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ABC Special Report
Investigation: New Home Heartbreak
Trump - NAHB Homebuilders Shoddy Construction and Forced Arbitration
Builder $1.1M Lobby for More Corporate Welfare from Congress
Latest News
Friday, 02 April 2010

Homebuilders' group spent $1.1M in the 4th-qtr lobbying for homebuyer incentives, tax breaks
The homebuilding industry's main trade association spent $1.1 million in the fourth quarter lobbying Congress, the White House and several government agencies on housing, taxes, health care and other issues, according to a disclosure report. The National Association of Home Builders shelled out about 49 percent more than the $740,000 it spent for lobbying in the prior-year period. It paid out $750,000 in the third quarter of 2009. The NAHB also lobbied the federal government on legislation involving immigration, labor, banking, air and water quality, energy, bankruptcy, endangered species, small business, torts, transportation and trade, according to the report filed on Jan. 15.

Started in Texas - Another Rip-Off by Developers and Home Builders
Latest News
Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Home sellers beware: Fee might be hidden
Here's a new concept in real estate: Buy a house, and when you go to sell it years later, owe the original developer or builder 1 percent of the sales price. Freehold Capital Partners, a company started in Texas, is selling developers across the country on a plan that would attach a private transfer fee to homes, allowing developers to profit for generations. The fee, written into neighborhood restrictions, would encumber the property for 99 years and throw 1 percent of the sale price back to the developer — or his or her estate or another investor — and Freehold each time the home changes hands. Read Comments

COMMENTS: Home sellers beware: Fee might be hidden
Latest News
Wednesday, 31 March 2010
Bad Federal Policy Gives Big Builders Millions - Home Buyers Say, Thanks but No Thanks
Latest News
Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Homebuyer Tax Credit Backfires
Realtor associations in Chicago, Memphis and elsewhere are organizing market-wide "open houses" on April 10 and 11. At least one builder, KB Homes, is hosting a "48 hour house hunt" to attract buyers who can earn an $8000 credit if they are first-timers and $6500 if they are repeat buyers. "Homebuyers who want to take advantage of the limited-time federal homebuyer tax credit still have time to choose a newly constructed KB home...

The Gold Standard: Property with expansive soil eligible for HUD approval
Latest News
Monday, 29 March 2010
Big Builders Billions in Tax Refunds More Profitable than Real Homebuilding Business
Latest News
Saturday, 20 March 2010

Builder rake in refunds
Several publicly traded companies, including Lennar Corp., Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. and Pulte Homes Inc., expect to rake in roughly $2.5 billion in federal tax refunds combined, according to company filings. Lawmakers amended the tax code last fall to help struggling companies stay in business by essentially giving them a greater opportunity to recoup previously paid taxes. The move has helped some of the biggest builders turn a profit for the first time in years. But some small builders say the souped-up tax break is primarily giving their large rivals yet another competitive edge. That's because the latest windfall looks less like a lifeline and more like a war chest. Several large builders are now sitting on more than $1 billion in cash and are snapping up tracts of land to be ready for the next building boom.

San Antonio Building Inspectors Revealed
Latest News
Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Building inspectors in bribery investigation revealed
We've now uncovered the names of two City of San Antonio building inspectors who are the target of an on-going bribery investigation.  One of the inspectors in trouble is Ernest A. Martinez, a building inspection supervisor and a ten year veteran of the city's planning and development department.  The other is George Moreno, a senior electrical inspector.  Both resigned last November after the city took steps to fire them after investigating a complaint they accepted bribes from contractors in exchange for approving work they did not inspect.

Good Samaritans Help Why Not The City Code Enforcement or DA
Latest News
Friday, 12 March 2010

Contractors Help Scammed Woman
Some local contractors are volunteering their services to help a woman who needs a rehabilitation room built for her son who was hit by a car. Salinas said that she paid Estrada nearly $30,000 from money she had saved and raised from a benefit barbecue. But Estrada never finished the job, Salinas said... Roger Delgado of Turdminator Plumbing, who was one of the first contractors to lend a helping hand, said that he found fitting joints unglued that wouldn't have passed inspection.

WOAI News 4: Another illegal retaining wall
Latest News
Friday, 12 March 2010

City concerned about retaining wall near sports stadium, Wurzbach Parkway
A retaining wall that sits just feet away from a Northeast Side sports stadium is the cause for some big concerns. Heroes Stadium is near Wurzbach Parkway and Thousand Oaks. City officials say a nearby retaining wall was illegally and incorrectly built...The retaining wall is not causing any problems right now. However, city inspectors told News 4 WOAI if the wall were to fail, it could cause some major damage to Wurzbach Parkway.

Express-News Editorial Board - City Inspector Bribes
Latest News
Wednesday, 10 March 2010

City inspector probe merits Council scrutiny
Misconduct by rank-and-file city employees is far less conspicuous than misconduct by city leaders. But it can be every bit as destructive to public confidence. When it involves the enforcement of city codes, it can pose even greater dangers to public safety...City Council should monitor the investigation's progress closely. The taint of impropriety can't be allowed to mar city government. Enforcement of the city's building code shouldn't be up for sale.

New York Times: Creaking Sounds of Foundations from Shifting Soil
Latest News
Sunday, 07 March 2010

Shifting Soil Threatens Homes’ Foundations
STEVEN DERSE, the owner of a corporate travel business in Nashville, cannot feel his house move, but he can hear it. “It’s an eerie creaking sound,” he said, and it echoes throughout his two-story Georgian-style house.It started two years ago when a severe drought contracted the soil beneath the foundation, which caused it to crack and sink, pulling the house down with it. The noise has continued intermittently, becoming more insistent last year when flooding pushed the already compromised foundation and house back upward.

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