Happy St. Patrick’s Day..…Are Builders Back in Vogue?
Greetings NJ –
Hope this post finds you doing well and enjoying your St. Patrick’s Day weekend.
Today, we will wax rhapsodic and leave the specifics for other days. Not generally my style, but it is a Sunday and I am prone to ponderings like everyone else.
I confess – I want the Jersey shore back the way it was. I miss it.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the many people affected by Sandy and the long road towards reconstruction. Currently, even if we assume that the path to rebuilding was clear and open on a permit and legislative level (it isn’t), everyone had ample funds to remodel or rebuild (they don’t), and everyone was clear on what they wanted to do (they’re not), unfortunately we will be rebuilding the Jersey shore for a number of years.
I’ll be talking about this item and a number of others at my Rebuilding after Sandy seminar this Thursday, 3/21/13 from 3-5 pm. For info and to reserve a space, go to http://www.foxmoorhomes.com or call me at 732 300 5619.
Through over 20 years of home building and over 1300 homes built, I’ve had the pleasure of helping hundreds of first time buyers move into new homes and hundreds of others move up from a starter home into a larger house to accommodate a growing family. Creating housing is a very satisfying pursuit and one that gives one a distinct satisfaction. I’ve enjoyed it tremendously.
However, over the last 3 months, I’ve felt like I’ve directly helped more people in more direct ways through counseling, consulting and writing about rebuilding issues than I have in the last 2 decades. It’s a great feeling. After all, in the past, if I didn’t build them a new home, someone else would have.
Are builders back in vogue again? I think we are, and it is a gratifying, and satisfying feeling.
With rebuilding from Sandy, there is such a great amount of confusion, complexity and changing rules to muddy the waters, that it’s not as easy as just building a new home. The fact is that there are currently a lack of qualified builders who understand the issues and are capable of performing the work needed to rebuild in this environment. The majority of professionals, subcontractors and specific trades people (plumbers, electricians, piling installers, engineers, framers, remodelers, house moving contractors, average small builders) and other building professionals are not willing or able to pull together all the pieces needed to bring a project together in this environment. There is not only an affordable housing shortage, but a shortage of qualified builders.
Dream Homes is a niche company and medium sized in the homebuilding industry. I’ve been thinking that if we did 50 new homes this year, which is likely and somewhat respectable, we would need 200 firms of that size to accomplish the task at hand here in NJ within any reasonable time frame. 50 homes out of 10,000 is like a Tic-Tac in a dinosaur’s bottom. It is an eye drop in the sea of need.
The problem is that 95% of all home builders build 3-5 homes per year. Most large builders build developments, as I have for the majority of my career. At the current rate of construction, we will be here until the next century. That is a sad and dismaying thought…
Ultimately I realized that was why I started writing again – to help everyone affected by Sandy share specific knowledge with their professional team so they could move their own home along as quickly and painlessly as possible. Not just for our clients, but for the thousands more we cannot help, no matter how they rebuild or whom they choose to work with.
Pooling and sharing of information and resources directly helps individual homeowners, as well as the businesses and governments in the local and state economies, and will help bring all us back more quickly to the quality of life and lifestyle that we enjoyed at the Jersey shore.
Again, this is much larger than simply building homes, although that is the alpha and omega of what we are talking about. I don’t know too many people or firms who have the diverse knowledge needed for this type of reconstruction and that is starting to concern me. It is wonderful to have new work and start relationships with new clients, but is dismaying when one realizes how many people are in direct and immediate need of good counsel and are not receiving it. No one wants thousands of frustrated homeowners abandoning buildings, not paying taxes or maintaining their properties. The tax base erodes, businesses move out, the tax base erodes again. It is a vicious cycle.
I live here. I work here. It is my professional opinion that we need more hands on the wheel right now and more info readily available to the people who are going to make the reconstruction a reality. Otherwise we will languish in the morass of uncertainty and confusion which is drowning the efforts to rebuild.
So please pass this information on. Regardless of whether you are a client or not, if you have an architect, a general contractor or a builder that you are working with, please use me as a resource. If there is anything I can do to help you move your project along, call me or have them call me. It’s free. It’s me trying to do my small part. Sometimes a 5 minute phone call will save you or your team a ton of time, aggravation and money. We’re actively reconstructing homes in a number of different ways, we understand it, and we can speak about it concisely and clearly. No rhetoric, just specific facts, methods, processes and recommendations.
I never thought I’d say this, but hey New Jersey, we’re beyond the petty challenges of day to day commerce and business competition. As Benjamin Franklin said, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” This is more as true now as it was in 1776.
We cannot share enough qualified information, or communicate enough about new methods and techniques of construction and the myriad new codes and regulations.
I know it may be petty, but I enjoy being needed again. I thank God that I have a lot to offer and hope I can continue to do my part helping to rebuild New Jersey.
I love it here. I want it back the way it was, as soon as possible.
Rebuild, Renovate, Raise or Repair Your Home from Storm Sandy
Rebuilding NJ One Home at a Time…
Residential Construction & Development for over 20 years in NJ
314 Rt.9, Forked River, NJ 08731 Mailing: PO Box 627, Forked River, NJ 08731
609 693 8881 x 102 Fax: 609 693 3802 Cell: 732 300 5619