Business briefs for June 22nd-28th

American Legion Beaufort Post 9 is striving to promote both patriotism and businesses in the Beaufort area by calling attention to those that proudly display the U.S. flag at their location. Post 9 presents those enterprises with a framed certificate thanking them. Here, Post 9 Vice Commander Paul Sweet presents Boundary Street Collision & Sea Island Auto Glass owner Lisa Melvin and staff with a certificate for displaying the nation's flag.
American Legion Beaufort Post 9 is striving to promote both patriotism and businesses in the Beaufort area by calling attention to those that proudly display the U.S. flag at their location. Post 9 presents those enterprises with a framed certificate thanking them. Here, Post 9 Vice Commander Paul Sweet presents Boundary Street Collision & Sea Island Auto Glass owner Lisa Melvin and staff with a certificate for displaying the nation’s flag.

Lime Lite Salon joins sustainability initiative

Check out the numbers: 63,180 pounds of hair clippings, 42,122 pounds of hair color, 109,512 pounds of foil and color tubes and 206,392 pounds of wastepaper, salon bottles and other paper and plastic items.

That’s the amount of waste being tossed out by hair salons across North America every single day.

As a newly Green Circle Certified Salon, Lime Lite Salon is now part of a comprehensive recycling and sustainability program that sets out to significantly reduce the industry’s environmental impact on the planet.

From the sourcing of ingredients to the disposal of packaging and products, the salon and beauty industry has long posed many challenges to the environment. 

With this in mind, Lime Lite Salon wanted to join forces with Green Circle to take a stand for the planet and work together to reduce its ecological footprint and make the industry more sustainable. 

Through its partnership with Green Circle Salons, Lime Lite will be redirecting what was once considered garbage out of water streams and landfills to be repurposed into innovative green solutions.

All hair clippings, extensions, any excess color and developer, papers and plastics, foils, aerosol cans and color tubes from Lime Lite Salon will be collected by GCS, effectively cutting down the salon’s total waste by 85-95 percent.

Located in the heart of downtown Beaufort, Lime Lite is committed to providing exceptional service and industry knowledge to its guests. It is committed to being a sustainable, responsible salon.

Visit www.greencirclesalons.ca.

For more information about Lime Lite, call 843-379-5463 or email info@limelitesalon.net.

High home prices lead to strong lending standards

Home prices across the U.S. are reaching all-time highs, prompting worry over another boom-and-bust scenario like the one experienced roughly 10 years ago. 

Yet, according to Janet Gresham, CEO of the Beaufort County Association of Realtors and the Beaufort Multiple Listing Service Inc., “As we glance across the state of residential real estate, what is clear compared to the last extended run of price increases is that lending standards are now much stronger than they were before. 

“Incomes must be verified, a reasonable amount of money must be paid toward the home prior to purchase and a more stringent loan approval process is in place to prevent a repeat performance of the Great Recession.”

In Beaufort County in May, new listings were up 13 percent to 304. Pending Sales decreased 4.4 percent to 216. Inventory grew 3.9 percent to 1,049 units.

Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 9.8 percent to $202,500. Days on Market decreased 21.5 percent to 73 days. Months Supply of Inventory was up 1.8 percent to 5.8 months, indicating that supply increased relative to demand.

“In addition to a stronger base upon which to conduct real estate transactions, the overall economy is in better shape than it was a decade ago,” said Gresham. “More jobs are available, unemployment is relatively low and workers have more faith in their wages and the potential for wage increases. Although we continue to battle an inventory shortage in much of the country, optimism remains high for a successful summer for buying and selling homes.”

State agencies partner for changes to lender laws

The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) and the South Carolina State Board of Financial Institutions – Consumer Finance Division (BOFI-CFD) have announced changes made during the 2017 legislative session to state mortgage laws.

 Senate Bill 366 amends the Mortgage Lending Act and Mortgage Broker Act, providing updates that reduce the regulatory burden on industry. 

These changes also decrease initial license application costs without compromising consumer protections, according to a press release.

The bill was a collaborative effort between the agencies and the Mortgage Bankers Association of the Carolinas. The new law becomes effective Sept. 16, and makes the following changes:

• Adoption of the Uniform State Test. License applicants will no longer take a South Carolina specific test as a part of the licensing process. Instead, applicants will take the Uniform State Test along with three hours of South Carolina specific training for pre-licensing education (PE).

• Elimination of State Criminal Background Check. The requirement of a state criminal background check for license applicants has been removed. The Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry (NMLS) already administers national background checks for mortgage companies and individuals. State background check data is reported to the national system within 24 hours of processing.

• Continuing Education Requirements. The amendment requires that at least one hour of the eight hours of required Continuing Education (CE) be on South Carolina-specific laws. Current licensees will have until license renewal in November of 2018 to satisfy this requirement.

Additional changes include:

• Residence as licensed location. Clarifies when a residence may be licensed as a branch location.

• Broker brick and mortar removal. Deletes the requirement for a mortgage broker to have a physical location in SC.

• Dual license clarification. Adds parameters to determine when a mortgage lender would not need to obtain a mortgage broker license when engaging in both activities.

Realtor representing property on HGTV.com

Weichert, Realtors-Coastal Properties sales associate Eric and Hillary Dollenberg are representing a property selected as a finalist in the 2017 HGTV Ultimate House Hunt, a month-long online promotion being held on HGTV.com through Tuesday, July 18. 

During the contest period, consumers vote for their favorite homes among 64 finalists in eight different categories. The listing was selected by editors of HGTV.com as a finalist in the Kitchen & Dining category. 

“We are so excited to have 117 Mount Pelia in Palmetto Bluff chosen as a 2017 Finalist in HGTV’s House Hunt Kitchen & Dining category,” said Maureen Richards, Weichert marketing director.

View all the finalists and cast your vote at www.HGTV.com/househunt.

Timeshares focus of new legislation

The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA) recently announced the passage of House Bill 3647, which offers greater consumer protections in the arena of timeshare resale. 

H3647 addresses several facets of the timeshare resale process:

• Written contract. Timeshare resale service providers are required to give consumers a written contract including a complete description of the services offered, the length of the contract, and SCDCA’s telephone and web address.

• Five-day right to cancel. Consumers have a right to cancel the timeshare resale contract within five business days.

• Fee restrictions and escrow. The bill establishes guidelines for the transfer of money during the resale process. Timeshare resale service providers cannot charge a consumer upfront for an appraisal, but may charge for marketing or advertising efforts. Any monies given to the timeshare resale service provider by the consumer must be held in escrow until the complete execution of the contract.

• Enforcement. SCDCA may enforce these new provisions through penalties, warning notices, cease and desist orders and consumer refunds.

While the law creates some great consumer protections, SCDCA always urges consumers to be on guard and take proactive steps to protect themselves in the marketplace. Consumers looking for a timeshare reseller should:

• Adequately research the company. Find out if the timeshare resale service provider has any complaints on file with SCDCA. A quick Internet search may reveal complaints as well.

• Know the terms. Oral promises are hard to prove. Make sure the contract includes all promises in writing and never sign a blank or incomplete contract.

Visit SCDCA’s website for tips on avoiding timeshare resale scams. Consumers can file a complaint against a timeshare resale service provider at www.consumer.sc.gov or by calling 800-922-1594.

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