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I Love A Good Map

Glik’s in downtown Manistee carries the “Life is Good” line of t-shirts and hats, including one that says “Not all who wander are lost” and I have to say that just doesn’t apply to me. If I’m wandering, it’s a pretty safe bet that I’m lost.

I love a good map - not MapQuest or a GPS or written directions - I want a map! In the Army, we learned that a map is a visual scale representation of the earth as seen from above and that’s exactly what appeals to me about a map. I like to see where I… Continue

Added by Manistee Chamber on June 1, 2009 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Video: HUD Secretary Donovan Unveils Details Of Plan To Monetize Home Buyer Tax Credit

In a speech before the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Board of Directors on May 29, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan unveiled new rules that will help spur the housing market by allowing consumers to use the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit to help cover the costs of closing on an FHA-insured home.


http://www.nahb.org/assets/video/HUDSecretaryMonitization.wmv

Added by Home Builders Association of the Grand Traverse Area on June 1, 2009 at 2:16pm — No Comments

Tax credits give homeowners incentive to remodel efficiently

Lew Sichelmanmailto:lsichelman@aol.com



WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Question: Is installation of a gas tankless water heater (to replace a storage-tank water heater) tax-credit approved under the economic stimulus package singed by President Obama in February?



Question: Is that $1,500 lifetime ceiling for each item under the tax credits for energy efficient home improvements? In other words, is it $1,500 each for the windows, solar panels and tankless water heaters, or is… Continue

Added by Home Builders Association of the Grand Traverse Area on May 31, 2009 at 11:30am — No Comments

A Great Community Event in Presque Isle County on May 23

The following article was written by Erin Fanning, an accomplished outdoor athlete, author and Regional Representative for Presque Isle County at the Top of Michigan Trails Council. You can catch up with Erin on her website at www.erinfanning.com.

About 80 people of all ages gathered at the 40 Mile Point Lighthouse on Saturday, May 23, 2009, for the dedication of the 2.5-mile extension of Rogers City’s… Continue

Added by Tom Stanley on May 30, 2009 at 3:12pm — No Comments

Small Town USA





There are different kind of communities.



Mushing communities.



Horse communities.







We are fortunate to belong to both.…



Continue

Added by Sherry Sutherby on May 30, 2009 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Energy-Efficient Lighting Design



Plan for performance as well as looks when making homes glow



High-performance lighting - lighting that's efficient and relates well to the design of the house - helps make homes look better, helps with visual tasks and also can reduce the home's energy use.



However, don't expect to simply install energy-efficient fixtures and save bundles in energy costs - the biggest energy savings come as part of an effort to improve the… Continue

Added by Home Builders Association of the Grand Traverse Area on May 30, 2009 at 11:00am — 1 Comment

HUD SECRETARY DONOVAN UNVEILS DETAILS OF PLAN TO MONETIZE HOME BUYER TAX CREDIT

WASHINGTON, May 29 - In a speech before the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Board of Directors, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan today unveiled new rules that will help spur the housing market by allowing consumers to use the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit to help cover the costs of closing on an FHA-insured home.



"We believe this is a real win for everyone," said Donovan. "Today, the Obama Administration is taking another important step toward accelerating the… Continue

Added by Home Builders Association of the Grand Traverse Area on May 29, 2009 at 1:03pm — No Comments

Solar Energy Pays Off in Michigan!

Eric Hughes of Image Designs LLC recently told me about a home he designed in Paw Paw, Michigan, that is proving that all the energy a home needs can come from the sun—even in Michigan. In fact, when the sun really starts shining in Michigan this summer, the owners expect to be making more energy than they need in which case they'll be able to sell it back to their electric company—called net metering. Hughes calls the house the Net-Zero Home.



Our readers might remember that we wrote… Continue

Added by Elizabeth Edwards on May 29, 2009 at 12:41pm — 6 Comments

Wow Factors for Clients Over 50

What design features does the 50-plus custom-home buyer want? Our list includes everything from universal design to outdoor living rooms, pet-care stations and dazzling water features.



Older custom-home buyers love the idea of an outdoor kitchen that outshines their neighbor’s. This one has it all: a large prep space, a flat-screen TV, comfortable seating and magnificent views captured through a series of stone arches. The sloped wood-beam ceiling protects expensive appliances and… Continue

Added by Home Builders Association of the Grand Traverse Area on May 29, 2009 at 11:29am — No Comments

Civility in Our Energy Debates

I had the occasion to hear Eric Baker, CEO of Wolverine Power, speak recently about the company's plans to build a coal-fired power plant in Rogers City, on the Lake Huron shore. Given the debate over global warming today, it's no surprise that the plant is controversial--adamantly opposed by most in the environmental community because of its CO2 emissions; supported by people in the power industry who feel Michigan will need the plain reliability that coal brings to the state's electrical grid… Continue

Added by Jeff Smith on May 29, 2009 at 7:30am — No Comments

Wind turbines can help preserve land, but need a facelift

I'm going off the conservation subdivison topic today.



Wind turbines provide one possible funding source for landowners looking for ways to conserve land that also offer a monetary benefit. And wind energy is important to our energy independence. But wind turbines can be really ugly on a rural landscape.



In the article “Wind turbines are green, but their… Continue

Added by Kirt Manecke, Smile book on May 27, 2009 at 9:00pm — 8 Comments

Smart Commute Week in Traverse City

In case you haven’t heard, next week is Traverse City’s 15th annual Smart Commute Week. My commute is short--exactly one mile from door to door—so I bike or walk to work year-round. That’s not practical for everyone, but last year several of my colleagues here at the magazine took the smart commute challenge to heart:



• One rode the BATA bus from Glen Arbor. She liked it so well she rides BATA a few times a week now, especially in winter.

• Another woman biked in from her home… Continue

Added by Jodi Simpson on May 27, 2009 at 4:29pm — 2 Comments

Trail Blazer





Our friend Francie is cart crazed.







If it's got wheels and will roll, she's there!







Monday night, she needed a tad more power for her… Continue

Added by Sherry Sutherby on May 27, 2009 at 7:05am — No Comments

Above and Beyond

Last week, Chamber Ambassador John Nale (Honor State Bank) and I went to visit new member American Auto (on First Street, next to Stacey’s Flowers). I love member visits – every person and every business starts with a story and to me it’s a privilege to hear the story and get a “behind the scenes” look at our area businesses. As soon as I stepped inside I was speechless (trust me, that never happens to your Chamber manager!). Owners Brian Langlois and Carla Miller have gone far beyond the… Continue

Added by Manistee Chamber on May 26, 2009 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Do You Qualify for the $8,000 Tax Credit?

Tax Credit Provides Outstanding Opportunity for Home Buyers



A tax credit of up to $8,000 is available for qualified first-time home buyers purchasing a principal residence on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009.



Learn how you can take advantage of the tax credit to buy the home of your dreams.



http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com/2009/home.html



Follow this issue on… Continue

Added by Home Builders Association of the Grand Traverse Area on May 26, 2009 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Professional Remodelers Key to Earning Energy-Efficiency Tax Credits

May 5, 2009 - Homeowners now can claim up to $1,500 in expanded energy-efficiency tax credits for remodeling their principal residence to reduce energy consumption. Available until the end of 2010, the revamped Existing Home Retrofit (25C) Tax Credit helps consumers save two ways: on their costs and on their utility bills.



“Remodelers can help find the best methods of saving energy in your home with an assessment, like a home energy audit,” explained NAHB Remodelers Chairman Greg… Continue

Added by Home Builders Association of the Grand Traverse Area on May 26, 2009 at 8:30am — No Comments

Parade of Homes Gives over a $250K Back to the Community

In the 20 years that the Home Builders Association of the Grand Traverse Area has produced the Parade of Homes, over $250K has been given back to the community. The HBA utilizes local non-profit organizations to host each Parade Home and then rewards the organization with a stipend as a thank you for their service. Many local non-profit organizations use this as a primary fundraiser for their group to raise money for their cause. Much of the money… Continue

Added by Home Builders Association of the Grand Traverse Area on May 25, 2009 at 9:00am — No Comments

Finding our Trails on the Web

I had a little surprise today. Just for the fun of it I typed in the names of our trails (separately) into the Web Search Box on my computer and was astonished at what I found. All of them immediately flashed to our website at www.trailscouncil. org and in a second I was reading about the virtues of the Huron-Sunrise Trail or the Little Traverse Wheelway. Even the Burt Lake Trail that is only in concept is there, at least its concept.

To an old… Continue

Added by Tom Stanley on May 24, 2009 at 4:07pm — No Comments

18 Homes Featured in the 2009 Parade of Homes

18 Homes that have been built by 14 local Home Builders will be featured in this year's Parade of Homes, a premier event in Northwest Michigan that features Builder Members of the Home Builders Association of the Grand Traverse Area, Inc.



The 2009 Parade Builders Include:



Bay Area Contracting, Inc

Blue Sky Building & Design

Brian Mohr Contracting, LLC

Durango Homes

East Bay Builders

Eastwood… Continue

Added by Home Builders Association of the Grand Traverse Area on May 24, 2009 at 9:00am — No Comments

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