.New houses at Tupelo Forest North employ variety of floor plans.

Just past Mount Pleasant's northern tip off U.S. Highway 17 will rise two dwellings from a large Charleston area homebuilder.

Ryland Homes says it's geared up to construct two model homes priced from the mid $200,000s. The homes will illuminate Tupelo Forest, located on Church Lane in Awendaw.

Floor plans include the single-story Litchfield model, says Gayle Jinks, vice president of sales and marketing at Ryland Homes in the Charleston region. Priced at $259,000, the model offers three bedrooms, two baths and a bonus room in 2,331 square feet of living space. The house also features a screened-in porch and a two-car garage, the builder notes.

Also set for framing comes the two-story Landrum model, providing 2,804 square feet of living space. The residence, which includes four bedrooms, two full baths, half bath and a sunroom, costs $289,900 at Tupelo Forest.

In addition, Ryland Homes says it's prepared to build four "move-in ready homes" in the near future, Jinks says.

The four home plans consist of the 2,636-square-foot Huntington, touting four bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths; the 2,632-square-foot Pendleton, also boasting four bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths; and second editions of the three-bedroom Litchfield and four-bedroom Landrum.

Ryland Homes showcases three and four-bedroom homes at Tupelo Forest priced from $244,000. All new homes include two-car garages.

Meanwhile, community plans call for an amenity center with a swimming pool, Jinks says.

For more information, visit www.Ryland.com.

.Local Realtor tapped for time-honored real estate designation.

Owen Tyler recently garnered a specialist title, related to helping clients with home transactions, that just one in every 25 Realtors possesses nationwide.

The Council of Residential Specialists awarded him the Certified Residential Specialist designation. Tyler holds forth as Realtor with Carolina One Real Estate in its Historic Downtown Charleston office.

According to Carolina One, the designation goes to agents who've completed advanced courses and demonstrated their professional expertise in residential real estate.

Fewer than 32,000 Realtors, or less than 4 percent, earned the credential. Tyler secured the designation last week.

The residential specialists' council considers itself the National Association of Realtors' largest not-for-profit affiliate.

Tyler currently serves as the 2013 president of the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors. He also sits on the board of directors for the Charleston Regional Development Alliance, Children's Trust of South Carolina and South Carolina Realtors.

For more information, contact Tyler at 843-224-5398 or e-mail him at Owen@OwenTyler.com.

.Metro Charleston faces fewer foreclosures.

The volume of foreclosures locally in late summer-early fall dropped from a year earlier by just more than 1 for every 100 loans, a national company's figures show.

Foreclosure rates in the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville area fell to 2.60 percent of outstanding mortgage loans in September from 3.68 percent in the same month in 2012, according to newly released figures from CoreLogic. The decline amounted to 1.08 percentage points.

While riding a sizable drop in foreclosure activity, greater Charleston continued to hold a higher rate than the U.S. as a whole. The national foreclosure rate dipped to 2.29 percent for September, down from 3.25 percent a year earlier.

Also lower than the Lowcountry figure stands the South Carolina foreclosure rate, which sank to 2.33 percent from 3.32 percent a year ago.

Mortgage delinquency rates - based on loans that are 90 or more days past due - likewise decreased in the Charleston area, South Carolina and the nation as a whole.

According to CoreLogic figures, 5.07 percent of mortgage loans in metro Charleston were three months or more delinquent in September, compared with 6.52 percent for the same period last year.

In South Carolina, the delinquency rate fell to 4.92 percent from 6.13 percent a year before. The U.S. delinquency rate dropped to 5.21 percent, compared with 6.69 percent a year ago.

For more information, visit www.corelogic.com.

.Realtors 11: Coldwell Banker United brings on new professionals.

A big player in the Charleston area real estate field completed a major expansion, adding five agents east of the Cooper and six more spread about town.

Coldwell Banker United, Realtors recruited for the Mount Pleasant office as well as brought on two agents apiece at its Goose Creek, downtown Charleston and new Centre Pointe office in North Charleston.

The five new Mount Pleasant agents include:

. Steven Clarke, Realtor. He comes from three generations of real estate professionals in the Charleston area. His grandparents held the first permanent residence at Wild Dunes while opening a real estate brokerage on the Isle of Palms, according to Coldwell Banker United. After two years in Los Angeles pursuing stand-up comedy, Clarke returned to greater Charleston and obtained his real estate license. He brings a passion for the local industry and a line of contacts including investors and potential clients, Coldwell Banker notes. Reach Clarke at 843-224-3344, steven.clarke@cbunited.com, or www.StevenClarkeRealEstate.com.

. James Dingle, Realtor. The Sullivan's Island native spent 16 years in television broadcasting, affording him two Emmy nominations. Dingle got his start with WCBD and WCIV in the Lowcountry, then worked 10 years with WXIA in Atlanta. In returning to Charleston, he earned a bachelor's degree in finance, developed a local tourist "app" and got involved in real estate, Coldwell Banker says. His slogan states: "Let a local guy handle your local real estate." Dingle's "island upbringing, experience and local flair" help him build relationships. Call Dingle at 843-822-4311, james.dingle@cbunited.com, or www.cbunited.com/JamesDingle .

. Jim Grady, Broker Associate/Realtor. Formerly with Keller Williams Realty Charleston, Grady also co-owned Palmetto State Properties & Associates residential management firm in Mount Pleasant. He has eight years real estate experience. The Alexandria, Va., native moved to Mount Pleasant in 1997. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of South Carolina, having worked in law enforcement and then child sexual abuse prevention and treatment. He's married and has a daughter at Covenant College and son at Wando High School. When at Keller Williams, Grady reached the top 10 percent of company agents. He is an Accredited Buyer's Representative, e-Pro and an expert in income/investment property acquisition and customer service. He also has access to a preferred vendor list of local home contractors. Call Grady at 843-460-4939, jgrady@chs-homes.com or www.chs-homes.com.

. Michelle Purcell, Realtor. Coldwell Banker United says she uses her "gifts of listening and love for people" to help them buy or sell their homes. Born in New Jersey, Purcell worked various jobs there. She was operator for the New Jersey Transit authority, where she was known as "Dear Abby" by passengers - always happy to listen to their problems and situations, the real estate agency says. She also served at an assisted living home for adults with special needs. Purcell moved to Charleston with her husband and daughters, where she runs a cleaning services business. She also enjoys a new job driving a school bus. Reach Purcell at 843-343-3979, michelle.purcell@cbunited.com, or www.cbunited.com/michellepurcell.

. Toni Peterson, Realtor. Originally from Fort Mill, Peterson started her real estate career as property manager at an Isle of Palms luxury vacation-rental company. Her interest in sales grew from then on. She dedicates herself to a client's home, contract negotiations and advocacy, according to Coldwell Banker United.

Peterson can be reached at 803-517-5550, toni.peterson@cbunited.com, or by visiting her website at www.cbunited.com/tonipeterson.

Meanwhile, Goose Creek office newcomers consist of:

. Yaser Perez, Bilingual Realtor. Born in Cuba, Perez grew up in Charleston and speaks fluent Spanish and English. He "prides himself on giving each one of his clients the upmost trust, reliability and communication," the brokerage says. He's up-to-date on area developments, including in North Charleston, Goose Creek and Summerville. Perez's knowledge and listening skills allow him to understand what his clients need and want in a home, according to Coldwell Banker. He also shows a "great love" for Charleston, the company says. Contact Perez at 843-860-1618, yaser.perez@cbunited.com, or www.CharlestonRealEstateByYaser.com.

. Scott Warren, Realtor. He grew up in North Carolina and moved to Goose Creek with his wife Joyce and daughter Willow in 2006 to open the Lowe's home improvement store in Goose Creek. He spent 22 years at Lowe's, most recently as Administrative Manager of the Goose Creek store. His favorite saying about the Lowcountry is, "It's another day in paradise!" He enjoys spending time with his family, football and helping neighbors. His mission is to serve his clients honestly, quickly and with attention to detail. Reach Warren at 843-469-7236, scott.warren@cbunited.com, or www.MichaelScottRealty.com.

Coldwell Banker's two new agents in downtown Charleston are:

. Seth Stisher, Realtor. The water serves as Stisher's claim to fame, notably as a pro skier. Stisher, a Charleston area resident for 15 years, has water-skied professionally since his days at the University of Alabama, says Coldwell Banker United. He takes part in the local business community, heading his own training center, H2Osmosis and Seth Stisher's Waterski Training Center. He recently sold a web-based watersports pro shop, the agency says. Stisher's marketing, Internet sales and social media skills prove to be strengths in his real estate career. He's also involved in developing a waterski-based community in the Charleston area around new, private lakes, according to Coldwell Banker United. Reach him at 843-633-1588, seth@sethrealty.com, or www.SethRealty.com.

. Lynda Madden, Realtor. A transplant from Titusville, Pa., Madden relocated to the Charleston area more than 30 years ago. She holds an honors graduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a paralegal/legal assistant degree. She's a certified legal assistant from the National Association of Legal Assistants specializing in bankruptcy, corporate, and real estate law, Coldwell Banker United says. Since 2003, she's served as a residential agent, rental specialist and handled lots for building as well as acreage for investors and developers. She offers clients a title search service. Separately, she's worked since 1996 as a Department of Defense civilian employee at Joint Base Charleston. Contact Madden at 843-324-9019, Lynda.madden@cbunited.com or visit www.cbunited.com/lyndamadden.

Coldwell Banker United, Realtors also lined up two new agents at Centre Pointe. They include:

. Phyllis Lambert, Realtor. The New England native "is excited about the present and future blossoming of the Lowcountry, both culturally and economically," according to Coldwell Banker United. She recently earned the "Military Relocation Professional" designation to help with the housing needs of those who are serving, or who have served, in the armed forces, the agency says. Lambert grew up in Connecticut and launched a successful music business with her husband, Dan, in Rhode Island. A few years ago, she and her family decided they'd had enough of cold Northeast winters and choose to move to Charleston, the agency says. The couple live just outside of Charleston proper with their pets. Reach her at 843-909-4506, phyllislambert@gmail.com or www.CricketOnYourHearth.com.

. Jamie Pfaffenbichler, Realtor. The agent brings to the real estate profession more than 25 years of experience in sales and marketing, consumer banking and customer service, according to Coldwell Banker United. Pfaffenbichler also spent seven years as a corporate fundraiser coordinator for major employers across South Carolina. She resides in Wescott Plantation near Summerville with husband Joe and their two children, Joey and Jillian. Pfaffenbichler - who serves Berkeley, Dorchester and Charleston counties - can be reached at 843-460-7299, jamie.pfaffenbichler@cbunited.com, or www.CharlestonHomeSweetHome.com.

.Ryland Homes sets up drop-off points for charitable holiday gifts.

A noted local homebuilder just opened seven places to donate presents for youngsters on behalf of a well-known Marine Corps volunteer charity.

Ryland Homes says it's marked certain sales offices in the Charleston area as official Toys for Tots locations.

Marine Corps servicemen and women volunteer their time to collect donated toys and make sure they're distributed to underprivileged children in the area, says Gayle Jinks, vice president of sales and marketing for Ryland Homes in metro Charleston.

Ryland Homes says it will collect and store toys for pickup by Toys for Tots volunteers. The drop-off locations consist of Whitney Lake on Johns Island; Taylor Plantation in North Charleston; Brickhope Plantation in Goose Creek; Charleston Oaks in Hanahan; and Six-Fifty-Six Coleman, Carolina Park and Tupelo - all east of the Cooper.

"Toys for Tots is a wonderful effort and a great tradition in South Carolina," Jinks says. "We are delighted to participate."

Ryland Homes sales offices stay open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and noon-6 p.m. Sundays and Mondays.

Headquartered in Southern California, Ryland counts as one of the nation's largest homebuilders. The company operates in 17 markets nationwide.