Friday, October 27, 2006

Texas Log Homes Add to it's Range of Custom Cedar Homes

Texas Log Homes have added to its range of custom cedar homes a new series of modular log home plans aimed squarely at first home owners and those looking for an affordable log home as a vacation getaway.

Scott Steele, General Manager of Texas Log Homes added, “We have worked on producing a series of modular log homes that meet the needs of new home owners and second home builders. These modular log homes are affordable without compromising on quality, which has long been the hallmark of Texas Log Homes.”

Features of the range include one level and two story models ranging from under 1000 square feet to over 4000 square feet . While customers looking for the look of rustic, hand hewn logs will not be disappointed, there is still plenty of other siding options to pick from. Read More

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Easton Another Head Case: Skull Found In Home

A contractor cleaning out the basement of an Easton home on Friday found a skull in a paper bag in the back of a credenza, authorities said.

The skull found at 722 Bushkill St. was the second one found this week in the Lehigh Valley.
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HandCrafted Homes and Builder-Partner anounce new model homes to ...

CONWAY, S.C., September 28, 2006 HandCrafted Homes, an award-winning custom modular homebuilder based in Henderson, N.C., has partnered with Coastal Land Construction to build two model homes in Conway, S.C., to be completed by mid-October, 2006, as part of the new Country Manor Estates community.

The homes are the first to be built within the new Country Manor Estates community, a 140-lot neighborhood that will offer single-family homes, including ranches, Cape Cod homes and two-story homes, priced from the $180s to $280s. The community is located in Conway, S.C., approximately ten miles from Myrtle Beach.

Country Manor Estates is an excellent community for families seeking a home at the coast thats also central to great shopping, schools and other conveniences, said Scott Limehouse, president of Coastal Land Construction. Read More

Monday, October 23, 2006

Home sales sag, hit builders

Sales of existing homes in the Denver metro area fell 13 percent in September compared with the same month last year, according to statistics released Thursday. The median sale price of a single-family home declined 2.2 percent, to $243,500, during the same period.

"However you slice this, the market is slowing down," said Larry McGee, managing broker of the Berkshire Group.

Of 31,450 houses on the market, McGee estimates up to 7,000 are foreclosure properties and another 3,000 are at some level of distress.

"That means we're going to have a market adjustment," he said.

McGee said the weak market for existing homes is taking its toll on homebuilders, who are increasing the commissions they offer Realtors from 3 percent to as much as 4.5 percent.

"The higher the co-op commission goes, the more they're saying, 'Gee, we're a little desperate,' " McGee said. Read more

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Barbour Signs Modular Tax Cut To Help Katrina Rebuilding

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour on Thursday signed a new state law reducing the sales-tax rate on modular houses - a measure designed to speed up Gulf Coast redevelopment more than 13 months after Hurricane Katrina destroyed thousands of homes.

The law took effect immediately, cutting the modular tax rate from 7 percent to 3 percent. Barbour said it could shave $4,000 to $6,000 off the price of a modular house.

"This will significantly help the reconstruction efforts of many thousands of our neighbors in south Mississippi," Barbour said.

The homes are made in factories, shipped in large pieces and erected on slabs. Manufacturers say modulars look like traditional homes to the untrained eye, and can go up in a matter of days if local building crews are available. Read More

Home Builders Association Donates Tools To Vocational Classes

The Ashe County Home Builders Association donated approximately $2,500 in tools to the vocational classes at Ashe County High School last week. This donation came as the result of the Association wanting to do something to help the community and make a positive impact on it.

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Pacific Ethanol Completes Construction of First Plant

FRESNO, Calif., Oct. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Pacific Ethanol, Inc. (Nasdaq: PEIX - News) today announced the completion of its first ethanol production facility in Madera, California. A ribbon cutting ceremony to take place on October 16th. The plant will commence the start up process the next day, and is expected to be operating at its nameplate capacity of 35 million gallons per year by mid November, 2006.

"This is a significant milestone for Pacific Ethanol. The startup of the Madera Plant will contribute ethanol production revenues during the 4th quarter of this year, ahead of our internal target date," observed Neil Koehler, CEO of Pacific Ethanol, Inc. "We anticipate it will take roughly thirty days to bring the plant up to full capacity, and that from mid-November forward the plant will be producing ethanol at or above our designed level of 35 million gallons per year. Read More

These prefab homes come with a view

The latest idea in compact living is a little box on top of a high-rise in the city or suburbs. Modular structures that might be placed atop flat existing buildings are already being produced in Europe.

Architect Werner Aisslinger designed an instant penthouse in a transportable 400-square-foot Loftcube ( The unit is light enough to be transported by helicopter and costs about $70,000. Including bathroom and kitchen, the price can be $173,000 to $230,000. With walls of glass, this could also be the perfect answer for a mountaintop retreat or an island hideaway.

The unit shown here is the sleek Hanse Colani Rotor House designed for young professionals who need minimal space. It began as part of an avant-garde project begun originally by design guru Luigi Colani and Hanse Haus ( to deal intensively with the topic of house shapes of the future. Read more

Trucks Versus Trains

Say you've got a client located across the country who is serious about using modulars, but trucking costs are too prohibitive? That's the conundrum builder Grant Smerecynsky ran up against with a developer interested in using a modular building system in Southern California.

"Then we thought, 'what about by rail?'" says Smerecynsky, CEO of The Building Systems Network (Mount Gilead, NC), which sets and finishes dozens of homes annually.

So with the help of modular supplier PBS, which provided a modular section 48' long by 12' wide and 35,000 lbs, Smerecynsky arranged for sudden stop tests using a 70'
wood floor bulkhead flat car with 15" of cushioning. The conclusion? It is economically feasible to ship modulars by train, and the floating load concept performed as intended, although there was one floor joist that rolled and cracked due to catching on the rough wood floor as the load moved in the reverse impact. This did not structurally affect the unit. All the doors, windows and drywall were intact.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Group formed to promote housing

Local business leaders are gearing up to house the Coast work force with an innovative plan to make use of government and private funding.

The Gulf Coast Business Council voted Tuesday to form a private nonprofit corporation to address affordable-housing issues in the three coastal counties.

Council President Brian Sanderson said the need for the corporation came about because national foundations approached the organization wanting to help with the local housing crisis.

"But they needed to see a plan that addressed affordable housing first," said Sanderson.

The corporation will look at buying land and partnering with national nonprofits and developers to create housing that is truly affordable.

"This is for work-force housing," said Sanderson.

Read More

Monday, October 09, 2006

Homebuyers fair offers help for Coast residents

ST. MARTIN -- Residents interested in moving out of their Federal Emergency Management Agency trailers and into affordable housing visited a Home Buyers Fair at the St. Martin Community Center on Tuesday.

The fair, sponsored by Regional Home Loans Inc., offered residents the opportunity to meet Realtors, builders, credit repair service companies and mortgage lenders.

"Most people are either rebuilding or they need to buy something," Regional Home Loans owner Teresa Brewer said. "I would say about 75 percent of people have a housing need right now, so this is what that's for, to give people a general area to get together and find out everything in one spot about building, buying and the financial part of it."

Real estate prices have increased 45 percent since Hurricane Katrina, Brewer said.

Gov. approves modular home tax cut

Mississippians can begin saving on modular house purchases today after Gov. Haley Barbour signed a 4 percent sales tax cut into law.

The tax break is perhaps the quickest legislation to be enacted in the state's history.

In less than two hours, both the House and Senate agreed on Senate Bill 2001 that trims sales tax on modular houses from 7 percent to 3 percent, hoping to boost reconstruction in south Mississippi.

Legislative staff sent the paperwork to the governor's office today, and Barbour signed the bill shortly after 4 p.m.

Modular houses are built in a factory and assembled on the buyer's lot. The homes are viewed as a fast way to rebuild the hurricane-ravaged Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Modular house can be built in a month, compared to the year-long wait for site-built houses on the coast.

Read more