Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008

Builders don’t need incentives

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Blaine Young's assertion in his Jan. 24 column in The Gazette that builders should be given production incentives flies in the face of all reason.

Again this year, builders turned out 280 percent more new homes than were sold. A recent stop at a local job site showed me a bunch of guys from South of the Border and commuters from Pennsylvania working for an out-of-state developer.

Unsold inventory is so high that existing residents face a near impossible fire-sale situation if they need to quickly sell their home due to a job transfer or health situation.

I believe that the quality of life for the people who already live in Frederick County is more important than basing our lives on attracting new homeowners from away. The builders have proven that they do not have the self-restraint to react to the market by planning production in the face of glutted inventory, and by extension have shown that the needs of our current residents are not important to them.

Talk to a Realtor, and they will tell you how difficult it is for an existing home listing to compete with the vast inventory of unneeded new houses. I don't need Blaine Young's inflammatory and fact-devoid gibberish.

I need to see some kind of tangible evidence that builders have the right to continue to regulate themselves, or even sit at the table when we all try to figure out how to clean up the mess left by their naked greed.

Russell Braen, New Market