Category: Real Estate & Home Buying

Montgomery, Alabama Ranks No. 1 as Most Affordable for Home Buyers

A view of a city street


As affordability becomes an even tighter squeeze, WalletHub has compared 300 U.S. cities across 10 metrics to find the most affordable places for home buyers. The study ranked Montgomery, Alabama, as the most affordable city for buyers.

The 10 metrics used to evaluate each city were housing affordability (median house price divided by median annual household income), maintenance affordability, average cost of homeowner’s insurance, cost of living, cost per square foot, real estate tax rate, rent-to-price ratio, median home price appreciation, quarterly active listings per capita, and vacancy rate.

The top 10 for overall affordability include:

  1. Montgomery, Alabama
  2. Flint, Michigan
  3. Toledo, Ohio
  4. Detroit
  5. Akron, Ohio
  6. Warren, Michigan
  7. Pittsburgh
  8. Yuma, Arizona
  9. Springfield, Illinois
  10. Palm Bay, Florida

In terms of the housing affordability metric alone, Springfield, Illinois, ranked No. 1, followed by Peoria, Illinois; Montgomery; Detroit; and Flint. The least affordable cities, according to WalletHub, include California’s Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Berkeley, Glendale, and Los Angeles.

Looking at vacancy rates, Miami Beach, Florida, has the highest rate, followed by Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Detroit; Pompano Beach, Florida; and Flint. The lowest vacancy rates are in South Gate, California; Elk Grove, California; Fontana, California; and Arvada, Colorado.



This article was written by Leah Draffen for Builder Online. To view the original article, please visit:

5 Trends in Home Building

builders discussing home building trends and plans

builders discussing home building trends and plans

Are you in the market for a new home in Montgomery, Alabama? Get ready to discover the latest trends in home building! From smart home technology to functional interior design, let’s take a look at the top five trends that are shaping the future of home design. 

1. Sustainability and energy efficiency.

The trends of sustainability and energy efficiency in home building are gaining momentum as new homeowners try to reduce their carbon footprints and live more eco-friendly lifestyles. These home building trends involve using recycled and locally-sourced building materials along with energy-efficient appliances and lighting to create homes that are both functional and environmentally responsible. Plus, sustainable and energy efficient homes are usually accompanied by lower energy bills, reduced maintenance costs, and even tax credits in some cases! 

2. Dedicated home office spaces.

Zippia recently reported that 74% of U.S. companies are currently using or are planning to implement a permanent hybrid work model. Remote work in some capacity is here to stay, so home builders are focusing on incorporating dedicated home office spaces into new home layouts. You can work with a home builder to design a home workspace that boosts your productivity with features like built-in shelving, task lighting, and soundproofing. 

3. Smart home technology.

More and more home builders are hopping on the smart home trend and designing new homes with features like smart thermostats, smart lighting systems, and smart security systems. These smart features allow homeowners to conveniently control their homes from their phones or tablets, no matter where they are. Smart home technology can also help reduce energy costs by automatically adjusting heating and cooling settings based on occupancy patterns and weather conditions. 

4. Functional interior design.

Home builders are prioritizing new home designs that are functional and durable while still maintaining an aesthetically pleasing appearance. One popular home design trend this season is the use of luxury vinyl plank flooring (LVP). This flooring option mimics the look of hardwood or tile and is durable, water resistant, and easy to maintain, making it great for homes with children or pets. In a similar vein, quartz countertops are trending because they come in a wide range of styles and patterns and are resistant to stains, scratches, and heat. Warm, soft color palettes are also popular in new homes because they create a cozy and inviting atmosphere while helping conceal dirt, stains, and other messes. 

5. Drop zones.

Home builders are starting to incorporate designated areas that help keep your home organized and clutter-free. “Drop zones” are typically located near the entrance of the home and serve as a spot for the whole family to store shoes, backpacks, and other items you might need to grab on the way in or out. Builders can customize drop zones with features like built-in storage, benches, and coat racks that complement your home’s aesthetic while still providing a functional space.

Ready to explore these trends and more with a New Park home builder to create a new home plan that perfectly meets your needs and lifestyle? Contact us today!

Spring Treat Trend:

Easter Candy Dessert Board

Tips for Staying on Budget When Building a Home

New Home Construction Costs | New Park

Building a home is a great opportunity to create the perfect house for your family. You can bring the vision of your dream home to life alongside all the little design details that make a home useful, beautiful, and welcoming. Master-planned communities like New Park offer a great environment to build your new home, with beautiful lots and many valuable neighborhood features. With your chosen New Park builder, you can select one of an extensive portfolio of home plans or bring your floor plan and work with the River Region’s best home builders to bring your dream to life.

We have worked with many families building a new home in the New Park community and know some of the questions you are about to be asking. The most important is “How do you stay on budget when building a new home?” We’ve asked our builders and can give you the best insights for timely and on-budget new home construction.

Have a Detailed Plan

The quality of your home building plan determines the accuracy of your budget. A well-planned project can more easily avoid unforeseen costs, and expenses are more likely to meet estimated projections. While you cannot prevent things like bad weather and the occasional tile cracked on delivery, you can plan to ensure there are no avoidable cost-inflations during the project itself.

Working with an experienced builder can help you build the detailed plan you need to keep your home within budget.

Establish Non-Negotiables

When planning the budget, your builder will give you options on where you can save money and where you can’t. You will also tell your builder which features matter most to you and which design elements could be altered for cost. These are your negotiables and non-negotiables.

Your builder can help you save money and stay on budget if they know what your non-negotiables will be. For example, you might dream of a granite countertop (non-negotiable) but don’t care if the bathroom tile is ceramic or porcelain (negotiable) to save money.

Be Realistic About the Cost of Each Stage

Understand the cost of each stage of construction, including materials and labor. A good contractor will walk you through what will happen during your build and how much each part of it will most likely cost under current market conditions. This can help avoid unrealistically low expectations of the costs and help you build a realistic budget for the features you want to develop.

Choose Finishes Before Breaking Ground

Don’t give in to the urge to “add on” after the build has begun. Little extras here and there can quickly balloon outside your planned spending limit. Choose every finish before the first truck arrives on your lot, from the floors to the light fixtures. Choose carefully and lock in your details before construction, so you don’t lose your budget to add-ons or replace already-bought finishes.

Keep the Lines of Communication Open

Listen to your builder and make yourself available for updates. This will give you greater peace of mind and keep you apprised of the progress and whether the project is moving forward on budget as predicted. If your builders let you know that a change is necessary, have them write down the change in the contract details and approve any additional or updated costs.

Track Your Spending

Finally, keep track of how much the project has cost so far at each stage to know if your stages are on budget throughout. By forming realistic expectations per construction phase, you will be better prepared to track your spending as the build goes on.

Find A Community That Has Everything You and Your Family Needs

One great way to save money is to exclude amenities that your community already offers. At New Park we have amenities essential to every master-planned community like a pool, a walking trail around the lake with fitness equipment, a playground, a toddler’s splash pad, and a clubhouse. As a result, you can save on things like a pool or playset at your own home by utilizing these amenities in your community.

Why Should You Live in a Master-Planned Community like New Park?

If you are planning to build a new home, a master-planned community is an ideal location. Not only will you enjoy beautifully manicured streets surrounding your new family home, but you will also benefit from nearby amenities, a friendly neighborhood, and all the local shopping you need just a few blocks away. Master-planned communities provide residents with everything needed close to home and a balanced, rewarding lifestyle for residents. This can make building your home more affordable and easier to stay on budget because you don’t need to build every local luxury for yourself.

Ready to plan a beautiful home in a community with everything you need? Contact us today to explore New Park lot availability and find your perfect spot in East Montgomery, AL.


Image: Pixel-Shot on Shutterstock

When Is the Best Time to Buy a New Home in a Planned Community?

The best planned community

A planned community is a neighborhood that was thought about carefully by the developers before the first streets and lots were designed. These are usually HOA neighborhoods where each homeowner shares ownership of neighborhood amenities and can participate in community governance. Developers often place planned communities near good schools and popular shopping districts to make the residential lifestyle more enjoyable. 

The New Park community has grown since the first houses were built in 2008, quickly filling with new homes as the fastest growing neighborhood in East Montgomery. There are still new homes under construction and lots available to be built on.



Master Planned HOA Communities | New Park

The Benefits of Living in a Master-Planned Community

A master-planned community has been designed for beauty, safety, and convenience. There are usually schools, shopping, and restaurants close enough to walk or bike and always in range of a short, comfortable drive. Master-planned communities work to create an entire suburban lifestyle that everyone from within can enjoy. 

Whether building a family, establishing an HQ, or settling in for comfortable years at home, a master-planned community seeks to provide everything you need nearby. 

Why Buying a New Home Is Better

Being the first owner of a home is a uniquely rewarding experience. Every little decision curates the home to your style. You are the first to sleep in the bedrooms and cook in the kitchen. New homes have no lingering maintenance issues, and the appliances are always sparkling brand new.

Many home materials, appliances, and building structures are also under warranty, which is always a plus.

Planned Communities Are Often a Better Investment

A planned community is also guaranteed to age more gracefully than a more organically grown neighborhood. The HOA management holds all homeowners to the same maintenance and elegance standards for their homes. You can also rest assured that the neighborhood playground will never go untended, the pool will always be clean for summer swims, and there will always be a few events every year.

Home values tend to maintain and rise steadily with the market in a planned community, making new homes a valuable investment.

The New Park Life Is the Life You Dream

Are you looking for a beautiful new construction home in East Montgomery, AL? The New Park neighborhood has been growing since 2008, and there are still lots available for new homeowners to become a part of the New Park community . Now is the perfect time to secure a home near the beautiful Chastain Lake and ParkPath walking trail as part of an elegant community.

New Park features green space throughout the neighborhood, which smoothly arcs into a long pathway along Chastain Lake with five exercise equipment stops for daily fitness. Near the clubhouse, you will find the community pool and playground with a beautiful view of the lake and landscaped entrance to the community.

We invite you to come take a tour of our incredible amenities to get an inside look at your potential new neighborhood.

New Park is also strategically located near schools and some of East Montgomery’s best shopping and restaurants. Buying a new home will give you the prestige and luxury of being the first homeowner in the space while enjoying the beautifully manicured neighborhood and shared community spaces.

Learn More

Is now the best time for you to buy a new home in the New Park planned community of East Montgomery, AL? Contact us at New Park today for more information about our community, builders, or developers, or for assistance with any additional questions.


Image by FloridaStock/

5 Advantages of Buying a New Home

5 Advantages of Buying a New Home

There are many benefits to buying a new home. With A New Home, You’ll Have:


  1. ZERO repairs or renovations.

    1. A new home is move-in ready. You can trust everything is built to the latest building codes and safety regulations so you do not have to worry there will be any problems that must be fixed before you can move in. With a new home, you can move in and begin making it your own as soon as you have the keys!
  2. Energy Efficient and The NEWEST Technology

    1. New Homes are more energy efficient, and they often have the newest technology and/or amenities. Having a more energy efficient home gives you the benefit of reduced monthly utility bills. As well as the updated technology that new homes have, will help with the ease of everyday life.
  3. LESS Maintenance

    1. With modern plumbing, appliances, heating and air, a new construction home can leave you worry-free for several years. With less to worry about and fewer unexpected out-of-pocket costs after you move-in, you can spend time enjoying your new home rather than making repairs and updates to an existing home.

    1. Your new home will come with a New Home Warranty. All home warranties vary depending on which builder you choose. Meaning you can buy with confidence knowing the builder will cover the cost of any issues during the warranty period. And to help lessen maintenance costs even more, all appliances are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty and all systems are completely covered for the first year.
  5. UP-TO-DATE Designs

    1. New homes will have modern floor plans & designs with state-of-the-art appliances and design features. They often have an open floor plan that creates the perfect space to gather with family and friends. These floor plans are thoughtfully designed for the way people need and want to live in today’s world.


Homes Sold New Park | New Park Living

Contact us today with any questions, or to learn more about New Park

2009 First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit

In its efforts to stimulate the economy and revive the housing market, Congress has enacted legislation providing a tax credit of up to $8,000 for first-time home buyers.

But time is of the essence for buyers who want to take advantage of this opportunity.  Only homes purchased on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009 are eligible.

$8,000 Home Buyer Tax Credit at a Glance:
The tax credit is for first-time home buyers only.
The tax credit does not have to be repaid.
The tax credit is equal to 10% of the home’s purchase price up to a maximum of $8,000.
The credit is available for homes purchased on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009.
Single taxpayers with incomes up to $75,000 and married couples with incomes up to $150,000 qualify for the full tax credit.

For full details about the new tax credit, please visit: