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Home   About Us   Membership   Education   Events   Contact Us           December 18, 2014


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Home builders nail best 3 months of 2014
USA Today
Home builders capped their best three months of the year in November as the pace of new home construction continued to top levels rarely seen since 2008. Builders broke ground on new homes at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.03 million last month, off 1.6% from October, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. But October's rate was revised up to 1.05 million from 1.01 million.
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Budget tops priorities for 84th Texas Legislature
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Preparations for the upcoming legislative session are already well underway. Last month, lawmakers began prefiling legislation, and already at least 688 bills have been filed before the official start of the 84th Texas Legislature on Jan. 13.
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New lawmakers — and the dearly and nearly departed
The Texas Tribune
The state's 2014 general election might be over, but there are still seats to fill in the Texas Legislature. Special elections and open seats mean that all of the Legislature's spots won't be taken until next year. One of the remaining blanks was filled when state Rep. Lois Kolkhorst won a special election for an open Texas Senate seat. So far, it’s clear that at least 29 House members, nine state senators and three members of Congress who were sworn in after the 2012 elections will not be around for the oath-taking next month. And most of them have been replaced.
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Adler wins Austin's mayoral race
The Texas Tribune
Steve Adler easily defeated current Councilman Mike Martinez in a runoff for mayor of Austin, making him one of 10 brand-new members who will serve on the first council under the city's new system of single-member district elections. While the mayor is still elected at large, councilmembers will represent individual districts, and only one incumbent is returning from the old at-large council.
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Perry says he could decide on presidential run by May
The Dallas Morning News
Gov. Rick Perry, who has been deep in preparation for a second potential presidential bid, said he's unfazed by Jeb Bush's edging closer as a candidate. "I really haven't been paying attention on whether someone's in or out," Perry said. "I'm not surprised that somebody wants to be president of the United States. America is longing for a very positive vision for this country, and if I decide to run, I’m going to give them that."
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Risks for the 2015 economy? Oil prices, interest rates
The Dallas Morning News
Will 2015 be a better year for you? Probably so — if you don't work in the energy industry. Texas has diversified its economy significantly in the last 20 years, but oil is still king. So when oil prices plunge, it has a big effect on the state's economy. How big? Next year may answer that question. The Texas economic engine is likely to move at a slower speed next year, even as the U.S. economy picks up steam.
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Texas Builders Foundation welcomes your end-of-the-year charitable giving
TAB
Please keep the Texas Builders Foundation in mind when making your end-of-year charitable giving decisions.

Whether you make a donation in your name or in honor of a friend or loved one, your contribution to the Foundation will help to support and develop the future of Texas' construction workforce and facilitate the charitable activities of the residential construction industry.

To learn about the Texas Builders Foundation's activities or to make a contribution, visit our website — TexasBuildersFoundation.org. The Texas Builders Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity. All contributions to the foundation are tax deductible.

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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  OUR NEW ONSITE APP HELPS YOU BUILD A BETTER HOUSE
Installing Norbord’s OSB products may seem pretty straightforward to an experienced builder or framer, but mistakes do happen—and they tend to be expensive and time-consuming to fix. So, as a service to our customers and the home building industry, we’re introducing Onsite, the new Norbord app that provides information needed to help prevent mistakes from happening, enabling your people to work effectively with all our OSB products.
 


Texas legislature looks to expand gun rights, roll back ban on open carry
Fox News
Known as the capital of the American gun culture, lawmakers in Texas are preparing to push a handful of bills through the state legislature that expands the rights of gun owners. Lawmakers say some of the bills being considered include lifting a ban on open carry of handguns. If Texas, which currently allows concealed handguns, rolls back its century-old ban, it would be the largest state in the country to do so.
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4 predictions for the housing market in 2015
Fortune
At a recent panel discussion on the 2015 real estate market, the chairman of Standard and Poor’s Index Committee, David Blitzer, was asked to describe what the market will look like in one word. His answer? "Mysterious." His response tells us that, for one, the real estate market can confound even the experts. But, more importantly, it suggests that housing has reached an inflection point.
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Homes hard to find in booming market
San Antonio Express-News
In November, San Antonio's housing inventory shrank to 3.9 months, the market's lowest mark since the beginning of the year, and, before that, March 2006, according to numbers released by the San Antonio Board of Realtors. Months of inventory is a hypothetical calculation that figures the amount of time it would take for a market's current inventory to be sold assuming no new homes were added to the market.
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Providing Warranties for Texas Builders

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Make sure you use AmazonSmile when you shop this holiday!
TAB
When you shop online this holiday season (and year-round), you can automatically support the Texas Builders Foundation! Visit smile.amazon.com, register the Texas Builders Foundation as your charity of choice and Amazon will donate 0.5 percent of the purchase price of eligible products to the Foundation. Once registered, remember to make your purchases through smile.amazon.com. You’ll have access to all of Amazon’s products while supporting our industry. Thank you and happy holidays!
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Less than 10 percent of Dallas homeowners are underwater in their loans
The Dallas Morning News
The number of Dallas homeowners who owe more than their property is worth has fallen to below 10 percent. Zillow.com reports that 9.3 percent of Dallas area residents with a home loan are underwater in their mortgage. That's down from about a 30 percent share who were upside down in their home at the worst of the recession.
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Lien waivers: How technology can solve problems you didn't know you had
By Nate Budde
Lien waivers are an integral part of construction projects in general, and good credit management in particular. Nearly every party furnishing labor or materials has the right to file a mechanics lien in the event of nonpayment, and the top-of-the-chain parties like the property owner and the GC are generally eager to obtain waivers to ensure the property does not become encumbered. Since a mechanics lien encumbrance can create numerous difficulties for these top-of-chain parties, they are highly motivated to finish the without any liens or bond claims being filed.
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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