Thursday, January 6, 2011

Judges needed for HBA of Columbia REGAL Awards

The HBA of Columbia is seeking real estate professionals interested in participating as a judge for their 2010 REGAL Awards. The Sales & Marketing Council of Greater Columbia will hold its 22nd Annual REGAL Gala celebration in February 2011 and needs a little of your time to help them in a VERY BIG way!

This year’s judging will take place on Friday, January 28th from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. All judges are invited to arrive on Thursday evening, January 27th, to enjoy a cocktail hour and dinner together. Hotel accommodations will be provided by and paid for by the Home Builders Association of Greater Columbia if accommodations are needed. Breakfast and lunch will also be provided the day of judging.

Entries will be judged in the following categories: Product Design, Interior Merchandising, Best Website, Best Special Promotion, Best Green Built Home, Builder Executive of the Year, Mortgage Banker of the Year, Marketing Director of the Year, Community of the Year and Phoenix Award.

If you are interested or have any questions please contact Heather McDonald at 803-256-6238 or

Tom Dillard named to board of Southern Living Custom Builder program

Tom Dillard, president of Dillard-Jones Builders, LLC, of Greer, SC, and immediate past president of the HBA of Greenville, has been named to the board of directors of the Southern Living Custom Builder program. Board members serve a three-year term with a focus on improving the national magazine’s program for custom builders and its sponsors, said Kristen Payne, executive director of the Southern Living Homes Group.

The Southern Living Custom Builder program is an invitation-only network of about 100 builders from across the country. Members are chosen for their experience and knowledge and reputation in the marketplace, the organization said. Builders are required to reapply each year and are evaluated by Southern Living to assure they meet the standards of the program.

Dillard-Jones Builders was named a member of the Southern Living Custom Builder program in 2006 to represent the national lifestyle magazine in the Greenville, SC, market. In 2009, the company was named the Southern Living Custom Builder Member of the Year, becoming the first South Carolina home builder to receive the national award. In 2010, the company presented its third Southern Living Showcase Home – a home designed and built for LEED for Homes certification that will be incorporated into the Southern Living collection of national house plans.

Established in 2004, Dillard-Jones Builders specializes in custom residential construction ranging from the $500,000’s to more than $2 million.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Dan Rawls installed as Greenville County Councilman from District 26

Dan Rawls was installed January 4 as the newest member of Greenville County Council. Rawls is a past president of the Home Builders Association of Greenville and the Home Builders Association of South Carolina.

Rawls, a Republican, won the seat vacated by Judy Gilstrap, who gave up the seat to run for the S.C. House of Representatives. South Carolina Builders PAC supported Rawls' campaign.

Rawls told the Greenville News his number one priority is cutting crime.

Rawls continues to be an active member of the Home Builders Association. He serves as a Director of the HBA of Greenville and a Life Director of the Home Builders Association of South Carolina and the National Association of Home Builders.

Also on January 4 Butch Kirven was reelected chairman of Greenville County Council and Dr. Bob Taylor was reelected vice chairman.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Upstate is at the center of the largest growth region in the country

According to a report in the Greenville Journal on December 31, 2010, the Upstate is in the heart of what is projected to be the fastest growing region in the country in the next 40 years.

The Piedmont Atlantic Mega Region, which stretches from Atlanta to Charlotte, "is expected to account for half the nation's population growth and two thirds of its economic growth through 2050." The projection is according to studies by Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Stephen Mungo Featured Speaker at January 20 HBA General Membership Meeting

Mark your calendars for Thursday, January 20, when your HBA of Greenville will celebrate the accomplishments of 2010 and look toward an improved 2011.

This HBA General Membership Meeting at the Carolina First Center will include installation of our 2011 Board of Directors and presentation of the Builder of the Year and Associate of the Year Awards.

Our speaker will be Steven Mungo, President of The Mungo Company in Columbia, and Immediate Past President, HBA of South Carolina.
  • What: General Membership Meeting
  • When: Thursday, January 20; Social-5:30 p.m., Dinner-6:15 p.m.
  • Where: Carolina First Center
Click here to register for the General Membership Meeting.

Tabletop Sponsors for this event:
  • Steamatic
  • James Hardie
  • Homes and Land Magazine
  • The Great Outdoors Inc.
  • Capital Bank
  • Heirloom Stair & Iron Inc.
  • Priority One Security
  • Palmetto Exterminators Inc.
  • Lowe's Of Greer
  • Homeowners Mortgage.

2008 NAHB President Sandy Dunn Offers Advice to Builders on Appraisals

December 29, 2010

Dear Fellow NAHB Members:

For the past several years one of the major problems our builders have been facing are low appraisals. NAHB has been working diligently to help solve these problems. Two Appraisal Summits were held in the last quarter of 2009 and the third Summit was just recently held. All the players were gathered in one room at the Housing Center to try to come up with solutions. Progress is being made.

In the meantime while NAHB is working to solve the problems with the process I thought I would tell you some things you can do to help bring your appraisals in at Market Value:
  1. Help yourself by helping the appraiser....most appraisers today are under such a short time line that they only look at sales that are recorded in the MLS. A lot of new construction never makes it to the MLS, therefore you should talk to other builders to see what they have sold....this will be beneficial to both of you. Then access courthouse records and see what other sales have been recorded.
  2. Go to and in the search engine type in "appraisals". Then click on "capturing new home sales information for use as appraisal comparables" and go to the last sentence in the second paragraph and click on the highlighted area. An appraisal form will now appear with one column. This is the same information the appraiser gathers. Fill this form out for each sale you can find. Then take a picture of each house that has sold and attached it to the form. When the Appraiser comes to appraise your house give him/her this information and tell them that this is some information you have gathered that you thought they might find helpful. This is legal and trust me when I tell you it will be greatly appreciated! I am a Certified General Appraiser and if a seller did this for me I would kiss the ground they walk on.
  3. Last but not least make a list of all of the up-grades you have put in your house that might not be in a comparable sale. Meet with the Appraiser and explain all of the pluses your house has that may or may not be seen by the naked eye.
If you follow these three simple steps I promise that your appraisals will improve....they may not be perfect, but you will get better results than you're getting now.

Wishing you a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

Sandy Dunn, 2008 NAHB President

South Carolina and North Carolina end Water Dispute

South Carolina and North Carolina have ended a lawsuit over water withdrawal from the Catawba-Wateree River Basin and agreed to a joint plan to regulate water withdrawal from the river. The dispute involved a proposed withdrawal of water from the Catawba River by a North Carolina city that is in a different river basin, commonly referred to as an "inter-basin transfer."

The lawsuit, and the settlement, could have long-term implications for the Upstate. The Greenville area, which is in the Saluda-Reedy River basin, withdraws water from Lake Keowee, a part of the Savannah River basin.

Read the full report on the settlement at GSA Business.

Builder Review, December 28, Published

Builder Review is an e-newsletter published twice a month by the HBA of Greenville. The latest issue, published December 28, 2010, is ready for you to read.

Click here to read Builder Review.

Reports indicate positve signs for housing market in 2011

Three national reports show positive signs for the housing market in 2011.
NAHB projects a 60 percent rise in new home starts in the Greenville area in 2011. Reasons cited for the rise are low inventory, low foreclosures, low interest rates, and high demand generated by job creation.

New NAHB Report Finds Small Builders ar the Maintstay of the Nation

Small home builders are the mainstay of the nation’s housing industry, including a sizable number of self-employed mom-and-pop operations, according to a new study by economists at the National Association of Home Builders.

“Small businesses have always been the predominant force in housing and they lend this industry its economic vitality,” said Bob Jones, NAHB chairman and a builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

“We are seeing market conditions returning to normal in many parts of the country after a long, hard downturn, and these companies have the agility to move quickly and start leading the economy forward,” Jones said. “But first they need access to financing to build, which remains scarce during this critical phase of the recovery.”

The study notes that the small builders and tradesmen who produce the majority of the nation’s new homes “compete in a fierce marketplace that challenges their economic survival. A much higher share of small businesses both enter and fail in the residential construction industry when compared to all U.S. firms,” according to the report.

“The residential construction industry is very dynamic, and a large number of firms enter the industry each year and a large number exit each year,” the report says. “With few barriers of entry, start-up builders can launch their business with a single new home.” Most home builders and remodelers are small businesses, “further facilitating movement into the industry when opportunities improve, and exiting either because of business failure or life-cycle decisions.”

The report concludes that housing remains the domain of small businesses and looks at the Census Bureau’s Economic Census, which provides information on the size of businesses in various industries. Conducted every five years, the most recent census is based on business activity that occurred in 2007. Final tables for the construction industry were published this fall, on Oct. 19.

Among the data that provides a profile of the housing industry as of 2007:

  • Slightly more than 65 percent of all home building establishments had annual receipts below $1 million. Almost 31 percent generated between $1 million and $10 million; and 4.1 percent had more than $10 million.
  • In 2007, 41,483 new single-family general contractors (who build on the owner’s land) did less than $1 million in business, about a 70 percent share of the 59,679 businesses in this group. Although multifamily general contractors tend to be somewhat larger, 42 percent of them also recorded less than $1 million in yearly sales or receipts. About 60 percent of the 35,378 “operative builders” (who own the land upon which they build) did less than $1 million in business. Eighty-four percent of 73,888 residential remodelers and 61 percent of 6,462 land developers saw less than $1 million.
  • Some 25 percent of $89.3 billion in total construction value delivered by single-family general contractors in 2007 was subcontracted out. Subcontracting amounted to half of $34.6 billion worth of construction among multifamily general contractors, 22 percent of $180.1 billion for operative builders and 23 percent of the $52.1 billion for residential remodelers.
  • These results are consistent with findings from NAHB’s monthly Builder Economic Council survey. Among the single-family builders responding, 40 percent said they subcontracted 100 percent of their work and another 39 percent subcontracted 76 percent to 99 percent of the work. The same builders used 24 specialty trade contractors in the process of building the average single-family home.
  • Seventy-four percent of a total of 477,950 specialty trade contractors rang up less than $1 million in business in 2007.
  • Under U.S. Small Business Administration standards, at least 96 percent of residential builders and remodelers were small (defined as doing no more than $33.5 million in annual business). Also considered small were 94 percent of land developer (less than $7.0 million) and 98 percent of specialty trade contractor (less than $14 million) establishments. Most of the home building and trade contractor establishments were far below the SBA ceilings.

Looking beyond the Economic Census, which only counts establishments with employees on the payroll, NAHB estimates that the ratio of the income of usually small, self-employed independent contractors to wages and salaries generated in the construction industry is one to four. This is compared to a ratio of one to 10 in some other industries, such as manufacturing.

Housing is also providing more opportunities for Hispanic businesses than U.S. industries overall, the study found.

The 2007 Survey of Business Owners (SBO) recently reported that in 8.3 percent of a total 27 million businesses -- or 2.3 million -- at least 51 percent of the stock or equity was Hispanic-owned. The Hispanic share for the construction industry (both residential and nonresidential) was higher -- at 10.0 percent, or 340,766 out of 3.4 million construction firms.

Of the 2.6 million construction non-employers found in the SBO survey, 11.6 percent were Hispanic-owned, as were 12.2 percent of the 1.9 million non-employer specialty trade contractors. For several trades, the Hispanic share among non-employers was around 20 percent -- including structural steel and precast concrete, drywall and insulation, tile and terrazzo and poured concrete.