The Lowcountry's expanding technology market can add another firm to the lineup.
Real estate data-research firm HomeTrackR said it's moving its operations to Charleston from Washington, D.C., and plans to bring dozens of jobs to the region.
The firm provides reports on homes, similar to the way Carfax does for automobiles. Its QuickLook Reports include history about permits, inspections, mortgages, property damage, and even contractors who previously worked on the home.
CEO and longtime Charleston resident Rich Estes said it was time to uproot the company he founded a year ago.
"Charleston is a creative, energetic, bustling city of young entrepreneurs," Estes said in a written statement. "Silicon Harbor, as it is now being called, is attracting serious technology attention from all around the country and we are happy to join the effort in promoting the great city. D.C. has been good to me, but there's just no other place in the world like Charleston."
The move is planned for the fall and the company will choose a headquarters in the summer.
HomeTrackR said it plans to employ as many as 15 programmers, marketing pros, and service personnel. The firm plans to bring on more staff in 2015 with up to 50 full-time positions.
"Our data and reports will arm buyers with information they have never had access to before and it will save buyers and real estate agents thousands by weeding out homes with hidden problems," Estes said. "Buyers deserve to know the truth about the home they are buying, but property disclosure statements give owners too much latitude to omit critical information."
The Lowcountry's rebounding home sales marketplace is making real estate a more attractive career option. Evidence of that is the growing membership roll at the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors.
The group recently had 3,879 members for January, up nearly 15 percent from a year ago.
This month's tally is still lower than the peak during the housing boom before the last recession sent the industry into reverse. Membership at the North Charleston-based industry association peaked in 2007 at 4,837.
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