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Home Builders Association

Dream living at the 2014 NW Natural Street of Dreams

SOD 2014 buttonFive custom-built homes nestled in hills of Happy Valley boast trend-setting designs

The 2014 NW Natural Street of Dreams produced by the Homebuilders Association of Metropolitan Portland (HBAMP) returns for the 39th consecutive year with five stunning properties offering stellar valley views. The location is in the gated Northern Heights Subdivision of Happy Valley. The show runs daily from July 26 – August 24, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Tickets cost $15 dollars with a portion of proceeds benefiting Clackamas Women’s Services.

“We are thrilled to showcase the best in home building in the thriving community of Happy Valley,” said Rachel Trice, vice president, marketing, membership services & events, Home Builders Association of Metro Portland. “Visitors will experience, up close, the cutting edge designs and technology in home building and interior design that they can apply to their current — or future dream home.”

Homes range in price from $900,000 to $1.4 million. Four of the homes have already sold, with one home constructed by BC Custom Construction still available for purchase. Builders Crystalridge Development and Restoration, Westlake Development Group, and Red Hills Construction represented by RE/MAX Real Estate are also ready to break ground on other home sites in the Northern Heights subdivision.

Five Elegant Properties, Four Prominent Local Builders

The NW Natural Street of Dreams homes are designed for quality living that will last for generations. The properties encourage a healthful, Zen-like living style while staying on top of stylish trends including energy efficient natural gas appliances, with many locally sourced products.

“Today’s home buyers want an energy source that’s efficient, convenient and a great value. Natural gas is all three. In fact, customers are paying less for natural gas today than 10 years ago,” said John Frankel, NW Natural marketing manager. “Right now, natural gas can be as much as 60 percent cheaper than electricity or oil to heat your home.”

New Feature: The Street Bistro

Debuting this year, the outdoor living showcase includes a wine-garden style café, entertainment stage, and outdoor kitchen demonstration area. The French-country themed space is beautifully designed, featuring natural stone, composite and wood-alternative decking.

American Spirit by Westlake Development Group, LLC

Themed for a Pacific Northwest coastal look, the home’s appeal begins at the curb with clean lines and arches, textural siding and stone façades. Inside showcases traditional details that include a weathered wood plank ceiling in the entry that leads to a generous great room.

  • 5,600 square feet
  • More than 97 percent of American made products and materials
  • High tech Control 4 system to increase energy efficiency

Eclectic Nouveau by Crystalridge Development and Restoration

Timeless yet changeable. Classic yet trendy. Eclectic Nouveau weaves modern styles with a strong traditional foundation. Through the use of color, texture, shape and finish, the design incorporates a variety of styles in perfect unison. The interior is clearly planned with the future in mind. The artful combination of materials such as glass, wood, metal and stone create an overall eclectic appearance.

  • 5,310 square feet
  • An elegant great room incorporates curved cabinets and shelves to give the home a beautiful flow
  • La Cantina folding patio doors create a seamless indoor-outdoor experience

Re-discovering America by BC Custom Construction

Rediscovering America is also a tribute to the quality materials and products available from U.S. manufacturers and suppliers. The home features double entry doors with high ceilings to accentuate the natural light pouring in through abundant windows. Upstairs, the home is completed with three bedrooms including en suite baths, and a game room that looks out directly to Mt. Hood.

  • 5,185 square feet
  • A showcase for American made fixtures, the home features Kohler products innovative designs
  • Real stone veneers are an example of environmentally friendly details that add to the home’s natural beauty

Trillium by Crystalridge Development and Restoration

Trillium strikes the perfect balance of regional style, function and environmentalism. Designed for quality living and outdoor entertaining, the home’s highlights include a large backyard filled with native plants, oversized windows to add natural lighting, and stylish, clean lines throughout. The recreation room is reminiscent of a hip lounge one might find in Portland’s Pearl District.

  • 4,770 square feet
  • Features a solar array panels that can provide nearly all of the home’s electrical needs
  • Accommodates three generations, with a second master that has private entrance and patio; meets ADA specifications

Ya-Hala by Red Hills Construction

What’s old is new at the Ya-Hala house. Builders combine Old World design with a little bit of modern inspiration to create a home with Northwest appeal. Visitors will experience the latest in today’s functionality and smart home features along with Northwest design elements such as exposed beams, with ample use of stone and rustic stucco.

  • 4,520 square feet
  • Features ArcusStone® mantels creating the look and feel of quarried limestone with remarkable strength and durability
  • Sports Court

Hot Trends

  • Stone Facades
  • Control 4” electronics to monitor systems
  • One of the state’s largest solar array panel installations
  • Folding patio doors
  • Nightclub lighting
  • Vehicle charging stations
  • 1960’s style vintage wallpaper

Tickets

Tickets are available online at streetofdreamspdx.com for $15 dollars. The NW Natural Street of Dreams, established in 1976 is the premiere event of the Home Builders Association of Portland Metro and the best attended home showcase in the United States. This year’s event is presented by Standard TV & Appliance and Community Financial/Banner Bank.

 

 

 

Cooper Mountain UGB history and next steps

DraftPreferredConceptPlanScenario_11x17_041514During a recent HBAMP luncheon, members were presented an overview of the City of Beaverton’s recently approved planning scenario for South Cooper Mountain. Valerie Sutton, Senior Planner for the City of Beaverton, detailed the South Cooper Mountain concept plan, and provided timelines for project development. Having gained council approval, the planning scenario will undergo additional steps before a final concept plan is presented to the Beaverton Planning Commission in the fall of 2014.

 History of SCM

The South Cooper Mountain planning area represents nearly 2,300 acres of land that is intended for future urban development over the next 50 years: two subareas that are inside the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) and one subarea area that is designated as Urban Reserve. In 2011, Metro added the 544-acre area along SW Scholls Ferry Road now known as the “South Cooper Mountain Annexation Area” to the UGB in order to provide land for housing to meet regional and city needs. The 510-acre “North Cooper Mountain” area was added to the UGB in 2002, but a concept plan was never adopted for that area. The “Urban Reserve Area” was designated by Washington County and Metro in 2011 as part of a comprehensive analysis of lands outside the UGB to identify priority locations for on-going agricultural use and for urbanization. In making the decisions to designate these areas for UGB expansion or as Urban Reserve, Metro took many factors into consideration, including the land’s suitability for agriculture and forestry and its suitability for compact, mixed use urban development. Planning for this area provides land supply for necessary housing identified through the city’s Civic Plan housing strategy and allows the city and community to proactively define a holistic vision of what South Cooper Mountain will look like in the future.

The southern part of the planning area (the “South Cooper Mountain Annexation Area”) was voluntarily annexed into the city in December 2012 after the land was added to the UGB. As a condition of the UGB expansion, the city is required to prepare a concept plan for all of what is known as Urban Reserve Area (URA) 6B in order to provide protection and enhancement of public lands and natural features. Also included in the concept plan is the North Cooper Mountain area that was added to the UGB in 2002 and remains in Washington County’s jurisdiction. An intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the county delegates long-range planning responsibility to the city for the entire concept plan area.

Housing density targets

As a condition of UGB expansion, Metro set a target of 3430 housing units to be planned for the South Cooper Mountain Annexation Area, based on early assumptions about available buildable land. This equates to a target density of about 14.5 units per acre.

This density will be achieved through various mixes of different housing types, but will require some attached (multi-family and/or townhome) housing. Density targets for North Cooper Mountain and the Urban Reserve Area are more flexible to respond to existing development patterns and valuable natural resources in these areas.

Infrastructure funding

An early funding analysis will be prepared as part of the concept planning process using preliminary information on major infrastructure costs, revenues and funding sources. A Financing Task Force will work through the funding plan for each of the key infrastructure elements: water, sewer, storm, transportation and parks. The Task Force will begin work as the preferred concept plan is being developed and provide direction for the Draft Financing Plan prior to completion of the Concept Plan. The Draft Financing Plan will include an overview of funding options, infrastructure costs and a funding strategy for each specific project.

Next steps/timeline

Over the summer, the Beaverton planning department will work to produce draft finance/funding plan, and begin drafting concept and community plan documents in advance of the Planning Commission works sessions scheduled for the fall of 2014. Following the Planning Commission review, the City Council can be expected to hold work sessions and public hearings during the winter of 2014/2015. If adopted, it is estimated that development could likely begin sometime in 2016/2017.

If you have questions regarding the HBAMPs position on the Cooper Mountain UGB, please contact the HBAMP Government Relations team.

“Act local” movement eases its way into the remodeling scene

This article appears courtesy of Jon Bell in April’s edition of the Home Building News.

In times like these and a place like Portland, it’s practically inescapable. It’s tied to food and drinks, bikes and books, businesses big and small. people ask for it at restaurants, shop for it in stores and adhere to it by shop- ping close to home.

It’s the idea of local: locally- grown vegetables, locally-raised meat, locally-owned businesses, locally-made products.

But how does the local idea fit in with remodeling — or does it? “Oh sure, it’s always something that you want to give a nod to,” said Jeff Metke, president of Metke remodeling & Woodworking. “I’m all for trying to support local as much as possible.” From a remodeling standpoint, supporting local comes in a few different forms. For starters, it’s about using locally-based sub- contractors, not bringing in folks from outside the area. Metke said that’s pretty much a given for most professional remodelers in the area. “There are plenty of local subs to work with, so there’s no reason to be importing people from outside,” he said.

For Todd Hertner, owner of Rebuild LLC, incorporating local into his remodels means patronizing area businesses as much as he can. “I always stick with the same local companies as much as possible,” he said. “Unless someone picks something really funky and I can’t find it at my regular places.” He said he does everything he can to source as many of his materials and supplies locally. That means procuring millwork and wood trim from area companies, not from huge suppliers who ship it over from China on huge containers. Not only are products like that sometimes inferior to what’s produced stateside, but Hertner said he also thinks about how many more fossil fuels and resources it takes to produce those and ship them from far away. “You start looking into it and it really starts to freak you out,” he said.

One way that Metke is able to incorporate local components in some of his projects is by work- ing regularly with companies like rogue Valley Door in Grants pass and Summit Woodworking in Oregon City for most of his front door assemblies.

Depending upon the client, some remodelers will also try to incorporate other locally sourced materials or reclaimed items found nearby at places like Habitat for Humanity’s reStore or the reBuilding Center.

One project by HBAMP member Birdsmouth Construction, a Portland residential construction services firm, which was highlighted on Houzz, featured a small bathroom remodel with custom-built cabinets made from locally sourced madrone wood. Similarly, Hammer & Hand, a Portland and Seattle based builder and remodeler, built several unique trestle tables for the Alberta Street location of ice cream purveyor Salt & Straw, which itself is known for incorporating plenty of local ingredients. The tables are made from yellow pine salvaged from a demolished high school in Yakima, Wash.

One of the big benefits of keeping it local when it comes to remodeling is enhanced customer service from vendors. If problems do arise, there’s no trying to get through to an overseas call center. Matters can be tended to with a local call or even an office visit.

The reality behind locally sourcing for a remodel, however, is that it’s not often the easiest
approach to take. For one, there is often a substantial price difference for locally-produced materials. The local selection might not be as broad either.

“A lot of times it comes down to availability and price,” Metke said. “All of that weighs into it, so the idea of local gets tempered against the idea of whether it’s somewhat cost effective or not.”

In addition, some remodelers just don’t see a huge demand for locally-sourced projects. The idea may be nice, but it’s more of a fringe benefit and not something that really drives a project.

“It’s actually kind of rare that someone asks for that,” Hertner said. “I’ve been in this for 17 years, and I’ve probably had just two or three people ask me specifically if we could use this or that. There is a market for it, but it’s not necessarily a big one.”

 

From the top: NWCOC sends off great leader

Dave NielsenThe Northwest College of Construction is one of HBAMP’s best kept secrets (that we wish wasn’t so secret…).  It is a residential trades college that we helped found nine years ago and that is growing into a powerhouse training facility for the building trades.  Most recently, the College is unveiling a new, accelerated Residential Carpentry Program that will launch this fall.  At a time when our industry is experiencing a shortfall of quality subcontractors and a need to educate youth about the opportunities in construction, NWCOC is poised to help.

None of this would have happened if it weren’t for the leadership of NWCOC’s founding President, Dan Graham.  Dan is retiring on June 30 after leading the College through its initial conception, the struggles of a recession hitting just a couple years into its creation, and ultimately bringing it into profitability and positioning it for future success.

Dan had a lot of contractor training experience before helping found and ultimately heading up NWCOC, but no real experience as a College President.  He learned on the fly and adapted to the realities of a depressed market.  He formed partnerships with high schools and other youth work organizations in our area.  He developed new markets for the College’s services and new funding sources.  He also continuously worked to find ways to reach beyond the College’s commercial base and help address training needs in the residential construction industry.

Dan is leaving the College in good hands – the NWCOC Board recently named and hired a replacement for Dan who started May 19.  David Zagorodney has over 15 years of College administration and teaching background as well as 20 years of military operations experience.  There will be a six week transition period before Dan’s official last day of June 30.

However, Dan is committed to NWCOC and knows how important this transition will be to the next stage of its success.  The NWCOC Board will be entering into a consulting agreement with Dan for another six months.  This will allow David and the staff to become fully up to speed and benefit from the relationships, knowledge and experience Dan has contributed and will continue to provide to support a smooth hand-off.

Having a way to ensure the training and development of a strong trades contractor industry, from the basics of residential carpentry up through construction supervisory management, is critical to our industry’s future.  So is ensuring that today’s youth hear and connect with the opportunities working in our industry provides them.   HBAMP is committed to doing this, and with a new partnership between the Home Builders Foundation and NWCOC, we’ll be providing financial support to help with this, too.

 

HBF focuses on domestic violence survivors

CWS-RenderingThis article appears courtesy of Jon Bell in the June edition of the Home Building News.

State Rep. Ann Lininger (D-Lake Oswego) remembers her time on the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners as one marked by plenty of conflict. Citizens would show up to weekly meetings in droves to gripe about land use issues, light rail — you name it.

But during one meeting, a group of Spanish-speaking women came in and testified before the commission through a translator. They were urging the commission to provide more support for survivors of domestic violence.

After each woman’s testimony, the entire room would erupt in applause.

“This is something that brought people together,” said Lininger, who serves on the board of Clackamas Women’s Services, the county’s primary provider of services for survivors of domestic abuse. “Everybody cares about fragile families. It’s such a unifying issue.”

Rallying behind that very issue, the Home Builders Foundation has begun working with CWS for one of its next major endeavors, an expansion of CWS’s emergency shelter for victims and families fleeing domestic violence.

“Shelters like these are incredibly important,” said Ken Cowdery, executive director of the HBF. “They have robust services and programs that can help survivors and their families get adjusted to new surroundings and transition back into a better place.”

Incorporated in 1985 as Clackamas County’s only shelter for women and children escaping domestic abuse, CWS provides a range of services, from counseling and support groups to a 24-hour crisis line and emergency shelter. The shelter is located in an old farmhouse, and while bed capacity has been doubled over the past eight years to 33, the space has fast become too crowded for all the services that CWS offers there.

Melissa Erlbaum, executive director of CWS, said ideally the renovation project will create additional space for counseling, a larger and more private space for group meetings and bigger spaces for kids and teenagers.

“It takes a lot of courage for someone to leave a violent home, leave all their belongings and someone they once cared for,” she said. “We want to honor that courage with not just a safe place to sleep, but with a community that welcomes them. And for the kiddos, we want to do as much as we can to help give them a place to be kids again and experience joy.”

HBF got connected to CWS almost by chance when the Home Builders Association hired Rachel Trice last summer as its vice president of membership. Trice had been marketing manager at Clackamas Town Center, which had been donating $7,000 to $9,000 annually to CWS from the change thrown into its fountains. When Trice joined the HBA, she recommended CWS to the foundation.

The shelter project will be tied to this year’s NW Natural Street of Dreams in Happy Valley, as proceeds raised during the annual block party will be donated to CWS. In addition, attendees will be asked to up their admission price by $1, also to benefit CWS.

As with all foundation projects, Cowdery said the HBF will be seeking a builder captain to take the lead role and any others who can contribute materials, labor or other assistance.

Erlbaum said this project will give builders and others in the industry a way to help support an important cause that they may not have before.

“It goes back to the idea of the connection between building a home and helping people rebuild their lives,” she said. “But the most important thing is that every little bit matters. There is a role for each of us.”

To find out more about the CWS project or to get involved, contact Brenda Ketah with the Home Builders Foundation.

The risks of vacant construction sites

CICP scrollerTheft, trespassing, fires or other losses are constant threats on vacant construction sites. Losses might include not only the value of damaged or stolen materials but also the liability of an individual being injured on the property and the loss of time if a crucial piece of equipment is damaged or stolen. The insurance risks and liabilities associated with vacant construction sites can be extensive. To ensure that you are adequately protected, it is important to know the risks you face. In addition to purchasing comprehensive insurance coverage, there are numerous preventive strategies you can adopt to maintain vacant properties in a way that reduces risk and liability.

Potential Risks

Like any vacant structure, vacant construction sites are first and foremost an obvious target for theft, trespassing and vandalism. Keep in mind that contractors can be held liable for injuries sustained by children that trespass or play on vacant construction sites. Moreover, vacant construction sites are susceptible to fire. A study by the U.S. Fire Administration reveals that each year, an estimated 4,800 construction site fires cause $35 million in property loss, and in most cases, the sites are vacant. Firefighters on construction sites are twice as likely to be struck by debris or objects than firefighters in home fires.

Other Ways to Mitigate Risk

In addition to extending coverage, there are some simple steps that contractors can take to limit their risk and liability.

  • Prevent vandalism – Keeping construction sites properly lit and with sufficient signage can help keep thieves and vandals out.

Limit liability – Make sure property is free of significant hazards that could cause injuries to anyone on the property – this could include police officers, maintenance workers, firefighters or even trespassers. Walls, equipment, ditches and other physical features could be classified as attractive nuisances should they cause the injury of anyone on the property

  • Avoid damage – Remove all access material and combustibles from in and around the site. Inspect the site regularly for potential fire hazards and remediate them as soon as possible.

Builder’s Risk Insurance

Many times your contract with the property owner will require you to purchase builder’s risk insurance, which protects the property and any insurable materials you may have on site against fire, vandals, lightning, wind and other similar forces while it is under construction.

Because of the increased risks and liability associated with a vacant site, these types of insurance tend to be costly. It is important, though, to look beyond the price and consider the suitability and comprehensiveness of the coverage being purchased.

To obtain vacant property insurance, contact Jeff Cecchini at Montgomery & Graham Property & Casualty today at (503) 914-6788 or email at jcecchini@mg-pc.com.

To find out more about how you can mitigate construction site theft, visit the Construction Industry Crime Prevention Council online at www.cicpp.com. HBA members are invited to join the council at a special HBA member rate and have access to tips, tools and other resources to prevent construction site crime.

Meet HBAMP member Nancy Gudekunst

Nancy GudekunstBackground Information

Title/Company: President, MARCO Ideas Unlimited – Customized awards, decorated apparel and imprinted gifts

Years with the HBA; 10

Activities involved in with the HBA: Over the years I have been involved with the Membership Committee, Marketing Committee of Remodeler’s Council, Building Green Council, and Sales & Marketing Council.

Why are you a member of the HBA/what value do you find in HBA membership: Networking and fellowship.

Business Basics

Training and Education: School of Hard Knocks in addition to achieving a Master Advertising Specialist (MAS) through the Promotional Products Association International organization.

How’d you get started with your current business: Seven years after beginning a successful start-up service business in the ’80s, my mother convinced me to join her company. I sold my business and began working at MARCO in 1992, which I purchased in 1995.

What advice would you give others starting out in the industry: It looks easier from the outside.  Be patient –  it takes about two years to be proficient. The most difficult areas are artwork and imprinting processes.

How do you measure “success”: Happy, repeat clients and profitable growth year-over-year in addition to a positive work environment.

What’s your most useful business “tool”: Integrity – always do what’s right and you’ll not have trouble sleeping.

Business mentors or heroes: My mother was an extraordinary role model – she started a business when most women didn’t work outside the home, and went on to become nationally recognized by the promotional products industry.

Making the Call

Business decision you’re most proud of: Keeping all six employees throughout the recession.

Principals you use for big decisions: I try to come up with “win win” solutions for all parties.

The best business advice you’ve received: When faced with a problem situation, ask if it will make any difference a year from now.  If not, then coming up with a solution is less challenging.

Where I’ve Been, Where I am Going

First “career” job: Payroll clerk at Peerless Royal Industries in Tualatin.

As a kid, I wanted to be: Involved with anything to do with the Solar industry.

If I weren’t doing this, I’d be:  A landscape architect or master gardener.

Insider Information

People would be surprised to know: I dropped out of high school after tenth grade, then graduated a year early from PCC with a year of college credit!

If I could work for free for any cause/charity, it would be: Child abuse prevention and education.

I need more time on weekends for: Sleeping and playing outdoors.

As remodeling picks up, so does the need for renovation financing

This article appeared in the February edition of the Home Building News, courtesy of Jon Bell.

How’s this for a sign that the remodeling business — and the lending that goes along with it — is gathering steam and strength:

Theresa Springer, Sales Manager and Senior Loan Officer at Eagle Home Mortgage, recently worked on a project with a PRO remodeler that they were anticipating would have a future value — the value of the home after the project was completed — of $400,000. The appraisal, however, came in at $435,000.

“The values have really come back and stabilized, so that’s made a huge difference,” Springer said. “We have absolutely seen an increase in remodeling activity, and I think it’s going to continue to increase.”

Beyond anecdotal evidence of increased remodeling activity, there are data that underscore the trend as well. According to Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, the amount homeowners have been spending on remodeling has been on the slow rise since the first quarter of 2011. In 2012, homeowner improvements in the U.S. totaled $126 billion; preliminary estimates for the total in 2013 were expected to top $146 billion.

Several primary financing options exist for homeowners looking to remodel. The 203(k) loan program lets consumers buy a home and remodel it all with the same mortgage. Through the program, a buyer works with a remodeler to determine what the home needs, whether it’s structural repairs or projects like kitchen remodels, painting, HVAC, decks and more. The streamlined version of the loan allows for up to $35,000 in repairs, while a full 203(k) can go up to $417,000, the allowable limit in Oregon.

The lender then sends out an inspector and an appraiser to come up with a figure for the loan amount. The loan is based on what the property will be worth once the renovations have been made. Funds are placed into an escrow account and distributed as needed to pay contractors.

Springer said another option, the HomeStyle Renovation Mortgage from Fannie Mae, is less expensive and not as complicated as the 203(k) program, though it works in the same fashion as a 203(k). She noted that Eagle does all of its renovation loans in-house, so they close in 30 days. For some lenders, it can take between three and six months to close the loans.

There are also the standard cash-out refinancing options, as well as Fannie Mae’s HomePath program, which buyers can use to purchase and remodel foreclosed homes.

Susan Brown, senior vice president and regional manager for Umpqua Bank’s home lending division, said her bank has also witnessed increased activity in the remodeling realm.

“We are seeing a lot of interest, particularly since some people are looking around for homes, and if they can’t find a home, they decide they can remodel instead,” she said. “We have definitely seen an increase in that business line.”

Another sign that the remodeling sector is continuing to pick up: Umpqua has been educating all of its loan officers about the remodeling programs.

“As the economy picks up and, particularly because of the shortage of homes on the market, we’ve trained an extensive amount of our staff on these programs,” Brown said. “In fact, we have an entire department that focuses on nothing but construction.”

Springer said the increased activity she’s seen has come not so much from homebuyers who can’t find what they want, but from homeowners who already have it — and just want to improve it.

“I think a lot of it is people realizing that they like their neighborhood, they’re happy with their schools and they like where they live,” she said. “They are thinking, Why do I need to move when I can remodel it and make it what I want it to be?”

In addition, Springer said she expects there will be even more demand for remodeling financing this year as a backlog of foreclosures begins to ease up and more of the homes find their way to the market. Long neglected, many of the homes will take a substantial amount of work — and financing — to get them back up to speed.

“I think a lot of people are going to be looking at these homes that need a lot of help,” she said. “There will probably more purchases with the 203(k) or the Fannie loans because these homes need a significant amount of work.”

 

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