Real Estate News New local TV program takes a look at area homes; national franchise brings on associate in Summerville

Amy Andraszek

A new home-improvement and real estate show that in its initial episodes focuses on a North Charleston community began airing in the past few weeks.

Charleston-based St. Clair Media produces the program, called “You R Home.” It telecasts Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. on WTAT Fox 24 in the Charleston area.

According to promoters, the program features local real estate and home improvement projects. Each 30-minute episode of “You R Home” is split into two segments featuring a Realtor, builder, developer or home improvement expert.

The series’ first segment took a look at the husband and wife team of Cheyanne Lake, a Realtor with One Lake Avenue in Mount Pleasant; and builder Chip Lake, of Applied Building Systems of Mount Pleasant.

Russ Rutan, owner of Saint Clair Media, operates as the show’s production company.

In initial programs, the Lakes gave viewers a tour of North Charleston’s Hunley Waters community (www.hunleywaters.com). The gated, sustainable waterfront community edges Noisette Creek in the bustling Park Circle neighborhood, according to backers.

“Russ Rutan is providing a great service for HGTV-style programming, but with a local flavor, in the Charleston area,” Cheyanne Lake says. “It’s a great tool for prospective homebuyers looking for homes, as well as homeowner renovation of existing homes, as we look at the increasing diversity of housing in the region.”

The program gears itself to meeting the needs of prospective local homebuyers, or consumers looking for ideas to improve their homes.

The first episode of “Your R Home” also featured CC Home Staging & Redesign, Circe and Architectural Antiques & Design.

“The timing for ‘You R Home’ is right, with the rebounding real estate market, along with the substantial growth of jobs in Charleston,” Rutan says.

For more on You R Home, contact Rutan at 843-345-2593.

A new agent for one of the larger residential brokerages in the Lowcountry now works for the same company as her husband.

Amy Andraszek joined Century 21 Properties Plus in its Summerville office. She will specialize in home sales in the Charleston area.

She attended Cazenovia College, studying business administration and management, revenue cycles and medical coding and billing. She spent more than 18 years working in health care at The University of Rochester and MUSC. Andraszek says she’s now ready for a career change.

“I am extremely excited about being part of Century 21 Properties Plus and working with my teammate, and loving husband, Robert,” she says.

The couple live in Summerville with their sons Jared, Ray and Tyler. Robert Andraszek has been in real estate with Century 21 for several years “and is thrilled to have Amy join his team to help provide even more service to their clients,” the agency says.

Home shoppers seeking to borrow money for the first time in order to buy a residence, or those making a repeat visit, can learn about assistance programs all in one place.

That’s thanks to a national venture’s online database released in the past months.

HSH.com set up the information source across the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

South Carolina offers three home buyer assistance programs that can help out with first-time home buyer, mortgage credit, purchase and down-payment assistance.

For more, go to www.schousing.com.

HSH.com says it compiled the list of home buying assistance programs in each state to inform borrowers about what might be available to them in their local areas.

For this project, HSH.com only collected information on programs that were accessible statewide, it says. The list includes programs available to first-time homeowners and those for repeat buyers.

According to HSH.com, “Each state defines a first-time home buyer as someone who has never owned a home, or someone who has not owned a home in the past three years.”

The statewide programs can offer perks such as below-market mortgage rates; down-payment assistance; and special programs for police or firefighters. They almost always require consumers to attend a home buyer education course. Also, statewide assistance programs must be acquired through a participating lender, HSH.com says.

According to the company, South Carolina’s assistance offerings consist of:

Homeownership program. Geared to first-time buyers, the plan centers on down-payment assistance; a fixed-rate first mortgage with a conventional, FHA or USDA lender and competitive market rates for low-to-moderate income homebuyers, HSH.com says.

Another advantage, the company says, involves lower mortgage-insurance costs. Borrowers can qualify for up to $5,000 in down-payment or closing-cost assistance. For prospective home buyers earning 80 percent or higher of the area’s median income, the money revolves around a repayable second mortgage loan. Those making below the 80 percent threshold borrow in the form of a forgivable second mortgage.

An extended-lock, new construction program with “rate float down” option. This strategy for first-time buyers provides an extended period to lock into a mortgage interest rate and allows up to one float down to lower the rate and “preserve affordability on a newly-constructed home.”

S.C. Mortgage Tax Credit, which permits home buyers to take a federal income tax credit up to $2,000 per year. The credit amount equals 30 percent of the mortgage interest paid each year on the home loan. The credit costs $500, and may be paid by the seller. The lender may charge a $200 processing fee, according to HSH.com.

Go to www.hsh.com/finance/mortgage/home-buyer-programs.html to locate the interactive map and list of programs.

A Charleston native whose career includes stops at blue chip corporations will specialize in residential property deals for Century 21 Properties Plus.

The company welcomes Izetta Green to its Summerville office, where she will focus on home sales in the Charleston area.

Century 21 describes Green as “a true Southern belle with a personality that will leave an everlasting impression.”

Launching her real estate career this year, Green brings more than 18 years in customer service. She’s worked for AT&T, US Postal Service and Delta Airlines and ran a childcare academy.

Green, who has a college degree, is active in church and the community, “feeding the homeless once per month and volunteering at the Ronald McDonald house often,” Century 21 Properties Plus says.

Her goal is to provide every client and customer with loyalty, integrity and trust, the agency says.

“She lives daily by the scripture Philippines 4:13 — ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me,’” Century 21 Properties Plus notes.

Green wants to help people sell and buy their home, noting that “dreams can come true because there is nothing too hard for God.”

The cost of a Lowcountry house bounced up 6 percent at the start of spring from a year earlier, boosting a $200,000 residence’s value to $212,000.

National real estate tracker CoreLogic included the local figures in its monthly Home Price Index for March.

The company also found that prices remained the same in Charleston-North Charleston in March from February.

CoreLogic also computes the price change while excluding distressed transactions such as those involving foreclosed properties and short sales. In greater Charleston, prices increased 5.3 percent in March from a year earlier and rose 0.2 percent from a month before.

While climbing, the Charleston area price figures trailed the 5.9 percent nationwide increase in March from 12 months ago and the 9.1 percent boost — second most steep among states — in South Carolina as a whole.

Colorado lead the country with a 9.2 percent price increase in March from a year previous. Kansas and Texas tied for third with 8 percent gains.

With distressed properties excluded, Kansas topped the state list for March, up 9.5 percent from the same month in 2014. Colorado placed second, increasing 8.5 percent and S.C. ranked third with an 8.2 percent surge.

The 5.9 percent country-wide home cost rise in March marked the 37th straight month of year-over-year increases in house prices nationally. Excluding distressed properties, prices rose 6.1 percent.

On a month-over-month basis, home prices nationwide increased 2 percent.

Separately, the CoreLogic Home Price Index Forecast projected a 5.1 percent year-over-year value increase from March to a year later and an 0.8 percent gain to April.

With distressed sales excluded, home prices are in line to rise 4.7 percent from this March to March 2016 and increase 0.7 percent as of this April.

“The homes-for-sale inventory continues to be limited while buyer demand has picked up with low mortgage rates and improving consumer confidence,” says Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “As a result, there has been continued upward pressure on prices in most markets.

“All signs are pointing toward continued price appreciation throughout 2015. In fact, the strong month-over-month gain in March may be a harbinger of accelerating price appreciation as we enter the spring selling season,” he says.

“Tight inventories, job growth and the inexorable impact of demographics and household formation are pushing price levels in many states,” says Anand Nallathambi, president and chief executive of CoreLogic.

Large metropolitan areas such as Dallas, Denver, Houston, Seattle and San Francisco are surging toward record levels, he adds.

The Georgetown design from David Weekley Homes took awards from a home-style periodical based in a state best known for its automotive industry.

The privately-held home builder’s Custom Classics Distinctive Residences collected two honors from Detroit Home Magazine for a house built in the Palmetto Bluff community in Bluffton.

The model, designed by Visbeen Architects Inc., earned first place as the top “Vacation Home Outside of Michigan,” and third place for “Best Traditional Master Suite,” according to David Weekley Homes.

Fitted on a 1.7-acre home site, the Georgetown features four bedrooms, four full baths, a half bath and three-car garage within 5,100 square feet, the builder says.

“The home’s vacation-like highlights include a large front porch, a covered rear porch with marsh views, glass French doors opening to a terrace, a screened porch located off the morning room, a reading alcove within the owner’s retreat and a private casita above the garage with bedroom, bathroom, sitting room and kitchenette,” the company notes.

A panel of architecture and interior design experts from across the U.S., including based in Austin, Minneapolis, New York and Connecticut, determined the award winners.

For more about Custom Classics Distinctive Residences in Hilton Head, call 800-401-7153.

Houston-based David Weekley Homes builds homes in the Hilton Head area and in greater Charleston in South Carolina.

Visit the company’s website at www.davidweekleyhomes.com.

A national builder sporting neighborhoods in greater Charleston added another lender to discounts available to military families and veterans.

Ryland Homes teamed up with USAA Federal Savings Bank to offer active and retired service personnel up to $4,000 towards closing costs or upgrades when purchasing a Ryland home through the lender. Incentives also can be obtained through RMC Mortgage, a Ryland affiliate.

Don McDonough, division president of Ryland Homes in the Charleston and Myrtle Beach regions, says Ryland has always offered the perks to veterans and active duty military who finance their homes through RMC Mortgage.

The partnership with USAA and the USAA Federal Savings Bank extends the builder’s offer “to thousands of active and veteran personnel who rely on USAA for a wide range of banking and insurance services,” Ryland says.

Founded in 1922, USAA is a financial services company that offers insurance, banking and lending services to more than 10.2 million services members or veterans.

“We are proud that so many military veterans and their families choose Ryland Homes and we’re happy to help them with mortgage services through USAA Federal Savings Bank or RMC Mortgage,” McDonough says.

Ryland Homes builds single-family homes in more than 20 communities in the Charleston-Myrtle Beach area.

Headquartered in Southern California, Ryland operates in 28 markets across the country.

Scotty Lowe spent more than a decade in a branch of the armed forces that flies planes.

Now he’s taking a different route, signing on with Century 21 Properties Plus as an agent in the West Ashley office. Lowe specializes in residential property sales in the Charleston area.

He attended the Community College of the Air Force and Trident Technical College — where he received an associate of science degree. He spent the past 10 years serving in the Air Force in Little Rock, Ark., and in Charleston.

According to Century 21, Lowe is ready for “the next chapter in his life.” He’s eager to work with the agency to help people find “their dream home.”

Lowe and his wife Jennifer live in West Ashley and are expecting the birth of their first child, Brodie, in August.

“I am very excited to begin a new career with a wonderful company with great agents and an outstanding support system,” Lowe says.