Southern Shores broker named to post assisting Realtor reading program

A "passion for working with people" drives Peter Derry in his job and in charitable efforts, including helping youngsters read.

That's according to Southern Shores Real Estate Group, where he is top producing agent and broker.Derry was recently named vice chair for Reading with Realtors.

Charleston Trident Association of Realtors sponsors the organization. Members volunteer to read one hour a week at underprivileged Burns Elementary in North Charleston and often go beyond that goal to work out ways for students to meet community leaders and ensure they're furnished with adequate educational tools.

Derry, who is also broker and owner of PHD Properties, has specialized in residential and acquisition real estate for seven years in the Charleston area - all of them with Southern Shores. The firm credits Derry for his workplace and extracurricular successes.

A National Association of Realtors member and Certified Investor Agent Specialist, Derry has a "proven natural dedication to his clients and a strong work ethic," according to Southern Shores.

The agent's real estate activities allow him "to expand his passion for working with people," the company notes. He enjoys helping clients find the right property for their lifestyle and portfolio. As property manager, he can assist customers with particular real estate needs.

Reading with Realtors, in turn, gives agents a chance to engage the pre-teens. They try "to help kids see the future, with college and beyond as their goals," according to Southern Shores.

The volunteer professionals, 44 members and growing, mentor children not just with reading but reach out to "plan college tours, meet local business owners and focus on all aspects of their education and social interaction" such as raising funds for needed school supplies, the agency points out.

"All of the volunteers try to make it a blast for the children to help open up the world of possibilities that most have never heard of," Southern Shores says.

For more about the program, contact Derry at

Southern Shores Real Estate Group LLC considers real estate acquisition to be its "backbone." It's comprised of six divisions including acquisition and commercial brokerage, residential, property management, community management, vacation rentals, cleaning and custodial services and construction and maintenance.

New-look website proves to be perk for Charleston Fine Homes

The Internet window that a local real estate partnership presents to the public has undergone changes to be more user-friendly.

Charleston Fine Homes unveiled its new website in the past few weeks, Chari Karinshak and Franne Schwarb say. They're agents with Coldwell Banker United, Realtors who have their own team within the brokerage.

The online site, at, showcases a new look and offers "one-stop-shopping" for real estate services including easy Multiple Listing Search capability, they say.

The agents update their blog on the new site. "We always welcome guest bloggers, so email us and let us know what topic you'd like to explore," Schwarb says. Interested parties also can send suggestions.

The agent team offers a new monthly newsletter online "that will feature tips, tricks, happenings (and) giveaways." And the pair will spend "a lot of time answering your common (and not-so-common) real estate questions," she says.

For more, visit Karinshak at

Carolina One teams with new owner of Berkeley condos

A developer has chosen to partner with one of the area's largest new-homes specialists on its first community in the Charleston area.

Xcelsior Palmetto LLC joins up with Carolina One New Homes to oversee sales and marketing of Palmetto Place condos. The project resides in Berkeley County near the intersection of Clements Ferry and Jack Primus roads.

"These newly designed condos cater perfectly to what discriminating buyers are asking for; low maintenance affordable living in a desirable area of the city," says Jon Foege, Xcelsior Palmetto's sales and marketing director.

The new one-, two- and three-bedroom condos range in size from 975 to 1,358 square feet. They show off formal and informal dining areas, laundry rooms, crown molding, walk-in closets, oversized showers and fire sprinklers.

According to Carolina One New Homes, the community sits within Daniel Island's "desirable" school district, and the condos are minutes away from downtown Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Daniel Island and area beaches.

For more information, go to or contact Carolina One New Homes site agents Debi DeCusatis or Patty Scott at 843-856-1120.

Based in the Charleston area, Carolina One New Homes represents more than 30 communities in terms of marketing and selling their newly built properties. It was formed in 1994 as a division of Carolina One Real Estate.

National group's outgoing president gives tips for home inspection month

One reliable way to protect your home from moisture intrusion involves drafting a checklist and then probing trouble spots, a noted Ravenel home inspector says.

According to Bill Jacques, water seeping into the house stands as a leading cause of home maintenance issues and repairs.

Jacques, president of American Inspection Service Inc., is immediate past president of the American Society of Home Inspectors.

"April," which happens to be National Home Inspection Month, "is the perfect time for a spring maintenance inspection," he says. "When it comes to water intrusion, it's not often a matter of 'if' but 'when' the moisture will take its toll. Between wet climate conditions and ice melting from rising temperatures, a maintenance inspection is the best way to safeguard your greatest investment from potentially costly repairs," Jacques says.

Due to safety precautions, the home inspectors group doesn't recommend homeowners conducting inspections themselves. But the local inspector notes several areas that homeowners should eyeball, including:

-Visually inspecting hose bibs (the threaded end of the outside water tap or faucet where a hose can be attached) for signs of frost damage.

-Checking out pipes for separated joints or splits.

-Perusing window and door screens for tears and holes.

-Looking over gutters for broken or loose pieces.

-Investigating surfaces for cracking or peeling paint and caulking.

Jacques says a typical spring home inspection should include a roof evaluation to see if there's any curling, shrinking, or broken or missing shingles "that may lead to costly leaks," and an assessment of the home's perimeter to look for signs of settling and for voids that will allow rain to enter through the foundation. He also recommends a "thorough" inspection of the air conditioning system.

If homeowners choose to hire an inspector, they should interview the candidates to understand what the inspection will cover and to verify their experience. Jacques also offers a list of questions homeowners should ask.

They should find out if the inspector's certified, what the inspection covers, how long prospective contractors have been home inspectors and how many inspections they've completed.

"ASHI certified inspectors are required to have completed at least 250 paid professional home inspections and pass two written exams that test the inspector's knowledge of competency," he says.

Homeowners should check to see if inspectors are specifically experienced in residential inspection, if they encourage customers to attend their inspections, whether they will submit a written report and how long the inspection will take.

"The average for a single inspector is two to three hours for a typical single family house; anything less may not be enough time to do a thorough inspection," Jacques says.

For more information or to find an ASHI certified inspector, visit or call 800-743-2744.

Pair of agents join Handsome Properties

Real estate veterans Debbie Peretsman and Lee Williams have signed on with a Charleston agency that focuses on luxury property.

The two professionals now work with Handsome Properties.

Peretsman developed familiarity with the Charleston market after owning property throughout greater Charleston including historic downtown and coastal communities over the past 20 years.

She's lived across the country including New York, Boston, Los Angeles, San Antonio and Charlotte. The Realtor considers Charleston "her home and her favorite place to live." It is where she feels the "most comfortable and alive." During her first year as a Realtor, Peretsman quickly established herself as a top agent in the Charleston downtown luxury market, Handsome Properties notes. She received the "Rookie of the Year" and "Realtor of Distinction" awards for top-notch sales performance.

Peretsman's leading attributes consist of an appreciation and passion for Charleston, knowledge of the area, understanding of value and a keen sense of style, according to Handsome Properties.

Before becoming a Realtor, she worked in the medical and educational fields and developed valuable interpersonal skills. She's most proud of her dedication to serving her clients. Handsome Properties says she once spent more than three months "completely renovating, decorating and staging a historical property for one of her clients, tending to every detail of the process. The property sold in just 11 days for one of the highest prices per square foot in the area (in more than 13 years)."

On the civic and cultural side, Peretsman has served on the advisory board of "Save the Light" Morris Island Lighthouse preservation project; the Fur Ball Committee for Pet Helpers rescue adoption center; and the advisory board for Threshold Repertory Theater, where she launched the "Play with Your Food Series." She's also a member of the Middleton Place Foundation and the Historic Charleston Foundation.

Peretsman splits her time between her historic South of Broad residence and a marsh-front home on James Island.

Williams, meanwhile, spent a number of years in public relations and the political field before converting to the real estate profession.

According to Handsome Properties, he previously ran a small, interior architectural design firm, specializing in custom moldings, built-in cabinetry and design detail. "He added 'Staging Strategies' to his portfolio and has helped dozens of clients get their homes 'show' ready with his unique vision and thorough understanding of 'How the Buyer Sees Things in Ten Quick Seconds.'"

Williams purchased and renovated four different houses over the years, including redoing the interiors and exteriors. That's enabled him to help clients with their own home projects.

"Whether getting a house ready to put on the market, referring reputable maintenance workers or providing creative ideas to personalize a new home for a client, (Williams) puts his heart and energy into every assignment," Handsome Properties notes.

Williams is "honored" to be a part of the firm because of its commitment and dedication to clients, knowledge of the Charleston market and surrounding areas and follow-through practices, the agency says.

His top priority at Handsome Properties is "to know his clients and their needs and to represent them to the highest level."

The downtown Charleston resident enjoys sailing, cycling to Sullivan's Island and Folly Beach and getting together with family and friends at neighborhood restaurants. He is a member of St. Michael's Church, the downtown Exchange Club and The Stray Dog Society and he volunteers for Meals-on-Wheels in Charleston.

Realtor with decade of background signs on with Century 21

A veteran Realtor who went to college locally now plies his trade with a Mount Pleasant real estate staple.

Century 21 Properties Plus recently added Cory Dueger to its Mount Pleasant office. Dueger has 10 years of experience in the field.

"We are so pleased to announce that Cory will be joining our team," says Tim Rash, broker-in-charge of Century 21 Properties Plus. "We believe his experience will greatly enhance the services we provide to our customers in the Charleston area," he says.

Dueger earned a bachelor's degree in media communications from the College of Charleston. He lives in Darrell Creek east of the Cooper with his wife, Rebecca, and their daughter, Scarlett.

"I am very excited to extend my real estate experience to the powerful Century 21 Properties Plus team," Dueger says.

Century 21 Properties Plus touts 17 years of experience in the real estate industry. According to the agency, it offers advanced technology, comprehensive resources and unbeatable brand recognition.

Describing itself as a full service brokerage firm specializing in residential and commercial real estate, the agency counts locations in downtown Summerville at 118 W. Richardson Ave. and in the Park West development in Mount Pleasant at 3301 Salterbeck Court.

For more information, visit or call 843-856-0021.

Scarborough joins large local agency

A tennis and sailing buff from Charleston recently made his way to Carolina One Real Estate Services as a new associate.

Edward Chapman Scarborough is based in Carolina One's downtown Broad Street office.

He spent six years in London, earning a bachelor's degree in business management and a minor in literature from Regent's College.

After his return to the U.S., Scarborough worked for PigglyWiggly and The Hidden Countship Shop where he was sales manager. The antique store specializes in Italian-made décor.

"Edward was referred to me by (a top agent)," says Nancy Roettger, broker-in-charge. "I couldn't have been more pleased when he opted to join our downtown team," she says.

Carolina One Real Estate Services celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The company touts 11 sales offices, a mortgage division and departments specializing in insurance, new homes, relocation, commercial real estate, property management, vacation rentals and title services.

For more information, visit