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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 Ridgeville, SC, who can educate you on mortgage rates and provide trustworthy guidance to help you make an informed decision.

My name is Dan Crance - Ridgeville'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 Ridgeville, 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 Ridgeville, SC
 Refinance Ridgeville, SC

Why Choose Dan Crance As Your Mortgage Lender in Ridgeville, 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 Ridgeville, SC

Home Financing in Ridgeville, 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 Ridgeville, 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 Ridgeville, Dan Crance will help you choose the home loan, interest rate, term options, and payment plans that fit your unique situation.

 FHA Mortgages Ridgeville, 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 Ridgeville, SC.

Refinancing in
Ridgeville, 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 Ridgeville, 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 Ridgeville, 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 Ridgeville, 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 Ridgeville, 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 Ridgeville 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 Ridgeville, SC

Trust Dan Crance

Your Mortgage Lender in Ridgeville, 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 Ridgeville loves Classic Home Mortgage.

After hours by appointment only. CONTACT DAN

Latest News in Ridgeville, SC

Bodies of dogs found in food bags along South Carolina road

DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Authorities are investigating following a grisly discovery along a South Carolina road where the bodies of three dogs were found in dog food bags.People who live on Wright Road in a rural area near Givhans and Ridgeville say it’s a sad and disgusting problem.They have seen more than one dead dog stuffed into old dog food bags on the side of the road recently.“About three weeks ago, I saw a bag and saw two dogs sticking out of it. And I didn’t know if they were puppies or...

DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Authorities are investigating following a grisly discovery along a South Carolina road where the bodies of three dogs were found in dog food bags.

People who live on Wright Road in a rural area near Givhans and Ridgeville say it’s a sad and disgusting problem.

They have seen more than one dead dog stuffed into old dog food bags on the side of the road recently.

“About three weeks ago, I saw a bag and saw two dogs sticking out of it. And I didn’t know if they were puppies or grown dogs, and they were in a black dog food bag. And then two weeks later, there was another bag with another dog sticking out...this is getting out of control,” said Crystal Perez who lives on Wright Road.

Perez said she and a neighbor took pictures of what they saw and started a conversation in a local Facebook group.

Perez has seen multiple dogs in different stages of decay lying near or still in the dog food bags. She says the people who live on the road are a tight knit community and they all know about the problem.

“We have a lot of kids on this road, and I don’t want them to see things like that. So it’s disgusting,” Perez said. “My little nieces are two and five years old down...and I don’t want them to see things like that.”

Some neighbors, who declined a formal interview, explained some of the land on Wright Road is hunting property. Those neighbors believe the dogs are hunting dogs, and someone possibly leaving the bodies in the ditches along the road.

Dorchester County Animal Control is investigating the situation, and sent two officers out to the area on Monday.

The incident report states that the officers found three bodies of deceased dogs along the road, one was decomposing while the other two were skeletal remains. The officers reported they did attempt to scan the dogs for microchips to attain information, however none of them had been chipped.

Animal Control officials said anyone with information is asked to call (843) 832-0015.

Perez says it’s upsetting people in the neighborhood, and they want to put a stop to it for the sake of the animals and the people who live there.

“I’m an animal lover and I cannot take that kind of stuff,” Perez said.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Walmart has opened an import distribution center in South Carolina

SpartanNash unveiled SpartanNash SpecialtyDirectCanada: Longo’s changes executive structureLongo's has announced changes to its executive structure, which it says is part of an "ambitious 10-year plan that will require investments in people, technology, and processes". In a note to its team members, president and CEO Anthony Longo said the organization "must reflect an elevated guest experience in-store and online".Source: ...

SpartanNash unveiled SpartanNash SpecialtyDirect

Canada: Longo’s changes executive structureLongo's has announced changes to its executive structure, which it says is part of an "ambitious 10-year plan that will require investments in people, technology, and processes". In a note to its team members, president and CEO Anthony Longo said the organization "must reflect an elevated guest experience in-store and online".Source: canadiangrocer.com

US: Walmart opens South Carolina import distribution centerWalmart has opened a $220mln import distribution center in Ridgeville, South Carolina. The grand-opening event featured remarks from South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and Mike Gray, Walmart’s SVP supply chain of operations, along with a congratulatory video from John Furner, president and CEO of Walmart, and ended with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.Source: progressivegrocer.com

US: SpartanNash launches specialty foods online platformSpartanNash is making it easier for its independent supermarket customers to expand their selection of specialty and local foods. The Grand Rapids, Michigan-based grocery distributor unveiled SpartanNash SpecialtyDirect, a new online platform created with Specialty Food Partners (SFP), whose solutions and partner network give distributors and retailers a direct, digital path to purchase for wholesale specialty grocery products.Source: supermarketnews.com

US: Walmart to permanently close distribution center hit by fire; 1,132 jobs lostWalmart will not reopen the Plainfield, Indiana warehouse facility that was destroyed by fire earlier this spring, the company has announced. In a letter the company notified state leaders that the entire facility will close, leaving 1,132 workers without a job.Source: wishtv.com

Albert Heijn opens 70th outlet in BelgiumDutch retailer Albert Heijn has opened its 70th store in Belgium, in the town of Hechtel-Eksel, in Limburg. The landmark store underlines the Ahold Delhaize-owned retailer's ambitions in Belgium, it said in a statement, which are 'to colour Flanders blue' with a mix of 100 physical stores and home delivery of groceries.Source: esmmagazine.com

Spar Market format opens in Scotland as CJ Lang adds 1st company-owned store in 5 yearsCJ Lang & Son, the wholesaler and retailer for Spar in Scotland, has opened its 1st new company store since 2017. It has acquired a 3rd-generation family-run convenience store, Kinnaird’s Nisa Local, in Dalbeattie, Dumfriesshire. The Spar Market format store is the 1st of its kind in Scotland. It features a strong focus on fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as chilled foods, and caters for key customer missions including food-to-go and meal for tonight.Source: talkingretail.com

Denmark: Coop sets climate requirements for all major food suppliersCoop Denmark has released a new set of climate-related requirements for all its major food suppliers. Suppliers must commit to 'ambitious' climate impact reduction targets for the groceries they deliver to SuperBrugsen, Kvickly, Dagli´Brugsen, Coop 365discount, Fakta, Irma, and Coop.dk MAD, the retailer said. It will primarily apply to the more than 50 suppliers who deliver goods worth approximately DKK100mln (€13.4mln) per year and more.Source: esmmagazine.com

Philippines: foodpanda & NGO Ople Center partner for expansion of BuyAnihan Palengke livelihood programfoodpanda has partnered with the Blas F. Ople Policy Center and Training Institute for the expansion of the BuyAnihan Palengke CSR initiative aimed at helping enterprising Filipinos become resellers of fresh produce sourced directly from local farmers. Dubbed as a Fruits and Veggies Street Fest, the outdoor food bazaar exhibit featured fresh vegetables & fruits and food & refreshments sold by the program’s beneficiaries.Source: mb.com.ph

UK: Lidl calls on public to help locate sites for new storesLidl GB has announced that it is calling on the British public for support in identifying sites for new stores. The discounter, which is investing £1.3bln in its expansion across 2021 and 2022, has revealed that it is offering a finder’s fee to members of the public who successfully identify suitable sites for new Lidl stores. The fee is either 1.5% of the total freehold purchase price or 10% of the 1st year’s rent for leaseholds, which would equate to £22,500 for a completed £1.5m site purchase.Source: corporate.lidl.co.uk

Online sales in Europe -13% in 1st quarterGlobally, ecommerce revenues have dropped 3% in the 1st quarter of this year, when compared to that same period in 2021. That decline was seen in Europe as well (-13%). However, online sales in Spain reached a 6% year-on-year growth. It’s the only country in Europe where digital revenues grew in this time frame. The global growth of online sales has been slowing down in previous quarters, as shown in previous research. However, the decline in online revenue is the 1st recorded decline in the 9-year history of the Salesforce Q1 Shopping Index. The decline forms a stark contrast to the global online revenue growth in Q1 in 2021 of 69%.Source: ecommercenews.eu

New Zealand: Foodstuffs partners with community organisations to open more social supermarketsAs part of its commitment to be Here for NZ and a promise to provide New Zealanders with access to healthy affordable food and supporting communities to thrive, Foodstuffs - the 100% New Zealand owned and operated co-operatives behind PAK’nSAVE, New World and Four Square - is expanding its innovative social supermarket initiative to a new partnership in the Far North, which will provide the dignity of choice for wh?nau in the region who need support with accessing food.Source: foodstuffs.co.nz

Russia: Retailer Lenta withdraws 2022 guidance due to political uncertaintyRussian retailer Lenta said that it was pulling its 2022 guidance on store openings and capital expenditure as political uncertainty continues to put pressure on Russia’s retail market. Lenta, which operates a chain of hypermarkets across the country, said it would not issue new guidance until market conditions stabilise.Source: reuters.com

Portugal: Lidl brings back algae-based lingerieLidl Portugal has re-stocked its shelves with seaweed-fibre lingerie range, sold under the Esmara private-label brand. The Seacell range uses fibre produced from seaweed, which is carbon neutral and completely biodegradable.Source: esmmagazine.com

Ridgeville residents in historically Black neighborhood push back against development

RIDGEVILLE — There are two ways that families spell the last name Coburn. There’s “Coburn” as in Coburn Town Road and there’s also “Cobin.”Ethel Cooke, a lifelong resident in the predominately Black community, said her parents told her the mix-up probably comes from some of the neighborhood’s ancestors who were sharecroppers.“They couldn’t read or write,” she said.So the name was spelled on records however it ended up being pronounced.As Cooke sits,...

RIDGEVILLE — There are two ways that families spell the last name Coburn. There’s “Coburn” as in Coburn Town Road and there’s also “Cobin.”

Ethel Cooke, a lifelong resident in the predominately Black community, said her parents told her the mix-up probably comes from some of the neighborhood’s ancestors who were sharecroppers.

“They couldn’t read or write,” she said.

So the name was spelled on records however it ended up being pronounced.

As Cooke sits, telling stories about the community of Coburn Town, the one about the names makes her and others smile. It’s part of what makes this place special — the shared history — and a symbol of what could be lost as growth starts to transform the area.

“We don’t know what’s coming,” said Elizabeth Crum Huffman, another lifelong resident.

Located off School Street, the Coburn Town community is surrounded by trees, open fields, a railroad track and a closed sawmill. Many of the original Black residents saved money and purchased land in the area following the end of slavery.

Nearly 180 acres surrounding the community were recently approved for rezoning by Dorchester County Council. Those rezoned parcels, including the old Ashley River Lumber Co., will now fall under what the county refers to as commercial light-industrial.

Officials expect it likely will soon hold a warehouse, but no development plans have been approved.

It’s one piece of a larger list of changes that highlights Ridgeville as an area of growth. Other indicators include new housing developments, road projects and industrial spaces like the Walmart Distribution Center.

But with a question mark around its future, community members are reflecting even more on what the quiet and familiar community means to them and what it meant to their ancestors who purchased the land to have something of their own.

‘We came up the hard way’

Though it’s been years since farming was the main source of income in the community, it’s still possible to see some of its agricultural roots.

There are open fields that sit on the edges and the rusted fences that used to hold livestock.

Take away the paved roads and some of the home renovations. Picture in its place a couple of wagons, tobacco and potato fields and mules, and it’s easy to imagine what the place looked like when Black residents first poured into it.

Walking down Coburn Town Road, Huffman and her sister Virginia Crum said they can remember having to do farming chores as children and just tossing all of the seeds in the field without any order.

Harvest time would usually give them away, they said laughing.

Their father, Willie Kizer Crum Sr., and mother, Hermena Robinson Crum, had 10 children: seven girls and three boys. The couple married in the 1940s. Willie’s father was a sharecropper.

Virginia Crum, a retired educator, said their father bought the land they live on now. Some of the things she remembers the most about him is he didn’t like buying things on credit and always paid in cash.

Down the street lives James Wesley Duggins Jr., a 78-year-old man who grew up in Coburn Town.

Standing outside working in his yard, he laughed about how annoying the nearby railroad can be with the sound of trains coming through.

His father, James Wesley Duggins Sr., helped build the railroad tracks. “Look now, the machines do all that,” Duggins said.

His family moved to the area around the 1920s.

While talking with the sisters, he reminded Crum she integrated Ridgeville Elementary when she was in the first grade. She was born in 1959.

“There’s so much history,” Crum said.

And while there are tons of happy memories, like playing baseball around some of the farm animals and staying over at each others’ houses, the community also remembers how their elders struggled.

There were times as children when they had to run through the woods to avoid White children throwing rocks, Duggins said.

Huffman and Crum’s mother often had to travel as far as Charleston to sell goods because the White residents in Ridgeville at the time severely underpaid them, they said.

“We had some strong Black people in the community,” Crum said.

Cooke remembers being a child and having a White boy spit at her when they were in town one day.

“I said, ‘Daddy, that ain’t right,’ ” Cooke said. Her father, she recalled, encouraged her to let it go for her own safety.

She also remembers sitting outside and working in a yard for a family for whom her grandmother cooked and cleaned. She wasn’t allowed to come inside the home.

After working in the yard, Cooke laughed and said all she got for it was an orange dress. “And it had a hole in it,” she said.

She said she can’t imagine what her grandmother was paid.

“We came up the hard way,” Cooke said.

There was a time when everyone in their community was a Coburn-Cobin. But with different marriages, other names started to appear.

Two of Crum and Huffman’s aunts married into the Coburn-Cobin family. One of the aunts married Cooke’s grandfather.

Outside of marriages, they said, the community has always felt like one big family that supported each other.

When Cooke’s family was struggling when she was raised, she said, Huffman and Crum’s father would routinely give them potatoes to help them get by.

No one really knew or talked about it.

“Now you borrow sugar and the whole city would know it,” Cooke said.

A growing town

On Nov. 1, as 180 acres surrounding Coburn Town was rezoned to commercial-light industrial, community members and descendants poured in to raise their concerns.

Many noted the things they wanted to see. Crum emphasized helping the schools and adding facilities like health and community centers. Huffman said she would love to see more sidewalks because she enjoys a daily walk.

Tim Lewis and Felicia Cobin can trace their history in the area as far back as 1829. Rebecca Cobin was buried near the community in the late 1940s. She was born in 1883.

“We really want to look at how we can grow together,” Lewis said. “There’s history here.”

Ridgeville’s growth has been a big topic in the past couple of years. Federal funds around COVID-19 relief will bring $6.8 million in roadway improvements around the Ridgeville Industrial Campus.

At the same campus, a Walmart Distribution Center is slated to bring hundreds of jobs to the area, increasing truck traffic.

The county is also expanding water access. Many Coburn Town residents use wells.

In conjunction with new housing developments, there’s a lot more movement in the Ridgeville area.

Dorchester County Councilman David Chinnis said many things the community wants depend on rooftops. No development plans have been approved around the rezoned property near Coburn Town.

“We don’t know what’s being built there,” Chinnis said.

He encouraged residents to continue their involvement. But whatever comes, he said, the goal would be to protect the community with features like buffers.

The county is also looking to start working on a Ridgeville/Givhans Area Growth Management Plan. The plan has one more layer of council approval to go through before work can start on creating it.

The goal with the plan is to raise awareness about infrastructure concerns and funding. Local community members hope to be a part of the planning process. “Understand that this community is growing,” Chinnis said.

And while a lot of the area community members are still wary, many said they still plan to keep pressing on the council to protect the community.

The unknown

Feelings around growth in Coburn Town are mixed.

Some are nervous with the uncertainty about what’s to come and what it means about preserving their land and history.

“I was able to share that history with my children,” said Taneeka Wright.

Her grandfather, John Henry Pinckney, was a welder and mechanic who lived in Coburn Town. Her grandmother, Ethel Mae Pinkney, was a cook.

She said she enjoyed showing her children around the community and how she grew up. She remembers having to invent games with friends and families because there weren’t a lot of things to play with.

“And I would love to share that history with my grandchildren,” she said.

Others in the community are pessimistic and said they know significant change is inevitable.

“It’s not going to be the same anymore,” said Franklin Pinckney, a lifelong resident and a local high school football star at the old Harley-Ridgeville High School.

All he said he remembers now are the body aches.

“It’s not going to be the same anymore,” he said thinking about the future and the thought of hearing loud trucks and movement in a community that tends to be quiet and slow.

One resident said he doesn’t have any fear.

“I like to try and be real,” said Wendell Coburn, 81.

Coburn manages his dementia and lives with his wife Betty, 71. With his condition, Betty is still able to communicate with him and help him have conversations with people.

Community members said he might struggle with the present but he can still hold conversations about the past.

Wendell built their Coburn Town Road home more than 40 years ago. He was raised by a single mother who had to walk 3 miles to work.

He’s known in the community as being someone who was always willing to lend a helping hand without even being asked. Residents said the influence of his mother and the community is all over him. “They preserved him for me,” Betty said with a laugh.

She married into the community.

To Wendell, community connection and talking with people are important. He describes Corburn Town as a community of caring.

When asked to spell his last name, Wendell makes sure people know it’s with the “urn” and not the “in.”

“If you can’t communicate with people, you’re doing nothing,” he said.

In a 1900 census interview of Ransom Coburn it points to the Coburn-Cobin family origin being in Virginia around the Jamestown area.

The descendants believe they came to South Carolina either for work collecting turpentine or constructing the railroads.

Volvo readies for next stage in Ridgeville

Volvo Cars’ Ridgeville plant is ready to ramp up production with a major hiring push, but finding the right talent as the company expands has been an ongoing challenge.When Volvo established its Lowcountry operations in 2015, the company looked to South Carolina as a robust manufacturing economy with experienced laborers. However, with a 3% unemployment rate at the time, the majority of the experienced individuals were already employe...

Volvo Cars’ Ridgeville plant is ready to ramp up production with a major hiring push, but finding the right talent as the company expands has been an ongoing challenge.

When Volvo established its Lowcountry operations in 2015, the company looked to South Carolina as a robust manufacturing economy with experienced laborers. However, with a 3% unemployment rate at the time, the majority of the experienced individuals were already employed, Berkeley County Economic Development Director Kristen Lanier said.

Growing a new skilled workforce from the ground up has been a diligent process for the company, but both Volvo and South Carolina continue to prove their commitment to making it work.

Volvo Car Charleston Plant Manager David Stenström spoke about the company’s progress to a crowd of Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce members Nov. 19 at Trident Technical College. Stenström shared that he is optimistic that the labor challenges are short-term given South Carolina’s commitment to training solutions.

When one teacher off-the-cuff asked if Stenström would be willing to collaborate with educators to find instructors for manufacturing classes, and also to help generate awareness in local K-12 schools, the plant manager didn’t hesitate to say yes, even if he doesn’t quite have the “how to” solution yet.

“I’m not worried that we will not find the competence in the schools, especially with the universities,” he said.

A strong talent pool will be needed for years to come as Volvo works toward its production capacity of 150,000 vehicles annually. Still ramping up to its goal, Ridgeville produced 26,500 vehicles from the S60 luxury sedan line in 2020, a year plagued with pandemic-related and supply chain challenges.

Moving forward, Volvo’s ambitions are to electrify 50% of the company’s fleet, with the remainder coming from hybrid models. That means, on top of manufacturing the gas and hybrid versions of the S60, the Volvo Cars Ridgeville facility will produce two additional electric vehicle lines: the still unnamed next generation XC90 and the Polestar 3, an SUV. The vehicles produced in South Carolina will primarily be sold in the U.S. and European markets.

As a global company, the Swedish automotive manufacturer has two plant concepts: produce 30 jobs an hour or 60 jobs an hour. Sweden and Belgium manufacture 60 cars an hour, which accumulates to 300,000 cars a year. The goal for the still up-and-coming U.S. and China plants is to reach 30 a day as soon as possible, Stenström said.

“For me as a plant manager, my job is to be in that category by being competitive and getting to the top,” Stenström said.

Joining Volvo in 1995, Stenström relocated to the U.S. from China to helm the South Carolina plant starting in January 2021. But he’s still getting used to the cultural changes, particularly in the workforce — especially since there is no other Volvo plant in the U.S.

In China, employees worked 11-hour shifts, six days a week and commonly sought overtime. Here in the U.S., especially in the Lowcountry, quality of life is sometimes prioritized over work, Stenström thinks.

Volvo’s Ridgeville facility also appeared to have high turnover rates in comparison to China’s, but Lanier said turnover is a loosely defined term when comparing plants in two different countries and cultures. Turnover rates in Ridgeville are normal for the industry in the U.S.

South Carolina organizations are doing their best to bridge the labor gap and train workers, whether through technical colleges, trade schools, certification programs or planting the seed for manufacturing careers in K-12.

The hope is for Volvo to hire talent in Berkeley County, or at least within South Carolina, Lanier said.

The efforts to hire in-state are what sparked ManuFirst, a manufacturing training program Volvo helped create curriculum for. Completing the program equals one year of manufacturing experience. To-date, Berkeley County has paid more than $400,000 in scholarships to county residents to provide ManuFirst training, Lanier said.

The Charleston Regional Development Alliance is another organization that works to support Volvo, particularly bringing suppliers closer. David Ginn, CRDA president and CEO, said it’s a dance of timing, where production volumes and investment level have to meet.

Ginn said the CRDA has worked collectively with suppliers for years, but until the volumes are such that they can justify investment, they might not come. “And these OEMs, they don’t want to ask the companies to come, because if they fail then they’re liable to them potentially," he said.

Under Stenström’s lead, Volvo has seen an increase in localization of suppliers, but ideally he’d like to see 90% of all materials used at the plant be produced in North America.

“For me, you need to produce where you sell, but you also need to source where you produce,” Stenström said.

Ginn likened the supplier situation to the Mercedes-Benz Vans plant in Ladson, where the company originally invested $40 million in Sprinter Van assembly. Vehicles were manufactured in Dusseldorf, disassembled and shipped to the U.S., and then re-assembled in South Carolina to reduce costs for importing completed vehicles.

Once the local plant reached volume, Mercedes-Benz promised to invest another $500 million into an original equipment manufacturing facility, and true to its word, the company upped its commitment a decade later.

“The same with Volvo,” Ginn said. “As sales grow, suppliers will feel comfortable coming.”

Once there, the next step will be identifying key players that need to come to South Carolina.

Battery producers for the electric vehicles is at the top of Stenström’s list. Currently, batteries are shipped from China to the U.S., which given the hazardous materials, premium prices and shipping issues, costs upward of hundreds of millions of dollars “for no reason,” he said. Manufacturing batteries nearby would not only be significantly cheaper, but would be less of a transport risk and could see delivery shrink down to a day or two.

“You will see a lot of conversations in the future, talking localization from a headquarters point of view,” he said.

To round out preparation on a county level, Lanier said Berkeley County needs to repopulate its warehouse product with sites and buildings that are ready for those suppliers.

“The coronavirus actually expedited a lot of the real estate absorption that we saw last year,” she said of Berkeley County’s 3 million square feet of industrial space. “A lot of our premium spots along I-26, those speculative buildings were queuing up for Volvo suppliers that were taken down for distribution warehouses, and now we find ourselves trying to replenish and identify new spots for when Volvo suppliers do start coming.”

Stenström thinks they will. Like a Volvo car, he just needs to drive with a smooth and steady hand until Ridgeville gets there.

Reach Teri Errico Griffis at 843-849-3144.

Santee Cooper sells $18.3M in land at 2 SC industrial parks

A committee of Santee Cooper board members has approved the $18.3 million sale of seven undeveloped lots the utility owns in a pair of industrial parks in Berkeley and Horry counties and gave the go-ahead to the first commercial business to locate at the Camp Hall Commerce Park near Ridgeville.Most of the money — $18.1 million — will come from the sales of four industrial sites totaling about 104 acres at the state-owned utility’s Camp Hall site.Another $194,850 will come from the sale of the final three lots ...

A committee of Santee Cooper board members has approved the $18.3 million sale of seven undeveloped lots the utility owns in a pair of industrial parks in Berkeley and Horry counties and gave the go-ahead to the first commercial business to locate at the Camp Hall Commerce Park near Ridgeville.

Most of the money — $18.1 million — will come from the sales of four industrial sites totaling about 104 acres at the state-owned utility’s Camp Hall site.

Another $194,850 will come from the sale of the final three lots totaling almost 22 acres at the Ascott Valley Industrial Park off S.C. Highway 22 in Conway. Moncks Corner-based Santee Cooper has owned the 220-acre business hub in rural Horry County since 2011.

Indianapolis-based Pure Development, which broke ground this month on a 1.1 million-square-foot warehouse near Jedburg, is purchasing two of the Camp Hall lots at $283,000 per acre. It plans to build a 427,000-square-foot speculative warehouse — meaning no tenant has been lined up — at a 27.66-acre site across from the Volvo Cars manufacturing campus.

The other Camp Hall sites are being sold to: Magnus Development of Columbia, which plans to build a 150,000-square-foot warehouse on 10.5 acres; and Fresh Continents of Greensboro, N.C., which plans to build a cold-storage warehouse on 64.5 acres.

Santee Cooper took ownership of the 6,800-acre Camp Hall property in 2015 as part of a deal to lure Volvo to South Carolina. About 2,800 acres was given to the carmaker, with the rest set aside for a mixed-use development that would combine space for industrial users, commercial businesses and recreation purposes, such as hiking and biking trails.

At the heart of Camp Hall is Avian Commons — a “village center” with services catering to employees of the nearby corporate tenants. Mount Pleasant-based Refuel Operating Co., the owner and operator of gas stations and convenienc0e stores, is the first company to buy into the center, purchasing 1.65 acres for $1.25 million.

The Horry County sales will be used for a trio of expansions.

Freeman Bisi Investors LLC bought 13.3 acres and S&H Investments Group bought 4.56 acres to expand their operations. The Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corp., which is in charge of attracting industry to the Grand Strand county, bought 3.74 acres to double the size of an existing building to 100,000 square feet.

“These sales will complete the sales of industrial sites within Ascott Valley,” said Dan Camp, Santee Cooper’s vice president of real estate.

All of the land deals require approval by the S.C. Joint Bond Review Committee, a panel of legislators that oversees state agency financial commitments, before they can be finalized.


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