More and more new home buyers are choosing to relocate to the New Bern community
By Mike Danahey
Two New Bern area home builders say the local market remains strong, and the times are exciting ones for their businesses.
“While demand for new homes continues to outpace supply today, we are seeing a healing supply-chain and less stretched skilled contractors, making for shorter build cycles,” said Jeremy Jackson, owner/president JC Jackson Homes, LLC.
Jackson said this means more homes are being delivered on-time and an overall better experience for clients. Costs and home prices are stabilizing, too, he said.
“We are also seeing larger regional and national builders entering the market, which only confirms the opportunity we see in our vibrant and growing community,” Jackson said.
Jackson said his business was concerned higher interest rates would reduce the number of phone calls received from prospective buyers. So far this year, though, the call volume has been strong.
“The lack of used homes on the market, along with low overall inventory levels, creates opportunity for our homebuilding operations,” Jackson said.
Sharon Scheper, interior designer with Scheper Custom Homes, noted a couple other factors spurring new construction.
With the cost of existing homes increasing, in part due to the limited supply, new construction can be an attractive option for buyers who are unable to find a place within their budget in the existing market, she said.
Scheper added, “Advances in technology have made it easier and more cost-effective to design and build homes, leading to more efficient construction processes and higher quality homes.”
As for trends in new construction, Jackson said younger, growing families may be looking for an extra bedroom and proximity to schools. Other clients may prefer to right-size their home for easier maintenance and upkeep.
“Overall, we are seeing more interest in home offices, home gyms, gourmet kitchens, spa-like baths and outdoor entertaining areas. Less maintenance means more time doing what you want to do,” Jackson said. “We focus on providing modern home layouts with open spaces allowing better connectivity for everyone there.”
Scheper said her family’s business has seen a rise in Craftsman style homes with open floor plans.
“Most clients want energy-efficient building practices, with features like 2x6 walls for more insulation in a home, radiant barrier sheathing for roofs, energy-efficient appliances and smart home technology to reduce energy consumption,” Scheper said. “Many people want zero clearance showers, whole house generators, elevators and handicapped accessibility for their futures.”
Past that, both Jackson and Scheper feel that being builders in New Bern comes with built-in advantages.
“The area offers so much, and people all over recognize it. Our unique 300-year-old history, incredible waterways, connectivity to the ocean and the vast Croatan National Forest provide opportunities to get out and explore,” he said.
Jackson, a Craven County native, also noted downtown New Bern offers great restaurants and entertainment in a cool atmosphere.
“We continue to grow and invest in our workforce. We offer an incredible quality of life. People want to be here. This is great for a growing homebuilder,” he said.
Scheper said New Bern’s strong local economy, with low unemployment rates and a growing job market, attracts new residents and creates demand for new construction, as does affordability compared to other markets. New Bern’s well-maintained roads and the new highway being built add to making the area attractive to potential residents, she said.
“And there’s the quality of life in New Bern, with fantastic schools, parks, hospitals and recreational opportunities for people seeking to retire or raise their children,” Scheper said. “I love my home town of New Bern, which is a growing city. New Bern is a fabulous place to live and work.”