Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Brad Thompson spotlighted by HBASC

Brad Thompson was spotlighted by HBASC in the Builder News Network, the state association's regular e-newsletter.

Click here to read the profile of Brad Thompson.

Tips for maximizing your first year of membership

So you are a new member. You are not alone. The HBA of Greenville has more than 100 new members in 2010 alone. So how do you get the most our of your membership?

· Get connected. Access members only content at www.HBAofGreenville.com and www.NAHB.com. Topics range from business management to effective networking to housing issues. Need help logging in? Email info@HBAofGreenville.com or login@NAHB.com.
· Learn more. The University of Housing of the Upstate provides opportunities ranging from lunch seminars to multi-day seminars that will lead you to earning industry designations. Find our programs at www.NAHB.org/Education.
· Save money on many services you probably already use. Visit our member savings section at www.HBAofGreenville.com.
· Show up. Check the listing of upcoming meetings at www.HBAofGreenville.com. Want to meet builders? Attend meetings that appeal to them. You may not be interested in building codes, but builders are interested in those types of topics, so that is where they will be.
· Talk to the experts. Your industry-specific questions can be answered by the staff at the HBA of Greenville, the HBA of South Carolina, and NAHB. Call on them for help.
· Look at the big picture. You are a member of three assocations: local, state, and national. Each branch of the federation offers distinct packages of benefits that will enhance your membership experience and your company's bottom line. Tap into all of them.
· Read our publications and online resources. Builder Review Online, our weekly e-newsletter, Builder Review Daily, our blog, Sales + Marketing Ideas magazine, Nations Building News, a weekly e-newsletter from NAHB, Builder Journal magazine, and Builder News Network. These publications and our website are your sources for the latest housing news and ideas.

Membership is what you make of it. Get the most out of your membership but getting involved, reading the news, and using the services of your Home Builders Association.

New Appraisal Guidance From Fannie Mae Announced

Fannie Mae recently released new appraisal-related policies and additional guidance addressing many of the primary concerns that home builders have raised with the agency regarding inappropriate appraisal practices.

According to its new policy, Fannie Mae will now require lenders to only use appraisers who have the appropriate knowledge and experience in specific geographic markets. Also, builder sales are acceptable as comparable properties, and an appraiser may view the HUD-1 for a new construction property to verify a recent sale not yet available through other data sources.

Meanwhile, Fannie Mae is requiring appraisers to make valuation adjustments for short sale and foreclosed properties used as comps by determining their condition and whether any stigma is associated with them. Other changes announced by Fannie Mae clarify that the Home Valuation Code of Conduct allows for appropriate communication with appraisal management companies and specific appraisers and also allows for authorized third parties, including builders, to provide additional information about the basis for a valuation or the need to correct objective factual errors in an appraisal report.

Read the complete announcement from Fannie Mae by clicking here.

Monday, July 12, 2010

NAHB to Sue EPA Over Lead Paint Regulations

NAHB Announced last week that is is joining a coalition of housing industry groups in suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for removing the "opt-out" provision from its Lead: Renovation, Repair, and Painting rule.

EPA enacted the rule on April 22, 2010, but recently delayed enforcing the licensing portion of the rule until October 1, 2010. However, the rule itself is in effect and contractors working on homes built before 1978 are required to comply.

The opt-out provision would have allowed contractors and homeowners to mutually agree to opt out of complying with the rule. By removing the opt-out provision, NAHB Chairman Bob Jones says EPA is "more than doubling the number of homes subject to the regulation."

Read the entire report at www.nahb.org by clicking here.

Fall Southern Home and Garden Show Exhibit Space Available

Applications For Space in the 2nd Annual Fall Southern Home & Garden Show are now being accepted.

Produced by the Home Builders Association of Greenville, the 2010 Fall Southern Home & Garden Show will be held October 15-17 at the Carolina First Center in Greenville, South Carolina. The three-day event is a smaller version of our Spring Southern Home & Garden Show, offering a seasonal opportunity for exhibitors to reach consumers planning fall fix-ups, remodeling projects, and special d├ęcor.

The Inaugural Fall Show was held in 2009 and featured 126 exhibitors occupying 221 booths. Total number of 3,935 persons attended the event.

Visit www.HBAofGreenville.com for exhibitor information.

NFPA Issues Safety Alert on Residential Fire Sprinklers

On Tuesday July 6, 2010, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) issued a safety alert related to buildings equipped with residential fire sprinkler systems containing antifreeze solutions. Following a recent fatal fire incident which prompted a research study and a series of fire tests, there has been concern raised over the potential for the antifreeze solution in the residential fire sprinkler system to ignite in certain fire situations.

According to the NFPA, any system that contains antifreeze should have the antifreeze drained from the system and replaced with water. NFPA is recommending that those who are responsible for a residential occupancy with a fire sprinkler system should have a fire sprinkler contractor test their system for antifreeze. NFPA also advises that all residential fire sprinkler systems currently being installed should avoid designing or installing a system that would require antifreeze.

Antifreeze systems were first recognized and approved for use in residential occupancies in the 1989 edition of the NFPA fire sprinkler installation standards. More information regarding NFPA’s safety alert on antifreeze in residential fire sprinklers and the list of recommended action to take for systems containing antifreeze can be found at www.nfpa.org/antifreeze. If you believe you are affected by this alert, please contact the local building or fire official for more information.

NAHB Study Evaluates Higher Density and Greenhouse Gases

A study commissioned by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and conducted by Abt Associates showed that higher-density communities will only modestly alter travel behavior and therefore have a similarly modest impact on greenhouse gas emissions. The analysis was based on a review of 200 case studies on residential density and its relationship to travel behavior and climate change.

"Not everyone wants to, or can, live in a high-density community, and consumers continue to require a range of housing types and neighborhoods because of a complex set of interacting market, demographic, and other factors," Jerry Howard, President and CEO of NAHB, said. "Before government starts dictating how Americans should live and the types of communities they can live in, we should make sure that sound research validates that as a sensible approach," Howard said.

NAHB's study found that while much of the vast volume of research on the impact of development on greenhouse gases shows a link between higher density communities and the number of vehicle miles traveled, it is an oversimplification that higher density equals lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Read the entire study by clicking here and clicking here.