Rock River News

Happy 2nd Anniversary, Tracy!

Tracy is our Assistant Controller and member of our accounting team. She crunches numbers in our office here at Rock River. She is also our resident human resources expert who welcomes new employees and answers all of our employee’s questions regarding insurance and PTO. When Tracy is not at the office, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Chuck, and their 2 dogs, Saber & Aspen. They love being outdoors and visiting with their 4 children too. Please join us in wishing her a Happy Anniversary! Thank you for everything you do Tracy!

By emilymorrissette-chime-me 10-22-2020

Happy 2nd Anniversary, Brooke!

Brooke is our Purchasing Coordinator and part of our production team here at Rock River. She handles purchases for all our new homes and communicates daily with all our subcontractors. It is her responsibility to match invoices and ensure your home is staying on budget. She is the woman behind the scenes when it comes to building your Rock River home! In her spare time, you can usually find Brooke hanging out with her husband and their 3 puppy dogs. She started a garden this year and has some handy DIY skills that she and her husband use on their home together. Please join us in wishing her a Happy Anniversary today! We appreciate you and all of your hard work Brooke!

By emilymorrissette-chime-me 10-22-2020

Mother trying to talk with doctor on laptop while watching two kids staying home. Homeschooling and distance learning

The Top Reasons People Are Moving This Year

Mother trying to talk with doctor on laptop while watching two kids staying home. Homeschooling and distance learning

Today, Americans are moving for a variety of different reasons. The current health crisis has truly re-shaped our lifestyles and our needs. Spending extra time where we currently live is enabling many families to re-evaluate what homeownership means and what they find most important in a home.

According to Zillow:

“In 2020, homes went from the place people returned to after work, school, hitting the gym or vacationing, to the place where families do all of the above. For those who now spend the majority of their hours at home, there’s a growing wish list of what they’d change about their homes, if possible.”

With a new perspective on homeownership, here are some of the top reasons people are reconsidering where they live and making moves this year.

1. Working from Home

Remote work is becoming the new norm in 2020, and it’s continuing on longer than most initially expected. Many in the workforce today are discovering they don’t need to live close to the office anymore, and they can get more for their money if they move a little further outside the city limits. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) notes:

“With the sizable shift in remote work, current homeowners are looking for larger homes and this will lead to a secondary level of demand even into 2021.”

If you’ve tried to convert your guest room or your dining room into a home office with minimal success, it may be time to find a larger home. The reality is, your current house may not be optimally designed for this kind of space, making remote work and continued productivity very challenging.

2. Virtual Schooling

With school about to restart this fall, many districts are beginning the new academic year online. Education Week is tracking the reopening plans of schools across the country, and as of August 21, 21 of the 25 largest school districts are choosing remote learning as their back-to-school instructional model, affecting over 4.5 million students.

With a need for a dedicated learning space, it may be time to find a larger home to provide your children with the same kind of quiet room to focus on their schoolwork, just like you likely need for your office work.

3. A Home Gym

Staying healthy and active is a top priority for many Americans. With various levels of concern around the safety of returning to health clubs across the country, dreams of space for a home gym are growing stronger. The Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleans explains:

“For many in quarantine, a significant decrease in activity is more than a vanity issue – it’s a mental health issue.”

Having room to maintain a healthy lifestyle at home – mentally and physically – may prompt you to consider a new place to live that includes space for at-home workouts.

4. Outdoor Space

Especially for those living in an apartment or a small townhouse, this is a new priority for many as well. Zillow also notes the benefits of being able to use yard space throughout the year:

“People want more space in their next home, and one way to get it is by turning part of the backyard into a functional room, ‘an outdoor space for play as well as entertaining or cooking.’”

You may, however, not have the extra square footage today to have these designated areas – indoor or out.

Moving May Be Your Best Option

If you’re clamoring for extra space to accommodate your family’s changing needs, making a move may be your best bet, especially while you can take advantage of today’s low mortgage rates. Low rates are making homes more affordable than they have been in years. According to Black Knight:

“Buying power for those shopping for a home is up 10% year over year, with home buyers able to afford nearly $32,000 more home than they could have 1 year ago while keeping their monthly payment the same.”

It’s a great time to get more home for your money, just when you need the extra space.

Bottom Line

People are moving for a variety of different reasons today, and many families’ needs have changed throughout the year. If you’ve been trying to decide if now is the time to buy a new home, let’s connect to discuss your needs.

By emilymorrissette-chime-me 10-20-2020

Happy 8th Rock River Anniversary, Jerry!

Jerry is one of our project managers and one of the first employees ever hired by Rock River Homes. He travels to job sites and manages the building our client’s beautiful homes each & every day.

On the weekends you will catch Jerry on the third base, line coaching softball for the Lady Hornets. He loves to travel and says Hawaii is the most beautiful place he has been so far. Jerry and his girlfriend, Angie, are always on the go and you can usually find them hiking with their pups Winston & Wayland or hanging loose with their friends at Steam Bell Beer Works.

Thank you for spending the last 8 years with us, we are very fortunate to have such an amazing team member like you!

By emilymorrissette-chime-me 10-12-2020

Happy 12th Rock River Anniversary, Angie!

Angie is one of the first members of our Rock River Team and is the sister of our President, Corey. She leads our Pre-Production Design Team and is the one behind the scenes working on our floor plans & design aesthetic. Angie is responsible for translating our client’s home customizations and vision to our draftsman and production team in the field.

In her spare time, you can find her whipping up a gourmet meal with her favorite Williams Sonoma cookware to share with her hubby, John. She loves playing her baby grand piano; you should hear her play Clair De Lune! Rock River wouldn’t be the same without you and we appreciate all that you do. Thank you for being awesome!

By emilymorrissette-chime-me 10-8-2020

It’s Not Just About the Price of the Home

Home and Home Insurance Concept,Home sale

When most of us begin searching for a home, we naturally start by looking at the price. It’s important, however, to closely consider what else impacts the purchase. It’s not just the price of the house that matters, but the overall cost in the long run. Today, that’s largely impacted by low mortgage rates. Low rates are actually making homes more affordable now than at any time since 2016, and here’s why.

Today’s low rates are off-setting rising home prices because it’s less expensive to borrow money. In essence, purchasing a home while mortgage rates are this low may save you significantly over the life of your home loan.

Taking a look at the graph below with data sourced from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the higher the bars rise, the more affordable homes are. The orange bars represent the period of time when homes were most affordable, but that’s also reflective of when the housing bubble burst. At that time, distressed properties, like foreclosures and short sales, dominated the market. That’s a drastically different environment than what we have in the housing market now.

The green bar represents today’s market. It shows that homes truly are more affordable than they have been in years, and much more so than they were in the normal market that led up to the housing crash. Low mortgage rates are a big differentiator driving this affordability.

What are the experts saying about affordability?

Experts agree that this unique moment in time is making homes incredibly affordable for buyers.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist, NAR:

“Although housing prices have consistently moved higher, when the favorable mortgage rates are factored in, an overall home purchase was more affordable in 2020’s second quarter compared to one year ago.”

Bill Banfield, EVP of Capital Markets, Quicken Loans:

“No matter what you’re looking for, this is a great time to buy since the current low interest rates can stretch your spending power.

Mortgage News Daily:

“Those shopping for a home can afford 10 percent more home than they could have one year ago while keeping their monthly payment unchanged. This translates into nearly $32,000 more buying power.


Homeowners are the clear winners. Low mortgage rates mean the cost of owning is at historically low levels and who gains all the benefits of strong house price appreciation? Homeowners.”

Bottom Line

New Homes are more affordable than ever! Let’s connect to discuss how affordability plays a role in our local market, and your long-term home-ownership goals.

By emilymorrissette-chime-me 10-6-2020

Happy 2nd Anniversary, Allison!

Allison is our President’s Executive Assistant. She is the jack of all trades and always steps in to help anyone out! You can always count on her for a smile and a cheerful conversation.

In her free time you can find her hanging out with her daughter, Gracie, and her family. Did you know that Allison has a twin sister?! Thank you so much for being a part of our team, we appreciate you!

By emilymorrissette-chime-me 10-5-2020

Happy 4th Rock River Anniversary, Joey!

Joey is part of our production team here at Rock River. He handles our punch list before handing over a new home to our Rock River customers and any warranty items that may come up.

In his spare time, you can usually find him hanging out with his wife and 2 children. He also likes to go hunting and fishing!

Please join us in wishing him a Happy Anniversary! We appreciate you Joey!

By emilymorrissette-chime-me 10-3-2020

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