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 
With
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 mdey@hbaofgreenville.com 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 mdey@hbaofgreenville.com.
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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 GreenvilleCounty.org, 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 mdey@hbaofgreenville.com. 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 FHFA.gov, click here.

To review the HPI Data page at FHFA.gov, 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 mdey@hbaofgreenville.com 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.

More Questions
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 info@hbaofgreenville.com, 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 nahb.org/20clubs 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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BAR, PREP Now Available Online
Builders who want to earn the Certified Graduate Builder (CGB) educational designation and remodelers seeking to complete the requirements for the Certified Graduate Remodeler (GGR) designation have traditionally sat for the Builder Assessment Review (BAR) or theProfessional Remodeler Experience Profile(PREP) to determine what courses they need to complete.

Now, these industry professionals can complete these assessments online: at a lower cost and with a quicker turnaround time.

While builders and remodelers had often enjoyed the networking opportunities that are part and parcel of the BAR and PREP, the logistics were too daunting for too many potential candidates: Travel costs and time away from work add up and prevented these professionals from benefiting from these advanced designations.

The new online assessment tools remove those barriers ? and add incentives, including:
  • A significantly shorter results turnaround time: 24 hours instead of the current 4-6 weeks.
  • Lower cost: NAHB members can take either the BAR or the PREP for $95 ? less than half what the in-person class cost.
Students have the option to take the BAR and PREP online or in person through Dec. 31. However, only the online version of these assessments will be available to students next year, effective Jan. 1, 2015.
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Big Changes Coming for Water Heater Efficiency. Ready?
Home builders and remodelers who install large capacity water heaters (greater than 55 gallons) need to be aware that revised federal energy standards that go into effect in April 2015 are expected to have a significant impact on space requirements for these water heaters and on the way they are installed.

Smaller water heaters must also comply with the increased energy-efficiency requirements and are expected to be more costly as a result. However, they are not expected to have additional space and/or venting requirements like the larger capacity units.

The revised standard was imposed by the Department of Energy and will go into effect following a five-year transition period to allow manufacturers to gear up for production of the more efficient units. As of April 2015, manufacturers will no longer be allowed to construct water heaters not meeting the new requirements, but builders and remodelers will still be able to install the existing stock.

Water heaters that comply with the new energy-efficiency standard are expected to be more costly and bulkier than current models. In particular, some current models of large capacity electric water heaters may no longer be available because the higher energy factor standards will require heat pump water heater technology. This new technology requires the water heater to be installed in an area with sufficient household air volume for heat exchange.

Builders and remodelers whose projects include installation of large capacity gas-fired water heaters must accommodate the positive pressure venting needs of higher efficiency gas- or propane-fired units during installation. And remodelers and home owners replacing a water heater may also find that these bulkier large capacity water heaters are too large to fit into the existing space and/or require new exhaust venting. According to DOE’s market assessment, about 4 percent of gas-fired storage water heater shipments and about 9 percent of electric storage water heater shipments fall into the large-volume water heater category.

In preparation for the new energy-efficiency standard, builders and remodelers who routinely install large capacity water heaters are encouraged to reach out to manufacturers for details about availability and space and venting requirements. NAHB will continue to follow this issue and will provide members with information about installation and potential alternatives to the larger capacity units as it becomes available.

To read more about changes to efficiency standards for water heaters, click here.
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The Typical American Subdivision
A landmark survey conducted by your Home Builders Association provides a unique look at a typical residential subdivision being built today. The results were recently published as a Special Study in HousingEconomics.com.

For subdivisions of single-family detached homes, the figures show:
  • Median size: 22 acres.
  • Median number of housing units: 48.
  • Median gross density: 2.1 units per acre.
  • 4 percent include retail space.
  • 4 percent include other (non-retail) commercial space.
The data come from a survey sent to 2,042 land developers. A total of 266 developers responded (a 13 percent response rate). Eighty-eight of them provided information on one of their development projects, 56 provided information on two, and 111 provided information on three projects. Overall, the sample contains data on 533 development projects, the vast majority of which meet a commonly used criterion for residential subdivision (at least four housing units).

Not surprisingly, the typical characteristics vary quite a bit depending on the type of subdivision. This chart shows how the number of homes per subdivision varies across six basic types.

To establish a consistent, working concept of a metropolitan area, the survey provided a brief summary of the Office of Management and Budget definition: a densely settled urban area and surrounding counties tied to the urban area by frequent commuting. In terms of number of housing units, subdivisions inside and outside of metropolitan areas are quite similar. The median number of housing units in subdivisions built inside metro areas is 59, and the median outside is 63.

The survey also collected information on the type of housing built in the subdivision: single-family detached, townhomes, multifamily or some mix of these types. The “mixed” subdivisions contain every possible combination of housing types ? including all three in the same subdivision ? and tend to be relatively large. The median in mixed subdivisions is 291 housing units, compared to 48 in single-family-only, 56 in townhome-only, and 86 in multifamily-only subdivisions.

For additional details, including a separate profile for each of the six basic subdivision types, consult the full study at NAHB.org.

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FHFA: Foreclosure Preventions Total Nearly 3.3 Million; Delinquencies Down In Second Quarter
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today released a report showing that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac completed approximately 80,000 foreclosure prevention actions in the second quarter, bringing the total to nearly 3.3 million since the start of the conservatorships in September 2008. These measures have helped about 2.7 million borrowers stay in their homes, including nearly 1.7 million who received permanent loan modifications.

Further detail can be found in FHFA’s quarterly Foreclosure Prevention Report, which also includes data on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac home retention actions, delinquency data and real-estate owned (REO) inventory. FHFA publishes the report data in an online, interactive Borrower Assistance Map accessible through FHFA.gov.

Also noted in the quarterly report:
  • The number of 60+ days delinquent loans declined 5 percent to the lowest level since the start of conservatorships.
  • The serious delinquency rate fell to 2.1 percent at the end of the second quarter compared with 6.2 percent for Federal Housing Administration loans, 3.4 percent for Veterans Affairs loans and 4.8 percent for all loans.
  • As of June 30, 2014, about 13 percent of loans modified in the second quarter of 2013 had missed two or more payments, one year after modification.
  • Approximately 37 percent of all permanent loan modifications helped to reduce homeowners' monthly payments by more than 30 percent in the second quarter.
  • Approximately 25 percent of borrowers who received permanent loan modifications in the second quarter had portions of their mortgage balance forborne.
  • Approximately 14,500 short sales and deeds-in-lieu were completed in the second quarter, bringing the total to more than 581,400 since the start of the conservatorships.
  • Third-party sales and foreclosure sales fell 10 percent to 42,800 while foreclosure starts increased slightly in the second quarter.
  • The REO inventory of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac declined 10 percent during the quarter to approximately 131,500, as property dispositions outpaced property acquisitions.
 To read the full foreclosure prevention report at FHFA.gov, click here.
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New Member Reception and Meet the Board THIS Thursday!
New Member Reception sponsored by PestBan
Thursday, September 25th at 8 a.m.
The HBA of Greenville would like to officially welcome you, please join us for new member orientation on Thursday, September 25th beginning at 8 a.m. 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 or to register for this event please contact the HBA office (864) 254-0133.

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Call To Action: Waters of the US
On September 9, 2014 the U.S. House passed H.R. 5078, the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act, by a vote of 262 to 152. H.R. 5078 will halt the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers proposed rule on “waters of the U.S.” and force the agencies to go back to the drawing board to craft a balanced rule that respects both congressional intent and Supreme Court precedent. This legislation is a key priority of the Home Builders Association.

Your Home Builders Association launched a broad-based grassroots call to action for the bill and designated a vote in support of H.R. 5078 as a KEY VOTE. Following this strong, bipartisan vote, your HBA is turning our attention to the Senate to urge the chamber to consider the House-passed bill.

We ask that every member reach out to our Senators and request that they move to pass H.R. 5078. We need to keep the pressure up, especially in light of the upcoming elections. Please see the attached a letter for your use, please feel free to make changes to reflect your specific concerns.
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Lots of Fun at this Years Chili and Politics Event last Thursday!
The rain and bad weather held out for The Chili and Politics event held this past Thursday evening. It was a great event with with great food and fun. While the judges of the Cook- Off had a hard decision to make the winners of the Best Chili and Dessert contest are as follows:
1st Place Chili- "OOO Wee"- GBS Building Supply
2nd Place Chili- "Wild Chicken Chili"- Howard Custom Builders
3rd Place Chili- "Smokin Hot"- The Cook's Station
Best Dessert was awarded to The Cook's Station for their Sweet Potato Bread Pudding.

There were also some great prizes including a  KBRS Tileable Shower worth over $700, eligible for Builder or Remodeler, won by Trey Cole of Trey Cole Design Group. A Cook's Station gift basket went to Alan Boone of Advanced Renovations, and Bill Fitz of Gateway Supply won the raffle for some cold hard cash. 
The HBA of Greenville would like to thank our event sponsors for helping to make this event a success!

Enjoying some Oysters


GBS Team with their 1st Place Chili.


Oyster Roast courtesy of Clark's 









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