"New American Home" Goes MIA

It's not just homeowners who can't get financing for a new home. Builders have been hard hit, too. That grim reality is glaringly evident at this week's International Builders' Show in Las Vegas, where a much-anticipated centerpiece, "The New American Home," was foreclosed upon before it could be finished.

Each year of its 27-year history, the home building industry's must-attend conference has positioned "The New American Home" as a showcase of the emerging trends in design, construction, efficiency, home products and the shifting lifestyles of Americans. Thousands of professionals typically tour the home during the week-long conference, which is expected to draw 65,000 attendees.

But not this year. Instead of a live walk through, conference attendees will have to settle for a video presentation at the convention center.

The stunning turn of events reflects the tattered state of the building industry. After running out of funds, the home's builder, Domanico Custom Homes, defaulted and construction came to a halt as the company "restructured debt," its managing partner told HousingWatch. The company's owner, Ernie Domanico, was also forced into Chapter 7 bankruptcy with another real estate venture.