Shepard signs on with Prudential Southern Coast

An agent known for her Southern hospitality when dealing with newcomers and longtime residents recently joined a major brokerage's local office.

Sheila Shepard becomes the newest real estate specialist for the Jana Bantz and Associates team of Prudential Southern Coast Real Estate.

A Lowcountry native, she's racked up more than 20 years as a professional Realtor. Shepard focuses on the needs of residential buyers and sellers "in every stage of their lives," according to Summerville-based Prudential Southern Coast.

She works hand-in-hand with local builders and developers who design and frame custom and semi-custom homes throughout the area, while bringing "a special level of knowledge to your home buying experience," the company says.

"Whether you are a 'com-ya' (new to the area) or a 'been-ya' (a seasoned Charlestonian), I would be delighted to assist you with your real estate needs," Shepard says. "I am a hometown Realtor that enjoys sharing Southern hospitality," she says.

"It is a pleasure to welcome Sheila," says Linda Collins, broker-in-charge of Prudential Southern Coast Real Estate. "I have known her for years and am excited that she is joining Jana Bantz and Associates, one of the top teams in the Lowcountry."

Prudential Southern Coast Real Estate has been part of national company Prudential Real Estate - a respected name in real estate - since 2008 in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties.

Reach Shepard at 843-200-0445 or sshepard.pscre@gmail.com.

Magazine names Daniel Island golf course among tops nationwide

Challenging, marsh-side Ralston Creek recently earned a spot on Golfweek's "Best Residential Courses" list for 2014.

Designed by noted golf architect Rees Jones, the Daniel Island golf course hosted the PGA Tour's Nationwide Tour Championship for three years. Golfweek in 2006 named the layout to its list of the 10 best new private courses.

"With more than 3,200 residential golf courses in the country, a top 100 ranking really puts the Ralston Creek course in the forefront of residential courses," says Greg Keating, vice president of operations at the Daniel Island Club. "It's a great validation of the quality amenities we strive to offer at the Daniel Island Club."

The magazine based its "best courses" rankings on ease and intimacy of the course routing, the variety of homes on the course, memorability of each hole, overall landscaping and the overall quality and condition of the course.

According to developer Daniel Island Co., the 7,446 yard Ralston Creek course plays to a par-72 and "features a classic design that takes advantage of stunning tidal creek and marsh views."

Jones has described the course as possessing "all of the elements of a stern test of golf," including strategically placed fairway and green side bunkers.

Ralston Creek, as well as companion Beresford Creek golf course, stand out as two championship designs at private Daniel Island Club.

The club serves as the "recreational centerpiece" within Daniel Island Park - laid out as Daniel Island's golf and country club neighborhood.

Both golf courses play integral roles in the neighborhood's park-like setting, according to the Daniel Island Co. Featuring traditional, southern-style architecture, homes are situated to take advantage of the surrounding courses, parks, saltwater marsh and tidal creeks.

Park neighborhood residents are granted social membership at Daniel Island Club, giving them access to swimming, tennis, fitness and social offerings. They also can become golf members.

The 4,000-acre Daniel Island community in Charleston features traditional neighborhoods, top-notch golf, tennis and soccer facilities and "a growing collection of amenities in a self-contained island town setting," according to the island developer's marketing wing.

Accolades include the Urban Land Institute's prestigious "Award for Excellence." For more information, visit www.danielisland.com.

Barrineau awarded residential specialist designation

A 14-year sales associate with Carolina One Real Estate now carries one of the top credentials for assisting people in buying and selling homes.

Nell Barrineau, a Realtor and Mount Pleasant resident, earned the Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) designation. The Council of Residential Specialists - the largest not-for profit affiliate of the National Association of Realtors - bestows the honor.

Fewer than 32,000 Realtors nationwide have earned the credential, which proves they've completed advanced courses and demonstrated professional expertise in the residential real estate field.

According to Carolina One, home buyers and sellers can be assured that CRS designees subscribe to the strict Realtor code of ethics. The award also shows the agents can access the latest technology and that they're specialists "in helping clients maximize profits and minimize costs when buying or selling a home."

Barrineau, who works from Carolina One Real Estate's office on U.S. Highway 17 North in Mount Pleasant, is also an Accredited Buyers Representative and Sales and Foreclosure Resource.

Carolina One Real Estate leads the metro Charleston market in real estate activity, handling 30 percent of residential sales transactions as of the third quarter.

Along with 11 sales offices, the company touts a mortgage division and departments focusing on relocation, new homes, insurance, commercial real estate, property management, resort rentals and title services.

For more, visit the agency website at www.carolinaone.com.

Home prices inch up this fall

The average cost of a house in South Carolina increased by double figures in October from a year before while moderately trailing the national growth rate.

At the same time, home prices slowed across the country month-to-month as the result of expected seasonal shifts in real estate activity during the fall and winter.

CoreLogic, a national information firm that specializes in real estate properties, provided the figures and analysis - the latest available.

According to the company, South Carolina ranked 13th highest in home sales appreciation, up 10.8 percent in October. Nevada placed first, up 25.9 percent, while California ranked second with a 22.4 percent gain. Only New Mexico showed price depreciation, down 0.5 percent. The nationwide year-to-year totals, meanwhile, showed a 12.5 percent spurt.

When short sales, foreclosures and other distressed sales are excluded, South Carolina tallied a 9.2 percent price rise whileNevada finished first, up 22.5 percent. Home costs gained 11 percent countrywide with distressed sales excluded.

On a month-over-month basis, price growth was far milder. According to CoreLogic's Home Price Index report for October, prices increased just 0.2 percent in October compared with a month earlier. Excluding distressed sales, home prices increased 0.4 percent month over month in October compared with September.

The company also projected figures for November by way of its CoreLogic Pending HPI, concluding that last month's home prices would remain unchanged from October 2013 while rising 0.4 percent if distressed sales are excluded.

November prices should shoot up 12.2 percent from a year before, and gain 11.2 percent without distressed sales.

"In October, the year-over-year appreciation rate remained strong, but the month-over-month appreciation rate was barely positive, indicating that house price appreciation has slowed as expected for the winter," says Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.

"Based on our pending HPI, the monthly growth rate is expected to moderate even further in November and December," Fleming says. "The slowdown in price appreciation is positive for the housing market as almost half the states are now within 10 percent of their respective historical price peaks."

Anand Nallathambi, president and chief executive of CoreLogic, likewise cited the easing of housing activity in the mid to late fall as factors in the slower growth trend.

"In terms of home price appreciation, the housing market appears to be catching its breath as we head into the final months of 2013," he says.

"The deceleration in month-on-month trends was anticipated as strong gains in home prices over the spring and summer slow in line with normal seasonal patterns and the impact of higher mortgage interest rates," Nallathambi says.

Elaine Brabham & Associates taps veteran agent

After more than 25 years in the corporate world, local native Robin Hanckel has switched to the real estate field.

She joined West Ashley-based real estate agency Elaine Brabham & Associates, bringing a "passion" to the post.

The Realtor previously supported "top ranking executives within diverse, fast-paced organizations," according to the real estate brokerage. She showcases a "commitment to serving, attention to detail and anticipating the next step," according to Elaine Brabham & Associates.

"Her tireless energy, enthusiasm and ability to motivate others have brought her respect among her peers," the agency says.

Hanckel, who grew up in Charleston, "is passionate about the real estate market and extremely driven to excellence in her business. Her creativity is utilized with every customer as she finds ways to make each home sale a success story," according to the agency.

The agent also commits herself on behalf of her clients to close the transaction, whether buying or selling.

In her free time, Hanckel enjoys "anything outdoors, watching a good movie, sports and spending time with her family and friends," according to the real estate agency.

To reach Hanckel, call 843-367-3624 or e-mail hanckelrealestate@gmail.com

For more on Elaine Brabham & Associates, visit www.findyourcharleston.com.

Agent sets up luxury Re/Max Elite office in Lowcountry

Experienced local real estate agents will man a national company's new Charleston franchise, located within a downtown business and heritage hub.

The new Re/Max Elite address stands at 91 Broad St. Bradley O'Mara, a veteran agent and former U.S. Coast Guard serviceman, opened the office this month. It's situated in the heart of downtown Charleston's historic district and serves the greater Charleston area, he says.

Re/Max Elite specializes in luxury and residential properties, O'Mara says. The office space features a bright, contemporary design with 10-foot windows overlooking historic Broad Street, he says.

O'Mara says he picked the 91 Broad spot because it's accessible to clients and provides a positive, energetic work environment for agents.

"Selecting the right location for the office was an easy decision," O'Mara says. "Broad Street is filled with visitors near and far, and with Charleston real estate in high demand with international consumers, it was the perfect fit."

Real estate agents founded Re/Max Elite on the core values of dedication, honesty and punctuality, O'Mara says. Those values, he says, were instilled throughout his Coast Guard service.

To ensure high quality client service, the O'Mara team consists of experienced, professional real estate agents, he says.

The Re/Max Elite franchise joins more than 115 offices within the Re/Max Carolinas Region, according to the local outfit. The Re/Max network boasts more than 90,000 sales associates in more than 90 countries.

"International buyers are a large part of home sales in the Charleston market and aligning with a truly global brand provides more benefits and a larger audience throughout the home buying (and) selling process," O'Mara says.

Re/Max Elite describes itself as a locally owned and operated full-service real estate brokerage in Charleston. It specializes in luxury and residential real estate. The company supports a number of charities, including Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and the Susan G. Komen foundation.

To learn more, contact O'Mara at 843- 723-7077 or bomara@remax.net.

Home, Design show sponsor spreading word on free consultations

If that perfect house you want looks more like a pipe dream than a project in the works, then consider free advice from experts at a local event next month.

Charleston Home + Design Show organizers look to let people know that free design consultations will be available at the Jan. 24-26 event.

Homeowners with design dilemmas are invited to the show at The Citadel's Johnson Hagood Stadium. Local professionals from the American Society of Interior Designers' Carolinas Chapter will volunteer to provide assistance at no charge.

The Carolinas ASID chapter will receive a cash donation raised through a silent auction at the show.

Tim Barkley, publisher of Charleston Home + Design magazine, says homeowners are encouraged to bring the following to the consultations:

-- House plans and/or room dimensions

-- Fabric swatches

-- Samples of flooring, countertops, cabinetry, etc.

-- Paint chips

-- Photos showing the space in question, or furniture pieces being used

-- Magazine pictures of desired rooms or styles

Participating American Society interior designers include Cynthia Zimmerman, Allied ASID; Jane Jilich, ASID; Jennifer Mendelsohn, ASID; Lauren Messina, ASID; Stasia Berk, Allied ASID; Shannon Hall, Allied ASID; Donna Horack, ASID; Duval Acker, ASID, Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer; and Catherine R Brassard, ASID.

Consultation times will be Friday 1-4 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday noon-3 p.m. Consultations are limited, so call Charleston Home + Design magazine at 843-577-7652 to schedule a time. Interested parties can sign up at the show if any timeslots remain open.

The Charleston Home + Design show hours are Jan. 24, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Jan. 25, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Jan. 26, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Admission is free on Friday and $7 per person Saturday and Sunday. Children under 12 get in free.