January, 2009 ·  Thursday
Broken Arrow builder, Joe Robson, will be installed next week at the annual International Builders' Show and as Chairman of the National Association of Home Builders during its first session of 2009 business and board meetings.

I'll be attending the event, representing COHBA with other Sr. Officers and builders from the Metro, and will be blogging on the event here at MLR as time allows. I won't go so far as calling it live-blogging, as I do have a full schedule of business to tend to, which unfortunately doesn't include much recreational time.

Robson, this week, testified before Congress this week regarding the stimulus package and how it can best aid the Nation's ailing housing market.

The statement that best sums up the industry's position:

In conjunction with foreclosure mitigation efforts, Congress must pass temporary and targeted incentives to encourage Americans to buy homes again. This will help to stabilize home prices, prevent future foreclosures, restore consumer confidence and start creating jobs.

December, 2008 ·  Wednesday
A few of us "industry experts" pull out the proverbial end-of-year crystal ball for the Oklahoman's look into 2009.

My assessment on the home building industry in the Oklahoma City Metro:
2009 will return the industry to professional builders as the hobbyist and side-investment builders exit a less-stable market. Builders who strategically manage inventory levels, who are marketing-savvy, and who have cornered a niche market, will have an added edge in gaining market share.

Edmond Realtor®, Ryan Hukill with Paradigm AdvantEdge Realty lands the Oklahoman's final Q&A of 2008:

The thing that home buyers have to be mindful of, though, is that waiting for that dream rate of 4.5 percent is a gamble. With average rates well below 6 percent, and many (around) 5 percent, we’re still at historic lows and waiting for lower could end up costing you more if things turn on us unexpectedly.

Richard Mize · The Oklahoman
December, 2008 ·  Saturday
Mize covers the Oklahoma City Metro Association of Realtors' new $100K media campaign to bolster home sales in Oklahoma City.

Their theme:
Don't Sit on the Fence, Proudly Stand Behind One.

I like it almost as well as my daughter's thoughts on riding fences.

December, 2008 ·  Saturday
Mize, commenting on his take on the vibe at last weeks' 65th Annual COHBA Christmas Banquet & Installation of 2009 Officers...
Bragging about Oklahoma City being "recession proof” is so last month, especially with oil prices, gulp, skidding to the mid-$30s. No cock-of-the-walk strutting was seen at this year’s Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association gala.

Once lauded as the largest trade show on the planet, I'm guessing this year the IBS will be a bit more scaled back and intimate. Traditionally hosted in 2-year terms each at Orlando, Vegas, and Atlanta, the show outgrew Atlanta's capacity to host during the building boom. Vegas is fun for obvious reasons, but Orlando tends to lend itself well to bringing the entire family. I'll likely be blogging from there if there's much of interest for MLR.
December, 2008 ·  Thursday

Builder Magazine on Jeff Click Homes' high-tech entry into the 2008 COHBA Parade Of Homes. Note the home was not priced at $250K with technology, as the article states. It was more like $325 with all the plasmas and ancillary goodies that made the home what it was.
Dan Daley · Builder Magazine
December, 2008 ·  Wednesday
Drastic, yes, especially when you isolate the comparison of November starts this year vs. the same month last year, and don't take into account that last November was the 2nd highest number of starts we've had in the last ten Novembers. Combine that with two of the higher volume builders no longer pulling permits at all, and numbers ought to be down.
MLSOK.com is chipping in $100K to launch a new campaign to help clarify the truths and differences about the Oklahoma housing market in comparison to the national market.
December, 2008 ·  Saturday
On Friday, the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association hosted its 65th Annual Christmas Banquet and Installation of 2009 Executive Officers. The gala was held at the Civic Center's Hall of Mirrors.

The evening held several highlights I enjoyed: being installed as 2009 President, casting my vision for the year ahead, enjoying a great dinner with family, friends, and hundreds of fellow members, dancing with my wife and daughter, watching Jim McWhirter get awarded 2008 Builder of the Year, and hearing one of my favorite former teacher's band, Pearl, play live.

Mize, who joined us at one of my tables, covered the event in today's Business section of The Oklahoman, and photos are on Flickr.

The 65th Annual COHBA Christmas Banquet & Installation of 2009 Officers
The Civic Center Music Hall in rare form.

The 65th Annual COHBA Christmas Banquet & Installation of 2009 Officers
The Meinders Hall of Mirrors, where our banquet took place, catered by Deep Fork Grill.

The 65th Annual COHBA Christmas Banquet & Installation of 2009 Officers
The most amazing girls I know, my wife Deziray and daughter, Alessondra.

The 65th Annual COHBA Christmas Banquet & Installation of 2009 Officers
The "President's First Dance", traditionally danced with the First Lady, but I danced with both of them.

The 65th Annual COHBA Christmas Banquet & Installation of 2009 Officers
One of my favorite former teachers, Mark Landreth, and his band "Pearl" provided entertainment.

December, 2008 ·  Wednesday
The Journal Record covers an unfortunate happenstance regarding the "city detox", as I've always heard it referred to, involving a couple whose business used to be located near the facility. The couple moved their business to Linwood Blvd. nine years ago to get away from the joint. Now, the company who runs the detox has proposed to relocate the facility to...guess where...about a block away from where the couple moved their business.

Their frustration is understandable, as no business owner (except perhaps those who own a bar or liquor store) wants inebriates loitering their sidewalks.

I can't help but recall, though, what perhaps was the best take on being located near the detox, as spun by my friend, Grant Humphreys. Last year, during a presentation on Block 42 to the COHBA Sales & Marketing Council, he was asked if there had been any resistance from buyers regarding the development's proximity to the detox.

His response? Something to the effect of, "We actually see it as a plus. It brings more black-n-whites down our street."
Kelley Chambers · The Journal Record
December, 2008 ·  Monday
A feature article in this month's Digital Home magazine leans on yours truly and my friend, fellow techie, and local appraiser, Peter Fulmer, on the widening gap between true costs of advanced residential technologies and their respective appraisal values.

Fulmer sums up the conundrum well...
I understand the costs associated with putting the technology into the house because I'm familiar with the technologies being used. But that's not enough - you have to try to determine the actual value of the overall house to someone for whom these technological amenities may not mean much. This is an issue that's going to become bigger and bigger as technology gets used more and more to differentiate homes.

I would submit that the non-technically-inclined buyer Peter refers to will end up reaping the rewards of this appraisal methodology. In this scenario, he stands to first get a break on the up-front costs of the technology if it doesn't receive a dollar-for-dollar valuation. When that buyer later goes to resell the house, the technologies once considered "advanced" will, by then, be common...if not expected...and will thus place that house in better competition with newer homes, depending on the technologies in place.

That alone will stand to draw draw additional value, though it's difficult to say how much. Future value potential doesn't mean squat on an appraisal, which is a snapshot of the here-and-now.
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