Thursday, November 17, 2011

HBASC announces 2012 Housing Advocacy Agenda

Your Home Builders Association of South Carolina announced the Housing Advocacy Agenda for 2012 following its annual Legislative Conference in Columbia on November 9.
  1. Multi-lot Discount: Allow for a grace period for annual re-certification to reduce risk of losing property tax discount, and increase from 5 to 8 the years the discount is available due to the economic downturn. Bill up in Senate. 
  2. Reverse Anti-Economic Development Case: SC Supreme Court decision said any discharge into the environment must be permitted, and anyone can have standing in the case. Ominous decision for land development & construction – permit nightmare! Bill to be introduced. 
  3. IECC 2009 Adoption: The PURC Advisory Committee is scheduled to move forward with recommendations to the General Assembly to adopt the IEEC 2009 energy code. Bill to be introduced. 
  4. Immigration Reform: There is new political pressure in our state due to concerns over the Hispanic growing population in the US. We would anticipate that immigration reform legislation may have to be introduced if the Court rules against the recently passed state law - similar to the Arizona law. Bill challenged in court! 
  5. Impact Fees: HBA has to defend the state impact fee law every year every year, as some areas of the state continue to push for school impact fees, and more liberal interpretation of our state’s impact fee law. Recent court action helped! 
  6. Comprehensive Tax Reform: General Assembly will possibly pursue a comprehensive review of taxes in 2012 based on some of the TRAC Committee recommendations with additions, deletions, and changes to the SC tax code. Tax reform bill likely be introduced. 
  7. Private Transfer Fees: A bill was passed last session to ban the use of private transfer fees in SC. Bill will be up for passage in Senate in 2012. 
  8. Labor Unions Expand Their Influence: Business interests are concerned that labor unions will attempt to undermine our right-to-work state by state and federal legislation.
Watch for Calls to Action from your Home Builders Association in support of these housing-related public policy issues.

HBA members save $500 when they buy a GM vehicle

HBA members can save $500 when buying a vehicle from a GM dealer.

Click here to learn more about which vehicle qualify for the GM $500 discount.

To qualify, download a proof of membership form by clicking here.  Take the form to your GM dealer.  Negotiate your best deal, then present your membership form for an additional $500 off of your purchase.

Only vehicles purchased by the HBA member of record qualify for the discount.  The program can not be combined with another private offer.

HBA members save money when buying a Lowe's

Did you know HBA members who use their Lowe's Account Receivable account save five percent on their purchases?  Plus, visit and save an additional two percent through December 7, 2011.

Click here to visit for details on savings for HBA members.

NAHB appeals elements of Lead Paint Rule to U.S. Court of Appeals

Your National Association of Home Builders appealed the removal of the opt out provision of the Lead Paint Rule to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.  The hearing took place November 1.

A part of the argument was that the EPA exempted the largest part of home improvements from the Lead Paint Rule: the Do-It-Yourself "industry."  Following the hearing, NAHB reported that relief from the Lead Paint Rule "may have to wait for a new Administration."  Read why at Nations Building News by clicking here.

Did You Know: Household Income

Did You Know?

According to Demo Memo, a blog about demographic trends, household income for dual-income couples rose 5 percent between 2000 and 2010, adjusted for inflation, while income for all households fell 7 percent during the same period.

Big Box Homes?

BUILDER magazine featured super-size homes, and the builders who have profited from them, in an article on  From the article:

"...the big-box home trend was born as a way to compete with resales because it is rare to find large homes among resales and foreclosures, making their plus-size a product differentiator. Also, the larger homes can often pass muster with appraisers more easily, because the bigger the house, the smaller the square-foot price, and the higher-priced portions of the home, kitchens and bathrooms, are amortized over a larger number of square feet. The lower price per square foot helps the homes compete with the lower per-square-foot cost of distressed home sales."

Read the entire article at by clicking here.

South Carolina ranked sixth in domestic migration in 2010

In a study by New Geography, South Carolina ranked sixth in net domestic migration in 2010, and has not ranked lower than seventh since 2001.

Read the report at by clicking here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

TD Bank will add 1,600 new jobs in South Carolina, 1,400 in Greenville

TD Bank announced today that it will add 1,600 new jobs in South Carolina over the next five years, 1,400 of those jobs will be at the Greenville headquarters on Millennium Parkway.  The other 200 positions will be added in Lexington.

TD also will spend $17.1 million to renovate the three buildings it owns on Millennium Parkway, fronting I-85.  The buildings were completed in 2008 but have stood largely empty since their completion.

If you bought real estate in 2011, you could be eligible for a property tax reduction

Did you buy property in 2011 that is assessed at the 6 percent assessment ratio?  You may be eligible for a property tax discount.

The General Assembly enacted the Point of Sale Bill (H.3713) that among other things provides for a 25 percent reduction in the fair market value of property bought in 2011 and assessed at the 6 percent assessment ratio (commercial, rental, second homes).

In order to receive the reduction, the property owner must apply to the local tax assessor's office by January 30, 2012.

Call To Action: Restore FHA Loan Limits

H.R. 2112 Restores FHA Mortgage Loan Limits
Write your members of Congress via Capitol Connect
Call your members of Congress at (866) 924-NAHB (6242)

On September 30, 2011, Congress allowed the conforming loan limits for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to shrink. The failure of Congress and the Obama Administration to act on the loan limits extension is the beginning of an effort to greatly reduce the federal government’s role in housing.

Over the last few weeks, Congress has been hard at work crafting language to restore conforming loan limits. H.R. 2112 is an appropriations bill that allows the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage loan limits to be restored to their previous levels. Congress will be voting on H.R. 2112 later this week. Restoring the loan limits will provide consumers in all markets access to safe, affordable mortgage financing.

In the Upstate, the FHA conforming loan limits were reduced in Greenville, Pickens, and Laurens counties, but not in the rest of the Upstate.

Housing markets remain fragile. Restoring the limits will provide stability, while private investors reenter the market.

Click here to see the impacts of the lower FHA loan limits by county

Talking Point:
  • Support H.R. 2112 to stabilize housing prices and the mortgage market. 
Ways to Act:
  • Write to your members of Congress via Capitol Connect;
  • Call your members of Congress at (866) 924-NAHB (6242). 
If you have any questions or feedback on this issue, please email

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

South Carolina second in states that would be negatively impacted by a European recession

South Carolina ranks second among states that would be negatively impacted by a recession in the European Union.  Why: auto manufacturing.  Specifically BMW.  What state is first?  Utah (gold and other minerals).

Read the entire report at

Monday, November 14, 2011

Bosch announcement means more jobs for Greenville County

Bosch Rexroth Corp. announced plans today to expand its existing hydraulics manufacturing operations in Greenville County. The $80 million investment should generate 160 new jobs over the next five years, according to the S.C. Department of Commerce and the Greenville Area Development Corporation (GADC). Click here to read the entire article in GSA Business.

Greenville homebuilders show appreciation for local Wounded Warrior

Each year, the Home Builders Association of Greenville holds an Associate Appreciation Night to thank companies and individuals that support the business of homebuilding. From bankers to brick masons, the Home Builders Association of Greenville is your source for finding builders, remodelers, specialty contractors, manufacturers, financial and insurance professionals, realtors, and many others who offer products and services for homeowners and first-time homebuyers.

This year’s Associate Appreciation Night was even more special as we were able to thank a local veteran for his service to our country with an exciting gift. As homebuilders, our passion is to provide people with the American Dream of homeownership. Without the service of those like Marine Sgt. Michael Batton of Mauldin, SC, attaining that dream could never happen.

In September of 2006, Michael was deployed to Ramadi, Iraq where he served as a headquarters platoon sergeant. During a mortar attack in December of that year, Michael sustained a traumatic brain injury, and was medivaced to Germany. Michael was granted permanent military retirement in April of 2011 and presently lives in Mauldin with his wife, Sarah, and their two children, Jenna and Tyler.

In conjunction with the Wounded Warrior Project, the Home Builders Association of Greenville is providing the Batton family with a kitchen remodel as our way of saying thank you for everything Michael and his family have sacrificed for our country. We are hopeful the kitchen makeover will give the Battons an inviting space to create many fond family memories.

Several members of the Home Builders Association of Greenville will team up for the Batton kitchen remodel to be completed by the New Year. Those HBA members are:

Dillard-Jones Renovations, LLC
Builders First Source
GBS Building Supply
Progress Lighting
Sherwin Williams
Oldcastle Surfaces
Greer Flooring Center
Gateway Supply Company
The Cook’s Station

The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) began when several veterans and friends - moved by stories of the first wounded service members returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq - took action to help others in need. What started as a program to provide comfort items to wounded service members has grown into a complete rehabilitative effort to assist warriors as they recover and transition back to civilian life. The program seeks to: raise awareness and enlist public aid for the needs of injured service members; help injured service members aid and assist each other; and provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members.

The Home Builders Association of Greenville is excited to be a part of this worthwhile project and encourages you to take a look at how you might get involved this holiday season by visiting

Advice to builders: Don't hold back when providing information to appraisers

Homebuilders should demand that lenders use qualified, designated appraisers who are experienced in their local area, and who understand new construction and green building values, according to a new NAHB document offering helpful advice on how homebuilders can obtain more accurate appraisals. Among other tips, the two-page document from NAHB advises builders to meet with the appraiser on the actual home site and to provide direct support for the price with whatever relevant information is available. Click here to read the article in Nation's Building News that includes tips for obtaining more accurate appraisals.