Homearama reflects economic realities
Final preparations for this year's Homearama are underway, as the homebuilding industry fights to stay alive in the recesion. One of this year's Homearama sites reflects the reality of the economy.
A bit of moderation can be seen at the Shakes Run site of Homearama as the houses are a little bit smaller from what we've seen in the past. Construction crews are busy getting ready for this year's event, which begins on Saturday.
Builder Richard Miles has one of the more expensive homes in the Shakes Run Subdivison. But the custom built home has already been sold for $599,000. However, he has survived the hard times the past couple of years by building more affordable homes.
Over the past two years," Miles says, "we shifted our business back to a lot of first-time homebuyers. We have homes starting at $110,000 in Shelbyville, Bullitt County, and parts of Jefferson County.
Chuck Kavanaugh of the Homebuilders Association points out, "Most of these homes are one-floor plans. They happen to have lower floors because they are walkouts, but the ranch style is kind of the future for baby boomers who want to downsize and even for families, especially because they are walkouts."
The industry says the $8,000 tax federal credit for first-time homebuyers has contributed to the start of the recovery in the local homebuilding industry. Miles says, "I feel we hit bottom in December and January, in February we started seeing a lot of activity."
Now that the state has recently approved a $5,000 tax credit for new homes, the industry hopes to see even more activity in the coming months.
If you buy a new house, a single family or a condo, if you buy that now you've got the ability to get $5,000 from kentucky on your tax return."
Those new homes are also equipped with the latest energy-efficient products. Better insulation, higher quality windows, and even low-flow faucets and shower heads are designed to reduce monthly utility bills.
There is a second Homearama site in Oldham County with more expensive homes. You can find out more about this year's Homearama by clicking here.