Real Estate News — Big office in works for agency; Parkland Preserve has new marketer

New homes are going up at Parkland Preserve, a small new neighborhood on James Island.

Real estate brokerage to build Ashley River center

Carolina One Real Estate Services has broken ground on a new 15,300-square-foot office in North Charleston, says Patty Scarafile, chief executive.

The structure on Salt Pointe Parkway near the Charleston County boat landing on the Ashley River will be the company’s Service Center.

“This move allows us to design our space very efficiently, accommodating our expanding real estate services without increasing our occupancy expense,” says Michael Scarafile, president.

“It also demonstrates our fundamental belief that locally, real estate is a solid long term investment,” he says.

Glick Boehm Architects is the project designer, Hill Construction Corp. the builder, Marketplace Interiors is supplying interior design services and Harbor National Bank is providing the financing.

The Carolina One center will house administrative services for real estate sales — including accounting, marketing, training, legal and information technology services— and the company’s mortgage, insurance, relocation, new homes, property management and commercial departments.

“We are excited to work with Carolina One and a superb team of local architects, designers and suppliers,” says Chip Crane, vice president of business development for Hill Construction.

For more information, visit www.carolinaonerealestate.com.

Aviles Real Estate promoting James Island neighborhood

Sales are picking up at Parkland Preserve, a small new community that Aviles Real Estate Brokerage has begun marketing.

The agency is taking a proactive approach to the market, which has pleased clients, according to Aviles.

One such case is George Johnson, owner-builder of Wando Builders Inc. and Parkland Preserve developer. He is satisfied with the neighborhood’s progress.

“Within a couple of weeks of listing the development with Susan and Gil (Aviles), we had a contract on the first house, new signage, a great website, strategic marketing and as a consequence are able to break ground on two more. I couldn’t be more happy,” he says.

Parkland Preserve is a cul-de-sac neighborhood on James Island. Noted Charleston architect Julia Martin designed the houses.

“These homes needed to be created within strict budgets, which I believe demands more creativity than an unlimited budget and resulted in solutions that bring great satisfaction to the homeowner,” she says.

Gil Aviles, vice president of Aviles Real Estate Brokerage, says that shoppers, for around $200,000, are able “to buy a custom home in Parkland Preserve with granite (and) stainless appliances; make selections in lighting, color palettes; and have a home built with quality craftsmanship by Wando Builders.”

The neighborhood is a few minutes from the James Island connector and downtown Charleston. Possible buyers include first homeowners and people who need to live close to downtown to be near work and want a custom home.

Houses feature spacious open living areas, gourmet kitchens with granite countertops, wood floors, ample wardrobes, generous storage spaces and screened-in porches for year-round entertaining.

Parkland Preserve has one completed house and two homes under construction that are ready to sell. There are also several lots available.

For more information, visit www.ParklandPreserveSC.com or contact

Susan Aviles at Aviles Real Estate Brokerage, 843-697-2383 or susan@aviles-realestate.com.

Monteith joins local real estate agency

Keller Williams Charleston recently brought on a leading sales agent and former certified public accountant in Mount Pleasant.

Paige Monteith is a top producing real estate broker with the agency, which is based east of the Cooper.

She is a graduate of Accounting from Clemson University and a former CPA. She is a member of East Cooper Top Producers Club, Mount Pleasant Rotary Club and Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church and is a Junior League sustainer. Monteith has three children.

For more information, call Keller Williams at 843-416-2000 or visit www.kw.com.

Charleston Preferred Properties offers local real estate outlook

Metro Charleston’s housing market has fared OK in 2011 given the economic, political and financial turmoil nationwide, a local real estate company says.

“It appears that overall this is going to be a fairly positive year for Charleston real estate,” according to Charleston Preferred Properties.

“Yes, prices are still down, as they have been since 2008, but declining listings and increased activity have resulted in an upward trend for median sales prices in many of Charleston’s submarkets.”

According to the company, the number of single-family listings in the area’s Multiple Listing Service has declined 20 percent since sales peaked in 2005 at more that 13,000.

Single-family home transactions sank to 6,500 in 2009. More than 7,000 houses sold in 2010 and sales are on course to top 8,000 this year.

“With the gap between the number of listings and the number of sales shrinking, these statistics indicate that things are moving in the right direction. But the question remains: Have prices hit the bottom yet?” Charleston Preferred notes.

According to the company, the Charleston market is in store for one more wave of foreclosures from the big banks. “Earlier this year, the courts halted foreclosures for many large banks due to ‘robo-signing’" — where documents were penned with little inspection.

Since the court order, banks have reviewed their paperwork to insure their foreclosure methods are sound. The resulting wave of bank-owned properties should hit the market during the end of 2011 and beginning of 2012, Charleston Preferred says. “These properties will place additional downward pressure on already fragile median sales prices.”

The company predicts that the upcoming round of foreclosures should be the last round of sales weighing on prices. “Once these foreclosure opportunities are absorbed the banks should begin to see strength in their mortgage portfolios.”

Interest rates, now at 4 percent, “most likely” have hit bottom, the company says. The monthly payment difference between a 30-year mortgage at 4 percent and the same mortgage at 7 percent on a $250,000 loan is $500 per month.

Charleston Preferred says it is important to realize the size of the U.S. real estate market.

“Sales activity in this country is currently half of what it was during at the height of the boom, but still, roughly 15,000 houses are selling every day across the nation. All buyers should make knowledgeable decisions, but they should not let fear cripple them from the possibility of taking advantage of a very interesting time to buy.