What Are Low-E Windows? Are They Worth Having?

What Are Low Emissivity Windows?

Low Emissivity windows (commonly referred to as ‘Low-E’ windows) are windowpanes that are covered in microscopic layers of metallic oxides. This coating is invisible to the naked eye. By design, the coating protects your home from unwanted UV rays while allowing natural light to pass through it. The reflection of UV rays into your home helps prevent the burning of skin and the fading of carpet and furniture.

Low-E windows also help keep your house warmer in the winter (by reflecting certain sun rays back into the home), and cooler in the summer (by reflecting similar rays outside the home). This can dramatically lower the costs for both heating and cooling your home.

The science behind Low-E Windows is fascinating. And, as technology behind the windows advances, they will become more and more common in new home construction.

But are they worth the investment? According to HomeAdvisor.com, “Low-e windows are definitely worth the investment…these glazes can save you some serious money down the road”.

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Image Courtesy of VitroGlazings.com

Despite Materials Price Increase, Oak Creek Delays Price Hike.

Building Materials Price Increase

Price Increase Delayed to Sept 22nd

In response to demand for housing to aid those affected by Hurricane Harvey, Oak Creek Homes has decided to delay price increases on new manufactured homes.

As #HurricaneHarvey approached the Texas coast, many industry leaders feared a price increase from building material suppliers. Sure enough, within hours of the storms passing, Oak Creek Homes was notified of a price hike for lumber, steel, sheet-rock, and other materials used in hour Heavy Homes.

In an effort to keep new homes costs as low as possible, Oak Creek Homes implemented a retail program, delaying the price increase for all new homes to September 15th.

That date has been pushed back ever further, and is now set at September 22nd, 2017. All homes ordered by September 21st will be spared the price increase.

Chuck Carney, President of Retail Operations says, “We (Oak Creek) cannot control the market prices of our building materials. What we can control, to a degree, is our ability to insulate those higher prices from our coastal residents for as long as we possibly can.”

The estimated price increase, when enacted, will add roughly $1.90 per square foot to home prices.

*Some exclusions apply. Contact your local Oak Creek Homes center for more details.*

Oak Creek Homes – Hurricane Harvey Update

Payers for Texas after Hurricane Harvey makes landfall

Oak Creek Homes – Hurricane Harvey Update

Thankfully, we are OK and are working to get back on our feet! Oak Creek Homes is a League City- based company (just south of Houston), and extreme weather is nothing new to us. Hurricane Harvey, however, is truly unprecedented in its strength.

The safety of our employees is a top priority. All are safe and accounted for, though many have been kept away temporarily due to flooding. To any customers in the coastal areas, we are wishing you the best and are happy to help in any way.

Our Texas manufacturing plants are located just south of Dallas and in Fort Worth. They are unharmed by Harvey and are operating at their regular production rate. This leaves us prepared for our usual role in the Government’s storm-recovery programs.

We have already been told by a number of suppliers that prices are about to increase due to storm demand. Whatever window we have at buying materials (and selling homes) at existing prices may close quickly. This is an unfortunate reality after any major storm.

Business in non-storm affected areas is normal. Our operations in the rest of Texas as well as Oklahoma are selling and delivering homes as usual. We are day-to-day in coastal Texas and South Louisiana.

Oak Creek Homes appreciates your business and patience! We will keep you posted on our progress and wish you all the best. From our 47 years in business, we know that you can’t keep Texas (or Texans) down!

[Original Image Credit: kut.org]

Add $5,000 in Home Value by Painting Your Bathroom This Color…

Decathlon (Model 6378) by Oak Creek Homes

Add Heavy Value To Your Home by Painting Your Bathroom Blue

Years ago, we were told by industry experts that neutral color paint was the way to go when marketing your home. The idea was that using beige and white colors would appeal to the mass of potential buyers. But recent data points to painting your home using bold colors to maximize your home’s value.

Namely, it’s the bathrooms where bolder colors produce the most value. According to Zillow.com, homes with bathrooms painted in light shades of blue, such as sky blue and powder blue, sold for more money…an average of $5,440 more. Interestingly, Zillow found homes with white/neutral bathrooms sold for over $4,000 less.

Other blue-clad rooms get a good response from buyers, too. According to an article in Money, buyers pay, on average, $1,856 more for homes with blue colored bedrooms. Further, homes with dining/family rooms in shades of slate and navy blue sold for about $2,000 more.

The best part is, painting is cheap and easy. You can call in pros, or do it yourself. Either way, you’ll likely realize more money at the closing table with a bold, yet cost effective, color choice!

Check Out the Oak Creek Homes Design Center for new ideas!

Lumber Cost On The Rise.

High Lumber Costs are about to Get Higher

If you’ve got your heart set on a new home, prepare to pay more (an average of $1,236 more according to an estimate from the National Association of Home Builders). The soaring lumber cost and widespread labor shortages are impacting the residential construction market. Lumber prices, already at record-high levels, are on their way up.

Steadily Rising Costs

Random Lengths is a subscriber-based, independent organization that provides weekly reports on wood products pricing. According to the April 28 report, the cost of oriented strand board (OSB) lumber reached 4-year highs. OSB is used extensively in residential construction. The current FOB mill composite price (the price directly from the mill, without any added freight costs) is $426. This is up $68 from the same period last year.

The report also noted that the April 28, 2017 framing lumber cost (spruce, pine, fir) was up significantly from April 28, 2016. Analysts speculate that lumber prices jumped 22% during the first quarter of 2017 based on just the anticipation of a tariff on imported lumber. Now that the tariff is a reality, prices will continue to soar for the foreseeable future.

Trump Administration Cracks Down on Canadian Imports

Lumber imported into the United States from Canada accounts for about 30% of the softwood lumber used to build U.S. houses. On April 24, 2017, the Trump administration announced new tariffs averaging 20% on those imports. This new tariff will be collected retroactively 90 days prior to April 24th. These taxes will surely increase lumber costs and, consequently, housing costs.

Analysts, builders, and lumber suppliers on both sides of the border are coming to terms with this new reality. It’s too early to accurately predict how the tax will affect long term lumber prices. One thing is certain, though. Lumber prices for the foreseeable future will increase. As they do, builders will have little choice but to pass those increases on to consumers.

Now What?

The recent tariff increase should be a reality check for potential home-buyers who have been on the fence, hoping that prices of new inventory will decline. On the contrary, the reality is that lumber costs will likely increase in the near term. How much prices will increase and how long they’ll remain elevated should become clearer in the coming months. For now, though, the sooner home buyers lock in a price, the better.

Top 5 Manufactured Home Myths

Top 5 Manufacturing Home Myths

Manufactured Home Myths BUSTED!

“Home sweet home” comes in all sizes, locations, and budgets: urban brownstones, modern high-rise apartments, suburban ranch homes, rustic farmhouses, manufactured homes … That’s right. A manufactured home is the perfect option for many. If that surprises you, you may be buying into the following common (false) manufactured home myths. So, let’s set the record straight!

Myth 1: Manufactured homes are unsafe.

Modern day (post-1994) manufactured homes must meet the same U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) safety standards as site built homes. That means manufactured homes meet the same construction quality, strength, and fire / wind-resistant requirements as site-built homes. In fact, manufactured homes must meet higher building-code standards than site-built homes.

Myth 2: The value of a manufactured home won’t appreciate.

As a blanket statement, that’s false. Like site-built homes, a rise or drop in value occurs on a home by home basis. Manufactured homes can drop in value, just like site built homes…but manufactured homes can also gain equity and increase in value! This is primarily true if:

  • The home’s owner also owns the land on which the home sits.
  • The house is well maintained.
  • The structure is attached to a foundation.
  • The home has been updated with additions or attached garages.

Also, location is important. Potential for a rise in home value increases with desirable land location.

Myth 3: Manufactured home communities are tacky.

It is true that you’ll find rundown “trailer parks” throughout the United States. You’ll also find rundown site-built-home subdivisions. But just as you’ll find exclusive gated communities with upscale homes, you’ll find luxurious manufactured home communities with resort-style pools, million-dollar views, and famous residents.

Myth 4: Manufactured homes all look the same.

Granite, hardwoods, gourmet kitchens with islands, fireplaces, soaking tubs, custom window treatments, spacious porches, media rooms, walk-in closets, skylights, master suites … manufactured homes have these amenities, and many more.

Myth 5: It’s tough to find financing for a manufactured home.

It’s no tougher to secure financing for a manufactured home than for a traditional home. When you finance a manufactured home as real property, VA, FHA, USDA and conventional financing is available with terms up to 30 years.

So, consider the benefits of manufactured homes. For significantly less money than you’d spend on a site-built home, you can purchase a manufactured home that has all of the amenities on your wish list. You just might get the home sweet home of your dreams.

Why Are Credit Unions Offering Loans for Manufactured Homes?

Why would credit unions be interested in offering loans for manufactured homes? The answer makes sense when you think about it.

When in the market for a new home, many people are looking to manufactured homes. They are attractive and low-cost. Lending for these factory-built dwellings is different in some ways than a traditional mortgage. According to CFED, “financing manufactured home purchases and refinances can be a viable and effective community development activity for credit unions”. Thus, more and more credit unions have stepped up to answer the call, offering lending for manufactured houses.

Credit Unions prefer helping members over making profit.

Credit Unions have a fundamental approach to building wealth by building their local community. Banks lend money near and far for the sole purpose of turning a profit on each transaction. Credit unions, however, believe that their growth depends largely on the growth of their local community. What is good for the neighborhood is good for the credit union. Thus, if manufactured houses are in demand in an area, local credit unions want to offer loan products to meet those needs.

Manufactured Home Loans meets demand for smaller home loans.

Ever since the financial crisis in 2008, consumers are demanding access to smaller, more affordable home loans. According to an article published by Wired, housing experts confess that “a family that makes $100,000 can’t afford to buy a house” in many cities. The new ‘Duty to Serve’ rule from the FHFA has allowed for more affordable originations of smaller loans. This fits perfectly for manufactured homes. Consumer demand for affordable home loan solutions now has an answer.

Manufactured Home Loans Diversify the Credit Union’s portfolio.

Although Credit Unions are not-for-profit, they also cannot operate at a loss. This means investment diversity matters to them, too. A diverse lending portfolio is the best strategy to mitigating risk and raising profits for credit unions. Manufactured home lending provides a nice alternative loan product to traditional mortgages.

 

Original Source: Triad Financial Services

The Magnificent Seven – The home that’s 7 floorplans in one!

When you’ve built homes as long as Oak Creek (45 years!), you hear a lot of common reasons for customers not falling in love with a particular model.  Often, the heart of the home is great, but the rest is just not quite right.  By the heart of the home, I’m talking about the kitchen, living room and master suite.

With the new Magnificent Seven model of Oak Creek Homes, this problem becomes a thing of the past!  You see, all seven floorplans that constitute the Magnificent Seven have the same core of kitchen, living room and master suite…literally identical.  What’s different with each is the size and additional bedroom and living room configurations.

Need a fourth bedroom?  No problem.  Need a second living area?  Gotcha covered.  You want a 3rd bath?  It ain’t nuthin’ but a thing.  And with Oak Creek’s amazing 3D touring software, you’ll feel like you’re inside of any of the seven configurations while viewing the one at your local dealership.  Call or email today and set an appointment to see the amazing new Magnificent Seven at Oak Creek Homes!

THE BUYING EXPERIENCE IS BETTER AT OAK CREEK

Sometimes when our housing consultants greet new customers, their apprehension and fear are apparent.  They are weary of interacting because they just had a terrible experience at one of our competitors.  Sadly, we are often told of hour-long inquisitions and full credit reviews before a person is even allowed to see a home.  Then, after finally reviewing the homes, a parade of salespeople and managers take turns trying to extract money from the customer, often for a home they don’t really like.  At Oak Creek, we take a very different approach…we take time to LISTEN.  We want to know what your needs are, and then we save you time by only showing you the homes that fit these needs.  Our experience is a true consultation because we work for YOU.  Tell us what your specific needs are and, if we have it, we will tell you everything you want to know.   If we don’t, we’ll shake hands and part friends.  Come try a professional approach to business at Oak Creek Homes.

WOW…I didn’t know that

If you’ve studied our website or researched online, you probably know that Oak Creek prides itself on having some of the highest resale values in the industry.  Considering that most people only keep their house for seven years before selling it, this is an important and substantial consideration when choosing the right home.  Obviously, the extra money you pocket when selling your home should be factored into the home-buying equation at the BEGINNING of the selection process, otherwise you may be comparing apples to oranges.  That being said, one must ask WHY Oak Creek is considered a better investment by most third party appraisal services and the banks who rely on them.  The answer is simple:  quality.  Oak Creek has a reputation for building the strongest, longest-lasting homes in the nation; a reputation that has taken 45 years to build.  Over time, banks and finance companies experience fewer problems with Oak Creek homes and that has led to happier customers who become more likely to pay off their loan.  The moral of this story?  Don’t let a small price difference stand in the way of a happier living experience; you’ll get it back when you decide to sell it and buy a larger, newer Oak Creek!