Real Estate News — Agency adds associate at Isle of Palms; custom home framer lines up attractive financing for veterans building on their own land

Floor plans from New Beginnings Custom Homes include the 2,435-square-foot, three bedroom Greenbrier model. The two-story house starts in price at $175,905 (Provided).

A real estate firm in its 26th year locally has brought on an experienced agent with a prodigious background selling homes in Wild Dunes.

Judd Borders, of Charleston, now works for dunes properties at its Isle of Palms office.

Born and raised in South Carolina, Borders began his real estate career in 2008 with Wild Dunes Real Estate. He specializes in beachfront communities on the Charleston coast and is knowledgeable about South Carolina real estate contracts and laws.

According to dunes properties, Borders is an expert on real estate inside the Wild Dunes Resort. He handles transactions involving single family homes and condominiums while also examining the cost of ownership inside the resort.

Borders typically ranks in the top five-to-10 agents for volume sold in Wild Dunes and on the Isle Palms, dunes properties notes. He holds the record for the most expensive home sold on Isle of Palms since 2005, the agency says.

Touting extensive knowledge of coastal properties and resort living, Borders “uses his expertise to give his clients all the information they need on second homes and investment properties,” dunes properties points out. He’s skilled in 1031 Tax Exchanges, in which capital gains may be deferred when dealing with certain types of swapped properties.

An avid golfer, Borders also “loves spending time with his family,” dunes properties says.

He is based out of the Isle of Palms office at 1400 Palm Blvd. and can be reached at or 843-817-0227.

Founded in 1989, dunes properties is a boutique real estate, vacation rental and property management company with offices in downtown Charleston, Folly Beach, Isle of Palms and the Kiawah/Seabrook area. For more, go to

The good news of the Veteran’s Administration Guarantee Loan Program is it helps servicemen and servicewomen secure benefits to buy a home.

The assistance includes loans as high as 100 percent of the property value.

Until recently, however, the program lacked lenders who were willing to offer a 100 percent VA loan in cases where veterans wanted a custom home built on land they own or intend to buy.

While the program will provide for 100 percent construction financing, “there were no banks or financial institutions willing to offer it,” New Beginnings Custom Homes says.

Lenders would offer 100 percent VA guarantee loans only on a resale home or on a new subdivision home already completed by a builder, the company says.

Otherwise, veterans would have to be approved for a separate construction loan and provide a down payment of 10-20 percent, New Beginnings Custom Homes says.

That’s changed this year, according to the West Ashley-based, veteran owned company. “New Beginnings Custom Homes has secured a financial institution able to offer a 100 percent construction loan to income,” the builder says.

The program will credit eligible veterans who can qualify for the VA 100 percent loan guarantee. Those proceeds will be dedicated to pay off the construction loan when the house is completed. The complete financing package is structured as single loan with one set of closing costs, New Beginnings Custom Homes says.

According to the company’s website, the lending institution is GMH Mortgage Services LLC — a nationally recognized mortgage lender based in the Philadelphia suburb of Conshohocken, Pa.

New Beginnings Custom Homes showcases dozens of modular floor plans on its online site. They range from less than 1,000 to more than 3,000 square feet and priced from around $70,000 to close $200,000. Modular homes are partially assembled in a factory and then completed on site.

“This is fantastic news for all veterans living in the Charleston area since many veterans would love the opportunity to choose their own home and have it built on their land or combined with a lot of their choice with 100 percent financing,” says Richard S. Cooper, director of communications and marketing for New Beginnings Custom Homes.

The loan guarantee program is an outgrowth of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act in 1944, the home builder says. The Veterans Housing Act in 1970 and the Veterans Housing Benefits Act of 1978 brought further improvements.

Still, VA home loan benefits for many years were available only to those who had honorably served on active duty during specified periods of time, the builder notes. The 1992 Veterans Home Loan Program Act extended benefits to include all honorably discharged servicemen and servicewomen, all eligible reservists and any National Guard member with at least six years of service.

To date, more than 20 million veterans have purchased homes that include generous terms such as 100 percent financing, according to the local builder.

Cooper says most of the company’s modular home designs can be further customized “to include a wide array of optional ‘adaptive living solutions’ designed to make the lives of disabled veterans and their families as easy, practical and as comfortable as possible.” Those special modifications can include interior wheelchair accessibility with widened doorways and specially adapted master bathrooms and kitchens, he says.

Many of the optional equipment features to assist injured veterans could be paid for by a VA “Specially Adapted Housing Grant.” Grant amounts of up to $65,000 are presently available, the company says.

For each custom home built for qualifying veterans, New Beginnings Construction & Custom Homes says it plans to make donations to support The Palmetto Warrior Connection, Disabled American Veterans and The Fisher House of Charleston.

Inquiries on the 100 percent veterans-construction financing should be directed to Cooper at New Beginnings Custom Homes at 926 Savage Road, by phone at 843-364-5413 or via email at

For more information, visit

Long-time real estate agent Bud Poston recently accepted a top post for a major company’s new office at Harrell Square on Sam Rittenberg Blvd.

Poston will be sales manager at Century 21 Properties Plus’ West Ashley location. Bringing along 15 years’ real estate experience, he switched to Century 21 in June 2014.

The Realtor wants to expand his ability to better serve all of his clients based on the national network’s array of marketing and tools, “not only in print but on the Internet,” the agency says.

Poston and new office manager Austin Goethe look forward “to creating an office environment that will benefit the agents working there and help them grow their business with support and goals while in a family atmosphere,” Century 21 Properties Plus notes.

Also, Poston saw the chance to help the agency expand its Charleston area presence through the new West Ashley office as well as his sales locale in the clubhouse at The Links at Stono Ferry.

For 20 years, Poston was a salesperson and manager for medical and dental products ventures. He got his real estate license in 2000 and started with Prudential Carolina Realty, before obtaining a broker license in 2004 and switching to Keller Williams Realty to help the company start up a new franchise in the Charleston area.

In 2007, Poston had the opportunity to be part owner of ERA Tides Realty, the ERA franchise in Charleston. He was an owner and broker-in-charge for a number of years. In December 2012, Poston and partners sold the franchise to another ERA owner, Wilkinson & Associates of Charlotte.

Poston has been active with the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors. He served on the Education Committee in 2008 and as its chairman in 2009; was a board director 2010-2013; and presently serves as State Director for Region 1, which includes the Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties as well as Walterboro. He’s also taking part with the Realtor Education Foundation and Grievance Committee. Poston has received the Realtor of Distinction award multiple times. Century 21 Properties Plus welcomes Poston to his new position.

The value of homes locally edged up 3.9 percent in November from a year earlier, although it was level from a month earlier.

When distressed properties such as foreclosures are excluded, Charleston area home prices eased upward by 3.1 percent in the past year and decreased by 0.2 percent from October, the previous month.

The year-over-year price changes, disclosed by CoreLogic, lagged in the Charleston area compared with South Carolina and the entire U.S. Monthly results were not available for the state.

The figures were included in the latest CoreLogic Home Price Index, released monthly by the Irvine, Calif.-based property information and analytics provider.

“After decelerating for most of the year, home price growth has been holding firm between a 5 percent and 6 percent growth rate for the last four months,” says Sam Khater, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic.

“However, pockets of weakness are clear in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., and three of the top four states with the highest price appreciation are energy intensive and had been benefitting from the energy boom which is currently receding as oil prices trend downward. These states — Texas, Colorado and North Dakota — may see some downward pressure on prices in 2015,” Khater says.

South Carolina ranked 20th highest in home prices for the 12 months through November, showing a 5.1 percent increase. Michigan placed first with a 9 percent gain and Maryland was 51st, up 0.1 percent.

With distressed properties excluded, South Carolina was ranked tied for 18th for home price increase with a 5.2 percent rise. Massachusetts was first, up 8.6 percent, and Idaho placed 51st with an 0.2 percent increase.

The national price increase year-over-year was 5.5 percent, and 5.3 percent excluding distressed properties. Home prices nationwide rose by 0.1 percent in November compared with October. Excluding distressed sales, prices increased 0.3 percent month over month.

CoreLogic also publicized its Home Price Index Forecast for the nation, indicating that housing prices would increase 4.6 percent by this November from November 2014 and decrease month-over-month by 0.1 percent from November to December 2014.

Excluding distressed sales, home prices would rise 4.2 percent as of November 2015 and decrease by 0.1 percent in December 2014.

“The pace of home price gains have slowed as we exit 2014 but this is probably only a temporary lull,” says Anand Nallathambi, president and chief executive of CoreLogic. “While the CoreLogic HPI Forecast shows a slight dip in prices next month, we believe that prices will be up a year from now as continued economic growth fuels buyer confidence and their willingness to purchase a home and invest in their future.”

For years, he’s had a centralized office off Dorchester north of Ladson roads. Now Jeff Cook, noted local Realtor, will have a location in the heart of the region.

The Greater Summerville/Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce and Jeff Cook Real Estate teamed up recently to hold a ribbon cutting ceremony to

celebrate the grand opening of the real estate agency’s downtown Summerville office at 105 S. Cedar St., Suite A.

Jeff Cook Real Estate sells homes in the Summerville and Charleston areas.

The agency urges people to visit office manager Jennifer Young and agents Heather Beyler, Holly Carder, Phillip Wilson, Kim Martier and Michael Dixon or call the staff at 843-518-0345.

When all the numbers were calculated, metro Charleston showed a 5 percent climb in the median home sales price in 2014 compared with the previous year.

Meanwhile, Folly Beach led the way in terms of value appreciation.

The figures, which stem from the Charleston Trident Multiple Listing Service, were reported on the online newsletter from Keller Williams Realty agent Michelle Whitbeck.

The median, or midpoint, home price last year was about $220,000 in the Charleston area. In 2013, the middle price was about $210,000.

“Looking at the areas individually, we see that the areas that excelled in 2014 were Folly Beach, downtown Charleston and Daniel Island. Other areas that performed well include James Island, West Ashley, Mount Pleasant and Johns Island,” she says.

“The areas that showed large drops in median price include Kiawah/Seabrook and Sullivan’s Island,” Whitbeck says.

According to the MLS figures, the median sales price on Folly Beach surged 17 percent to $440,000. There were 125 sales, and homes stood on the market an average 191 days.

Here are numbers for other regions:

- Daniel Island: $571,312 sales price, up 14 percent; 308 sales; 71 days on market.

- Downtown Charleston: $438,000 sales price, up 16 percent; 626 sales; 130 days on market.

- Isle of Palms/Wild Dunes: $583,408 sales price, down 3 percent; 226 sales; 199 days on market.

- James Island: $258,000 sales price, up 12 percent; 861 sales; 75 days on market.

- Johns Island: $240,375 sales price, up 10 percent; 346 sales; 85 days on market.

- Kiawah/Seabrook Island: $426,550 sales price; down 15 percent; 179 sales; 290 days on market.

- Moncks Corner: $148,645 sales price, down 9 percent; 246 sales; 113 days on market.

- Mount Pleasant: $375,000 sales price, up 11 percent; 2,311 sales; 71 days on market.

- North Charleston: $139,500 sales price, up 6 percent; 1,103 sales; 82 days on market.

- Sullivan’s Island: $1,217,500 sales price, down 16 percent; 36 sales; 170 days on market.

- Summerville/Ladson/Ridgeville: $180,000 sales price, up 6 percent; 3,378 sales; 72 days on market.

- West Ashley: $219,000 sales price, up 11 percent; 1,484 sales; 68 days on market.