Did You Know: Greenville is a Popular Search on Redfin

According to a study by Truist, housing searches on Redfin by users in other MSAs, Greenville had the second highest increase in searches in 2020 behind Knoxville TN.  Housing searches in the Greenville area increased in 2020 by 302% year over year, and 400% compared to 2017.  Greenville’s population increased 12% between 2010 and 2020 and is projected to increase by another 6.1% between 2020 and 2025.

Corps of Engineers Suspends New Nationwide Wetland Permits

Trump WOTUS Rule Replaced

Twice last Fall, the US Army Corps of Engineers suspended issuance of nationwide permits under the Federal Clean Water Act. The suspensions were the result of legal challenges to the Trump Waters of the US (WOTUS) rule.

The Biden Administration is replacing the WOTUS rule with the rule that was in place for nearly 30 years until it was replaced by the Obama Administration. The new rule will include the substance of a US Supreme Court ruling in Rapanos.

Below is more on the subject from NAHB. You can learn more by attending the briefing by SC Attorney General Alan Wilson on February 7, and support his campaign for reelection as well.

https://nahbnow.com/2021/11/corps-of-engineers-suspends-issuance-of-all-new-federal-nationwide-wetlands-permits/
https://nahbnow.com/2021/09/what-does-the-recent-wotus-rule-change-mean-for-your-projects

Brenda Jo Anderson

Brenda Jo Anderson

Brenda Jo Anderson

Brenda Jo Campbell Anderson, 49, passed away November 7, 2021.  Brenda was the wife of James Anderson, a mortgage lender with HomeTrust Bank.

Brenda was a native of Sioux City, Iowa, and an interior decorator. Her family says her love for Jesus and people was the centerpiece of her life.

In addition to James, Brenda is survived by her a daughter, Emma Grace Anderson, and sons Maxwell Anderson and Jacob Anderson.

Funeral services will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, November 13, 2021, at Grace Church on Pelham Road .  Burial will follow in Hillcrest Memory Gardens.  Visitation will be held 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Friday, November 12, at The Wood Mortuary.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Miracle Hill Shepherd’s Gate, 11 Regency Hill Dr., Greenville, SC 29607.

Online condolences may be made at www.thewoodmortuary.com.

ADA Compliance: Model Homes and Model Homes with Sales Offices

ADA=Americans with Disabilities Act

Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act’s purpose is to ensure places of public accommodation provide the same level of access to people with various disabilities.  Like other business where people with disabilities may visit, Home Builders are not exempt.

Two key places where Home Builders may be impacted by the ADA are model homes and model homes with sales offices.

Model Homes

If a Home Builder offers a model home without a sales office, the model home is exempt from the ADA because residential dwellings are exempt from the ADA even when it is used as a model or example of the Home Builder’s product.  However, to protect this exemption, the Home Builder must refrain from doing any form of business in the model other than using it as an example of their work.  Material samples, sales documents, and other business materials should not be used in the model.  Instead, these types of materials and documents should only be used in a sales office or other ADA-accessible location.

Model Homes with Sales Offices

If a builder decides to include a sales office in one of the model homes, the section used for the sales office must be accessible because it is a place of public accommodation.  Often builders will put the sales office in the garage area, which is acceptable so long as it can be accessed by people with disabilities.  The rest of the model home would still be exempt provided it is not being used for any other purpose except as a demonstration of the Home Builders work.

These are some examples of strategies that may need to be taken to ensure that the Sales Office in the Model Home complies with the ADA:

  1. No part of the model home may be used for any business other than demonstration of the Home Builder’s work.  Therefore, a bathroom in the model home may not be used by anyone, including company staff, unless it meets ADA guidelines.  As an alternative, many Home Builders install a temporary accessible lavatory outside the model home that is used by everyone working at or visiting the sales office and model.
  2. The entry into the sales office must meet ADA guidelines.  If you use the garage for the sales office, which is common, you must choose a site where the slope of the driveway does not exceed ADA guidelines.  And the entry into the sales office must be wide enough to allow access along with an accessible path into and through the sales office.
  3. Even though the model itself may not be accessible, it is still a good idea to provide a means of viewing the areas of the model that are not accessible.  Offering standard industry videos of the model, or photo boards showing the model and features, are a good idea.

Consequences

ADA advocates and advocacy groups are actively visiting Home Builders’ developments, particularly those with sales offices and model homes.  They also are viewing your websites for accessibility.

As a Home Builder, you should take steps to ensure that you are meeting the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was signed into law in 1990.  If you fail to do so, and you get on the radar of an ADA advocate or the U.S. Department of Justice, you could become the subject of litigation not just for current developments but projects dating back many years.  Settlements usually involve payments of attorney fees, damages (under state law claims), corrections to your business operations, and training of your staff by the very advocates by whom you were sued, paid for by you.

Do you want to serve on a local government board or commission?

Do you want to serve on a local government board or commission?

Serving on a local government board or commission is a great way to give back to your community, plug into what is happening, and maybe even benefit personally and professionally by building new relationships. It also doesn’t hurt that you will learn more about how government operates as well.

Both Greenville County and the City of Greenville have opened applications for several boards and commissions.

Greenville County

The Application period to serve on a board or commission at Greenville County closes July 31.  To apply, click here to access the Boards and Commissions website and download the application.

  • Accommodations Tax Advisory Committee: 5 vacancies
  • Airport Commission (downtown airport): 1 vacancy
  • Airport Environs Planning Commission: 2 vacancies
  • Board of Tax Assessment Appeals: 9 vacancies
  • Construction Board of Appeals: 1 vacancy
  • Greater Greenville Sanitation District Commission: 1 vacancy
  • Historic Preservation Commission: 5 vacancies
  • Human Relations Commission: 4 vacancies
  • Library Board of Trustees: 6 vacancies
  • Metropolitan Sewer Subdistrict: 1 vacancy
  • Museum Commission (Upcountry History Museum): 2 vacancies
  • Redevelopment Authority (affordable housing): 4 vacancies
  • Thrive Upstate (Disabilities and Special Needs): 2 vacancies
  • Zoning Board of Appeals: 1 vacancy
  • Ashwicke Special Tax District: 2 vacancies
  • Canebrake Fire District Board: 2 vacancies
  • Clear Spring Fire and Rescue District: 2 vacancies
  • Devenger Pointe Special Tax District: 2 vacancies
  • Donaldson Fire Service Area: 1 vacancy
  • Lake Forest Special Tax District: 2 vacancies
  • Old Mill Estates Tax District Commission: 2 vacancies
  • Sterling Community Special Tax District: 2 vacancies
  • Terra Pines Estates Special Tax District: 1 vacancy

City of Greenville

The application period to serve on a board or commission at the City of Greenville closes August 1.  To apply, click here to access the city boards and commissions page and download the application.

  • Accommodations Tax Advisory Committee: 2 vacancies
  • Board of Zoning of Appeals: 2 vacancies
  • Community Development Advisory Committee (affordable housing): 2 vacancies
  • Firefighters’ Pension Fund Board of Trustees: 1 vacancy
  • Green Ribbon Advisory Committee (sustainability): 3 vacancies
  • Greenville Housing Authority: 3 vacancies
  • Greenville Transit Authority (Greenlinks): 1 vacancy
  • Municipal Election Commission: 1 vacancy
  • Public Safety Citizen Review Board (police): 1 vacancy
  • Richland Cemetery Advisory Committee: 4 vacancies
  • SCTAC board: 1 vacancy

Elected Boards

Did you know there are 23 boards whose members run for election.  Turn out for most of them is very low.  Are you interested in running for office, but not necessarily for a high-profile office?  Check out the elected boards by clicking here.

If you decide to apply, or run, please let us know by emailing (mdey@HBAofGreenville.com) or calling (864-254-0133) Michael Dey.

Dr. Robert Dietz on construction’s place in the US economy

Dr. Robert Dietz on construction’s place in the US economy

Dr. Robert Dietz

The decline, rebound and growth of home construction in 2020 has been dramatic. After a significant decline in the spring, home building has seen notable gains supported by historically low interest rates, favorable demographics, an evolving geography of housing demand, and a significant inventory deficit.

New home sales have led the way: Sales of new single-family homes are up almost 17% on a year-to-date basis, with a growing number of sales contracts attributable to homes not yet under construction. In fact, such sales are up 47% as of September. A recent NAHB analysis found that the current gap between new home sales and for-sale single-family starts was at historic levels.

The housing market is already beginning to adjust to this notable gap between sales and construction, as the growth rate for new home sales saw a 3.5% decline from August to September. But to be clear, the pace of sales in September (959,000 annual rate) is still strong, with a 32% year-over-year increase. Combined with the low level of inventory at a 3.6-month supply, the September data indicate growth opportunities for home building.

For these reasons, builder confidence in October reached a new, all-time high. The rising optimism is a reflection of the gains in September’s home construction data, which show single-family starts up 6.2% on a year-to-date basis and permits up almost 10%. In contrast, multifamily building is weakening, with 5-plus unit apartment permits down 8.4% thus far in 2020.

–NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz