Brunswick County, NC Green home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes would like to share with our readers an article that was released on January 20, during the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, NV.

Kohler, Marvin Windows and Doors and Whirlpool are three manufacturers ready with new lines of green and sustainable products for today’s new homes, company representatives said today at the National Association of Home Builders’ International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.

But until lenders and appraisers learn to recognize the value of green innovation and the money it can save new home buyers, there is not enough incentive in the marketplace for large-scale implementation, said Bill Nolan, the Florida home building consultant who moderated the first of three press conferences in commemoration of Green Day at the Builders’ Show.

 Kohler’s water-saving toilets use an average of 39,000 fewer gallons of water per year for a family of four – a lifetime of drinking water for three people, said Shane Judd, senior marketing manager of water conservation for the company. New products will incorporate rainwater reuse and gray water – using the water draining from the shower stall to fill the washing machine, for example.

 Marvin emphasizes long-term sustainability rather than first-time costs and also pays close attention to green practices during the production process, said Brett Boyum, director of marketing. Each year, 8,500 tons of shavings and other wood waste are used to heat the company’s manufacturing plant.

 Ed Linder, division director, Whirlpool Corporation, said his company is manufacturing ranges that use 40 percent less energy and appliances that are “smart-grid” ready and is exploring shared-power technologies: for example, using the energy generated from a refrigerator condenser coil to heat the water in the dishwasher.

 For innovation to leap forward, it must be cost-effective, and that can’t happen until the additional first-time costs and long-term savings of most green technologies are appreciated by appraisers and bankers in the underwriting process, Nolan said.

 “We can’t get lenders to appreciate the value of the net costs, and if we can’t get the values recognized, [manufacturers] can’t justify moving these products forward,” he said, noting that NAHB is working to educate appraisers and lenders. “The goal should be long-term energy efficiency.”

Courtesy of: NAHB.org

Chocolate DrizzleSt James Plantation NC remodeler Mark Johnson Custom Homes recommends those in the Cape Fear area to attend the Wilmington Chocolate Festival, which kicks off Friday, February 5th, 2010 with the annual Chocolate Gala. This promises to be one of the area’s most fun Galas of the year. It’s also a great value at only $25 in advance. Friday’s Chocolate Gala features wonderful appetizers and hors d’oeuvres, free wine tastings, artisan beers, live music, and of course the “Unlimited Chocolates and Desserts”!  The following Saturday and Sunday will be a business showcase of proprietors in our area who make or sell chocolates and other sweet treats. The Festival also includes “Spotlights,” exhibitor’s demonstrations of their techniques involved in creating their chocolate delights! Tickets for Saturday and Sunday are $5 in advance or $8 at the door. The weekend’s events will be at the Senior Center on 2222 S. College Road in Wilmington, NC. For more information, call 910-798-6402 or 910-264-9379 or visit www.WilmingtonChocolateFestival.com.

Earlier this month, Brunswick County NC custom home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes blogged on the Brunswick Stew Cook-Off in Shallotte, NC. While the event was planned for January 30th, 2010, we’d like to notify our readers that the event has been postponed to February 6th, 2010. The Brunswick Beacon reported yesterday that due to harsh weather conditions projected for this weekend, the Cook-Off will be held next weekend at the same location, Rourk Woods in Shallotte, NC. For more information click here or call the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce at (910) 754-6644.

Courtesy of: BrunswickBeacon.com

Brunswick County, NC Green home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes has previously shared RealtyTimes.com’s Kenneth R. Harney’s “Real Estate Outlook” articles with our readers and would like to share his latest, published January 19, 2010. Below is an excerpt and to read the complete article, click here!

 “Nothing is absolute in the predictions business, but there are solid indications that, yes, housing is likely to rebound more energetically than the overall economy.

Here’s why: Even the most bearish Wall Street analysts now concede that home sales are up in many areas from year-earlier levels — sometimes by extraordinary percentages.

For example, MDA DataQuick reports that sales in the greater Phoenix market in November were 62 percent higher than the year before.

Prices either have bottomed out in dozens of these markets or are close to it. That’s because the distressed sales component of local volume – short sales, REOs and foreclosures – has been declining slowly but steadily.”

Brunswick County, NC builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes introduced our readers to the Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry last year and encourage those in the area to help them in their fundraising and volunteer efforts. WARM will be having a Pancake Breakfast next month to raise money and hope you can attend!

WARM volunteers repair an average of five homes per month for those in need, including the elderly, in our area. Locations and schedules change frequently and volunteers are always needed. For more information, call 910.399.7563 or visit their website!

Brunswick County, NC remodeler Mark Johnson Custom Homes encourages those in the area to visit our local winery, Silver Coast Winery, for a Wine & Chocolate Pairing Event. On February 6, 2010, come out to Ocean Isle Beach, NC enjoy tasting award-winning wines paired with scrumptious handmade chocolates and a Silver Coast Signature wine glass for only $15.00. Seatings are on the hour beginning at noon and the last one will be at 4:00pm. Reservations are limited so please call Silver Coast Winery at 910-287-2800 or email sharon@silvercoastwinery.com to get your tickets before they sell out. For more information, visit their website!

Previously, Brunswick County, NC new home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes wrote about the current investigation on the adverse health effects of Chinese made drywall. Now we’d like to share an update on the investigation from Nick Bajzek, the Products Editor of Professional Remodeler. Below is an excerpt from his article and to read more, click here!

“Massachusetts-based Environmental Health & Engineering recently concluded a five-month indoor air quality study for the U.S. government and the Consumer Products Safety Commission. The study found a strong association between the presence of Chinese drywall, low-level concentrations of hydrogen sulfide and corrosion of metals in homes. (For updates on the Chinese drywall situation, check www.housingzone.com/chinesedrywall.)

The EH&E study included 51 homes in five southern states. Of that group, 41 homes where property owners had reported corrosion of wiring or piping, and there were 10 similar homes about which no complaints had been filed. The findings were presented to a Congressional briefing at the U.S. Capitol just before Thanksgiving.

‘Not all drywall is alike,’ says Jack McCarthy, president of Environmental Health & Engineering. ‘Not all Chinese drywall is alike. It depends on what it’s made of, not the country it came from.’”

Brunswick County, NC new home builder encourages everyone in the area to attend the Brunswick Stew Cook-Off January 30th, 2010 in Shallotte, NC! From 10am-4pm in Rourk Woods in Shallotte, you can taste up to 50 different stews, check out local arts and crafts, listen to live music and more! Tasting tickets will be available for $5 for 10 tickets. For more information, visit the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce website!

Haiti Relief in the Port City

January 15th, 2010

Yesterday Wilmington news station WECT posted two stories on local and national disaster relief efforts for Haiti’s earthquake victims. Now Brunswick County, NC custom home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes urges our readers to take advantage of the programs set up by the American Red Cross and the partnership efforts of WECT and Harris Teeter grocery stores. And if you are in the Wilmington, NC area and you like to volunteer for our local Red Cross chapter and/or receive training in local and domestic disaster preparedness and response, visit the Cape Fear Chapter’s website at www.arccapefear.org or call 910-762-2683.

Brunswick County, NC luxury builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes is excited to share the latest from the Brunswick Beacon on a new theatre in our area. Playhouse 211 is an intimate, 83-seat theatre on Southport-Supply Road and will host its first production January 22, 2010. Local plays, musical guests and foreign films are all on the horizon for the county’s latest addition. Below is an excerpt from Sarah Shew Wilson’s article and to read more from the Brunswick Beacon, click here!

“‘I’m really excited about the opportunity to bring eclectic entertainment to the area,’ [Ron] Lee said.

‘Ron has been an unbelievable help in getting the building done,’ Linda Sundman said.

She also praised his work to bring other acts to the theater.

‘The more variety, the better it is. I do think the community wants it here. It’s been a pleasure meeting all these interested people,’ she said.

Lee is quick to mention that neither his group nor Playhouse 211 are competing with Brunswick Little Theatre, based at the Odell Williamson Auditorium, nor Stage II Productions, based at the Amuzu Theater in Southport.

‘We’re just doing things that may not be right for them,’ he said. ‘We’re going to be more intimate and more avant-garde.’

Other groups, including The Winding River Players, based at Winding River Plantation, are also eager to use the new theater.”

Courtesy of: The Brunswick Beacon