We are seeing some modest improvement in the housing economy, at least from our perspective. Not necessarily large scale, but that could improve, too. What we are seeing happen are more frequent phone calls and e-mails than in previous months (prior to July and August, 2010), and more actual commissioned projects under contract.
That is a good thing, by anyone’s yardstick. We have heard that the Nation’s economy is improving and from the activity we are beginning to see, that sounds right to us. We tend to be conservative about the implications of certain activity. However, good solid design work on our part for individual couples wanting nice retirement houses and for speculative builders pre-selling our designs on lots bodes well for the housing construction industry. You have to have a design before you can build it and sell it live in it.
So while what we are experiencing are modest projects right now, we have also had inquiries about possible other more ambitious efforts as well. Like what? Well, a 200,000 sf 5-story castle on an island, accessed from a causeway for one. That was an inquiry from overseas. For another, we have been asked about creating a combination mountain-themed nature center with hotel, restaurants, office buildings and other features. Those last two were inquires, mind you, not actual contracts yet, but at least it is a good sign of a healing economy to have investors and speculators proposing such things. That was missing during the last year, and now we are hearing about them more often. That has got to be a sign of an improving economy.
We are enjoying working on smaller “real” projects lately, and we are very glad to have those clients. Some people call us and sheepishly ask if we would consider creating houses of 1,800 square feet (sf), 2,500 sf or 3,000 sf. Our answer is always the same: Sure! Yes! We are happy to help clients, no matter what the size of their desire residence.
We’ll get back to you all later, to check in once in a while and let you know the perspective from a residential architect. Right now, I would say: things are improving. I urge those of you who have the means, to engage your house architect now, get your residence designed, and price it out to your local builders (we can help you do that, too, and do so all over the Country). Now is probably once of the best values you will experience, perhaps for the next 50 years. Take advantage of this golden opportunity.