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The Suburbanite
  • Area homebuilders look forward to an upswing in 2013

  • Even with the economy in the doldrums, Stark Countians took the leap in 2012, filing 287 building permits for single-family homes. Area builders look forward to a building upswing this year.

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  • Even with the economy in the doldrums, Stark Countians took the leap in 2012 filing 287 building permits for single-family homes. Area builders look forward to a building upswing this year.
    “Housing starts last year compared to 2011 were everything we’d hoped for,” said Joe Race, executive director of the Building Industry Association of Stark County. “And the best part is we’re getting every indication that 2013 will be slightly better than 2012. Slowly but steadily, we’re making good strides. The increases are healthy, not what we’d really love to see, but everyone is optimistic about the future.”
    The lure of a new home is obvious, the opportunity to personalize a primary lure. Appliances, paint colors and floor treatments are among the selections that are made by the buyer. Open layouts, more energy efficient systems and a builder’s warranty are other incentives.
    “The little touches are what people want. The empty nesters who had to make do with little laundry rooms want to upgrade. Things they lived without when they were raising a family, they want now,” said James Rudo of Victory Gate Custom Homes in Canal Fulton.
    As the popularity of splurges like whirlpool tubs wanes, North Canton custom builder Greg Kauth says the focus is shifting to custom showers.
    “And I think more attention is given to kitchens with the new cabinet glazings and accent colors,” Kauth said.
    But The National Association of Home Builders website (www.nahb.org) cites some of the not-so-obvious benefits of buying a new home.
    Young families with children often cluster together in new subdivisions, creating their own new community. Similarly, empty nesters and retirees may downsize their square footage needs while also opting for smaller lots to care for.
    Some who decide to build simply relish the pristine appearance of a new garage or the opportunity to create their own landscape design in fresh topsoil.
    Wiring in homes built 50 or more years ago may be a challenge to upgrade to accommodate today’s needs. Think multiple outlets, Internet wiring, built-in security systems and individualized lighting plans never dreamed of in the 1960s.

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