Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Rick Quinn elected Chairman of SC Builders PAC

Rick Quinn
Rick Quinn, 2013 President of HBA of Greenville and President of Quinn-Satterfield, was elected statewide Chairman of S.C. Builders Political Action Committee (PAC).

S.C. Builder PAC is a cooperative committee administered by the Home Builders Association of South Carolina.  The purpose of the PAC is to raise money from HBA members to support candidates for office who understand and support the interests and agenda of South Carolina's Home Builders.  For each dollar raised for the PAC, 20 cents is used to support candidates for statewide office, like Governor, and for other committees and caucuses.  The balance of the money is held in local funds for each participating HBA and used for local and legislative races.  The PAC is governed by a Board of Trustees, of which Quinn is chairman.  However, all local funds are directed by the local association.  The HBA of Greenville's local fund is directed by the HBA of Greenville Board of Directors with the advice of the Legislative Committee.

Quinn has been a Home Builder, developer, and real estate professional for more than 30 years.  He has served on the HBA of Greenville Board of Directors since 2008, was Legislative Chairman in 2011-2012, served on the HBASC Legislative Committee since 2011, and has been the PAC Trustee from Greenville since 2011.  Quinn was named HBA of Greenville Builder of the Year in 2008.

Remodeler to EPA: Lead Paint Rule Infeasible in Multifamily Renovations

Mike Nagel, CGR, CAPS
In a recent meeting with EPA staff, NAHB State Representative and professional remodeler Mike Nagel, CGR, CAPS, spelled out for regulators why it is bad public policy to expand the Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting (LRRP) rule from residential to commercial construction – including multifamily renovation projects -- particularly until that rule is amended to restore the opt-out provision for owners of homes not occupied by pregnant women or young children.

Noting that his company is an EPA-registered firm and that he is an EPA Lead Safe Certified remodeler with considerable experience on large-scale renovation projects in high-rise buildings, Mike provided the officials specific examples of how the rule is infeasible and counterproductive in certain projects. He told them how his company recently added $8,800 to its estimate to pay for what it thought it would cost to comply with the rule on a whole condo remodel. In the end, total compliance costs for the $360,000 project amounted to $16,000.

“The question is," he said, "how do I take scores of cubic yards of debris eight stories down in a 5-foot by 6-foot by 7-foot common elevator, down a 30-foot common hallway, down a ramp to the alley and up 90 feet to an enclosed truck without contaminating everything in sight along the way? The answer is that I don’t – at least not in a manner that is economically feasible."

Mike noted that the rule is already causing single-family remodeling companies to be priced out by “fly-by-nighters” who won’t obey the law – and the same thing is likely to happen if the rule is extended to commercial remodeling. He also emphasized that the lack of an effective, reliable test kit for measuring the presence of lead paint – and the Government Accounting Office’s own study criticizing the cost effectiveness of the rule -- are two important reasons to fix the existing problems before increasing the scope of the LRRP program to include commercial buildings.

NAHB: Victory on bank rules keeps credit flowing

The Federal Reserve Board on July 2 approved a final rule covering most of the Basel III bank regulatory requirements, which will increase the amount of capital banks have to hold in their reserves.

In a victory for the HBA and Home Builders, the final rule contains major improvements over what was proposed last year related to home mortgages. NAHB had urged regulators to shield community banks from overly burdensome capital rules that would have restricted their ability to provide new-home production loans and small business loans. The Fed addressed many of these concerns in posting its final rule.

View a more detailed analysis at NAHB .org by clicking here.

Greenville housing market improves for 31 consecutive months

A total of 247 metropolitan areas across 49 states and the District of Columbia qualified for inclusion on the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) for August. While this is eight metros shy of the number listed on the IMI in July, it is approximately three times the number of metros that qualified for the list in August of 2012

The Greenville MSA, which includes Pickens, Laurens, and Greenville counties, has been included on the Improving Markets Index since June 2011, and has seen increases in permits, jobs, and home prices for 31 consecutive months, one of the longest consecutive stretches of improvement in the country.

The IMI identifies metropolitan areas that have shown improvement from their respective troughs in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months. Three new markets were added to the list and 11 dropped from it in August. Newly added metros this month include Kankakee, Ill., along with Atlantic City and Ocean City, N.J.

“In all, 244 metros that were listed as improving in July retained that status in August, and this is an encouraging sign of the continuing housing recovery,” noted NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. “That said, we know that the pace of improvement is being hampered somewhat by challenges that builders and buyers are experiencing with regard to the availability of credit, materials, lots for development and labor.”

“While the number of improving housing markets this August remains well ahead of the same month last year, the index is affected by seasonal softening in home prices just as we saw happen in 2012. The metros that fell off the list this month originally qualified with very small home price improvements that have since slipped back,” explained NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “As house prices return to more normal levels in fully recovered markets, further IMI advancements will be more modest.”

“Even with the small decline in the IMI this month, close to 70 percent of all U.S. metros are represented, and the geographic distribution of entrants continues to be very widespread,” said Kurt Pfotenhauer, vice chairman of First American Title Insurance Company. “These facts should be reassuring to today’s prospective home buyers.”

The IMI is designed to track housing markets throughout the country that are showing signs of improving economic health. The index measures three sets of independent monthly data to get a mark on the top Metropolitan Statistical Areas. The three indicators that are analyzed are employment growth from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, house price appreciation from Freddie Mac and single-family housing permit growth from the U.S. Census Bureau. NAHB uses the latest available data from these sources to generate a list of improving markets. A metro area must see improvement in all three measures for at least six consecutive months following those measures’ respective troughs before being included on the improving markets list.

A complete list of all 247 metros currently on the IMI, and separate breakouts of metros newly added to or dropped from the list in August, is available at

NAHB CEO Jerry Howard testifies before Congress

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) told Congress today that it will work with lawmakers to make changes to the Protecting American Taxpayers and Homeowners (PATH) Act legislative proposal to ensure that it provides the federal support necessary to maintain a strong and liquid housing finance system.

Testifying before the House Financial Services Committee, NAHB CEO Jerry Howard urged the committee to modify the PATH Act to make sure that the federal government continues to provide a backstop for a reliable and adequate flow of affordable housing credit in all economic and financial conditions.

“NAHB believes federal support is particularly important to ensure that 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages, the bedrock of the nation’s housing finance system since the 1930s, remain available at reasonable interest rates and terms,” said Howard. “As currently drafted, the PATH Act does not provide the federal support necessary to ensure a strong and liquid housing finance system, and we urge the committee to make the necessary changes.”

There are some positive elements in the PATH Act, and NAHB agrees that private capital must be the dominant source of mortgage credit, Howard said. However, ensuring the safety and stability of the housing finance system cannot be left entirely to the private sector.

“The historical record clearly shows that the private sector is not capable of providing a consistent and adequate supply of housing credit without a federal backstop,” he said.

NAHB has recommended to the committee that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac be gradually phased into a private sector oriented system, where the federal government’s role is explicit but its exposure is limited. Federal support would be limited to catastrophic situations where carefully calibrated levels of private capital and insurance reserves would be depleted before any public funds were employed to shore up the mortgage market.

NAHB also urged House lawmakers to modify the sections of the bill outlining changes to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

“The PATH Act would drastically diminish FHA’s vital liquidity mission,” said Howard. “By simultaneously leaving all federal support for housing to FHA, and then by greatly reducing the overall scope and reach of FHA’s programs, the PATH Act would greatly limit homeownership and rental housing opportunities for many financially responsible and qualified Americans.”

Because there is currently a great deal of uncertainty among consumers and home builders due to the unresolved debate on reforming the housing finance system and the government sponsored enterprises, Howard urged the committee to move forward in a careful, prudent manner to provide needed assurance for the industry and consumers.

“At a time when housing is just starting to get back on its feet and provide job and economic growth, we don’t want to do anything that would reverse this positive momentum,” he said. “It’s definitely important that Congress be mindful of housing’s important role in the economy going forward.”

“NAHB looks forward to working with lawmakers to create a sustainable housing finance system that will ensure stability and liquidity in the financial system that supports homeownership and rental housing,” Howard added.

Columbia is looking for Judges for their upcoming 2013 Parade of Homes!

The Parade of Homes is an annual single-site showcase of fully landscaped and decorated homes built this year by Capogrossi Construction, Dunbar Builders, Emerald Homes, Tuttle Construction and the Home for the Arts by Essex Homes. Parade of Homes will be held this September at Sweetbay in Woodcreek Farms and will be open to the public September 14 – 29.  If you would like to participate they are looking for a few judges to come to Columbia for a few hours on September 11th to judge five outstanding homes prior to opening weekend.
For more information on how you can participate please click the link below.

Judging space is limited.
Should you have any questions regarding the judging, please contact Heather McDonald

Chili Cookoff and Oyster Roast, September 12th @ 5:30p.m.

Get your best chili and dessert recipes ready as Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet sponsors and hosts the HBA Chili Cook-off, with Oyster Roast sponsored by Clark's Termite and Pest Control.The event will be held at Kevin Whitaker and we will have prizes for best Chili and Dessert dishes in the Builder and Associate membership categories. There will be great food, great giveaways, and who wouldn't like to get an up close look at shiny new cars.

When: September 12th @ 5:30p.m.
Where: Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet
             2320 Laurens Road Greenville, SC 29607

For more information or to register for this event please contact the HBA office at 864-254-0133.

Sponsored by:
Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet Cadillac   &

Featured M2M: Providence Realty

This weeks featured Member 2 Member (M2M) Advantage is

Providence Realty
2131Woodruff Rd Suite 1900
Greenville, SC. 29609
(864) 676-1719
DISCOUNT: 1.5% listing side commission on sale of new home. Home warranty provided for purchasing a home through me
EXP DATE: 12/31/2013
Call John today!
For more information on the M2M program or to have you company featured please click here.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

South Carolina third highest in the nation in mortgage closing costs

According to a report by, South Carolina has the third highest mortgage closing costs in the country behind Hawaii and California.  The cost to close a $200,000 mortgage in South Carolina, with 20 percent down, is $2,658 and includes $1,935 in origination fees charged by lenders.

To read more at, click here.