The largest investment most people will ever make is their home, and there is no better advocate for homeowners in regard to affordability, building standards and consumer protection than the Home Builders Association of Lake-Sumter.
As the primary watchdog for our local housing industry, the HBA of Lake-Sumter ensures that homeowners are protected against fraud, runaway government and unlicensed contractors. Protecting homeowners against unscrupulous, unlicensed contractors is a major priority for the group.
Chartered back in 1973, the HBA of Lake-Sumter’s office is at 1100 N. Joanna Ave. in Tavares. William Wilburth of W.C. Wilburth Inc. Construction Services serves as president. Wilburth and 17 associate and builder board members provide strong leadership for our local building industry. These various companies each have a vested interest in the reputation of the local building industry.
HBA of Lake-Sumter Executive Director Carolyn Maimone answers calls daily from local residents asking for names of licensed contractors, information on government fees and questions about building requirements. If Maimone doesn’t have the answer, she can consult one of the 206 HBA of Lake-Sumter members whose businesses range from plumbers and electricians to masons and roofers. The group’s campaign on illegal, unlicensed contractors has proven especially effective in protecting local homeowners.
Providing homeowners with up-to-date information and choices for building projects is another mission of the HBA of Lake-Sumter. In early spring, they host their annual Parade of Homes, showcasing newly constructed homes and remodels by builders throughout the area. The 2014 Parade of Homes featured 32 new home and remodeling entries, ranging in price from $135,000 to $1.7 million. Thousands of potential buyers toured these showcased properties over a two-week period. Preparation for the 2015 Parade of Homes has already begun, and it could be the largest in nearly a decade.
In addition to the Parade of Homes, the HBA of Lake-Sumter hosts a Home Show, allowing a variety of local builders and subcontractors to display their products and services — all under one roof. Last year’s event at the Wildwood Community Center attracted residents from across the area, with members reporting brisk traffic and numerous leads. Other events hosted by the HBA of Lake-Sumter are monthly general membership meetings, a July Horseshoe Contest and an October Party and Reverse Drawing. The group is very active.
The HBA of Lake-Sumter has two types of memberships. Builder memberships are open to all licensed builders and subcontractors who provide construction services in the area. Associate memberships are available to suppliers, vendor partners and service providers who do business locally or support the building industry. Annual membership for either category costs under $500 and members are entitled to participate in all events.
The HBA of Lake-Sumter provides great resources to homeowners builders, and subcontractors. For information about the group, call 352-343-7101 or go to www.lakesumterhba.com.
Don Magruder is the CEO of Ro-Mac Lumber & Supply, Inc., and he is also the host of the “Around the House” Radio Show heard every Monday at noon on My790AM WLBE in Leesburg.