Nation's Building News Online: February 4, 2008

Print All Articles Text Version

Congress Gives Housing Some Stimulus, But More Is Needed

 
Congress approved a $168 billion economic stimulus package on Feb. 7 in an effort to help shore up housing and the economy.

“While we didn’t get everything we wanted in this bill, it does include important provisions that will help our industry,” said NAHB President Brian Catalde. “Our board of directors will meet next week in Orlando to outline the next steps that Congress and the Administration should take to build on efforts already undertaken to stabilize housing and avert a recession.”

Of note to the nation’s home builders, the stimulus package will allow the FHA to insure loans up to $729,750 for one year and provide a one-year increase in the cap on loans that Fannie Mae and Freddie can buy — also up to a maximum of $729,750.

“This will help get money flowing again for housing in high-priced markets,” said Catalde.

The stimulus package also contains provisions to spur business investments by providing a 50% bonus depreciation in 2008 and more generous expensing rules.

As the stimulus bill moved its way through Congress, NAHB lobbied non-stop in support of the broader Senate plan, which contained provisions to expand the mortgage revenue bond program and allow businesses to write off more losses. Other Senate provisions would have extended unemployment benefits and made more money available for home heating assistance for low-income households.

Ultimately, the final bill that cleared Congress omitted these provisions.

The Senate stimulus package supported by the nation’s home builders fell a single vote short of the 60 needed for passage on Feb. 6.

The Senate plan drew the support of all 49 Democrats and two Democratic-leaning Independents, as well as eight Republicans. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was the only senator who failed to show up for the vote. The final vote was 58 to 41 in favor of the bill. At the last moment, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) changed his vote to a “no” in a procedural move that would let him bring up the measure again.

When Reid concluded that he could not find one more Republican vote to move the expanded Senate bill forward, he approved a deal with Senate Republicans to vote on the narrower House version after adding a provision to provide tax rebates for senior citizens and disabled veterans.

A Lobbying Blitz

In the week leading up to the Feb. 6 vote, NAHB advocated aggressively for the Senate stimulus package.

NAHB’s lobbying blitz on Capitol Hill included face-to-face meetings with wavering Senate Republicans and their staff members, as well as phone contacts and e-mail messages. The grassroots effort was mobilized through BuilderLink, with builders making thousands of contacts to their senators and urging them to support the stimulus package.

On the day of the Senate vote, the headline that appeared in the issue of The Hill read: “Senate Dems hope homebuilders will win GOP stimulus support.” The article quoted Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), who said that home builders supporting the Senate Finance Committee package were helping with lobbying calls to Republicans. “They’re making calls for us. They’re energized,” said Conrad. “That’s how serious this situation is … We’re talking about survival here, for many of these companies.”

As the stimulus plan went to the Senate floor, Jerry Howard, NAHB’s executive vice president and CEO, was interviewed by the Associated Press, Bloomberg and MarketWatch on the urgent need to pass the Senate package.

“Our lobbyists are up there on Capitol Hill on a 24-hour basis right now, doing everything we can in our power to try and get senators to support this. We will be disappointed in folks who don’t get behind it,” the AP story quoted Howard as saying.

To coincide with Senate consideration of its stimulus package, NAHB significantly ramped up its ad campaign, running ads for two weeks in USA Today, Roll Call, the Washington Post, the Washington Times, the Hill and the Politico.

The full-page ads called on Congress to raise the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac conforming loan limit in high-cost markets for two years; link this change to overall GSE reform; and enact FHA modernization. The ads also called on the Senate to adopt the Finance Committee’s stimulus package, including key measures to allow businesses to carry back net operating losses for five years and to expand the mortgage revenue bond program.

While the stimulus package that was ultimately approved by Congress is an important first step, the NAHB Board of Directors will be considering a number of policy options next week at the International Builders’ Show in Orlando. These include further Fed interest rate cuts, a broad range of tax credits to stimulate home sales, GSE and FHA reform, expansion of the mortgage revenue bond program and allowing businesses to carry back net operating losses for five years.

For more information, e-mail Greg Brown at NAHB, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8421.

Builders Keep No-Growth Proposal Off Florida Ballot

Culminating a hard- and long-fought battle by NAHB, the High Production Home Builders Council, the Florida Home Builders Association and other coalition partners, the Florida Division of Elections on Feb. 1 announced that Florida Hometown Democracy — a potentially disastrous anti-growth initiative — failed to qualify for the November 2008 ballot.

The proposed constitutional amendment would take the responsibility of planning away from planners and local elected officials and require the voters to decide on each and every amendment to comprehensive zoning plans.

“Florida’s Hometown Democracy movement is an assault on housing and an assault on common sense,” said NAHB President-elect Sandy Dunn. “It is a threat to our industry not only in the state of Florida, but with reverberations that can be felt around the country. Fighting this challenge has been a rallying point for all of us who believe in advancing housing opportunity. That we have succeeded in turning this measure back is a tribute to the power of our confederation in defending our values when they come under attack.”

“Ultimately, defeating Florida Hometown Democracy has long been a top priority for NAHB,” said Steve Gallagher, NAHB’s staff vice president for government affairs. “Our recent success shows the strength of our federation and the might of our state and local organizations in Florida.”

Defeat of Hometown Democracy has been viewed as absolutely essential for the future of the business and home building communities in Florida. It would have devastating consequences for the state’s construction industry, which employs more than 470,000 workers and generates more than $62 billion in economic activity, making it the second largest growth engine in the state. The proposal would have costly consequences for general taxpayers in the state, as well, analysts said.

For nearly five years, Florida Hometown Democracy (FHD) proponents have been attempting to collect enough citizen signatures to put the notorious initiative on the ballot, and throughout that period the NAHB alliance has been there to fight them every step of the way.

This year, FHD no-growth advocates fell short by more than 65,000 valid signatures in their petition drive — or by more than 10% of those needed to qualify for a place on the November ballot.

If the initiative had been successfully placed before Florida voters in the current presidential election year, it was conservatively estimated that campaign costs to defeat it on Election Day would have run as high as $50 million. And even then, given unfavorable polling data, there were no absolute guarantees of victory.

Under FHD, cities and counties would be required to hold elections for each comprehensive plan amendment, including not only major changes but small technical details. The state of Florida estimated that the cost of these “elections” would run into the millions, while internal calculations derived figures approaching a staggering $1 billion.

In the last four years alone, the amendment would have required an average of more than 10,599 additional local votes per year in Florida. Last year alone, in Carabelle, a small town in Franklin County, voters would have had to decide 840 separate ballot questions.

Under FHD, every city and county in Florida would be burdened with the time and cost of holding additional elections to vote on proposed changes to comprehensive land use plans. With smarter growth stalled, analysts predict, Florida’s robust economy would taper off to a recession, while property taxes would skyrocket to pay the bills.

While Florida Hometown Democracy has failed to make the ballot for the third consecutive try, it has a good chance of making it in 2010 because petitions in Florida stay valid for four years. With the presidential election out of the way, however, observers believe that it will now be significantly less costly to defeat this far-reaching, extremist-led petition drive.

FHD opponents — led largely by NAHB and other building industry allies — are also much better positioned through their ground organization, Floridians for Smarter Growth (FSG). “The strong alliance that now makes up Floridians for Smarter Growth will continue to remain vigilant, and continue to fight through November 2010,” promised David Hart, vice president of governmental and legislative affairs for the Florida Home Builders Association.

The FSG campaign is comprised of 27 local executive committees capable of reaching more than 80% of Florida’s voters. To supplement this extensive field operation, more than 100 state and local groups have joined to take formal positions against Hometown Democracy.

Volunteers from these opposition groups have contributed to a 107-member speakers bureau and a 70-member “Visibility Team.” In turn, these teams have generated dozens of speaking opportunities, editorials and local policy forums.

Over the past year, FSG has participated in more than 150 meetings across Florida to tell the state’s residents why Hometown Democracy would be so destructive to the state’s economy and its quality of life. Through this effort, more than 25,000 Floridians have joined the grassroots movement to defeat the amendment.

For more information, e-mail Gideon Lett at NAHB, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8585.

New NAHB TV Spots Help HBAs, Members Promote Home Buying


Three free, new NAHB-produced television ads are available for members and home builders associations to use on local television stations to promote the many benefits of buying a home today.

To view the ads, click here.

The ads point out to consumers that ― with today's near-record low interest rates, plenty of homes on the market and readily available mortgage funds for borrowers with good credit — it is a good time for them to buy the home of their dreams.

The ads were produced by the NAHB Production Group to help members and HBAs that want to promote home buying on local television but cannot afford the cost of producing an ad.

Each ad is 30 seconds long, with time and space left at the end for HBAs to have their local station customize it with their logo, Web site address or other information either with a voice-over or on-screen graphics; many local stations will do small edits at no or a minimal cost).

To Request Ads

NAHB members and HBAs can request the ads in Beta SP or DVD formats by e-mailing David Falcone at NAHB.

Requests are being fulfilled weekly. Tapes or DVDs are sent by U.S. mail. Please allow sufficient time to process your request.

Other Resources Available Online

NAHB has a wide selection of resources available online to help members and HBAs prepare for interviews and better communicate with consumers and stakeholders during the housing downturn.

The Myth Buster Resources section of the NAHB Web site includes talking points, fact sheets, economic analyses and other critical material that is continuously updated.

For more information, e-mail NAHB Public Affairs, or call 800-368-5242 x8254.



Free NAHB Kit Gives Builders Back-to-Basics Tips to Navigate the Slowdown

What was once expected to be a relatively mild housing slump following three years of record new home construction and sales has given way to a significant downturn.

To help members navigate the uncharted waters of this slowdown, NAHB has compiled a comprehensive “Back to Basics” online toolkit — the best of the basics, the tried and true and the truly new. To access the toolkit, click here.

To access the “Back to Basics” toolkit, you must be an NAHB member and have a login to www.nahb.org. To create a login, go to www.nahb.org/login or click on the log-in button on the main menu bar.

For assistance, call the NAHB Member Service Center at 800-368-5242.

Nation's Building News Will Not Be Published Feb. 11 or Feb. 18

Nation's Building News will not be published Feb. 11 or Feb. 18 while the NBN staff is attending the 2008 International Builders' Show. Regular weekly publication will resume Feb. 25 and include reports from the show.

Home Builder Wieland Upbeat Amid Housing Downturn

After suspending construction plans on his $350 million luxury condominium project in November and laying off 59 company employees in a streamlining move prompted by slow home sales, Atlanta home builder John Wieland said he’s more “upbeat” about his business now. “The end of last year was the most miserable time of my life,” Wieland said. But a new promotion offering price discounts up to $100,000 and a lifetime structural warranty on Wieland houses produced 80 sales for the company between Jan. 25 and Feb. 3, twice the number of homes the company sold in the same period last year, according to Wieland officials. That provided a welcome cash infusion of $50 million for the home builder, which is currently marketing 30 communities with more than 400 unsold homes around the metro area. And the surge in cash flow has recharged Wieland’s confidence that his company can withstand the anemic sales expected to continue through the rest of 2008. The company founder said the “Sale of a Lifetime” promotion was conceived to help coax reluctant buyers into making a purchase. “It takes more visits these days to get people to make a buying decision than it did a year ago,” he said. Currently, he said, Wieland buyers are averaging 71 days between first contact and purchase commitment, up 29% from the 55-day average a year ago. Over the past year, Wieland has trimmed its backlog of unsold homes and hired a new vice president for marketing to devise new strategies for attracting buyers in the city’s overbuilt market, which has an 11-month unsold inventory. (www.ajc.com)
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (2/6/08); Julie B. Hairston

Toll Founder Maintains Bleak Housing Outlook

Robert Toll, outspoken founder of U.S. luxury builder Toll Brothers, said on Feb. 6 that “the housing market remains very weak in most areas. Based on current traffic and deposits, we are not yet seeing much light at the end of the tunnel.” He added: “Based on demographics, improved affordability and interest rates near historic lows, customers should be attracted to the abundance of standing inventory at the aggressively low prices being offered by builders. However, buyers seem to be hiding. We think that the market’s problem is a lack of confidence, not just regarding the direction of home prices, but, more broadly, in the direction of the overall economy and the state of the nation.” The average price of Toll homes for which a contract was signed in its first business quarter was down 13% to $634,000 as home buyers cancelled more expensive home purchases. Toll also said it had cut the number of lots which it either owned or optioned by 38% to 57,000. The company expects to take between $150 to $300 million in write-downs on landholdings in the quarter. (www.ft.com)
Financial Times (2/6/08); Daniel Pimlott

Area’s Hottest Zip Codes Defy Slumping Market

Tucked within data showing that Ohio ranks sixth among all 50 states for foreclosure filings are indications that some hot neighborhoods are surviving the setbacks. In several local markets sellers are getting an average 95% to 97% of their asking price and homes are staying on the market between an average of 70 and 102 days. “With the rates dropping and the way the economy is right now, we thought we should start looking and see what’s affordable and where,” said new home buyer Jay Valadez. Jay and his family are moving into a brand new house in Amherst and are paying almost $145,000 for what would have cost $175,000 before the housing market bottomed out. Valadez said the schools are good, there’s a lake and a marina just five minutes up the road, there’s a pool and the price was hard to beat. Southeast in the city of Hudson, the houses in the $250,000 to $500,000 price range are still selling steadily. Hudson tops the price bracket with sellers getting almost 96% of their asking price, on average. (www.newsnet5.com)
NewsNet5.com (2/6/08)

What Housing Crisis? Why the Mortgage Mess Hasn’t Hit the Luxury Market, Yet

Prices on ultrahigh-end homes are still rising, with some reaching an astronomical $175 million. It’s simply a matter of supply and demand, according to brokers from hot markets like Manhattan, the Hamptons, Palm Beach and both ends of California. While there’s a national glut of McMansions in the $500,000 and up range, there’s a shortage of trophy properties on the market and an increasing number of wealthy foreign buyers from Asia and Europe looking to capitalize on the weak U.S. dollar. According to market data from DataQuick, sales for homes costing $5 million and above climbed 31% in the first quarter of 2007 compared to the same quarter of 2006. Sales of Manhattan apartments costing $10 million or more tripled in 2007, according to the real-estate company Prudential Douglas Elliman. “The rich are even richer than ever before and the very wealthy are pouring more money into residential real estate,” says Laurie Moore-Moore, the founder of the Dallas-based Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, a membership and training group for luxury-real-estate agents. While Europeans have always invested in American properties, Moore-Moore says new buyers are increasingly from Brazil, Russia, India and China. (www.newsweek.como)
Newsweek (1/30/08)

Builders Cater to Larger Latino Families

While some home builders in California have marketed to Latinos for two decades, there is an increased emphasis now because of the housing market downturn and because Latinos continue to be underrepresented as home buyers despite making up a larger percentage of the population than they used to. California builders started studying the Latino market during economic and housing downturns in the early- to mid-1990s, said Steve Johnson, a director of MetroStudy, a national housing market research firm. It wasn’t until about 2000, when the economy and housing market started to rebound, that builders implemented changes to appeal to Latinos, Johnson said. These included adding more backyard gathering areas with pools and barbecues, and eliminating the formal living room in favor of a larger family room. Builders have also added more bedrooms and bathrooms and increased the size of garages in response to Census data showing that Latinos average nearly four people per household, compared to the national average of about three, he said. They hired more agents who speak both English and Spanish, started creating brochures and billboards in both languages and added photos of people that reflect diversity, Johnson said. (www.scrippsnews.com)
ScrippsNews (2/6/08); Sean Nealon, Press-Enterprise national western news

From the Housing Market to the Maternity Ward

Recent data from the National Center for Health Statistics showing that for the first time in 35 years the number of children an American woman will have in her lifetime reached 2.1, the theoretical level required to maintain the country’s population, has raised discussion of the relationship between fertility and real estate. In the wide-open mortgage climate early this decade, creative loan products allowed more people than ever to buy homes, often a precursor to having children. In 2006, the babies arrived — a reminder, perhaps, that if you build it, they will toddle. Matthew E. Kahn, an economist at the Institute of the Environment at the University of California, Los Angeles, suggested a relationship between the increasing size of U.S. houses even as family size declined. Bigger homes mean incentives to stay home and fructify, Kahn said. “Those ARM-financed McMansions are in the middle of nowhere, where land is cheap,” he said. “That increases the time it takes to get to work, meaning it raises the cost for women to go to work. That should increase fertility.” The recent downturn in the economy and the housing market bodes poorly for a continued baby boomlet. Last year, NAHB reported that houses had stopped growing, and foreclosures discourage people from having children. “What could be happening now is that people will have wealth shock, and reduce their need for everything, including children,” said Seth Sanders, director of the Maryland Population Research Center at the University of Maryland. (www.nytimes.com)
New York Times (2/1/08); John Leland

'No End in Sight’ to Battle With Growth Opponents

“Not in My Backyard” (NIMBY) proponents are a growing challenge for the nation’s developers “with no end in sight,” according to the latest Saint Index© report from The Saint Consulting Group, a company that provides political campaign expertise on land use issues.

The firm’s latest annual survey data found that 78% of Americans believe that new development should not occur in their hometowns — up five percentage points from the 2006 survey after holding steady for two years.

“The most significant overall finding, however, was that Americans are far more willing to fight than support local development projects,” writes Patrick Fox, president of the company, in the current issue of NAHB’s Land Development magazine.

The survey found that 24% of Americans say that they or a family member have actively opposed development and 30% belong to the most vocal group — individuals aged 56 to 65.

In addition to being in this age group, the most active NIMBYs are home owners, college-educated or post-graduate-educated suburbanites with household incomes over $100,000, the survey shows.

The most surprising thing about those opposing growth, says Fox, “is that they come from all walks of life; they are not the archetypical liberals many would assume.”

Of those people who said they opposed a development project in their community, only 28% indicated that they were more liberal than moderates and conservatives (both at 22%), and they were more or less equally Democrat, Republican or “other.”

Fox says the main reasons Americans give for opposing development are that they want to protect:

  • Community character (31%)
  • The environment (22%)
  • Commutes (21%)
  • Their own real estate values (10%)


However, Fox notes that “by probing to uncover the reasons for opposition through differently phrased questions over the years and examining the response, Saint Consulting has come to the conclusion that the real reason Americans oppose development is self-interest.”

The most-welcomed type of new local development was single-family housing, the latest Saint Index study found, with 83% of those surveyed saying they supported single-family homes in their communities. However, this is also the type of development that Americans most frequently take a stand against.

Fifty-three percent of adults who had actively opposed a real estate development project said they opposed a single-family or multifamily residential project.

“Residents across the nation have united against development in their communities for the sake of protecting the environment, their neighborhoods and most importantly their property values,” Fox says.

“Community members now realize how much of an impact they can have in their attacks against developers, recognizing that elected officials are unlikely to vote against the wishes of committed and organized constituents. With this power in hand, residents can now determine the fate of new developments.”

Land Development magazine is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

For more information on NAHB resources on land development issues, e-mail Jennifer Jones at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8469.

Austin Builders Defeat Fire Sprinkler Mandate

Armed with data from the NAHB Research Center, builders in Austin last month defeated a residential fire sprinkler mandate.

The Home Builders Association of Greater Austin has traditionally sparred with city governmental agencies over the fire sprinkler issue, but the most recent mandate challenge arose over a proposed requirement from the Travis County Emergency Services District (ESD) #3 — a precedent.

Supported by taxes and governed by a county-appointed commission, the 261 ESDs in Texas provide emergency services within their geographic areas. They were created to improve rural fire protection areas and to build a partnership with municipalities to ensure the adequate delivery of services.

Responding to the information provided by the local association, the ESD board on Jan. 28 voted unanimously to adopt a “mandatory option” standard requiring fire sprinkler systems to be offered to home buyers as an option.

At the time the building permit is obtained, owners who do not want the sprinkler system can submit a waiver to opt out and refuse it. If the home is a spec, the system can be accepted or waived by the builder. The district will provide potential buyers with material promoting a sprinkler system.

The Austin HBA also recently succeeded in turning back mandated fire sprinkler systems in the City of Cedar Park.

For more information, e-mail Harry Savio at the HBA of Greater Austin, or call him at 512-454-5588.

Plan to Attend the 2008 NAHB Legislative Conference

The 2008 NAHB Legislative Conference provides a unique opportunity for builders to speak directly with their members of Congress and let them know that housing must remain a national priority.

The conference is on Wednesday, April 30 and is a day-long event that coincides with the NAHB spring board meeting in Washington, D.C.

Attending the 2008 legislative conference will give NAHB members an unparalleled opportunity to lobby members of Congress to protect their business and industry, establish lasting relationships with their elected federal officials, do their part to ensure that NAHB’s issues are heard by Washington policymakers and galvanize a united front on Capitol Hill

A strong builder turnout on April 30 will send a powerful message to members of Congress.

For more information, visit www.nahb.org/legcon, e-mail Molly Murray at NAHB, or call her 800-368-5242 x8282. 

Affordability Key for Selling to First-Time Home Buyers

Home builders with an eye on the first-time buyer market may not want to design their product too much differently than the homes that are being built for move-up buyers, but they definitely will want to put the accent on affordability, according to an NAHB analysis of characteristics of first-time buyers from the 2005 American Housing Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The median price of the homes purchased by first-timers was $150,000 in 2005, compared to $230,000 for the trade-up market, according to NAHB economist Elliot Eisenberg, whose analysis of the survey data is published in the current issue of HousingEconomics.com.{{MORE}}

And while the 2.4 million homes bought by first-timers in 2005 accounted for an impressive 43% share of the homes sold that year, the large majority of them — 86% — were found in the existing home market. “Given that new homes are usually more expensive than existing homes, these results ate not surprising,” the study says.

A large majority of first-time buyers displayed a preference for single-family detached houses, although attached housing and condominiums were more popular among those buyers just entering the housing market than among more seasoned buyers, the NAHB analysis suggests, “because of their relative affordability.”

Almost 79% of those entering the for-sale housing market for the first time purchased single-family homes, while almost 11% bought townhouses and another 11% bought condominiums. By comparison, about 88% of move-up purchases were single-family, 7% were townhouses and 6% were condos.

The study also suggests that a substantial number of first-timers have the financial wherewithal to purchase a home even in today’s market, where zero-downpayment mortgages have become difficult to obtain.

Although about 30% of 2005’s first-time buyers who took out a mortgage borrowed 95% or more of the purchase price of the home, more than one-third of all first-timers obtaining a loan were able to make a downpayment of at least 20%. About 16% were able to buy the home without a mortgage, and among all other first-time buyers the loan-to-value ratio was 87%.

By contrast, about 60% of buyers trading up and taking out a mortgage loan made a 20% downpayment and 22% of those moving up were able to make their purchase loan-free.

However, first-time and trade-up buyers were surprisingly alike in their use of fixed-rate financing, which accounted for roughly an 80% share of the mortgages made to both groups. About 9% of first-time borrowers with loans took out adjustable rate loans, compared to 10% of move-up buyers.

First-time buyers obtained their mortgages at an average interest rate of 5.85%, compared to 5.73% for repeat buyers. And 14% of the first-time borrowers paid an interest rate of 7% or higher for their loans, compared to about 9% of those trading up.

Almost 56% of first-time buyers used personal savings to cover their downpayment, with no other single source of financing even remotely close, the study says. By contrast, money from the sale of the old home was the most important source of a downpayment for 53% of those moving up, followed by savings, cited by 25%.

“When it comes to choosing a house and a neighborhood, both groups are quite similar,” the study says. “Both look at an equal number of units (an average of 12) and place emphasis on proximity to work and friends when choosing a neighborhood. However, first-time buyers are more sensitive to price while other buyers are more attuned to the design and feel of the area.”

Among the household characteristics of the first-time buyers:

  • The average age of the householder was 33. Almost two-thirds were under 35 and less than 5% were over 55.

  • The average size of these households was 2.7 persons. About one-third consisted of two persons; one-fifth were single-person households; one-fifth had three persons; and the remaining roughly 25% had more than three persons in the household.

  • Average income was $64,074, compared to $84,170 for move-up buyers and $72,957 for home owners who didn’t move in 2005.

  • Almost two-thirds of first-time buyer households had incomes between 50% and 150% of their area median income, indicating that their incomes were quite typical for where they lived. Seventeen percent had incomes higher than 150% of the area median and 18% were below 50% of the median.

  • About 31% were married with children; those that were one-person households were about twice as likely to be headed by a male as a female; and those headed by a single parent were about twice as likely to be female than male.

  • About two-thirds were white, 11% were black and 15% were Hispanic.

  • About 77% had previously rented, with the remainder forming a new household in conjunction with the home purchase.


To read the NAHB report in its entirety, click here.



Want to Know the Housing Forecast for the Top 100 Metros? 

Find out in HousingEconomic.com’s 2008 to 2009 Metro Forecast (free preview).

Get the metro forecast with in-depth analysis, overviews and downloadable Excel tables.

To learn more, visit www.HousingEconomics.com.



Free NAHB Kit Gives Builders Back-to-Basics Tips to Navigate the Slowdown

What was once expected to be a relatively mild housing slump following three years of record new home construction and sales has given way to a significant downturn.

To help members navigate the uncharted waters of this slowdown, NAHB has compiled a comprehensive “Back to Basics” online toolkit — the best of the basics, the tried and true and the truly new. To access the toolkit, click here.

To access the “Back to Basics” toolkit, you must be an NAHB member and have a login to www.nahb.org. To create a login, go to www.nahb.org/login or click on the log-in button on the main menu bar.

For assistance, call the NAHB Member Service Center at 800-368-5242.

Builders in Connecticut Accentuate Market Positives

With their housing markets performing considerably better than those in many other parts of the country, builders in Connecticut report that they have been working with their local news media to ensure that prospective buyers aren’t scared off by the negative coverage that has proliferated on the national level.

On job growth, a pivotal factor for housing demand, Connecticut has clearly been outperforming the nation as a whole, and despite some marginal slippage in December, there were 16,600 jobs gained since a year earlier, said economist Donald Klepper-Smith.

Connecticut never soared to the lofty peaks seen by the top housing markets during the mid-decade housing boom and consequently hasn’t experienced the extreme lows now afflicting those areas.

Well above the national average, the state’s housing sales last year held up to 87% of the 2006 level, according to the Home Builders Association of Connecticut, and there is still relatively healthy demand in many communities, especially for smaller and high-end custom homes.

The members and staff of the Connecticut association have been in regular contact with local reporters, reminding them of the unique dynamics of the local market and supplying them with information from local builders.

For instance, a story in the Jan. 29 Hartford Courant on a decline in housing permits in Connecticut last year, includes the perspectives of Bill Ferrigno, president of the Connecticut HBA and owner of Sunlight Construction in Avon; and Greg Ugalde, president of T&M Building Co. in Torrington, immediate past president of the builders association and a member of the NAHB Board of Directors.

The article presents the construction permit slowdown as a good sign that builders have been able to keep their inventory of unsold homes under control so that they will be in a good position when the market returns to its cyclical growth phase.

“We are building at a rate that is sustainable for the economy we’re in,” Ferrigno said. “In the old days, it was build, build, build. Now, a lot of us are responding as we should.”

In the news story, Ferrigno says that he plans to build more this year, with two projects under construction — a modestly priced active-adult community in East Hartford and a 14-unit luxury development in Avon with homes priced between $1.5 and $2 million.

“I think there’s pent-up demand,” Ferrigno said. “In the past two months, we’ve talked to more people than in the last four months before that. Are we more cautious? Yes. They are seeking more options. But we’re planning on 25% more homes this year than last.”

"We're still signing contracts," Ugalde said, "but not at the pace of those record years in 2004 and 2005. We are better off than others parts of the country, without a doubt, but we are influenced by that."

The association’s efforts to work with the media have resulted in papers adding local, more positive statistics to national stories and seeking out members’ perspectives on housing statistics, said Lisa Kidder, the HBA’s director of public relations and communications.

The association has also been promoting good news about the industry, such as the involvement of its members in the community, green building and efforts to improve energy-efficiency during the winter months.

The HBA has also assembled panels of its members — including builders, remodelers, bankers and real estate professionals — to provide business reporters with an overview of the local housing market. One local paper has already run a housing outlook article and another is preparing for the interviews.

“In the last three months, we’ve had six local television news stories — two on a building project for an injured veteran, two on remodeling for energy efficiency, one on a green building project and one on January housing starts,” said Kidder.

The headline for a Jan. 9 New Haven Register article on a 2% rise in the median price of single-family homes in the state in November, “Home Prices in State Buck Trend,” shows the kind of reporting the association is encouraging on a market that has its own story to tell.



Want to Know the Housing Forecast for the Top 100 Metros? 

Find out in HousingEconomic.com’s 2008 to 2009 Metro Forecast (free preview).

Get the metro forecast with in-depth analysis, overviews and downloadable Excel tables.

To learn more, visit www.HousingEconomics.com.



Free NAHB Kit Gives Builders Back-to-Basics Tips to Navigate the Slowdown

What was once expected to be a relatively mild housing slump following three years of record new home construction and sales has given way to a significant downturn.

To help members navigate the uncharted waters of this slowdown, NAHB has compiled a comprehensive “Back to Basics” online toolkit — the best of the basics, the tried and true and the truly new. To access the toolkit, click here.

To access the “Back to Basics” toolkit, you must be an NAHB member and have a login to www.nahb.org. To create a login, go to www.nahb.org/login or click on the log-in button on the main menu bar.

For assistance, call the NAHB Member Service Center at 800-368-5242.

Eye on the Economy: Housing Will Improve Later This Year

Growth of U.S. economic output (real Gross Domestic Product) slowed to a meager 0.6% annual rate in the final quarter of 2007, according to the “advance” estimate released by the Commerce Department on Jan. 30. The weakest parts of the economy in the fourth quarter were sectors affected directly or indirectly by the housing downswing.

Residential fixed investment (RFI) fell at an annual rate of 23.9%, the steepest decline yet in the two-year downslide, and growth of personal consumption expenditures (PCE) slowed to a 2% annual pace — presumably weighed down by loss of housing equity and by concerns about the course of house prices in some areas.

The labor market also shows serious recent signs of weakness, largely because of job losses in residential construction and related areas (including housing finance). Total payroll employment actually fell slightly — by 17,000 — in January as private payrolls were essentially flat while government payrolls declined. Furthermore, average weekly hours worked in the private sector contracted a bit, and aggregate hours worked in the nonfarm business sector contracted significantly — with negative implications for GDP growth in the first quarter.

Another shoe dropped on Feb. 5 when the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) released its index of activity in the nonmanufacturing sector for January — covering construction and private services (including finance). The index plummeted to a recession-like level (compared with 2001) and, although an upward revision is possible, fundamental weakness at the beginning of 2008 undoubtedly is being conveyed by the ISM measure.

The recent weakness of GDP, the labor market and the nonmanufacturing sector, along with systematic decline in the Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators since last fall, have stoked recession worries among financial market participants and policymakers in Washington.

The probability of near-term recession certainly is elevated — close to 50% — and the actual outcome will depend on the true condition of various economic fundamentals, the performance of financial markets and the degree of near-term support provided by monetary and fiscal policy.

Housing Data Still Are Downbeat

Housing data received in recent weeks, pertaining primarily to conditions in late-2007, have yet to signal imminent stabilization of the housing market.

Sales of existing homes fell by 2.2% in December, reflecting declines in both single-family and condo markets and median sales prices were down by 6.0% (6.5% for single-family) on a year-over-year basis.

In the new-home market, sales were down by 4.7% in December and the median sales price was down by 10.4% year-over-year.

Inventory levels declined modestly in December for both new and existing homes, although inventory/sales ratios showed little change due to the fall in sales volume. The Commerce Department’s quarterly measure of vacant year-round housing units for-sale (whether new or existing) still was hanging around a record level in the fourth quarter of last year as was the measure of vacant units for-rent.

These inventory data, in conjunction with the weak pace of home sales, point toward further weakness in housing starts in coming months.

The downtrend in housing starts through the end of last year naturally translated into further declines in measures of construction put-in-place. Single-family construction (in nominal terms) fell by 5.4% in December and was down by 31% on a year-over-year basis. Multifamily construction also has been falling systematically, contracting by 1.9% in December and 20.6% on a year-over-year basis.

Spending on improvements to residential structures (additions and alterations) was essentially flat during 2007 and accounted for a lofty 37% of total residential construction at the end of the year.

Financial Market Stress Refuses to Go Away

The financial market turmoil that erupted last summer still is a major problem for the U.S. economy.

The severe liquidity problems in short-term funding markets (including interbank markets here and abroad) have eased to some degree since late 2007, due partly to the Fed’s new auctions of discount-window credit ― the Term Auction Facility.

The commercial paper market has improved in the process, particularly the beleagued asset-backed market, although this market still is not functioning normally.

Despite some easing of short-term liquidity issues, the stock market is being battered and the markets for longer-term credit remain under considerable stress. Quality spreads in corporate bond and mortgage markets still are quite elevated, and some components are essentially shut down (including the subprime and Alt-A mortgage markets).

In this regard, recent Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) statements have stressed that “credit has tightened further for some businesses and households,” despite the Fed’s aggressive easing campaign since last fall.

It’s clear that investors here and abroad have been traumatized by the realization of risks embedded in many of the securitized vehicles they hold, particularly those with U.S. subprime mortgage exposure. They have turned extremely risk-averse — forcing down risk-free (government) interest rates but widening out quality spreads dramatically in private markets and shutting some down entirely.

It will take considerable time for Wall Street to develop (and rate) transparent securitized investments that investors will accept. In the meantime, the banking system will have to take up a good bit of the slack in the credit creation process.

Lending Standards at Banks Still Are Tightening

Mortgage interest rates are quite low at this time, at least on prime conventional conforming loans and FHA/VA mortgages. However, the Federal Reserve reports that bank lending standards are tightening in all major components of the conventional home mortgage market — prime, subprime and “nontraditional” including interest-only, payment-option, and Alt-A adjustable-rate loans.

The Fed’s January Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices shows that standards have been tightening substantially for nearly a year on subprime and “nontraditional” mortgages, and standards started to tighten last fall on prime mortgages as well.

Indeed, a net 41% of banks said they had tightened standards for prime loans in the quarterly report released last October, and that proportion was up to 53% in the January survey.

The Fed’s survey also documents major declines in demand for home mortgages at commercial banks, particularly for subprime and “nontraditional” loans. A net 60% of banks also reported considerable weakening in demand for prime mortgage loans in the January survey, following a large decline in the previous quarterly report last October.

The Federal Reserve Pulls Out the Stops

On Jan. 22, the Federal Reserve announced 75 basis point cuts to both the federal funds rate and the discount rate. These definitely were “emergency” cuts, enacted just eight days prior to the next regularly scheduled FOMC meeting. Indeed, this was the first intermeeting cut since September 2001 (in the wake of 9/11) and the single largest rate cut in 24 years.

The Jan. 22 FOMC statement cited weakening of the economic outlook (including deepening of the housing contraction) and deterioration of financial market conditions (other than short-term funding markets). The statement noted that appreciable downside risks to growth remained — even after the emergency rate cut. The statement also moved earlier inflation concerns well off to the sidelines.

The Fed cut short-term rates by an additional 50 basis points at the regularly scheduled FOMC meeting on Jan. 30, bringing the cumulative reduction in the funds rate so far this year to a whopping 125 basis points. The FOMC statement once again cited considerable stress in financial markets, deepening of the housing contraction and softening in labor markets.

The statement also reiterated concern about remaining downside risks to growth and pushed inflation concerns further into the background — opening the door to further monetary ease down the line.

We’re currently assuming an additional half-point cut at the March 18 FOMC meeting, followed by another quarter-point cut on April 30. These moves will push the nomnal funds rate down to 2.25% and the real (inflation adjusted) funds rate below 1%.

The Fed could be even more aggressive if economic and financial market conditions demand even more monetary stimulus in the near term.

Economic Stimulus

The White House and Congress are firmly committed to a short-term economic stimulus package that will help the weakened economy avoid recession in 2008. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has endorsed the effort as a welcome complement to simulative monetary policy and the President apparently will sign legislation that comes out of Congress — hopefully soon. (To read a related story in in this issue of Nation's Building News, click here.)

Timely passage of such a housing stimulus is a major factor behind NAHB’s housing and economic outlook for 2008.

There Are a Few Encouraging Leading Indicators of Housing Demand

There are some tentative signs that the dramatic downswing in home sales since late 2005 may soon be approaching a bottom.

In this regard, measures of housing affordability have moved up significantly from their lows last summer — due to lower mortgage rates, lower house prices and higher levels of personal income. Furthermore, NAHB’s most recent survey of single-family builders in early February shows some pickup in builder assessments of traffic of prospective buyers, a critical first step in the eventual recovery process.

Buyer traffic doesn’t ensure home sales, of course, but surveys of consumer sentiment conducted through January by the University of Michigan suggest modest improvement in consumer attitudes toward home buying since the lows of late 2007.

Lower house prices are the key reason cited by consumers who now say buying conditions are “good.” The question is; when will conditions be good enough?

Housing and the Economy Will Improve Later This Year

NAHB’s forecast shows firming of overall economic activity and the beginnings of housing recovery during the second half of this year — with help from the Federal Reserve, Congress and the Administration.

Our forecast also assumes that oil prices will recede over the course of the year and that the economy will not be shocked by unforeseen events, such as a global stock market crash.

Our baseline (most probable) economic forecast shows GDP growth of less than 1% in the first half of this year, and a mild recession certainly is possible.

Our projected GDP pattern generates only meager growth of payroll employment and involves further increases in the unemployment rate during the next few quarters. But we expect GDP growth to rise to about 2.8% by late in the year, strengthening the job market and paving the way for solid economic performance in 2009.

We do not expect core inflation to be a serious problem at any time during the 2008-2009 period.

Our housing forecast shows substantial reductions in home sales, housing starts and residential fixed investment for 2008 as a whole, but we’re looking for stabilization of all three measures (in that order) during the year.

2009 stacks up as a solid recovery year, and there will be plenty of room for growth of the housing sector in future years as well.

NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders analyzes the economy from the point of view of the housing market every other week in the free e-newsletter, “Eye on the Economy.” The preceding is a reissue of his Feb. 6 edition. To subscribe to “Eye on the Economy,” click here.



Want to Know the Housing Forecast for the Top 100 Metros? 

Find out in HousingEconomic.com’s 2008 to 2009 Metro Forecast (free preview).

Get the metro forecast with in-depth analysis, overviews and downloadable Excel tables.

To learn more, visit www.HousingEconomics.com.

Useful Links to Monitor Economic and Housing Trends

The following are links to useful information from government agencies and NAHB that will enable you to monitor the housing market.

To access the latest information available, simply click the links.




Want to Know the Housing Forecast for the Top 100 Metros? 

Find out in HousingEconomic.com’s 2008 to 2009 Metro Forecast (free preview).

Get the metro forecast with in-depth analysis, overviews and downloadable Excel tables.

To learn more, visit www.HousingEconomics.com.



Free NAHB Kit Gives Builders Back-to-Basics Tips to Navigate the Slowdown

What was once expected to be a relatively mild housing slump following three years of record new home construction and sales has given way to a significant downturn.

To help members navigate the uncharted waters of this slowdown, NAHB has compiled a comprehensive “Back to Basics” online toolkit — the best of the basics, the tried and true and the truly new. To access the toolkit, click here.

To access the “Back to Basics” toolkit, you must be an NAHB member and have a login to www.nahb.org. To create a login, go to www.nahb.org/login or click on the log-in button on the main menu bar.

For assistance, call the NAHB Member Service Center at 800-368-5242.

Special Builder Panel Looks at Weathering Economic Slump

Convention-goers at next week’s International Builders’ Show in Orlando will have the opportunity to attend a special session on “Weathering the Economic Downturn.”

A panel of six builders from around the country will describe their businesses, make projections about where they expect to be this year compared to a couple of years ago and discuss key lessons they have learned from previous downturns.

The session will be held on Thursday, Feb. 14, 9:30-11 a.m. in West 110, Orange County Convention Center.

The panel will be moderated by Mike Sivage, a home builder from Albuquerque, N.M.

Panelists include:

  • Bob Camp, a single-family builder from the state of Washington
  • Kevin Estes, a single-family builder from Sequim, Wash.
  • Bob Hanbury, a remodeler from Connecticut
  • Steve Lawson, a multifamily and single-family builder from Virginia Beach, Va.
  • Tom Woods, a single-family builder and developer from Kansas City
  • John Young, a single-family builder in Southern California

 

NAHB Board of Directors and Caucus Meeting Schedule

Sunday, Feb. 10

  • 2007 State Representatives
    8:00-10:30 a.m. 
    Orange County Convention Center, West 224 A-B

  • 2007 National Vice Presidents
    8:00-10:30 a.m. 
    Orange County Convention Center, West 224 C

  • Joint State Representatives and National Vice Presidents
    10:30 a.m.-noon
    Orange County Convention Center, West 224 A-B

  • Executive Board Meeting
    1:00-5:00 p.m.
    Orange County Convention Center, West 230


Wednesday, Feb. 13

  • Exhibits Open
    9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
    Orange County Convention Center

  • Opening Ceremony
    10:30 a.m.- noon
    Keynote Speakers: James Carville and Mary Matalin   
    Orange County Convention Center, South Hall

  • Area Caucus Meetings

    Area Caucus 1
    (Conn., Maine, Mass., N.H., R.I, Vt.)
    1:00-2:30 p.m.
    Orange County Convention Center, West 224 G

    Area Caucus 2 (N.J., N.Y.)
    1:00-2:30 p.m.
    Orange County Convention Center, West 224 F

    Area Caucus 3 (Del., Washington,D.C., Md., Pa., Va.)
    1:00-2:30 p.m.
    Orange County Convention Center, West 224 C

    Area Caucus 4 (Ga., N.C., S.C.)
    1:00-2:30 p.m. 
    Orange County Convention Center, West 224 B

    Area Caucus 5 (Fla., Puerto Rico)
    1:00-2:30 p.m. 
    Orange County Convention Center, West 224 D

    Area Caucus 6 (Ky., Ohio, W.Va.)
    1:00-2:30 p.m. 
    Orange County Convention Center, West 224 A

    Area Caucus 7 (Ala., Tenn.)
    1:00-2:30 p.m.
    Orange County Convention Center, West 224 H

    Area Caucus 8 (Ark., La., Miss.)
    1:00-2:30 p.m.
    Orange County Convention Center, West 207 C 

    Area Caucus 9 (Ill., Ind., Mich.)
    1:00-2:30 p.m.
    Orange County Convention Center, West 224 E

    Area Caucus 10 (Iowa, Minn., N.D., S.D., Wis.)
    1:00-2:30 p.m. 
    Orange County Convention Center, West 222 B

    Area Caucus 11 (Kans., Mo., Neb., Okla.)
    1:00-2:30 p.m.
    Orange County Convention Center, West 107

    Area Caucus 12
    (Texas)
    1:00-2:30 p.m.
    Orange County Convention Center, West 207 B 

    Area Caucus 13 (Ariz., Colo., Nev., N.M., Utah, Wyo.)
    1:00-2:30 p.m. 
    Orange County Convention Center, West 105 B

    Area Caucus 14 (Calif., Hawaii)
    1:00-2:30 p.m. 
    Orange County Convention Center, West 207 A 

    Area Caucus 15 (Alaska, Idaho, Mont., Ore., Wash.)
    1:00-2:30 p.m.
    Orange County Convention Center, West 222 A


Thursday, Feb. 14

  • Exhibits Open
    9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
    Orange County Convention Center

  • Special Session: Weathering the Economic Environment
    10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
    Orange County Convention Center, West 110


Friday, Feb. 15

  • NAHB Board of Directors Meeting
    8:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 
    Orange County Convention Center, Valencia Ballroom

  • Exhibits Open
    9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
    Orange County Convention Center


Saturday, Feb. 16

  • Exhibits Open
    9:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
    Orange County Convention Center

Strategies for Survival and Success: Special Programs at IBS

NAHB has created several brand new programs and revamped others to address the housing downturn and give attendees the best strategies for success in 2008 and beyond.

The programs include daily speakers, an executive-level day-long conference and special education sessions addressing nearly all aspects of the building industry.

  • Daily Featured Speakers

    Each day of the show opens with a special session with one of three nationally recognized speakers from companies that have capitalized on innovation and turned challenges into opportunities.

    These speakers will provide insight into marketing effectiveness, business strategies, creating relationships with customers and more.

    Thursday, Feb. 14

    • “The Promise of Cradle-to-Cradle Design: Sustainable Architecture for the 21st Century”
      8:00-9:30 a.m.
      Orange County Convention Center, West 320

      William McDonough, of William McDonough + Partners, will present examples of innovative products and business strategies that are reshaping the marketplace. McDonough is the founding principal of Architecture and Community Design, an internationally recognized design firm practicing ecologically, socially and economically intelligent architecture.

Friday, Feb. 15

    • “Eye on the Prize: Customers as Advocates”
      8:00-9:30 a.m.
      Orange County Convention Center, West 320

      Before Mark Jarvis, there was no “chief marketing officer” at Dell. Prior to joining Dell, Jarvis launched countless products and drove highly innovative marketing programs at Oracle. He is credited with creating a marketing team and culture that turned Oracle into a marketing powerhouse.

Saturday, Feb. 16

    • “Make Some Noise”
      8:00-9:30 a.m.
      Orange County Convention Center, West 320

      There are few companies that evoke a stronger brand image than Harley Davidson. Ken Schmidt, formerly with Harley-Davidson Motor Company, will discuss how he created an entirely new corporate culture at Harley-Davidson in order to rekindle relationships with customers and reach out to new ones in untraditional ways.

  • "Executive Edge: Leadership in Challenging Times"

Tuesday, Feb. 12

"Executive Edge: Leadership in Challenging Times
8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Location TBD.

“Executive Edge” is a daylong, executive-level training conference for building and other industry executives that includes networking, breakout session and panel discussions by industry experts and other business leaders. Attendees will hear what industry experts are saying and doing about the state of the industry as well as learn how to react to mistakes of the past, take advantage of present opportunities and better plan for future trends.

Separate registration and fees are required for this program.

Topics and speakers include:

    • “Break From the Pack — How to Compete, Lead and Succeed in a Challenging Economy”
      Management consultant and bestselling author Oren Harari will offer provocative ideas on competitive advantages, organizational change and transformational leadership. His presentation will teach attendees how to gain a competitive advantage in today's chaotic marketplace.

    • “The Disney Approach to Loyalty”
      Mark W. Matheis, content specialist at Disney Institute, will explore how to create relationship loyalty with customers following the Walt Disney World principles and model for generating loyal customers and employees and lifelong customer relationships.

    • “Leadership in Trying Times”
      In this panel discussion, several large production builders and a well-known housing industry analyst will discuss the current state of the industry, the smart moves that have been made and how best to exploit this market in order to come out ahead down the road.

    • “The Five Leadership Secrets of the World's Most Productive and Best-Performing Companies”
      Business thought leader and best selling author Jason Jennings will discuss five leadership traits that he and his research team discovered are common to all of the best-performing companies and how these traits make the companies faster, more productive and innovative; drive customer satisfaction; gain worker buy-in; and consistently grow revenues and profits. Jennings has spent two decades building businesses and guiding them to greatness. In addition, he has served as a consultant for companies in need of resuscitation and direction.

To register for the “Executive Edge” program, click here. For more information, e-mail Kate Carrigan at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8244.

Feb. 14 ‘Green Day' Highlight of Builders’ Show

In recognition of the phenomenal growth of green building, NAHB will celebrate "Green Day" on Thursday, Feb. 14, at the International Builders' Show in Orlando.

On Green Day, the association will officially launch the NAHB National Green Building Program and will unveil the new Certified Green Professional educational designation for home builders, remodelers and other industry professionals.

A dedicated green building display will allow participants to try out a new online scoring tool that is an important component of the NAHB National Green Building Program.

The tool shows how green building techniques and materials will affect a new home and allows builders and consumers to select the measures and materials that are most cost-effective and best meet their needs. Builders can also test the tool at www.nahbgreen.org.

Also on the docket:

  • A full day of green educational seminars on topics from market trends and consumer research to innovative design and new products

  • Information about the 10th annual NAHB National Green Building Conference

  • An in-depth "Cradle to Cradle" presentation on environmentally and ecologically efficient building practices by architect and educator William McDonough

  • Four press conferences highlighting the new NAHB National Green Building Program, the National Green Building Standard, green trends and The New American Home, the first of NAHB’s official showcase homes to be certified by the NAHB National Green Building Program.


IBS attendees also will learn more about the upcoming introduction of the National Green Building Standard. The first-ever consensus-based green standard for single-family and multifamily housing, residential remodeling and lot and site development, the standard will open again for public comment Dec. 21 and is expected to be approved by the American National Standards Institute and unveiled in March.

NAHB volunteer leaders and staff members plan to join the celebration as well, donning green golf shirts provided by Green Day sponsors Marvin Windows and Doors, the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association, Whirlpool and Kohler. At last count, more than 170 companies will be exhibiting green products and services at the show.

Last year, the International Builders' Show attracted more than 100,000 attendees during four days of seminars and other special presentations. They walked 11 miles of aisles through two million square feet of gross exhibit space, enough to cover 35 football fields. More than 1,900 exhibitors displayed the latest in housing products and services.

"We're very proud that NAHB and the International Builders' Show have long been ahead of the curve in introducing innovative products and technologies to our members," said NAHB President Brian Catalde. "Our Green Day celebration honors these pioneering industry leaders as it launches the next steps for home builders in the United States."

For registration information and more details, visit www.buildersshow.com.

For more information, e-mail Calli Schmidt at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8132.



Take the Mystery Out of Green Building

Register now for The 2008 National Green Building Conference, held May 11-13 in New Orleans. Get contacts, tools and ideas that are good for both the environment and your bottom line.

The National Green Building Conference is the only national conference targeted to green building for the mainstream residential building industry. Network with designers and suppliers, attend exceptional education sessions and develop the skills you need for profitable green building. 

For information and to register, visit www.nahb.org/greenbuildingconference, call 800-368-5242 x8338, or e-mail registrar@nahb.com.



‘Profit from Green Building’ Available at BuilderBooks.com

Profit from Building Green — Award-Winning Tips to Build Energy Efficient Homes,” available through BuilderBooks.com, showcases what energy conscious award-winning builders are doing, provides innovative energy-efficient features and covers successful techniques for building this niche market.

To view or purchase this publication online, click here, or call 800-223-2665.

Think Radically About Industry Education at IBS and Win Prizes

Industry professionals are encouraged to “think radically” about building industry education ― and wear temporary tattoos attesting to their radical thinking — for a chance to win prizes from The NAHB University of Housing during daily drawings at the upcoming 2008 International Builders’ Show in Orlando.

Four daily drawings to win a Garmin Nuvi 200 GPS will be held at the University of Housing booth in the West Building, Hall B Lobby, Level II in the Orange County Convention Center during the show.

The University of Housing will also hold a grand prize drawing for a Dell Latitude D630 Notebook at its booth.

Entry forms for the drawings will be available at the booth.

While at the booth, attendees also can learn about the new University of Housing education programs for 2008 ― conferences, courses, designations and more, including the new Certified Green Professional (CGP) designation, the new Sales + Marketing Exchange conference and new National Leadership Training courses.

In 2007, nearly 3,000 housing professionals earned designations from the NAHB University of Housing. In total, 1,205 classes were held with 15,566 students.

For more about the NAHB University of Housing programs, visit the following sites:


The NAHB University of Housing Booth
West Building, Hall B Lobby, Level II

 Wednesday, Feb. 13

 9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

 Thursday, Feb. 14

 9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

 Friday, Feb. 15

 9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

 Saturday, Feb. 16

 9:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

IBS Workshops Ready Members for ‘National Designation Month’

 

 

March is
National Designation Month

NAHB members have an opportunity to jump-start or complete their designation this March during National Designation Month, now in its sixth year and sponsored by The NAHB University of Housing.

The designation coursework enables members to hone their business skills and convey to their clients the superior training, practical experience and in-depth knowledge that come with earning an NAHB designation. 

NAHB offers more than 15 professional designations covering industry basics such as business management and marketing, as well as specialized classes including aging-in-place programs, green building, property management and more.

In addition, designation holders can take advantage of valuable networking opportunities throughout their enrollment, working closely with expert instructors and other professionals both within their field and outside their specific areas of expertise.

NAHB is stepping up efforts to educate the public about the value of selecting builders who earn a designation, build support for continuing education programs and increase recognition of the rigorous training required for an NAHB designation.

‘Blueprint for Success’ Workshop at IBS to Help HBAs Develop Education Programs

The NAHB University of Housing will be holding a “Blueprint for Success” workshop at the International Builders’ Show for builders association Executive Officers and their staff on what they need to start and manage a successful education program, as well as ways to advance the association’s educational offerings.

Three sessions will be held on Friday, Feb. 15:

  • “Getting Started With The NAHB University of Housing Education Programs”
    9:00-11:00 a.m.
    Orange County Convention Center, West 331

    This session is for HBAs new to offering courses or for new staff members with oversight of existing programs. Topics include choosing courses, selecting instructors, developing a budget and needs evaluation.

  • “Marketing Tips and Strategies for The NAHB University of Housing Education Programs”
    1:00-3:00 p.m.
    Orange County Convention Center, West 331

    Specific marketing resources available to HBAs, how to use them and marketing tips will be discussed at this session. Attendees will also learn how to create marketing plans and tactics.

  • “Using the Blueprint: Your Reference Guide for The NAHB University of Housing Education Programs”
    3:00-5:00 p.m.
    Orange County Convention Center, West 331

    The “Blueprint for Success,” a comprehensive guide with the how-to’s for offering the NAHB courses and designation programs, will be discussed. In addition, attendees will work in groups with staff and peers to answer questions about planning courses, marketing the courses and designations, budgeting and more.

    To Register: For information or to register for the “Blueprint for Success” workshops, e-mail Tara Occhipinti Munroe at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8153.


For more information on National Designation Month in March, visit www.nahb.org/ndm, or call the Professional Designation Help Line at 800-368-5242 x8154.

BuilderBooks.com Has New Resources Available at IBS

BuilderBooks.com will have several new titles available to help you improve your business and protect your workers — at the 2008 International Builders’ Show in Orlando.

In addition, UPS will be at the BuilderBooks.com bookstore offering free shipping* from the store. (Complete details below.)

New BuilderBooks.com titles for 2008 include:

  • Beyond Warranty: Building Your Referral Businessby Carol Smith
    Maintaining positive relationships with home owners after move-in increases sales. “Beyond Warranty” provides practical tips and tools for builders and their sales and warranty staffs to understand and plan for the customer service that follows the sale of a house, especially warranty service.

  • Cost of Doing Business, 2008 Edition
    Get a rare glimpse at profitability, cost of sales and expenses from hundreds of home builders across the country. The “Cost of Doing Business Study” analyzes several categories, including volume, operation type and land vs. no land costs to help builders fine-tune comparisons between study results and their companies.
     
  • Home Builders’ Jobsite Codes
    A field guide to the 2006 International Residential Code, “Home Builders’ Jobsite Codes,” provides easy-to-read code requirements for every aspect of residential construction. The guide is packed with illustrations, tables, figures and a glossary to facilitate understanding of the codes.
     
  • Right House, Right Place, Right Time: Community and Lifestyle Preferences of the 45+ Housing Market
    Find out what design, home features and amenities will attract boomer home buyers in your market. Author Margaret A. Wylde guides readers through the latest survey results on this important consumer group and explains what their responses mean for today’s and tomorrow’s home building industry.
     
  • Scaffold Safety Video, English-Spanish
    Use this video to train workers — in English or Spanish — on how to safely build, use and dismantle the most common types of scaffolding found in residential construction, such as fabricated frame, pump jack, ladder jack, mobile and aerial lifts. This video highlights OSHA’s general requirements for scaffolding and identifies the key safe work practices that address the most common scaffold hazards on the job site.

  • Trillion Dollar Women: Use Your Power to Make Buying and Remodeling Decisions
    Author Tara-Nicolle Nelson’s survival guide for women is filled with hundreds of insights into the minds of a dominant segment of the buying public — women. Written by a woman for women, this practical, insightful guide empowers readers to strategically craft the home that meets their unique lifestyle, personality and life-phase preferences.
     
  • Warranties for Builders and Remodelers, 2nd Edition
    NAHB staff attorneys provide new information about warranties based on research for NAHB members on hundreds of warranty issues. “Warranties for Builders and Remodelers” helps address the changes to state statutes of repose applicable to construction and changes and additions to the mandatory notice provisions in states that have these laws. The publication provides vital knowledge concerning the basic elements of a warranty ― the different types, drafting tips and formats, potential legal pitfalls and limitations of liability.


Visit the BuilderBooks.com store in the West Building, Hall C Lobby to purchase these and other building industry resources. A free gift is available with every purchase.

Free Shipping

Members who have a UPS account and are registered in the NAHB/UPS shipping discount program will receive one free shipment at the 2008 IBS BuilderBooks.com Book Store. Please be sure to enroll in the NAHB-sponsored UPS discount program prior to the show.

Members who already have a UPS shipper number can simply include it on the enrollment form. UPS will assign one to members who enroll in this program. Visit www.savewithups.com/nahb/ibs to sign up.

Also, visit the bookstore during the show to enter to win a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

*Restrictions apply. Visit the store at IBS for details.


BuilderBooks.com Book Store Hours
West Building, Hall C Lobby

Tuesday, Feb. 12

10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 13

8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 14

8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 15

8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 16

8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

*Some restrictions may apply. Visit the store at IBS for details.

A Few Spots Still Available for 'Spokesperson Training' at IBS

Leaders of local and state home builders associations and their members have an opportunity to learn the latest interviewing and public speaking techniques through NAHB’s “Spokesperson Training” program at the 2008 International Builders’ Show in Orlando.

Time is running out, however, and with one day sold out and the other dates nearing capacity, members need to register quickly as spots are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.

With the major influx of stories in newspapers, television and radio focusing on the state of the housing industry, state and local industry professionals may find themselves on the receiving end of a call from the media, or they may be asked to formally address a group at their next meeting.

Speaking to either the media or a group doesn’t have to be a terrifying experience.

The program includes two different one-day seminars:

  • Interview Skills” — helps participants master strategies for broadcast and print interviews, including message development. Attendees will learn how to give clear, concise answers in a high-pressure, spur-of-the moment interview.

     
  • Presentation Skills” — focuses on how to organize and deliver a speech or presentation and handle questions and answers.


Session Schedules:

"Interview Skills"              Monday, Feb. 11
"Interview Skills"              Tuesday, Feb. 12           Sold Out

"Presentation Skills"         Wednesday, Feb. 13
"Presentation Skills"         Thursday, Feb. 14

Each seminar is led by professional communication consultants who have more than 30 years of experience training NAHB members on the critical issues they face every day.

The fee to attend the Interview Skills or the Presentation Skills class is $495 per person for each one-day seminar.

More than 15,000 NAHB leaders have taken Spokesperson Training since the program began in 1979.

For more information or to register, e-mail Brooke Fishel in NAHB Public Affairs, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8061.



Free NAHB Kit Gives Builders Back-to-Basics Tips to Navigate the Slowdown

What was once expected to be a relatively mild housing slump following three years of record new home construction and sales has given way to a significant downturn.

To help members navigate the uncharted waters of this slowdown, NAHB has compiled a comprehensive “Back to Basics” online toolkit — the best of the basics, the tried and true and the truly new. To access the toolkit, click here.

To access the “Back to Basics” toolkit, you must be an NAHB member and have a login to www.nahb.org. To create a login, go to www.nahb.org/login or click on the log-in button on the main menu bar.

For assistance, call the NAHB Member Service Center at 800-368-5242.

Builders' Tip: Getting Pinpoint Accuracy in Stair-Rail Joints

 

 

 

Click for larger image.

In my experience, people really scrutinize the joints in handrails when judging quality workmanship. The joints are easy to see, and if a misaligned joint doesn’t catch your eye, your hand will eventually find it.

Here’s a tip to help keep those joints between handrail sections — such as the intersection between the easing and the rail — aligned properly:

  • As shown in the accompanying illustration, I set two little brads into the rail and then clip off their heads, leaving pointed brad ends above the rail bolt.

  • Now, when I draw the two pieces together by tightening the nut on the rail bolt, the handrail sections won’t twist.


— Stephen R. Tobin, Ridgefield, Conn.

Tips & Techniques provided by Fine Homebuilding.
©2005 The Taunton Press

To request a reprint of this feature, e-mail Christina Glennon at Fine Homebuilding.



Set Yourself Apart With CGB Designation

Join the ranks of the nation’s top building industry professionals with the Certified Graduate Builder (CGB) designation. The “Builder Assessment Review” (BAR) is your first step towards obtaining the CGB.

This comprehensive assessment measures your expertise in the four key areas of the building industry: building technology, business and finance, project management and sales and marketing.

Your results will show the areas where your knowledge is strongest and weakest and will help determine the courses required for you to obtain your CGB.

To learn where the next BAR will be held, visit NAHB’s education listings, or call the Professional Designation Help Line at 800-368-5242 x8154.



BuilderBooks.com Offers More Than 250 Books That Help You Build Your Business

BuilderBooks.com is your source for training and education products for the building industry. The official bookstore for NAHB, BuilderBooks.com offers award-winning publications, software, brochures and more available in both English and Spanish.

To view these publications online, click here, or call 800-223-2665.



Free NAHB Kit Gives Builders Back-to-Basics Tips to Navigate the Slowdown

What was once expected to be a relatively mild housing slump following three years of record new home construction and sales has given way to a significant downturn.

To help members navigate the uncharted waters of this slowdown, NAHB has compiled a comprehensive “Back to Basics” online toolkit — the best of the basics, the tried and true and the truly new. To access the toolkit, click here.

To access the “Back to Basics” toolkit, you must be an NAHB member and have a login to www.nahb.org. To create a login, go to www.nahb.org/login or click on the log-in button on the main menu bar.

For assistance, call the NAHB Member Service Center at 800-368-5242.

Experts Say Sales Teams Must Learn to Overcome Objections

The third in an occasional series on how to ramp up sales and marketing in a changing market.

To successfully sell new homes in today’s market, salespeople must know their surrounding community and their prospective buyers and be trained to use that knowledge to overcome objections, a panel of experts said during an NAHB “Back to Basics” teleconference earlier this year on how to ramp up sales and marketing.

Homes no longer sell on their own merits, said Bonnie Alfriend, of Alfriend & Associates, a sales and marketing training, consulting company based in Pebble Beach, Calif. Sales teams must learn to overcome objections, she said. 

Sales teams should practice responding to different objections, Alfriend said. She recommended that sales teams discuss objections together and develop a list of their top-10 most common sales breakers and then discuss ways those deal breakers can be overcome.

For every objection, she said, a good salesperson can offer a varying perspective to change the customer’s mind. If salespeople have practiced, they can turn an objection into a sale.

(At no charge, NAHB members can access the audio conference, "Ramp Up Your Sales and Marketing in a Changing Market,” by clicking here.)

Know the Community

Salespeople who do not know their community limit their ability to sell a home. If they don’t know their community, Alfriend said, they won’t know what incentives to offer, what parts of the homes to highlight and what homes to show what customers.

“Do your salespeople understand your customers ― where they shop, what they do, what their hobbies are?” Alfriend asked. “Have them investigate the community and learn who their buyers are,” she said.

Alfriend told listeners not to overlook the Realtor® community. They have their hand on the pulse of the home buying market because they’re in the field every day hearing what buyers are saying. She suggested that builders get 10 of the “top selling agents in your marketplace, along with your buyers, when you’re doing market research and focus groups.”

Make Your Sites Sizzle

One of the best ways to overcome objections is to have sizzling sites, Alfriend said. Do “a little extra to make various parts of your properties pop out the customer’s eyes.”

A good salesperson can use sizzling sites to overcome many objections, she said.

“Landscaping is probably one of the most cost-effective attributes that you can add,” she pointed out. “Do anything that you can do to make your homes and entry statements better. Plant those petunias. Make sure your whole site comes alive.”

Stunning sites make the sale that much easier, Alfriend said.

Offer Innovative Incentives

The point of incentives is to bring traffic through your homes, Alfriend said. Incentives that don’t accomplish that task are worthless.

She suggested using creative incentives that potential home buyers can easily relate to and use, such as gasoline or grocery gift cards, a gift certificate to a local coffee shop or a raffle for season tickets to a local sports team.

To bring traffic to a community and increase awareness, she also suggested hosting a book signing or food drive, or even having one of your community’s home owners host a cooking show on a local television station. The point is to be creative

But Alfriend also warned listeners not to go overboard when developing creative incentives.

“Be sure that your incentives have a purpose,” she said. A builder does not want to look desperate.

As long as incentives are bringing in traffic, incentives have fulfilled their purpose.



Subscribe to Sales + Marketing Ideas Magazine for Cutting-Edge Information

For additional cutting-edge sales and marketing information, subscribe to NAHB’s Sales + Marketing Ideas Magazine (www.smimagazine.com). 

Click here to learn about membership benefits of the National Sales and Marketing Council and the Institute of Residential Marketing.



Reach New Heights at the Sales + Marketing Exchange

Attend the first annual Sales + Marketing Exchange conference Oct. 5-7 at The Arizona Grand Resort in Phoenix.

Presented by the award-winning Sales + Marketing Ideas magazine, the Sales + Marketing Exchange offers education sessions featuring nationally-acclaimed speakers, networking opportunities, pre-conference courses leading to one of the Institute of Residential Marketing designations and interactive discussions of current sales and marketing issues.

For more information, visit www.nahb.org/Exchange.



'Sales and Marketing Checklists' Covers the Ins and Outs of New Home Sales

Sales and Marketing Checklists for Profit-Driven Home Builders,” available through BuilderBooks.com, covers the major steps involved in successful new home sales.

Learn the ins and outs of the comprehensive contract, the move-in, warranty service, asking for referrals and a great close. This expanded second edition also includes a new chapter on utilizing technology in your marketing and a more extensive chapter on multicultural sales.

To view or purchase this publication online, click here, or call 800-223-2665.



NAHB Has Nearly 300 Resources to Help You Run Your Business More Profitably

Go to NAHB's Business Management Tools Web pages (available to members only) for instant access to nearly 300 timesaving, moneymaking and cost-cutting business resources to help you run your business more profitably. Get guidance on accounting and financial management, business strategy, computers and information technology, customer service, human resources and more.

Resources are added weekly, so bookmark www.nahb.org/biztools to go directly to these vital business management resources.

Local and state home builders associations can link directly to www.nahb.org/biztools from their Web site and give their members instant access to these resources. It will make your HBA's Web site the place to go for the information and guidance that members need to succeed.



Free NAHB Kit Gives Builders Back-to-Basics Tips to Navigate the Slowdown

What was once expected to be a relatively mild housing slump following three years of record new home construction and sales has given way to a significant downturn.

To help members navigate the uncharted waters of this slowdown, NAHB has compiled a comprehensive “Back to Basics” online toolkit — the best of the basics, the tried and true and the truly new. To access the toolkit, click here.

To access the “Back to Basics” toolkit, you must be an NAHB member and have a login to www.nahb.org. To create a login, go to www.nahb.org/login or click on the log-in button on the main menu bar.

For assistance, call the NAHB Member Service Center at 800-368-5242.

Members, Submit Comments on ‘Performance Guidelines’

 

 

Members are encouraged to submit comments to update the "Residential Construction Performance Guidelines."

Builders and contractors are encouraged to submit comments for the fourth edition of the “Residential Construction Performance Guidelines (RCPG) — the industry's most widely accepted reference on how homes should perform.

The current RCPG, available through BuilderBooks.com, contains more than 300 guidelines in 12 major construction categories, including cabinets, cement board siding, concrete, countertops, drainage, driveways, drywall, landscaping, water infiltration and more. It was created for builders and remodelers to help them successfully manage customer expectations — and protect the bottom line — while delivering high-performance homes. It is also popular among consumers.

The RCPG work group, part of the Business Management and Information Technology Committee, will begin overseeing the development of the new edition of the guidelines at its meeting at the 2008 International Builders’ Show in Orlando from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11.

Representatives on the work group will be chosen from various NAHB committees and councils.

To Submit Comments

NAHB members can also submit comments for the updated guidelines through the NAHB Web site. A comment form is available at www.nahb.org/rcpgcomments

The new edition of the RCPG is slated for publication in 2010.

For more information about the RCPG review process, e-mail Joshua Nester at NAHB, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8461.



NAHB Has Nearly 300 Resources to Help You Run Your Business More Profitably

Go to NAHB's Business Management Tools Web pages (available to members only) for instant access to nearly 300 timesaving, moneymaking and cost-cutting business resources to help you run your business more profitably. Get guidance on accounting and financial management, business strategy, computers and information technology, customer service, human resources and more.

Resources are added weekly, so bookmark www.nahb.org/biztools to go directly to these vital business management resources.

Local and state home builders associations can link directly to www.nahb.org/biztools from their Web site and give their members instant access to these resources. It will make your HBA's Web site the place to go for the information and guidance that members need to succeed.



Free NAHB Kit Gives Builders Back-to-Basics Tips to Navigate the Slowdown

What was once expected to be a relatively mild housing slump following three years of record new home construction and sales has given way to a significant downturn.

To help members navigate the uncharted waters of this slowdown, NAHB has compiled a comprehensive “Back to Basics” online toolkit — the best of the basics, the tried and true and the truly new. To access the toolkit, click here.

To access the “Back to Basics” toolkit, you must be an NAHB member and have a login to www.nahb.org. To create a login, go to www.nahb.org/login or click on the log-in button on the main menu bar.

For assistance, call the NAHB Member Service Center at 800-368-5242.

New Survey Reveals Housing Wants of 45+ Age Group

The following is based upon Margart Wylde's book, “Right House, Right Place, Right Time: Community and Lifestyle Preferences of the 45+ Housing Market,” available from BuilderBooks.com.

The 45+ age group is not monolithic. The group differs by generation, income, the homes and communities they want and the price they are willing to pay.

People in this age group are single, married, first-time home buyers, second-home buyers, working, retired, gardeners and golfers.

Many are beginning to start families. Others are rediscovering single life again after 60 years of marriage. Some are just reaching their stride in their careers. Still others are embarking on new careers.

And, many simply are retiring and ending paid employment altogether. Some retirees have taken up globetrotting, others are immersing themselves in civic duties and still others are taking on familial roles.

All these factors — stage of life, interests and passions — are determining when, where and what type of home and community these buyers want, or whether or not they will move at all.

Life Stage Influences Buyer Behavior           

Admittedly, housing choices and preferences differ among age groups, but these differences are not as much a function of age as they are a result of a particular life stage — obligation, transition or discretion.

Obligation Stage: During the obligation stage of life, work and family are the two primary drivers.

These two demands govern daily schedules. Decisions about where to live revolve around being close to work, providing a high-quality living environment, having access to good schools and, if possible, living close to other family members who can share responsibilities.

So, obligation stagers may not even consider moving until after children have left home for college, until responsibilities to elderly parents have been fulfilled or until they change jobs.

Transition Stage: The transition stage may last a few months or several years. The time involved is dependent upon what type of transition individuals are undergoing.

Major transitions can include: leaving or planning to leave employment; having children leave home (or, perhaps, return home); becoming single again because of a divorce or the death of a spouse; caring for or experiencing the death of a parent or both parents.

People in transition often are in the throes of making decisions about where they want to live and what they want to do as a result of this change in their daily lives.

Discretion Stage: Those in the discretion stage have moved beyond the obligation stage and have more freedom, flexibility and choice in how they spend their time and what they do with their lives.

Some discretion stagers are adamant about doing what they want to do and when they want to do it. Others may have traded a life of paid employment and care for children for one full of voluntary commitments to churches, causes and grandchildren.

Despite their full calendars, however, those in the discretion stage usually have greater control over what they do and when than their counterparts in the other two stages.

Many heads of households in this group who have retired may be living on retirement savings and Social Security. However, although their incomes may be lower, their homes have appreciated significantly and they also may have investment assets in other real estate and retirement accounts.

Income Alone Does Not Predict Movers

As a rule, as income increases, so does the proportion of people who will move to a new home.

Studies have found that only about 23% of respondents with incomes of less than $30,000 are likely to move in the future, compared with 37% of households with $100,000 or more in annual household income.

Still, household income by itself is not necessarily a predictor of whether or not that household will move in the future, particularly within the 45-to-54 group.

A recent study of 6,000 housing consumers aged 45 and older found that those with the lowest incomes were as likely to move in the future as those with higher incomes. Conversely, households in the high age range (75+) with the highest incomes were the least likely people to move of any group — by age or income.

When home values are considered across all age-groups, those households with the lowest home values (less than $150,000) were the least likely to move. Still, a significantly greater proportion of 45-to-54-year-olds with the lowest home values were more likely to move than people 75 or older with the highest home values — more than $400,000.

The region of the country where they live is a factor for determining whether or where they might move, according to the study.

Active Participants in Recreation, Culture

The proportion of households who plan to move to an active adult community or who would consider moving to an active adult community has increased significantly in the past few years.

Within the 45+ age group, 22% of respondents said they were likely to move to an active adult community and 36% said they might move to an active adult community. About 42% indicated they were likely to move to an all-age community.

Many studies compare and contrast those who prefer to move to an active adult community with those who prefer to move to an all-age community. These studies show that those who prefer to move to an active adult community are more active. Unlike their counterparts who prefer to move to all-age communities, those considering moving to an active adult community say they participate in more recreational, educational, cultural and sports activities ― and do so more frequently — than those considering all-age communities.

Wanted: Bigger, Smaller or Just Better Homes

Despite the common perception that everyone who is 55 or older wants to downsize, the recent 45+ survey results indicate that, as with other age-groups, 55+ buyers want maximum square footage for their money.

The data show that even households planning to move to an active adult community aren’t necessarily looking to downsize.

According to the study, among 55+ respondents, 34% of those considering only active adult communities, 36% of those considering all-age communities and 35% of those considering both strongly agreed that they wanted the maximum square footage their money could buy.

Among middle-America households in the larger 45+ group, 72% indicated they wanted the largest basic home they could get for their money.

At the same time, those who are willing to pay more for their homes also are more willing to compromise on size, according to the study.

About 46% of those planning to spend less than $150,000 for their homes said they wanted as much space as their money could buy. In contrast, only 28% of respondents planning to spend $400,000 or more wanted as much space as their money could buy. Many boomers who are able to invest more in their homes want better, not necessarily bigger, homes.

The study found that buyers will compromise on size if that means they can upgrade the quality of their homes.

Of the middle-America households in the 45+ age group who were planning to move, 53% said they would prefer a top-quality smaller home to a regular larger home. Moreover, the percentage that preferred the quality of the home over its size increased with age.

Although 14% of respondents ages 45 to 54 strongly agreed that they would sacrifice space if they could have a top-quality home, 25% of 75+ householders said likewise.

Preference for a top-quality, smaller home also did not differ by the amount respondents planned to spend. Whether planning to spend $150,000 for a home or $400,000 or more, an equal percentage was willing to trade size for quality.

Although a majority of those 55 or older who plan to move to an active adult community and a majority who plan to move to an all-age community indicated they were willing to trade size for quality as well, the preference for quality over size is more pronounced in the active adult group. More than two-thirds of these respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they preferred a smaller home with everything top-quality. 

Careful Connoisseurs of Housing Options

Home buyers who are 45 and older usually do not have to move. Rather, they are at a point in life where, if they decide to move, they will move to a place where they really want to live.

Consequently, they take their time considering their options. They talk with friends, they size up what they want and need in a house and community. They will look to the builder and developer to “wow” them.

As with other market segments, referrals among these buyers matter.

Many will follow friends to a community. Still, with nothing forcing them to move, they won’t tolerate inefficiency in sales, communication or construction.

As these customers seek out new homes and communities, they look for builder expertise on universal design features, are willing to pay for certain upgrades and understand the trade-offs inherent in obtaining the home and lifestyle they desire.

Because many in this age group may be moving from full-time to part-time employment and have fewer family responsibilities and smaller households, they can explore new options for living, spend money on upgrades instead of another bedroom and pay for homes and communities that better represent who they are or who they want to become.

The study found that the primary reasons these buyers cited for moving were to have a new house, to live among others who are more like them or to start over.

Although real estate is part of the deal with this varied age group, the intangible fabric of the community is what really sells the home.

Margaret A. Wylde, Ph.D., CAASH and the author of “Right House, Right Place, Right Time: Community and Lifestyle Preferences of the 45+ Housing Market” available at BuilderBooks.com, heads ProMatura Group, LLC, an international research firm headquartered in Oxford, Miss. Wylde has conducted research about home preferences and purchase decisions for more than 20 years. She was named a 2007 Icon of the Industry by the NAHB 50+ Housing Council and is a speaker at the 2008 Building for Boomers & Beyond: 50+ Housing Symposium in New Orleans. For more information, e-mail Wylde, or call her at 662-234-0158.



Find Out What the 45+ Housing Market Wants

Right House, Right Place, Right Time: Community and Lifestyle Preferences of the 45+ Housing Market,” available through BuilderBooks.com, will help 50+ housing professionals determine the right design, home features and amenities to attract boomer home buyers in their market.

Margaret Wylde guides readers through the latest survey results on this important consumer group and explains what their responses mean for today’s and tomorrow’s home building industry. 

To view or purchase this publication online, click here, or call 800-223-2665.

Duplex Transformed Into Home for a Lifetime

 

 

No-step front entrance leads to award-winning remodel for lifetime.

From top to bottom, Ann’s Ridge Road Dream was remodeled to become a home for a lifetime.

Originally a duplex, the innovative project is the result of attention to detail and a dynamic working relationship between the home owner and the remodeler ― Quality Design and Construction of Raleigh, N.C.

Peggy and David Mackowski, owners of the remodeling firm, won a Livable Communities Award from AARP and NAHB for the remodel. The awards recognize builders, remodelers and developers who have built creative and unique homes and communities with design features that improve comfort, ease of use and safety for their residents.

At first, the home owner was only considering removing the wall separating the two units, but as the project evolved, it became a leading example of accessibility and aging-in-place design with many energy-efficiency features as well.

A zero-step, street-side entrance leads into the house. Inside, the home has no hallways on the main level and each door is three feet wide or wider to maximize accessibility and sight lines.

 

 

Main living level has no hallways and plenty of light.

At the back of the home is an oversized deck/carport. Dryspace was installed on the underside of the deck, providing cover from the elements while unloading groceries or for visitors.

 

Kitchen before.

 

The back door on a lower level of the home opens to a five-foot-wide hallway leading to a two-stop elevator, one for a future caregiver’s residence and the other to the home’s main living level.

The home owner controls the home’s zoned recessed lighting and task lighting with rocker panel light switches. The kitchen’s base cabinets feature pullouts or drawers with oversized handles for easy access.

The laundry room feature tile flooring with epoxy grout for easy maneuverability and for low maintenance.

There is a curbless shower stall with an integral seat and a hand-held shower on an adjustable slide bar off the owner’s bedroom. Though no grab bars have been installed, the shower was built so grab bars could be added in the future, if desired.

In addition, anticipating that the home owner may one day face mobility challenges and possibly need a wheelchair, the bathroom was designed and built with ample turnaround space in front of the shower and multilevel countertops. 

Low-E windows are used throughout the home, which also has Therma-Tru front door.

For more information about the Livable Communities Award, e-mail Blake Smith at NAHB, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8583.

For applications for the 2008 awards program, click here.

 

 

Kitchen after.



Find Out What the 45+ Housing Market Wants

Right House, Right Place, Right Time: Community and Lifestyle Preferences of the 45+ Housing Market,” available through BuilderBooks.com, will help 50+ housing professionals determine the right design, home features and amenities to attract boomer home buyers in their market.

Margaret Wylde guides readers through the latest survey results on this important consumer group and explains what their responses mean for today’s and tomorrow’s home building industry. 

To view or purchase this publication online, click here, or call 800-223-2665.

Free Architectural Plan Reviews, Community Ad Reviews at IBS

The NAHB 50+ Housing Council is sponsoring free active adult architectural plan reviews and community ad reviews at the 2008 International Builders’ Show in Orlando next month.

Community, clubhouse and home plans will be reviewed one-on-one by the country's top active adult architects and land planners and feedback on community ads will be provided by the country's premier active adult marketing professionals.

The reviews are available in free, half-hour time slots:

  • Thursday and Friday, Feb. 14-15
    10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
    1:00-4:00 p.m.
    Orange County Convention Centerm West 107.


Participating in the reviews are program sponsors:


To register for a time slot, e-mail Janice Coyle at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8386.

Registration will also be available onsite.



Find Out What the 45+ Housing Market Wants

Right House, Right Place, Right Time: Community and Lifestyle Preferences of the 45+ Housing Market,” available through BuilderBooks.com, will help 50+ housing professionals determine the right design, home features and amenities to attract boomer home buyers in their market.

Margaret Wylde guides readers through the latest survey results on this important consumer group and explains what their responses mean for today’s and tomorrow’s home building industry. 

To view or purchase this publication online, click here, or call 800-223-2665.

Deadline Nears for 'Best of 50+ Housing Awards'

 

 

Splendido at Rancho Vistoso in Tucson, Ariz. was the 2007 Gold winner of the Best of 50 + Housing Awards in the continuing care retirement community category for large communities.

Enter the 2008 Best of 50+ Housing Awards, the premier design and marketing competition for the 50+ housing industry. Entries are due by Feb. 29.

Sponsored by the 50+ Housing Council, the award program honors the best in more than 50 categories covering all aspects of the 50+ housing industry.

“With the boomers leading the way, today’s 50+ consumers are different than the mainstream and demand cutting-edge community and home designs as well as innovative marketing approaches,” said Doug Van Lerberghe, 2008 chairman of the Best of 50+ Housing Awards committee and an architect with Denver-based KEPHART Community Planning Architecture. “The Best of 50+ Housing Awards rewards builders, architects and other industry professionals who step outside the box to meet the unique needs of this evolving market.”

Active Adult

Some of the active adult categories include overall community, clubhouse design, condominium unit design, model home merchandising and more.

Design

Several of the design categories include aging-in-place, assisted living, congregate-living community, continuing care retirement communities, mixed-use, multifamily housing, renovated housing and special-needs housing.

Marketing

Marketing categories include logo, community brochure, direct mail piece/campaign, Web site, black-and-white and color print advertisement, radio and television commercial, sales center and special promotion.

Awards Gala in New Orleans

Winners will be announced at the Best of 50+ Housing Awards gala on May 20 during the Building for Boomers & Beyond: 50+ Housing Symposium 2008 in New Orleans from May 19-21.

The call for entries, contest rules and list of categories are available online at www.nahb.org/50plusawards, or by calling 800-368-5242 x8220.



Tour Top 50+ Communities in New Orleans

Sign up for the active adult housing tour at the 2008 Boomers and Beyond: 50+ Housing Symposium in New Orleans, May 19-21.

The symposium will also feature the most innovative new community designs during the Best of 50+ Housing Awards gala.

Click here to be notified when registration opens.



Help Rebuild New Orleans at 50+ Housing Symposium

Building for Boomers & Beyond: 50+ Housing Symposium is partnering with Rebuilding Together New Orleans on a special two-day community service project so symposium attendees can help rehabilitate homes in New Orleans that were severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

Two pre-conference days have been reserved for this event. Attendees are encouraged to volunteer for this special rebuilding project.



Earn CAASH Credits at Building for Boomers & Beyond

The three required courses for the Certified Active Adult Specialist in Housing (CAASH) designation will be held Saturday, May 17 and Sunday, May 18 at the 2008 Building for Boomers & Beyond: 50+ Housing Symposium in New Orleans.

The CAASH designation gives housing professionals serving this rapidly burgeoning market the essential knowledge, tools and skills that will help them succeed.

To learn more about CAASH, visit www.nahb.org/CAASHinfo.



Find Out What the 45+ Housing Market Wants

Right House, Right Place, Right Time: Community and Lifestyle Preferences of the 45+ Housing Market,” available through BuilderBooks.com, will help 50+ housing professionals determine the right design, home features and amenities to attract boomer home buyers in their market.

Margaret Wylde guides readers through the latest survey results on this important consumer group and explains what their responses mean for today’s and tomorrow’s home building industry. 

To view or purchase this publication online, click here, or call 800-223-2665.

Learn How to Build a 50+ Housing Council on Feb. 14 at IBS

Local 50+ Housing Council members can share ideas with other local councils from across the country at the upcoming Local 50+ Housing Council Roundtable at the 2008 International Builders’ Show in Orlando.

The roundtable will be from 10:00-noon, Thursday, Feb. 14 in the Orange County Convention Center, West 105B. Attendees will learn about the benefits of starting a local council, the new Certified Active Adult Specialist in Housing (CAASH) designation and more.

Associations, Executive Officers and 50+ housing professionals interested in starting a local 50+ council are invited to participate.

For information and to RSVP, e-mail Jeff Jenkins at NAHB, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8292.



Find Out What the 45+ Housing Market Wants

Right House, Right Place, Right Time: Community and Lifestyle Preferences of the 45+ Housing Market,” available through BuilderBooks.com, will help 50+ housing professionals determine the right design, home features and amenities to attract boomer home buyers in their market.

Margaret Wylde guides readers through the latest survey results on this important consumer group and explains what their responses mean for today’s and tomorrow’s home building industry. 

To view or purchase this publication online, click here, or call 800-223-2665.

Condos an Affordable Alternative for Young Buyers

Younger and minority households who want to own a home at a more affordable price than detached single-family housing represent prime prospects for condominium developers seeking to boost their sales, according to a new research study by NAHB.

Using 2005 American Housing Survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the analysis was conducted to help association members better identify potential buyers at a time when condo sales are slow in most markets.

Condominium sales declined from a cyclical peak of 896,000 in 2005 to 801,000 in 2006, according to the National Association of Realtors®, with a continued decline last year.

A look at the characteristics of households that bought condos in multifamily buildings with at least five units during the two-year period prior to the survey found that the typical buyer was single, a non-Hispanic white, age 25 to 34 with a college undergraduate degree.

More specific characteristics of buyers include:

  • More than 30% of the buyers were one-person, female-headed households, and about 21% were single males. Another 19% were married couples without children.

  • About 31.5% had a bachelor’s degree and about 27% had some college education.

  • Condo buyers represented a broad economic spectrum. About 22% had incomes between $20,000 and $39,999; and 20% had incomes between $40,000 and $59,999. High-end buyers with incomes exceeding $80,000 accounted for a quarter of the market.

  • The value of the condos they purchased also varied. About a quarter of the condos sold for between $150,000 and $250,000. More than 40% were priced below that range and almost one-third were more expensive. At the high end, 5% sold for more than $600,000.

  • The share of Hispanic condo buyers increased from 7.8% of the market in 1997 to 10.5% in 2005. The share of non-Hispanic blacks also increased, surging from 3.1% in the recessionary year of 2001 to 8.7% in 2003.

  • The share of condo buyers who are under age 25 has also been on the rise, with their share climbing from 4.9% in 1997 to 11.7% in 2005.

  • By contrast, the share of condo buyers aged 65 and older has been declining — from a 22.6% market share in 1997 to 14.3% in 2005.


“The trends show that minority buyers and buyers younger than age 25 are becoming a larger share of the market for condos,” the study says.

“Multifamily condominiums generally are smaller in size and can be sold at lower prices than single-family detached homes in the same area. This can provide an opportunity to homeownership that would otherwise be difficult to obtain for minority households and younger households, who often have relatively low incomes and accumulated wealth.”

For more information on multifamily resources available from NAHB, e-mail Ann Marie Moriarty, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8350.

Pillars of the Industry Award Finalists Announced

Two military housing communities, an old cotton mill reworked into luxury apartments and one of the first high-rise rental apartment towers to be built in downtown Boston since the 1980s are among the innovative multifamily housing projects selected as finalists for the 2008 Pillars of the Industry Awards, NAHB announced last week.

The Pillars — the multifamily housing industry's most prestigious awards and a showcase of future trends — honor superior achievement in apartment and condominium development, design, marketing and management.

"Although all the projects selected as finalists are beautiful, this is not just a beauty contest," said Leonard Wood, chairman of NAHB's Multifamily Leadership Board and founder of Wood Partners in Atlanta. "The Pillars of the Industry program rewards true creativity in the development of multifamily housing, and this year's list is particularly impressive."

Wood said he was very encouraged to see the large number of entries in the affordable housing category, which recognizes excellence in projects in which 40% of the apartment units are affordable to people earning 60% or less of an area's median income. That category had more entries than any other builder category in this year's program, which attracted a record number of entries overall.

Wood also noted that several of the projects named as finalists represent cutting-edge green building that incorporates sustainable design techniques.

Demonstrating the dynamics of the current housing market, this year's award entries represented many more nominations for rental properties than condos, and a larger number of smaller-scale projects, including a dramatic resurgence in the number of garden apartment communities nominated for recognition.

However, even the garden apartment communities reflected the interest of many of today's renters and buyers in living in an urban environment, with an emphasis on pedestrian-friendly amenities and locations near mass transit.

The marketing category nominees were also broadly influenced by urban design trends, offering up campaigns that highlight the "live, work and play" lifestyles of today's infill multifamily housing communities.

A panel of judges known for their industry expertise in multifamily housing design, development and marketing selected the finalists in 29 categories, including the Multifamily Development Firm of the Year Award and Property Management Company of the Year.

Winners will be announced at a gala ceremony held in conjunction with NAHB Multifamily's Pillars of the Industry Conference on April 2, at the Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs, Colo. NAHB will also name the "Multifamily Community of the Year" at the gala, which is sponsored by Time Warner Cable.

For a complete list of this year's finalists, click here.

For more information, e-mail Ann Marie Moriarty at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8350.



Get Informed, Make Connections

Attend the 2008 Multifamily Pillars of the Industry Conference and Awards Gala, April 1-3, in Colorado Springs, Colo. and find out what’s next in the rapidly changing multifamily market from top economists and multifamily market experts.

Network with the top professionals in the field and find out how they’re navigating the current market. Walk away with new contacts and fresh perspectives.

For more information, visit www.nahb.org/PillarsConference.

 

Kitchen Lighting Controls Enhance Buyers’ Lifestyles

Kitchens have evolved over the past decade. No longer relegated solely to cooking family meals, the kitchen has become a focal point in the home, an area for entertaining.

With the kitchen’s new uses come new lighting requirements. The old single fixture hanging in the center of the kitchen is being replaced with sophisticated lighting to match the room’s versatility. Home owners today want to paint the room and furnishings with a desired amount of light or to change the level of light appropriate to the task at hand.

Builders and designers who work in concert can create optimal plans to illuminate the kitchen using the four main types of lighting options ― utility, task, ambient and accent ― to satisfy the varied tastes in today’s marketplace.

But, for builders to take full advantage of the new lighting’s potential — and wow their customers — they need to mate these lighting options with sophisticated lighting controls that can create a variety of lighting schemes that not only enhance the beauty of their model kitchens but also control the ambiance of the room and offer energy savings through eco-enhancements.

Designing a kitchen requires a team of qualified professionals ― from architects, cabinet makers and counter top technicians to the appliance installers and lighting fixture manufacturers. However, one integral professional — the Electrical and Electronic Systems Contractor (ESC) who can bring the kitchen to life by coordinating and installing the lighting controls ― is often overlooked.

ESCs are well-versed and competent in the most high-tech, state-of-the-art lighting possibilities available and work with builders and home buyers to create the desired atmosphere in each individual home. As such, they should be involved early in the construction process to create and install upgraded lighting option plans and controls that meld seamlessly into the overall design of the home.

Controlling Lighting in the Kitchen and From the Kitchen

 
 

A sophisticated lighting plan with integrated technolgy is needed to properly light the modern gourmet kitchen for cooking — and entertaining.

Home buyers today demand the latest in lighting design and control to easily create a desired atmosphere throughout their entire home.

Our company, S&S Electric, has found that our greatest success with lighting control has been in the kitchen because home owners want a simple and convenient way to control the vast number and types of lights located there. The use of dimmers and one-touch keypads simplifies lighting control for even the pickiest home buyer.

With dimmer switches, home owners have the flexibility to determine how much light is needed for different activities, or to simply set a desired mood in the room. Dimmers also can be used to accent artwork or collectibles.

Additionally, dimmers help control energy usage, can reduce energy consumption and can extend the life of a light bulb. Many people don’t realize it, but dimming a light by 50% can reduce electricity use by 40%.

Keypads Limit the Number of Kitchen Switches, Achieve Home Owner’s Desired Effect

Sometimes, simply using dimmer switches cannot achieve the desired setting ― or flexibility ― that the home owner wants to create. Many times, relying only on dimmer switches in modern gourmet kitchens clutters the aesthetics of the kitchen’s design and detracts from the mood lighting.

High-tech keypads with easy-to-use menus give home owners the ability to control the mood of the entire room with the touch of a button.

Our customers truly appreciate how easily they can change the atmosphere in the kitchen from sterile to intimate in a matter of seconds — without having to adjust multiple dimmers or turn several light switches on and off manually.

A well-lit kitchen that combines natural lighting with a well-thought-out, integrated and easy-to-use lighting system with utility, task, ambient and accent lighting is more likely to sell a home ― and it’s much easier for builders to achieve than they might think.

New home buyers are prepared to select kitchen fixtures such as cabinets and countertops during the construction process. They will be more than ready to consider convenient, easy-to-use — and dramatic — lighting control systems at the same time.

Shawn Smith is president of S&S Electric, a Florida-based installer of home technology systems. An NAHB member, he currently serves on the boards of the Florida West Coast chapter of the Independent Electrical Contractors, CEA-TechHome, CEA-Multi-Room Audio/Video Council, the marketing committee of the Home Lighting Control Alliance and the Home Technology Allicance (HTA). For more information about S&S Electric, visit www.ss-electric.com, or call 800-762-3056. To learn more about the Home Lighting Control Alliance, visit www.homelightingcontrol.org.



CEDIA: A Source for Experienced ESCs

The Home Technology Alliance (HTA), a partnership between NAHB and the Custom Electronic Design Installation Association (CEDIA), was created to meet the growing consumer demand for home technology.

CEDIA, a founding sponsor, is an international trade association of companies that specialize in designing and installing electronic systems for the home. CEDIA members are established and insured businesses with bona fide qualifications and experience in this field.

For more information on CEDIA, visit the association’s Web site at www.cedia.org. To find an ESC, click here.

Lead Paint Rule in Final Review

The impending U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting rule governing professional remodelers doing work in homes where there is lead-based paint is undergoing a final review by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

NAHB expects the rule to be released around the end of March.

The rule addresses remodeling and renovation projects disturbing more than two feet of potentially contaminated painted surfaces for all residential and multifamily structures built prior to 1978 that are inhabited by a child under the age of six.

Children under age six are at risk from exposure to lead-based paint, and older homes are more likely to include surfaces covered by lead-based paint.

NAHB members met with OMB staff to outline the association’s concerns about the rule. NAHB cautioned regulators against imposing inappropriate and costly regulatory burdens on remodelers that would make it cost-prohibitive for consumers to hire trained professionals, or that could lead to further proliferation of potentially harmful do-it-yourself projects.

Committed to the safety of its members and their clients, NAHB is working aggressively to promote the value of lead-safe work practices and the benefits of professional remodeling for older homes.

A 2006 NAHB study on lead-safe work practices showed that a home was better off after a remodel than before, as long as the work was performed by trained remodelers who clean the work area with HEPA-equipped vacuums, wet washing and disposable drop cloths.

The additional training, however, is likely to drive up the cost of remodeling, which may encourage home owners to do the work themselves without following these lead-safe practices.

NAHB is also concerned about the clearing verification required after the project has been completed.

"Any clearance testing requirements create an incentive to avoid hiring professionally trained remodelers, raising the chance of exposure to lead-based paint dust rather than reducing it," NAHB told EPA officials in a letter sent last year.

In addition, NAHB is concerned about liability. "A clearance testing standard for NAHB remodelers would make them responsible for all preexisting lead paint hazards and impose the positive duty to permanently remove them, which matches the definition of abatement," the letter said. The statute and regulation governing lead-based paint clearly differentiate between remodeling and abatement.

Without these necessary changes, EPA's goal of reducing lead poisoning in children is not likely to be met, NAHB cautioned, because the proposal as it now stands will discourage home owners from remodeling old homes or hiring professionals to do the work.

"The rule will likely increase ― not decrease ― the risk of children's exposure to lead," NAHB said.

"There are two important messages here," said NAHB Remodelers Chair Mike Nagel, a remodeler in suburban Chicago. "First of all, it's very important that home owners hire professional remodelers, especially if they live in pre-1978 housing.”

"Secondly, we need to encourage more remodelers to join NAHB so they can take advantage of all the professional training now available, and to learn about lead-safe work practices. It's the professional thing to do," Nagel said.

The results of NAHB’s study showed that remodeling work significantly reduces (by 40% to 60%) lead dust loadings in a home. However, NAHB’s study was performed in severely deteriorated housing not typical of remodeling work.

The NAHB study, along with EPA’s study, showed that with excessive amounts of pre-existing lead dust in the home prior to remodeling work, even using lead-safe work practices is not always sufficient to meet federal abatement standards.

Nevertheless, other peer-reviewed research shows that in typical remodeling situations, cleaning to a level of “no visible dust and debris” meets clearance testing standards a vast majority of the time (up to 97%).

When the rule is released, NAHB will continue to inform members about details and next steps.



Increase Your Professional Credibility

The Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR) designation emphasizes business management skills as the key to a professional remodeling operation.

Remodelers who earn the CGR become members of an exclusive national program and gain recognition as industry leaders.

To learn more about the CGR designation, visit www.nahb.org/CGRinfo, or call The Professional Designation Help Line at 800-368-5242 x8154.



'How to Find a Professional Remodeler' Available at BuilderBooks.com

"How to Find a Professional Remodeler," available at BuilderBooks.com, promotes the professionalism of your remodeling business by offering valuable advice to your customers on the process of selecting a remodeler.

The brochure guides consumers from the dream to the reality of having their homes remodeled by skilled and trained professionals. Sections include what to look for in a professional remodeler and what questions to ask.

To view or puchase this publication online, click here, or call 800-223-2665 to order.

 

 

Attend NAHB Remodelers Chairman’s Dinner at IBS

Tickets are still available for the NAHB Remodelers Chairman’s Dinner on Thursday, Feb. 14 at the 2008 International Builders’ Show in Orlando.

The dinner will be from 6:30-10:00 p.m. at the Rosen Centre Hotel, Salons 1 and 2.

The dinner, a celebration of 2007 accomplishments and the premier social event for NAHB Remodelers at IBS, includes the Chairman’s Awards presentation, an announcement of membership contest winners and the official change in council leadership.

The fee is $50 per person. Dress is business attire.

Advanced registration is required. To register and purchase tickets, visit www.nahb.org/rcchairmansdinner.



Increase Your Professional Credibility

The Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR) designation emphasizes business management skills as the key to a professional remodeling operation.

Remodelers who earn the CGR become members of an exclusive national program and gain recognition as industry leaders.

To learn more about the CGR designation, visit www.nahb.org/CGRinfo, or call The Professional Designation Help Line at 800-368-5242 x8154.



'How to Find a Professional Remodeler' Available at BuilderBooks.com

"How to Find a Professional Remodeler," available at BuilderBooks.com, promotes the professionalism of your remodeling business by offering valuable advice to your customers on the process of selecting a remodeler.

The brochure guides consumers from the dream to the reality of having their homes remodeled by skilled and trained professionals. Sections include what to look for in a professional remodeler and what questions to ask.

To view or puchase this publication online, click here, or call 800-223-2665 to order.

 

 

Experts to Discuss State of Systems-Built Industry at IBS

Industry experts covering all areas of the systems-built industry — modular, log, concrete and panelized systems — will discuss systems building during a press conference at 1:45 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13 at the 2008 International Builders’ Show in Orlando.

The press conference will be held in NAHB News Conference Room 203 A at the Orange County Convention Center.

Charles Bevier, editor of Building Systems magazine, will discuss how systems-built homes generate success by providing high-quality, “green” homes.

Jerry Rouleau, president of the Terryville, Conn.–based consulting firm, J. Rouleau & Associates LLC, and an expert on building systems technology for more than 25 years, will discuss how systems-built industry is positioning itself to expand.

Ed Sullivan, chief economist for the Portland Cement Association, will present a long-range economic forecast that includes how “green” building will affect the residential market.

Systems-built homes are constructed to the same code standards as site-built construction but completed in a fraction of the time with a fraction of the waste. Systems-built homes also reduce costly weather exposure.

For more information, visit www.buildingsystems.org, e-mail Tony Gacek at NAHB, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8357.



Attend the Modular and Panel Plant Tour May 18-20

Go behind the scenes of the modular and panelized home building industries at the 2008 Modular and Panel Plant Tour in Harrisburg, Pa. on May 18-20.

Tour several plants and network with modular and panelized professionals from across the country.

For more information, or to register, visit www.nahb.org/PlantTour.

Education Calendar

Feb. 13-16

International Builders' Show

Orlando, Fla.

Feb. 13

2008 IRM Commencement Breakfast

Orlando, Fla.

Feb. 13

The National Sales and Marketing Awards

Orlando, Fla.

Feb. 13

Safety Award for Excellence Awards Program

Orlando, Fla.

April 1-3

Multifamily Pillars of the Industry Conference and Awards Gala

Colorado Springs, Colo.

April 6-9

Log Home Council President's Tour

Appleton, Wis.

April 24

Spring Construction Forecast Conference

Washington, D.C.

May 11-13

National Green Building Conference

New Orleans, La.

May 18-20

Building Systems Councils Modular and Panel Plant Tour

Harrisburg, Pa.

May 19-21

Building for Boomers & Beyond: 50+ Housing Symposium

New Orleans, La.

June 1-3

Concrete Technologies Tour

Charlotte, N.C.

June 8-11

Design Institute

Las Vegas, Nev.

Aug. 5-9

Executive Officers Council Seminar

Providence, R.I

Sept. 3

Housing Credit Group Issues Forum

San Diego, Calif.

Oct. 3-5

National Conference on Membership

Des Moines, Iowa

Oct. 24-26

Custom Builder Symposium

Austin, Texas

Nov. 16-19

Building Systems Councils SHOWCASE

Memphis, Tenn.

Nov. 20-22

State and Local Government Affairs Conference

Memphis, Tenn.

Learn More About Upcoming Conferences and Designations

Interested in attending a University of Housing conference or learning more about NAHB designation programs? Visit www.nahb.org/notifyme, and sign up to receive more information.



Free NAHB Kit Gives Builders Back-to-Basics Tips to Navigate the Slowdown

What was once expected to be a relatively mild housing slump following three years of record new home construction and sales has given way to a significant downturn.

To help members navigate the uncharted waters of this slowdown, NAHB has compiled a comprehensive “Back to Basics” online toolkit — the best of the basics, the tried and true and the truly new. To access the toolkit, click here.

To access the “Back to Basics” toolkit, you must be an NAHB member and have a login to www.nahb.org. To create a login, go to www.nahb.org/login or click on the log-in button on the main menu bar.

For assistance, call the NAHB Member Service Center at 800-368-5242.

Land Development Magazine Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Land Development magazine is celebrating 20 years of comprehensive coverage of the development industry with a special issue that looks at the evolution of the industry and considers its future.

Produced by NAHB’s Land Development Services Department, the publication is closely affiliated with NAHB's Land Development Committee, with information from the association’s membership and staff giving it a decided edge over the competition.

“Nobody else covers residential land development the way we do. Nobody can cover it the way we do,” said Debra Bassert, NAHB’s assistant staff vice president for land development. “We have direct access to the top sources of information about land use and environmental policy. And some of the best land planners in the business are active members of NAHB.”

Land Development uses its direct access to NAHB staff resources in regulatory policy, economics, legal affairs and other areas to cover a wide range of issues, including:

  • Environmental regulations and compliance
  • Land use regulations
  • Trends in zoning codes and development regulations
  • Legal issues
  • Sustainability and green development
  • The land entitlement process
  • Infrastructure finance
  • Community design


Some of the most knowledgeable professionals in the business write the articles that appear in Land Development, and they do so with an emphasis on best practices that can make a difference in the daily business of development.

“I read Land Development because it includes great success stories,” said Bruce Boncke, president of BME Associates in Fairport, N.Y. “I prefer success over fighting against the alternative. I like reading about win-win success stories. The magazine provides insight into the tough issues we live with day in and day out.”

The magazine is read by development professionals around the country. Roughly 38% of its readers are developers and 24% are builder-developers. Another 27% are single-family and multifamily builders, and the balance — 21% — are other professionals involved in the land development process.

“Development is central to our members' businesses,” said Bassert, who has served as the magazine’s editor-in-chief since 2000. “Whether it’s raw land on the exurban fringe or infill redevelopment, preparing land for residential development is a challenging process. That’s why Land Development magazine is so important. The magazine offers valuable information about the business of development, the land planning process, environmental regulations and the entitlement process. It offers best practices that help developers improve the bottom line.”

The 20th anniversary edition of Land Development includes articles about overlay zones, transit-oriented development, green building and trends in residential development. It presents findings of research on the relationship between growth and quality of life indicators and on the state of the nation’s forest resources. The anniversary edition also looks back on the history of the magazine itself, including a review of its “Landmarks” column, which showcased some of the nation’s most historically important development projects.

A Best-Kept Secret at NAHB

“It’s one of the best-kept secrets at NAHB, and it shouldn’t be a secret. It’s time to get the word out,” said Boncke, who served as chairman of the Land Development Committee in 2003. “At the price of $40 a year, it’s a bargain.”

“Last year I bought subscriptions for four towns in this area,” Boncke added. “All four are towns that don’t think highly of new development. So I got out my credit card and I bought all four a one-year subscription in the name of the town supervisor. We’ve gotten very good feedback from all four of those towns that received the magazine. They saw it as a high-quality, professional representation of the ‘other side of the equation’ in the growth debate.”

In its 20 years, Land Development has had just three editors — Michael Shibley, Joe Molinaro and Bassert. Shibley, who now serves as NAHB’s group vice president for Member Services and Education, is retiring this month after 28 years with the association.

“I’m proud of what all of us have contributed and I am very happy with the way the magazine has turned out,” said Shibley, who got the magazine off the ground in 1988. “I think it’s a great publication.”

The magazine that Shibley started when Bassert was a new employee at NAHB is going strong and getting better. “I feel good about Land Development’s proven track record,” Bassert said, “but I’m most excited about its future.”



'Land Development, 10th Edition' Available at BuilderBooks.com

"Land Development, 10th Edition," available through BuilderBooks.com, is the comprehensive resource for land developers.

Author Daisey Linda Kone helps readers acquire a complete knowledge of the interrelated factors that contribute to a successful land development project. The 10th edition contains the latest details concerning major environmental regulations that affect land development, emerging demographics for targeted marketing and new innovations in housing types.

To view or purchase this publication online, click here, or call 800-223-2665.

Discrimination Suit Against Kyle, Texas Goes to Court

A lawsuit alleging violation of the federal Fair Housing Act by the city of Kyle heads to trial in federal district court in Austin, Texas on Monday, Feb. 11.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Texas State Conference of NAACP Branches, the Austin Branch of the NAACP, the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin and NAHB filed the suit in 2005, contesting new development regulations and building codes enacted by the city in 2003.

The new requirements push the cost of housing beyond the means of many low-income families, with a disproportionate impact on minority families who have lower average incomes, according to an analysis of Census data for the region.

The Fair Housing Act of 1968 makes it illegal to put up roadblocks to racial and ethnic minorities when passing housing ordinances.

"Homeownership is critical to family stability and it is an important aspect of wealth building and financial security, especially for families of color," said Dennis C. Hayes, interim president and CEO of the NAACP. "We take issue with the zoning codes instituted by the city of Kyle that make it more difficult for minority families to buy a home."

When implemented, the new development regulations will reduce the affordable housing options for all lower-income families that might be looking for a home in Kyle. Statistics show that the regulations have a significantly disproportionate impact on minority families.

For example, a family must have an income of $42,858 to qualify for financing to buy a $133,000 home, the approximate projected price of a new entry-level home built to comply with the city's new standards. According to the most recent U.S. Census data, while the median income of white families in the Austin-San Marcos metro area exceeds that amount, the median income of Hispanic and black families falls well short. 

"We're not asking the city of Kyle to give anyone a cash settlement, and we're not asking them to alter their regulations in a way that sacrifices the safety or quality of the homes built there," said Jerry Howard, NAHB’s executive vice president and chief executive officer. "But we do want the city to recognize that its building ordinances are making it increasingly difficult for minority households to buy a first home. All we're asking for are modest changes to the regulations to make it easier to build quality housing at a reasonable price."

The revised zoning and subdivision ordinances adopted by Kyle created many more costly requirements and increased the minimum living area of a home by 20% and its lot size by almost 14%. These rules are significantly more restrictive than previous requirements and have the unquestionable effect of pushing up the cost of housing — larger houses on larger lots mean more expensive homes.

Along with more stringent building set-back requirements, the revised regulations require that all buildings, structures, garages and accessory buildings have all four sides composed of brick, stone or other approved masonry. Garages are required to be a minimum of 480 square feet, enough space for two-and-a-half cars. These mandates are more costly than standards found in many nearby cities and not something that all families may need or want.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits municipalities from using their zoning and land planning powers in a way that excludes housing for certain classes of people protected by the law. Courts have ruled that local jurisdictions have violated the Fair Housing Act even when government officials did not intentionally discriminate.

"Minority families do not enjoy the same economic and housing opportunities as white families in this country," Hayes said. "We're not going to sit by idly and watch the city of Kyle pass laws that have the effect of driving housing costs beyond the reach of families of color."

For more information, e-mail Blake Smith at NAHB, or call him at 800-369-5242 x8583.

Affordability Upturn Does Little for Low-Wage Workers

Despite improvements in housing affordability, workers in the five highest-growth occupations — registered nurses, retail salespersons, customer service representatives, food preparation workers and office clerks — still have a hard time in being able to afford to buy or rent a home, according to the latest “Paycheck to Paycheck: Wages and the Cost of Housing in America” study by the Center for Housing Policy, the research affiliate of the National Housing Conference.

The study found that the amount of income needed to purchase the median-price home dipped in 161 of the 201 markets studied. Some of the biggest drops occurred in the largest, most expensive markets in California, Washington, D.C., Arizona and Florida.

“Yet, in almost all cases, affordability problems persist,” the study found. “Only a handful of markets previously not affordable to registered nurses, customer service representatives and office clerks were affordable to those workers in 2007. In the majority of markets, homeownership remains unaffordable for these occupations, while for retail salespersons and food preparation workers, homeownership is out of reach in all markets studied.”

The study weighed the median annual income of workers in 60 occupations against median home prices. Among the results for the five highest-growth occupations:

  • Even registered nurses, with relatively higher salaries, were unable to purchase a median-priced home in 108 markets, a marginal improvement from the 114 metro markets that were unaffordable in 2006.

  • In the second highest-paying occupation of the five, customer service representatives could not afford to buy a home in 185 of the markets.

  • Retail sales persons and food preparation workers were priced out of all 201 markets, as they were in 2006.

  • Office clerks were shut out of homeownership opportunities in 196 markets.


While it was a more affordable alternative for a greater range of workers, rental housing continued to represent a struggle for low-wage occupations in many metro areas:

  • Without paying an excessive portion of their income for housing, retail salespersons and food preparation workers could not afford the rent on a two-bedroom apartment in any of the 210 markets examined in the rental portion of the study.

  • Office clerks could not afford to rent in 94 markets.

  • Faring much better, customer service representatives were priced out of only 41 metro markets and registered nurses were able to rent everywhere.

In coordination with release of the study, the Center for Housing Policy also launched HousingPolicy.org, a new easy-to-use online guide focused on high-impact solutions for solving the nation’s housing challenges at the state and local level. The guide provides information on a broad range of state and local housing policy tools, as well as guidance on how to put individual policies together into a comprehensive housing strategy.

“We hear a lot about the ‘information economy, but the fact is most working families are still employed in traditional service occupations,” said Jeffrey Lubell, executive director of the center. “In many metro areas, these families continue to face home prices and rents that are beyond their means, and as a result, employers have a difficult time attracting a quality workforce. To help communities respond, HousingPolicy.org provides states and localities with a guide to proven strategies for increasing the supply of homes affordable to working families.”

Delaware's Rep. Castle Honors Legacy of Leon Weiner

Leon N. Weiner & Associates' award-winning Village of Eastlake neighborhood renewal project received high praise earlier this month from Rep. Michael Castle (R-Del.).

“Less than a decade ago, the Wilmington, Del. neighborhood now known as Eastlake was home to some of the highest per capita drug and crime rates in the nation,” Castle said. “All of this has changed since Leon N. Weiner & Associates came in with an innovative renewal plan to construct new homes at below-market rates for neighbors.”

The 90, three-bedroom for-sale units in the project won Affordable Housing Finance magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award for the top affordable homeownership project in the country last year.

Sixty-two of the homes are townhomes with 1,360 square feet of living space and the remaining are 1,650-square-foot duplexes.

Priced approximately $20,000 lower than comparable homes in the neighborhood, the homes were reserved for households with widely varying incomes — as low as 60% of the area median income to as high as 115%. A majority of them — 59 homes — were reserved for households earning between 26% and 80% of the area median.

The project also includes 70 rental units.

Castle said that he had known and worked with Weiner while he was alive. The company was founded in 1949.

“He recognized that people from every walk of life, regardless of economic circumstances, share a common need and dream of having a place to call home,” said Castle. “His hard work and dedication to such a cause helped put thousands of people of modest incomes in homes.”

He added that, “Leon’s legacy not only lives on, but thrives in the company today.”

For information on workforce housing resources available from NAHB, e-mail Blake Smith at NAHB, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8583.

Students Headed to Orlando for Construction Competitions

As the 2008 International Builders’ Show (IBS) fast approaches, more than 50 NAHB Student Chapter teams from across the country are preparing their final presentations for the Residential Construction Competitions.

The annual competitions are a major draw at IBS among NAHB’s student members, and the majority of those who attend are at the show to participate in the event or to support their classmates.

Competing students receive plans and specifications from a real development project, courtesy of sponsor Pulte Homes, and then have three months to complete it. They are responsible for the schedule, finances, materials, change orders and any challenges that arise on the building site.

On hand next week in Orlando to defend their winning titles from 2007 will be Middle Tennessee State University in the four-year university division, Brigham Young University — Idaho “Snake-River Homes” in the two-year college division and Cumberland Perry Area Vocational in the secondary school division.

The competitions have become increasingly heated over the past few years, as teams have been able to apply their previous experience to complete the challenge. Also, participation in the secondary school division has been on the rise, increasing from three contenders in 2006, to seven in 2007 and a record 12 teams this year.

The competitions will take place in the West Hall 330 A, B and D, all day on Feb. 13-14 and throughout the morning on Feb. 15.

The Building Careers Job Fair will be held concurrently just outside of the competition rooms.

Presentations are open to the public, but the doors are locked just before each one. For a schedule of the competition, click here.

For more information on NAHB Student Chapters or the Residential Construction Competitions, e-mail Page Browning at HBI or call her at 800-795-7955 x8918.

Whirlpool Contest Offers IBS Attendee Faraway Trip for Two

One lucky attendee at the 2008 International Builders’ Show entering the Whirlpool Corporation's “Exploration of a Lifetime” contest will win a 10-day all-inclusive trip for two to one of the most exciting destinations in the world — including China, Egypt, South Africa, San Francisco, the Galapagos Islands or the wine-producing regions of Italy.

“This contest is a way to invite people to really get to know Whirlpool Corporation, in particular, The Inside Advantage and the various products and invaluable programs it has to offer,” said Tracy Frye, senior contract marketing manager at Whirlpool.

Interested contestants must visit the Whirlpool Corporation exhibit at Booth W701 where they will receive a special passport authorizing entrance into eight different discovery areas located throughout the booth. At each discovery area, individuals will receive a special code on their passport. The more codes collected and submitted, the more chances they will have to win.

The eight discovery areas are:

  • Explore Sustainability. Gain green insight, hear from experts and experience a complete sustainable kitchen.

  • Explore Perfection. Gain green insight and discover the absolute gourmet appeal of the Jenn-Air brand.

  • Explore Productivity. Find out how Whirlpool brand helps get everything done.

  • Explore Togetherness. See why the attraction of the KitchenAid brand remains legendary.

  • Explore Reliability. Learn how the Maytag brand delivers on the demands for dependability.

  • Explore Solutions. Check out clever, everyday answers from the Amana brand.

  • Explore Space. Investigate ultimate organization with Gladiator GarageWorks.

  • Explore Optimism. Learn how Whirlpool supports Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Habitat for Humanity.


For more than 30 years, Whirlpool Corporation has been committed to effectively utilizing and preserving natural resources. In 1970, it created a corporate office for environmental control; and in 2003, the company became the world’s first appliance manufacturer to announce a greenhouse gas reduction strategy.

Last year, Whirlpool announced plans to increase its commitment to environmentally-sound business practices by reducing total greenhouse gas emissions 6.6% by 2012 at the same time as it increases its production by 17%.

By staying closely involved with the building industry, Whirlpool Corporation is able to help support sustainable construction that ultimately saves energy and natural resources while providing home buyers with comfortable, efficient and healthy homes.

For more information on Whirlpool products, visit Booth W701 at the Builders’ Show, click here or call 800-253-3977.

Headquartered in Benton Harbor, Mich., Whirlpool is a member of the National Council of the Housing Industry — The Leading Suppliers of NAHB.

This feature is solely for educational and informational purposes. Nothing on this page should be construed as policy, an endorsement, warranty or guaranty by the National Association of Home Builders of the featured product or the product manufacturer. The National Association of Home Builders expressly disclaims any responsibility for any damages arising from the use, application or reliance on any information contained on this page.

Dryvit Donates Cladding System to New American Home

Dryvit Systems, Inc. has donated its highly energy-efficient Residential MD System to The New American Home, which will be open for tours during next week’s International Builders’ Show in Orlando.

The system was chosen for the show home because of its third-party proven energy-efficient qualities and superior moisture drainage performance.

According to data released by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Dryvit systems are at least 84% more energy-efficient than the next best-tested cladding.

On average, Dryvit Systems exterior cladding lowers heating and cooling costs by 20% to 30% annually.

“We are so pleased with The New American Home program that we have agreed to participate in the 2009 show home in Las Vegas as well,” said Barbara Catlow, manager of marketing services for Dryvit. “Our residential system offers truly differentiated energy efficiency and we are pleased to showcase that attribute on the New American Home.”

Dryvit routinely supports green building practices, and this is the third consecutive year that the company has participated in The New American Home program.

For more information on Dryvit systems and products, click here or call 800-556-7752.

Headquartered in West Warwick, R.I., Dryvit Systems, Inc. is a member of the National Council of the Housing Industry — The Leading Suppliers of NAHB.

This feature is solely for educational and informational purposes. Nothing on this page should be construed as policy, an endorsement, warranty or guaranty by the National Association of Home Builders of the featured product or the product manufacturer. The National Association of Home Builders expressly disclaims any responsibility for any damages arising from the use, application or reliance on any information contained on this page.



Tour Hours and Bus Schedule

Registered attendees at the 2008 International Builders’ Show can tour The New American Home during exhibit hours via free shuttle buses (ticket required) departing every half hour from the Orange County Convention Center. Shuttle bus tickets may be picked up at the The New American Home booth, which is open during show hours and located in “Transportation Central” of the C Hall Lobby, West Building.

Date

Show Home Hours

Depart Convention Center

Depart Show Home

Wednesday, Feb. 13

9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

10:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 14

9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

10:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 15

9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

10:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 16

9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

For more information, e-mail Tucker Bernard at NAHB, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8519.

Closet Factory Brings Custom Cabinets to New American Home

Visitors to The New American Home at the International Builders’ Show in Orlando next week will be able to see high-quality custom cabinetry and closet organizers from the Closet Factory.

A selection from the company’s European Classic Collection was expertly designed and crafted to fit into the home’s unique alcove area. Home owners appreciate features like real cherry wood stained to match existing furniture, a built-in work station and details ranging from fluted columns and moldings to hand-carved appliqués and corbels.

The New American Home’s master closet design is from Closet Factory’s “Stylish Shaker Collection” and features fully enclosed wardrobe storage, solid cherry facings and cherry veneered panels. Glass door inserts, specially selected brushed chrome hardware and layered moldings give traditional Shaker style a modern feel.

Other closets in the home maintain the Stylish Shaker theme by using specific design elements on a more affordable melamine structure.

All of the closets were expertly designed and custom-manufactured to provide maximum storage and organization.

For a brochure package and additional information, e-mail Kay Wade, the company’s vice president and head designer, or call her at 310-516-7000 x224.

Based in Los Angeles, Closet Factory is a member of the National Council of the Housing Industry — The Leading Suppliers of NAHB.

This feature is solely for educational and informational purposes. Nothing on this page should be construed as policy, an endorsement, warranty or guaranty by the National Association of Home Builders of the featured product or the product manufacturer. The National Association of Home Builders expressly disclaims any responsibility for any damages arising from the use, application or reliance on any information contained on this page.



Tour Hours and Bus Schedule

Registered attendees at the 2008 International Builders’ Show can tour The New American Home during exhibit hours via free shuttle buses (ticket required) departing every half hour from the Orange County Convention Center. Shuttle bus tickets may be picked up at the The New American Home booth, which is open during show hours and located in “Transportation Central” of the C Hall Lobby, West Building.

Date

Show Home Hours

Depart Convention Center

Depart Show Home

Wednesday, Feb. 13

9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

10:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 14

9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

10:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 15

9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

10:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 16

9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

For more information, e-mail Tucker Bernard at NAHB, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8519.

Timberlake Cabinets Help Make New American Home Green

Timberlake cabinetry will be featured at The New American Home during next week’s International Builders’ Show in Orlando.

Timberlake created beautifully designed, environmentally friendly cabinetry throughout the house, which will be the first show home certified under NAHB’s new Green Building Program.

Timberlake cabinets can be found in the primary kitchen, a family suite kitchenette, a morning kitchen, four bathrooms, a home theater, a craft room and a utility room.

The cabinetry is designed to provide both functionality and style, adding a custom look that compliments the home’s modern adaptation of plantation style. The home features some of the latest design trends and innovations from Timberlake, including comprehensive storage and accessory options and popular new finishes like Cognac and Butterscotch.

“The building industry, over the past several years, has increasingly placed its focus on finding new products and technologies to preserve the environment,” said Don Repshas, vice president of marketing for Timberlake.

“As a brand committed to conducting business in a manner that both protects the environment and provides extremely well-crafted, attractively designed products, we are honored and proud to provide cabinetry throughout the home.”

Timberlake Cabinetry has received certification by the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association's Environmental Stewardship Program on its entire line of products.

Timberlake Cabinetry is a division of American Woodmark Corporation, the third largest manufacturer of kitchen cabinets in the U.S. To find out more about the entire collections of cabinetry styles and accessories, click here and click here.

Headquartered in Winchester, Va., Timberlake Cabinet Company is a member of the National Council of the Housing Industry — The Leading Suppliers of NAHB.

This feature is solely for educational and informational purposes. Nothing on this page should be construed as policy, an endorsement, warranty or guaranty by the National Association of Home Builders of the featured product or the product manufacturer. The National Association of Home Builders expressly disclaims any responsibility for any damages arising from the use, application or reliance on any information contained on this page.



Tour Hours and Bus Schedule

Registered attendees at the 2008 International Builders’ Show can tour The New American Home during exhibit hours via free shuttle buses (ticket required) departing every half hour from the Orange County Convention Center. Shuttle bus tickets may be picked up at the The New American Home booth, which is open during show hours and located in “Transportation Central” of the C Hall Lobby, West Building.

Date

Show Home Hours

Depart Convention Center

Depart Show Home

Wednesday, Feb. 13

9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

10:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 14

9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

10:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 15

9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

10:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 16

9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

For more information, e-mail Tucker Bernard at NAHB, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8519.

Honeywell Technology Delivers Emergency Communication

New technology from NOTIFIER, part of Honeywell’s Life Safety Group, enables high-rise buildings, schools and college campuses, mass transit hubs and multiple facilities to deliver fast and widespread emergency communication.

In the event of a dangerous emergency, NOTIFIER’s mass notification systems broadcast live, up-to-the-minute information to everyone to prevent injuries and save lives. The product line fits a wide range of facility types.

FireVoice 25/50 is geared to smaller, stand-alone facilities, while Digital Voice Command (DVC) is engineered specifically for larger buildings and campuses that require a greater level of flexibility and sophistication in their communication system.

Multiple DVC systems linked together via the NOTI-FIRE-NET intelligent network form a powerful mass notification system capable of informing thousands of people throughout a campus about an unfolding emergency.

Also included in the mass notification portfolio is a complete line of visual and audible peripheral notification appliances — such as amber strobes, LED signs and speaker clusters:

  • Flashing amber strobes accompany voice instructions to visually alert occupants than an emergency exists.

  • Programmable LED signs placed in areas where a large number of people assemble or pass by can communicate information specific to the emergency or display a simple message, such as “evacuate.”

  • Large speaker clusters can be installed on the exterior of a building or multiple buildings through a campus to provide voice instructions to people outdoors in the general vicinity of the buildings.


Based in Morris Township, N.J., Honeywell is a member of the National Council of the Housing Industry — The Leading Suppliers of NAHB.

This feature is solely for educational and informational purposes. Nothing on this page should be construed as policy, an endorsement, warranty or guaranty by the National Association of Home Builders of the featured product or the product manufacturer. The National Association of Home Builders expressly disclaims any responsibility for any damages arising from the use, application or reliance on any information contained on this page.

NAHB-Produced Programs on DIY, Fine Living and HGTV

The NAHB Production Group produces weekly television shows on DIY, Fine Living and HGTV for consumers. The following is the latest lineup:

"Rock Solid" on DIY

Episode: "Manufactured Stone Fireplace"

• Feb. 13, 10:00 p.m. ET/PT
• Feb. 14, 2:00 a.m. ET/PT
• Feb. 16, 11:30 a.m. ET/PT

 

Building old fashioned fireplaces once required elaborate staging and costly material. Now, with modern building materials like manufactured stone, they're now a relatively easy way to dress up a bland room. For this project, expert stone masons Derek Stearns and Dean Marsico travel to South Carolina to create a manufactured stone fireplace that has the look of real stone — without the cost.

"Assembly Required" on DIY

Episode: "Glidehouse"

• Feb. 11, 10:30 p.m. ET/PT
• Feb. 12, 2:30 a.m. ET/PT

 

When architect Michelle Kauffman designed her Glidehouse dream home, she never imagined it would become so popular. Now Kauffman’s mass-producing her Glidehouse using modular prefab design, and the Minor family wants to have one of their own. However, getting the oversized modular home onto their lot on Puget Sound’s Whidbey Island is no easy task. Will the crew be able to get the 16-foot wide modules up a 9-foot wide driveway and around a hairpin turn? Find out on Assembly Required.

"I Want That" on Fine Living

Episode: "Pet Spa, Popcorn Popper, Glass Floring, Indoor Herb Garden"

• Feb. 7, 6:30 p.m. ET/PT

 

Pamper your pets with a relaxing, massaging jet spa and then take them out on the town in their stylish eyewear. Check out a hot new way to pop your popcorn and a better way to build the perfect burger. Plus, cardboard box speakers, glass flooring and a year-round indoor herb garden can add a modern twist on your home.

HGTV Seeking ‘Dream Home’ Builder/Architect Teams

HGTV is seeking developers, builders and architects to create dream homes for the network’s Dream Home Sweepstakes. To learn more, click here.

About the NAHB Production Group

The NAHB Production Group is a full-service, self-contained, media production unit creating programming for cable television, broadcast television, non-profit, museum and corporate clients. Productions range from magazine format shows for general audiences to museum-installation videos for specialized use.

The production group includes award winning journalists, writers and photographers with experience in broadcast, documentary and corporate television.



Free NAHB Kit Gives Builders Back-to-Basics Tips to Navigate the Slowdown

What was once expected to be a relatively mild housing slump following three years of record new home construction and sales has given way to a significant downturn.

To help members navigate the uncharted waters of this slowdown, NAHB has compiled a comprehensive “Back to Basics” online toolkit — the best of the basics, the tried and true and the truly new. To access the toolkit, click here.

To access the “Back to Basics” toolkit, you must be an NAHB member and have a login to www.nahb.org. To create a login, go to www.nahb.org/login or click on the log-in button on the main menu bar.

For assistance, call the NAHB Member Service Center at 800-368-5242.

Eight Builders to Be Honored at IBS for Community Service

Eight builders from across the country will be honored by the National Housing Endowment, the philanthropic arm of NAHB, for their community service at the upcoming 2008 International Builders’ Show in Orlando.

The builders are the recipients of the 2007 National Housing Endowment Builder Achievement Award for Outstanding Community Service.

Begun in 2005, the builder achievement awards recognize the charitable contributions and altruistic differences building professionals make in their communities. 

“Every year, in towns and cities both large and small, housing professionals are doing what they do best — building,” said Gary Garczynski, endowment chairman and 2002 NAHB president. “But it’s not just houses and neighborhood developments that these professionals are building. They’re building communities, and these awards allow us to recognize the great contributions our members are making every day in the neighborhoods in which they live and work.”

Three builders were awarded gold, silver and bronze honors. Five builders received honorable mention honors. In addition, the winners will recieve donations to direct to the charity of their choice.

The winners include:

  • Gold

    Orchard Development Corporation, of Ellicott City, Md.
    The company and its owner, Earl Arminger, were honored for donating an estimated $2 million to the a community foundation in Howard County, Md. as well as for giving to other community organizations in need. In addition, the Arminger family also started Orchard Summer Camp, a six-week summer camp for children living in one of the county’s public housing developments and two Orchard Development communities.

    The company is giving the $10,000 donation to the Columbia Foundation.

  • Silver

    John Willis Homes, of Duluth, Ga.
    John Willis and his company were honored for contributing countless hours of personal and staff time working on HomeAid Atlanta projects — including donating 100% of the cost and providing more than $20,000 worth of staff time to renovate a town home to serve homeless families with young children as transitional housing.

    The company is giving the $5,000 donation to HomeAid Atlanta. 

  • Bronze

    Derrick Custom Homes, LLC of New Richmond, Wis.
    Ron Derrick and his company were honored for building a handicap-accessible home for the family of a wounded veteran who lost both of his legs in the Iraq war. While the home has an estimated value of almost $600,000, the family will only have a mortgage of 25% of that cost because of donations of time and material from Derrick Custom Homes employees and its owner.

    The company is giving $2,500 donation to the Salvation Army Grace Place/Faith House homeless shelters. 


Honorable Mention Award Winners

The honorable mention winners will receive $1,000 to be directed to the charity of their choice.


The builders will be honored at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13 in News Conference Room West 203 A at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

NAHB Board Meeting Set for Feb. 15 in Orlando


OFFICIAL MEETING NOTICE OF
THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF HOME BUILDERS
BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The following schedule of events is a partial listing provided as a notice for the upcoming NAHB board of directors meeting to be held at the International Builders’ Show in Orlando from Feb. 10-Feb. 16, 2008. The board of directors meeting will be held at the Orange County Convention Center in rooms Valencia A-C on Friday, Feb. 15 from 8:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The International Builders’ Show program will identify the exact time and place of each scheduled meeting.

Sunday, Feb. 10
Subcommittees, Task Forces and Working Groups
2007 National Vice Presidents
2007 State Representatives
2007 Executive Board Meeting

Monday, Feb. 11
Committee and Council Meetings
2008 Executive Board Orientation
Past Presidents’ Council
National Housing Center Board of Governors
2007/2008 National Vice Presidents

Tuesday, Feb. 12
Committee and Council Meetings
Nominations Committee
Budget & Finance Committee
Resolutions Committee

Wednesday, Feb. 13
Opening Ceremonies
Area Caucuses 1-15
Joint 2007 Executive Board, Budget & Resolutions Committee

Thursday, Feb. 14 — Green Day
Board Exhibitor Visits
Celebrity Luncheon
Spike Party & Directors’ Reception

Friday, Feb. 15
2007 Board of Directors Meeting/Annual Meeting of the Members
Leadership Celebration Event

Saturday, Feb. 16
Educational Programs
Exhibits

 

 

Introducing the Hertz Green Collection. Reserve and Conserve.

Hertz offers fuel efficient, environmentally-friendly cars reservable by make and model.

Now you can reserve fuel efficient, environmentally-friendly cars that are both easy on the wallet and suitable for families and small groups traveling together.

Reservable by specific make and model, with an EPA highway fuel efficiency rating of 28 miles or more per gallon, the Hertz Green Collection features: 

  • Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion, Buick LaCrosse, Hyundai Sonata and Subaru Outback

  • Availability at more than 50 major airport locations in the U.S.

  • EPA Highway Fuel Efficiency rating of 28 miles or more per gallon

  • More than 35,000 cars in the fleet


To check rates or make a reservation, visit hertz.com, call your travel agent or call Hertz at 800-654-2200. Be sure and mention the Discount CDP# 51046 to receive special NAHB Member Advantage discounts.

For other Hertz values and fee-waived enrollment in Hertz #1 Club Gold®, visit www.nahb.org/MA.

Other Member Advantage Discounts

For the most up-to-date details on the Member Advantage discount program and all of the participating companies, go to www.nahb.org/MA.



Free NAHB Kit Gives Builders Back-to-Basics Tips to Navigate the Slowdown

What was once expected to be a relatively mild housing slump following three years of record new home construction and sales has given way to a significant downturn.

To help members navigate the uncharted waters of this slowdown, NAHB has compiled a comprehensive “Back to Basics” online toolkit — the best of the basics, the tried and true and the truly new. To access the toolkit, click here.

To access the “Back to Basics” toolkit, you must be an NAHB member and have a login to www.nahb.org. To create a login, go to www.nahb.org/login or click on the log-in button on the main menu bar.

For assistance, call the NAHB Member Service Center at 800-368-5242.

UPS Offers Up to 30% Discount to NAHB Members on Shipping

NAHB and UPS, the world’s largest package delivery company, have joined forces to offer NAHB members discounts of up to 30% on shipping.

The NAHB shipping discounts include domestic air and ground, international export and international import. 

Association members can also take advantage of hassle-free on-line shipping, 24/7 access and advanced package tracking at your fingertips.

NAHB members are eligible for discounts up to 30% to help manage costs with no catch — and no minimums.

The shipping discounts — which increase the more packages or letters the user sends — will be applied once enrollment is complete.

The enrollment process is fast and easy and is available to NAHB members through the Web site: www.savewithups.com/nahb.  

For more information on UPS savings and the complete Member Advantage program, visit www.nahb.org/MA.



Free NAHB Kit Gives Builders Back-to-Basics Tips to Navigate the Slowdown

What was once expected to be a relatively mild housing slump following three years of record new home construction and sales has given way to a significant downturn.

To help members navigate the uncharted waters of this slowdown, NAHB has compiled a comprehensive “Back to Basics” online toolkit — the best of the basics, the tried and true and the truly new. To access the toolkit, click here.

To access the “Back to Basics” toolkit, you must be an NAHB member and have a login to www.nahb.org. To create a login, go to www.nahb.org/login or click on the log-in button on the main menu bar.

For assistance, call the NAHB Member Service Center at 800-368-5242.

Get Dell Double Discounts This Month

Dell is offering double discounts* this month to NAHB members — and staff —  on an array of products designed to meet the technology needs of your company.

That means Dell’s normal discounts of 3% to 5% to NAHB members and staff will double to 6% to 10% on essential small business technology, including business-class desktops and cutting-edge notebooks.

NAHB members have access to a team of dedicated representatives who understand the industry’s business needs and can help build a complete solution that’s right for each member.

Go to www.dell.com/nahb to get started.

To maximize this Member Advantage Discount:

After you have made your selections and are ready to purchase, call your dedicated Dell sales representative at 888-577-3355, Monday to Friday, 7:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. (CST) and Saturday, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (CST). Your sales representative will apply your NAHB member discount to your order.

NAHB members who have previously ordered from Dell will also receive a monthly catalog, which includes this double discount offer.

The Dell Double Member Discount* offer is valid through Feb. 29, 2008.

*Double discounts do not apply to the preconfigured systems which are already priced at up to 20% off.

Other Member Advantage Discounts

Every year, thousands save millions using the Member Advantage discount program. For the most up-to-date details and information on all the participating companies, visit www.nahb.org/MA.



Free NAHB Kit Gives Builders Back-to-Basics Tips to Navigate the Slowdown

What was once expected to be a relatively mild housing slump following three years of record new home construction and sales has given way to a significant downturn.

To help members navigate the uncharted waters of this slowdown, NAHB has compiled a comprehensive “Back to Basics” online toolkit — the best of the basics, the tried and true and the truly new. To access the toolkit, click here.

To access the “Back to Basics” toolkit, you must be an NAHB member and have a login to www.nahb.org. To create a login, go to www.nahb.org/login or click on the log-in button on the main menu bar.

For assistance, call the NAHB Member Service Center at 800-368-5242.

Calendar of Events

Feb. 12

Best in American Living Award

Orlando, Fla.

Feb. 13-16

International Builders' Show

Orlando, Fla.

Feb. 13

National Housing Endowment Builder Achievement Award for Outstanding Community Service

Orlando, Fla.

Feb. 13

National Housing Endowment/Home Builders Care Project of the Year Award

Orlando, Fla.

Feb. 13

Safety Award for Excellence Awards Program

Orlando, Fla.

Feb. 13

NCBC 2008 Awards of Excellence

Orlando, Fla.

Feb. 13   

The Nationals: National Sales and Marketing Awards

Orlando, Fla.

Feb. 13

2008 IRM Commencement Breakfast

Orlando, Fla.

April 1-3

Multifamily Pillars of the Industry Conference and Awards Gala

Colorado Springs, Colo.

April 2

Multifamily Pillars of the Industry Awards

Colorado Springs, Colo.

April 6-9

Log Home Council President's Tour

Appleton, Wis.

April 24

Spring Construction Forecast Conference

Washington, D.C.

April 29-May 4

Spring Board of Directors Meeting

Washington, D.C.

May 11-13

National Green Building Conference

New Orleans, La.

May 11

National Green Building Awards

New Orleans, La.

May 18-20

Building Systems Councils Modular and Panel Plant Tour

Harrisburg, Pa.

May 19-21

Building for Boomers and Beyond: 50+ Housing Symposium

New Orleans, La.

May 20   

The Best of 50+ Housing Awards

New Orleans, La.

June 1-3

Concrete Technologies Tour

Charlotte, N.C.

June 8-11

Design Institute

Las Vegas, Nev.

Aug. 5-9

Executive Officers Council Seminar

Providence, R.I.

Aug. 7

EOC Association Excellence Awards

Providence, R.I.

Sept. 3

Housing Credit Group Issues Forum

San Diego, Calif.

Sept. 24-28

Fall Board of Directors Meeting

San Diego, Calif.

Oct. 3-5   

National Conference on Membership

Des Moines, Iowa

Oct. 24-26

Custom Builder Symposium

Austin, Texas

Nov. 16-19

Building Systems Councils SHOWCASE

Memphis, Tenn.

Nov. 20-22

State and Local Government Affairs Conference

Memphis, Tenn.

Learn More About Upcoming Conferences and Designations

Interested in attending a University of Housing conference or learning more about NAHB designation programs? Visit www.nahb.org/notifyme, and sign up to receive more information.



Free NAHB Kit Gives Builders Back-to-Basics Tips to Navigate the Slowdown

What was once expected to be a relatively mild housing slump following three years of record new home construction and sales has given way to a significant downturn.

To help members navigate the uncharted waters of this slowdown, NAHB has compiled a comprehensive “Back to Basics” online toolkit — the best of the basics, the tried and true and the truly new. To access the toolkit, click here.

To access the “Back to Basics” toolkit, you must be an NAHB member and have a login to www.nahb.org. To create a login, go to www.nahb.org/login or click on the log-in button on the main menu bar.

For assistance, call the NAHB Member Service Center at 800-368-5242.