That’s because construction material costs are accelerating. Bloomberg recently reported that the cost of framing lumber spiked 16 percent between December 2017 and March 2018. Additionally, a National Association of Home Builders survey revealed that other construction materials (including particleboard, plumbing, concrete and insulation) cost 5.1 percent more in March 2018 than they did a year ago, the biggest annual price increase in nearly eight years.
There are numerous factors causing the cost of new construction materials to swell. For example, demand has surged since August 2017 when hundreds of thousands of homes in Puerto Rico, the Florida Keys, Houston, Texas and California were damaged or destroyed by hurricanes and wildfires. There is also inflationary pressure on construction commodities, and the prospect of import tariffs affects the cost of steel and other building materials.
So if you’re in the market to buy and looking for the best bang for your buck, existing homes can offer superior value… and location.
To illustrate, consider my latest listing, a three level, two bed, three bath, 1,645 square foot townhome at Paugus Bay Racquet Club, a 32 unit condominium association located at 833 Weirs Boulevard in Laconia.
This property, which is listed for $172,900, was built in 1974 when labor and materials were more affordable and prime waterfront locations were still available. That works out to $105.11 per square foot (and that doesn’t even include the unit’s five decks which add real functionality to the home).
Let’s compare that cost to three recently-developed Lakes Region condominium communities in Laconia and Meredith. Prices on these properties generally ran from $180 to $310 per square foot, with an average cost of $245 per square foot. That means the newer construction cost about 133 percent more than this unit at Paugus Bay Racquet Club, and that was before many material prices surged to their present levels.
New construction is nice when it is complete (and the dust and drilling, blasting, nail gun, hammering and truck noises finally subside), but it’s hard for new projects to profitably offer the value, location and amenities that an existing community like Paugus Bay Racquet Club boasts.
The open and flowing main level of this home features a large closet/mudroom/pantry space, a half bathroom with washer and dryer, a dine-in kitchen, and a comfortable living room with a covered deck that offers seasonal, filtered views of Paugus Bay.
Go upstairs and you’ll find a full bath and two bedrooms with a generous amount of closet space and private, enclosed decks. The master bedroom on the quiet backside of the building is so large that it easily swallows the two queen-sized beds it is presently furnished with. The bedroom across the hall offers an enclosed deck with peek-a-boo views of Paugus Bay.
Go to the lower level beneath the main floor and you’ll discover a spacious bonus room that could be used as a recreation room, a sweet office suite, or an extra sleeping space. This level also boasts a large closet/storage area, a three quarter bath and a sprawling, covered walkout deck that’s perfect for barbequing and entertaining.
As they say in the late night infomercials, “But wait, there’s more!” Paugus Bay Racquet Club also offers a beautiful kidney-shaped in-ground pool with a large sunbathing area, an adjacent tennis court, and more than three quarters of an acre of common space on the other side of Weirs Boulevard, directly on Paugus Bay.
This peaceful patch of ground hosts more than 150 feet of Lake Winnipesaukee water frontage with stunning views, westerly exposure (meaning longer days with more sun, and exquisite sunsets), a private, sandy beach, kayak/canoe racks, and four long day docks capable of holding up to seven boats.
At $105 per square foot, this condominium at Paugus Bay Racquet club (MLS #4688336) offers an outstanding value in today’s marketplace, a value difficult to for projects being constructed today to compete with, and it features a prime waterfront location that is simply not available like it was four decades ago.
Please contact me if you’d like to schedule a showing of unit C6 at the Paugus Bay Racquet Club, or if you’d like help selling or buying a Lakes Region residential property.