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The Future of Builder Financing

Professional Builder
September 2010

The lack of access to acquisition, development and construction (AD&C) financing is perhaps the most critical issue facing home builders today. This article explored the subject of what builder financing will look like in the future, and identified three financing options available now.

It was a deal that could save a builder/developer's company. Doug Shipman, CEO at Developer's Financial Solutions, had found an equity partner who loved his client's project and was ready to move forward - for 50 percent ownership. Despite facing bankruptcy within two weeks, the builder balked. "We were on the phone begging him to take the deal," Shipman says. "One of my partners spent the whole weekend trying to drill sense into his head. He believes people are stealing from him. Even facing bankruptcy, the reality is not settling in."

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Banker Backlash: A California Builder Sues After His Lender Pulls the Plug
Aug. 25, 2008

As builders struggled to deal with the tightening credit market, this article personalized the issue with one builder’s horrifying experience. It was a finalist for Best Online Article in the 2009 Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Award, the Pulitzer Prize of the trade press.

Everything started to fall apart for Andrew Eliopulos on Christmas Eve of 2007. The president of J.P. Eliopulos Enterprises in Lancaster, Calif., had been in a holding pattern with IndyMac Bank on his construction loan, which had come up for renewal six months earlier.

But even with the depressed housing market, Eliopulos thought he was in good shape. He had about $27 million outstanding on the loan for the development and construction of Joshua Ranch, almost 900 acres in northern Los Angeles County. He had plenty of equity, though. In the spring of that year, as the loan was coming up for renewal, the bank got an $82 million appraisal on the property.

After meeting with his bankers in July to renew the note, he got a call that the bank thought the appraisal was stale. They wanted a new one.

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Healthcare Reform: How it affects your business

Professional Remodeler
October 2010

The health care reform law has been incredibly confusing to small business owners. This story covers how it will – or will not – impact remodeling companies.

Scott Sevon, partner in the remodeling firm of MAW Chicago got pretty excited about one provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the wide-reaching health care reform law that was signed into law in May. The section that caught his attention was the tax credit for small businesses that pay for health insurance for their employees.
If he was reading the law correctly, his company would qualify for a credit available to employers with 25 or fewer full-time equivalent employees and average annual wages of less than $50,000.

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Coastal Contractor

Outdoor Kitchens for the South Coast
November 2008

This piece on outdoor kitchens in coastal zones combined information about design and material specifications. It’s different from my usual assignments. I had a lot of fun on it.

Time was when the only requirement for a cookout was a grill, a good set of tongs, and a Styrofoam cooler to ice down the beer. Today, the grill might be built in, and it may be accompanied by a rotisserie, a refrigerator, a sink, a beer tap, warming drawers, and a pizza oven.

In fact, many high-end builders now offer well-designed outdoor kitchens to their customers, and some find that these spaces provide the stimulus for remodeling the entire backyard. …
But builders on the hot, humid Gulf Coast who want to offer outdoor kitchens face the added challenges of high winds, tidal surges, extreme heat, and humid, salt-laden air. Anything outdoors needs to be able to withstand a beating.

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