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Home Builders Association

Ultimate Open House offers energy efficiencies at a glance

2014 UOH logoVariety of tour homes to offer EPSTM from Energy Trust of Oregon, and an array of energy-saving features

The Ultimate Open House New Home Tour™ presented by Energy Trust of Oregon, NW Natural and Standard TV & Appliance offers two full weekends of free house hunting for homebuyers throughout a five-county area.  The eighth annual tour runs April 26-27 and May 3-4 from

11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and showcases 45 homes by more than 20 of the area’s top homebuilders.

“Homebuyers are savvier than they’ve ever been when it comes to energy-efficient home features—especially here in the Pacific Northwest,” said Rachel Trice, Vice President, Marketing, Membership Services & Events, Home Builders Association of Metro Portland.  “Our homebuilders are answering that call by providing stunning, newly constructed homes with the latest trends and technology that today’s homeowners demand. That mission is supported by efficient natural gas appliances and energy efficiency built in with EPS from Energy Trust.”

Energy Trust is working with local builders to offer EPSTM, an energy performance score, on a majority of the tour homes this year. EPS offers an easy-to-read snapshot of a home’s expected energy use, monthly utility costs and carbon impact. It also helps homebuyers compare these features while shopping.

To receive an EPS, a third-party verifier inspects a home and assigns it a numerical score—the lower the EPS, the better. Factors such as a home’s size, level of insulation, air leakage, heating and cooling systems, major appliances, lighting and water heating are all part of the home’s score. The rating also shows how the efficient newly constructed home compares to a home of similar size built to Oregon building code standards.

“Energy use and a carbon footprint are important factors to consider when buying a new home. They affect a home’s energy costs, year-round comfort and environmental impact,” said Matt Braman, residential program manager, Energy Trust. “Builders offering EPS help homebuyers consider a home’s energy use as part of their buying decision, and lead the way in construction of more energy-efficient homes.”

To learn more about EPS, provided by Energy Trust for both newly built and existing homes, and see a sample score sheet, visit

“Homebuyers will also see that nearly all of the homes on the tour are equipped with natural gas connections and appliances, which is a must-have for homebuyers,” said John Frankel, NW Natural marketing manager. “Not only does natural gas allow you to have the latest in home equipment trends—it also saves on your heating bills and reduces your overall carbon footprint.”

Idea Homes: 

Three homes on the tour are specifically designed to inspire with highlights ranging from convertible living space, downstairs bonus rooms and the highest energy standards. All three Idea Homes at this year’s Ultimate Open House will feature an EPS, along with energy-efficiency features designed to keep monthly utility bills low. The homes are built by Gertz Fine Homes, Portland Development Group and Stone Bridge Homes NW.

NW Natural will be hosting a free barbeque lunch in celebration of National Grilling Month, at the following Idea Homes:

  • Sunday, April 27, Stone Bridge Homes NW: 19612 SW Sonia Lane, Beaverton
  • Saturday, May 3, Gertz: 9070 SW Edgewood St., Tigard
  • Sunday, May 4, Portland Development Group: 5110 NE 36th Ave, Portland

Residential Preference Survey

Residential Preference Survey – We need your help to guide Metro’s plans for housing choice in our region

HBA has worked with Metro and several other public and private sector organizations to develop a ground-breaking housing preference survey.

This is an opportunity for the public to actually weigh in on their preferred housing and neighborhood types and make choices based on commute, pricing, own vs. rent and other factors.

The housing preference survey asks about your current home, and then asks questions about the kind of neighborhood and the kind of home where you would prefer to live.

The survey is live until May 9th, 2014.

We invite you to take 10 minutes of your time to answer the survey and give us your input. Your participation is crucial tohelp plan for the future of the region.

Thank you for your participation!

Click to begin the survey.

Biz tip: using GPS to manage fleet costs

HBAMP member and member benefits provider, Montgomery & Graham shared these tips on how to better manage your fleet costs. Visit MG Fleet Solutions for more info.

As the workforce in America becomes more mobile, so do the capabilities of employers toMoving Truck track their employees on the road. From a distance, accurately monitoring employee productivity, working hours, injuries, conduct and company property presents a challenge. The use of global positioning systems (GPS) is an excellent way to address these difficulties. Using satellites and receivers installed in a vehicle, these devices are able to locate an employee’s physical location and vehicle speeds with reasonable accuracy.

How GPS Tracking Works

GPS fleet monitoring started out as a tool specifically for the shipping and delivery industry, but the technology has proven its worth for almost any business that has a fleet of its own. GPS programs can be used on employee cell phones, laptops or on stand-alone GPS devices, but the most robust information and management comes from devices installed directly into the company’s fleet vehicles. These devices can monitor and report on a wide variety of information, including speed, engine start up and shut down, routes and idling. The information from GPS systems can be available from the device, either uploaded or viewed on the device itself, or sent remotely to the main system. When sent to the system remotely, administrators and dispatchers can access the information in real time via the internet or specialized software. Viewing maps of vehicle locations, routes and vehicle status reports can help supervisors and dispatchers better manage their employees’ time and improve efficiency.

The Benefits of Using GPS

Fleet tracking can have multiple positive results for your business. Using the information reported from the GPS devices can help eliminate inefficiencies and save time. Your workers can get to more jobs per day, increasing productivity and, in turn, profits. This can also help improve customer satisfaction by reducing customer wait times. Tracking can also reduce labor costs and unauthorized vehicle use. Being able to monitor vehicle locations and routes with timestamps will help you make sure all hours reported by workers are accurate. You can flag movement of your vehicles during non-working hours or in certain areas that your company vehicles and workers should not be. As well as improving employee monitoring, fleet operating expenses can be reduced through more efficient management of your vehicles, assisted by the data available from GPS. Fuel costs can be cut down by eliminating inefficient routes, unapproved employee usage, avoidable traffic delays and speeding. The peace of mind of monitoring your vehicles and knowing where they are at all times improves the safety and security of your entire fleet, reducing or preventing the costs associated with theft. Other ways GPS can reduce your costs include defending against false claims. For example, if a false claim comes in to your company that a vehicle of yours damaged property, such as a parked car, you can use your records to prove no vehicle was in the vicinity at that time. The benefits to using GPS tools are useful to any company that owns fleet vehicles. However, there are also several legal considerations that employers need to consider and address before implementing GPS technology for their mobile workers to protect their employees and the company.

MG Fleet Solutions –

Located out of Lake Oswego, Oregon, MG Fleet Solutions helps companies identify fleet risks and helps manage costs around time, fuel, and maintenance.

For more information on GPS and how it can help your company, contact your HBA representative, Jeff Cecchini at Montgomery & Graham at

HBF Silver and Crystal Gala draws record crowd at the Nines Hotel

Mayor Hales at HBF GalaApril 4, 2014 (Portland) – Over 400 guests showed up for an exciting evening of bidding at the luxurious Nines Hotel on April 4 to support the Home Builders Foundation. The Portland area nonprofit, whose mission is to provide safe, dignified housing for those experiencing homelessness, was shocked by the amount of support shown by guests at this year’s Silver & Crystal Gala.

The event is expected to gross over $227,000.

“We had an outstanding amount of support this year across the board.” explains Ken Cowdery, Executive Director of the Home Builders Foundation. “We are continually amazed by the high level of giving from our guests year after year.

One example of this support was an unexpected donation from one of the home building industry’s most recognizable supporters, retired CEO of Oregon Title, Pat Ritz. Ritz generously offered a $25,000 paddle raise match for those in attendance who raised their paddles at the $1,000 level during the event. The match was made quickly, with bidders eager to support the Home Builders Foundation.

Mayor Charlie Hales gave his remarks at the event, and thanked the attendees for supporting the Home Builders Foundation. Dr. Derenda Schubert, Executive Director of Bridge Meadows, who will be partnering with the HBF and Renaissance Homes to build a new facility for at-risk youth exiting the foster care system, thanked both the Home Builders Foundation and attendees for their support for these important projects.

The Home Builders Foundation would like to thank its sponsors for their generosity: Milgard Windows & Doors, Directors Mortgage, Standard TV & Appliance, Cobalt Mortgage, HomeStreet Bank, Sussman Shank LLP, NW Natural, Union Bank, and Garrison Hullinger Interior Design.

About the Home Builders Foundation

The Home Builders Foundation, established in 1997, is the charity of choice for the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland. Its mission is to build transitional shelter for families in need and provide construction related educational opportunities for those interested in pursuing a career in the home building industry. Visit for more information.

Biz Tip: Adapt or die

Erin Davis Portland Professional RemodelerThis Biz Tip from HBAMP  and PRO member, Erin Davis of Mosaik Design & Remodeling appeared in April’s edition of the Home Building News.

Today’s remodeler faces a number of challenges we did not have to contend with prior to the Great recession. Clients seeking out multiple bids and often choosing the lowest bidder and the ever changing social media and web marketing platforms are two that are high on the list.

First, if you are a professional remodeler who hires only licensed subcontractors, price your projects appropriately from the start and stick to your schedule, it is difficult to compete with others that do not follow the same sets of values and business ethics. So instead of adapting by lowering our margins to compete with the lowest bid, we have to survive by becoming much better salespeople and marketers. Educating clients about the professional remodeling industry, having superior knowledge of design trends and construction and setting realistic expectations from the beginning gains the trust and confidence needed from prospective clients.

Another “adapt to survive” scenario is that we need to incorporate current forms of advertising and marketing into our businesses or get left behind. This is stressful because not only do you need to create, manage and maintain all of these new plat- forms, but the “rules” of how to utilize Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, SEO, blogging etc. for business promotion changes regularly. SEO and social media experts are some of the fastest growing jobs and for a good reason: It is simply too difficult for most business owners to learn this new trade and spend the amount of time required to do it effectively. So how do we adapt?

Try hiring some of it out. This allows you to leverage their expertise on the back end so you can be selling and promoting your company on the front end. When these (two) begin to work together, it adds clout and value to your brand and the professional remodeling industry as a whole.

So just by trying new things and thinking outside of the box you can find what works instead of relying on antiquated marketing methods or worse, putting yourself at financial risk by working for next to nothing.

Annual Ultimate Open House presented by NW Natural and Standard TV and Appliance

2014 UOH logoWhat: The HBA’s eighth-annual scattered home site show, featuring 47 entries from 23 different member builders.

When: 11am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday, April 26 and 27 and May3 and 4

Cost: Free for Consumers! For Realtors: Realtor Day: UOH homes will be open to realtors only before the show begins on Tuesday, April 22

Sponsors: NW Natural, Standard TV & Appliance, Energy Trust of Oregon , Cobalt Mortgage and Bridgeport Village

More information: Visit or call 503-684-1880.

The Ultimate Open House Tour presented by NW Natural and Standard TV & Appliance offers two full weekends of house hunting for homebuyers throughout a five county area.  The 8th annual Tour, runs April 26 – April 27 and May 3 – May 4, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and showcases 45 homes by more than 20 of the areas’ top homebuilders.

“The extremely tight home inventory in the Portland metro area makes this year’s Ultimate Open House Tour a highly anticipated event for homebuyers,” says Rachel Trice, VP membership services & events, Home Builders Association of Metro Portland.  “Our homebuilders are answering that call by providing stunning, newly constructed homes with the latest trends and technology that today’s homeowner demands.”

Tour homes range in price from the 200-thousand to just over a million, making this a home tour almost everyone can appreciate. The homes are scattered from Forest Grove to Boring, Oregon—and everywhere in between. As an added incentive this year, the first five buyers who purchase a natural gas tour home will receive a free outdoor Gas Grill by Napoleon®, valued at $1,200, courtesy of NW Natural.


Attendees to the Ultimate Open House will enjoy new design debuts and technological advances, including open kitchens with virtually invisible appliances along with unique countertop designs.  Other features include fewer walls making entertaining and family time more enjoyable. Homebuyers will notice universal design elements—allowing continuous accessibility for all generations.

“Homebuyers will also see that nearly all of the homes on the tour are equipped with natural gas connections and appliances, which is a must-have for home buyers,” said John Frankel, NW Natural marketing manager. “Not only does natural gas allow you to have the latest in home equipment trends—it also saves on your heating bills and reduces your overall carbon footprint.”

Idea Homes: 

Three homes on the tour are specifically designed to inspire with highlights ranging from convertible living space, downstairs bonus rooms and the highest energy standards.

1. Gertz Fine Homes

This Gertz Fine Home is designed to serve the growing number families that have their parents or other family members living with them for extended periods. This home accommodates people who need a permanent home, within a home.

2. Stone Bridge Homes NW 

This Stone Bridge Home NW features maple raised cabinetry Maple with Ebony Glaze finish. Enjoy energy efficiency with Advantage™ Gold Certification. There’s also a double-sided gas fireplace in looking onto the covered deck. Cabinets for island, Powder Bath & Owner’s Pantry are in “Indigo” finish.

3. Portland Development Group

This Energy Star home by Portland Development Group is situated in the Concordia neighborhood of NE Portland. It features modern amenities, an open layout, and a vintage design. The main level offers a dining area, living room with fireplace, and open kitchen with custom cabinets, granite counters, and stainless appliances.

The HBAMP presents the 2014 Ultimate Open House lineup of 45 homes featuring the following builders:

Arbor Custom Homes

Bluestone Homes

DR Horton

Everett Custom Homes

Fish Construction NW

Gertz Fine Homes

Jack Ryan Homes

J.T. Roth Construction

Legend Homes

MCM Homes

Metropolitan Land Group

Noyes Development Company

Pacific Lifestyle Homes

Pahlisch Homes

Polygon NW Company

Portland Development Group

Sage Built Homes

Stonebridge Homes NW

TA Liesy Homes NW

Treece & Lambert

West Wood Homes, LLC

NW Natural will be hosting a free BBQ lunch at the following Idea Homes:

  • Sunday, April 27, Stone Bridge 15154 SW Summerview Dr., Tigard
  • Saturday, May 3, Gertz 9070 SW Edgewood St., Tigard
  • Sunday, May 4, Portland Development Group 5110 NE 36th Ave, Portland

About NW Natural

NW Natural (NYSE:NWN) is headquartered in Portland, Ore., and provides natural gas service to about 695,000 residential, commercial, and industrial customers in Oregon and Southwest Washington. It is the largest independent natural gas utility in the Pacific Northwest. Additional information is available at

2014 UOH Sponsors

Meet an HBAMP Member: Steph Noble

Steph NobleTitle/Company:
Mortgage Consultant with NW Mortgage Group

Years with the HBA:
New member – 1 year

Why are you a member of the HBA/what value do you find in HBA membership: To connect with other professionals who are excited
about growing our community.

Business Basics
Training and Education: I’ve been a licensed mortgage professional for 10 years.

How’d you get started with your current business: I had a friend who mentored me and my business took off.

What advice would you give others starting out in the industry: Work hard and treat your clients well.

How do you measure “success”: Success to me is working hard and taking time off to play, travel and relax.

What’s your most useful business “tool”: The ability to think on my feet and find a way to help clients get a home loan.

Business mentors or heroes: Sheryl Sandberg, founder of and my mom who is willing to try and learn anything.

Making the Call
Business decision you’re most proud of: Taking the risk to leave a nursing career to work in the mortgage industry.

One you’d like to have back: College – knowing what I know now – I’d focus my education differently.

Principals you use for big decisions: In 5 years will this decision matter? And will I be proud of the decision I made.

The best business advice you’ve received: Keep
a database. My clients have been the key to my success.

Where I’ve Been, Where I am Going
First “career” job: Registered Nurse – Labor and Delivery.

As a kid, I wanted to be: Everything. I had a million ideas of what I wanted to be.

If I weren’t doing this, I’d be: Training dogs.

Insider Information
People would be surprised to know: I am one of eight children from the same parents.

If I could work for free for any cause/charity, it would be: Working with dogs.

Words I live by/my motto: Will this decision matter in 5 years? It helps me to not sweat the small stuff.

I need more time on weekends for: Travel. Spending time with dogs, family and going to the beach.

HBAMP members lend a hand through philanthropic programs

Homestreet HBF CheckBy Jon Bell for the HBAMP

Building houses, remodeling kitchens, furnishing living rooms, lending money.

The list of what HBAMP members do for a living is a long one. It’s also one that doesn’t stop with straight business functions. Plenty of members also connect charitable giving and philanthropy to their overall mission.

“Whether they choose us or Habitat for Humanity or any number of other organizations, every member I talk to has a nonprofit or cause they believe in,” said Ken Cowdery, executive director of the Home Builders Foundation. “I’ve been in the world of nonprofits for over 35 years, and I’ve never had the pleasure of working with such a large number of people who so readily give back.”

For a look at how four different HBA members give back to their communities, read the full article in January’s edition of the Home Building News.

Contact Us: Call Us at: 503-684-1880 // Email Us at: