Start Fresh Buy New Las Vegas

By Nat Hodgson
Executive Director
Southern Nevada Home Builders Association

The Southern Nevada Home Builders Association recently launched a new “Start Fresh Buy New Las Vegas” marketing campaign to promote builder members’ new homes.

The campaign centers around the recently launched website,, which was developed by a subcommittee of the association’s Sales and Marketing Committee, SNHBA member Team AMC advertising agency and SNHBA online partner Builders Digital Experience.

The multi-media campaign presents information about the value of newly constructed homes compared with resale homes, and encourages potential homebuyers to ‘start fresh’ by purchasing a newly constructed home.

The association wants homebuyers to make an informed decision. For those who ask, ‘Is a new home the best choice for me?’ – knowing all the benefits can help them avoid a purchase that they won’t be happy with in the long run. They’re likely to incur significant, unexpected costs by purchasing an older resale home.

People lost track of the dream of homeownership over the past few years. The recession caused potential homebuyers to rethink their financial decisions, and rightly so. But when it comes to weighing the financial benefits of a new home compared with a resale home, buyers should consider more than just the sales’ prices.

A lot of people think new homes are more expensive based on sales’ prices and that’s where they stop. If they continue doing the math, they’ll find there’s much more to it – lower costs and more benefits. If they do the math, they’ll find there’s a lot of savings buying a new home, not only in lower monthly utility bills, but also lifestyle benefits.

The lifestyle benefits are huge. Everything is new – all the systems, appliances and materials, so from the start, buyers enjoy long-term warranty protection and years of repair-free living. With a new home, the buyer chooses their neighborhood and floorplan, and they can personalize the home to their own tastes. New home communities offer amenities that older communities don’t include, such as community centers, recreational amenities, trails and parks.

The Las Vegas real estate market is unique. We’ve seen a slow, measured, sustainable pattern of growth over the past several years that is projected to continue. Now, new homebuyers get more value than ever before, and nowhere is that more true than Las Vegas.


Millions of Spenders Are Ready to Come Back From the Mortgage Crisis


The article, Millions of Spenders Are Ready to Come Back From the Mortgage Crisis, from, reports that the number of people joining the rolls of those knocked from homeownership peaked seven years ago, so those blotches to their histories are starting to roll off the books right about now. The resulting improvement in credit scores means more Americans will find themselves with the ability and means to once again apply for loans, and not just for home purchases. “Improving credit scores might entice households to start borrowing more in general,” said Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at real estate search engine Trulia. And what better time than now, when interest rates are so low. Negative events such as short sales, when a home is sold for less than what’s owed on it, and foreclosures generally roll off a person’s credit report after seven years, according to the three major providers of consumer credit scores and reports: Experian Plc, Equifax Inc. and TransUnion. With that anniversary fast approaching, better access to credit may be on the way for many. The obvious effect will be in stronger demand for homes, which may also translate into higher spending on durable goods such as appliances and furnishings, said Oubina. Consumers may also feel more comfortable applying for new credit cards, auto loans or other types of debt. A TransUnion study last year estimated that of the approximately 7 million consumers who were negatively impacted as the housing bubble burst -– including those who were either severely delinquent on their mortgages, negotiated a short sale or went into foreclosure — only 1.2 million had recovered enough by December 2014 to meet Fannie Mae selling guidelines. Based on their credit histories, the agency estimated that 2.2 million more could meet those criteria through 2019.

Here is the link to the entire article:


By Nat Hodgson
Executive Director
Southern Nevada Home Builders Association

The association is pleased to roll out a new multimedia marketing campaign – “Start Fresh Buy New Las Vegas” to educate potential home buyers about the benefits of purchasing a newly built home.

The campaign is centered on a new website,, which gives site visitors lots of information about the advantages of buying new, and numerous search features to find the new home in metro Las Vegas that’s right for them.

Buying a brand new home is one dream worth pursuing because it makes sense in so many ways – emotionally, geographically and financially. A lot of people lost track of that dream over the past few years. The Great Recession caused everyone to rethink their financial decisions, and rightly so. But when it comes to weighing the financial benefits of buying a new home versus a use one, buyers need to consider more than just the sales’ price.

The Start Fresh Buy New Las Vegas campaign will help buyers navigate the dilemma of whether they should consider buying a new home or a resale by offering long-term cost comparisons and other benefits to consider.

The association wants home buyers to have all the information they need to make an informed decision. If home buyers consider all the benefits of buying a new home, they’re going to make a decision that brings them happiness for years to come – not headaches and heartaches of problem-solving and surprise costs for repairs and improvements to a used home.

Home builders use the latest high-performance materials that are more energy efficient, which means much lower utility costs compared with older homes.

A lot of people believe that a new home is more expensive to buy than a used home – they look at the sales’ prices and that’s where they stop. But they need to continue doing the math. They’ll discover there’s much more to it than just sales’ price. It’s not unusual to buy a used home and discover very quickly that you need to immediately spent thousands of dollars, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars, on repairs and upgrades. You might discover you need a new roof – that’s about $40,000. You might need a new HVAC unit – that’s several thousand dollars. You don’t have those bills with a new home.

The lifestyle benefits are huge. Everything is new – all the systems, appliances and materials. So from the start, buyers enjoy long-term warranty protection and many years of repair-free living. They can choose their favorite floorplan and personalize it to meet their own tastes and needs.

The fact is, new home buyers now enjoy more value than ever before, and nowhere is that more true than in Las Vegas.

View From The Top

By Nat Hodgson
Executive Director


   The Southern Nevada Home Builders Association recently announced that Las Vegas-based Harmony Homes is the first builder to sign up to participate in its new “above code” program, which is part of the association’s Southern Nevada Green Building Partnership program.

   Harmony Homes will incorporate the “above code” program requirements at three of its subdivisions: Malibu in North Las Vegas, and Daybreak and Talus, both of which are on the east side of the Las Vegas Valley.

The association’s green building program allows production builders who construct single-family homes in Southern Nevada to exceed the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code in an “above code” program. The above-code features required in the program produce electric, gas, and water savings beyond current code requirements.

Last year, SNHBA partnered with ConSol – Home Energy Efficiency Rating Services (CHEER) provider, to re-launch the Southern Nevada Green Building Partnership program, which promotes energy efficient and environmentally sensitive home building in metropolitan Las Vegas. The “above code” program was added at that time.

CHEERS administers the program on behalf of the association. The company has provided energy solutions for builders, government agencies, utilities, trade associations and developers in the Southwest since 1983.
The Southern Nevada Home Builders Association, the largest and oldest trade association representing the residential construction industry in Nevada, and the Green Building Initiative of Portland, Ore., formed the Southern Nevada Green Building Partnership in 2005.

The green building program provides technical expertise to help local builders implement the requirements of the program; administers impartial third-party inspection and verification by certified HERS raters, and issues certification that the home is constructed to the requirements.

The association was very proud when the city of Las Vegas adopted the Southern Nevada Green Building Partnership as the residential component of its Green Building Program in 2007.

The program certified 227 local homes – 187 were constructed by Pulte Homes and 40 were constructed by Pinnacle Homes.

Unfortunately, the program went on hiatus in the late 2000s when the economic downturn hit metropolitan Las Vegas. The association is pleased that conditions are right for the re-launch of the program. It’s a win-win for the building industry, our homebuyers and our community.

Green building, with its “above code” and high-performance features, is important to the home building industry, consumers and the nation because it promotes lower total ownership costs through utility savings and increased durability as well as an improved indoor living environment.

It also encourages environmental awareness and stewardship and more efficient use of increasingly scarce resources and helps to conserve them for future generations. Voluntary, non-prescriptive green programs provide builders and consumers with the flexibility that they need to construct homes that are sustainable, affordable, cost-effective and appropriate to the home’s geographic location.
In a competitive market, builders can differentiate themselves by building green homes.


Also, we thank our outstanding Associate-member companies that supported the Expo with booths and sponsorships: Cox Communications, Elite Flooring Plus, Finance of America, First American Title Co., Freedom Mortgage, Las Vegas Builder Trade-In Program, Las Vegas Review-Journal, New American Funding, NV Energy, SalesTraq, Security National Mortgage, Southern Nevada Water Authority and Washington Federal.

But in particular, we must single out for a special “thank you” our member, Mike Sweeney of Finance of America, who conceived the idea for the Expo and did a remarkable job putting it together and managing the event. Mike assembled a small, but outstanding team of professionals to coordinate the Expo. Also, our member, Claire DeJesus of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, deserves a “thank you” for being a guardian angel, watching over the event to ensure its success.




Builder Spotlight Vol 16



The builders of Inspirada — Beazer Homes, KB Home, Pardee Homes and Toll Brothers – welcome Century Communities as Inspirada’s fifth homebuilder.

“Inspirada is a well established master plan with great builders, said Century Communities President Don Boettcher, “We are proud to be part of this exceptional community'”             KB Home Regional President Rob McGibney praised Century Communities as builder with a great reputation in the local home building market. “We are happy to bring another fine builder to Inspirada.”

Century’s Sestina neighborhood will open in June with six models and seven plans in one- and two-story homes, ranging in size from 1,700 to 3,600 square feet. The company has built homes for some 500 families in southern Nevada in the past two years. Century Communities is one of the top 25 U.S. homebuilders by homes delivered and one of the five fastest-growing homebuilders by total revenue.

With the addition of Sestina, Inspirada visitors will be able to tour 66 model homes in 15 neighborhoods priced from the high $100s to $500s throughout the 1500-acre fully-planned community that includes four parks, eight resident-only swimming pools and the Pinecrest Academy Inspirada campus charter school.

Located across from the 20-acre Aventura Park, Beazer’s Reliance Collection features four two- and three-story floor plans with outdoor decks, while the gated Park Collection offers six single-story floor plans with “pop-up” options featuring additional living space in the attic. The homes offer between 1,900 and 2,500 square feet of living space and spacious outdoor living areas to take in Inspirada’s mountain and city light views.

KB Home’s Inspirada neighborhoods include one- and two-story homes ranging in size from approximately 1,558 square feet to approximately 4,343 square feet in their Greencourts, Reserves, gated Terraces and one-story Enclaves collection. KB Home’s eleven model homes and sales center are located off Via Firenze west of Paladi Avenue, adjacent to Potenza Park. The Groves, KB Home’s newest townhome neighborhood, is priced from the high $100s featuring five floor plans between 1,366 to 1,843 square feet.

Pardee Homes’ gated Alterra and Solano neighborhoods, also across from Aventura Park, feature six model homes and floor plans with approximately 2,187 to 4,165 square feet of living space and a focus on indoor/outdoor living. In addition, Pardee’s Bella Verdi neighborhood and recently opened Escala collection near Capriola and Potenza parks feature one and two-story homes with up to 3,949 square feet of living space.

Toll Brothers’ neighborhoods at Inspirada include the Villamar Collection with two-story homes close to Solista Park, Inspirada’s first park that includes the resident community center, two heated resident pools, playgrounds, outdoor amphitheater, lighted bocce courts and picnic areas. Toll Brothers’ Carmona Collection, across from Capriola Park, offers two-story plans on estate-sized home sites. The gated Veneto neighborhood features single-story homes across from Aventura Park. Toll Brothers homeowners enjoy their own Clubhouse, featuring a resort-style pool, fitness center, kitchen and well-appointed gathering spaces for parties and events.

In addition to its 85-acre system of parks, trails and open spaces, Inspirada is the gateway to Sloan Canyon National Recreation Area that includes more than 1700 petroglyphs.

With a projected build-out of 8,500 homes, Inspirada is currently home to more than 2,500 residents who have access to programs and activities managed by a full-time staff that creates social calendars to bring neighbors together in the parks and the Inspirada Community Center. For more information, visit or follow the community on Facebook at


Contact: Linda Faiss – [email protected] or 702-234-5320

View From The Top

By Nat Hodgson
Executive Director

The Southern Nevada Home Builders Association thanks our industry partner, the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors and its members, for their contributions and efforts toward the success of our recent inaugural Real Estate Expo Las Vegas at the Cashman Center in downtown Las Vegas.

We’re still crunching the numbers and debriefing the sponsors and exhibitors, but we’re very pleased with the Expo, and we’re already discussing plans for the 2017 Real Estate Expo Las Vegas.

For the first time, the Expo brought together more than 3,000 members of the local home building industry, real estate professionals, potential homebuyers, homeowners and the general public to network and learn about our market. Despite the rain and cloudy skies that weekend, people turned out with enthusiasm to be a part of this event.

After so many years of economic downturn, it was great to see so many industry professionals come together at this energetic and information-packed event. There were nearly 200 attendees at the opening session, the Las Vegas Housing Outlook presentation by our member, Home Builders Research Inc. The Outlook presentation featured a special panel of experts – SNHBA President Frank Wyatt of Pinnacle Homes, GLVAR CEO Michelle Caprio and Bob Potts, research director at the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

At the end of the first day, about 100 members of the home building industry and the Realtors came together for a joint SNHBA-GLVAR Industry Networking Mixer. We thank the Zillow and Trulia folks at Premier Agent for hosting that event.

Considering this was a first effort, most of the booths were very attractive and impressive. Our master-planned communities of Cadence, Inspirada, Skye Canyon and Summerlin had notable displays with excellent information about their builders and amenities.

We thank our builder-member companies that displayed at the Expo: American West Homes, CalAtlantic Homes, Century Communities, DR Horton, KB Home Pulte Homes, Richmond American, Shea Homes, StoryBook Homes, Toll Brothers, William Lyon Homes and Woodside Homes.

Also, we thank our outstanding Associate-member companies that supported the Expo with booths and sponsorships: Cox Communications, Elite Flooring Plus, Finance of America, First American Title Co., Freedom Mortgage, Las Vegas Builder Trade-In Program, Las Vegas Review-Journal, New American Funding, NV Energy, SalesTraq, Security National Mortgage, Southern Nevada Water Authority and Washington Federal.

But in particular, we must single out for a special “thank you” our member, Mike Sweeney of Finance of America, who conceived the idea for the Expo and did a remarkable job putting it together and managing the event. Mike assembled a small, but outstanding team of professionals to coordinate the Expo. Also, our member, Claire DeJesus of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, deserves a “thank you” for being a guardian angel, watching over the event to ensure its success.




From The Training Room Vol 2

by Brian Fraibble

Do you think selling new homes requires specialized skills? My experience and the input of 90% of my site agent colleagues would agree yes. It’s actually more of a knowledge game and the statement that knowledge and power proves true in negotiating with the new home construction site agents.

“KNOW THE DEAL”. That quote is never more important than when negotiating with a new home site and negotiating a great deal for your customer; converting said customer to a client.
Standing inventory. Quick move in homes. Showcase homes. These are often titles defining inventory that the builders are anxious to sell. Our clients desire to build a home from the ground up and customize is very important; however an option for a move-in ready house is a possibility for discounted pricing and additional incentives.

We get into some specified techniques during our training sessions, please join us for awesome networking and interactive learning. HAPPY SELLING!

We @ TNT are constantly stressing the importance of the relationship between site agents and Realtors.

This key relationship opens the door for smoother transactions, happier clients and more closings. New home site agents are trained in the selling skills of critical path.
Meet and greet. Demonstrate. Qualify. Site. Close. It’s often said “the meet and greet is the most important aspect of the critical path”; and many site agents are challenged with the simple process of introduction.

It’s much easier to sit down with a friend over a cup of coffee and negotiate an agreement then it is to negotiate the same agreement with a stranger. Wouldn’t you agree?
When a skilled realtor walks into the room and already has established a relationship with the builder’s agent, we are now prepared to work together along with our

View From The Top, Vol 12

By Nat Hodgson
Executive Director
Southern Nevada Home Builders Association


Longtime, respected home builder, Frank Wyatt, the president of Pinnacle Homes in Las Vegas, has taken the helm as 2016 president of the Southern Nevada Home Builders Association.

Wyatt has been an active member of the association since 1982 when he was a consulting engineer at then-SEA Engineers. He established Pinnacle Homes in Las Vegas in 1992. He also served as SNHBA president in 2011, and has been very active on many of the association’s committees, including its Executive, Legislative, Codes, and Community Planning and Infrastructure committees. In 2015, SNHBA presented Wyatt with a Lifetime Achievement Award in Home Building.

“There have been a lot of transitions at the association in recent years, but our central mission remains largely the same – work hard to keep new homes competitively priced for as many potential homebuyers as possible,” Wyatt said during his acceptance speech at the association’s Installation and Awards Luncheon in December at the Four Seasons Hotel.

He said the tight supply of local land remains the primary challenge for home builders to sell their new homes at competitive prices.

“Land is a major component of the cost of a home, and in Southern Nevada, it’s a huge challenge for home builders. More than 80 percent of the land in Nevada is owned or controlled by the federal government. Contrast that with Texas where the federal government has less than 2 percent.

“This land constraint keeps our land costs high relative to other locations in the region, and that makes new-home affordability more difficult. The processes currently under way to make land more available will take many years. It’s critical we be a part of the process as it moves forward,” Wyatt said.

Wyatt’s roots in Nevada run deep. He graduated from Earl Wooster High School in Reno in 1971. The late Senator Alan Bible appointed Wyatt to the U.S. Air Force Academy that year. He had to resign from his studies in 1973 because of a vision problem that interfered with pilot qualification.

He went on to the Georgia Institute of Technology, better known as Georgia Tech, in Atlanta from 1974 to 1976, graduating with high honors with a degree in civil engineering. In 2004, Georgia Tech presented Wyatt with a Distinguished Graduate Award.

Builder Spotlight Vol 11

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Once upon a time, a company was created with the vision to provide a family the foundation for all they do — The Home. A place where family grows together, laughs together, and works through all life’s challenges together. From reading storybooks to your children to sharing holidays with your family and friends; the home is the foundation of it all. This is why Storybook Homes was created.

No detail is left to chance. We have selected new home communities in the most desirable neighborhoods, design homes the way families live in them, and offer each home at the best value possible. This year Storybook has multiple new locations opening with brand new floor plans including our newest location, Enchanted. This community is located in the heart of Green Valley and features 3 brand new floor plans that cater to all buyer profiles.

The principals of Storybook Homes, Wayne Laska and his wife Catherine have spent the last 23 years raising four children of their own. For almost 18 years, Wayne was a member of a very successful homebuilding team that was able to provide over 21,000 quality homes and has built over 1,000 homes for families all over the Las Vegas Valley. In 2015 Storybook was awarded the homebuilder of the year award by the Southern Nevada Home Builders Association.

In an effort to diversify, Storybook Homes is branching out into the multifamily-model with their new project, “The Mercer”. The Mercer will be a four-story apartment community that is strategically located in the desirable southwest Las Vegas Valley. It offers resort-style amenities, a secure and enclosed parking structure, elevators to each level, and future integration with onsite retail and services.

Storybook Homes knows very well how important the home is to your family and stands firm on the leading principle that the family is the number one priority. Here at Storybook Homes our philosophy is simple: to build a home of the highest quality and provide each one of our buyers with outstanding customer service.

View From the Top Vol 11


Is it really 2016 already? For those of you who happen to be planning on buying a home in the new year — or even just trying to — there’s a whole lot to celebrate. Why? A variety of financial vectors have dovetailed to make this the perfect storm for home buyers to get out there and make an (winning) offer. Here are six home-buying reasons to be thankful while ringing in the new year:

Reason No. 1: Interest rates are still at record lows

Even though they may creep up at any moment, it’s nonetheless a fact that interest rates on home loans are at historic lows, with a 30-year fixed-rate home loan still hovering around 4%.

“Remember 18.5% in the ’80s?” asks Tom Postilio, a real estate broker with Douglas Elliman Real Estate and a star of HGTV’s “Selling New York.””It is likely that we’ll never see interest rates this low again. So while prices are high in some markets, the savings in interest payments could easily amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars over the life of the mortgage.”

Reason No. 2: Rents have skyrocketed

Another reason home buyers are lucky is that rents are going up, up, up! (This, on the other hand, is a reason not to be thankful if you’re a renter.) In fact, rents outpaced home values in 20 of the 35 biggest housing markets in 2015. What’s more, according to the 2015 Rental Market Report, 88% of property managers raised their rent in the past 12 months, and an 8% hike is predicted for 2016.

“In most metropolitan cities, monthly rent is comparable to that of a monthly mortgage payment, sometimes more,” says Heather Garriock, mortgage agent for The Mortgage Group. “Doesn’t it make more sense to put those monthly chunks of money into your own appreciating asset rather than handing it over to your landlord and saying goodbye to it forever?”

Reason No. 3: Home prices are stabilizing

For the first time in years, prices that have been climbing steadily upward are stabilizing, restoring a level playing field that helps buyers drive a harder bargain with sellers, even in heated markets.

“Local markets vary, but generally we are experiencing a cooling period,” says Postilio. “At this moment, buyers have the opportunity to capitalize on this.”

Reason No. 4: Down payments don’t need to break the bank

Probably the biggest obstacle that prevents renters from becoming homeowners is pulling together a down payment. But today, that chunk of change can be smaller, thanks to a variety of programs to help home buyers. For instance, the new Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Home Possible Advantage Program allows for a 3% down payment for credit scores as low as 620.

Reason No. 5: Mortgage insurance is a deal, too

If you do decide to put less than 20% down on a home, you are then required to have mortgage insurance (basically in case you default). A workaround to handle this, however, is to take out a loan from the Federal Housing Administration — a government mortgage insurer that backs loans with down payments as low as 3.5% and credit scores as low as 580. The fees are way down from 1.35% to 0.85% of the mortgage balance, meaning your monthly mortgage total will be significantly lower if you fund it this way. In fact, the FHA predicts this 37% annual premium cut will bring 250,000 first-time buyers into the market. Why not be one of them?

Reason No. 6: You’ll reap major tax breaks

Tax laws continue to favor homeowners, so you’re not just buying a place to live — you’re getting a tax break! The biggest one is that unless your home loan is more than $1 million, you can deduct all the monthly interest you are paying on that loan. Homeowners may also deduct certain home-related expenses and home property taxes.