Homebuyers’ wallets hammered as prices spike for plywood substitute

Americans are coughing up $4,600 more on average to buy their dream home than six months ago, thanks to a record run-up in prices for a once-cheap plywood substitute.

Prices are on a tear for those bonded wood-chip sheets commonly used as sheathing for walls, floors and roofs in new home construction. Oriented Strand Board, or OSB, has long been used as a low-cost alternative to plywood, but the product now fetches a higher price as increased demand and tight supplies lead to delivery delays and elevated construction costs in the United States and Canada.

“It’s difficult to get, the lead times are out,” said Lorne Winship, general manager at Pacific Homes, a West Coast builder specializing in custom prefabricated homes, adding that the premium over plywood is “absolutely crazy.”

While the rally is hurting builders and buyers of new houses who already suffered from surging lumber prices earlier this

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Homebuyers’ Wallets Hammered as Prices for Plywood Substitute Spike

(Bloomberg) — Americans are coughing up $4,600 more on average to buy their dream home than six months ago — thanks to a record run-up in prices for a once-cheap plywood substitute.

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Prices are on a tear for those bonded wood-chip sheets commonly used as sheathing for walls, floors and roofs in new home construction. Oriented Strand Board, or OSB, has long been used as a low-cost alternative to plywood, but the product now fetches a higher price as increased demand and tight supplies lead to delivery delays and elevated construction costs in the U.S. and Canada.

“It’s difficult to get, the lead times are out,” said Lorne Winship, general manager at Pacific Homes, a west coast builder specializing in custom prefabricated homes, adding that the premium over plywood is “absolutely crazy.”

While the rally is hurting builders and buyers of new houses who already suffered from surging

Read More

California Law Prioritizes People Over Corporate Home-Buyers | California News

By DON THOMPSON, Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Tenants, affordable housing groups and local governments will get first crack at buying foreclosed homes under a measure approved Monday by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The bill is designed to keep corporations from snapping up homes and letting some fall into disrepair as they did during the Great Recession. The issue drew national attention a year ago when several homeless mothers calling themselves Moms 4 Housing moved into a vacant, corporate-owned house in West Oakland.

It was among 15 bills Newsom signed into law as renters and home-buyers again struggle during mass layoffs prompted by the pandemic. The governor said the measures “will directly lead to more affordable opportunities for renters and homeowners.”

The law bars sellers of foreclosed homes from bundling them at auction for sale to a single buyer. In addition, it will allow tenants, families, local governments, affordable housing

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Landsea Homes Launches New “LiveFlex” Program That Adapts To Homebuyers’ Evolving Lifestyles

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Oct. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Landsea Homes, a Newport Beach-based homebuilder, has launched its “LiveFlex” program in communities across Arizona, Northern and Southern California and New York. The new program offers smarter and more thoughtful ways for today’s homebuyers to personalize their home and seamlessly adapt to their lifestyle.

“Landsea Homes prides itself on utilizing technology to be at the forefront of providing homes that meet the ever-changing needs of today’s homebuyers – especially during these uniquely transformational times,” said Mike Forsum, president and chief operating officer, Landsea Homes. “With so many people currently working from home and that trend expected to continue, designated spaces for functional and technology-forward home offices, at-home fitness hubs and education-friendly spaces have become essential.”

The LiveFlex program presents the opportunity to transform spaces into whatever a homebuyer’s lifestyle may need, whether that’s a home office, an

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A financial planner has 4 pieces of advice for pandemic homebuyers

Personal Finance Insider writes about products, strategies, and tips to help you make smart decisions with your money. We may receive a small commission from our partners, like American Express, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

  • A financial planner who recently bought his first home during the coronavirus pandemic says that many things about homebuying are still the same, but buyers should consider doing three things differently.
  • First, make sure your emergency fund is topped off — in a time of economic uncertainty, keeping a full emergency fund is more important than ever.
  • And, if necessary, make a smaller down payment to prioritize keeping cash on hand. 
  • Increasing your credit score by paying down debt could also be helpful, as many lenders are requiring higher credit scores to qualify.
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Homebuying is having a moment right now,

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