builders outlook april 2011
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Builders OutlookIssue 4 2011 Building El Pasos tomorrow today
El Paso TimEs sTory sTirs quEsTionsCity drives builders costs up, lowers tax revenueBy Ray Adauto, EPABThe El Paso Times ran a story on the front page of the Sunday Times on April 3 concerning the City of El Pasos new surety bond of $50,000. In the story reporter Vic Kolenc looked at the high dollar amount of the bond and told the readers that the Association was opposed to it. Interestingly in the story the City admitted that only 385 contractors were now registered with the City. In January 2010 there were approximately 2,500 registered with the old $10,000 bond. Thats a shocking downturn in registered contractors and tells of what consequences follow actions like this. There was apparently only enough space in the paper to share some of the interviews that took place between Mr. Kolenc and me. The risk that is run anytime someone does an interview is to have only some of the information get printed or told, while so much more just doesnt make it to print or onto the airwaves. The story behind the story is fascinating look into the thinking of those in charge at the City of El Paso and how decisions are made regarding construction in El Paso. The story begins about two years ago when the City was looking at they didnt have enough assets, or had dings on their credit report, Peinado said. That problem also surfaced with members of the association who sell the bonds as some of their clients also found it difficult or impossible to get the new bond. For well established companies the new bond just adds an addition fee to the increase in fees at the city. Those increases eventually end up at the sale of the home, but higher costs also mean that fewer people can qualify. We hear the argument a lot that its only $500 or that its $3000 here or there, but in reality its not a one time thing, EPAB President Greg Bowling said. Its that amount mortgaged over 15 to 30 years, and it may seem like a small amount now ends up costing a lot over the life of the mortgage, he concluded. Sometimes that little amount makes qualifying buyers much more difficult, he said. The jury is out as of this writing as to whether or not the current City Council will do anything about the bond, or anything about other significant changes to the El Paso City Code. Making it more difficult and more costly to do business within the City limits just creates opportunity elsewhere including the County and cities like Anthony, Canutillo, Socorro, Clint and Horizon. Even Santa Teresa will benefit from council actions. What is interesting is that these actions will create what the majority on City Council dont want, urban sprawl. It will also diminish the tax base just enough to create problems for future councils. Having the issue of the bond made public was an important decision since it does carry considerable consequences, intended and otherwise. Perhaps the development and builder community is being singled out again, but then again most of the time theyre used to being on the hit list first. The El Paso Association of Builders will continue to speak to issues like the bond and through its volunteer members work to find solutions that are positive for both sides. Arbitrarily forcing something on a business is counter productive and has no place in this community. The EPAB is asking publically that the City of El Paso reconsider the bond amount and do so quickly. The contractors and roofers in this community are vital to its future.
revamping a lot of the codes and ordinances related to development and construction. Back in 2009 the far east part of the El Paso, including Horizon City and some areas of the county, was hit by a substantial hail storm. The storm left the area with a lot of hail damage to cars, homes, and businesses. Following that storm were a number of storm Chasers, traveling contractors who follow hail storms and tornados, floods and other disasters and offer their services. It is these companies that were cited by city officials as the reason for looking at the blanket surety and construction bond amount. They claim that there were a large number of complaints about the repairs that were made by some of those companies, and in an effort to protect the consumer the City department heads came up with an arbitrary figure to use, and that figure was $50,000. Their thought process was that a roof cost $20,000, but they failed to ask contractors or roofers if indeed that number was right. Secondly it was determined to go two and a half times that for the dollar amount in order that two or three consumers would have money to go after if there was a default. Theres a lot that is wrong with this method and it starts with what does a new roof cost for the average 2000 sq. ft home. Taking into account two different types of roofing (new and reroof) local contractors say that roofs are costing $6000 to $10,000. Taking the citys method the new
bond requirement shouldnt be more than $20-$25,000. That makes business sense to most. Reducing the amount also reduces the target for unscrupulous people and in particular actions from unscrupulous attorneys. Roofers and builders have been subjected to increasing attacks by several attorneys and so called roofing inspectors, leading to costly court battles. Enlarging the target amount will surely cause others to join in the attacks, and that is a major concern for the industry. While the stated goal of the action is to protect consumers it leaves out protecting the contractor or roofer, particularly when it comes to options against putting a claim against the bond. The citys ordinance does not take into account that contractors and roofers carry general liability insurance to cover incidents after the completion of the project. The new ordinance is specific in saying that a bonding agency pay the party attacking the bond automatically apparently overriding the right of the contractor to use arbitration (by contract) or getting a court settlement. The new bond is stated by one city council candidate as the reason he is running. Abe Peinado is running in District 1, Westside/upper valley seat. He has stated at forums that as an insurance agent he was shocked to find that at least seven of his clients were refused the higher bonding because of the new financial documentation that is required by the larger amount. I found myself looking at good people, clients that are good pay, being denied because
PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID EL PASO TX PERMIT NO. 429
3Presidents MessageGreg BowlingPresident, El Paso Association of Builders
The year is just going and going. I guess all of us have to wonder where the time has gone but were entering the second quarter and theres so much to do. As I recap the first three months of the year I can tell you this: the El Paso Association of Builders is a strong and viable organization. While that statement may seem to some as strange let me tell you why in a couple of words: great volunteers. Thats right where the heart of the association lies, in our willing volunteers who take time off from their busy schedule to give time to the EPAB. I like telling folks
that these members who do this understand what this association is about. They get it. An Association is designed to get the input from many and funnel it down to a cohesive point of view or effort. To me nothing demonstrates this more than when we go to Austin for our Rally Day event. Let me assure you that the El Paso Association of Builders is well known at the Capitol through our efforts by members, staff and lobbyist. All of our state representatives understand that this association is more than just builders or developers and includes prominent businesses in the community. They are often surprised when they meet someone from what they would consider outside of the builder side. They admire that we have a group willing to travel to them to express how important the homebuilding business is in El Paso. My thanks to all who went and took the time, money and effort to make the trip. It was a blast, perhaps the best Rally Day in our history. Locally we are focused on city issues. First its the $50,000 surety bond that the city has imposed on contractors. Ray and I,
along with Bryan Sanderson, Kelly Sorenson and others have spent a lot of time trying to get the city to act reasonably. Nothing yet and yet I am hopeful that the city will come around and amend the current version of the ordinance. Secondly is the work trying to get permits out from the 5th floor. Nothing is easy but this new system that City Manager Joyce Wilson has put in place is not working yet and everyone seems to have a real dislike for it. Once again our volunteers and staff have been busy trying to get city hall to figure out the problem and get it resolved. Its costing everyone, including the city, a whole lot of money. Third and probably the most challenging is the exclusion of the home builders in vetting changes to title 18 and 19 of the city code. Smart Growth code in its present form will take away our ability to choice, our ability to selection and our ability to build and sell what the consumer is asking for. Our main issue is the rewrite of the set back lines, or build to lines as the city calls them. Not much was brought forward by the city before they were sent to council for vote. In its present state
not one builder in town will have usable plans. We will need to redesign all our floor plans at a substantial cost, which will then be passed on to consumers through higher costs. Other issues remain with parts of the new code in its present form. Ray and I will continue to work on getting these ordinances rewritten, and if all else fails then we will make sure the city gets our message. Which brings me up to this: without voting in business friendly city council people then we will continue to struggle in our right to do business in the City of El Paso. It is crucial that you get to know the candidates and tell them how important it is to have a new home building business here. Hopefully the new members of council will listen to our concerns and work with us. Anything else is unacceptable. Finally I look forward to seeing you at the upcoming EPAB golf tournament on April 19. This should be a really fun event. My thanks goes out to our players and supporters including our major sponsors Goffs, Interceramic, All Precision Sheet Metal and our own Tropicana Homes.
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4 MARCH 2011PerspectiveRay Adauto, Executive Vice President EPAB
City problems creates unintended consequence to builders, city, our associationunworkable environment. The city went on to hire the County to do the I T work (some things really are left to wonder about, eh?) In February the City Manager gave the order to shut down Tidemark and start of Ascela March 1. Ok, so far so good, or not. Tuesday, March 1 all heck broke out especially on the 5th floor where the permits are issued (or not) and the city earns money at. No sir, this transition would be like taking a 1954 Studebaker and dropping in a high tech engine while leaving the transmission and running gears the same. Nope, just didnt happen. What did happen though was that getting a permit on the 5th floor became a struggle for both the applicant and the staff. Three hours or more waiting time, another hour or more at the cashier. No, nothing good or speedy here. Information missing lost files, slow computers, irritated staff and applicants. Oh my, it was quite a sight. I even got caught up as I took a simple alarm license renewal down to the city, but much to my chagrin what should have taken fifteen minutes max took nearly an hour. Should have mailed it I thought. But thats not all; you see the permit process was messing up even the 3rd party firms because the new system wasnt being cooperative. As of this writing, things have gotten a little better each day, for the most part, but the system has messed up other departments including the fire department. There rumors say, fire trucks have been dispatched where ambulances should have been and vice versa. Good news is that firemen are trained for such but the bad part is ambulances dont carry fire hoses and water. So the story on this is still out on whether getting a package deal turns out to be a real one. Why would the city be trying to pull a fast one when it comes to Smart Code and home designs? After hours of conversations about title 19 and in particular 19.50 (lot size and determination) questions about the speed of the proposed vote smell of politics according to some. In talking with select members of council we got the indication that staff, including the City Manager, devised a quick to vote plan in order to create the code before the upcoming city council elections. Four seats are up out of eight, and two of those will be filled by new representatives, while one might and the other probably wont. The only apparent safe candidate is Representative Holguin in district 6. His opponents are not household names and dont have the political machine that Holguin has. District 1 is a crowded race giving credence that those residents are frustrated with Representative Lilly. Talk around town is that she is very vulnerable but that she is a good campaigner. District 5 has five candidates of which pundits say there could be a three way power grab. District 8 has a leading candidate in Niland, but there are six candidates total. The need to find pro active business friendly candidates goes beyond the EPAB doors. For the first time in years an alliance of business trades and associations geared up to listen to candidates and determine how friendly they are to businesses. While no formal endorsement is coming out of the group I think that having these meetings spreads the target out. Ive said this before, but when the builder/developer is the target, soon it will spread to others. Billboards, restaurants, hotels, apartments, and others now understand the pain of being a target of politics. These meetings have helped us make those others aware of what to expect when politicians dont understand the costs of doing business in El Paso. Its time to elect pro business candidates and to develop them from within our ranks.
When the decision to move to another computer program for the City of El Paso was raised several years ago no one considered the possibility that there were going to be major glitches. Its interesting that when someone is selling you a product seldom do you hear about worst case scenarios even though Im sure that somebody must have asked. You see it was brought to the attention of the City that UTEP and the County of El Paso were considering moving to a newer version of their program Tidemark, and in doing so it would be cheaper if the city joined the other two in the purchase. The city had an interest because they were ill equipped for the newer GIS required in todays world of online planning and development. Hooking up with the County and UTEP would save money, or so they envisioned. After nearly three years the former City I T chief was fired. It was partially on the fact that the new Ascela program wasnt up and running and that meant that something like $2 million was a lot of money to have sitting around in an
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Anniversary of affordable care actSilvestre Reyes US Congress
WASHINGTON, D.C. Congressman Silvestre Reyes (DTX), released the following statement on the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act:A year ago today, on March 23rd, President Obama signed into law the Affordable Care Act. Thanks to the passage of this historic legislation, many El Pasoans have more access to quality and affordable health care. The Affordable Care Act lowers health care costs, while creating jobs, and reducing the deficit. This legislation not only offers better
access to quality and affordable health care for El Pasoans, but it also came at a crucial time for our state. Sadly, in 2009 Texas had the highest percentage of children and adults without insurance. More than 6.1 million adults and 1.4 million children in our state were without basic coverage. In El Paso alone, 230,000 people - 1 in 3 - were without coverage. Now because of the Affordable Care Act, thousands of El Pasoans and Texans are benefiting from the provisions that have been implemented, including children who can no longer be denied coverage by insurance companies due to a pre-existing condition, and El Pasos young adults can now stay on their parents health
plan until their 26th birthday. Nationally, young people make up the largest demographic without health insurance, so this provision is particularly vital for millions of young Americans. "Today, El Paso seniors can now receive free preventative care. More than 40 million seniors enrolled in Medicare will begin to see significant savings by getting preventive services such as mammograms and colonoscopies, and an annual wellness visit, without copayments, coinsurance, or deductibles. Seniors with high prescription drug costs, who hit what is known as the Medicare donut hole that requires them to pay more out of pocket expenses will be receiving a 50%
discount on brand-name drugs a discount that grows until the donut hole is closed in 2020. In El Paso, over 2,200 seniors who hit the Medicare donut hole in 2010 have already received $250 rebate to help cover prescription drug costs. In a few years, insurers will not be able to discriminate against any of the 129 million Americans with preexisting conditions, and there will be state-based insurance exchanges where they will have access to affordable, quality health coverage. The Affordable Care Act was a major victory for Texas and the El Paso community. The benefits of health care reform will continue to grow for all Americans.
6 APRIL 2011 Builders Outlook Builders: effective housing finance system critical to sound economyWith the housing production credit crisis As Congress and the Administration debate potential reforms of the housing finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) today called on Congress to develop a workable housing finance system before it moves forward with policies that would further destabilize the struggling housing market. "A finance system that provides liquidity for the housing sector in all geographic markets throughout the economic cycle is a prerequisite to achieving housing policy objectives," NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen, a home builder from Reno, Nev., told members of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises. Also of great concern to NAHB are the credit risk retention rules required by Section 941 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which were unveiled this week by the six agencies charged with implementing that section of the law. NAHB believes the proposed rules contain an unduly narrow definition of the important term "Qualified Residential Mortgage" (QRM), featuring a minimum down payment of 20 percent, which would seriously disrupt the housing market by making mortgages unavailable or unnecessarily expensive for many creditworthy borrowers. By stipulating such a large down payment for a loan to be considered a QRM, the Administration and federal agencies are preempting congressional efforts to reform the housing finance system by imposing a narrow and rigid gateway to the secondary mortgage market. "This extreme proposal could not have been put forward at a less opportune time," Nielsen said. "The housing market is still weak, with a significant overhang of unsold homes, and an equally large shadow inventory of distressed loans. A move to a larger down payment standard at this juncture would cause renewed stress and uncertainty for borrowers who are seeking or are on the threshold of seeking affordable, sustainable homeownership. We believe a more balanced QRM exemption is imperative in light of the enormous potential impact it would have on the cost and availability of mortgage credit at this precarious point in the housing cycle." Addressing the GSE reform issue, Nielsen noted that the housing finance system is struggling under a cloud of uncertainty. The federal government, through Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), currently accounts for nearly all mortgage credit flowing to home buyers and rental properties. "Even with the current high level of federal support, fewer mortgage products are available, and these loans are being underwritten on much more stringent terms," Nielsen said. "This arrangement cannot continue indefinitely, and there is no clear picture of the future shape of the conforming conventional mortgage market. But one thing is clear the status quo cannot continue." Policy discussions are underway on what should become of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac following the current indefinite conservatorship period, and what should change in the structure and operation of the Federal Home Loan Banks. A key consideration is how to make the transition from the current structure to a future arrangement without undermining ongoing financial rescue efforts and further disrupting the operation of the housing finance system. "NAHB strongly supports efforts to modernize the nation's housing finance system, including reforms to the government sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac," Nielsen said. "We cannot go back to the system that existed before the Great Recession, but it is critical that any reforms be wellconceived, orderly and phased in over time. Short-term proposals to reduce the support Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac provide for the housing finance system represent a piecemeal approach to reform that would disrupt the housing market and could push the nation back into a deep recession. "The National Association of Home Builders urges Congress and the Administration to consider the potential consequences of their proposals," Nielsen said. "Housing can be the engine of job growth this country needs, but it can't fill that vital role if Congress and the Administration make damaging, illadvised changes to the housing finance system at such a critical time." NAHB strongly believes that an efficient secondary mortgage market that facilitates the flow of capital to housing is essential to the economy and to the nation's long-term well-being. NAHB joined a broad coalition of housing and financing groups to develop "Principles for Restoring Stability to the Nation's Housing Finance System," released on March 28. The principles, outlined below, should guide efforts to restore and repair the nation's housing finance system: A stable housing sector is essential for a robust economic recovery and long-term prosperity. Housing, whether through homeownership or rental, promotes social and economic benefits that warrant it being a national policy priority. Private capital must be the dominant source of mortgage credit, and it must also bear the primary risk in any future housing finance system. A continuing and predictable government role is necessary to promote investor confidence and ensure liquidity and stability for homeownership and rental housing. Changes to the mortgage finance system must be done carefully and over a reasonable transition period to ensure that a reliable mortgage finance system is in place to function effectively in the years ahead. "NAHB looks forward to working with all stakeholders to develop an effective as well as safe and sound means to provide a reliable flow of housing credit under all economic and financial market conditions," Nielsen said.
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Groups respond to proposed rule for qualified residential mortgagesThe National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) hosted a media teleconference along with other industry and consumer groups and finance experts to discuss the negative impact that overly restrictive lending rules proposed yesterday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. would have on the housing market and larger economic recovery.The plan unveiled by the FDIC would require a minimum 20 percent down payment for qualified residential mortgages, or QRMs, that would exempt lenders from forthcoming risk retention rules under the Dodd-Frank financial reform law passed last year. Below are statements from the panelists outlining their position on the proposed rule: Requiring a high down payment would disproportionately harm first-time home buyers, who have limited wealth and on average account for 40 percent of home-buying activity. It would take an average family 12 years to scrape together a 20 percent down payment. Borrowers who cant afford to put 20 percent down on a home and who are unable to obtain FHA financing will be expected to pay a premium of two percentage points for a loan in the private market to offset the increased risk to lenders, according to NAHB economists. This would disqualify about 5 million potential home buyers, resulting in 250,000 fewer home sales and 50,000 fewer new homes being built per year. Basically the government is telling Mr. and Mrs. America thanks for paying your mortgage during these tough times, and thanks for building your wealth around housing, as we have encouraged you to do, but we are now changing the rules. We are going to reduce the value of your retirement nest egg even more than the recession already has. And as an extra thank you, your kids are going to find homeownership that much more difficult to obtain. --- Barry Rutenberg, First Vice Chairman, National Association of Home Builders The proposed very narrow QRM definition will allow very few potential homeowners to qualify. As a result, it will complicate the withdrawal of the Governments guarantee of the mortgage market. I fear it will also delay the establishment of broad investor confidence necessary for the re-establishment of the RMBS market. --- Lew Ranieri The proposed rule establishes a standard for safe and sound mortgages that would take the industry back to the 1980s, when low wealth and moderate income borrowers, and particularly communities of color, were routinely barred from conventional, affordable credit. The proposed standard seems to ignore all the positive lessons lenders learned over many years of experimentation in how to offer sustainable mortgage credit. We are very concerned that when combined with other recommendations from the Administrations White Paper on housing finance, including 10 percent down payment minimums for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages, and possibly higher down payments for FHA borrowers, this proposal will move the lending industrys goalposts unacceptably far from the reach of low, moderate and middle income homebuyers. We are pleased that the proposals include at least a minimal set of servicing guidelines that would apply to all mortgage securitizations. We look forward to working with the regulators to improve and strengthen them. But there can be no doubt after the foreclosure debacle consumers have endured that clear standards are necessary. --- Barry Zigas, Director of Housing Policy, Consumer Federation of America Securitization provides financing for most of our credit- mortgages, car loans, credit cards, even financing for the buildings we work in. The collapse of this market led to the broad economic recession, and CRL supports reform of the securitization markets. The goal is to make the system safer, while still making credit available and affordable. The recent risk retention rules are an important part of this reform process. However, the proposed Qualified Residential Mortgage standards would unnecessarily over restrict credit and shut off homeownership to most working families. In particular, the down payment requirements of 20% would create an insurmountable barrier for most families, even though low down payment loans that are fully underwritten have performed well, even through the recent crisis. --- Mike Calhoun, President, Center for Responsible Lending
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EPAB ON THE SCENEAssociates visit Board MeetingA joint meeting between the Associates Council and the Board of Directors was held on March 9 at the EPAB offices. During the meeting Associates Council Chair Sam Shallenberger was introduced by President Greg Bowling. Sam informed the gathered members about plans that he is making for upcoming events. Board members were able to meet some of the newer members of the Associates Council and welcome them to the working agenda of a board meeting. It was the first time in recent history that there was a joint meeting of the Board and Associates but the learning experience was worth the time. Wally Wallace, new to the EPAB through longtime member JOBE was excited about the meeting. I think it was a good thing to see how the board operates and also important to know the amount of work that goes into being on the board. I enjoyed it and look forward to representing JOBE in the Association, he said. Meanwhile Sam Shallenberger was enthusiastic about the direction of the meeting and the larger number of new faces in the crowd. This shows me that we are continuing to grow and to make the EPAB a good place to meet new contacts, Shallenberger added. Several Past Presidents attended and added significantly to the meeting . Our thanks to all the Associates who attended and to the Board for the gracious welcome.
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The Associates Council presents The EPAB/Young Designers Golf Tournament
Join fo r a filled
us fun day!
Painted Dunes Desert Golf Club Tuesday April 19Registration: 11 a.m. Shotgun start: 12:30 p.m.
Call 778-5387 to sign up your six person team or for sponsorship opportunitesSponSoreD BY:
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10 APRIL 2011Young home buyers will lead housing market recoveryGeneration X young families and adults ages 31 to 45 are likely to lead the home buying recovery as it gets underway, according to real estate experts who spoke at an educational webinar produced by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in partnership with Builder magazine These potential home buyers are most likely to think it's a good time to get off the fence and have strong opinions about the design features their new homes will include. At 32 percent of the population of homebuying age generally defined as those who are at least 30 years old, the Gen X population cohort isn't the largest, but it's the most mobile, said presenter Mollie Carmichael, principal of John Burns Real Estate Consulting in Irvine, Calif. "They are in full force with their careers and they need to accommodate growing families," she said. In sharp contrast, even though they constitute 41 percent of prospective home buyers, Baby Boomers continue to wait for the market to improve, and their decisions to delay retirement also delay their decisions to downsize into a smaller home, Carmichael said. Most of the 10,000 buyers and potential buyers in 27 metro areas that the consulting company surveyed were optimistic about a new home purchase, with between 85 percent and 89 percent saying that it was a good time to buy a home. Only 13 percent said they thought home prices would continue to fall, further evidence that it's "not all about price," she said. "They want something compelling, from a design or personalization standpoint," said Carmichael. In addition, though the average home size is shrinking, a majority of prospective buyers said they would like a bigger home than the one they have. "These are first-time buyers or younger families looking for more room to grow," she said. Seventy percent said that they were willing to pay $5,000 more for a green home, but those responding to the survey said that they expected new homes to already have many green technology features. They also said they would pay a premium for dark wood cabinets, a separate tub and shower and a fireplace in the living room, and more preferred a great room over formal spaces. And while community amenities are important to Gen X buyers, 46 percent said they prefer a home in a large-lot, suburban development, versus the 21 percent looking for a traditional or "walkable" neighborhood. Webinar panelist Heather McCune, director of marketing at Bassenian/Lagoni Architects in Newport Beach, Calif., also emphasized that design will be important in generating sales in the emerging marketplace. "The notion of 'build it and they will come' no longer works. Design matters," she said. McCune said buyers are looking for homes with a connection between indoor and outdoor spaces, even in colder climates, to create the perception of greater home size, even if the space is only usable for part of the year. They also want more storage, an open floor plan and flexibility in the garage. "While Gen X numbers are smaller than the birth cohorts before and after them, their numbers have been enlarged by steady immigration," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "Gen X may wait longer than their predecessors to establish their own household or buy a home because of the recent recession impacts, but the trends are still likely to occur as they have for past generations." -NAHB
OSHAFALLCOMPLIANCECLASSThe United States Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a directive rescinding the Interim Fall Protection Compliance Guidelines for Residential Construction.Regulation states as an employer, you shall provide a training program for each employee who might be exposed to fall hazards. Date: April 21, 2011 1:30pm-4:30pm Location: EPAB Office, 6046 Surety Drive Course Length: 4 Classroom Hours Course Objectives: This training teaches the importance of recognizing fall hazards, using the correct fall protection, providing a detailed illustration of the various types of fall protection and how to properly use them to avoid a deadly fall. Topics Hazards Recognizing hazards The six foot rule Fall Protection Systems Types of fall protection systems Guardrails Warning Lines Safety Monitors Covers Personal Fall Protection The Body Harness The Body Belt/Safety Belt Lanyards Anchorage point Swing falls Locking snaphooks Protection from falling objects Cost $35. Call EPAB 778-5387 for reservations
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Membership NewsUPCOMING EVENTSApril 5 Associates Council 3:30 EPAB Office April 21 Fall Compliance 1:30-4:30 EPAB Office
April 13 Board Meeting and General Meeting 3:30 EPAB Office April 19 Young Designers Golf Tournament Painted Dunes
April 27 Land Use meeting 12 Noon EPAB Office
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11395 James Watt, Suite A-11 79936 915-633-8002
14 APRIL 2011
Industry ReportsAssociates Councilteams, goodie bag items, advertisers and help. Contact the EPAB office at 778-5387 for more information. Weve talked about having a meeting and outing in Las Vegas, and things are coming together. First, the information is coming in from some very classy Hotels that arent just the normal tourista kind of places. Not that theyre bad or anything but wed like to do something a little more special for our group. Air Lines going to Las Vegas vary and again Im working on making sure this trip is a special one, so Im looking at a variety of options. I hope to have something for you by the time we all meet for the Associates council on April 5th at 3:00 pm at the EPAB. Ray is working on the parking lot across the street where we will hopefully be holding our first annual EPBA Festival in June or July sometime. The plan is to have a trade show, car show, and our headline and Rays favorite event The Menudo Cook Off. Anyone up for bowling? July will feature a bowling fun outing which promises to be worth the small entry fee. Bowling lanes are a great place to have fun, get out of the summer heat, and meet with friends for a fun event. Vicki Marcuse is heading this event up for us and you know she does a great job. Id like to welcome Lance Van Deman from JDW Insurance whos agreed to help me and the council by taking on additional responsibilities as council chair in training. He will be working hand in hand with me to make this year as successful as we can while getting ideas and events ready for next year. Lance has great leadership skills and is a great and dedicated member of the EPAB. Please help me welcome Lance to his new volunteer post. So as you can see we have a pretty full calendar of events in the next few months and if you would like to help on any of the committees we welcome you with open arms. Thats about it for now. See you at the council meeting on Tuesday April 5th.
Sam Shallenberger Western Wholesale SupplyHi every one. We are still working on our planed agenda for the rest of this year but so far this is what it looks like. We have the Annual Golf scramble tournament coming up April 19th so get your clubs and some customers and lets have some fun at Painted Dunes starting at 12:30. We are looking for
REALTOR/Builderswitch covers. Deep clean and deodorize carpets and window coverings.
Angela Ochoa GEPAR
Make your home warm and inviting to boost your home's value and speed up the sale process. The first step to getting buyers to make an offer on your home is to impress them with its appearance so they begin to envision themselves living there. Here are seven tips for making your home look bigger, brighter, and more desirable. 1. Start with a clean slate Before you can worry about where to place furniture and which wall hanging should go where, each room in your home must be spotless. Do a thorough cleaning right down to the nitpicky details like wiping down light
2. Stow away your clutter It's harder for buyers to picture themselves in your home when they're looking at your family photos, collectibles, and knickknacks. However, don't make spaces like mantles and coffee and end tables barren. Leave three items of varying heights on each surface. For example, place a lamp, a small plant, and a book on an end table. 3. Scale back on your furniture When a room is packed with furniture, it looks smaller, which will make buyers think your home is less valuable than it is. Make sure buyers appreciate the size of each room by removing one or two pieces of furniture. If you have an eat-in dining area, using a small table and chair set makes the area seem bigger. 4. Rethink your furniture placement Highlight the flow of your rooms by arranging the furniture to guide buyers from
one room to another. In each room, create a focal point on the farthest wall from the doorway and arrange the other pieces of furniture in a triangle around the focal point. In the bedroom, the bed should be the focal point. In the living room, it may be the fireplace, and your couch and sofa can form the triangle in front of it. 5. Add color to brighten your rooms Brush on a fresh coat of warm, neutralcolor paint in each room. Then accessorize. Adding a vibrant afghan, throw, or accent pillows for the couch will jazz up a muted living room, as will a healthy plant or a bright vase on your mantle. High-wattage bulbs in your light fixtures will also brighten up rooms and basements. 6. Set the scene Lay logs in the fireplace, and set your dining room table with dishes and a centerpiece of fresh fruit or flowers. Create other vignettes throughout the home-such as a chess game in progress-to help buyers envision living there. Use sheer curtains that
let in more light. Make your bathrooms feel luxurious by adding a new shower curtain, towels, and fancy guest soaps. Judiciously add subtle potpourri or scented candles. 7. Make the entrance grand Mow your lawn and trim your hedges, and turn on the sprinklers for 30 minutes before showings to make your lawn sparkle. If flowers or plants don't surround your home's entrance, add a pot of bright flowers. Top it all off by buying a new doormat and adding a seasonal wreath to your front door. April Meeting: 4/8/11 from 11:30-1:30 PM at the Greater El Paso Association of REALTORS. Speaker will be Segovia Homes and their Education Topic will be New Home Inspections. Fostering harmony amongst home builders, real estate professionals, and affiliate companies
GUEST COLUMNHiring Inexperienced workersGetting ready for a peak season? According to the Business & Legal Reports safety website, workplace injury statistics reveal that new employees are 5 times more likely to experience a lost-time injury in the first month of employment compared to the experienced worker. Additionally, studies show that 40 percent of all workers injured on the job have been at it less than a year. Given these facts, ensuring the safety of the newbie is of utmost importance, particularly where a businesss greatest asset is its people. Equally, smart hiring practices and new employee safety orientation translate to preservation of the bottom line. Here are some of the risks and concerns that you should consider when hiring inexperienced workers. New employee orientation and job training and hazard training on the equipment and tools associated with the job, emergency evacuation routes, location of first-aid kits, MSDSs, and items such as fire extinguishers. Use of an orientation checklist while showing the new hire the safety features of the workplace can serve as documentation of the facility safety tour. A hazard assessment of the work area should be performed every time work conditions change. During emergency situations, employ safe work practices. Accidents can occur and do occur unexpectedly (unfortunately). Hazard materials training is required for all job site and field personnel. Superintendents hold mandatory weekly toolbox talks. The safety manual should be made available for inspection and found to be comprehensive in scope. If needed, retraining all workers is also important. Make communication among fellow workers a vital part of your safety culture. We need to be ever so vigilant of everyone who works for us. Make safety and job training a part of the entire company culture. Lets make sure we get our new workers trained right, step by step initial worker training.
Lupe AlanizA&E Environmental & Safety Consultants
www.elpasobuilders.com6046 Surety Dr. El Paso, TX 79905 915778-5387 Fax: 915-772-3038
BySalMasoud I would like to bring to your attention few items that Land Council is currently monitoring in cooperation with the City of El Paso and the International Boundary Commission IBWC. FEMAfloodmaps: Finally, FEMA has issued a press release on March 2nd, 2011 inviting the public to participate in providing comments, appeals or protests in regards to the issued preliminary flood maps. Homeowners, landowners, renters and business owners in El Paso County have from March 4 June 2, 2011 to provide general comments, or to file an appeal or protest if there are possible errors on the map. An appeal is a formal objection to proposed base flood elevations. Appeals must be based on technical data that show proposed maps to be scientifically incorrect. Anyone who makes an appeal must include the method, data and analysis used to support the claim. Protests challenge information or data other than base flood elevation, such as changes to flood plain boundaries, corporate limits, or roads and road names. Comments, appeals and protests should be sent to FEMA through the local floodplain administrator. FloodplainAdministration 2CivicCenterPlaza-4th ElPaso,Texas79901 (915)546-2015 Information may also be submitted electronically at [email protected] To view the current and proposed maps, please visit the Citys website www.elpasotexas.gov under News & Notices, FEMA Flood Zone Map. You may also Contact a FEMA Map Specialist at 1-877-FEMA MAP (1-877336-2627); email [email protected]
Once all comments/protests are resolved, FEMA will notify communities of the effective date of the final maps. I want to encourage all concerned homeowners, landowners and business owners to contact the City of El Paso and do file a protest or an appeal objecting the fact that these maps were issued without a flood base elevations for most of the areas in the upper valley. We at Land Use council will continue to coordinate with the City of El Paso and USIBWC to speed up the process to achieve the A-99 status for the affected areas of the Upper Valley. This status will allow the continued building and development activity until the Levees are fully certified. NewGradingOrdinance A public hearing is scheduled for March 29, 2011 at City Council to discuss the Final Grading Ordinance as modified by the City of El Paso including major changes to the current Grading Ordinance in regards to grading in Natural Drainage Paths. I am concerned that the City will adopt such ordinance without clearly identifying the limits of such natural drainage paths that could encompass most of the arroyos rim to rim within the City of El Paso. Please try to attend the public hearing to voice your concern.
I executive officers Greg bowling, President Tropicana Homes del Huit, vice President Cardel Design Group frank arroyos, secretary/treasurer Cisco Homes sam shallenberger, associates council Wholesale Supply Kelly sorenson, immediate Past President Vision Consultants ray adauto, executive vice President El Paso Association of Builders I couNcil/committee cHairs Affordable Builders Council Bobby Bowling IV Associates Council Sam Shallenberger Assoc. Co-Chair Lance Van Demon Build PAC El Paso Randy Bowling Desert Green Building Council Javier Ruiz Industry Promotions Kelly Sorenson Land Use Council Linda Troncoso Sal Masoud Adams Pro AM Committee David Bogas Young Designer Award John Chaney Code Committee Kelly OLeary Home Show Sam Shallenberger Remodelors Miguel Herrera Membership Drive Mike Santamaria Finance Committee Kathy Carillo Education Committee Frank Spencer I advisorY to tHe board J. Crawford Kerr, Attorney, Firth, Johnson & Martinez I board of directors Danny Andrus, Trinity Homes John Arranda, Southwest Securities Bank, FSB Joe Bernal, Joe Bernal Insurance David Bogas, EPT Communities Doug Borrett, Karam Co. Edmundo Dena, Accent Homes Ted Escobedo, Snappy Publishing Art Garcia, El Paso Door Juanita Garcia, ICON Custom Home Builder,LLC Danny Gerard, Desert Agave Builders, LLC Miguel Herrera, Simply the Best Custom Homes Lorraine Huit, Cardel Design Group Walter Lujan, Dawco Home Builders Bruce Meyer, JDW Insurance Robert Najera, Roberts Construction Kathy Parry, Hunt Communities Bob Paschich, Oeste Homes Kathy Rose, Builders Source Regina Sanchez, Bank of Texas Sam Shallenberger, Western Wholesale Frank Torres, GMF Homes Paul Zacour, Zacour & Associates
NatioNal associatioN of Home builders (800) 368-5242
texas associatioN of builders (800)252-3625
2010 builder member of the Year Mike Santamaria Mountain Vista Builders 2010 Pat cox award Randy Bowling Tropicana Homes 2010 associate of the Year Javier Ruiz Border Solar/Senercon John schatzman award Lorraine Huit Cardel Design Group
SmartGrowthImplementation On March 29, 2011, City Council will also discuss several issues related to Smart Growth. Some of these issues as follows: Designing Walk able Urban Thoroughfares Amend Title 19 to allow parkland dedication of less than one acre. Amend Title 19 to require tree planting as part of park improvements Amend Title 19 to revise standards for pocket parks to forego frontage on all sides Review and recommend revisions to Title 19 to encourage different park typologies Amend Title 19 to require a building line on plats
Honorary life members Brad Roe Cliff Anthes Wayne Grinnell Chester Lovelady Don Henderson Anna Gil
Past Presidents committed to serve Mark Dyer Mike Santamaria John Cullers Randy Bowling Doug Schwartz Del Huit Herschel Stringfield Robert Baeza Bobby Bowling, IV Rudy Guel Anna Gill Bradley Roe Bob Bowling, III EH Baeza
Its a great time to buy a new home in El Paso.The El Paso Association of Builders has been a part of the incredible growth of El Paso for over sixty years. During that time, the housing market has seen a lot of changes. But never before has there been a better time to buy a new home in El Paso. Our builders offer El Pasoans value, variety and a vested interest in our community. If you are considering buying a new home, the time is now.
I tab state directors Doug Borrett, Karam Co., Life Director Randy Bowling, Tropicana Homes
ePab mission statement: The El Paso Association of Builders is a federated professional organization representing the home building industry, committed to enhancing the quality of life in our community by providing affordable homes of excellence and value. The El Paso Association of Builders is a 501C(6) trade organization.
I NatioNal directors Bobby Bowling IV. Demetrio Jimenez
2011 Builders Outlook is published and distributed for the El Paso Association of Builders by Snappy Publishing 240 Thunderbird Suite C El Paso Texas 79912 915-820-2800