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The Most Lucrative Home Improvement Ventures and Why 2021 is the Year for Home Remodeling 

Posted by on Jun 8, 2021 in Kitchen Remodeling, Las Cruces NM | 0 comments

There’s been a lot of talk about the changing real estate market since COVID-19 hit. You’ve likely heard of these trends and, as a homeowner, have been paying close attention. People in the industry went from fearing a steep decline in home sales to being overwhelmed with demand and a shortage of inventory. Homebuilders saw increased interest in demand for new homes as interest rates dropped and things seemed quite uncertain. 

A year into the pandemic—although thankfully now at its tail end—the housing market continues to portray some very interesting behavior. Despite high costs of materials and suffered job losses, homes continue to fly off the lots and folks continue to search for the home that tugs at their heartstrings. This has led many homeowners to consider selling their home, while increased time spent indoors, has led homeowners to search for better ways to improve their home and increase its value. 

So What are the Popular Home Remodels in 2021?

As homeowners lingered at home, working from their kitchen tables, teaching their kids from the living room couch, having movie nights at home, they began to wonder about how to make the home more functional for a changed way of life. And while people’s lives will return to some semblance of normalcy, home designers have seen some changing trends reflect these realities. For example, according to Marketwatch, some of the changing trends include:

A shift away from solely open floor plans

Open floor plans are still popular and the desire for shared spaces continues to some degree, but there is a demand now for dedicated spaces, such as home offices, wall additions that add privacy to a room, etc. This is to accommodate the rising trend of working from home and distanced learning. 

A little more outdoor livin’

Being cooped up led homeowners to wonder how they could make better use of their outdoor space. Interest in home gardens, flower beds, landscaping, patios, fire pits, and other outside accommodations increased during the past year. Installing decks, patios, and outside spaces was a way for homeowners to open up their homes to the outdoors and improve comfort. 

Kitchen or bathroom upgrade

These are the renovations that never go out of style, as kitchens and bathrooms are always the most popular renovation projects for homeowners. Whether it is minor renovations or full-scale remodeling, adding cabinet space, kitchen islands, or reworking the kitchen layout is always a good way to invest back into your home. 

Southwestern-Style Remodels — Make the Most out of Your Living Space 

Here, at Villa Custom Home, we specialize in Southwestern-style homes, particularly rammed earth homes. We are accustomed to and specialize in using more earthy materials and energy-efficient designs that allow for maximizing the Southern New Mexico climate, using natural lighting, rammed earth building material, and drawing from traditional Pueblo-style architectural design to enhance the property. 

Building techniques in this part of the country are different and utilize different principles than many traditional home builders. A Southwestern-style home will often have asymmetrical floor plans, for example, as it accommodates and curves with the land. Many Pueblo-revival-style homes also have a slight preference for modular spaces and high ceilings. 

Popular remodels and home additions for Southwest design include:

  • Adding tile and brick floors
  • Covered and semi-covered outdoor spaces
  • Building outdoor living spaces including fire pits, porches, and more

Does Remodeling My Home Make Financial Sense?

This all depends on the purpose of the remodel and the kind of remodel. In most cases, a remodeling project always has some financial benefit (although a homeowner might not see it until a few years down the road when they sell the home.) According to a National Association of Realtors report from 2019, homeowners say the most important reason for remodeling is functionality and livability. 

So it very much depends on a few questions:

  • Are the remodels with the intent of selling the home?
  • Are the remodels aimed to better accommodate your lifestyle?
  • Does the remodel have the intention to beautify the house for a future sale?

As we’ve discussed, materials for home building such as lumber are rising. This makes people question whether it is time to remodel. Home renovations, however, can be an option to increase your resale value and prepare for getting the most bang for your buck. 

Considering the Return on Investment (ROI)

Return on Investment on home renovations can vary and will depend on various factors. With the active market and hot seller’s market that seems to be the case in a lot of parts of the country, it’s quite possible you’ll get more ROI than is usual.

As Realtor.com estimates, home prices will remain relatively high, at about 5.7% above 2020 levels, and accelerating at the end of the year. According to the U.S. census information, there were 863,000 new houses sold in April of 2021 with 316,000 new homes for sale. The demand for homes is there and homebuyers seem to be willing to go into bidding wars over some of the inventory. 

Thinking about Renovations or Remodeling? Make the Right Move with Villa Custom Homes

As a custom home builder, we know all about remodeling to people’s likes and tastes. Whether you are going for something uniquely Southwestern or a renovation that blends in perfectly with your home. Villa Custom Homes knows how to build it right. 

Interested in a home remodel or home renovation? Call Villa Custom Homes today and learn about the kind of work we can do for your home!

 

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The Changing Tide of Custom Home Builders: A Look at Trends for 2021 

Posted by on Feb 8, 2021 in Home Builder, Las Cruces | 0 comments

History has a way of changing the course of things. As economies and consumer habits change, so do industries, markets, and culture. Every generation has a moment of no return.  These historic moments often happen quickly—prompted by unforeseen circumstances—while others occur gradually, as a result of cultural or political change. 

Since the early 20th century, major events have shaped the way we operate and do business.  The year 2020 was a pivotal moment for the country and—like every industry—the real estate and housing industries have seen their fair share of changes. All while proving just how robust these industries are. One thing that remains the same, people need a place to live. Even with uncertainty abound, people seek comfort in the investment of a home that will serve their family for a long time to come. So what is the future of custom building and how has home design changed since the start of the pandemic?

The pandemic changed where and how we live. There is a migration happening in the country right now that is shifting populations and changing some of the previously hot markets. In 2020, people were not only bunkered down in their homes, but they were also—in many instances—forced to turn their homes into offices, schools, daycares, studios, conference rooms, etc. 

People living in cramped apartments with no space are making the move to the suburbs or smaller towns, establishing their home. Larger metropolitan areas might see their populations spread out, given the work-from-home-model. It is the normalization of work-from-home that might have a tremendous impact on the future of home building and custom homes. 

Rammed earth in construction for a custom home

Trends Hitting the Markets for New Builds and Custom Homes 

Before the year 2020 rolled around, trends in custom home building were already heading in a different direction. The luxuryand the up-scale trend were slowly shifting to a more space-conscious, energy-efficient, and minimalist approach to the much-sought-after entry-level home. And yet, there have been some changes in the way people think about their homes from the beginning of 2020 to the start of 2021, including:

  • Exploring new neighborhoods. The advantage of working from home means that people no longer have to settle for a home in an area that doesn’t represent their lifestyle. Some data seems to suggest that people are moving from jam-packed cities and choosing a more suburban approach, although the overarching pattern of this is still to be seen. 
  • Evolving home designs. The changing trends are nuanced and not black and white. Many continue to seek the economical single-family home with modest spaces but want the shared spaces or home offices. Others are seeking bigger homes that will accommodate the needs of the work-at-home generation with added-on amenities and backyard space. 

The Changes in Custom Design 

The custom home industry has always had a slower pace of change. Over the last few decades, some of the biggest changes include the integration of green building techniques, better insulation, and quality materials like foam insulation, passive solar design, radiant heat, and efficient HVAC systems. Homebuilders across the country have suggested that the changes in 2020 can spearhead various changes in the custom home industry

In a recent post, we discussed the reasons why the custom home building was the way to go during a period of change. 2020 has led people to seek their residential dreams and see the home they live in as an investment towards the future where everything else seems uncertain. 

As a predominantly Southwestern home builder, we have seen people in the region invest in their homes as a way to secure something that will provide them with comfort and the amenities they need for today’s lifestyle. As a builder in the Las Cruces area, Villa Custom Homes knows that many interested homeowners are searching for more space, land, and a home that will stand the test of time. 

A Southwestern Style Home for the New Decade 

The Southwestern style has a lot to offer people looking for a simple kind of life or a more extravagant custom build. Villa Custom Homes builds homes of all sizes. We’ve built homes ranging from 900 square feet to homes that include a home gym, saunas, steam rooms, offices, and home theaters as well as fabulous casitas! We build rammed earth homes that not only display the earthy and rustic look that people love, but it provides the energy efficiency and solid feel of longevity needed in an uncertain world

Mix the traditional with the modern in a home that is built with characteristic Pueblo Revival and Southwestern-style home features—like natural materials, vigas, latillas, wood, brick, or flagstone floors, natural colors, round-edged walls, and Cantera stone—and modern amenities like efficient HVAC systems, smart lighting, open layouts, and more. 

Ready for the Home of a Lifetime? Live with Style & Comfort in a Custom Built Home

Life is short. It seems that the real estate market reflects that people have learned that and are hoping to fulfill their residential dreams. Here at Villa Custom Homes, we build the home that is right for you. Connect with us today and see why we stand out from other home builders.

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A Time to Build: On Building Your Dream Home During a Pandemic

Posted by on Oct 27, 2020 in Home Builder, Las Cruces | 0 comments

It might not sound like a good idea to go for one of the biggest investments of your life during a pandemic year, but 2020 has shown us that life is short and precious, so why not have the home you’ve always dreamed of and embark on a journey unlike any other? 

Here’s the thing, all this craziness will eventually pass and the stability in the economy and markets will return. It always does. This country has seen depression, war, political upheavals, major recessions, and it has always bounced back. In the meantime, low-interest rates mean a great deal on a long-term investment. A low-interest rate has deceptively HUGE impacts on your monthly payment. There are several reasons why now is the best time to buy your custom home. 

But first…

There is a high demand for homes, however, and this means we’re in a seller’s market. It often means a ready buyer is eager to throw money at a home that might not be the right one. Lured in by the low-interest rates, people are jumping on any opportunity they can. A seller’s market is not always the best time for a homebuyer to put down their money on an existing home; there is likely to be bidding wars, high closing costs, rushing real estate agents, and buyers that end up settling for less home for their buck. 

So why go for a custom build? 

Seller’s markets can be deceptive. 

Simply put, the seller has the upper hand. The supply of homes is low and shrinking, meaning sellers get to cash in on hungry buyers. Sometimes sellers skimp out on needed repairs. Real estate agents report seeing bidding wars and the like as buyers throw their money at any property they see.

The excitement of that low-interest rate might dissipate and you may find yourself a month or two from now in a home that was far from what you had envisioned or needed. Plus, you overpaid for it because you had to win the offer, and/or get stuck with maintenance costs and unprecedented repairs—which always tend to happen about the second month you move in. This is not unheard of in the seller’s market, but one way to take advantage of those low-interest rates is by looking into a custom builder and how they can help you get the exact home you want and need in the location you prefer with quality construction.  

Buying Property in New Mexico — As Told by an Experienced New Mexico Builder

The Land of Enchantment has a lot to offer. As your New Mexico homebuilder of more than twenty years, Villa Custom Homes knows the area of the Southwest like the back of our hand. We have built all across the state. New Mexico is not only a great state due to mild weather, low cost of living, and plenty of available land but it also offers some great benefits to homeowners including: 

Low Property Taxes – People are often surprised to find out that our charming state offers some of the lowest property taxes across the country. The median annual property tax paid by homeowners in New Mexico is $1,272, which is about $800/year less than the average across the nation. 

A Quiet and Beautiful Community – Forbes recently reported how folks are fleeing from larger cities and looking to build in suburbs and smaller towns where people have more space and are less crowded. The pandemic has revitalized the love for small towns, space, and private property. For example, in the Spring of 2020, Manhattan property values dropped 56% in July and rose 44% in nearby suburbs. People are seeking better locations and better communities without the crowded metropolitan areas—especially with so many people given the opportunity to work from home while choosing where they live. A quick look at population density reveals that New York has a population density of about 27,000 people per square mile, while Las Cruces, New Mexico with a total population of about 213,849 has approximately 56 people per square mile. That’s quite the difference and allows for people to build the home of their dreams in the beautiful desert landscape. 

Know Your Materials and the Quality from Start to Finish 

At Villa Custom Homes, we build our homes to last. We never sacrifice quality and durability for a quick build. Our specialty is building with rammed earth and other materials that are made to last in the hotter and drier climates of Southern New Mexico.  At the same time, our home design uses the beloved Pueblo-revival architectural style that so characterizes the beautiful homes in the lovely Southwest. 

A Custom Build is More than a Purchase, It’s an Adventure of a Lifetime 

We overheard a story the other day about a gentleman whose home had what were some kind of AC water lines running through one sidewall and beneath his living room floor. This—if ever a good idea to do at all—needs to be done very carefully because you might find yourself in a nightmare scenario. Sure enough, it happened to him. One of the pipes burst underneath the home and the entire hardwood floor had to be dug out in order to get to the damage. His home was barely SIX years old! 

Issues like this often happen when home builders choose to sacrifice quality and foundation for saving a few bucks or getting the project done faster. With a custom build from a trusted builder, you don’t have to worry about surprises like this because you’ll know how your house is built from the start. You will have materials, plans, and plenty of walkthroughs during the construction process.

The Impacts of Low Mortgage Interest Rates

Compound interest is a good thing if you are earning it, not paying for it. This refers to interest on interest and is sometimes the case for high mortgages with big interest rates. Even small changes in your mortgage interest can have a big impact on your payment and account balance. 

If you finance for about 3.08%—about the current rate—you can save thousands of dollars over the life of your loan and pay less every month. Waiting until next year, even if materials are slightly less expensive then, can mean a simple difference of 1% on the interest, but this means a considerable difference in your monthly payment. This further reiterates the point that there’s no time like the present to have your dream home built!

Why Wait? It’s Time for Your Dream Home to Become a Reality!

So, despite the talk of uncertainty, one thing that is for sure is that the home of your dreams has indisputable value. When built properly and with top-of-the-line architecture and design, your home becomes an investment that will keep on giving for many years to come. Call us today and find out more about Villa Custom Homes and how you can take advantage of low-interest rates and the best quality materials in the Southwest. 

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A Natural Dwelling Place: History of Pueblo Revival Architecture in the Southwest 

Posted by on Aug 10, 2020 in Home Builder, Las Cruces | 0 comments

If you talk to any architecture aficionado—particularly in the Southwest—you are likely to hear about the beloved Pueblo Revival style that is prominent in the area. Many of the homes across the region—in Las Cruces or Albuquerque, all the way out to Arizona, and even some of West Texas—are inspired by elements from this charming style. Architecture nerds (we mean that in the nicest way possible ) might also point out that Pueblo-style architecture is one of the few major styles actually born in America. 

We all know it when we see it. We recognize it as we drive by, but how did this style emerge and what is its history? How come it continues to be a popular inspiration for modern homes? Well, read along to find out more! 

Here at Villa Custom Homes, we are a versatile builder that is known to implement a variety of architectural styles and designs. Because of our geographical location, however, we see a lot of Southwest-inspired homes that utilize the materials and layouts of the Pueblo Revival. 

Who Were the Pueblo People? — A Quick Overview of the American Indian Tribes

As one of the oldest cultures in the nation, the Pueblo Indians occupied what is now the Southwestern United States. They are said to be derived from three major cultures including Mogollon, Hohokam, and Ancient Puebloans, with some of their histories tracing back almost 7,000 years.  The name is Spanish translates to “village.” They were named as such because of their style of dwelling. The ancient Puebloans were hunter-gatherers and nomads who slowly settled into a more stationary life in the regions of modern-day Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona.

As these peoples settled down in what is now known as the Four Corners region, they developed advanced agricultural skills, maximizing the arid landscape to grow maize, corn, squash, and beans. They also raised turkeys and were quite apt at developing complex irrigation systems. They had great basket weaving and pottery making abilities as well. They were great builders of quaint little dwellings that composed the villages in which they lived. They usually built on top of high mesas or in hollowed-out caves and were designed with stone or adobe masonry were the first iterations of the later Pueblo people. 

After the early Puebloan peoples’ way of life declined in the 1300s, their descendants continued to flourish in the area. They hunted, farmed, and built the apartment-like structures that they were known for. These multi-dwelling complexes typically housed several families, as each one typically lived in one room. These large structures would often have a wide-open space in the center, a type of shared patio that is quite popular for bigger adobe-inspired homes today.

In the 1500s, Europeans—particularly Spanish colonists—began to explore the area. These Spanish explorers first encountered the Zuni tribe of the Pueblos and slowly made their way across the region. There were, of course, feuds and hostilities between the natives and the incoming European settlers. Even after several clashes, the Spanish kept coming, setting up churches, settling, and spreading Christianity. Many Pueblo Indians were converted, though their lifestyle changed little. There were several insurrections and continued tensions all the way up to the 1800s. In 1821, New Mexico gained independence from Spain but the last revolt of the people happened in 1847. It was a bloody revolt and resulted in the deaths of several Americans and several Indians that were said to have taken part in the revolt. 

The Pueblo people today reside mostly in New Mexico and Arizona. Many continue to practice the Catholic religion spread by the early Spaniards, as well as their ancient religious rites and customs. 

Common Features of the Beloved Pueblo Revival Style

The Pueblo people were known for building their beautiful multi-story, often-conjoined complexes where entire communities would settle. In the early 20th century, the Pueblo Revival style became quite prominent in the Southwestern United States. Some of the quintessential features include vigas, wooden structural features and beams, latillas, rounded corners, and smooth stucco surfaces or rammed earth materials.  

The early dwelling had to be built to withstand hot and dry climates. As such, the natives always used local materials including dried-clay mixtures. Adobe walls also tend to be quite thick, in order to maintain temperature control. Smaller windows were usually seen to keep out excessive sunlight. Today’s modern pueblo-revival homes, of course, have a fusion of modernity and traditional pueblo features that makes the homes apt for the modern family. 

Today’s Pueblo Revival is known as a fusion of Pueblo-style dwelling with some Spanish influence. As the Spanish settled in the area, they brought some of their architectural styles with them. The style is typically defined with some of the following features:

  • Flat roofs
  • Earth-tone stucco-covered exterior
  • Natural materials like adobe or rammed earth
  • Stepped massing
  • Irregular finishes 
  • Wood/Clay details
  • Simple or smaller windows
  • Narrow covered porches 
  • Rounded corners and edges

Adapt Your Pueblo Revival Home to the 21st Century With a Custom Home Builder

Whether you are looking to build a full-fledged Pueblo-style home or simply want to implement some Southwestern flair, Villa Custom Homes is here to design your beautiful home. Have questions? Call us today. 

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For Love of Building: The Custom Home Building Process

Posted by on Jun 5, 2020 in Home Builder, Las Cruces | 0 comments

Famous architects and builders might have some name recognition but it’s not nearly at the level of famous artists or musicians. Somehow, these visionary minds are not always household names. There’s a few, perhaps, that have reached that level. And yet, the work of many of these architects affects our lives in a much more real way than, say, Picasso. That’s because, over time, the ideas and visions of architects have been adopted into common design or modified and molded to inhabit the very living spaces that provide us shelter every day. Here at Villa Custom Homes, we are inspired by the building process and the way that visions come to life. It’s why we love doing what we do. 

When it comes to Southwest style homes, the design features are relatively well-known and common across the board. You have your pueblo-style features, vigas, wood features, wood floors, concrete floors. From rammed earth construction to Venetian plaster to faux finish, Vigas, and Latillas. Most people would recognize a Southwest style home as such if they drove by it. 

And with the many homes we work on every year, we find that the process itself is fulfilling and a great part of our job. As the old saying goes, it is the journey, not the destination.

It All Begins With a Conversation

Custom home building is a journey for both the builder and soon-to-be homeowner of a brand-spanking-new home. And it all begins with a conversation. Because just like so many brilliant ideas in human history—like penicillin, corn flakes, and the slinky (all accidental inventions)—the beauty and brilliance of your home begin as a kernel of an idea. So we discuss both the technical stuff and the fun stuff. That is, we go over design themes, major features you’re looking for, style, material, as well as budget, timeframe, and price. Another plus is Villa Custom Homes is a cost-plus and fixed fee builder. 

Then, the fun begins. This is when we get to create, build, and bring what was once a possibility, a maybe, a “one day” dream, into the real world. 

Phase 1: Preparation, Construction Site, and Foundation

Depending on the materials you have chosen for your home and whether you are building rammed earth home or not, we need to make sure that the land is ready to be built on. This also depends on the condition of your lot. Using a skid steer, loader, or heavier equipment, the ground crew will clear the site of rocks, debris, and trees. The crew will also clear everything for the septic system if need be. The site is then leveled and wooden forms are also put up for the foundation. The first phase is all about getting started on the right foot and setting the right path to follow. So we have the floor systems, walls, and roof systems set up. Then, plumbing infrastructure and the concrete is poured and cured. 

Some of this may not apply if your home is rammed earth, as this type of construction is a little different. There is still the use of some wooden form, but once the soil is poured and packed, that can be removed. What you are left with is an incredible and form-lasing structure that will stand the test of time, weather, and more. After all, the Great Wall of China was built using rammed earth, so your house will be incredibly sturdy. 

Phase 2: Complete Plumbing, Electrical HVAC

Once the shell or skeleton of the house is up, then it’s time for the second layer of fun stuff that is your pipes, electrical work, and the heating and cooling system. This phase includes the pipes and wires, sewer lines and vents, water supply lines, ductwork, HVAC vent pipes, and more. 

Phase 3: Siding and Roofing

At this point, it begins to really take shape but still seems pretty unrecognizable to the final plans. 

Phase 4: Installing Insulation

Again, this depends on what kind of material your home is, but you will more than likely be getting some insulation. We might use fiberglass, cellulose 0r foam. Insulation, of course, will play a major part in creating a comfortable and consistent indoor climate. Also, it will save you money on energy.

Phase 5: Complete Drywall

Any needed drywall is hung and taped and the texturing is completed. You’ll have the primer coat of paint also applied here.

Phase 6: Interior Fixtures

Now we’re getting to the fun stuff, as the final product is almost done. You’ll have interior doors, window sills, door casings, and decorative trim installed along with your choice of cabinets, vanities, and fireplace. Then, you’ll have any hard surface flooring, countertops, and more. 

Phase 7: Final Details

This includes mirrors, shower doors, flooring, and any outside landscape. We’re almost getting to the end here. 

Walk Through Your Vision Brought to Life

The final walkthrough is always an exciting time for most homeowners. This is when you get to see the final product in its final stage almost ready to be lived in. 

Get the Right Build With Villa Custom Homes

From the ground up, we love to watch as our houses grow from an idea and a conversation to reality. Villa Custom Homes are focused on quality and longevity. Our rammed earth homes or wood frame homes are one of a kind and built using a precision process. Every detail matters. Ready to see your home come to life? Give us a call today. 

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