Friday, August 28, 2009

Columbia Market Makes Top 20 List

When I stepped into Starbucks Thursday morning, one of my experienced real estate friends alerted me of a positive real estate piece that was written about Columbia, SC. Bout time!!! The article in reflects what many professionals in the Midlands have been saying for quite some time now.

Perhaps the best part about the article is that we're not in the Top 20 markets in this category because our market is "that awful" or in some sort of foreclosure disaster that would plummet home prices. The reason our local market is on this list is simply because Columbia, SC is more stable than most in the U.S.

As the article states, Columbia enjoys the stability that a capital city provides via state government jobs, and the University of South Carolina. I may not remember correctly but I don't believe the article even mentioned the market that Fort Jackson provides, which is the nations largest Army training facility.

Columbia's not perfect by any means. Further, we know we don't have ski slopes, beaches or Dolly Wood but right now those who live in Columbia are happy to live in a stable real estate market...and that's something.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Finley Sparks Jones Makes Her Debut

First Family Vacation - Taylor and Marion St.
Sweet Finley arrived August 21, 2009. At birth she weighed 7 lbs 3 ounces, measured 20.25 inches and had a head full of hair.

As most of my friends know I've never experienced the birth process before. Well, I have now! Not one of you told me I had to participate!!!

After a perfect pregnancy we ran into a small snag at the very end. During labor, it was determined pretty late that Finley was turned the wrong way. To make matters a little more difficult, her hand was next to her head. She was stuck, big time. Finally, the doctor suctioned her out and little Finley began life with a nice cone head!

We couldn't be a happier little family! So far, daddy is her favorite. ;-)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Spotless King's Grant Home For Sale

70 Somerton Place in King's Grant is one of the most meticulous homes I've ever been in. Every piece of furniture is in its place and every room is clean as a whistle.

This Zeigler built 4 bedroom 3.5 bath home sports 3,772 of the cleanest square footage in downtown Columbia.

The formal rooms that greet visitors at the front door are impressive to say the least. The "piano room" easily holds a baby grand and the large dining area is impressively decorated from toe molding to ceiling.

The downstairs owner's suite is enormous and includes a full wet bar and enough room for a sitting area. The spacious master bath has double vanities, a jetted tub, separate shower, large water closet and tastefully finished.

When you stroll towards the great room you notice the incredibly dramatic windows that look out the private backyard. It is awesome. I've been to the home at different times of the day and each time there seems to be a different effect.

The large eat-in kitchen features built-in appliances, a prep sink and a huge island complete with a giant piece of granite slab.

The bonus room/FROG/Wii Room is one of the coolest in all of King's Grant. The owner's left it as the designer did from the 'Parade of Homes.' It's a real conversation piece that can't be fully appreciated until you enter.

A perfect deck and backyard are set up for entertaining and quiet nights alike. A separate screened area is ideal for morning coffee or nightly cabernet.

I've listed many homes in King's Grant and this has to be one of the best. I'm pleased and proud to have this in my inventory and am anxious to show it off with pride.

Call or email if you are interested in more information about this awesome home.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Just the Two of Us... One Last Time

Saturday's Double Date Likely a Milestone Moment
Until she turns and faces forward, you wouldn't even know my lovely wife is pregnant. It's actually quite something to witness as I constantly hear the comment, "OMG, You don't even look pregnant from behind!"

For whatever reason, Jenna didn't want me to put the picture above on Facebook. Well, I'm not. Instead, I'm putting it on the blog because I'm proud of it. I like it because she looks great and it's a milestone for us. This picture is probably the last image we'll have as "just the two of us."

Saturday night, we decided to go out with some of our BFF's for one last outing. As usual for us, we went to a "local" establishment and had a great time. It was awesome because we were with great friends and we knew about half of the crowd. There were hugs all over the place.

Ginny, thank you for snapping the picture and Jenna please forgive me for posting it. I'm just a proud daddy to be. :-)

Next 'date' = Babysitter !!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Animal Lovers Now Despise Eagles

City of Brotherly Love Is Getting Re-Branded
In one fail swoop the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL may have become the most hated franchise in team sports. To compete for this designation the Eagles didn't lie, cheat or steal...but gambled.

The signing of Michael Vick is obviously a P.R. nightmare for anyone that would take him. Apparently, if he can help them win a Superbowl, the Eagles are willing to take the nightmare on the chin.

I read all kinds of comments regarding Vick. Some are forgiving and some are damning. The ones that are forgiving usually read something like, "Michael Vick has served his sentence...."
Here's the rub. People don't doubt that he served his time society. The folks that loathe him simply don't think this "sentence" justified his crime.

Fast forward to the Eagles. The goal of the franchise is please their local population (and owner) with wins, not to please worldwide opinion.

If Michael Vick means a win or two for the Eagles, then it's not worth signing him. If this move means a Superbowl for Philadelphia, they don't care what anyone thinks.

Monday, August 10, 2009

You Don't See This in Columbia Often

There may be a lot of houses on the market right now but 169 Crown Lake Dr. is on a completely different level.

The estate includes opportunities that any hunter/fisherman would relish, including a 7 acre fishing pond, dove field, 80' covered shed w/ deer cooler, shooting range, deer stands and a guest house across the pond. It really is something to see. It's perfect for a feature article in Garden & Gun Magazine or Great Southern Homes

The home itself has almost 9,000 sq. ft and 5 bedrooms with 5 full and 2 half baths.

About 15 minutes from I-77 and Hammond school, this unbelievable home shares an unreal setting with 4 other lucky families. The prestigious atmosphere is roughly 150 acres of pristine hunting and fishing preserve.

There are almost too many features to list. The great room has 24' ceilings, reminiscent of a grand hunting lodge. The heart of pine floors lead to an impressivly spacious kitchen complete with granite slab, a prep sink and Italian tile floors. The owner's suite is absolutely tremendous and has an awesome view of the fishing pond.

The areas behind the home are probably more impressive than the front. This fine estate could handle a party or wedding of any proportion.

I can't say enough about this piece of real estate. You just don't come across this type of product very often.

Call or email to find out more about this extraordinary home.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

214 S. Edisto Hits Columbia Market

The phone started ringing 2 minutes after the sign went up.

This awesome home has 2,588 sq. feet with 3 bedrooms and 3 and a half baths. There's also an office that could be used as a cute nursery. Each bedroom has it's own private bath. Sweet!

The living/dining rooms are large and perfect. They sport VERY high (maybe 12 feet), smooth ceilings with recessed lighting and the windows are filled with plantation shutters. The formals are certainly prepared for any guest to walk through the front door.

The eat-in kitchen is open and features a wide, tiled peninsula/bar and faces the awesome den and killer backyard.

The den/family room in this home is outfitted with tall casement windows that allow the owner to have a panoramic view 24/7 of the backyard. The den is a favorite feature of mine.

Upstairs has a very large owner's suite that includes a bath with jetted garden tub, granite double vanity and an over-sized tile shower. The private suite also features THREE closets, one of which has a custom closet system.

The outside is as immaculate as the indoors. A 2nd water meter makes for green lush landscaping. A front porch and back deck make for awesome lounging and socializing.

This block of S. Edisto is widely known as being very social. It's not uncommon to see neighbors hanging out on front porches or in the middle of the street.

Come see 214 S. Edisto Ave. You'll love this Wales Garden area creme puff.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Steve vs Bob for Mayor of Columbia, SC

Common Name Election Sure To Get Complex
This will be very interesting (and painful) to watch as political friendships will be tested.

Some hours ago friends of Steve Benjamin received this on Facebook; "Steve Benjamin is running for Mayor of Columbia, South Carolina. We will run a positive campaign and with your help we can provide our citizens with the Leadership, Vision and Accountability that we deserve."

I blogged about this upcoming race a some months ago. Since I'm swamped and it's now 2:07 am, I'm going to defer my thoughts about the race to this, as the electoral dynamics haven't dramatically changed.

Given the facets of the local electorate, if a strong Republican leaning candidate enters the race, this could be complicated for the best of Columbia's political strategists.

There ya go! After months of rumors and Starbucks talk, Steve Benjamin is officially in the race for mayor of Columbia, SC.

This is sure to be a local humdinger!!!