Friday, January 20, 2012

HBA of Greenville forms Young Professionals Group

Your HBA of Greenville has formed a Young Professionals Group.  The purpose of the group is to connect young professionals involved in the home building industry with one another, as well as with seasoned professionals, to discuss topics related to the housing industry and our Upstate community.

HBAYP welcomes young professionals age 40 and under to join us for our first meeting:
  • February 1, 2012
  • 4 p.m. until 6 p.m.
  • The Great Oyster Bay House, 109 East Poinsett Street, Greer
Plan to spend time in a relaxed environment with a group of your peers and encourage your common professional growth.  "This event is an outlet for networking with individuals who share in similar challenges and business practices so that we may foster discussions towards defining the current needs facing this generation of future leaders," Matt Vaughn, Chairman of HBAYP and Sales Manager of Homeowners Mortgage, said.

As an added plus, the member company that has the most employees attend will win a complimentary block ad  for a month on  Thank you for being a member of the Home Builders Association of Greenville.

S.C. Rep. Tim Scott speaks out on getting home builders back to work in Nations Building News

Rep. Tim Scott, a Republican member of Congress from Charleston and Chairman of the freshman caucus, penned an opinion article in this week's issue of Nation's Building News, the official publication of NAHB.  His op ed is reprinted below.

Rep. Tim Scott
It’s Time to Let Home Builders Create Jobs, Innovate and Grow

For the better part of the past year, House Republicans have been fighting against the current Administration’s regulatory onslaught, which affects millions of families nationwide.

In my hometown of North Charleston, S.C., we watched firsthand as the National Labor Relations Board sued the Boeing Corporation — our nation’s top exporter — for a hypothetical loss of jobs.

This bold attempt to protect the President’s union allies at the expense of American jobs was galling, especially at a time when unemployment in South Carolina was more than 10%.

While the NLRB case has been one of the most publicized examples of government overreach, the housing industry also knows all too well the power of burdensome and unnecessary government regulations.

The hard work put in by home builders not only allows many families the opportunity to realize the dream of owning a home, but is also an extremely important economic driver for our nation.

To emphasize that point, NAHB estimates three jobs are created for each new single-family home that is built.

Unfortunately, as a result of Dodd-Frank, multiple new burdensome regulations have been placed on the home building and mortgage industries.

Consequently, developers and builders are unable to complete projects because they can’t get a loan, and potential home buyers are not able to get a mortgage to purchase one.

To help shed light on this, the first stop on my regulations tour this past fall — designed to highlight how an overreaching federal government can affect every aspect of our lives — was an unfinished home.

When a developer can’t receive a loan because of unrealistic capital requirements now imposed on new acquisition, development and construction (AD&C) loans, they lose their ability not only to build, but to pay their workers.

I talked with one local home builder in my district who was turned down for a loan by 25 banks because of these new AD&C requirements.

This, in turn, leads to startling numbers — more than 1.4 million construction workers have been idled since 2006 in the housing industry alone, and 42% of the builders in the industry have gone out of business.

This is unacceptable — the government should be creating an environment conducive to growth, not one that kills jobs and small businesses.

Additionally, new mortgage requirements have made it harder for potential home buyers to buy.

One new requirement will force home buyers to make a downpayment equal to 20% of the selling price. If this regulation had been in effect in 2010, only 14% of home owners would have made enough of a downpayment to purchase their home.

While we all agree something needs to be done to safeguard against another housing bubble, creating mortgage limits so high that they are unattainable for many Americans is not the way do so.

My colleagues and I in the House have pushed to undo these harmful regulations. I have cosponsored two important pieces of legislation that will do so.

The Home Construction Lending Regulatory Improvement Act (HR 1755) eliminates the 100% capital requirement and uses market-based appraisals, rather than only “as completed” values.

HR 3461, the Financial Institutions Examination Fairness and Reform Act, addresses commercial loan concerns by restricting their ability to be classified as nonaccrual solely because the collateral value has deteriorated.

As we continue fighting against government overreach, the examples shown above are some of the key points to be made as to how harmful burdensome regulations can truly be.

We must give home builders, and all of our job creators, the stability and confidence to do what they do best — innovate and grow.

NAHB: Builder Confidence Rises for the Fourth Consecutive Month in January

Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes continued to climb for a fourth consecutive month in January, rising four points to 25 on the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), released today. This is the highest level the index has attained since June of 2007.

“Builder confidence has now risen four months in a row, with the latest uptick being universally represented across every index component and region,” noted Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Reno, Nev. “This good news comes on the heels of several months of gains in single-family housing starts and sales, and is yet another indication of the gradual but steady improvement that is beginning to take hold in an increasing number of housing markets nationwide -- and that has been shown by our Improving Markets Index. Policymakers must now take every precaution to avoid derailing this nascent recovery.”

“Builders are seeing greater interest among potential buyers as employment and consumer confidence slowly improve in a growing number of markets, and this has helped to move the confidence gauge up from near-historic lows in the first half of 2011,” noted NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “That said, caution remains the word of the day as many builders continue to voice concerns about potential clients being unable to qualify for an affordable mortgage, appraisals coming through below construction cost, and the continuing flow of foreclosed properties hitting the market.”

Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for more than 20 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores from each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

Each of the HMI’s three component indexes registered a fourth consecutive month of improvement in January. The component gauging current sales conditions rose three points to 25, which was its highest point since June of 2007. The component gauging sales expectations in the next six months also rose three points, to 29 -- its highest point since September 2009. And the component gauging traffic of prospective buyers rose three points to 21, its highest point since June of 2007.

The HMI also posted gains in all four regions in January, including a nine-point gain to 23 in the Northeast, a one-point gain to 24 in the Midwest, a two-point gain to 27 in the South and a five-point gain to 21 in the West.

Editor’s Note: The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index is strictly the product of NAHB Economics, and is not seen or influenced by any outside party prior to being released to the public. HMI tables can be found at More information on housing statistics is also available at

NAHB: Single-Family Housing Starts Rise 4.4 Percent in December

Nationwide production of new single-family homes rose 4.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 470,000 units in December, according to newly released figures from the U.S. Commerce Department. This marked a third consecutive increase and the fastest pace of single-family housing starts since April of 2010. Meanwhile, the overall number of housing starts for the month declined 4.1 percent to a 657,000-unit rate due to a 20.4 percent dip on the more volatile multifamily side.

“Today’s report adds to the growing evidence that demand for new, single-family homes is finally starting to firm up in an increasing number of markets nationwide,” said Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Reno, Nev. “This emerging trend is allowing builders to put more crews back to work, and could be even stronger if not for the overly tight credit conditions that prevail for both builders and buyers, as well as the continuing foreclosure crisis and the challenges of obtaining accurate appraisal values on new homes. Policymakers should be doing everything possible to alleviate these problems and nurture the fledgling housing recovery in order to promote job and economic growth.”

“This report is in keeping with our expectations for slow but steady improvement in the single-family market, where production hit its lowest yearly rate in over 50 years in 2011,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Meanwhile, it should be noted that the decline in multifamily starts in December was coming off a dramatic increase from the previous month and simply brought that sector back closer to trend. Apartment production generally continues to gain strength heading into 2012 after posting a more-than 50 percent gain in 2011.” Looking forward, NAHB is forecasting gains of approximately 17 percent in both single- and multifamily housing production in 2012.

Combined single- and multifamily housing starts fell 4.1 percent to a 657,000-unit rate in December due to the multifamily side retreating 20.4 percent from a big gain in the previous month, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 187,000 units. However, for the year as a whole, overall housing production was pegged at 606,900 units, which was 3.4 percent better than the overall number of starts in 2010.

Regionally, December housing starts rose 54.8 percent in the Midwest following a big decline in the previous month. The Northeast posted a 41.2 percent decline that offset a big gain in the previous month, while the South and West also posted declines of 3.0 percent and 17.6 percent, respectively.

Permit issuance, which can be an indicator of future building activity, held virtually flat at a 679,000-unit rate in December. Single-family permits rose for a third consecutive month, by 1.8 percent to 444,000 units, while multifamily permits declined 3.7 percent to 235,000 units.

Regionally, permits rose 5.8 percent in the Midwest and held unchanged in the West, but declined 6.5 percent in the Northeast and 0.6 percent in the South in December.

NAHB: Updated Publication Helps Builders Develop Powerful, Well-Organized Schedules

A detailed, well-planned schedule is a builder’s best tool. Without one, a building project can end up in disarray and over budget. In Scheduling for Home Builders with Microsoft® Project, Third Edition, the latest release from BuilderBooks, the publishing arm of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), builders will benefit from expert advice on how to master this powerful scheduling program.

Written as an easy step-by-step guide to help builders navigate the scheduling process, the book demonstrates the methods for keeping projects on schedule and budget while coordinating resources, staff and materials. This updated edition includes a companion web page that offers practice materials and sample schedules to encourage readers to perform the skills presented in each chapter.

“Successful scheduling is a critical component of any home building process,” said NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen, a home builder from Reno, Nev. “This new resource walks builders through the steps and provides them with helpful tips and examples of how to use Microsoft® Project to keep projects running smoothly.”

Authors David Marchman and Tulio Sulbaran, Ph.D. teach builders how to use Microsoft® Project 2010 to:
  • Record and communicate progress
  • Control financial, human and physical resources
  • Record expenditures and analyze cost details
  • Manage cash flow and tasks
  • Create a baseline schedule and updates
 David Marchman is a retired professor of Construction Engineering Technology at the University of Southern Mississippi. Co-author Tulio Sulbaran, Ph.D. teaches estimating, scheduling project management and other construction courses at the School of Construction at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Scheduling for Home Builders with Microsoft® Project, Third Edition is available for purchase at or by calling 800-223-2665. (ISBN 978-0-86718-678-9; Retail $39.95/NAHB Member $35.95).

NAHB: Effective Marketing on a Shoestring Budget Course is Now Online


“Effective Marketing on a Shoestring Budget” — one of the most popular Institute of Residential Marketing courses — is now available online from NAHB Education.

A hit among new home marketing professionals, the course can also benefit builders who have found themselves taking on more roles in their companies and in need of cost-effective marketing strategies.

Effective marketing can make the difference between an average sales year and a successful one. However, planning a marketing campaign can be daunting, especially when promotional dollars are scarce.

The course provides planning tools that work on anyone’s budget. Participants learn how to analyze target markets, identify competitive advantages, create accurate pro formas and monitor outcomes.

The course helps participants:
  • Understand the purpose and importance of cost-effective marketing and its role in the management and operation of the business 
  • Explain their companies’ current market position, capabilities and goals 
  • Match the appropriate product to a viable segment in the market 
  • Determine how to cost effectively get ready for business 
  • Select cost-effective Internet, marketing, advertising and public relations tactics for their target buyers 
  • Choose from manageable and cost-effective alternatives for organizing and training a profitable sales team 
  • Look for key success indicators and ways to quickly respond to common off-plan results 
NAHB educational designation holders can earn six hours of continuing education credit by successfully completing “Effective Marketing on a Shoestring Budget” online.

In addition, the credit hours can help attendees earn the Master New Home Certified Sales Professional (Master CSP) designation.

To Register

For more information and to register, visit “Effective Marketing on a Shoestring Budget” on the NAHB website; or email the NAHB Professional Designation Help Line, or call 800-368-5242 x8154.

NAHB: Majority of OSHA's Most Frequently Cited Standards in 2011 Apply to Home Building


Each year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration compiles an annual list of the top 10 most frequently cited standards across all industries. The majority of standards that OSHA has identified as the most frequently cited are directly applicable to the construction and residential home building industries.

Employers who were cited for violations in 2011 may have noticed that the penalties were higher than in the past. The average serious violation penalty for 2011 was $2,132 — more than double the average of $1,053 for 2010.

OSHA last year also issued 215 citations totaling at least $100,000 — up from the 164 in 2010.

OSHA’s top 10 most frequently cited standards across all industries in FY 2011 were:
  1. Scaffolding, general requirements (29 CFR 1926.451
  2. Fall protection (29 CFR 1926.501
  3. Hazard communication standard (29 CFR 1910.1200
  4. Respiratory protection (29 CFR 1910.134
  5. Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout) (29 CFR 1910.147
  6. Electrical, wiring methods, components and equipment (29 CFR 1910.305
  7. Powered industrial trucks (29 CFR 1910.178
  8. Ladders (29 CFR 1926.1053
  9. Electrical systems design, general requirements (29 CFR 1910.303
  10. Machines, general requirements (29 CFR 1910.212
Residential builders can take a few easy steps to reduce or eliminate the chance of being cited by OSHA.

During a Sept. 16, 2010 webinar on preparing for OSHA inspections, Brad Hammock of Jackson Lewis LLP reminded builders that they can take the following steps before a compliance safety and health officer (CSHO) ever sets foot on the job site.
  • Review their safety program 
  • Understand any national and local emphasis programs 
  • Develop procedures for an OSHA visit and train their employees in those procedures 
  • Have records (300 Logs, training records, etc.) readily available and up-to-date 
  • Make sure their workers are properly trained on the safety requirements of the job site 
For more information on complying with OSHA regulations, visit; or email Marcus Odorizzi at NAHB, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8590.

Homeowners avoid expense of remodeling under lead paint rule

The costs of remodeling a home built before 1978 can increase by as much as 24 percent, the result of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Lead: Renovation, Repair, and Painting rule, according to the NAHB.

"Remodelers are finding that conducting renovation work in older homes has become more expensive under the lead regulation and that homeowners are reluctant to pay the increased cots," said NAHB Remodelers Chairman Bob Peterson, CGR, CAPS, CGP, a remodeler from Fort Collins, Colo.

Responding to special questions in NAHB's quarterly Remodeling Market Index (RMI) survey, many remodelers said they had estimated the price of remodeling projects with and without the lead rule requirements.  The percentage of price difference depended on the size of the remodeling project, with the smallest projects - less than $5,000 - experiencing the greatest cost increase at 24 percent.  As the project sizes increased, the overall costs of applying the lead rule fell.  At the high end, projects costing more than $100,000 had a 9 percent increase for lead rule requirements.

At least 65 percent of the remodeler respondents to the RMI survey reported that homeowners are taking actions to avoid the costs of the lead rule by attempting do-it-yourself work, looking for an uncertified contractor who would not comply with the lead rule, scaling back the size of planned remodeling projects, or deciding not to remodel at all.

"Remodelers want to protect vulnerable children from lead exposure, but we're seeing that homeowners do not want to pay the costs for complying with the lead regulation," said Peterson.  "A huge part of the problem is that homeowners with no children do not see the need to pay this expense.

Under the lead paint regulation, contractors disturbing painted surfaces in pre-1978 homes must obtain training and certification, distribute the Renovate Right pamphlet to homeowners, contain dust during the renovation, use lead-safe work practices, clean up after the project, and maintain detailed records.

According to the American Housing Survey, from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Census Bureau, professional remodelers are hired to perform about 16.6 million projects per year in housing built before 1980.  The vast majority of these projects - nearly 13 million - are small, priced under $5,000.  This means that homeowners with small remodeling projects will experience the majority of lead rule expenses.

The total estimated costs for remodeling under the lead rule, including training, equipment, materials, and work hours, would reach as high as $10.5 billion per year if homeowners did not change their remodeling plans.

For more information on the lead rule, visit or call NAHB at 800-368-5242.

NAHB: Housing Sector Finally Gaining Some Momentum


2011 ended on a positive note with economic activity continuing to expand at a moderate rate and the housing sector finally gaining some positive momentum after bouncing along the bottom for most of the year.

Real growth of the gross domestic product was adjusted down to 1.8% for the third quarter, but it remained an improvement over growth of 0.4% in the first quarter and 1.3% in the second. Expectations are that statistics for the fourth quarter will show GDP growth strengthening further as businesses replenished inventories and the holidays boosted retail spending.

Despite concerns over the sovereign debt crisis in the Euro zone and slowing growth in emerging markets, particularly China, domestic conditions have shown improvement and the Federal Open Market Committee decided at its Dec. 13 meeting to maintain its current course.

After a mid-year slump, employment growth began to regain some momentum with the addition of 200,000 jobs and a decline in the unemployment rate to 8.5% in December, down 0.6 percentage points since August.

Employment growth is being supported by a steadily improving rate of job openings, which remained steady at 2.4% in October. The hiring rate in the construction sector was at a relatively high level of 5.8% in October, with construction job openings on pace to exceed total separations for the first time since 2006.

Largely positive housing news over the past few months suggests the recovery may finally be underway.

The number of metropolitan areas on the NAHB/First American Improving Market Index expanded to 76 in January, a net increase of 35, following similarly solid gains in November and December.

The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index of builder confidence in the single-family market has also made steady gains over the past three months, rising seven points since September to a level of 21 in December. With the exception of a reading of 22 at the height of home buyer tax credit sales in the spring of 2010, the December level was the highest since August 2007.

Despite a dismal year for housing production — which is likely to prove to be the worst in the 52 years that similar data has been gathered — there was a solid increase in housing starts and building permits in November.

The gains were led by the multifamily sector, driven by rising demand for rental housing as recession-nipped household formation rates begin to show signs of recovery. With rents increasing and rental vacancy rates falling in recent months, starts in buildings with five or more apartments have grown strongly, recovering to nearly two-thirds of more normal levels.

Single-family production, on the other hand, saw little improvement through 2011 and remains at roughly one-third of more normal levels.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

HBA of Greenville Announces Builder, Associate of the Year

Builder of the Year Tom Dillard with President Robert Markel
GREENVILLE, SC – The Home Builders Association of Greenville has named Tom Dillard, CGP, president of Dillard-Jones Builders, its 2011 Builder of the Year, and Jason Freeman, CEO of J. Freeman & Associates, its Associate of the Year.

Sponsored by BB&T bank, the HBA Builder of the Year award recognizes a builder member who makes a commitment of time and talent through committee and program participation that helps strengthen the association for all its members, and represents the highest level of integrity and honesty in the home building industry. The Associate of the Year award recognizes an associate member who has made a significant contribution to the local home building industry through volunteerism, member recruitment, and sponsorships.

Tom Dillard founded Dillard-Jones Builders, LLC in 2004. A member of the Southern Living Custom Builder Program representing the national magazine in Greenville, SC and Asheville, NC, Dillard-Jones was named the Southern Living Custom Builder of the Year in 2011 and 2009 – the first homebuilder to win the prestigious national award twice. Dillard is a past president of the Home Builders Association of Greenville.

Jason Freemen is CEO of J. Freeman & Associates, an independent broker firm established in1999. A graduate of East Carolina University, Freeman is a member of the advisory boards of Bank of Travelers Rest, Fidelity, United Healthcare, and the Estate Planning Council of Greenville. He is an advisor to the board of the Home Builders Association of Greenville.

Other 2011 awards winners are: Committee Chairman of the Year, Richard Powers of Piedmont Natural Gas; Membership Award, Howard Cox of Home Builders Insurance LLC; Rookie of the Year, Matt Vaughn of Homeowners Mortgage; Spirit of the HBA, Deana Long of Builders First Source; and President’s Citations, Elizabeth Stronkowsy of North Main Building & Design, and Richard Powers of Piedmont Natural Gas.

The Home Builders Association of Greenville is a professional trade association of 400-member companies representing the home building and light commercial construction industry in Greenville and Pickens counties. For more information, call (864) 254-0133 or visit

HBA of Spartanburg extends Invitation to HBA of Greenville Members for Three Continuing Education Courses.

The HBA of Spartanburg has extended an invitation to the HBA of Greenville membership to participate in three continuing education courses to be held on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 for a reduced price. Continuing education credits for numerous designations are available.

These three classes are ALL NEW to the Spartanburg HBA:
  • Designing Dedicated Home Theatres
  • Media and Game Room Design 
  • Income Tax Update/Employee vs. Independent Contractor Status. 
For more information or to register for any of these classes, please email or call 864-583-5471.

All classes will be held at the HBA of Spartanburg office, located at 341 East Kennedy Street, Spartanburg, SC 29302.

Course descriptions:
  • “Designing Dedicated Home Theatres”
  • Instructor: Greg Olle of Digital Home Tech, LLC
  • 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
  • Cost: FREE to HBAGS members 
  •  $10 to other NAHB members 
  •  $25 to non-NAHB members
**1 hour Certified Master Builder/NAHB continuing ed credit, 1.0 AIA CEH, 1.0 CEU AIBD, 0.1 IDCEC CEU, 0.1 NARI CEU

 What is a home theater? This may sound like a simple question, but is it? Participants in this course will come away with a very distinct definition of what a home theater is—and what it isn’t! Discussions will also include basic acoustical physics, common mistakes in design and construction, “points to remember” to achieve a solid, repeatable process, and spatial and usage considerations. This course will provide guidance related to what goes in the room—from equipment, to wall treatments, to lights—and how to analyze common problems associated with home theater design and construction. Additionally, attendees will learn how, when, and why to engage a trained electronic systems contractor (ESC) early in the design and build process.
  • “Media and Game Room Design”
  • Instructor: Greg Olle of Digital Home Tech, LLC
  • 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
  • Cost: FREE to HBAGS members 
  •  $10 to other NAHB members 
  •  $25 to non-NAHB members
**1 hour Certified Master Builder/NAHB continuing ed credit, 1.0 AIA CEH, 1.0 CEU AIBD, 0.1 IDCEC CEU, 0.1 NARI CEU

The demand for home entertainment spaces is growing at a rapid pace—don’t be uninformed and left behind! Participants in this course will be educated on the differences between media rooms and game rooms from a usage standpoint as well as specific design characteristics relative to equipment, furnishings, power requirements, ventilation, lighting, and acoustics. Attendees will also walk away with the knowledge of how and when to engage an electronics systems professional in the design and build process, assess common issues related to occupant comfort in media and game rooms and recognize essential timeline for engaging an electronic systems professional in the design and build process.
  • “Income Tax Update and Independent Contractor vs. Employee Status”
  • Instructors: Bruce Whelchel and Larry Finney of Greene Finney and Horton, CPAs
  • 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
  • Cost: $25 to HBAGS and other NAHB members
  •  $50 to non-NAHB members
**Pending Certified Master Builder accreditation

Be prepared as you head into tax season. Learn tax changes for 2011 and items that are set to expire for 2011, and how they relate to your business. The CPA instructors will review tax best practices including not neglecting Choice of Entity, high audit areas such as your home office, and record keeping. Additionally, they’ll cover the hot button issue of employee status versus independent contractor. You’ll review a case study from the construction industry, common pitfalls, consequences, and when and how to correct the situation in your business.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

NAHB Associate Vice Chairman Urges Associate Members to Weigh in on Bank Credit Tightening

By Michael Kurpie, CGA, CGP
Director Trade Association Relations, ProBuild
Associate Vice Chairman, NAHB

As most, if not all, of you know NAHB has been working tirelessly with concerned lawmakers to address the AD&C lending crisis. Below is a summary of NAHB’s 3rd Q survey on AD&C financing.  Associates, reach out and ask your Congressman to support improving lending conditions for home builders today!

Builders Report Banks Still Tightening Stance on AD&C Credit
A recent Fed survey of senior loan officers indicated that credit conditions in the real estate sector eased slightly in the third quarter -- but builders and developers aren't buying it. To the contrary, in NAHB's newly published survey for the third quarter of 2011, more of our builder/developer members reported that new AD&C loan availability is getting worse than reported it is getting better, and over half of them said they were putting land acquisition, development and single-family projects on hold until the financing climate improves. The most common ways that banks are tightening, according to builder/developers, are by reducing the amount they are willing to lend (cited by 77% of those who said credit availability had declined), lowering the allowable LTV ratio (cited by 75%), not making new AD&C loans (66%), and requiring personal guarantees or collateral not related to the project (63%).

Depending on the category (land acquisition, land development, single-family construction, and multifamily construction), between 20% and 33% of respondents to our survey reported that lenders were also tightening terms and conditions on outstanding production loans, with such action being most common on outstanding loans for single-family construction and least common on outstanding loans for multifamily condo and rental construction. Importantly, in at least 84% of the cases, the AD&C loans in question were performing before the lender's tightening action. NAHB's survey found that the most common ways lenders are tightening conditions on outstanding production loans are by requiring a partial down payment based on re-appraisal (as reported by 66% of respondents) and demanding additional assets as collateral (reported by 64%). Asked about the reasons lenders are citing for their tightening on both new and outstanding loans, builders were most often told that regulators are forcing this to happen. In fact, lenders gave this as a reason 68% of the time when tightening the availability of new AD&C credit, and half the time when tightening terms on outstanding AD&C loans.

Such results put a spotlight on the ongoing problems that home builders are confronting in obtaining and maintaining construction credit, and the alarming degree to which these obstacles are hampering a housing and economic recovery.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Buyer Beware: Companies that claim a partnership with the HBA may have deceptive intent

From time-to-time, companies may contact you and tell you that are endorsed or affiliated in some way with your Home Builders Association.  This may be true, but do not take a cold caller at their word.  Check up on them before your do business with them.

You can see the companies that your HBA of Greenville endorses, as well as those that are endorsed by NAHB, by clicking on the links below.

HBA of Greenville member benefit programs
NAHB Members Advantage programs

Gingrich, Clyburn homeownership rally speeches posted

Did you miss the Homeownership Works Rally?  Wish you had been there to hear Speaker Newt Gingrich and Congressman Jim Clyburn talk about their positions on homeownership?

Both are now available for viewing thanks to the South Carolina REALTORS® association.

Click here to view Congressman Jim Clyburn.

Click here to view Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Harold Moore Builder Selected For Pavilion Project by Greenville Recreation District

GREENVILLE, SC – Harold Moore Builder Inc. has been selected by the Greenville County Recreation District for additions and improvements to The Pavilion recreation complex in Taylors. The project includes installation of a vertical platform lift to assist disabled patrons in reaching the facility’s second floor.

“The Pavilion is a great venue for children and adults, and we’re delighted to be given the opportunity to give the facility greater accessibility for all visitors,” said Wayne Moore, president of Harold Moore Builder Inc.

Established in 1971, Harold Moore Builder, Inc. is a licensed General Contractor serving residential and commercial clients in the Upstate region of South Carolina. Services include all phases of residential and commercial construction, maintenance and repair from permitting to overall project management.For more information, contact Harold Moore Builder Inc. at (864) 269-4761 or online at

Monday, January 16, 2012

Statewide poll shows overwhelming support for homeownership in South Carolina

With the South Carolina GOP presidential primary less than two weeks away, presidential contenders should heed a new statewide poll showing that voters in the Palmetto State believe that owning a home remains an integral part of the American Dream and that policymakers need to take active steps to protect homeownership.

“The survey underscores that South Carolina voters believe homeownership is a core value that anchors the middle class and they oppose efforts to eliminate or reduce the mortgage interest deduction and to make it more difficult for creditworthy home buyers to obtain affordable financing,” said Hal Dillard, president of the Home Builders Association of Greenville and a home builder in Greenville County.

“South Carolina’s voters are sending a clear message that the opportunity to own a home remains a cherished ideal and the government has an important role to play to keep homeownership affordable for hard-working American families,” added Dillard. “That’s a message we hope candidates running at all levels of government this November will heed.”

The polling found that 98 percent of South Carolina home owners are happy with their decision to purchase a home and 79 percent of all voters believe that despite the risk of ups and downs in the housing market, owning a home is one of the best long-term investments they can make.

Moreover, 65 percent of the respondents said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate for Congress who proposed eliminating the mortgage interest deduction and 73 percent believe it is appropriate and reasonable for the federal government to provide tax incentives to promote homeownership.

These are among the key findings of a survey of likely South Carolina voters that was conducted on behalf of the National Association of Home Builders by Public Opinion Strategies of Alexandria, Va., and Lake Research Partners of Washington, D.C.

Among the other survey results:
  • 99 percent of home owners said that it is important that they own their own home. 
  • Homeownership and a retirement savings program are considered by voters to be their best investments. 
  • Nearly three out of four voters who are not currently home owners (73 percent) said it was a goal of theirs to buy a home. 
  • 64 percent believe it is appropriate and reasonable for the federal government to help home buyers afford a long-term or 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. 
  • 68 percent of voters would oppose eliminating or reducing tax deductions such as the mortgage interest deduction in exchange for a lower federal income tax rate if it meant that their final tax bill would be higher. 
South Carolina’s home builders, Realtors, business leaders and elected officials held a rally on the steps of the statehouse in Columbia on Jan. 12 to show their support for homeownership.  More than 800 people came out.  In addition, the rally was an opportunity for presidential hopefuls to voice their support for a continued federal role for housing and to offer their views on how to help prospective home buyers and boost the housing market and overall economy.

This statewide survey of 500 likely 2012 voters was conducted Jan. 2-5 by Public Opinion Strategies of Alexandria, Va., and Lake Research Partners of Washington, D.C. It has a margin of error of ±4.4 percent.

Read the complete results of the survey at by clicking here.

HBA program offers rebates to members when they buy building materials

Did you know that 64 HBA builder members across the state received rebate checks from the HBA of South Carolina Rebate Program just for buying materials and equipment for the houses they build?  Those 64 members received a total of $75,784.95 since the program was initiated?  Four builders in Greenville have received $11,343 since the program's inception.  One builder in the state has cashed checks for more than $17,000.  Why aren't you taking advantage of this program?  It is easy, and simply pays you back for buying specific products.

The take advantage of this great program, simply visit by clicking here.

American Lumber Standard Committee Takes No Action on Proposed New Lumber Design Values

According to NAHB, the American Lumber Standard Committee Board of Review did not take action on a proposal to reduce the design value of Southern Yellow Pine by as much as 30 percent.  NAHB Chairman-Elect Barry Rutenberg testified on behalf of home builders and opposed the change in design values.  However, reduction in the design values is still possible in the future and NAHB will continue to work on the issue.

In minutes released on Jan. 11, the American Lumber Standard Committee (ALSC) announced its Board of Review's decision NOT to approve reductions in the design values for all grades and sizes of visually-inspected Southern Pine lumber as proposed by the Southern Pine Inspection Bureau (SPIB) and based solely on the testing of 2x4, No. 2 lumber. As previously reported, NAHB Chairman-Elect Barry Rutenberg requested that the ALSC Board not approve any change to the existing design values until SPIB has completed testing of additional grades and sizes of Southern Pine lumber as required by ASTM D1990, the industry standard for establishing design values for visually graded lumber.

The ALSC Board agreed that the proposed changes to the full spectrum of Southern Pine grades and sizes were not technically justified based on the limited testing that had been performed to date. Instead, the Board approved the proposed new values for only 2x4, No. 2 lumber and, in a supplemental ruling on Jan. 12, expanded that ruling to include all lower grades of that size. The Board also urged SPIB “to proceed with all deliberate haste” to complete the testing and analysis of additional grades and sizes of Southern Pine as required by ASTM D1990. Additionally, the Board recommended an effective date of June 1, 2012, for the new design values to “allow for their orderly implementation.” This recommendation was a direct response to concerns voiced by NAHB that immediate approval and implementation of the proposed changes would cause chaos in the marketplace and result in an unjustified spike in lumber prices.

In all, the ALSC's decision is good news for NAHB members, who might otherwise be facing immediate implementation of a full range of new design values 25%-30% lower than the existing ones. Instead, the full matrix of In-Grade tests can be expected to take place this summer, after which changes to the other grades and sizes of Southern Pine lumber may once again be proposed by SPIB.

NAHB has created a special page that's dedicated to providing our members with needed information and resources regarding this issue at