Friday, December 4, 2015

Building Science Seminar 12/09/15

Join Prime Energy Group as they host a luncheon on December 9, 2015 at the Old Cigar Warehouse. Registration is free and includes lunch, door prizes, and the chance to hear several excellent speakers. This event is being presented by one of our Home Builders Association members, Prime Energy Group. Register today to learn about the benefits of spray foam and other energy programs.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Good News From the IRS Regarding Repair Regulations

Responding to concerns voiced by NAHB members and other groups representing taxpayers, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have made a taxpayer-friendly change to tax regulations regarding repair and improvement expenses that took effect in 2014.

In general, the new rules require business taxpayers to capitalize, rather than expense or deduct, expenditures used for certain repair or maintenance projects.

Under the first edition of the repair rules, a taxpayer without an applicable financial statement could elect to expense purchases that cost up to $500 on a per-item basis. A separate $5,000 safe harbor was established for taxpayers with applicable financial statements. These safe harbors were created as a taxpayer simplification measure to reduce administrative costs.

Many organizations, including NAHB, provided examples to the IRS indicating that the $500 limit for taxpayers without financial statements was too low given typical costs of computers, machinery or equipment and parts.

In response to these concerns, Treasury and IRS have increased the $500 limit to a $2,500 per item safe harbor for costs incurred after Jan.1, 2016. This is a favorable change for the construction and real estate sectors, which possess a larger concentration of small businesses.

Here’s an example: Suppose a business taxpayer makes a significant repair to the HVAC system of a small apartment building that involves the purchase of a part that costs $2,000.

Assuming that the repair would otherwise require capitalization because the repair is significant and critical to the operation of the system, under the new increase in the safe harbor amount ($2,500), that cost may now be deducted immediately by the taxpayer without financial statements.

Be sure to consult your tax professional regarding this change and the new repair and maintenance rules in general.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Conforming Loan Limits Unchanged in SC at $417,000

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced that the maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2016 will remain at $417,000 for one-unit properties in South Carolina. That amount is the conforming loan limit for the majority of the county. The loan limits are established under the terms of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) and are calculated each year.

HERA sets maximum loan limits as a function of median home values. In 39 high-cost counties, loan limits will rise because those counties experienced increases in local home values. These metro areas include several west-coast counties as well as Boston, Denver, and Nashville.

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) established the baseline loan limit at $417,000 and mandated that after a period of price declines, the baseline loan limit cannot rise again until home prices return to pre-decline levels. The $417,000 loan limit will stay the same for 2016 because FHFA has determined that the average U.S. home value in the third quarter of this year remained below its level in the third quarter of 2007.

HERA provides for higher loan limits in high-cost counties by setting loan limits as a function of area median home value. Although the baseline loan limit will be unchanged in most of the country, 39 specific high-cost counties in which home values increased over the last year will see the maximum conforming loan limit for 2016 adjusted upward.

Although other counties also experienced home value increases in 2015, after other elements of the HERA formula — such as the statutory ceiling and floor on limits — were accounted for, these local-area limits were left unchanged.

A list of the 2016 maximum conforming loan limits for all counties and county-equivalent areas in the country can be found here.

MORE from IBS: Explore Buyer Preferences and Sales Success

In the last five years there has been a dramatic shift in what customers expect from their home shopping experience. That is why it is so important that your online and onsite sales programs work hand-in-hand. If you’re interested in learning more about how to do this, the 2016 International Builders’ Show is your one-stop-shop for all things sales and marketing.

This year, the show is offering several in-depth, three-hour intensive education sessions that dig deep into specific sales and marketing niches. For example, the session From Online to Onsite: Mapping Out Sales Success in 2016 & Beyond 
provides insight on how to build a sales machine that is 300% more effective when sales and marketing roles are united. During this session, participants get an in-depth look at the strategies used to build cohesive online and onsite programs. They’ll also learn how to create a structured online sales program that results in higher prospect engagement and increased appointments.

Another key session, Who (Really) Are Your Buyers? Leveraging Demographics & Personalities to Deliver What Buyers Crave, provides a deeper understanding of consumer science in home buying. Because no two people are exactly alike — we all act, think and communicate in unique ways — it can be a challenge when it comes to making a sale. This session gives builders key insight into consumer behavior and how that translates into more sales.

Don’t miss out on these opportunities to discover how to take your sales to an entirely new level. A real understanding of the people who will be living in your homes, can make a significant difference in your business.

IBS Has Exciting Opportunities for Young Professionals

The NAHB's International Builders' Show (IBS) is coming to Las Vegas in January, so buy your tickets today! If you are a Young Professional who is unsure of what benefit IBS will have for you, read on to see the opportunities at this year's show.

As the number of young professionals attending the Builders’ Show continues to grow, so does the education and events specially tailored to give up-and-coming industry professionals the tools they need to refine their skills, make new connections and have some fun!

Innovative Education
Explore cutting-edge innovations in technology, building materials, products and even financing through an exciting contemporary learning format in the NEW Innovation Hub. Attendees will also become the innovative resource behind developing topics being discussed in some “crowdsourced” sessions. Several sessions on various topics will be held inside the Innovation Hub during the three days of the show.

Residential Construction Management Competition
This competition is one of the highlights of the Builders’ Show and gives students the opportunity to apply skills learned in the classroom via the completion of a management project/proposal to a real construction company.
Proposals are submitted to a group of construction company executives who act as judges and students will defend their proposals to the judges in front of an audience. This is a great opportunity to watch students display their knowledge and skills. The competition takes place Monday and Tuesday, with the awards ceremony from 5-6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan 20.

Under-40 Panel Discussion & Mixer
Professional Builder magazine editors will lead a sure-to-be-lively panel discussion featuring some of the industry’s under-40 rising stars. During this session, the panel will reveal some of their challenges and accomplishments, as well as their thoughts about how the industry can attract more young people. Grab a beer and listen to the panel on Wednesday, Jan. 20, from 3:45-5 p.m.

Young Professionals After-Hours Party
One of the best ways to grow professionally is by meeting and networking with other industry professionals. The under-40 crowd will come together to enjoy incredible entertainment, an open bar and late night munchies, at the Foxtail Nightclub in SLS Las Vegas – one of the hottest new hotels on the strip — from 8-10 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 20.

Get complete descriptions and see additional young professional opportunities at IBS.