Myrtle Beach area building suppliers, not lumber companies, likely winners in initiative

sjones@thesunnews.comJanuary 25, 2013 

— The owner of 84 Lumber, which has a location in Myrtle Beach, believes home-grown business can be stimulated by its “We Build American” initiative, but local lumber companies are not likely to be among them.

“In our area, most of the homes are built with U.S. lumber,” said George Layton, director of sales for Canfor Southern Pine, which is headquartered in Myrtle Beach.

Layton said he thinks only lumber companies in the northwestern U.S., which is close to vast Canadian fir forests, would be impacted by imported lumber.

But he said the real benefit of the initiative will go to U.S. companies that supply other building materials and supplies, such as metal fasteners and drywall.

“A lot of that stuff comes from overseas now,” Layton said.

84 Lumber said in a new release that about 65 percent of the materials in U.S. homes is made in America.

“With up to 40 percent of the $295 billion American homebuilding industry relating to product costs,” the company said, “even a small percentage increase in American-made products could create hundreds of thousands of jobs nationwide.”

The same is true in remodeling, the company said.

The news release said that a Delaware custom home builder calculated that the cost of using American-made materials for homebuilding is within one-half of 1 percent of the cost of using foreign-made materials.

84 Lumber’s initiative has the active support of 180 companies in more than 40 states.

Help for Strand home buyers and owners

Family Services Inc., a Charleston nonprofit that helps South Carolinians buy and keep their homes, helped 271 families in Horry and Georgetown counties stay in their homes in 2012, said Jenna Johnson, the organization’s marketing and development director.

A total of 416 homeowners facing foreclosure went to the agency for help during the year, Johnson said, a substantial number when considering those it helped statewide.

“If they hadn’t reached out to us for help, they could have lost their homes,” Johnson said.

Johnson said the agency can help those facing foreclosure arranging government loan updating and near-term financing plans as well as dealing with banks to ease the situation leading to foreclosure.

The agency also counseled five first-time home buyers in Horry and Georgetown during the year on what’s needed to get in their first home. Johnson said 65 of the 358 first-time buyers statewide counseled in 2012 purchased a home.

Some of those in Horry and Georgetown could have as well, she said, but just not reported their purchase yet to Family Services Inc.

More information about the company and its services is available at www.fsisc.org.

Contact STEVE JONES at 444-1765.

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