Should Tornado Shelters be mandated?

Posted on June 24, 2011 by Mike Means

A call to mandate tornado shelters has been on the horizon before. Now, it's blown through town again.

There I was watching the television when a local anchor said he thought tornado shelters should be mandated. Here we go I thought - more government mandates all in the name of safety.

I had one builder tell me he could absolutely build a house that could withstand a tornado, be burn proof and literally remain standing from an earthquake. The problem is NOBODY could afford it because it would be so expensive.

The housing industry is in the tank, our economy is anemic, jobs are difficult to come by and, if economists are correct, inflation is around the corner. What can we do to insure that things don't get better?

Add more mandates to the cost of building a home.

Please don't misunderstand me. I think shelters are prudent. But it should be a customer's choice where he or she spends his money. I've read reports that say the odds of your home being destroyed by a tornado are 1 in 1 Million over the life of your home. Should every new home be forced to have a shelter for the chance of that occurring?

If mandates increase the cost of new housing then logic says people will spend their hard-earned money elsewhere. And, since most people have a mortgage, that means the extra cost is tied up for the life of the loan.

So, tell me what you think. Do you want more mandates or would you rather decide for yourself what you want in your new home?

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Using Facebook for Business? Join us on 6/16!

Posted on June 14, 2011 by Mike Means

social media iconsAre you utilizing Facebook or Linkedin to market your business? Have you wondered how to use these programs to grow your business? Join us on Thursday, June 16 at 11:30 for lunch as we learn how these platforms can be utilized as marketing tools.

Sherry Roden, Networking & Online Marketing Specialist, will be sharing best practices and resources to help you implement these social media tools into your marketing plan.

To learn more about the Social Media Revolution view this short YouTube video:

For more details and to register click here.

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Home Ownership still important to Americans

Posted on June 14, 2011 by Mike Means

I had the opportunity today to listen to a webinar regarding a national poll done by two groups working in a bi-partisan manner. The results were outstanding - Home Ownership is still important to Americans.

Whether they owned or rented, whether they were under water or not, the vast majority think that home ownership is a good investment and is good for all age groups. It is where people want to put their money.

Some really good news is that most think this is a great time to buy. The bad news - many think it is a bad time to sell. If you are in a position to buy - get a good deal now and start building value.

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Mark your calendars for State Convention

Posted on June 1, 2011 by Mike Means

Mike Means

Come cool off with us at the OSHBA Annual State Convention July 14 - 16, at the Choctaw Casino and Resort in Durant, Okla., situated near Lake Texhoma.

In addition to the fabulous table top/silent auction, we will have educational offerings for everyone. And an added bonus this year is you will receive the first year's registration free as a new Certified Professional Builder if you attend the convention.

Add the education hours you earn at the convention, and you're already set for the first year! Also, you won't want to miss former CEO of the California Builders Association, Bob Rivinius, present "Don't let Oklahoma become the next California."

Do you golf? Oklahoma Natural Gas has arranged a special golf outing right before our state convention at the Chickasaw Point Golf Club. This fantastic course abuts Lake Texoma and is fun to play. Through ONG's generous offer, you can play this course -- with cart, green fees, door prizes and more -- for only $25 (registration is required and the outing is limited to 18 teams).

For more information, and to register, click here!

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The meaning of Home - 2 views

Posted on May 27, 2011 by Mike Means

Two items in my email inbox caught my eye today. They both dealt with the meaning of "home." I thought I would share.

The first item came from the executive director for the Homeless Alliance. I sit on their board of directors and we are building a new resource center that will bring providers into a "one stop shop" setting. We will have some fence panels that surround that property and they will be decorated with art from local sources. Here is what I received from him today:

"The first completed art panel for the WestTown Campus public art project was delivered this morning. It was done by the students of Taft Middle School, a substantial portion of whom are themselves homeless or formerly homeless. The title of the piece is, "Home is Where Your Heart Feels Safe."


How fantastically COOL is this?!?!?"


The second email came from one of our own NAHB economists, Elliot Eisenberg, regarding Joplin, Missouri. It too, struck a chord with me -

"Recently I was to give a talk about the economic impact of home building in Joplin, MO. However, a few hours before I landed, a devastating tornado destroyed 2,000 buildings and heavily damaged one-third of the city, including the hospital, high school and many neighborhoods. In all, over 120 persons were killed.

The most poignant part of natural disasters is hearing survivors talk about rebuilding their destroyed homes and neighborhoods. Few cry over other destroyed property; such items are more easily replaced. Yet, people grieve when surveying a destroyed home. This is because homes are repositories of memory and because homes speak to the importance of place. Thus, the profound desire to rebuild persists even though moving away may be easier.

Joplin has suffered immense physical and psychological damage. And home builders will take their part in helping to make these communities whole. In my speeches as an economist I regularly report the number of jobs created and the amount of tax revenue generated by home building. But those details miss the larger point. What rebuilding homes in Joplin and New Orleans and Memphis does is offer people and communities hope about the future and comfort that they are part of it."

These two emails once again reminded me the importance of "home"  to those who don't have one, to those who have lost one, and to those who should count our blessings to have one. May you enjoy your home and all those who fill it and make it home, this Memorial weekend.

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Impact Fee Legislation Signed

Posted on May 16, 2011 by Mike Means

legislationOklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed SB 708 into law recently. This legislation was regarding Impact Fees, and sets the framework by which cities can implement an impact fee.

It doesn't mandate one, but if municipalities elect to have one, they have to enact and enforce it by the rules set forth in this legislation. The rules include:




  • Accountability
  • Responsibility
  • Reasonableness
  • Transparency

Thank you for your support and action on this item that is so important to our industry!

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