Friday, January 30, 2015

The South Carolina Community Loan Fund (SCCLF) is launching its Winter 2015 Funding Round to help finance community development projects throughout South Carolina. $5,000,000 in flexible, low-rate capital is available to finance community development projects throughout the state that:
  1. provide affordable housing;
  2. create access to food and essential services;
  3. increase the quality and availability of neighborhood facilities;
  4. create employment opportunities;
  5. attract additional investment; and
  6. strengthen the social and economic fabric of the community.
Funding priority will be given to the following projects:
SCCLF will hold a mandatory application workshop on Tuesday, February 24, 2015, from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. at the Hughes Main Library, 25 Heritage Green Place, Greenville, South Carolina. Please see the announcement below to learn more about our loan programs and to register for the Funding Round event in Greenville.  Click here to register.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Greenville Housing Authority Announces Landlord Workshop

The Greenville Housing Authority invites you to the First Annual Landlord Workshop. The workshop is scheduled for Thursday, February 5, 2015, 2 p.m. until 5 p.m., at the TD Convention Center, 1 Exposition Drive, Greenville, SC 29607. Please RSVP your attendance at or call us at 864.467.4250.

FHFA Index Shows Mortgage Interest Rates Decreased Slightly in December

Nationally, interest rates on conventional purchase-money mortgages decreased from November to December, according to several indices of new mortgage contracts.

The National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for the Purchase of Previously Occupied Homes by Combined Lenders index was 3.98 percent for loans closed in late December, down 2 basis points from 4.00 percent in November.

The average interest rate on all mortgage loans was 4.00 percent, down 1 basis point from 4.01 in November.

The average interest rate on conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages of $417,000 or less was 4.19 percent, a decrease of 5 basis points from 4.24 in November.

The effective interest rate on all mortgage loans was 4.15 percent in December, down 1 basis point from 4.16 percent in November. The effective interest rate accounts for the addition of initial fees and charges over the life of the mortgage.

The average loan amount for all loans was $298,300 in December, up $4,700 from $293,600 in November.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Habitat for Humanity wins Max Heller Neighborhood Improvement Award

The Greenville Chamber of Commerce honored Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County this week with the 2015 The Max Heller Neighborhood Improvement Award.

The annual award honors an individual or non-profit organization for their achievement in improving a neighborhood or community through physical appearance of the area, human development of the residents, or other efforts that improve quality of life.

Habitat received the award for its development, Abigail Springs, located in the Taylors community. Abigail Springs is the first mixed income development in Greenville County to focus on home ownership. Habitat purchased the parcel from a developer during the real estate recession in 2008 and after completion of infrastructure work, began construction of homes for families with low income (below 60 percent of AMI) in 2010. To date, 23 homes have been built; five additional homes will be built in 2015.

Residents of Abigail Springs are first-time homeowners who have been prepared for sustainable homeownership through Habitat Greenville’s program of sweat equity and educational preparation. The immaculate condition of their homes is evidence of pride of ownership, and the descriptions of their lives now, "peace and safety," "an opportunity to thrive," and "the greatest accomplishment of my life" attest to their quality of life. In creating Abigail Springs, Habitat accepted the challenge of utilizing an under-maintained, near-abandoned property to create an attractive, family-friendly neighborhood providing safe, stable and affordable housing for 32 families.

“This recognition means a lot to the Habitat team,” said Monroe Free, President/CEO of Habitat Greenville. “We are very proud of Abigail Springs and of what the community means to the Habitat homeowners who reside there.”

About Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County: A member of the Home Builders Association of Greenville, Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County was chartered in 1985 and has provided home ownership to 323 low-income families. Through affordable home construction, Habitat for Humanity of Greenville strives to eliminate poverty housing and the social and economic problems it causes.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

HBA of Greenville Executive Officer, Michael Dey elected to Executive Officers Council (EOC) of NAHB.

2015 NAHB Executive Officers Council Announced  

Michael Dey, HBA of Greenville Executive Officer, has been elected to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Executive Officers Council (EOC) as 2015 Secretary and will be President of the EOC in 2017. Dey has been Executive Officer of the Home Builders Association of Greenville since 2007.
Dey is responsible for day-to-day management of the 350-member trade organization. Michael came to the HBA of Greenville from Columbia SC where he was president of Michael Dey Public Relations, a government affairs consulting firm which represented numerous clients before local, state, and federal governments regarding a variety of issues including real estate development, environmental, healthcare, and recreation.

Congratulations Michael!

New Member Reception and Meet the Board TONIGHT!

New Member Reception sponsored by Palmetto Exterminators

The HBA of Greenville would like to officially welcome you, please join us for new member orientation tonight at the HBA office. The reception will start with a short meeting on what the HBA of Greenville is about and how you can get the most out of your membership and get involved. After which, please stay for a reception with the board of directors and current members of the HBA.
We hope that you will join us!
For more information please contact the HBA office (864) 254-0133.

Monday, January 26, 2015

It Pays to Be a Member

Your Home Builders Association exists to serve its members.

Fighting for housing on major policy issues, providing excellent educational programming, and creating outstanding networking opportunities are just some of the ways that your Home Builders Association fulfills that mandate.

In 2014, our actions on the legislative, codes, regulatory and legal fronts, as well as in other arenas, provided members an estimated savings of $6,882 per housing start as the association resolved numerous issues affecting home builders.

When you add up the dollar value of our advocacy victories, you are talking real money – an average of $6,882 per housing start for a typical home builder in 2014.

The value came out of NAHB services and programs, as well as legislative, legal and regulatory wins. Your advocacy team leveraged the association’s power to get pro-housing bills introduced and passed in Congress, challenge regulations that do more harm than good, and level the playing field against powerful interests that could do lasting damage to the housing industry.

These NAHB services, programs and advocacy victories included:
These are just a few examples of how your Home Builders Association is working to serve our members by helping to make your businesses run better and boosting your bottom line.

Visit to learn more about these services, programs and advocacy victories and about how you can take full advantage of your HBA membership.

Rubio named national Custom Builder of the Year

L-R: Nick Rubio, Gus Rubio, Belinda Rubio, and Gabe Rubio
Gus Rubio, CGP, APB, founder of Gabriel Builders, has been honored as the NAHB Custom Home Builder of the Year.

Sponsored by Sherwin-Williams, the award was presented at a luncheon last week in Las Vegas as part of the events taking place at the NAHB International Builders’ Show (IBS).

Rubio’s business philosophy of customer service before, during and after the sale sets his company apart from any other building company, the HBA said in its nomination form. Gabriel Builders has built homes for corporate chief executives and presidents, professional athletes, congressional representatives and architects.

The company works with clients to design and build homes with a free exchange of ideas as well as allowing optimum value engineering based on the expertise of the company’s professional staff.

Rubio was a member of the HBA of Greenville Board of Directors from 1988 to 1991, has served on the board for a second time since 2012, and has served as chairman of the membership committee since 2013. “Rubio and his team members give through their leadership and in-kind donations, not just to the HBA, but to our local community and the home building industry as well. I am sure there are many who are worthy of this award, but none more so than Gus Rubio and Gabriel Builders,” said Michael Dey, Executive Vice President of the Home Builders Association of Greenville.

FHFA House Price Index Up 0.8 Percent in November

U.S. house prices rose in November, up 0.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous month, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) monthly House Price Index (HPI). The previously reported 0.6 percent change in October was revised downward to a 0.4 percent change.

The FHFA HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. From November 2013 to November 2014, house prices were up 5.3 percent. The U.S. index is 4.5 percent below its April 2007 peak and is roughly the same as the October 2005 index level.

For the nine census divisions, seasonally adjusted monthly price changes from October 2014 to November 2014 ranged from -0.9 percent in the New England division to +1.8 percent in the East South Central division. The 12-month changes were all positive, ranging from +1.6 percent in the New England division to +7.5 percent in the Pacific division.

125,000 Attend 2015 IBS, Design & Construction Week

About 125,000 housing industry professionals packed the aisles at Design & Construction Week™ on Jan. 20-22 in Las Vegas. Now in its second year, the co-located mega-event included the NAHB International Builders’ Show (IBS), the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, the International Window Coverings Expo, The International Surface Event and the Las Vegas Market.

Official attendance for IBS was 55,237, 8% higher than last year’s show. More than 1,200 exhibitors filled 478,000 square feet of space with everything from the latest in kitchen and bath design to millwork and marketing services. Overall, Design & Construction Week boasted 3,750 exhibitors and 4.7 million netsquare feet of exhibit space.

“This has been the best show we have experienced since the economic downturn,” said Jerry Konter, chair of the NAHB Convention and Meetings Committee. “You felt a great energy the moment you hit the show floor, as builders and exhibitors continue to benefit from the recovering economy.”

If “green is the new black” was the catchword five years ago, exhibitors, show-goers and presenters made the case that “smart” is the new green: Home builders crowded sessions discussing the best apps for model home sales centers and tracking customers from first visit to purchase – and beyond.

Designers have gone beyond installing “drop-zones” to plug in smart phones, tablets and laptops in the mudroom. In the Concept Kitchen, a display in the Central Concourse, design-build specialist Jonas Carnemark installed plugs under the built-in kitchen table, so family members can charge their devices while they surf the web.

On the show floor, exhibitors fielded questions about technologies that didn’t exist five years ago, including smart-phone controlled home automation systems for security, lighting and entertainment that have only been available for high-end custom homes and with big price tags.

“We want to provide home automation for the mass market so home builders can penetrate 90% of the market instead of the top 5%,” said Tom Few, vice president of business development for Vivint, a home solar and automation company and first-time exhibitor at IBS.

The big question for many attendees: Do you have a smart phone app? Rob Canfield of Rain Bird irrigation systems – another first-time exhibitor – said he got that a lot. Instead, he pointed to the individual weather stations that come with each automatic sprinkler systems. “If you set this right, there is no reason to play with it on your phone,” he said.

Attendees crowded the aisles for a show that almost overwhelmed Las Vegas taxis, hotels and restaurants in what city officials said was the biggest week they’d ever had in January.

“The exhibit halls were packed from end to end and the energy on the show floor was amazing,” said newly elected NAHB Chairman Tom Woods, a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo. “Design & Construction Week was truly a unique one-stop shoppingextravaganza for all those involved in the residential construction industry, and this mega-event will be a great springboard for housing in the year ahead.”