In unusual move, company founder and two allies demand a new CEO; board stands ground.
This story has been updated to include contents of a letter to the board from company founder William Pulte late Monday and a letter from the board to shareholders issued Tuesday morning.
The tenure of Richard J. Dugas as CEO of PulteGroup Inc. (NYSE:PHM) will end at the company’s May 2017 shareholders meeting after an unusual maneuver by company founder Bill Pulte, his grandson and an independent director “demanded an immediate CEO change and a different direction for the company,” according to the company. It is unusual for a publicly traded company to include such direct language in an official statement.
We asked more than 750 moms about what would please them for Mother’s Day this year. A special meal and time with you took the top spots, but hold that dinner reservation for a moment — nearly half of the moms said their ideal Mother’s Day activity would take place at home. Twenty-seven percent of Houzz moms would like something for their home or garden; 24 percent would like a personal gift, such as jewelry or clothing; and 22 percent say they’d prefer no gifts at all. Here’s what we asked them, and the top responses:
It can be difficult to think about your spring garden when it is still winter, but the best way to be ready is to plan ahead now. There are several steps you need to take before spring to ensure that your spring planting in the Raleigh area will be successful.
Besides an upscale kitchen and plenty of space, what are new-home buyers’ looking for when house hunting? Surveys by the National Association of Home Builders and homebuilder Pulte Group shed some light on a few of the latest in-demand amenities.
1. Walk-in closets: Large closets, particularly in the master bedroom, is among one of home shoppers’ top priorities, according to the NAHB survey of builders and remodelers. Indeed, 31 percent of 1,000 homeowners recently surveyed by PulteGroup said they’d sacrifice another household feature in order to have his-and-hers closets in the master bedroom.
So you’ve braced yourself for a hefty down payment and maybe some new furniture. But homeownership expenses don’t end there routine maintenance costs can really add up. Imagine getting socked with a $10,000 bill for roof repair. Are you prepared for that?
It’s important to have a handle on some of the day-to-day expenses you may incur to keep a home in good repair. Keep these costs in mind as you tour prospective homes, too, so you don’t fall madly in love with a property that needs expensive TLC.
Data for housing construction activity in November indicated ongoing high levels of activity as builder confidence remains positive.
According to the data from the Census Bureau and HUD, the pace of total November housing starts was down slightly (1.6%) from an upwardly revised October number. The October housing starts estimate was revised up from the initial reading of 1.009 million units (on a seasonally adjusted annual pace) to 1.045 million, with increases for both single-family and multifamily construction.
Right across from the recently completed Whole Foods, at the nexus of one of San Francisco‘s fastest-changing neighborhoods, is Thirty-Five Dolores. The boxy four-story building, designed by Levy Design Partners for the Lightner Property Group, is already in the final stages of construction, and should be completed in late November. Amenities include an on-site guest studio, a huge communal backyard, and bicycle storage, as well as car- and dog-wash areas. Unsurprisingly, despite the lack of an official sales office, a majority of the units have already been snapped up by eager buyers with deep, deep pockets. Last we heard, fewer than 10 units remain, which means that those hoping to call Thirty-Five Dolores home had better be ready to shell out.
The available one-bedroom units are hovering in the $800,000 range (sorry, the cheaper ones, and the ones with parking, are sold out). The remaining two-bedrooms are priced between roughly $1.2 million and $1.4 million, just above the neighborhood median for a two-bedroom condo, according to Paragon’s handy interactive map. Only two three-bedrooms remain, priced in the mid-$1 million range, and we hear neither one gets quite enough light. Anyone up for slumming it in New York?
Joseph Beben wasn’t in the market for a new house until he heard about a year-old community in suburban Phoenix called the Bridges at Gilbert, where 10 homebuilders are offering buyers incentives such as swimming pools, built-in barbecues, and subsidized mortgages. Beben, a general manager at Best Buy, visited three sales offices before settling on a house built by Woodside Homes, which agreed to cover as much as $10,000 of his closing costs, plus another goody he wanted. “When I saw this deal, it looked like a good business decision,” says Beben, who will pay $332,000 for a 3,000-square-foot house scheduled to be completed by February. “And I wanted a pool.”
Builders in volatile housing markets such as Phoenix, Sacramento, Las Vegas, and Orlando are sweetening offers as sales slow. Large price increases in 2013, driven by investors purchasing homes to rent out, discouraged buyers. And the market is feeling the impact of cuts in the size of mortgages made by the Federal Housing Administration. “Phoenix is very slow; Sacramento is spotty,” says John Burns, a housing consultant based in Irvine, Calif. “The investors came in and pushed prices a little too high. And then FHA rocked the new-home market really hard.”
Borrowers can qualify for FHA loans, insured by the federal government, in just three years after going through a foreclosure. The waiting period can be as long as seven years for would-be Fannie Mae borrowers. That makes FHA loans crucial in Phoenix and other markets hit hardest by the housing bust, which are full of people who lost homes to foreclosure. FHA loans can require down payments as low as 3.5 percent of the purchase price, and their underwriting requirements, including credit scores, are more flexible than those associated with many other conventional mortgages.
The home of tomorrow isn’t about Jetson-esque wonders and smartphone apps. It’s about home value, the environment, and our lifestyles. In an effort to predict what home features will be most valued in 25 years, we focus on four rising trends:
1. Extreme Energy Efficiency
Utility bills are expected to skyrocket over the next couple of decades. This will result in sustainable updates that push the green needle of household standards.
Waterless toilets: Nope, we aren’t talking about porta potties, but clean and sanitary indoor thrones that will one-up low flush loos.
Why we picked this prediction: It makes sense since residential water rates are rising in the U.S., and toilets are responsible for nearly 27% of our total water use. Plus, Dow Chemical says waterless toilets will become a household standard.