Saturday, February 28 2009
Forbes Magazine has published a list of America’s Best and Worst Housing Markets. The list is for large size cities and does not consider smaller cities.
America's Best and Worst Housing Markets
As the housing downturn wears on, some cities are stabilizing and some
In Las Vegas, the weakest market in the country, prices continue to drop.
"I don't know what those guys were drinking when they thought all this building made sense. If it does work out soon, then there's some force out there in the universe that I'm not aware of," Steve Cesinger, chief financial officer at Dewberry Capital, an Atlanta-based real estate investment firm.
Forbes magazine analyzed monthly declines as well as year-over-year declines in home prices. It also looked at how many months of equity homeowners have lost. With these figures in mind, it determined the 10 best and the 10 worst U.S. housing markets. Here they are:
New York City
Source: Forbes: Matt Woolsey (02/24/2005)
Friday, February 27 2009
An Evansville company has been awarded an $11 million defense contract. Ameriqual Group LLC will provide various polymeric tray food products for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. Ameriqual is a major supplier of Meals Ready-to-Eat (MRE) for the military.
Food Producer Lands Military Contract
AmeriQual Group, LLC, Evansville, Ind.*, is being awarded a maximum $11,392,284 fixed price with economic price adjustment contract for various polymeric traypack ration items. Other location of performance is Indiana. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. There were originally two proposals solicited with two responses. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising the second option year period. The date of performance completion is Feb. 28, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM3S1-07-D-Z193).
Source: Inside INdiana Business & U.S. Department of Defense
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Friday, February 27 2009
Very often our local real estate market does not follow the national trend, and we all benefit from that. In this case, I’m glad to see that our local market does follow the national trend, and that is in renters turning to home buyers. We hear from many mortgage lenders that the rate of refinancing mortgages has been declining and that there has been a steady increase in rate of purchase of new homes. Evansville in this case is following the national trend.
Rent-mortgage gap attracts new buyers
(CNN) - The gap between the cost of renting an apartment and the average monthly mortgage in the country's 50 largest housing markets is shrinking - good news for those looking to buy a home.
"I think it is positive that affordability is being restored to the housing market," said Celia Chen of moodyseconomy.com. "One of the reasons we had this housing crisis is because prices became so elevated that home buyers, the market could not support the values of homes."
And the subsequent housing bust has home values edging back down to levels closer to the historical average - and narrowing the gap between the cost of a mortgage and monthly rent. That's according to a study by real estate consultants Green Street Advisors that was reported in the Wall Street Journal.
"Even though it's painful for people who own homes purchased in the last couple of years, it does help to restore some balance to the housing market," Chen said.
Lower prices and interest rates are encouraging renters to jump in. But that doesn't necessarily mean the apartment business will soon be struggling.
"There are also of course right now many homeowners being foreclosed upon and the alternative for them is to rent an apartment," said Chen. "So this is all positive for the apartment market."
Thursday, February 26 2009
We congratulate the Reverend Adrian Brooks, pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, for receiving the Evansville Rotary Club Award for 2009. Reverend Brooks has worked for many years to help families in need. He truly is a well deserved recipient of this award.
Evansville Rotary Club hands out annual award
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - It's been a tradition since 1927, the Evansville Rotary Club gives out its award for outstanding community service.
This year's winner, the Reverend Adrian Brooks, pastor of Memorial Baptist Church.
Reverend Brooks has helped create a wide variety of programs for members since becoming pastor in 1993 and through the church's development corporation has helped provide safe housing for those in need.
"It was important for us in the Genesis to be more than just a church that gathered on Sunday," Brooks said. "We wanted to help solve some of the problems we saw Monday through Saturday and then gather on Sunday for a great celebration of what God can do through his people."
Brooks' leadership has led to the creation of more than 50 ministries including a childcare center, youth programs and substance abuse counseling.
Wednesday, February 25 2009
According to Lloyd Winnecke, Vice President of Marketing at Fifth Third Bank, area residents have been getting text messages on their cell phones informing the owners that their credit card has been deactivated and that the bank customer should call 604-288-8539 to activate the card. This text message is a scam. Fifth Third Bank will not send out text messages. The article has also useful guidelines regarding identity theft.
Text Scam Hits Area
Several people have contacted FOX 7 news to report receiving unusual text messages.
Fifth Third Bank has been receiving similar calls. The text messages are an apparent scam to get credit card numbers. The following is a release from Fifth Third Bank on the issue.
EVANSVILLE - Scam artists are once again targeting Evansville area residents by attempting to fraudulently obtain credit card and debit card numbers.
Several customers of Fifth Third Bank report having received a text message on their cellular phone that says: “Dear Bank Customer, your credit card has been deactivated. For credit card access, call (604) 288-8539 to reactivate.” When the customer calls the number, they receive a message that prompts them to enter their card number.
“This is scam; it’s a blatant attempt to rip off unsuspecting consumers,” offered Lloyd Winnecke, Vice President and Marketing Director for Fifth Third Bank in Evansville. “The bank does not communicate legitimate customer account issues in this fashion. If consumers have specific questions or concerns regarding their accounts, they should contact the bank for assistance,” Winnecke added.
As a reminder, there are several tips to keep in mind to help protect personal bank information and to reduce the chances of card fraud:
• Shred all personal and financial information — such as bills, bank statements, ATM receipts and credit card offers — before you throw it away.
• Keep your personal documentation (e.g., birth certificate, Social Security card, etc.) and your bank and credit card records in a secure place.
• Call the post office immediately if you are not receiving your mail. To get the personal information needed to use your identity, a thief can forge your signature and have your mail forwarded.
• Be aware of your surroundings when entering your Personal Identification Number (PIN) at an ATM.
• Limit the number of credit cards and other personal information that you carry in your wallet or purse.
• Report lost or stolen credit cards immediately.
• Review and consider whether you need currently inactive card accounts. Even when not being used, these accounts appear on your credit report, which is accessible to thieves. If you have applied for a credit card and have not received the card in a timely manner, immediately notify the appropriate financial institution.
• Closely monitor the expiration dates on your credit cards. Contact the credit issuer if the replacement card is not received prior to your credit card's expiration date.
• Sign all new credit cards upon receipt.
• Review your credit reports annually.
• Use passwords on your credit cards, bank accounts and phone cards. Avoid using the obvious passwords — your mother's maiden name, your birth date or the last four digits of your Social Security or phone number.
• Match your credit card receipts against monthly bills to make sure there are no unauthorized charges.
• Volunteer any personal information when you use your credit card.
• Give your Social Security number, credit card number or any bank account details over the phone unless you have initiated the call and know that the business that you are dealing with is reputable.
• Leave receipts at ATMs, bank counters or unattended gasoline pumps.
• Leave envelopes containing your credit card payments or checks in your home mailbox for postal carrier pickup.
• Record your Social Security number or passwords on paper and store them in your wallet or purse. Memorize your numbers and/or passwords.
• Disclose bank account numbers, credit card account numbers or other personal financial data on any Web site or online service location, unless you receive a secured authentication key from your provider.
Wednesday, February 25 2009
Southern Indiana’s favorite family park has gotten thumbs up from Oprah Winfrey. Although her title to the story is “Oprah's short list of 'wacky' vacations”, the management at Holiday World is happy to be included in this list. We have been to the park numerous times and we can certainly recommend a visit if you have not done so already. Enjoy your trip to Holiday World.
Oprah's short list of 'wacky' vacations includes Holiday World
The folks at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari aren’t going to quibble with talk show queen Oprah Winfrey who has included the Southern Indiana theme park on her just-released list of eight “Wacky Family Attractions” cash-strapped families should try this year.
“If Oprah wants to call us ‘wacky,’ we don’t mind a bit,” says the theme park’s president, Will Koch. “Come to think of it, it is a little wacky for a theme park to play ‘Jingle Bells’ in the middle of July.”
The popular website Oprah.com, which is one of the 2,000 most-visited websites on the Internet, included Holiday World in a story suggesting families vacation closer to home this year “when time and money are in short supply.”
The article includes a photograph of Santa Claus in his Holiday World summer garb along with a brief history of the park (established by the Koch family in 1946) and a description of the rides and holiday areas.
Other parks mentioned in the piece include Mammoth Cave National Park near Bowling Green, Ky., and Legoland in California.
Holiday World begins its 63rd season May 2 with the premiere of Pilgrim’s Plunge, the world’s tallest water ride.
Monday, February 23 2009
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 could provide a boost for homeowners who elect to remodel and upgrade their home. This provision will make it feasible for home owners to purchase equipment with higher efficiencies.
Please feel free to call me at 812-499-9234 to discuss your real estate needs.
Economic Stimulus Package Offers Work for Remodelers, Tax Credits and Rebates for Homeowners Bill signed by President Obama could pump billions into the remodeling market.
By: Sharon O'Malley Related Articles
Although it contains almost no money for building green homes, the $787 billion economic stimulus bill that President Obama signed this week is expected to create jobs for insulation contractors, window installers, and other pros whose work involves making existing homes more energy efficient. Two provisions that offer tax credits to homeowners for energy-efficient upgrades and pay to weatherize the houses of low-income families could spur an estimated $6 billion of activity in the remodeling industry, according to congressional estimates.
In a statement, the chairman of NAHB Remodelers praised Obama’s focus on remodeling and retrofitting. “Even the most aggressive efficiency goals for new homes won’t make a dent in overall energy consumption,” said Greg Miedema, a Tucson, Ariz., remodeler. “Instead, remodeling and retrofitting the nation’s older homes is by far the more efficient solution.”
TAX CREDITS & REBATES
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 signed this week reinstated an expired IRS tax credit for improving energy efficiency in existing homes. The tax credits cover 30% of the purchase price of new high-efficiency water heaters, windows, and air conditioners, and for adding insulation, up to a $1,500 total per household. To qualify, an item must be 15% to 20% more efficient than the standard model.
In addition, the package includes $300 million that states can use to sponsor utility rebates for the purchase of energy-efficient appliances (also 15% to 20% more efficient than standard) and for tax credits for installing solar panels and solar water heaters.
The stimulus package includes $5 billion that is expected to help 1 million low-income families reduce their energy costs by weatherizing their homes. Energy secretary Steven Chu said the DOE plans to move quickly to distribute the money.
Last year, the DOE allocated $227.2 million for its 33-year-old Weatherization Assistance Program, which benefited 100,000 households in 2008. The money paid to upgrade low-income homes with thicker insulation, more efficient heating and cooling systems, better air filters, and weather-resistant windows.
With the funding increase, members of the Obama administration have dubbed it “the largest weatherization program in history.”
The stimulus law raises the amount that can be spent per house from $3,055 to $5,000. To qualify for the program, a family of four can earn no more than $32,000 per year.
One of the priorities of Obama’s plan, weatherization has been proven to reap a tidy return on investment. A well-weatherized home, the DOE says, can save a family up to $413 on its annual energy bills. That’s a significant savings for a low-income household, which spends about 17% of its annual income on energy, compared with just 4% for higher-income households that are more likely to have better insulation and windows, estimates the federally funded Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Sunday, February 22 2009
The interest rate continues to decline, which is good news for all home owners. With buy downs, the interest rate can be locked in below 5.0%. Call me at 812-499-9234 for up to date rate information. If your current interest rate is above 6.0% it may be to your advantage to re-finance your mortgage.
30-Year Rates Drop to Near 5%
Mortgage rates across the board fell this week, a welcoming sign to potential buyers and home owners looking to refinance.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.04 percent this week, a drop from last week's 5.16 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year rate averaged 6.04 percent, Freddie Mac reports.
Freddie Mac reported the following for other rates for the week:
"Mortgage rates followed bond yields lower this week as recent economic reports suggest the economy is still slowing, which reduces the future threat of inflation," says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's chief economist.
Source: Freddie Mac(02/19/09)
Sunday, February 22 2009
In case you are wondering which markets have better home appreciations, we have a list of eleven cities. If you happen to live in one of them, you can count yourself as lucky. Note however, that the appreciation rates are in a single a digit, which is a much better sustainable rate.
Please call me at 812-499-9234 in case you are interested in the appreciation rate for the Evansville area.
11 Markets With Highest Home Appreciations
Source: First American CoreLogic Inc. (02/18/2009)
Saturday, February 21 2009
The article below shows a quick overview of the stimulus package. It is a condensed version of the thousands of pages which make up the stimulus package.
Stimulus Package Stats
The economic stimulus law contains
billions of dollars for making existing
homes more energy efficient, including:
$5 billion to weatherize houses
of low-income families.
$2.25 billion to retrofit Section 8 housing
with energy-efficient products, including
$250 million for a program to make
HUD-sponsored, low-income housing more efficient.
$2.25 billion to help build and rehabilitate
low-income housing, including the use of
green technologies, under the HOME Investment
$510 million to improve energy efficiency
through Native American housing block grants.
$300 million to the Energy Star program
and to states for matching grants and rebates
to consumers who replace their old appliances
with Energy Star-rated products.
The law also expands the following homeowner programs:
The Existing Homes Tax Credit
increases from 10% to 30% for the
cost of energy-efficient windows, HVAC
equipment, and insulation, up to $1,500 per
qualifying household through 2010.
The Investment Tax Credit, a 30% credit for
solar thermal and geothermal installations,
had a cap of $2,000, which has been removed.
Likewise, the law removes the $4,000 cap
on small wind turbines.
Source: Alliance to Save Energy
Friday, February 20 2009
F.C. Tucker Emge Realtors Commercial division had the annual Sate of Real Estate Conference yesterday afternoon at the Center. The main emphases of the discussion were that the real estate market is local. Even tough we have seen price reductions the last year they are by far not as high as other markets. At the same time, Evansville has not seen the same increases as other markets.
Realtors discuss local market
EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - With the credit crisis and falling home values what is the state of real estate here in our own backyard?
Hundreds of realtors gathered at the State of Real Estate Conference at the Centre Thursday night. It was an opportunity for realtors with different expertise to present how they think their facet of the market is fairing in the waning economy.
The bumpy economy has taken its toll on Tri-State commercial realty, especially after national chains have gone belly up and vacated their local stores, most in the newer shopping centers.
"We didn't really expect those to become available, especially since they were in brand new strip centers. High-end, high-dollar strip centers," said industrial and retail realtor Dannetta Hiatt.
But she says with more than a half-million people regularly heading into the Evansville area for shopping it will end up being a boom for Evansville.
"We always have an influx of people and I don't think that's going to change because of the smaller counties that surround," Hiatt said. "We've always been a test market. Evansville has always been a test market for retail and i think that will continue."
Another area realtors say is getting a lot of attention right now is the downtown area and some think it's about to make a big change.
"Busy, bustling, things happening all hours of the day," said office and redevelopment realtor Harris Howerton.
Harris Howerton says there's been a lot of interest there thanks to the announcement of the new downtown arena.
"There's going to be a lot of second and third floors used for residential and then the downstairs, what we will call common areas used for commercial, offices, retail and some eateries," Howerton said.
And when it comes to the Tri-State housing market realtors maintain their optimistic outlook.
Kevin Eastridge, president of F.C. Tucker Emge Realtors, says there isn't a surplus of inventory in our area but hopes President Obama's new stimulus package will help.
"If you buy a house and you're a first time buyer you get an $8,000 tax credit," Eastridge said. "If your tax liability for that year is less than $8,000 you get a check for the difference.
When it comes to last year's home sales the market was down 20 percent on the dollar figures compared to 2007.
Commercial realty experts anticipate continued growth near the new Wal-Mart in Newburgh this year and say Tri-Staters will see more value-added stores and restaurants like Dollar General, bulk stores, supermarkets and low- to mid-level restaurants.
Thursday, February 19 2009
Here we have the latest information on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 that passed this week. The PDF “Chart Highlight” below illustrates the differences between the tax credits of 2008 vs. 2009.
Please feel free to call me at 812-499-9234 of you have any questions.
Homebuyer Tax Credit
The bill provides for an $8,000 tax credit that would be available to first-time home buyers for the purchase of a principal residence on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009. The credit does not require repayment. Most of the mechanics of the credit will be the same as under the 2008 rules: the credit will be claimed on a tax return to reduce the purchaser's income tax liability. If any credit amount remains unused, then the unused amount will be refunded as a check to the purchaser.
Wednesday, February 18 2009
STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH ESTABLISHES TOLL FREE NUMBER TO ASSIST HOOSIERS WITH PEANUT BUTTER RECALL
In light of the fact that the Salamonella outbreak in peanutbutter is getting worse, the Indiana State Department of Health has installed a toll-free number 1-877-499-0017 for callers with concernrs.
We tought this is important for all our readers to know.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Elizabeth Hart
February 16, 2009 (317) 233-7090
STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH ESTABLISHES TOLL FREE NUMBER TO ASSIST HOOSIERS WITH PEANUT BUTTER RECALL
INDIANAPOLIS– Effective Monday, February 16, a toll-free number (1-877-499-0017 )will be available for Hoosiers without Internet access who need help identifying items on the expanded Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) recall. The recall list is available on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Web site at: www.fda.gov . National brand, jarred peanut butter found at grocery stores are not part of the recall.
There are more than 2,200 peanut-containing products listed on the FDA’s searchable database. Also taking into consideration the number of cases of the current Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak strain in Indianahas increased from six on January 30 to nine on February 6, state health officials say they are concerned the public may not be aware that items in their homes have now been recalled.
“ Salmonella can potentially cause severe infection,” says State Health Commissioner Judy Monroe, M.D. “Hoosiers need to be aware of the growing list of recalled products related to the current Salmonella strain. People should not eat items on the recall list, but instead, should discard them immediately if found in their cupboards and thoroughly wash their hands. If the public sees a recalled item for sale at their local store, we ask that they notify the store manager immediately.”
On February 12, the Texas Department of State Health Services ordered Peanut Corporation of Americato recall all products shipped from its Plainview, TXplant since March 2005. This is in addition to the PCA expanded voluntary recall of all peanuts and peanut products processed in its Blakely, Georgiafacility since January 1, 2007. The PCA expanded recall includes all peanuts (dry and oil roasted), granulated peanuts, peanut meal, peanut butter and peanut paste but does not include national brand, jarred peanut butter sold at grocery stores.
The recall list is available at www.fda.gov by clicking on “Search Recalled Peanut Products.” This list will be updated on a regular basis as additional recalls occur and information is received by FDA from the industry. For those without Internet access, information on the recall list is available by calling the Indiana State Department of Health at 1-877-499-0017, Monday through Friday from 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. EST.
For information about Salmonella and the current recall, go to
www.statehealth.in.gov or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.
Monday, February 16 2009
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security plans to visit many of Southern Indiana Counties to asses the damages which occurred from last month’s ice storm.
Inspection Teams To Begin Damage Assessment In Southern Indiana
EVANSVILLE - Federal and state inspectors plan on visiting several Tri-State counties over the next couple of days to look at damage from last month's ice storm.
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security says inspection teams will start work Monday in Perry and Vanderburgh counties, and then throughout the week visit Dubois, Gibson, Spencer and Warrick counties. They say inspection teams will also look at damage in Clark, Crawford, Floyd, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Orange, Switzerland and Washington counties this week.
More than 100,000 homes and businesses in southern Indiana lost power after January's winter storm dumped up to three-quarters of an inch of ice on power lines & poles.
Sunday, February 15 2009
Even though it is much too early to predict which way the long term mortgage rates will go we have seen a slight dip in the mortgage rate.
Freddie Mac has reported that a dip in the long-term mortgage rate this week offered home owners a refinancing opportunity.
This week's rates:
Friday, February 13 2009
Here we have the key provisions of the stimulus legislation relating to real estate. House and Senate conferees have agreed upon a compromise stimulus package at a total cost of $789 billion. The House is scheduled to vote on the package today and the Senate will follow suit shortly thereafter, with the expectation that the legislation will reach President Barack Obama's desk by Monday, Feb. 16.
Key Provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
• $8,000 first-time home buyer, true tax credit (no repayment) for the purchase of a
principle residence between January 1 and December 1, 2009. Recaptured if home is
sold within three years. Removes the restriction on the use of tax credit proceeds with
Housing Finance Agency-issued tax exempt mortgage revenue bonds.
• Short-term gap financing for Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) projects:
1. Provision allowing states to turn in portion of 2009 LIHTC allocations for cash.
2. Special appropriation of $2 billion in HOME funds.
• Up to a ten-year deferral of tax from business debt cancelled as part of a repurchase or
• 5-year carryback of 2008 net operating losses for businesses with gross receipts of less
than $15 million (three year average).
• Extension of enhanced bonus depreciation.
• Extension of increased small business expensing.
• Enhancements to the section 25C program for energy efficiency remodeling
improvements to existing homes.
• One-year patch of the Alternative Minimum Tax.
• Increase New Markets Tax Credit allocating authority for 2008 and 2009.
• Delays for one year the start of 3% government contractor withholding requirement.
• $2 billion for full year payments to owners of Section 8 project based rental assistance
• $2.25 billion through HOME program and Low Income Housing Tax Credit program to
fill financing gaps.
• $1 billion for CDBG.
• $2 billion for Neighborhood stabilization program.
• $1.5 billion for homelessness prevention activities (help with rents, etc).
• $250 million for energy retrofitting and green investments in HUD assisted projects.
• $1 billion for Section 502 direct loans under the Rural Housing Service.
• $10.4 billion for Section 502 guaranteed loans under the Rural Housing Service.
• $27.5 billion for highway spending.
Other Key Provision
• Increases in FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan limits to 2008 levels.
Friday, February 13 2009
In our last Market Watch e-mail, I mentioned that the four States most affected by a decline in real estate sales and prices were California, Arizona, Nevada and Florida.
This month I have both some good and bad news about those states.
Many markets in California and Florida are already showing improvement over their performance a year ago. Although some of those markets are improving they are still not as healthy as our Tri-State area as evidenced by a chart I recently saw listing both the most risky and most stable markets in the country.
The risky chart included 6 Florida cities, 3 California cities and 1 in Nevada.
The stable chart was dominated by “Middle America” and included 2 cities in Ohio as well as Indianapolis. (Evansville’s population was not large enough to be ranked in this particular survey)
Another interesting article I read pointed out that the median home price nationally declined 15.3% last year. You should be relieved to know that the median price in our local market declined less than 4%. As I pointed out last month the national media’s description of the real estate market does not necessarily apply to our market.
I hope you saw the news about last month’s merger between F.C. Tucker Emge Realtors and The Realty Group. We now have more Realtors and more services that can help you when you are ready to buy or sell.
Give me a call 812-499-9234 if I can help you with any of your real estate needs and don’t forget to ask me about today’s mortgage interest rates, you’ll like what you hear.
Thursday, February 12 2009
We wish Major Jonathan Weinzapfel all the best on his upcoming trip to the state House. Even tough the current economic situation is not the best, long term project of this magnitude and importance can have long lasting effects for Evansville. When we look back and see all the hurdles that have been overcome to build Roberts Stadium the same can be said about the new down town arena for Evansville. The changes will be positive for the Tri-State.
Weinzapfel lobbying for bill to pay for arena
EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - Evansville's Mayor Weinzapfel and the project director for the downtown arena head to the state capitol Tuesday.
They'll be lobbying for a state bill to help pay for the new arena.
The two will head to the state House urging the passage of House bill 1588.
It's the last piece in the puzzle before the city starts selling bonds to fund the construction of the new arena.
Monday night's vote by the Evansville City Council, unanimously supporting a resolution to use food and beverage tax funds to build a new downtown arena, was the last of three projects developers hoped for.
Last week, the Vanderburgh County commissioners and the county council also unanimously supported the resolution.
"We're talking to state legislators tomorrow, taking these resolutions to Indianapolis to get the state legislature to give us the flexibility for using the food and beverage tax for the arena," Evansville Events Center project director John Kish said.
Both Kish and Mayor Weinzapfel will present the three resolutions supporting House bill 1588.
"Some are more detailed than others, but they all show the bipartisan support for redirecting this existing tax when it's no longer needed for the Centre," Kish said.
Under the bill sponsored by representative Dennis Avery, food and beverage tax funds currently used to pay bonds on the Centre will stay in place until 2017.
Between now and then, any extra money after those bond payments will be used to repay bonds on the new downtown arena.
After 2017 when the Centre is payed off, the estimated $4.7 million a year will go solely to the arena.
Kirsh says that money is vital to the project's financing.
"Food and beverage sales, we believe on the long term, will grow about 3 percent," Kish said. "We are not seeing growth in any other revenue source, so food and beverage really is the lynch pin in the finance plan."
Kish says he's already had plenty to work on for the new downtown arena, including working with architects, fine tuning the budget and talking to the owners of the D-Patrick Ford site where the arena is slated to be built.
When asked how the talks are going, Kish says "they're very interesting."
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 02:00 pm | Permalink | 0 Comments | Email
Thursday, February 12 2009
We have good news today on the economic front in Evansville. Old National Bank has been ranked 28th amongst a list of 150 best performers. In 2007 Old National Bank was ranked 114th. Old National was not the only Tri-State bank on the list. Integra Bancorp came in at 99th and Fifth Third Bank came in at 114th.
We can also report that Mead Johnson had a successful initial public offering. Mead Johnson was able to raise $ 720 million which was higher than anticipated.
We congratulate our local banks as well as Mead Johnson for their achievements.
You can read the story on Mead Johnson at the Courier & Press: http://www.courierpress.com/news/2009/feb/11/10web-MeadJohnson/?ebj=1/
Local banks make list of 150 best performers
The local institution to attain the highest ranking was Old National Bancorp, which has it’s headquarter in Evansville. It came in at number 28 on the “Bank Performance Scorecard” assembled by Sandler O’Neill & Partners, an investment firm in New York City.
Integra Bancorp, also based in Evansville, was 99th on the list and Fifth Third Bank, which has an affiliate office in town, was 114th.
Sandler O’Neill noted that few huge banks appeared at the top of the 2008 list. Of those in the top 10, seven had assets between $3 billion and $11 billion.
“There is not much flash and glitz among this year’s crop of top-performing banks and thrifts,” the firm wrote. “But given all that’s occurred in the last six months, maybe slow and steady really is the name of the game.”
Last year saw Old National, with about $7.6 billion in assets, make a large leap upward. In 2007, it had appeared at number 106.
“In part, this goes back to fundamentals and who is going to win the race,” said Bob Jones, Old National president and chief executive officer. “Is it going to be the tortoise or the hare?”
In choosing the banks, Sandler & O’Neill looked at a number of measures, including profits and the quality of assets. For 2008, Old National Bank reported a profit of about $62.5 million. That was down about $12.4 million from the year before but was still not as large as the losses seen at many other banks.
Fifth Third, for instance, reported a loss of $2.2 billion for 2008. The year before, it had a profit of about $1.1 billion.
Integra Bank has not reported its fourth-quarter earnings yet. For the first nine months of 2008, it had a loss of $29.3 million.
Mike Vea, Integra president, chairman and CEO, attributed the loss to troubles inherited from Prairie Financial Corp., a Chicago bank Integra bought in 2007. Integra’s business in its other markets remains strong, a fact recognized in the bank’s place on the list, Vea said.
“Being in the top 100 shows that it is a good name,” he said. “It implies the strength of the institution and of the markets we are in.”
At the top of Sandler O’Neill’s list was Glacier Bank, which is based in Montana and has assets of about $5 billion.
Meanwhile, some of the best-known names in banking came in fairly low. Citigroup, which has $2.1 trillion in assets, was at number 132. Wachovia, with $812 billion in assets, was ranked 147th.
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Thursday, February 12 2009
We congratulate the University of Evansville for taking the extra step and ensuring that the new addition to the university has been constructed to LEED specifications. This makes it one of the 14 buildings in the State of Indiana that have LEED certifications, a certification which promotes construction that is environmentally friendly
UE School of Business wins green building honor
When students breathe inside an addition to the University of Evansville’s business school, sensors detect the carbon dioxide exhaled and let more fresh air in.
When they leave a classroom, a similar device turns down the heat or air conditioning. Other sensors switch off the lights.
The Schroeder Family School of Business Administration Building on the campus of the University of Evansville, has been certified as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building by the U.S. Green Building Council, making it the first in Vanderburgh County and one of 14 buildings in Indiana. LEED is the US Green Building Council's program that promotes construction that is environmentally friendly.
Because of these systems and others, an addition to the university’s Schroeder School of Business Administration earned a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification. The honor, bestowed by the U.S. Green Building Council, goes to buildings whose design helps to protect the environment and the health of those working inside.
Bob Clark, dean of the business school, said the university was trying to set an example by securing the first LEED certification in the community.
“We recognized this building would have an impact on the environment in its design and construction phase, as well as in its future,” Clark said.
The addition, containing about 37,000 square feet of space, gave the university more classroom space and a lecture hall where community meetings could take place. Work on it began in 2005 and it opened in 2007.
But the LEED certification didn’t come until late 2008. The delay shows how complicated of an affair securing the honor is, said Ron Steinhart, a principal with Hafer Associates, the lead architecture firm on the project.
Steinhart said the designers had to balance the needs of meeting the LEED standards, building an addition that met the university’s purpose and staying within the budget. It would be wrong, though, to assume the project was especially expensive.
Steinhart estimated that all of the LEED improvement only added a cost of about 1 percent of the original budget. Through savings on energy, the project should pay for itself fairly soon, he said.
Steinhart listed a number of other steps taken to obtain the LEED certification. They included:
— Making an existing exterior wall of the old school of business serve as an interior wall inside the addition.
— Installing numerous windows to let in natural light.
— Installing low-flow faucets in the bathrooms and toilets whose use of water varies according to need.
— Using recycled materials in the floor and other parts of the structure.
Steinhart estimated those measures will lower the building’s use of water by 33 percent and use of electricity by 23 percent. About 16 tons of coal will be saved each year.
Another benefit concerns the happiness of those inside. Studies have found that students and workers are more content to be in LEED-certified buildings than standard ones.
Danny Bateman, president of ARC Construction, said the builders also obtained as many as the construction materials as they could from nearby places and took steps to prevent waste from being dumped into landfills.
Steinhart said attempts are afoot to obtain LEED certification for a number of other buildings in the community. They include the University of Evansville’s Ridgeway Center, the Ronald McDonald House being built on Washington Avenue and an Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp. technology and innovation center.
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 10:00 am | Permalink | 0 Comments | Email
Thursday, February 12 2009
Here we have an interesting article on the Language of Windows. Please call us if we can be of help with your next replacement of windows.
Speaking the Language of Windows
If windows are the 'eyes' of the home, then some of us are in need of vision correction! Updated windows can make a 'Plain Jane' home in to a neighborhood treasure. But you need to know what is available (and what it's called!) when talking to your window professional. If you don't know your paladian from your jalousie, use this guide to understand the language of windows!
1. Fixed - This type of window cannot be opened. It is usually inexpensive and suitable for higher windows that won't be opened anyway.
2. Double hung - One of the most common windows and a great window for a period home. The window consists of two sashes that move up and down. Only half of the window can be open at one time.
3. Casement - Another common window, casement windows are hinged vertically to swing in and out like a door and operated with a crank.
4. Awning - Awning windows are similar to casement windows but are hinged horizontally.
5. Jalousie - Jalousie windows are horizontally placed narrow strips of glass, lowered by crank. Out of favor today, they were very popular in the mid-century.
6. Sliding - Sliding windows move on top and bottom tracks. They are very common and can be inexpensive.
7. Paladian - A paladian window consists of group of three windows with an arch over the center. These windows have become very popular in the last decade. They provide visual interest and drama to a home.
8. Picture - Picture windows are especially popular in ranch-style homes. They are large fixed windows flanked b y 2 casements or double-hung windows.
9. Clerestory - Clerestory windows were especially popular in Craftsman homes. They consist of a strip of small horizontal panes set high on a wall.
10. Ellipical or Arched - Ellipical or arched windows often placed above double hung or fixed windows in today's new homes.
The right window can make the world of difference to the look of your home. While I can't help you choose a window, I have given you the terminology to talk about windows knowledgeably at your local home center. So go impress 'em with your window savvy!
Wednesday, February 11 2009
This letter was sent to up by email by the Office of Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita. The letter is an alert to all business owners that there is a scam going on where businesses are fraudulently approached to pay an annual fee of $ 125 or $ 150 to be used for record keeping of annual meetings. Please do not send any money as this is just a scam.
Wednesday, February 11 2009
Even though some real estate markets are still struggling to change and improve, some areas are seeing an improvement. Improvements can be measured in different ways. One way is by calculating the inventory of homes in the market and how long it would take to sell these homes. The article below mentions that inventories have declined in 29 markets. Even though Evansville is not included in the mentioned 29 markets, we can report that the inventory in Evansville has declined as well. As per the chart below you can see that at the beginning of January 2008 we had 12.60 months inventory and at the end of December 2008 we had 9.74 months inventory. This is a welcome reduction. We would like this figure to be closer to 6 months inventory.
Sales and Inventory History
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Category - Single Family
Housing Inventories Fall in 29 Major Markets
The inventory of existing homes for sale in 29 major markets covered by ZipRealty declined an average of 2.5 percent in January 2009, compared to December 2008 and down 13 percent compared to January 2008.
This is a good sign, especially when considering that typically inventories rise in January after the holidays. In the last 25 years, the average increase in inventory in January has been 8.7 percent, according to Ivy Zelman, CEO of research firm Zelman & Associates.
Housing-market analysis Altos Research reached similar conclusions, saying that the listings in its 10-city composite index declined 3.3 percent in January compared to December 2008.
This data doesn’t include New York City, where appraisal firm Miller Samuel Inc. reports that inventories were at the highest level in the last decade, up 6 percent from December and 36 percent from January 2008.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, James Hagerty (02/10/2009)
Tuesday, February 10 2009
It looks like Mother Nature is not letting up with adverse weather conditions in the Evansville area. The National Weather Service of Paducah has issued a High Wind Watch for the entire Tri-State area.
Thunderstorms, high winds possible tonight
There is only a slight chance the thunderstorms will become severe, though it's possible they will produce heavy rain, dangerous lightning and small hail, officials said.
Meanwhile, a high wind watch will go into effect tonight for gusts between 25 and 40 miles an hour. Those winds are expected regardless of whether the thunderstorm turns severe and could cause more problems than usual because of the recent ice storm.
"Winds of this magnitude may down trees and power lines or at the very least down still loose hanging limbs from recent ice storm damage," the weather service wrote in a forecast.
For the most up-to-date forecast, visit courierpress.com/weather.
Tuesday, February 10 2009
We applaud Old National Bank for donating cots and blankest to the Red Cross. Every donations counts and with the help of respected Corporate Citizens a lot more can be done.
Old National Bank donating cots, blankets to Red Cross
The donation - 250 cots and 400 blankets in all - comes days after the local Red Cross wrapped up its relief efforts in the wake of an ice storm that caused widespread power outages.
That response emphasized the need for more supplies, said Red Cross spokeswoman Emily Zander
More than 900 people sought shelter at a Red Cross facility in Vanderburgh County in the week following the storm. The previous high for a single night in a past disaster was about 30 shelter residents, Zander said.
"We were inundated with so many people," she said. "The real issue was not having enough cots for everyone because we had not had a disaster response this large ... We still had a warm place for people to stay but some folks slept on the floor or in chairs."
Zander said Old National stepped forward with the donation after learning of the need. The cots and blankets are set to be unloaded Wednesday at Red Cross headquarters.
“We are so grateful to Old National Bank for realizing the need we have and responding in such a huge way,” Red Cross Executive Director Matt Bertram said in a news release. “This gift will mean we can better serve more people in our community when they need help the most.”
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 11:43 am | Permalink | 0 Comments | Email
Monday, February 09 2009
The town of Darmstadt will also provide free storm debris pich up starting February 16th, 2009.
Darmstadt picking up storm debris next week
The Town of Darmstadt will pick up limbs knocked down by last month's ice storm next week
To participate, residents should gather storm damage limbs and place them near the road by Feb. 16.
The pick-up service is free.
Saturday, February 07 2009
The Boys & Girls Club of Evansville is proposing a $ 150,000 renovation to the baseball field at Bellemeade Park. Half of the funding would come in the form of a grant form Major League Baseball; private donations would cover the rest of the expenses. We wish the Boys & Girls Club of Evansville all the best with this project. This certainly will benefit the Club and Evansville.
MLB funds eyed to help renovate baseball field
Boys & Girls Club swings for fences
The Boys & Girls Club of Evansville has proposed a $150,000 renovation to the baseball field at Bellemeade Park.
Half of the cost would be funded with a grant from Major League Baseball, said Jamie Morris, club resource and development director. Private donations would cover the remaining expenses.
"We're very confident in our ability to match that $75,000 if we are awarded that grant," Morris told the Parks Board on Wednesday.
The renovations would include improvements to the infield, mound, dugouts, the addition of public restrooms and possibly new lighting, Morris said. The Boys & Girls Club would be responsible for maintaining the field, but "in no way is expecting exclusive rights to this field," Morris said. "We understand that this is a city park."
Several parties have expressed interest in making donations, including the Tri-State Hot Stove League, Don Mattingly — the former New York Yankees standout and Evansville native — and Jamey Carroll, an infielder for the Cleveland Indians who played college baseball for the University of Evansville.
Morris said he plans to send a letter of inquiry to Major League Baseball and a proposal for the renovation. The grant is available through the Baseball Tomorrow Fund, which promotes and enhances youth participation in baseball and softball worldwide.
According to mlb.com, the fund awards an average of 40 grants each year worth more than $1.5 million total. The average amount is $50,000.
If the Boys & Girls Club receives the grant, renovations to the field could begin in September, Morris said.
The baseball field would be the latest in a series of major projects at Bellemeade Park. The Boys & Girls Club is building a $4 million facility at the park, which also is the site of a new $2.9 million city pool.
Both are scheduled to open this summer. "Those two pieces alone would make that piece of property a gem for the city," Morris said.
Parks Board President Steve Bohleber said the city has long attempted to create a youth-supported program at Bellemeade Park.
"We've been trying to do that as a Parks Department for more than 20 years," he said.
Board member Jerome Stewart also said he supports the conceptual renovation plan.
"I can't remember the last time that baseball facility was used," Stewart said. "That place has been dormant for a long time."
Saturday, February 07 2009
The Freedom Festival 2009 is starting to take shape. This year’s events will be suited better to families with more live entertainment.
2009 Freedom Festival tailored toward families
The Freedom Festival is returning in 2009 as an event better suited to families, organizers say.
Among the main changes will be a ban on coolers and free admission during lunch time on the first two days, Thursday and Friday. Those steps were taken in the interest of making families feel comfortable at the 2009 Freedom Festival, which will take place from June 18-21. Mick Conati, the Director of Downtown Development for the Growth Alliance of Greater Evansville, said, “This festival will be geared toward the community and giving back to the community.”
GAGE took over the festival last year after the previous organizers, a group of volunteers, found they couldn’t cover its cost. The 2008 event had left them with tens of thousands of dollars in debt.
Conati said the planning of the 2009 Freedom Festival has gone well so far, even though the announcement of it was supposed to come months earlier. The delay was largely a result of the difficulties involved in scheduling a large number of entertainers, Conati said.
In choosing the acts, GAGE tried hard to appeal to a wide variety of tastes, he said. The two main attractions will be performances by a country band and a rock band, on separate nights and on the riverfront.
“I think this is something that will become a staple of the event for Evansville,” he said.
Conati declined to identify either band, only saying he had been talking to famous groups such as Styx and REO Speedwagon but hadn’t been able to hire either.
Other attractions will include:
n Typhoon Tommy — A stuntman who performs tricks while on Jet Skis and other types of watercraft. For more information, go to www.jetskishows.com.
n F1 Champboats — These will replace boats which had run in the Thunder on the Ohio event during past Freedom Festivals. The event will be broadcast on the Speed Channel. Meanwhile the American Boat Racing Association plans to hold Thunder on the Ohio in August.
n East Versus West Fest — Schools and other organizations from Evansville’s East and West sides will compete against each other in sand volleyball and other games. The winner’s prize will be a trophy which the losers can win back the following year.
n Lake St. Louis Water Ski Show — A ski team that has been competing in tournaments since 2001. For more information, go to www.lslski.com.
n DockDogs — Dogs that compete against one another to see which can jump the farthest, as well as perform a number of other trips. For more information, www.dockDogs.com.
Also among the attractions will be carnival rides, portrayers of World War II soldier, a laser light show, an air show and the Junior Achievement Grand Prix.
In organizing the festival, Conati traveled to watch air shows in other cities, Houston and Las Vegas being among them. GAGE also distributed surveys, asking what the public most wanted in the event. The two answers most returned were that it be suitable for families and that there be live music.
The 2009 Freedom Festival will be held a week earlier than it was in many earlier years. That was done in order to accommodate Carnival Midway, which had a commitment elsewhere on the usual weekend.
Conati estimated the 2009 Freedom Festival will cost about $700,000. Helping to pay for it will be corporate sponsors such as Old National Bank, whose support was enough to ensure that anyone 15 or younger can attend the even for free.
“We view this as good for economic development and it’s going to support nonprofits,” said Bob Jones, Old National president and chief executive officer. “And given the challenging economy, we think people need to have a little bit of fun. We’re happy to assist with that.”
Those older than 15 can attend every day of the festival by buying a $15 button, sold by various nonprofit organizations. From every one sold, $2 will go support the organization’s charitable causes.
In another change from previous years, the only food sellers at the event will be nonprofit organizations. They will keep any money they bring in and put it toward charitable causes.
Conati said GAGE will need between 1,000 and 1,500 volunteers to put on the Freedom Festival. Those who would like to help out should call him at (812) 424-2986.
Friday, February 06 2009
The current tax law provides for a $ 7,500 tax break for first time buyers. The new proposal, which still needs to be voted on, would allow a tax credit for home buyers of 10 percent of the value of new or existing residences, up to a $ 15,000 limit. Although this legislation alone will not cure the ills of our economy, it certainly is a move in the right direction.
Senate OKs $15,000 Bonus for Home Buyers
Housing could get a big boost from the latest addition to the mammoth stimulus bill working its way through Congress.
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 07:45 am | Permalink | 0 Comments | Email
Friday, February 06 2009
Evansville EMA Director Sherman Greer has put in a request for federal aid to help with clean up costs. It is not clear yet if this request will be accepted.
Evansville EMA Asks For Federal Aid
EVANSVILLE - The Evansville Emergency Management Agency announced it has put in a request for federal aid to help clean up from last week's winter storm. NEWS 25 learns that it could take as long as three weeks before the city sees any money.
Authorities said in order to get federal money; all of Indiana must have $8 million worth of damage. Evansville EMA Director Sherman Greer told us that so far they haven't hit that number. Greer said everything from cleaning up debris to police overtime counts toward the total amount.
We asked if Vanderburgh County could get federal money, and Greer said he doesn't know.
"I've been doing this for 19 years and I've seen times that I've thought we were going to get it and we haven't," Greer said.
The EMA Director told us it takes a little over $500,000 worth of damage to be eligible as a county. He said Vanderburgh County will most likely make that.
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 07:15 am | Permalink | 0 Comments | Email
Friday, February 06 2009
All Vanderburgh County students who want to attend the University of Evansville have a new incentive. A new scholarship, the William L. Ridgway Award, will offer $18,000 per year to all Vanderburgh County students entering UE in Fall 2009. In order to maintain the scholarship all four years, students must live in university housing, perform at least 10 hours of community service per semester and maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.5.
New Scholarship Offered to All Vanderburgh County Students
All Vanderburgh County students looking to enter the University of Evansville in the coming academic year received a $72,000 incentive today, with the announcement of the University’s William L. Ridgway Award.
The Ridgway Award will offer $18,000 per year (up to four years) to all Vanderburgh County students entering UE in Fall 2009, enhancing the University’s place as one of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Value” institutions. The goal, as envisioned by Dr. Ridgway, is to make the cost of UE comparable to that of tuition and housing at Indiana’s two nationally-recognized public institutions.
"The Ridgway Award was created in collaboration with Dr. William L. Ridgway, embodying his desire to ensure Vanderburgh County students have access to the University of Evansville," said Thomas Bear, UE's vice president for enrollment services. "With this award, any student who has graduated from a high school in Vanderburgh County, or whose parents' permanent address is in Vanderburgh County, will be able to receive a quality, private, personal education at a price comparable to what they would encounter at the state's largest four-year public institutions."
As part of the award, Dr. Ridgway also expressed the need for recipients to be involved in the Vanderburgh County community and University campus. Thus, in order to receive (and maintain) the award, students must satisfy three stipulations annually:
- live in University housing
- perform at least 10 hours of community service per semester
- maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.5, on UE's 4.0 scale
The Ridgway Award will first be available to incoming freshman and transfer students during the 2009-10 academic year. In order to be eligible, students must be accepted to UE, meet all listed criteria, and visit campus on or before April 18.
“When I envisioned this award, I wanted to ensure more than student access to UE,” Ridgway said. “I also wanted to make sure that our community grows and retains the talent it will need to prosper in markets that span the globe. The Ridgway Award embodies my vision."
All students meeting the criteria established by Dr. Ridgway are eligible to receive the award. Accepted UE students and their families looking for more information on the Ridgway Award should contact the UE Office of Admission at (812) 488-2468 or email@example.com.
Source: University of Evansville & Inside INdiana Business
Thursday, February 05 2009
The National Association of Home Builders has published this report. Buyers are rethinking home-buying priorities. In short buyers want Wii-sized rooms, a home office, and energy efficiency in their next home. Storage is also a priority.
We hope you enjoy reading this article.
Consumers Rethink Home-Buying Priorities
Buyers want ‘Wii-sized’ rooms, a home office, and energy efficiency in their next house, according to research done by the NAHB and Better Homes & Gardens magazine.
By: Alison Rice Related Articles
The American consumer is starting to think that bigger is not always better, at least where houses are concerned, according to experts presenting at the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas on Wednesday.
“Either by necessity or choice, they are ready to take a step back from the McMansions or trophy homes,” said Gayle Butler, editor-in-chief of Better Homes & Gardens magazine, who was joined by Gopal Ahluwalia, staff vice president of research for the NAHB in their annual session on consumer home-buying preferences.
Consumers in 2009 want to live in a home that is cozier, more organized, and more economical in terms of operating costs than perhaps they would have wanted in the past, according to Butler. That includes “Wii-sized” and media-centric family gathering rooms with enough floor space for playing the popular and physically interactive Nintendo video games. Consumers also want more storage to keep clutter under control in these supposedly smaller homes, which could include anything from built-in shelving to a pantry that allows families to save money on groceries by stocking up on food staples.
Concerned about unpredictable and often-rising energy costs, today’s buyers also want homes that are more economical to operate. Ninety-one percent of respondents to a Better Homes & Gardens online survey of readers anticipating a move to a new home said they wanted an energy-efficient heating and air-conditioning system in their next home. An NAHB survey received similar results, with 91 percent of respondents preferring an energy-efficient home with lower utility bills versus a cheaper home (with a sales price 2% to 3% lower) without energy-efficient features.
Even more significant, Americans are starting to actually be willing to spend money to live in a greener home. According to Ahluwalia’s research, home buyers said they would pay an average of $6,000 more for their new home to save $1,000 annually on energy costs. “More and more consumer realize it’s in their long-term interests” to invest in energy-efficiency features, explained Butler, who also thinks that federal tax incentives for homeowners who upgrade their homes to be more energy-efficient are having an impact.
Other things are also growing in importance to today’s home buyers, according to both the NAHB’s and Better Homes & Gardens’ research. “There is tremendous interest in outdoor features,” Ahluwalia said, who found that 65% of buyers said they wanted a front porch. A home office proved to be another top priority, with 71 percent of all buyers saying a home office was “desirable” or “essential,” in the NAHB’s survey. That trend emerged as well in the shelter magazine’s data, with three-fifths of its reader-respondents saying they wanted a home office in their next home. Within that group, two-thirds wanted a dedicated home office, which Butler said reflects the increasingly common scenario of women, often with children, choosing to work at home.
Such information could become critically important to builders as the housing market eventually begins to recover. “Every time we come through a cycle, the consumer is looking for something different,” building consultant Chuck Shinn told attendees during the session. “This time, it’s going to be a double whammy” because of this housing recession’s length and the demographic power shift from the baby boomers to Generation Y. “That means that there probably will be fairly substantial chance in what builders will need to do to satisfy customers’ needs.”
Wednesday, February 04 2009
This is the official letter from Mayor Weinzapfel in regards to the special storm debris clean up which will be conducted by Allied Waste. There are two links at the bottom of this page, one for a list of approved licensed tree trimmers, and the other for a map of the clean up schedule.
Office of the Mayor
February 2, 2009 Contact: Audra Levy
For Immediate Release
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Homeowners need to be careful of “fly-by-night” scam artists taking advantage of the situation and charging residents more than they should. The article below contains a link to approved contractors.
Homeowners Should Be Careful When Hiring Help
EVANSVILLE - Homeowners across the Tri-State are dealing with downed trees and branches, and officials on both sides of the Ohio River want to make sure people don't get scammed.
The Vanderburgh County Purdue Extension Office is urging Evansville residents to not hire any tree trimming company from out of town. Coordinators tell us many "fly-by-night" companies will try to take advantage of people in an emergency situation. They say these companies often make matters worse, or simply take your money and leave town. For a list of approved tree trimmers in Evansville click here.
The Kentucky Better Business Bureau is warning residents about the same thing. The BBB wants to remind people that they need to ask to see the license & insurance of a business before they hire anyone to help clean up their property.
They say so-called "storm chasers" will drive through devastated neighborhoods offering help, and then ask for money to go purchase supplies. The BBB says that's a sure sign they aren't coming back to finish the job.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a warning for users of portable generators. Generators need to be kept well away from the home. Below are some additional safety tips.
Users of portable generators warned of poisoning risks
Users of portable generators warned of poisoning risks
Generators must be used outside only, well away from house
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is issuing a warning to consumers confronted with severe winter weather: When there’s a power outage, exercise caution when using portable generators.
Just in the past week there have been four deaths related to carbon monoxide in Kentucky.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible killer. You can’t see or smell it. A generator’s exhaust contains poisonous CO which can kill you in a matter of minutes.
Dozens of people die each year from generator-related CO poisoning. Many of the deaths occurred after winter storms knocked out power.
The commission urges people to follow these important generator safety tips:
* Never use a portable generator inside a home, garage, shed or other partially enclosed space, even if doors and windows are open.
* Use portable generators outside only, far away from the home. And keep the generator away from openings to the home, including doors, windows and vents.
* Read the label on the generator and the owner’s manual, and follow the instructions.
* Install CO alarms with battery backup in the home outside each sleeping area.
* Get to fresh air immediately if you start to feel sick, weak or dizzy. CO poisoning from exposure to generator exhaust can quickly lead to incapacitation and death.
CPSC mandated a new danger label on generators manufactured after May 2007. The label states that, “Using a generator indoors CAN KILL YOU IN MINUTES.”
CPSC has additional rulemaking underway on generators. The commission directed staff to investigate various strategies to reduce consumers’ exposure to CO and to enable and encourage them to use generators outdoors only. Those strategies include generator engines with substantially reduced CO emissions, interlocking or automatic shutoff devices, weatherization requirements, theft deterrence and noise reduction.
In addition to safe generator use, CPSC suggests consumers follow these safety tips after a storm:
* Never use charcoal indoors. Burning charcoal in an enclosed space can produce lethal carbon monoxide.
* Use caution when burning candles. Use flashlights instead. If you must use candles, do not burn them on or near anything that can catch fire. Never leave burning candles unattended. Extinguish candles when you leave the room.
* Do not use portable heaters or lanterns while sleeping in enclosed areas such as tents, campers, and other vehicles. This is especially important at high altitudes, where the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is increased.
As per Vectren, the power outages to area homes have fallen to 13,000 homes. With the ice and snow melting crews have been able to accelerate the pace and connect more homes.
Vectren outages fall to 13,000
“This past weekend went a lot better than expected,” said spokeswoman Chase Kelley. “Conditions dramatically improved.”
She said the number of customers without power stands at 13,000, down from 20,000 Sunday and 75,000 at the peak of the outage Wednesday.
“The ice melted quickly and there were fewer (repeat outages) than we expected,” Kelley added.
Vectren had feared when the ice melted trees and limbs that were bent would snap back and cause lines to come down.
She said what the utility is encountering now are small pockets of outages, perhaps four or five homes in clusters near the University of Evansville, the East Side, the southeast Side and in Boonville.
Kelley said 1,000 people are working to restore power, more than 700 of them contract crews brought in from as far away as Wisconsin.
“We couldn’t have made it without them,” she said, noting the crews are working 16-hour days.
Vectren sends out what it calls a “bird dog,” or scout, to check an area without power and report back on what crews need to bring. “This speeds up the process,” said Kelley.
But even as line crews from Vectren and other utilities make progress throughout the area, officials said serious obstacles remain before life returns to normal.
While Vectren is confident most of its power will be restored this week, Kenergy said some of its 34,000 customers in Western Kentucky would stay that way for up to a month. Meanwhile, the Indiana National Guard locally was preparing to send Humvees into Kentucky for rescue and transportation efforts there.
Here we have an interesting article by Melissa Dittman in this month’s edition of the Realtor magazine published by the National Association of Realtors. This article lists the life expectancy of various appliances and components in your home. The full report can be accessed via a link at the bottom of this blog.
Appliance Longevity: How Long Should It Last?
Find out how long those kitchen appliances, flooring, fixtures, and more should really last.
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey | February 2009
Replacing a home’s windows, appliances, or roofing can be pricey. So knowing approximately how long before the refrigerator is likely to stop working or the roof might spring a leak can have value to buyers and home owners.
Buyers may want to factor in replacement costs for aging components when they make an offer. Owners can use the information to decide whether to replace a component before a move. Now, a new study by the National Association of Home Builders provides some insight that can help your clients estimate the average useful life of more than 100 household appliances and building materials.
The true longevity of any household material depends on maintenance, use, quality of installation, and climate conditions, so use these averages as a general guide. The NAHB report still beats asking handy Uncle Fred.
100 Years or More
Brick siding: Lifetime of the home
All wooden floors: Lifetime of the home
Cellulose insulation material: 100-plus years
Slate, copper, and clay and concrete roofs: 50+ years
Copper gutters: 50+ years
Kitchen cabinets: Up to 50 years
Modified acrylic kitchen sinks: 50 years
Vinyl floors: 50 years
Thermostats: 35 years
Wooden windows: 30 years
Wood shake roofs: 30 years
French interior doors: 30–50 years
Built-in audio system: 20 years
Aluminum windows: 15–20 years
Asphalt shingle roofs: 20 years
Faucets, kitchen sinks: 15 years
Gas ranges: 15 years
Cultured marble countertops: 20 years
Dryers and refrigerators: 13 years
Air conditioning units: 10–15 years
Lighting controls: 10+ years
Interior and exterior paints: 15+ years
Electric or gas water heaters: 10 years
Air conditioners: 10–15 years
Furnaces: 15–20 years
Security systems: 5–10 years
Heat and smoke detectors: 5–10 years
Dishwashers: 9 years
Microwave ovens: 9 years
Carpet: 8–10 years
Access the full report (PDF) and view a complete list of products reviewed in the study.
Vectren has issued an explanation for the Electric Reconnection Explanation. If the is any damage to the weather head or rise, the damage must be repaired by the home owner before power companies can restore electricity. The repair needs to be done by a licensed contractor.
Electric Reconnection Explanation
Vectren says it continues to receive numerous questions about what home owners must do before crews can restore electric service to a house.
According to Vectren any damage to the weather head -- or riser -- must be repaired by the home owner before power companies can restore electricity.
Vectren says the weather head is the point where the service line meets the customer's premises.
Vectren says in most cases the repairs must be inspected before service can be restored -- but Vanderburgh County says under current circumstances it will inspect the work after service has been reconnected.
Here we have the latest numbers of homes without electricity. These numbers should change today as the warm up will allow for faster progress than previous days.
Power Outage Numbers for Saturday
Crews have been working tirelessly to get the Tri-State back on-line.
Thousands are now five days without power.
Right now 33,000 Vectren customers are still without power.
That's down 13,000 from Friday.
Vectren is asking that customers just be patient, saying crews are working as quickly as they can.
There are now 39,000 Kenergy customers without power.
That number is up 5,000 from last night's estimate.
According to a spokesperson, the additional outages have been caused by more falling trees.
OMU is reporting 10,500 customers without power.
They expect to have that down to 10,000 by the end of the night.
And Southern Indiana Power still has 1,800 customers without power.
This has been the largest disaster relief effort undertaken by the Southwestern Red Cross. More than 500 people have stayed in Red Cross Shelters, 2,000 meals and 1,500 were served. With temperatures warming up Vectren should be able to make a progress in getting all homes connected back to the grid.
Largest Disaster Relief in Southwestern Red Cross History
Red Cross workers have been working around the clock to coordinate and execute the largest disaster relief operation in Southwestern Indiana history.
Over the past three days, hundreds of Tri-State residents have been served by the Red Cross.
More than 500 people have stayed in Red Cross shelters. Red Cross workers have served more than 2,000 meals as well as 1,500 snacks. In addition to food and shelter, the Red Cross has distributed about 1,300 comfort kits that contain personal hygiene items for shelter residents.
The work of the Red Cross is only possible because of the selfless volunteers that have been staffing our shelters for countless hours. We would like to thank all Vanderburgh County residents that volunteered their time and resources to care for our neighbors during this difficult time.
Three shelters remain open to residents at 29 S. Stockwell Road, Washington Avenue Church of Christ, and the U.S. Army Reserve. Indiana National Guard men and women continue to work 24 hours a day, providing transportation for those needing shelter. The Red Cross will continue to serve residents until all power is restored and there is no longer a need for emergency shelter.
For more information about Red Cross shelters, transportation to shelters provided by the National Guard, and volunteering, call 471-7200.