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The 2021 Home Renovation Trends: Maximizing Space while Juggling Supply Shortages 

Posted by on Oct 14, 2021 in Home Remodel, Las Cruces | 0 comments

A beautifully redesigned living room

Many Americans last year found themselves in their living rooms or kitchens and thought to themselves: I could use this space for something. Perhaps I can add a bar here or a kid’s playroom there, or maybe an extra room for an office right over there. 

It was a need that led many homeowners in the last year and a half or so to suddenly envision a better use of their space, as many were relegated to their homes and forced to find ways to entertain themselves and the kids within their square footage. And that’s what many did, which led to very high demand in home renovation projects, bathroom upgrades, kitchen remodels, home additions, and much more. 

So, what’s the forecast for the end of 2021 and beyond? Anybody in the home repair or home construction business today will likely have a story to tell about supply shortages or difficulty finding the right materials and the right workers. 

What does all of this mean for your potential home renovation? Let’s look at some of what’s going on. 

The Most Popular Home Renovations of 2021 and Beyond

According to The Economist, before the pandemic, Americans worked from home about 5% of the time, but by mid-year 2020 that figure had risen to 60%. This change alone had a major impact on the way that people spent their time at home and how people rearranged their spaces.

Every inch of space in their homes was suddenly brimming with potential.

The Home Office or Work Room

This might be a dead giveaway. The home office is one of the most sought-after home renovation projects in recent years, but it does not look the same in every home. People have different ideas of what a home office is or should be. Some people are cornering off part of an existing space, maybe adding half a wall or an enclosure, others are building an entirely separate room, and some are creating their office in the basement or attic. 

Outdoor Entertainment Centers

When it comes to hanging out at home, one way to maximize space is by improving and enhancing the outside space of your home. One way to do this is by building patios, expanding porches, building pergolas, adding fire pits, or outdoor hangout spots. In the Southwestern United States, where winters are relatively mild, outdoor spaces have become one of the most requested home renovation projects. 

Kitchen and Bathroom Upgrades

These will likely never go out of style because people are always rethinking bathroom and kitchen designs. Today’s kitchens want to be functional, clean, with plenty of counter space and cabinet space to reduce clutter. 

Mini Bars and Built-In Breakfast Nooks

Some more niche options include home additions like mini-bars and breakfast nooks that create small private spaces for entertainment or an intimate dinner or breakfast. These are cozy little spaces added or dug out of a corner previously unused and made into a functional space that serves multiple purposes. 

Closed Floor Plans

Since the late 20th century, open floor plans have really been the standard for contemporary homes. Shared spaces and open spaces were all the rage, but some say that the trend is tipping the other way in some new homes. 

Some people are rethinking this idea of open space and opting for more enclosed spaces that offer privacy and the distinct boundaries between home and workspaces. This often means adding division walls, enclosing previously opened spaces, and even building additional rooms on the side of the home. 

The Supply Chain Conundrum & Finding the Right Labor 

Now that you have an idea of your desired home renovation, it’s time to find a trusted contractor or builder that can make it happen. Here’s what you need to know about embarking on a major home renovation project in 2021. 

Homebuilders, contractors, and DIY enthusiasts alike have felt the reality of the supply shortages across the board. Materials such as lumber, copper, steel, and some appliances have seen high demand and low supply. 

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index, a side-by-side comparison of supply shortages in 2020 and 2021 shows the numbers increase significantly in the latter. In 2020, for example, contractors facing or affected by material shortages rose from 37% to 71% in 2021. Contractors who saw impacts to their businesses by material cost fluctuations went from 65% to 82% in 2021. 

The High Demand for Home Building 

As many experts have noted, much of the shortages came from an unprecedented and rather unexpected demand for home building and homes during the year 2020 coupled with many manufacturing plants laying off workers or shutting down due to the pandemic. 

When people have no option but to stay home, they want to make that home even better or they want a new one. This saw demand go through the roof and the production of some of these raw materials such as lumber, for example, doesn’t happen overnight. 

Supplies Are Not the Only Thing in High Demand

The current climate has also seen a lot of shortages in skilled workers and contractors needed for home renovations, home building, or home repairs. 

This is why finding a contractor and builder that you trust is even more important. You want to find someone that is transparent about material costs and has established roots in the community to ensure they have the right workers and laborers for the job. 

Trust the Experts at Villa Custom Homes with Your Home Renovation Project

Having worked in the Las Cruces area for more than thirty years, Villa Custom Homes has established a trusted pool of contractors and experts in its field. From carpenters to landscapers to construction experts. In addition, our rammed earth homes use as their central component a material that does not need to be brought across oceans. 

Interested in a home renovation project? Call Villa Custom Homes today and learn more about what we do and why we are the leading home builder in the area. 

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The Roots of Earth Construction: Why Adobe and Rammed Earth Architecture is Seeing a Resurgence 

Posted by on Aug 16, 2021 in Las Cruces NM, Rammed Earth | 0 comments

The Southwestern United States is unlike any other part of the country. It has unique characteristics that create the well-known southwestern flavor. Aside from its desert landscapes, breath-taking sunsets, succulent cactus, and plant life, the Southwest also offers a flourishing earth construction movement inspired by the traditions of the Pueblo Indians, Spanish settlers, and others. So what is earth construction and how does it implement various building and architectural traditions?

Here, at Villa Custom Homes, we have written a lot about what we do and what sets us apart from other home builders in the area. Not only do we specialize in earth construction with rammed earth homes but we implement both traditional, modern, and smart home technologies to create living quarters that are sustainable while never compromising style and beauty. 

Let’s take a deep dive into the idea of earth construction and how it has changed over the last few decades. 

Using the Earth’s Natural Materials to Build Homes

Human dwellings have seen considerable advancements since the days of our ancestors and their hunting and gathering way of life. When humans were killing buffalo with spears and wearing loincloths, building shelters was not practical as people had to follow herds and animals. As civilizations advanced, shelters became of utmost concern. The Romans, for example, were one of the first advanced civilizations to use rammed earth techniques. The style traveled to France and Spain. So when Spanish settlers came to the modern-day southwestern United States, they brought these ideas, although earth construction was already a tradition here. 

Pueblo Indians used the soil and dry clay mixtures as building materials as well.  The Spanish settlers, however, brought Moorish influences that further changed how the architecture of the area would be developed. 

The Alhambra castle in Granada, Spain, for example, was built in the 10th century by the Moors and described by poets as “a pearl set in emeralds.” The castle/fortress complex still stands today. 

Using Adobe Bricks to Characterize the Southwestern Style 

The use of adobe bricks would become a significant advancement in the construction of the Southwest United States. In the 1930s and 40s, adobe bricks were used in the construction of southwestern buildings, but this method of construction slowed down right before World War II.

Common load-bearing masonry used in this country includes adobe and rammed earth. As concern over sustainable building and resources rises, materials like adobe and rammed earth are being further analyzed as worthy materials to consider for the building of homes and smaller structures. The building of these homes uses far less if any fossil fuels and no industrial processing. 

What is Rammed Earth Construction? 

What happens when you compress and dry a natural sandy mixture? You get an incredibly formidable material known as rammed earth! Think of rammed earth as a permanent, re-constituted rock that is often reinforced with beams, concrete, or other materials. Rammed earth, unlike a lot of adobe construction, is resilient even in rainy parts of the world, as it could withstand both dry and humid environments.

Characteristics of Rammed Earth Structures and Walls 

This building material has several unique characteristics that set it apart:

  • This type of building is inherently environmentally suited. The walls are resistant against outside temperature and will resist the heat during the day and the cold at night. They have what is known as a 12-hour temperature cycle or the flywheel effect, which takes in heat in the day and releasing it at night when it gets cooler.
  • Rammed earth walls are thick and might vary from 18 inches to 24 inches
  • The thick walls of rammed earth homes add to the coziness and warmth of the structure 
  • The walls of rammed earth have a great thermal mass
  • Walls are extremely fire resistant since there are no flammable components
  • The walls of rammed earth homes do not invite rodents, bugs, termites, or any unwanted critters

Rammed Earth in the Modern World and the 21st Century 

Rammed earth homes continue to be relatively rare, although they’ve garnered more and more attention as people seek alternative materials. So, despite the fact that using clay, soil, and dirt as building materials has been used for thousands of years, there is nothing old-fashioned about it. The versatility available with using this material is seen in more and more nuanced architectural forms. 

The Southwest is ahead of the rest of the country in implementing these building techniques in modern ways, without compromising luxury, beauty, or style. 

Bringing the Truth About Earth Construction Home

Earth construction is inherently more robust and sustainable than other materials. Earth construction proved time and time again in history that it could withstand the demands of harsh conditions, but it has to be done correctly. 

At Villa Custom Homes, we are the leading experts in rammed earth and adobe building in the Southwest. View some of the homes that we have built across New Mexico. 

Want to find out more? Call us today and learn how getting a custom-built rammed earth home can be the decision that changes your life!

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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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