Spring into Action: Fresh new models, established houses, $949,000 beach cottage featured in Post and Courier’s Spring Tour of Homes

The Post and Courier’s Spring Tour of Homes will be held today and Sunday in the Charleston area. Connie White, broker and owner of Charleston Home Real Estate, will open 7551 Hawks Circle in Hanahan this weekend, one of more than 50 new and established homes in the tour (Provided).

The residence that Laurie Loparo chose for an open house Sunday projects curb appeal, the type of dwelling people see and want to peek inside.

“It’s eye-catching,” the Golden Bear Realty agent says.

Indeed, the 120 Heart Pine Circle house in Legend Oaks west of Summerville boasts three bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths, double porches and a finished room over the detached garage. Moreover, the 2,700-square-foot abode situated on the neighborhood’s well-thought-of golf course lists for $329,000, or less than $130 a square foot.

“I love the Charleston style,” she says.

Loparo is opening the house to the public 2-5 p.m. Sunday as part of The Post and Courier’s yearly Spring Tour of Homes.

The newspaper will promote the tour Saturday and Sunday via its Real Estate and Classifieds sections. More than 50 homes, priced from the $200,000s to close to seven figures, will be open.

When Loparo learned about the tour, she immediately picked the Legend Oaks home because of its classic looks and size.

Besides, “I like to do open houses,” Loparo says. “I’m an open house person.”

The weekend tour takes place during the active spring selling season. Prices are climbing in the Charleston area, there are more homes available, and shoppers are looking for bargains.

According to Charleston Trident Association of Realtors figures released Monday, sales are up 22 percent in the first four months of the year with 4,727 homes changing hands compared with 3,887 a year before. Median, or midpoint, prices edged up 2 percent to $217,489 from $213,990 a year earlier.

And residential inventories, based on the number of homes listed as “active” for sale in the Charleston Trident Multiple Listing Service, hit its peak for the year in April with 5,803 houses ready for purchase.

Totals include existing houses as well as just completed residences at new-home neighborhoods across the Charleston area. Even though many upstart villages open their models daily anyways, homebuilders still participate in events such as The Post and Courier’s Spring Tour of Homes so that a greater number of consumers can see actual homes as opposed to images.

“It’s hard to get a feel” from a distance as to what’s right for the buyer, says Sarah Minter, sales manager of Brock Built Homes. Open houses provide shoppers with an up-close experience, “especially when you have inventory complete. You can actually walk through a full house and put your eyes on it.”

The company plans to open three models in two Dorchester County neighborhoods this weekend. “They are 100 percent ready to go,” Minter says. If visitors are interested enough to buy a model, “they could be living in it,” she says.

Minter says the builder’s sales volume has stayed strong. The tour of homes passes through Long Needle Estates, which offers houses in the $200,000s; and Gardner’s View touting homes in the low $300,000s. Gardner’s View has just four houses left to sell, including one that will be open for the tour of homes this weekend.

“We are very excited about it,” she says.

Loparo, of Golden Bear Realty, says the open house at 120 Heart Pine Circle should attract lookers interested in golf course properties. Some will be familiar with Legend Oaks; others will like golf but won’t know much about the Summerville neighborhood; and still more, fearful that golf-rich places such as Mount Pleasant are unaffordable, wil turn to Legend Oaks where prices aren’t as high.

She chose Sunday afternoon for an open house because it’s after church when there’s more traffic out and about. The crowds include moms, who often are family decision makers on big ticket items. At the same time, there’s no football going on now to keep prospective buyers at home. “That’s my hope,” she says.

To take part in The Post and Courier’s Spring Tour of Homes, check out the open house listings on pages 16-17 in the Saturday Real Estate section, and in the Classifieds section on Sunday.

Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or jparker@postandcourier.com.