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Hurricane Sandy Disaster Response Resources

Businesses and individuals alike in Delaware have been hurt or impacted by Sandy. Together with our resources at the National Association of Home Builders,  we are providing these government and non-profit links to assistance sources of disaster recovery for your help:

FEMA: FEMA

Red Cross:Red Cross

Small Business Administration:Small Business Administration

In addition, here are some tips to watch for contractor scams or fly-by-nighters.

There are thousands of legitimate, ethical contractors in business around in Delaware and the Country. Unfortunately, there are also scam artists looking to cheat you out of your money who pose as legitimate contractors. These “fly-by-night” operators often show up in communities impacted by natural disasters to try to scam distressed home owners into paying for shoddy repairs or work that they will never show up to perform.

Here are some warning signs to look out for:

Doesn’t have license and insurance. All professional contractors should be insured and able to show their certificate proving such insurance. Although all states do not require licensing, contractors in states requiring licenses should have it and be able to provide a copy.

Doesn’t write contracts. Professionals have clear contracts that outline the job, process, the cost, and helps clarify how problems will be managed. If you don’t have a contract, you are not protected when something goes wrong. Don’t hire anyone who tells you a contract “won’t be necessary.”

Requires cash or payment in full before starting the job. Shady contractors demand cash and then run with the money. Many home owners have been stranded by paying in full up front. A deposit towards materials is common, but only pay it once you have a contract signed by both you and the contractor. It’s also suspect you’re asked to pay cash to a salesperson instead of a check or money order to a company.

Vastly underbids all other contractors. They may have the best price, but that doesn’t guarantee the best work. Such contractors may cut costs on quality, which can end up costing you more when you have to have the substandard work redone.

Offers “special” pricing. If you’re told you’ve been “chosen” as a demonstration project at a special, low price, or you’re told a low price is good only if you sign a contract today.

Cannot provide customer references. Professional contractors should have current references they can provide from current and past clients — and you should be able to reach those references, not just an answering machine.

Difficulty contacting the contractor. Professionals have a physical office, mailing address, phone, and email. They should respond to your queries in a timely manner. Make sure you can verify the contractor’s business address.

Your best bet is to take your time, do your research and choose someone you feel completely comfortable with. Check with the State, County or nearby municipal office if they have a business license. Make sure they don’t have a record of consumer complaints lodged with the local Better Business Bureau or with your local building inspector office.

Coming Soon: Notice of Annual HBADE Meeting

Soon, all members will be receiving detailed notice of our Annual Meeting on November 15, 2012.

The primary purpose of the meeting is to elect the Board of Directors for 2013 and review the affairs of the Association for the previous year.

This year, the Annual Meeting will be followed by our November General Membership Meeting at which the nationally recognized motivational speaker Charles Marshall will get us all pumped up for a great 2013.

Notice of the meeting and the proposed slate of Directors will be published by November 10, 2012.

Builder and Associate of the Year Request for Nominations Coming Soon

Members should look in their email inbox in the next few days, as we are looking for nominations for the coveted 2012 HBADE Leon N Weiner Builder of the Year, and HBADE Butch M. Alfieri Associate of the Year Awards.

These annual awards will be presented at our Inaugural Ball on December 1, 2012.  The awards are intended to recognize and reward the Builder member and Associate member for their outstanding efforts and work expended on behalf of our Association and our industry.

Nominations will be accepted from all members of record. Full details will be included when you receive your nomination survey in the next few days.  Deadline to submit a nomination will be Friday, November 9, 2012.

HBADE office closed Monday 10/29/12

Due to Hurricane Sandy, various states of emergency declared in nearby Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania; and Delaware has implemented a limited state of emergency plus a Level One Drivers Warning.  HBADE office will be closed Monday 10/29/12, and possible Tues 10/30/12 subject to weather conditions on Monday.

Bath, Kitchen and Tile Hosts Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

 

Longtime HBADE member Bath, Kitchen and Tile had a chance last week to show off their new Customer Showroom on Bellevue Drive in Newark.

Pictured here is caption Builder Steve Bomberger flanked by BKT sales personnel Tom LaPorte on Steve’s right and Doug Larimore on left.

After holding an official ribbon cutting ceremony, guests were invited to beverages and nibbles during the Mixer.  Not only did BKT host our monthly HBADE Board meeting that day, but they invited the membership to come, meet and mingle, and relax in a friendly setting

Pictured here is Associate member Debra Young of Empower Ability makes a point while husband Bill Young and member Jim McCulley listen.

All in all, a nice evening where builders, associates, and homebuyers came together to talk and see the array of new cabinetry and countertop selections.  Thanks again to Bath Kitchen and Tile for inviting us, and allowing us to use your facility for our monthly Board meeting.

A Chance to Comment on DNREC and DelDOT – Exec Order 36

Frequently members of our industry comment or criticize the rule, regulations, methods by which we work with the State Department of Natural Resources or Department of Transportation.

In June, Governor Jack Markell created Executive Order 36 which states that the rules and regulations for all State Agencies be open to public comment and review every 3 years.

The public input period for DNREC and DelDOT is December 1, 2012 thru March 1, 2013.  We are encouraging all members that regularly deal with these agencies – homebuilders, developers, engineers, wetlands and environmental consultants etc. assemble their comments and criticisms and submit them to us.  So that you can submit this anonymously, contact us at hfortunato@hbade.org and we will send you the comment form.  Simply return it to us and we will funnel them all to the appropriate agency.  If you need a copy of the order or the form, email us at same and we will provide.

What is Happening on November 8th?

Dear Fellow HBA-DE Members,

Remember the Royal Exchange Branmar? Yes: that is me behind the bar with a lot of hair and no gray in my beard. Some 30 years later, I hope to relive those days …….minus the loud disco music! I have been invited to be a guest bartender at an event to help raise money for Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County.  The event will be from 6 – 9 pm on Thursday, November 8 at the BBC Tavern and Grill in Greenville.

Please come out and allow me to make your favorite drink for you. – 100% of my tips go to Habitat.  There will also be a raffle to win a basket of wine. The night promises to be fun, certainly entertaining and it’s all for a very good cause.

Since all tips go to charity, may I suggest that in order to receive the full tax benefit of your contribution that you take a second to write out a check in the amount of your gratuity or tip donation.  You can make the check payable to Habitat NCC and put my name in the memo part- there are prizes for the bartender who raises the most tips!  If you cannot make the event, please mail the check with my name in the memo part to: Habitat NCC, 1920 Hutton Street, Wilmington, DE 19802

If you don’t write a check, tips are naturally accepted on credit card that evening and cash is always welcome in the tip jar.  You can learn more about Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County at www.habitatncc.org  and you can also make a donation online by CLICKING HERE.

A flyer with details of the event can be found here,  https://www.dropbox.com/s/jjv2cbgqlv9ub7h/BBC%20guest%20bartend.pdf including the names of the other bartenders.  I hope you can make it!

Steve Bomberger

Upbeat News: Economists Profess Optimism on Housing, Economic Recovery

Reptinted from Monday Morning Briefing by NAHB

Chief Economist David Crowe and his fellow presenters at NAHB’s fall construction forecasting event this week sounded a generally upbeat tone regarding what the future holds for the housing industry even as U.S. fiscal and housing finance policies continue to evolve.

Pointing out that remodeling, multifamily and single-family construction have all made considerable progress toward returning to “normal” pre-boom-and-bust spending levels, our Chief Economist noted that the most recent data seems to all be “in sync” with the notion that a recovery is truly underway at this time. In fact, remodeling is already back to 100% of production relative to 2000-2002 spending levels, while multifamily is 64% of the way there and single-family has clawed its way back to about 40% of normal production. At the same time, NAHB’s indexes gauging remodeling market activity, multifamily construction and single-family builder confidence have all been on the rise in recent quarters, with the latest data on housing starts and permits providing further confirmation of the upward trend (see story below). He cited rising consumer confidence along with recent evidence that house prices are firming and mortgage delinquencies are declining as reasons that the national picture seems to brightening, but also noted that weak job growth, credit issues and appraisal problems continue to drag on the pace of recovery and explained that his forecast assumes that Congress will come up with a solution to avoid the “fiscal cliff” posed by mandated government spending cuts. Crowe is projecting that single-family starts will finish this year at 528,000 units, then rise 26% to 665,000 units in 2013 and another 30% to 865,000 units in 2014. Meanwhile, he expects multifamily starts to finish 2012 with 224,000 units, followed by a modest rise to 238,000 units in 2013 and another gain to 275,000 units in 2014.

Moody’s Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi also said he’s “optimistic” about the current and future progress of a housing recovery. He expects GDP to grow roughly 2% this year, 2% in 2013, and then close to 4% in 2014 and 2015. By then, about one million more jobs will be being created — about 3 million annually — and unemployment will be back to the 5.5%-6% range. He sees overall housing starts this year coming in at just under 800,000 units before rising to about 1.1 million in 2013, 1.7 or 1.8 million in 2014 and over 1.8 million in 2015. And like Crowe, he sees recent upward trends in house prices continuing to help the housing and economic recovery gain traction going forward. Zandi also expects long-term mortgage rates to remain below a “normal” 6% rate until well into 2015 or 2016, further helping the industry to regain its footing. Wrapping up the presentations, NAHB Assistant Vice President for Economic Forecasting Robert Denk focused on the state and regional picture, emphasizing as Crowe did that the pace of housing recovery is very much dependent on local market factors such as employment growth. Understandably, those areas that were hit hardest in the housing downturn will take longest to recover, while places with uncharacteristically good job growth — like North Dakota, Washington, D.C., and parts of Wyoming and Texas — are already at or near “normal” housing production levels. Read the details in NAHB’s press release, or contact MondayMorningQuestions@nahb.org for more information on our forecast webinar.

Noble’s Pond Starlets, Open House

Dover, DE – The sun was bright. The skies were clear. The air was warm. But warmer still was the welcome when Noble’s Pond held their annual Fall Open House and Parade of Homes on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 5th, 6th and 7th. Some 200 prospective home buyers were feted to a near perfect day of food, fun and festivities as Delaware’s award-winning Active Adult community rolled out the red carpet. The result? One of their most successful events ever!

As part of the much anticipated Parade of Homes, many residents graciously opened their homes and invited visitors to come through for tours…a great way to show off the easy comfort and thoughtful designs of Noble’s Pond homes. In addition, construction team honchos Tom Cekine and Wayne Moyer led informative, guided Hard Hat Tours of the Fairfield and Berkshire homes currently being built. Visitors were clearly impressed with the quality of construction, the exceptional workmanship and the attention to detail that goes into each and every Noble’s Pond Home. So much so that eight deposits were received from folks who decided, on the spot, to order their Noble’s Pond dream homes. It’s clear that Noble’s Pond can look forward to a busy construction schedule well into 2013. And, it is clearly one community where people can envision a happy, active and fulfilling lifestyle.

The homes were not the only highlights the weekend had to offer. Each day of the event, residents welcomed visitors to the veranda at the Noble Pond’s clubhouse to share a get-to-know-you barbecue lunch featuring burgers, kielbasa and chicken, cookies and cold drinks and more. Plus, perennial favorite Vitale’s topped it all off with their incredibly yummy homemade ice cream and Italian ice.

Of course, after lunch was when things got seriously silly. The Noble’s Pond Starlets, residents Pat, Ann, Barbara, Sandy, Marie, and Helen (names have not been changed to protect their innocence) did a lively interpretation of “It’s Raining Men”…so much fun, we’re sure even Ellen DeGeneres would be envious. With hilarious choreography and costume design by Lifestyle Director, Colleen Ostafy, the ladies danced and pranced their way into everyone’s hearts. If you want to catch up on the fun, check out the video by going to Noble’s Pond Facebook, key words: Noble’s Pond Homes or at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PndSdkJeoc&feature=plcp

Noble’s Pond is an amenity rich, active adult community, filled with yesterday’s charm but created for today’s lifestyle. Located just minutes from downtown Dover, Delaware, the Community offers unique floor plans, exquisite homes, a breathtaking clubhouse and pool, and a community garden, all situated amid the serene surroundings of Noble’s Pond. The Noble’s Pond Welcome Center, Clubhouse and Model Homes are open Monday through Saturday 10 AM to 5 PM and Sunday Noon to 5 PM. For more information, call 1.888.222.0030 or visit http://www.noblespondhomes.com

A Message from Steve Bomberger

Dear Fellow HBA-DE Members,

Remember the Royal Exchange Branmar? Yes: that is me behind the bar with a lot of hair and no gray in my beard. Some 30 years later, I hope to relive those days …….minus the loud disco music! I have been invited to be a guest bartender at an event to help raise money for Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County.  The event will be from 6 – 9 pm on Thursday, November 8 at the BBC Tavern and Grill in Greenville.

Please come out and allow me to make your favorite drink for you. – 100% of my tips go to Habitat.  There will also be a raffle to win a basket of wine. The night promises to be fun, certainly entertaining and it’s all for a very good cause.

Since all tips go to charity, may I suggest that in order to receive the full tax benefit of your contribution that you take a second to write out a check in the amount of your gratuity or tip donation.  You can make the check payable to Habitat NCC and put my name in the memo part- there are prizes for the bartender who raises the most tips!  If you cannot make the event, please mail the check with my name in the memo part to: Habitat NCC, 1920 Hutton Street, Wilmington, DE 19802

If you don’t write a check, tips are naturally accepted on credit card that evening and cash is always welcome in the tip jar.  You can learn more about Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County at www.habitatncc.org  and you can also make a donation online by CLICKING HERE.

A flyer with details of the event can be found here,  https://www.dropbox.com/s/jjv2cbgqlv9ub7h/BBC%20guest%20bartend.pdf including the names of the other bartenders.  I hope you can make it!

Steve Bomberger

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