Real Estate News Lowcountry broker veteran joins large local agency; number of homes reclaimed in state continues downward slide

Curtis Little

Begun earlier this year, full service realty newcomer RARE Charleston just added advisors Justin Albright and Timothy Mallard to its roster.

The two agents join associates Lea Anne Brown, Kevin Driggers, Michael Elliott, Sarah Reber, Brian Wolverton and Managing Broker Forrest Edwards with RARE Charleston.

More than 10 years ago, Albright began his professional career in the construction industry, focusing on residential improvements that would maximize his client’s return on investment. He went on to earn a Realtor license and is also a certified appraiser, inspector and entrepreneur, specializing in residential real estate across the Lowcountry. Mallard, a native Charlestonian and former city councilman, brings more than two decades of experience recruiting national and international companies to the Southeast for economic development purposes, RARE Charleston says.

He understands what greater Charleston offers. He also provides plenty of knowledge on real estate development, site selection and urban planning for residential, commercial and industrial locales, according to RARE Charleston.

Elsewhere, Mallard was a Charleston County Aviation Authority member during the recruitment of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner plant; serves on the board of Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester Council of Governments; and is a board member with Crimestoppers of the Lowcountry.

RARE headquarters, at 960 Morrison Drive in Charleston, is managed by sister company Ravenel Associates. The firm also has an office at 3690 Bohicket Road on Johns Island and will have other satellite offices “in strategic locations throughout the Lowcountry over the next several months,” the company says.

Visit www.RARECharleston.com.

Curtis Little, a commercial real estate pro who’s been focusing on representing retail tenants and acquisitions, recently joined Keller Williams Commercial.

The entity is a division of Keller Williams Charleston-Mount Pleasant Market Center.

Little worked at Cushman & Wakefield | Thahimer in Charleston, “where he began to focus exclusively on retail tenant representation and retail value-add acquisitions,” Keller Williams Commercial says.

When living in Washington, D.C., he was employed by Avison Young as an investment analyst and began to build financial models for several mixed-use investments, the agency says.

He’s now involved with retail focused Private Equity Funds in the Southeast and continues to work doing retail tenant representation, according to Keller Williams Commercial.

“We are thrilled to have Curtis Little join KW Commercial Charleston-Mount Pleasant,” says Adam Roach, team leader. “With the addition of Little, we are excited about the possibilities of expansion in our office.”

A former employer says this about Little: “It is rare that you find a young professional savvy enough to take intermittent pieces of information and string them together into a business strategy. Curtis possesses this ability.”

And Keller Williams chief executive Mark Willis says, “Our goal is to attract the very best in the commercial real estate industry to KW Commercial and clearly Little meets this standard of excellence in the Charleston marketplace.”

Little says he chose Keller Williams “because of its reputation for integrity and its agent-centric business model and the opportunity for commercial referrals from its residential agents.”

Established in 2003 and based in East Cooper at 496 Bramson Court Suite 200, Keller Williams Charleston-Mount Pleasant Market Center totals 220 associates. To learn more about KW Commercial, call Roach at 843-416-2000 or visit www.kwcommercial.com.

Keller Williams Realty Inc., which dates to 1983, labels itself the largest real estate franchise company in North America.

For more information on Keller Williams Realty, go to www.kw.com. Visit www.kwworldwide.com to see more about Keller Williams Worldwide.

The number of homes repossessed by lenders dipped a bit in the state through February, while foreclosures across the country dropped sharply.

In South Carolina, 7,101 foreclosures were completed through February. Completed foreclosures are an indication of the total number of homes actually lost to foreclosure, according to CoreLogic, which released the National Foreclosure Report for February. The figure ranks 10th highest among so-called judicial states, in which foreclosures are handled by courts. The state’s foreclosure count, too, was off significantly from 11,218 completed a year earlier, says CoreLogic, a California-based analyst and researcher of real estate information.

Meanwhile, the South Carolina foreclosure inventory was 1.4 percent, tied with the national rate and 12th highest among 24 judicial states. Inventory involves cases at any stage of the foreclosure process. The rate fell 0.5 percentage points in February from a year before.

At the same time, South Carolina’s share of serious delinquencies — loans that are 90 days or more past due — was 4 percent as of February. That’s identical to the U.S. rate and down 0.7 percentage points from the previous year. The state tied for 16th highest out of the judicial states.

CoreLogic in its monthly report notes that the national foreclosure inventory fell by 27.3 percent from a year ago and completed cases dipped 15.7 percent.

According to CoreLogic figures, there were 39,000 completed foreclosures nationwide in February, down from 46,000 a year ago and off a whopping 67 percent from the completed foreclosure peak in September 2010.

CoreLogic found that the number of mortgages nationwide in serious delinquency fell 19.3 percent from a year earlier to just 4 percent of all mortgages. This is the lowest delinquency rate since June 2008.

As of February, the national foreclosure inventory included 553,000 homes, compared with 761,000 homes a year earlier. Inventory represented 1.4 percent of all homes with a mortgage in February, compared with 1.9 percent a year ago.

“The number of homes in foreclosure proceedings fell by 27 percent from a year ago and stands at about one-third of what it was at the trough of the housing cycle,” says Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic. “While the drop in the share of mortgages in foreclosure to 1.4 percent is a welcome sign of continued recovery in the housing market, the share remains more than double the 0.6 percent average foreclosure rate that we saw during 2000-2004,” he says.

“The foreclosure inventory dropped year over year in all but two states,” adds Anand Nallathambi, president and chief executive of CoreLogic. “The foreclosure rates in judicial foreclosure states are beginning to pick up and remain higher than in non-judicial states. What’s encouraging is that fewer Americans are seriously delinquent in paying their mortgages, which in turn is reducing the foreclosure inventory across the country as a whole,” he says.

One of the larger builders in the Southeast selected local agents for a group that monitors buyers’ preferences.

Columbia-based Mungo Homes appointed its 2015 Charleston Realtor Advisory Board.

“Our relationship with the Realtor community is invaluable, and we are excited about this new partnership,” says Steven Mungo, chief executive of Mungo Homes.

“At Mungo Homes we are always trying to improve, and this respected group of Realtors will help us stay even more in tune with today’s buyer and, as a result, continue to be innovative and on the forefront of new home construction,” he says.

This year’s board members consist of Gray Bailey, Carolina One Real Estate; Becky Barrett, AgentOwned Realty; Ron Henderson, Century 21; Drake Herrin, Carolina One Real Estate; Katherine Keadle, Carolina One Real Estate; Jennifer Finger Krause, Coldwell Banker; Mattie Nesmith, The Elite Realty Group; Diana Johnson-Pellum, Carolina One Real Estate; Tom Tillery, Carolina One Real Estate; and Deb Walters, Carolina One Real Estate.

Mungo Homes, launched by the Mungo family in 1954, entered the Charleston market in 2003. It’s ranked the 37th largest builder in the country by Builder Magazine.

“With a track record of success based on quality, trust and stability, Mungo Homes — still family-owned and operated — built more than 1,100 new homes in 2014 in nine markets throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama,” the company says.

For more, contact Kim O’Quinn, director of marketing at 803-227-8459 or koquinn@mungo.com.

One brings a background as a photographer. Another developed her skills in a family focused on business. Now they’ve teamed up in real estate.

Melanie Ropp and Deanna Steedley joined up to form Ropp and Steadley Realtors LLC, a partnership with local agency Elaine Brabham & Associates Real Estate.

Steedley and Ropp both work for Elaine Brabham & Associates.

Ropp, a Charleston native, notes that she’s a third generation of her family in the real estate business. At the same time, she’s a professional photographer “with years of experience in architecture photography,” according to Elaine Brabham & Associates.

Ropp earned a degree in graphic design, then attended the College of Charleston, where she majored in communications with a focus on marketing and double minored in real estate and photography.

During her time in college, she was marketing director for Elaine Brabham & Associates, managing more than 30 agents.

Steedley, meanwhile, attended the University of South Carolina with a concentration in business. “She comes from a large family who has been successful in the business world ranging from real estate, real estate developments, monument works and restaurants,” the agency says.

Her experience includes vacation rentals and new construction development. Before earning a real estate license, she spent four years in the banking business.

“Both agents have an extensive knowledge of the Charleston area, from the rural areas to the beaches,” Elaine Brabham & Associates points out. “They know the school zones, flood zones, neighborhood demographics and traffic patterns.”

The partners cite additional qualities for becoming top-notch real estate professionals — integrity, community expertise, in-depth market knowledge, marketing and tech savvy, effective negotiation skills and a professional network, “all of which are hallmarks of how they work,” according to the agency.

Contact the partnership at www.roppandsteedleyrealtors.com.

Home deals for the chief agency on a posh barrier island near Charleston haven’t been this vibrant since the heady days before the real estate market decline.

Kiawah Island Real Estate, which handles most of the sales on the island, closed $48,829,000 in sales in April, making it the company’s best month in eight years, the company says.

The agency last reached a higher monthly closed volume in June 2007, when completed sales were $48,881,000.

Also, Kiawah Island Real Estate reported $47.2 million in new contracts last month, the highest monthly sales volume for new contracts since March 2006 at $56 million. The company’s market share stands at 88.4 percent.

While transactions are zeroing in on long-time highs this year, the market showed a resurgence as early as 2013, and strong island-wide sales continued into last year, according to Kiawah Island Real Estate. In 2014, total closed sales volume was $311 million from 273 properties sold on Kiawah Island and Cassique.

An “especially strong” area was lot deals, which typically are resales. Last year, land sales gained 7.5 percent and dollar volume rose by more than 17 percent. Lot sales have picked up strength for five straight years.

“Kiawah is part of a global luxury housing market that is experiencing double-digit growth,” says Chris Drury, president and broker-in-charge of Kiawah Island Real Estate. “April was a stand-out month for us, and a good indicator that we’re going to see this positive sales trajectory continue.”

Just more than a week ago, Keller Williams associates were out of the office all day for a worthwhile reason.

They chose May 14 to “Give Where They Live” as part of RED Day, the company’s “annual day of service.” The initials stand for “renewing, energizing and donating” to their local communities.

In the case of Keller Williams Charleston-Mount Pleasant, agents decided to spend the day with Habitat for Humanity and the Green Heart Initiative.

Habitat for Humanity “seeks to provide safe, affordable housing options for those in need.” Keller Williams associates worked a full day on two home sites with Habitat’s construction staff, the agency says.

Meanwhile, the Green Heart Project calls itself a farm-to-school program using school farms as outdoor classrooms “to teach students the value of hard work while connecting them to fresh, locally-grown produce.”

In this case, more than 30 Keller Williams Charleston-Mount Pleasant agents spent the day at Mitchell Elementary School in downtown Charleston to help maintain its outdoor classroom.

Elsewhere, the agents collected blankets, diapers and other necessary items to donate to East Cooper Community Outreach’s ongoing mission of providing safety-net services to local low-income families.

The outreach group also empowers the lower income recipients “to create a better future for themselves, their families and communities,” according to Keller Williams.

“RED Day is built on the belief that people can and should come together to achieve extraordinary things to help others,” says Adam Roach, local team leader for Keller Williams.

“Last year, we worked with fantastic staff at the Carolina Youth Development Center painting rooms for the children. We can’t tell you what an impact it made on each of us personally,” he says.

According to Roach, “RED Day just happens to be the one-day expression of the constant state of the Keller Williams culture.”

Since the first RED Day in 2009, Keller Williams Realty associates have contributed more than 500,000 volunteer hours to community projects around the world, according to the company.

“We are a tight-knit family and RED Day brings us even closer together,” says Chris Heller, chief executive of Keller Williams.

Keller Williams Realty Inc. counts 700-plus offices and 112,000 associates in more than a dozen countries worldwide.

For more visit Keller Williams Realty www.kw.com or KWWorldwide at kwworldwide.com.

Aviles Real Estate handles sales and marketing at Montgomery Lakes at Timm Creek, a Spartanburg-based subdivision.

“This gated community offers the finest in Southern living,” brokers Gil and Susan Aviles say.

According to the real estate agency, Montgomery Lakes at Timm Creek provides an Olympic-sized pool, fishing pond, walking trails and a social facility. “We have 50-plus lots now available for sale or trade,” the brokers note.

Lots are priced $10,500-$24,000 and homes $215,000-$275,000.

For more information, visit www.Aviles-RealEstate.com or contact Gil Aviles at Gil@Aviles-RealEstate.com or 843-697-5535, or Susan Aviles at Susan@Aviles-RealEstate.com or 843-697-2383.