Friday, April 4, 2014

Riverwood Farm Fire Relief

This week a brush fire caused the destruction of four homes in Riverwood Farm in Greer.  Four families have been displaced, including one that just moved into their home a few days earlier with four children under the age of five.

The Riverwood Farm Fire Fund has been established at Bank of America to assist the affected families.  You also may purchase a gift card for the families and deliver it to the Cothran Company, which is assisting the families.  Donations from Bed Bath and Beyond, Babies R Us, Dillard's, Belk's, Target, Walmart, or a Visa or Mastercard gift card are suggested.

For further information, contact

Pete Kellos
Cothran Company, LLC
420 The Parkway, Suite E, Greer, SC, 29650
(mail to P.O. Box 27049, Greenville, SC 29616)

Troy C. Usher

It is with sadness that we report to you the passing of Troy C. Usher, father of Todd Usher, Past President of your Home Builders Association and President of Addison Homes. A memorial service will be held on Monday April 7th at 2pm at Seneca Presbyterian Church, 115 West South 1st St. Reception to follow in the Fellowship Hall.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made in honor of Troy C. Usher to Honor Flight Upstate at

Thursday, April 3, 2014

NAHB Reveals Most Popular Features Found in New Homes

During New Homes Month in April, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is sharing with home buyers the most popular features in new single-family homes in 2014. Builders from across the country were surveyed on what features they were most likely to include in a typical single-family home this year, revealing that convenience, livability and energy efficiency are top priorities.

“Newly constructed homes can suit the specific requirements of today’s home buyers,” said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly, a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. “And now is a great time to consider buying a new home, as consumers can take advantage of competitive home prices and low interest rates to find the perfect new home for their families.”

Home builders are including features that are practical and functional for the daily lives of today’s home buyers. The features that are most likely to be included in a typical single-family home this year are:
  • a walk-in closet in the master bedroom
  • low-e windows
  • a laundry room and
  • a great room.
Energy efficiency is a key theme with Energy-Star rated appliances, programmable thermostats and Energy-Star rated windows at the top of the list. These features help make the home more comfortable and can save the home owner significant money over the long term. On a median per square-foot basis, home owners spent 78 cents per square foot per year on electricity, while owners of new homes spent 65 cents per square foot per year, according to data from the 2009 American Housing Survey (AHS).

Builders also list features such as granite countertops, a double sink and a central island as winning elements in new-home kitchens, and a linen closet and a private toilet in the bathroom. Additional features likely to be included throughout the home include first-floor ceilings at least nine-feet high, a front porch, outdoor lighting and a patio.

Home buyers can access home buying and home building information and resources on NAHB's website at

UPS Now your Home Builders Association Shipping Program

UPS is now your Home Builders Association’s small package and freight shipping program. HBA members receive a larger discount than our previous program.

Make the most out of your membership and take advantage of some of the most competitive rates available on shipping services with UPS. Whether you need your documents or packages to arrive the next day or are looking for the most affordable shipping option, UPS understands the importance of reliability, speed and cost. See how UPS discounts can help your bottom line:

• Up to 36% on UPS Air letters including UPS Next Day Air®*
• Up to 32% on UPS Air packages (1 lb.+)*
• Up to 34% on UPS International imports and exports
• Up to 24% on UPS Ground shipments
• Savings begin at 70% on UPS Freight® shipments over 150 lbs.

You can receive these discounts even if you already have a UPS account. Plus, the more you ship, the more you can save with UPS. To enroll and start saving, visit or call 1-800-MEMBERS (1-800-636-2377), M-F, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

*Discounts exclude UPS Express Critical® and UPS Next Day Air® Early A.M.®

Gabriel Builders Recognized For Customer Satisfaction

Gabriel Builders Wins 2014 Builder Partnerships Achievement Award in Customer Satisfaction

Gabriel Builders received a National award at the 2014 International Builders Show in Las Vegas.  Gabriel Builders has achieved the level of: Distinction in Customer Satisfaction from Woodland, O’Brien & Scott, and Builder Partnerships.

Gabriel Builders scored enough points on the process evaluation and referral rates to qualify for the Builder Partnerships Achievement Award in Customer Satisfaction. This year’s applicants were evaluated based on three criteria, willingness to refer, the customer experience, and the referral rate.

The Willingness to Refer was the hurdle to qualify for the review process. Once builders cleared the 88 percent required Willingness to Refer rate, they were then evaluated on the other criteria which required an in-depth review of processes and documentation.

"We are honored to be recognized by Builder Partnerships for an Achievement Award in Customer Satisfaction," says Gus Rubio, president of Gabriel Builders. " We work hard, everyday, to produce some of the highest referral rates from our customers in the industry. We are blessed to work with wonderful clients who enjoy our exacting standards for production."

Gus Rubio is a member of the Board of Directors of your Home Builders Association.

Congratulations to all the employees at Gabriel that made this happen 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Judges Needed for Atlanta's 2014 OBIE Awards

The Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association and the Atlanta Sales and Marketing Council are excited to announce the 2014 OBIE Awards. This annual awards program recognizes outstanding industry professionals and offers HBA members the opportunity to compete with their peers in a variety of categories.

In an effort to maintain the high integrity of the OBIE Awards, we are seeking judges from around the country to score the various entries and help determine the winners of the coveted OBIE Award. Atlanta offers a fun, easy, informative and hassle free judging experience.

All interested judges must complete and return the attached judging application. All applications are due by Friday April 25, 2014 (no exceptions will be made).

PLEASE NOTE: All individuals that apply to be a judge will be notified of their status Friday by May 27th. Returning an application does not guarantee you a spot as a judge for the 2014 OBIE awards.

All Remodeling, Community Service, and Marketing categories will be judged in-house, electronically.

All Building, Special Categories, Model Homes/Sales Centers and Personal Achievement Categories will be judged onsite.

Judges will be assigned to a variety of the above categories. While in Atlanta, the HBA will provide judges with lodging for the nights indicated, transportation to and from the airport and for all planned activities, lunch and refreshments during judging and a dinner with our Sales and Marketing Council Board on Friday evening. You will be responsible for your transportation to and from Atlanta.

Arrive Wednesday, August 6th ~ Depart Sunday, August 10th (hotel paid for Wednesday-Sat nights)

Please cmail ( or fax (770-934-8363) for questions and to obtain an application to be a judge. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via email or at 678-775-1446.

We are looking for more judges this year so please forward this application to anyone you think might be interested in judging. I look forward to working with you and to welcoming you to our wonderful city!

Best regards,
Janel Grant, Member Services Manager

PS - To maintain the integrity and quality of our awards program, please disqualify yourself from judging if you currently do industry-related business in Atlanta with members of our Association.

PSS – Click here to view the 2013 OBIE Awards Winners Book.