Past President Dee Smith
Past President Dee Smith
It is with sadness that we report to you that Past President Dee Smith died Friday.  Dee Smith was President of your Home Builders Association in 1986 and also Builder of the Year.  He also served as Vice Chairman of the S.C. Housing Finance and Development Authority.

Smith is survived by his wife of 26 years, Betty, and four sons, Stacy, Randall, John, and Craig, as well as their spouses and three grandchildren.  He also is survived by his brother, Bill, and sisters Helen and Karen.

Visitation is scheduled for Tuesday, April 22, 11 a.m, at Woodlawn Memorial Park.  The funeral service is planned for 1:30 p.m., also at Woodlawn Memorial Park.

Memorials may be made to Rock Springs Baptist Church, 201 Rock Springs Road, Easly, SC 29642 and Brookwood Church, 580 Brookwood Pt. Pl., Simpsonville, SC 29681.

Sign the guest book by clicking here.
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HBA member Jimmy Dias of Dias Renovations and his wife Christy host annual charity event.

Create the Cure ? A Unique Charity Event

What is a pancreas?  And what can make it cranky?  Christy Dias, wife of Jimmy Dias, has had to find out first hand.  She has endured years of severe illness due to a very sick pancreas, and ultimately had the entire organ removed.  In January, 2011 she was the 49thpatient at MUSC to have what is called a total pancreatectomy with an islet cell transplant.  The islet cells were transplanted into her liver, in hopes she would not become an immediate brittle diabetic. 

Through this long battle, she became well-informed of medical terms, especially those pertaining to pancreas diseases.  She found that educating herself, then sharing it with others, made the suffering have some sort of meaning.  She found out how little research is done on the crucial organ, and very little is understood even within the medical community.  There are extremely limited treatments for her kind of illness, and no cure.  The treatments that do exist are drastic, such as removing the entire organ as she has had done.  Many medical professionals still do not understand that anyone can live without the organ.  But as Christy is living proof, it can be done.  It is just never easy, and far from ideal!

 She continues to undergo many procedures and tests to keep on top of complications.  She deals daily with difficult-to-control diabetes.  But it hasn’t kept her down.  She created a website, and formed a full non-profit organization through it all.  She raises funds for the research that desperately needs to be done.  She fights for education and awareness of diseases of the pancreas ? which are rare but very life-altering or deadly. 

Her fundraiser, Create the Cure, is a unique event that combines a beautiful supper, music, auctions, and art at Twigs Tempietto in Greenville, SC.  The setting is amazing, and local artists linger throughout the venue displaying their work.  Christy is an artist herself, and art is what has also gotten her through the tough times. 

You can read a lot more about the pancreas, its diseases, and more importantly, purchase tickets to the Create the Cure at  It is just a few weeks away, May 1, 2014 at 6pm.  Tickets are $30/piece and must be purchased in advance.  Jimmy and Christy would greatly appreciate your support of this worthy cause, and would love to see you there.
You can also read more from the feature in Greenville Online.

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Judges needed for the HBA of Greater Columbia Remodeling Awards
The HBA of Columbia is looking for judges for their Remodeling Awards. They are looking for builders, remodelers, or designers to help judge, though any member is welcome. The judging will be Tuesday, May 20th. starting at 9 a.m. and conclude around 2 or 3 p.m. and lunch will be provided.

For more information or to help out please contact Bin Wilcenski at the HBA of Greater Columbia

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Flood Insurance Legislation Will Produce More Than $1 Billion in Housing Activity
We told you previously about the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014, recently enacted legislation championed by your Home Builders Association that will provide a significant boost to home building and remodeling as well as certainty and financial stability to the National Flood Insurance Program.

The numbers are in on the legislation, and NAHB's experts estimate that in 2014, the new law will result in a total of more than $1 billion of housing market activity, including:
  • $755 million in new home construction because the new law makes it easier for prospective new home buyers to sell their existing home and trade up.
  • $361 million in additional remodeling activity because the legislation eliminates insurance costs that some home owners would have been required to pay on certain remodeling jobs.
The recently enacted legislation provides a more affordable rate structure for policyholders and repeals the requirement that flood insurance premiums increase immediately to full actuarial rates when homes are sold. It also restores "grandfathering" for properties that were paying premiums applicable to their initial flood risk rating, allowing owners to pay premiums based on the original risk zone rather than updated flood risk zones.

In addition, the legislation requires the Federal Emergency Management Agency to take local flood control structures into account during the remapping process and provides reimbursement for successful consumer map appeals. It also restores the "substantial improvement threshold" that triggers a higher flood insurance rate to the historic 50 percent of a structure's fair market value, which is important for many remodelers.
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Riverwood Farm Fire Relief
This week a brush fire caused the destruction of four homes in Riverwood Farm in Greer.  Four families have been displaced, including one that just moved into their home a few days earlier with four children under the age of five.

The Riverwood Farm Fire Fund has been established at Bank of America to assist the affected families.  You also may purchase a gift card for the families and deliver it to the Cothran Company, which is assisting the families.  Donations from Bed Bath and Beyond, Babies R Us, Dillard's, Belk's, Target, Walmart, or a Visa or Mastercard gift card are suggested.

For further information, contact

Pete Kellos
Cothran Company, LLC
420 The Parkway, Suite E, Greer, SC, 29650
(mail to P.O. Box 27049, Greenville, SC 29616)
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Troy C. Usher
It is with sadness that we report to you the passing of Troy C. Usher, father of Todd Usher, Past President of your Home Builders Association and President of Addison Homes. A memorial service will be held on Monday April 7th at 2pm at Seneca Presbyterian Church, 115 West South 1st St. Reception to follow in the Fellowship Hall.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made in honor of Troy C. Usher to Honor Flight Upstate at

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NAHB Reveals Most Popular Features Found in New Homes
During New Homes Month in April, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is sharing with home buyers the most popular features in new single-family homes in 2014. Builders from across the country were surveyed on what features they were most likely to include in a typical single-family home this year, revealing that convenience, livability and energy efficiency are top priorities.

“Newly constructed homes can suit the specific requirements of today’s home buyers,” said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly, a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. “And now is a great time to consider buying a new home, as consumers can take advantage of competitive home prices and low interest rates to find the perfect new home for their families.”

Home builders are including features that are practical and functional for the daily lives of today’s home buyers. The features that are most likely to be included in a typical single-family home this year are:
  • a walk-in closet in the master bedroom
  • low-e windows
  • a laundry room and
  • a great room.
Energy efficiency is a key theme with Energy-Star rated appliances, programmable thermostats and Energy-Star rated windows at the top of the list. These features help make the home more comfortable and can save the home owner significant money over the long term. On a median per square-foot basis, home owners spent 78 cents per square foot per year on electricity, while owners of new homes spent 65 cents per square foot per year, according to data from the 2009 American Housing Survey (AHS).

Builders also list features such as granite countertops, a double sink and a central island as winning elements in new-home kitchens, and a linen closet and a private toilet in the bathroom. Additional features likely to be included throughout the home include first-floor ceilings at least nine-feet high, a front porch, outdoor lighting and a patio.

Home buyers can access home buying and home building information and resources on NAHB's website at
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UPS Now your Home Builders Association Shipping Program
UPS is now your Home Builders Association’s small package and freight shipping program. HBA members receive a larger discount than our previous program.

Make the most out of your membership and take advantage of some of the most competitive rates available on shipping services with UPS. Whether you need your documents or packages to arrive the next day or are looking for the most affordable shipping option, UPS understands the importance of reliability, speed and cost. See how UPS discounts can help your bottom line:

? Up to 36% on UPS Air letters including UPS Next Day Air®*
? Up to 32% on UPS Air packages (1 lb.+)*
? Up to 34% on UPS International imports and exports
? Up to 24% on UPS Ground shipments
? Savings begin at 70% on UPS Freight® shipments over 150 lbs.

You can receive these discounts even if you already have a UPS account. Plus, the more you ship, the more you can save with UPS. To enroll and start saving, visit or call 1-800-MEMBERS (1-800-636-2377), M-F, 8 a.m. ? 6 p.m.

*Discounts exclude UPS Express Critical® and UPS Next Day Air® Early A.M.®
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Gabriel Builders Recognized For Customer Satisfaction
Gabriel Builders Wins 2014 Builder Partnerships Achievement Award in Customer Satisfaction

Gabriel Builders received a National award at the 2014 International Builders Show in Las Vegas.  Gabriel Builders has achieved the level of: Distinction in Customer Satisfaction from Woodland, O’Brien & Scott, and Builder Partnerships.

Gabriel Builders scored enough points on the process evaluation and referral rates to qualify for the Builder Partnerships Achievement Award in Customer Satisfaction. This year’s applicants were evaluated based on three criteria, willingness to refer, the customer experience, and the referral rate.

The Willingness to Refer was the hurdle to qualify for the review process. Once builders cleared the 88 percent required Willingness to Refer rate, they were then evaluated on the other criteria which required an in-depth review of processes and documentation.

"We are honored to be recognized by Builder Partnerships for an Achievement Award in Customer Satisfaction," says Gus Rubio, president of Gabriel Builders. " We work hard, everyday, to produce some of the highest referral rates from our customers in the industry. We are blessed to work with wonderful clients who enjoy our exacting standards for production."

Gus Rubio is a member of the Board of Directors of your Home Builders Association.

Congratulations to all the employees at Gabriel that made this happen 
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Judges Needed for Atlanta's 2014 OBIE Awards
The Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association and the Atlanta Sales and Marketing Council are excited to announce the 2014 OBIE Awards. This annual awards program recognizes outstanding industry professionals and offers HBA members the opportunity to compete with their peers in a variety of categories.

In an effort to maintain the high integrity of the OBIE Awards, we are seeking judges from around the country to score the various entries and help determine the winners of the coveted OBIE Award. Atlanta offers a fun, easy, informative and hassle free judging experience.

All interested judges must complete and return the attached judging application. All applications are due by Friday April 25, 2014 (no exceptions will be made).

PLEASE NOTE: All individuals that apply to be a judge will be notified of their status Friday by May 27th. Returning an application does not guarantee you a spot as a judge for the 2014 OBIE awards.

All Remodeling, Community Service, and Marketing categories will be judged in-house, electronically.

All Building, Special Categories, Model Homes/Sales Centers and Personal Achievement Categories will be judged onsite.

Judges will be assigned to a variety of the above categories. While in Atlanta, the HBA will provide judges with lodging for the nights indicated, transportation to and from the airport and for all planned activities, lunch and refreshments during judging and a dinner with our Sales and Marketing Council Board on Friday evening. You will be responsible for your transportation to and from Atlanta.

Arrive Wednesday, August 6th ~ Depart Sunday, August 10th (hotel paid for Wednesday-Sat nights)

Please cmail ( or fax (770-934-8363) for questions and to obtain an application to be a judge. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via email or at 678-775-1446.

We are looking for more judges this year so please forward this application to anyone you think might be interested in judging. I look forward to working with you and to welcoming you to our wonderful city!

Best regards,
Janel Grant, Member Services Manager

PS - To maintain the integrity and quality of our awards program, please disqualify yourself from judging if you currently do industry-related business in Atlanta with members of our Association.

PSS ? Click here to view the 2013 OBIE Awards Winners Book.

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SBA Deadline in South Carolina for Working Capital Loans Due to Excessive Rain is April 28
The U.S. Small Business Administration is reminding small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private non-profit organizations of all sizes that April 28, 2014 is the filing deadline for federal economic injury disaster loans in South Carolina as a result of the excessive rain that began on March 1, 2013.

The loans are available in the following counties: Abbeville, Aiken, Allendale, Anderson,
Bamberg, Barnwell, Beaufort, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Cherokee, Chester, Chesterfield,
Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dillon, Dorchester, Edgefield, Fairfield, Florence, Georgetown,
Greenville, Greenwood, Hampton, Horry, Jasper, Kershaw, Lancaster, Laurens, Lee, Lexington, Marion, Marlboro, McCormick, Newberry, Oconee, Orangeburg, Pickens, Richland, Saluda, Spartanburg, Sumter, Union, Williamsburg and York in South Carolina.

Under this declaration, the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available to eligible farm-related and nonfarm-related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster. With the exception of aquaculture enterprises, SBA cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers, or ranchers.

The loans are for working capital and can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 4 percent for eligible small businesses and 2.875 percent for non-profit organizations, and terms up to 30 Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure
website at

Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to Loan applications can be downloaded from the SBA’s website at Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

Completed loan applications must be returned to SBA no later than April 28, 2014.

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FHFA House Price Index Up 0.5 Percent in January
U.S. house prices rose in January, with an increase of 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 seasonally adjusted purchase-only index for the U.S. has shown increases for 23 of the last 24 months, beginning with February 2012. The November 2013 HPI was the exception, with a decrease of 0.1 percent. The previously reported 0.8 percent increase in December was revised downward to reflect a 0.7 percent increase.

The FHFA HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages either sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. From January 2013 to January 2014, house prices were up 7.4 percent. The U.S. index is 8.0 percent below its April 2007 peak and is roughly the same as the May 2005 index level.

For the nine census divisions, seasonally adjusted monthly price changes from December 2013 to January 2014 ranged from -0.3 percent in the West South Central division to +1.3 percent in the Middle Atlantic division. The 12-month changes were all positive ranging from +3.2 percent in the Middle Atlantic division to +14.0 percent in the Pacific division.

The next HPI report will be released April 22, 2014 and will include monthly data for February 2014.

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FHFA Index Shows Mortgage Interest Rates Decrease Slightly in February
National data shows interest rates on mortgages decreased in February.  Contract mortgage interest rates decreased 0.07 percent from January to February, 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 4.30 percent for loans closed in late February. The index is calculated using FHFA’s Monthly Interest Rate Survey. The contract rate on the composite of all mortgage loans was 4.22 percent, down 14 basis points from 4.36 in January.

Interest rates are typically locked in 30-45 days before a loan is closed. Consequently, February data reflects market rates from mid-to-late January. The effective interest rate was 4.38 percent, down 14 basis points from 4.52 percent in January. 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 4.45 in February, a decrease of 22 basis points. The average loan amount for all loans was $275,700 in February down $8,700 from $284,400 in January.

FHFA will release March index values Tuesday, April 29th, 2014.

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EPA Drops Plans for New Post-Construction Stormwater Rule
In a major win for the home building industry ? and common sense ? the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will jettison plans for a National Post Construction Stormwater Rulemaking, plans that your Home Builders Association repeatedly told the agency would have added onerous, costly and in many cases impractical steps to the residential development process. “It’s been a five-year bureaucratic battle, but we won. That’s a victory for our buyers as well,” said Kevin Kelly, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders and a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del.

Since EPA first announced its plans in December 2009, HBA staff and members have submitted comments and letters, testified at hearings, served on small-business panels and met with appointed and elected officials to explain why EPA’s proposal was an incursion into land-use regulations and plain wouldn’t work. In essence, a rule would have required all builders to retain a certain volume of stormwater onsite by using low-impact development techniques such as rain gardens, pervious pavements and other methods that often add money especially on sites with soil types that don’t easily infiltrate.

Some of the technologies EPA was considering would be almost impossible in many urban areas, making smart-growth and redevelopment projects less likely to succeed. They are also expensive: Builders who employ these practices have estimated they add at least 10-15% to the cost of a developed lot, depending on location and soil type.

EPA was also considering expensive retrofit requirements that would saddle municipalities and taxpayers with huge additional bills during a time when many cannot keep up with current infrastructure demands. “Green infrastructure systems are still a work in progress, and as technology progresses, we’ll discover solutions that work better and are less expensive,” Kelly said. “I’m glad that EPA has decided to concentrate on education programs rather than proposing this rule, and I am proud of the role we played to make that happen.”

Your Home Builders Association is talking to EPA about assisting with its low-impact development education efforts, and such practices already are part of the voluntary ICC 700 National Green Building Standard.
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New Source of Financing Available to HBA Members
Your Home Builders Association has worked for the last four years to restore sources of financing for home builders and developers who are members of their Home Builders Association.  The aggressive regulation of banks by federal regulators has limited the availability of financing, particularly for development of lots.  Your association's efforts have been in two areas: 1) aggressive lobbying of regulators and Congress to adjust the regulatory environment for lending for real estate development; and 2) identification and creation of new sources of financing.

At the Winter Board meetings in Las Vegas earlier this month North Star Finance presented a proposal to the Board of Directors of the National Association of Home Builders for a debt financing program for small- to mid-size home builders.  Loans are available up to $10 million.  The loan is non-recourse (no personal guarantees), payments are deferred during construction, and permanent financing is available following construction.  Terms are 100 percent debt financing and allows up to five percent in hard cost and four percent for supervision costs.

Terms include:
  • a refundable earnest money deposit of $30,000, which is held in escrow.  If North Star declines the loan, the deposit is returned.  If the borrower defaults, the deposit is forfeited.  The deposit is otherwise returned to the borrower at closing.
  • Fee to the lender is 7 percent.
  • Interest rate is 2.5 percent above LIBOR.
North Start Finance is a private equity group licensed and bonded in Maryland.

Information about the program is available to members of your Home Builders Association.  Contact Michael Dey at 864-254-0133 or email for detailed information about the program.

Your Home Builders Association is evaluating this program for possible endorsement through the Member Advantage Program.  At this time your HBA makes no representation--borrower beware.  Your association simply offers this information in light of the difficulty our members are having obtaining financing for their projects.

Note, however, that North Star Finance does require that the borrower be a member of the Home Builders Association.  Note also that North Star Finance is looking for members holding the credential Master in Residential Marketing to assist it with its review of local projects.
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Southeast Builder Financing Fair
Your Home Builders Association is planning a builder financing fair to provide a one-stop venue for builders and developers in the region to meet with potential funding sources.

Below are the vital details on the Southeast Builder Financing Fair:
  • What: Southeast Builder Financing Fair
  • When: May 20, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. 
  • Where: Georgia International Convention Center
The Southeast Builder Financing Fair will feature a diverse range of debt and equity sources including local, regional and national banks as well as private investors and financial advisors. Participation in the Financing Fair will only be available to members of the Home Builders Association.  There will be no cost to participate.
We expect to have at least 20 financial firms on site. In advance of their arrival, attendees will be able to schedule private meetings with financial firms or advisors. In addition, there will be an education program on financing opportunities, informal networking, and lunch will be provided.

Registration for the Financing Fair will open April 1, your Home Builders Association will provide links to the registration site, a list of participating financial institutions and a description of the on-site educational program. Instructions on how to schedule meetings will be issued in early May to members who have registered.
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Help Wanted: Office Manager
Your Home Builders Association has an opening for the position of Office Manager.  The candidate will have three- to five-years of experience in a small-office setting managing all aspects of the administrative operations of a professional office.  Bookkeeping experience is a must. 

Our office is face-paced and sometimes demanding, but we enjoy our work with our members and the opportunity to work together as a team. 

Competitive salary and benefits are offered to the right professional.  Please submit your resume and cover letter to
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2014 Golf Classic - May 8th starting at 11:30 a.m.

Spring is officially here so dust of your golf clubs because the HBA of Greenville will host its annual Golf Classic on Thursday May 8th at The Preserve at Verdae.  The event is sponsored by Stock Building Supply with Piedmont Natural Gas as presenting sponsor. The Golf Classic is Captain's Choice Format and will have a Shotgun Start at 11:30 am

Team and sponsorship opportunities available, please call the HBA office if you would like to participate.

Volunteers NEEDED: We also have a need for volunteers if you would like to help please contact the HBA office at 864-254-0133 or email Crystal Yanes at

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New Member Orientation/ Meet the Board of Directors- Thursday March 27th
Join us for a New Member Orientation sponsored by PestBan on March 27th beginning at 5:30 p.m. Learn about the HBA of Greenville and meet other members as well as the Board members. 
This event is open to all new members who have joined the association since December 2013 to present and members who are interested in learning more about the HBA
The New Member Orientation will be held at the HBA office (5 Creekside Park Court, Suite A, Greenville, SC). 
Please RSVP by Tuesday March 25th by emailing or by calling the HBA office at (864) 254-0133.

We hope to see you there!

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Hard Hat Tour on March 20th sponsored by Dillard Jones Builders with Conservus Group

Join us this Thursday, March 20th at the HBA of Greenville's Hard Hat Tour at the Southern Living Showcase Home. The event is sponsored by Dillard-Jones Builders with Conservus Group, exclusive Sales and Marketing for the The Ridges at Paris Mountain.

The event will start at 10am with muffins and mimosas and will involve a tour and information on how to sell new home construction to potential buyers.

You can also register to win an iPad Mini.

For more information or to register for this event please contact Crystal Yanes at the the HBA office. 864-254-0133 or
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44th Annual HBASC Bird Supper is March 25
Are you attending the Bird Supper?  You should if you want to be a part of solving excessive regulation instead of just being a victim of it.

Since 1970, Home Builders Association members and South Carolina’s legislators have been attending the Bird Supper. It is the longest standing event on the South Carolina legislative calendar.
  • When: Tuesday, March 25, 2014, 6:30 p.m.
  • Where: Seawells in Columbia, SC (1125 Rosewood Drive)
The S.C. Builders PAC Reception will be held at 5:30 p.m. for Silver Hammer donors and higher.

Join us as we gather with our legislators over a delicious supper of fried quail, grits, green beans, biscuits and other fine southern cuisine.

Tickets are $35 per person. Contact the Home Builders Association of Greenville at (864) 254-0133.

The Bird Supper Day agenda is as follows:
  • 3:30 p.m. - Board of Directors Meeting
  • 4:30 p.m. Governor and Lt. Governor Candidates Round Table
  • 5:30 p.m. - SC Builders PAC Reception Honoring Hammer & Trowel Award Winners
    • Invitation Only - SC Builders PAC $250 + Contributors
  • 6:30 p.m. The Bird Supper and Hammer and Trowel Ceremony 
Below are talking points for your discussions with your legislators:

While the General Assembly will deal with a variety of subjects, there are several issues of importance to home builders and that our industry are likely to receive consideration this session and the next.

Local Business Licenses:
H.3986 - Rep. Samuel Rivers
The HBASC has long been working to improve the business license environment in South Carolina. A number of our members have expressed significant concerns with the current process that makes compliance extremely difficult and places a heavy burden on small businesses. Rep. Samuel Rivers has filed H.3986 to freeze business license fees charged by municipalities to existing levels as of January 1, 2013 and allow counties to become the centralized collection point for those fees.
Share with your Representatives and Senators how
your company is negatively impacted by the business
license process and this issue needs to be addressed
as soon as possible.
House: Rivers, Bowen, Simrill, Atwater, Toole, Huggins, Ballentine, Delleney, Finlay, Hixon, Lowe, D.C. Moss, Norman, Pope, Putnam, Sandifer, Thayer, Loftis, Burns and Goldfinch

Local Lobbying Requirements:
H.3945 ? Rep. G.M. Smith
During debate on the Senate floor, an amendment to the Ethics Reform bill was proposed to require any individual who is retained for the expressed purpose of testifying before a county council, city council, or other political subdivision ? regardless of whether or not the individual is compensated ? to register as a lobbyist with the State Ethics Commission. This would mean any builder or contractor who goes before a local governing body for any action (i.e. permits, variances, zoning changes, etc.)
would be required to register as a lobbyist. This would create a hindrance not only for our local HBAs, but also for any HBA member by placing them under the same provisions (fees, personal financial declarations, and detailed issue reports) as a state level lobbyist.
Ask your Representative to support ethics reform, but oppose any attempts to require builders and contractors to be required to register as a lobbyist at the local level.
House: Harrell, Lucas, Bannister, Toole, Stringer, Hamilton, Sottile, Barfield, Bingham, Spires, Hardwick, Owens, Hiott, Long, Erickson, Murphy, Horne, Willis, Gagnon, Simrill, Funderburk and Henderson

Patent Trolling: 
H.4629 ? Rep. Finlay & S.1121 ? Sen. Campbell
This legislation addresses the demand letter issue that builders across the country are beginning to face. In these situations, a builder receives a letter claiming that a particular building method they are using is patented by the “patent troll” and thus the builder is guilty of patent infringement. The letter will threaten legal action unless the builder pays a license fee to the supposed patent holder. This issue surfaced in Oregon when a supposed patent holder sent a letter to builders claiming to hold a patent covering all aspects of moister remediation during construction. The letter claimed all moisture remediation procedures other than natural drying or use of the home’s furnace was a patent infringement. The “patent troll” offered to license the procedure to the builder for $150/house in lieu of legal action. According to a Boston University study, patent trolls cost US companies more than $29 billion in legal fees and settlements in 2011 alone.
Ask your Representative to co-sponsor and support H.4629, and your Senators to co-sponsor and support S.1121, to prevent patent trolls from threatening baseless lawsuits against builders and contractors.
House: Ballentine, Cole, Delleney and Huggins
Senate: Setzler, McElveen and L. Martin

Property Tax Discount for Active Duty Military:
H.3027 ? Rep. G.M. Smith
In light of current action being taken by the Federal government as part of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, H.3027 provides a property tax credit for active duty military personnel in South Carolina. The bill will allow for active duty members of the military who are relocated or reassigned for at least one year to qualify for the 4% special assessment ratio. This bill is expected to provide addition help to members of the military stationed in South Carolina, and to help the state
avoid potential closures as part of BRAC by creating a better environment for military personnel.
Thank your Representatives and Senators for supporting this legislation to protect South Carolina’s military installations. Special thanks goes to Jimmy Derrick for spearheading the effort to make this bill a reality.
House: Pitts, Ballentine, J.E. Smith, Bernstein, Harrell, Cobb-Hunter, Whipper and R.L. Brown

South Carolina Building Code
The HBASC is working with a number of interested groups to create the South Carolina Building Code. This state-specific code would allow for a more efficient and effective code adoption process. The code would be tailored to South Carolina and take into consideration the specific needs of the building and development industry in our state. The SC Building Code would also change to a five year code adoption cycle to mirror other building published building codes and recent legislation in other states.
Tell your Representatives and Senators how burdensome the current code adoptions process and how a South Carolina-specific building code would benefit our industry and affordable housing. This bill is expected to be filed in the next legislative session.

Home building generates substantial economic benefits for S.C., including income and jobs for
residents of the state, and revenue for the state government and local governments within the
state. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has developed a model to estimate these
economic benefits.

The model captures the effect of the construction activity itself, the ripple impact that occurs when
income earned from construction activity is spent and recycles in the state’s economy, and the ongoing impact that results from new homes becoming occupied by residents who pay taxes and buy goods and services produced within the state. In order to fully capture the positive impact residential construction has on a state’s economy, it’s important to include the ripple effects and the ongoing benefits.

S.C. is projected to build 20,000 single family homes in 2014. The estimated economic impact is at least:
  • $3.2 billion in income for South Carolina residents,
  • $690.2 million in taxes and other revenue for the state and local governments in the state, and
  • 57,120 new jobs in South Carolina.
The additional, annually recurring impacts of building 20,000 single-family homes in South Carolina include:

  • $554.2 million in income for South Carolina residents,
  • $203.2 million in taxes and other revenue for the state and local governments in the state, and
  • 11,284 new jobs in South Carolina.

These are ongoing, annual local impacts that result from the new homes being occupied and the occupants paying taxes and otherwise participating in the state economy year after year.

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    Legal Alert: Patent Enforcement UPDATE
    Legal Alert:

    A group in has received a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office covering a commonly-used process for removing moisture from lumber in unfinished construction.  A copy of a patent assertion from this company is linked below.

    If you receive a patent assertion from this company, please contact your HBA Office at 865-254-0133 or email  We are working with the HBA of Oregon and NAHB to facilitate a challenge to this patent.

    Click here to view a copy of the patent assertion received by an HBA member in Oregon.


    Did you know that NAHB monitors patent applications for residential building designs and subdivision layouts that are pending with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to reduce the likelihood that members will have to pay costly patent infringement fines.

    Since 1998, the NAHB Design Committee and NAHB staff have monitored the US Patent and Trademark Office’s issue of the granting of patents to residential building designs and subdivision layouts to better ensure that such patents are properly issued.

    Anyone can apply for a patent with an idea, concept or invention that is unique, novel and non-obvious. In addition, anyone can be affected by a patent that was granted for an idea, concept or invention that is not. A patent holder can enforce receipt of royalties and/or can sue for patent infringement if a patented design or plan is already built; therefore, improperly issued patents can involve substantial costs for building industry professionals.

    Click here to read the summary reports of patent applications.
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    Hard Hat Tour on March 20th sponsored by Dillard Jones Builders with Conservus Group
    Mark your calendars for the HBA of Greenville's Hard Hat Tour at the Southern Living Showcase Home. The event is sponsored by Dillard-Jones Builders with Conservus Group, exclusive Sales and Marketing for the The Ridges at Paris Mountain.

    The event will start at 10am with muffins and mimosas and will involve a tour and information on how to sell new home construction to potential buyers.

    You can also register to win an iPad Mini.

    For more information or to register for this event please contact Crystal Yanes at the the HBA office. 864-254-0133 or
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    HBA of Greenville Members- FREE home show tickets courtesy of PestBan.
    PestBan would like to invite all HBA of Greenville members to attend the Spring Southern Home and Garden Show, Presented by Jeff Lynch Appliance and TV Center, March 7-9th. PestBan is the official Trade Day sponsor and will have information on their products and services located at the Southern Home and Garden Show information desk.
    For your complimentary tickets please visit the Information/ Will call desk during the show and present your HBA membership card or industry business card.

    Click here for show hours and more information.
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