Weekly Update: January 23, 2014

Legislative Session a Little Slow This Week

With Monday having been a holiday and Tuesday caucus night around the state, it’s been a little slow at the Capitol this week.  There is much positioning going on and we have been hard at work building coalitions and communicating strategies.  Here are a few items of interest:

HF 460      Drainage/levee districts   Ag: Maxwell, Muhlbauer, Moore (undecided)

HF 2010    Common interest communities Jud: Brandenburg, Heartsill, Meyer (undecided)

HF 2011    Hourly wage increase  Labor: Forristall, Murphy, Watts (against)

SF 2003    Rural improvement zones Local Govt: Brase, Schoenjahn, Sinclair (undecided)

SF 2017    Tax exemption wetlands Ways & Means (undecided)


Iowa Fourth District Congressman Steve King and District Representative Merlin Bartz met with HBAI Executive Officer Jay Iverson, BUILD-PAC Trustee Rich Fitch, and HBAI Secretary Mary Fitch yesterday morning at Rich and Mary’s office in Ames.  It was a great meeting, lasting about 90 minutes and covering a wide variety of topics.

Party Caucuses Last Tuesday Sets Stage for 2014 Elections

Democrats and Republicans in Iowa attended their precinct caucuses around the state last Tuesday and reports of attendance were very good, especially in a non-presidential election year. The first order of business was to nominate delegates to the County Conventions to be held this coming spring. The election of delegates is particularly important in a contested primary and there are several, like the Republican U.S. Senate race, Republican Third District Congressional race, Democrat First District Congressional Race, and Republican First District Republican race. As the Election season nears, be certain to go to www.iowaprosperity.com to get non-partisan voter education and candidate information.

Scholarship Deadline March 31, 2014

hba-scholarshipDon’t forget that the deadline for our HBAI Educational Corporation scholarships is March 31.   Any student pursuing a career in the home building industry and related trades, including immediate family members of HBAI members, is eligible. The fund is dedicated, but not limited to, college age students between the ages of 18 – 25 years.

The scholarship award shall be up to $1,000.00 per selected applicant. Multiple applicants are chosen each year to receive scholarships. Funds will be paid directly to the educational institution and shall ONLY be used for tuition and/or books. More information and forms are available here.

Unlock the Value of Membership

Fighting for housing on major policy issues, providing excellent educational programming, and creating outstanding networking opportunities are just some of the ways that NAHB fulfills that mandate.  The proof of its success is in the numbers. In 2013, NAHB’s actions on the legislative, codes, regulatory and legal fronts, as well as in other arenas, provided members an estimated savings of $6,200 per housing start.

To help you learn more about the value of membership and to recruit and retain members at the state and local levels, NAHB has created a new website, valueofnahb.org.  We urge you to visit this site, which highlights information and resources offered by NAHB that are designed to help you build a better home, build a better business and work in a policy environment that enables your business to thrive.

Did you know that:

  • NAHB’s Member Advantage program saved our members $7.2 million in 2013.
  • Earning an NAHB professional designation significantly improves the bottom line for builders and remodelers.
  • The free expert legal advice and research available from NAHB saved members more than $450,000 last year.

This site is your key to unlocking the outstanding value that NAHB provides. Visit valueofnahb.org today and find out how NAHB is working to ensure an optimal business environment that will boost your bottom line.

Builder Confidence Remains Solid in January

Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes fell one point to 56 in January from a revised December reading of 57 on the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), released on Jan. 16. This marks the eighth consecutive month that the HMI reading has been above 50, the point where more builders view market conditions as good than poor.

hba-chartAll three HMI components declined in January. The index gauging current sales conditions edged one point lower to 62, while the index gauging expectations for future sales fell two points to 60. The index gauging traffic of prospective buyers fell three points to 40.

Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast and West each rose four points to 42 and 63, respectively, while the South held steady at 56. The Midwest fell a single point to 58.

Commenting on the latest survey, NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said: “Rising home prices, historically low mortgage rates and significant pent-up demand will drive a continuing, gradual recovery in the year ahead.” However, he added, “The pace of the recovery could be stronger were it not for rising construction costs and inaccurate appraisals that are keeping some home sales from going through.”

Weekly Update: January 16, 2014

A Data Merge May Have Added You to This Weekly Newsletter

We bring this newsletter to you each week and it’s a primary tool for communication. It would be nice if 100% of our members viewed it, but in reality about 35% do. Statistically that’s awesome, but we’re open to any ideas that would make it a better product that meets your needs. It had been since March of 2013 that member information from NAHB’s database had been pulled. New information was merged into this Constant Contact database yesterday that may have added you. Unsubscribe at the bottom if you do not wish to receive it, but we hope you will. Feel free to ask your employees, friends, colleagues, or whomever to subscribe. The more information that we can distribute, the better informed all of us will be.

Legislative Session Off to a Good Start

You’ve probably heard the news reports as the 2014 Legislative Session kicked off last Monday. The talk has been that it’s going to be a quiet session that gets done quickly. In a discussion with a key Governor Branstad staffer Tuesday night, he made a point that he thought it was so wrong to have that attitude. Like an employee saying that their goal for the workday was to get home early. He made a good point – there are all sorts of issues to address. The Des Moines Register always does a good job with a legislative guide each year. Stay tuned as we work through our goals.

Longtime Dubuque Member Ron Smith in Critical Condition

Longtime HBAI member and key volunteer several years ago Ron Smith fell off a ladder on a jobsite in December and broke several bones including his skull. He is still in critical condition and will have a very long recovery. If you want to send a card or note of encouragement, his address is 1027 Cedar Cross Rd, Dubuque, IA 52003.

429 Iowans Signed up for IBS – Iowa Party at Pizza Rock February 5

What a great turnout for next month’s International Builders Show in Las Vegas – 429 Iowans are signed up as of today. If you’re planning to go, don’t miss our Iowa Night Party at Pizza Rock on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 from 6-8 p.m. Please email Jay Iverson if you’re planning to attend so that we can arrange food quanities. A huge round of thanks goes out to our sponsors:

Cascade Manufacturing Company

American Contract Sales

Furman Corporation – Rich & Mary Fitch

Boise Engineered Wood Products

Cedar Rapids HBA

Lumber Specialties


Financing Rule Change – Clients With Large Down Payments?

Another portion of the financing reform changes that began last Friday relates to the closing costs. Sometime you may be needing seller paid closing costs to make loans work today based on the new financial reform guidelines. As you can see below when borrowers are putting a lot down and taking out small mortgages or when people are purchasing lower cost homes it may become an issue and need the seller or builder to pay costs. Check it out:

hba-federal-loan-FLTT hba-federal-loan-FLTT-2

First Ever Doug Mayo Memorial Golf Invitational Set for June 27

hba-doug-mayoMark your calendars now for the first ever Doug Mayo Memorial Golf Invitational, which will be played at Copper Creek in Pleasant Hill on June 27. All proceeds will benefit the Doug Mayo Scholarship within the HBAI Educational Corporation, which provides scholarships to students entering the trades. It’s in the early stages, but promises to be an event you won’t want to miss!

Need Health Insurance? Need a Break on Pricing?

With so many questions you may be asking yourself – where do I begin? What do I need to know? The best answer is to contact us at Associations Marketing Group, Inc. at 800-798-6772. AMGI’s President Jesse Patton is considered one the states leading experts in regards to the Affordable Care Act. AMGI can assist you in clarifying some of the confusion around the ACA. Certified to assist you on the subsidies and programs through the Marketplace we can also advise if it is better for you to purchase coverage directly from the insurance carrier. Don’t worry about these provisions in the ACA just call AMGI!


Make a Note of Our New Address:

Home Builders Association of Iowa
400 East Court Avenue
Suite 120
Des Moines, IA 50309