Lumber prices are driving up the price of new homes, tacking on about an extra $19,000 to the cost of the home, according to the Dallas Builders Association. The price of lumber is one problem. Getting it is another.
“Builders today have to work with the material that they have, not the material that they want,” said Phil Crone, executive officer of the Dallas Builders Association.
The lumber shortage recently derailed a Little Elm couple’s plans to buy their dream home.
Since moving to Little Elm four years ago, Mickey Wilson and Elina Morano have made their house a home. But it’s a home they’re quickly outgrowing.
“We have a baby on the way, due in September,” Wilson said.
“There's just no room really for a baby because we would want the baby to have their own room,” Morano said.
Working from home, the couple said they already feel cramped and want to buy a larger home with one must-have: two stories.
After more than a year of house hunting, they said they found the perfect two-story place at a new development in Aubrey and said they were added to a waitlist late last year.
“To hear that was such a big weight lifted off my shoulder. It was like, 'Yes, finally. This is what we're looking for. This is going to work out,'" Wilson said.
They were expecting a phone call to pick out their lot.
Instead, they received an email from the community sales manager for the builder, D.R. Horton, stating, "We will not be moving forward with two stories due to lumber issues."
“Defeated, you know, definitely felt defeated. I felt kind of lost, like what do we do,” Wilson said.
Crone said builders are moving to simpler, more straightforward floor plans as a result of supply shortages.
He said it’s the single biggest challenge in the industry.
“We're trying to make sure that everybody has a roof over their head and an affordable place to call home but if you can't find the lumber, and you can't get it affordably, it’s impossible to deliver that right now,” Crone said.
For now, Wilson and Morano plan to squeeze their growing family into their current home as their seemingly endless search for a new dream home drags on.
“We're going to just have to figure it out,” Wilson said.
It's not clear if the delay on two-story homes applies to one or multiple communities.
NBC 5 reached out to D.R. Horton's corporate offices several times and could not get a response.
The company's email to Wilson and Morano did include an apology.
“Unfortunately our corporate office has no idea when the lumber issues will be resolved and it could be a year or more,” the email stated.