six dream homes
for Homearama is
ongoing in Oakland
business & professional
Finkelstein said — will be held the entire
month of June. Information will be avail-
able at www.ParadeHBA.com beginning
Homearama will take place Aug.
29-Sept. 14 in Oakland Township.
Construction on six luxury homes there
is progressing despite the severe weather
challenges this winter has presented.
Each home is being designed, built, fully
decorated and landscaped by the area's
top professionals and will feature the
latest amenities, advanced technology
and energy-saving features. These dream
homes, ranging in price from $1.8 mil-
lion to $4 million, will offer visitors the
unique opportunity to gather luxury
design and decor ideas that could be used
in their own homes.
L - J
:N! , ,40 , 1,
Builders Giving Back
Home builders are optimistic for a successful 2014.
ast year was its "comeback year:'
according to the Home Builders
Association of Southeastern
Michigan, and 2014 will be its year of
That was the word at the HBAs annual
economic forecast Feb. 19 in Sterling
Heights. David Crowe, chief economist of
the National Association of Home Builders
in Washington, D.C., provided hundreds of
attendees a look at what can be expected
in the year ahead — pent-up consumer
demand, a growing need for new construc-
tion and the number of distressed sales
"House prices are moving back up, but
are still affordable Crowe said. "There is a
low inventory of existing homes, however,
and new home sales will have to make up
for rising demand:'
newly sworn-in first vice
president of HBA, is opti-
mistic for the industry
as well. "2013 was a real
turnaround year for the
industry:' he said. "We
feel solidly that things
are getting better:'
Last year, he said, new
home starts were about
half the historical aver-
age, "but's it's moving up. We're going to be
hitting a little plateau here but then mov-
ing up some more. We have a long way to
go, but it's moving in the right direction:'
Finkelstein, owner of Norwood Homes
in Farmington Hills and member of the
Orchard Lake City Council, was sworn in
along with the entire 2014 slate of HBA
officers. He's been on the executive com-
mittee for a number of years and will be
the organization's president in 2015.
Norwood Homes is a brokerage as well
as real estate development firm. "We did
a lot of executive relocations with General
Motors, condo conversions and rehabilita-
tion of homes in neighborhoods around
Ferndale," Finkelstein said. "That diversi-
fication allowed us to withstand the down-
turn in the economy:'
Born and raised in Detroit, Finkelstein
is a member of Temple Shir Shalom in
West Bloomfield, where his son will
become a bar mitzvah this summer. He
and his wife have a 14-year-old daughter
as well. "Jews are heavily represented in
HBA," he added.
Home prices are back up, but "it's neigh-
borhood by neighborhood and house by
house Finkelstein said. "Good homes are
in short supply:' Recently, a condo sold by
his firm received three offers within two
hours of going on the market. "That's just
As vice president of HBA, Finkelstein
said he will work to improve the climate
for home builders in Michigan. "The
housing industry has always led the state
and the nation out of recession, so we
have to be able to move forward:' he said.
"Excessive regulation is a problem for
builders. HBA will work to address that:'
Excessive regulations, such as the rising
cost of permits and the increasing length
of time it takes to get them, are taking
people out of the marketplace. "Every dol-
lar a builder has to pass along to the buyer
knocks a few hundred people out of the
marketplace because they can't qualify:' he
said. "Every thousand dollars knocks out a
In general, Finkelstein added, Gov. Rick
Snyder's administration has gone to great
lengths to help the housing industry and
reduce the burden of over-regulation.
Hot markets in Southeast Michigan
include the Woodward corridor —
Royal Oak, Birmingham, Ferndale,
Pleasant Ridge — as well as Macomb
Township, South Lyon and Canton. "In
the Bloomfield, West Bloomfield area,
where the Jewish community wants to
live, there's not much new development:'
he said. "But the few new homes there
Finkelstein is also excited about the
future of Detroit. "There is going to be
great opportunity in the coming years for
new construction of market-rate, afford-
able housing:' he said.
He's also excited about two events that
HBA will be hosting this year: the Parade
of Homes and Homearama.
The Parade of Homes — "new homes
in several cities in all price ranges,"
Finkelstein said he is proud of the com-
munity work that HBA does as well.
Finkelstein was honored for his work
with HomeAid Southeastern Michigan.
"Our mission is to provide the means for
local organizations to buy transitional
housing for families in need:' he said.
"We've worked with Grace Centers of
Hope in Pontiac and are currently work-
ing with Volunteers of America on hous-
ing for veterans in Warren:'
Finkelstein is also
proud of the work the
association is doing
with Project Build, a
joint program between
Jewish Family Service
and HBA, led by Richard
Cherkasky, owner of the
Richard Group Inc. in
Cherkasky was on the
JFS board when he came
up with the idea of teaming up with HBA
to provide JFS clients with safe, barrier-
free homes through pro bono repairs and
renovations provided by local builders,
remodelers and suppliers.
Recent projects have included the
replacement of a broken step that could
cause great injury to an older adult, a
new roof, installation of a working toilet;
and a full handicap-accessible bathroom
remodel for a wheelchair-bound woman.
"We're very proud of this joint project
with JFS and consider it to be beshert
(meant to be):' Cherkasky said. "It con-
tinues to evolve.
"It's so rewarding," he added. "After
we do a job, I get calls from the plumb-
ers, electricians and other tradespeople
thanking me for the opportunity to be
Cherkasky says Project Build is in need
of tradesmen to volunteer. For informa-
tion, contact Erin Lederman at (248) 592-
3973 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
March 13 • 2014