Ruidoso construction values see jump

Dianne Stallings of reports good news on the real estate front in Ruidoso:

Construction values in Ruidoso jumped nearly $1 million from June to July with two large commercial projects leading the way.

“Single family permits were down a little bit, but I’m not worried,” said Ruidoso Building Official Shawn Fort. “Stuff is coming in. We permitted a large commercial project (this month) that will show up on the next report.”

The second of two Dollar General stores being developed by Faith Construction contributed the most value to July at $985,166. The 9,000-square-foot structure, which Fort described as “very similar” to the Dollar General going up on Sudderth Drive, is being built at 1110 Mechem Drive by the same company, Les File Dry Wall of Albuquerque.

Mark Marquez of Recom Construction is building the second commercial project, a dental office of about 2,500 square feet at 456 Mechem Drive. Marquez is a popular local builder, who several years ago created Boulder Plaza at the intersection of Mechem and Sudderth. The building value is listed at $335,496. The structure is two floors with the lower level designed as a garage and for storage, Fort said. Parking is planned for the back and front of the building off of Rainbow Drive.

In July, 98 permits were issued for a building value of $2,072,110, generating permit fees for the village of $18,351, according to Fort’s just-released monthly report. That compares to 110 permits in June for a building value of $1,104,477, generating $15,463 in fees.

Although only one new single-family housing start was registered in July, the value was a hefty $479,035 and the two commercial projects added up to $1.32 million. Other contributors to the healthy July showing this year were 13 residential deck permits valued at $88,625, and $78,759 for seven residential additions and alterations.

The month was on a par with July of 2011, when 139 permits were issued for a value of $2,086,193 and $25,392 in permit fees. Construction was fueled that month by five single-family housing starts totaling $570,756 in value, and a sizable residential renovation value at $121,707.


Blu Homes Personalizes Home Design for Consumers

Las Vegas— California-based precision home builder, Blu Homes, has taken a significant step toward revolutionizing the way homes are built in the United States with the announcement that it has sold and will be manufacturing the first Blu home personalized entirely online in 3-D by a consumer.

The two-bedroom Element 48 home was designed by Cathy and Walter Pearlman, using the Blu | 3-D Configurator,, which allows anyone to go online to style, visualize and spend time in their own Blu Home before it is ever built.

Blu Homes demonstrated the Configurator at the ShowStoppers @ CES 2012 media event in Las Vegas earlier this month.

Unlike conventional architectural 3-D renderings, Blu is able to connect the 3-D models created in the Configurator back to Blu’s precision-building process, creating a seamless integration between design and manufacturing and advancing construction quality significantly. Blu builds each home from the client’s 3-D custom model, using precision tooling and trained craftsman in its climate-controlled factory in Vallejo, CA.

After choosing the Element, one of Blu’s seven eco-friendly, architect-designed home designs, the Pearlmans were able to personalize everything for their new Pembroke, MA home—from exterior siding and kitchen appliances to bathroom fixtures and cabinetry finishes—all in an easy-to-use, realistic 3-D environment. The Pearlmans then sent their design to their dedicated Blu representative. After just one meeting to confirm their selections – with only one minor change to the bathroom tile – they were ready to purchase their home at a fixed, pre-agreed upon price.

“At first, designing our home online seemed so high-tech that it felt more like something our kids’ generation would do. Once we tried it ourselves, we realized how fun and easy it is—especially since everyone at Blu was standing by to help us,” said Cathy Pearlman. “It turns out designing your home online—and then having it built straight from the online designs—is something anyone can do. And getting such a high quality home at a fixed price and in such a convenient way really makes things more relaxed for us!”

“Designing and building homes has historically been an expensive, arduous and time consuming process. This is particularly true for architect-designed homes that typically require months of costly design effort and numerous in-person meetings that can be stressful for all parties,” said Bill Haney, Blu Homes co-founder and president. “With the Configurator and our proprietary IP, Blu is leveraging all of the benefits of online retail, such as lower selling costs, a more convenient shopping experience, reduced need for brick and mortar presence, and streamlined sales and building processes. At the same time, we’re investing in a world-class sales team that supports our customers through the entire process. And customers get world class design support, the tools to personally choose all the finishes for their homes all for free — and then get a fixed price for the house they have chosen!”

“We hope that many more customers will choose to save time and money by building their own eco-friendly, precision-built homes this way,” said Maura McCarthy, Blu Homes co-founder and VP, sales and marketing. “The Configurator makes everything easier for both the customer, and for Blu. The customer gets a beautiful, convenient shopping experience, while Blu gets the benefit of automatically processing customer purchase requests.”

Since its October 2011 launch, almost 6000 home designs have been saved with the Configurator. Anyone can access the Blu Configurator for free at and begin customizing a Blu home today.

Blu Homes’ core design and engineering technology—and the technology behind the 3-D home designs in the Configurator—is Blu | 3-D, a proprietary design software similar to that used by automotive and aeronautical designers and engineers at companies like Boeing and Volvo. To create the Configurator, Blu Homes worked with UI experts and game developers to design a consumer-friendly user interface.



Blu Homes’ design team uses Blu | 3-D technology to design and build each home. Because it provides engineering information not often considered in architectural software – such as demands on the structures from wind, snow and seismic activity – Blu is able to achieve climate-specific engineering. That information is then automatically detailed in the building plans used in construction. This means that each home is built with remarkable precision with much lower variance allowances than in average stick-built homes.

All Blu finishes, fittings, appliances and systems are selected by Blu designers for their leading environmental performance, resulting in healthy and beautiful living spaces and high indoor air quality. Offering at least 50 percent energy savings over comparably sized existing homes, Blu homes are Energy Star rated and LEED certifiable.

For more information on Blu Homes go to

Health Department Offers Free Radon Test Kits for Homeowners

January 25, 2012 – (RealEstateRama) — Radon cannot be seen, tasted, or smelled but more Vermonters than ever before can find out if it exists in their homes. The Vermont Department of Health distributed 1,700 free radon test kits to homeowners last year and has more than 3,000 free kits to give away this year.

Radon is a naturally-occurring gas that results from the breakdown of uranium in the bedrock, and is the second leading cause of lung cancer (after smoking) in the United States.

“Radon causes lung cancer over a long period of time, and we know that about one in every eight Vermont homes has elevated levels of radon,” said Lori Cragin, a Health Department epidemiologist.

January is Radon Awareness Month. Because radon levels can change daily, weekly and seasonally, a long-term test of 3-12 months (ideally including a heating season) is the best way to accurately test for the gas.

Radon can get into your home from the soil. A house can act like a large chimney, with warm air rising and escaping out upper floor windows and through cracks in the attic. This creates a vacuum at the lowest level of the house, which can pull the radon from the soil into the home.

The likelihood of a radon problem cannot be predicted by the style, age, or location of a home. All homes are at risk. You cannot know the radon level in a house without testing for it. Testing is easy. Open the kit immediately and leave it in place throughout a heating season, and then mail it back to the Health Department to get your results.

Get a free kit by e-mailing radon (at) ahs.state.vt (dot) us, or call 1-800-439-8550.

Exposure to radon is preventable and fixable through proper venting techniques. If test results show high levels of radon in the air, a mitigation system can be installed at a cost of approximately $800-$2,000.

For more information about radon, radon testing and mitigation, visit the Health Department website at

Ruidoso sees rebound in building values

By Dianne Stallings

Building values in December for the village of Ruidoso hit more than $2 million, rebounding nicely from a sluggish November.

Although fewer permits were issued, just 65 compared to 106 the previous month, the value of the construction more than doubled from $996,347 to $2,069.394. Fees collected also increased from $15,987 to $17,839.

Permits for six single-family dwellings helped pump up the value, accounting for $1,567,478. Two were more than $350,000 each, Building Official Shawn Fort reported.

Six different contractors are handling the home building projects. They are LLB Construction, Dig It Construction, Ratliff Custom Homes, Sun Valley Home, Roper Construction and Tower Construction.

Read more online at Ruidoso News…