Homeowners and builders on the housing crisis

By Morgan Chesky - email
By Molly Reuter - bio - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The Tyler Home Product Show was booked to capacity this weekend.  Vendors filled every available spot, many trying to gain business lost over the past year.

Wife and mother Betty Inglish had good reason to stop by the home product show Saturday.

"We're getting ready to start construction on a new house, and we just want to see what's new," said Inglish.  Moving from vendor to vendor, Inglish took time to shop around to fill her family's new home after selling their old house, in a week.  She calls herself the exception to the housing market and credits her family's success to planning.  She passed on her strategy for shopping the show.

"The vendors bring their high end products, and it is something to look at, but I think you have to keep your feet grounded," said Inglish.  Vendors filled Harvey Hall to its limit showing the other side of the East Texas housing story.

"We've done more business this year than in '07, or '08 for January and February," said Real Estate developer Angie Benton.

"We're doing well considering the market, obviously we could be doing better," said John Reynolds, a 21 year veteran of the building business.  Reynolds says like many, company growth was hurt by layoffs and cost cutting, but boosted by a new business model.

"We're maybe being a little more aggressive in our marketing than before to try and get new customers, expand our markets in areas we haven't expanded them before," said Reynolds.  Benton is trying to get new customers too, but is running into a problem.

"We still have people coming to us wanting to buy a home, and a large part of that problem is they can't get a loan because the banks have tightened up," said Benton.  To help first time home buyers, an $8,000 first-time home buyer credit is now available.  It applies to residences purchased over the next ten months and is equal to ten percent of the home's prices, up to $8,000.  Qualifiers will receive their refund through taxes, or a check.

East Texas still has time to check out the show.  It's open Sunday from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. at the Harvey Convention Center in Tyler.