Above: Squash blocks installed to support load from above. Right: Load from above without squash blocks or blocking panels caused this web to buckle.
Trendy Incentive Plans
Here's a look at some of the incentives that builders are using to boost sales in the slow housing market.
The slowing housing market has created new incentives for home builders to boost sales, and builders are finding incentives that appeal to potential home buyers and Realtors alike.
Builders are promising some Realtors in Florida anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 cash for each home they sell. Longleaf, a Florida master planned community near Tampa, offers Realtors gas cards to encourage home showings in their community. Other builders are offering shopping spree points to agents for drawing clients into model homes.
Realtors aren't the only ones benefiting from incentives though; potential home buyers are, too. Several Midwest builders offer to pay six months of mortgages to buyers. Other builders tack on upgrades such as basements. Some have gone as far as offering plasma televisions with the home sale.
Other builders' incentives include coupons and specials on their Web sites, including $125 toward a new home, $250 toward design centers and $5,000 toward closing costs. KB Home has already offered a free home, too.
Despite these incentives, NAHB and other housing industry analysts still predict home sales and housing production will slow for a few more quarters.