You Are Building Better Houses
We’ve created a shortsighted market where buyers need to pack as much resale value as possible into their initial costs because that’s all appraisers will tally and all lenders will underwrite.
Just before sitting down to write this note, I overheard Fine Homebuilding editor Justin Fink say to our art directors, “This is the most important story we’ve ever published.” Coming from a guy steeped in how-to, who values the importance of each nail driven, this comment caught my attention. I knew right away that he was talking about our editor at large Kevin Ireton’s article, “Why Don’t We Build Better Houses?”
When we asked Kevin to answer this question, we had some expectations of what he’d find: cost and risk, lack of knowledge and information, the skills gap. Kevin did find all this—but he also found more fundamental problems that come from the way we value homes. We being appraisers, lenders, and, of course, homebuyers.
We’ve created a short sighted market where buyers need to pack as much resale value as possible into their initial costs because that’s all appraisers will tally and all lenders will underwrite. More insulation, more efficient heating and cooling equipment, and solar panels have no value in the market. Sustainability, resiliency, and human health fall by the wayside.
Kevin’s article isn’t all bad news; as you’ll see, the solutions to these complex issues are simpler than they appear. There is other good news in this issue, too: You are building better houses.
To continue reading this editor’s note and view photos, click the View PDF button below.