By JIM PARKER

The Post and Courier

If the initial presentation trumps everything in selling homes, then one local builder should be confident with its efforts in Fairmont South — based on the sales floor plan.

“We’ve got a great model, the Fulton,” says Jason Byham, sales and marketing director for the Carolina Coastal division of Lennar Corp. The 3,800-square-foot house sports six bedrooms and four-and-a-half baths as well as master suites on the ground and second floors and a third-tier bonus area with kitchenette.

“It’s really something to see,” says Byham, who calls the design “very flexible.”

The builder introduced the new community off Cypress Gardens Road near Moncks Corner in summer 2012. Purchasers scooped up 45 homes in the past 12 months. Lennar is building 100 houses in the first phase of construction and 198 residences overall, he says.

Sales at Fairmont South are “going very well,” he says, averaging three to six houses a month. “The community is real family oriented,” Byham says, with the properties offering “a real bang for the buck.

“We have people who work downtown,” he says, noting the purchasers were willing to trade a little longer commute for the value prices at Fairmont South.

The neighborhood’s proximity to Cypress Gardens Road and to U.S. Highway 52 is a plus. Heading west, Cypress Gardens Road ties into U.S. Highway 17A, which offers a main route to Summerville. Meanwhile, Highway 52 expedites trips north to Moncks Corner and south to places such as the Naval Weapons Station.

Fairmont South amenities include a playground that’s open, and a swimming pool including cabana, which is wrapping up. Due to rainy weather, “It’s taken us a little longer than expected,” he says. “They (homeowners) are anxious.”

Base home sizes range from 2,151 to 3,566 square feet and are priced at $208,990 to $264,990. Models consist of the Hanover, Evans, Crepe Myrtle, Henninger, Davidson, Fanning, Georgetown, Irvine, Fulton and Jessamine.

The builder’s “Everything’s Included” program is proving popular, with buyers able to select such spiffs as granite countertops and crown molding – often extras with competitors – as part of the standard home cost.

Lennar provides scores of extras, too. Buyers “can stock up on (options),” Byham says, and still get a house for around $200,000.

Spurred by recent rising mortgage rates, the Charleston housing market has picked up speed as shoppers decide to buy before rates increase even more. That’s left the home building market scrambling to keep up with demand. But that hasn’t impacted Lennar, at least at Fairmont South.

“We have homes available now,” Byham says. The builder’s website at www.lennarcharleston.com lists 16 “quick-move-in” homes in the neighborhood. “We try to stay ahead,” he says.

To reach Fairmont South from downtown Charleston, head west on Interstate 26 to exit 209A, which is Highway 52. Steer right onto Highway 52 and follow the road for close to nine miles through Goose Creek to Cypress Gardens Road. Turn right on Cypress Gardens and make a right to Fairmont South.

Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or jparker@postandcourier.com.

FAIRMONT SOUTH AT A GLANCE:

Location: Moncks Corner

Number of homes: 198 (full build-out)

Square footage: 2,150-3,800

Look & feel: Launched in July of last year, Fairmont South has grown from a couple of houses at Bracken Fern Road off Cypress Gardens Road to 45 residences bordering curved sidewalks and along winding streets. The family-friendly community promotes a playground where young children can run around, slide or play hide and seek. A swimming pool is in the works. Youngsters ride bikes throughout the neighborhood. Houses are ranch and two to three stories with brick and stone accents. Interior perks include stainless steel appliances and super-wide bedrooms.

Homes on market: 16

List prices: $207,990-$264,990

Schools: Whitesville Elementary, Berkeley Middle, Berkeley County Middle College, Berkeley High

Fun facts: Home shoppers can choose from the Arbor and Legacy series’ of houses; Lennar sets up “welcome home centers” in their neighborhoods, which are sales models but include such extras as casual sitting areas and food bars.