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Richard Mize: Builders dig for licensing, get no worms

Richard Mize: Builders dig for licensing, get no worms
by Richard Mize Modified: August 9, 2014 at 1:48 pm •  Published: August 8, 2014
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Homebuilder licensing: Can open, worms everywhere! Right?

Not really. Not at a meeting this week of the state House Economic Development and Financial Services Committee.

The committee met Wednesday to consider licensing, or registration — or something— to protect builders and homebuyers in the wake of “builders” who swarmed Moore to rebuild after the May 20, 2013, tornado.

Rep. Mark McBride, R-Moore, a builder, called for the meeting.

Lawmakers heard from representatives of the Oklahoma State Home Builders Association who called for homebuilder registration. They want requirements for insurance, continuing education and mandated statewide adherence to the state building code — not now enforced in rural areas — among other things.

The usual urban-versus-rural concerns came up: People move to the country to avoid regulation.

The builders painted their suggestions as a consumer protection — as well as builder protection. Because a lot people building homes in Oklahoma — in particular in Moore — are “homebuilders” with scare quotes, so-called homebuilders, not homebuilders according to any standard.

“In Moore, we experienced just a huge influx of people coming in from the rural areas, from out of state — I mean all the way from Minnesota, Arizona and Texas. They come in here, and all of a sudden they’re homebuilders,” McBride said. “All of a sudden, a framer or a concete finisher, just anybody could become a homebuilder if they knew the people in the trades.”

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by Richard Mize
Real Estate Editor
Real estate editor Richard Mize has edited The Oklahoman's weekly residential real estate section and covered housing, commercial real estate, construction, development, finance and related business since 1999. From 1989 to 1999, he worked...
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