Apologies to Paul Simon, but when I looked at the long list of design ideas I compiled while at the International Builders’ Show in Orlando, I thought I’d try to mention 50 of them—a nice round num
Obama’s mortgage-market reform plan calls for winding down Fannie Mae, Freddie M
The Obama administration’s long-awaited proposal for reforming the U.S. mortgage market calls for shuttering both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over a period of five years or more. The two agencies, along with the Federal Housing Administration, currently provide more than 90 percent of housing finance.
2012: The year mobile takes over
Next year, for the first time, it’s expected that more consumers will access the Internet using a mobile device than a traditional desktop or laptop computer. The proliferation of smart phones like the iPhone and Droid — combined with the precipitous drop in price for these high-tech devices and better data connections — means that a sizable chunk of the population is connected 24/7.
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.
Measurement techniques for Lean building
Lean implementation requires a new mindset when it comes to measurement of the design and building process. What builders measure, and how, can make all the difference in finding and improving efficiencies in the home building process, writes Scott Sedam of TrueNorth Development. Sedam offers 10 guidelines for the measurement of Lean operations.
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.