Post and Courier
September 20, 2014

Real Estate News - Long-time business analyst signs on with Summerville real estate office; Carolina One adds new agents

Posted: 07/26/2014 12:01 a.m.


Real estate agent joins Century 21 Properties Plus


After three decades in one profession, Andy Minchak has made the move to the real estate field. He recently joined Century 21 Properties Plus as a sales associate.

According to the company, Minchak will specialize in residential property sales in the Summerville area.

"I'm extremely honored and inspired to be working with a select team of Century 21 Properties Plus professionals," he says, calling them the "most successful, capable, honest, and hard-working in the industry."

The new Century 21 agent was employed as a business analyst for more than 30 years. Before that, he worked in sales and marketing. He attended Penn State University, studying engineering and advanced management.

Minchak says he's looking forward to using his experience and skills to assist people with their real estate needs.

"Whether my clients are buying, selling or investing for the first time, I'm committed and driven to provide the most professional, informative, loyal, trustworthy and dedicated service to each and every client," the agent says.

"Their best interests and concerns will always come first and will always be placed ahead of mine in each and every transaction," he says. "I will work as hard as I can to help them achieve their dreams along with having a dedication in the development of a long-term relationship."

Minchak lives in Ladson with his wife, Deborah. They have a son, Justin, and two grandchildren, Kaelyn and Tanner.

For more information, visit www.century21properties.com.

Carolina One brings on two Realtors

One pro oversees construction projects, the other claims British royalty among her former customers.

They're among the newest agents for Carolina One Real Estate.

Robert "Dink" Hunt recently affiliated with the Summerville Main Street office. The Charleston native has worked as a construction project manager since 1997.

Hunt, who lives in Ravenel, counts an associate's degree in civil engineering from Trident Technical College. He is married with two sons. Hobbies include college football, fishing and golf.

Meanwhile, Kate Blackmon joined Carolina One Real Estate in the Sea Island Group office on Edisto Island. She previously worked in the company's Folly Road office before moving to Edisto Island as a full-time Realtor.

Blackmon, originally from England, was employed in the hospitality industry overseas. Her former client list included "members of the Royal Family," according to Carolina One.

The agency, launched in 1964, features 11 real estate offices spread about greater Charleston. For more information, visit www.carolinaone.com.

Sustainability Institute to enlarge energy corps to train veterans

A Charleston-area group involved with "green" housing will triple the size of a popular program to retrofit low-income homes with power-saving devices.

The Sustainability Institute says it's expanding the Energy Conservation Corps primarily to help veterans reenter the workforce. They will learn new skills and earn certifications "that will better enable them to find employment in construction and energy efficiency-related work," the institute notes.

New investments from funders such as the South Carolina State Commission of AmeriCorps and Social Venture Partners of Charleston enabled the institute to flesh out the corps program, it says.

The changes will bump up the number of people receiving training and job placement and add to the number of local homes rehabilitated with energy upgrades.

In the past four years, the program has retrofitted 108 low-income houses in greater Charleston with energy efficiency upgrades. The work has reduced family energy costs on average $532 a year.

According to the institute, the program will be on pace to retrofit 60 homes a year by 2016.

Corps members will be able to take part in apprenticeships with local companies, providing "valuable on-the-job experience," the institute says.

"With the use of solar growing rapidly across the state, these individuals will be positioned with the training and experience they need to help that industry grow and flourish," the group notes.

The Sustainability Institute says it expects to introduce this program toward the end of the year.

Property management company adopts 'Be Happy Renting' slogan

The three partners who run locally based Charleston Home Rentals have an upbeat business philosophy; that property owners and tenants can and should get along.

So when they sought a new brand image, the trio - along with desiring a more modern look - made sure the marketing approach didn't cross their mission.

The results? A new logo "inspired by the Yin Yang concept of duality," they say. Moreover, the company unveiled a new website and promotional efforts centered around its strategy of "Be Happy Renting."

Established in 2006, Charleston Home Rentals is a property management company operated by three managing partners.

According to Charleston Home Rentals, the partners "are committed to fostering harmonious landlord - tenant relationships in which everyone's needs are met." They added, "Experience has shown that this approach results in happy tenants, long-term occupancy and limited vacancies."

Headquartered at 789 Meeting Street downtown, Charleston Home Rentals manages listings in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties and offers a range of property management services. The company also provides a "tenant agency" service, which is geared to renters who need help navigating the property lease market.

To learn more about Charleston Home Rentals, visit www.BeHappyRenting.com or call 843-795-0600.

Commercial agency broker promoted to property manager in Columbia

An experienced real estate pro with NAI Avant has taken over management duties of the brokerage's property management division.

The commercial real estate firm promoted Amy Reeves to senior property and project manager. She is based in the Columbia headquarters office.

Reeves, who joined NAI Avant more than 10 years ago, offers expertise in healthcare, office, retail and project management.

In her new role, she's taken over supervisory and business development duties tied to the property management division as well as managing projects, the company says.

NAI Avant describes its commercial real estate business as one of the largest in the Southeast with more than 65 professionals. Services include brokerage, leasing, development, property and project management.

As a member of the NAI Global Network, the company has ties to more than 375 offices throughout North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

NAI Avant's Property and Project Management Group manages a multi-million square foot portfolio of properties across South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. Its Avant Healthcare Division provides "comprehensive services" to hospitals, clinics and physician groups.

Founded in 48 years ago, NAI Avant has its corporate office in Columbia as well as an office in Charleston. For more information, visit www.naiavant.com.

Lee & Associates brings on Clifton as marketing specialist

The Charleston office of a national commercial real estate venture recently landed a new staffer with public relations skills.

Lee & Associates, considered one of the largest broker-owned commercial firms in the nation, hired Hailey Clifton earlier this month as marketing/broker assistant. According to the company, Clifton "brings to the team valuable experience" in public relations and in marketing.

She provides a "strong business organizational and communications" background, which the firm believes will help out with many aspects of its brokerage division.

Clifton graduated from the University of North Carolina Wilmington with a bachelor's degree in business administration.

Formed in 1980, Lee & Associates numbers 750 brokers in 50 locations across the country including in South Carolina, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Texas and Wisconsin.

Additional information is available at www.lee-associates.com.

Rate of foreclosure declines again in Charleston-North Charleston

Fewer and fewer cases are showing up locally of property owners facing eviction from their homes for falling well behind on their mortgage payments.

That's according to the April foreclosure rates in Charleston-North Charleston, as compiled by national real estate information company CoreLogic.

The CoreLogic figures find that the rate of foreclosures in the Charleston-North Charleston metro area among all mortgage loans was 1.94 percent in April, a steep decline from the 3.11 percent share a year before.

While the rate's dropping, the region's foreclosure activity remained higher than the national foreclosure rate of 1.77 percent for April, down from 2.66 percent 12 months earlier. It was also higher than the statewide foreclosure rate of 1.75 percent, down from 2.81 percent a year before, according to CoreLogic.

Separately, the mortgage delinquency rate decreased sharply in Charleston-North Charleston. According to CoreLogic data for April, 4.37 percent of home loans were 90 days or more past due compared with 5.71 percent a year earlier.

By comparison, the South Carolina serious delinquency rate in April was 4.43 percent, slightly higher than the Charleston-North Charleston share. A year before, the rate was 5.42 percent, which was slightly lower that the Lowcountry percentage.

Meanwhile, the U.S. serious delinquency rate was a bit higher than Charleston-North Charleston's at 4.54 percent in April, down from 5.78 percent a year before.

Former chef joins Century 21 Properties Plus

Israel Campbell "traveled all over and worked with a variety of people" in his previous job - features that should help in his new post as real estate agent.

Century 21 Properties Plus welcomed Campbell to its Summerville office.

Tim Rash, broker-in-charge of Century 21 Properties Plus, says the company's pleased to bring Campbell onto the team.

"We believe his experience will greatly enhance the services we provide to our customers in the Summerville community," Rash says.

Campbell, who lives in Summerville, says, "Century 21 Properties Plus will be my home for life. The wonderful people in the office and cutting edge tools really set me up for success."

He studied political science at the University of Arkansas, then was employed as a "private yacht chef" for 10 years. The company says he's "ready to use these experiences and relationships to assist others with real estate."

For more information, visit www.century21properties.com.

Akers Ellis sees positive signs for Kiawah Island real estate

In its most recent online newsletter, Akers Ellis spelled out a mixed real estate report for Kiawah Island.

"Leading into 2014, we had predicted the first and second quarters to exceed 2013's pace. We were right, however, only by a slim margin," the real estate agency says.

The January through June time frame exceeded the same period in 2013 by 5 percent in terms of closed transactions listed on the area's Multiple Listing Service.

"Our expectations were for stronger first and second quarters," Akers Ellis says. "However, some factors adversely affected our market, such as the colder winter, a late Easter and a continuing good stock market, which has kept some investors' money in the market and out of diversifying back into investment real estate."

The agency foresees "more positive signs for our market" in the second half of 2014.

For instance, the number of Kiawah Island MLS properties under contract and set to close in the next 60 days "is at a three year high," the company notes. "July should be the best closing month in several years, and many of the properties under contract have been on the market of several years," Akers Ellis says.

Furthermore, "people starting to invest in rental properties are looking to buy again," the agency points out. "Many of these people believe the stock market has some fluff in it and cannot maintain its current levels."

According to Akers Ellis, home prices are still well under peak levels while 2014 has proven to be "the best rental year that we can remember." As a result, investors are "finally starting to seriously think about diversifying back into investment real estate."

New broker joins NAI Avant in state capital

A leading auto sales associate has switched to proffering commercial real estate with a leading firm based in Columbia.

NAI Avant recently added Lee Bussell Jr. to its "market leading" Brokerage Group. According to the company, he will focus on the sale and leasing of office and industrial properties.

Bussell, before joining NAI Avant, worked with Wray Volkswagen Mazda where he was among the top producers in automotive sales, the company says.

"As our commercial real estate business continues to expand we are excited to be able to add Lee to our team," says Bruce Harper, president and broker-in-charge at NAI Avant. "Lee has proven himself in the sales arena and has extensive relationships throughout the Columbia market," he says.

Bussell graduated from Presbyterian College in 2010 with a degree in political science.

NAI Avant, formed in 1966, has its headquarters in Columbia and an office in Charleston. For more information, go to www.naiavant.com or contact Harper at 803-744-9805 or bharper@naiavant.com.