Friday, March 22, 2013

"We Build It...They Protect it." Honoring our military at this years Bird Supper.

With the HBASC 43rd Annual Bird Supper right around the corner on April 9th and would like to take this opportunity to recognize those General Assembly and HBA members that have served in the Armed Forces.
If you will be attending the Bird Supper and have served in the Armed Forces please send your contact information along with Branch and dates of service to Elizabeth Pever at the HBA of Greenville Office.

Also, keep in mind that Norbord will be hosting a Mill tour of their Joanna, SC plant the morning of April 9th and will provide transportation from the HBA of Greenville office to the Mill and then from the Mill to the SC Legislative Day/ Bird Supper. Please call the HBA office or email Elizabeth Pever for more details.

Builder Confidence Slips Two Notches in March

Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes paused for a third consecutive month in March, with a two-point reduction to 44 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), released today.

“Following eight consecutive months of improvement, builder confidence leveled off in January and has since edged down several points,” noted NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. “Although many of our members are reporting increased demand for new homes in their markets, their enthusiasm is being tempered by frustrating bottlenecks in the supply chain for developed lots along with rising costs for building materials and labor. At the same time, problems with appraisals and credit availability remain considerable obstacles to completing deals.”

“In addition to tight credit and below-price appraisals, home building is beginning to suffer growth pains as the infrastructure that supports it tries to re-establish itself,” explained NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “During the Great Recession, the industry lost home building firms, building material production capacity, workers who retreated to other sectors and the pipeline of developed lots. The road to a housing recovery will be a bumpy one until these issues are addressed, but in the meantime, builders are much more optimistic today than they were at this time last year.”

Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 25 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “”high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores from each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

While the HMI component gauging current sales conditions declined four points to 47, the component gauging sales expectations in the next six months and the component gauging traffic of prospective buyers both posted gains, of one point to 51 and three points to 35, respectively, in March.

Three-month moving averages for each region’s HMI score were also mixed, with the Northeast holding unchanged at 39, the Midwest and South posting one-point declines to 47 and 46, respectively, and the West registering a four-point increase to 58.

Home Builders Applaud Bill to Restore Flow of Credit to Housing, Spur Job Growth

In a major step forward to spur job and economic growth and keep the housing recovery on track, Reps. Gary Miller (R-Calif.) and Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) today introduced bipartisan legislation that would help provide home builders access to credit for viable home building projects.

“We commend Reps. Miller and McCarthy for acting to remove a major impediment to the housing recovery by promoting legislation that will enable home builders to obtain construction loans in order to put construction crews back to work and to meet rising demand across much of the nation for new homes,” said Rick Judson, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Charlotte, N.C.

H.R. 1255, the Home Construction Lending Regulatory Improvement Act of 2013, represents a substantial step forward in the effort to restore the flow of credit to the housing industry and is identical to legislation championed by Miller in the last Congress.

The measure would address specific regulatory obstacles to the credit needs of the nation’s home builders.

In many housing markets where demand is increasing and the supply of new homes remains near record-lows, builders still cannot obtain construction loans because credit remains very tight in the aftermath of the housing downturn.

“As a result, jobs are being lost and home builders are unable to meet the needs of home buyers in scores of local markets whose economies are on the mend,” said Judson.

Not only is this hurting job creation and economic activity in countless communities across the land, it also places an added burden on cash-strapped state and local governments that rely on a robust property tax base to fund essential services, including schools, police and firefighters. Constructing 100 new homes creates more than 300 full-time jobs and $8.9 million in federal, state and local tax revenue.

To restore liquidity and provide stable financing to the residential housing sector, the bill would remove barriers to lending while preserving the regulators’ ability to assure the safety and soundness of the financial institutions they oversee.

Nationwide Housing Production Edges Up in February

Nationwide housing production edged up 0.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 917,000 units in February, according to newly released figures from HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau. This slight upward movement represented gains in both the single-family and multifamily sectors, with single-family housing starts reaching their fastest pace since June of 2008.

“Demand for new homes and apartments is definitely rising as the spring buying season approaches and more young people move out on their own,” said Rick Judson, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. “Builders are responding to this improved demand by putting more crews back to work and pulling more permits for future construction, though this positive activity is being constrained by continuing issues with appraisals and credit availability for both builders and buyers, and also by newly arising challenges such as lot shortages and increased costs for labor and materials.”

“Today’s report indicates that, despite some bumps in the road, overall housing production continues on the solid upward trend that we saw throughout 2012,” noted NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Moreover, further gains in permit issuance are a positive sign that home construction will continue to drive economic and job growth in the coming months, albeit at a slower pace than would be possible without certain limiting factors.”

Single-family housing starts eked out a 0.5 percent gain to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 618,000 units in February, bringing them to their highest level since June of 2008, while multifamily starts rose 1.4 percent to 299,000 units.

Regionally in February, combined single- and multifamily housing production rose strongly in the Northeast and Midwest with gains of 18.4 percent and 37.5 percent, respectively, but fell 5.7 percent and 7.2 percent in the South and West, respectively.

Overall permit issuance rose 4.6 percent to 946,000 units in February, the strongest pace since June of 2008. That gain included a 2.7 percent increase to 600,000 units on the single-family side and an 8.1 percent increase to 346,000 units on the multifamily side.

The Midwest, South and West posted respective gains of 1.4 percent, 9.9 percent and 6.4 percent in permitting activity for February, while the Northeast posted an 18.2 percent decline.

Home Buyer Age Impacts Home Size Preference According to NAHB Survey

A recent study from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) shows variations in home buyer preferences with regards to home size when it comes to age, race and ethnicity.

NAHB’s “What Home Buyers Really Want,” surveyed more than 3,600 home buyers across the country on various characteristics of new homes. Based on the results, the median desired home size is 2,226 square feet. However, a closer look at the data broken down by buyer characteristics shows significant differences in how large a home different types of buyers want.

Age plays an important role in a buyer’s preferences, with the amount of space requirements dropping steadily as the age of the buyer increases. Among those younger than 35, the desired home size is 2,494 square feet, compared to 2,065 square feet among those 65 and older.

“The building industry wants to know how much space buyers want in their homes” said Rose Quint, NAHB’s assistant vice president for survey research, and one of the study’s authors. “This study provides us with new insight into the home size preference of home buyers as a whole, but also across different demographic groups.”

Race and ethnicity also impacted home size preferences, with minority buyers desiring more space than White, non-Hispanic buyers. White, non-Hispanic buyers report wanting about 2,197 square feet, while Asian buyers desire 2,280 square feet, Hispanic buyers want 2,347 square feet, and African-American buyers prefer 2,664 square feet.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, after peaking in 2006, median home size fell in 2007, 2008 and 2009, but reversed course and has risen for the past three years. Estimates indicate that the median size of all single-family homes started in 2012 was 2,309 square feet, and the average was 2,521 square feet.

The primary reason for the reversal in home size actually built has to do with buyers’ ability to access credit. Due to overly stringent mortgage lending requirements in recent years, the less financially-solid buyers have been shut out of the market. As a result, homes built in the last few years, largely reflect the preferences of those who are still able to obtain credit and put down larger down payments—typically wealthier buyers who can afford larger homes.

Growing Labor Shortages Impeding Housing and Economic Recovery

Growing labor shortages in all facets of the residential construction sector are impeding the housing and economic recovery, according to a new survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

“The survey of our members shows that since June of 2012, residential construction firms are reporting an increasing number of shortages in all aspects of the industry – from carpenters, excavators, framers, roofers and plumbers, to bricklayers, HVAC, building maintenance managers and weatherization workers. The same holds true for subcontractors,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

The survey also found that more than half of the builders reported that labor shortages over the past six months have caused them to pay higher wages or subcontractor bids to secure projects, and consequently, to raise home prices. Moreover, 46 percent of the builders surveyed experienced delays in completing projects on time, 15 percent had to turn down some projects and 9 percent lost or cancelled sales as a result of recent labor shortages.

Part of the reason for the labor shortages can be attributed to the fact that many skilled residential construction workers were forced to seek employment elsewhere during the recession and are no longer currently available.

“What used to be high-paying, skilled jobs vanished as builders across the nation went out of business or were forced to let workers go,” said NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C.

The loss of tens of thousands of housing jobs mushroomed to more than 1.4 million during the peak of the downturn. During this period, many trades retrained construction workers and they are not returning to the residential construction sector.

Meanwhile, a lack of buildable lots and increased costs for materials and labor are also contributing to the problem, as the infrastructure that supports home building moves to re-establish itself following the worst housing downturn since the Great Depression, Crowe said.

To help meet the growing demand for skilled labor within the housing sector, the Home Builders Institute (HBI), in partnership with NAHB, provides career training and job placement in the building industry. HBI offers an array of portable pre-apprenticeship training programs in a variety of skilled trades that can be customized to meet the workforce needs of communities across the nation. HBI regularly places approximately 80 percent of its student graduates in jobs in the building sector.

“We are ramping up our efforts to train diverse populations and place them in jobs to meet the growing demand of the building sector,” said HBI President and CEO John Courson.

“Even in a period of relatively high unemployment, we still need to complement our job training efforts by bringing in foreign workers to meet the needs of home builders and home buyers,” added Judson.

The worker shortages are not only slowing the housing recovery, but also hurting job and economic growth.

Nationally, the construction of 1,000 single-family homes generates more than 3,000 jobs, approximately $145.4 million in wages, and more than $89 million in federal, state and local tax revenues. That doesn’t even count the increase in annual property taxes that local municipalities rely on to fund schools, police and firefighters.

As the economy mends, pent-up demand for housing will continue to grow, as roughly 2 million household formations were delayed as a result of the Great Recession. In normal economic times, demand for new homes should be about 1.7 million annually.
NAHB is anticipating total housing starts of 970,000 this year and 1.18 million in 2014 as the market continues its gradual rebound.

“We need to look holistically at the home building infrastructure to meet growing and future demand,” said Judson. “To avoid a run-up in prices in hot markets due to labor issues, we need to complement our current training programs with a market-based visa system that would allow more immigrants to legally enter the construction workforce each year when there is a dearth of workers to fill the jobs that are needed.”

List of Improving Housing Markets Rises to 274 in March

Greenville has improved for 16 consecutive months

The list of improving U.S. housing markets expanded for a seventh consecutive month in March to include 274 metros on the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI), released today. This total amounts to a net gain of 15 markets since February and includes entrants from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The IMI identifies metropolitan areas that have shown improvement from their respective troughs in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months. Thirty-four new markets were added to the list and 19 were dropped from it this month. Notable additions include such diverse locations as Birmingham, Ala.; Santa Barbara, Calif.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Bloomington, Ind.

“This is the second consecutive month in which every state is represented by at least one metro on the improving list,” observed NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. “The expanding housing recovery is energizing communities nationwide by generating jobs and local tax revenues -- and it could be an even more potent force for economic growth if credit for building and buying homes was more readily available.”

“With just over 75 percent of the 361 metros covered by the IMI now seen as improving, the housing market is on considerably more solid footing than it was at this time last year,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “While we expect this positive momentum to continue, it’s important to understand that many markets are just beginning the recovery process, and that numerous issues – from credit availability to the rising cost of building materials and emerging lot shortages – are slowing the pace of that advancement.”

“With the understanding that there are still a lot of uncertainties in the regulatory arena, it looks like we are finally seeing the beginning of what could be a broad and deep recovery of the nation’s housing market,” added Kurt Pfotenhauer, vice chairman of First American Title Insurance Company.

The IMI is designed to track housing markets throughout the country that are showing signs of improving economic health. The index measures three sets of independent monthly data to get a mark on the top improving Metropolitan Statistical Areas. The three indicators that are analyzed are employment growth from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, house price appreciation from Freddie Mac and single-family housing permit growth from the U.S. Census Bureau. NAHB uses the latest available data from these sources to generate a list of improving markets. A metro area must see improvement in all three measures for at least six consecutive months following those measures’ respective troughs before being included on the improving markets list.

A complete list of all 274 metropolitan areas currently on the IMI, and separate breakouts of metros newly added to or dropped from the list in March, is available at

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Value of Membership: Sensible fall protection

We recently finished a short series of highlights of the more than 100 initiatives by your HBA that have saved HBA members during the last year.  But there are many others which have saved home builders about $7,250 per housing start in 2012, including both single-family and multifamily.

In the coming days we will highlight more of our initiatives.  Below is one of them.

Sensible Fall Protection Regulations from OSHA. NAHB is committed to training and educating its members on how to reduce fall-related injuries and to comply with OSHA regulations. NAHB has been working closely with OSHA on its fall protection regulations for the construction industry. These rules affect all segments of the industry, including single-family home builders, multifamily builders and remodelers. It is important that OSHA rules provide for safety and compliance without being excessively burdensome. NAHB is urging OSHA to review its fall protection standard to make it more effective, less burdensome, and more easily understood, implemented and enforced. The standard should also recognize that alternative fall protection methods should be a viable option in certain situations.

Value of Membership: $1,350 per home

We continue our series about how your HBA and its affiliate, NAHB, have logged significant victories advocating for members in the legal, legislative and regulatory arenas during 2012. 

Our advocacy efforts have saved the typical home builder about $7,250 per housing start in 2012, including both single-family and multifamily.

Elimination of accessibility porch requirement will save $1,350 per home. Some advocates have lobbied heavily in recent years to include provisions in the IRC to make all new homes “visitable” to disabled persons, regardless of whether or not disabled persons were likely to live in or visit the home. NAHB opposed these efforts and kept visitability provisions out of both the 2009 and 2012 IRC. One of the provisions that NAHB kept out of the code called for a zero clearance entrance, which in turn would require a 4x4 front porch to prevent water from entering the house. Using a front porch estimator available from A.D. Construction, Inc., NAHB staff estimated that the cost of the 4x4 porch needed for a zero-clearance entrance would average $1,350, and that a builder would save that amount on a home normally built without a front porch in areas that have adopted the 2009 or 2012 versions of the code.

Value of Membership: 6,300 new home starts saved

We continue our series about how your HBA and its affiliate, NAHB, have logged significant victories advocating for members in the legal, legislative and regulatory arenas during 2012. 
Our advocacy efforts have saved the typical home builder about $7,250 per housing start in 2012, including both single-family and multifamily.

Higher loan limit saves 6,300 new home sales in 2012. Home builders and buyers won an important victory in late 2011 when Congress restored higher loan limits through 2013 for FHA-backed mortgages. NAHB advocacy prevented the loss of 6,300 new home sales in 2012 and the 4 reduction of prices of another 20,000 new home sales. NAHB estimates three impacts from the higher FHA loan limits. (1) Sales of more than 1,300 newly constructed homes would not have occurred in 2012 if the loan limits had not been restored. (2) Just over 20,000 home sales would have occurred, but the higher finance costs would have reduced demand, lowering purchase prices by approximately 6% on average. (3) Finally, about 13,000 owners of existing homes in high cost areas would have been unable to sell their homes. That would have resulted in the loss of more than 5,000 new home sales to trade-up buyers. The total value for the industry was $1.904 billion in 2012.

Value of Membership: $200,000 per permit

We continue our series about how your HBA and its affiliate, NAHB, have logged significant victories advocating for members in the legal, legislative and regulatory arenas during 2012. 
Our advocacy efforts have saved the typical home builder about $7,250 per housing start in 2012, including both single-family and multifamily.

Supreme Court win could save $200,000 for those seeking wetlands permits. Agreeing with NAHB arguments (submitted in the form of two amicus briefs) that a property owner who receives a Compliance Order from the EPA should be able to obtain judicial review in court, the U.S. Supreme Court on March 21 handed down a unanimous decision in Sackett v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that brought relief to property owners on this matter. The case means that any builder who receives a Clean Water Act Compliance order can challenge that order in federal court. In addition, whereas builders have previously had no place to turn when the EPA or Army Corps determines that a wetland or water body on their property falls under the agency’s jurisdiction, they may now be able to seek relief in court. For builders who seek judicial review and win relief in court, savings from not being forced to file a wetlands permit can exceed $200,000.

Value of Membership: $6,316 per home

We continue our series about how your HBA and its affiliate, NAHB, have logged significant victories advocating for members in the legal, legislative and regulatory arenas during 2012. 
Our advocacy efforts have saved the typical home builder about $7,250 per housing start in 2012, including both single-family and multifamily.

Fire sprinkler victories will save $6,316 per home in areas where the victories have been achieved. Since a requirement for residential fire sprinklers was adopted in the 2009 and 2012 IRC, NAHB’s Construction, Codes and Standards staff has worked with state and local associations to defeat mandatory sprinkler requirements in many states. The Construction Codes and Standards staff maintains an online record of states where sprinkler mandates have been defeated. In these areas, builders will save an average of $6,316 per home, based on the average in the Fire Protection Research Foundation’s “Home Fire Cost Assessment Study” (which includes costs of design, permits, additional equipment needed, and increased tap and water fees; but not a builder’s overhead, profit margin, or possible increases in financing costs or broker fees).

FHFA: House Price Index up .6 Percent in January

U.S. house prices rose 0.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from December to January, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s monthly House Price Index (HPI). The previously reported 0.6 percent increase in December was revised downward to a 0.5 percent increase. For the 12 months ending in January, U.S. prices rose 6.5 percent. The U.S. index is 14.4 percent below its April 2007 peak and is roughly the same as the September 2004 index level. National home prices have not declined on a monthly basis since January 2012.

For the nine census divisions, seasonally adjusted monthly price changes from December to January ranged from -0.7 percent in the New England division to +1.6 percent in the Pacific division, while the 12-month changes ranged from +0.4 percent in the Middle Atlantic division to +14.1 percent in the Mountain division.

Value of Membership: $260 per room

We continue our series about how your HBA and its affiliate, NAHB, have logged significant victories advocating for members in the legal, legislative and regulatory arenas during 2012. 
Our advocacy efforts have saved the typical home builder about $7,250 per housing start in 2012, including both single-family and multifamily.

We saved Remodelers $260 per room on lead testing requirement. In a victory for NAHB Remodelers, the EPA rejected a proposal to add third-party clearance testing to the Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule, a requirement that would cost NAHB members $260 per professionally remodeled room (923,000 rooms in 2012). This issue concerns a requirement for a “swipe test” following professional remodeling in all pre-1978 houses. This rule was expected to cost $260 per professionally remodeled room and that, according to the EPA, would cost $400 million nationwide.

Thus, annual savings are: $260 x the number of rooms to be professionally remodeled in 2012 = Total 2012 savings. NAHB estimates that 60% of remodeling work was done professionally (2009 American Housing Survey) and that 1.5 million rooms were remodeled in 2012. That saved the industry $240 million in 2012.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Builders Give Congress an Earful on Regulatory Excesses

Flawed, unnecessary and costly regulations burden small home builders by raising expenses and slowing the home building process, which ultimately robs builders of time and money and results in higher housing costs for consumers, NAHB told Congress recently.

The problem is so severe that a 2011 study by NAHB found that on average, regulations imposed by governments at all levels account for 25% of the final price of a new single-family home.

Nearly two-thirds of this regulatory burden – 16.4% of the final price of the house – is imposed during the land development process, resulting in a higher-priced finished lot.

About one-third – 8.6% of the house price – is the result of the construct costs incurred by the builder after purchasing the finished lot.

Higher regulatory costs are particularly significant in the current business environment, and represent a major obstacle that home builders need to overcome as the market returns to normal conditions.

Small Business Input Imperative on Regulations
So lawmakers received an earful when NAHB had the opportunity to talk about the impact of regulations on small home builders at a March 14 hearing by the House Small Business Committee's Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations.

Testifying on behalf of NAHB, Carl Harris, co-founder of Carl Harris Co., Inc., based in Wichita, Kansas, told Congress that federal agencies must stop ignoring the input from small businesses when making rules that directly affect their livelihood and the way they do business.

Federal agencies are circumventing the intent and the letter of a law that is intended to make the regulatory process more cost effective and less burdensome for small businesses, he said. As a result, the regulatory process continues to unnecessarily increase compliance costs and is acting as a drag on the housing and economic recovery.

Harris was referring to agency compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), which requires federal agencies to convene a Small Business Advocacy Review Panel to evaluate a regulation's potential impact on small businesses before finalizing the rulemaking process.

Harris, who has represented the residential construction industry on a number of small business review panels over the years, described a process that is seriously flawed.

"Far too often, federal agencies either view compliance with the act as little more than a procedural 'check-the-box' exercise or they artfully avoid compliance by other means," he said. "Agencies should seek to partner with small entities to help create more efficient, more effective regulations and, in so doing, reduce the compliance costs for small businesses. We truly are the experts in the field."

Cranes and Derricks Rule

For example, in 2008 OSHA proposed the Cranes and Derricks Rule which was intended to protect workers from the hazards associated with hoisting equipment during construction. The Regulatory Flexibility Act required OSHA to convene a Small Business Advocacy Review Panel to evaluate the rule's potential impact on small businesses. However, OSHA did not establish a panel until after the rulemaking process was completed.

Harris, who participated on the review panel, explained to OSHA officials that the rule does not take into account the differences between crane applications on residential construction sites and large commercial construction sites.

"I personally put forward an effective, feasible alternative that would save lives while keeping the cost of compliance low for small businesses," he said.

However, since small businesses were not brought into the process until after the rule was finalized, Harris said his comments "fell on deaf ears. It seemed little more than a procedural hurdle with little interest from OSHA to make changes based on the feedback received."

Stormwater Discharges
In 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency issued changes to its policies covering stormwater discharges from developed sites that had major ramifications for home builders. Once again, EPA failed to provide sufficient information about the proposed changes to a small business review panel on which Harris also served.

"As a result, we had no way to estimate compliance costs or provide meaningful feedback on ways to reduce the regulatory burden for small businesses," he said.

"Unfortunately, the pattern is often the same: Agencies either fail to comply with the Regulatory Flexibility Act by ignoring the statutory obligation to convene a small entity review panel or convene a panel but fail to provide the panelists sufficient information concerning the proposed rule to allow them to evaluate regulatory options or provide alternatives," Harris added.

In his testimony, Harris provided numerous other examples – lead paint abatement rules, OSHA reporting requirements on work-related musculoskeletal disorders, critical habitat designations and other instances where a smarter and more sensible regulatory process would benefit the housing industry, home builders and small businesses as well as consumers.

"Unfortunately, all too often federal agencies view compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act as either a technicality of the federal rulemaking process or, worse yet, as unnecessary," Harris said. "I urge Congress to seek ways to improve agency compliance with this law."

Monday, March 18, 2013

Value of Membership: 10,100 new home starts saved in 2013

We continue our series about how your HBA and its affiliate, NAHB, have logged significant victories advocating for members in the legal, legislative and regulatory arenas during 2012. 
Our advocacy efforts have saved the typical home builder about $7,250 per housing start in 2012, including both single-family and multifamily.

Flood insurance win will preserve 10,100 new home sales in 2013. NAHB advocacy averted the loss of approximately 10,100 new home sales that would have been prevented by the expiration of the NFIP. The National Flood Insurance Program has endured many short term lapses in recent years, which caused costly delays for home builders and buyers and even resulted in canceled sales. Reauthorizing the program for five years will prevent such lapses and the resulting delays and sale cancellations.

NAHB also worked with lawmakers to successfully remove unfair requirements that would have caused countless owners of property behind dams or levees to purchase coverage regardless of flood risk.

NAHB’s efforts on the National Flood Insurance Program saved NAHB members $2.42 billion in gross revenue in 2013 by preserving the sales of approximately 10,100 newly constructed home sales that would not have occurred otherwise due to higher costs for home buyers in these areas ($60,000 on average).

Value of Membership: $230 per member per year

We continue our series about how your HBA and its affiliate, NAHB, have logged significant victories advocating for members in the legal, legislative and regulatory arenas during 2012. 
Our advocacy efforts have saved the typical home builder about $7,250 per housing start in 2012, including both single-family and multifamily.

Our advocacy on form 1099 reporting requirements saved each member $230 per year.  Another example of savings comes in tax policy. Expanded 1099 reporting requirements in the tax code would have required companies to file a 1099 form for every corporate purchase over $600 in 2012. NAHB strongly objected to the reporting requirement, and it was removed. This saved members roughly $230 – and countless administrative headaches – per year.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Southern Traditions Window Fashions To Be Featured At All American Cottage At Verdae

Southern Traditions Window Fashions of Greenville SC has been named a preferred vendor partner for the All American Cottage, a 2,400-square-foot classic style home that will be open for public tours from May 2-19 at Ruskin Square in Hollingsworth Park at Verdae.

Sponsored by Southern Living and This Old House, the All American Cottage is being built by The Cottage Group LLC/A Dillard-Jones Co., with 97 percent of materials used in the construction of the home Made in the USA.

Southern Traditions Window Fashions is providing all of the exterior and interior window treatments at the All American Cottage, according to Matt Cobb, co-owner of Southern Traditions Window Fashions. The home’s board-and-batten style shutters featuring authentic strap hinges are being custom made in Fountain Inn, SC. Custom-made Bahamas-style shutters that will be installed on the side of the home also are being manufactured in Fountain Inn.

The interior of the home will feature drapes, Roman shades and custom-made shower curtains – all manufactured in U.S. mills, according to Southern Traditions’ Richard Bernath, who is working in conjunction with Sandy Hankins of SH Designs on the cottage’s interior design. “This is an exciting tour home to be involved with because of the American-made theme,” Bernath said.

Southern Traditions Window Fashions offers a wide selection of blinds, shades, plantation shutters, exterior shutters, custom drapery and valances for residential and commercial clients. The company is an authorized dealer for Hunter Douglas, Graber, Kirsch, Norman, Comfortex, Lutron and Insolroll, and is part of Exciting Windows!, a national network of window fashions companies. For more information, call (864) 286-0044 or visit