Archive for category TBA Blog

Potential buyers at Dusty Boots Open House

Builder Mike Newhall , right, points out details in his Homearama home.

Spring brings fresh hope and optimism for the local housing market as hundreds of potential buyers streamed through homes in various phases of construction during the “dusty boots” preview of Tidewater Builders Association’s Spring Homearama last weekend.

The Homearama builders got some valuable face time with potential customers on Saturday and Sunday.

While some visitors were just curious to see what’s in store for Homearama, others were weighing in on whether any of the eight homes could be theirs.

Sheila Hohmann with Hohmann Builders reported one woman spent over 45 minutes in their Homearama home and came back to take photographs.

Builder Russ Hohmann greets visitors to his Homearama home.

Even though their Homearama home has already sold, Les Ore and Bill Brice of Bill Ore Inc., said they now have two solid leads of potential buyers who would like to build the home elsewhere.

Builder Eric Sasser said he got to visit with 30 of his past and current customers over the course of the weekend. He also met a couple that indicated they would like to buy his Homearama home when their current home is sold – even if he has to build it for them on a different lot after the show.

One guest told Builder Ed Sadler he owned a waterfront lot and was looking for someone to build his dream home.

East West Communities Senior Vice President Mark Edwards reports he has two consumers sending “buy” signals over Mike Newhall’s Homearama home and a serious prospect for Norman Miller’s as well.

In addition to the home by Bill Ore Inc., the home by Birdsong Builders has also been sold. Spring Homearama is set for May 8-23 at Founders Pointe in Isle of Wight County.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

No Comments

A charitable week for TBA Builders

TBA President Bill Halprin and Homearama Charity House Builder Scott Crumley at St. Mary's Home anniversary celebration.

Tidewater Builders Association’s charitable work was honored at two back-to-back Charity events this week. That’s because this year, Homearama builders are constructing not one – but two – homes to benefit local children’s causes.

On Tuesday evening, builder Eric Sasser of Sasser Construction was recognized for building a Charity House to benefit Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Virginia in the Spring Homearama at Founders Pointe. The evening was in celebration of the “Evening with the Stars” 2010 Youth of the Year Awards Dinner.

On Wednesday evening, at a 65-year anniversary celebration for St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children, TBA President Bill Halprin officially announced that St. Mary’s will be the recipient of proceeds from the Fall Homearama Charity House in Norfolk’s East Beach community.

Also on hand was Scott Crumley from The Crumley Group, who has volunteered to build the Fall Homearama Charity House. TBA old-timers will remember that Scott’s mother, Judy, chaired TBA’s Young Designer Scholarship Competition for many years. The company will need contributions of materials and services to the Homearama home to increase the proceeds available to the charity.

The mission of St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children is “to provide quality, specialized care within a homelike environment for special children with severe disabilities, so each child can achieve to his or her fullest potential.

Click here to read the press release.

No Comments

Homearama builders celebrate spring with dusty boots open house

Mark Edwards and Branch Lawson of East West Communities survey the Homearama site

Builders in Tidewater Builders Association’s first Spring Homearama are celebrating the start of the spring season by sprucing up their home sites for a “dusty boots” open house next weekend. They will be available to meet guests and prospective buyers from 1-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, March 27 and 28.

Eight Homearama homes are currently taking shape in the Founders Pointe community in Isle of Wight County. They’ll still be in various phases of construction for the free open house next weekend. Comfortable old shoes are recommended to visitors.

The homes feature distinctive architectural styles and range in price from the $500,000s to $675,000. Two have been sold. The Homearama section of the neighborhood hosts an 800-plus -foot community pier over Batten Bay, and most of the homes offer marsh or water views.

Click here to see a photo gallery of the homes in progress by Daily Press photographer Adrin Snider.

The fully furnished and landscaped homes will be on display during Homearama from May 8-23. More about the event is at

Tags: , , , ,

No Comments

No crystal balls at Real Estate Market Review & Forecast

TBA President Bill Halprin and Van Rose at ODU market review

If you build it affordable, they will buy it. That was the message for home builders Wednesday during the Hampton Roads Real Estate Market Review & Forecast at Old Dominion University by its E.V. Williams Center for Real Estate and Economic Development.

The residential market report by Van Rose of Rose & Womble was one of six market reviews on the local economy. Rose reported on a brisk pace of sales of new homes and existing homes in lower price ranges. Unfortunately, short sales and foreclosures made up nearly 20% of those sales, historically high for our region. Still, he also reported new home inventory in those lower price ranges is at an all-time low.

While last year’s panel was cautiously optimistic about 2009, this year’s panel was mainly cautious about predicting anything. That’s likely because many of their 09 predictions fell short as the economy slugged along.

Tidewater Builders Association President Bill Halprin, in his role as a senior vice president of multifamily property at S.L. Nusbaum, reported on the growing rental vacancy rate. At 6.9 percent, it is actually worth celebrating, said Halprin, considering the national average is 8 percent. With more units coming on the market, owners and managers will have to compete with incentives and amenities, he said.

There was a bright spot from David Machupa of Thalhimer/Cushman & Wakefield, who reported the retail sector has held its own, with new companies quickly absorbing prime space vacated by other retailers.

He actually sees positive indicators for 2010, including an increase in retail sales in January and February and expected growth in tourism. With retail sales responsible for the largest component of the U.S. economy, he urged those in attendance to “spend.”

No Comments

It’s not your usual Homearama mural

This mural will greet visitors to The Charity House

The mural took four hours to complete

It’s not unusual to find a hand-painted mural in a Homearama home. Many builders have loaned out walls in their showcase homes as a canvas for local artists to demonstrate how wall murals can take you to a different place, a different time or a different atmosphere.

But this mural is different. It was painted by five children, ages 9-11, from Portsmouth’s Douglass Park Unit of Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Virginia.

It is on display in the garage of The Charity House, which is being featured at Tidewater Builders Association’s Spring Homearama at Founders Pointe in Isle of Wight County May 8-23.

The project was a true team effort

The painting of the mural marked the official dedication of the home, being built by Simply Sasser of Sasser Construction to benefit Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Virginia.

On hand for the occasion were many of the home’s suppliers and subcontractors who are donating part or all of their materials to the cause so that when the home is sold, there will be more proceeds available to help at-risk children to succeed.

The children were under the direction of Neisha Bethly, a senior program director with BGCSEVA. Neisha created the original concept for the mural after visiting Founders Pointe and taking a stroll on the pier near the Homearama homes.

Cheering them on were officials from Isle of Wight County; Tidewater Builders Association; East West Partners, developers of the community; Boys & Girls Clubs Board members, and the team from Sasser Construction.

Click here to watch a video of the mural coming to life. See the slide show at

Tags: , , , , ,

No Comments

Homearama home features music of Ryan Farish

Ryan Farish's music is virtually everywhere

If you’ve ever watched The Weather Channel’s “Local on the 8’s” or “Storm Stories,” you’ve listened to the music of Ryan Farish. His compositions are virtually everywhere – on the major news networks, on hundreds of YouTube videos and even on ringtones.

One YouTube video that went viral, “Remember me,” honors the sacrifice made by our military and features a soundtrack from Ryan Farish.

During Spring Homearama at Founders Pointe, you’ll hear his unique style of composition emanating from the home being built by veteran Homearama builder Chip Iuliano of Area Builders or Tidewater. He is naming his entry in the event, “The Music House: A tribute to Ryan Farish.”

A 1993 graduate of Chesapeake’s Western Branch High School, Farish is described on wikipedia as ”an American electronica artist/producer, songwriter and composer.” He is a past Grammy nominee and has won national Gospel music awards.

Iuliano knows Farish through his parents, for whom he built a home. He plans to get his technology company to provide an extreme electronics package to showcase the artist’s talents in audio and visual presentations.

Farish himself plans to visit the home to meet show guests during the event. And, if the mood strikes, he says might even take a seat at the piano.

Farish says he is “thrilled” to be honored this way and looks forward to the event. Tidewater Builders Association’s Spring Homearama at Founders Pointe is set for May 8-23.

Tags: , , , , , ,

No Comments

Eric Sasser is building house for charity

The Sasser team at the site of The Charity House, from left, Brennan O’Connor, Eric Sasser and Matt Hovey.

Even in one of the worst housing markets in history, it’s not hard to find stories of giving and caring from those in the home building industry. These stories go largely untold, because that’s not why they do it.

But the Homearama Charity House is a story told every year by Tidewater Builders Association, often with some help from local media representatives who are not too cynical to promote positive news. The Charity House project gives everyone in the housing industry an opportunity to join forces to make a big difference in the lives of local children.

To those who know him, it’s not surprising that builder Eric Sasser has signed on to build one at Founders Pointe, his entry in TBA’s 2010 Spring Homearama, which will be on display May 8-23.

Sasser’s company, Simply Custom by Sasser Construction, based in Portsmouth, makes community service projects a part of its mission. The company was the lead builder for the Habitat for Humanity’s Suffolk Blitz Build in 2008 after building a home in the Portsmouth Blitz in 2006. It also built out the Maryview Foundation Health Care Center that provides free care to the uninsured.

This year, Sasser will be contributing proceeds from the sale of this Homearama home to Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Virginia. The agency, which provides programs aimed at helping at-risk youngsters to succeed, is facing the same hardships as most charitable organizations during these difficult financial times.

The 3,300-square-foot home will be Energy Star and NAHB Green Certified for energy efficiency. It has a geothermal HVAC system, a tankless water heater, and other energy-saving features. Custom designed by Sasser’s renowned architect, Kenn Sedlacko, it offers an open floor plan, a first-floor master suite, and lots of creative uses of space, as well as an unobstructed view of the marsh on Batten Bay.

Anyone who can help with donations of products or services for the home should contact Sandra Figeac at [email protected] or Kelly Melton [email protected] or call 757-484-6075.

Tags: , , , , ,

No Comments

Builders interested in East Beach Homearama

Veteran Homearama builders in the East Beach clubhouse

More than 30 veteran Homearama builders showed up at the East Beach Bay Front Club for an informational meeting about the site of Tidewater Builders Association’s Fall Homearama in Oct0ber.

They heard presentations from the developer about the available lots, house plans and architectural details.

They also heard there have been 3 sales in the community in January 2010 for East Beach Realty and 30 sales in 2009 , a number that was higher than in 2008, when 21 sales were recorded for the community. The average selling price in the community is $685,000.

During January, 118 people came through to look at the Norfolk coastal community through the East Beach Realty office.

It will be the second Homearama for the Norfolk coastal community, which launched its residential development with the 2004 Homearama showcase.

A lot drawing is scheduled for Feb. 17. Interested builders are asked to contact Sandra Amidon at 305-9045, or [email protected].

No Comments

Home & Flower Show appraiser is “brutally” honest

Dr. Lori used TBA First Lady Jeri Halprin's item in a game of "Dumpster or No Dumpster"

Dr. Lori informs Sean Brickell that his antique snuff box is worth $500.

Dr. Lori’s antique appraisal show was a hit at last weekend’s Mid-Atlantic Home & Flower Show. People young and old brought her items big and small to find out what they were worth. Some left happy. Some left sad.

In any case, they all got more than they bargained for as she set about to entertain the audience with the cold hard truth in a way that was sometimes literally “brutally” honest. The most valuable object at the show was a painting brought in by a Virginia Beach woman, which Dr. Lori appraised at $75,000.

Despite rain, winds, snow and ice, more than 13,000 visitors braved the weather to take in Tidewater Builders Association’s annual event, Friday through Sunday. Though ShamWow and the Vita Mixer had their place, it was the Smart Living Steam Mop that appeared to be the hot item at this year’s event.

All of the stage shows brought a good crowd, including the Sunday finale — Virginia Beach’s SPCA’s top pet contest showcasing local pets and their hard luck stories as well as the compassionate owners who are taking care of them.

Tags: , ,

No Comments

It’s official – Homearama heads to East Beach again

The East Beach streetscape

After weeks of buzz, Tidewater Builders Association has officially announced it will head back to Norfolk’s East Beach coastal community for its Fall 2010 Homearama showcase of homes, set for October.

In 2004, East Beach was host of one of TBA’s most successful Homearamas to date. The neighborhood’s original 16 homes created a streetscape that many at the time likened to a Hollywood movie set. It almost seemed as though there was some Hollywood magic in the air – as everyone associated with the event took great pride in what they had created.

It seemed almost surreal that this upscale streetscape featuring porches, bay front greens, and exquisite architectural detail could have arisen from the dust of an area once best known for its blight.

As such, the event was cause for great celebration from the city’s leaders, who saw validation in their decision to pursue redevelopment there.

It was also a hit with Homearama visitors – at over 110,000 strong, they created a record attendance.

For many of the builders, it was the first of many homes they would build in the neighborhood, which now has 250 families in residence.

If 2010 can recreate even some of that magic, the show is sure to be a success. Click here to read the press release.

Meanwhile, Homearama homes are taking shape at Founders Pointe in Isle of Wight County in anticipation of TBA’s first Spring Homearama in May.

This community also has much to offer builders and home buyers with its pristine natural amenities and Southern living style homes. For TBA, it’s another chance to work with East West Partners, developers of Suffolk’s The Riverfront, site of Homearama 2001, also one of the most successful in TBA history.

Tags: , , ,

No Comments