Survey gives insight into what new-home buyers expect
The housing market may be slower, but there still are some buyers out there, and a recent J.D. Power and Associates Survey shows how their desires are changing.
The survey, which ranked home builders based on a number of design and consumer preference elements, included insight into what new-home buyers expect in their new purchases, notably on the “green” side of the market.
The study found that 28 percent of new home buyers perceive that their home is environmentally friendly, but a vast majority of these home buyers — 75 percent — say that their home builder did not identify the home as “green.”
The top green features that home buyers believe a new home should include are: energy-efficient heating and air conditioning units, energy-saving appliances, energy-saving lighting and temperature-controlling windows.
Overall satisfaction with new-home design has increased to 782 on a 1,000-point scale in 2008, up 36 points from 2007. Compared with 2007, the importance of the floor plan has increased in 2008. In addition, the flexibility and ability of builders to make non-standard design changes — such as relocation of an interior wall — is a particularly important new component in satisfaction with new-home design.
The study also found that 92 percent of home buyers reported receiving sales incentives. Among home buyers who report receiving incentives when purchasing their home, the average sales incentive totaled more than $16,500.
Also, the percentage of home buyers who report that construction on their new home was finished when they signed the sales contract has increased to 39 percent in 2008 from 32 percent in 2007.
Home quality has remained stable since 2007. The rate of customer-reported problems decreased in 2008 to 1,151 problems per 100 homes from 1,345 per 100 homes in 2007.
J.D. Power reported that the proportion of homes delivered both completely finished and on time has increased to 70 percent in 2008 from 58 percent in 2007.
Indiana True Value store marks 50 years
The staff at Goecker Building Supply and True Value in Seymour, Ind., recently celebrated its 50th Anniversary in the hardware business. Family-owned and operated, the business was started in 1958 by Earl Goecker as a contracting company. Goecker’s son-in-law, Max Roeder, joined the business in 1970, adding a small retail selling space before opening a 10,000-square-foot hardware store in 1976.
Last year the store grew by 5,000 square feet to make room for a Just Ask Rental, which is managed by Roeder’s son, Brett. The family owns a second store 15 miles east of Seymour in North Vernon, Ind.
Seymour, Ind., is the birthplace of recording artist John Mellencamp and the subject of his hit song, “Small Town,” Max Roeder said.
“We’re just an independent lumberyard that’s become a fixture here,” he said. “If it weren’t for the loyal customer base, we couldn’t compete against the Home Depots and Lowe’s and 84s that have opened around here.”
Marvin’s makes merchandising promotion
Marvin’s, a 25-unit home center chain based in Alabama, has promoted Craig Cowart to the position of senior vp-merchandising and marketing.
Cowart most recently held the post of vp-merchandising and marketing. He rejoined the company in 1999 as a buyer and has held positions of increasing responsibility including general merchandise manager.
He is responsible for the merchandising, vendor programs, branding and marketing for the company’s home centers in Alabama, Mississippi and Florida.
“Craig is a well respected leader both in our company and in our industry, with over 17 years of retail experience. He has been a key leader in the development and implementation of Marvin’s new strategy and growth,” said Boyden Moore, Marvin’s president and CEO, in a statement.