the foundation alone may be $500 – $1500 more. A 1200 square foot house lumber package has increased by $1400. Skilled labor has become more difficult to find and keep, although that’s getting slightly better. Keep these items in mind when you are finalizing your project costs and estimates. If you have an estimate that is a year old, expect that the project estimate may increase slightly (3%-4%). Another caution: Material costs have increased throughout 2018 and will continue into 2019. If you’re planning a project, try and secure fixed pricing now, or as soon as you can.

Design & Hiring Your Own Architect: The design & architectural fees are usually itemized separately and are (for us) a pass-through cost. In other words, we oversee the entire design process and it costs our clients the same amount (usually much less) of money than if the homeowner deals with the architect directly. This also results in significant savings in both construction design and redesign fees. Remember – the person who is going to build the project should be involved in the design from inception, so best practices can be designed in from the start. Author’s note from 2017: We successfully completed 42 projects in 2017, and 8 of them were with plans that the homeowner produced prior to retaining us. In all 8 projects, the plans and the scope of work had to be modified, the architecture and engineering cost was higher than we charge for the same work, and there were significant delays in each project.

Moral of the story and a word to the wise – for a new home, elevation or significant renovation, unless you really know what you’re doing and are going to oversee and build the project yourself, let your builder/general contractor provide you with a design/build package. It will save you time, money and grief.

Dream Homes Products & Services – Did You Know We Offer all these services?

New Custom built and Modular Homes – Elevations and House Moves – Modular Add-A-Level in A Day – Interior and Exterior Renovations & Additions –  Kitchens & Baths – Roofing, Siding and Windows – Decks and railings – Masonry and Pavers – Engineering, Variance applications and Land Use – Permitting, Surveying and Project Management – Land Development and Approvals.  Call us for more detail on any of the above topics.

Dream Homes – Kitchen & Bath Design Studio & Custom Modular Division –

Though we’re known more for new homes and elevation projects than kitchens and baths, we also do quite a bit of remodeling. An excellent place for you to start is at our Custom Modular, Kitchen & Bath design studio at 2109 Bridge Avenue in Point Pleasant, with complete kitchen layouts, flooring selections and our own in-house modular home design studio. Since we’ve designed and built over 1800 new homes since 1993, we are well equipped to accommodate your remodeling needs, from the simple to the most complex. Call 609 693 8881 to schedule an appointment or just stop by. You’re invited to visit us and see what we have – hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 – 2, closed on Tuesday, with other hours by appointment.

Dream Homes FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) Partial Repeat

We have a great FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section on our web site. Click on www.dreamhomesltd.com and FAQs on the Home Page. Read what you can expect when you choose Dream Homes as your builder – and what we feel you deserve.

Solar Power at Home –More Info and link:  For the full story check the 10/29/17 blog, and here is the link.

http://www.builderonline.com/building/building-science/can-homeowners-use-rooftop-solar-power-during-an-emergency

Dream Homes & Development Corporation – About us: Dream Homes & Development Corp. (OTCOB: Ticker DREM) is a publicly traded, fully reporting (audited) company and is one of the region’s most trusted new home builder and home improvement contractors. Dream Homes was awarded the Best Home Improvement Contractor and Best Modular Home Builder in Ocean County for 2017 by the Asbury Park Press. Dream Homes is growing, improving our operations and service and adding new members to our team to better serve you. You can view financials on our web site at www.dreamhomesltd.com. Click on the SEC tab at the bottom of the page for information. Our ticker symbol is DREM.

Dream Homes has a main office in Forked River a Jersey Dream Modular Design Center in Point Pleasant, and now our newest showroom location at Premier Modular Homes in Little Egg. We’re the only public company doing home elevation work in New Jersey, and one of the few to offer complete residential services, whether custom or modular, elevation or renovation.

You can view all the information about us online and if you like us and believe in what we’re doing, we would love to have you as shareholders. For more information and an information package, contact Matt Chipman, our investor relations person. Matt can be reached at (818) 923-5302, (310) 709-5646 or matt@GreenChipIR.com. You can view our operational results and financials at any time on our website at www.dreamhomesltd.com or at www.sec.gov.

Mission Statement and Comment: At Dream Homes, we’re the region’s most trusted builder and we’ll help you when no one else will. We regularly handle messy and unpleasant real estate, construction and renovation situations. We do the elevation, renovation and new home projects that few other people can do, and help people finish and get back in their homes. If you’re stuck and can’t figure out how to proceed, call us and we’ll do our best to help you.

At Dream Homes, we believe that taking on difficult unpopular projects is part of the social contract we have with the community and the Jersey Shore. We’ve never abandoned a client or failed to finish a project – we feel very strongly that it is our obligation to help Sandsters and others in need.

Insulation & Wall Thickness – How Much Is Needed and What’s Involved? See the blog of 11/18/17 for useful information on Insulation technique, wall thicknesses & energy efficiency

Siding, Trim and other Exterior Finishes: See the blog of 8/26/17 for useful information on choices for siding, trim and other finishes.

New Beach Bungalow on your lot from $89,800!!  This model is perfect for many small lots in the shore area including Ocean Beach, Lavallette, Ortley and South Seaside Park.

Seaview and Bayview Models: From $149,000 including demolition. These homes are 2-3 bedrooms and 2 baths and suitable for 40-60 foot wide lots. Call 609 693 8881 for details.

Is your home improvement contractor or new home builders willing to provide a turn-key project? This business is messy, requires diverse skill sets and deep administrative support and places all responsibility for everything directly on the builder’s shoulders. Dream Homes regularly perform turn-key renovation and design build projects and will remain as one of the best, solid companies in the years to come. This matters to you because if a company isn’t committed to being in the line of work for which you are contracting, they will not support it correctly during and after the project. That means less resources (personnel and otherwise) devoted to your project. Currently at Dream Homes, we’ve been actively hiring carpenters, helpers, marketing and support staff for 2 years. We’re committed to the elevation /renovation business and improve every single day – our commitment to provide additional, better resources to our clients is ongoing.

Moral of the story: Try and avoid working with any company not committed to the type of project you are undertaking. Ask to see current projects in process or being started.

Need to Phone a Friend? Need a Rescue? Scheduling for Priority projects – If you’re stuck in a stalled project for whatever reason (contractor in jail or indicted, bankrupt, lazy, inept, no money, etc.) we’ll help you with a prompt evaluation of your situation. We do consultation and estimates immediately for projects that are stuck. It doesn’t change what happened to you in the past, but at least you’ll know how to get back on track, without chasing someone for a month to get an initial meeting and written estimate. As a note, often we’re the only company willing to finish projects that have been abandoned.

Kathleen M. Dotoli, Esquire – Consumer Protection:  Kathleen is a workers’ compensation and disability attorney in Toms River and speaks regularly at our Rebuilding Seminar. Kathy gives an excellent presentation about consumer protection that will save you money and grief. (Next one is Wednesday, November 14th, 2018). Email Kathy at kmdotoli611@aol.com or call her office at 732 228 7534 for a copy of her seminar presentation or see her at our seminar.

Video & Past Seminars

Photos & Videos – Click on the link below

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/video-photo/

Future Homes & Townhomes for Sale:  We’re actively working on the development approvals for several properties in Bayville and Forked River.

Dream Homes at Tallwoods: We’ll be offering 13 beautiful new 3 and 4-bedroom single-family homes for sale in the mid $200,000 range in late 2017 / early 2018.

Dream Homes at the Pines: 58 new 2-3 bedroom townhomes, with garages, in a private wooded setting. Anticipated opening in spring / summer 2018.

Dream on the Forked River: 42 new 2-3 bedroom townhomes with garages and private boat slips. Anticipated opening in winter 2018/spring 2019.

If you’re looking for new homes this year or early next year, give us a call and we’ll get you information.

Yeah, We Do That for You…  This was an excellent article from the 1/8/17 blog, which received positive response from many people. If you missed it, go back and read it now at https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/2017/01/08/dream-homes-nearly-famous-rebuilding-blog-1-8-17-why-use-dream-homes-yeah-we-do-that-for-you-hometown-hero-award-in-brick-rebuilding-seminar-1-18-16/

Definitions & Important Considerations That Can Delay Your Project: Click on the link below

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/definitions/

References & Testimonials – Click on the link below

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/references/

Remember – if you have a specific question, send me an email or a text. Don’t wait for a seminar or a site visit to clarify a point. Whether you are a Dream Homes client or not, I’ll always try and help you or guide you in the right direction. If you’ve sent an email or left a voice mail and haven’t received a response, try and contact me again. Messages are lost occasionally.

Note to All: Though I write this blog and host the Building seminars to help guide homeowners through the maze that is any construction project, Dream Homes does all the work that I write about.  Dream Homes & Development Corp. and Dream Building LLC are new home builders and general contractors who are actively renovating and reconstructing projects up and down the shore. We supervise and manage elevation projects & house moves, demolish and build new homes, and develop and build entire new neighborhoods. In the past 25 years, we’ve completed over 1650 new homes, 250 elevation & renovation projects and 500,000 square feet of commercial buildings. 28 of our elevation projects have been rescue projects, where we came in to save a homeowner when someone else left. Dream builds new homes, demolishes existing damaged homes, elevates and move homes, complete additions and renovations and rescues homeowners when their other contractors abandon them. We work with private clients as well as Path B clients in the RREM program. Call, text or email to set up an appointment for a free estimate on your rebuilding project.

That’s all for today friends. I hope my words help you move forward. As always, call or write with any questions.

Regards,

Vince Simonelli

Dream Homes & Development Corp. (OTCQB: DREM)

Dream Building LLC

New Home Builder #049531

Home Improvement Contractor #13VH09325600

Office: 314 S. Main Street

Mailing: PO Box 627  Forked River, NJ 08731

Office: 609 693 8881 F: 609 693 3802 Cell: 732 300 5619

Design Center: 2109 Bridge Avenue, Point Pleasant, NJ

Design Center phone: 732 903 7780

Email: vince@dreamhomesltd.com

Website: www.dreamhomesltd.com

Blog: http://blog.dreamhomesltd.com

Twitter: #foxbuilder

 

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Dream Homes 10-27-18 Building & Real Estate Blog – Announcing Premier Modular Homes Acquisition – Voted Best of the Best 2nd Year in the APP Reader’s Choice for 2018 -Add-A-Level in A Day! – FREE Building Seminar 11-14-18 Toms River – Meet Candidate Andy Kim at Sandy 6th Anniversary

Dream Homes and Development Corp.

Dream Building LLC.

Premier Modular Homes

Free Building, Home Improvement and Real Estate Blog

10-27-18

Hello all –

Hopefully you and your family are well and enjoying your weekend.

It’s been almost a month since I’ve written, and a lot of interesting things have happened. I’ll try and keep new topics and length to a minimum but will probably fall short in that area. I have a lot of stuff in my brain….so let us begin…beware all ye who enter here, for truth will dump like a storm upon your head…😊😊

First, we’re very proud to announce that we’ve acquired Premier Modular Homes in Little Egg Harbor, which is now part of the Dream Homes family. This will allow us to much better serve our clients in Long Beach Island and Southern Ocean County. We’ll discuss our next Free Building Seminar which is Wednesday, November 14th, 2018 at the Tuscan Bistro in Toms River. We’ll have some new speakers, including Robert Obsuth from Wells Fargo and Ron Hunsberger from Premier Modular Homes. Dream Homes is also proud to announce that we’ve AGAIN been voted Best of the Best in the Asbury Park Press reader’s choice for Best Modular Builder and Best Home Improvement Contractor (2nd year in a row!). We’ll let you know about a Sandy Survivor meeting on Monday with Candidate Andy Kim. We’ll talk about scheduling fall 2018 projects NOW so you can be in for Summer 2019, and how you can expedite permits. We introduce our newest service – Add-A-Level in 1 Day – with 100% Financing! Finally, we again welcome some new clients to the Dream Homes family.

Seminars and Events – Note: If you can’t attend in person, we stream seminars live on Facebook.

Our next Free Building & Real Estate Seminar will be held Wednesday November 14th, 2018 at 6 pm at the Tuscan Bar and Grill on Hooper Avenue in Toms River, across from the Ocean County Mall. We’ll be joined by Kathleen Dotoli, Esquire, Robert Obsuth from Wells Fargo, Ron Hunsberger from Premier Modular Homes, and Jason Devooght from Devooght House Lifters. We also stream on Facebook Live. If you can’t be there, watch us online and email questions or comments during the seminar.  

Planning a new home, elevation or renovation? We’ve been offering this free seminar for 6 years and offer tons of helpful information. We’ll help you focus on starting your project and show you how to handle planning and design work.

For this seminar, we’ll also discuss modular homes and our newest offering – Modular Add-A-Level in 1 Day. We’ll have some excellent new Wells Fargo financing solutions for you as well.

As always, we talk about architectural and engineering planning, construction technique, RREM guidance, choosing the right builder and consumer safety cautions, financing your project, and tips about home elevation in general. We also talk about RREM issues, (the lunacy of) managing your own project, and ways to avoid delays and going over budget. So, mark the date and call 609 693 8881 or 732 300 5619 to reserve your space if you want to attend. Pizza, wine and soft drinks will be served, and space is limited.

Sandy Survivors – Meet Candidate Andy Kim – Monday at 1 pm – 15 Pine Crest Drive – TR

Monday marks the 6th Anniversary of Storm Sandy, and remarkably there are still many people who haven’t really gotten their lives back in order. Sad but true.

(We’re building as fast as we can, but alas, we’re not in charge of all construction in NJ).

In any case, one of our clients, Doug Quinn recently let us know that Candidate Andy Kim will be holding an informational session on Monday at approximately 1 pm. It will be held at the house we’re building for Doug, which is located at 15 Pine Crest Drive in Toms River.

Regardless of your politics, if you’d like to have your views heard about issues you’ve had dealing with Storm Sandy, or other local matters that affect all of us, stop by, meet the candidate and say hello.

Welcome to Premier Modular Homes – Newest Member of the Dream Homes family!

We’re proud to announce that Dream Homes has acquired Premier Modular Homes of Little Egg Harbor. With a full design center, office and construction space, we’ll be able to better serve our clients in Long Beach Island, Little Egg Harbor, Manahawkin and the entire Southern Ocean County area. A special thanks to our VP of Sales Lou Obsuth (Lou runs our Point Pleasant Modular Showroom and Kitchen Bath Design Center, and he was absolutely essential in bringing this new association to fruition.

We’re very lucky to have met Ron Hunsberger, President of Premier Modular for 23 years, who was searching for a company he felt could successfully continue his legacy. Ron and his wife Pamela are winding down and retiring to Florida after having built a fantastic company with a tremendous reputation. We’re proud – and honored – to carry on their tradition of modular construction excellence. Thank you, Ron, for your help, excellent guidance and continued introductions to, and referrals from your over 300 satisfied clients. We look forward to seeing you at the November 14th seminar.

Dream Homes – Awarded the Best Home Improvement Contractor and Best Modular Home Builder in Ocean County for 2017 & 2018 !!! in the Asbury Park Press Reader’s Choice Contest. That’s something we’re very proud of, but we’re even more proud that we’ve recently passed the milestone of 300 completed elevation/renovation projects since Storm Sandy. Dream looks forward to continuing to help our friends throughout New Jersey build & rebuild in the months and years ahead. Thanks to all the clients and friends who voted for us in that survey – last year and this year!

Add A Level in A Day? Is that possible? With 100% financing? That’s Crazy!!

Are you out of space? Your family may be growing, but your house isn’t! (unless you’re already one of our clients!).

If you thought you there was no way you could afford months out of your house to add to your living space, think again. We’ll set your second floor in a day and often you’ll be back in your house in a week.

Thought it was too expensive? We’ll add a second floor to your ranch for as low as $49,888!

We’ve done a lot of work in this area and have some very innovative techniques and solutions that are effective, inexpensive and very time sensitive.

Call 609 693 8881 or 732 300 5619 today and let us show you how we can help you Grow Your House…😊😊

Tempus fugit! (that means Time is Fleeting, in Latin, and also stands for “Get the lead out, Mac…”): I’ve been banging this drum for years, but we all need to hear Calls to Action (myself included). Time will run out soon for projects you want to have completed by Spring / Summer 2019 unless you have signed a contract and are actively working on engineering and plans. Ideally, you have your plans submitted already, or are submitting very soon. If you’re still on the fence, call us at 609 693 8881 and we’ll help you get focused and moving forward.

Helloooo Hurricane Season & Winter There are numerous simple, free, common sense precautions you can make to prepare for any weather event, to address power outages, evacuations, flooding, wind, or any other emergency. You can’t prepare for everything, but the very act of making some effort is invaluable – and could save your life. This is so good I unashamedly repeat it in every blog…but NOW IT’S HURRICANE / WINTER SEASON AND IT’S EVEN MORE IMPORTANT, SO DOWNLOAD IT AND PRINT IT NOW!!

I won’t list every item here, since I really want you to download and print the FEMA guide below so you have it, but a few simple items you can do or collect include: a go-bag (with medicine, money, ID and valuables), candles and matches, batteries, water, removing all loose items from outside, getting gas in your car (and for your generator), making sure you have non-perishable food for 1-2 weeks, know your evacuation route, think about your pets, and get out if they tell you to leave.

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1494007144395-b0e215ae1ba6ac1b556f084e190e5862/FEMA_2017_Hurricane_HTP_FINAL.pdf

Also, go to www.ready.gov/prepare for more info. You can download a FEMA app to your phone and tablet at www.fema.gov/mobile-app.

Welcome to our New Clients and Thanks to everyone for the referrals!

Today we welcome Pete and Elsie from Bayville, who’ve retained us after numerous discussions and seminar visits over the last several years. We also welcome Veronica, Herman, Claire and William from Surf City.

Thank you to all of you for trusting us with your home. We also need to mention the numerous referrals we’ve received in the last few weeks, from both our clients, as well as our trade partners.

Why bother lifting your house? Simple. Flood risk, flood insurance rates and protecting the value of your largest investment.

As a reminder, being affected by another storm or hurricane is why people all over the world are elevating their homes. It’s not a question of if another storm will happen, but when it will occur. More people at the shore are just now realizing the need to retain a home improvement contractor or a new home builder registered or licensed in NJ to elevate or rebuild their homes. One of the most sobering recent statistics is that for the first time in history 2 separate Category 5 hurricanes hit the US mainland within one year (2017). To ignore this trend is foolish. One must accept that the fundamental choice is to move inland, away from the most probable path of hurricanes or to address the need to elevate your house at least 3’ above the base flood level in your area. 3’ above base flood also offers you the lowest available flood insurance rates.

Finally, by being proactive and elevating before an event, you insure that your home is always ready to either sell or mortgage, if you need to do either. Without being at the correct elevation, you’re going to take a $100,000 discount when you sell, and high flood insurance rates make it harder to finance or refinance your house.

RREM Grant – Use it or Lose it – Revocation due to Inaction & ICC Deadline – October 29, 2019

If you have a RREM grant and haven’t chosen a builder and signed a contract or otherwise signed a contract, you should do so – or risk losing your grant. That’s a reality.

We know homeowners are having RREM grants revoked due to inaction. If you’ve been awarded a grant and haven’t done anything for a long time (1-2 years), eventually you’re going to lose your grant. You must make some type of progress – hire a contractor, or if not, at least engage an architect or engineer. This is a really important step to demonstrate that you are proceeding. If you’re in this category, call us at 609 693 8881 and we’ll help you get focused and moving forward.

One very smart choice you can make if you haven’t started your RREM project yet or chosen a builder, is to make sure you choose someone who is very familiar with RREM and RREM paperwork.

We are experts at RREM paperwork and can save you countless hours during your project and afterward until you are completely closed out. we’ve completed over 300 elevation and new home projects since Sandy, and 65% of them were RREM.

Disturbingly and to make things more difficult for RREM folks, recently there’s been a wholesale changeover in RREM project managers across the board. Now the DCA is administering the balance of the RREM program. There is much pressure to close old files, or revoke those that have been awarded but not started.

Are you on Facebook? Visit, like and review us at:

https://www.facebook.com/Dream-Homes-Ltd-395944987168142/

RREM Clawbacks – Important repeat for RREM clients. See the 2/24/18 blog for more details….

Regarding your RREM scope of work (otherwise known as the ECR or Estimated Cost of Repairs), be aware that your general contractor does not have to do all the work (you can!), Painting, spackle and interior trim are items we regularly encourage homeowners to do themselves if funds are tight. You can do items yourself if you are handy and would like to invest some sweat equity and save money. However, someone must do all the items, or money will be removed.

Having money removed from your grant can be significant, or not. Usually, we’ve found that the cost to have the work done is less than what RREM is paying you, in which case it behooves you to finish all items. If you’re stuck in this situation or just starting a RREM project, give us a call at 609 693 8881. We’ll help get you back on track or avoid any problems when you start.

Our Old Frenemy – Cost / Benefit:  I hate to be repetitive, and I know it’s boring to some people…and I’ve written about this 2000 times, but many people consistently ignore the cost benefit equation. It’s vitally important to recognize and quantify the potential value you are gaining from improvements, versus the cost you are incurring. (I hate to keep including this in the blog, but it applies to everyone and is incredibly helpful. So, I keep repeating it).

My favorites are always decks, kitchens, baths and cosmetic improvements. I don’t like extensive remodeling for the sake of activity (unless it is a hobby for you and you have plenty of money), unless it includes one of the above categories. Refinishing basements and attics is also useful and cost effective – if you’re creating additional living or recreational space. However, these items must be budgeted so the cost doesn’t exceed the value you create.   

Added caution: Sometimes an improvement makes sense if done moderately but makes no sense if overdone or done to excess.

An excellent example is installing a $30,000 kitchen, which adds $30,000 in value (plus or minus) or installing an $80,000 kitchen, which adds….$30,460 in value, plus or minus.

Remember – no one but you cares about your costly upgrades. Sad but true.

Make sure you really love what you’re doing – and that the enjoyment and improvement to your quality of life are worth the cost.

There is a Zen koan that reads, “It is not our preferences that hurt us, but rather our attachment to them.” Sometimes you just have to let things go that make little sense.

Zoning issues – Building anywhere in NJ? Beware!! Partial repeat: In general, zoning officers can be difficult to deal with, and the experience is complicated by interpretation of codes and subtle nuances between townships. Many zoning officers we’ve dealt with in NJ don’t have a clue what they’re doing since Storm Sandy changed the playing field. Sad but true.

“Pre-existing, non-conforming condition” is exactly like it sounds – a condition that was approved years (or decades ago) which doesn’t meet current zoning requirements. A general rule of thumb is that if you don’t remove the item (house, deck, etc.) and you are doing an elevation project to meet new flood codes, you are ok.

For a good discussion and the remainder of this article on “pre-existing, non-conforming” conditions, see the 2/3/18 blog. Or come to our next FREE Building Seminar.

Please Note: This subject is complex, often much more than it appears. For assistance and consultation, call us at 609 693 8881 or 732 300 5619.

Building costs increased, for the third year in a row – Steel has increased 50% year to year – Lumber prices have increased 8% since the new Canada tariffs If you’ve quoted a foundation a year ago and waited until now, the steel in the foundation alone may be $500 – $1500 more. A 1200 square foot house lumber package has increased by $1400. Skilled labor has become more difficult to find and keep, although that’s getting slightly better. Keep these items in mind when you are finalizing your project costs and estimates. If you have an estimate that is a year old, expect that the project estimate may increase slightly (3%-4%). Another caution: Material costs have increased throughout 2018 and will continue into 2019. If you’re planning a project, try and secure fixed pricing now, or as soon as you can.

Design & Hiring Your Own Architect: The design & architectural fees are usually itemized separately and are (for us) a pass-through cost. In other words, we oversee the entire design process and it costs our clients the same amount (usually much less) of money than if the homeowner deals with the architect directly. This also results in significant savings in both construction design and redesign fees. Remember – the person who is going to build the project should be involved in the design from inception, so best practices can be designed in from the start. Author’s note from 2017: We successfully completed 42 projects in 2017, and 8 of them were with plans that the homeowner produced prior to retaining us. In all 8 projects, the plans and the scope of work had to be modified, the architecture and engineering cost was higher than we charge for the same work, and there were significant delays in each project.

Moral of the story and a word to the wise – for a new home, elevation or significant renovation, unless you really know what you’re doing and are going to oversee and build the project yourself, let your builder/general contractor provide you with a design/build package. It will save you time, money and grief.

Dream Homes Products & Services – Did You Know We Offer all these services?

New Custom built and Modular Homes – Elevations and House Moves – Modular 1 day Add-A-Level Service – Interior and Exterior Renovations & Additions –  Kitchens & Baths – Roofing, Siding and Windows – Decks and railings – Masonry and Pavers – Engineering, Variance applications and Land Use – Permitting, Surveying and Project Management – Land Development and Approvals.

Call us for more detail on any of the above topics.

Dream Homes – Kitchen & Bath Design Studio & Custom Modular Division –

Though we’re known more for new homes and elevation projects than kitchens and baths, we also do quite a bit of remodeling. An excellent place for you to start is at our Custom Modular, Kitchen & Bath design studio at 2109 Bridge Avenue in Point Pleasant, with complete kitchen layouts, flooring selections and our own in-house modular home design studio. Since we’ve designed and built over 1800 new homes since 1993, we are well equipped to accommodate your remodeling needs, from the simple to the most complex. Call 609 693 8881 to schedule an appointment or just stop by. You’re invited to visit us and see what we have – hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 – 2, closed on Tuesday, with other hours by appointment.

Dream Homes FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) Partial Repeat

We have a great FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section on our web site. Click on www.dreamhomesltd.com and FAQs on the Home Page. Read what you can expect when you choose Dream Homes as your builder – and what we feel you deserve.

Solar Power at Home –More Info and link:  For the full story check the 10/29/17 blog, and here is the link.

http://www.builderonline.com/building/building-science/can-homeowners-use-rooftop-solar-power-during-an-emergency

Dream Homes & Development Corporation – About us: Dream Homes & Development Corp. (OTCOB: Ticker DREM) is a publicly traded, fully reporting (audited) company and is one of the region’s most trusted new home builder and home improvement contractors. Dream Homes was awarded the Best Home Improvement Contractor and Best Modular Home Builder in Ocean County for 2017 by the Asbury Park Press. Dream Homes is growing, improving our operations and service and adding new members to our team to better serve you. You can view financials on our web site at www.dreamhomesltd.com. Click on the SEC tab at the bottom of the page for information. Our ticker symbol is DREM.

Dream Homes has a main office in Forked River a Jersey Dream Modular Design Center in Point Pleasant, and now our newest showroom & office location at Premier Modular Homes in Little Egg. We’re the only public company managing home elevation work in New Jersey, and one of the few to offer complete residential services, whether custom or modular, elevation or renovation. You can view all the information about us online and if you like us and believe in what we’re doing, we would love to have you as shareholders. For more information and an information package, contact Matt Chipman, our investor relations person. Matt can be reached at (818) 923-5302, (310) 709-5646 or matt@GreenChipIR.com. You can view our operational results and financials at any time on our website at www.dreamhomesltd.com or at www.sec.gov.

Mission Statement and Comment: At Dream Homes, we’re the region’s most trusted builder and we’ll help you when no one else will. We regularly handle messy and unpleasant real estate, construction and renovation situations. We do the elevation, renovation and new home projects that few other people can do, and help people finish and get back in their homes. If you’re stuck and can’t figure out how to proceed, call us and we’ll do our best to help you.

At Dream Homes, we believe that taking on difficult unpopular projects is part of the social contract we have with the community and the Jersey Shore. We’ve never abandoned a client or failed to finish a project – we feel very strongly that it is our obligation to help Sandsters and others in need.

Insulation & Wall Thickness – How Much Is Needed and What’s Involved? See the blog of 11/18/17 for useful information on Insulation technique, wall thicknesses & energy efficiency

Siding, Trim and other Exterior Finishes: See the blog of 8/26/17 for useful information on choices for siding, trim and other finishes.

New Beach Bungalow on your lot from $89,800!!  This model is perfect for many small lots in the shore area including Ocean Beach, Lavallette, Ortley and South Seaside Park.

Seaview and Bayview Models: From $149,000 including demolition. These homes are 2-3 bedrooms and 2 baths and suitable for 40-60 foot wide lots. Call 609 693 8881 for details.

Is your home improvement contractor or new home builders willing to provide a turn-key project? This business is messy, requires diverse skill sets and deep administrative support and places all responsibility for everything directly on the builder’s shoulders. Dream Homes regularly perform turn-key renovation and design build projects and will remain as one of the best, solid companies in the years to come. This matters to you because if a company isn’t committed to being in the line of work for which you are contracting, they will not support it correctly during and after the project. That means less resources (personnel and otherwise) devoted to your project. Currently at Dream Homes, we’ve been actively hiring carpenters, helpers, marketing and support staff for 2 years. We’re committed to the elevation /renovation business and improve every single day – our commitment to provide additional, better resources to our clients is ongoing.

Moral of the story: Try and avoid working with any company not committed to the type of project you are undertaking. Ask to see current projects in process or being started.

Need to Phone a Friend? Need a Rescue? Scheduling for Priority projects – If you’re stuck in a stalled project for whatever reason (contractor in jail or indicted, bankrupt, lazy, inept, no money, etc.) we’ll help you with a prompt evaluation of your situation. We do consultation and estimates immediately for projects that are stuck. It doesn’t change what happened to you in the past, but at least you’ll know how to get back on track, without chasing someone for a month to get an initial meeting and written estimate. As a note, often we’re the only company willing to finish projects that have been abandoned.

Kathleen M. Dotoli, Esquire – Consumer Protection:  Kathleen is a workers’ compensation and disability attorney in Toms River and speaks regularly at our Rebuilding Seminar. Kathy gives an excellent presentation about consumer protection that will save you money and grief. (Next one is Wednesday, November 14th, 2018). Email Kathy at kmdotoli611@aol.com or call her office at 732 228 7534 for a copy of her seminar presentation or see her at our seminar.

Video & Past Seminars

Photos & Videos – Click on the link below

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/video-photo/

Future Homes & Townhomes for Sale:  We’re actively working on the development approvals for several properties in Bayville and Forked River.

Dream Homes at Tallwoods: We’ll be offering 13 beautiful new 3 and 4-bedroom single-family homes for sale in the mid $200,000 range in late 2017 / early 2018.

Dream Homes at the Pines: 58 new 2-3 bedroom townhomes, with garages, in a private wooded setting. Anticipated opening in spring / summer 2018.

Dream on the Forked River: 42 new 2-3 bedroom townhomes with garages and private boat slips. Anticipated opening in winter 2018/spring 2019.

If you’re looking for new homes this year or early next year, give us a call and we’ll get you information.

Yeah, We Do That for You…  This was an excellent article from the 1/8/17 blog, which received positive response from many people. If you missed it, go back and read it now at https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/2017/01/08/dream-homes-nearly-famous-rebuilding-blog-1-8-17-why-use-dream-homes-yeah-we-do-that-for-you-hometown-hero-award-in-brick-rebuilding-seminar-1-18-16/

Definitions & Important Considerations That Can Delay Your Project: Click on the link below

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/definitions/

References & Testimonials – Click on the link below

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/references/

Remember – if you have a specific question, send me an email or a text. Don’t wait for a seminar or a site visit to clarify a point. Whether you are a Dream Homes client or not, I’ll always try and help you or guide you in the right direction. If you’ve sent an email or left a voice mail and haven’t received a response, try and contact me again. Messages are lost occasionally.

Note to All: Though I write this blog and host the Building seminars to help guide homeowners through the maze that is any construction project, Dream Homes does all the work that I write about.  Dream Homes & Development Corp. and Dream Building LLC are new home builders and general contractors who are actively renovating and reconstructing projects up and down the shore. We supervise and manage elevation projects & house moves, demolish and build new homes, and develop and build entire new neighborhoods. In the past 25 years, we’ve completed over 1650 new homes, 250 elevation & renovation projects and 500,000 square feet of commercial buildings. 28 of our elevation projects have been rescue projects, where we came in to save a homeowner when someone else left. Dream builds new custom and modular homes, demolishes existing damaged homes, elevates and move homes, complete additions and renovations and rescues homeowners when their other contractors abandon them. We work with clients throughout New Jersey, including the RREM program. Call, text or email to set up an appointment for a free estimate on your rebuilding project.

That’s all for today friends. I hope my words help you move forward. As always, call or write with any questions.

Regards,

Vince Simonelli

Dream Homes & Development Corp. (OTCQB: DREM)

Dream Building LLC

New Home Builder #049531

Home Improvement Contractor #13VH09325600

Office: 314 S. Main Street

Mailing: PO Box 627

Forked River, NJ 08731

Office: 609 693 8881 F: 609 693 3802 Cell: 732 300 5619

Design Center: 2109 Bridge Avenue, Point Pleasant, NJ

Design Center phone: 732 903 7780

Email: vince@dreamhomesltd.com

Website: www.dreamhomesltd.com

Blog: http://blog.dreamhomesltd.com

Twitter: #foxbuilder

 

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Dream Homes Building & Real Estate Blog 9-23-18 – Hometown Heroes Doug & Heather – Hurricane Prep & Florence Recap – NJ & NC Building Seminars – RREM & ICC Deadlines

Dream Homes and Development Corp.

Dream Building LLC.

Nearly Famous Building, Home Improvement and Real Estate Blog

9-23-18

Hello all –

Hopefully you and your family are well and enjoying your weekend. I know I speak for all of us when I say our thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by Florence, who aren’t enjoying today at all, and probably won’t be for quite a while. Hang in there everyone.

Well, we’re still here in Hurricane season and now it’s Fall. Still time to prepare for a storm, if you haven’t already. Remember, we dodged a bullet last week, and North and South Carolina took it instead. If Florence had hit here, we’d be looking at almost twice as many homes damaged as in Storm Sandy. That’s insane – and it’s even crazier not to make basic preparations for a storm or flood event. Words to the wise…

Today we have only a few things for you, but they’re important. Most importantly, we honor two of our Hometown Heroes (Doug Quinn and Heather Shapter), who are helping people affected by Florence, at their own expense, and on their own time.  We again talk about Hurricane Preparedness, WITH A REMINDER THAT FLORENCE IS STILL HAPPENING, and give you a great link to the FEMA site with excellent prep lists. We review our last Building Seminar from 9/12/18 and remind you that our next Building Seminar in New Jersey is Wednesday, November 14th, 2018 at the Tuscan Bistro in TR. PLEASE NOTE: we’re scheduling consumer protection seminars now in North Carolina. We remind you again about why we’re lifting our homes, and stress again about how to avoid losing your RREM grant. We talk about scheduling fall 2018 projects now and how to expedite permits.

Hometown Heroes – Dream Homes Choice – Doug Quinn & Heather Shapter

It’s not one of our normal topics, but this is one of the few times I think there are 2 people that should be recognized, since the work they do and the efforts they make are important enough to mention. I’d like to say a few words today about Doug Quinn and his partner, Heather Shapter.

Many of you know Doug already as a tireless activist and proponent of changes to the FEMA code, as well as a supporter of those who’ve been affected by Storm Sandy and the other events throughout the country. You may not know that Doug and Heather physically go to these affected areas and help people rebuild their homes and lives. This is an extremely selfless action, and deserves recognition.

I was brought up being told that generous actions should not be shouted from the rooftops, as this cheapens those actions. I believe that to be true. Making a donation or doing a good deed, and making sure 10,000 people know it is one thing. Helping others with time, money and kindness, giving back to the world, and supporting others in need without deliberately letting the world know is the most genuine and pure action one can take.

So yesterday, I worked from about 7 am until 7 pm (my brother would call that a ½ day, since there are 24 hours in a full day). I went to the office, stopped at several job sites, answered a bunch of phone calls, spoke to clients, wrote a number of things, prepared spreadsheets, etc. I was tired.

However, I got up and went to sleep in a bed, had food available, my utilities were on, and I didn’t worry about catching disease from 4’ of dirty water in my street. I bought food from a store and gas for my truck.

Doug and Heather didn’t have any of those things. On Thursday, they got in (their own) truck, hitched up (their own) trailer, drove around all day (on their own time) collecting donations, and headed south for North Carolina. Just to make life a bit more interesting, about an hour in, 4 lug nuts fell off a wheel and they had to be towed (which they paid for). When they get there with their 3 tons of supplies, they’ll stay in their van (Doug said to me at one point, “The people in these hotel rooms need it more than I do…”, and they’ll spend their days and nights helping people clean up, find food, water and shelter, and try to get their lives back. Really.

Now, those of you who know Doug (and many, many people do) know that Doug was treated badly by his insurance company when his house was destroyed in Storm Sandy. Since then Doug has been helping (thousands) of people by standing up for them in hearings, at meetings, and in groups like Stop Fema Now.

Doug has waited over 5 years to rebuild his house. After a very thorough search, he chose us as his builder (I felt like I passed a graduate level honor’s class). Doug’s house is being set tomorrow. I’m not exaggerating when I say that he and Heather would absolutely have loved to be there.

What did they do? They got in a van and headed south to help people.

I was always taught that real men and women didn’t complain or shirk their duty when it was painful or unpleasant – they just did what they had to. Many things in life aren’t sweetness and light.

You don’t have to like it – you just have to do it. Doug and Heather don’t talk about it, or complain about it, or show up just for the acclaim and the news, they just do it because it needs to be done.

Thank you Doug and Heather for being an inspiration to us all. For the countless people you’ve helped to date and the hundreds more you’re helping now, who don’t have the time to recognize you but definitely appreciate you, I’m recognizing you now.

So – a huge, sincere thanks. Both of you inspire me and all of us at the Dream Team to be better people and reach for greater heights.

Be safe.

Seminars and Events

Our last Building Seminar on September 12, 2018 was a great success, with lots of good useful information. Everyone who attended walked away with greater clarity and understanding of their project and tips on how to move forward. Remember – If you can’t attend in person, we stream these seminars live on Facebook.

Our next Building & Real Estate Seminar will be held Wednesday November 14th, 2018 at 6 pm at the Tuscan Bar and Grill on Hooper Avenue in Toms River, across from the Ocean County Mall. We’ll be joined by Kathleen Dotoli, Esquire, Scott Lepley and Jason Devooght  from Devooght House Lifters. We also stream on Facebook Live so see us online if you want to email questions or comments while the seminar is under way.  

Planning a new home, elevation or renovation? We’ve been doing this free seminar for 5 years and offer tons of helpful information. We’ll help you focus on starting your project – whether it is a new home, elevation or renovation…and show you how to handle planning and design work.

We talk about architectural and engineering planning, construction technique, RREM guidance, choosing the right builder and consumer safety cautions, financing your project, and tips about home elevation in general. We also talk about RREM issues, (the lunacy of) managing your own project, and ways to avoid delays and going over budget. So, mark the date and call 609 693 8881 or 732 300 5619 to reserve your space if you want to attend. Pizza and wine will be served, and space is limited.

North Carolina Rebuilding & Consumer Protection Seminars – Coming Soon

For our friends in North & South Carolina, we’ll soon be giving seminars like the ones we’ve given here for the last 5 years. It’s our way of trying to help people avoid being ripped off by shady contractors. Call us for information.

Helloooo Hurricane Season  There are numerous simple, free, common sense precautions you can make to prepare for any weather event, to address power outages, evacuations, flooding, wind, or any other emergency.

You can’t prepare for everything, but the very act of making some effort is invaluable – and could save your life.

I won’t list every item here, since I really want you to download and print the FEMA guide below so you have it, but a few simple items you can do or collect include: a go-bag (with medicine, money, ID and valuables), candles and matches, batteries, water, removing all loose items from outside, getting gas in your car (and for your generator), making sure you have non-perishable food for 1-2 weeks, know your evacuation route, think about your pets, and get out if they tell you to leave.

Hurricane Preparation: So good I repeat it in every blog…but NOW IT’S HURRICANE SEASON AND IT’S IMPORTANT, SO DOWNLOAD IT AND PRINT IT NOW!!

Common sense warning: If you don’t print it now, you may not have power when you need to refer to the list. If you don’t print it, at least download it to your phone.

I know most people don’t pay attention to being prepared, but hope springs eternal so I keep posting this…

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1494007144395-b0e215ae1ba6ac1b556f084e190e5862/FEMA_2017_Hurricane_HTP_FINAL.pdf

It’s 11 pages, and it’s all good, and outlines preparation, what to do during an event, and what to do after. If you don’t want to print the whole thing (you should), print pages 2, 4, 5, 6, 10 & 11. They are the most important.

Also, go to www.ready.gov/prepare for more info. You can download a FEMA app to your phone and tablet at www.fema.gov/mobile-app.

Welcome to our new clients and Thanks to everyone for the referrals!

Today we welcome Barbara and Steve in Seaside Park, and John & Sheryl in Toms River. Thank you for trusting us with your home. We also need to mention the numerous referrals we’ve received in the last few weeks, from both our clients, as well as our trade partners. Jason & Deanna Devooght from Devooght House Lifting have sent us numerous new clients and as always they are a pleasure to work with.

Why bother lifting your house? Simple. Flood risk, flood insurance rates and protecting the value of your largest investment.

As a reminder, being affected by another storm or hurricane is why people all over the world are elevating their homes. It’s not a question of if another storm will happen, but when it will occur. More people at the shore are just now realizing the need to retain a home improvement contractor or a new home builder registered or licensed in NJ to elevate or rebuild their homes. One of the most sobering recent statistics is that for the first time in history 2 separate Category 5 hurricanes hit the US mainland within one year (2017). To ignore this trend is foolish. One must accept that the fundamental choice is to move inland, away from the most probable path of hurricanes or to address the need to elevate your house at least 3’ above the base flood level in your area. 3’ above base flood also offers you the lowest available flood insurance rates.

Finally, by being proactive and elevating before an event, you insure that your home is always ready to either sell or mortgage, if you need to do either. Without being at the correct elevation, you’re going to take a $100,000 discount when you sell, and high flood insurance rates make it harder to finance or refinance your house.

RREM Grant  – Use it or Lose it – Revocation due to Inaction & ICC Deadline – October 29, 2019

If you have a RREM grant and haven’t chosen a builder and signed a contract or otherwise signed a contract, you should do so – or risk losing your grant. That’s a reality.

We know homeowners are having RREM grants revoked due to inaction. If you’ve been awarded a grant and haven’t done anything for a long time (1-2 years), eventually you’re going to lose your grant. You must make some type of progress – hire a contractor, or if not, at least engage an architect or engineer. This is a really important step to demonstrate that you are proceeding. If you’re in this category, call us at 609 693 8881 and we’ll help you get focused and moving forward.

One very smart choice you can make if you haven’t started your RREM project yet or chosen a builder, is to make sure you choose someone who is very familiar with RREM and RREM paperwork.

We are experts at RREM paperwork and can save you countless hours during your project and afterward until you are completely closed out. we’ve completed over 300 elevation and new home projects since Sandy, and 65% of them were RREM.

Disturbingly and to make things more difficult for RREM folks, recently there’s been a wholesale changeover in RREM project managers across the board. Now the DCA is administering the balance of the RREM program. There is much pressure to close old files, or revoke those that have been awarded but not started.

We absolutely know that homeowners are having RREM grants revoked due to inaction. If you’ve been awarded a grant and haven’t done anything for a long time (1-2 years), eventually you’re going to lose your grant. You must make some type of progress – hire a contractor, or if not, at least engage an architect or engineer. This is a really important step to demonstrate that you are proceeding. If you’re still on the fence and in this category, call us at 609 693 8881 and we’ll help you get focused and moving forward.

Are you on Facebook? Visit, like and review us at:

https://www.facebook.com/Dream-Homes-Ltd-395944987168142/

Tempus fugit! (that means Time is Fleeting, in Latin): I’ve been banging this drum for years but we all need to hear calls to action (myself included). Time will run out soon for projects you want to have completed by Spring / Summer 2019 unless you have signed a contract and are actively working on engineering and plans. Ideally, you have your plans submitted, or are submitting very soon. If you’re still on the fence, call us at 609 693 8881 and we’ll help you get focused and moving forward.

RREM Clawbacks – Important repeat for RREM clients. See the 2/24/18 blog for more details….

Regarding your RREM scope of work (otherwise known as the ECR or Estimated Cost of Repairs), be aware that your general contractor does not have to do all the work (you can!), Painting, spackle and interior trim are items we regularly encourage homeowners to do themselves if funds are tight. You can do items yourself if you are handy and would like to invest some sweat equity and save money. However, someone must do all the items, or money will be removed.

Having money removed from your grant can be significant, or not. Usually, we’ve found that the cost to have the work done is less than what RREM is paying you, in which case it behooves you to finish all items.

If you’re stuck in this situation or just starting a RREM project, give us a call at 609 693 8881. We’ll help get you back on track or avoid any problems when you start.

Our Old Frenemy – Cost / Benefit:  I hate to be repetitive, and I know it’s boring to some people…and I’ve written about this 2000 times, but many people consistently ignore the cost benefit equation. It’s vitally important to recognize and quantify the potential value you are gaining from improvements, versus the cost you are incurring. (I hate to keep including this in the blog, but it applies to everyone and is incredibly helpful. So I keep repeating it).

My favorites are always decks, kitchens, baths and cosmetic improvements. I don’t like extensive remodeling for the sake of activity (unless it is a hobby for you and you have plenty of money), unless it includes one of the above categories. Refinishing basements and attics is also useful and cost effective – if you’re creating additional living or recreational space. However, these items must be budgeted so the cost doesn’t exceed the value you create.   

Added caution: Sometimes an improvement makes sense if done moderately, but make no sense if overdone or done to excess.

An excellent example is installing a $30,000 kitchen, which adds $30,000 in value (plus or minus) or installing an $80,000 kitchen, which adds….$30,460 in value, plus or minus.

Remember – no one but you cares about your costly upgrades. Sad but true.

Make sure you really love what you’re doing – and that the enjoyment and improvement to your quality of life are worth the cost.

There is a Zen koan that reads, “It is not our preferences that hurt us, but rather our attachment to them.” Sometimes you just have to let things go that make little sense.

Zoning issues – Building anywhere in NJ? Beware!! Partial repeat: In general, zoning officers can be difficult to deal with, and the experience is complicated by interpretation of codes and subtle nuances between townships. Many zoning officers we’ve dealt with in NJ don’t have a clue what they’re doing since Storm Sandy changed the playing field. Sad but true.

“Pre-existing, non-conforming condition” is exactly like it sounds – a condition that was approved years (or decades ago) which doesn’t meet current zoning requirements. A general rule of thumb is that if you don’t remove the item (house, deck, etc) and you are doing an elevation project to meet new flood codes, you are ok.

or a good discussion and the remainder of this article on “pre-existing, non-conforming” conditions, see the 2/3/18 blog. Or come to our 9/12/18 Building Seminar.

Please Note: This subject is complex, often much more than it appears. For assistance and consultation, call us at 609 693 8881 or 732 300 5619.

Building costs increased, for the third year in a row – Steel has increased 50% year to year If you’ve quoted a foundation a year ago and waited until now, the steel in the foundation alone may be $500 – $1500 more. Skilled labor has become more difficult to find and keep, although that’s getting slightly better. Keep these two items in mind when you are finalizing your project costs and estimates. If you have an estimate that is a year old, expect that the project estimate may increase slightly (3%-4%). Another caution: Material costs have increased throughout 2018 and will continue into 2019. If you’re planning a project, try and secure fixed pricing now, or as soon as you can.

Design & Hiring Your Own Architect: The design & architectural fees are usually itemized separately and are (for us) a pass-through cost. In other words, we oversee the entire design process and it costs our clients the same amount (usually much less) of money than if the homeowner deals with the architect directly. This also results in significant savings in both construction design and redesign fees. Remember – the person who is going to build the project should be involved in the design from inception, so best practices can be designed in from the start. Author’s note from 2017: We successfully completed 42 projects in 2017, and 8 of them were with plans that the homeowner produced prior to retaining us. In all 8 projects, the plans and the scope of work had to be modified, the architecture and engineering cost was higher than we charge for the same work, and there were significant delays in each project.

Moral of the story and a word to the wise – for a new home, elevation or significant renovation, unless you really know what you’re doing and are going to oversee and build the project yourself, let your builder/general contractor provide you with a design/build package. It will save you time, money and grief.

Dream Homes Products & Services – Did You Know We Offer all these services?

New Custom Site built and Modular Homes – Elevations and House Moves – Interior and Exterior Renovations & Additions –  Kitchens & Baths – Roofing, Siding and Windows – Decks and railings – Masonry and Pavers – Engineering, Variance applications and Land Use – Permitting, Surveying and Project Management – Land Development and Approvals.

Call us for more detail on any of the above topics.

Dream Homes – Awarded the Best Home Improvement Contractor and Best Modular Home Builder in Ocean County for 2017 by the Asbury Park Press. That’s something we’re very proud of, but we’re even more proud that we’ve recently passed the milestone of 200 completed elevation/renovation projects since Storm Sandy. Dream looks forward to continuing to help New Jersey rebuild in the months and years ahead. Thanks to all the clients and friends who voted for us in that survey – last year and this year!

Dream Homes – Kitchen & Bath Design Studio & Custom Modular Division –

Though we’re known more for new homes and elevation projects than kitchens and baths, we also do quite a bit of remodeling. An excellent place for you to start is at our Custom Modular, Kitchen & Bath design studio at 2109 Bridge Avenue in Point Pleasant, with complete kitchen layouts, flooring selections and our own in house modular home design studio. Since we’ve designed and built over 1800 new homes since 1993, we are well equipped to accommodate your remodeling needs, from the simple to the most complex. Call 609 693 8881 to schedule an appointment or just stop by. You’re invited to visit us and see what we have – hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 – 2, closed on Tuesday, with other hours by appointment.

Dream Homes FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) Partial Repeat

We have a great FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section on our web site. Click on www.dreamhomesltd.com and FAQs on the Home Page. Read what you can expect when you choose Dream Homes as your builder – and what we feel you deserve.

Solar Power at Home –More Info and link:  For the full story check the 10/29/17 blog, and here is the link.

http://www.builderonline.com/building/building-science/can-homeowners-use-rooftop-solar-power-during-an-emergency

Dream Homes & Development Corporation – About us: Dream Homes & Development Corp. (OTCOB: Ticker DREM) is a publicly traded, fully reporting (audited) company and is one of the region’s most trusted new home builder and home improvement contractors. Dream Homes was awarded the Best Home Improvement Contractor and Best Modular Home Builder in Ocean County for 2017 by the Asbury Park Press. Dream Homes is growing, improving our operations and service and adding new members to our team to better serve you. You can view financials on our web site at www.dreamhomesltd.com. Click on the SEC tab at the bottom of the page for information.

Dream Homes has a main office in Forked River and a Modular Design Center in Point Pleasant, and we’re the only public company doing home elevation work in New Jersey. You can view all the information about us online and if you like us and believe in what we’re doing, we would love to have you as shareholders. For more information and an information package, contact Matt Chipman, our investor relations person. Matt can be reached at (818) 923-5302, (310) 709-5646 or matt@GreenChipIR.com. You can view our operational results and financials at any time on our website at www.dreamhomesltd.com or at www.sec.gov.

Mission Statement and Comment: At Dream Homes, we’re the region’s most trusted builder and we’ll help you when no one else will. We regularly handle messy and unpleasant real estate, construction and renovation situations. We do the elevation, renovation and new home projects that few other people can do, and help people finish and get back in their homes. If you’re stuck and can’t figure out how to proceed, call us and we’ll do our best to help you.

At Dream Homes, we believe that taking on difficult unpopular projects is part of the social contract we have with the community and the Jersey Shore. We’ve never abandoned a client or failed to finish a project – we feel very strongly that it is our obligation to help Sandsters and others in need.

Insulation & Wall Thickness – How Much Is Needed and What’s Involved? See the blog of 11/18/17 for useful information on Insulation technique, wall thicknesses & energy efficiency

Siding, Trim and other Exterior Finishes: See the blog of 8/26/17 for useful information on choices for siding, trim and other finishes.

New Beach Bungalow on your lot from $89,800!!  This model is perfect for many small lots in the shore area including Ocean Beach, Lavallette, Ortley and South Seaside Park.

Seaview and Bayview Models: From $149,000 including demolition. These homes are 2-3 bedrooms and 2 baths and suitable for 40-60 foot wide lots. Call 609 693 8881 for details.

Is your home improvement contractor or new home builders willing to provide a turn-key project? This business is messy, requires diverse skill sets and deep administrative support and places all responsibility for everything directly on the builder’s shoulders. Dream Homes regularly perform turn-key renovation and design build projects and will remain as one of the best, solid companies in the years to come. This matters to you because if a company isn’t committed to being in the line of work for which you are contracting, they will not support it correctly during and after the project. That means less resources (personnel and otherwise) devoted to your project. Currently at Dream Homes, we’ve been actively hiring carpenters, helpers, marketing and support staff for 2 years. We’re committed to the elevation /renovation business and improve every single day – our commitment to provide additional, better resources to our clients is ongoing.

Moral of the story: Try and avoid working with any company not committed to the type of project you are undertaking. Ask to see current projects in process or being started.

Need to Phone a Friend? Need a Rescue? Scheduling for Priority projects – If you’re stuck in a stalled project for whatever reason (contractor in jail or indicted, bankrupt, lazy, inept, no money, etc.) we’ll help you with a prompt evaluation of your situation. We do consultation and estimates immediately for projects that are stuck. It doesn’t change what happened to you in the past, but at least you’ll know how to get back on track, without chasing someone for a month to get an initial meeting and written estimate. As a note, often we’re the only company willing to finish projects that have been abandoned.

Kathleen M. Dotoli, Esquire – Consumer Protection:  Kathleen is a workers’ compensation and disability attorney in Toms River and speaks regularly at our Rebuilding Seminar. Kathy gives an excellent presentation about consumer protection that will save you money and grief. (Next one is Wednesday, November 14th, 2018). Email Kathy at kmdotoli611@aol.com or call her office at 732 228 7534 for a copy of her seminar presentation or see her at our seminar.

Video & Past Seminars

Photos & Videos – Click on the link below

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/video-photo/

Future Homes & Townhomes for Sale:  We’re actively working on the development approvals for several properties in Bayville and Forked River.

Dream Homes at Tallwoods: We’ll be offering 13 beautiful new 3 and 4-bedroom single-family homes for sale in the mid $200,000 range in late 2017 / early 2018.

Dream Homes at the Pines: 58 new 2-3 bedroom townhomes, with garages, in a private wooded setting. Anticipated opening in spring / summer 2018.

Dream on the Forked River: 42 new 2-3 bedroom townhomes with garages and private boat slips. Anticipated opening in winter 2018/spring 2019.

If you’re looking for new homes this year or early next year, give us a call and we’ll get you information.

Yeah, We Do That for You…  This was an excellent article from the 1/8/17 blog, which received positive response from many people. If you missed it, go back and read it now at https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/2017/01/08/dream-homes-nearly-famous-rebuilding-blog-1-8-17-why-use-dream-homes-yeah-we-do-that-for-you-hometown-hero-award-in-brick-rebuilding-seminar-1-18-16/

Definitions & Important Considerations That Can Delay Your Project: Click on the link below

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/definitions/

References & Testimonials – Click on the link below

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/references/

Remember – if you have a specific question, send me an email or a text. Don’t wait for a seminar or a site visit to clarify a point. Whether you are a Dream Homes client or not, I’ll always try and help you or guide you in the right direction. If you’ve sent an email or left a voice mail and haven’t received a response, try and contact me again. Messages are lost occasionally.

Note to All: Though I write this blog and host the Building seminars to help guide homeowners through the maze that is any construction project, Dream Homes does all of the work that I write about.  Dream Homes & Development Corp. and Dream Building LLC are new home builders and general contractors who are actively renovating and reconstructing projects up and down the shore. We supervise and manage elevation projects & house moves, demolish and build new homes, and develop and build entire new neighborhoods. In the past 25 years, we’ve completed over 1650 new homes, 250 elevation & renovation projects and 500,000 square feet of commercial buildings. 28 of our elevation projects have been rescue projects, where we came in to save a homeowner when someone else left. Dream builds new homes, demolishes existing damaged homes, elevates and move homes, complete additions and renovations and rescues homeowners when their other contractors abandon them. We work with private clients as well as Path B clients in the RREM program. Call, text or email to set up an appointment for a free estimate on your rebuilding project.

That’s all for today friends. I hope my words help you move forward. As always, call or write with any questions.

Regards,

Vince Simonelli

Dream Homes & Development Corp. (OTCQB: DREM)

Dream Building LLC

New Home Builder #049531

Home Improvement Contractor #13VH09325600

Office: 314 S. Main Street

Mailing: PO Box 627

Forked River, NJ 08731

Office: 609 693 8881 F: 609 693 3802 Cell: 732 300 5619

Design Center: 2109 Bridge Avenue, Point Pleasant, NJ

Design Center phone: 732 903 7780

Email: vince@dreamhomesltd.com

Website: www.dreamhomesltd.com

Blog: http://blog.dreamhomesltd.com

Twitter: #foxbuilder

 

New Homes & Rebuilds in Ocean, Monmouth & Atlantic County

Dream Homes Building Blog – 9-8-18 – Hurricane Alert and Prep – Building Seminar 9/12/18 – Why Lift? – RREM Clawbacks – Scheduling Fall 2018 Starts

Dream Homes and Development Corp.

Dream Building LLC.

Nearly Famous Building, Home Improvement and Real Estate Blog

9-8-18

Hello all –

Hopefully you and your family are well and enjoying your rainy weekend.

Well, we’re here again in Hurricane Season and we have quite the week ahead of us with Tropical Storm Florence about to slam us this week, to be followed in short order by 2 additional (monster) hurricanes waiting in the wings (Helene & Isaac). They’re both currently off the coast of Africa, so we have a bit of time.

Today we have some very useful things for you. We focus on Hurricane Preparedness, since ‘tis the season again, with a great link to the FEMA site and excellent lists. Our next Building Seminar is this coming Wednesday, September 12th, 2018 at the Tuscan Bistro in TR (detail & hurricane alert below). You should attend if you are doing anything with construction or real estate (or just want free pizza and wine while listening to real estate talk). We speak again about Why We’re Lifting Our Houses. We explain again about how to avoid losing your RREM grant. We note that we have 3 different commercials running on 12 channels on Comcast, so let us know what you think if you see one. We talk about scheduling late summer and fall 2018 projects now and how to expedite permits. Lots of helpful stuff.

Seminars and Events – With Hurricane Alert

Our next Building & Real Estate Seminar will be held Wednesday September 12th, 2018 at 6 pm at the Tuscan Bar and Grill on Hooper Avenue in Toms River, across from the Ocean County Mall. We’ll be joined by Kathleen Dotoli, Esquire and Jason Devooght  from Devooght House Lifters. We also stream on Facebook Live so see us online if you want to email questions or comments while the seminar is under way.  

IF WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF A HURRICANE, OR HAVE WINDS IN EXCESS OF 30 MPH WITH TORRENTIAL RAIN, WE WILL NOT BE AT TUSCAN, BUT WILL STILL BE LIVE STREAMING A SEMINAR ON FACEBOOK FROM MY OFFICE. I’LL BE SPEAKING AND TAKING CALLS FROM 6-7 PM SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO RISK THE WEATHER. If you’ve reserved a space, we’ll call you and let you know on Wednesday. If you haven’t, check the blog or website for updates.

Planning a new home, elevation or renovation? We’ve been doing this free seminar for 5 years and offer tons of helpful information. We’ll help you focus on starting your project – whether it is a new home, elevation or renovation…and show you how to handle planning and design work.

We talk about architectural and engineering planning, construction technique, RREM guidance, choosing the right builder and consumer safety cautions, financing your project, and tips about home elevation in general. We also talk about RREM issues, (the lunacy of) managing your own project, and ways to avoid delays and going over budget. So, mark the date and call 609 693 8881 or 732 300 5619 to reserve your space if you want to attend. Pizza and wine will be served, and space is limited.

So, Hello to Hurricane Season and Hurricane Florence…with Helene and Isaac close behind.

There are numerous simple, free, common sense precautions you can make to prepare for any weather event, to address power outages, evacuations, flooding, wind, or any other emergency.

You can’t prepare for everything, but the very act of making some effort is invaluable – and could save your life.

I won’t list every item here, since I really want you to download and print the FEMA guide below so you have it, but a few simple items you can do or collect include: a go-bag (with medicine, money, ID and valuables), candles and matches, batteries, water, removing all loose items from outside, getting gas in your car (and for your generator), making sure you have non-perishable food for 1-2 weeks, know your evacuation route, think about your pets, and get out if they tell you to leave.

Hurricane Preparation: So good I repeat it in every blog…but NOW IT’S HURRICANE SEASON AND IT’S IMPORTANT, SO DOWNLOAD IT AND PRINT IT NOW!!

Common sense warning: If you don’t print it now, you may not have power when you need to refer to the list. If you don’t print it, at least download it to your phone.

I know most people don’t pay attention to being prepared, but hope springs eternal so I keep posting this…

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1494007144395-b0e215ae1ba6ac1b556f084e190e5862/FEMA_2017_Hurricane_HTP_FINAL.pdf

It’s 11 pages, and it’s all good, and outlines preparation, what to do during an event, and what to do after. If you don’t want to print the whole thing (you should), print pages 2, 4, 5, 6, 10 & 11. They are the most important.

Also, go to www.ready.gov/prepare for more info. You can download a FEMA app to your phone and tablet at www.fema.gov/mobile-app.

Why bother lifting your house? Simple. Flood risk, flood insurance rates and protecting the value of your largest investment.

As a reminder, being affected by another storm or hurricane is why people all over the world are elevating their homes. It’s not a question of if another storm will happen, but when it will occur. More people at the shore are just now realizing the need to retain a home improvement contractor or a new home builder registered or licensed in NJ to elevate or rebuild their homes. One of the most sobering recent statistics is that for the first time in history 2 separate Category 5 hurricanes hit the US mainland within one year (2017). To ignore this trend is foolish. One must accept that the fundamental choice is to move inland, away from the most probable path of hurricanes or to address the need to elevate your house at least 3’ above the base flood level in your area. 3’ above base flood also offers you the lowest available flood insurance rates.

Finally, by being proactive and elevating before an event, you insure that your home is always ready to either sell or mortgage, if you need to do either. Without being at the correct elevation, you’re going to take a $100,000 discount when you sell, and high flood insurance rates make it harder to finance or refinance your house.

RREM Grant  – Use it or Lose it – Revocation due to Inaction & ICC Deadline – October 29, 2019

If you have a RREM grant and haven’t chosen a builder and signed a contract or otherwise signed a contract, you should do so – or risk losing your grant. That’s a reality.

We know homeowners are having RREM grants revoked due to inaction. If you’ve been awarded a grant and haven’t done anything for a long time (1-2 years), eventually you’re going to lose your grant. You must make some type of progress – hire a contractor, or if not, at least engage an architect or engineer. This is a really important step to demonstrate that you are proceeding. If you’re in this category, call us at 609 693 8881 and we’ll help you get focused and moving forward.

One very smart choice you can make if you haven’t started your RREM project yet or chosen a builder, is to make sure you choose someone who is very familiar with RREM and RREM paperwork.

We are experts at RREM paperwork and can save you countless hours during your project and afterward until you are completely closed out. we’ve completed over 300 elevation and new home projects since Sandy, and 65% of them were RREM.

Disturbingly and to make things more difficult for RREM folks, recently there’s been a wholesale changeover in RREM project managers across the board. Now the DCA is administering the balance of the RREM program. There is much pressure to close old files, or revoke those that have been awarded but not started.

We absolutely know that homeowners are having RREM grants revoked due to inaction. If you’ve been awarded a grant and haven’t done anything for a long time (1-2 years), eventually you’re going to lose your grant. You must make some type of progress – hire a contractor, or if not, at least engage an architect or engineer. This is a really important step to demonstrate that you are proceeding. If you’re still on the fence and in this category, call us at 609 693 8881 and we’ll help you get focused and moving forward.

Are you on Facebook? Visit, like and review us at :

https://www.facebook.com/Dream-Homes-Ltd-395944987168142/

Tempus fugit! (that means Time is Fleeting, in Latin): I’ve been banging this drum for years but we all need to hear calls to action (myself included). Time will run out soon for projects you want to have completed by Spring / Summer 2019 unless you have signed a contract and are actively working on engineering and plans. Ideally, you have your plans submitted, or are submitting very soon. If you’re still on the fence, call us at 609 693 8881 and we’ll help you get focused and moving forward.

RREM Clawbacks – Important repeat for RREM clients. See the 2/24/18 blog for more details….

Regarding your RREM scope of work (otherwise known as the ECR or Estimated Cost of Repairs), be aware that your general contractor does not have to do all the work (you can!), Painting, spackle and interior trim are items we regularly encourage homeowners to do themselves if funds are tight. You can do items yourself if you are handy and would like to invest some sweat equity and save money. However, someone must do all the items, or money will be removed.

Having money removed from your grant can be significant, or not. Usually, we’ve found that the cost to have the work done is less than what RREM is paying you, in which case it behooves you to finish all items.

If you’re stuck in this situation or just starting a RREM project, give us a call at 609 693 8881. We’ll help get you back on track or avoid any problems when you start.

Our Old Frenemy – Cost / Benefit:  I hate to be repetitive, and I know it’s boring to some people…and I’ve written about this 2000 times, but many people consistently ignore the cost benefit equation. It’s vitally important to recognize and quantify the potential value you are gaining from improvements, versus the cost you are incurring. (I hate to keep including this in the blog, but it applies to everyone and is incredibly helpful. So I keep repeating it).

My favorites are always decks, kitchens, baths and cosmetic improvements. I don’t like extensive remodeling for the sake of activity (unless it is a hobby for you and you have plenty of money), unless it includes one of the above categories. Refinishing basements and attics is also useful and cost effective – if you’re creating additional living or recreational space. However, these items must be budgeted so the cost doesn’t exceed the value you create.   

Added caution: Sometimes an improvement makes sense if done moderately, but make no sense if overdone or done to excess.

An excellent example is installing a $30,000 kitchen, which adds $30,000 in value (plus or minus) or installing an $80,000 kitchen, which adds….$30,460 in value, plus or minus.

Remember – no one but you cares about your costly upgrades. Sad but true.

Make sure you really love what you’re doing – and that the enjoyment and improvement to your quality of life are worth the cost.

There is a Zen koan that reads, “It is not our preferences that hurt us, but rather our attachment to them.” Sometimes you just have to let things go that make little sense.

Zoning issues – Building anywhere in NJ? Beware!! Partial repeat: In general, zoning officers can be difficult to deal with, and the experience is complicated by interpretation of codes and subtle nuances between townships. Many zoning officers we’ve dealt with in NJ don’t have a clue what they’re doing since Storm Sandy changed the playing field. Sad but true.

“Pre-existing, non-conforming condition” is exactly like it sounds – a condition that was approved years (or decades ago) which doesn’t meet current zoning requirements. A general rule of thumb is that if you don’t remove the item (house, deck, etc) and you are doing an elevation project to meet new flood codes, you are ok.

or a good discussion and the remainder of this article on “pre-existing, non-conforming” conditions, see the 2/3/18 blog. Or come to our 9/12/18 Building Seminar.

Please Note: This subject is complex, often much more than it appears. For assistance and consultation, call us at 609 693 8881 or 732 300 5619.

Building costs increased, for the third year in a row – Steel has increased 50% year to year If you’ve quoted a foundation a year ago and waited until now, the steel in the foundation alone may be $500 – $1500 more. Skilled labor has become more difficult to find and keep, although that’s getting slightly better. Keep these two items in mind when you are finalizing your project costs and estimates. If you have an estimate that is a year old, expect that the project estimate may increase slightly (3%-4%). Another caution: Material costs have increased throughout 2018 and will continue into 2019. If you’re planning a project, try and secure fixed pricing now, or as soon as you can.

Design & Hiring Your Own Architect: The design & architectural fees are usually itemized separately and are (for us) a pass-through cost. In other words, we oversee the entire design process and it costs our clients the same amount (usually much less) of money than if the homeowner deals with the architect directly. This also results in significant savings in both construction design and redesign fees. Remember – the person who is going to build the project should be involved in the design from inception, so best practices can be designed in from the start. Author’s note from 2017: We successfully completed 42 projects in 2017, and 8 of them were with plans that the homeowner produced prior to retaining us. In all 8 projects, the plans and the scope of work had to be modified, the architecture and engineering cost was higher than we charge for the same work, and there were significant delays in each project.

Moral of the story and a word to the wise – for a new home, elevation or significant renovation, unless you really know what you’re doing and are going to oversee and build the project yourself, let your builder/general contractor provide you with a design/build package. It will save you time, money and grief.

Dream Homes Products & Services – Did You Know We Offer all these services?

New Custom Site built and Modular Homes – Elevations and House Moves – Interior and Exterior Renovations & Additions –  Kitchens & Baths – Roofing, Siding and Windows – Decks and railings – Masonry and Pavers – Engineering, Variance applications and Land Use – Permitting, Surveying and Project Management – Land Development and Approvals.             Call us for more detail on any of the above topics.

Dream Homes – Awarded the Best Home Improvement Contractor and Best Modular Home Builder in Ocean County for 2017 by the Asbury Park Press. That’s something we’re very proud of, but we’re even more proud that we’ve recently passed the milestone of 200 completed elevation/renovation projects since Storm Sandy. Dream looks forward to continuing to help New Jersey rebuild in the months and years ahead. Thanks to all the clients and friends who voted for us in that survey – last year and this year!

Dream Homes – Kitchen & Bath Design Studio & Custom Modular Division –

Though we’re known more for new homes and elevation projects than kitchens and baths, we also do quite a bit of remodeling. An excellent place for you to start is at our Custom Modular, Kitchen & Bath design studio at 2109 Bridge Avenue in Point Pleasant, with complete kitchen layouts, flooring selections and our own in house modular home design studio. Since we’ve designed and built over 1800 new homes since 1993, we are well equipped to accommodate your remodeling needs, from the simple to the most complex. Call 609 693 8881 to schedule an appointment or just stop by. You’re invited to visit us and see what we have – hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 – 2, closed on Tuesday, with other hours by appointment.

Dream Homes FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) Partial Repeat

We have a great FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section on our web site. Click on www.dreamhomesltd.com and FAQs on the Home Page. Read what you can expect when you choose Dream Homes as your builder – and what we feel you deserve.

Solar Power at Home –More Info and link:  For the full story check the 10/29/17 blog, and here is the link.

http://www.builderonline.com/building/building-science/can-homeowners-use-rooftop-solar-power-during-an-emergency

Dream Homes & Development Corporation – About us: Dream Homes & Development Corp. (OTCOB: Ticker DREM) is a publicly traded, fully reporting (audited) company and is one of the region’s most trusted new home builder and home improvement contractors. Dream Homes was awarded the Best Home Improvement Contractor and Best Modular Home Builder in Ocean County for 2017 by the Asbury Park Press. Dream Homes is growing, improving our operations and service and adding new members to our team to better serve you. You can view financials on our web site at www.dreamhomesltd.com. Click on the SEC tab at the bottom of the page for information.

Dream Homes has a main office in Forked River and a Modular Design Center in Point Pleasant, and we’re the only public company doing home elevation work in New Jersey. You can view all the information about us online and if you like us and believe in what we’re doing, we would love to have you as shareholders. For more information and an information package, contact Matt Chipman, our investor relations person. Matt can be reached at (818) 923-5302, (310) 709-5646 or matt@GreenChipIR.com. You can view our operational results and financials at any time on our website at www.dreamhomesltd.com or at www.sec.gov.

Mission Statement and Comment: At Dream Homes, we’re the region’s most trusted builder and we’ll help you when no one else will. We regularly handle messy and unpleasant real estate, construction and renovation situations. We do the elevation, renovation and new home projects that few other people can do, and help people finish and get back in their homes. If you’re stuck and can’t figure out how to proceed, call us and we’ll do our best to help you.

At Dream Homes, we believe that taking on difficult unpopular projects is part of the social contract we have with the community and the Jersey Shore. We’ve never abandoned a client or failed to finish a project – we feel very strongly that it is our obligation to help Sandsters and others in need.

Insulation & Wall Thickness – How Much Is Needed and What’s Involved? See the blog of 11/18/17 for useful information on Insulation technique, wall thicknesses & energy efficiency

Siding, Trim and other Exterior Finishes: See the blog of 8/26/17 for useful information on choices for siding, trim and other finishes.

New Beach Bungalow on your lot from $89,800!!  This model is perfect for many small lots in the shore area including Ocean Beach, Lavallette, Ortley and South Seaside Park.

Seaview and Bayview Models: From $149,000 including demolition. These homes are 2-3 bedrooms and 2 baths and suitable for 40-60 foot wide lots. Call 609 693 8881 for details.

Is your home improvement contractor or new home builders willing to provide a turn-key project? This business is messy, requires diverse skill sets and deep administrative support and places all responsibility for everything directly on the builder’s shoulders. Dream Homes regularly perform turn-key renovation and design build projects and will remain as one of the best, solid companies in the years to come. This matters to you because if a company isn’t committed to being in the line of work for which you are contracting, they will not support it correctly during and after the project. That means less resources (personnel and otherwise) devoted to your project. Currently at Dream Homes, we’ve been actively hiring carpenters, helpers, marketing and support staff for 2 years. We’re committed to the elevation /renovation business and improve every single day – our commitment to provide additional, better resources to our clients is ongoing.

Moral of the story: Try and avoid working with any company not committed to the type of project you are undertaking. Ask to see current projects in process or being started.

Need to Phone a Friend? Need a Rescue? Scheduling for Priority projects – If you’re stuck in a stalled project for whatever reason (contractor in jail or indicted, bankrupt, lazy, inept, no money, etc.) we’ll help you with a prompt evaluation of your situation. We do consultation and estimates immediately for projects that are stuck. It doesn’t change what happened to you in the past, but at least you’ll know how to get back on track, without chasing someone for a month to get an initial meeting and written estimate. As a note, often we’re the only company willing to finish projects that have been abandoned.

Kathleen M. Dotoli, Esquire – Consumer Protection:  Kathleen is a workers’ compensation and disability attorney in Toms River and speaks regularly at our Rebuilding Seminar. Kathy gives an excellent presentation about consumer protection that will save you money and grief. (Next one is Wednesday, September 12th, 2018). Email Kathy at kmdotoli611@aol.com or call her office at 732 228 7534 for a copy of her seminar presentation or see her at our seminar.

Video & Past Seminars

Photos & Videos – Click on the link below

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/video-photo/

Future Homes & Townhomes for Sale:  We’re actively working on the development approvals for several properties in Bayville and Forked River.

Dream Homes at Tallwoods: We’ll be offering 13 beautiful new 3 and 4-bedroom single-family homes for sale in the mid $200,000 range in late 2017 / early 2018.

Dream Homes at the Pines: 58 new 2-3 bedroom townhomes, with garages, in a private wooded setting. Anticipated opening in spring / summer 2018.

Dream on the Forked River: 42 new 2-3 bedroom townhomes with garages and private boat slips. Anticipated opening in winter 2018/spring 2019.

If you’re looking for new homes this year or early next year, give us a call and we’ll get you information.

Yeah, We Do That for You…  This was an excellent article from the 1/8/17 blog, which received positive response from many people. If you missed it, go back and read it now at https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/2017/01/08/dream-homes-nearly-famous-rebuilding-blog-1-8-17-why-use-dream-homes-yeah-we-do-that-for-you-hometown-hero-award-in-brick-rebuilding-seminar-1-18-16/

Definitions & Important Considerations That Can Delay Your Project: Click on the link below

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/definitions/

References & Testimonials – Click on the link below

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/references/

Remember – if you have a specific question, send me an email or a text. Don’t wait for a seminar or a site visit to clarify a point. Whether you are a Dream Homes client or not, I’ll always try and help you or guide you in the right direction. If you’ve sent an email or left a voice mail and haven’t received a response, try and contact me again. Messages are lost occasionally.

Note to All: Though I write this blog and host the Building seminars to help guide homeowners through the maze that is any construction project, Dream Homes does all of the work that I write about.  Dream Homes & Development Corp. and Dream Building LLC are new home builders and general contractors who are actively renovating and reconstructing projects up and down the shore. We supervise and manage elevation projects & house moves, demolish and build new homes, and develop and build entire new neighborhoods. In the past 25 years, we’ve completed over 1650 new homes, 250 elevation & renovation projects and 500,000 square feet of commercial buildings. 28 of our elevation projects have been rescue projects, where we came in to save a homeowner when someone else left. Dream builds new homes, demolishes existing damaged homes, elevates and move homes, complete additions and renovations and rescues homeowners when their other contractors abandon them. We work with private clients as well as Path B clients in the RREM program. Call, text or email to set up an appointment for a free estimate on your rebuilding project.

That’s all for today friends. I hope my words help you move forward. As always, call or write with any questions.

Regards,

Vince Simonelli

Dream Homes & Development Corp. (OTCQB: DREM)

Dream Building LLC

New Home Builder #049531

Home Improvement Contractor #13VH09325600

Office: 314 S. Main Street

Mailing: PO Box 627

Forked River, NJ 08731

Office: 609 693 8881 F: 609 693 3802 Cell: 732 300 5619

Email: vince@dreamhomesltd.com

Website: www.dreamhomesltd.com

Blog: http://blog.dreamhomesltd.com

Twitter: #foxbuilder

 

New Homes & Rebuilds in Ocean, Monmouth & Atlantic County

Dream Homes and Development Corp.

Dream Building LLC.

Nearly Famous Building, Home Improvement and Real Estate Blog

9-3-18

Hello all –

Hopefully you and your family are well and enjoying your Labor Day weekend.

Most people I know have been laboring in one way or another – but still managing to enjoy the surprisingly nice weather this weekend. Today is not terribly hot but it is very humid and uncomfortable.

We’re in last month of summer now, and this weather is why we all put up with the negatives of New Jersey. We’ll have wonderful weather here from now until mid-October and we should all get make a point of getting outside and enjoying the beach, park, boat or whatever it is you like to do.

Today we have a few semi-useful things for you. We tell you how to avoid losing your RREM grant. We have 3 different commercials on 12 channels on Comcast. Our next Building Seminar is next Wednesday, September 12th, 2018 at the Tuscan Bistro in TR (detail below). You should attend if you are doing anything with construction or real estate (or just want free pizza and wine while listening to real estate talk). We talk about scheduling late summer and fall 2018 projects now and how to expedite permits. On a lighter note, we let you know about our Adorable Pet contest and $100 donation to Popcorn Park Zoo. Lots of interesting stuff.

Seminars and Events

Our next Building & Real Estate Seminar will be held Wednesday September 12th, 2018 at 6 pm at the Tuscan Bar and Grill on Hooper Avenue in Toms River, across from the Ocean County Mall. We’ll be joined by Kathleen Dotoli, Esquire and Jason Devooght from Devooght House Lifters. We also stream on Facebook Live so see us online if you want to email questions or comments while the seminar is under way.

Planning a new home, elevation or renovation? We’ve been doing this free seminar for 5 years and offer tons of helpful information. We’ll help you focus on starting your project – whether it is a new home, elevation or renovation…and we’ll show you how to handle planning and design work.

We talk about architectural and engineering planning, construction technique, RREM guidance, choosing the right builder and consumer safety cautions, financing your project, and tips about home elevation in general. We also talk about RREM issues, (the lunacy of) managing your own project, and ways to avoid delays and going over budget. So, mark the date and call 609 693 8881 or 732 300 5619 to reserve your space if you want to attend. Pizza and wine will be served, and space is limited.

RREM Grant – Use it or Lose it – Revocation due to Inaction & ICC Deadline – October 29, 2019

If you have a RREM grant and haven’t chosen a builder and signed a contract or otherwise signed a contract, you should do so – or risk losing your grant. That’s a reality.

We know homeowners are having RREM grants revoked due to inaction. If you’ve been awarded a grant and haven’t done anything for a long time (1-2 years), eventually you’re going to lose your grant. You must make some type of progress – hire a contractor, or if not, at least engage an architect or engineer. This is a really important step to demonstrate that you are proceeding. If you’re in this category, call us at 609 693 8881 and we’ll help you get focused and moving forward.

One very smart choice you can make if you haven’t started your RREM project yet or chosen a builder, is to make sure you choose someone who is very familiar with RREM and RREM paperwork.

We are experts at RREM paperwork and can save you countless hours during your project and afterward until you are completely closed out. we’ve completed over 300 elevation and new home projects since Sandy, and 65% of them were RREM.

Disturbingly and to make things more difficult for RREM folks, recently there’s been a wholesale changeover in RREM project managers across the board. Now the DCA is administering the balance of the RREM program. There is much pressure to close old files, or revoke those that have been awarded but not started.

We absolutely know that homeowners are having RREM grants revoked due to inaction. If you’ve been awarded a grant and haven’t done anything for a long time (1-2 years), eventually you’re going to lose your grant. You must make some type of progress – hire a contractor, or if not, at least engage an architect or engineer. This is a really important step to demonstrate that you are proceeding. If you’re still on the fence and in this category, call us at 609 693 8881 and we’ll help you get focused and moving forward.

Think you have the most Adorable Pet? People around the world think that here in the US, we like our pets more that our family members, and there may be some credence to that.

Click here to link to our Facebook Page, and send us a picture of your pet being adorable in your favorite place – house, beach, deck, boat, or anyplace else. If we get 100 entries we’ll donate $100 to the Popcorn Park Zoo.

https://www.facebook.com/Dream-Homes-Ltd-395944987168142/

Tempus fugit! (that means Time is Fleeting, in Latin): I’ve been banging this drum for years but we all need to hear calls to action (myself included). Time will run out soon for projects you want to have completed by Spring / Summer 2019 unless you have signed a contract and are actively working on engineering and plans. Ideally, you have your plans submitted, or are submitting very soon. If you’re still on the fence, call us at 609 693 8881 and we’ll help you get focused and moving forward.

RREM Clawbacks – Important repeat for RREM clients. See the 2/24/18 blog for more details….

Regarding your RREM scope of work (otherwise known as the ECR or Estimated Cost of Repairs), be aware that your general contractor does not have to do all the work (you can!), Painting, spackle and interior trim are items we regularly encourage homeowners to do themselves if funds are tight. You can do items yourself if you are handy and would like to invest some sweat equity and save money. However, someone must do all the items, or money will be removed.

Having money removed from your grant can be significant, or not. Usually, we’ve found that the cost to have the work done is less than what RREM is paying you, in which case it behooves you to finish all items.

If you’re stuck in this situation or just starting a RREM project, give us a call at 609 693 8881. We’ll help get you back on track or avoid any problems when you start.

Our Old Frenemy – Cost / Benefit: I hate to be repetitive, and I know it’s boring to some people…and I’ve written about this 2000 times, but many people consistently ignore the cost benefit equation. It’s vitally important to recognize and quantify the potential value you are gaining from improvements, versus the cost you are incurring. (I hate to keep including this in the blog, but it applies to everyone and is incredibly helpful. So I keep repeating it).

My favorites are always decks, kitchens, baths and cosmetic improvements. I don’t like extensive remodeling for the sake of activity (unless it is a hobby for you and you have plenty of money), unless it includes one of the above categories. Refinishing basements and attics is also useful and cost effective – if you’re creating additional living or recreational space. However, these items must be budgeted so the cost doesn’t exceed the value you create.  

Added caution: Sometimes an improvement makes sense if done moderately, but make no sense if overdone or done to excess.

An excellent example is installing a $30,000 kitchen, which adds $30,000 in value (plus or minus) or installing an $80,000 kitchen, which adds….$30,460 in value, plus or minus.

Remember – no one but you cares about your costly upgrades. Sad but true.

Make sure you really love what you’re doing – and that the enjoyment and improvement to your quality of life are worth the cost.

There is a Zen koan that reads, “It is not our preferences that hurt us, but rather our attachment to them.” Sometimes you just have to let things go that make little sense.

Zoning issues – Building anywhere in NJ? Beware!! Partial repeat: In general, zoning officers can be difficult to deal with, and the experience is complicated by interpretation of codes and subtle nuances between townships. Many zoning officers we’ve dealt with in NJ don’t have a clue what they’re doing since Storm Sandy changed the playing field. Sad but true.

“Pre-existing, non-conforming condition” is exactly like it sounds – a condition that was approved years (or decades ago) which doesn’t meet current zoning requirements. A general rule of thumb is that if you don’t remove the item (house, deck, etc) and you are doing an elevation project to meet new flood codes, you are ok.

or a good discussion and the remainder of this article on “pre-existing, non-conforming” conditions, see the 2/3/18 blog. Or come to our 9/12/18 Building Seminar.

Please Note: This subject is complex, often much more than it appears. For assistance and consultation, call us at 609 693 8881 or 732 300 5619.

Building costs increased, for the third year in a row – Steel has increased 50% year to year If you’ve quoted a foundation a year ago and waited until now, the steel in the foundation alone may be $500 – $1500 more. Skilled labor has become more difficult to find and keep, although that’s getting slightly better. Keep these two items in mind when you are finalizing your project costs and estimates. If you have an estimate that is a year old, expect that the project estimate may increase slightly (3%-4%). Another caution: Material costs have increased throughout 2018 and will continue into 2019. If you’re planning a project, try and secure fixed pricing now, or as soon as you can.

Design & Hiring Your Own Architect: The design & architectural fees are usually itemized separately and are (for us) a pass-through cost. In other words, we oversee the entire design process and it costs our clients the same amount (usually much less) of money than if the homeowner deals with the architect directly. This also results in significant savings in both construction design and redesign fees. Remember – the person who is going to build the project should be involved in the design from inception, so best practices can be designed in from the start. Author’s note from 2017: We successfully completed 42 projects in 2017, and 8 of them were with plans that the homeowner produced prior to retaining us. In all 8 projects, the plans and the scope of work had to be modified, the architecture and engineering cost was higher than we charge for the same work, and there were significant delays in each project.

Moral of the story and a word to the wise – for a new home, elevation or significant renovation, unless you really know what you’re doing and are going to oversee and build the project yourself, let your builder/general contractor provide you with a design/build package. It will save you time, money and grief.

Dream Homes Products & Services – Did You Know We Offer all these services?

New Custom Site built and Modular Homes – Elevations and House Moves – Interior and Exterior Renovations & Additions – Kitchens & Baths – Roofing, Siding and Windows – Decks and railings – Masonry and Pavers – Engineering, Variance applications and Land Use – Permitting, Surveying and Project Management – Land Development and Approvals.

Call us for more detail on any of the above topics.

Dream Homes – Awarded the Best Home Improvement Contractor and Best Modular Home Builder in Ocean County for 2017 by the Asbury Park Press. That’s something we’re very proud of, but we’re even more proud that we’ve recently passed the milestone of 200 completed elevation/renovation projects since Storm Sandy. Dream looks forward to continuing to help New Jersey rebuild in the months and years ahead. Thanks to all the clients and friends who voted for us in that survey – last year and this year!

Dream Homes – Kitchen & Bath Design Studio & Custom Modular Division –

Though we’re known more for new homes and elevation projects than kitchens and baths, we also do quite a bit of remodeling. An excellent place for you to start is at our Custom Modular, Kitchen & Bath design studio at 2109 Bridge Avenue in Point Pleasant, with complete kitchen layouts, flooring selections and our own in house modular home design studio. Since we’ve designed and built over 1800 new homes since 1993, we are well equipped to accommodate your remodeling needs, from the simple to the most complex. Call 609 693 8881 to schedule an appointment or just stop by. You’re invited to visit us and see what we have – hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 – 2, closed on Tuesday, with other hours by appointment.

Hurricane Preparation: So good I keep repeating it! I’ve had this in the last 5 blogs, so I’ll just include the link. I know most people don’t pay attention to being prepared, but hope springs eternal so I keep posting it…

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1494007144395-b0e215ae1ba6ac1b556f084e190e5862/FEMA_2017_Hurricane_HTP_FINAL.pdf

Dream Homes FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) Partial Repeat

We have a great FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section on our web site. Click on www.dreamhomesltd.com and FAQs on the Home Page. Read what you can expect when you choose Dream Homes as your builder – and what we feel you deserve.

Solar Power at Home –More Info and link: For the full story check the 10/29/17 blog, and here is the link.

http://www.builderonline.com/building/building-science/can-homeowners-use-rooftop-solar-power-during-an-emergency

Dream Homes & Development Corporation – About us: Dream Homes & Development Corp. (OTCOB: Ticker DREM) is a publicly traded, fully reporting (audited) company and is one of the region’s most trusted new home builder and home improvement contractors. Dream Homes was awarded the Best Home Improvement Contractor and Best Modular Home Builder in Ocean County for 2017 by the Asbury Park Press. Dream Homes is growing, improving our operations and service and adding new members to our team to better serve you. You can view financials on our web site at www.dreamhomesltd.com. Click on the SEC tab at the bottom of the page for information.

Dream Homes has a main office in Forked River and a Modular Design Center in Point Pleasant, and we’re the only public company doing home elevation work in New Jersey. You can view all the information about us online and if you like us and believe in what we’re doing, we would love to have you as shareholders. For more information and an information package, contact Matt Chipman, our investor relations person. Matt can be reached at (818) 923-5302, (310) 709-5646 or matt@GreenChipIR.com. You can view our operational results and financials at any time on our website at www.dreamhomesltd.com or at www.sec.gov.

Mission Statement and Comment: At Dream Homes, we’re the region’s most trusted builder and we’ll help you when no one else will. We regularly handle messy and unpleasant real estate, construction and renovation situations. We do the elevation, renovation and new home projects that few other people can do, and help people finish and get back in their homes. If you’re stuck and can’t figure out how to proceed, call us and we’ll do our best to help you.

At Dream Homes, we believe that taking on difficult unpopular projects is part of the social contract we have with the community and the Jersey Shore. We’ve never abandoned a client or failed to finish a project – we feel very strongly that it is our obligation to help Sandsters and others in need.

Insulation & Wall Thickness – How Much Is Needed and What’s Involved? See the blog of 11/18/17 for useful information on Insulation technique, wall thicknesses & energy efficiency

Siding, Trim and other Exterior Finishes: See the blog of 8/26/17 for useful information on choices for siding, trim and other finishes.

New Beach Bungalow on your lot from $89,800!! This model is perfect for many small lots in the shore area including Ocean Beach, Lavallette, Ortley and South Seaside Park.

Seaview and Bayview Models: From $149,000 including demolition. These homes are 2-3 bedrooms and 2 baths and suitable for 40-60 foot wide lots. Call 609 693 8881 for details.

Is your home improvement contractor or new home builders willing to provide a turn-key project? This business is messy, requires diverse skill sets and deep administrative support and places all responsibility for everything directly on the builder’s shoulders. Dream Homes regularly perform turn-key renovation and design build projects and will remain as one of the best, solid companies in the years to come. This matters to you because if a company isn’t committed to being in the line of work for which you are contracting, they will not support it correctly during and after the project. That means less resources (personnel and otherwise) devoted to your project. Currently at Dream Homes, we’ve been actively hiring carpenters, helpers, marketing and support staff for 2 years. We’re committed to the elevation /renovation business and improve every single day – our commitment to provide additional, better resources to our clients is ongoing.

Moral of the story: Try and avoid working with any company not committed to the type of project you are undertaking. Ask to see current projects in process or being started.

Need to Phone a Friend? Need a Rescue? Scheduling for Priority projects – If you’re stuck in a stalled project for whatever reason (contractor in jail or indicted, bankrupt, lazy, inept, no money, etc.) we’ll help you with a prompt evaluation of your situation. We do consultation and estimates immediately for projects that are stuck. It doesn’t change what happened to you in the past, but at least you’ll know how to get back on track, without chasing someone for a month to get an initial meeting and written estimate. As a note, often we’re the only company willing to finish projects that have been abandoned.

Kathleen M. Dotoli, Esquire – Consumer Protection: Kathleen is a workers’ compensation and disability attorney in Toms River and speaks regularly at our Rebuilding Seminar. Kathy gives an excellent presentation about consumer protection that will save you money and grief. (Next one is Wednesday, September 12th, 2018). Email Kathy at kmdotoli611@aol.com or call her office at 732 228 7534 for a copy of her seminar presentation or see her at our seminar.

Video & Past Seminars

Photos & Videos – Click on the link below

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/video-photo/

Future Homes & Townhomes for Sale: We’re actively working on the development approvals for several properties in Bayville and Forked River.

Dream Homes at Tallwoods: We’ll be offering 13 beautiful new 3 and 4-bedroom single-family homes for sale in the mid $200,000 range in late 2017 / early 2018.

Dream Homes at the Pines: 58 new 2-3 bedroom townhomes, with garages, in a private wooded setting. Anticipated opening in spring / summer 2018.

Dream on the Forked River: 42 new 2-3 bedroom townhomes with garages and private boat slips. Anticipated opening in winter 2018/spring 2019.

If you’re looking for new homes this year or early next year, give us a call and we’ll get you information.

Yeah, We Do That for You… This was an excellent article from the 1/8/17 blog, which received positive response from many people. If you missed it, go back and read it now at https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/2017/01/08/dream-homes-nearly-famous-rebuilding-blog-1-8-17-why-use-dream-homes-yeah-we-do-that-for-you-hometown-hero-award-in-brick-rebuilding-seminar-1-18-16/

Definitions & Important Considerations That Can Delay Your Project: Click on the link below

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/definitions/

References & Testimonials – Click on the link below

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/references/

Remember – if you have a specific question, send me an email or a text. Don’t wait for a seminar or a site visit to clarify a point. Whether you are a Dream Homes client or not, I’ll always try and help you or guide you in the right direction. If you’ve sent an email or left a voice mail and haven’t received a response, try and contact me again. Messages are lost occasionally.

Note to All: Though I write this blog and host the Building seminars to help guide homeowners through the maze that is any construction project, Dream Homes does all of the work that I write about. Dream Homes & Development Corp. and Dream Building LLC are new home builders and general contractors who are actively renovating and reconstructing projects up and down the shore. We supervise and manage elevation projects & house moves, demolish and build new homes, and develop and build entire new neighborhoods. In the past 25 years, we’ve completed over 1650 new homes, 250 elevation & renovation projects and 500,000 square feet of commercial buildings. 28 of our elevation projects have been rescue projects, where we came in to save a homeowner when someone else left. Dream builds new homes, demolishes existing damaged homes, elevates and move homes, complete additions and renovations and rescues homeowners when their other contractors abandon them. We work with private clients as well as Path B clients in the RREM program. Call, text or email to set up an appointment for a free estimate on your rebuilding project.

That’s all for today friends. I hope my words help you move forward. As always, call or write with any questions.

Regards,

Vince Simonelli

Dream Homes & Development Corp. (OTCQB: DREM)

Dream Building LLC

New Home Builder #049531

Home Improvement Contractor #13VH09325600

Office: 314 S. Main Street

Mailing: PO Box 627

Forked River, NJ 08731

Office: 609 693 8881 F: 609 693 3802 Cell: 732 300 5619

Email: vince@dreamhomesltd.com

Website: www.dreamhomesltd.com

Blog: http://blog.dreamhomesltd.com

Twitter: #foxbuilder

 

Builder's who complete every project · Contractor Fraud · Disability · Dream Homes Nearly Famous Rebuilding Blog · Foundation systems · good builder in Ocean County · House raising and Moving · Kathleen Dotoli, Esq. · Monmouth & Atlantic County · Nearly Famous Rebuilding Seminar · New Homes & Rebuilds in Ocean · New Homes & Rebuilds in Ocean, Monmouth & Atlantic County · New homes and elevations in Monmouth County · New Homes and elevations in Ocean County · Pilings · Pilings - Helical versus timber · Rebuilding · Rebuilding, House raising and Moving, Pilings, Renovations · Region's Most trusted builder · Renovations · RREM Path B · RREM Path C · RREM Seminars · Worker's Compensation

Dream Homes Building & Real Estate Blog – 8-18-18 – Welcome Back Vince! – Can you Lose your RREM grant? – Building Seminar 9-12-18 – Zoning Issues – Comcast Commercials – Vote for us in the APP survey

Dream Homes and Development Corp.
Dream Building LLC.
Nearly Famous Building, Home Improvement and Real Estate Blog
8-18-18

Hello all –

I hope this blog finds you well. I’m sorry it’s been so long since I’ve written.

People seem to like my ramblings and I’ve heard no end of mild complaints from a dedicated group about my absence from the blogsphere. And to all of you – thank you for that. Every time I think to myself that not that many people really read my blog, and it’s not worth the effort, someone would say to me, “Well I think it’s really helpful, so please keep writing…”. Chastised I am, so I continue to write…

This blog was actually started on March 11, 2018 and…well….here we are…”Well, we’re 10 days from the start of Spring 2018, which is always a psychological high point for me. Winter is no fun in New Jersey when you’re a builder. This also means we’ve added almost 90 minutes of daylight since December 21, 2017. Remember to set your clocks ahead and hour, if you haven’t already….”

It goes on from there but was never finished. For the life of me I can’t figure out why, other than the same pablum that anyone would offer – busy, clients, tired, blah, blah…

We’re here in the dog days of summer now, and this weather is why we all put up with the negatives of New Jersey. It’s wonderful here between mid-April and mid-October, but June through September can be even better.

I did decide since we’ve last spoken that I wouldn’t restrict myself to advice on building new homes or elevating and rebuilding existing homes. Seems like a bit of a waste to me. I’ve been active in real estate investment and construction for over 30 years and many of the more valuable insights I can offer don’t have to do with how to most efficiently enclose your basement, or the cost/benefit analysis of a new kitchen or a deck expansion. On 100+ occasions over the last 6 years, the real estate investment advice I’ve casually offered to homeowners is worth more than their improvement project.

Anyway, dedicated readers, today we have a few things for you. We have 3 different commercials on 12 or 13 channels on Comcast and that’s kind of neat. We’re holding our next Building Seminar on Wednesday, September 12th, 2018 (detail below) which you should attend if you have any questions about construction or real estate. We’re in the running for Asbury Park Press Best of the Best and would love if you would vote for us. We’ll talk about RREM and real/imaginary deadlines, for those who are still dealing with RREM. We talk about scheduling late summer and fall 2018 projects now and how to expedite permits. We’ve welcomed over 2 dozen new clients since I’ve last written, from Little Egg up to Union Beach. Lots of interesting stuff.

Seminars and Events
Our next Building & Real Estate Seminar will be held Wednesday September 12th, 2018 at 6 pm at the Tuscan Bar and Grill on Hooper Avenue in Toms River, across from the Ocean County Mall. We’ll be joined by Kathleen Dotoli, Esquire, Jason Devooght (Devooght House Lifters) and Dan Wheaton, architect. As always, we’ll also be streaming it on Facebook Live and be online if you want to email questions or comments while the seminar is under way.
If you’re planning a new home, elevation or renovation, and you haven’t already attended one of our seminars, come for crucial, helpful information. We’ll help you focus on starting your project – whether it is a new home or an elevation/renovation. We’ll help you with design work and engineering.
We talk about architectural and engineering planning, construction technique, RREM guidance, choosing the right builder and consumer safety cautions, financing your project, and tips about home elevation in general. We also talk about RREM issues, (the lunacy of) managing your own project, and ways to avoid delays and going over budget. So, mark the date and call 609 693 8881 or 732 300 5619 to reserve your space if you want to attend. Pizza and wine will be served, and space is limited.

RREM & ICC Deadlines – October 29, 2018 or not? Be Careful – Don’t Risk Losing Your Grant!
To all our friends out in RREM world who haven’t chosen a builder and signed a contract, you should do so. There’s not (supposedly) a hard deadline, but it’s quite a risk you’re taking.
I’m not sure that you now have a hard deadline to start your project – it was there and then it wasn’t. (As we’ve always said, one of the smartest things you can do if you haven’t started your RREM project yet or chosen a builder, is to make sure you choose someone who is very familiar with RREM.)
Recently, there was a wholesale changeover in RREM project managers across the board and much pressure to close old files, or those awarded but not started. We do know that there was a hard 10/29/18 deadline, but then there wasn’t.
We absolutely know that homeowners are having RREM grants revoked due to inaction. If you’ve been awarded a grant and haven’t done anything for a long time (1-2 years), eventually you’re going to lose your grant. You must make some type of progress – hire a contractor, or if not, at least engage an architect or engineer. This is a really important step to demonstrate that you are proceeding. If you’re still on the fence and in this category, call us at 609 693 8881 and we’ll help you get focused and moving forward.

Asbury Park Press – Best of the Best Survey — Would you vote for us in the Asbury Park Press poll? We’re in the running for Asbury Park Press Best of the Best in 3 categories and would appreciate if you would vote for us. If we’ve helped you or anyone you know with either a project or advice, you can vote for us for Builder, Home Improvement Contractor or Modular Builder. You can vote each day (actually hourly if you really love us!) through August 28th. Here is the link and thanks for your support!

http://app.secondstreetapp.com/2018 -Best-of-the-Best-APP-Ocean/gallery?group=290464      Note: Copy and Paste this link into your browser if it is not live

Dream Homes welcomes all of our (many) new clients in the last few months: We’d like to extend a warm welcome and thanks to the many new clients who have retained us since March. We’re now building as far north as Union Beach and North Middletown and as far south as Little Egg. Thank you everyone for trusting Dream Homes with your projects. You can sleep peacefully at night knowing you’ve retained the best builder in the business.

Tempus fugit! (that means Time is Fleeting, in Latin): I’ve been banging this drum for years but we all need to hear calls to action (me especially). Time will run out soon for projects you want to have completed by Spring / Summer 2019 unless you have signed a contract and are actively working on engineering and plans. Ideally, you have your plans submitted, or are submitting very soon. If you’re still on the fence, call us at 609 693 8881 and we’ll help you get focused and moving forward.

RREM Clawbacks – Repeat from 2/24/18 Blog
This is an important partial repeat for RREM clients. The entire article is in the 2/24/18 blog.
Regarding your RREM scope of work (otherwise known as the ECR or Estimated Cost of Repairs), be aware that your contractor does not have to do all the work – painting, spackle and interior trim are items we regularly encourage homeowners to do themselves if funds are tight. You can do items yourself if you are handy and would like to invest some sweat equity. However, someone must do all the items, or money will be removed.
Having money removed from your grant can be significant, or not. Usually, we’ve found that the cost to have the work done is less than what RREM is paying you, in which case it behooves you to finish all items.
If you’re stuck in this situation or just starting a RREM project, give us a call at 609 693 8881. We’ll help get you back on track or avoid any problems when you start.
See the 2/24/18 blog for more details….

Our Old Frenemy – Cost / Benefit: I hate to be repetitive, and I know it’s boring to some people…and I’ve written about this 2000 times, but so many people ignore the cost benefit equation. It’s vitally important to recognize and quantify the potential value you are gaining from improvements, versus the cost you are incurring. (I hate to keep including this in the blog, but it applies to everyone and is incredibly helpful. So I keep repeating it).
My favorites are always decks, kitchens, baths and cosmetic improvements. I am not a fan of extensive remodeling for the sake of remodeling (unless it is a hobby for you and you have plenty of money), unless it includes one of the above items. Refinishing basements and attics is useful if you’re creating additional living or recreational space, but these items need to be budgeted so the cost doesn’t exceed the value you create.
An added caution: Sometimes the improvement can make sense if done in a moderate way, but not make any sense if done in an extravagant manner. An example is installing a $30,000 kitchen, which adds $30,000 in value (plus or minus) versus an $80,000 kitchen, which adds….$30,000 in value, plus or minus. Remember – no one but you cares about your specific, costly upgrades so if you’re going down that path, make sure you absolutely love what you’re doing and the pleasure and improvement to your quality of life are worth the cost.

Zoning issues – Building anywhere in NJ? Beware!! Partial repeat: In general, zoning officers can be difficult to deal with, and the experience is complicated by interpretation of codes and subtle nuances between townships. The majority of zoning officers we’ve dealt with in NJ don’t have a clue what they’re doing since Storm Sandy changed the playing field. Sad but true.
“Pre-existing, non-conforming condition” is exactly like it sounds – a condition that was approved years (or decades ago) which doesn’t meet current zoning requirements. A general rule of thumb is that if you don’t remove the item and you are doing an elevation to meet new flood codes, you are ok.
If you remove the item, and it didn’t meet current zoning setbacks or restrictions, you won’t be able to rebuild it as it was without applying for a variance from the township.
For a good discussion and the remainder of this article on “pre-existing, non-conforming” conditions, see the 2/3/18 blog.
Please Note: This subject is complex, often much more than it appears. For assistance and consultation, call us at 609 693 8881 or 732 300 5619.

Building costs increased, for the third year in a row…and skilled labor has become more difficult to find and keep. Keep these two items in mind when you are finalizing your project costs and estimates. If you have an estimate that is a year old, expect that it may increase slightly (3%-4%). Another caution: Material costs are increasing again in 2018 and will continue into 2019. If you’re planning a project, try and secure fixed pricing now, or as soon as you can.

Design & Hiring Your Own Architect/Engineer: The design & architectural fees are usually itemized separately and are (for us) a pass-through cost. In other words, we oversee the entire design process and it costs our clients the same amount (usually much less) of money than if the homeowner deals with the architect directly. This also results in significant savings in both construction design and redesign fees. Remember – the person who is going to build the project should be involved in the design from inception, so best practices can be designed in from the start. Author’s note from 2017: We successfully completed 42 projects in 2017, and 8 of them were with plans that the homeowner produced prior to retaining us. In all 8 projects, the plans and the scope of work had to be modified, the architecture and engineering cost was higher than we charge for the same work, and there were significant delays in each project.
Moral of the story and a word to the wise – for a new home, elevation or significant renovation, unless you really know what you’re doing and are going to oversee and build the project yourself, let your builder/general contractor provide you with a design/build package. It will save you time, money and grief.

Dream Homes Products & Services – Did You Know We Offer all these services?
New Custom Stick built and Modular Homes – Elevations and House Moves – Interior and Exterior Renovations & Additions – Kitchens & Baths – Roofing, Siding and Windows – Decks and railings – Masonry and Pavers – Engineering, Variance applications and Land Use – Permitting, Surveying and Project Management – Land Development and Approvals. Call us for more detail on any of the above topics.

Dream Homes – Awarded the Best Home Improvement Contractor and Best Modular Home Builder in Ocean County for 2017 by the Asbury Park Press. That’s something we’re very proud of, but we’re even more proud that we’ve recently passed the milestone of 200 completed elevation/renovation projects since Storm Sandy. Dream looks forward to continuing to help New Jersey rebuild in the months and years ahead. Thanks to all the clients and friends who voted for us in that survey!

Dream Homes – Kitchen & Bath Design Studio & Custom Modular Division –
Though we’re known more for new homes and elevation projects than kitchens and baths, we also do quite a bit of remodeling. An excellent place for you to start Is at our Custom Modular, Kitchen & Bath design studio at 2109 Bridge Avenue in Point Pleasant, with complete kitchen layouts, flooring selections and our own in house modular home design studio. As necessary parts of the 1900 home projects we’ve completed since 1993, we are well equipped to accommodate your remodeling needs, from the simple to the most complex. Call 609 693 8881 to schedule an appointment or just stop by. You’re invited to visit us and see what we have – hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 – 2, closed on Tuesday, with other hours by appointment.

Hurricane Preparation: So good I keep repeating it! I’ve had this in the last 5 blogs, so I’ll just include the link. I know most people don’t pay attention to being prepared, but hope springs eternal so I keep posting it…

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1494007144395-b0e215ae1ba6ac1b556f084e190e5862/FEMA_2017_Hurricane_HTP_FINAL.pdf

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Dream Homes FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) Partial Repeat
Here are a few items from our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section. The October 8th blog has all of them or you can get them from our website at http://www.dreamhomesltd.com. It’s a useful, concise guide to address common questions and lets you know what you can expect when you choose Dream Homes as your builder.

Solar Power at Home –More Info and link: For the full story check the 10/29/17 blog, and here is the link.
http://www.builderonline.com/building/building-science/can-homeowners-use-rooftop-solar-power-during-an-emergency

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Dream Homes & Development Corporation – who we are: As you may know, Dream Homes & Development Corp. (OTCOB: Ticker DREM) is a publicly traded, fully reporting (audited) company, is the region’s most trusted new home builder and home improvement contractor and was recently awarded the Best Home Improvement Contractor and Best Modular Home Builder in Ocean County for 2017 by the Asbury Park Press. Dream is growing, improving our operations and service and adding new members to our team to better serve you. You can view financials on our web site at http://www.dreamhomesltd.com. Click on the SEC tab at the bottom of the page for information.
Dream Homes has a main office in Forked River and a Modular Design Center in Point Pleasant, and we’re the only public company doing home elevation work in New Jersey. You can view all the information about us online and if you like us and believe in what we’re doing, we would love to have you as shareholders. For more information and an information package, contact Matt Chipman, our investor relations person. Matt can be reached at (818) 923-5302, (310) 709-5646 or matt@GreenChipIR.com. You can view our operational results and financials at any time on our website at http://www.dreamhomesltd.com or at http://www.sec.gov.

Mission Statement and Comment: At Dream Homes, we’re the region’s most trusted builder and we’ll help you when no one else will. We regularly handle messy and unpleasant real estate, construction and renovation situations. We do the elevation, renovation and new home projects that few other people can do, and help people finish and get back in their homes. If you’re stuck and can’t figure out how to proceed, call us and we’ll do our best to help you.
At Dream Homes, we believe that taking on difficult unpopular projects is part of the social contract we have with the community and the Jersey Shore. We’ve never abandoned a client or failed to finish a project – we feel very strongly that it is our obligation to help Sandsters and others in need.

Insulation & Wall Thickness – How Much Is Needed and What’s Involved? See the blog of 11/18/17 for useful information on Insulation technique, wall thicknesses & energy efficiency
Siding, Trim and other Exterior Finishes: See the blog of 8/26/17 for useful information on choices for siding, trim and other finishes.
Decks, more decks and railing…Decks are one of the more popular improvements and one of the easiest ways to add value to your home. Decks fall into 3 main categories – pressure treated, composite and fiberglass. Railings can be pressure treated, vinyl rail or glass.
New Beach Bungalow on your lot from $89,800!! This model is perfect for many small lots in the shore area including Ocean Beach, Lavallette, Ortley and South Seaside Park.
Seaview and Bayview Models: From $149,000 including demolition. These homes are 2-3 bedrooms and 2 baths and suitable for 40-60 foot wide lots. Call 609 693 8881 for details.

Turn Key Project? Is your home improvement contractor or new home builders willing to provide a turn-key project? It’s messy, requires diverse skill sets and deep administrative support and places all responsibility for everything directly on the builder’s shoulders. Dream Homes regularly perform turn-key renovation and design build projects and will remain as one of the best, solid companies in the years to come. This matters to you because if a company isn’t committed to being in the line of work for which you are contracting, they will not support it correctly during and after the project. That means less resources (personnel and otherwise) devoted to your project. Currently at Dream Homes, we’ve been actively hiring carpenters, helpers, marketing and support staff for 2 years. We’re committed to the elevation /renovation business and improve every single day – our commitment to provide additional, better resources to our clients is ongoing.
Moral of the story: Try and avoid working with any company not committed to the type of project you are undertaking. Ask to see current projects in process or being started.

Need to Phone a Friend? Need a Rescue? Scheduling for Priority projects – If you’re stuck in a stalled project for whatever reason (contractor in jail or indicted, bankrupt, lazy, inept, no money, etc.) we’ll help you with a prompt evaluation of your situation. We do consultation and estimates immediately for projects that are stuck. It doesn’t change what happened to you in the past, but at least you’ll know how to get back on track, without chasing someone for a month to get an initial meeting and written estimate. As a note, often we’re the only company willing to finish projects that have been abandoned.

Kathleen M. Dotoli, Esquire – Consumer Protection: Kathleen is a workers’ compensation and disability attorney in Toms River and speaks regularly at our Rebuilding Seminar. Kathy gives an excellent presentation about consumer protection that will save you money and grief. (Next one is Wednesday, March 14th, 2018). Email Kathy at kmdotoli611@aol.com or call her office at 732 228 7534 for a copy of her seminar presentation.

Video & Past Seminars Photos & Videos – Click on the link below
https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/video-photo/

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Future Homes & Townhomes for Sale: We’re actively working on the development approvals for several properties in Bayville and Forked River.

Dream Homes at Tallwoods: We’ll be offering 13 beautiful new 3 and 4-bedroom single-family homes for sale in the mid $200,000 range in late 2017 / early 2018.

Dream Homes at the Pines: 58 new 2-3 bedroom townhomes, with garages, in a private wooded setting. Anticipated opening in spring / summer 2018.

Dream on the Forked River: 42 new 2-3 bedroom townhomes with garages and private boat slips. Anticipated opening in winter 2018/spring 2019.
If you’re looking for new homes this year or early next year, give us a call and we’ll get you information.

Yeah, We Do That for You… This was an excellent article from the 1/8/17 blog, which received positive response from many people. If you missed it, go back and read it now at

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/2017/01/08/dream-homes-nearly-famous-rebuilding-blog-1-8-17-why-use-dream-homes-yeah-we-do-that-for-you-hometown-hero-award-in-brick-rebuilding-seminar-1-18-16/

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Definitions & Important Considerations That Can Delay Your Project: Click on the link below

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/definitions/

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References & Testimonials – Click on the link below
https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/references/

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Remember – if you have a specific question, send me an email or a text. Don’t wait for a seminar or a site visit to clarify a point. Whether you are a Dream Homes client or not, I’ll always try and help you or guide you in the right direction. If you’ve sent an email or left a voice mail and haven’t received a response, try and contact me again. Messages are lost occasionally.

Note to all: Though I write this blog and host the Building seminars to help guide homeowners through the maze that is any reconstruction project, Dream Homes actuallu does all of the work that I write about. Dream Homes & Development Corp. and Dream Building LLC are new home builders and general contractors who are actively renovating and reconstructing projects up and down the shore. We supervise and manage elevation projects & house moves, demolish and build new homes, and develop and build entire new neighborhoods. In the past 25 years, we’ve completed over 1650 new homes, 250 elevation & renovation projects and 500,000 square feet of commercial buildings. 28 of our elevation projects have been rescue projects, where we came in to save a homeowner when someone else left. Dream builds new homes, demolishes existing damaged homes, elevates and move homes, complete additions and renovations and rescues homeowners when their other contractors abandon them. We work with private clients as well as Path B clients in the RREM program. Call, text or email to set up an appointment for a free estimate on your rebuilding project.

That’s all for today friends. I hope my words helps you move forward. As always, call or write with any questions.
Regards,
Vince Simonelli
Dream Homes & Development Corp. (OTCQB: DREM)
Dream Building LLC
New Home Builder #049531
Home Improvement Contractor #13VH09325600
Office: 314 S. Main Street
Mailing: PO Box 627
Forked River, NJ 08731
Office: 609 693 8881 F: 609 693 3802 Cell: 732 300 5619
Email: vince@dreamhomesltd.com
Website: http://www.dreamhomesltd.com
Blog: http://blog.dreamhomesltd.com
Twitter: #foxbuilder

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RREM ICC Deadlines – 1st 2018 Rebuilding Seminar – Enclosing your lower level – Inspections zoning

I hope this blog finds you well and enjoying your weekend.

Well, we’re 10 days from the start of Spring 2018, which is always a psychological high point for me. Winter is no fun in New Jersey when you’re a builder. This also means we’ve added almost 90 minutes of daylight since December 21, 2017. Remember to set your clocks ahead and hour, if you haven’t already.

Today, we talk about the RREM and ICC deadlines coming up this October, which are a very important topic for many people. We mention our next Rebuilding Seminar, which is the first one for 2018 and is scheduled for this Wednesday, March 14th, 2018. We again mention RREM clawbacks and starting your project with accurate scopes of work. We talk about scheduling late summer and fall 2018 projects now. We welcome 2 new clients in the last week and provide a list of services we provide in addition to new home construction and elevation work.

Seminars and Events

Our next Rebuilding Seminar will be held this Wednesday March 14th, 2018 at 6 pm at the Tuscan Bar and Grill on Hooper Avenue in Toms River, across from the Ocean County Mall. We’ll be joined by Kathleen Dotoli, Esquire, Jason Devooght (Devooght House Lifters) and either Scott Lepley or Dan Wheaton, architects. As always, we’ll also be streaming it on Facebook Live and be online if you want to email questions or comments while the seminar is under way.  

If you’re planning a project, whether a new home, elevation or renovation, and you haven’t already attended one of our seminars, come for tons of helpful information from our excellent speakers. We focus on homeowners early in the rebuilding process, who haven’t completed design work, or chosen a builder or architect.

We talk about architectural and engineering planning, construction technique, RREM guidance, choosing the right builder and consumer safety cautions, financing your project, and tips about home elevation in general. We also talk about RREM issues, (the lunacy of) managing your own project, and ways to avoid delays and going over budget. So, mark the date and call 609 693 8881 or 732 300 5619 to reserve your space if you want to attend. Pizza and wine will be served, and space is limited.

RREM & ICC Deadlines – October 29, 2018 – Be Careful – Don’t Risk Losing $150,000! To all our friends out in RREM world who haven’t chosen a builder and signed a contract, you now have a hard deadline to start your project. As we’ve always said, one of the smartest things you can do if you haven’t started your RREM project yet or chosen a builder, is to make sure you choose someone who is very familiar with RREM.  Recently, there has been a wholesale changeover in RREM project managers across the board and a lot of pressure to close files that have been lingering, or which have been awarded but not started. RREM just published a hard deadline so if you don’t sign a contract with a builder by 10/29/18, YOU WILL LOSE YOUR RREM GRANT.

Obviously this is not an announcement to take lightly, since your grant may be up to $150,000. You must choose a builder and have a contract signed before the deadline or you are at risk. Though that date is almost 8 months away, it would not be prudent to wait until the last minute, since many other people will. You want to make sure your contract is submitted and builder approved by RREM well in advance of the deadline. Preferably, you should have taken at least one funding draw from RREM, so it becomes an active file.

In the same vein, the ICC (Increased Cost of Compliance) provision which is in everyone’s insurance policy and pays you up to $30,000 to elevate your home or build a new one, expires at the same time for anyone who was affected by Storm Sandy who hasn’t claimed those funds. Note that this expiration of 10/29/18 is only for damage from Storm Sandy. You still remain eligible to claim the $30,000 for other events – it is not a grant that expires, but a provision which is in every flood insurance policy until it is used.

We’re talking about up to $180,000 here folks. This deadline is not something to ignore.

Dream Homes welcomes 2 new clients in the last week: We’d like to extend a warm welcome to Tim in Manahawkin and Rich in Freehold, 2 new clients we’ve signed in the last week.  We’re doing an elevation and full renovation for Tim and rebuilding a fire damaged custom home for Rich. Thank you both for trusting Dream Homes with your projects.

Dream Homes Products & Services – Did You Know We Offer all these services?

New Custom Stick built and Modular Homes – Elevations and House Moves – Interior and Exterior Renovations & Additions –  Kitchens & Baths – Roofing, Siding and Windows – Decks and railings – Masonry and Pavers – Engineering, Variance applications and Land Use – Permitting, Surveying and Project Management – Land Development and Approvals.

Call us for more detail on any of the above topics.

 

Tempus fugit! (that means Time is Fleeting, in Latin): Time has just about run out for projects you want to have completed by Summer 2018, unless you have your plans submitted, or are submitting in the next few days. If you’re still on the fence, call us at 609 693 8881 and we’ll help you get focused and moving forward.

However, it is the perfect time to be working on plans for a late summer/fall 2018 start for your project. At this point you should ideally be in the plan design stage and working through an agreement with your builder, so you can submit plans in July and be ready to start in September. Again, give us a call to discuss scheduling.

RREM Clawbacks – Repeat from 2/24/18 Blog

This is an important partial repeat for RREM clients. The entire article is in the 2/24/18 blog.

Regarding your RREM scope of work (otherwise known as the ECR or Estimated Cost of Repairs), be aware that your contractor does not have to do all the work – painting, spackle and interior trim are items we regularly encourage homeowners to do themselves if funds are tight. You can do items yourself if you are handy and would like to invest some sweat equity. However, someone must do all the items, or money will be removed.

Having money removed from your grant can be significant, or not. Usually, we’ve found that the cost to have the work done is less than what RREM is paying you, so it behooves you to finish all items. Sometimes that’s not the case and it might not matter. I’ve seen RREM call to replace ceiling fans in a house with perfectly good fans that the homeowner was quite happy with. It made no sense and they chose not to do the work.

Remember – it is up to you to go through your ECR (estimated cost of repair) from RREM and make sure that all items are completed, whether by you or your builder. If you don’t share your ECR with your contractor or ask specifically for an estimate which encompasses everything that RREM wants, you may be forced to add items to your scope of work at the last minute, or forfeit the money for an item.

Finally, if you are a RREM homeowner, you’re generally better off going to a builder first with your ECR and RREM grant, so you have a professional analysis of what RREM expects from you. We have one client who demolished her old 3 bedroom house, had a beautiful new 2 bedroom house designed and came to us to build it. Other than knowing she was a RREM client, we were not aware of the history, or able to view the entire picture. Now the house is built and RREM wants to remove $25,000 from her grant for not building the 3rd bedroom. Luckily, we’re able to split a room and create a 3rd bedroom, but this is the type of item you are much better off knowing ahead of time. An experienced RREM builder will pick up on items like this when they first evaluate your case.

If you’re stuck in a situation or just starting a RREM project, give us a call at 609 693 8881 to discuss this further. We’ll help get you back on track or avoid any problems when you start.

Our Old Friend – Cost / Benefit:  Many homeowners ignore the cost benefit equation I’ve written about 2000 times, where it’s important to recognize and quantify the potential value you are gaining from improvements, versus the cost you are incurring.

My favorites are always decks, kitchens, baths and cosmetic improvements. I am not a fan of extensive remodeling for the sake of remodeling (unless it is a hobby for you and you have plenty of money), unless it includes one of the above items. Refinishing basements and attics is useful if you’re creating additional living or recreational space, but like every other improvement, these items need to be budgeted so the cost doesn’t exceed the value you create.

An added caution: Sometimes the improvement can make sense if done in a moderate way, but not make any sense if done in an extravagant manner. An example is installing a $30,000 kitchen, which adds $30,000 in value (plus or minus) versus an $80,000 kitchen, which adds….$30,000 in value, plus or minus. Remember – no one but you cares about your specific, costly upgrades so if you’re going down that path, make sure you absolutely love what you’re doing and the pleasure and improvement to your quality of life are worth the cost.

Zoning issues – Building anywhere in NJ? Beware!! Partial repeat: In general, zoning officers can be difficult to deal with, and the experience is complicated by interpretation of codes and subtle nuances between townships. Today we’ll discuss “pre-existing, non-conforming” conditions.

This condition is exactly like it sounds – a condition that was approved years (or decades ago) which doesn’t meet current zoning requirements. A general rule of thumb is that if you don’t remove the item and you are doing an elevation to meet new flood codes, you are ok.

If you remove the item, and it didn’t meet current zoning setbacks or restrictions, you won’t be able to rebuild it as it was without applying for a variance from the township. For purposes of this article, we won’t address variance applications which are an entire book unto themselves. Let’s assume you do not wish to apply for a variance (which could take 3-8 months, cost $3,000 – $10,000 and not guarantee any results other than aggravation).

Decks and sheds are a large part of this issue, so we’ll focus on them today. If a deck exists currently and is proposed to be elevated with the house, it may not be in compliance once it is elevated. It is not only side, rear and front setbacks, but height considerations which must be considered. To add more complexity to the issue, total lot coverage, distance from the bulkhead or beach (where applicable) and total value of the post construction improvements relative to assessed value are all additional items of concern.

To view the remainder of this article, visit our 2/3/18 blog.

Note also that this subject is complex, often more than it appears. For assistance and consultation, call us at 609 693 8881 or 732 300 5619.

Building costs increased, for the third year in a row…and skilled labor has become more difficult to find and keep. Keep these two items in mind when you are finalizing your project costs and estimates. If you have an estimate that is a year old, expect that it may increase slightly (3%-4%). Another caution: Material costs will increase again through 2018 and into 2019. If you’re planning a project, try and secure fixed pricing now, or at least as soon as you can.

Design & Hiring Your Own Architect: The design & architectural fees are usually itemized separately and are (for us) a pass-through cost. In other words, we oversee the entire design process and it costs our clients the same amount (usually much less) of money than if the homeowner deals with the architect directly. This also results in significant savings in both construction design and redesign fees. Remember – the person who is going to build the project should be involved in the design from inception, so practical best practices can be designed in from the start. Author’s note from 2017: We successfully completed 42 projects in 2017, and 8 of them were with plans that the homeowner produced prior to retaining us. In all 8 projects, the plans and the scope of work had to be modified, the architecture and engineering cost was higher than we charge for the same work, and there were delays in each project in excess of normal.

Moral of the story and a word to the wise – for a new home, elevation or significant renovation, unless you really know what you’re doing and are going to oversee and build the project yourself, let your builder/general contractor provide you with a design/build package. It will save you time, money and grief.

Dream Homes – Awarded the Best Home Improvement Contractor and Best Modular Home Builder in Ocean County for 2017 by the Asbury Park Press. That’s something we’re very proud of, but we’re even more proud that we’ve recently passed the milestone of 200 completed elevation/renovation projects since Storm Sandy. Dream looks forward to continuing to help New Jersey rebuild in the months and years ahead. Thanks to all the clients and friends who voted for us in that survey!

 

Dream Homes – Kitchen & Bath Design Studio & Custom Modular Division –

Though we’re known more for new homes and elevation projects than kitchens and baths, we also do quite a bit of remodeling. An excellent place for you to start Is at our Custom Modular, Kitchen & Bath design studio at 2109 Bridge Avenue in Point Pleasant, with complete kitchen layouts, flooring selections and our own in house modular home design studio. As necessary parts of the 1900 home projects we’ve completed since 1993, we are well equipped to accommodate your remodeling needs, from the simple to the most complex. Call 609 693 8881 to schedule an appointment or just stop by. You’re invited to visit us and see what we have – hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 – 2, closed on Tuesday, with other hours by appointment.

 

Hurricane Preparation: So good I keep repeating it! I’ve had this in the last 5 blogs, so I’ll just include the link. I know most people don’t pay attention to being prepared, but hope springs eternal so I keep posting it…

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1494007144395-b0e215ae1ba6ac1b556f084e190e5862/FEMA_2017_Hurricane_HTP_FINAL.pdf

 

Dream Homes FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) Partial Repeat

Here are a few items from our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section. The October 8th blog has all of them or you can get them from our website at www.dreamhomesltd.com. It’s a useful, concise guide to address common questions and lets you know what you can expect when you choose Dream Homes as your builder.

Solar Power at Home –More Info and link:  For the full story check the 10/29/17 blog, and here is the link.

http://www.builderonline.com/building/building-science/can-homeowners-use-rooftop-solar-power-during-an-emergency

Dream Homes & Development Corporation – who we are: As you may know, Dream Homes & Development Corp. (OTCOB: Ticker DREM) is a publicly traded, fully reporting (audited) company, is the region’s most trusted new home builder and home improvement contractor and was recently awarded the Best Home Improvement Contractor and Best Modular Home Builder in Ocean County for 2017 by the Asbury Park Press. Dream is growing, improving our operations and service and adding new members to our team to better serve you. You can view financials on our web site at www.dreamhomesltd.com. Click on the SEC tab at the bottom of the page for information.

Dream Homes has a main office in Forked River and a Modular Design Center in Point Pleasant, and we’re the only public company doing home elevation work in New Jersey. You can view all the information about us online and if you like us and believe in what we’re doing, we would love to have you as shareholders. For more information and an information package, contact Matt Chipman, our investor relations person. Matt can be reached at (818) 923-5302, (310) 709-5646 or matt@GreenChipIR.com. You can view our operational results and financials at any time on our website at www.dreamhomesltd.com or at www.sec.gov.

Mission Statement and Comment: At Dream Homes, we’re the region’s most trusted builder and we’ll help you when no one else will. We regularly handle messy and unpleasant real estate, construction and renovation situations. We do the elevation, renovation and new home projects that few other people can do, and help people finish and get back in their homes. If you’re stuck and can’t figure out how to proceed, call us and we’ll do our best to help you.

At Dream Homes, we believe that taking on difficult unpopular projects is part of the social contract we have with the community and the Jersey Shore. We’ve never abandoned a client or failed to finish a project – we feel very strongly that it is our obligation to help Sandsters and others in need.

Insulation & Wall Thickness – How Much Is Needed and What’s Involved? See the blog of 11/18/17 for useful information on Insulation technique, wall thicknesses & energy efficiency

Siding, Trim and other Exterior Finishes: See the blog of 8/26/17 for useful information on choices for siding, trim and other finishes.

Decks, more decks and railing…Decks are one of the more popular improvements and one of the easiest ways to add value to your home. Decks fall into 3 main categories – pressure treated, composite and fiberglass. Railings can be pressure treated, vinyl rail or glass.

New Beach Bungalow on your lot from $89,800!!  This model is perfect for many small lots in the shore area including Ocean Beach, Lavallette, Ortley and South Seaside Park.

Seaview and Bayview Models: From $149,000 including demolition. These homes are 2-3 bedrooms and 2 baths and suitable for 40-60 foot wide lots. Call 609 693 8881 for details.

Is your home improvement contractor or new home builders willing to provide a turn-key project? It’s messy, requires diverse skill sets and deep administrative support and places all responsibility for everything directly on the builder’s shoulders. Dream Homes regularly perform turn-key renovation and design build projects and will remain as one of the best, solid companies in the years to come. This matters to you because if a company isn’t committed to being in the line of work for which you are contracting, they will not support it correctly during and after the project. That means less resources (personnel and otherwise) devoted to your project. Currently at Dream Homes, we’ve been actively hiring carpenters, helpers, marketing and support staff for 2 years. We’re committed to the elevation /renovation business and improve every single day – our commitment to provide additional, better resources to our clients is ongoing.

Moral of the story: Try and avoid working with any company not committed to the type of project you are undertaking. Ask to see current projects in process or being started.

Need to Phone a Friend? Need a Rescue? 2018 Scheduling & Priority projects – If you’re stuck in a stalled project for whatever reason (contractor in jail or indicted, bankrupt, lazy, inept, no money, etc.) we’ll help you with a prompt evaluation of your situation. We do consultation and estimates immediately for projects that are stuck. It doesn’t change what happened to you in the past, but at least you’ll know how to get back on track, without chasing someone for a month to get an initial meeting and written estimate. As a note, often we’re the only company willing to finish projects that have been abandoned.

Kathleen M. Dotoli, Esquire – Consumer Protection:  Kathleen is a workers’ compensation and disability attorney in Toms River and speaks regularly at our Rebuilding Seminar. Kathy gives an excellent presentation about consumer protection that will save you money and grief. (Next one is Wednesday, March 14th, 2018). Email Kathy at kmdotoli611@aol.com or call her office at 732 228 7534 for a copy of her seminar presentation.

Video & Past Seminars

Photos & Videos – Click on the link below

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/video-photo/

Future Homes & Townhomes for Sale:  We’re actively working on the development approvals for several properties in Bayville and Forked River.

Dream Homes at Tallwoods: We’ll be offering 13 beautiful new 3 and 4-bedroom single-family homes for sale in the mid $200,000 range in late 2017 / early 2018.

Dream Homes at the Pines: 58 new 2-3 bedroom townhomes, with garages, in a private wooded setting. Anticipated opening in spring / summer 2018.

Dream on the Forked River: 42 new 2-3 bedroom townhomes with garages and private boat slips. Anticipated opening in winter 2018/spring 2019.

If you’re looking for new homes this year or early next year, give us a call and we’ll get you information.

Yeah, We Do That for You…  This was an excellent article from the 1/8/17 blog, which received positive response from many people. If you missed it, go back and read it now at

 

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/2017/01/08/dream-homes-nearly-famous-rebuilding-blog-1-8-17-why-use-dream-homes-yeah-we-do-that-for-you-hometown-hero-award-in-brick-rebuilding-seminar-1-18-16/

 

Definitions & Important Considerations That Can Delay Your Project: Click on the link below

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/definitions/

References & Testimonials – Click on the link below

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/references/

Remember – if you have a specific question, send me an email or a text. Don’t wait for a seminar or a site visit to clarify a point. Whether you are a Dream Homes client or not, I’ll always try and help you or guide you in the right direction. If you’ve sent an email or left a voice mail and haven’t received a response, try and contact me again. Messages are lost occasionally.

Note to Sandsters: Though I write this blog and host the Rebuilding seminars to help guide homeowners through the maze that is any reconstruction project, Dream Homes does all of the work that I write about.  Dream Homes & Development Corp. and Dream Building LLC are new home builders and general contractors who are actively renovating and reconstructing projects up and down the shore. We supervise and manage elevation projects & house moves, demolish and build new homes, and develop and build entire new neighborhoods. In the past 23 years, we’ve completed over 1650 new homes, 250 elevation & renovation projects and 500,000 square feet of commercial buildings. 28 of our elevation projects have been rescue projects, where we came in to save a homeowner when someone else left. Dream builds new homes, demolishes existing damaged homes, elevates and move homes, complete additions and renovations and rescues homeowners when their other contractors abandon them. We work with private clients as well as Path B clients in the RREM program. Call, text or email to set up an appointment for a free estimate on your rebuilding project.

That’s all for today Sandsters. I hope my words helps you move forward. As always, call or write with any questions.

Regards,

Vince Simonelli

Dream Homes & Development Corp. (OTCQB: DREM)

Dream Building LLC

New Home Builder #049531

Home Improvement Contractor #13VH09325600

Office: 314 S. Main Street

Mailing: PO Box 627

Forked River, NJ 08731

Office: 609 693 8881 F: 609 693 3802 Cell: 732 300 5619

Email: vince@dreamhomesltd.com

Website: www.dreamhomesltd.com

Blog: http://blog.dreamhomesltd.com

Twitter: #foxbuilder

 

 

 

 

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RREM clawbacks & fraud – Be careful- Setbacks Zoning – Rebuilding Seminar – Best Builder

Dream Homes and Development Corp.

Dream Building LLC.

Nearly Famous Rebuilding, Renovation, and Elevation Blog

2-24-18

Hello all –

I hope this blog finds you well and enjoying the unseasonably warm weather we’ve had lately.

Since the last blog, we’ve added 20 more minutes of daylight to the day. Every day we add one more minute of daylight until the summer solstice on June 21, 2018. In the winter, amidst the cold, snow, sleet, frozen ground, wind chill, dying vehicles and general unpleasantness, we take tiny bits of satisfaction where we can.  It has been very warm recently though.

Remember – perfection is the enemy of progress. Often “good enough” is truly good enough to start. Once you’re in motion, it’s easy to adapt to conditions and correct your path. Better to start something and fix it while you’re moving, than to start nothing and do it perfectly.

Vincent Simonelli

Today, we talk about RREM Clawbacks and RREM fraud. We again mention zoning issues, since is a confusing and easily misunderstood topic. We offer a link to a good Reader’s Digest article about 21 Tips to add Value to Your Home. Finally, we mention our next Rebuilding Seminar, which is the first for 2018 and is scheduled for March 14th, 2018.

Seminars and Events

Our next Rebuilding Seminar will be held Wednesday March 14th, 2018 at 6 pm at the Tuscan Bar and Grill on Hooper Avenue in Toms River, across from the Ocean County Mall. We’ll be joined by Kathleen Dotoli, Esquire, Jason Devooght (Devooght House Lifters) and either Scott Lepley or Dan Wheaton, architects. As always, we’ll also be streaming it on Facebook Live and be online if you want to email questions or comments while the seminar is under way.  

If you’re planning a project, whether a new home, elevation or renovation, and you haven’t already attended one of our seminars, come for tons of helpful information from our excellent speakers. We focus on homeowners early in the rebuilding process, who haven’t completed design work, or chosen a builder or architect.

We talk about architectural and engineering planning, construction technique, RREM guidance, choosing the right builder and consumer safety cautions, financing your project, and tips about home elevation in general. We also talk about RREM issues, (the lunacy of) managing your own project, and ways to avoid delays and going over budget. So, mark the date and call 609 693 8881 or 732 300 5619 to reserve your space if you want to attend. Pizza and wine will be served, and space is limited.

RREM Clawback Nightmare – Be Careful and Beware! To all our friends out in RREM world who are trying to close their accounts, we feel your pain. One of the smartest things you can do if you haven’t started a RREM project yet or chosen a builder, is to make sure you choose someone who is very familiar with RREM.  There has been a wholesale changeover in RREM project managers across the board and a lot of pressure to close files that have been lingering, or which have been awarded but not started. There is also a lot of scrutiny concerning scopes of work, so make sure you complete everything on your RREM scope, or expect to have money removed from your grant for the omitted items.

Note that your contractor does not have to do all the work – painting, spackle and interior trim are items we regularly encourage homeowners to do themselves if funds are tight. You can do items yourself if you are handy and would like to invest some sweat equity. However, someone must do all the items, or money will be removed.

Having money removed from your grant can be significant, or not. Usually, we’ve found that the cost to have the work done is less  than RREM is paying you, so it behooves you to finish all items. Sometimes that’s not the case and it might not matter. I’ve seen RREM call to replace ceiling fans in a house with perfectly good fans that the homeowner was quite happy with. It made no sense and they chose not to do the work.

Remember – it is up to you to go through your ECR (estimated cost of repair) from RREM and make sure that all items are completed, whether by you or your builder. If you don’t share your ECR with your contractor or ask specifically for an estimate which encompasses everything that RREM wants, you may be forced to add items to your scope of work at the last minute, or forfeit the money for an item.

Finally, if you are a RREM homeowner, you’re generally better off going to a builder first with your ECR and RREM grant, so you have a professional analysis of what RREM expects from you. We have one client who demolished her old 3 bedroom house, had a beautiful new 2 bedroom house designed and came to us to build it. Other than knowing she was a RREM client, we were not aware of the history, or able to view the entire picture. Now the house is built and RREM wants to remove $25,000 from her grant for not building the 3rd bedroom. Luckily, we’re able to split a room and create a 3rd bedroom, but this is the type of item you are much better off knowing ahead of time. An experienced RREM builder will pick up on items like this when they first evaluate your case.

If you’re stuck in a situation or just starting a RREM project, give us a call at 609 693 8881 to discuss this further. We’ll help get you back on track or avoid any problems when you start.

 

31 Tips to Add Value to Your Home:  This is a decent article from Reader’s Digest, which discusses 31 ways to add value to your home. Some are easy and cost effective, some aren’t. Many ignore the cost benefit equation I’ve written about 2000 times, where it’s important to recognize and quantify the potential value you are gaining, versus the cost you are incurring.

Here is the link: https://www.rd.com/home/best-home-improvements/

My favorites are always decks, kitchens, baths and cosmetic improvements. I am not a fan of extensive remodeling for the sake of remodeling (unless it is a hobby for you and you have plenty of money), unless it includes one of the above items. Refinishing basements and attics is useful if you’re creating additional living or recreational space, but like every other improvement, these items need to be budgeted so the cost doesn’t exceed the value you create.

An added caution: Sometimes the improvement can make sense if done in a moderate way, but not make any sense if done in an extravagant manner. An example is installing a $30,000 kitchen, which adds $30,000 in value (plus or minus) versus an $80,000 kitchen, which adds….$30,000, plus or minus. Remember – no one but you cares about specific, costly upgrades so if you’re going down that path, make sure you absolutely love what you’re doing and the pleasure is worth the cost.

Zoning issues – Building anywhere in NJ? Beware!! Partial repeat: In general, zoning officers can be difficult to deal with, and the experience is complicated by interpretation of codes and subtle nuances between townships. Today we’ll discuss “pre-existing, non-conforming” conditions.

This condition is exactly like it sounds – a condition that was approved years (or decades ago) which doesn’t meet current zoning requirements. A general rule of thumb is that if you don’t remove the item and you are doing an elevation to meet new flood codes, you are ok.

If you remove the item, and it didn’t meet current zoning setbacks or restrictions, you won’t be able to rebuild it as it was without applying for a variance from the township. For purposes of this article, we won’t address variance applications which are an entire book unto themselves. Let’s assume you do not wish to apply for a variance (which could take 3-8 months, cost $3,000 – $10,000 and not guarantee any results other than aggravation).

Decks and sheds are a large part of this issue, so we’ll focus on them today. If a deck exists currently and is proposed to be elevated with the house, it may not be in compliance once it is elevated. It is not only side, rear and front setbacks, but height considerations which must be considered. To add more complexity to the issue, total lot coverage, distance from the bulkhead or beach (where applicable) and total value of the post construction improvements relative to assessed value are all additional items of concern.

To view the remainder of this article, visit our 2/3/18 blog.

Note also that this subject is complex, often more than it appears. For assistance and consultation, call us at 609 693 8881 or 732 300 5619.

Building costs increased, for the third year in a row…and skilled labor has become more difficult to find and keep. Keep these two items in mind when you are finalizing your project costs and estimates. If you have an estimate that is a year old, expect that it may increase slightly (3%-4%). Another caution: Material costs will increase again through 2018 and into 2019. If you’re planning a project, try and secure fixed pricing now, or at least as soon as you can.

Tempus fugit! (that means Time is Fleeting, in Latin): Time has just about run out for projects you want to have completed by Summer 2018, unless you have your plans submitted, or are submitting in the next few days. If you’re still on the fence, call us at 609 693 8881 and we’ll help you get focused and moving forward.

However, it is the perfect time to be working on plans for a late summer/fall 2018 start for your project. At this point you should ideally be in the plan design stage and working through an agreement with your builder, so you can submit plans in July and be ready to start in September. Again, give us a call to discuss scheduling.

Design & Hiring Your Own Architect: The design & architectural fees are usually itemized separately and are (for us) a pass-through cost. In other words, we oversee the entire design process and it costs our clients the same amount (usually much less) of money than if the homeowner deals with the architect directly. This also results in significant savings in both construction design and redesign fees. Remember – the person who is going to build the project should be involved in the design from inception, so practical best practices can be designed in from the start. Author’s note from 2017: We successfully completed 42 projects in 2017, and 8 of them were with plans that the homeowner produced prior to retaining us. In all 8 projects, the plans and the scope of work had to be modified, the architecture and engineering cost was higher than we charge for the same work, and there were delays in each project in excess of normal.

Moral of the story and a word to the wise – for a new home, elevation or significant renovation, unless you really know what you’re doing and are going to oversee and build the project yourself, let your builder/general contractor provide you with a design/build package. It will save you time, money and grief.

Coastal A Zone – Reminders & Cautions – Final repeat: This is an item we’ve discussed before, but it is still commonly missed and can cause both delay and extra expense during your design phase.

It is not enough to determine the general flood zone your home is in – if you are in an A zone, you also must make sure you are not in a Coastal A zone, which is a further subcategory. The single biggest reason this is an important consideration is that in the Coastal A zone, deep foundation systems are required, and you cannot add to existing block foundations (unless the foundation has pilings below grade and a concrete grade beam footing). This was not always the case in A zones and is due to a change in the code which was finalized in March of 2016.

The easiest way to avoid this pitfall is to consult directly with your surveyor or go on www.region2coastal.com to check yourself. Plug in your address and check to see if there is a solid line running anywhere near your lot, with small triangles interspersed along the line. The points of the triangles face toward the Coastal A zone and if your home is in that area, you are subject to the design criteria above. Note also that Coastal A zones are commonly on or very near the open bayfront or riverfront. If you are 3-4 houses distance from the water, you are probably in a regular A zone.

To view the remainder of this article, visit our 2/3/18 blog.

Dream Homes – Awarded the Best Home Improvement Contractor and Best Modular Home Builder in Ocean County for 2017 by the Asbury Park Press. That’s something we’re very proud of, but we’re even more proud that we’ve recently passed the milestone of 200 completed elevation/renovation projects since Storm Sandy. Dream looks forward to continuing to help New Jersey rebuild in the months and years ahead. Thanks to all the clients and friends who voted for us in that survey!

 

Dream Homes – Kitchen & Bath Design Studio & Custom Modular Division –

Though we’re known more for new homes and elevation projects than kitchens and baths, we also do quite a bit of remodeling. An excellent place for you to start Is at our Custom Modular, Kitchen & Bath design studio at 2109 Bridge Avenue in Point Pleasant, with complete kitchen layouts, flooring selections and our own in house modular home design studio. As necessary parts of the 1900 home projects we’ve completed since 1993, we are well equipped to accommodate your remodeling needs, from the simple to the most complex. Call 609 693 8881 to schedule an appointment or just stop by. You’re invited to visit us and see what we have – hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 – 2, closed on Tuesday, with other hours by appointment.

 

Hurricane Preparation: So good I keep repeating it! I’ve had this in the last 5 blogs, so I’ll just include the link. I know most people don’t pay attention to being prepared, but hope springs eternal so I keep posting it…

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1494007144395-b0e215ae1ba6ac1b556f084e190e5862/FEMA_2017_Hurricane_HTP_FINAL.pdf

Dream Homes FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) Partial Repeat

Here are a few items from our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section. The October 8th blog has all of them or you can get them from our website at www.dreamhomesltd.com. It’s a useful, concise guide to address common questions and lets you know what you can expect when you choose Dream Homes as your builder.

Solar Power at Home –More Info and link:  For the full story check the 10/29/17 blog, and here is the link.

http://www.builderonline.com/building/building-science/can-homeowners-use-rooftop-solar-power-during-an-emergency

Dream Homes & Development Corporation – who we are: As you may know, Dream Homes & Development Corp. (OTCOB: Ticker DREM) is a publicly traded, fully reporting (audited) company, is the region’s most trusted new home builder and home improvement contractor and was recently awarded the Best Home Improvement Contractor and Best Modular Home Builder in Ocean County for 2017 by the Asbury Park Press. Dream is growing, improving our operations and service and adding new members to our team to better serve you. You can view financials on our web site at www.dreamhomesltd.com. Click on the SEC tab at the bottom of the page for information.

Dream Homes has a main office in Forked River and a Modular Design Center in Point Pleasant, and we’re the only public company doing home elevation work in New Jersey. You can view all the information about us online and if you like us and believe in what we’re doing, we would love to have you as shareholders. For more information and an information package, contact Matt Chipman, our investor relations person. Matt can be reached at (818) 923-5302, (310) 709-5646 or matt@GreenChipIR.com. You can view our operational results and financials at any time on our website at www.dreamhomesltd.com or at www.sec.gov.

Mission Statement and Comment: At Dream Homes, we’re the region’s most trusted builder and we’ll help you when no one else will. We regularly handle messy and unpleasant real estate, construction and renovation situations. We do the elevation, renovation and new home projects that few other people can do, and help people finish and get back in their homes. If you’re stuck and can’t figure out how to proceed, call us and we’ll do our best to help you.

At Dream Homes, we believe that taking on difficult unpopular projects is part of the social contract we have with the community and the Jersey Shore. We’ve never abandoned a client or failed to finish a project – we feel very strongly that it is our obligation to help Sandsters and others in need.

Insulation & Wall Thickness – How Much Is Needed and What’s Involved? See the blog of 11/18/17 for useful information on Insulation technique, wall thicknesses & energy efficiency

Siding, Trim and other Exterior Finishes: See the blog of 8/26/17 for useful information on choices for siding, trim and other finishes.

Decks, more decks and railing…Decks are one of the more popular improvements and one of the easiest ways to add value to your home. Decks fall into 3 main categories – pressure treated, composite and fiberglass. Railings can be pressure treated, vinyl rail or glass.

New Beach Bungalow on your lot from $89,800!!  This model is perfect for many small lots in the shore area including Ocean Beach, Lavallette, Ortley and South Seaside Park.

Seaview and Bayview Models: From $149,000 including demolition. These homes are 2-3 bedrooms and 2 baths and suitable for 40-60 foot wide lots. Call 609 693 8881 for details.

Is your home improvement contractor or new home builders willing to provide a turn-key project? It’s messy, requires diverse skill sets and deep administrative support and places all responsibility for everything directly on the builder’s shoulders. Dream Homes regularly perform turn-key renovation and design build projects and will remain as one of the best, solid companies in the years to come. This matters to you because if a company isn’t committed to being in the line of work for which you are contracting, they will not support it correctly during and after the project. That means less resources (personnel and otherwise) devoted to your project. Currently at Dream Homes, we’ve been actively hiring carpenters, helpers, marketing and support staff for 2 years. We’re committed to the elevation /renovation business and improve every single day – our commitment to provide additional, better resources to our clients is ongoing.

Moral of the story: Try and avoid working with any company not committed to the type of project you are undertaking. Ask to see current projects in process or being started.

Need to Phone a Friend? Need a Rescue? 2017 Scheduling & Priority projects – If you’re stuck in a stalled project for whatever reason (contractor in jail or indicted, bankrupt, lazy, inept, no money, etc.) we’ll help you with a prompt evaluation of your situation. We do consultation and estimates immediately for projects that are stuck. It doesn’t change what happened to you in the past, but at least you’ll know how to get back on track, without chasing someone for a month to get an initial meeting and written estimate. As a note, often we’re the only company willing to finish projects that have been abandoned.

Kathleen M. Dotoli, Esquire – Consumer Protection:  Kathleen is a workers’ compensation and disability attorney in Toms River and speaks regularly at our Rebuilding Seminar. Kathy gives an excellent presentation about consumer protection that will save you money and grief. (Next one is Wednesday, December 6th, 2017). Email Kathy at kmdotoli611@aol.com or call her office at 732 228 7534 for a copy of her seminar presentation.

Video & Past Seminars

Photos & Videos – Click on the link below

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/video-photo/

Future Homes & Townhomes for Sale:  We’re actively working on the development approvals for several properties in Bayville and Forked River.

Dream Homes at Tallwoods: We’ll be offering 13 beautiful new 3 and 4-bedroom single-family homes for sale in the mid $200,000 range in late 2017 / early 2018.

Dream Homes at the Pines: 58 new 2-3 bedroom townhomes, with garages, in a private wooded setting. Anticipated opening in spring / summer 2018.

Dream on the Forked River: 42 new 2-3 bedroom townhomes with garages and private boat slips. Anticipated opening in winter 2018/spring 2019.

If you’re looking for new homes this year or early next year, give us a call and we’ll get you information.

Yeah, We Do That for You…  This was an excellent article from the 1/8/17 blog, which received positive response from many people. If you missed it, go back and read it now at

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/2017/01/08/dream-homes-nearly-famous-rebuilding-blog-1-8-17-why-use-dream-homes-yeah-we-do-that-for-you-hometown-hero-award-in-brick-rebuilding-seminar-1-18-16/

Definitions & Important Considerations That Can Delay Your Project: Click on the link below

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/definitions/

References & Testimonials – Click on the link below

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/references/

Remember – if you have a specific question, send me an email or a text. Don’t wait for a seminar or a site visit to clarify a point. Whether you are a Dream Homes client or not, I’ll always try and help you or guide you in the right direction. If you’ve sent an email or left a voice mail and haven’t received a response, try and contact me again. Messages are lost occasionally.

Note to Sandsters: Though I write this blog and host the Rebuilding seminars to help guide homeowners through the maze that is any reconstruction project, Dream Homes does all of the work that I write about.  Dream Homes & Development Corp. and Dream Building LLC are new home builders and general contractors who are actively renovating and reconstructing projects up and down the shore. We supervise and manage elevation projects & house moves, demolish and build new homes, and develop and build entire new neighborhoods. In the past 23 years, we’ve completed over 1500 new homes, 190 elevation projects and 500,000 square feet of commercial buildings. 28 of our elevation projects have been rescue projects, where we came in to save a homeowner when someone else left. Dream builds new homes, demolishes existing damaged homes, elevates and move homes, complete additions and renovations and rescues homeowners when their other contractors abandon them. We work with private clients as well as Path B clients in the RREM program. Call, text or email to set up an appointment for a free estimate on your rebuilding project.

That’s all for today Sandsters. I hope my words helps you move forward. As always, call or write with any questions.

Regards,

Vince Simonelli

Dream Homes & Development Corp. (OTCQB: DREM)

Dream Building LLC

New Home Builder #049531

Home Improvement Contractor #13VH09325600

Office: 314 S. Main Street

Mailing: PO Box 627

Forked River, NJ 08731

Office: 609 693 8881 F: 609 693 3802 Cell: 732 300 5619

Email: vince@dreamhomesltd.com

Website: www.dreamhomesltd.com

Blog: http://blog.dreamhomesltd.com

Twitter: #foxbuilder

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Dream Homes Building Blog – 2-4-18 – Crucial Zoning Issues – Building Seminar at Tuscan 3-14-18 – Costs Increase in 2018 – New Foxy Fox Model – Tempus Fugit!!

Dream Homes and Development Corp.

Dream Building LLC.

Nearly Famous Rebuilding, Renovation, and Elevation Blog

2-4-18

Hello all –

I hope this blog finds you well and getting ready for the Super Bowl. Or if you’re in the minority like me, you’re just working with little idea what’s happening in the world of sports.

On a really bright note, Tom Brady is the oldest person to ever quarterback a Super Bowl at age 40, which is really encouraging to anyone over the age of, well, 40 years old.

Since the last blog, we’ve added 7 more minutes of daylight to the day. Every day we add one more minute of daylight until the summer solstice on June 21, 2018. In the winter, amidst the cold, snow, sleet, frozen ground, wind chill, dying vehicles and general unpleasantness, we take tiny bits of satisfaction where we can.

Quote of the day: From George Bernard Shaw: “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” (Based on George’s definition, I’m one of the most honorable people alive…😊)  This excellent quote does play into my advice to do something with your project to move it forward, as opposed to doing nothing while you search for perfection in design, planning, scheduling and pricing.

In my experience, perfection is the enemy of progress. Often “good enough” is truly good enough to start. Once you’re in motion, it’s easy to adapt to conditions and correct your path.

Today, among other things, we review the Home Show last weekend at Brookdale College. We discuss zoning issues extensively, since the field is esoteric and very easily misunderstood even by experienced professionals. We discuss rising labor and material costs again. Finally, we mention our next Rebuilding Seminar, which is the first for 2018 and is scheduled for March 14th, 2018.

Seminars and Events

Our next Rebuilding Seminar will be held Wednesday March 14th, 2018 at 6 pm at the Tuscan Bar and Grill on Hooper Avenue in Toms River, across from the Ocean County Mall. We’ll be joined by Kathleen Dotoli, Esquire, Jason Devooght (Devooght House Lifters) and either Scott Lepley or Dan Wheaton, architects. As always, we’ll also be streaming it on Facebook Live and be online if you want to email questions or comments while the seminar is under way.  

If you’re planning a project, whether a new home, elevation or renovation, and you haven’t already attended one of our seminars, come for tons of helpful information from our excellent speakers. We focus on homeowners early in the rebuilding process, who haven’t completed design work, or chosen a builder or architect.

We talk about architectural and engineering planning, construction technique, RREM guidance, choosing the right builder and consumer safety cautions, financing your project, and tips about home elevation in general. We also talk about RREM issues, (the lunacy of) managing your own project, and ways to avoid delays and going over budget. So, mark the date and call 609 693 8881 or 732 300 5619 to reserve your space if you want to attend. Pizza and wine will be served, and space is limited.

Zoning issues – Building anywhere in NJ? Beware!! In general, building departments in NJ are difficult to deal with, with the Top 5 being the worst by far (Toms River, Brick, Little Egg, Manahawkin and Berkeley). Zoning officers though, can also be particularly difficult to deal with, and the experience is complicated by interpretation and subtle nuance. Today we’ll discuss a particular area of concern, which affects many, many people up and down the shore. It is called a “pre-existing, non-conforming” condition.

This condition is exactly like it sounds – a condition that was approved years (or decades ago) which doesn’t meet current zoning requirements. A general rule of thumb is that if you don’t remove the item and you are doing an elevation to meet new flood codes, you are ok.

If you remove the item, and it didn’t meet current zoning setbacks or restrictions, you won’t be able to rebuild it as it was without applying for a variance from the township. For purposes of this article, we won’t address variance applications which are an entire book unto themselves. Let’s assume you do not wish to apply for a variance (which could take 3-8 months, cost $3,000 – $10,000 and not guarantee any results other than aggravation).

Decks and sheds are a large part of this issue, so we’ll focus on them today. If a deck exists currently and is proposed to be elevated with the house, it may not be in compliance once it is elevated. It is not only side, rear and front setbacks, but height considerations which must be considered. To add more complexity to the issue, total lot coverage, distance from the bulkhead or beach (where applicable) and total value of the post construction improvements relative to assessed value are all additional items of concern.

Sheds which have been in place for years and are within 3’ or 5’ of the property line, will be called out on zoning permits as items to be moved prior to a certificate of occupancy being issued. That’s a relatively painless affair – assuming they have a floor, most sheds can be moved by rolling them on a series of 4” pvc sewer pipe.

Decks, on the other hand, can be a pain in the ass. If you have a deck that is at finished floor level, your lifestyle has gotten accustomed to that and you don’t want to step out on a platform and descend 8 (or 10, or 13) steps to a lower deck just to barbecue. One solution is to decrease the size of the deck to conform to current zoning, which is a common fix. Another is to deal with a smaller upper platform, with stairs down to the existing deck. Finally, you can choose to build a new house and situate the house correctly on the lot, to allow the size and height deck that you want.

Keep in mind that “All my neighbors have this” is not any kind of defense or justification for a township approving a non-conforming use. Once you open a building permit, you are fair game to your town. You then must bring everything into conformance, regardless of what anyone (or everyone) else is doing.

Often with elevation projects, it is best to elevate decks with the house to avoid a good portion of this issue. The biggest concern with that course of action is that the deck might be 40 years old, not maintained or built to current codes and by all rights should be demolished. By doing the right thing (demolishing the existing deck and building a new one), you create a host of other issues that you wouldn’t have to normally deal with.

Other concerns include adding extra space in coastal areas over what existed previously. If you add more than 300 square feet, you will most probably trigger the need for a new CAFRA (DEP) permit. We want to avoid that if possible. If you are building any closer to an existing waterway than what was previously there (dock, bulkhead, river, etc), this will also trigger a CAFRA permit. For the record, CAFRA permits on existing lots can run $3,000 – $5,000 between engineering, surveying, applications fees and permits.

So be careful with pre-existing, non-conforming conditions – either stick to the existing condition and leave what is in place where it is, or make sure you submit zoning & building permit applications which accurately reflect that what you want to do will be allowed. The aim is to ensure that what you have in mind won’t have to be removed.

Note also that this subject is complex, often more than it appears. For assistance and consultation, call us at 609 693 8881 or 732 300 5619.

New Foxy Fox model being built in Lacey – from $259,900: If you’re in the market for a new home, we’ll be building our Foxy Fox model on Clairmore Avenue in Lacey this spring. This model is a great starter home, because it offers the possibility of adding 2 bedrooms and an additional bath upstairs (we include the roughs for a future bath), as well as finishing the lower level. It’s a 3-4 bedroom, 2.5 bath house with a raised enclosed basement, built on pilings. Before we start in March, you can pick all your colors – roof, siding, flooring and cabinets. Give us a call at 609 693 8881 for further information.

Building costs increased, for the third year in a row…and skilled labor has become more difficult to find and keep. Keep these two items in mind when you are finalizing your project costs and estimates. If you have an estimate that is a year old, expect that it may increase slightly (3%-4%). Another caution: Material costs will increase again through 2018 and into 2019. If you’re planning a project, try and secure fixed pricing now, or at least as soon as you can.

Tempus fugit! (that means Time is Fleeting, in Latin): Time has just about run out for projects you want to have completed by Summer 2018, unless you have your plans submitted, or are submitting in the next few days. If you’re still on the fence, call us at 609 693 8881 and we’ll help you get focused and moving forward.

However, it is the perfect time to be working on plans for a late summer/fall 2018 start for your project. At this point you should ideally be in the plan design stage and working through an agreement with your builder, so you can submit plans in July and be ready to start in September. Again, give us a call to discuss scheduling.

A Warm Welcome to 3 new clients – Welcome to Ken in Toms River (elevation), Brandy & Peter in Island Heights (new home) and Mr. Gao (elevation & renovation in Manahawkin. We’re honored that you chose us as your builder and know you’ll be happy with the results. Welcome to the Dream Homes family!

Design & Hiring Your Own Architect: The design & architectural fees are usually itemized separately and are (for us) a pass-through cost. In other words, we oversee the entire design process and it costs our clients the same amount (usually much less) of money than if the homeowner deals with the architect directly. This also results in significant savings in both construction design and redesign fees. Remember – the person who is going to build the project should be involved in the design from inception, so practical best practices can be designed in from the start. Author’s note from 2017: We successfully completed 42 projects in 2017, and 8 of them were with plans that the homeowner produced prior to retaining us. In all 8 projects, the plans and the scope of work had to be modified, the architecture and engineering cost was higher than we charge for the same work, and there were delays in each project in excess of normal.

Moral of the story and a word to the wise – for a new home, elevation or significant renovation, unless you really know what you’re doing and are going to oversee and build the project yourself, let your builder/general contractor provide you with a design/build package. It will save you time, money and grief.

Coastal A Zone – Reminders & Cautions – Final repeat: This is an item we’ve discussed before, but it is still commonly missed and can cause both delay and extra expense during your design phase.

It is not enough to determine the general flood zone your home is in – if you are in an A zone, you also must make sure you are not in a Coastal A zone, which is a further subcategory. The single biggest reason this is an important consideration is that in the Coastal A zone, deep foundation systems are required, and you cannot add to existing block foundations (unless the foundation has pilings below grade and a concrete grade beam footing). This was not always the case in A zones and is due to a change in the code which was finalized in March of 2016.

A deep foundation system can be either timber or helical pilings, depending upon whether your home can be moved out of the way or not. Timber piles are much less expensive and the preferred method if your yard is large enough for a move, or there is an empty lot nearby that you can “borrow”. Compounding the cost and design considerations is the fact that even if after you install a deep foundation system, you cannot build regular concrete block or frame walls. They must be specifically designed as “breakaway walls”, and concrete breakaway walls are complex and expensive, which leaves you essentially forced to build frame walls with a cement board enclosure.

This seemingly minor consideration (whether you are in a Coastal A) can affect you greatly if your architect or engineer designs to normal A zone constraints, only to later to discover that your home is in a Coastal A zone. This epiphany will usually happen in the building review stage, after you’ve already designed an entire foundation system based on building with concrete block, either on top of existing block or with a normal concrete footing set 30” below grade. Not only is the foundation redesign going to cost you several thousand dollars, but this error will cost you 1-2 months in delays. On top of all that happy news, in most cases the actual construction cost will increase significantly.

The easiest way to avoid this pitfall is to consult directly with your surveyor or go on www.region2coastal.com to check yourself. Plug in your address and check to see if there is a solid line running anywhere near your lot, with small triangles interspersed along the line. The points of the triangles face toward the Coastal A zone and if your home is in that area, you are subject to the design criteria above. Note also that Coastal A zones are commonly on or very near the open bayfront or riverfront. If you are 3-4 houses distance from the water, you are probably in a regular A zone.

Dream Homes – Awarded the Best Home Improvement Contractor and Best Modular Home Builder in Ocean County for 2017 by the Asbury Park Press. That’s something we’re very proud of, but we’re even more proud that we’ve recently passed the milestone of 200 completed elevation/renovation projects since Storm Sandy. Dream looks forward to continuing to help New Jersey rebuild in the months and years ahead. Thanks to all the clients and friends who voted for us in that survey!

Dream Homes – Kitchen & Bath Design Studio & Custom Modular Division –

Though we’re known more for new homes and elevation projects than kitchens and baths, we also do quite a bit of remodeling. An excellent place for you to start Is at our Custom Modular, Kitchen & Bath design studio at 2109 Bridge Avenue in Point Pleasant, with complete kitchen layouts, flooring selections and our own in house modular home design studio. As necessary parts of the 1900 home projects we’ve completed since 1993, we are well equipped to accommodate your remodeling needs, from the simple to the most complex. Call 609 693 8881 to schedule an appointment or just stop by. You’re invited to visit us and see what we have – hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 – 2, closed on Tuesday, with other hours by appointment.

Hurricane Preparation: So good I keep repeating it! I’ve had this in the last 5 blogs, so I’ll just include the link. I know most people don’t pay attention to being prepared, but hope springs eternal so I keep posting it…

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1494007144395-b0e215ae1ba6ac1b556f084e190e5862/FEMA_2017_Hurricane_HTP_FINAL.pdf

Dream Homes FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) Partial Repeat

Here are a few items from our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section. The October 8th blog has all of them or you can get them from our website at www.dreamhomesltd.com. It’s a useful, concise guide to address common questions and lets you know what you can expect when you choose Dream Homes as your builder.

Solar Power at Home –More Info and link:  For the full story check the 10/29/17 blog, and here is the link.

http://www.builderonline.com/building/building-science/can-homeowners-use-rooftop-solar-power-during-an-emergency

Dream Homes & Development Corporation – who we are: As you may know, Dream Homes & Development Corp. (OTCOB: Ticker DREM) is a publicly traded, fully reporting (audited) company, is the region’s most trusted new home builder and home improvement contractor and was recently awarded the Best Home Improvement Contractor and Best Modular Home Builder in Ocean County for 2017 by the Asbury Park Press. Dream is growing, improving our operations and service and adding new members to our team to better serve you. You can view financials on our web site at www.dreamhomesltd.com. Click on the SEC tab at the bottom of the page for information.

Dream Homes has a main office in Forked River and a Modular Design Center in Point Pleasant, and we’re the only public company doing home elevation work in New Jersey. You can view all the information about us online and if you like us and believe in what we’re doing, we would love to have you as shareholders. For more information and an information package, contact Matt Chipman, our investor relations person. Matt can be reached at (818) 923-5302, (310) 709-5646 or matt@GreenChipIR.com. You can view our operational results and financials at any time on our website at www.dreamhomesltd.com or at www.sec.gov.

Mission Statement and Comment: At Dream Homes, we’re the region’s most trusted builder and we’ll help you when no one else will. We regularly handle messy and unpleasant real estate, construction and renovation situations. We do the elevation, renovation and new home projects that few other people can do, and help people finish and get back in their homes. If you’re stuck and can’t figure out how to proceed, call us and we’ll do our best to help you.

At Dream Homes, we believe that taking on difficult unpopular projects is part of the social contract we have with the community and the Jersey Shore. We’ve never abandoned a client or failed to finish a project – we feel very strongly that it is our obligation to help Sandsters and others in need.

Insulation & Wall Thickness – How Much Is Needed and What’s Involved? See the blog of 11/18/17 for useful information on Insulation technique, wall thicknesses & energy efficiency

Siding, Trim and other Exterior Finishes: See the blog of 8/26/17 for useful information on choices for siding, trim and other finishes.

Decks, more decks and railing…Decks are one of the more popular improvements and one of the easiest ways to add value to your home. Decks fall into 3 main categories – pressure treated, composite and fiberglass. Railings can be pressure treated, vinyl rail or glass.

New Beach Bungalow on your lot from $89,800!!  This model is perfect for many small lots in the shore area including Ocean Beach, Lavallette, Ortley and South Seaside Park.

Seaview and Bayview Models: From $149,000 including demolition. These homes are 2-3 bedrooms and 2 baths and suitable for 40-60 foot wide lots. Call 609 693 8881 for details.

Is your home improvement contractor or new home builders willing to provide a turn-key project? It’s messy, requires diverse skill sets and deep administrative support and places all responsibility for everything directly on the builder’s shoulders. Dream Homes regularly perform turn-key renovation and design build projects and will remain as one of the best, solid companies in the years to come. This matters to you because if a company isn’t committed to being in the line of work for which you are contracting, they will not support it correctly during and after the project. That means less resources (personnel and otherwise) devoted to your project. Currently at Dream Homes, we’ve been actively hiring carpenters, helpers, marketing and support staff for 2 years. We’re committed to the elevation /renovation business and improve every single day – our commitment to provide additional, better resources to our clients is ongoing.

Moral of the story: Try and avoid working with any company not committed to the type of project you are undertaking. Ask to see current projects in process or being started.

Need to Phone a Friend? Need a Rescue? 2017 Scheduling & Priority projects – If you’re stuck in a stalled project for whatever reason (contractor in jail or indicted, bankrupt, lazy, inept, no money, etc.) we’ll help you with a prompt evaluation of your situation. We do consultation and estimates immediately for projects that are stuck. It doesn’t change what happened to you in the past, but at least you’ll know how to get back on track, without chasing someone for a month to get an initial meeting and written estimate. As a note, often we’re the only company willing to finish projects that have been abandoned.

Kathleen M. Dotoli, Esquire – Consumer Protection:  Kathleen is a workers’ compensation and disability attorney in Toms River and speaks regularly at our Rebuilding Seminar. Kathy gives an excellent presentation about consumer protection that will save you money and grief. (Next one is Wednesday, December 6th, 2017). Email Kathy at kmdotoli611@aol.com or call her office at 732 228 7534 for a copy of her seminar presentation.

Video & Past Seminars

Photos & Videos – Click on the link below

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/video-photo/

Future Homes & Townhomes for Sale:  We’re actively working on the development approvals for several properties in Bayville and Forked River.

Dream Homes at Tallwoods: We’ll be offering 13 beautiful new 3 and 4-bedroom single-family homes for sale in the mid $200,000 range in late 2017 / early 2018.

Dream Homes at the Pines: 58 new 2-3 bedroom townhomes, with garages, in a private wooded setting. Anticipated opening in spring / summer 2018.

Dream on the Forked River: 42 new 2-3 bedroom townhomes with garages and private boat slips. Anticipated opening in winter 2018/spring 2019.

If you’re looking for new homes this year or early next year, give us a call and we’ll get you information.

Yeah, We Do That for You…  This was an excellent article from the 1/8/17 blog, which received positive response from many people. If you missed it, go back and read it now at  https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/2017/01/08/dream-homes-nearly-famous-rebuilding-blog-1-8-17-why-use-dream-homes-yeah-we-do-that-for-you-hometown-hero-award-in-brick-rebuilding-seminar-1-18-16/

Definitions & Important Considerations That Can Delay Your Project: Click on the link below

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/definitions/

References & Testimonials – Click on the link below

https://blog.dreamhomesltd.com/references/

Remember – if you have a specific question, send me an email or a text. Don’t wait for a seminar or a site visit to clarify a point. Whether you are a Dream Homes client or not, I’ll always try and help you or guide you in the right direction. If you’ve sent an email or left a voice mail and haven’t received a response, try and contact me again. Messages are lost occasionally.

Note to Sandsters: Though I write this blog and host the Rebuilding seminars to help guide homeowners through the maze that is any reconstruction project, Dream Homes does all of the work that I write about.  Dream Homes & Development Corp. and Dream Building LLC are new home builders and general contractors who are actively renovating and reconstructing projects up and down the shore. We supervise and manage elevation projects & house moves, demolish and build new homes, and develop and build entire new neighborhoods. In the past 23 years, we’ve completed over 1500 new homes, 190 elevation projects and 500,000 square feet of commercial buildings. 28 of our elevation projects have been rescue projects, where we came in to save a homeowner when someone else left. Dream builds new homes, demolishes existing damaged homes, elevates and move homes, complete additions and renovations and rescues homeowners when their other contractors abandon them. We work with private clients as well as Path B clients in the RREM program. Call, text or email to set up an appointment for a free estimate on your rebuilding project.

That’s all for today Sandsters. I hope my words helps you move forward. As always, call or write with any questions.

Regards,

Vince Simonelli

Dream Homes & Development Corp. (OTCQB: DREM)

Dream Building LLC

New Home Builder #049531

Home Improvement Contractor #13VH09325600

Office: 314 S. Main Street

Mailing: PO Box 627

Forked River, NJ 08731

Office: 609 693 8881 F: 609 693 3802 Cell: 732 300 5619

Email: vince@dreamhomesltd.com

Website: www.dreamhomesltd.com

Blog: http://blog.dreamhomesltd.com

Twitter: #foxbuilder