Archive for the ‘Home Building’ Category

Congress Debates Extension to Benefit Building Home Industry

Friday, October 16th, 2009

Two proposals is currently being debated in the Congress involving the extension of the federal program that gives first time homebuyers $8,000 in tax credit. The said bills are being supported by the building home industry to pave the way for a long term recovery.

Many housing analysts are not sure if the extension is the answer to the housing problem. For one, the millions of foreclosed properties in the market have already dragged home prices down to record levels. And the bottom is nowhere in sight if you consider the Mortgage Bankers Association’s forecast that the foreclosure rate can be expected to climb until late 2010.

On the other hand, the federal tax credit program was actually part of the stimulus packaged which was approved at the beginning of the present year. Most of the $787 billion budget was geared to prop up the messed up housing and mortgage industries. Only those who will be buying a home for the first time and with an income of $75,000 (individual) and $150,000 (couples) are eligible.

If the extension is not approved, some economists believe that home sales will drop since the industry is still a long way from being self-sustaining. In addition, it might increase the risk for double-dip economic recession.

As the December 1 expiration nears, the building home industry has been quite vocal with its desire for the Congress to not only extend the tax credit incentive but to also expand it. Obviously, these home builders consider the program to be good for business.

Other economists consider the extension and expansion not a really good idea for the economy. They argue that, in the first place, these homebuyers will still purchase a property with or without the tax credit. Some even consider the approval similar to the program, Cash for Clunkers, which was launched to provide assistance to the car industry.

Whether or not the extension will be good for the building home industry and the national economy will be up to Congress. Basically, they have to consider the limitations of the government when it comes to using taxpayer’s money to revive an industry that has been hit hard by the mortgage mess.

SEC Investigates Company Building Houses

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

The Securities and Exchange Commission is currently investigating KB Home, a large company involved in building houses, due to the possibility that the company has violated certain disclosure and accounting policies.

The said investigation is actually the second time that the home builder attracted the attention of the commission. The first one is an investigation of Bruce Karatz, its ex-chief executive who is now awaiting trial for allegedly being involved in the manipulation of stock options.

Karatz actually resigned from his post in 2006 after being found guilty by the company of backdating his stock options, increasing his pay. He then agreed to pay over $7 million as part of the settlement that SEC offered in 2008. But despite this, he never admitted to actually committing the crime.

Meanwhile, another $550, 000 was paid to the SEC by KB Home’s ex-human resources head, Gary Ray who also settled charges by the SEC involving backdating of stock options.

The company building houses, based on Los Angeles, disclosed this most recent investigation of the commission as part of its regulatory filing and even released a statement to confirm the investigation. According to KB Home’s spokesperson, the commission did not specify what the investigation is all about which makes it hard for them to speculate.

On top of this, it was also noted that the company is being sued by an ex-employee. The lawsuit involved stock backdating of the company’s retirement plan, which resulted to the issuance of fake financial statements. The said lawsuit will go on trial on November 2010.

Lastly, the filing revealed the company’s acknowledgement of the struggles that the housing market. An oversupply of resale homes as well as newly-constructed properties was noted and blamed on soaring foreclosures and mortgage delinquencies.

It does not help that the competition in the market is quite tough, consumer confidence is at its lowest, mortgage lending guidelines are quite tight and unemployment rate has been rising steadily.

The company who has been building houses for many years now is still committed to being transparent with their business operations. In addition, they are confident that they have followed all accounting principles and policies as dictated by law. With the news of the investigation hitting the streets, company shares dropped to $15.17 or by 8 percent.

Pros and Cons of Building Houses Using Concrete

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Concrete blocks have been popular materials for building houses, since long ago. As new materials are introduced in house construction, it is important to know whether or not it is fit for your house, as well as for your location to choose concrete. Here are some pros and cons in using concrete blocks in building houses:

Pro1: A concrete house is resistant to insect attacks. Unlike wood, it is not prone to termites and other insects that may damage your house.

Con1: Concrete blocks can be damaged by water more easily than other types of materials. This is especially true for areas that have high water table. If you want to use concrete, you would have to invest in high quality paint that is water proof. You also have to make sure that the drainage for your house is working excellently, to keep your house as far from water damage as possible.

Pro2: A house made of concrete is stronger than other houses. You would stand better against natural disasters such as strong winds and earthquakes when you use concrete blocks. Just make sure that you use other strong materials and that you employ an excellent way of constructing your house.

Con2: Concrete blocks are difficult to design. You may end up with a house that is not as attractive as you want it to be. They are not as flexible as other materials, and you might end up with a house that looks like a commercial building.

Pro3: Concrete blocks are fire-resistant. They not only resist fire, but they are also able to stand strong after being exposed to fire. Other materials react fast to heat and fire, and thus are not able to protect your house well.

Con3: Concrete blocks are more expensive than other construction materials. Although the cost of concrete blocks can differ from area to area, you can expect the cost to be up to triple the other materials used in building houses such as drywalls and 2x4s.

So as much as there are advantages to using concrete blocks, there are also concerns that you have to prepare for. Depending on your goals in building your house, you can use concrete blocks for your new house.

Sustainable House Office Building Projects

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

New York City is finding ways into turning itself into a location of energy-efficient house office building projects. Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City, unveiled an energy efficient office building that is worth $25 million. Located at Perry Avenue, the building uses solar panels, toilets that use rainwater and has six windmills on its […]

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Home Building Market Improves

Friday, September 11th, 2009

The home building market sees significant improvements as the country’s economy continues to experience difficulties. This is due to the government’s efforts to help first-time buyers to purchase a house. For instance, tax credit is given to home buyers, encouraging them to buy a house. Although the housing market has continually experienced low performance, the […]

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How Much Does Building a Home Cost?

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

Building a home would take a lot of time, effort and money. There are a lot of costs related to having a new house, and it is of high importance to know everything you would have to pay for before even starting to build your house. To help you estimate your budget, you can use […]

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Green Home Building Springs Out Post-Katrina

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

In New Orleans, green home building is getting more popular. After hurricane Katrina, new home constructions projects are employing sustainable and environment-friendly materials and methods. With contractors getting more and more aware of more eco-friendly practices, a lot of people believe that New Orleans is well on its way to have more sustainable houses in […]

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House Building Companies Take Advantage of Slump

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

The economic meltdown has impacted different industries including the retail, automobile and financial. Not surprisingly, the house building industry suffered one of the worst crises ever when the housing sector collapsed under the weight of the millions of foreclosed properties in the market. Of course, not all home builders were forced to stop operation and […]

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Foreclosure Relief Gives Hope to the Home Building Industry

Friday, February 27th, 2009

A foreclosure trend was uncovered and presented that Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia and Nevada, the top states with most house buildings were the hardest hit by foreclosures. With that, hopes are high that the $275 billion foreclosure relief project by the Obama administration help in steadying home prices and help new home constructions to reboot. […]

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On Home Building: Getting a Smart Home Renovation

Friday, February 20th, 2009

Through home building, you are putting up a new asset with a relatively high value. However, through time, your home will come into disrepair, thus, decreasing its value. This is where you will need home renovation. Make some home improvements to increase the value of your house. We might be in a poor economy with […]

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