NEW Preferred Membership Program!

Thank you for being a part of the National Association of Independent Home Builders and Remodelers (NAIHBR). As a member, you know the value of partnering with the building and lending communities to differentiate yourself from other brokers and better serve your clients.

Our mission is to help YOU better serve our communities through our network working together. I’m excited to announce our new, Preferred Membership program!

At NAIHBR, our base Realtor memberships are free. There is no cost to you, to be part of our organization which includes newsletters, invitations to leadership summits, and opportunities to engage with the thousands of our membership.

Our NEW Preferred Membership Program offers the following:

• For each one of your clients, we will provide you $100 of handyman credits that you can give to each your buyers and sellers. There is no limit to how many, and this is another great way to differentiate yourself from other brokers in your market.

• For each of your clients that are moving, we offer a $350 valued moving concierge service that can handle all aspects of a stressful move. Your client gets their own US based representative to help them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

• For each transaction, that is a total value of $550 that can be given to your clients with no limit per year.

• In addition to the Moving/Handyman Credits, we also include access to the NAIHBR 3/2 program….allowing you to triple your commission and double your listings for open lots and teardowns. We will waive the $495.00/transaction administrative processing fee for Preferred Members.

• For each membership, we will be providing H.O.M.E DuPage and Habitat for Humanity a donation from NAIHBR (keeping with our spirit of giving back and investing in our local communities).

• You will also continue to receive access to our newsletters, invitations to leadership summits, and access to sponsored technology and product solutions.

Preferred Membership is just $49.00/year, which will be a key part of financially supporting our community based professional trade association.   Please click on the following link to get details on this latest membership offering!

reduced image finger with magnifying glass

“It’s Too Expensive” and Other Construction Myths

Many potential home buyers shy away from buying new construction homes because they have bought into the pervasive myths about the cost and process. But building a new home is less expensive and less stress-inducing than you might think. Here is the truth about common new construction myths.

“It’s too expensive”

The idea that new homes are more expensive than existing homes is easily the most common myth about new construction. New homes get this reputation because they are typically larger than existing homes. Your builder can design a home that fits your budget. Plus, most new homes are much more energy efficient so you will save on your energy bills in the long run. You also don’t have to worry about the unexpected expense of repairing a leaky roof or decrepit plumbing.

“You Can’t Build in Winter”

Yes, winter construction is a thing. No, building materials won’t get destroyed by snow; they’re treated to withstand the elements.  Yes, concrete treated with calcium chloride to help it cure in cold weather is just as strong as concrete poured in warm weather. All concrete must meet strict building code requirements so you shouldn’t be concerned about the quality of concrete surfaces. As long as the foundation is in place before the ground freezes, you can still complete a project in winter months.

New Homes Lack Character and Charm”

A new home doesn’t need to look like a cookie-cutter house. Custom homes can be designed to include beautiful and unique architectural details, tall ceilings, wood-burning fireplaces or other charming features that make it yours.

Builders Never Finish on Time and Always Go Over Budget”

While there is not much builders can do about Mother Nature, most reputable homebuilders today have processes in place to ensure that your home is built in a timely manner and under budget. Your builder should provide you with a detailed pricing sheet that lays out the costs for labor and materials. He should also communicate regular updates so you understand the process and timelines.

NAIHBR is a not-for-profit trade association brings together homebuilders, contractors, real estate professionals, lenders and suppliers to promote development of new construction and home renovations. Our members have a strong interest in building value in their local communities. For more information or to join NAIHBR contact us at 855-733-8100.

Proposed Kitchen Remodel

Identifying a Complete Home Cost

Many buyers are intimidated by the construction process because there is a concern that there are unknown costs and that these costs can easily get out of hand. Real estate professionals working in the NAIHBR program should be aware of the costs that make up a complete new home price, and be able to walk clients through the different pieces that make up the total cost. These costs fall into 3 categories - the lot cost, hard costs and soft costs.

Lot Cost

The lot cost is very straightforward, it is the cost of the property itself. It may be a vacant lot or have an existing home on it, but the property as it is being conveyed by the seller as-is, is the lot cost.

Hard Costs

Hard costs are the cost for building the home itself. It consists of the “sticks-and-bricks” and entails all the actual material and labor to build the physical home.

Soft Costs

Soft costs consist of an array of additional expenses associated with the build. Many of these costs are specific to the site itself, like the cost to demolish the current home or remove trees that are in the area of construction. Other site specific soft costs include the engineering of the new home on the site and installation of utilities to the new home, like new sewer & water service, gas service and electric service. There are also soft cost expenses that are specific to the type of home being built, and the municipality where it is being constructed. These expenses include the permits, impact fees, bonds, as well as other specific requirements for new home construction that may be required in that particular town. An example of this would be the interior sprinkler systems that a handful of municipalities now require.

There are also soft cost expenses that are specific to the type of home being built, and the municipality where it is being constructed. These expenses include the permits, impact fees, bonds, as well as other specific requirements for new home construction that may be required in that particular town. An example of this would be the interior sprinkler systems that a handful of municipalities now require.


Coming up with an accurate soft cost number in not an easy process, and typically takes several days for a builder to provide. It requires research, as well as the bids of several subcontractors to help identify these specific costs. NAIHBR provides models and pricing for the hard costs (sticks-and-bricks) and adds them to the lot cost for the property in question. Then, this price is marketed on the MLS with the disclaimer that the soft costs are not included, and an analysis of these costs can be provided by the builder when requested. A buyer or their agent can make this request through NAIHBR, and the results of this request would need to be added to the advertised MLS price for a complete home cost.

family contract

3 Key Ingredients to Spur New Construction

Dallas, Texas is on track to build 48,772 new homes in 2017 while Allentown, PA will build only 436. So, what causes some cities to build so aggressively while others stagnate? The size of the city plays a part, of course but according to a recent study by Trulia, job growth, income growth and home price appreciation are the three key ingredients needed to spur homebuilding.

Job Growth

Increases or decreases in job creation have the strongest impact on demand for new construction. As people move to a new city for jobs they will need housing, of course. A steady income makes them feel financially secure enough to buy a new home. According to the study, for every 1% increase in job growth, there is a 5% increase in home building permits. In Denver, for example, employment grew by 16.3% between 2010 and 2016 and homebuilding grew to 56.2% above its historical average in 2017. Had employment increased by an additional 1% to 17.3%, homebuilding would be more like 61.2% above the historical average.

Income Growth

There is also a strong correlation between income growth and increases in new construction. It makes sense that as people earn more money they can save more for a down payment and feel comfortable that they can afford upgrading to a new home. When the average income of a metropolitan area increases by 1%, you can expect the number of new construction permits to increase by 2.1%.

Home Price Appreciation

Rising home prices typically signals strong demand which incentivizes homebuilders to build more homes because they know that 1) homes will sell quickly and 2) they will earn lucrative profits. In fact, Trulia estimates that for every percentage point increase in home prices, there is a 1.2% increase in new construction. This only occurs, however, when incomes grow along with home prices. If incomes fall or stagnate while home prices rise many buyers are priced out of the market and construction permits slow.

NAIHBR is a not-for-profit trade association brings together homebuilders, contractors, real estate professionals, lenders and suppliers to promote new construction and rehabilitation. Our members have a strong interest in building value in their local communities. For more information or to join NAIHBR contact us at 855-733-8100.

new home construction 1900class cropped

NAIHBR New Construction Homebuyer Services – A Great Place to Start

NAIHBR New Construction Homebuyer Services – A Great Place to Start

As NAIHBR members, you know about the great marketing services that NAIHBR can provide you and your sellers, but did you know NAIHBR can help you with your BUYER clients as well? Lately, many of our Realtor members have been sending their new home buying clients to us first, before starting the process of finding a lot or a builder. Here are some of the reasons why so many of our members are registering their clients with NAIHBR:

1. NAIHBR agents have access to exclusive properties not found on the MLS. Provide your clients the best selection of properties and bring value other agents cannot.

2. Your clients deserve a choice! NAIHBR will provide them several builders to select from, providing them real options for their new home build. They can choose the builder that is right for them and have a choice regarding everything from the style of the home to the price.

3. You work hard for your commissions, protect them. NAIHBR members who have their clients registered are ensured of receiving their real estate commissions, because NAIHBR builder members agree to work with the real estate community. No more wondering if a builder will try to bypass you or renegotiate your commissions.

4. Get paid now, not when the build is complete in 12 months! With NAIHBR’s special arrangement with the area’s best new construction lenders, all real estate commissions are paid up front, before the build even starts! It is new construction agency, done right.

5. New construction, and all of the variables and decisions associated with it, can be complicated. Having a NAIHBR expert that has been through the process many times before makes it much easier. Leverage NAIHBR’s extensive experience to help guide your clients through the process and make it go smoothly for both them, and yourself.

6. Additional buyer leads are nice, especially when they are looking for a new home and lot package. At NAIHBR, we are introduced to new construction homebuyers all the time. When they are looking for a quality agent, we go to the list of NAIHBR buyer agents who have registered their clients with us in the past. These are the agents committed with working with us, so we reward them with the home buyers that are brought to NAIHBR who are unrepresented.

NAIHBR is here it help you and your clients make the best of their new homebuilding experience. As NAIHBR Association members, we are here for you.

Register your new construction buyers today! It is easy. Just go to to register your buyers and take advantage of all the NAIHBR’s benefits today!

To Renovate or Demolish, That Is the Question

Whether you are contemplating renovating your current home versus buying a teardown or trying to decide what to do with a fixer-upper, the renovating vs demolishing question is rarely clear cut. The cost of one over the other varies from case to case. Here are a few factors that you should take into account to determine when to renovate and when to demolish.

When to Renovate

Preserving Vintage Details

If your home has historical attributes or original details that you want to keep, it may be wise to renovate. Vintage features like solid-core doors, arched doorways or marble windowsills are hard to come by today and often can’t be replaced by new construction.

Historic District Restrictions

If you live in a town or neighborhood that is designated as a historic district you may not be allowed to demolish and may be forced to renovate. Many older communities have restrictions in place to preserve historical buildings and protect the character of the town. In some places, you will need to get special permission from the local historic preservation commission to demolish and rebuild. Those can often take much longer to obtain than renovation permits and aren’t worth the trouble.

Considerable Cost Savings

If the scope of the renovation is limited enough that it is considerably more cost effective, renovating is probably your best option. Keep in mind that renovation costs are almost always higher than you anticipate due to unexpected issues like electrical or plumbing problems, mold or structural defects. You should leave some extra room in your budget for unforeseen expenses.

When to Demolish

Major Structural Issues

If the home has major structural issues it is almost always smarter to demolish the home and completely start over. Things like crumbling foundations, mold, pest infestations, or cracks in the walls are typically more expensive to repair. Water damage from a flooded basement or a leaking roof also is a major issue that is often not worth fixing.

Cost and Potential Appreciation

If the investment in new construction increases the value of the home enough to outweigh the demolition costs, then demolition is most likely your best bet. Demolition typically costs about $8,000 to $15,000 depending on the location and the size of the property. Generally, it is worth it to tear down the home if the new house can be valued two to three times as much as the original home. The price of the newly built home largely depends on the location and the current prices in that market. So it is important to know the sales prices for comparable homes in the neighborhood and set your budget within those parameters.

NAIHBR is a not-for-profit trade association brings together homebuilders, contractors, real estate professionals, lenders and suppliers to promote development of new construction and home renovations. Our members have a strong interest in building value in their local communities. For more information or to join NAIHBR contact us at 855-733-8100.


Winter Leadership Summit Series Well Received

On January 25th, NAIHBR held its first of two Leadership Summits in the Chicagoland. The afternoon session included an overview of the housing market by Chairman Paul Imura, as well as an introduction to the NAIHBR program by Executive Director Jim Pesavento. NAIHBR’s newest Platinum Sponsor, Home123, was also on hand to introduce attendees to the latest technology that can simplify the request process and marketing of proposed new construction homes through the NAIHBR program. “Our proposed new construction program needed a technology piece that can speed delivery and provide a marketing tool to the real estate community regardless of MLS listing policies and an individual agents marketing strategy. Home123 brought that solution, and it has taken the NAIHBR program to the next level” stated Jim Pesavento. Other key presenters included Allan Weiss, who provided his unique insight into predictive home property valuations and addressed some surprising myths about the current CMA process currently used by most agents.


Feedback from the event was overwhelmingly positive, and comments from attendees can be found at: The next and final Winter Leadership Summit in Chicagoland will be Wednesday, February 7th from 1-4pm. The address is:

1515 W. 22nd St

Regency Towers

West Tower - 1st Floor Conference Room

Oak Brook, IL 60523


A few seats are still available for the event and registration is free. Simply go to and reserve your free seats. It will be a great investment of your time and will pay dividends throughout your 2018 selling season!




8 Steps of the New Construction Process

Many home buyers hesitate to purchase a new construction home because they wouldn’t know where to start and the idea of the process seems daunting. It doesn’t need to be as painful as you think if you assemble the right team of lenders, real estate agents, builders, and contractors to support you along the way. Here is a quick overview of the new construction process and what you can expect:

1.Get Pre-Approved - The first step in any homebuying process is to find out how much you can afford based on what a lender will approve you to borrow. The builder you choose may have a preferred lender or their own lending operation but it is best to do your homework to find out how much you can borrow and what the interest rates are. Research lenders that specialize in construction or renovation loan programs. For more on types of construction loans see Renovation Loan Programs for Projects of Every Size.

2. Find a great Real Estate Agent - Before you meet with any builders, find a great real estate agent that will represent your interests. Builders sales agents are incentivized to sell quickly and may pressure you to sign a contract that does not serve you well. If you visit a builders site without an agent the commission could go entirely to the builder’s sales agent and the builder will refuse to pay your agent. By hiring your own agent, you will have someone negotiating on your behalf, answering your questions and seeing that you get the best deal possible.

3. Shop for a location - Your preferred location could dictate whether you buy in a new development in the suburbs or a vacant lot in the city. It is best to work with your real estate agent to decide what neighborhood or school district you want to live in and then start looking for lots within those boundaries.  

4. Choose your Builder & Finalize Options and Floor Plans - Once you and your agent determine your location, start meeting with builders in the area. Ask about what options and upgrades are available and how much they will cost. Do your research on the builder’s reputation and his previous projects. Once you have hired a builder, be sure you are completely satisfied with the floor plans before signing off on them. You usually can’t make any changes after construction has started and if you can they are expensive and cause delays.    

5. Consult with a Lawyer - Have a real estate lawyer review your purchase contract before you sign it. Make sure you understand what you are committing to and any contingencies or cancellation rights.    

6. Start building! - While your new home is under construction resist the urge to visit the property. Apart from the safety issues of an active construction zone, your presence slows down the workers and interrupt their workflow. If there is a legitimate reason to go to the site you should schedule an appointment with the foreman and bring your agent.

7. Get a Home Inspection - Even if the builder tells you it is not necessary, hire an independent home inspector to check the plumbing, electrical work, roofing and drainage. If he finds any issues the builder should make repairs within a certain period after closing. Make sure your purchase contract allows third party inspectors and guarantees necessary repairs.

8. Move In!

NAIHBR is a not-for-profit trade association brings together homebuilders, contractors, real estate professionals, lenders and suppliers to simplify the new construction or renovation process. Our members have a strong interest in building value in their local communities. For more information or to join NAIHBR contact us at 855-733-8100.

Home Building NAIHBR blueprints

Why Do So Many Lots Lay Vacant Amid a Housing Shortage?

Cities across America battle housing shorages and affordabillity challenges while simultaneously dealing with thousands of vacant lots going to waste. As of August 2017, the inventory of existing US homes for sale is about 2 to 3 months short of what is required to meet demand. Meanwhile, The Journal of Urban design found that 16.7 percent of large US cities' land area is considered vacant.      
Unrealized Housing Supply in Chicago Take Chicago, for example. A 2016 study by the John D, and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation found that 48 percent of Chicago residents reported that they were spending more than a third of their income on rent or a mortgage. Recent data shows that Chicagoans housing costs are only rising. In August 2017, the median price of a home in Chicago was $285,000, and increase of 5.2 percent over the previous year. Supply is depressed too. There were only 50,213 homes for sale at the end of 2016, the lowest level since 2008. At the same time, however, the city of Chicago currently owns and manages 7,616 vacant properties that are zoned for Single family homes of two-flat/ townhouses. An addititional 1,096 vacant lots are listed for sale on Zillow. All told, that is 8,712 potential homes that could increase supply, relieve pressure on affordability and increase porperty tax revenues.    
New Construction Lags Growth So why are properties laying vacant when there is such a desperate need for aditional supply? Studies show that builders are not able to keep up with the demand for new homes as the economy recovers from the great recession and employment and wages increase. For example, between 2011 and 2016, Detroit only built one new home for every 6.5 new jobs created. To fill the supply gap over the next few years, builders would need to build 1.7 milion homes per year yet housing start projections are only 1.3 million and 1.4 million in 2017 and 2018 respectively.    
Homebuilder Challenges Builders are struggling to keep up for several reasons. First, some metropolitan areas have zoning policies or other regulations in place that make it difficult to develop vacant land. Many builders report backlogs and delays when applying for permits. Second, the construction industry is seeing a shortage of labor and subcontractors that is driving up costs and delaying projects. Third, while there is plenty of demand for housing, it can be difficult to convince buyers to purchase a new construction home. The process of arranging financing, finding a lot, planning a project and waiting for completion can deter potential buyers.      

NAIHBR is a not-for-profit trade association that brings together homebuilders, contractors, real estate professionals, lenders and suppliers to promote development of vacant lots and address the challenges that hinder new construction. Our members have a strong interest in building value in their local communities. For more information or to join NAIHBR contact us at 855-733-8100.

Vacant Land for sale

Renovation Loan Programs for Projects of Every Size

Figuring out which home renovation loan is the best fit for your project and your budget can be overwhelming. Whether you need to need to make a few repairs here and there or totally gut your new home, there are loan available to meet the needs of every homeowner and every project. Here are a few common renovation challenges and their most suitable loan options:

“I need less than $35,000 to make minor repairs.”

The FHA Limited 203(k) program is a great option for homeowners who need less than $35,000 to finance minor home repairs or replacements like plumbing, insulation, roofing or flooring. This program allows for homebuyers to include an additional $35,000 into their mortgage to cover the cost of making limited repairs to their home. Other eligible activities include: interior and exterior paint; repairing drainage, HVAC, and electrical systems; installing new appliances and adding a deck or patio.

“I need affordable credit to remove health and safety hazards.”

The USDA Section 504 Home Repair Program provides both financing and grants for very-low-income homeowners. Families with income below 50 percent of the area median income that are unable to obtain affordable credit can get a loan of up to $20,000 to repair, improve or modernize their homes. 20 year loans are offered at a fixed 1% interest rate. Grants are also available to homeowners age 62 or older that are unable to repay a repair loan. Grant recipients receive $7,500 to remove health and safety hazards. Loans and grants can be combined for a total of $27,500 in renovation funding.

"I want to finance luxury upgrades."

With a Fannie Mae Homestyle Renovation Program Loan, you can finance luxury upgrades like new swimming pools, gazebos or detached garages that are not allowed under FHA guidelines. The Homestyle program application process is also much simpler than the other options. There is one application for both the home purchase and the renovation loan, one closing and one set of fees.  As with the FHA Standard 203(k) program, you can finance 6 months of mortgage payments if the house is uninhabitable during construction.
NAIHBR’s lender members offer renovation loan options for every type of project and homeowner. For more information or to join NAIHBR contact us at 855-733-8100.
Jeffrey Cook, Executive Director

Jeffrey Cook

NAIHBR Executive Director

Meet the Author ...

Jeffrey Cook

20 year veteran of IT and real estate marketing systems development. Jeff co-founded and was the development architect for the Home123 marketing platform.

NAIBRS 150 Logo Final White footer no script

Contact Info

401 North Michigan Ave., Suite 1200, Chicago, IL 60611

(855) 733-8100
[email protected]

© Copyright 2019 NAIBRS © All Rights Reserved