Nation's Building News Online: April 21, 2008

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Credit Well Drying Up for Builders, Too, Congress Told

The mortgage credit crunch has spilled over into land acquisition, land development and home construction (AD&C) lending, increasing the challenges faced by builders in the current housing downturn, NAHB told the Congress last week.

“With private securities markets in disarray and banks retrenching, a bona fide credit crunch is underway,” Bob Mitchell, a home builder from Rockville, Md. and former president of NAHB, told the Senate Small Business Committee during a hearing on “The Impact of the Credit Crunch on Small Business.”

“This credit crunch actually appears to be worsening despite the concerted efforts of central banks here and abroad,” he added. “Tighter mortgage lending terms have made it difficult for home buyers to obtain financing to purchase new homes. Likewise, there have been dramatic adverse swings in the cost and availability of AD&C loans for home builders.”

 

Mitchell

 

Residential AD&C loans are used to purchase land; develop lots; build a project’s infrastructure such as streets, curbs, sidewalks, lighting, and sewer and utility connections; and construct homes.

Presently, funding for viable residential development and construction projects has been severely limited or blocked entirely at federally insured depository institutions, which are the sole source of housing production credit for the small businesses that comprise most of the home building industry, Mitchell told lawmakers.

“The current financing quagmire for home builders vividly illustrates the importance of developing additional sources of AD&C credit,” said Mitchell. “Furthermore, there is no secondary market for residential AD&C loans where community banks and thrifts could turn to help manage their balance sheets and obtain liquidity for additional lending.”

He noted that a viable secondary market for AD&C loans would directly benefit builders and lenders by transferring risk away from lenders; increasing the availability of funds so that projects could be more reliably completed; and mitigating the devastating impact of equity calls on builders, or transfers of partially completed projects to banks under capital and/or regulatory pressure.

To broaden sources of AD&C credit, Mitchell called for:

  • Fannie Mae to ramp up activity in its AD&C loan purchase program and for Freddie Mac to create a similar program.

  • Federal Home Loan Banks to improve AD&C liquidity by accepting housing production loans as collateral for the secured advances they make to member institutions.

  • The Federal Housing Administration to help increase competition in the AD&C market by insuring the construction portion of these loans in order to attract new originators such as mortgage banking companies. “As in the case of the end-loan mortgage market, FHA could be a crucial stabilizing force in AD&C lending in turbulent times such as these,” said Mitchell.

  • Wall Street specialists to develop a prototype private security instrument for AD&C loans. In particular, changes to tax provisions relating to Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduits and Taxable Mortgage Pools could be helpful in securitizing construction loans.

  • Banking regulators to take a balanced approach when evaluating bank lending, especially in regard to AD&C loans. “Small businesses, including small builders, are vital to the economy, and arbitrary or unreasonable regulatory restrictions would only serve to harm many builders, and potentially, many banks,” said Mitchell. “It would be ironic and tragic to have the positive work of the Fed undone by bank regulators taking a totally different vision and approach when it comes to lending matters.”


Housing Stimulus Measures Would Help Consumers, Businesses

Meanwhile, stimulating demand for homes and stabilizing housing prices would do the most to relieve the financing and other business difficulties faced by home builders, he said. The housing stimulus legislation moving through Congress contains key provisions that would help ailing home owners, restore consumer confidence, jump-start housing, stabilize financial markets and save jobs.

“Two causal factors in the current housing downturn and the related credit crunch are declining house prices and excess inventory,” said Mitchell. “A temporary home buyer tax credit, such as a provision in House bill H.R. 5720, could stimulate a wave of buying that could quickly reduce excess supply in housing markets and halt the dangerous erosion of house prices and mortgage credit quality.”

Expanding the carryback of net operating losses beyond the current two years would help all businesses that have been hit hard in the current economic climate — including financial institutions and manufacturers — to weather the economic storm, make their payrolls and emerge from this downturn in a position to grow. It would also provide flexibility for home builders with large land holdings to reduce their inventories in an orderly fashion to stabilize home and land prices.

“The NOL carryback in Senate bill H.R. 3221 simply allows businesses to accelerate their claim of NOL deductions that under present law would be claimed in the future,” said Mitchell. “The need for these deductions today is critical.”

Finally, approving a temporary $10 billion expansion of the mortgage revenue bond program, which is included in both the Senate and House bills, would also help strapped borrowers seeking to refinance their own homes, he said. Expanding the reach of the program would allow it to have the largest effect, particularly in communities experiencing the possibility of a wave of foreclosures or an extreme excess of inventory.

To read legislation, click here and enter the bill number in the box at the center of the page.

For more information, e-mail Michael Strauss at NAHB, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8252.

Photos by Morris Semiatin

States, Localities Have Options to Stimulate the Economy

NAHB has developed an online resource guide suggesting policies that state and local governments can pursue to stimulate investment and growth and boost the economy.

“We tend to look to the federal government to take action when the economy slows considerably,” said NAHB President Sandy Dunn. “But state and local governments also have tools at their disposal to address the unique economic conditions in their communities. This resource guide explains some of the economic tools that have been tried and proven successful.”

The resource guide includes an overview of each policy tool, talking points and case studies on how state and local governments have used these policies to encourage economic growth. The tools have been divided into several categories:

  • Foreclosure prevention and mortgage assistance
  • Tax credit programs
  • Reductions and waivers for impact fees and development fees
  • Streamlining the regulatory process
  • Infrastructure finance options
    • Special assessment districts
    • Public/private partnerships
    • Tax increment financing


The tools address factors that are aggravating the current housing and economic downturn and eroding consumer confidence, including high foreclosure rates and soft or falling house prices.

“The tools suggested in the resource guide are designed to encourage economic activity in the local economy by providing incentives to act now,” Dunn said. “The expectation is that these tools will spur economic activity, and that a virtuous circle of investment and job growth will restore consumer confidence in housing and in the local economy.”

The most effective boosts are temporary, targeted and timely. A lengthy delay in adopting these measures could do more harm than good as prospective home buyers procrastinate further, Dunn said.

“It is our hope that state and local policy makers, business leaders, builders and developers, community leaders and other stakeholders will work together to enact some of these proposals to help businesses and help families,” Dunn said. “It’s time for all of us to roll up our sleeves and get America’s economy back on the right track.”

The economic stimulus proposals are available to NAHB members at www.NAHB.org/economicstimulus.

For more information, e-mail Blake Smith at NAHB, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8583.

Tidewater Builders Paint a Brighter Picture of Their Housing Market

The Tidewater Builders Association recently discovered that a little face time with local news media executives was all it took to set the record straight about the state of the local housing market.

Housing has been holding up fairly well in Virginia’s Tidewater area — the southeastern portion of the state, including Hampton Roads — due to a strong local economy and the continuous arrival of new residents to a region with the largest concentration of military bases and facilities anywhere in the world.

The relatively good health of the local housing market, however, was obscured by the negative headlines in The Virginian-Pilot, the area’s primary newspaper.

“The local newspaper was consistently running national housing headlines without putting the local market into perspective,” said Channing Pfeiffer, chief executive officer of the builders association. “When they did run anything about the local market, it was basically a comparison of sales volume from the overheated years to the current slower market.”

An industry group — which included representatives from the Tidewater Builders Association, the Hampton Roads Realtors® Association, Rose & Womble Realty Co., William E. Woods and Associates Realtors® and the Real Estate Information Network (a local Multiple Listing Service) — was formed to set the record straight.

Last fall, the group contacted the publisher of The Virginian-Pilot and asked him to discuss the concerns of the industry. He was open to the idea, and lined up all of the major editors of the paper for a meeting.

The discussion focused on how Tidewater is stronger than the national housing market because of its diverse economy, low unemployment and limited land availability. Also stressed was the unrealistic comparison of current housing figures to unsustainable numbers recorded at the height of the housing boom.

“Our builders are mostly small, family-owned companies that did not create the massive inventory of spec homes that are now flooding the markets in the harder-hit cities,” explained Ed Sadler, the association’s president. “Our new home sales are off some, but not that much compared to what people might conclude from reading the newspaper headlines. Some of our builders are having a good year.”

Working the Local Angle

While the newspaper staff said that their coverage was fair and accurate, they conceded that they could do more for their readers by adding local information to national housing news story coverage.

“Although we had a good discussion at the initial meeting, we believe its real value was that it set the stage for ongoing regular follow-up communications between industry leaders and the editors of the newspaper that continues to this day,” said Sadler.

As a result of the meeting, the newspaper agreed to provide free advertising space three times a week for the industry to provide facts and figures to make their case, as well as editorial space for industry leaders to submit columns to be featured prominently in the Sunday edition. When national articles are reported, they now include sidebars that show average local sales prices — which have increased in some of the communities — and quotes from local analysts that support the idea that the housing correction is not as dramatic for the region as it is nationally. A headline in March read, “Region spared a bit of pain during housing slowdown.”

Just recently, the business section of The Virginian-Pilot invited industry leaders to a roundtable discussion of the local real estate market, which will be featured prominently in the April 27 Sunday edition.

“As a result of our dialogue, there has been a visible effort on their part to accurately represent the local market,” said Sadler. “We also appreciate their taking the time and resources to bring together representatives from the new home, real estate and mortgage communities for the upcoming business feature. It shows they are serious about helping us get our message out.”

NAHB provides information on 360 markets — including comprehensive home price, permit, population and employment figures — that can be used to combat unfair media headlines. Click here to find information on your area.

To access Myth Buster Resources developed by NAHB to help members and local associations communicate accurate information about their local housing market and reassure hesitant consumers, click here.

For more information on the Myth Buster Resources, e-mail Gwyn Donohue at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8447.

Housing Crisis Takes Human Toll

Last fall, the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association for the first time brought a psychologist to its October membership meeting, to discuss how to mentally cope with the stress of the housing collapse. The housing slump has pushed mental health issues to the forefront for companies, trade groups and individuals closely tied to an industry that, for years, only knew good times. Builders, brokers, bankers and lenders are just beginning to deal with the mental fallout from Atlanta’s first prolonged real estate slowdown in two decades. Sean Doughtie, president of Mayfield Homes LLC, has seen the impact of the housing downturn firsthand. Doughtie, 36, began working as an Atlanta home builder in the early 1990s. The son of a builder, he said his lowest point was last October. After paring his 22-person office staff down to five, and nearly a year after stopping his own paycheck, Doughtie let his remaining staff go, including the chief financial officer. “He sat in my office and I just broke down and cried,” Doughtie said. “I told him I was sorry to do it, and that I was truly scared what would happen to my business. It was my lowest moment.” Doughtie now runs bi-weekly support group meetings at the Atlanta HBA focusing on builders’ survival. (www.atlanta.bizjournals.com)
Atlanta Business Chronicle (4/11/08); Joe Rauch

Putting a Squeeze on Condo Loans

As a result of underwriting changes by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and severe new restrictions by private mortgage insurers, getting a loan on a condominium unit could be getting tougher. Starting May 1, AIG United Guaranty, a major private mortgage insurer, no longer will write coverage on condo purchases with less than 20% downpayments in hundreds of Zip codes across the country that it designates as having “declining” market conditions, including the Washington, D.C. area. Even in the healthiest real estate markets, the company will require buyers to make at least a 10% downpayment and will reject applications on units in condo projects where more than 30% of the owners are investors. Under changes at Fannie Mae, most of the due-diligence on the key characteristics of condo projects — their legal documentation, the adequacy of condo association operating budgets, percentage of space allocated to commercial use and percentage of units owned by investors — must now be performed upfront by loan officers. This in itself is time-consuming and costly. In addition, under the new procedures, Fannie Mae expects the lender to warrant the accuracy of its research. Some condo legal documents run into hundreds of pages, yet lenders are supposed to take legal and financial responsibility for their accuracy. (www.washingtonpost.com)
Washington Post (4/19/08); Kenneth R. Harney

Sunny Side of the Street: America’s Wealthy See Buying Opportunities

While many average Americans are skittish about the housing market, some of the country’s richest citizens see the current conditions as perfect for buying, according to the Annual Survey of Affluence and Wealth in America, released by the American Express Publishing Corp. and Harrison Group, a market research and consulting firm. Seventy-seven percent of the wealthiest people (those with annual discretionary household income of more than $500,000) think real estate presents a “real opportunity” right now. Forty percent of those high-income earners said that they are in the market to acquire real estate this year. Among “upper middle class” households with incomes between $100,000 and $149,000, 67% agreed that there are home buying opportunities, as did 72% of those with “affluent” incomes between $150,000 and $249,000 and “super affluent” between $250,000 and $499,000. Seventy-nine percent of the survey’s respondents said that the country is in a recession now, but 88% said they are confident that property values will eventually rebound. Still, 18% of respondents said that the equity in their home is worth less than what they owe. (www.marketwatch.com)
MarketWatch (4/15/08); Amy Hoak

Even Renters Aren’t Safe

Many renters may believe that they have avoided the chaos of the subprime loan crisis and the mortgage meltdown simply by renting and not buying, but they may not be as insulated as they think because buildings with tenants are going into foreclosure as well. “This is a growing problem nationwide,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com. “Landlords of all stripes could potentially get caught up in this very severe downturn,” he said, although he suspects it’s going to be more of a problem for lower- to middle-income markets. New York City is particularly at risk because in 2006 an estimated 65.5% of its housing was renter-occupied, compared to 32.7% nationwide. In 1993, during the last big wave of foreclosures in the city, nearly 6,200 buildings (residential, commercial and mixed-use) began the foreclosure process. In 2007, the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy at New York University estimated that at least 38,000 people facing a foreclosure in the city were renters. The center counts a total of about 900,000 buildings with residential space in the five boroughs and some 3.2 million units of housing. Foreclosures present two sets of problems for renters, related to eviction and a loss of services. (www.nytimes.com)
New York Times (4/13/08); Elizabeth A. Harris

U.S. Housing Bust Not So Special

The U.S. may be suffering its worst housing bust since the Great Depression, but by international standards it’s not so special. A new report by Goldman Sachs suggests that the U.S. is going through a garden variety downturn that will involve a sharp slowing in overall economic growth and a sluggish recovery that equity markets will nevertheless sniff out well ahead of time. As far as housing busts go, Canada’s December 1989 to September 1998 slow-motion housing crash was the fourth longest of 24 busts among OECD countries, Goldman said. In terms of price declines, Canada’s 1990s slump was the second smallest, at 16% in real prices. The biggest price decline was in the Netherlands, which posted a 50% drop in prices in the early 1980s, Finland at 49% and Japan at 44%. On average, real house prices tended to fall about 30% and only reached bottom after six years. (www.financialpost.com)
Financial Post (4/16/08); Jacqueline Thorpe

U.S. Metal Demand Battered by Housing, Construction

Demand for base metals in the U.S. has been falling sharply on the back of the U.S. housing downturn, and the trend is likely to worsen with expected slowdowns in commercial and industrial building. With the construction of a typical house in the U.S. consuming 439 pounds of copper, it was inevitable that the collapse in housing would hurt demand for the industrial metal. “I expect copper demand in the U.S. to be weak, especially in this first half of the year and even in the second half,” said Catherine Virga, an analyst with GPM Group in New York. U.S. imports of refined copper were off almost 29% in the first two months of this year to 116,389 tons from 163,699 in the same period a year ago, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. Likewise, aluminum was off nearly 10% in the period and zinc imports were down 6%. Nickel, used in stainless steel, however, was up almost 27%. Housing accounts for about 40% of all domestic copper use in the U.S. (www.reuters.com)
Reuters (4/14/08); Ayesha Rascoe and Nick Trevethan

Long Hearing Looks at ‘Drastic’ Clean Water Act Changes

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held a legislative hearing on April 16 on “H.R. 2421, the Clean Water Restoration Act of 2007.”

The legislation was introduced by Chairman Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.) with a companion bill, S. 1870, unveiled in the Senate by Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.).

Over the past year, NAHB has worked against both of these bills, which would greatly broaden the scope of the Clean Water Act (CWA) by expanding the definition of “waters of the United States” and encompassing not just those that are “navigable.”

Under the drastic changes proposed by the legislation, almost every wet area in the country would fall under federal jurisdiction. By bringing waters that are now designated as state-controlled under federal jurisdiction, the bills would result in an exponential permit increase for builders.

The hearing — which consisted of five panels and lasted nearly 10 hours — included government officials, lawyers and county commissioners.

Proponents and opponents of the bill were roughly split. Those in favor of H.R. 2421 said that the legislation was a simple clarification or restoration of the original intent of the CWA; opponents said it would expand the scope of current law and that it would be unconstitutional if it did not distinguish between state and federal waters.

Although Oberstar said his bill was a work-in-progress and that he was willing to compromise, no specifics were decided. 

NAHB again submitted written testimony to the committee, and the association will continue to work with the House panel and its Senate counterpart during the coming months.

To read the legislation, click here and type the bill number in the box at the center of the page. For more information, e-mail Anna Raymond at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8307.



Mark Your Calendar for the 2008 NAHB Legislative Conference

The 2008 NAHB Legislative Conference provides a unique opportunity for builders to meet with their members of Congress, discuss the issues that affect their business and bottom line and establish a lasting relationship with their elected federal officials.

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

Builders are encouraged to travel to the nation’s capital to urge their representatives and senators to support policies that stabilize housing, restore confidence in the credit markets and bolster the nation’s economy.

Members of Congress are being urged to:

  • Support a temporary home buyer tax credit to boost sales, reduce excess inventory in housing markets and halt the dangerous erosion of house prices

  • Enact Federal Housing Administration modernization to assist first-time and moderate-income home buyers and alleviate the mortgage credit crunch

  • Adopt comprehensive reform legislation for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to enable these financial institutions to provide badly needed liquidity to the mortgage market

  • Expand the mortgage revenue bond program to help strapped borrowers refinance existing loans

  • Allow businesses to carry back net operating losses for five years to save jobs and help them weather the economic storm


For more information and to register for NAHB’s 2008 Legislative Conference, click here; or e-mail Molly Murray at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8282.

Attend Government Affairs Recognition Breakfast on May 1

Public officials, home builders associations and home builders who have advanced the needs and principles of the building industry and created more opportunities for the industry will be honored at a Government Affairs Recognition Awards breakfast during NAHB’s spring board meetings in Washington, D.C. 

The program will recognize federal, state and local officials for their support of the industry, as well as members and HBAs involved in BUILD-PAC and grassroots advocacy.

The awards breakfast will be from 8:00-9:30 a.m., Thursday, May 1 at the National Housing Center.

To purchase tickets, click here.

Some of the honorees include:


For more information, visit www.nahb.org/gaawards, or e-mail Beth Ambrose at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8253.



Mark Your Calendar for the 2008 NAHB Legislative Conference

The 2008 NAHB Legislative Conference provides a unique opportunity for builders to meet with their members of Congress, discuss the issues that affect their business and bottom line and establish a lasting relationship with their elected federal officials.

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

Builders are encouraged to travel to the nation’s capital to urge their representatives and senators to support policies that stabilize housing, restore confidence in the credit markets and bolster the nation’s economy.

Members of Congress are being urged to:

  • Support a temporary home buyer tax credit to boost sales, reduce excess inventory in housing markets and halt the dangerous erosion of house prices

  • Enact Federal Housing Administration modernization to assist first-time and moderate-income home buyers and alleviate the mortgage credit crunch

  • Adopt comprehensive reform legislation for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to enable these financial institutions to provide badly needed liquidity to the mortgage market

  • Expand the mortgage revenue bond program to help strapped borrowers refinance existing loans

  • Allow businesses to carry back net operating losses for five years to save jobs and help them weather the economic storm


For more information and to register for NAHB’s 2008 Legislative Conference, click here; or e-mail Molly Murray at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8282.

Plan to Attend the 2008 NAHB Legislative Conference on April 30


The 2008 NAHB Legislative Conference provides a unique opportunity for builders to meet with their members of Congress, discuss the issues that affect their business and bottom line and establish a lasting relationship with their elected federal officials.

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

Builders are encouraged to travel to the nation’s capital to urge their representatives and senators to support policies that stabilize housing, restore confidence in the credit markets and bolster the nation’s economy.

Members of Congress are being urged to:

  • Support a temporary home buyer tax credit to boost sales, reduce excess inventory in housing markets and halt the dangerous erosion of house prices

  • Enact Federal Housing Administration modernization to assist first-time and moderate-income home buyers and alleviate the mortgage credit crunch

  • Adopt comprehensive reform legislation for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to enable these financial institutions to provide badly needed liquidity to the mortgage market

  • Expand the mortgage revenue bond program to help strapped borrowers refinance existing loans

  • Allow businesses to carry back net operating losses for five years to save jobs and help them weather the economic storm


For more information and to register for NAHB’s 2008 Legislative Conference, click here; or e-mail Molly Murray at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8282.

NAHB Chief Economist Says U.S. Has Slid Into Recession

The deepening housing slump has seriously eroded consumer sentiment and pushed the economy into a mild recession, according to David Seiders, NAHB’s chief economist.

"The worse-than-anticipated housing downturn — combined with systematic weakening of the labor market and rapidly rising energy and food prices — has taken a heavy toll on American consumers," said Seiders. "It's now clear that we have entered what we anticipate will be a mild recession, running through the first half of this year, and there are substantial downside risks to this economic scenario."

To guard against a longer and deeper downturn, Seiders said that Congress should take immediate steps to stimulate the economy through actions specifically targeted at improving the ailing housing market — such as a temporary home buyer tax credit, modernization of the Federal Housing Administration and oversight reform for the housing-related government sponsored enterprises.

"Stopping the downward trend in housing prices is key to bolstering consumer confidence as well as mortgage credit quality, and a temporary home buyer tax credit is the best way to do that," he noted.

Given the ongoing erosion in housing finance markets and buyer demand, Seiders has adjusted NAHB's official housing forecast to indicate continuing downward movement in housing starts through the end of 2008, bringing the decline for the year to 30%. A month ago, Seiders expected housing starts to bottom out in the third quarter, with a 27% decline for 2008.

"This change in our forecast indicates that, barring immediate action by Congress to stimulate housing and the economy, the housing sector will continue to be a serious drag on economic growth until the beginning of 2009," Seiders said.

"Stimulus bills recently passed in the Senate and the House Ways and Means Committee are welcome steps in the right direction,” he said. “This is one instance where prompt and appropriate efforts by the nation's lawmakers could make a significant difference in limiting the depth and duration of the economic downturn."



Attend the Spring Construction Forecast Conference in April

Plan to attend NAHB's Spring Construction Forecast Conference on Thursday, April 24 at the National Housing Center in Washington, D.C. The conference brings together the nation's premier housing economists and finance experts for an in-depth examination of the economic outlook for the housing industry.

Can't attend? Watch the conference webcast live.

For more information, or to register for the conference or webcast, visit www.nahb.org/cfc.



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.

Housing Starts Lose Further Ground in March

Builders continued to slow the pace of new-home construction in March amidst ongoing erosion of the overall economy and credit markets, according to U.S. Commerce Department figures released on April 16.

Total housing starts fell nearly 12% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 947,000 units in March, including a 5.7% drop in single-family to a rate of 680,000 units. The multifamily side continued to display extreme month-to-month volatility, skidding 24.6% to a yearly pace of 267,000 units.

“Builders are dramatically limiting starts of new homes in an environment of weak sales and heavy supply, ratcheting down production of single-family units to its slowest pace in 17 years,” noted NAHB President Sandy Dunn.

“We’re doing everything in our power to bring the supply and demand equation back into balance and restore housing to its rightful place as an engine of economic growth,” she said. “But now that we are in a genuine economic recession, there’s no question that more needs to be done at the federal level to support housing, shore up consumer confidence and limit the degree and duration of the economic contraction.”

“The Senate has done a fine job already in moving forward with beneficial legislation, and we applaud its efforts to this point,” added Dunn. “We urge the House to do the same thing and advance a bill that can be reconciled with the Senate’s version and promptly sent to the President’s desk. Now is the time, during the spring home buying season, to implement measures that will have the greatest positive effect on housing and the economy.”

“Builders in the field continue to report that prospective buyers are visiting their model homes, but most are either unwilling or unable to go forward with a purchase given the downward trends in employment and home values as well as the tightening of mortgage credit conditions,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders.

“It stands to reason that incentives such as a temporary home buyer tax credit and improvements to the housing finance system would help boost consumer confidence in the market and have a significant stimulative effect that could arrest housing’s heavy drag on economic growth,” he said. “Such measures, combined with the Federal Reserve’s aggressive moves to lower interest rates and improve the functioning of financial markets, definitely would have substantial beneficial effects on the overall economy.”

Permits were down 5.7% in March for single-family construction and 5% for multifamily.

Regionally, housing starts lost ground across the board in March, with declines of 5.7% in the West, 8.5% in the Northeast, 12.6% in the South and 21.4% in the Midwest.

Permits were up 0.4% in the South and 3.8% in the Northeast, but down 10.6% in the Midwest and 20% in the West.



Attend the Spring Construction Forecast Conference in April

Plan to attend NAHB's Spring Construction Forecast Conference on Thursday, April 24 at the National Housing Center in Washington, D.C. The conference brings together the nation's premier housing economists and finance experts for an in-depth examination of the economic outlook for the housing industry.

Can't attend? Watch the conference webcast live.

For more information, or to register for the conference or webcast, visit www.nahb.org/cfc.



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.

No Rally in Builder Confidence Seen in April

Builder confidence in the market for new single-family homes remained unchanged for a third consecutive month in April, according to the latest NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). The index held at 20 this month, up marginally from 18 in December, which was the record low for the series since its creation in January 1985.

"With the traditional home buying season now well underway, we have not seen the bump in sales activity that we normally would this time of year," said NAHB President Sandy Dunn. "At this point, all eyes are on Congress and its efforts to craft meaningful legislation to help support the housing market and stabilize our nation's economy before it heads deeper into recession."

"While builders continue to report improvements in traffic through their model homes compared with late last year, this activity has not translated to actual sales. That's where Congress can make a big difference," noted NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders.

"Measures that stimulate consumer confidence in the housing market, push the fence-sitters into the ring and put a floor under house prices can successfully halt the drag that housing is exerting on the national economy, and help stabilize financial markets at the same time,” Seiders said. “But such measures need to be implemented as soon as possible in order to limit the severity of the economic recession that now is underway."

The HMI gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales, sales expectations for the next six months and the traffic of prospective buyers. Scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.

Current sales conditions declined two points to 18 in April, the lowest level since November; prospective-buyer traffic held even at 19 for the third straight month, up from a low of 13 in December; and sales expectations rose four points to 30, still remaining substantially down from a year earlier.

Regionally, the HMI gained two points in the West, registering 17; and was up by one point, reaching 22, in the Northeast. The index fell one point to 15 in the Midwest and two points to 24 in the South.



Attend the Spring Construction Forecast Conference in April

Plan to attend NAHB's Spring Construction Forecast Conference on Thursday, April 24 at the National Housing Center in Washington, D.C. The conference brings together the nation's premier housing economists and finance experts for an in-depth examination of the economic outlook for the housing industry.

Can't attend? Watch the conference webcast live.

For more information, or to register for the conference or webcast, visit www.nahb.org/cfc.



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.

Surveys Find Consumers More Upbeat About Home Buying

U.S. consumers remain relatively gloomy in their assessment of the state of the nation’s economy, according to a poll released on April 16 by Reuters/Zogby, but by a small majority they agree that now is a good time to buy a new home.

Compared to a baseline of 100 when the Reuters/Zogby Index was established last August, consumer confidence was measured at 95.5 this month, rebounding from 87.7 in March.

Nearly three in four of those surveyed (71%) said they believed that the U.S. economy is currently in a recession, a slight decrease from 74% during the preceding month.

Slightly more than half of those polled (54%) said that now is a good time to buy a new home, although 42% disagreed.

“Americans are still experiencing the doldrums,” said John Zogby, president and CEO of Zogby International. Responses in April were slightly more upbeat than in March, but “the numbers are still very negative,” he noted.

“In essence, Americans are telling us things are not worse than they were last month and they might be only slightly better than at their lowest point,” Zogby said. “It appears that in typical fashion, people have adjusted to bad news and are saying that things are just not getting worse.”

Beazer Reports ‘Smart Time to Buy’ Trend

A survey released at the end of last month by Beazer Homes found that more consumers are recognizing today’s home buying opportunities even in the face of skepticism over the nation’s economy.

Seventy-seven percent of respondents said that with good credit and a downpayment, the time is right to buy a home, a 20% upswing from a similar survey in January.

Nearly three out of four of those surveyed by Beazer (74%) agreed that the availability of homes for sale combined with special incentives make this a true “buyer’s market.”

Sixteen percent of survey respondents reported that they planned to purchase a new home as their primary residence in the next 12 months — a 45% increase over the January survey results — and some 28% said they were currently saving for a downpayment.

Of those seasoned buyers who had purchased one or more homes in their lifetime, three-quarters advised renters to buy a home as soon as they were financially able to do so, and 62% of them agreed that current mortgage interest rates make this a “favorable time to purchase” a home. By comparison, only 44% of prospective first-time buyers recognized the advantage of today’s lower rates.

Seasoned buyers contemplating purchasing a new home said they were looking for a better location (28%), a bigger home (25%) and more modern features (18%), according to the Beazer survey results.

First-time buyers ranked the need for a bigger home (28%), investment potential (27%) and the desire for a better location (23%) as their primary motivations for looking for a new home.



Attend the Spring Construction Forecast Conference in April

Plan to attend NAHB's Spring Construction Forecast Conference on Thursday, April 24 at the National Housing Center in Washington, D.C. The conference brings together the nation's premier housing economists and finance experts for an in-depth examination of the economic outlook for the housing industry.

Can't attend? Watch the conference webcast live.

For more information, or to register for the conference or webcast, visit www.nahb.org/cfc.



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.

Freddie Mac Buying Jumbo Loans in High-Cost Areas

Freddie Mac announced on April 17 that it has agreed to purchase billions of dollars of new conforming jumbo mortgages with original loan amounts up to $729,750 from Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Chase, CitiMortgage and WaMu.

Freddie Mac conforming jumbo mortgages can be used to finance properties in 224 high-cost markets designated in the economic stimulus bill signed by President Bush in February. The legislation through the end of this year has increased the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan limit of $417,000 in markets where the median home price exceeds that amount.

Qualified borrowers can now apply for an array of fixed-rate or adjustable rate conforming jumbo mortgages that will be less expensive than non-conforming jumbo loans in high-cost markets. Borrowers can use Freddie Mac conforming jumbo mortgages to finance up to 90% of a property’s value.

By working with the banks cited in its announcement and with other national lenders, Freddie Mac said it expects to finance between $10 and $15 billion in new jumbo mortgages in 2008.

“Purchasing conforming jumbo mortgages for our portfolio shows how we can bring new liquidity to markets other investors have all but abandoned and make full use of the new tools Congress gave us to help restore stability during the current housing crisis,” said Freddie Mac Chairman and CEO Robert Syron. “We initially expect conforming jumbo mortgages to have rates that are as much as half a percentage point below the jumbo market in many of these high-cost markets.”

While specific product availability may vary by lender, Freddie Mac has said that it will buy 15-, 20-, 30- and 40-year fixed-rate, fully amortizing conforming jumbo mortgages; 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with 10-year interest-only periods; fully amortizing 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages; and 5/1 ARMs with 10-year interest-only periods.

Qualified borrowers can also obtain cash-out refinance conforming jumbo mortgages that provide a maximum cash-out of $100,000.

For more information, click here.



Attend the Spring Construction Forecast Conference in April

Plan to attend NAHB's Spring Construction Forecast Conference on Thursday, April 24 at the National Housing Center in Washington, D.C. The conference brings together the nation's premier housing economists and finance experts for an in-depth examination of the economic outlook for the housing industry.

Can't attend? Watch the conference webcast live.

For more information, or to register for the conference or webcast, visit www.nahb.org/cfc.



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 Indicators Are Flashing Red

NAHB’s baseline (most probable) forecast now includes a mild economic recession in the early part of 2008. We’re currently pegging the peak of the cycle in December 2007 and the trough in August 2008.

We expect real gross domestic product (GDP) to contract modestly in the first half of this year and the labor market to deteriorate for a somewhat longer period ― a normal timing relationship.

A flurry of recent negative economic news prompted us to move a recession into our baseline forecast. This news included soaring energy prices, deterioration of our trade balance, plummeting consumer sentiment, ongoing erosion of the labor market and more negative readings on the housing market.

Downward revisions to the Federal Reserve’s economic forecasts from both the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) and Fed staff also encouraged us to make the recession call.

The Labor Market Is Steadily Deteriorating

Labor market conditions have been deteriorating for some time.

Employment growth started to slow early last year and the unemployment rate has been trending upward since that time.

Total payroll employment — from the establishment survey — started to fall this January, and the economy lost 232,000 jobs in the first quarter of the year.

Private sector employment actually started down in December and the cumulative contraction was 300,000 through March of this year. The unemployment rate — from the household survey — was 5.1% in March, up from the cyclical low of 4.4% a year earlier.

There’s little doubt that labor markets are deteriorating further in the second quarter. Weekly data on claims for unemployment insurance are trending upward, and surveys of consumers are showing deepening concerns about current employment conditions as well as job prospects down the road.

NAHB’s forecast now shows a downward trend in payroll employment through the third quarter of the year, and we expect the unemployment rate to gravitate upward through the year — reaching 5.7% by early 2009.

While this rate seems rather benign by historical standards, the increase from the cycle low ― 1.3 percentage points ― is consistent with a mild economic recession.

Financial Markets Remain Under Stress

A broad range of credit markets, including the home mortgage market, still are not functioning normally. Only the Treasury securities market, backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, remains unscathed.

Indeed, the frenzied flight to credit quality has put downward pressure on the entire Treasury yield curve.

Some private securities markets, including those for subprime, Alt-A and jumbo home mortgages, have essentially shut down. Even the GSE securities markets, backed by “implicit” federal guarantees, have staggered, and spreads to Treasurys have widened substantially.

As a result, spreads of prime conventional home mortgage rates over comparable maturity Treasurys remain extremely wide. So do spreads of prime jumbo mortgages over prime conforming rates, even for those that recently were made eligible for purchase by the GSEs.

As securities markets have faltered, private credit demands naturally have shifted to depository institutions.

Unfortunately, many large depositories have been compelled to take substantial writedowns on portfolios of securities — particularly those containing subprime mortgage paper — reducing capital available to support new lending.

This, naturally, has contributed to the broad-scale flight to quality that now includes considerable tightening of lending standards at the depositories, particularly in mortgage markets and in the markets for residential construction and development loans.

The Fed Is Fighting on Two Fronts

The Federal Reserve is fighting desperate battles and expending a lot of ammunition on two fronts, and results to date have been limited.

On one front, the Fed is aggressively easing monetary policy in order to support economic growth, and that’s a campaign that obviously is not going very well.

In fact, the Fed’s job now is to limit the depth and duration of an economic recession that apparently is already underway. We expect the next Fed salvo to be half-point cuts in both the federal funds and discount rates at the conclusion of the upcoming meeting of the FOMC on April 30.

On the second front, the Fed has come up with a series of innovations designed to improve financial market liquidity and market functioning, apparently with only limited success to date.

Recent actions include lowering the cost and increasing the allowable term of discount-window credit to commercial banks; increasing the size of the Term Auction Facility, through which credit is auctioned to depository institutions; initiating a Term Securities Lending Facility, which allows primary securities dealers to swap illiquid mortgage-backed securities for highly liquid Treasury securities; and creating the Primary Dealer Credit Facility, which serves as a discount window for primary dealers.

In its spare time, the Fed recently took unprecedented steps to forestall the bankruptcy of the large nonbank primary securities dealer, Bear Stearns. This action may very well have prevented a full-blown financial panic.

Housing Market Indicators Are Flashing Red

Housing data received in recent weeks unanimously display ongoing deterioration of the single-family housing market. According to National Association of Realtors®, pending sales of existing homes (based on contracts signed) fell back in February following apparent stabilization in January.

For the new-home market, the Commerce Department reports that single-family starts and permits both fell by about 6% in March, closing out a very weak first quarter and pointing toward further deterioration in coming months.

NAHB’s proprietary survey of large public and private single-family builders showed ongoing erosion of both gross and net home sales in March, and sales cancellation rates remained quite elevated.

NAHB’s broad-based single-family Housing Market Index remained at a near-record low of 20 in April, based upon builders’ perceptions of buyer traffic and current sales volume as well as builders’ expectations of sales activity six months down the line.

Finally, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly survey of mortgage lenders shows a substantial fallback in applications for loans to buy homes since early this year, on a four-week moving average basis.

Policy Help Hopefully Is Coming

The Fed has been easing monetary policy aggressively since last fall and our central bank presumably can be counted on to deliver additional monetary stimulus in the months ahead.

The fiscal stimulus package designed by Congress and the Administration and signed into law earlier this year should provide decent support to the economy, primarily through consumer spending, starting late in the second quarter and extending into the fourth quarter.

Our assumptions on monetary policy and on the effectiveness of the stimulus package already on the books are key to the “mild” nature of the recession that’s now part of our baseline forecast.

But there are considerable downside risks to this forecast, and the housing and mortgage markets are most vulnerable to downside influences.

We haven’t dealt with broad-scale house price declines since the 1930s and the formidable problems in credit markets are dominated by steadily deteriorating mortgage credit quality. Indeed, we're facing a potentially disastrous feedback loop comprised of falling house prices, falling credit quality, tightening credit standards, falling house prices…

The Federal Reserve now has full appreciation of these downside risks, the Congress apparently is learning fast and the Administration seems to be facing the growing realities.

Maddening political differences may stand in the way of effective measures to spur home buying and stem the rising tide of foreclosures that dumps more inventory onto glutted markets, adding to downward pressure on house prices.

Policy makers now are debating various tax credits for home buyers and various ways to contain mortgage foreclosures. Stay tuned.

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 April 15 edition. To subscribe to “Eye on the Economy,” click here.



Attend the Spring Construction Forecast Conference in April

Plan to attend NAHB's Spring Construction Forecast Conference on Thursday, April 24 at the National Housing Center in Washington, D.C. The conference brings together the nation's premier housing economists and finance experts for an in-depth examination of the economic outlook for the housing industry.

Can't attend? Watch the conference webcast live.

For more information, or to register for the conference or webcast, visit www.nahb.org/cfc.



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.

Attend or View the Construction Forecast Conference on April 24

Plan to attend the NAHB Construction Forecast Conference — Spring 2008 on Thursday, April 24 in Washington, D.C. to get the latest facts, insights and analysis of the housing industry.

Panels of nationally recognized experts at the day-long conference will discuss economic trends, government policies, developments in the housing industry and the results from NAHB's recent surveys.

For more information and to register, visit www.nahb.org/cfc.

Can't Attend in Person? Webcast of Conference Also Available

For webcast information, visit www.nahb.org/cfcwebcast. 

The webcast fee includes access to the webcast archive and electronic copies of the conference handout and presentation materials.

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.




Attend the Spring Construction Forecast Conference in April

Plan to attend NAHB's Spring Construction Forecast Conference on Thursday, April 24 at the National Housing Center in Washington, D.C. The conference brings together the nation's premier housing economists and finance experts for an in-depth examination of the economic outlook for the housing industry.

Can't attend? Watch the conference webcast live.

For more information, or to register for the conference or webcast, visit www.nahb.org/cfc.



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’ Tip: An Easy-to-Fabricate Lockset Drill Guide

 

 
 

Click for larger image.

Here is another version of a hole-saw guide for drilling lockset holes in a door stile.

I think it is simpler and more versatile than other versions I’ve come across because the screw that holds it to the edge of the door also locates the center of the latch hole.

  • As shown in the accompanying drawing, I made the guide out of 1x pine.

  • I bored 2 1⁄8-inch diameter holes in both sides of the guide for a 2 3⁄8-inch back set.

  • I use a hole saw to make the 2 1⁄8-inch diameter cuts, chewing through most of the door from one side and then finishing the hole from the other side to prevent tear out. I back out the holding screw, and I’m ready to drill the latch hole.

  • I made up a variety of these guides, so I’m ready for doors that are 1 3⁄8 inches or 1 3⁄4 inches thick, and locksets that require either a 2 3⁄8-inch or a 2 3⁄4-inch back set.


They are equally useful for new or old doors. And because the holes in the sides of the guide index the position of the saw, I don’t need a pilot bit to guide the hole saw — ideal for retrofit work.

Will Hesch, Atascadero, Calif.

Tips & Techniques provided by Fine Homebuilding.
©2008 The Taunton Press

To contact Fine Homebuilding, e-mail Christina Glennon.



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.

Survey Finds Women Rising to Top Home Building Ranks

Today’s female members of NAHB are well-educated, accomplished and experienced in the building industry, according to a survey sponsored by the NAHB Women’s Council, and conducted in late 2007.

“There are more women working in the home building industry than ever before,” said Pam Weaver, chair of the 2008 NAHB Women’s Council Board of Trustees and a builder from Carencro, La. “And a significant number of these women hold leadership positions in their companies.”

The number of women who are members of NAHB has increased more than 300% over the past 12 years, from 4,800 to 20,000.

“Ten years ago I could count on one hand the number of women at NAHB board meetings,” said Nicole Goolsby, 2006 president of the Women’s Council and owner of Rion Homes, Inc.in Huntersville, N.C. “Now, there are women at every table.”

There are more than 2,800 directors on NAHB’s board.

Thirty-four percent of survey respondents reported that they own their company. More than half hold executive positions, with 40% serving as president, 15% vice-president, 7% director and 3% CEO or controller. Twenty-eight percent of the 23 million companies in the U.S. are owned by women.

NAHB President, Sandy Dunn, the second woman elected to the association’s top leadership position, owns and operates her own home building business, B.J. Builders, Inc., in Point Pleasant, W.Va.

“I don’t feel that there is a glass ceiling in this industry,” said Goolsby. “A career in building offers more opportunities to be self-directed, as opposed to a more corporate structure such as banking.”

Six-figure salaries are also more common among NAHB’s female members than in the general population.

U.S. Census data show that slightly more than 4% of American women with full-time, year-round jobs earn $100,000 or more annually, compared to 35% of the women who are members of NAHB.

NAHB’s female members are also more highly educated than their counterparts in the general population, according to the survey. Thirty-seven percent have completed college, and an additional 20% have started or completed graduate school, compared to Census figures showing that 26% of women in the U.S. have attained a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Reaching Young Women

Although the construction trades still do not attract young women in great numbers, there has been increased interest in the industry’s management ranks.

“We have young women involved in all seven trades offered through training programs by the Home Builders Institute (HBI),” said John Moffitt, chairman of HBI’s Board of Trustees and president of Moffitt Development Co., Inc., in Overland Park, Kan. “The more popular ones tend to be electrical wiring, facilities maintenance, landscaping and painting.” HBI is the workforce development arm of the NAHB.

The Women’s Council and the National Housing Endowment created the Strategies for Success Scholarship in 2001 to encourage young women to pursue careers in construction. The program gives preference to women applicants, and is open to high school seniors or students enrolled in building-related post-secondary programs.

Obstacles Still Exist

Two-thirds of the women in the survey reported involvement in the building industry for more than 10 years. While some respondents felt that entering the field was less challenging than in the past, they also said that they still had to work harder than men to develop credibility and demonstrate competency in their profession.

Forty percent of the respondents reported pay inequality with their male counterparts. Twenty-eight percent said they had been harassed; 25% said they considered themselves at a disadvantage for promotion; and 19% felt that there were jobs for which they had not been hired because of their gender.

For more information on the survey or NAHB’s Women’s Council, e-mail Carmel Nayman at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8410.

Home Technology Disconnect Could Mean Lost Revenues

 

 

Even though consumers say they want home technology upgrades, builders aren't offering them for a number of reasons, leaving many deals on the table as a result.

Most home builders are not marketing and offering the home technology upgrades and option packages that could stimulate their sales and increase their profits because they don't think there is enough consumer demand for them, according to a recent survey by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).  

However, the CEA research — the sixth annual State of the Builder Technology Market Study, a supplement to NAHB’s Annual Builder Practices Survey — also found that consumers are not buying the technology packages they want because builders are not marketing them or offering them during the construction process.

CEA’s study concluded that what builders perceive as a lack of demand for their technology options may actually be more a matter of marketing, packaging and timing.

Builder reluctance to fully embrace home technology may also be contributing to this disconnect, according to the Home Technology Alliance (HTA) ― an NAHB initiative with the Custom Electronic Design Installation Association (CEDIA) created to serve as an industry resource on electronic integration and home technology products and services.

The HTA found that many builders are still wary of offering home technology options because of the changes they bring to their business operations, additional marketing costs and the learning curve needed to educate their sales staffs. They are also cautious because of the potential delays the options may have on their production schedules.

Underscoring the disconnect is the fact that 89% of the builders surveyed in the CEA study agreed that it is important to advertise home technology options when marketing new homes and that nine in 10 builders said adding home technologies either increased or helped them maintain their revenues.

Easton Park: A Case Study for Increased Revenues

One possible way for builders to bridge this home technology gap is by incorporating technologies in their sales options that match the offerings to their target market.

Production home builder M/I Homes Tampa teamed up with S&S Electric, an electronic systems contractor (ESC) based in Oldsmar, Fla., to create successful option packages ― from lighting controls to whole-house audio ― for Easton Park, its single-family home community in Tampa, Fla.

One of the keys to the success of the program was “to only offer option packages that are easily repeatable and simultaneously meet the needs of a majority of the community’s home buyers,” said Shawn Smith, president of S&S Electric. “By not completely customizing each home, we were able to maintain strict production schedules and provide product options that were profitable for us and M/I Homes.”

M/I Homes also knew that many of its potential customers were technically savvy, which added to the complexity of the solution.

"Our customers are very diverse and require a wide variety of options," said Lisa Turbeville, vice president of sales and marketing for M/I Homes. "We needed a partner who could incorporate as many mainstream options as possible to enhance our model."

For Easton Park, M/I Homes decided “to showcase the most up-to-date options available to set ourselves apart from the competition," said Larry Sekely, the division’s director of purchasing.

Because of the home buyer profile, M/I Homes and S&S Electric also concluded that, to turn their prospects into buyers, visitors would have to be able to walk in, intuitively press a button and see something happen.

Every upgrade option showcased in the community’s Bordeaux IV model — from lighting design and control, video security system, multi-room home audio to the built-in entertainment center — enhances a buyer's lifestyle and potentially meant the difference between making or not making a sale. In many instances, the options presentation helped close the sale.

"M/I Homes embraced the increasing demand for home technology and chose to demonstrate upgrade options in their model homes that many other builders do not offer,” said Smith of S&S Electric. “This resulted in higher consumer satisfaction as well as increased revenue.”  

According to Turbeville, with the S&S Home System upgrade sales program, M/I generated close to $200,000 in additional revenues in Easton Park last year.

“Structural product innovation alone is not enough to differentiate yourself from the competition these days,” said Theresa Lynn Collins, area president of M/I Homes. “Our partnership enables us to deliver the very best in consumer electronics and integration that fits the needs of today and will continue to fulfill this requirement into the future.”



Information About Home Technology Available From HTA

The Home Technology Alliance (HTA) is a partnership between NAHB and the Custom Electronic Design Installation Association (CEDIA) that was formed to position the housing industry to effectively meet the growing home buyer demand for home technology and provide maximum return on investment in the new home building and remodeling process.

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



CEDIA: A Source for Experienced ESCs

The Custom Electronic Design Installation Association (CEDIA) is a founding sponsor in the Home Technology Alliance and 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. CEDIA serves as a source for Electronic Systems Contractors (ESCs).

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

Like Builders, ESCs Specialize in Different Market Segments

By Keith Davis, Residential Technologies
Much like the variety of builders who build for different market segments, there is a wide range of electronic systems contractors (ESCs) who specialize in planning and installing home technology for particular market segments as well.

Builders who are considering working with ESCs to bring home technology to their product offerings should determine what type of technology professional fits best with the homes they are building.

The following lists ESCs by market segments ― and their specialties — in the home building industry today:

  • High-End ESC

    High-end ESCs work in the high-end custom home market where every home and project is a one-time creation based upon the customer’s needs, wants and desires.

    These ESCs typically design and install the entire gamut of home technology offerings — dedicated home theaters, full automation and control systems, extensive lighting control, HVAC and energy management systems, large-scale multi-room audio, structured wiring, in-depth security and home networking.

    Average price points to the home buyer can easily exceed and go well beyond $100,000, depending upon the scope of the project and the home buyer’s budget.

    If this is your marketplace, you must find and use a very well-respected and reputable ESC, or face a very unhappy customer.

  • Mid-Market ESC

    Mid-market ESCs generally work in the “move-up” and “luxury” new-home markets.

  • Custom Home ESC

    Very much like the high-end ESC, these ESCs generally have their builder’s permission to work one-on-one with the home buyer to create unique home systems.

    Unlike their high-end counterparts, however, the custom home ESC presents a more “packaged approach” to selling and installing home technology that can be easily modified within pre-defined limits to suit the individual buyer’s tastes and needs.

    These ESCs generally provide home theater and whole-house music systems, as well as security, structured wiring and home networking. They may also provide limited-scope automation and basic lighting controls, depending upon buyers’ needs and budgets.

    The average price points for this buyer can range from $25,000 to $75,000.

  • Semi-Custom Home ESCs

    This ESC provides home buyers with a limited set of choices for home technology in keeping with the builder’s business model of streamlined processes and restricted offerings.

    They offer and install a total “packaged approach” to sales and, as a rule, do not venture outside of their pre-designed realm of products and services.

    They typically install home theater and flat panel-based media rooms, multi-room audio, home networking and, at the higher end of this market, limited scope home automation.

    Security and structured wiring may be included, but more often than not these systems are installed by other builder-provided subcontractors.

    Home buyer price points for this market start in the $10,000 range and can go up to $25,000 or $30,000.

  • Production Home ESCs

    This ESC works with production builders who use the “packaged approach” to sales exclusively.

    Home buyers in this category typically devote less funds to home technology, so the focus of this ESC is to sell home technology packages and have the price of the system included in the mortgage for the home.

    These ESCs usually install media rooms using a flat panel TV and basic surround sound systems and multi-room audio using entry level electronics.

    This ESC generally does not install security systems. A security contractor does that. Likewise, if there is any structured wiring in the home, it is generally installed by an electrical contractor, not the ESC.

    The home technology price points for home buyers in this market generally range from $2,000 to $10,000, depending on the system installed and the price point of the home.

  • Electrical Contractors

    Some builders use electrical contractors to install structured wiring because they are generally lower in cost, fast and have an existing working relationship with the builder.

    More and more electrical contractors are looking at entering the consumer electronics space and offering home technology products and service to builders, yet they often lack the training, expertise and access to quality products in order to effectively do so.

    Typically, electrical contractors will install structured wiring and entry-level lighting controls for home buyers, but they usually do not have the capabilities to pursue more complex and costly systems.

    However, electrical contractors are a required sub in every home and represent a very viable and available segment of the ESC community.

    When trained correctly and given access to quality products, the electrical contractor could be a viable ESC in the production homes and mid-market segments.

  • Security Installers

    Security installers are beginning to offer and install a wider range of security-based home technology, as well as flat panel-based media rooms and multi-room audio to their builder’s customers.

    Like their electrical contractor counterparts, however, they need to be trained and taught new skills in order to successfully compete in this marketplace.


When interviewing potential ESCs, don’t be put off by the jargon and techno-speak. In fact, make sure the ESCs can discuss what they can and cannot do plainly, without jargon, and how they interface with production schedules and customers.

Keith Davis is president of Charlotte, N.C.-based Residential Technologies, Inc., an ESC with expertise in lighting control, renewable energy, specialty electrical systems and energy management and control. He is an NAHB member and a member of the Home Technology Alliance. For more information, e-mail Davis, call him at 704-944-3125 or visit www.rtinc.biz.



Information About Home Technology Available From HTA

The Home Technology Alliance (HTA) is a partnership between NAHB and the Custom Electronic Design Installation Association (CEDIA) that was formed to position the housing industry to effectively meet the growing home buyer demand for home technology and provide maximum return on investment in the new home building and remodeling process.

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



CEDIA: A Source for Experienced ESCs

The Custom Electronic Design Installation Association (CEDIA) is a founding sponsor in the Home Technology Alliance and 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. CEDIA serves as a source for Electronic Systems Contractors (ESCs).

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

The Veranda at CollegeTown Is a Safe Haven for Seniors

Recognizing the development, construction and marketing of livable homes and communities that improve the daily comfort, ease of use and safety for residents, NAHB and AARP honored five builders, remodelers and developers with the 2007 Livable Communities Awards at the International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Fla. in February. CollegeTown at West End, a mixed-use, mixed-income community developed by the Integral Group in Atlanta, was one of the winners 

Guidelines and applications for the 2008 Livable Communities Awards are available online. The application deadline is June 6.

 

 

The Veranda at CollegeTown, Atlanta

Ten years ago, the Joel C. Harris Homes public housing complex in Atlanta’s West End was so blighted that it was difficult for the city and private developers to revitalize the neighborhood.

Today, the old complex is gone, replaced by CollegeTown at West End, a mixed-use, mixed-income development that has brought real energy to the University Center area of Atlanta.

A vital part of that redevelopment is The Veranda at CollegeTown, a seniors housing community offering more than 20 floor plans ― some with balconies, bay windows, Juliet balconies and other elements ― and distinguished architecture that adds to West End’s urban fabric.

CollegeTown at West End is one of five winners of the 2007 Livable Communities Awards, co-sponsored by AARP and NAHB. Developed by Atlanta-based, The Integral Group, CollegeTown at West End won in the category of best developer, more than 250 units.

 

 

Nearby lake and pedestrian-friendly paths

A Pedestrian-Friendly Community

CollegeTown at West EndCollegeTown at West End is pedestrian-friendly by design. The 10-foot-wide sidewalks encourage residents of the Veranda to take advantage of the amenities offered by the broader West End community and to be involved in the daily life of the neighborhood.

The development is within walking distance of several of the nation’s top historically black colleges and universities, including Spelman College, Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College and Morehouse School of Medicine.

Students from these schools have served as volunteers at The Veranda and have gotten involved in the residents’ lives.

The Veranda’s one- and two-bedroom apartments are designed with the needs and safety of senior residents in mind.

In addition to common conveniences, each room has emergency pull-cords in strategic locations. The Veranda complex features hallways with handrails and elevators at each end and bathrooms with grab bars.

 

 

Library

Amenities and Healthcare Services for 50+ Residents

On The Veranda grounds are a large library with computers, a beauty salon that caters to 50+ residents, a multipurpose room for social events and two activity rooms that include large screen televisions and game tables.

The Veranda also includes an exercise room, a worship center and a wellness center with access to the healthcare services offered through the West End Medical Center.

The affordable apartments in the Veranda were filled within three months, and the property continues to maintain a waiting list of more than 100 seniors. Its popularity illustrates the integral role The Veranda plays in the revitalization of the area.

 

 

Exercise room

When the greater CollegeTown at West End development is completed, the community will have 650 units serving 50+ residents, multifamily apartments, 15,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, 70 townhouses and single-family homes, a 100-room College Inn and housing units for special needs households.

Apply for 2008 Livable Community Awards

AARP and NAHB are now accepting applications for the 2008 awards program. Applications are due by June 6.

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

 

 

Friendly outdoor spaces



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.

Harvard Sees Remodeling Slowing in Second Half of 2008

Home owner spending for home improvement activity is expected to decline through the balance of this year, falling at an annual rate of 4.8%, according to the Leading Indicator for Remodeling Activity (LIRA), which was released on April 17 by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

Remodeling activity is being inhibited by falling consumer confidence and a slumping economy, Harvard said.

“Spending on home improvements continues to be sluggish, as home owners respond to falling home prices,” said Nicolas Retsinas, the center’s director. “The fall-off in pending home sales suggests a long and slow recovery,” he added.

“It looks unlikely that we will see any improvement in the remodeling market until 2009,” said Kermit Baker, director of the center’s Remodeling Futures Program. “Currently, the second half of this year is shaping up to be weaker than the first half.”

The LIRA is a new initiative from the Remodeling Futures Program that is designed to estimate future national remodeling activity with a horizon of three quarters.



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.

 

 

Make the Next Bathroom Remodel a Water-Efficient One

By Stephanie Thornton, EPA WaterSense Program
Selling clients on the benefits of remodeling a bathroom is easy. Most home owners already know that remodeling a lackluster bathroom is a surefire way to increase a home’s value.

Numbers are on their side, too. According to the 2007 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report, the average nationwide return on investment for a bathroom remodel is 78%, one of the highest in the home.

But, when talking to clients about a bathroom remodel, go one step further and sell them on a water-efficient bathroom.

It makes sense for them, for you and the environment ― and WaterSense, EPA’s voluntary water-efficiency labeling program, can help close the deal.

Toilets account for 27% of the water used indoors in the average home. Showers and faucets account for another 33%. Together, that’s nearly two-thirds of the water used in the house.

Replacing outdated, water-guzzling plumbing fixtures with efficient products is a simple way to help home owners reduce water consumption.

In fact, by offering a high-efficiency bathroom remodel with WaterSense-labeled fixtures, you can help a client save more than 11,000 gallons and about $70 on water bills annually.

Saving Water Saves Energy

Saving water also means saving energy. As energy costs continue to rise, home owners will appreciate knowing that retrofitting bathroom sink faucets with WaterSense-labeled faucets can cut their annual electrical use by 70 kilowatt-hours. That’s enough to power a hair dryer for eight minutes a day for a full year.

The WaterSense label identifies products that not only save water and the energy used to heat it, but that offer superior performance as well.

To earn the WaterSense label, products must undergo independent, third-party testing to ensure that they meet EPA’s criteria for efficiency and performance. More than 145 toilets and 50 bathroom sink faucets and accessories have earned the label to date.

No Need to Flush Like It’s 1999

The high-efficiency WaterSense-labeled toilets of today are not the ill-performing low-flow toilets of the early 1990s. Double-flushing and clogging are no longer issues.

New technology and design advancements, such as pressure-assisted flushers and modifications to bowl contours, enable today’s high-efficiency toilets to perform much better than their predecessors.

Today’s WaterSense-labeled toilets meet stringent flushing standards and thoroughly satisfy drain line requirements.

To find WaterSense-labeled plumbing fixtures, visit the WaterSense Web site. Also, search for WaterSense retailer and distributors on the Web site’s Meet Our Partners page.

Many manufacturers also sell WaterSense-labeled products online.

For more information about WaterSense and a full list of labeled products, visit www.epa.gov/watersense.

Stephanie Thornton is the partner outreach coordinator for EPA’s WaterSense program. For more information, e-mail Thornton at the EPA (thornton.stephanie@epa.gov). 


WaterSense-Labeled Products by the Numbers


1.5 —
Maximum flow rate of WaterSense labeled faucets and accessories in gallons per minute

32 — Percent decrease in flow rate from standard bathroom sink faucets

1.28 — Gallons per flush used by a WaterSense labeled toilet

20 — Percent decrease in gallons per flush from standard toilets

120 billion Gallons of water per year that could be saved if just one in every 10 American households installed WaterSense labeled toilets and faucets in their bathrooms



Earn NAHB’s New Green Designation at the National Green Building Conference

The Certified Green Professional (CGP) designation teaches builders, remodelers and other industry professionals techniques for incorporating green building principles into homes using cost-effective and affordable options.

Both required courses for the CGP will be held at the National Green Building Conference, May 11-13 in New Orleans.

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



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.

 

 

Remodelers’ Spring Board Preview

NAHB Remodelers’ committee meetings will be held on Thursday, May 1 during NAHB's spring board meeting at the Hilton Washington Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The NAHB Remodelers Board of Trustees meetings and general sessions will be on Friday, May 2.

To download the NAHB Remodelers schedule at the spring board meeting, click here.

For information about the board of trustee meetings, click here.

For more information, e-mail remodel@nahb.com, or call 800-268-8451 x8216.

Join the Fun of Remodelers Night Out at Buffalo Billiards on May 1

Remodelers Night Out ― where remodelers can relax and network between meetings during NAHB’s upcoming spring board of directors meeting — will be 5:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, May 1 at Buffalo Billiards in Washington, D.C.

Buffalo Billiards features pool tables, shuffle board, darts and 26 televisions for watching sporting events.

The fee for the evening is $40 per person and includes appetizers, beer, wine, soda and rail drinks.

To register for Remodelers Night Out, visit www.nahb.org/RNO.

Reservations must be received by April 24. Buffalo Billiards is at 1330 19th Street NW.



Earn NAHB’s New Green Designation at the National Green Building Conference

The Certified Green Professional (CGP) designation teaches builders, remodelers and other industry professionals techniques for incorporating green building principles into homes using cost-effective and affordable options.

Both required courses for the CGP will be held at the National Green Building Conference, May 11-13 in New Orleans.

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



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.

 

'Remodel Now' Material Available for Remodeling Month

In May, as part of “National Home Remodeling Month” observations, NAHB Remodelers will be launching their year-long "Remodel Now" campaign.

For the campaign, NAHB has developed resources  — such as articles, press releases, advertising and other tools — that local councils and home builders associations can adapt for their market to educate home owners about the benefits of remodeling.

The "Remodel Now" campaign materials include:

  • A list of the the top 10 reasons to remodel
  • Customizable magazine and newspaper articles about the financial and lifestyle benefits of remodeling
  • "Top Five Reasons to Remodel" consumer advertisemens 
  • "May Is National Home Remodeling Month" promotional materials
  • A "Remodel Now" consumer brochure 
  • A how-to kit for implementing the "Remodel Now" campaign
  • Remodeling fact sheets
  • Remodeling logos
  • A "May Is National Home Remodeling Month" proclamation
  • Remodeling public service announcements


The materials are available free to NAHB remodelers and their local councils and will be updated regularly. Visit the Remodeling Month campaign Web site to download and customize these campaign materials.

For more information, e-mail Kelly Mack at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8451; or visit www.nahb.org/remodelingmonth.



Earn NAHB’s New Green Designation at the National Green Building Conference

The Certified Green Professional (CGP) designation teaches builders, remodelers and other industry professionals techniques for incorporating green building principles into homes using cost-effective and affordable options.

Both required courses for the CGP will be held at the National Green Building Conference, May 11-13 in New Orleans.

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



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.



‘Warranties for Builders and Remodelers’ Available at BuilderBooks.com

Warranties for Builders and Remodelers,” available through BuilderBooks.com, provides vital knowledge concerning the basic elements of a warranty.

This second edition addresses the changes to state statues of repose applicable to construction and changes and additions to the mandatory notice provisions in states that have these laws.

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




'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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NAHB Grant Helps Illinois Builders House Katrina Victim

 

 

Volunteer home building professionals with Sedonia Watts and Rev. Jim Cagle in Watts' house during week two of the project.

Ninety one-year-old Sedonia Watts had watched the tree next to her Columbia, Miss., home grow since it was a “a little switch.” But when it ripped a gaping ceiling-to-foundation hole through her bedroom wall during Hurricane Katrina, it left her homeless.

Watts had to leave her lifelong home, friends and community, and for more than two years, she didn’t know if she’d ever be able to return.

Then the SouthWest Suburban Home Builders Association in Illinois got involved.

Many of the HBA’s members belong to the Orland Park Church in Orland Park, Ill., a partner with the Christian Reformed World Relief organization to rebuild communities after a disaster.

Through the church, the HBA members had helped fund and build a home for a displaced Katrina family in 2007. But because of the housing market downturn, they had difficulty getting enough cash donations to build a home this year for Watts.

So, the HBA applied for and received a $15,000 grant from the NAHB Home Building Industry Disaster Relief Fund (HBIDRF) to help purchase building materials to build Watts a new home.

“This year, it was easier for members to volunteer their time to work on the project, but we needed help with the money,” said Len Kamp, of Kamp Builders in Orland Park, who was one of the coordinators of the project. “We were extremely happy and thankful for the grant from NAHB.”

On Jan. 28, members of the HBA and volunteers from the church and Will-Grundy Home Builders & Associates headed to Mississippi to build Watt’s new home in four week-long shifts.

“We were amazed at how many church members were willing to donate their time,” said Cindy Vander Laan, of Orland Park Church. Like many of the HBA volunteers, many of the project’s volunteers owned their own business.

A Life Returned in Four Weeks

When the project was completed, Watts was handed the keys to her new 800-square-foot, two-bedroom home — built on the same property she’d left.

“It was a wonderful experience,” Kamp said. “And I know firsthand that the money was well spent.” Either Kamp, or his brothers Dave and Kevin, worked on the home three out of the four weeks.

“The home building industry is proud to support the great volunteer efforts led by Illinois builders,” said Bobby Rayburn, a home builder from Jackson, Miss. and 2004 NAHB president, who heads up NAHB’s disaster relief efforts. “The grant helped them continue their work, and reinforces the idea that builders build more than just houses. They build community.”



NAHB Disaster Relief Fund

NAHB’s Home Building Industry Disaster Relief Fund, a recognized 501(c)(3) charitable organization, helps residents affected by disaster and works with associations with disaster recovery and public relations assistance.

To make a donation to NAHB’s Home Building Industry Disaster Relief Fund, which directs contributions made to the fund to recognized charities that are helping with shelter, healthcare and education, click here.

For more information on the NAHB fund, e-mail Jessica Lynch at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8401.

 

 

SouthWest Suburban HBA member Len Kamp (top row, far right) with volunteers in front of Watts' completed home in Columbia, Miss.

President's Tour Looks at Manufacturers, Green Building

 
 

Log Home Council members visited several manufacturing facilities and learned more about green building and log homes during the President's Tour in Appleton, Wis. on April 6-8.

Log Homes Council (LHC) members toured several manufacturing facilities and a model home, honored members who helped advance the log home industry, learned more about NAHB’s green certification and green building programs and raised more than $5,000 for charity during the Log Homes Council President’s Tour in Appleton, Wis. earlier this month.

The three-day tour from April 6-8 included visits to Timber Valley Millwork, a wooden door manufacturer; the Expedition Log Homes, Golden Eagle Log Homes and Meadow Valley Log Homes manufacturing facilities; and a Strongwood Log Homes model home.

Members Honored

Two members were honored for their work on behalf of the industry — Rob Cantrell, the council president and president of Stonemill Log Homes in Knoxville, Tenn.; and Emad Faddoul, vice president of design and engineering at Gastineau Log Homes in New Bloomfield, Mo.

Cantrell, who is also chairman of the Building Systems Councils, received the Image Award for his efforts in furthering the scope of the Log Homes Council within NAHB. Faddoul, who served as chairman of the LHC technical committee, received the President’s Award.

Jim Murphy, vice president and chief operating officer of Meadow Valley Log Homes in Mauston, Wis., was elected as secretary to the Log Home Council.

In addition, the council’s charity auction raised more than $5,000 on behalf of Segs4Vets, a program launched by the Disability Rights Advocates for Technology (DRAFT) in 2005. The program provides Segway personal transporters to U.S. soldiers who lost limbs and sustained other disabling injuries while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

Learning More About Green Building

During one of the green building education sessions at the tour, Don Carr, of the NAHB Research Center, explained the NAHB National Green Building Program and how it applies to the log homes industry.

Jerry Rouleau and Scott Stroud of J. Rouleau & Associates, LLC led a seminar focusing on Web site design and e-marketing strategies — tools members can use to increase interest and sales of log homes and to build a better dealer network.

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



Systems-Built Homes: Get the Big Picture

Attend the 2008 Building Systems Councils Modular and Panel Plant Tour May 18-20 in Harrisburg, Pa.

Participants will tour several of the top modular factories, getting an insider’s look at the manufacturing process as well as an opportunity to make important contacts.

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



Concrete Can Do That — Take the Technologies Tour and See How

NAHB’s 2008 Concrete Technologies Tour gives attendees an inside look at the residential concrete industry and a chance to see the latest production techniques and building trends up close.

Concrete is cost-effective and green and is becoming one of the fastest growing sectors of the residential building industry.

The upcoming tour will be on June 1-3 in Charlotte, N.C.

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

'Trillion Dollar Women’ Gives Viewpoint of Female Buyers

Though written for the female consumer, “Trillion Dollar Women: Use Your Power to Make Buying and Remodeling Decisions,” available at BuilderBooks.com, is a valuable resource for housing professionals who want information on how to better serve and market to this growing market segment.

According to a recent Harvard University study, women control 91% of home buying or remodeling decisions. “Trillion Dollar Women” provides builders and other housing professionals with a detailed look at the motivations, objectives and viewpoints of female buyers.

“Builders recognize that women have more buying power than ever — single women, in fact, are the second largest and fastest-growing demographic of home buyers,” said NAHB President Sandy Dunn “This book provides building professionals with unmatched insights into this important segment of the buying population.”

Author Tara Nicholle-Nelson demystifies the home buying and remodeling process, leading readers to evaluate their needs, lifestyle, budget and personality before making decisions.

Packed with tips, questionnaires and checklists, "Trillion Dollar Women" teaches women how to get through the home buying or remodeling process with ease. Readers will benefit from advice and insight on topics ranging from budgeting to design style.

“Women hold the purse strings when it comes to these major home buying decisions, and this book will make them better educated, more confident consumers in the process,” said Nelson.

“Trillion Dollar Women” also shows readers how to become more environmentally conscious with room-by-room strategies for green building and energy efficiency, including a list of resources and advice on finding a green contractor.

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

Earn Designations at NAHB Conferences in New Orleans

NAHB members can earn credits toward valuable designations by taking required courses at two conferences in New Orleans in May hosted by The NAHB University of Housing.

Certified Green Professional

Members attending the National Green Building Conference on May 11-13 at the Sheraton New Orleans can take pre- and post-conference courses required for NAHB’s newest designation, Certified Green Professional (CGP).

The CGP designation teaches builders, remodelers and other industry professionals techniques for incorporating green building principles into homes using cost-effective and affordable options.

The courses available at the National Green Building Conference include:


A graduation ceremony for the inaugural class of Certified Green Professionals will also be held during the conference.

Additional CGP requirements can be found at www.nahb.org/CGPinfo.

In addition to the CGP courses, the conference will hold more than 40 education sessions, including several on the various aspects of the NAHB Green Building Program.

To register for the conference, visit www.nahb.org/GreenBuildingConference. Advance registration ends Friday, April 25.

Certified Active Adult Specialist in Housing (CAASH)

Members attending the Building for Boomers & Beyond: 50+ Housing Symposium on May 19-21, also at the Sheraton New Orleans, can take the three required courses for the Certified Active Adult Specialist in Housing (CAASH) designation, which gives housing professionals serving this rapidly burgeoning market the essential knowledge, tools and skills that will help them succeed.

The three pre-conference courses include:


Complete CAASH designation requirements can be found at www.nahb.org/CAASHinfo.

In addition to the pre-conference courses, the symposium offers a wide range of education sessions under six tracks ― design, development and operations, trends, sales and marketing, service enriched and, new this year, technology.

To register for the conference, visit www.nahb.org/Build4Boomers. Advance registration ends Friday, May 2.

For more information on all of NAHB’s 2008 conferences, visit www.nahb.org/Conferences.

Education Calendar

April 24

Spring Construction Forecast Conference

Washington, D.C.

April 29

Train the Trainer

Washington, D.C.

May 9-10

Green Building for Building Professionals

New Orleans, La.

May 11-13

National Green Building Conference

New Orleans, La.

May 14

Business Management for Building Professionals

New Orleans, La.

May 17

Selling to Active Adults

New Orleans, La.

May 18

Designing for the Active Adult

New Orleans, La.

May 18

Trends and Research Methods to Define the Active Adult Lifestyle

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. 5-7

Sales and Marketing Exchange

Phoenix, Ariz.

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.

Completion of National Green Building Standard Nears

The National Green Building Standard moved closer to becoming the national standard for green building last week when it was submitted to the American National Standards Institute.

To ensure uniformity in everything from the size of electrical outlets to testing medical devices, ANSI only accredits one standard for any product category. The National Green Building Standard will be the only green building rating system accredited by ANSI, making it the benchmark for green homes.

The standard defines what green practices should be incorporated into construction on a national scale — for single-family, multifamily, remodeling and site development — and how home owners can operate and maintain their green homes.

The standard is expected to be introduced at the May 11-13 NAHB National Green Building Conference in New Orleans.

Submission to ANSI is the last hurdle for the new standard and the end of a long and demanding process for the standard’s consensus committee. Volunteers from NAHB and the International Code Council attended four public hearings and long days of meetings and participated in untold hours of conference calls to discuss the 3,000 public comments submitted for consideration.

Interest in green building has soared over the last several years. With home builders becoming more familiar with green building practices and with the increased availability of green materials and products, the industry expects to see the green housing market share increase from less than 1% of starts in 2005 to 10% by 2010, according to a 2007 survey of NAHB members by McGraw Hill Construction Analytics.

To meet the growing demand, local home builders associations have launched green building programs that include a number of rating systems — some unique to the program and some based on established models, including the NAHB Model Green Home Building Guidelines, which provided the basis for the new standard.

While the programs have enjoyed success and continue to demonstrate the strength of voluntary, market-driven green building, many policymakers and NAHB members have long sought a national standard for green building that is flexible and cost-effective and that can be used as a reference to establish incentives like fast-track permitting and tax breaks.

NAHB and the code council announced the joint effort in February 2007 at the International Builders’ Show and the committee began to meet in April.

NAHB Vice President and Treasurer Bob Jones spoke to consensus committee members last July and congratulated them on their hard work, which by then was about half-way done.

“The eyes of the home building industry are on you right now, but so are our best wishes,” Jones told the committee members. “I know that working together and listening carefully, you’ll create a document of great importance to this industry right now and in the years to come.”

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



'Building Greener Neighborhoods’ Available at BuilderBooks.com

Building Greener Neighborhoods,” available through Digital Delivery at BuilderBooks.com, shows those involved in building new communities the advantages and rewards of saving, planting and transplanting more trees in their developments.

The examples are drawn from decades of experience of land developers, home builders and urban foresters. 

To download this publication in a PDF format, click here, or call 800-223-2665.



Earn NAHB’s New Green Designation at the National Green Building Conference

The Certified Green Professional (CGP) designation teaches builders, remodelers and other industry professionals techniques for incorporating green building principles into homes using cost-effective and affordable options.

Both required courses for the CGP will be held at the National Green Building Conference, May 11-13 in New Orleans.

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

Applications Period for EnergyValue Awards Open

The NAHB Research Center has announced the start of the application period for the 2009 EnergyValue Housing Awards.

The 14-year-old EVHA program honors home builders who voluntarily integrate energy efficiency into the design, construction and marketing of new homes.

The application process for the awards provides builders with feedback from the energy-efficiency experts comprising the judging panel, and award winners realize a number of marketing advangages.

The EVHA ceremony will be held during the 2009 International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Las Vegas. Awards will be presented in the affordable, custom, factory-built, production and multifamily categories for hot, moderate and cold climate regions. Entires are evaluated based on the homes’ energy value, design, construction methods and processes, marketing and customer relations efforts, and participation in voluntary energy programs.

All professional U.S. home builders whose primary occupation is constructing homes and/or developing real estate are eligible for the awards. Past winners of the awards are invited to submit new projects for consideration.

Homes must have been completed after January 2006 and before they are submitted for the awards. The official EVHA application must be postmarked by July 11, 2008. Companies may submit only one application per category, for a maximum of up to five applications.

The EVHA is coordinated by the NAHB Research Center in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and NAHB.

To obtain an EVHA application or for more information, click here (Nahbrc.org/evha), or click here to send an e-mail.



'Building Greener Neighborhoods’ Available at BuilderBooks.com

Building Greener Neighborhoods,” available through Digital Delivery at BuilderBooks.com, shows those involved in building new communities the advantages and rewards of saving, planting and transplanting more trees in their developments.

The examples are drawn from decades of experience of land developers, home builders and urban foresters. 

To download this publication in a PDF format, click here, or call 800-223-2665.



Earn NAHB’s New Green Designation at the National Green Building Conference

The Certified Green Professional (CGP) designation teaches builders, remodelers and other industry professionals techniques for incorporating green building principles into homes using cost-effective and affordable options.

Both required courses for the CGP will be held at the National Green Building Conference, May 11-13 in New Orleans.

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

Beazer Steps Up Energy-, Eco-Performance of Its Homes

Beazer Homes has announced that it is incorporating new energy efficiency, water efficiency and indoor environmental quality measures into each home it builds as another step towards bringing eco-friendly products, practices and awareness into the mainstream.

eSMART by Beazer Homes™  will combine high-performance products with green building practices to have an immediate impact on the home’s annual operating costs and at no additional cost to home buyers, the company announced.

Working with product manufacturers — including Honeywell, General Electric and Moen — eSMART homes will come equipped with  programmable thermostats, compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) in the light fixtures, Energy Star-rated dishwashers, water-saving faucets and showerheads, more efficient air filters and carpets and paints that emit lower levels of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

“We are mapping our efforts toward the NAHB Model Green Home Building Guidelines because they offer the flexibility a large national builder needs to achieve both efficiency and conservation goals across a variety of markets,” said Tony Callahan, senior vice president of purchasing, planning and design at Beazer Homes.

"Our goal is to provide affordable everyday solutions that can make a difference right now in terms of environmental impact and operating costs," Callahan added. The company estimates that consumers will save an average of $331 in annual energy and replacement costs over typical new homes.

About 66% of consumers polled by Beazer last month reported being more environmentally conscious than they were five years ago. When making a new-home purchase decision, they ranked the importance of energy-saving features — such as programmable thermostats and CFLs — on par with higher-end kitchen features.

Beazer Homes also served as principle sponsor of the Georgia Institute of Technology's entry into the 2007 Solar Decathlon, an international competition involving 20 universities designing, building, transporting and commissioning an 800-square foot, solar-powered house.

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

Green Homes Tour Expanding in North Carolina

The newly formed Green Home Builders of the Triangle will welcome 33 builders and 40 homes — more than double the number at last year’s event — at the annual Green Home Tour May 3 and 4.

The green council is a joint project of the Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange and Chatham Counties and the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County in North Carolina.

Every tour home is enrolled in the green building certification program administered by the Triangle HBAs, which is based on the NAHB Model Green Home Building Guidelines, and entries must meet at least the bronze level of certification.

Some of the homes on tour will be only partially complete so that attendees can see materials and techniques — such as advanced framing — that would otherwise be hidden behind the walls. 

The tour has grown due to the increased interest in green building and the expansion of the green building program into Raleigh and Wake County, organizers said.

“Last year our tour entries were concentrated in the western side of the Triangle, but this year the event is truly Triangle-wide, covering six counties,” said Kevin Nelson, chairman of this year’s tour. 

Tour homes vary widely in style, features and price — from a low of $72,500 for a home built by Habitat for Humanity of Orange County to a high of $3.25 million for an entry by Bost Homes in Youngsville. 

“We are very excited about being in the Green Home Tour this year, because we’d like to show people that affordable homes can certainly be green,” said Tom Finn, construction coordinator for Orange Habitat. “Our goal is for every one of our Habitat homes to be energy-efficient and healthy, and the green building certification program and tour give us a chance to show that we’ve done what we intended.”

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



'Building Greener Neighborhoods’ Available at BuilderBooks.com

Building Greener Neighborhoods,” available through Digital Delivery at BuilderBooks.com, shows those involved in building new communities the advantages and rewards of saving, planting and transplanting more trees in their developments.

The examples are drawn from decades of experience of land developers, home builders and urban foresters. 

To download this publication in a PDF format, click here, or call 800-223-2665.



Earn NAHB’s New Green Designation at the National Green Building Conference

The Certified Green Professional (CGP) designation teaches builders, remodelers and other industry professionals techniques for incorporating green building principles into homes using cost-effective and affordable options.

Both required courses for the CGP will be held at the National Green Building Conference, May 11-13 in New Orleans.

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

Certified Green Professionals to Be Honored at Green Conference

The first graduating class of Certified Green Professional designees will be honored at a ceremony on Saturday, May 10 in New Orleans as part of the National Green Building Conference.

The CGP designation teaches builders, remodelers and other industry professionals techniques for incorporating green building principles into homes using cost-effective and affordable options.

The required courses for the designation — “Green Building for Building Professionals” and “Business Management for Building Professionals” — provide a background in green building methods and the tools to reach consumers and incorporate green building into an existing business.

The courses will be offered as pre- and post-show classes at the National Green Building Conference, allowing attendees to earn the designation on site.

More than 300 people have qualified to earn the CGP since the designation was launched at the 2008 International Builders’ Show in February.

Pre-registration for the National Green Building Conference has been extended until 5:00 p.m. EST Friday, April 25.

This year’s 10th anniversary conference features:

  • NAHB’s new National Green Building Standard
  • More than 55 education sessions in tracks including Going Green, Building Sciences, Local Change, Remodeling and Design
  • More than 75 exhibits featuring the latest and most advanced green building products on the market
  • Keynote speakers from Dell, Whirlpool, IKEA and more
  • Six prize giveaways, including a $10,000 vacation package


Register by April 25

To register, or for more information, visit www.nahb.org/GreenBuildingConference, or call the Office of the Registrar at 800-368-5242 x8338. Advance registration ends Friday, April 25.

To learn more about the Certified Green Professional Designation, visit www.nahb.org/CGPinfo.



'Building Greener Neighborhoods’ Available at BuilderBooks.com

Building Greener Neighborhoods,” available through Digital Delivery at BuilderBooks.com, shows those involved in building new communities the advantages and rewards of saving, planting and transplanting more trees in their developments.

The examples are drawn from decades of experience of land developers, home builders and urban foresters. 

To download this publication in a PDF format, click here, or call 800-223-2665.

Green Conference Offers Development Educational Track

A development educational track on training and techniques that green builders need to know in order to successfully plan and situate their homes on the site and in the entire community will be provided at the NAHB National Green Building Conference in New Orleans May 11-13.

Among the offerings:

  • “From the Ground Up: The Basic Techniques of Green Development.”  A discussion of experts’ experiences resolving the technical details that can bedevil developers that want to go green — with sensible solutions to streetscapes and infrastructure that lead to more sustainable practices.

  • “Over the Hedge: Overcoming Regulatory Barriers to Green Building.” Local governments often don’t even permit what, in theory, they say they are interested in. This session offers strategies and real-world examples that can be adopted by local governments to remove regulations that otherwise prevent the construction of green development.

  • “From Gray and Brown to Green: Developing Grayfields and Brownfields into Eco-Friendly Development.” Attendees will hear the latest on transforming underutilized and even contaminated sites from environmental wastelands into eco-friendly urban oases. This session includes strategies that planners may adopt to encourage green redevelopment in their communities.


The conference offers more than 60 educational sessions this year, along with keynote speakers, the annual Tour of Green Homes, a dinner honoring the winners of the NAHB National Green Building Awards, a volunteer service event in cooperation with the local affiliate of Rebuilding Together, and a sold-out exhibit hall with the latest green products and materials on display.

The first class of Certified Green Professionals will be honored at a pre-conference reception on Saturday, May 10. More than 330 builders, remodelers and other home building industry professionals have already received this designation, which was introduced just two months ago at the International Builders’ Show.

Pre-registration figures are running about 50% higher than those for last year’s successful event in St. Louis, and as they apply the finishing touches on this year’s 10th anniversary conference, planners are preparing for the largest attendance yet.

“Even though many of our members are feeling the effects of a lackluster market, demand for green building is getting stronger,” said Ray Tonjes, chair of the NAHB Green Building Subcommittee. “I think we can’t afford to miss this conference. We need to be ready for the future of residential construction.”

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

To register for the conference, visit www.nahb.org/GreenBuildingConference. Advance registration ends Friday, April 25.



'Building Greener Neighborhoods’ Available at BuilderBooks.com

Building Greener Neighborhoods,” available through Digital Delivery at BuilderBooks.com, shows those involved in building new communities the advantages and rewards of saving, planting and transplanting more trees in their developments.

The examples are drawn from decades of experience of land developers, home builders and urban foresters. 

To download this publication in a PDF format, click here, or call 800-223-2665.

Earth Day Starts With Reducing Energy Use at Home

Earth Day is here, and to mark the occasion NAHB is encouraging home owners everywhere to take simple steps to reduce energy use — and to think green when they buy a new home.

“We are all proud of the significant steps our members have taken to make new homes more energy-efficient,” said NAHB President Sandy Dunn. “More than 100,000 green homes have been built by our members in home builders association programs around the country. We’re moving the market — in a voluntary, cost-effective way.”   

Per square foot, new homes consume less than two-thirds the energy of older homes for heating and air conditioning, according to federal utility-use audits and research by NAHB economists.

“Americans who have bought a new home recently should all take a big bow on Earth Day,” Dunn said. “Today’s energy-efficient homes leave a lighter footprint — and that’s something new home owners can be very pleased about.”

Energy efficiency is an important driver in the green building movement and usually accounts for about half the costs of making a traditional home green, NAHB studies show. In the new NAHB National Green Building Program, homes must be 15% more energy-efficient than required by the prevailing building code to meet the bronze level of certification.

When ready to buy a new green home or renovate their existing home, consumers can choose a builder or remodeler who participates in the NAHB National Green Building Program and local home builders association programs or who is a Certified Green Professional.

“As many advances as we’ve made, NAHB recognizes that new energy-efficient homes are only part of the solution. We need to be better energy stewards in the homes we have now. That’s the most efficient way to make a noticeable impact on the amount of power we use,” Dunn said.

Dunn also suggested three simple measures that can make a significant difference in residential energy consumption:

  • Switch out some light bulbs. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that if every home replaced its five most frequently used traditional light bulbs and fixtures with bulbs bearing the Energy Star label, the U.S. would save about $8 billion in energy costs and the greenhouse gas equivalent of emissions from 10 million cars.

  • Change heating and air conditioning system air filters. The EPA recommends changing the filter at least every three months and more if it looks dirty. Dirty filters slow down air flow, making the system work harder and use more energy.

  • Seal and insulate. Home owners can typically save up to 20% of heating and cooling costs by air sealing their homes and adding insulation in attics, floors over crawl spaces and in accessible basement rim joists.


“As national leaders in the green building movement, it’s important for NAHB to remind our customers — American home owners — to be energy conscious. We all must do our part,” Dunn said.

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

Trustees Visit HBI Programs at Work in New Orleans

In New Orleans last week for their annual planning meeting, the Home Builders Institute Board of Trustees took a first-hand look at how two HBI programs are scoring success and making a contribution to the community.

The first stop on the itinerary was Operation Reconstruct New Orleans, which was launched by HBI’s Workforce Training and Employment (WTE) in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to help the city’s displaced residents find jobs and actively participate in local rebuilding efforts.

Now in its second year, Operation Reconstruct is training local residents ages 18 to 21 in the skilled trades and placing them in jobs in the home building industry. HBI’s partner, the Paxon Group, provides critical GED and employability skills instruction.

Since it was established in New Orleans, HBI has opened two new Operation Reconstruct programs in Gulfport and Jackson, Miss.

“Operation Reconstruct is a great program because it makes an impact on both the macro and micro levels,” said HBI Chairman John Moffitt. “It trains individuals with skills to give them employment, and with their new trade skills these New Orleans citizens are on the front lines of rebuilding efforts for the city.”

Trustees next visited Delgado Community College, which was damaged during the hurricane, forcing many students to transfer to new schools or temporarily suspend their education. Membership at Delgado’s NAHB Student Chapter dwindled to three, but chapter advisor P. Victor Mirzai and students were on hand to show the trustees how the group has made a strong comeback, working with the local HBA, volunteering in the community and recruiting new members.

Delgado took home second place in the Outstanding Student Chapter competition awarded at the 2008 International Builders’ Show in Orlando.

“HBI is the workforce development arm of NAHB, which means that it has a great influence on the future of the building industry,” said Moffitt. “The upcoming generation of builders, architects and trades people, among others, are already involved in HBI programs. Now we need to ensure that the current generation is on board as well,” added Moffitt.

For more information, e-mail Maria McIntyre at HBI, or call her at 800-795-7955 x8912.



Home Builders Institute Offers New Program to Teach Hispanic Adults English

Sed de Saber™-Construction Edition is an easy-to-use, take-home learning tool created exclusively for the construction industry by the Home Builders Institute to improve communication, quality and safety on the job site.

The product, now available at www.seddesaberconstruction.com, uses proven LeapFrog technology to allow workers to listen, record and play back their pronunciation of more than 500 vocabulary words and 340 phrases. Participants who practice 30 minutes each day will complete the program in just four months. Learning at home, on their own time, also eliminates scheduling conflicts.

Sed de Saber™-Construction Edition was developed by a team of subject matter experts assembled through HBI — including superintendents, craft skills experts, remodelers and builders — to ensure that the information is relevant to today’s home building workforce. To address worker safety issues related to the language barrier, HBI created a seventh book based entirely on the NAHB-OSHA Job Site Safety Handbook.

NAHB members can purchase the learning system, all seven books and a skills assessment to chart employee progress for $395 per kit. The non-member price is $495. Order today and empower your workers to learn English at www.seddesaberconstruction.com.

New Danza Faucets Bring Elegant Design to the Kitchen

Originally developed to provide a powder room with the European contemporary motif of simple, clean architecture, Danze has now adapted its Como Collection to meet the functional requirements of American kitchens.

The new Como kitchen faucets include three designs:

  • Single Handle Pull-Down Faucet — Pull-down spout faucets have gained popularity due to their easy use and convenience. The pull-down spout also doubles as a vegetable spray, simplifying the clutter around the sink’s work station. The quiet-running nylon hose retracts using a hidden stainless steel spring mechanism.

  • Single Handle Kitchen Faucet With Spray — This is a beautiful spout, 13-3/4 inches high, with a matching brass veggie spray.

  • Single Handle Bar Faucet —This spout,13-1/4 inches high, is perfect for a bar or convenience sink.


The faucets are available in chrome and stainless steel finishes.

The convenient functionality of the faucets is supported with high-quality ceramic disc valves and durable brass construction.

Danze is a leading manufacturer and marketer of premium decorative plumbing products. Its product line includes kitchen and bath faucets, specialty faucets, showerheads, shower arms and bath accessories.

Headquartered in Woodbridge, Ill., Danze 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: "Coverings Show in Chicago"

• April 22, 9:30 p.m. ET/PT
• April 23, 1:30 a.m. ET/PT
• April 26, 11:30 a.m. ET/PT

 

Hosts and cousins Dean Marsico and Derek Stearns take the trip of a lifetime when they visit the Coverings show in Chicago, the biggest stone and tile trade show in the country. With more than 1,200 exhibitors, they're like two kids in a candy store — learning about new products and testing out new machinery. It's a cornucopia of tile and stone from around the world.

"I Want That" on Fine Living

Episode: "Electic Lawnmower, Solar Fountain, Tornado Demonstrator, Pet Stroller"

• April 24, 10:00 a.m. ET/PT
• April 26, 2:30 p.m. ET/PT

 

A powerful, lightweight battery-powered lawnmower can run for an hour on a single charge. Create a completely cordless watery oasis with a solar-powered fountain. A tornado demonstrator model shows how the powerful events form. Plus, take the pets for a walk in the comfort of their own stroller.   

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.

Endowment HELP Goes a Long Way at Maryland University

 

 

These four CMT students from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore competed in the NAHB Student Chapters Residential Construction Competition at the 2008 IBS.

Enrollment in the construction management program at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) increased 12% since the school was awarded one of the first two HELP grants established by the National Housing Endowment in 2006.

The endowment created HELP, the Homebuilding Education Leadership Program, to bolster college and university residential construction management programs around the country. Under the program, two- and four-year colleges and universities are awarded up to $100,000 to build their residential construction programs.

At UMES, a historically black and land grant institution on the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland with an established and accredited construction department, Dr. Leon Copeland, chair of the Construction Management Technology (CMT) program, used the grant to strengthen the program’s residential construction academic offerings and infrastructure, establish an NAHB Student Chapter and expand the CMT program’s outreach and marketing with the goal of increasing enrollment.

“UMES presented a wonderful opportunity for the National Housing Endowment to ensure that HELP is a success as we work to monitor UMES’ growth and help steer them toward the valuable resources that we have at our disposal,” said Gary Garczynski, endowment chairman and 2002 NAHB president.

Since the grant was awarded, members of the school’s newly-formed NAHB Student Chapter attended the 2007 and 2008 International Builders’ Shows. At the 2008 show, four UMES students participated in the NAHB Student Chapters Residential Construction Competition.

In addition, last October, 26 CMT students and faculty participated in a day at a Pulte Homes job site, an endowment program that gives students a first-hand look at possible careers for a diversity of workers in the home building industry.

The students visited Chesapeake, a Del Webb community, Pulte’s active adult division, which is now in the last phase of development near historic St. Michaels, Md.

“UMES is a perfect example of what industry support can do to build and enhance the quality of residential construction education programs,” said Copeland.

“The assistance the University of Maryland Eastern Shore is receiving is positioning the Construction Management Technology program as an active partner in assisting the National Housing Endowment in furthering its mission to help the industry develop more effective approaches to home building, enhance the ways we educate and train future generations of leaders in residential construction and increase the body of knowledge related housing issues,” he said.

The endowment is in the process of selecting HELP grant recipients for 2009. The endowment will announce the schools that will receive the grants at the 2009 International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.

For more information, visit www.nationalhousingendowment.org.

Applications for Herman J. Smith Scholarships Due May 5

 

 

Patsy Smith

Graduate and undergraduate students pursuing building-related studies for the 2008-2009 academic year can apply for the Herman J. Smith Scholarship Fund, the National Housing Endowment, the philanthropic arm of NAHB, recently announced. Applications are due May 5. 

The Herman J. Smith Scholarship Fund, honoring 1981 NAHB President Herman J. Smith, provides assistance to graduate and undergraduate students studying construction management, mortgage finance and related fields. Last year, 10 students were awarded scholarships totalling $20,000.

“We are so proud to work with the National Housing Endowment to provide educational opportunities for worthy students,” said Patsy Smith, who serves as a life trustee for the endowment. “Herman’s favorite motto was ‘always leave the woodpile higher than you found it.’ I believe this scholarship is a testament to his philanthropic work and to his great love of this industry.”

Since its inception, the Smith scholarship has awarded more than $140,000 to exemplary students.

Applicants interested in applying for the scholarship funds must be in a housing-related program such as construction management, construction technology, civil engineering, architecture, design or any of the trade specialties at a college or university.

Preference is given to students who are residents of Texas or who are attending a Texas college or university, and who are active members in the NAHB Student Chapter at their college.

To Apply

Scholarship applications can be downloaded from the scholarship page of the National Housing Endowment Web site, www.nationalhousingendowment.org. Applications are available in Word format.

About Endowment Scholarship Programs

The endowment administers 12 scholarship programs and awards more than $400,000 each year to students pursuing careers in residential construction and related fields.

For more information, visit the endowment Web site at www.nationalhousingendowment.org.

Get Free ‘April Is New Homes Month,’ Resources Online Now

 

 

This "smart shoppers ad" is one of several free resources available in the NAHB New Homes Month promotional toolkit.

This April, NAHB celebrates New Homes Month to again highlight the benefits of homeownership and, in particular, buying a new home.

New homes today are better than ever before, with numerous features and amenities to accommodate today’s discerning home buyers and their busy lifestyles. New technologies, more efficient square footage and improved layouts make today’s new homes more comfortable and livable than at any time in the past.

New homes are also more energy-efficient. In fact, new homes built today are about twice as energy-efficient as new homes were just 20 years ago.

To help you take full advantage of New Homes Month, NAHB has developed a free, online promotional toolkit packed with resources and materials for builders and local associations to use throughout the month.

The promotional toolkit — available to members only — includes a series of articles, advertisements, consumer flyers and other resources to help maximize New Homes Month.

These materials can be used to promote spring home shows or parades of homes and other special events you may be planning in April.

To view the resources available in the New Homes Month promotional toolkit, click here.

For more information, e-mail Brooke Fishel at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8061.

GM $500 Private Offer: Easy as 1-2-3

Receiving $500 towards the purchase or lease of most new GM vehicles, whether for business or personal use, is now as easy as one, two, three.

Follow these simple steps to get your GM authorization number and turn it in at your GM dealer for your $500 discount. The $500 NAHB private offer may be combined with most current GM incentives:

One: Create a username and password.

  • Click on the GM logo from www.nahb.org/MA and click on the authorization number link.

  • Hit the “continue” button under the heading “Obtain username and password to receive authorization to purchase.”

  • Enter last name, first name, street number (note, this must be the street number on file with your HBA) and zip code.

  • The page will then pre-populate with your member information. Create a username and password (note, each must be eight characters).


Two
: Obtain and authorization number

  • Once login is complete, you’ll be directed to a page where you’ll be greeted by your first name.

  • To obtain an authorization number, click on the text, “GM Select Trade Association Private Offer” on the left-hand side of the page.

  • Enter date of birth (00/00/0000 format), zip code and purchaser information (either yourself or a member of your household). Any member of your household living under your roof is eligible for the $500 NAHB private offer.

  • Confirm the information that pre-populates.

  • Print the authorization number page and give it to the dealer.


Three
: Go to www.gmfleet.com/nahb and click on the GM logo for all the details and background information on this $500 offer.

Other Member Advantage Discounts

For information on the Member Advantage discount program and all its participating companies, go to www.nahb.org/MA.



Free NAHB Kit Gives Builders Back-to-Basics Tips in 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.

'Interview Skills' Sold Out; Few 'Presentation Skills' Spots Remain

The “Interview Skills” session has sold out and only a few spots remain for the “Presentation Skills” session of Spokesperson Training at NAHB's upcoming spring board of directors meeting in Washington, D.C.

NAHB members and leaders of state and local home builders associations can register securely online with a credit card for “Presentation Skills.”

In the session, members can learn how to confidently prepare and deliver dynamic presentations to any audience. The course focuses on how to organize and deliver a speech and presentation with accompanying question and answer sessions.

"Presentation Skills" is scheduled for one day and registration is limited to 12 participants. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Spring Board Spokesperson Sessions:

  • "Interview Skills" — Thursday, May 1   SOLD OUT!
  • "Presentation Skills" — Friday, May 2


The fee for is $495 per person.

For more information and to register, click here.

Each Spokesperson Training 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.

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

For more information, e-mail Brooke Fishel at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8061.

Avoid Credit Card Processing Rate Increases With Solveras

Solveras Payment Systems offers members and home builders associations the chance to avoid the Visa and MasterCard processing rate increase that the credit card companies recently announced.

Solveras Payment Systems has negotiated a special deal for NAHB members that will allow them to avoid upcoming increases by Visa and MasterCard by contacting Solveras no later than Wednesday, April 30 and lock in pre-increase processing.

Solveras’ free savings analysis shows in writing how this offer and NAHB’s benefit program can be a real money-saver. Solveras has provided thousands of analyses and consistently uncovers savings for two out of three businesses.

Add that to the Solveras’ regular discounts on credit card processing, simplified monthly billing and an easy-to-read account statement, and you’ll find an excellent opportunity to keep more profit on every credit card sale.

For more information, call 800-619-5301 or visit www.solveras.com/nahb. Be sure to mention NAHB when requesting a free savings analysis.

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.

Spring Board Meeting Set for April 29-May 3 in Washington

 

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 and legislative conference in Washington, D.C., April 29 – May 3, 2008.  Meetings will be held at the National Housing Center, the Hilton Washington Hotel and the AED Conference Center (across from the Hilton). The spring board program will identify the exact time and place of each scheduled meeting.

Tuesday, April 29

National Vice Presidents
State Representatives
Joint National Vice Presidents/State Representatives
Executive Board

Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Legislative Conference Issues Briefing and Hill Visits

Thursday, May 1, 2008
Committees, Subcommittees, Councils, Affiliates, etc.
NAHB Past Presidents’ Council
NHC Board of Governors
Nominations Committee

Friday, May 2, 2008
Committees, Subcommittees, Councils, Affiliates, etc.

Saturday, May 3, 2008
Area Caucuses 1-15
Joint Executive, Budget and Resolutions Committees
Board of Directors
Hall of Fame Induction

Calendar of Events

April 24

Spring Construction Forecast Conference

Washington, D.C.

April 29-May 4

Spring Board of Directors Meeting

Washington, D.C.

April 29

Train the Trainer

Washington, D.C.

May 9-10

Green Building for Building Professionals

New Orleans, La.

May 11-13

National Green Building Conference

New Orleans, La.

May 11

National Green Building Awards

New Orleans, La.

May 14

Business Management for Building Professionals

New Orleans, La.

May 17

Selling to Active Adults

New Orleans, La.

May 18

Designing for the Active Adult

New Orleans, La.

May 18

Trends and Research Methods to Define the Active Adult Lifestyle

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. 5-7

Sales and Marketing Exchange

Phoenix, Ariz.

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.