Membership much new Blood can you recruit?

Currently in the lead with the most new Blood

Gus Rubio with Gabriel Builders
welcoming: Evan Farner
                   Tony Freeman
                   Alan Carver
                   Julie Eldridge

Todd Usher with Addison Homes
welcoming: Diane Jackson
                    Eddie Woodard
                    Ted Bragg

Rhett Brown with Allen Tate Realtors
welcoming: Shelly DeVreese
                    Julie Howe
                    Christy Grear

Bill Kane with Ryan Homes
welcoming: Trina Montalbano
                    Christina Brooks
                    Brittany Bailey

You still have time to recruit new members, contest winners will be announced at the Annual Meeting sponsored by PestBan on November 13th with featured speaker Jerry Howard, CEO of NAHB.
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SMC's ABC's of Green Construction, Behind the walls of a zero energy home!- November 11th
Ready to Learn More, Earn More? Come see what it looks like behind the walls, and one of Greenville's first Zero Net Energy Homes at that. The SMC will host it's Education Kickoff on November 11th sponsored by Addison Homes at Trailside Communities starting at 10:30 a.m.
Come grab a bite to eat and drink, walk through the home and speak those that are making this home Zero Energy. Todd Usher, President of Addison Homes will conclude this event with information about the home, making you more confident when your client asks you about going Green.
Vendors invited to the event to share information about their contribution to this home include Dow Solar, Dow Building, Palmetto Exterminators, Prime Energy Group/Icynene, and Wood Insulating.


Greenville?s first community built to
rigorous ChallengeHome &
ActiveHouse standards
Best value available,
utility bills that approach zero

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Managing Online Leads Through Marketing Automation
When the home building market was struggling, most chose to take advantage of as many lead opportunities as possible. Now, as the market rebounds, record numbers of new leads are coming through the pipeline.

And it should come as no surprise that more than 90% of home shoppers begin their search online. So, in an upswing market, how do you find time to deal with the onslaught of new leads?

Enter Marketing Automation: A Smart Way to Manage Leads
Marketing automation offers an answer to this problem with ready-made, analytic information on lead quality and customer profiles, as well as automated methods to prioritize and nurture leads based on where they are in the home buying process. Using this type of software gives you the ability to capture online leads with little effort, and spend less time qualifying prospects and more time closing sales.

How Marketing Automation Works

Marketing automation works with your existing customer relationship management software, and scores leads based on their browsing habits and other customer profile information. It then generates and distributes tailored, valuable content to prospects through your website, social media and email marketing — all designed to nurture consumers through the buying process.

Automated analytics allow you to spend more time developing high-quality content, while the software progressively scores, profiles and prioritizes leads. With that information, you can ramp up your marketing efforts in a calculated way, providing useful, well-timed content and interaction to your customers.

The Benefits of Marketing Automation for Home Builders

For most home builders, automated scoring and categorization of leads is a huge breath of fresh air. There are plenty of tire kickers out there anxious to learn every detail of every floor plan with absolutely no intention of buying. Automation allows you to focus only on the leads worth the effort, saving yourself time and money.

Consumers don’t want their time wasted either, and will appreciate original, relevant content and outreach. A customer just beginning the research phase may not respond well to an immediate, head-on sales approach, when they simply need more information about a particular plan or feature.

Through the methodical process of progressive profiling, you learn whether a contact is a qualified prospect, and if so what makes them tick. And then you can provide them information of real value through relevant event invitations, personalized email content, graphics or other important communications.

This article originally appeared in the May/June issue of Sales + Marketing Ideas magazine. 

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FHFA Index Shows Mortgage Interest Rates Continue To Decline in September
Nationally, interest rates on conventional purchase-money mortgages decreased slightly from August to September, 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 4.06 percent for loans closed in late September, down 2 basis points from 4.08 percent in August.

The average interest rate on all mortgage loans was 4.07 percent, down 2 basis points from 4.09 in August.

The average interest rate on conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages of $417,000 or less was 4.31 percent, a decrease of 2 basis points from 4.33 in August.

The effective interest rate on all mortgage loans was 4.22 percent in September, down 2 basis points from 4.24 percent in August. 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 $281,000 in September, down $6,100 from $287,100 in August.

To find the complete contract rate series, go to ???
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Skirting Lead Paint Certification Doesn’t Pay
Recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actions indicate that contractors who are operating without proper certification or training to remove lead-based paint will be held accountable for being non-compliant.

Last week, the EPA announced settlement agreements with nine California-based companies that failed to get certified before advertising, bidding on, or performing renovation and repair projects in older housing and schools. Each company was ordered to pay a $1,000 civil penalty and, in most cases, required to complete training and obtain certification.

Contractors and renovators who are not certified pose a potential health risk to consumers if they are working in pre-1978 homes and schools that may contain lead-based paint.

Under the Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule remodelers and other contractors are required to be properly trained and certified by the EPA before working on these types of structures. The RRP program is designed to protect consumers, especially children, from exposure to hazardous lead dust caused by renovation and repair activities.

Contractors and renovators who are not certified undermine the intent of the RRP rule and the good work being done by those who are trying to comply with EPA’s home owner/tenant lead-based paint pre-work notification, lead-based paint safe work practices, post work cleaning practices, and reporting requirements under the RRP rule.

The agency said in a press release that it will continue to pursue enforcement against companies that are not certified, using public information to help identify violators.

Your Home Builders Association has been actively engaged in EPA’s lead-based paint program for the residential sector since its inception and has been an advocate and supporter of the required training completion for its members.
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Annual Meeting on November 13th, Sponsored by PestBan! Featuring NAHB CEO Jerry Howard. Also, HBA Coat Drive to be held at this event.
Don't miss out on a GREAT event, Jerry Howard, CEO of NAHB will be the featured speaker, at our Annual Meeting November 13th. This event is sponsored by PestBan and will be held at the TD Convention Center starting at 11:30 a.m. 
Prior to the event your HBA will also host members for Member Orientation starting at 10:30 a.m. at the TD Convention Center. 

Jerry Howard, Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of Home Builders, has more than 25 years of association experience and a lifetime in the housing industry.
         Jerry began his association career at the National Association of Realtors, where he served as a Legislative Analyst for tax issues. Prior to joining NAHB, Jerry served as the Chief Lobbyist for the National Council of State Housing Agencies where he was instrumental in the development of the low income housing tax credit as part of the Tax Reform Act of 1986. Jerry came to NAHB as tax counsel in 1988 and was promoted to Executive Vice President & Chief Executive Officer in February 2001.
         Before embarking on his association career, Jerry practiced real estate law in his home state of South Carolina. Jerry earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Vermont and received his Juris Doctorate from the University of South Carolina. He, his wife Christina and their children Eirann, Meaghan and Sean live in Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C.

To RSVP for this event or for more information on any of our upcoming events please contact the HBA office at 864-254-0133

Don't forget to bring a new or gently used coat for the HBA of Greenville- Community Service Committee's, Coat Drive to benefit Miracle Hill.
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Facts about the Penny Sales Tax Referendum for Roads in Greenville County
Your Home Builders Association is in support of the referendum on the Penny Sales Tax for Roads in Greenville County.  The Board of Directors supports the referendum because it is a broad-based funding solution for a problem in our county that affects everyone.  More specifically, however, it impacts home builders.  During the last year, local governments have denied approvals to several new subdivisions because of traffic concerns.  Our county's inadequate roads do affect home builders and will continue to if a solution is not found to repair our roads. 

Below are some facts about the referendum from Citizens for a Better Greenville, a coalition your Home Builders Association joined to support the referendum question:

"County Council can change the list of projects to whatever it wants."
This is false. This comes from a very erroneous reading of the ordinance. The County Council operates on a 2-year budget, so every two years of the 8-year lifetime of the tax, the Council will have to approve a list of projects. The current Council cannot bind the next Council. But, the ordinance goes on to say that the language "shall not" mean the Council can deviate from the detailed list of projects approved by the voters.  It only means that the next Council can set priorities from within the project list approved by the voters.

"The state has the money to repair the roads."
This is false. If you drive 15,000 miles a year, and get 20 miles per gallon, you pay enough gas tax to pave 7 feet of road.  Our state has 216 million feet of state road. The state's plan for roads, based on current funding, has resulted in 70 percent of our roads receiving a rating of "poor," and at the current rate, some Greenville County roads will not be repaved until 2097. Clearly, the existing gasoline tax and other funding for our roads is not enough.

"Only 4 cents out of the 16 cents in gas tax returns to Greenville County."
This is false. The numbers do not lie, but the opposition does.  From 2002 until 2011, drivers bought 2.2 billion gallons of gasoline in Greenville County, and paid $353 million in taxes on that gas. Greenville County received $567 million in funded road projects from the Department of Transportation. We actually received 27 cents in projects for every 16 cents in gas tax Greenville County sent to Columbia.  This rumor is rooted in the fact that 4 cents of the 16-cent gasoline tax is dedicated to a program for maintenance of county- and locally-maintained roads.  However, only 30 percent of all roads in the state are maintained by counties or cities.  The rest are maintained by the state.  It is only fair for the state to receive the largest portion of the gasoline tax that drivers pay.  Even so, the state spends their funds where the needs exist.  The fact that Greenville County has received a larger share than it contributed speaks to the need to repair and maintain our county's roads.

"It will be a $300 tax burden on Greenville families."
This is false. According to Clemson University, it will cost an additional $119 per household. To cost an additional $300 per year, a family would have to spend $30,000 a year purchasing taxable items. The average household income in Greenville County is only $42,000. That claim is patently ridiculous, since most of our income goes to housing, electricity, water, gasoline, and other items not subject to the sales tax.

"Not all of the money will be spent in Greenville County."
A shred of truth. It makes for a nice talking point, but only a tiny fraction of the money collected will be held at the Department of Revenue as a fee for the service of collecting the tax and remitting it to the county. More than 99 percent of the money will flow through the Department of Revenue, the agency that collects sales tax, and sent to a special account at Greenville County.

"This will cost Greenville County taxpayers $65 million a year."
This is false. Clemson University and other researchers have studied whom will pay the tax.  Their research shows that as much as 30 percent of the revenue will come from people who live outside our County. And the average annual cost of the tax will be about $8 million per year.  What really costs Greenville County taxpayers is the more than $250 a year that DOT estimates we spend in maintenance on our cars due to poor road conditions.

"This tax will apply to groceries."
This is true, for now.  When County Council approved the referendum, it selected a method that restricts the collection and use of the tax proceeds and binds future Councils to the decision made by the voters on November 4, if they approve the referendum.  County Council modeled the program based on NOT taxing groceries.  Unfortunately, it did not become apparent until later that the method selected requires that the tax be collected on groceries, a holdover from an era when the statewide sales tax did apply to groceries.  County Council, the Greenville County Legislative Delegation, and Citizens for a Better Greenville have all committed to seek legislation when the General Assembly returns in January to exempt groceries from the proposed one-cent sales tax.  The effective date of the sales tax, if approved by the voters, is not until May 1.  So there is plenty of time to change the law.
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2014 HBA of Greenville Clay Tournament
It was a great day out on the course..the Clay Course that is. Eight teams participated in the 2014 HBA Clay Tournament at Clinton House Plantation on Friday, October 10th. GBS Building Supply and Piedmont Natural Gas were the presenting sponsors of the tournament.
Registration begun at 11:30 with lunch served shortly after, the teams then headed out on the 14 stand course to shoot 100 rounds. Fun was had by all and some really great prizes were awarded too including a 40in Flat screen TV courtesy of Jeff Lynch Appliance and TV Center, Black and Decker Drill courtesy of The Southern Home and Garden Show.
1st PlaceTeam- ProSource, LLC

2nd Place Team- Stock Building Supply

3rd Place Team- Piedmont Natural Gas
(2 of the players from the winning team)

Other awards included:
 Longest String- Michael Dey
Best Individual High Score- Robert Hammett

Thank you to sponsors Piedmont Natural Gas and GBS Building Supply 

Stand Sponsors: Jeff Lynch, Prosource, and Gallery of Lighting

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Call to Action: Want Your Voice Heard? Join An HBA Committee
Want your voice heard? Want to help make your association better, smarter, more relevant? Join a Home Builders Association Committee.

Want to know more about our committees? Click here to review our committee list and download job descriptions.

Want to volunteer? Simply email Michael Dey at and state your committee preference.

Don't want to serve on a committee but still want to volunteer? Send Michael an email with your areas of interest. The board forms task forces on a regular basis that handles a specific task and then disbands. Your association will be grateful for your help.
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1 Million Homes: It’s a Good Start

For the third time this year, nationwide housing starts surpassed the million-mark, according to newly released figures from the HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau. Total housing production in September rose 6.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.017 million units.

“These numbers show starts returning to levels we saw earlier this summer, where they hovered around one million units,” said Kevin Kelly, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders. “We are hopeful this pattern of modest growth will continue as we close out the year.”

“September’s uptick reveals that last month’s dip in production was more of an anomaly than a market reversal,” said David Crowe, chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders. “I expect we will see a continued recovery as job creation grows and consumers gain more confidence in the housing market.”

Single-family housing starts were up 1.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 646,000 units in August, while multifamily production climbed 16.7 percent to 371,000 units.

Combined housing starts increased in all regions of the country. The Northeast, Midwest, South and West posted respective gains of 5.3 percent, 3.5 percent, 4.2percent and 13.9 percent.

Issuance of building permits registered a 1.5 percent gain to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.018 million units in September. Multifamily permits rose 4.8 percent to 394,000 units while single-family permits decreased 0.5 percent to 624,000 units.

Regionally, the Northeast, Midwest, and West registered overall permit increases of 12.3 percent, 8.2 percent and 5.9 percent, respectively. The South posted a 4.7 percent loss.

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Regulators Act to Loosen Tight Credit Spigot, Boost Home Sales
After years of lobbying by your Home Builders Association, the Association of Realtors, and the Mortgage Bankers Association, federal regulators have finally agreed to make changes to financial institution regulations that will boost the availability of mortgage credit for home buyers.

U.S. financial regulators this week announced separate actions that should boost the housing market and home sales by enabling more creditworthy borrowers to access home loans.

Six federal regulators finalized new rules under the Dodd-Frank Act which define the standards of a qualified residential mortgage. The final rule exempts securitizers from retaining five percent of the credit risk on qualifying home loans packaged and sold as securities. "That five percent retention, as it is known, was a key to financial institutions using much tighter underwriting standards on federally-secured loans than the standards required by the regulators themselves," Michael Dey, Executive Vice President of the Home Builders Association of Greenville, said.

By aligning the definitions of a qualified residential mortgage (QRM) and the qualified mortgage (QM), the standard lenders must follow to demonstrate they have determined a borrower’s ability to repay a mortgage loan, financial regulators have acted to alleviate confusion in the marketplace.

Since 2011, your Home Builders Association has worked independently and with a coalition of housing advocates to urge regulators to establish a QRM rule that removes downpayment requirements and other onerous underwriting criteria to keep homeownership affordable for working American families.

In an official statement, Kevin Kelly, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, applauded regulators for taking these actions.

“The new QRM rule will encourage sound lending behaviors that support a housing recovery, attract private capital in the mortgage market, help ease tight credit conditions for borrowers, and reduce future defaults without punishing responsible borrowers and lenders,” Kelly said.

Click here to read the released from the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Click here for an interesting article in USA Today about how unreasonably tight credit standards resulted in former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke being turned down for a mortgage. 

FHFA Director Announces Plans to Boost Credit
In another important development this week, Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt said that FHFA will announce new details in coming weeks that will specify when financial institutions must repurchase loans from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that were issued based on false or inaccurate information.

“I hope our actions provide sufficient certainty to enable your companies to reassess existing credit overlays and more aggressively make responsible loans available to creditworthy borrowers,” Watt said in an October 20 speech at the annual Mortgage Bankers Association conference in Las Vegas.

To further unlock tight credit, Watt also announced plans for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to lower their down payment requirements from five percent to as low as three percent.
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Your HBA Honors and Thanks Our Top PAC Donors

On October 30 your HBA will honor and thank our top PAC donors with a dinner in their honor.  The dinner is hosted by Rick and Martha Quinn at their home in Travelers Rest.  Rick Quinn is Chairman of SC Builders PAC, the organization that facilitates your association's participation in the election process.

The members being honored for their contributions to the PAC in 2014 include:

Gold Hammer: $500 - $999
Bob Barreto, GBS Building Supply

Silver Hammer: $250 - $499
Terri Coulson-Wilkes, The Window Gal
Alan Boone, APB, Advanced Renovations
Mike Freeman, APB, GMB, ACA/Freewood Contracting
Rick Quinn, APB, Quinn-Satterfield
Michael Dey, Home Builders Association
Eric Hedrick, Cornerstone Contractors
Seabrook Marchant, The Marchant Company
Gus Rubio, APB, Gabriel Builders
Hal Dillard, APB, H. Dillard Company
Jon Statom, Palmetto Exterminators
Richard Powers, Piedmont Natural Gas
Jason Bergeron, APB, Bergeron Custom Homes

Please thank each of these industry leaders for their generous support of the PAC.  Also, please click here for a short one-minute video from Rick Quinn on why you should support the PAC.

It is not too late to make a contribution.  Contact Michael Dey at your Home Builders Association at 864-254-0133 or email him at
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Home Builders Association Builder Ballot

The right to vote is not only a privilege, it is a responsibility that each voter should take seriously.  Elections are how our country chooses the leaders who will represent our interests in the halls of government.

Your Home Builders Association has formed two Political Action Committees that raise money from our members, screens candidates, and makes contributions to the campaigns of the candidates that our Government Affairs Committee members and Board of Directors have determined will be represent the interests of the Home Building, Remodeling, Land Development, and Light Commercial Contracting industries.

Election day is Tuesday, November 4.  The polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.  If you are registered to vote, please plan to go to the polls.  Not registered to vote?  Why not?

Don't think your vote matters?  "A few years ago a few Home Builders in Dorchester County (Summerville) thought their vote did not matter," Michael Dey, Executive Vice President of the Home Builders Association, said.  "The chairman of Dorchester County Council, a member of the Home Builders Association, lost by just four votes," Dey said.  "He was replaced by a politician hostile to the interests of Home Builders, and the next four years were very difficult for that association," he said.  "The association knew of several members, who lived in the county, who did not vote in that election."  Yes, your vote does matter.

Builder Ballot
BuildPAC has contributed to the following candidates:
  • U.S. Senator: Senator Lindsay Graham (R)
  • U.S. Senator: Senator Tim Scott (R)
  • U.S. House District 3: Congressman Jeff Duncan (R)
  • U.S. House District 4: Congressman Trey Gowdy (R)
South Carolina Builders PAC has contributed to the following candidates:
  • Governor: Nikki Haley (R) 
  • Lt. Governor: Henry McMaster (R)
  • Attorney General: Alan Wilson (R)
  • S.C. House District 4: Rep. David Hiott (R)
  • S.C. House District 18: Rep. Tommy Stringer (R)
  • S.C. House District 19: Rep. Dwight Loftis (R)
  • S.C. House District 20: Rep. Dan Hamilton (R)
  • S.C. House District 21: Rep. Phyllis Henderson (R)
  • S.C. House District 24: Majority Leader Bruce Bannister (R)
  • Greenville County Council District 19: Vice Chairman Willis Meadows
Ballot Questions
There are three questions on the ballot on which S.C. Builders PAC and your Home Builders Association recommend that you vote YES:
  • One Cent Sales Tax for Roads in Greenville County: the PAC has contributed to a coalition supporting this effort and the Board of Directors recommends that you vote yes.  The rationale is that inadequate roads are holding back Home Building, limiting the ability of members to get new subdivisions approved.  The current time-line for improving our roads, based on current funding, is 83 years.  This eight-year tax is the best hope for the county to solve this problem.  Click here for more information.
  • Amendment 1, legalize raffled conducted by nonprofit organizations for charitable purposes: current law prohibits organizations like the Home Builders Association from using raffles for fundraising purposes.  If approved, the question would legalize raffles for nonprofit organizations.
  • Amendement 2, require the Governor to appoint the Adjutant General: the Adjutant General is the head of the state's National Guard, and is currently elected by popular vote, one of nine constitutional officers in our state. Rationale: the Governor should have the authority to appoint the person who runs the department he/she has the power to mobilize.
About the PACs
South Carolina Builders PAC is a partnership between the Home Builders Association of South Carolina, Home Builders Association of Greenville, and other local HBAs in South Carolina.  Its scope is local, statewide, and legislative races.

BuildPAC is a PAC organized under Federal Election Laws.  It's scope is Congressional races.  BuildPAC does not take a position on the Presidency.  BuildPAC is managed by the National Association of Home Builders.

The Government Affairs Committee surveys and interviews candidates and makes recommendations for supporting those candidates to the Home Builders Association of Greenville Board of Directors, which makes the final decision on local and legislative races. The S.C. Builders PAC Trustees determines contributions for statewide races, and the BuildPAC Trustees determines the contributions for Congressional races.
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HBA Board of Directors Recommends Voting Yes on One Cent Sales Tax For Roads
Originally Posted May 7, 2014:
The Board of Directors of your Home Builders Association is supporting an effort to allow the voters of Greenville County to decide whether they would like to impose on themselves a special local option sales tax for road improvements and resurfacing, bridge repair and replacement, and pedestrian facilities improvements.

A task force of 20 citizens from around Greenville County, appointed by County Council and called the Greenville Citizen Roads Advisory Commission, studied the county's transportation infrastructure needs over the course of three months beginning in January.  They presented their report to County Council in late March and recommended nearly $700 million in critical funding needs including $300 million for road resurfacing and $40 million for bridge repair and replacement.  The commission held several public meetings throughout the county and received reports from every city, county staff, and the Department of Transportation.  Their report

Based on the current funding stream, it could take decades to complete all of the projects that have been identified, and that assumes that no new needs arise, which is unlikely. 

"The association will generally support a broad-based funding measure to fund critical infrastructure needs that are well-thought out and presented," Michael Dey, Executive Vice President of the Home Builders Association, said.  "In this case, the commission thoroughly researched Greenville County's needs and developed a sound proposal of needed repairs and improvements," Dey said.  "The Board of Directors is supporting giving the voters of Greenville County the opportunity to make the choice, which is the method provided for in state law.  Of course there were lots of other suggestions for paying for our road needs, including and impact fee on construction, or a tax on the transfer of real property.  A broad-based solution will best solve this problem," Dey said.

The first step is for County Council to agree to allow the voters to decide whether they would like to tax themselves.  A poll conducted by the National Association of Realtors, released this week, found that 83 percent of 400 likely voters in Greenville County want to have the chance to vote in a referendum and decide whether they would like to tax themselves to pay for critical transportation needs.  The process starts May 6, when County Council will consider on first reading a referendum to place the question on the ballot in November.

The one-cent sales tax, if approved, would last 8 years and is expected to raise about $680 million.  Note: if voters approve the project list and tax, no governmental body can alter the list of projects funded by the special tax.

To read more on the proposed transportation improvements at, click here.
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PAC Check presentation to Congressmen Trey Gowdy and Jeff Duncan.
During the month of October your HBA of Greenville was busy making sure that your voice is heard amongst your Washington D.C. representatives. The HBA of Greenville presented PAC checks to both Congressman Trey Gowdy and Congressman Jeff Duncan. During the seperate meetings here at the HBA office the group discussed what was important during this next election and reinforced some important industry needs and concerns such as housing finance, and EPA restrictions.
Here are some photos from both meetings.

Congressman Jeff Duncan

Congressman Trey Gowdy

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Call for Nominations for Builder, Associate, and Remodeler of the Year

Your Home Builders Association asks that you recommend a member for our annual BB&T Builder of the Year Award, Richard A. Ashmore, Sr., Associate of the Year Award, and Remodeler of the Year Award. The awards are given to a member who freely gives of his or her time, efforts and participation in order to make the HBA of Greenville a stronger organization for all of its members. These members serve the industry through participation on HBA Committees and with special projects of the Home Builders Association. Each represents the highest level of integrity and honesty in the home building industry. Below is a list of recent recipients:

Builder of the Year:
Robert Markel, CGR, 2013
Wayne Moore, 2012
Thomas Dillard, CGP, 2011
Brad Thompson, 2010
Todd Usher, Master CGP, GMB, 2009
Rick Quinn, 2008
Ted Smith, 2007
Coleman Shouse, 2006
Ted Smith/Ron Taylor, 2005
Keith Smith, 2004
Jim Gregorie, 2003
Dan Rawls, 2002
Clyde Rector, 2001
Bill Fuller, 2000

Richard A. Ashmore, Sr., Associate of the Year:
Bob Barreto, 2013
Jon Statom, 2012
Jason Freeman, 2011
Scott Presley, 2010
Eric Hedrick, 2009
Chuck Childress, 2008
Tom Ward, 2007
Scott Presley, 2006
Lou Hutchings, 2005
Richard Powers, 2004
Sandy Wiygul-Bell, 2003
Robert Murphy, 2002
Gary Gilliam, 2001
Richard Powers, 2000

Remodeler of the Year:

Robert Markel, CGR, 2012
Clyde Rector, 1998
Miller Crittendon, 1999

In addition, these awards also may be given to members of the association:

  • Community Service Award
  • Membership Award
  • Spirit of the HBA Award
  • Committee Chairman of the Year Award
  • Rookie of the Year Award 
These awards may be given to a political or community leader:

  • Distinguished Service Award
  • HBASC Champion of Housing Award 
Award winners will be announced at the Second Annual Southern Home and Garden Bridge Awards, presented by GBS Building Supply, on March 19.  If you know of a member or other person who should receive one of these awards, please send your nomination to Michael Dey at Your nomination will be confidential.
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Remodeling Market Index Reclaims All-Time High
The Remodeling Market Index (RMI) reclaimed the high-water mark of 57 in the third quarter of 2014, the sixth consecutive quarter for a reading above 50.

An RMI above 50 indicates that more remodelers report market activity is higher (compared to the prior quarter) than report it is lower. The overall RMI averages ratings of current remodeling activity with indicators of future remodeling activity.

“Most remodelers remain confident that the market is improving as home owners undertake renovations, large and small,” said Paul Sullivan, CAPS, CGR, CGP, of Waterville Valley, NH, chairman of the Remodelers Council of the National Association of Home Builders. “The consistency and longevity of positive RMI readings are in line with the gradual recovery of the housing industry.”

The RMI’s future market conditions index rose to 58 from 56 in the previous quarter. All four sub-components ? calls for bids, amount of work committed for the next three months, backlog of jobs and appointments for proposals ? increased or remained level with the previous quarter’s reading.

The current market conditions component of the RMI increased one point to 57 this quarter. A two-point gain was made among the categories of large additions as well as smaller remodeling jobs with readings of 56 and 58, respectively.

“The stabilization of the RMI in the mid-50s for more than a year demonstrates the slow, steady recovery of the housing industry that we expect to continue,” said David Crowe, chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders. “The major headwind to a stronger recovery is a shortage of qualified labor and subcontractors in some parts of the county, making if difficult for remodelers to employ carpenters and finish projects as quickly and economically as many of their customers expect.”
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FHFA House Price Index Up 0.5 Percent in August
U.S. house prices rose in August, up 0.5 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 0.1 percent increase in July was revised to reflect a 0.2 percent increase.

The FHFA HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. From August 2013 to August 2014, house prices were up 4.8 percent. The U.S. index is 5.8 percent below its April 2007 peak and is roughly the same as the August 2005 index level. This is the ninth consecutive monthly house price increase.

For the nine census divisions, seasonally adjusted monthly price changes from July 2014 to August 2014 ranged from -0.6 percent in the New England and South Atlantic divisions to +1.2 percent in the Mountain division. The 12-month changes were all positive ranging from +1.9 percent in the Middle Atlantic division to +7.8 percent in the Pacific division.

To review the complete report at, click here.

To review the HPI Data page at, click here.
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Call to Action: Want your voice heard? Join a HBA committee

Want your voice heard? Want to help make your association better, smarter, more relevant? Join an HBA of Greenville Committee. Want to know more about our committees? Click here to review our committee list and download job descriptions. Want to volunteer? Simply email Michael Dey at and state your committee preference. Don't want to serve on a committee but still want to volunteer? Send Michael an email with your areas of interest. The board forms task forces on a regular basis that handles a specific task and then disbands. Your association would love to have your help.
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Waters of the US: All of Your Questions Answered (And Why the EPA Has it Wrong)

“As you extend the definition of ‘Waters of the U.S.’ to streams that only flow after it rains and isolated ponds and drainage ditches, you extend the areas in which home builders are required to get permits,” leading to bureaucratic delays, additional expenses and ultimate, more expensive homes. Learn more in this interview with NAHB Environmental Policy Program Manager Owen McDonough and National Association of Counties Legislative Director Julie Ufner.

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The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has joined the throng of home builders, farmers and elected officials asking the Environmental Protection Agency to drop its proposed definitions for waters of the U.S., citing the disproportionate effect of the rule on small businesses.

It’s a situation that could have been avoided all together had the agency done what it was supposed to do in the first place: Have the SBA review the rule before releasing it to the public.

The new definitions could encompass land near bodies of water previously under the jurisdiction of states and counties ? or in the case of some drainage ditches or upland bodies of water, not jurisdictional at all under the Clean Water Act.

SBA is “extremely concerned about the rule as proposed. The rule will have a direct and potentially costly impact on small businesses. The limited economic analysis which the agencies submitted with the rule provides ample evidence of a potentially significant economic impact,” said SBA Chief Counsel for Advocacy Winslow Sargeant, PhD., in an Oct. 1 letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

On Oct. 14, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R.-Va) wrote an op-ed in The News Virginian, saying, “The impact of the Waters of the U.S. rule on farmers, landowners, local economies, and jobs is very real. Protecting America’s waterways is critical, but continued power grabs by the EPA is not the solution. This should be a collaborative approach ? not a mandate or murky definition from the EPA.”

On Wednesday, two NAHB members ? builders from Louisiana and Maryland ? were scheduled to visit the EPA offices in Washington to talk about the effects of the proposed rule on their businesses ? as well as the expected eventual costs, by extension, to home buyers. The EPA invitation is appreciated, said NAHB Environmental Policy Analyst Owen McDonough, but it’s like shutting the proverbial gate after the horse has galloped away.

“EPA may have questions about how the rule will affect home builders and developers, but they were obligated to ask those questions before they proposed these new definitions,” McDonough said.

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Greenville Tech Plans Open House for HBA Members
Mark your calendar now for November 19, 11:30 a.m.  Greenville Tech's Building Construction Technology Division will host an Open House for HBA members.

This will be an opportunity for HBA members, who are interested in hiring trained employees, to learn about the programs and curriculum at Greenville Tech and meet the faculty and staff.  You also will have the opportunity to meet students, your future employees.  Lunch will be served.

UPDATE: The luncheon will be held in Building 106C (Carpentry/Masonry/Plumbing) of Greenville Tech's Main Campus, 506 S. Pleasantburg Drive, Greenville, SC 29607.

Please RSVP to the HBA Office by calling 864-254-0133, email, or register online by clicking here.
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20 Clubs Annual Financials Analysis Shows Big Gains for Members
PrintOne of the biggest benefits of a NAHB 20 Club membership is the annual company-to-company financial comparisons. The analyses commonly show that most builders who join a
20 Club double their net profits by their third year of membership. This most recent year was no different.
Kim Bailey, NAHB executive director of networking programs, said that the Overall Financial Analysis, which is conducted exclusively for 20 Club members each year, showed that the top 10% of production builders made 24.1% gross profits, the top 10% of custom home builders made 20.5% gross profits and the top 25% of remodelers made 38% gross profits.
In broad comparison, three years ago, single-family builders across the industry made 15.3% gross profits, while remodelers made 26.8%, according to the NAHB Cost of Doing Business Study. This most recent survey was conducted in 2012 and based on income statements and balance sheets for fiscal 2011. The study is conducted every two years.
“As a group, the members of the 20 Clubs are back to profitability,” said Builder 20 Club member Chris Nelson, of Nelson Construction located in Farmington, Conn. “We’re not quite back to pre-recession highs, but we’re operating very well now.”
Nelson, who has been a member of Club 3, “The Saws,” for nearly 14 years and a member of NAHB since 1991, said that his participation in the 20 Clubs has been invaluable to the growth of his business.
As a young builder, the club helped him by simply exposing him to what other builders were doing to become and remain profitable.
“It challenged me to look deeper and harder for places where we could be more efficient,” he said. “And by doing so, we increased our margins significantly in the first few years.”
Being a member also helped him develop critical business skills, like managing his contracts better, finding efficiencies in general administrative overhead, and refining sales, purchasing and scheduling processes, which allowed him to stay out of trouble and manage the market downturn in a fairly organized way.
Each time he meets with his club members, he comes away with a number of ideas he wants to try and/or refine for his own business. For instance, learning how to track variances especially helped boost his company’s return on investment, he said.
“By just knowing how to track variances, we can react. Once we discover and learn why we have variances, we can fix things before we repeat the same mistake three and four times,” he said.
Nelson said there’s no question that the 20 Clubs has helped his company grow and prosper. Without it, he says, he might still be trying—and struggling—to figure things out on his own.
To learn more about how you can become a member, visit today.

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Todd Usher Wins Green Building Leadership Award
Todd Usher with Michelle Usher
The South Carolina Chapter of the US Green Building Council has honored Upstate builder Todd Usher with a 2014 Duke Energy Leadership in Green Building Award.  Usher was the 2008 President of the Home Builders Association of Greenville.

This award — presented during the organization’s annual meeting Oct. 1 ? recognizes Usher’s “above and beyond” efforts to further the cause of green building in South Carolina.

As president of Greenville-based Addison Homes, Usher focuses exclusively on sustainable construction, certifying 100 percent of his homes to environmental standards such as Energy Star, LEED for Homes, the National Green Building Standard and/or DOE Zero Energy Ready Home. In addition to leading the industry by example, Usher promotes the benefits of green building to the mainstream market via community education and outreach.

“There is established value in green building,” Usher says. “Consumers enjoy significantly lower utility bills along with enhanced comfort and healthier indoor air. The environment benefits from reduced energy consumption and fewer greenhouse emissions. When consumers become educated regarding the value equation for healthy, high performance homes, their decision to build becomes logical.”

Now in its eighth year, the South Carolina Chapter-USGBC Leadership in Green Building awards program recognizes outstanding individuals and organizations that show vision, leadership and commitment to the advancement of green building and construction in the state. Other 2014 recipients include: the USC Darla Moore School of Business, Exemplary Project Award;A.J. Whittenberg Elementary School, Green School Award; and Hiren Shah, Keith Sanders Service Award.

“Addison Homes is honored to receive the Duke Energy Green Building Leadership Award and we congratulate our fellow recipients as well,” says Usher. “It is a privilege ? and a responsibility ? to build increasing awareness of eco-friendly construction.”
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Yes, Millenials aspire to own a home
A recent survey of younger Americans illustrates that the goal of homeownership remains an important part of the American Dream.

The economic future of Millennials is key to the future of housing demand. A record number of individuals aged 18 to 34 years are delaying household formation as a consequence of the Great Recession. In a recent Eye on Housing blog post, this situation was referred to as the “Great Delay,” as slow wage growth and rising student loan burdens have reduced attainment of traditional goals associated with the American Dream, including marriage and homeownership.

An important research question is whether these delays represent deferrals due to economic conditions or true changes in preferences and goals.

A recent survey from the Demand Institute provides new evidence. The study surveyed 1,000 18- to 29-year-olds about current conditions and market preferences. The findings indicate that homeownership remains an important long-term goal.

Among the findings for Millennials:
  • Over the next five years, 8.3 million new Millennial households will form.
  • 74% plan to move over the next five years, with the top reason being need for better housing.
  • 64% expect to be married in five years and 55% expect to have kids.
  • 75% believe homeownership is an important long-term goal and 73% believe ownership is an excellent investment.
  • 24% currently own a home and another 60% plan to purchase.
  • 36% expect their next home to be a multifamily rental, while another 36% expect it to be a single-family owner-occupied residence.
  • 48% prefer their next home to be in the suburbs, while 38% want urban locations.
  • 88% own a car.
  • Student loans do delay homeownership (but college raises lifetime incomes).
  • 44% think it will be difficult to qualify for a mortgage.

For more details, read the survey findings from the Demand Institute.
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FHFA Index Shows Mortgage Interest Rates Flat in August

Nationally, interest rates on conventional purchase-money mortgages decreased slightly from July to August, 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 4.08 percent for loans closed in late August, down 1 basis point from 4.09 percent in July.

The average interest rate on all mortgage loans was 4.09 percent, reflecting no change from July.

The average interest rate on conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages of $417,000 or less was 4.33 percent, a decrease of 1 basis point from 4.34 in July.

The effective interest rate on all mortgage loans was 4.24 percent in August, down 1 basis point from 4.25 percent in July. 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 $287,100 in August, down $700 from $287,800 in July.
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