Friday, January 21, 2011

Email proclaiming a new sales tax on homes is false

An email has been circulating in real estate circles that contains inaccurate claims about a new 3.8 percent tax on capital gains income that begins in 2013. The new tax, which is an add on to existing capital gains taxes (scheduled to increase from 15 to 20 percent next year), was enacted as part of the health reform legislation.

However, the email is wrong in that it implies that the 3.8 percent tax is a sales tax or transfer fee-type tax. The 3.8 percent tax is assessed only against certain capital gains income, and it only applies to taxpayers reporting more than $250,000 in income ($200,000 if single).

More importantly for housing, the existing $500,000 / $250,000 gain exclusion for a seller of a principal residence continues to apply, so most principal residences sales by homeowners will not be affected. Some sellers of second homes, with high incomes, may have to pay some additional capital gains tax. However, most of the new tax will fall on the sale of stocks, bonds and financial instruments, which have no gain exclusion rule.

Consider the following, typical example. Suppose a married homeowner sells their principal residence for $500,000, after having purchased the home some years ago for $200,000. The capital gain on the sale is about $300,000. The homeowner is allowed (under Section 121 of the Internal Revenue Code) to exclude from all tax (including the standard capital gains tax and the new 3.8 percent tax) up to $500,000, so there is no tax on the realized $300,000 gain on the home sale.

The 3.8 percent tax is not in any way a sales tax paid on the sales price of the home, for either the home seller or home buyer. NAHB has written about this issue in an April edition of Nation’s Building News. Click here to read that article.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thompson, Presley honored as HBA of Greenville Builder, Associate of the Year

Builder Brad Thompson, President of First Choice Custom Homes, and Scott Presley, Vice President of Greer State Bank, were honored by your Home Builders Association of Greenville as Builder of the Year, and Associate of the Year, respectively, for 2010.

Thompson and Presley were honored during the HBA of Greenville's General Membership Meeting January 20, 2011, at the Carolina First Center. More than 100 HBA members and guests assembled to honor these and other award winners and to install the 2011 Board of Directors

Guest speaker for the evening was Steven Mungo (pictured with Thompson and Presley), President of the Mungo Company and Immediate Past President of the Home Builders Association of South Carolina. Mungo talked about the importance of adjusting one's business model to the new economy in order to survive, and made reference to the book, "Who Moved My Cheese?", and recommended it to members as a source of inspiration.

Also honored Thursday evening was The Honorable Bill Sandifer of the South Carolina House of Representives and Chairman of the House Labor, Commerce, and Industry Committee. Sandifer received the South Carolina Champion of Housing Award for his contributions to the Home Building industry and support of the association during its battle over Automatic Fire Sprinklers in 2010. In presenting the award, HBA Executive Vice President Michael Dey called Rep. Sandifer, "a true friend of Home Builders."

Several HBA members also were honored during the evening:

2010 Commitee Chairmen:
  • Barbara Ryan, Atherton Company, Sales and Marketing Committee
  • Robert Markel, CGR, Hadrian Construction, Remodelers Committee
  • Scott Presley, Greer State Bank, Bylaws Committee
  • Coleman Shouse, Lazarus Shouse Communities, Legislative Committee
  • Wayne Moore, Harold Moore Builder, Home Show Committee
  • Brad Thompson, First Choice Custom Homes, and Angela Santerini, Allora, Membership Committee
2010 Committee Chairman of the Year:
Brad Thompson, First Choice Custom Homes, Membership Committee

2010 Membership Award:
Angela Santerini, Allora

2010 Rookie of the Year:
Deanna Long, Yoder's Building Supply

Spirit of the HBA Award:
Elizabeth Stronkowsky, North Main Building and Design

President's Citation Award:
Laura Majszak, Premier Garage
Scott Presley, Greer State Bank

Also Thursday evening, the 2001 Board of Directors was installed. The ceremony featured the installation of the 2011 President of the HBA of Greenville, Wayne Moore. The 2011 Board of Directors includes:
  • Wayne Moore, Harold Moore Builder, President
  • Hal Dillard, H. Dillard Company, President Elect
  • Robert Markel, CGR, Hadrian Construction Company, Vice President
  • Scott Presley, Greer State Bank, Associate Vice President
  • Scott Lynch, Hollison Custom Homes, Secretary
  • Chuck Childress, BB&T, Treasurer
  • Tom Dillard, Dillard-Jones Builders, Immediate Past President
  • Richard Powers, Piedmont Natural Gas, President’s Appointee
  • Tom Ward, Home Team Pest Defense, Director
  • Eric Hedrick, Cornerstone Contractors, Director
  • Brad Thompson, First Choice Custom Homes, Director
  • Dan Rawls, Director
  • Michael Cox, Home Builders Insurance, Director
  • Jim Blume, First Savers Bank, Director
  • Alan Boone, Advanced Renovations, Director
  • Mike Freeman, Freewood Builders, Director
  • Larry Hazenfield, ProBuild, Director
  • Lou Hutchings, GBS Lumber, Director
  • Hardy Peters, Reedy Construction, Director
  • Chris Bailey, Stoneledge Properties, Director
  • Seabrook Marchant, The Marchant Company, Ex-Officio Director
Please take a moment to congratulate all who where honored this week.

The evening was sponsored by ten companies that offered a table-top display for the evening's participants to visit:Steamatic
  • James Hardie
  • Homes and Land Magazine
  • Great Outdoors
  • Capital Bank
  • Heirloom Stair & Iron
  • Priority One Security
  • Palmetto Exterminators
  • Lowe’s of Greer
  • Homeowners Mortgage
Please thank these companies for their support of your HBA of Greenville.

FDIC sets up hotline for builders to call about lending issues

To: NAHB Members
From: Bob Nielsen, 2011 NAHB Chairman of the Board
Re: FDIC Hotline

I want to let you know about a unique opportunity now available through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) that may help address your difficulties in obtaining financing for your business.

The acquisition, development and construction (AD&C) credit crisis continues to jeopardize the livelihoods of countless home builders and threatens to derail the fragile housing recovery now under way. Alleviating a crippling drought of AD&C lending remains our top priority.

After hosting a recent symposium to examine the credit problems that small businesses are facing, the FDIC has moved to create a hotline and website that allows small business owners to make inquiries with FDIC officials or to register their specific issues or problems they may have concerning credit availability.

The bulk of our membership is comprised of small businesses. This is your chance to weigh in directly with the FDIC to discuss any business constraints you are facing due to the scarcity of credit for housing. Any home builder, developer or associate who is unable to obtain financing, is having a hard time with an outstanding AD&C loan or feels that they have been treated unfairly by their lending institution should alert the FDIC either through the hotline or their website.

Calling 866-924-NAHB (866-924-6242) will patch you through to the FDIC’s hotline, where you can discuss your specific situation if you choose not to fill out a business assistance form on the FDIC website. Be aware that you will be talking to a live FDIC representative, so have your information at hand. The hotline is operational Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Eastern Standard Time.

To provide more details, the FDIC has created a dedicated website for small businesses at Go to the website and then click on the Business Assistance Form at the bottom of the page. This will allow you to fill in information and provide details about lending or credit problems you are having with a specific bank or financial institution. It is our hope that the FDIC will follow through and respond to any inquiries it receives.

NAHB is launching new initiatives to combat the AD&C credit crisis and a strong member response to the FDIC hotline will help raise greater awareness of the AD&C credit problems builders are facing and support our efforts to find constructive solutions that will restore the flow of credit to our industry. So once again, I urge you to contact the FDIC today! It is absolutely essential if we are to keep our fellow builders on the job and help our industry rebound from the worst downturn in decades.

Congress renews tax deduction for landowners

Congress renewed a tax deduction for private landowners who protect land with voluntary conservation agreements.

The incentive had expired at the end of 2009 but was renewed as part of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 passed last month. The new incentive expires at the end of 2011.

It allows donors of voluntary conservation agreements to take a 50 percent tax deduction on their Federal taxes for 16 years. Farmers and rangers may be able to deduct 100 percent. Upstate Forever, an HBA Community Partner, is among the land trusts that can assist landowners with a conservation agreement for their property.

Read the entire article at GSA Business by clicking here.

NAHB member benefit: legal advice, at no cost to members

Did you know that as a member of your Home Builders Association you can receive legal advice from NAHB's team of lawyers, free of charge?

The NAHB Legal Research Program does not replace your local attorney, but it will provide you with an understandable response to your legal question - fast - often the same day of your inquiry - saving you time and money.

Through NAHB you have access to a computerized database containing over three million court opinions, numerous legal publications, plus all federal and state statutes. This is an important NAHB benefit, available FREE for all members and affiliates.

Click here to access NAHB's Legal Research Program. You must be logged into NAHB's website to access this service. Contact us at if you need your log on credentials.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Last Chance to Participate in HBA of Greenville's 2011 Membership Directory

Your HBA of Greenville annual Membership Directory will publish in March. Our publisher, Naylor Publishing, is offering a special last chance opportunity to advertise in our 2011 Membership Directory. This publication is made possible solely through advertiser support, so please consider placing your message in your HBA of Greenville's official publication.

Our membership is composed of more than 500 home builders, subcontractors and suppliers. These are the decision makers you need to reach throughout the year. The annual Membership Directory is mailed directly to every member, and new members when they join the association, and is utilized throughout the year as a powerful networking and purchasing guide. Spiral bound and conveniently sized at 6" x 9", the directory puts your message within easy reach of our members every day of the year.

Advertising with HBA of Greenville ensures that your business is in front of the leaders in the Greenville area home building industry.

Click here to view the opportunities.

Time and spaces are limited, so contact Beth Palmer at 352-333-3404 or to reserve your space.

UPDATE: HBA of Greenville Offers Builder Helper Program; Worshop is February 10

Your HBA of Greenville has announced a new member benefit: Builder Helper.

Builder Helper is construction management tool that will save you time and money and is free for our builder members.

With Builder Helper, builders are able to launch bids and trades can perform take-offs, all online. There is also a scheduling program available at a reduced cost to HBA members.

To learn more about Builder Helper, attend the training workshop:

When: Thursday, February 10, 4 p.m.
Where: HBA of Greenville Office

To register for the Builder Helper workshop, click here.

Builder Helper is an online construction management tool that combines user-friendly navigation and cutting-edge technology to streamline the operations of any home building company.

For Builders, Builder Helper will:

  1. Post bids online
  2. Perform accurate take offs
  3. Receive organized bids
  4. Review, reject, and award bids instantly
For Trade Contractors, Builder Helper will:
  1. Submit bids online
  2. Perform accurate take offs
  3. Bid on more work
  4. Track bid status in real time
Take advantage of this new member benefit of the HBA of Greenville today.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Lead Paint Renovation, Repair, and Painting Course to be Offered in Spartanburg

The HBA of Spartanburg is offering a Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting Course in February.

When: Wednesday, February 23, 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Where: Piedmont Natural Gas, 501 West Blackstock Road, Spartanburg
Cost: NAHB Members $195, nonmembers $225

To register, contact the HBA of Spartanburg at 864-583-5471

Beginning April 23, 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires firms performing work that disturbs lead-based paint in residential homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978:
  • Be EPA certified.
  • Ensure necessary EPA certified renovators are on each job.
  • Ensure all workers affected are trained in specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.
  • All work is performed according to EPA work practices.
  • Pre-renovation education required for residents.
  • Record keeping requirements are met.
Who should become EPA certified?
Renovators, remodelers, window and siding installers, painters, plumbers, electricians and maintenance workers who disturb lead-base paint in homes AND buildings that are child-occupied and built before 1978.

What does the training cover?
This 8-hour training course teaches you safe ways to prevent the lead contamination. Learn how to safely clean up demolition and debris, and the proper way to dispose of trash and materials once the job is done.

Penalties for performing work without being EPA certified can be up to $32,000 per violation, per day.