Top producers group makes charitable gifts


A real estate organization forged in lower Dorchester and Berkeley counties and upper Charleston County pledged $1,000 apiece to seven nonprofits for 2018.

The charities are:

  • Meals on Wheels Summerville
  • Range 2:14
  • My Sister's House
  • Dorchester Paws
  • Courageous Kidz
  • Hope's House
  • Summerville Miracle League.

North Area Top Producers, made up of the most active Realtors in the region, announced the donations at a recent gathering.

The club's board for 2018 includes Amy Nienstedt of Carolina One Real Estate; Sarah Coleman-Lee, Agent Owned Realty; Carolyn Gardner, Carolina One Real Estate; and Jayme Logue, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

Carolina One agent visits companion office in Britain

For Laura Pape, her recent trip to England and France was mainly a vacation with friends. But she also fit in a side journey that involves her real estate career.

Pape traveled to the London-based office of Mayfair International Realty. The agency is a United Kingdom partner of Carolina One Real Estate's Luxury Real Estate group.

The agent, a top producing member of Team Pape at Carolina One's Mount Pleasant Longpoint Road office, stopped in to see among others Annette Reeve, a Mayfair International Realty director.

Carolina One and Mayfair International formed an alliance earlier this year.

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East Cooper Top Producers names officers

A new group of board members has been chosen for 2019 with a prominent real estate organization in Mount Pleasant and surroundings.

East Cooper Top Producers named Lori Claussen of NV Realty Group as its president for the new year. Geri Lipps of Carolina One Real Estate is past president. Alicia Mendicino, likewise of Carolina One, holds the post of vice president. Danielle Nichols, treasurer and Sarah Gipe Yandle, secretary, are also with Carolina One Real Estate.

The club membership is comprised of Realtors from various real estate companies based in the East Cooper region, according to the top producers group. Members reflect Realtors "who demonstrate a higher standard of real estate practice and commitment to excellence," it says.

East Cooper Top Producers get together to share information and to learn about issues and developments that impact affect their community. Members are "well informed and the heart" of the East Cooper real estate community, the club says. They stay up to date on government issues and on their livelihood by having knowledgeable guest speakers at the monthly meetings, which allow them an open forum to meet, learn, voice opinions and share information that benefits the club, clients and community. The membership gives back to the community by providing scholarships to "deserving high school students in the East Cooper area," according to the club.

Pair of associates join gradually expanding Mount Pleasant-based realty


Charleston Metro Homes recently welcomed motivated new pros, one who grew up in a real estate family and another who's a newly licensed agent.

The associates are Tess Bartmann and Emily Dowdy.

According to the agency, Bartmann "epitomizes integrity, creativity and hard work."  She grew up in Minneapolis, and her real-estate agent father would often take her along to preview houses. She soon grew interested, too. In 2007, Bartmann received a bachelor's degree in communications with a focus in marketing, graduating cum laude, Charleston Metro Homes says. She then earned an associates degree in interior design, graduating with highest honors, the agency notes.

She moved to Las Vegas in 2010, pursuing an interior design career. She worked at an architectural firm and assisted in projects from hotel rooms to bars to casino lobbies. She also took part in residential remodels and flips, "which is one of the many reasons she decided to obtain her real estate license," according to Charleston Metro Homes.

Bartmann visited metro Charleston on several occasions and moved here with her family, falling in love with the region's "beauty, history, charm and overall lifestyle." She

She's the mother of "an amazing little girl who motivates her to work hard every day." The family attends outings, beach visits, festivals and mommy and me classes together, enjoying "all that Charleston has to offer," The realty points out. Reach her at or 612-501-2385.

An Isle of Palms resident, Dowdy is a Virginia native and was raised there. She met and married her high school senior prom date and has five children, the youngest a seventh grader in Mount Pleasant. Dowdy is also an "excited" newly licensed South Carolina real estate agent.

Dowdy gets motivated by her own family as well as "helping others find their happy home whether a quaint little apartment, a home in a great neighborhood, a farm in the country or that peaceful spot on the island," Charleston Metro Homes points out. A dedicated agent, she's looking forward to being mentored by Charleston Metro Homes founder Debbie Smith and the agency's team with decades of experience, professional and personal success in the real estate market, it says.

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She brings customer loyalty and relies on the expertise of the Charleston Metro Homes Team. "The opportunities are unlimited for both buyer, seller, renter and investors," Dowdy says.

Reach her at or 804-243-1147.

Debbie Smith and husband Steve Smith own and manage Charleston Metro Homes. She opened the firm in 2013 after 14 years experience in real estate. She spent a decade with Carolina One Real Estate earning Realtor of Distinction and East Cooper Top Producer. Before moving to the Charleston area, she spent more than 20 years as a sales manager with Clayton Homes in Texas, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Steve Smith owned Core One Properties, a leading property management firm he started on Daniel Island in 2005. He also had been senior vice president of sales and marketing for Fisher Scientific Corporation in Pittsburgh.

The Charleston Metro Homes office is at 652 Coleman Blvd. in Mount Pleasant.

Angel Oak lender plants its first South Carolina locales including in Lowcountry

An Atlanta-based mortgage company opened three offices in South Carolina — Charleston, Columbia, Hilton Head Island — which it says will bring comprehensive lending expertise to the Palmetto State.

Angel Oak Home Loans, LLC disclosed the branch openings, part of an expansion in the Southeast. According to the company, the new offices will bring "a wide range of lending options to local borrowers as well as the exceptional customer service, speed and delivery."

“We’re bringing talented teams to South Carolina and will offer competitive, innovative products,” says John Budry, Columbia branch manager who counts more than 29 years of mortgage industry experience locally. "The areas we are entering have strong housing markets and are especially attractive right now for buyers," he says. "We look forward to providing them a stress-free, streamlined mortgage process."

Angel Oak provides traditional and nontraditional home loan products "that adapt to the shifting marketplace," the company says.

The mortgage lender is going through a time of rapid growth. In the past three quarters, Angel Oak has assembled record-breaking volume in the niche area of non-QM (non qualified mortgage) lending specifically. The company say its affiliated residential lenders have racked up more than$2.1 billion in originations in the past nine months.

“We’ve seen tremendous growth and success in the Southeast, so moving into Columbia and the coastal regions just made sense,” says Trent Reed, the senior vice president regional manager of the Carolinas, "As leaders in the non-bank lending space, we feel we offer borrowers new options they did not know were available to them, and we are eager to help them achieve home ownership through these products,” he says.

Among other services, Angel Oak offers the "MyHomeLoan" app that it says gives borrowers and realtors online access to their loan status and the ability to upload documents  from their phones.