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Home   About Us   Membership   Education   Events   Contact Us           September 03, 2015

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Protect yourself by ordering the new TAB residential construction contracts
TAB
Available only to builder/remodeler members of the Texas Association of Builders, TAB's updated 2015 – 2017 contracts package are now available. Unlike other contracts packages, TAB's package reflects the most recent mandates coming out of the 2015 Texas Legislative Session and case law updates, in addition to a new design-build contract and architect addendum. As always, the package will also be updated to include needed clarifications, various improvements and greater ease of use.

The TAB contracts subscription is your blueprint for typical construction and remodeling transactions in the State of Texas. The package of contracts and related addenda is a fantastic value and can save you thousands of dollars in legal fees. The subscription includes any needed updates that may occur during the two year cycle. If you purchase the contracts package by Dec. 31, the cost is just $299.99; it goes up to $399.99 on Jan. 1, 2016.
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TAB accepting 'Of The Year' award nominations
TAB
Nominations for the 2015 Texas "Of The Year" awards are now being accepted. In an effort to recognize outstanding contributions to the industry by its members, the Texas Association of Builders will be receiving nominations for:
    J.B. Sandlin Builder of the Year
    Associate of the Year
    Developer of the Year
    Remodeler of the Year
    Philanthropist of the Year
    Local Association Accomplishment of the Year
    Presidential Distinguished Service
The "Of The Year" awards grading is based on state association involvement (50 percent), local association involvement (30 percent), and national association involvement (20 percent). Contributions in these categories are judged on previous years' involvement, as well as current year's activities. Each candidate is judged independently and a final tabulation of the results will determine the winner. The "Association Accomplishment of the Year" and "Distinguished Service" awards will be based upon 2015 contributions and achievements.

All of the forms for nominating deserving members for these awards can be found at TexasBuilders.org. When making nominations, be aware that individuals currently serving as TAB officers are ineligible to receive these awards. The nomination forms should be completed and returned to the Texas Association of Builders, 313 E. 12th Street, Ste. 210, Austin, Texas 78701 by Sept. 15, 2015. A letter of recommendation from the local association Executive Officer must accompany the forms.

These awards will be presented at the TAB Fall Board Meeting and Excellence in Leadership Dinner on Nov. 12, 2015, at the Westin Austin Downtown Hotel in Austin, Texas.

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Report: International homebuying in Texas becoming more diverse
Houston Chronicle
International buyers purchased fewer homes in Texas from April 2014 and March 2015, a new report shows. But for the first time, Latin American buyers were not the clear majority of foreign nationals buying properties in the state, the Texas Association of Realtors found in its annual report on international buyers. Buyers were more evenly distributed among Latin Americans, Asians, Canadians, Europeans and Africans.
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Home builders call new labor law ruling crippling
CNBC
Home builders are balking at a new labor law ruling that puts them on the hook for issues involving millions of subcontractors. Roofers, plumbers, electricians, framers are just some of the 25 categories of subcontractors used to build a home. The National Labor Relations Board could, in some cases, now deem them "joint employees" of the home builders.
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Home builders say loans are no longer scarce
The Wall Street Journal
Many factors, on the demand and supply sides, continue to hinder the home-construction market in the U.S. from returning to normal. But, several home builders say, the availability of construction loans no longer is one of them. Indeed, lenders are opening the spigot at a steady, albeit moderate, pace for commercial and residential construction alike, which bodes well for output in those industries. That, in turn, stands to benefit the U.S. economy, given that rising construction spending contributes greatly to gross domestic product.
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David Weekley presents homes that help boost energy savings
Houston Chronicle
David Weekley Homes is building in Ashfield Gardens in Cinco Ranch. One of the nation's largest private builders, David Weekley has homes on 55- and 65-foot homesites in this Katy community. Homes in the 55-foot section are priced from the $350,000s and range from 2,200 to 3,000 square feet, with one home ready for immediate move-in. Homes in the 65-foot section of Ashfield Gardens are priced from the $410,000s and range from 2,500 to 3,200 square feet. Three homes in this section are ready for move-in.
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Texas judicial vacancy flood means Cornyn, Cruz must act
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Recently, Eastern District of Texas Judge Michael Schneider announced that he'll leave active duty and take "senior status" in January 2016. By providing more than four-months' notice, Schneider gave the Texas senators charged with finding his replacement an opportunity to do what they have never done before: Fill a judicial vacancy before the judge actually steps down and further weakens an already strained justice system.
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As Near Northside booms, group pushes affordable housing
Houston Chronicle
As property values skyrocket in the traditionally working-class Near Northside, a community development group is moving forward with projects that seek to ensure the neighborhood keeps residents in a range of income brackets. Avenue CDC has spent years building affordable homes on land it owns in the area and offering subsidies to make sure lower-income people are not displaced by gentrification.
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8 Texas counties list more voters than residents
Fox News
No law prevents localities from having more registered voters than voting-age residents, and eight Texas counties do. Now a vote-watch group accuses the counties of violating the National Voting Rights Act by failing to purge dead and ineligible voters. "We are deeply concerned (that) voter rolls contain substantial numbers of ineligible voters," True the Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht stated in a letter to the eight Texas counties.
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2015 Texas housing market predictions
Housing Predictor
Unlike the rest of the country, Texas did not see a large drop in home values during the recession. The state saw lower unemployment rates than the rest of the nation, and there was no influx of investors buying up distressed properties simply because there were no excessively undervalued properties available to buy. Right now, the 2015 housing market in Texas is hot. Even though the energy industry is in a bit of a decline, this news has yet to negatively impact real estate.
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'City Plan' draft urges strong tactics to manage Waco growth
Waco Tribune-Herald
City leaders have said for years that they want to repopulate the inner city and rein in the costs of running pipes and streets to "sprawl" development on the edges of town. Now comes a proposed new comprehensive plan with strong measures aimed at doing just that, and developers are nervous. Waco City Council will take its first look at the 25-year "City Plan" that will guide decisions on everything from economic development to environment to infrastructure and land use.
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Houston argues for right to regulate industrial pollution
The Texas Tribune
Two ordinances passed by the city of Houston to regulate air pollution reflect the spirit of the Texas Clean Air Act and state environmental regulations and should be allowed to stand, lawyers for the city argued before the Texas Supreme Court. The ordinances, passed in 2007 and 2008, require industrial polluters to register with the city and follow state emission guidelines, at risk of being fined. The local rules are necessary, attorney Robert Higgason argued on Houston's behalf, so the city can plug gaps in environmental enforcement left by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
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State Rep. Jones McClendon set to retire in 2016
San Antonio Express-News
State Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon, a San Antonio Democrat and 19-year veteran of the Texas House who tenaciously championed social justice reform, said that she is not running for re-election. McClendon was elected in 1996 to represent East Side voters in House District 120 and has emerged as a fixture in the Legislature as the dean of the Bexar County delegation.
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Texans to have starring role in congressional showdowns
The Texas Tribune
One of the most chaotic and frenetic congressional sessions in recent times is expected to play out this fall. And thanks to the size and rank of Texas' delegation, the state is expected to play an outsized role in the drama. With the state's 38 delegation members, including the second-ranking Senate Republican and a presidential candidate, it should be easy to find a Texan in the middle of the action as debates emerge on abortion, a possible government shutdown and President Obama's controversial foreign policy. Texans also run five House committees and form sizable voting blocs in both parties.
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TAB News Briefs

Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Caitlin McNeely, Senior Editor, 469.420.2692 
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