T I D E WAT E R
The official magazine of Tidewater Builders Association
May 2009 Vol. 56, Number 4
Welcome home, Cpl. Bartlett
Homearama to feature 12 homes Remodelers positive about days ahead
FA U C E T S . FIXTURES. APPLIANCES. LIGHTING.
PEOPLE! At Ferguson, it’s true that our inventory is huge. Our distribution expertise is unrivaled. And our one-stop shopping for building products is the height of convenience. But there is one thing we supply that building professionals have come to rely on again and again for over 50 years – our people. Our associates make certain you can depend on Ferguson – where friendly service, expertise, and a willingness to go the extra mile are never in short supply.
Nobody expects more from us than we do
CISAL CLASSIC BATH
SHAWS FIRECLAY SINK PERRIN & ROWE KITCHEN
NEW SHOWROOM NOW OPEN VIRGINIA BEACH:
4712 BAXTER ROAD © 2009 Ferguson
T I D E WAT E R
The official magazine of Tidewater Builders Association
May 2009 Vol. 56, Number 4
The mission of Tidewater Builders Association is to improve the climate for affordable housing; promote the growth and development of the shelter industry; promote excellence and professionalism among members through education and networking opportunities; and support and enhance the community through charitable projects.
These TBA members haven’t lost their minds. They dressed up as superheroes to kick off the membership drive, which ends May 14. They are, from left to right: Matt Froehler of J.M. Froehler Construction & Assurance Ltd., TBA President Pete A. Kotarides, past president John Ainslie, Deb Carson of Ferguson Enterprises Inc. and TBA CEO Channing Pfeiffer. For more information on the drive, see page 9.
OFFICERS: Pete A. Kotarides, president; William H. Halprin, vice president; James E. Jackson, associate vice president; Charles J. Miller II, treasurer; S.L. “Sam” Cohen, secretary; Steven E. Lawson, appointee; Edward R. Sadler, immediate past president BUILDER DIRECTORS: Richard L. “Tuck” Bowie, Scott G. Brooker, Christopher J. Ettel, Dennis M. Graf, Pete O. Kotarides, Steven E. Lawson, Lucky C. Peterson, Stephen B. Quick IV ASSOCIATE DIRECTORS: G. Robert Aston Jr., J. Gregory Dodd, Thomas W. Dye, Scott M. Gandy, Brenda K. Reid, Samuel G. Scott, H. Mac Weaver II, Edward O. Yoder DIRECTORS EMERITI: Edward P. Brogan, William J. Fanney, Richard D. Guy, Doyle E. Hull, Frederick J. Napolitano, Richard E. Olivieri, John H. Peterson Jr., The Honorable Owen B. Pickett, Julian Rashkind, Stanley Waranch, Howard M. Weisberg, Wendell A. White CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER: Channing A. Pfeiffer The Tidewater Builder is published monthly, January through December, by Tidewater Builders Association, located at 2117 Smith Ave., Chesapeake, VA 23320. Editorial deadline is 5 p.m. on the 1st of the month preceding publication. Advertising deadline for copy and insertion order is 5 p.m. on the 10th and for cameraready ads, 5 p.m. on the 15th of the month preceding publication. All advertising is subject to current rates, copies of which can be obtained from the Special Events/Membership/Marketing Division, 420-2434. The newspaper reserves the right to determine the suitability of any advertising or editorial copy, and all real estate advertising is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Act of 1968, which makes it illegal to advertise and preference, limitation or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin, or an intention to make any such preference, limitation or discrimination.
Managing editor................................ Mary Prier, APR Editor ........................................................ Sara Steil Advertising sales ...............Kim Powers, JoAnn Lucero Production coordinator ......................... Stella Council Adviser ..............................................Sandra Amidon Graphic Artist ..................................... Diane Trumbull Copyright: 2009; all rights reserved. No permission to reprint unless expressly given by Tidewater Builders Association. The Tidewater Builder is published for all TBA member firms through the $15 subscription price, which is included in the annual membership fee. Opinions expressed by contributing columnist are not necessarily those of this publication.
Welcome to Main Street America With less than six months until Hampton Roads’ biggest block party, Homearama starts to take shape as builders, and their themes, emerge.
12 Break out the permits Remodelers say things are looking up as more homeowners are turning to renovations.
17 Make a date with Tom Richey Marketing guru will teach 25 tricks to selling and financing in a tough market.
18 The keys to a new beginning One year after his home went on display at the fall home show, Cpl. Jonathan Bartlett opens the door to his ADA-compliant home.
Counsel’s Insights 28
Shades of Green
Issues and Actions
About the cover: Thanks to the efforts of Homes For Our Troops, Nationwide Custom Homes, Tidewater Modular Homes and other TBA members, Cpl. Jonathan Bartlett is a new owner of a mortgage-free, ADA-compliant home. Bartlett lost his legs while serving in Iraq. MAY 2009
President’s Pen Are there “glimmers of hope” in the housing market? After the free-fall of the first-quarter the tax credit has created enough demand for new energyeconomy, it seems everyone is looking to efficient windows to warrant re-hiring 180 workers at its two spring for those “green shoots” and “glim- Minnesota plants. mers of hope” that our national leaders are In its April 8, “Eye on the Economy,” the National Associatalking about. tion of Home Builders (NAHB) reported “home sales have botOne of those “shoots” actually popped up tomed out in the first quarter of this year, we expect singleon the front page of The Virginian-Pilot in a family housing starts to bottom out in the second quarter.” report detailing an increase in housing sales Locally, the inventory of homes on the market is down and prices from February to March, based significantly from its peak last summer, according to William on information from the Real Estate Information Network E. Wood & Associates president Dick Thurmond. The March (REIN). Sales were up 38 percent over the previous month, 2008 standings from REIN show March 2009 inventory down surpassing last year’s spring sales year over year for the first time bump, which was 25 percent. in two years with a 3 percent Moreover, the median sales price decline from March 2008. The was $214,000, up 7 percent from report shows 13,981 homes on $200,000 in February. the market vs. 14,471 in March of While it may not yet be time last year, and 15,300 last June. to pop the champagne, most anaDick has observed increased lysts say the end of the economic activity in the market and more free fall has arrived to usher in a of a “buy now” message from the slow but sure recovery. media. We can debate whether govAlso on the local housing ernment policies could have front, we’ve seen new home perdone more to help housing, but mits for the first quarter adjust we can’t deny its efforts to lower upward from the last quarter of mortgage interest rates to histori2008. It’s a seasonal adjustment cally low levels — and to keep that usually precedes the spring them low — makes housing selling season, and this year it’s a more affordable to our buyers. particularly optimistic sign. With conventional interest We have sold all 12 lots for rates now well below 5 percent, our 2009 Homearama at Culpeppotential buyers are ready to take Above is a graphic depiction of The Virginian-Pilot housing per Landing in Chesapeake, a article that was published on April 21, 2009. advantage of these rates. community that has seen good At Monarch Mortgage, mortsite traffic since it opened last November. gage applications are at record levels, according to CEO Ted It offers evidence that good products and good projects Yoder. In case you assume these are all refinancing, consider can still get financing. that Ted reports each month more applications are for home At a Builder Breakfast Forum last year, TowneBank CEO purchases relative to refinancing, rising from 30 percent of Bob Aston advised us to take what measures we needed to their business in January to 40 percent in February and 50 assure we would still be in business by the end of 2009. percent in March! In many cases, this was easier said than done, and those of Local agents report the $8,000 tax credit for first-time us who are still in business know we’ve had to make some buyers — combined with historically low interest rates — is tough decisions. helping to get those “fence-sitters” to buy homes priced beWe’ve appropriately themed our May Builder Breakfast low $400,000. NAHB reports over 600,000 buyers nationally Forum “Stayin’ Alive” and will offer advice on how to keep have signed up for the credit. going. (See page 8.) Remodelers should also expect a shot of stimulus from So hang in there. Here’s to a successful spring selling the new energy tax credits that allow homeowners to re- season! coup up to $1,500 of the cost of installing energy-saving measures. Many will be able to use the money they’re saving from refinancing their homes. It’s certainly a good sign when Andersen Windows reports Pete A. Kotarides 2
Reader survey results are in Associate member wins $50 Farm Fresh gift certificate Congratulations to April Litton of Virginia Natural Gas, who was awarded a $50 Farm Fresh gift certificate for filling out TBAâ€™s readership survey. TBA recently asked its members for their feedback on The Tidewater Builder in an effort to make sure the publication was meeting their needs. Seventy-two members responded to the survey. Hereâ€™s a look at what the survey found: s !N OVERWHELMING PERCENT OF readers found the advertising helpful. s -ORE THAN A MAJORITY OF RESPONdents, 82 percent, favored the mix of association news and feature articles. s 7HEN ASKED WHAT ITEMS THEY MOST preferred in The Builder, the top five items were: feature articles, success stories, photo spreads, Presidentâ€™s Pen and membership updates. s 4"! MEMBERS ARE ALSO SHARERS According to the survey, every member shares his/her copy of The Builder with between four to six people. s !LMOST EVERY RESPONDENT PERcent, found Nuts & Bolts, the e-newsletter sent to all TBA members bimonthly, useful as well, saying that it was a quick way to stay up-to-date on TBA events and industry happenings. Thank you to all of the respondents who took the time to provide TBA with their feedback. Suggestions for additional topics to include in The Builder will be incorporated into future issues. If you have additional feedback or would like to submit your company news to The Tidewater Builder, please contact Sara Steil at 305-9030 or ssteil@tba online.org.
Cornerstone Foundation Members Thank you to the following companies for their support of the shelter industry: Diamond
Virginia Natural Gas
Dominion Virginia Power Fulton Bank/Fulton Mortgage TowneBank
Superior Equipment Sales Inc. Cox Communications Columbia Gas of Virginia
The Ainslie Group
Monarch Bank/Monarch Mortgage
SunTrust Real Estate Finance Group
Hearndon Construction Corp.
Bank of America
L.R. Hill Custom Builders Inc.
Tidewater Home Funding
Miller Custom Homes
Beach Ford Inc.
Sykes, Bourdon, Ahern & Levy P.C.
Bank of Hampton Roads Williams Mullen
Real Estate Information Network Inc.
William E. Wood & Assoc.
Gateway Bank & Trust Co.
Reese Smith Construction
iLevel by Weyerhaeuser
Clark Whitehill Enterprises Inc.
The Closet Factory
Ashdon Builders Inc.
Area Builders of Tidewater Inc.
Welcome to Wisteria Lane By Sara Steil With five months remaining until Hampton Roadsâ€™ biggest block party, work is picking up at the site of this yearâ€™s Homearama. The event, set for Oct. 3-18, will feature 12 single-family homes ranging from the mid-$300,000s to the low $500,000s and promises to bring visitors back to â€œMain Street America.â€? Held at Culpepper Landing, a mixeduse traditional neighborhood development on the edge of the Great Dismal Swamp Canal, this yearâ€™s Homearama will focus on being a place where traditions begin. With that in mind, builders have been encouraged to have a themed home. So, far, they include: s The Charity House, built by The 7ALTERS #O. Inc., to benefit Childrenâ€™s Hospital of The Kingâ€™s Daughters s EasyLiving House, a certified house built with the accessibility of aging homeowners and people with disabilities in mind BUILT BY 4HE 7ALTERS #OMPANY )NC s The Green House, built by Stephen Alexander Homes s The Thanksgiving House, built by Definitive Homes s The Christmas House, BUILT BY 7!4!"