BUILDING TODAY

 for a better tomorrow.

News and Updates

  • 15 Jun 2015 9:59 AM | Deleted user


    In good times or bad, there is one constant: Homeownership remains the American Dream for millions of American families. And there are many reasons why, both economic and emotional. 

    Most Americans consider homeownership to be their single best long-term investment and a primary source of their wealth and financial security. Generations of families have counted on and used the equity in their homes for their children's education, their own retirement and other milestone expenses. 

    Individual household budgets are helped by tax incentives that are designed to make owning a home more affordable. Deductions for mortgage interest and property  taxes can result in thousands of dollars of tax savings, especially in the early years of the mortgage when interest makes up most of the payment. Home owners save nearly $100 billion annually on mortgage interest and property deductions alone. 

    And when home owners sell their primary residence, they get an enormous tax break. A couple who owns and lives in their home for two years and then decides to sell can keep up to $500,000 of the profit tax-free, and a single owner can keep up to $250,000. A healthy housing industry means more jobs and a stronger U.S. economy. In fact, fully 15% of the U.S. economy relies on housing.

    Most of the products used in home construction and remodeling are manufactured in the United States. Constructing 100 new homes creates more than 300 full-time jobs, $23.1 million in wage and business income, and $8.9 million in federal, state, and local tax revenue. New home owners spend money on decorations and furnishings, to enhance the landscaping and to become members of the community by patronizing local businesses and service providers.

    Yet a home is so much more than an investment. In good times and in bad, the opportunity to own a home has been a cherished ideal and a source of pride, accomplishment, social stability and peace of mind. 

    Homeownership strengthens communities as well as families.

    Home building increases the property tax  base that supports local schools and communities. When a family owns their home, it is an asset that has a direct impact on their financial security and future. People are more likely to take care of things they own so they remain valuable. And a home's value is determined by how well it is maintained, as well as by the condition of the neighborhood it is located in. So home owners have incentive to spend their time and resources improving the neighborhood, even if it is just to protect the value of their investment.

    Homeownership builds stronger communities, provides a solid foundation for family and personal achievement and improves the quality of life for millions of people. The Bipartisan Policy Center's Housing Commission has said that homeownership can "produce powerful economic, social, and civic benefits that serve the individual home owner, the larger community, and the nation". 

    It is important to know that despite the fact that housing and homeownership policies over the last century have contributed to the growth of the middle class and helped the United States become the most dynamic economy the world has ever seen, homeownership is under attack. Policymakers are proposing radical changes, including ending the mortgage interest deduction and mandating minimum 20% down payments, that would threaten the dream of homeownership for millions of Americans.

    The National Association of Home Builders' website, www.protecthomeownership.com, has more information about the threats to homeownership and how to take action to protect it. 

    Help us protect your American Dream, and celebrate National Homeownership Month with us! Visit our Building a New Home page for more information.


  • 01 Jun 2015 11:54 AM | Deleted user

    The only people who benefit when a house is built are the family members who get to live there, and the builder who constructed and sold the home, right?

    Wrong. The positive impact of new residential construction is far-reaching, bringing benefits to families, businesses, and services throughout a community immediately, as well as for years to come. 

    According to economists at the National Association of Home Builders, the one-year estimated local impacts of building 100 single-family homes in a typical metro area include $28.7 million in local income, $3.6 million in taxes and other local government revenue, and 394 local jobs.

    But what does that economic impact mean in the real, day-to-day lives of community residents?

    Just think about it. When a family moves to a community and buys a new house, they will likely shop at local stores to buy furniture and accessories to decorate their home. They will fill their car's gas tank at the local gas station so they can get to the stores, have local mechanics work on the car when it breaks down or needs an oil change, or buy a new car at a local dealer when it's time for an upgrade.

    The family may need to hire local companies for regular services to maintain their home, such as landscaping, house cleaning, pet sitters or pool upkeep.

    The children will enroll in local schools. This increases enrollment, meaning more teachers, janitors, cafeteria workers and other school support staff will need to be hired. Those kids will also join sports leagues and other activities, buy equipment and pay registration fees that provide stipends for referees and coaches. 

    All of this economic activity puts income into the pockets of local business owners and their families, who can then afford to go out and spend money themselves, which recycles even more money into the community's economy.

    The new family also pays local and state taxes. These tax revenues help pay for a wide range of government services, including school teachers, police departments, refuse collection, parks maintenance and road repairs. 

    Over the long term, as families who move into new homes become part of the community, their positive impact continues. NAHB estimates that those 100 new homes also provide the community with additional, annually-recurring impacts of $4.1 million in local income, $1 million in taxes and other revenue for local governments, and 69 local jobs.

    Families who buy a newly built home enjoy benefits including safety, amenities, energy efficiency and floor plans to fit a modern lifestyle. But the advantages of new homes extend far beyond the buyers and the builders - residential construction has a positive, direct impact on the local community for years. 


    Join us in celebrating the American dream with National Homeownership Month! For more information, visit the Building a New Home page under the Consumers tab, or go to www.nahb.org.

  • 20 May 2015 9:33 AM | Deleted user

    Do:

    1. Consider your contractor’s personality. This person will be in your home every day throughout the project; do you feel comfortable talking to or being around him/her?
    2. Ask for a contract. A good contract should cover basics like: start and finish dates, total cost, how add-ons will be handled, payment schedule, names of all parties, contractor’s license number, description of the project, provisions for early termination, etc.
    3. Create a directory. Keep a notebook or sheet handy with all of the contact information for each person working in your home.
    4. Ask about insurance. If you hire an uninsured contractor and a crew member is injured, the liability falls on you as the homeowner.
    5. Look for abbreviations behind their name. Designations like NAHB-RC show their activity in a national trade organization. Members of these associations are held to a strict code of ethics when they join.

    Don’t:

    1. Be an absentee homeowner. Communicate with your contractor on a regular, if not daily basis. Whether it be by phone, e-mail, or face-to-face, make sure you are consistently on the same page about the progress and goals of the project.
    2. Rely on your imagination. Ask to see color swatches, paint chips, or samples before ordering your materials.
    3. Forget about permits and regulations. Find out what requirements affect the design of your remodel, if any; but leave it to the contractor or architect to apply for any necessary permits.
    4. Assume the lowest bidder is the best choice. It could be a sign that the contractor is desperate for work, or that they plan to use inferior, inexpensive materials. Ask each bidder to write a job description and materials list to go along with their bid to get a better idea of what they’re envisioning.
    5. Get disorganized. Keep a project file that includes a copy of the contract, plans, specifications, invoices, change orders, and any other papers that pertain to the project and any decisions made regarding it.

    Sources: ELLE Décor, DIY Network, and Martha Stewart


  • 18 May 2015 10:27 AM | Deleted user

    Catch a Pirates baseball game (and maybe even a foul ball) with PBA on Friday, July 24. The game starts at 7:05 sharp, so be sure to get there early for the unlimited hamburgers, hot dogs, salad, nachos, ice cream sandwiches, water and soda that come with your All You Can Eat ticket package. Tickets are $100, and limited in number, so get yours today! All proceeds benefit PaCAH. You could even wear your PaCAH tshirt or polo, which you can buy here.

    Don’t miss out on this opportunity to not only experience PNC Park, but also to make an impact on your industry by supporting PaCAH. Buy your Pirates tickets, other PaCAH gear, or make a contribution, all on the PaCAH page.

    Contact Jill Pento with any questions at 717.730.4380 ext. 3028, or by email.


  • 11 May 2015 3:39 PM | Deleted user

    The Association Excellence Awards strive to honor HBAs, EOs, staff and volunteer leaders for their successful programs in the previous year. On April 8, the winners for the 2014 Association Excellence Awards - HBA Awards were selected from over 100 applicants.

    PBA is excited to announce that 4 PA locals have received 6 of these prestigious awards!

    The winners are:

    Communications Pillar
    Best Publication
    - BIA of Philadelphia (under 200 members)-"BIA Philadelphia 2014 Membership Directory"
    - BIA of Lancaster County (200-600 members)-"BIA Lancaster 2014 Membership Directory"

    Best Website
    - HBA of Bucks & Montgomery Counties (200-600 members)-"New HBA Website!"

    HBA Operations Pillar
    Best Community Service Project Conducted
    - BIA of Northeastern PA (under 200 members)-"World Wide Epidemic: Homeless Veterans"
    - BIA of Lancaster County (200-600 members)-"BIA Community Collaborative"

    Membership Pillar
    Best Membership Event
    - HBA of Bucks & Montgomery Counties (200-600 members)-"Best Value of Your Membership!"

    To see all of the award winners, click here.


  • 06 May 2015 10:31 AM | Deleted user

    As the summer home selling season approaches, home owners considering planning to place their properties on the market should know about remodeling projects that return the most value and increase selling likelihood with better curb appeal or popular features. Housing market data reveals that small, smart remodels reward home owners with better return on investment and can help update a home for a better sale. The following are some of the top remodeling projects; use these to begin planning your conversion during National Remodeling Month.

    1. Install a new steel door.
    It may not sound like the most exciting addition, but it's one of the financially savviest decisions you could make in your remodeling adventure. Exterior work in general seems to offer the biggest bang for your buck in terms of resale, simply because the exterior appearance of the home could make (or break) a potential home sale. While the appearance of a steel door isn't the main concern, it's the security and savings it offers that attract homebuyers. By providing better insulation than alternative front doors, this can be an attractive pro in the eyes of the potential buyer. Houselogic



    2. Remodel the bathroom.
    Payback on remodeling a bathroom can reach 75% with new fixtures, tile, toilet, vanity, and lighting. Low flow toilets consume less water and can decrease the monthly water bill. A new attraction that's beginning to be seen in American homes is a centered bathtub. According to the 2015 Home Design Trends, large, well-designed tubs are becoming the center of attention. They are pulled away from the wall and are treated almost like pieces of art. This continues the "bathroom as a spa" trend that is becoming big in both new homes and remodeling projects. Realtor.com


    3. Remodel the basement.
    Today, buyers are looking for as much usable, move-in ready space as possible. Having a finished basement could sway potential homebuyers into becoming the new home owners. Regardless of whether you turn your basement into a living space, a rec room, or a bar/lounge area, it's sure to attract potential buyers that may not have been interested before. 


    4. Replace the garage door(s).
    Home owners usually see about an 84% return on garage door replacement. While it improves your curb appeal, it's an easy, inexpensive way to bump up savings in heating/cooling energy and security. It's likely that a new door will be well-insulated and sealed, making the garage a more comfortable and enjoyable space to spend time in, whether it's used for a studio, workshop, or even a playroom for the kids.


    5. Attic bedroom conversion.
    Converting your dusty attic into a functional bedroom can add huge value to your home; adding a bathroom can add the same value to your home that a complete two-story addition would. It may not add to the square footage of the overall home, but it adds another bedroom; this may put the home in a new category and allow you to charge more as a seller. CBS News



    Smart remodeling projects for improving the home can attract buyers and make the home more comfortable.

    Interested in finding a professional remodeler? Click here to find your local home builders association. 

    Sources: CBS News, HouseLogic, and Realtor.com

  • 04 May 2015 10:04 AM | Deleted user

    Increase your bottom line and put money back in your pocket; the PBA Member Rebate Program is quick, easy, and hassle-free. In 2014, participating members earned an average of over $1,010 in rebates!

    Follow these three simple steps to join in on the savings:
    1. Register here: hbarebates.com/pba.html
    2. Claim your projects every quarter. If you have a completed home, remodeling project, or multi-family unit that used any of the participating manufacturers, complete and submit the Rebate Claim Form online or by mail.
    3. Collect your rebate!

    This year, the Member Rebate Program announced the addition of 5 new manufacturers. Added to the ever-growing list are: Generac Power Systems, Dutch Quality Stone, StoneCraft, Eldorado Outdoor, and Element Central Vacuum System. See a complete list of participating manufacturers.

    No change in suppliers. No receipts. No minimums. An easy way to recoup most, and sometimes all, of your membership dues. The deadline to submit first quarter rebates is May 15, 2015. 

    Click here for a flyer (PDF) with more information or contact Rich Robinson at (866) 849-8400.

  • 27 Apr 2015 11:47 AM | Deleted user

    FHLBank Pittsburgh's Affordable Housing Program (AHP) provides grants for the acquisition, construction or rehabilitation of single- or multi-family housing for individuals at or below 80% of area median income. 

    Benefits of AHP for housing developers:

    - Flexible source of funding for a variety of affordable housing project types

    - Funding terms that work well with other funding sources (Low Income Housing Tax Credits, HUD Community Development Block Grant/HOME Funds, state/county funds)

    - User-friendly online application that minimizes paperwork

    Transparent project scoring process that enables developers to assess the competitiveness of the application

    How to Apply
    The 2015 AHP funding round will open on June 8. Developers must partner with an FHLBank Pittsburgh member institution to submit an application for funding by August 11. FHLBank scores the applications and approves the awards, up to $500,000 per project. Project awards will be announced on December 17. 

    Interested applicants can visit www.fhlb-pgh.com for program information and scoring criteria, a list of FHLBank member institutions, and links to request technical assistance to discuss potential applications or be matched to a sponsoring member institution.

  • 23 Apr 2015 11:26 AM | Deleted user

    On Tuesday, April 21, PBA hosted their annual Legislative Reception. Held at the Federal Taphouse in downtown Harrisburg, PBA members had a chance to mix and mingle with legislators from their personal districts, as well as from across the state.

    (Photo: Immediate Past President Kevin Coutts, 2015 President Peter Gallagher, Senator Michele Brooks, Mercer County EO Dot Hillman)

    Now in its fourth year, the Legislative Reception continues to provide members and legislators alike with a relaxed, casual atmosphere to discuss upcoming legislation, talk about issues affecting the building and construction industry, and make lasting connections. Thank you to all of our members who dedicated their time and efforts to creating awareness of issues that affect our industry every single day.

    A special thank you to our sponsors, Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA).

    Don’t forget to check out our Facebook page for photos from the evening! 

  • 20 Apr 2015 4:40 PM | Deleted user

    The National Association of Home Builders recently announced the winners of the Best in American Living Awards – a prestigious award program that spotlights design excellence for the entire residential building industry. 

    Award recipients are lauded as the most creative and inventive builders, remodelers, architects, developers, land planners and interior designers in the nation.

    Take a look at the newest trends in design that home buyers will see over the next several years based on submissions from this year’s winners. Then get inspired to incorporate your favorite trend in your own home.

    White-on-White Kitchens: This continuing trend can be seen in both traditional and modern-style homes. Think white cabinets topped with white countertops and finished off with white back splashes and white trim.

    Double-Island Kitchens: Back-to-back and side-by-side islands are showing up in all styles of homes. Often one island is used for cooking and preparing food and the other for serving food and dining. The second island may also take the place of a more formal dining room table.

    Centered Bathtubs: As part of the continuing “bathroom as spa” trend, large, well-designed tubs are becoming the center of attention: pulled away from the wall and treated like sculptures...

    There's more! Click here to read on.




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Building today for a better tomorrow.

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