Schwarb, Karinshak get involved with non-profit support association

Two local Realtors are among the "founding members" of a trade group designed to make it easier for businesspeople to help out local charities.

The Real Estate & Business Social Enterprises Association, or REBSEA, works as a non-profit to coordinate contributory efforts involving real estate offices, agents and small businesses.

Area associates Franne Schwarb and Chari Karinshak of The Charleston Fine Homes Team at Coldwell Banker United, Realtors have joined at least 70 other "founders" in actively supporting non-profits in their local communities.

"Each founder has either been donating a part of each commission earned to a non-profit or has founded their own organization that has had a positive impact in meeting the unmet needs in their community," the Charleston area real estate partners point out.

On its website at www.rebsea.org, the association notes, "There are already thousands of Realtors and businesses across the U.S. and Canada who give back. With an organized network such as REBSEA we have the infrastructure to expand the role of business in supporting the needs of the communities they serve. This is the essence of social enterprise and it is playing an increasingly large role in commerce as the public embraces it."

Contact Schwarb and Karinshak at Homes@charlestonfinehomes or via their website at www.charlestonfinehomes.com for more information.

Housing opportunities fund discloses grants to area nonprofits

When the RHOF (pronounced roof) gets raised, the results can be a host of financial stipends to organizations that help struggling homeowners.

In the past "giving cycle, the Realtors Housing Opportunities Fund granted $15,800 to local charities. The total includes $3,500 to the Humanities Foundation in support of its Eldernet program, which the fund says "helps keep aging Lowcountry residents in their homes by assisting with emergency bill pay."

RHOF presented a check to the foundation recently.

The Charleston Trident Association of Realtors-backed fund, founded 11 years ago, has "dedicated itself" to help develop, maintain or repair houses for those in need. The money comes from an endowed fund and from grant distributions to Lowcountry organizations "committed to the development and rehabilitation of affordable housing," the group says.

RHOF, formed "to address the growing need for affordable and safe housing for Lowcountry residents in need," has provided nearly $700,000 to Charleston area organizations since 2003. The Coastal Community Foundation administers to the fund.

For more, visit the 3,900-member-Realtors-association website at www.CharlestonRealtors.com.

David Weekley names "build on your lot" pro for Hilton Head Island

Tisha Chafer this winter signed on with a top homebuilder so she could help walk customers through the sometimes-arduous steps of getting their residences built.

A 10-year real estate veteran, she joined David Weekley Homes in February as a "build on your lot specialist."

She's part of the company's Custom Classics Distinctive Residences team for the Hampton Hall neighborhood and greater Hilton Head Island.

"Maintaining a positive attitude in all circumstances is key," Chafer says. "I enjoy assisting customers with the building process, because it's a hugely rewarding experience."

The gated Hampton Hall community, which features David Weekley homes, showcases amenities such as a Pete Dye signature golf course, top-notch health and fitness center and biking and walking trails. The village consists of power-efficient EnergySaver homes, which come with a heating and cooling "energy use" guarantee backed by the Environments for Living program.

Houston-based David Weekley Homes operates in 18 communities nationwide including Charleston and Hilton Head. Since its inception 38 years ago, the company has closed sales on more than 70,000 homes nationwide.

For more information, contact Chafer at 843-384-1645 or go to the company's web site at www.davidweekleyhomes.com.

Carolina One holds grand unveiling of new Mount Pleasant North office

Mount Pleasant office holders joined a major brokerage's top executives for the launch of the agency's new business location in upper East Cooper.

Carolina One Real Estate celebrated the official opening of its latest Mount Pleasant office with a ribbon-cutting ceremony April 10. Town of Mount Pleasant officials and "scores of Carolina One agents, staff and management" attended the event, the company says.

Carolina One situated the new office at 2713 U.S. Highway 17 North near the intersection of Highway 17 and Hamlin Road, across from the Brickyard Plantation neighborhood.

Taking part in the festivities were (from left) Carolina One chief executive officer Patty Scarafile, company President Michael Scarafile, Mount Pleasant Town Councilman Elton Carrier, Mayor Linda Page, Carolina One office manager Meaghan Popper and Councilman Mark Smith.

To learn more, visit www.CarolinaOneRealEstate.com.

Tickets available for apartment association trade show

A major yearly event for the Charleston Apartment Association will take place May 7 in Mount Pleasant.

The association's 2014 Trade Show opens at 6 p.m. at Omar Shrine Temple off Patriots Point Boulevard. The show costs $30 per attendee. Special prices are available for larger groups.

Highlights of the show include live music, barbecue, cash prizes awarded every 15 minutes and a $1,000 grand prize. Booth sponsorships remain available.

To reach the rental organization, go to www.charlestonapartmentassociation.com.

New lakefront communities open up at Upstate resort

Fourteen years after putting its first water side property up for sale, The Reserve at Lake Keowee has moved forward with two new neighborhoods on the lake.

Reservations are now being accepted for Peninsula Ridge and Edgewater Park, according to the Upstate resort community.

The two neighborhoods comprise The Reserve's last available pieces of contiguous waterfront property in its master plan, backers say.

Premium homesites, which offer views of Lake Keowee, start in the high $400,000s.

"To say these properties are special would be doing them a disservice," says Rutledge Livingston, director of sales at Sunset-based The Reserve at Lake Keowee.

"They are ample in size, fairly priced, and have a second-to-none view. You couldn't ask for a better backdrop for a family lakehouse, getaway, or investment property. We do not expect these to stay on the market long," he says.

Peninsula Ridge touts 16 estate-sized locations, showcasing elevated views of the mountains and lake. The homesites boast "a private, retreat-like atmosphere" yet reside just 15 minutes from award-winning Clemson University and less than an hour from the bustling city of Greenville.

According to the resort, "Each homesite has open water views, gently sloping topography and private boat dock capability." Homeowners can take a water taxi from Peninsula Ridge to The Reserve's hub-like Village.

Edgewater Park sits near the Village center with 12 planned homesites - each permitted for a private boat dock, community marketers say.

Along with close access to The Village and amenities such as a clubhouse, Jack Nicklaus signature golf course, marina, pool and tennis center, the neighborhoods will house a 12-acre community park, the Woodland Trail System and native hardwood trees.

Buyers can pick from six home designs by architect Brad Wright or elect to build a custom home. Architectural guidelines require setbacks to protect view corridors and privacy.

The backers say a 4,000-square-foot "idea home" will break ground soon in Edgewater Park.

For more information on the properties, call 1-877-922-5253 (LAKE) or visit www.ReserveAtLakeKeowee.com.

Sales specialist signs on with Carnes Crossroads Real Estate

The sum of real estate associates marketing homes for one of the largest planned residential communities in the Charleston area has climbed to three.

Carnes Crossroads Real Estate brought on a new professional, Dana Jenkins, "to help handle increasing sales activity." The company heads up new home sales for Carnes Crossroads, the developing master village in Summerville-Goose Creek.

Jenkins, who joined the Carnes Crossroads Real Estate team at the beginning of April, becomes the company's third sales associate.

The "seasoned Realtor" brings strong administrative experience to her new role while also showcasing previous sales background with Carolina One Real Estate and Re/Max.

Jenkins was first exposed to the real estate industry at a young age through her parents, according to Carnes Crossroads Real Estate. Her father worked in the land development industry and her mother was a real estate agent. As an adult, Jenkins and her mother sold as a team for Re/Max in Virginia, where she was a "top producer."

According to the real estate company, she obtained her South Carolina real estate license in 2008 and began selling for Carolina One Real Estate. She also has served in administrative roles with Legacy Wealth Management and the Government Printing Office.

In her new position, Jenkins will focus full-time on selling new homes at Carnes Crossroads for the four homebuilders framing houses there now.

"We are thrilled to be adding to our team as the first neighborhood at Carnes Crossroads continues to evolve," says Chuck Buck, broker-in-charge at Carnes Crossroads Real Estate.

He says that Jenkins "brings excellent sales and organizational skills and is already proving to be a valuable member of our team."

Carnes Crossroads Real Estate is responsible for new home sales on behalf of builders Ashton Woods Homes, David Weekley Homes, Eastwood Homes and Sabal Homes. Home prices start in the mid-$200,000s.

Carnes Crossroads, spread across 2,300 acres in Berkeley County, will sport traditional residential neighborhoods, southern architecture, parks, trails and lakes that "are being carefully integrated with retail businesses, corporate offices, medical facilities, schools and churches," developers say.

The team behind Carnes Crossroads also laid out 4,000-acre Daniel Island in Charleston. For more information, visit www.carnescharleston.com.

Mid-winter home prices bumped up in greater Charleston, new figures show

While lagging the nation as a whole, Charleston-North Charleston nonetheless saw a 7.1 percent boost in home prices in February from a year before.

The figures, released in April, are derived from noted real estate analyst CoreLogic's monthly price report.

Charleston area house sale costs grew 1.2 percent in February from the previous month. CoreLogic also computed the total with distressed sales factored out. In those cases, year-over-year prices in metro Charleston jumped 9.2 percent from a year ago and rallied 2.3 percent from the previous month.

By comparison, U.S. home prices shot up 12.2 percent in February from a year earlier.

The price change marks 24 straight months in which home prices rose year over year nationally. Comparing February with the previous months, prices inched up 0.8 percent.

Home prices would have increased 10.7 percent in February from a year before and 0.9 percent from a month earlier if short sales and properties taken back by the lender were excluded.

In a new housing barometer, CoreLogic in its February Home Price Index report estimated national prices for a month ahead.

The forecast indicated that home prices would increase 0.5 percent month in March compared with February, while they would surge 10.5 percent year over year.

Excluding distressed sales, home prices are set to rise 0.4 percent month over month and 9.3 percent in March from the previous year.

"As the spring home-buying season kicks off, house price appreciation continues to be strong," says Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.

"Although prices should remain strong in the near term due to a short supply of homes on the market, price increases should moderate over the next year as home equity releases pent-up supply," he says.

Anand Nallathambi, president and chief executive of CoreLogic, noted that "February marks two straight years of year-over-year gains in national prices across the United States."

He adds, "The consistent upward movement in home prices should ultimately prove to be an important stimulant for higher levels of sustained market activity and growth in the housing economy."