We stand in the depths of a recession, caused by a housing bust and shady bank dealings that have been the downfall for an alarming number of builders and contractors. Slowly, however, the mood is turning less sullen, consumer confidence is gradually returning, and homeowners and builders alike are starting to look to the future as potential salvation peers over the horizon.
In the chaos and hysteria that followed the bubble-burst last fall, there was a good deal of panic and a lot of shoulda-woulda-coulda talk. Well there’s no preventing what has already happened. We can, however, begin to do something about, as well as make absolutely sure that we learn from past mistakes. The building industry has a proven cyclical nature; a nature that many builders failed to recognize during the lucrative boom that preceded the equally destructive fall.
In order to help builders avoid another crash, or at least find a way to weather the next drop (assuming an impending rise), Builder Online has compiled a list of lessons for builders to take away from the current recession. Designed to illustrate some rare recession successes and prepare for a smarter boom the next time around, the six lessons are summarized below:
- Build Smarter. Think energy efficiency, renewable energy, and smaller, lower maintenance homes. These will be key attributes of the recession-era home for the eco-conscious consumer and a government likewise determined.
- Limit Land Holdings. Some builders were buying up every site in sight during the boom, many of whom have been left holding their hats. On the next go round builders should be thinking twice about purchasing land before its true value is known.
- Find New Cash Streams. Banks have folded their arms and zipped their books shut in the wake of mass failures. Therefore credit is rather hard to come by these days, so some builders have been searching outside the banking arena, even overseas, or signing deals to finish projects acquired by lenders via foreclosures.