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Local and national economy & contractors

Our economy and what it means for business.

My earlier blog touched base on the effects manufacturing companies closing had on our local economy and those in our cities of Rochester and Syracuse. This blog is going to focus on what’s going in the entire country and how the nationwide economy as well as the local is affecting business.

Nationwide: The credit crunch is upon us.

National banks, formerly, would eagerly shell out money to the average homeowner for improvement projects such as roofing, siding, replacement windows, flooring, bathrooms, kitchens…now they won’t even lend to each other.

Customers are either having a hard time getting money from the national banks for these projects, or worse, are getting offered very high interest rates. Recently, a customer outlined a a negative experience at a bank of long time patronage; the bank flat out wasn’t giving ANYONE home improvement loans.

I believe this will make remodelling living spaces very difficult for the near future. These were formerly loans the banks had incentive to extend to a homeowner, as they increased the equity your home greatly. The problem now is that homes across the nation aren’t selling at all, what value is equity then?

Local: The Bad

People are without jobs close to home. Poole Construction itself will continue to travel to Syracuse and it’s suburbs to find work, as well as smaller cities such as Auburn and Geneva, where we do quite a bit of work. It’s going to be tough for anyone to do a whole lot in Eastern Wayne County with the local layoffs.

Local: The Good

We haven’t have a huge increase in the market value of our homes over the past ten years, and our local banks have remained level headed in lending money. This means that if you use one of the local banks, not a whole lot has changed as of the national economic collapse. Likely, you may still get your loans for replacement windows, flooring, painting, etc.

What it means for business:

We are gearing up for a magnitude of changes this next season. It is likely that most of our work will consist of roofing, exterior painting and siding, and small handyman repairs.

New York State is also becoming much more strict with regard to property appearance, most especially rental properties. No longer will flaking lead paint and the like be tolerated. This will lead to a lot of people looking for someone to either paint the home or install vinyl siding to eliminate the painting process. If the price of vinyl siding comes back down I expect many will be new siding versus paint.

The one thing all of this has in common is that there is a “need” to get it done. If your roof leaks it “needs” to be done. If city inspectors are knocking on your door, it “needs” to be done.

So, that’s what has been on my mind lately. Let me know what you think, comments are welcome.