Sheri Koones, the author of a book that explores factory-built homes, took top honors in the first annual awards presentation named for longtime real estate columnist Bob Bruss, who died in September 2007.

Koones’ "Prefabulous: The House of Your Dreams Delivered Fresh From the Factory," published in March 2007, received the Gold Award in the 2008 Robert Bruss Real Estate Book Awards.

Sheri Koones, the author of a book that explores factory-built homes, took top honors in the first annual awards presentation named for longtime real estate columnist Bob Bruss, who died in September 2007.

Koones’ "Prefabulous: The House of Your Dreams Delivered Fresh From the Factory," published in March 2007, received the Gold Award in the 2008 Robert Bruss Real Estate Book Awards.

Bruss had given the book a glowing review: "Normally, I am turned off by real estate books with clever, cute titles," Bruss wrote. "However, I am ‘turned on’ by this great, new, beautiful book that completely changed my mind about so-called ‘prefab’ homes, which are custom-built in factories to the specifications of the buyers."

The National Association of Real Estate Editors, a real estate journalism organization created in 1929, oversees the awards program, which is supported by grants from NAREE members, Leighand Ivy Robinson of Express Publishing and Inman News Publisher Brad Inman, and in-kind donations from NAREE directors and past presidents.

Bruss, a nationally syndicated Inman News columnist, was a real estate investment and legal expert who sought through his writing to make real estate more transparent and approachable for readers, whether they were laymen or professionals. He was sometimes referred to as the "Dear Abby of Real Estate" and in 1997 won the Norman Woest Outstanding California Real Estate Educator Award.

The judges commented that Koones’ book is "written in easy-to-read language, with wonderful four-color photographs," and that the "amount of information is stunning, making this book a necessity for anyone who is considering building this type of house."

Judges for the awards included: Michael Frolove, an instructor at Temple University’s Real Estate Institute and a licensed real estate broker and appraiser in New Jersey and Pennsylvania; Allen Norwood, retired Homes section editor for the Charlotte Observer, freelance editor of HGTV online, and a former member of NAREE who also had served as the association’s vice president; and Pat Washburn, a journalism professor for Ohio University’s E. W. Scripps School of Journalism.

Vernon Swaback, an apprentice to famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, won the Silver Award for his book, "Creating Value: Smart Development and Green Design." An architect and urban planner, Swaback offers insight for dealing with the problems of sprawl, and he offers suggestions for incorporating environmentally conscious design techniques into residential and commercial building projects.

The book was published in November 2007 by the Urban Land Institute.

A collection of essays about developer Gerald D. Hines and the company that bears his name won the Bronze Award. The book, "Hines: A Legacy of Quality in the Built Environment," published in January 2008, was edited by George Lancaster and includes Essays by David Childs, Lisa Gray, Ann Holmes, Hilary Lewis, Joe Mashburn, William McDonough, William Middleton, Ron Nyren, William Poorvu, Laura Rowley, Mark Seal and Robert A. M. Stern.

Hines, a real estate investment, development and management firm with a headquarters in Houston, has a presence in about 100 cities around the globe.

NAREE also announced that co-authors Carmen Multhauf and Lloyd G. Multhauf share the 2008 First-Time Author Award for "Generational Housing: Myth or Mastery," an analysis of different generations that are participating in the housing market.

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