Friday, August 27, 2010

S.C. State Housing Authority Lowers Rates for First-Time Homebuyers

For the second time this year, the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority has announced lower interest rates for its popular First Time Home Buyer Program. Effective immediately the State Housing Authority has lowered rates to 4.875 percent for borrowers in Categories I and II, which include borrowers earning 50 percent and above median income household income for the state. In addition, the authority has lowered rates to 4.750 percent for Category III borrowers who early less than 50 percent of the median household income and borrowers who are disabled. All categories offer up to $5000 down payment assistance.

Read the entire report at by clicking here.

New Flood Insurance Maps Announced

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources has announced its schedule for updating Flood Insurance Maps in Greenville County:
  • Preliminary map date: December 30, 2010
  • Final determination date: 10/17/2011
  • Effective date of new maps: 4/17/2012
Pickens County maps were updated on April 16, 2008. Oconee County maps were updated September 11, 2009.

Other neighboring counties are on different timelines. The effective dates for other Upstate counties are:
  • Abbeville: 3/3/2011
  • Cherokee: 6/16/2011
  • Greenwood: 5/3/2011
  • Laurens: 9/29/2011
  • McCormick: 3/17/2011
  • Spartanburg: 1/2/2011
  • Union: 8/1/2011
SCDNR is the state agency that administers the National Flood Insurance Program, and its associated maps and insurance rating systems, in South Carolina.

Group Calls Upstate a Strong Market for Real Estate Investors

According to Local Market Monitor, a real estate forecasting firm based in Cary, NC, the Upstate is one of the best markets in the country to invest in real estate. The firm ranked the Upstate 9th in its list of top ten markets "suitable for conservative investors."

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Deadline to Apply for Lead Paint Certification is September 30

Remodelers and other contractors have until September 30 to apply to get their companies certified and to also sign up for the training required to comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting rule.

Read more about the deadline in Nations Building News by clicking here.

NAHB Lawsuit Successfully Defeats EPA Stormwater Rule

A lawsuit filed by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the Wisconsin Builders Association has forced the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw a key portion of its new stormwater management regulations affecting builders and developers. According to NAHB, EPA will have to go back to the drawing board on the numeric limit for sediment it developed and attempted to enforce.

Read the article about this legal victory in Nation's Building News by clicking here.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

SCHBSIF Can Now Write for Non-Residential Accounts!

The South Carolina Home Builders Self Insurers Fund (SCHBSIF) announced this week that it has begun writing Workers’ Compensation policies for non-residential accounts.

SCHBSIF is an exclusive member benefit of the Home Builders Association of South Carolina. Members of the HBA of Greenville are eligible to purchase Workers' Compensation Insurance from SCHBSIF. The SIF was organized in 1995 and its mission is to provide stable, affordable Workers' Compensation Insurance to members of the Home Builders Association.

Policies now being written include commercial general contractors and subcontractors who are engaged in new construction, upfitting, or renovations of non-residential projects. SCHBSIF is now able to provide coverage to entities whose exposures are 100% commercial and who perform on-site work at heights of 3 stories or less. Risks that fall outside this scope may be considered on an individual basis.

SCHBSIF also will consider businesses that provide services such as electrical or mechanical maintenance to industrial concerns like manufacturing facilities and governmental entities.

Membership in the Home Builders Association of South Carolina continues to be a requirement for participation in the SCHBSIF.

For questions regarding these new opportunities please contact Brandy Shealy, SCHBSIF Underwriting Manager, at or 800-678-8178.

In addition, SCHBSIF has announced that it will be converting to a mutual insurance company in 2011. "Our target for conversion to mutual is July 1, 2011," said Andrew Woodham, SCHBSIF Marketing Director. "Conversion to mutual will create further opportunities for insurance products for HBA members."

For a list of insurance professionals who will help you purchase Workers' Compensation Insurance from SCHBSIF, click here.

The Push for Reducing Government Support for Homeownership

In Nations Building News, NAHB's weekly e-newsletter, NAHB details how advocates within the Federal Government are pushing to reduce Federal Government support for homeownership.

The primary target is the Mortgage Interest Deduction, which has long been the target of a variety of groups bent on reducing support for Federal homeownership support programs. Also targeted are the government sponsored enterprises (GSE) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both of which make a market for securitizing mortgages, a vital function to a high level of homeownership.

At the "Conference on the Future of Housing Finance," criticism was heard that housing subsidies should be shifted to rental housing from homeownership and from higher-income to low-income beneficiaries.

Read the entire article by clicking here.

Register for the IBS Show by August 31 and Save

Register for the NAHB International Builders’ Show by August 31 and get a free exhibit passNAHB members who register for the 2011 NAHB International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Orlando by August 31 can get a free four-day pass to the exhibit floor as well as take advantage of heavily discounted registration pricing.

Industry professionals who register for the show before September can save $100 on early-bird registration and $130 on regular registration. IBS, the single, most important and largest industry event of the year, will be held January 12-15.

In addition, spouses of members and non-members can register for free in August.

Specific online registration deals include:

Free Exhibit Pass for NAHB Members—Register by Aug. 31
NAHB members will be able to walk the show floor for free all four days of the show if they register by August 31. More than 1,000 exhibitors on 500,000 square feet of exhibit space will feature the industry’s leading suppliers displaying their latest innovations. Show exhibitors will also be available to discuss attendees’ specific challenges.

First-Time Member Attendee Registration—Reduced
Members who plan to attend IBS for the first time are eligible for the first-time attendee registration rate of $100, which enables them to attend any of more than 175 education sessions and tour the exhibit floor all four days.

One- and Two-Day Education Passes
Attendees can purchase one- or two-day passes for IBS education sessions. Passes will be available for education sessions held from Wednesday through Friday, Jan. 12-14. All seminars on Saturday, Jan. 15 are free. To take advantage of these passes, attendees must choose the day(s) they will purchase when registering for the show.

Click here to register now for the IBS Show in January and take advantage of these deals.