•Carolina Park signs up seventh builder•

A local framer that fine-tunes plans to meet buyers’ expectations has joined a half-dozen ventures raising houses in an emerging Mount Pleasant master community.

Structures Building Co., a custom homebuilder for 14 years, intends to craft residences in an exclusive section of Carolina Park.

Mount Pleasant-based Carolina Park Development earlier this month publicized the company’s decision to come onboard as a neighborhood contractor.

“Structures Building Company is a perfect fit for Carolina Park and for our builder team,” says Brian Keels, Carolina Park marketing director. He says the business carved a name for itself constructing top-notch homes and providing top-of-the-line service.

“Those two things are at the top of our list when it comes to selecting our builders,” Keels says.

Structures Building Co. will be rolling out custom homes in the Riverside at Carolina Park neighborhood. According to the developer, the new homes will grace larger, one-quarter to one-half acre lots, and be priced from the $500,000s.

Structures homes will corral the “finest materials” to craft numerous high-end features and options. Still, the developer says “perhaps the most important aspect” of Structures efforts concerns its “HouseSimple” approach.

Aimed at simplifying the custom-home building track, the plan allows homebuyers to choose from a collection of plans specifically geared to Carolina Park, then tailor the design to meet individual desires.

“We’re very pleased to be part of the Carolina Park builder team,” says Steve Kendrick, Structures Building Co. founder. “We love what they’re doing here, and I think we’re an excellent complement to the other builders on the team,” he says.

Kendrick says the HouseSimple strategy should appeal to Carolina Park customers. “It’s a method that makes it easier for people to buy not just a house but the custom home of their dreams,” he says.

Carolina Park, stretching 1,700 acres to encompass Wando High School and Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital, mixes residential and commercial properties along U.S. Highway 17 in Mount Pleasant. According to the developer, Carolina Park one day will be home to more than 1,700 families.

New homes start in the $300,000s, while custom residences in the Riverside neighborhood begin about 60 percent higher in price.

•Downward foreclosure trend in Charleston area continues•

The share of cases in which owners face losing their homes dropped faster in the Lowcountry in August than the state or nation, according to newly released figures.

At the same time, metro Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville still contends with a slightly higher foreclosure rate that South Carolina or the United States.

Irvine, Calif.-based CoreLogic arrived at the findings in its latest monthly look at foreclosures and delinquent loans on a local level.

The foreclosure rate among outstanding mortgages in greater Charleston works out to 2.71 percent, a substantial 1.11 percentage point fall from a 3.82 percent share a year earlier.

Despite the steep decline in foreclosure activity, the rate remained higher than the 2.36 percent national foreclosure share activity in August and the 2.44 percent rate in South Carolina. The state share dipped 0.99 percentage points in the year, while the U.S. rate sank 0.98 percent.

Meanwhile, the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville mortgage delinquency rate slid to 5.15 percent, off 1.44 percentage points from a 6.59 percent rate a year previous, according to CoreLogic numbers.

By comparison, the South Carolina delinquency rates trickled down to 5 percent from 6.15 percent rate a year ago, a 1.15 percent decline. And the U.S. share finished at 5.3 percent in August, off 1.45 percentage points from 6.75 percent the prior August.

CoreLogic breaks down foreclosure and delinquency rates for the cities, including greater Charleston, designated as metro areas by the federal government.

The company says it computes the foreclosure rate as the percentage of loans “in some stage of the foreclosure process.” A foreclosure, meanwhile, refers to “the legal process by which an owner’s right to a property is terminated, usually due to default,” CoreLogic explains.

The total represents “the current stock, or inventory, of loans in the foreclosure process,” the company says, thus offering a broad view of foreclosure trends. CoreLogic claims to hold 85 percent coverage of foreclosure data.

According to the analytical firm, the 90-day plus delinquency rate means the percentage of loans that are more than three months delinquent, including those in foreclosure and “real estate owned” — how lenders categorize the distressed properties they wind up owning.

The company says its compiles the numbers from “public records, contributory databases and proprietary analytics.”

CoreLogic describes itself as a leading property information, analytics and services provider. According to the company, its combined data from public, contributory, and proprietary sources includes more than 3.3 billion records spanning more than 40 years. The markets CoreLogic serves, according to the firm, include real estate and mortgage finance; insurance; capital markets; and transportation.

•Agent joins Century 21 Properties Plus in Summerville•

Honing skills in Florida and in South Carolina’s capital city, Beth Mandell brings an abundance of real estate knowledge to her new post in metro Charleston.

Mandell, a 13-year veteran of the field, signed on with Century 21 Properties Plus Inc. in its Summerville office. She most recently had worked for Carolina One.

“We are so pleased to announce that Beth will be joining our team,” says Tim Rash, who manages Century 21 Properties Plus. “We believe her experience will greatly enhance the services we provide to our customers in the Summerville community,” he says.

Mandell received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Massachusetts. She’s been employed in a number of real estate-related positions including in Florida and Columbia, perfecting her business all the while, the agency says.

A mother of two, Mandell lives in Summerville with her husband Stephen Mandell.

“I am ready to take my real estate career to the next level, and Century 21 Properties Plus is just the company to help me achieve this goal,” Mandell says.

Century 21 Properties Plus tallies more than 15 years background in the real estate industry, providing advanced technology, comprehensive resources and “unbeatable” brand recognition. Peers voted Century 21 Properties Plus the “best real estate firm” for two straight years, according the agency.

The agency sports two locations, in downtown Summerville at 118 W. Richardson Ave. and in the Park West community in Mount Pleasant at 3301 Salterbeck Court.

Century 21 Properties Plus is a full service brokerage firm specializing in residential and commercial real estate properties.

For more information, dial 843-856-0021.

•Freeman’s Point launches on James Island waterfront•

Two local real estate companies have teamed up to design a new upscale neighborhood along a creek in Seaside Plantation.

The subdivision, called Freeman’s Point, sits on James Island about five minutes from Folly Beach and 15 minutes to downtown Charleston.

FrontDoor Communities and Middle Street Partners LLC partnered to develop Freeman’s Point, described as a 42-acre waterfront master-planned community within the existing Seaside Plantation village.

The design fits with development strategies of FrontDoor Communities, which wants to expand in the Charleston area; and of Sullivan’s Island-based Middle Street Partners as it focuses on local “in-fill” projects.

According to backers, Freeman’s Point rests along Seaside Creek, and boaters can reach Charleston Harbor in a straight shot.

Freeman’s Point will feature scores of attractions, including 1,000 feet of neighborhood-owned waterfront park space, a community dock, pool and pavilion, trails and “abundant” open space, the developer group says.

FrontDoor Communities intends to erect single family homes priced in the high $300,000s. Local architects plan to use “classic Southern details” to build the houses, according to the partners.

Middle Street plays the role of developer, leading efforts on the community’s theme, land acquisition and planned unit development design. FrontDoor Communities, meanwhile, will handle the neighborhood’s construction including as primary homebuilder.

FrontDoor also builds houses in Tributary at RiverTowne and in Watermark, both in Mount Pleasant.

“We’re really pleased to bring our partnership with Middle Street Partners to this exciting, new project,” says Terry Russell, chief executive of FrontDoor Communities.

“We think our commitment to quality and the finer points of Lowcountry living will be exciting to buyers,” he says.

According to company representatives, the first phase at Freeman’s Point will begin in November. Initial home sites should be available by spring 2014.

Ryan Knapp, co-founder of Middle Street Partners, touts its partnership with FrontDoor Communities. The builder, he says, “has an unparalleled track record of quality and design, which will ensure our vision becomes reality.”

“From the beginning,” Knapp says, “we have envisioned a very high quality community tailored around the beautiful natural amenities that are Seaside Creek: abundant grand trees and open space.”

For information, contact FrontDoor Communities at 843-849-2332 or visit www.freemanspoint.com.

•Jacques takes in leadership training from home inspectors society•j

The Ravenel-based president of the American Society of Home Inspectors continues with his leadership education as his term winds down.

Bill Jacques, of American Inspection Service Inc., attended the group’s Leadership Conference last week in Chicago. The event highlighted professional development and consumer education, according to the inspection group.

Jacques, an inspector for 25 years and long-time member of the inspection society, leads the South Carolina chapter of ASHI.

As an ASHI member, he is committed to conducting business in compliance with the group’s Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, according to the inspection group.

The society’s inspectors “understand the need for homebuyers and sellers to be able to trust the professionals they deal with during what can be both an exhausting and stressful transaction,” the national group says.

The ASHI certified inspectors gain accreditation from the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. “Achieving third-party certification helps consumers make informed buying decisions and gives them peace of mind when they hire an ASHI Certified Home Inspector,” according to society.

Jacques stands qualified to deliver superior customer service as well as provide the top level of technical expertise offered within the profession.

As a representative of American Inspection Service, Inc., Jacques conducts home inspections for buyers of new and existing homes in the Charleston area.

According to the inspection group, most real estate professionals recommend that homebuyers have their properties examined by an independent home inspector before the final purchase commitment.

Also, the American Society of Home Inspectors urges homeowners to obtain an inspection every five to seven years to learn of maintenance or safety issues as the home ages.

For more, visit www.ashi.org or contact Jacques by calling 843-693-6912 or via the Internet at Billaischas@aol.com. His company’s websites are www.aischarleston.com and www.aishomeinspections.com.

•Lee broker seals deal for builder to buy North Charleston lots•

A Charleston commercial broker helped work out an agreement for local builder Hunter Quinn Homes to buy 11 lots in a neighborhood off Ashley Phosphate Road.

Lee & Associates broker Gordon Geer of Charleston represented the buyer, Hunter Quinn Homes LLC.

The single family residential lots stand in the Colony North subdivision in North Charleston. REDUS SC Housing LLC (a Wells Fargo affiliate) was the seller.

According to its website, Hunter Quinn Homes builds in The Village at Fairmont South in Moncks Corner as well as Colony North.

For more information, contact Wendy Mulqueen, marketing-broker assistant at 843-747-1200 or by cell phone at 843-901-9098. Lee & Associates’ office is in downtown Charleston at 293 East Bay St.