04
April, 2009 ·  Saturday
HAL 9000
There are two common punch-lines people toss at me in reference to the high tech amenities I've come to be known for. One invariably involves some reference to having to "click" your home, and the other is if my homes are as cool as HAL 9000.

To those making reference to the former, I just laugh like it's the first time I've heard the joke. To those asking the latter, I simply can't help but wonder, "Have you actually seen "2001 A Space Odyssey"? HAL goes rogue in the end, friends, and maybe that's what has Mize in a mood this week.
30
March, 2009 ·  Monday
27
March, 2009 ·  Friday
Although cul-de-sacs serve, as they did for me growing up, as the ideal locale for a great game of kickball or, even better, baseball, I personally avoid them like the plague when it comes to building on them. Cul-de-sac lots, due to shape, are generally prohibitive of any sort of decent spacial arrangement of structures (unless pre-planned together), usually create shallow back yards flanked by awkward triangle side-yards, and often only exaserbate the garage-heavy frontage that suburbia is increasingly criticized for.

Try, sometime perhaps when you're bored, fitting two brick mailboxes and your city-walk between two 3-car-width driveways that come together on a shared curb radius. Then, try to park anything more than a Skittle at the curb.

ALT TEXT HERE This isn't a slam on my friend Marcus or his company Absolute Lawn, nor is it a shameless plug. But it does make the point.

I can tell you for a fact, though, based on my experience in working with home buyers that they are indeed attractive to those with kids, and very effective at creating more protective play space. If you disagree, just ask some folks in Fenwick.

Dustbury provides point, counterpoint on the ensuing debate regarding the pros and cons of cul-de-sacs, as precipitated by a the state of Virginia's placing of restrictions on future developments' use of the iconic suburban element.

I don't buy into the all of the reasoning behind state's arguments, nor do I think they should be prohibited when they meet accessibility and emergency services requirements. Batesline takes an entirely different angle with an argument so surgically made it makes one wonder if blogging isn't his only after-hours gig.
26
March, 2009 ·  Thursday
Remodeler Magazine reports on a Move.com survey's results, which indicate that 1 in 4 Americans plans to buy a home within the next 5 years.

The biggest factor playing into that statistic?

Despite challenging market conditions, 18.1% of respondents plan to buy a home in 2009 to take advantage of the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit recently passed by Congress as part of the economic stimulus package.
24
March, 2009 ·  Tuesday
ALT TEXT HERE
Robert Fillmore is somewhat of a design legend in Oklahoma City. He may never own up to that, and though he's almost single-handedly brought about a mini-country French design movement within Oklahoma, he will probably hesitate with humility before admitting that there are more homes around the country based on his designs than there are here in the state.

To prove that, two of his plans were deemed by Builder Magazine as among the top 10 best-selling consumer house plans in the country.

I've heard the story about his first trip to the IBS, in the days when he designed out of his garage in Quail Creek. He rented a booth to distribute a few of his famed plan books, and half way through the show as word spread of his designs, he was out of books and scrambling to get as many copies as he could get made to keep up with demand.

That was a long time, and thousands of homes ago.
18
March, 2009 ·  Wednesday
National housing starts are up 22% for February over January, 2009. However, that statistic is comprised of both single and multi-family permits, with the bulk of the gains being made in mult-family. In the Oklahoma City market, we're weighted towards single-family construction, for which permits were up 21% for the month.

Good news, yes. Trend? Not yet.
05
March, 2009 ·  Thursday
Builder Online has recently rated Oklahoma City as the 17th healthiest housing market, out of the 75 largest markets throughout the country. The article cites strong job growth, strong home values, and COHBA's Defy The Trends media campaign from last year.
10
February, 2009 ·  Tuesday
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It's really nerve-racking to see this hovering over your development project.

I had an exciting afternoon and evening planned; a quick final walk-through with a client, then a quick jaunt to Stewart Title for the closing, and then off to McNellie's for the ULI Real Estate Roulette.

As we were wrapping up the walk-through, suddenly it thunders, the storm warning sirens rev up, and my mobile rings, all simultaneously. On the phone was my wife letting me know I might want to consider coming home (just across the street from my walk-through...yes, I live among clients and love it), to get into the storm shelter.

One power outage, 3 rounds of storms, and multiple trips in and out of the storm shelter later, I head out to check my projects in the neighborhood, then a mile south down Penn to my commercial project, the Main Street Business District. This was what I found...

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The view facing south at NW158th & Pennsylvania after the storm in Edmond.

The officer blockading Penn was cool enough to let me through. Surprisingly, we had minimal damage despite numerous large power line poles snapped in two around us.

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A large power pole snapped from its easement on the south property line of our development.

What an afternoon and evening it was. We were fortunate that power was restored by a little after 6, and aside from not being able to attend the scheduled closing, I was most disappointed by not getting to be a part of the ULI Real Estate Roulette.

So yes, I had an exciting afternoon and evening planned, and while it was still exciting, it was not as planned. Perhaps the next one will be scheduled on a less eventful night by my new friends at the ULI. (Sorry, guys, I had to check my projects and I couldn't leave my girls for the evening without power.)

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A few entry lights now need some adjustment.

I've posted a Flickr set of all the photos I took from storm damage in NW Oklahoma City / Edmond.
CITED ARTICLE:
Staff · NewsOK.com
ULI
It just hit me that this "roulette" metaphor for tonight's ULI back-room discussion isn't of the Russian kind. I may not be too far off the mark in my faux pas, though, given the risk involved in being a player in today's real estate climate and the candid nature of the conversation taking place.
29
January, 2009 ·  Thursday
Shot of Vetrazzo
One of my favorite products on showcase at this year's IBS show, which I discuss with Richard Mize in today's Business Q&A in The Oklahoman, was Vetrazzo countertops. Comprised of 85% glass, all of which is recycled, this solid surface is considered one of the most eco-friendly countertops on the market today.
28
January, 2009 ·  Wednesday
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I'd just love a good, solid snow for once in Oklahoma. It sure would have less of an effect on everyday life than our annual coat of ice.
19
January, 2009 ·  Monday
Forbes places both Oklahoma City and Tulsa in their list of Top 25 Housing Markets for 2009.
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