Real Estate News: Carolina One selects office chief, Lennar sponsors giveaway

Louise Voelker

Broker-in-charge named for Goose Creek office

A veteran agent who graduated near the top of her college class has been tabbed to run a brokerage location for Carolina One Real Estate.

The company named Louise Voelker as broker-in-charge of its Goose Creek Metro North office.

Voelker was born in Boston and grew up in Florida. She graduated magna cum laude from Brenau College in Atlanta with a degree in social work. She went on to work with teenagers in Atlanta through the Department of Family and Children’s Service and for the Juvenile Court system.

Voelker and her husband Ed moved to Charleston in 1992. She obtained her real estate license working for Prudential Carolina Realty. The next year, she was named Rookie of the Year for the Mount Pleasant office.

She and Nancy Roettger would join forces in 1994 to pioneer the agent “team” concept in the Charleston area. Roettger is currently broker-in-charge of the company’s Broad Street office.

Voelker worked for RE/MAX Realty in Wilmington, N.C. as recruiter and manager 2004-06, earning RE/MAX’s Manager of the Year honors for North Carolina and South Carolina in 2006.

Two years ago, Voelker moved to Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty to manage 175 agents in the agency's Wilmington corporate office.

“My husband and I never got over our love for Charleston,” Voelker says. “So I was thrilled when Carolina One Real Estate invited me back.”

According to Carolina One General Manager Jim Reese, Voelker combines success in both leadership and sales. “We’re happy to have her on the team,” he says.

Builder gives event-goers chance to win home

One throw of special dice this weekend could put a lucky person into a new house valued at $150,000.

That’s what Lennar is giving away to anyone whose dice roll spells out W-Y-S-I-W-Y-G, which stands for “What You See Is What You Get.”

The giveaway is in conjunction with a sales event put on by Lennar’s Coastal Carolina Division at its neighborhood in Moncks Corner-based Foxbank Plantation.

The event is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Either day, the first 250 guests to visit Lennar’s model at 156 Red Leaf Blvd. in Foxbank Plantation will have a chance to roll the dice, according to Ann Ivey, the division’s director of sales.

If the dice spells WYSIWYG, the participant wins a home.

“We are extremely excited about our event this weekend,” Ivey says. “Not only will prospective homebuyers have a chance at winning a home but they will also be able to experience our Foxbank Plantation community, tour our beautiful models and most importantly, learn about Lennar and our new motto, “What You See Is What You Get.”

The slogan means, “We give our customers everything they want in a new home including thousands of dollars in top-of-the-line options at no extra cost,” she says.

Among the options are hardwood and tile flooring, upgraded carpet, deluxe master bathrooms with double sinks, gourmet kitchen with maple cabinets and Corian countertops.

Lennar showcases 11 floor plans at Foxbank Plantation, ranging in size from 1,480 to 3,566 square feet. Home prices start in the $150,000s.

The nearly 800-acre Foxbank Plantation, located off U.S. Highway 52, features a 35-acre lake, ponds, parks and a community pool.

For more information visit www.WYSIWYGCharleston.com.

Agents clean Adopt-A-Highway stretch

A local networking group for real estate agents donned brightly-colored vests and picked up litter along a major roadway in Charleston.

The Charleston Top Producer’s Club participated in the Adopt-A-Highway program earlier in February. They cleaned a portion of Savannah Highway in West Ashley.

The group’s members get together four times a year to improve the appearance of the community, according to member Reta Troutman of Pulte Homes.

“We all want our community to be as attractive as possible and the Adopt-A-Highway program is a great way for our members to be involved and make a difference,” says Carolyn Hughes of Carolina One Real Estate, who is the club president.

The Charleston Top Producers Club consists of top performing real estate professionals in West Ashley, downtown Charleston and James Island, according to the group.

Its purpose is to network, share information among the membership, provide community service and promote professionalism in the real estate industry.

The Top Producers Club supports a number of community projects including Charleston HALOS (Helping and Lending Outreach Support), Hughes says.

For more information, visit www.charlestontopproducers.com.

Realtor team gets back together at Carolina One

Three noted downtown Realtors have reunited with a former business partner by joining Carolina One Real Estate.

Catherine Lazenby, Vida Robertson and Fitz Lazenby recently signed on with Carolina One’s downtown Charleston office.

They join Joanie Lucas, who switched to Carolina One a year ago.

With more than 28 years real estate experience, Catherine Lazenby is a life member of the Million Dollar Club, a Realtor of Distinction and a founding member of the East Cooper Top Producer’s Club.

She is a graduate of the Historic Real Estate Program for the National Trust for Historic Preservation and served on the marketing and easement committee of the Historic Charleston Foundation.

Fitz Lazenby is a Realtor who specializes in locating and selling Charleston waterfront properties.

As a licensed boat captain, Lazenby understands the intrinsic value in this special Lowcountry market, according to Carolina One.

A Charleston native, Robertson has been involved in real estate for close to three decades.

She combines an extensive knowledge and love of the city with her dedication to excellence, the company says.

Lucas, a more-than-20-year real estate veteran, has special expertise in local architecture and historic preservation.

“They bring with them an impressive wealth of local knowledge and experience of the historic downtown market,” Carolina One office manager Nancy Roettger says.

Index: Local dip in home prices comparable to national average

The average cost to buy a home in the Charleston area dropped in December from a year earlier but rose slightly if distressed properties aren’t included.

That’s based on the December Home Price Index from Santa Ana, Calif.-based CoreLogic.

The company, which provides and analyzes business information including real estate, notes that home prices nationwide declined for the fifth month in a row. The fall was 5.46 percent in December 2010 compared with a 4.39 percent slide a year before.

Overall, the index was unchanged from 2009 but went through ups and downs as a result of the federal home buyer tax credits that expired in spring of last year and in late 2009.

“It was a bumpy ride, which ended with a net gain-loss of zero,” says Mark Fleming, chief economist with Core Logic.

“Despite the continued monthly decline in home prices and year-over-year depreciation, we’re encouraged that on an annual basis we’re unchanged relative to a year ago,” he says. “Excess supply continues to drive prices downward, but the silver lining is that the rate of decline is decelerating.”

South Carolina as a whole in December had a 2.54 percent decline in home prices from a year earlier. South Dakota had the healthiest market by price, up 5.53 percent, while Idaho struggled the most, off 14.61 percent.

In the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville metro area, home prices sank 5.63 percent in December 2010 compared with the previous December.

But excluding foreclosures, short sales and other distressed deals, year-over-year prices increased by 2.13 percent in the last month of 2010 compared with the tail-end of 2009.