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Mortgage Broker in North Charleston, SC

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Classic Home Mortgage Providing Trustworthy Mortgage Guidance for Over 30 Years

Buying a home is one of the most significant investments that you will ever make. Like most good things, finding the perfect home comes with a lot of work. From your initial search online to your home tour and finally closing, there are many difficult decisions to make along the way. The bottom line is that the entire home buying process can be very stressful, especially when it comes to finding the right mortgage broker and loan for your new home. Since market conditions and mortgage programs change frequently, you have a lot riding on your broker's ability to provide quick and accurate financial advice. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or own several residential properties, you need a mortgage broker in North Charleston, SC, who can educate you on mortgage rates and provide trustworthy guidance to help you make an informed decision.

My name is Dan Crance - North Charleston's most trusted mortgage loan officer with more than 30 years in the mortgage industry. I bring unparalleled insight and decades of experience into your home loan process. If you're looking for a new home loan, are interested in refinancing your current mortgage, or need information regarding FHA, VA, or other types of loans, Dan Crance is Your Mortgage Man.

Unlike some mortgage loan officers in North Charleston, my primary goal is to help you make the right mortgage choice for you and your family. Mortgage lenders have a horrible reputation for turning over clients quickly to expedite cash flow and make the most money possible. While some mortgage brokers come off as pushy and impatient, I encourage my clients to take as much time as they need to ask questions and review their mortgage agreements. I'm here to help answer those questions and provide you with easy-to-understand advice so that you can rest easy knowing you made the right choice. I could say that I strive to provide service that exceeds your expectations, but I'd rather show you. In the end, I want you to leave feeling confident in the loan you've selected, as well as in your choice of broker.

Service Areas
Mortgage Broker North Charleston, SC
 Refinance North Charleston, SC

Why Choose Dan Crance As Your Mortgage Lender in North Charleston, SC?

Clients choose my mortgage company because I truly care about helping them navigate the often-confusing landscape of the mortgage process. I am fiercely dedicated to my clients and make every effort to provide them with trustworthy advice and an open line of communication.

In my business, I work for two different customers. On one hand, I have the buyer: the person entrusting me with the responsibility of guiding them through one of the most important decisions ever. Serving homebuyers is not a task that I take lightly. I work with them daily to help them through the process and provide timely updates and news on their mortgage status. On the other hand, I have the realtor: the person who works with my client to find their dream home. Since their commission is in my hands, working with realtors is also a very important task. I update these agents on the status of their customers weekly. Only when I take care of both parties can I say my job as a mortgage loan officer is complete.

As a mortgage broker with more than 30 years of experience, I pledge to give you the highest level of customer service while providing you with the most competitive loan products available. That way, you can buy the home of your dreams without second-guessing your decision.

 Conventional Mortgage North Charleston, SC

Home Financing in North Charleston, SC

At Classic Home Mortgage, our team works diligently to close on time without stress or hassle. Whether you're a seasoned homeowner or are buying your new home in North Charleston, we understand how much stress is involved. Our goal is to help take that stress off of your plate by walking you through every step of the home loan process. Because every one of our clients is different, we examine each loan with fresh eyes and a personalized approach, to find you the options and programs you need.

With over 30 years as a mortgage professional in North Charleston, Dan Crance will help you choose the home loan, interest rate, term options, and payment plans that fit your unique situation.

 FHA Mortgages North Charleston, SC

When you work with Classic Home Mortgage, you can always count on our team to:

  • Put your needs first.
  • Work efficiently and quickly. Many of our home loans close in 30 days or less.
  • Offer you a variety of home loans to choose from, and help you make an informed decision.
  • Provide you with competitive rates that make sense for your budget and lifestyle.

While no two loan terms are the same, a few of the most common loan types include:

30-Year Loan - This loan is often considered the most secure option to choose. With a 30-year loan, you can lock in a low payment amount and rest easy knowing your rate won't change.

FHA Loan - If you're not able to make a large down payment, an FHA loan could be the right choice for you. With an FHA loan, many of our clients have successfully purchased a home with less than 4% down.

VA Loan - This loan is reserved for military veterans and active-duty men and women. Those who qualify may be able to purchase a home with no down payment and no Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).

Choosing a home loan is an important step in the home buying process. At Classic Home Mortgage, we are here to make choosing a loan as easy as possible, so you can focus on the joys of being a homeowner. Contact our team of experts today and ask how you can get pre-qualified for your home loan in North Charleston, SC.

Refinancing in
North Charleston, SC

Because home mortgage rates in the U.S. have been so low over the last year, many current homeowners are opting to refinance their home loans. Simply put, refinancing is replacing your existing mortgage with a different mortgage under new terms. Homeowners who refinance their homes enjoy lower interest rates, lower monthly payments, and even turn their home's equity into cash. If you're interested in refinancing your home, it all begins with a call to your mortgage broker in North Charleston, SC - Dan Crance.

Here are just a few reasons why more homeowners in the U.S. are taking advantage of lower rates and refinancing their homes:
 Home Ready Mortgages North Charleston, SC
Shorter Term Loan

Shorter Term Loan

Refinancing from a 30-year to a 15-year mortgage might seem counterproductive on the surface because your monthly payment usually goes up. However, interest rates on 15-year mortgages are lower. And when you shave off years of your previous mortgage, you will pay less interest over time. These savings can be very beneficial if you are not taking the mortgage interest deduction on your tax returns.

Do Away with FHA

Do Away with FHA

FHA loans are notorious for paying premiums for the life of the loan. Mortgage insurance premiums for FHA loans can cost borrowers as much as $1,050 a year for every $100k borrowed. The only way to get rid of mortgage insurance premiums is to refinance to a new loan that the Federal Housing Authority does not back.

Switch to Fixed Rate or Adjustable-Rate Home Loan

Switch to Fixed Rate or Adjustable-Rate Home Loan

Sometimes, borrowers with adjustable-rate mortgages refinance so they can switch to a fixed rate, which lets them lock in an interest rate. Doing so is beneficial for some homeowners who like to know exactly how much their monthly payment is each month. Conversely, some homeowners with fixed rates prefer to refinance to an adjustable-rate mortgage. Homeowners often go this route if they plan on selling in a few years and don't mind risking a higher rate if their plans fall through.

 Mortgage Banker North Charleston, SC

Common Questions About Home Loans

Finding the right loan can be a difficult proposition, even if you have been through the process before. This is especially true since mortgage rates and market conditions change frequently. If you're like most of my clients, you probably have questions about interest rates, refinancing options, and a litany of other topics. To help alleviate some of your stress, here are just a few common questions with answers so that you can better educate yourself as we work our way to securing your loan.

Generally speaking, you should consider refinancing when mortgage rates are 2% lower than the current rate on your home loan. For some homeowners, refinancing makes sense when there is only a 1% difference. Reducing your mortgage rate is a great way to save money or apply your savings to a home upgrade. The money you save on your refinanced loan depends on your loan amount, budget, income, and charges from interest rates. It's crucial that you work with a trusted mortgage loan officer in North Charleston, SC, to help calculate your refinancing options.
This is one of our most frequently asked questions at Classic Home Mortgage. In simple terms, points let you make a tradeoff between the upfront costs of your loan and your monthly payment amount. Points are essentially costs that you have to pay to your mortgage lender to get financing under specific terms. A point is defined as a percentage on your loan amount. 1-point is equal to 1% of the loan. So, 1 point on a loan worth $100,000 is equivalent to $1,000. When you pay some of the interest on your home loan upfront, you use discount points to lower your interest rate.
If you plan to live in the property for a few years, it makes a lot of sense to pay points to lower your interest rate. Doing so will help lower your monthly loan payment, which you can use to save money. Paying points may also increase the amount of money that you can borrow. If you do not plan on living in the property for at least a few years, this strategy might not make financial sense because you might not be able to make up the amount of the discount points you paid up-front.
In short, yes, your mortgage lender will need to know your credit score. Credit scoring is a system that creditors use to decide whether they will give you credit. Your credit score helps creditors decide how creditworthy you are or how likely you will repay your loan. In most circumstances, creditors will use your FICO scores during the loan process. Your score will fall between high risk (350) and low risk (850). Your credit score plays a big role in the loan process, and as such, your score must be accurate before submitting a credit report when applying for a loan.
The answer to this question depends on how money you choose to put as a down payment on your home. On a conventional loan, if your down payment is less than 20% of the price of your home, your mortgage broker in North Charleston may require you to get Private Mortgage Insurance or PMI for short. This insurance protects your lender in the event you default on your mortgage. The best way to avoid paying for this insurance is to make a down payment of 20% or more of the purchase price of your home.
 Mortgage Company North Charleston, SC

Trust Dan Crance

Your Mortgage Lender in North Charleston, SC

Whether you're selling, buying, refinancing, or building the home of your dreams, you have a lot riding on your home loan specialist. When you need a mortgage broker who works tirelessly for you, answers your questions, provides guidance, and does so with a genuine smile, Dan Crance is your mortgage man. Contact Dan today at 843-478-5612 to get pre-approved and discover why North Charleston loves Classic Home Mortgage.

After hours by appointment only. CONTACT DAN

Latest News in North Charleston, SC

Newspaper moves printing operation to North Charleston, clearing way for redevelopment

One of the few remaining manufacturing facilities on the Charleston peninsula is scheduled to shut down before the new year as The Post and Courier shifts printing operations to a new location and a newer press in North Charleston.The two gigantic presses in the former newspaper building at King and Columbus streets, an assemblage of machinery three stories tall and nearly the length of a city block, are expected to print their last editions in December.The move to a new 48,000-square-foot facility and Evening Post Publishing&r...

One of the few remaining manufacturing facilities on the Charleston peninsula is scheduled to shut down before the new year as The Post and Courier shifts printing operations to a new location and a newer press in North Charleston.

The two gigantic presses in the former newspaper building at King and Columbus streets, an assemblage of machinery three stories tall and nearly the length of a city block, are expected to print their last editions in December.

The move to a new 48,000-square-foot facility and Evening Post Publishing’s related purchase of a 2008 Goss Magnum Single Width Press is “a big deal,” said Tom Harmon, the company’s director of facilities and manufacturing. “There are not a lot of companies that are investing in printing presses.”

Newspapers are increasingly focused on online subscriptions, which suit modern reading habits while avoiding the costs of printing and distributing papers, but The Post and Courier still delivers printed newspapers to more than 30,000 readers in the greater Charleston area each weekday.

The company will print most of the other 10 South Carolina newspapers it owns at the North Charleston site, as well as print publications it does not own and commercial printing jobs.

Evening Post Publishing Chairman of the Board Pierre Manigault said many community publications would have very limited printing options but for the company’s new press.

“I think a lot of the products that people in the Lowcountry are used to seeing are printed by us,” he said. “I think that, just like we are doing the Uncovered series and helping smaller community newspapers that don’t have the resources, we are trying to boost journalism in South Carolina.”

He said the press will also help the company diversify its revenue through commercial printing jobs.

“It is a pretty big investment, and we think it will pay for itself,” Manigault said.

Harmon said the newer press will do the work of the older two presses it is replacing more efficiently and with higher quality.

“In South Carolina, we are one of the main printers,” Harmon said. “That’s kind of our niche right now.”

Up close, the newer printing press is an imposing piece of machinery, 130 feet long and 40 feet wide. It consumes ink by the barrel and can rapidly turn a huge roll of paper into tens of thousands of printed, collated and folded newspapers, ready for delivery.

The former Post and Courier building in downtown Charleston has two older and larger presses, currently performing their final weeks of service. Replacing them at the World Trade Center industrial park in North Charleston is the newer press purchased from a seller in Sweden, which made its way to Charleston in multiple shipping containers.

Just creating a foundation for the machine in its new location involved eight truckloads of concrete, said Harmon.

“We’ve added a lot of upgrades and redid all the controls, and all the newest bells and whistles,” he said in November. “Right now, we’re at the stage where the press has been completely assembled and we’re going through the test process.”

A newer press in a new location is just one of many changes that followed the 2021 restructuring of Evening Post Industries, a company that traces its roots to The Courier newspaper founded in 1803.

More than 200 years later, the family-owned company was a multi-state business with interests in television stations, multiple newspapers, extensive real estate holdings on the Charleston peninsula, a forestry company, pharmaceutical company, a chain of hospices and a book publishing operation.

In recent years, those holdings were trimmed down, the television stations were sold off and so were the hospices. And in 2021, Evening Post Industries was split into three companies. Today, The Post and Courier and 10 other papers, along with book publishing, commercial printing and White Oak Forestry, are run by Evening Post Publishing Inc.

A different company, Evening Post Industries, owns about 12 acres of real estate on the Charleston peninsula, which is slated for a redevelopment called Courier Square. Those holdings include much of the land between King, Spring, St. Philip and Line streets, as well as the former newspaper building along the east side of King Street between Columbus and Line.

Previously, the company leased vacant land that it owns at Meeting and Columbus streets for the development of the $100 million The Guild apartments and the $38 million headquarters of Greystar, an international real estate manager and developer.

Evening Post Industries CEO Ron Owens said the company has received permission from Charleston’s Board of Architectural Review to demolish the block-long newspaper offices and manufacturing facilities at King and Columbus streets.

“We’re not going to tear it down right away because we don’t know what we’re going to build there,” he said, adding that plans will be worked on over the next year with input from community and civic groups.

The more immediate plans involve a large surface parking lot on the west side of King Street and surrounding properties owned by the company, where the company has received conceptual approval from the BAR for retail businesses, apartments and a senior living facility.

“If everything goes as planned, we should break ground late next year,” Owens said.

The Post and Courier is South Carolina’s largest news organization and has been expanding statewide, with reporters in Beaufort, Bluffton, Charleston, Columbia, Hilton Head, Greenville, Myrtle Beach, Rock Hill and Spartanburg.

“All of the expansion is digital, so that doesn’t affect the printing press,” Manigault said.

The Post and Courier is available in print and online in the greater Charleston area, and online elsewhere. Weekly editions of The Post and Courier are published in print for Columbia and Georgetown. Evening Post Publishing also publishes the daily Aiken Standard and weekly printed editions of the Moultrie News, Kingstree News, North Augusta Star, Summerville Journal Scene, Berkeley Independent and Goose Creek Gazette.

“We’ve been looking at this whole thing since the split-up of Evening Post Industries a year ago, and we’re really looking at it (Evening Post Publishing) as a startup company,” he said. “It’s a little bizarre, looking at it as a 200-year-old startup, but that’s how it is, and we’re looking for the best ways a media company can operate in this era.”

Charleston International still experiencing flight delays, cancelations

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Flight delays and cancelations continue to be an issue at Charleston International Airport, and now the airport’s administrative staff is doing their best to accommodate guests during their extended stay.With a lot of delays and cancelations, many travelers are wondering how they’re going to get to their destinations.Tonight, as flight delays and cancelations persist, frustrations mount.“This is kind of really super unacceptable,” Marle Clouser, who is traveli...

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Flight delays and cancelations continue to be an issue at Charleston International Airport, and now the airport’s administrative staff is doing their best to accommodate guests during their extended stay.

With a lot of delays and cancelations, many travelers are wondering how they’re going to get to their destinations.

Tonight, as flight delays and cancelations persist, frustrations mount.

“This is kind of really super unacceptable,” Marle Clouser, who is traveling to Houston, said.

Thousands of flights have been nixed across the nation, including 18 in Charleston, which has caught many by surprise.

“I was like, ‘Man, what is going on?’” Kassidy Cromer, who is traveling to Denver, said. “There was just no flights, none. So, it’s just like crazy to see.”

Southwest Airlines is leading the list of cancelations, with Breeze Airways and American Airlines also experiencing several setbacks.

Many travelers are having to pay thousands out of pocket just to make it home.

“We found a very expensive flight on United Airlines,” Clouser said, “and we booked it.”

Airport officials say they’re doing all they can to accommodate travelers stuck in the Holy City for longer than anticipated.

“We’re making sure the airlines,” Charleston International Airport CEO Elliot Summey said, “if they’re delayed, TSA is staying open long enough to make sure people can get through the TSA checkpoint. We’re working with our concessioners, with our restaurants, with our retail stores, helping them understand, let them know real time what’s going on. So, they’re staying open later.”

Cromer says she’s trying to remain optimistic.

“I’m just glad I made it here for the holidays,” she said, “and I’m not too made to be stuck because it is a lot warmer here and it is good I’m getting to spend more time with my family than expected.”

Following this holiday travel whirlwind, many say they’ll be relieved when they finally make it home.

“We can’t wait to get home,” Clouser said. “We’re already like, ‘Okay, we know where the car is, we’re going to get our car from the lot. We got to pick up the dogs.’ We got a whole thing, but no, we can’t wait to get back because it feels like survival mode right now.”

Charleston International Airport says they’re not experiencing any luggage backups unlike other airports across the country.

Dakereon Joyner returning to Gamecocks in 2023 for sixth season

COLUMBIA — Dakereon Joyner posted an emotional message for his soon-to-be-born daughter on Jan. 1, promising he’ll be there for every step of her way.And she’ll be with him on his final journey as a college football player.Joyner, the North Charleston native and Fort Dorchester High alum, will return to South Carolina for a sixth year of eligibility in 2023. The decision immediately shores up a starting receiver spot in the Gamecocks’ offense, but more importantly, returns one of USC’s most beloved...

COLUMBIA — Dakereon Joyner posted an emotional message for his soon-to-be-born daughter on Jan. 1, promising he’ll be there for every step of her way.

And she’ll be with him on his final journey as a college football player.

Joyner, the North Charleston native and Fort Dorchester High alum, will return to South Carolina for a sixth year of eligibility in 2023. The decision immediately shores up a starting receiver spot in the Gamecocks’ offense, but more importantly, returns one of USC’s most beloved players to the roster.

The decision has been one made throughout the season. Joyner mentioned at SEC Media Days in July that he had upcoming personal news that would affect his professional life. He later publicly announced that his first child would arrive in March.

Joyner has long had his undergraduate degree from USC and can pretty much complete a post-graduate degree at this point, if he so chooses, not to mention do what he wants toward other credits with another year of school. But wanting to be there for his daughter had him thinking of perhaps taking a job, whether in trying to pursue pro football or in other areas (he served an internship with Charleston County government in spring 2020).

Two days after the Gamecocks’ season ended with a loss to Notre Dame in the Gator Bowl and Joyner was sitting on the field, staring at the celebrating Fighting Irish, he posted a video.

“I want to be everything you ever need in a man, and in a father. I promise to be as present as possible and be there for you, in all your first little moments. You are my priority,” he said. “I resume my career here at the University of South Carolina, with you by my side. I can’t wait for you to experience your first game in Willy B. Love, Dada.”

Joyner has remained at USC despite being switched out of his preferred role at quarterback, the position where he was named the state’s Mr. Football in 2017. He’s played in 45 games in five years, mostly as a receiver, but has gained as much recognition for his selflessness as his production.

Joyner has always been ready to do whatever he’s asked for the team, which is why he only took a day or so to ponder transferring when he lost the backup QB job in 2019. He wound up being the backup QB anyway when starter Jake Bentley went down in the season-opener, and split time with Ryan Hilinski the rest of the season.

He’s been a receiver by the depth chart since but has never been shy about stepping in at kick returner or quarterback. His legend was cemented during last year’s Duke’s Mayo Bowl, when he started at quarterback due to the Gamecocks’ lack of alternatives and promptly completed all nine of his pass attempts, rushed for 64 yards and was named the game’s MVP.

He caught eight passes for 120 yards and one touchdown, rushed 12 times for 59 yards and two touchdowns and completed all three passes he threw for 101 yards and another TD this season. Joyner also returned one kickoff for 12 yards.

His decision removes one from the list of many Gamecocks who are considering their options, including starting quarterback Spencer Rattler. If Rattler does leave, USC will have an open quarterback room as Luke Doty played sparingly in order to redshirt this season and the other backups haven’t played much, if at all.

It isn’t like the Gamecocks don’t know what Joyner can do if he’s asked to again step back under center.

Parts delays force Boeing to slow 787 jet assembly line in S.C.

Only months after Boeing got 787 production up and slowly running again, delays in major parts coming from Spirit AeroSystems, based in Wichita, Kansas, have forced Boeing to slow production again at the final assembly plant in North Charleston, South Carolina, the company confirmed Thursday.The South Carolina line will shut down next week as is usual for the break between Christmas and the new year. Then well into January, only limited final assembly work will resume. For that period, Boeing has redeployed 787 assembly line mechanics...

Only months after Boeing got 787 production up and slowly running again, delays in major parts coming from Spirit AeroSystems, based in Wichita, Kansas, have forced Boeing to slow production again at the final assembly plant in North Charleston, South Carolina, the company confirmed Thursday.

The South Carolina line will shut down next week as is usual for the break between Christmas and the new year. Then well into January, only limited final assembly work will resume. For that period, Boeing has redeployed 787 assembly line mechanics to other areas.

“As the result of a supply chain challenge, we are adjusting assignments for some of our teammates [in South Carolina] to ensure everyone has meaningful work,” Boeing said in a statement, while insisting that “787 production continues” and will get back on track to meet its targets.

“Our previously shared delivery and production outlook is unchanged,” Boeing said.

The slowdown was relayed to some employees internally just days after United Airlines placed a big order for 787s last week that will require a much higher 787 production rate by 2024.

Boeing is targeting a 787 production rate of five jets per month in 2023. However, since deliveries resumed in August, deliveries of freshly built 787s have barely climbed above one per month.

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Boeing does not disclose the production rate. We do know that in October and November, Boeing delivered six 787s each month. However, most of those were reworked airplanes built many months ago and only now repaired to fix defects.

In a note to investors this week, Bloomberg analyst George Ferguson estimated that one new jet delivered each month is fresh off the South Carolina assembly line.

The delay with Spirit parts is holding back plans to start ramping that rate up.

One person, who cannot be identified because Boeing has not authorized disclosure of the information, said at one recent meeting a manager spoke of a 45-day effect on final assembly.

Boeing said it is working with Spirit in a planned way to address the issue.

“We continue to work with our suppliers to resume a steady supply of conforming compliant product to allow us to return to stability across the production system,” Boeing said.

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Boeing deferred questions to Spirit for details on what has caused the parts delays. In turn, Spirit declined to comment and deferred to Boeing.

A major partner on the 787 program, Spirit makes, in Wichita, the carbon-composite forward fuselage — the nose of the airplane, including the flight deck where the pilots sit. It also manufactures there the pylons on the wings from which the jet’s engines hang.

At facilities in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Subang, Malaysia, Spirit also makes the leading edges of the 787 wings.

The slowdown in assembling new 787s is likely to have little to no effect on the rate of 787 deliveries.

That’s because work continues in both North Charleston and in Everett on the large inventory of jets built since the fall of 2020 and grounded since they rolled out.

In Everett, a team of mechanics is working overtime next week — through the holiday break — to finish and deliver by year-end a batch of 787s built earlier that need defects at the fuselage joins repaired.

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Those quality defects caused an expensive halt in deliveries over a 19-month period. Engineers had discovered tiny gaps at the fuselage joins as well as improperly installed shims — small pieces of material used to fill small gaps in the jet’s structure.

The defects were not an immediate safety or flight concern. But because they could potentially lead to premature structural weakness years later, Boeing grounded the planes and is now working through fixes on the backlog of undelivered jets.

More than 100 jets built and undelivered remain to be reworked. Trade magazine Aviation Week obtained internal Boeing documents revealing how intensive the repair work is on each airplane.

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The documents indicated the rework on each aircraft can typically take about five months from bringing an aircraft out of storage to having it ready to deliver.

Boeing has already written off $5.5 billion to cover the cost of the 787 rework and the slowed production rate.

The rework is being done in South Carolina and in Everett, where the 787 was first built. In 2021, Boeing closed the first 787 assembly line in Everett and consolidated assembly of the jet in South Carolina.

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The 787 assembly bay in Everett is now full of planes being reworked at each station. More planes are being reworked outside on the Everett flight line.

And with the final 747 jumbo jet having rolled out of the factory — it’s currently in Portland to be painted before returning to Everett for delivery early in the New Year — Boeing might rework more 787s inside the now-empty 747 assembly bay.

“We are evaluating several alternatives for the 747 space,” said Boeing spokesperson Jessica Kowal.

Dominic Gates: 206-464-2963 or dgates@seattletimes.com; on Twitter: @dominicgates.

Editorial: Our hopes and aspirations for South Carolina in the new year

Today, we turn the page on our calendars, looking ahead to a new year with clear-eyed concerns about the major challenges we face as a state and nation but an enduring belief that we will be able to rise to meet them.It’s an auspicious time to remember both of South Carolina’s mottos emblazoned on its state seal: The far lesser known “Animis Opibusque Parati” (Prepared in Mind and Resources) reminds us that we have the ability to make our state a better place to live and learn and work and play. And for those w...

Today, we turn the page on our calendars, looking ahead to a new year with clear-eyed concerns about the major challenges we face as a state and nation but an enduring belief that we will be able to rise to meet them.

It’s an auspicious time to remember both of South Carolina’s mottos emblazoned on its state seal: The far lesser known “Animis Opibusque Parati” (Prepared in Mind and Resources) reminds us that we have the ability to make our state a better place to live and learn and work and play. And for those who are dispirited by what they consider a lack of progress on those fronts, the better-known motto comes into play: “Dum Spiro Spero” (While I Breathe I Hope).

And so we do our best to bring both a prepared mind and a sense of optimism to outline progress we hope can be made on several significant challenges facing our state and our community. Our list is certainly not all-inclusive; indeed, we should never feel confident that we can predict all the new challenges that will arise in the coming year. Instead, as leaders and followers move past the holiday revelry and gradually return to work, we hope they will begin with a few overarching principles:

What we need most from our government at all levels — and from all of us — is more cooperation and less rigidity for the sake of rigidity. More moderation and less extremism. More transparency and less secrecy. More listening and less yelling, and tweeting. Yes, that might seem ridiculously utopian, and we don’t expect liberals and conservatives to suddenly agree on everything, but what we hope is that they will seek common ground rather than seeking to avoid it, that they will consider it a victory to get part of what they want, rather than insisting on 100%, that they will remember that even though they have different ideas about how to get there, most of them have the same goals for our state and community: a vibrant economy where everybody can get a good job and kids can get a good education and we’re all safe and healthy.

We’ll talk in much greater detail next Sunday about our hopes for the legislative session that begins on Jan. 10 — and as you can probably guess, it will focus in large part on improving the education we provide to the children of our state, protecting and preserving our natural resources, making wise use of our tax dollars and making government more open and accountable. But there’s plenty of good that can be accomplished at the state level without new laws.

For instance, we hope school districts will make wise decisions about how they spend their remaining COVID largesse from the federal government, which needs to be focused on catching up kids who fell behind during the pandemic, as well as kids who were already behind, and finding a way to translate that one-time money into permanent changes. Fortunately, there are several good models they can emulate; they just need to do that.

We hope new S.C. Education Superintendent Ellen Weaver will work with our school districts, not as an adversary, but neither as a pushover: as a helpful partner who insists on results.

We hope Attorney General Alan Wilson will step up an effort he seemed to start last year of pressuring school districts to comply with the state’s Freedom of Information Act — and expand that effort to local governments and state agencies; indeed, that would be far more useful than his involvement in partisan lawsuits — which his like-minded friends in other states can bring just fine without his help.

We hope the S.C. Supreme Court will continue and expand what appears to be a proactive effort, through its Office of Disciplinary Counsel, to identify problem judges before they become front-page exposes in The Post and Courier.

We hope our public colleges — and particularly USC and Clemson — will stop paying coaches to not coach. For that matter, we hope school districts will stop paying superintendents to not superintend, and then without even having the decency to tell us why they’re forced out. Should either group persist in this practice, we hope the Legislature will put a stop to it.

The most expensive infrastructure project in Charleston’s history will enter a critical phase in 2023, as the city and the Army Corps of Engineers enter into preliminary engineering and design for a perimeter wall. Both sides will figure out how a storm surge barrier would work, what it would look like and how the project would handle other types of flooding, to the extent that it would. The process likely will be made more lively because city voters will elect a mayor and six council members in November, but we hope significant progress will be made on an appealing, effective design most in the city will want to see built.

We also hope the city and other local governments make progress in changing their zoning and development rules to discourage building in lower-lying, more flood-prone areas — in part by eliminating slab-on-grade construction. The smarter we build today, the fewer headaches we will leave the future generations who will live and work in these buildings.

We hope for conservation efforts that will not only block misguided development but also preserve our scenic landscapes, wildlife habitat and unique sense of place. We hope to see victories on long-fought-over sites such as Captain Sams Spit on Kiawah Island and increasingly in Dorchester and Berkeley counties, which have new local financing for conservation work and growing development pressures.

We hope to see Charleston City Council approve a comprehensive rezoning for Union Pier that creates a vast, 30-acre public park along the Cooper River’s edge and extends the city’s urban grid and high-quality architecture into the remaining 40 acres on the west side of the site. The redevelopment debate will shed important light on who will pay for all the new public space and how. Similarly, we hope the city figures out a way to create a new urban park at 141 Meeting St., site of the old S.C. Electric & Gas office.

And we hope the city of North Charleston makes significant progress in redeveloping the waterfront area north of Noisette Creek, which is connected to Riverfront Park by a new pedestrian bridge. Congress opened an important door last month by allowing Joint Base Charleston to talk to the city about the future of that land.

While the new Lowcountry Rapid Transit bus line and the new Ashley River bike-ped bridge won’t open in 2023, we hope local officials can pick up the pace and move them much closer to completion.

Meanwhile, we hope that affordable housing projects in progress such as the Archer School renovation go smoothly, and we hope for significant breakthroughs that will lead to more investment in new homes, especially for workers struggling to find a place to live near their current jobs. Charleston County Council is expected to unveil its long-anticipated housing report within the month, and we hope it ignites new political momentum for the county to step up its leadership role in tackling our affordability challenge in a meaningful way.

Unrealistic? Perhaps. But not unachievable, because we are prepared in mind and resources, and while we breathe, we hope.

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