Labor Day weekend open house set for LEED-certified Kiawah models

Daniel Ravenel Sotheby's International Realty is teaming with Kiawah Island Real Estate this month to promote the island's new Indigo Park community.

Centrally located on Kiawah Island, the eco-friendly neighborhood consists of 16 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified homes.

The kickoff event will take place noon to 5 p.m. Aug. 30 at Indigo Park. There will be family friendly activities, a food truck and refreshments for the Saturday fest.

Guests can interview the developer Dyal Compass on "sustainable building practices." All three Indigo Park home models will be open for viewing, according to the sponsors.

"This new marketing venture will now allow Indigo Park to be marketed on the local Multiple Listing Service, giving valuable exposure and attracting buyers to Indigo Park," backers of the sales venture say.

Sotheby's International Realty, through its global marketing program, will pitch the neighborhood internationally in print and online.

Dyal Compass also will be a sponsor of the Indigo Park tour. Open for the tour will be the community's newest model, The Palmetto.

Guests can "see the Indigo Park difference," made up of "luxurious living in an eco-conscious, low maintenance neighborhood in the heart of Kiawah," according to organizers. Homes range from 2,200 to 3,600 square feet. Features include geothermal cooling and heating - including pool heating. Preregister at www.dyalcompass.com for a chance to win a two-night stay in an Indigo Park home.

Charleston-based Daniel Ravenel Sotheby's International Realty, located at 33 Broad St., has closed more than $1.5 billion in real estate sales since its inception more than 30 years ago. For more information, contact Ruthie Ravenel at 843-723-7150 or ruthie@DanielRavenelSIR.com or Middleton Rutledge at 843-345-9137 or mrutledge@DanielRavenelSIR.com.

Real estate veteran joins The Jaffee Group as loan officer

Charleston native and The Citadel grad Joe Thompson has signed on with a wing of Shelter Lending Services LLC.

He recently joined The Jaffee Group at Shelter Lending as a senior loan officer.

Thompson brings 40 years of real estate and mortgage lending experience. Over the decades, he has worked with builders, Realtors and various customers "to make their mortgage lending experience a positive highlight of their life's journey," according to The Jaffee Group.

He is an active volunteer for the Citadel Brigadier Foundation and attends First Baptist Church of Mount Pleasant, The Jaffee Group notes. Thompson lives on Johns Island.

For more information, contact David Jaffee at 843-725-5901 or david.jaffee@sheltermortgage.com.

Prudential Southern Coast agent earns military relocation specialist title

A Charleston area Realtor has gained official acknowledgement that she's willing and able to assist military staff and families as they move from place to place.

Michelle Bingham, of Prudential Southern Coast Real Estate, earned the nationally recognized Military Relocation Professional certification.

The National Association of Realtors says it confers the title on agents "who want to help military personnel and veterans find housing solutions that best meet their needs and allow them to take full advantage of their military benefits."

According to the NAR, the services of a real estate professional who understands needs and timetables of military staff and families when they relocate can make the transfer "easier, faster and less stressful." They know how to work with active duty military buyers and sellers as well as veterans, the national Realtors association notes.

"Home ownership is one important part of the fabric of America," says Linda Collins, broker-in-charge of Prudential Southern Coast Real Estate. "Working with Realtors who understand specific needs and timetables related to military service will provide our military transferees an easier, faster and less stressful move," she says.

Prudential Southern Coast Real Estate provides relocation services throughout Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties.

For more, contact Bingham at 843-300-8042 or by way of email at mbingham.pscre@gmail.com

Builder changes name to Palmetto Signature Homes

A veteran local house framer has adopted a new title to both reflect its heritage of crafting quality starter homes and for introducing a more sizable design.

Rex Thompson Homes of Charleston says the company changed its name effective immediately to Palmetto Signature Homes.

Launched 15 years ago, the company established its legacy raising entry-level properties that are also affordable.

Palmetto Signature Homes says it will build on "the proud Rex Thompson tradition of experience and integrity." But, the company also will expand its focus to include a "larger, semi-custom product" that gives homebuyers extra construction and design flexibility.

"Palmetto Signature Homes will be led by the same core values and the same leadership that has guided the company for the last decade and a half and allowed us the ability to build over 600 new homes," company president Lex Costas says.

"Being rooted in the Lowcountry, Palmetto Signature Homes is and has always been guided by our three most important principles; integrity, quality and value," he says.

Palmetto Signature Homes presently builds houses in the Oaks at Indigo, based off Dorchester Road in the Summerville-North Charleston area. The 2,500- to 3,400-square-foot homes start in the low $300,000s and feature detached garages, the company says.

Carolina One New Homes will continue to coordinate the builder's marketing activities. For more information, visit www.CarolinaOneRealEstate.com.

Atlanta-based real estate company buys two apartment villages in Anderson

A Georgia commercial investor has scooped up rental properties in the Upstate in an $11 million deal.

The apartment communities include the 180-unit Country Club and 136-unit Cobblestone, both in Anderson.

With the purchases, Radco Cos., the buyer, made its first acquisitions in South Carolina. Company founder and chief executive Norman J. Radow announced the transactions.

Radow describes Country Club and Cobblestone as modest properties, "but in Class A locations."

He says, "Anderson is home to more than 230 major manufacturers and 22 international corporations." Yet the city hasn't had any new apartment complexes go up since 2011. As a result, "Radco will be able to quickly upgrade and reposition these well-located properties to meet the unmet market demand for quality housing."

Radco plans to invest nearly $3 million to renovate and improve the properties, modernizing them by "replacing aging infrastructure," upgrading attractions and revamping interiors.

Country Club will be renamed Ashford Pointe and Cobblestone retitled Ashford Village "to coincide with the company's brand identity and its new ownership," according to Radco.

Built in 1974, the apartment villages are less than half a mile from each other. Country Club sits off Anderson's main thoroughfare, Clemson Boulevard. It's across the street from the 671,000-square-foot Anderson Mall. Located on Miracle Mile Drive, Cobblestone rises "in one of the city's most flourishing retail hubs." Both properties feature one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans.

After buying the two rental complexes, Radco's portfolio has expanded to 6,600 multifamily homes in six cities in South Carolina, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Oklahoma and Colorado.

This year alone, the real estate acquisition and redevelopment company has purchased seven properties with 1,700 units, investing $183 million.

Local Realtor provides mid-year look at metro Charleston real estate figures

While area home prices keep climbing, transactions have fluctuated and both buyers' and sellers' markets can be found locally - depending on the region.

Those are talking points of the Lowcountry Real Estate Update newsletter for August.

Michelle Whitback, an agent for Keller Williams Realty in Mount Pleasant, compiles the report on a regular basis.

She says, "2014 has been a great year so far and it looks like we have a chance to sell 14,000 homes. We're up 6 percent in number of transactions. Our median sales price is up almost 9 percent over 2013 and at over $220,000, is even higher than the peak in 2007."

As a whole, transaction trends are heading upward, but that's not the case everywhere, Whitback says. "A few areas actually have decreased in number of sales because the list prices have gotten so high and/or a lack of inventory," she says, citing the southern part of Mount Pleasant as an example.

For the entire Charleston area Multiple Listing Service, the inventory now sits around five months. "Average is six, so five means a very strong market," Whitback says. "Many areas have four (months inventory) or less and are well into a sellers' market. However, there are some areas where it is still a buyers' market."

Meanwhile, the Realtor highlighted areas showcasing large median price increases from last year:

They include:

. North Charleston inside Interstate 526 - up 50.9 percent

. Peninsula Charleston inside crosstown - up 33.3 percent

. Peninsula Charleston outside crosstown - up 24.8 percent

. Daniel Island - up 19.7 percent

. Mount Pleasant north of Isle of Palms connector - up 18.2 percent

. Wando/Cainhoy - up 16.5 percent

. Mount Pleasant south of Isle of Palms connector - up 16.5 percent

. Johns Island - up 15.5 percent

. Folly Beach to Battery Island - up 14.7 percent.

. West Ashley outside I-526 to Rantowles - up 14.5 percent

. James Island - up 13.9 percent

. West Ashley inside I-526 to Ashley River - up 10 percent.

Swimming pool opens, trails on the way at Carnes Crossroads

Residents at an emerging master-planned community north of Goose Creek got a welcome break from the heat - a neighborhood swimming pool.

Carnes Crossroads, situated near the intersection of U.S. highways 17A and 176, opened the pool July 17. The water attraction has proven "a big hit with all ages," as residents are keeping cool this summer, according to the residential village.

The pool sits in the middle of Carnes Crossroads' first neighborhood, St. Thomas Park. It comes complete with 25-meter lap lanes, a beach-like entry and a splash and play area, according to the development.

Adjacent to the swimming center stands the Green Barn, "a great poolside venue for socializing, special events or a friendly game of ping-pong," Carnes Crossroads notes.

"Amenities that contribute to healthy lifestyles are an integral point of the plans of Carnes Crossroads," neighborhood backers say.

Residents already are enjoying recreational trails for walking, running and bicycling. Soon, "miles of trails will wind through our first neighborhood, part of the community-wide trail system," the development says.

At a time when "demand for lifestyle amenities is on the rise," Carnes Crossroads serves up a host of chances for recreation and healthy living, it notes.

Foreclosures drop 35 percent from last year nationwide; also dip in state

As the U.S. foreclosure pace dwindled in June, the rate in South Carolina fell steeply.

Consider:

. The state's foreclosure inventory - a compilation of all loans in some stage of foreclosure - was 1.6 percent as of the first month of summer, off a full percentage point from a year earlier.

. Completed foreclosures, involving cases where owners lose their homes, totaled 9,088 in S.C. That was down 3,431, or 28 percent, from the year before.

At the same time, South Carolina's "serious delinquency" rate - accounting for loans that are 90 or more days past due - works out to 4.2 percent of all mortgages.

By comparison, the U.S. foreclosure inventory hit 1.7 percent as of June from 2.5 percent a year earlier, completed foreclosures eased down to 596,554 and the serious delinquency rate landed at 4.3 percent.

The figures stem from CoreLogic's monthly "foreclosure report." The June findings represent the most recent survey by the national analytics and property information provider.

According to CoreLogic, there were 49,000 completed foreclosures nationally in June. That's a 9.9 percent drop from 54,000 the year before. The completed foreclosure total actually increased 2.7 percent from May, when there were 48,000 cases.

"While 32 straight months of year-over-year decline in the foreclosure (inventory) rate is cause for celebration, the total number of homes still in the foreclosure process remains almost four times as high as the average in the early 2000s," says Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.

"Additionally, there is concern over whether or not we can maintain this pace of improvement as the foreclosure inventory becomes more concentrated in judicial states with lengthier, more complex processes and timelines," he says.

"The national inventory of foreclosed homes fell to just under 650,000 in June. Most of the U.S. has reduced its shadow inventory to pre-recession levels, but the Northeast, Florida and the Pacific Northwest remain elevated," says Anand Nallathambi, president and chief of CoreLogic.

"The great news here is that the basic underpinnings of the housing market are strengthening, but there is still work to do," he says.

According to CoreLogic, the five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures as of June were Florida at 123,000, Michigan with 43,000, California with 34,000, Texas at 33,000 and Georgia at 31,000.

Meanwhile, the lowest completed foreclosure totals were in the District of Columbia at 83, North Dakota with 324, West Virginia at 543, Wyoming at 718 and Hawaii with 836.