Time Is Running Out–Register Today

The Sales and Marketing Council of the Upstate is hosting a Panel Event for local builders, sales agents, and marketing professionals. Join us at Jeff Lynch Appliance and TV Center on October 13, from 8:30 – 10 a.m. Find out the secrets from industry leaders on how to build lasting relationships with builders, remodelers, and sales agents, and where to find inventory for your client. The discussion will be moderated by Tammie Smoot, MIRM, of Builders Digital Experience. Breakfast is included!

The expert panel includes:

  • Brandon Eich, APB- Arthur Rutenberg Homes
  • Scott Lynch, APB- Hollison Custom Homes
  • Holly May- Realtor, Coldwell Banker Caine
  • Haro Setian- The Haro Group, Keller Williams
  • Matt Shouse, APB- LS Homes
  • Donna Smith- Broker, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services

Create a Better Houzz Page With Your Membership

The National Association of Home Builders’ partnership with Houzz comes with some spectacular benefits for members. Many home owners and new home buyers use Houzz to gather ideas, ask questions, and find someone with the style and ability to can help complete their project. Our members can use Houzz to showcase their work, answer questions that help prove their expertise, and use Ideabooks to better understand what their clients are looking for.

Additionally, members can use the Home Builders Association of Greenville badge to proudly display their membership. For instructions on how to add the badge, click here.

Member benefits on Houzz include badges, Houzz concierge service to help upgrade your profile, website design, and marketing solutions. To see the full list and access these services, click here.

You can visit the Home Builders Association of Greenville Page here.

Good News for Home Owners

In an important victory for NAHB and home owners, the House today approved a five-year highway bill that will not use guarantee fees (g-fees) collected by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to pay for transportation programs.

The Senate is expected to approve the measure tomorrow and President Obama will sign the legislation into law shortly thereafter.

NAHB led the charge to strip a provision that would have used g-fees to help offset a funding shortfall from the final legislation.

G-fees are a critical risk management tool used by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to protect against credit-related losses on mortgages they have purchased or mortgage-backed securities they have guaranteed. NAHB has always maintained that these fees should only be used for their intended purpose – to protect against mortgage defaults and ensure the safety and soundness of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Despite strong opposition from NAHB, Congress voted in 2011 to enact a 10-year, 10 basis point increase in g-fees to fund the extension of the payroll tax cut. To help fund the long-term transportation bill, lawmakers subsequently proposed what would amount to a $1.9 billion tax on home owners by providing a four-year extension of the previous 10 basis point increase through 2025.

In an official statement, NAHB Chairman Tom Woods called it “outrageous” that Congress would consider using a g-fee hike to pay for transportation programs unrelated to the housing government sponsored enterprises.

“With first-time home buyers still hesitant to enter the marketplace, it makes no sense to impose what amounts to a new tax on homeownership that will disproportionately affect low- to moderate-income borrowers. Homeownership cannot, and must not, be used as the nation’s piggybank.”

Working with our Democratic and Republican allies in the House and Senate, NAHB ultimately was able to get the g-fee provision removed from the final transportation bill.

Good News From the IRS Regarding Repair Regulations

Responding to concerns voiced by NAHB members and other groups representing taxpayers, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have made a taxpayer-friendly change to tax regulations regarding repair and improvement expenses that took effect in 2014.

In general, the new rules require business taxpayers to capitalize, rather than expense or deduct, expenditures used for certain repair or maintenance projects.

Under the first edition of the repair rules, a taxpayer without an applicable financial statement could elect to expense purchases that cost up to $500 on a per-item basis. A separate $5,000 safe harbor was established for taxpayers with applicable financial statements. These safe harbors were created as a taxpayer simplification measure to reduce administrative costs.

Many organizations, including NAHB, provided examples to the IRS indicating that the $500 limit for taxpayers without financial statements was too low given typical costs of computers, machinery or equipment and parts.

In response to these concerns, Treasury and IRS have increased the $500 limit to a $2,500 per item safe harbor for costs incurred after Jan.1, 2016. This is a favorable change for the construction and real estate sectors, which possess a larger concentration of small businesses.

Here’s an example: Suppose a business taxpayer makes a significant repair to the HVAC system of a small apartment building that involves the purchase of a part that costs $2,000.

Assuming that the repair would otherwise require capitalization because the repair is significant and critical to the operation of the system, under the new increase in the safe harbor amount ($2,500), that cost may now be deducted immediately by the taxpayer without financial statements.

Be sure to consult your tax professional regarding this change and the new repair and maintenance rules in general.

Time is Running Out to Save on IBS Tickets

NAHB’s International Builders’ Show (IBS) is a three day event where members of the building industry have countless opportunities to learn and network. Taking place January 19-21 in Las Vegas, there are multiple benefits of attending, ten of which you can find here. There will also be a presidential candidates forum where they will be asked about questions pertaining to the building industry.

If you want to attend, buy your tickets before November 20 and get them at a discounted rate. Also, members receive a discount so speak up about your membership! For more information about the show and the amazing opportunities it offers, click here.