Latest Verizon offers available through your membership!
NPP and Verizon regularly provide our members exclusive offers on products and services. This quarter Verizon has several promotions that will enhance your business productivity and reduce cost:

The latest Smartphone offers, starting at $0.99 when you activate a two-year voice with data plan:
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 for $199.99
  • Casio G'zOne Commando for $0.99
  • DROID MAXX for $49.99
  • Over 10 other Smartphones between $0.99 and $199.99
$100 Bill Incentive Credit (BIC) per line when activating a Smartphone. (New activations only, two-year contract is required, $34.99 price plan or higher.)
  • $50/line credit for basic phone service and $25/line credit for 4G LTE Jetpacks, USB modems or tablets.
Get the ultimate in-car speakerphone to help take your business on the road. More than just a speaker, the Motorola Roadster 2 makes talking, calling and texting hands-free. With a battery life of up to 20 hours of continuous talk time, you can keep your eyes on the road and your business moving forward.

For more details on these offers, take a look at the promotional flyer links included in this e-mail. These promos are available through September 30, 2014.

If you are interested in purchasing equipment or accessing discounts, contact your local Verizon representative. If you don't know who your representative is, visit findmyrep.vzw.com or call 800.922.0204.

If you would like to further discuss your NPP membership, feel free to contact us directly at 800.810.3909 or e-mailcustomerservice@mynpp.com.
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Progress Lighting promotes Todd Roy to National Sales Director, hires Key Account Marketing Manager
 
GREENVILLE, S.C., July 18, 2014 ? Progress Lighting recently promoted Todd Roy from Director of Builder Sales and Marketing to National Sales Director. Additionally, the residential lighting manufacturer has expanded its marketing team with the hire of Jennifer Kis as Key Account Marketing Manager.

Prior to directing marketing and sales initiatives for Progress Lighting’s builder segments, Roy served in the National Accounts Department, after beginning his career as an Account Manager in 1999. During his tenure, Roy has greatly expanded the breadth of the company’s North American business, while developing strong relationships with national builder partners and distributors.

Roy will assume the responsibilities of Bob Sale, who retired in mid-July after more than 20 years of distinguished service at the company.

Kis joins Progress Lighting with nearly 20 years of public relations, international marketing, agency and client relations experience. In her role, Kis will be responsible for leading marketing efforts to further accelerate growth on the rapidly expanding Ferguson and Build.com partnerships.

Her recent work history includes developing and executing integrated marketing plans for a diverse client base at Jackson Marketing Group. She has also worked abroad in Munich, Germany for Pepper GmbH, an international marketing agency. Prior to her work in Germany, she held communication positions at Greenville-based companies Erwin Penland and Michelin North America.

About Progress Lighting
Progress Lighting is committed to manufacturing award-winning energy efficient products while educating individuals on new options available in solid-state lighting. The manufacturer also responds to the ever-changing needs of the lighting industry with extensive research and development programs that ensure high standards of quality and innovation for the home. 

Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Progress Lighting has distribution centers located throughout the country that support one of the largest networks of electrical distributors and showrooms in the United States. Visit www.progresslighting.com for more information.

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President Obama Signs Jobs Training Bill Into Law
President Obama on July 22 signed into law H.R. 803, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

Championed by NAHB, the legislation will help alleviate labor shortages in the housing industry by providing investment and resources to train workers for careers in home building and other industries.

Further, the law reauthorizes the Job Corps and Youthbuild programs as federal programs operated through the U.S. Department of Labor.

In partnership with NAHB and Job Corps, HBI, formerly the Home Building Instutute, is a national leader for career training and job placement in the building industry. HBI’s Job Corps training programs are national in scope, but implemented locally using proven models that can be customized to meet the workforce needs of communities across the United States and internationally.

At the signing ceremony, Obama said the bill “will give communities more certainty to invest in job-training programs for the long run. It will help us bring those programs into the 21stcentury by building on what we know works based on evidence, based on tracking what actually delivers on behalf of folks who enroll in these programs ? more partnerships with employers, more tools to measure performance, more flexibilities for states and cities to innovate and to run their workforce programs in ways that are best suited for their particular demographic and their particular industries.”

Job Corps prepares students with the skills and experience they need for successful careers through pre-apprenticeship training, job placement services, mentoring, certification programs, textbooks and curricula. With an 80% job placement rate for graduates, HBI Job Corps programs provide services for disadvantaged youth in 73 centers across the country.

View a summary of the bill.
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OSHA is stepping up its enforcement on residential job sites
Even in state plan jurisdictions like South Carolina

There are strong signs that OSHA is increasing its enforcement actions on home building sites throughout the country—in both Federal and state plan jurisdictions. One of the main reasons is that new data shows the number of fatalities in residential construction increased by 37 percent compared to just a 3 percent increase in nonresidential construction in 2012, which is the most recent data available. OSHA has also instituted a number of local enforcement emphasis programs aimed at reducing numerous construction hazards, including those in residential.

There are a few simple things that home builders and their partners should do to improve safety on their jobsites and be prepared for OSHA inspections:
  • Conduct an assessment to identify and correct safety hazards on the jobsite;
  • Conduct appropriate safety training for employees and subcontractors;
  • Update records and make sure they are readily available;
  • Understand the OSHA inspection process (see link below to the OSHA Inspection Toolkit).
Builders and trade contractors should pay particular attention to the following hazards, which are the top 10 most frequently cited Federal OSHA construction standards in 2013 (click on the link to access the OSHA standard):
  1. 1926.501 - Duty to have fall protection
  2. 19260.451 - General scaffold requirements
  3. 1926.1053 - Ladders
  4. 1926.503 - Fall protection training requirements
  5. 1910.1200 - Hazard Communication
  6. 1926.102 - Eye and face protection
  7. 1926.100 - Head protection
  8. 1926.453 - Aerial lifts
  9. 1926.651 - Specific Excavation Requirements
  10. 1926.20 - General safety and health provisions
Regarding 9 above, there have been some recent questions by home builders about OSHA’s requirements for house foundations/basement excavations. For those parts of the country where basements are common, the area between the house foundation and basement excavation becomes a trench (by OSHA’s definition) when constructing formwork, foundations, or walls. In 1995, OSHA issued a memo “Suspension of 29 CFR 1926.652 to House Foundation/Basement Excavations”, whereby the agency altered the trenching/exaction requirements of the regulation as they apply to house construction, which is still in effect today. This memo essentially requires house foundations to be benched 2 feet horizontal for every 5 feet vertical (for a diagram of what this looks like, see page 2 of NAHB’s Trenching Safety Card) and the other conditions outlined in the memo exist. More information for OSHA’s trenching and excavation requirements can also be found in NAHB’s Trenching and Excavation Safety Handbook.

Finally, here are additional resources to assist home builders:
If you have questions about OSHA or experience an OSHA site visit or audit, please contact your Home Builders Association at 864-254-0133 or email eo@hbaofgreenville.com.

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Green Building and Construction Law Courses Online this Fall
Registration is open for two popular NAHB courses you can attend from your desk at home: Green Building for Building Professionals Online and Construction Contracts and Law Online.
  • The 12-hour Green Building for Building Professionals course will be spread over six weeks: 1-3 p.m. ET on Tuesdays, Sept. 16, 23 and 30 and Oct. 7, 14 and 21. Register here.
  • This Construction Contracts and Law course will take place over three weeks: 1-3 p.m. ET Tuesdays, Nov. 4, 11 and 18. Register here.
If you would like to learn more about the classes, call the NAHB Professional Designation Helpline at 800-368-5242 x8154  or click here!

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Dillard Jones Southern Living Showcase Home opens this weekend!



Tour dates:

Friday, July 25-Sunday, August 31

Friday 1p-6p
Saturday 10a-6p
Sunday 1p-6p

GPS address: 128 Cliffs Falls Parkway Salem, SC 29676 (The gate at The Cliffs at Keowee Falls)

Home Address: 703 Hemlock Court Salem, SC 29676

Go to www.dillardjones.com for more information


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Keeping it Clean with Stormwater Management
While the rules regarding how builders and developers need to manage stormwater runoff from their jobsites have been around for more than 20 years, the industry is still getting dinged. That could be because the rules themselves are as clear to some as, well, mud.

Nevertheless, it’s important ? both economically and ecologically ? to understand state and local requirements and develop a plan to manage stormwater and assemble and maintain proper control measures.

Do You Need a Permit?Stormwater management regulations apply to developers and builders who disturb one or more acre of land. If your jobsite consists of less than an acre but is part of a larger “common plan of development,” then you also must get a state permit, and in some cases a local permit too. Local permits could have erosion and sediment requirements for new construction that apply to sites less than an acre.

Staying in Compliance
If your project requires a permit and you don’t have one, you are taking an expensive chance: Federal penalties of up to $32,500 per violation per day under the Clean Water Act.

Perhaps the most confusing aspect for builders and developers leading to non-compliance is not realizing they need to obtain a permit ? and that, in fact, is a common violation. Some builders also assume that their project is covered under a developer’s permit, but that’s not always the case.

Other typical stormwater management violations, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), include:
  • Failure to develop an adequate Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP)for minimizing the amount of sediment and other pollutants in runoff.
  • Failure to install or implement appropriate stormwater controls or best management practices (BMPs) required by the SWPPP. Often, it is because silt fences were not installed in all required areas; BMPs to prevent sediment from entering storm drains were not installed; BMPs to keep dirt from getting tracked off site were not installed at construction entrances; concrete washout basins to prevent concrete from flowing into storm drains were not established; or in some instances portable toilets are placed atop storm drain inlets without BMPs to prevent spills from entering the storm drain.
  • Incorrect BMPs installation (for example, silt fences were not properly trenched in or sediment ponds were not completed before grading the site).
  • Failure to keep BMPs in effective operating condition (for example, silt fences and storm drain inlet protections were full of sediment and no longer effective, silt fences had fallen down or had holes, construction entrances needed additional rock).
  • Failure to adequately or routinely inspect BMPs to ensure proper operation and maintenance.
Doing Our Part
Stormwater management is important because sediment-laden lakes, streams and estuaries can’t support a healthy aquatic habitat. Additionally, nutrients, including phosphorus, attach to sediment and travel downstream, causing algal blooms and decreased oxygen levels. Stormwater controls on construction sites help reduce the impact of sediment and nutrients on our valuable water resources.

Learn more about stormwater management from this helpful EPA publication. You can also look to EPA for information regarding post-construction stormwater management common practices. And for the long-term control of stormwater discharge, low impact developmentprovides an opportunity for builders and developers to do a good turn.
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U.S. House Prices Up 0.4 Percent in May
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today reported that U.S. house prices rose 0.4 percent in May from the previous month. The April index value has been revised to reflect a 0.1 percent monthly price increase, above the original estimate of no change.

The FHFA House Price Index (HPI) is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages either sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. From May 2013 to May 2014, house prices were up 5.5 percent. The U.S. index is 6.5 percent below its April 2007 peak and is roughly the same as the July 2005 index level.

For the nine census divisions, seasonally adjusted monthly price changes from April 2014 to May 2014 ranged from -0.7 percent in the East South Central division to +1.1 percent in the West South Central division. The 12-month changes were all positive ranging from+2.5 percent in the Middle Atlantic division to +9.6 percent in the Pacific division.
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Member Rebate Program
ATTENTION BUILDERS AND REMODELERS: If you have changed your mailing address since you have signed up with the program, please send us an email of your current/updated mailing address. All emails can be sent to Josh@HBArebates.com We look forward to writing your next rebate check!
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Renewable Energy in New Homes

A rising number of new homes include renewable energy features, a trend that is apparent in both single-family and multifamily construction. McGraw Hill Construction’s data and analytics team surveyed a set of NAHB single-family and multifamily members in 2013.
According to the findings, 12% of single-family builders reported including solar photovoltaic panels in new home construction in 2013. More popular for single-family construction was geothermal groundsource heat exchange property, used for some projects by 26% of home builders. Wind power is less popular, with only 1% of single-family builders reporting its use.

renewable energy property
Multifamily developers were more likely to use these power production features in at least some of their projects. For example, 45% of multifamily developers used solar panels, 42% installed geothermal property in some projects and 13% reported using wind turbines.
That said, the frequency of use of these items was more common on the single-family side of the market, perhaps due to incentives like the section 25D power production tax credit for new and existing homes. More than half of single-family builders who report installing solar panels do so on more than 25% of their projects. And more than 75% of single-family builders who install geothermal property do so on more than 25% of their homes.
In contrast, for multifamily developers who report installing solar panels, more than 75% do so on fewer than 25% of their projects. And nearly all multifamily developers who report using geothermal do so on fewer than 25% of their properties.


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HBA of Greenville forms Sales and Marketing Council
Your HBA of Greenville has recently approved and formed the Sales and Marketing Council of the Upstate. The SMC of the Upstate is designed to serve the needs of the upstate's ever growing and expanding industry sales needs. The SMC Board of Directors is comprised of :

Membership and sponsorship opportunities will be available and the SMC of the Upstate will host a Kick- Off event this fall so stay tuned. 


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HBA Past President, Levis L. Gilstrap, Sr.
Levis L. Gilstrap, Sr.

Greenville

Levis Leon Gilstrap, Sr., 94, of Greenville, husband of the late Alice Williams Gilstrap, died June 26, 2014.

Born in Easley, Levis was a son of the late James Attaway and Venna Ree Mitchell Gilstrap.

Levis was an active member of White Oak Baptist Church, where he was a Deacon, Trustee, Sunday School Superintendent and teacher.
Levis was the original owner and operator of Hillcrest Food Market and Levis L. Gilstrap Real Estate. He was awarded the Order of the Palmetto in 1993. He served as S.C. Residential Home Builders Commissioner for 28 years. He was also a past President of the Greenville Home Builders Association, The Board of Realtors and Civitan Club.

Surviving are his two daughters, Loretta Robinson and Regina Smith and her husband Milton, all of Anderson; two sons, Levis L. "Chip" Gilstrap, Jr. and his wife Julie of Greenville and Scott T. Mann and his wife Julie of Easley; nine grandchildren, Wendy Clarke, Kelly Howard, Zach and Jake Smith, Brittany George, JA and Kade Gilstrap and Madison and Ashleigh Mann; three great-grandchildren, Hayden and Venna Shay Clarke and Everett George. He is preceded in death by his daughter, Venna Ann Howard.

Funeral services will be held Monday, June 30, 2014 at 11 am at White Oak Baptist Church with Rev. Chris Barnes officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.

The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the church.

The family sends a special thank-you to Open Arms Hospice and Levis' caregivers, Traci, Betty, Stuart, Magina and Mercedes.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to White Oak Baptist Church, 1805 Wade Hampton Blvd., Greenville, SC 29609 or to Meals on Wheels, 15 Oregon St., Greenville, SC 29605.

Arrangements by The Mackey Mortuary


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HBA Member offering FREE House!
One of your HBA Members is offering a free home. The home is a 2 bedroom 1 bath home and needs to be moved off a property scheduled for development. While the home is free there is a cost to move the home off the property.
The move date has been scheduled so if you are interested in this home please contact the HBA office at 864-254-0133 for more information.



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Thank You!
The HBA of Greenville would like to thank the Community Service Committee for their hard work this past weekend on a recently acquired Habitat for Humanity home. The volunteer group included Eddie Howard of Howard Custom Builders, John Wolfrom of Providence Realty, Jon Statom of Palmetto Exterminators, and Amy Torlay of Hughes Supply. They painted the interior of the home, replaced the back deck, and also replaced windows along with many other smaller projects. The committee has also received gifts in kind to complete this home and get the family into the home by the end of summer. Some of those gifts in kind include a new roof furnished by Allcon Roofing, new plumbing and fixtures provided by Hughes Supply, and Crawlspace Incapsulation provided by Palmetto Exterminators. However, we are still in need of several other items!
For more information or if you would like to help please call or email Crystal Yanes at the HBA Office. 864-254-0133 or cyanes@hbaofgreenville.com
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FHFA Index Shows Mortgage Interest Rates Decrease in May
National data show interest rates on mortgages decreased from April to May, according to an index of new mortgage contracts.

According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for the Purchase of Previously Occupied Homes by Combined Lenders index was 4.18 percent for loans closed in late May. The index is calculated using FHFA's Monthly Interest Rate Survey. The contract rate on the composite of all mortgage loans was 4.13 percent, a decrease from 4.23 percent in April.

Interest rates are typically locked in 30-45 days before a loan is closed. Consequently, May data reflect market rates from mid- to late-April. The effective interest rate was 4.28 percent, down 10 basis points from 4.38 percent in April. The effective interest rate accounts for the addition of initial fees and charges over the life of the mortgage.

FHFA's interest rate survey shows the average interest rate on conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages of $417,000 or less was 4.37 in May, a decrease of 16 basis points. The average loan amount for all loans was $282,600 in May down $1,200 from $283,800 in April.
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Builder Confidence and Home Sales on the Rise
Housing news turned positive this week as spring gave way to summer. Future data will confirm whether the recent turn in momentum reflects a return to the improving trend that was in place before the end of 2013, but early signs are encouraging.

New single-family home sales reached their highest pace in six years in May. According to estimates from the Census Bureau and HUD, new home sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 504,000 in May, a gain of 18.6% over a slightly downwardly revised April (425,000). This rate is the highest since May 2008 and is a significant increase from the winter low point for sales in March (410,000).

The May pace of sales was certainly an improvement over the soft patch experienced from February through April. The most recent gains are likely due to a payback for weather-related declines during the winter, so future months will indicate whether a better trend has taken hold. But encouraging signs like better jobs numbers are consistent with this outcome.

Another improved indicator is the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), which rose four points in June to 49. This is just shy of the 50 mark, indicating at least as much optimism as pessimism among single-family home builders. The index dipped 10 points to 46 in February from a sustained above-50 mark for eight months and remained near there for four months. The June gains were experienced in all the components of the HMI: current sales, expected sales and traffic.

Alongside the positive new home sales report was the May existing home sales measure. The National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales were up 4.9% from April to May. While still 5% lower year over year, the 4.89 million seasonally adjusted annual rate confirmed a turn in the decline that had been in place since the middle of 2013. Year-over-year declines in existing home sales, which distinguish this market from the growing new home market, are likely due to recent drops in distressed and investor purchases, as well as the 2014 expiration of a tax rule connected to short sales.

The one negative housing report in recent weeks was construction starts. The Census Bureau and HUD estimated that total housing starts declined 6.5% in May. Single-family starts were down 5.9%, while multifamily construction in properties with five or more units was down a larger 8.3%. The declines were a result, in part, to April’s numbers, where were among the highest since the end of the recession. On a year-over-year basis, the May pace of single-family construction was 4.7% higher and 19.2% higher for five-plus multifamily building.

Home price appreciation appears to be slowing after the strong gains of the past year or two, propelled by increases in areas that experienced some of the largest price declines during the recession. House prices grew by 10.8% between April 2013 and 2014, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index, which was less than the 12-month growth rate of 12.4% seen in March. Similarly, the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Purchase-Only Index rose 6% compared to 6.4% in March. Both indices show that annual house appreciation slowed from December to April and suggest the housing market may be returning to its long-run growth trend.

Consistent with the weak housing reports from the winter and early spring, the final estimate of first-quarter GDP indicated that the economy contracted as a 2.9% rate, the worst quarter in five years. Besides disappointing investment numbers, personal consumption growth was anemic and exports displayed particular weakness. Part of the poor performance was weather related and other one-off factors. Second-quarter GDP growth should reflect some payback for deferred economic activity and post a growth rate higher than 3%.

Common measures of general prices and inflation, moved in opposite directions in May. Producer prices declined 0.2%, after notable increases of 0.5% and 0.6% for March and April respectively. Among building materials, softwood lumber prices rose 1% in May from April. Prices are 28% above the average level over 2011. OSB prices have flattened out in 2014, declining 0.7% in May. Prices are 23% above the average level over 2011. Gypsum prices declined 0.7% in May, 41% above the average 2011 mark.

In contrast, consumer prices in May experienced the largest monthly increase since February 2013, rising 0.4% on a seasonally adjusted month-over-month basis and 2.1% year over year. The increase was broad, affecting many items found in the consumer basket such as energy, food and shelter. The NAHB constructed real rent index increased nominally in May. Over the past year, real rental prices rose by 1.1%.

The Federal Open Market Committee, the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy committee, announced this week that the pace of asset purchases (quantitative easing) will be reduced by another $10 billion to $35 billion per month. The federal funds rate will continue to remain at the current near zero level for a “considerable time” after asset purchases have concluded.

In analysis news, economists at NAHB mapped the change in county-level housing permit activity for 2013. Overall, 1,807 counties and county equivalents saw an increase in the number of single-family permits issued over the prior year while 858 saw a decrease. According to data from Hanley-Wood, there was some movement among the rankings of the top 10 publicly traded home builders in 2013, although D.R. Horton maintained the top spot with more than 25,000 closings.

Additionally, NAHB economists discussed land banking and new mortgage application data for new homes. Lastly, data for the first quarter of 2014 revealed that property taxes, the top revenue source for state and local government, made up 40.3% of receipts from major sources over the last four quarters ? an important reminder of the role real estate plays in local economies.
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D.R. Horton acquires Crown Communities for $210 million
Crown Communities, a member of the Home Builders Association of Greenville, has been acquired by  D.R. Horton, Inc.  Crown Communities builds in Georgia, South Carolina and eastern Alabama and is a top-five builder in the Upstate.  The purchase price for Crown is reported to be approximately $210 million.

Crown will reportedly operate as a separate division within D.R. Horton.  Crown is ranked as the 28th largest builder in the United States by Builder Magazine.  The homebuilding assets acquired include a sales order backlog of approximately 420 homes sold, 640 homes in inventory and 2,350 lots.

D.R Horton also acquired control of approximately 3,400 lots through option contracts. In calendar 2013, Crown closed 1,540 homes ($375 million in revenue) with an average home size of approximately 3,500 square feet and an average sales price of $244,000.
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NAHB: New Home Sales Surge in May
New single-family home sales reached the highest pace in six years in May.

New-home sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 504,000 in May, a gain of 18.6% over a slightly downwardly revised April (425,000), according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. This is the highest rate since May 2008 and is a significant increase from the winter low point for sales in March (410,000).

“These numbers are in line with our recent builder surveys, which indicate that more consumers are getting off the fence and coming back into the marketplace,” said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly.

NAHB is forecasting that single-family new home sales will total 515,000 in 2014, a nearly 20% year-over-year gain.

Regionally, new-home sales were up across the board. Sales rose 54.5% in the Northeast, 34% in the West, 14.2% in the South and 1.4% in the Midwest.

The inventory of new homes for sale held steady at 189,000 units in May. This is a 4.5-month supply at the current sales pace. Total inventory levels have remained in the 183,000 to 190,000 range since September 2013.
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Great Offers Available For Your Business from Verizon
Don’t forget about all the Verizon promotions available to NPP members, including:

The latest Smartphone offers, starting at $0.99 when you activate a two-year voice with data plan:
  • Casio G'zOne Commando for $0.99
  • Windows Phone 8X by HTC for $0.99
  • DROID MAXX for $99.99
  • Over 10 other Smartphones between $0.99 and $149.99
$100 Bill Incentive Credit (BIC) per line when activating a Smartphone. (New activations only, two-year contract is required, $34.99 price plan or higher.)
  • $50/line credit for basic phone service and $25/line credit for Jetpacks, 4G LTE USB Modems, and 4G LTE Tablets
Get the latest, comprehensive multimedia Tablet from Verizon starting as low as $49, powered by Verizon’s 4G LTE connectivity to keep you more productive and connected whether in the office and on the go.

For more details on these offers, take a look at the promotional flyer links included in this e-mail. These promos are available through June 30, 2014.

If you are interested in purchasing equipment or accessing discounts, contact your local Verizon representative. If you don't know who your representative is, visit findmyrep.vzw.com or call 800.922.0204.

If you would like to further discuss your NPP membership, feel free to contact us directly at 800.810.3909 or e-mail customerservice@mynpp.com.

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U.S. House Prices Flat in April
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today reported that its monthly House Price Index (HPI) showed no change (0.0 percent) in U.S. house prices for April from the prior month. The monthly change in the FHFA HPI for March remained at 0.7 percent as previously reported.

The FHFA HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages either sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. From April 2013 to April 2014, house prices were up 5.9 percent. The U.S. index is 6.9 percent below its April 2007 peak and is roughly the same as the July 2005 index level.

For the nine census divisions, seasonally adjusted monthly price changes from March 2014 to April 2014 ranged from -1.3 percent in the New England division to +0.6 percent in the East South Central division. The 12-month changes were all positive ranging from +1.7 percent in the Middle Atlantic division to +10.7 percent in the Pacific division.

Monthly house price index complete historical data are available on the Downloadable HPI Data page.
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Your membership saved you $26,600 so far in 2014*
* estimated savings per licensed builder

The 2014 session of the South Carolina General Assembly has come to an end and once again your Home Builders Association was hard at work protecting your interests.  Your Home Builders Association worked on 150 different pieces of legislation to promote and protect the vital work of home builders and residential developers in South Carolina.

Here is what we accomplished:
  1. Successfully opposed mandated residential fire sprinklers (again): $181 million in annual savings to home builders and their customers
  2. Passed a one-year extension to the Multiple Lot Property Tax Discount: $1.9 million in annual savings
  3. Successfully defeated a proposal to sunset the residential solar tax credit: $780,000 in annual savings
In addition, your Home Builders Association engaged in several other legislation initiatives including health insurance, unemployment insurance, tax credits, septic tank regulations, stormwater regulations, and building codes, resulting in a total annual savings to our members of $320 million--just in 2014!

Your Home Builders Association influences government at all levels.  Our goal is to protect affordable housing and to stop needless regulation that adds costs to new housing.  If you know of an individual or business in the home building industry who is not a member of the Home Builders Association, make sure they know what the Home Builders Association is doing for them every day, and ask them to become a member.
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UPDATE: City of Greenville Residential Infill Standards
Planning Director Michael Kerski Speaks to HBA Members
The Planning Commission of the City of Greenville has recommended to City Council adoption of an ordinance imposing certain new requirements on residential infill construction.  The ordinance is the result of a months-long review of issues created by construction activity in the city as well as the city's ordinances that govern them.  The 15-member task force included four members from the Home Builders Association of Greenville.

On June 17 about 30 members of the Home Builders Association participated in a briefing on the new ordinance, as well as other ordinances and policies, in a General Membership meeting called "How to Successfully Remodel, Build, and Develop in the City of Greenville.

About the Infill Ordinance
The ordinance's purpose is to achieve neighborhood compatibility, maintain the harmony and character of existing neighborhoods, and guide residential infill development.  The ordinance has four key provisions:
  1. Limit the construction of garages and driveways in the front yard of homes in existing neighborhoods.
  2. Limit the visual impact of stormwater detention in existing neighborhoods.
  3. When the combination of a house and other impervious surfaces exceed 60 percent of the total lot, impose additional stormwater management requirements for that project if it is not a part of a larger common plan.
  4. Require a minimum planing of trees in R6 and R9 neighborhoods.
The ordinance still requires the approval of City Council.  Click here to view the Residential Infill Ordinance approved by the Planning Commission.
In addition to the infill ordinance, members learned more about the city's existing stormwater ordinance, zoning and subdivision ordinances, building code enforcement procedures, and the city's Community Development program.
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Home Builders Association of Greenville Receives 2014 Best of Greenville Award
For the second consecutive year the Home Builders Association of Greenville has been selected for the 2014 Best of Greenville Award in the Association or Organization category by the Greenville Award Program.

Each year, the Greenville Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Greenville area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2014 Greenville Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Greenville Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Greenville Award Program

The Greenville Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Greenville area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Greenville Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community's contributions to the U.S. economy.
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South Carolina Community Loan Fund Announces $5 million in Funding for New Projects
The South Carolina Community Loan Fund has launched its 2014 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
  6. strengthen the social and economic fabric of the community
Community Loan Fund will hold a mandatory application workshop on Thursday, July 10, 2014, from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. in Columbia, South Carolina. To register, click here.

2014 Funding Round Notice
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Sales+Marketing: 10 mistakes Home Builders Should Avoid
In a recovering market, most builders find themselves with too little time and too many tasks that need to be completed. Normally you can get a great return on investment when you focus on the best way to implement the strategy and tactics of running a great homebuilding company.

Noelle Tarabulski, CEO of Builder Consulting Group, Inc., outlined the top practices of successful builders in Sales+Marketing Ideas magazine.
  1. Have a clear understanding of strategy and tactics and the importance of timing their implementation in the current cycle as well as your current fiscal year.
  2. Understand the important metrics of your housing market and submarkets.
  3. Watch and understand trends at the global, national, regional, state, and county level.
  4. Three-month, six-month, one-year and up to three-year trends of supply and demand must be monitored.
  5. Primary research requires driving of all neighborhoods that are in your local submarket.
  6. Design trends matter and can be an opportunity to win a competitive advantage.
  7. Develop and perfect the process of new product development.
  8. Perfect process flows, so they are done well and are repeatable.
  9. The use of an operational summary, or dashboard, to understand the key metrics of a firm are very helpful and worthy of the effort to understand your weekly and daily operating results.
  10. Be thoughtful of what suggestions can be implemented quickly, easily and will give you operating improvements immediately.
Try these practices, and maximize your bottom line. Read more here.
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