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Belmonte Builders featured in Capital Region Homes on Demand

 

Belmonte Builders is proud to be a part of the Capital Region Homes on Demand. A 30-minute program featuring 12 of the Capital Region’s top builders and remodelers, Homes on Demand gives viewers an insider’s look at who the builders are and why they love residential building as well as offering insight about new construction and remodeling. The show premiered on Saturday, September 26th in primetime on WNYT and we are excited to make it available to you here:

Top Reasons People Are Moving

Today, Americans are moving for a variety of different reasons. The current health crisis has truly re-shaped our lifestyles and our needs. Spending extra time where we currently live is enabling many families to re-evaluate what homeownership means and what they find most important in a home.

According to Zillow:

“In 2020, homes went from the place people returned to after work, school, hitting the gym or vacationing, to the place where families do all of the above. For those who now spend the majority of their hours at home, there’s a growing wish list of what they’d change about their homes, if possible.” 

With a new perspective on homeownership, here are some of the top reasons people are reconsidering where they live and making moves this year.

1. Working from Home

Remote work is becoming the new norm in 2020, and it’s continuing on longer than most initially expected. Many in the workforce today are discovering they don’t need to live close to the office anymore, and they can get more for their money if they move a little further outside the city limits. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) notes:

“With the sizable shift in remote work, current homeowners are looking for larger homes and this will lead to a secondary level of demand even into 2021.”

If you’ve tried to convert your guest room or your dining room into a home office with minimal success, it may be time to find a larger home. The reality is, your current house may not be optimally designed for this kind of space, making remote work and continued productivity very challenging.

2. Virtual Schooling

With school about to restart this fall, many districts are beginning the new academic year online. Education Week is tracking the reopening plans of schools across the country, and as of August 21, 21 of the 25 largest school districts are choosing remote learning as their back-to-school instructional model, affecting over 4.5 million students.

With a need for a dedicated learning space, it may be time to find a larger home to provide your children with the same kind of quiet room to focus on their schoolwork, just like you likely need for your office work.

3. A Home Gym

Staying healthy and active is a top priority for many Americans. With various levels of concern around the safety of returning to health clubs across the country, dreams of space for a home gym are growing stronger. The Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleans explains:

“For many in quarantine, a significant decrease in activity is more than a vanity issue – it’s a mental health issue.”

Having room to maintain a healthy lifestyle at home – mentally and physically – may prompt you to consider a new place to live that includes space for at-home workouts.

4. Outdoor Space

Especially for those living in an apartment or a small townhouse, this is a new priority for many as well. Zillow also notes the benefits of being able to use yard space throughout the year:

“People want more space in their next home, and one way to get it is by turning part of the backyard into a functional room, ‘an outdoor space for play as well as entertaining or cooking.’”

You may, however, not have the extra square footage today to have these designated areas – indoor or out.

Moving May Be Your Best Option

If you’re clamoring for extra space to accommodate your family’s changing needs, making a move may be your best bet, especially while you can take advantage of today’s low mortgage rates. Low rates are making homes more affordable than they have been in years. According to Black Knight:

“Buying power for those shopping for a home is up 10% year over year, with home buyers able to afford nearly $32,000 more home than they could have 1 year ago while keeping their monthly payment the same.”

It’s a great time to get more home for your money, just when you need the extra space.

Bottom Line

People are moving for a variety of different reasons today, and many families’ needs have changed throughout the year. If you’ve been trying to decide if now is the time to buy a new home, we’re here to help you build the home that fits your individual needs.

How Is Remote Work Changing Homebuyer Needs?

Working from Home

With more companies figuring out how to efficiently and effectively enable their employees to work remotely (and for longer than most of us initially expected), homeowners throughout the country are re-evaluating their needs. Do I still need to live close to my company’s office building? Do I need a larger home with more office space? Would making a move to the suburbs make more sense for my family? All of these questions are on the table for many Americans as we ride the wave of the current health crisis and consider evolving homeownership needs.

According to George RatiuSenior Economist for realtor.com:

“The ability to work remotely is expanding home shoppers’ geographic options and driving their motivation to buy, even if it means a longer commute, at least in the short term…Although it’s too early to tell what long-term impact the COVID-era of remote work will have on housing, it’s clear that the pandemic is shaping how people live and work under the same roof.” 

Working remotely is definitely changing how Americans spend their time at home, and also how they use their available square footage. Homeowners aren’t just looking for a room for a home office, either. The desire to have a home gym, an updated kitchen, and more space in general – indoor and outdoor – are all key factors motivating some buyers to change their home search parameters.

A recent realtor.com-HarrisX survey indicates:

“In a June poll of 2,000 potential home shoppers who indicated plans to make a purchase in the next year, 63% of those currently working from home stated their potential purchase was a result of their ability to work remotely, while nearly 40% [of] that number expected to purchase a home within four to six months and 13% said changes related to pandemic fueled their interest in buying a new home.

Clearly, Americans are thinking differently about homeownership today, and through a new lens. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) notes:

“New single-family home sales jumped in June, as housing demand was supported by low interest rates, a renewed consumer focus on the importance of housing, and rising demand in lower-density markets like suburbs and exurbs.”

Through these challenging times, you may have found your home becoming your office, your children’s classroom, your workout facility, and your family’s safe haven. This has quickly shifted what home truly means to many American families. More than ever, having a place to focus on professional productivity while many competing priorities (and distractions!) are knocking on your door is challenging homeowners to get creative, use space wisely, and ultimately find a place where all of these essential needs can realistically be met. In many cases, a new home is the best option.

In today’s real estate market, making a move while mortgage rates are hovering at historic lows may enable you to purchase more home for your money, just when you and your family need it most.

Bottom Line

If your personal and professional needs have changed and you’re ready to accommodate all of your family’s competing priorities, let’s connect today. Making a move into a larger home may be exactly what you need to set your family up for optimal long-term success.

COVID-19 Update – Model Homes are Open!

Weston Model Home - Front Elevation - Spencer's Landing

An update on Construction:

We have officially re-opened our Model Homes/Sales Centers! We are very excited to meet with customers again (with safety protocols in place) and show off the quality craftsmanship that goes into every Belmonte home.

Your safety and the safety of our staff are of the utmost importance. We will adhere to New York State’s stringent guidelines for residential construction including the following safety protocols for our model homes:

Model Home Visit Protocols:

  • Only one “client” is allowed in the Model Home/Sales Center at a time. “Client” is not limited to one person; it can include family members.
  • Clients must pass the “wellness check” (no symptoms) before entering (sign is posted at door).
  • Face coverings are required. Bring your own or one will be be provided on-site.
  • Social distancing (6′ distance) is required at all times.
  • Appointments are recommended. Walk-ins are welcome but may have a wait if an appointment is scheduled for the same time.

Model Home Cleaning Protocols:

  • In between showings, staff will clean and disinfect any contact surfaces that may have been touched as well as any high-touch surfaces (e.g. handrails, doorknobs, etc.).
  • Belmonte staff will strictly adhere to hygiene, cleaning, and disinfection requirements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Health (DOH) and maintain cleaning logs on-site that document date, time, and scope of cleaning.
  • Belmonte will provide and maintain hand hygiene stations for office staff and clients in each model home, including handwashing with soap, running warm water, and disposable paper towels.

Our Corporate Office and Design Center staff are continuing to work remotely at this time, and are available via phone and email. If you’d like to set-up an appointment to tour one of our award-winning model homes, please contact the community’s sales manager. Our sales centers/model homes will be open by appointment only.  Contact the community sales manager to schedule a time to tour the model home or to set up a virtual tour. Click here for individual community contact information.

We are excited to be back up and running and are looking forward to when we can have all of our offices open to the public!

Belmonte Builders Design Center

Design Center & Office Staff

Although our field is back to work, our main office will remain working from home.  Please utilize the same methods of contact as you have over the past several weeks to reach us.

Warranty Services

Warranty Services

We will continue to offer warranty services as needed, however, for non-emergency interior items please be aware that for your safety and that of our staff, there may be a delay in scheduling repairs until COVID-19 concerns have subsided.

Will the Housing Market Turn Around This Year?

KCM - Housing Market Recovery

Today, many people are asking themselves if they should buy or sell a home in 2020. Some have shifted their plans or put them on hold over the past couple of months, and understandably so. Everyone seems to be wondering if the market is going to change and when the economy will turn around. If you’re trying to figure out what’s going to happen and how to play your cards this year, you’re not alone.

This spring in the 2020 NAR Flash Survey: Economic Pulse, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has been tracking the behavior changes of homebuyers and sellers. In a reaction to their most recent survey, Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, noted the beginnings of a turn in the market:

“After a pause, home sellers are gearing up to list their properties with the reopening of the economy…Plenty of buyers also appear ready to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates and the stability that comes with these locked-in monthly payments into future years.”

What does the survey indicate about sellers?

Sellers are positioning themselves to make moves this year. More than 3 in 4 potential sellers are preparing to sell their homes once stay-at-home orders are lifted and they feel more confident, which means more homes will start to be available for interested buyers.Will the Housing Market Turn Around This Year? | MyKCM

Just this week, Zillow also reported an uptick in listings, which is great news for the health of the market:

“The number of new for-sale listings overall has shown improvement, up 5.9% last week from the previous week. New listings of the most-expensive homes…are now seeing the biggest resurgence, up 8%. The uptick is likely a sign sellers are feeling more confident because of improving buyer demand, as newly pending sales have also jumped up during the same period.”

What does the survey note about buyers?

The recent pandemic has clearly impacted buyer preferences, showing:

  • 5% of the respondents said buyers are shifting their focus from urban to suburban areas.
  • 1 in 8 Realtors report changes in desired home features, with home offices, bigger yards, and more space for their families becoming increasingly important.
  • Only 17% said buyers stopped looking due to concerns about their employment or loss of a job.

As we’ve mentioned before, buyer demand is strong right now, and many are simply waiting for more inventory to become available so they can make a move, especially as the country begins to reopen.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking about putting your house on the market, there’s a good chance an eager buyer is looking for a home just like yours.

New Home Permits on the Rise

NEW HOME PERMITS ON THE RISE

Single-family building permits rise to a 12-year high

If you’ve been following what’s happening in the current housing market, you’ve probably seen how the lack of newly constructed homes has caused a shortage of housing inventory available to buyers. Another reason is that the inventory of existing homes for sale has been shrinking. The national inventory of homes for sale at the end of December was 1.4 million, down 15% from November and a drop of 8.5% from a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Bill McBride of Calculated Risk further noted,

“Inventory always decreases sharply in December as people take their homes off the market for the holidays. However, based on the data I’ve collected, this was the lowest level for inventory in at least three decades (the previous low was 1.43 million in December 1993).”

There is some good news on the horizon.

The number of building permits issued for single-family homes is the best indicator of how many newly built homes will begin to come to market over the next few months. According to the latest (January 2020) U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development Residential Construction Report, the number of building permits increased nationally 9.2% increase from December 2019 and 18% higher than January 2019. In the Northeast, the % increase in building permits is even higher at close to 36% to last year.

National New Residential Trends_Jan 2020New inventory means more options. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), explained how this is good news for the housing market – especially for those looking to buy:

“Mortgage rates near record lows and a strong jobs market can’t help buyers find a property if there aren’t enough homes to go around. More construction will mean more housing inventory for consumers in the later months of this year…Spring months could still be quite tough for buyers since it takes time to convert housing starts into actual housing completions. As trade-up buyers move into these newly completed homes in the near future, their existing homes will be released onto the market.”

 

Build Your Dream Home in 2020

New Year - New Home -2020

Great New Year's Resolutions to Help You Build a New Home in 2020!

Many New Year’s resolutions fail because they are made “in the moment” and without a realistic plan to see them through. Proper planning and a commitment are key to achieving any significant goal – – no matter what the time of year. And that especially holds true for building a new home! To help you get your ducks in a row, we compiled a few manageable New Year’s resolutions to help you plan for & get the new home you want.

#1: Figure Out What You Want

This may sound obvious but doing your research and compiling a list of your must-haves up front will make the building process quicker & easier. Separate your list so one column lists things you NEED and the other column lists things you WANT to have in your home. Then, prioritize them. With this process already done, you’ll know exactly which features you can drop if the budget becomes an issue.

#2: Figure Out Your Finances

Before you start looking over floorplans with your builder, talk to a lender to find out how much money you can afford to borrow. Review your credit reports to make sure everything is accurate. Gather and organize all of the financial documents you’re going to need when applying for your mortgage.

#3: Get Familiar with the Home Building Process

When you’re having a new home built, it pays to have an understanding of the process. Building a home from the ground up is a lengthy process involving a lot of decisions not just limited to design selections. Talk to your builder and have them explain every stage of the building process, the timing, and your involvement in each, so you know what your role is and what to expect once building begins.

#4: Get Organized

Building a home is a complex process. Being organized will make it much easier for you. Create a folder or binder to keep all of the papers related to your build. Here’s a few examples of things to keep in your folder:

  • Credit report information
  • Monthly home budget
  • All financial statements needed to apply for the mortgage
  • Pre-approval letters from your lender
  • Your wants and needs list
  • Research (builders, realtors, lenders, floorplans, neighborhoods, lots, etc.)
  • All contracts and agreements related to your property or home
  • All future documents related to your home (appraisals, offers, etc.)

5: Understand How Loans Work on New Construction

When you’re building a new home, your mortgage loan may be different from that of someone buying a pre-existing home.  Check with your builder to see how they fund construction.  If you are working with a smaller builder, you may need to start with a construction loan.  If you are working with a larger, more established builder, they may fund the construction and simply require you to pay a non-refundable deposit. Once the home is built, your mortgage will be used to pay off the balance of the construction loans.

#6: Commit to Your Must-Haves

During the design phase, you’ll have a lot of decisions to make. It can be overwhelming, but this is where you “must-haves list” comes into play.  Each choice you make typically comes with a more expensive and least expensive option. Even if it means not getting absolutely everything you want in your home, commit to choosing quality for the must-have items over saving a few bucks. In a new home build, you really do get what you pay for.

7: Choosing Your Builder – Do Your Research

How do you know which builder is the right one for you?  The key is to do your research. Ask people you trust for references. Visit builder websites and read client testimonials. Meet with the builders you are most interested in and ask them for a list of references.  Reach out to those references to find out what their experiences were with the builder and whether or not they would recommend the builder to others in their family. Also compare the builder’s standards and warranty information.

#8: Limit Your Major Projects for the Year

Building a new home is very rewarding, but it can also be stressful time. If possible, don’t take on additional major projects or purchases during the building process. Focus this year on building your dream home. You’ll stay saner and be able to focus on and enjoy the building process.

Looking for a builder in the Capital Region?

Since 1977, Belmonte Builders has been building high quality homes in the Capital Region. A family-owned business, Belmonte takes pride in working closely with each customer throughout the construction process to personalize their home to meet their unique needs and then build it to exceed their expectations.

Santa dropped by 3 Belmonte neighborhoods this weekend!

Belmonte Builders - A Sweet Treat with Santa - December 14, 2019

Belmonte Builders was excited to host our favorite big guy this weekend in Alexandria, Griffin’s Ridge and Sonoma Grove.  He started the day early in Alexandria with lots of holiday cheer and continued to Griffin’s Ridge at 11am, ending the day at Sonoma Grove at 6pm.  Kids and adults alike enjoyed seeing him, getting their picture taken and enjoying a sweet treat!

Santa also appreciated the generosity of all those who dropped by with a donation for the Capital Region Toys for Tots!

Belmonte Builders Recognized with 3 2019 CRBRA Best in Building Awards

Belmonte Builders' 2019 CRBRA Best in Building Awards

Belmonte Builders was honored to receive three (3) awards on Thursday, November 14th at this year’s Capital Region Builders & Remodelers Association’s (CRBRA) Best in Building Awards dinner. We were proud to be recognized for excellence in the following categories: Best New or Updated Design Center , Best New Merchandised Model and Best Use of Social Media.

The CRBRA Best in Building Awards is the Capital Region’s premier award program recognizing creativity, ingenuity and advancement in residential building. Through the Best in Building Awards competition, CRBRA builder, remodeler and industry-related associate members enter their best projects from kitchens and baths to floor plan and home features.

Best New or Updated Design Center

The goal of our new Design Center was simple – to make the selections process easier and more enjoyable for our clients.  And we have!  Building a new home can be exciting for new home owners.   Getting to choose everything from exterior siding to flooring, lighting, paint colors and more for each room of their new home is fun, but it can be overwhelming as well.  We know the selections process is not quick and comes with some stress, that’s why we developed our new Design Center to be inviting and relaxing – a space for our customers to feel at home while making these decisions.

  • Fully functional Kitchenette with a coffee bar and snacks for customers to refuel.
  • Comfy armchairs to take a break from the selections process and a gas burning fireplace for ambience and warmth.

We also created our Design Center to be a one-stop-shop for our customers, providing access to all of our samples in one convenient location.  No more trips to a supplier to view granite or waiting for samples to be delivered. All selections can now be made in-house.  Plus, we increased our selections to give clients more options to get the look they want.

  • Expanded our tile collection to include popular simulated wood planks, beautiful porcelains with a marble look, subway tiles in a range of sizes, and more.
  • Added FIVE new standard granite countertop options with upgrades from quartz with a marble look to unique granite patterns.

Best New Merchandised Model
(Single Family Project)

The Weston Model home was designed to appeal to a family-oriented, 45+ homebuyer.  This homebuyer knows what he/she wants, demands quality and enjoys being close to Saratoga Lake. Our goal was to showcase the home’s open & airy feel and its location with a sophisticated yet rustic, nautical theme.

For the Weston we used a light color palette to highlight the openness of the plan combined with an understated nautical theme using key pieces of furniture and pops of colors to create this warm, casually sophisticated home.

The nautical theme is first introduced as you enter the home with a large, unique, hand painted nautical table.  Above it, three eye-catching large lanterns hang at different heights creating a dramatic effect.

The study invites you in with whimsical furnishings and decor. However, the window treatments steal the show – two eight-foot distressed doors on a barn door track.

In the open living areas, touches like seagrass lounge chairs, distressed dining table and pops of blue accessories continue the theme while creating a welcoming space for entertaining.

In the master suite, the color palette shifts to black, grey and tan hues.  The combination of natural woods like the solid acacia in the headboard with leather furnishings and bold accessories creates this warm, casually sophisticated space.

Upstairs, the loft is designed as space for teens to lounge.  A seven-foot suspended desk finished with rope and nail heads was custom built for the space and adds a nod to our nautical theme.

Weston Model Home - Front Elevation - Spencer's Landing
 
Weston Model Home - Open Entry Foyer - Spencer's Landing
 
Weston Model Home - Entry Foyer - Spencer's Landing
 
Weston Model Home - Open Floor Plan - Spencer's Landing
 
Weston Model Home - Great Room - Spencer's Landing
 
Weston Model Home - Great Room - Spencer's Landing
 
Weston Model Home - Kitchen - Spencer's Landing
 
Weston Model Home - Kitchen - Spencer's Landing
 
Weston Model Home - Master Bedroom - Spencer's Landing
 
Weston Model Home - Master Bath - Spencer's Landing
 
Weston Model Home - Bedroom 2 - Spencer's Landing
 
Weston Model Home - Loft - Spencer's Landing
 
Weston Model Home - Bedroom 3 - Spencer's Landing
 
Weston Model Home - Bedroom 4 - Spencer's Landing
 
Weston Model Home - Patio - Spencer's Landing
 
43 Julians Way
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Hours:
Open Saturday – Monday 12pm – 5pm
or by appointment
(518) 527-4914

Best Use of Social Media

The strategy for this social campaign was to create strong stories/content for our email newsletter and integrate that content across multiple channels to increase our reach, engagement and brand awareness.

With those goals in mind, we developed two feature stories for our March email newsletter.  The headline feature was a news story announcing our newly renovated design center.  The second feature was a spotlight on our newest floor plan, the Concord.  We created short videos to go with each of these stories and then modified the creative to fit the specifications for each social channel.  To ensure the content was fresh and relevant (not old news) on all channels, we scheduled it to run on the strongest days for each channel within a week of the email.   The results were very strong!  With the additional exposure across our social channels, we were able to increase our normal reach by 430% and our engagement by 180%.

2019 Belmonte Builders Inner Circle Luncheon Event

2019 Belmonte Builders Inner Circle Event

CLIFTON PARK, NY – Wednesday, March 13th, Belmonte hosted over 40 of the region’s premier real estate agents at Wheatfield’s Bistro in Clifton Park for the annual Inner Circle of Realtors Luncheon. This event recognizes the newest members to Belmonte Builders’ Inner Circle – realtors who connected their buyers with the perfect Belmonte home and closed in 2018.

During the event, Belmonte Builders Owner, Peter Belmonte, welcomed the new members and thanked all the members for their support.  He also spoke about Belmonte’s plans for the upcoming Parade of Homes and new communities in the works for this year.

Mike Lust, Director of Sales & Marketing, shared information about Belmonte’s current communities,  demonstrated the ease of Belmonte’s new home search functionality and shared how our pricing methodology makes it easier for clients to estimate their home costs.

Lindsey Belmonte, Vice President of Customer Relations, talked about the new Design Center and shared details about our newest community launching this month, Spencer’s Landing.

Each new inductee into the Belmonte Builders Inner Circle was recognized and had the opportunity to win raffles valued up to $1,000.  All members received a custom Belmonte Builders swag bag.

The 2019 Inner Circle of Realtor inductees include: 

  • Katherine King, Equitas Realty
  • Teri Kraszewski, Howard Hanna
  • Pamela Dobry, Howard Hanna
  • Sandra Jacobson, ReMax Capital
  • Meg Minehan, Roohan Realty
  • Richard Gargiulo, Howard Hanna
  • Allison Bradley, Sotheby’s
  • Jill Gautie, Howard Hanna
  • Beth Grzyboski, Keller Williams
  • Matt Maloney, McCurdy RE Group
  • Victoria Romeo, Romeo Team Realty
  • Carrie VanKloberg, Roohan Realty
  • Karen Westman, Berkshire Hathaway
  • Colleen Guarino, Howard Hanna
  • Scott Neverett, TopNet Realty

For more information about Belmonte’s Inner Circle of Realtors and how you can partner with Belmonte to help your clients, please call (518) 371-1000.

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