The beloved architectural style known as Craftsman has undeniably British roots, yet it’s unmistakably American, from Oregon to Alabama to Illinois. Might that explain its enduring appeal?
NAHB sees challenge to mortgage-interest deduction ahead
The mortgage-interest deduction, a pillar of the nation’s long-held support for housing and the American Dream, is under assault, say NAHB observers who make it their full-time job to stay on top of the shifts in thinking in Washington. According to NAHB chief lobbyist Joe Stanton, the mortgage-interest deduction is in the mix this spring as a new Congress meets for the first time and begins wrestling with ideas for reducing the deficit. Some economists estimate that removal of the deduction would lower home values another 15 percent.
The housing market in Manhattan has slipped slightly, after both the pace of sales and median home prices fell, according to The Wall Street Journal.
This past September, we wrote extensively about the state of builder and buyer financing, which no doubt is one of the most-difficult challenges home builders face today. For weeks after the issue had hit our readers’ desks, I received nearly a dozen letters from builders stating how our special report was spot-on, and that they feel “stuck” without support from their traditional banking partnerships — stuck with land that cannot feasibly be developed, stuck with homes that are partially completed, and stuck with buyers that cannot quality for a mortgage under the new rules of lending.
When this magazine was launched as Practical Builder in the spring of 1936, the outlook for Americans and the rest of the world was far bleaker than what we face today. Back then we were in the throes of an extended economic downturn that would only subside after World War II ended nine years later. Since that time — 1945 to the present — housing and the American Dream have been inextricably linked. This magazine and the generations of editors and publishers that helped guide it no doubt played a role in disseminating the kind of quality information that the industry came to rely on as it grew and prospered.
As demand for new-home construction began to wane, Steve Laughlin of Cornerstone Builders tapped into his past clients by offeri
Sure, the past five years have been chaotic and the prospects for 2011 don’t exactly look entirely sunny. But there are plenty of builders and developers that are planning for growth this year by doing anything but the status quo. We reached out to Professional Builder’s 112,000 readers, as well as dozens of the industry’s top consultants and experts, and asked them to share their best practical, proven ideas for growing revenue and increasing profits in 2011. We present the top 35.
When it comes to specifying window systems for new-home projects, energy efficiency and price are the top considerations among home builders, according to a December 2010 survey of Professional Builder readers. Nearly eight in 10 survey respondents ranked energy efficiency as a top factor, while about two-thirds said price is a key consideration.
Home building giant David Weekley Homes has launched a website that allows its buyers to stay updated on the progress of their new home. Upon signing the sales contract, clients receive log-in details to their personal buyer home page at MyDWHome.com, where construction updates and progress photos are posted regularly.
Armed with years of management improvements and a recession-busting attitude, Professional Builder’s Builder of the Year kept its focus on a diversified and value-rich product offering to emerge as one of the best-run builders in the business.
While conducting research on a builder for a recent issue of Professional Builder, I did what most people do first when they want to learn more about a company, or any subject for that matter. I went to Google. I punched in the builder’s name and was immediately taken aback by the Page 1 search results. Naturally, the first few items related to the company’s website, but the third and fifth items where consumer feedback websites laced with comments blasting the builder.