How to save money with BIA

How to save money with BIA

Did you know you can save off your company phone bill, workers compensation, office supplies, company cars, and many more discounts with your membership with the BIA? BIA Members (of all sized companies) receive an average of 35% savings on their wireless service with At&t, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, and T-Mobile...

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NAHB Award Has Arrived!

Guess what arrived today?

Our Award of Excellence from the Executive Officers Council (EOC) of the National Association of Home Builders!  We won the award for the Best Membership Recruitment / Retention Plan Implemented and learned about it last month at the annual NAHB' 2011 EOC Seminar in Naples, Florida.

The best part?  Our winning entry will become part of the Executive Officers Council's Idea Loan File in an effort to help other executives and associations across the country provide better service to members and their community. 

Come to the BIA House and check her out!

Thank you to our wonderful members and our incredible staff, without whom this would not be possible!!

Tell Congress to Extend Conforming Loan Limits!

In two short weeks, on October 1, 2011, the conforming loan limits for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will be lowered. The disruption that would occur with the lowering of the current loan limits would further damage the already fragile housing market and impede the economic recovery of our nation!

The BIA needs you to call and send a letter to your member of Congress urging them to support immediate efforts to extend the current loan limits for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the FHA!! 

The housing finance system is under a cloud of uncertainty. The federal government, through the GSEs and the FHA, is currently accounting for nearly all mortgage credit flowing to home buyers and rental properties. Lowering the loan limits will only further restrict overall mortgage liquidity in the marketplace and place further downward pressure on home prices!

A drop in these mortgage loan limits would reduce home prices in major markets all across the country. This is not the time to reduce housing demand and exacerbate the current housing downturn!

Call your member of Congress at (866) 924-NAHB (6242) and please send a letter to them here.  

If you have any questions or feedback on this issue, please email BuilderLink@nahb.org.

Riverside BIA Wins National Award

The Riverside BIA hosts numerous member-focused events throughout the year, such as last week's Summer Winery Event.The Riverside BIA recently received an Award of Excellence from the Executive Officers Council (EOC) of the National Association of Home Builders for the Best Membership Recruitment / Retention Plan Implemented.  The award was presented during the annual National Association of Home Builders' 2011 EOC Seminar in Naples, Florida.

 "I am very proud of the accomplishments of my association and the hard work of our staff," said Mark Knorringa, chief executive officer for the Riverside BIA.  "To receive an Association Excellence Award and to be recognized by one’s peers is truly the ultimate compliment."

Winning an Association Excellence Award is truly a great honor, said David Ellis, president of the Executive Officers Council and executive officer of the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association.  

"Each award recognizes the outstanding effort, commitment and achievement an executive officer and the association membership made to further the value of involvement in the association," he said.

The winning entries will become part of the Executive Officers Council's Idea Loan File in an effort to help other executives and associations across the country provide better service to members and their community. The council's membership consists of the staff executives who manage the more than 800 state and local home builders associations that comprise the National Association of Home Builders.

Lawmakers Indicate Support for Extending Conforming Loan Limits

We wanted to draw your attention to this article in today's Monday Morning Report from NAHB:

NAHB’s ongoing efforts to extend the current conforming loan limits, which are due to expire on Oct. 1, received a boost this week when CQ Today reported that Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said the Administration has changed its stance on the issue and would now support a one-year extension of the current home loan guarantees.

Reps. John Campbell (R-Calif.) and Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) on July 15 introduced legislation (H.R. 2508) that would provide a two-year extension. In addition, pending legislation by Reps. Gary Miller (R-Calif.) and Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) — H.R. 1754 — would provide a permanent extension. Despite these positive developments on this issue, extending the mortgage limits is far from a done deal, with many conservative lawmakers in opposition and in favor of reducing the government's involvement in housing and potential risks to taxpayers. If Congress fails to act, the national ceiling for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Federal Housing Administration home loans will drop from $729,750 to $625,000. A drop in some mortgage loan limits would reduce housing demand and place downward pressure on home prices in major markets across the country, exacerbating the current housing downturn and endangering the fragile economic recovery, according to NAHB economists. The CQ Today article also cited NAHB CEO Jerry Howard, who predicted an extension would come to pass if voted on in the House. "It's really not a partisan issue," said Jerry. "It's a geographic issue, and Republicans in high-cost areas are going to have to recognize their constituents." See NAHB's recent study on the impact of loan limit changes for 2011. Contact: Scott Meyer (800-368-5242, x8144).

Builders See Repeal of Onerous Form 1099 Reporting Requirements

Our colleagues at our national affiliate, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), are always working hard on our members' behalf at the federal level. Here's more evidence from NAHB's Nation's Building News:

April 18, 2011 - President Obama on April 14 signed legislation supported by NAHB to repeal a burdensome tax paperwork requirement that could have cost small businesses thousands of dollars each year.

"During the past several months, NAHB led the effort along with other industry groups to strike all new expanded IRS Form 1099 reporting requirements for small businesses and owners of rental real estate," said NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen.

"In testimony before Congress and in 'key vote' letters to House and Senate leaders, we spelled out how failing to overturn these rules would have killed jobs and placed a major paperwork and cost burden on home builders," Nielsen said.

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act approved last year, starting in 2012 businesses would have had to file an IRS Form 1099 for each vendor from whom they purchased more than $600 in goods over the course of the year.

With the annual $600 threshold applicable to all vendors, businesses could have found themselves sending out 1099 forms for such mundane purchases as coffee, fuel and office supplies.

Rather than hiring additional workers to expand and grow, small businesses would have been spending money on accountants and bookkeepers in order to meet these new requirements.

On April 5, the Senate by a vote of 87 to 12 passed the Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act of 2011 (H.R. 4), legislation previously approved by the House.

In addition to repealing expanded 1099 requirements in the healthcare law, H.R. 4 also repealed an unfair provision in the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 requiring independent landlords starting this year to submit 1099s to firms to which they give more than $600 for services.

Going forward, businesses will still have to comply with long-standing reporting requirements for the purchases of services.

To read the bill, click here and enter H.R. 4 in the box at the upper center of the page.

For more information, email J.P. Delmore, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8412.

Photo credit: Flickr user Frank Kehren

Economist Sees Bright Spots in Riverside County’s Economy

It's that time of year again when all the economists and forecasters make their predictions for the new year. So far the outlook has been positive, but tempered. Economists seem to think the worst is behind us, but that the recovery will be slow.

At the recent International Builders Show in Orlando, economists said they expect builders to start construction on 575,000 single-family homes this year, up 21% from last year. That would still be far below the 2005 peak of 1.7 million housing starts.

Closer to home, Economist John Husing noted in his quarterly economic forecast that prices in the Inland Empire have stabilized and that affordability has jumped to 64% of area families being able to afford a home. That compares to 15% just three years ago!

And next week the Riverside BIA will be hosting our annual Inland Empire Economic Forecast, a not-to-be-missed event for those wanting to know more details about where the economy stands today and where it's headed. Esmael Adibi, Director of the Anderson Center for Economic Research at Chapman University, will lay it all out January 26 at the Riverside Convention Center.

Haven't registered for the Economic Forecast yet? Download the registration form. 

Read the Wall Street Journal article about the national forecast

Read the Southwest Riverside News Network article about Husing's forecast

Multifamily Builders Encouraged by Rising Occupancy

Some interesting news out of NAHB today. Its Multifamily Market Indices (MMI) show that current and expected demand for rental apartments improved significantly in the second quarter of 2010 compared to the first quarter. That seems to hold for A, B and C apartment classes. 

Builders' expectations for demand in the next six months also increased, according to NAHB.

Do you share this sentiment? Leave a comment on our Facebook page

Read the NAHB press release

Photo credit: T Hoffarth

Commission Calls for Changes to Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction

A White House commission released a draft plan this week to cut the federal budget deficit by hundreds of billions a year through a combination of slashing spending and eliminating popular tax deductions.

Among the proposals put forth in the lengthy draft are limiting mortgage deductions to exclude second residences, home equity loans and mortgages over $500,000, all of which could potentially hit Southern California hard.

For businesses, the plan would significantly lower the corporate tax rate — from a current top rate of 35% to as low as 26% — but also eliminate a number of deductions. It would make permanent the research and development tax credit.

The plan, developed by a bipartisan commission, would hold down the growth of the federal debt by about $3.8 trillion by 2020.

Read the complete commission draft

Read NAHB's fact sheet on mortgage interest deductions

Photo credit: Flickr user Arghmonkey

Housing-Friendly Candidates Do Well Nationally

NAHB's political action committee, BUILD-PAC, achieved some very good results in the latest midterms. Out of the 27 Senate races to which BUILD-PAC contributed, 23 of the candidates NAHB supported won election, for an 85% success rate. And in the House of Representatives, out of the 328 races to which NAHB contributed, 286 resulted in a win for a BUILD-PAC-supported candidate — an 87% success rate. In all, BUILD-PAC was successful in 309 out of 355 decisive races, also an 87% success rate. (Note, these results do not include races that were too close to call as of Friday.)

Read more about BUILD-PAC and the Mid-term elections

Action Alert: Urge Boxer & Feinstein to Pass H.R. 6191

President Obama recently signed into law the Small Business Lending Fund Act of 2010. Unfortunately, this new lending program will not address the small business lending crisis facing the home building industry.

The new small business lending fund specifically excludes home construction loans to small builders from the eligible pool of lending in the new fund!

Fortunately, a stand-alone bill, H.R. 6191, has been introduced by Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC) to fix the construction loan omission. The bill passed the House of Representatives yesterday and now goes to the Senate for a vote.

This is a very important issue for many homebuilders! Lack of housing production credit is preventing builders from meeting the emerging demand for new homes and, for many, endangering their ability to survive the economic downturn!

Please call or email Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and ask them to support H.R. 6191! 

Sen. Feinstein's DC number is (202) 224-3841. Her local office number for Riverside County is (619) 231-9712 . Or you can email her.

Sen. Boxer's DC number is (202) 224-3553. Her local Riverside office number is (951) 684-4849. Or you can email her

Please call or email today!! And after you speak with their offices, let NAHB government affairs department know how they responded

Photo Credit: Flickr User Phil Romans