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Building bubble bust continues in ATL.

Old 02-03-2007, 08:02 AM
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Default Building bubble bust continues in ATL.

One of my largest customers closed the doors owing a lot of money. Looks like this is gonna thin the heard really good. This was a large company too. Google laurel river.
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Old 02-03-2007, 09:10 AM
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Default RE: Building bubble bust continues in ATL.

lots are having troubles here one builder is making payments on 108 speck homes that cant last long
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Old 02-03-2007, 09:24 AM
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Default Re: Building bubble bust continues in ATL.

I'm glad they only owed me 2500 instead of 25k. I've already took one hit for 75k.
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Old 02-03-2007, 09:41 AM
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Default Re: Building bubble bust continues in ATL.

I got burned by my builder here in Tampa for 3K when he abruptly went bankrupt last year.
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Old 02-03-2007, 11:12 AM
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think I'm lucky - things in Ft laud stayting stable for things built , but new construction is stopped. That's good for me - closed on a recent property that appraised at 75 K above my cost - rented it with 20 days after closing...whew!
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Old 02-03-2007, 11:41 AM
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Katrina housing aid extended six months
By Spencer S. Hsu
The Washington Post
Posted January 20 2007

WASHINGTON · The U.S. government will extend housing aid through August for hundreds of thousands of Gulf Coast residents still displaced by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, officials said Friday, acknowledging that wide swaths of New Orleans and parts of coastal Mississippi remain uninhabitable almost 17 months after the 2005 storms.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it would continue for six more months to pay for trailers, mobile homes and apartments occupied by 130,000 families, aid that under federal law would have expired at the end of next month.
Officials in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas and advocacy groups had urged FEMA for a decision since December, saying the historic housing crisis triggered by the devastating storms had not subsided. A delay or denial would have crippled rebuilding efforts and disrupted hundreds of thousands of lives, they said, as families living in trailers near their original homes would have had to move away and others in apartments would have been turned out by landlords seeking to rent to non-subsidized tenants.
The new Democratic Congress also stepped up pressure, frustrated at the Bush administration's improvised policies and the slow pace of recovery in New Orleans.
"This is very welcome news for the thousands of Louisianans still struggling with the everyday challenges of recovery and rebuilding," said Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., who announced the decision after speaking with FEMA Director R. David Paulison. A formal announcement is set for early next week.
Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, a Democrat, and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a Republican, expressed gratitude but warned that the shortage of permanent housing will continue past August.
"Even though the number of Mississippians relying on this program is reduced each month as housing is rebuilt, it is clear thousands of our citizens will be without permanent housing six months from now," said Barbour, who sought a one-year extension.
Blanco called the recovery effort "beyond the scope of federal rules."
Housing advocates in Washington said they hope FEMA will notify recipients speedily and plan for longer-term housing. Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, added, "I will await official word from FEMA before determining if its provisions are adequate."
The order covers about 100,000 households in Louisiana and 30,000 households in Mississippi. In Houston, about 100,000 evacuees, mostly from New Orleans, live in privately owned apartments paid for by FEMA, a spokesman for Mayor Bill White said.


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Old 02-03-2007, 12:26 PM
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KATRINA: Needing Builders, Gulf City Looks to China

D'Iberville, Miss., tired of waiting for Katrina cleanup, wants a pair of Beijing companies to import hundreds of construction workers.

by Richard Fausset, Los Angeles Times
June 27th, 2006

Frustration over the pace of rebuilding is rampant along the Mississippi Gulf Coast some 10 months after Hurricane Katrina . But in the small city of D'Iberville, leaders are hoping to jump-start construction with an unorthodox solution: importing hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of Chinese laborers to build shopping malls, condominiums and casinos.
The idea likely will prove difficult � if not impossible � to pull off, given the debate over immigration and the constraints of American labor law. But it is telling that officials are trying anyway in D'Iberville, a city of 7,600 that saw 35% of its homes and many commercial and public buildings destroyed by the storm.
Starting today, Mayor Rusty Quave plans to open City Hall to a delegation from two large Chinese construction companies: Beijing Construction Engineering Co. Ltd. and Beijing Urban Construction International Co. Over three days, the companies will pitch their ability to build fast and cheaply, according to Ningsheng Chen, a Chinese businessman based in Atlanta who is helping to coordinate the meeting.
The firms, which plan to partner with private developers in the U.S., have proposed using Chinese materials. That way, they can avoid paying higher post-Katrina prices for American materials.
The Chinese also hope to ship over their own workers � who would be subject to American labor laws but paid less than what domestic workers typically demand. The Chinese laborers would live in temporary housing, staffing round-the-clock construction shifts, Chen said. When the projects were finished, they would return home.
Labor and immigration experts say that plan would require a class of temporary visa that is offered in limited quantities, with only 66,000 granted each year. To earn one, a company must show that no American is interested in doing the job in question. Asking for thousands of these visas at one time would be rare, if not unprecedented, said Michael Defensor, a spokesman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in Washington.
Quave, 55, is one of the most enthusiastic supporters of the plan. In a phone interview, the part-time politician and grocery store owner referred to Chinese President Hu Jintao as "emperor," and admitted he was no expert on U.S. labor law.
But he predicted that domestic labor will grow scarce once rebuilding begins in earnest in the Gulf Coast region, where about 1.2 million homes were damaged last year by hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. Quave noted that many laborers on the coast now are undocumented Latino immigrants.
"The philosophy would be the same," the mayor said. "The only difference would be that these workers would be legal."
Representatives of the construction industry say a shortage of experienced workers is one factor holding up rebuilding. But they don't necessarily believe that Chinese labor is the solution.
"It's a pretty extreme measure, and I don't think we need to explore that at this point," said C.J. "Buddy" Edens, president of the Mississippi Assn. of Builders and Contractors. Edens said that if Mississippi workers couldn't be found to build in D'Iberville, other Americans surely could � an opinion echoed by the city's own building official and fire marshal, Wallace Freeman.
But Quave said he is worried that domestic contractors will only be able to turn to D'Iberville's construction wish list after they first build high-profile projects in places like nearby Biloxi. And he doesn't want his city to have to wait for local building projects that could put residents back to work and restore D'Iberville's tax base.
"We don't want to take any opportunities away from any American company," Quave said. "But if we have to compete for other domestic companies, and they already have commitments working in New Orleans or Biloxi, we don't want to miss out."
As in many Gulf Coast cities, D'Iberville's rebuilding has been slowed by negotiations with insurance companies, questions over federal guidelines and widespread fear of what the next storm might do.
Freeman said about half of the city's 3,000 damaged homes have been repaired, and a number of stores and offices have reopened. Residents whose homes were totaled have been slower to rebuild; and about 300 to 400 former home sites are now empty lots, Freeman said.
Before the storm, D'Iberville was considered a sleepy suburb of Biloxi. Now the city is hoping to capitalize on its location to reemerge as a major commercial force in the region.
D'Iberville is on a body of water called the Back Bay, separated from the Gulf of Mexico by Biloxi's east-west peninsula. That made D'Iberville less attractive to casino companies. Most have located their resorts on the shores of the gulf, and D'Iberville officials watched enviously as Biloxi reaped the financial benefits of a pre-storm casino boom.
But now D'Iberville is gaining cachet as a safe bet for commercial building, with less exposure to large storm surges such as Katrina's. Richard Rose, D'Iberville's city manager, said a number of investors are making serious inquiries about building casinos, resorts and shopping centers in town. Some of them have already begun meeting with the Chinese firms.
Quave said the companies also are interested in building public housing to replace the city's subsidized housing, all of which was flooded and remains uninhabitable.
The two Chinese construction firms recently were ranked among the dozen largest builders in that nation. Chen said each is partially owned by the Chinese government. Both are involved in major building projects in anticipation of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, as well as overseas projects in Guinea, Yemen and Iran.
When the companies build in Third World countries, they typically send in Chinese labor, Chen said. Now they want to bring that model to the Gulf Coast.
The plan is just a concept now. This week's meeting, Chen noted, would allow the Chinese delegation of about a dozen people to see what kinds of projects are being considered by D'Iberville officials and American developers.
If the companies cannot bring Chinese laborers in, Chen said, he would like to see lawmakers in Washington create special provisions to help Chinese companies rebuild the coast.
He and his colleagues know it won't be easy. Raymond Zhang, the assistant manager of Chen's company, Tangdu International Enterprises Inc., likened the idea to putting a man on the moon.
"We're trying to do something impossible, but it's really got to be done," Chen said.




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Old 02-03-2007, 12:43 PM
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Volunteers help rebuild Mississippi after Katrina
By PETER WHORISKEY The Washington Post
Published: Monday, January 29, 2007
PEARLINGTON, Miss. — The two-by-fours inside the walls of George and Margaret Ladner's new home are inscribed with biblical verses, each written by one of the Alabama schoolchildren who raised money to buy the lumber.
The framing work on the house was done by a Christian from Pennsylvania, the exterior planking was put up by people from Texarkana, Texas, and a group from Destin, Fla., worked on other details.
“This home was built by the hands of God,” Margaret Ladner, 75, said from the couch of her new living room last week.
In this small rural community, as in much of the hurricane-ravaged Mississippi Gulf Coast, this kind of motley charity effort accounts for the vast bulk of what halting progress has been made in the immense task of rebuilding.
While the national debate over the recovery has focused on the billions expected in federal aid and insurance, those sources have so far provided little for places such as Pearlington, and charity efforts have constituted more than 80 percent of the home rebuilding completed so far, local and charity officials said.
Fewer than one in five families here are back in their homes, but nearly all of them have relied to some extent on charity groups. The waves of volunteers typically come down for a week or two, work during the day and at night sleep on cots and bunks set up in places such as the old school library and huts on the community's football field.
“Without the volunteers and the donations, we'd still be in the mud,” said Rocky Pullman, a tugboat captain who represents the Pearlington area on the Hancock County Commission.
In a county where nearly 11,000 homes were destroyed by the storm, the largest single home rebuilder is the local Habitat for Humanity project, which is undertaking the construction of 19 homes in the area, according to an official with the governor's commission on recovery. Other groups are aiming at similar numbers.
The reason for the charity's dominant role in the rebuilding is that little, if any, of the $3.2 billion in federal aid for Mississippi homeowners has reached anyone here — it is tied up for now at the state level. As for insurance, most residents of this rural community lacked any form of flood policy. People say there just hadn't been a flood in recent memory, and of those who did have coverage, most had too little.
“If it wasn't for the good American citizens coming here, we'd be in a world of hurt,” said Chuck Benvenutti, Hancock County representative on the Governor's Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding, Renewal.
The fact that now, 17 months after Hurricane Katrina, only a small fraction of the home rebuilding has been completed and that most of it has been done by charity groups is viewed here as both wonderful and disappointing — wonderful that so many strangers have arrived to help, but disappointing that the federal aid and insurance payouts have proved, for now, so unavailable.
The charitable groups and residents also say they sometimes worry that as the rest of the country forgets about their plight, the flow of volunteers that they have relied upon could shrink.
Several expressed outrage that there was no mention of the hurricane recovery in President Bush's State of the Union address Tuesday.
“We still look like a bomb hit us, and then the president in his national address doesn't even mention us?” said Larry Randall, a retired boat captain and a coordinator of relief efforts at the Pearlington Recovery Center. “That really hurt.”
Katrina made a nearly direct hit on this modest community, which once had about 1,700 people, about 77 percent of them white, about 20 percent black, census figures show. Most maintained houses — a typical one sold for about $50,000 before the storm — and the rest had mobile homes.
Katrina pushed ashore a surge of water that simply washed many homes away and filled others with as much as 10 feet of water, according to recovery officials. Eight local people died. Several rode out the storm by climbing tall trees and resting in their branches; others jumped from rooftops into boats.
Now the vast majority of the residents who have returned live in FEMA trailers, the skinny, 27-foot-long homes on wheels provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency that house families in cramped quarters. Along the woodsy roadsides, hand-painted plywood signs offer community encouragement — “Keep Hope Alive” and “Katrina Was Big, God Was Bigger.” Stray dogs roam.
Every week, scores of volunteers descend on this community to fill the cots at the school library or the parsonage at the local Baptist Church or a camp run by Presbyterians. Last week there were more than 80 here, but at other times there have been as many as 200.
By day, they go out in work crews, framing houses, putting up drywall, installing doors. At night, some have prayer meetings.
This past week, at various sites one could run into Amish from Pennsylvania, Catholics from Massachusetts, Methodists from Illinois, Baptists from Mississippi and a Florida church group. The Amish crews, clad in their distinctive suspenders and wide-brimmed hats, have a non-Amish driver who takes them to work sites.
“Many of us were born with a hammer in our hands,” said Sam Stoltzfus, 41, part of an Amish crew from the Williamsport, Pa., area. “This is fun. Yes, we're supposed to help people, but it's not like a chain around our necks.”
Russell Geeraerts, 38, a general contractor from Helena, Mont., said he came down after the hurricane “for all the wrong reasons.” He was going to volunteer for a couple of weeks and then come back with his own work crew to make some money.
“But then I asked myself, ‘How could you?'” he said last week after lunch at a local kitchen, which like the various camps was set up to serve volunteers. “Just look at this place.”
The $3.2 billion in federal aid disbursed by the Mississippi program has largely been untouchable by people in Pearlington.
The program's first phase doles out money to people who were flooded but did not live in the federally designated flood zone.
Most people in Pearlington live in the flood zone and must wait for the second phase to begin. Under its guidelines, families of low and moderate income will be eligible for as much as $100,000, less any insurance and FEMA rebuilding payments they have received.
In the meantime, not knowing whether they will receive aid, many families here say they have accepted, sometimes reluctantly, the help of the charity groups in the rebuilding.
Many put what they have into building a foundation, getting the home started. Then the charitable groups, which provide materials and work crews, do the rest.
Even so, many feel uncomfortable about receiving the help.
Frank Bello and his wife, for example, are raising five children. He worked in maintenance at the local elementary school. She is a nurse.
Last week, an Amish crew was putting together the frame on a new house for the family.
Just before Christmas, when Bello was hauling three loads of dirt to his home site, it began to rain. He told the volunteer work crew that he was sorry that they had to work in such conditions.
“They said, ‘Don't worry, we're glad to do it,' and that made me feel better,” Bello said. “But I still feel bad about it. Personally, myself, I like to be doing that sort of thing for other people, not having them do it for me. But now that's the way it is.”
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Old 02-03-2007, 12:48 PM
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Default Re: Building bubble bust continues in ATL.

Same drop in Mid-Atlantic area. It has affected the home furnishing industry that I am in. I have never experienced this type of soft market in the over 35 years that I have been in my industry.
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Old 02-03-2007, 01:57 PM
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In California foreclosures are at 150% of normal. On the other hand, rumor is that the housing market shifted last month and is starting to creep back into the bubble, er, I mean back to normal. On the other other hand I was talking to a realitor and he said he has nothing to do, daily, from 9am to 5pm. The inference being the real estate market is still severely repressed.
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Old 02-03-2007, 02:12 PM
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SurferGirl - 2/3/2007 11:26 AM

KATRINA: Needing Builders, Gulf City Looks to China

D'Iberville, Miss., tired of waiting for Katrina cleanup, wants a pair of Beijing companies to import hundreds of construction workers.

by Richard Fausset, Los Angeles Times
June 27th, 2006

Frustration over the pace of rebuilding is rampant along the Mississippi Gulf Coast some 10 months after Hurricane Katrina .
HUH?

Says who? Not Rusty Quave. Not Richard Rose.

Pace here in the tri-county area is blistering. It is so because very, very few are "waiting" for Kartina cleanup. We have been, and continue to cleanup with or without any fed assistance as the byline implies. The cleanup is almost complete, and the rebuilding has been ongoing during the cleanup.

This sort of media spin from 1500 miles removed is beyond typical. Richard Fausset should come here and interview a cross section of the population, open the books of the cities, and then write a story.

The banner blurbs are grossly out of context, as the insinuation is that we here on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi are "waiting" for something to be done. That is as far from the truth as can be.

Of course, one must consider the source - the LA Times.


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Old 02-03-2007, 02:32 PM
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topfish - 2/3/2007 12:48 PM Same drop in Mid-Atlantic area. It has affected the home furnishing industry that I am in. I have never experienced this type of soft market in the over 35 years that I have been in my industry.
Topfish, I am in the same industry and it is soft down this way. Ithinkwith the nothing down interest only mortgages, people are buying twice the house that they would otherwise buy leaving them with nothing left in the budget to furnish them. Expensive houses with verylittle furniture and sheets in the windows!
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Old 02-03-2007, 02:41 PM
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Snapper Head - 2/3/2007 1:12 PM

SurferGirl - 2/3/2007 11:26 AM

KATRINA: Needing Builders, Gulf City Looks to China

D'Iberville, Miss., tired of waiting for Katrina cleanup, wants a pair of Beijing companies to import hundreds of construction workers.

by Richard Fausset, Los Angeles Times
June 27th, 2006

Frustration over the pace of rebuilding is rampant along the Mississippi Gulf Coast some 10 months after Hurricane Katrina .
HUH?

Says who? Not Rusty Quave. Not Richard Rose.

Pace here in the tri-county area is blistering. It is so because very, very few are "waiting" for Kartina cleanup. We have been, and continue to cleanup with or without any fed assistance as the byline implies. The cleanup is almost complete, and the rebuilding has been ongoing during the cleanup.

This sort of media spin from 1500 miles removed is beyond typical. Richard Fausset should come here and interview a cross section of the population, open the books of the cities, and then write a story.

The banner blurbs are grossly out of context, as the insinuation is that we here on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi are "waiting" for something to be done. That is as far from the truth as can be.

Of course, one must consider the source - the LA Times.


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It is not about cleanup__It is about the unavailability of builders to meet all the demand for construction.
I have been waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting. And as far as I can tell, FEMA seems to be the only party around there interested in taking on any new construction projects.
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Old 02-03-2007, 02:53 PM
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SurferGirl - 2/3/2007 1:41 PM

Snapper Head - 2/3/2007 1:12 PM

SurferGirl - 2/3/2007 11:26 AM

KATRINA: Needing Builders, Gulf City Looks to China

D'Iberville, Miss., tired of waiting for Katrina cleanup, wants a pair of Beijing companies to import hundreds of construction workers.

by Richard Fausset, Los Angeles Times
June 27th, 2006

Frustration over the pace of rebuilding is rampant along the Mississippi Gulf Coast some 10 months after Hurricane Katrina .
HUH?

Says who? Not Rusty Quave. Not Richard Rose.

Pace here in the tri-county area is blistering. It is so because very, very few are "waiting" for Kartina cleanup. We have been, and continue to cleanup with or without any fed assistance as the byline implies. The cleanup is almost complete, and the rebuilding has been ongoing during the cleanup.

This sort of media spin from 1500 miles removed is beyond typical. Richard Fausset should come here and interview a cross section of the population, open the books of the cities, and then write a story.

The banner blurbs are grossly out of context, as the insinuation is that we here on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi are "waiting" for something to be done. That is as far from the truth as can be.

Of course, one must consider the source - the LA Times.


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PFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFT!
It is not about cleanup__It is about the unavailability of builders to meet all the demand for construction.
I have been waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting. And as far as I can tell, FEMA seems to be the only party around there interested in taking on any new construction projects.
The bylines at the top quite clearly state "tired of waiting for Katrina cleanup".

That's my point.


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Old 02-03-2007, 02:56 PM
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Snapper Head - 2/4/2007 11:12 AM

Of course, one must consider the source - the LA Times.


Yeah, when I saw Washington Post and L.A. Times I passed on them, didn't even bother reading them.

Those pubs have a little too much political editorializing, and not enough real news for my taste. I think it is the Wash Post that is now on the brink of bankruptcy.

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Old 02-03-2007, 03:04 PM
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http://patrick.net/housing/crash.html

http://www.nowandfutures.com/real_estate.html




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Old 02-03-2007, 05:25 PM
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And this is a surprise?! Come on guy's, anybody and everybody was "ridin' the wave" like a bunch of whores for the last 10 years and, unfortunately, things came back to reality and caught many companies and individuals with their pants down and their wicks wet. It is just one big cycle! Don't you remember the late 70's/early 80's? Now THAT was BAD! This is nothing. It'll be back up in the spring. Not to where it was 2 years ago, but it will be stable. What cracks me up is all the people who took out the interest only loans on properties two years ago, when the "signs were visible" of a downturn and now they're due. They're "F'd"

My Stepfather (VERY successful developer) told me once, "First rule of Real Estate Development, If you can't hack it, grab your jacket!"
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Old 02-03-2007, 05:56 PM
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bugbuster LR owes the company I work for quite a bit of money.I knew they were having a hard time but didn't know they closed thier doors as they are not my customer.This doesn't sound good.Our 60 day past dues have been up substantially over the past few months.I have seen a slight pick up in sales in a few areas but there are subdivisions that seem deserted right now.I am hoping by late spring for things to pick back up here in atlanta.
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Old 02-03-2007, 06:09 PM
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tka, I hope they didn't get you all too bad. The supers have quit (at least the ones I know) and the doors have been locked. No one answers the phone. There inventory wasn't that high, they just had ALOT of lots.

Just1More. I think it was more interest rates that made late 70's and early 80's dry up.
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Old 02-03-2007, 07:14 PM
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While the NE is down, I will stop short of calling it the worst I have ever seen. I do agree with Just1more - this industry is cyclical - always has been and always will be. I have always said that these cycles will show you the difference between business people and the guy who owns a nail gun and thinks he is a builder/developer.

Whoever owns 108 spec houses is just a stupid business person, and couple that with their lenders that would finance someone with 108 spec houses!!!

While the residential market is way down in this area, the commercial market is absolutely crazy busy right now.
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