Bourne named Realtor emeritus

It takes a combination of distinctive service and longevity to wind up with the honor that John Bourne received from his peers.

The board of directors of Charleston Trident Association of Realtors has honored Bourne, a longtime Realtor, with Realtor Emeritus status.

Bourne, the former mayor of North Charleston, has been an active Realtor for more than 40 years, according to the local association.

He met with association president Ralph Wetherell and chief executive Terry Ketchem recently to receive the designation.

Home prices, sales increase

More than 3,200 homes have sold in the Charleston area in the first half of 2009, including 732 in June, the S.C. Realtors association reports via its Multiple Listing Service findings.

The Charleston Trident area, which includes Berkeley, Dorchester and Charleston counties, had 1,913 sales in the second quarter, up 30 percent from the first quarter.

That pushed total sales of homes, condos and villas to 3,216 for the year.

Meanwhile, the median home price in metro Charleston edged up to $193,000 as of June. It was $182,000 in the first quarter and is $184,000 for the year.

By comparison, more than 19,000 dwellings sold statewide in the first half of the year, at a median price of $135,000.

Rehava hits milestone

Launched not much more than a year ago, rehava - Real Estate Store has reached the $100,000 level in rebates to its buyers.

The full-service firm offers 50 percent buyers’ commission rebates at closing. The company says it rewarding more than $25,000 in real estate rebates in June alone.

“Many buyers that we are working with right now are first-time homebuyers that found us online and want to add yet another savings to their first-time homebuyers credit, says Steve deGuzman, broker-in-charge. “But we also see a significant increase in experienced homebuyers interested in purchasing a new home as interest rates are favorable,” he says.

The company reports that more than 80 percent of its “gross commission” income in the last fiscal year came via the company’s online marketing network.

Not only are market conditions favorable, but the government also is adding incentives to attract first-time homebuyers, according to rehava.

As part of the federal economic stimulus package, a tax credit worth 10 percent of the purchase price up to $8,000 is available to first-time homebuyers.

In addition to the one-time credit, first-time homebuyers can take advantage of special programs through the Federal Housing Administration.

The rehava store is at 5060 International Blvd. in front of the Tanger Outlet Center in North Charleston.

Agent/Owned partners with home builder

AgentOwned Realty - Park Circle, New Homes Division has set up a new partnership with Legacy HomeBuilders.

Legacy Homebuilders was founded in 2001, by Dale Judy and Butch Corrigan, while building quality homes at affordable prices. Legacy Homebuilders offers open floor plans and family oriented communities.

AgentOwned - Park Circle and Legacy Homebuilders Inc. are committed to making home buyers experience hassle free and pleasurable.

“Our growth is a testament of how successful AgentOwned - Park Circle has been with bringing good quality builders to the Charleston Market,” says Melissa Bissett, owner.

AgentOwned - Park Circle is one the latest AgentOwned offices to open.

“We chose the Park Circle location based on what we believed would be the center of the green movement, and it's close proximity to the Charleston Home Builders Association,” she says.

The office, which opened in October, has 27 agents.

Oak Terrace Preserve grows

Even in a challenging real estate market, North Charleston-based Oak Terrace Preserve is having a solid year.

The green-built community is on pace to beat last year's sales record, based on reports for second quarter 2009. Findings for June show an 11 percent increase in housing starts. To date, 14 homes have closed in 2009, with eight new homes sold and under construction. Oak Terrace Preserve has catered to a diverse demographic of homebuyers, luring young couples to relocating retirees. The neighborhood's next phase is the construction of town homes, by early 2010.

"It makes me very proud to see the success of Oak Terrace Preserve, and its ongoing growth amidst a national recession, says North Charleston Mayor R. Keith Summey, commenting on the sales figures. "The city has transformed a once blighted and vacant World War II neighborhood into a model community of sustainable living."

Ryland hosts grand opening

The Bolton's Landing neighborhood has new homes, community trails and plenty of wildlife, and Ryland Homes wants to get the word out.

The California-based builder is holding a grand opening of its West Ashley village 10 a.m.-6 p.m. today. Interested home buyers are invited to take tours of the available floor plans.

Bolton’s Landing sales representatives will be on hand to answer questions. The public is invited to participate in the celebration, which will include vendor demonstrations, food, and drink.

In Bolton’s Landing, runners, walkers, and bikers can enjoy access to trails. They wind through the community, offering a place to watch wildlife, exercise and enjoy the outdoors. The neighborhood is located off Savannah Highway and Bees Ferry Road.