Friday, December 31, 2010

Just A Proud Dad...Being Proud

In the age of Facebook, Flickr and Shutterfly it's difficult to keep photos secret if you intend to wrap them in bows and give them as Christmas presents. Well, now that our moms, grandparents and other family members have their new prizes, Jennifer has 'released' the latest pictures of our sweet girl.

As a proud new dad, you can imagine how I feel about the pics above. I pretty much love them beyond scope, and can't get enough of 'em. Thanks to Stacey Quattlebaum for capturing such awesome images of my little girl. She has done a fantastic job and because of our fondness and relationship, Jennifer and I consider Stacey as a part of our family. In short, she's top shelf and produces a top shelf product. I'll save my full endorsement for another blog post.

Truth be told I wanted to post the popular 'Hotsheet' tonight, but considering we only have one more day in the year, I thought I'd hold off for the 31st to pass. That said, as much as I love posting about real estate, I just had to show off a few pics of my girl.

Thanks for letting a proud dad, be proud. :)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Snow Pics Can 'Postcard' Most Anything

There's no doubt, our Amy takes some of the best pictures in the industry. That said, a home somehow seems most photogenic when it's covered with snow.

Whether it's an old leaning country barn, stately King's Grant stunner or a Heathwood mansion, there's just something about a scene that's filled with snow.

If my little girl wasn't so sick on Sunday, I'd decided Saturday night to cruise by as many listings as possible to snap a 'snow pic' of their front facades. It would've been a fun and productive little project.

The next time it snows, I'm going to ride by as many houses as I can, and even ask my sellers to stand in their streets to capture the temporary image. As far as marketing materials are concerned, we probably shouldn't use the snow scenes as 'Pic #1'. That said, I certainly think there's enough room for one snow pic in the presentation.

Given today's technology, we have the ability to project listings in many ways. However, I can't think of many tools that are as effective as a good picture with a few white inches on the roof.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Heathwood Home Coming To Market

"Franklin, You/Y'all Have The Best Listings In Town"
During a quick 'drive-by,' I snapped this pic on our way to lunch last week...

On Monday, Amanda and I will be putting a sign in front of this awesome house pictured above. I don't know the intricate details of the listing yet, but I do know that it's redone, has an awesome kitchen and a new downstairs owner's suite.

I'll obviously blog more about it when it hits the websites, but since I've heard, "Franklin, you have the best listings" a few times now, I thought I'd inform my blog readers about it before it hits the other websites.

This house is on Adger, in Columbia's downtown Heathwood area. I don't want to type the wrong address, but it's across the street from where 'the top' of Heatherwood crosses into Adger. Primo location.

If you like downtown living and especially Heathwood, be on the lookout for this one to hit the market or give us a call or email at or for info .

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Finally, S.C. Earns A 7th Seat

New Lines Will Produce Lots of Deal Making
As American folklore has it, when Lyndon B. Johnson was born in 1908, his grandfather jumped on a horse and galloped by nearby Texas farms hollaring, "A United States Senator was born today!!!"

As the U.S. government announced the new census numbers today, we learned that South Carolina will be adding a coveted 7th Congressional seat to our delegation. If you don't know politics or policy, you wouldn't know this is a big deal. It is.

In regards to policy, this is a whopper of an announcement as we'll (presumably) have another advocate and vote looking out for our state's interests.

Politically this is going to be a blue whale humdinger as we're going to watch Republicans argue strategy. Will Republicans draw this 7th district to be "solid R," or will they choose to solidify more marginal districts like Wilson and Mulveney?

The map/pics above are two possibilities that may be on the table. I'll save my predictions for another post, but my early inclinations are that the second map just doesn't 'look' right. I simply don't see Horry Co. and York Co. sharing many interests, much less Congressional seat. Further, it will be interesting if Republicans split Greenville County or separate Greenville from Spartanburg. We'll see.

You may be asking what my intro paragraph about Johnson's grandfather's unlikely prediction have to do with our new 7th district. Answer: Not one thing. I'm well aware S.C. will have two senators in Washington, DC . I simply wanted to see if my politically inclined readers would read it and internally whisper, "What a dumba**!"... or (hopefully) give me the benefit of the doubt. ;)

Now that South Carolina's population has bulged enough to warrant a 7th Congressional district, anyone interested in becoming member of the U.S. House of Representatives (or hopes their child will) have finally increased.

Monday, December 20, 2010

"River Street" Homes Always Popular

Wales Garden's Saluda Ave. Produces Solid Sale
In my experience, Wales Garden has always been considered one of the creme ee la creme neighborhoods in Columbia. Perhaps because it's the most traveled, Saluda Ave. serves as the flagship street on the neighborhood.

On Friday Amanda and i closed on the awesome property that is 413 Saluda Avenue. This stately, all brick home has enjoyed the pleasure of being owned by an interior decorator, and the new owners will certainly the beneficiaries. Too often, an older home is sold and the buyers have an instant 'project.' With this home, however, the new owners can liesurely change things instead of out of necessity.

Along with the house itself, the new owners will love the short walk to 5 Points and Devine St, which is clearly an asset of the small and exclusive neighborhood.
Congratulations to the new owners of 413 Saluda.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friend Using Shandon Yard As Voice

Good Friend/Neighbor Unhappy w/ SCE&G Rate Hike
My buddy, Forrest Hairston, has decided to use his front yard as a voice against Belinda Gergel's vote regarding funding Columbia's transit system with an SCE&G rate hike.

While I don't pretend to know the details of the measure, I have to applaud Forrest for sounding off. Throughout the years Forrest and I have enjoyed scores of political discussions whereas many times we agree on an issue, while other times we end up in a healthy rant. Nevertheless, good for Forrest for taking his feelings to 'the street.'

Again, while I don't know much about the bus service system or how it's funded, I do know that every couple of years the issue finds it's way to the local news stations. The last thing I remember hearing about the buses is that SCE&G was going to take care of the transit system if they could 'have' Lake Murray. I know this is a gross oversimplification, but it had something to do with a Lake Murray control swap.

I also remember years ago when the sides of buses were used as giant billboards. Remember seeing the giant red Saturn car scooting around town? Like Saturn's product, I guess the idea didn't produce the revenue to justify the effort.

I can certainly understand Forrest's feelings on the matter, as costs seem to escalate everywhere we turn. From the numbers supplied by WACH FOX, Forrest will see an increase of about $96/year. If he only purchased one sign it probably cost between $50 and $100.

Given the math guesstimate, the sign should be worth the $$$ to him by year two. However, if he shifts the debate such that it moves council to look for another way to fund the buses, his savings could be large....and the effort, to him and others, priceless.

If someone would ask him, I'm sure Forrest, in his mind, has a solution to the dilemma. Actually, I'm certain of it, and the word "cut" will be part of the answer.

Power bill hike stirs strong feelings from both sides

Power bill hike stirs strong feelings from both sides: "It’s a question that doesn’t yet have an answer: how to fund public transportation in Richland County?"

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Columbia's Latest Closed Transactions

Columbia's Closed Sales: Nov. 11 - Dec. 15, 2010
I have to admit, this report of Columbia's closed transactions is nothing to brag about as there are about 30 homes attached. Interestingly, the number climbs to almost 100 when I include the "Northeast."

We're frequently asked, "What's the best time to put a house on the market?" My answer is usually, "There's no doubt that generally speaking there are more lookers in the spring and early summer. That said, some of my most productive months have been in November and December."

This year is no different. While it may be difficult to top August - October of this year, we're finishing strong. From the looks of our white board, we may close eight to 10 houses in December. We'll see!

Again, the attached list isn't very long. Perhaps most buyers and sellers are saving their 'closings' for the end of the year.

Monday, December 13, 2010

We Are REALTORS... And Proud Of It

Friendly Competitors Won't Be REALTORS Anymore
The largest real estate firm in the Midlands has (unofficially, at present) decided to end their relationship with our professional trade organization.

I heard on the street that many agents haven't paid or don't have any interest in paying their 'REALTOR dues,' which isn't uncommon in today's environment. As the rules go, however, the company has to pick up the slack for those who refuse to pay. From the article in The State Newspaper, Russell & Jeffcoat executives tout that the company has 450 agents. Simple math shows that 450 REALTORS x $400 dues = $180,000. No doubt, it's quite a blow.

The argument that the benefits don't justify the cost may not be a great example of 'smoke and mirrors,' but fogged glass sounds appropriate. Focusing on legislative issues alone (for brevity), the REALTOR Association tackles a plethora of issues the 'lay agent' doesn't even think about. The list is endless but a few issues that come to mind in South Carolina are: property taxes, deed stamps, 'takings' legislation, water rights, contract law, 'Point of Sale' legislation, building codes, sprinkler mandates, and eminent domain to name a few.

I enjoy working with my friendly competitors at Russell & Jeffcoat. That said, I can't imagine that this is a popular move amongst their top producers. Further, it's going to be very interesting how long it takes the company to change every sign, web page, and business card within their organization as they can no longer advertise the term "REALTOR."

We'll see how all of this shakes out, or if an alternative measure comes about. In the meantime however, being a (YOUR) REALTOR is part of our brand... and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Codes Are 'What's Next' For Industry

Staying Ahead Of The Game Makes This Job Fun
If you've never seen anything like the pics above, you're not alone. That said, it's only a matter of time before you start noticing these "codes" everywhere you go.

QR Codes (Quick Response) have been around a while but are just becoming popular in the United States. These 2D codes are pretty much the new bar code...for the public. The idea is to snap a picture of the QR Code with your smart phone. As your phone reads the code, it will take you directly to a website, blog, Facebook page, listing page, etc. Snapping an easy pic is far easier than typing in a now pesky URL.

I've been waiting a few weeks to apply this to our real estate practice, but recent Tweets have forced me to pull the trigger on the project. It won't be long before every listing in our inventory will be assigned a a code. In short, it's kind of awesome.

I'm almost glad this has been forced down our pipe. I take great pride in the fact that we stay a half step ahead of the industry. We had one of the first real estate blogs in Columbia, first on Facebook, first to Tweet and now ahead of the game with the QR Code game. Being ahead of the game is one of the reasons this job is so fun for Amy, Amanda and me.

If you want to give a QR Code a spin just download a QR Reader app on your smart phone, snap a pic of a code above....and there you go! It's tech, dead simple, efficient, effective and productive. It's us.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Thank You & Welcome To Our State!

County Scraps Blue Laws To Land Deal, 1,000+ Jobs
I was happy to see our state landed a global brand that will produce close to 1,200 jobs. Congratulations to Lexington Co. for being chosen as the new home for our new corporate neighbor. Welcome to South Carolina, .

Think of the millions of books, gadgets other nouns that'll be trucked, packaged and blasted to the world from the Midlands of South Carolina. It's not hydrogen super science, but it's a big deal and I'm ecstatic to hear the news.

I think it's interesting that after years and years of defending Sunday 'Blue Laws,' all it took to change policy was an old fashioned business deal. It's kinda funny on some levels, but interesting to say the least.

This deal is another example of a corporate giant taking advantages of some of South Carolina's greatest assets: a highway system that points all directions, a world class port in Charleston, and competitively low salaries.

This endeavor is also a microcosm of why our state leaders need to get it together regarding the dredging of The Port of Charleston. Earmarks or no earmarks, the Palmetto State better do all it can to dredge Charleston mud before the Panama Canal starts letting the mega tankers through. That's another blog post, though.

Again, congratulations to Lexington County and welcome!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Closing Good For Downtown Complex

Team Effort Gets Tough One Closed @ Parkside
Given today's financial climate, we never know what hurdles a real estate transaction will produce. That said, Friday's closing of a second floor unit in 'Parkside' was a doozy.

Combining the facts that Parkside was originally an apartment complex with notion that a unit hasn't closed in a little while, the complex has never been approved by the US government to qualify for an FHA backed loan. Well, now it has.

After going through what seemed to be a financial game of 'Shoots & Ladders,' the buyers and sellers finally met at 6pm on Friday night to close the unit.

In short, the buyers and sellers of this transaction did a ton of heavy lifting that should pave the way for other units for sale at Parkside.

I'm ecstatic for the players in this transaction, but wow what a tense couple of weeks. All other sales at Parkside should be a breeze. Thanks to the buyers/sellers, John Como at Bank of America and the buyer's agent, Gloria Burnside, on a complete team effort to make it happen.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Three Good Open Houses Sunday 2 - 4!

While an extraordinary amount of my friends will be in Atlanta, GA this weekend, I still haven't made a 100% commitment either way. Since my final decision is beholden largely on when a condo closes Friday, I thought it may be smart to commit two homes to Open Houses this Sunday.

At $199,900, 2936 Stratford Rd. is heck of a house and location. Now that Stratford is sporting this price tag, I think it's just a matter of time and exposure before this cute all brick bungalow pops a contract.

Since "The Flower Box House" is just around the corner from 2936 Stratford, we thought it would be a perfect opportunity to tag team an open house. This house speaks for itself. Granite slab, designer colors and a luxury master bath. Come see 2930 Forest Dr.

421 Ravenel St. in Shandon may be the coolest house in Shandon under $250,000. At $199,500, this house looks great from the street and has a more modern touch than most homes in this price range. Just off of Wheat St., 421 Ravenel is smack in the middle of Shandon.

I hope my friends and Gamecock Nation have a blast in Atlanta and bring back an SEC Championship. Unless I'm physically kidnapped to Peachville, I'll be at one of these cool houses Sunday afternoon. Come visit and bring friends!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Balance Between Friends And Followers

Friend, client and Internets expert Wesley Donehue recently Tweeted a notion that I've been thinking about for a while now. A few days ago Wesley Tweeted, "Disconnecting Twitter and Facebook. Hope this worked." Since I've been thinking of doing the same, I wondered where his rational was coming from. Turns out a friend of his wrote an informative post: "Let's Not Be Friends On Facebook" Interesting...

While I agree with Wesley and Mr. All on some levels, our reasons are different. Unlike Mr. All (and most Realtors, by the way), I've been disciplined (w/ intentional and unintentional results) when it comes to "accepting" friends. In short, I know all of my friends on Facebook. Sure, I've had to stare at some pictures for a few minutes while my brain runs into an "Oh, Yeah!!" moment, but for the most part I know my 'friends' and they know me. Conversely, I probably don't know half of my followers on Twitter.

Since I recognize the difference between the social media platforms, I'm conscience too about which 'comments' are better suited to be 'Tweeted' instead of announced to my more intimate friends on Facebook. Any Facebook friend of mine can easily see which medium I chose by the little icon in the bottom left corner of each 'Update.'

I think Mr. All's thoughts are right on, and can see why Wesley unhooked his Tweets from his Facebook posts. However, since I distinguished the differences from the beginning of the social networking world, I'll keep my current course and place my thoughts/tweets/pics in the proper places accordingly. For the time being, that is...

Monday, November 29, 2010

$60 Bux!? Location, location, location

Clemson Capitalists Lure Convenience Seekers (Us)
With stops in Laurens, Anderson, Greenville and Pickens counties, we were all over the Upstate this weekend. Of course, Saturday we found ourselves in the middle of Clemson University for the game.

As we were cruising for a parking spot, we found this little shopping bag right beside Tiger Park. Even though the price tag shocked me enough to snap the pic above, it took us about 15 seconds to realize that this was the parking lot for us. Breaking it down, it ended up being about $4.00/person/hour. Seeing as how we're about convenience anyway, this was well worth the coin. The bag was a shocker though..

As we made our way to The Esso Club we stopped in Tiger Park. For me, it was like a time warp. It was like I was in my unofficial 19 year high school reunion (TL Hanna '91). I couldn't believe the old friends I kept running into. I'd love to be able to thank them for being so welcoming to their tailgate spot.

The game itself was full of punts and two sputtering offenses. As I haven't been to Clemson since the "brawl game," I'd forgotten how steep Clemson's upper deck is. Up high, the temp seemed to drop BIG TIME throughout the night.

We had a great time in the Upstate (I'll type about staying in Greenville in another post). The only negative may be the traffic debacle getting out of Clemson. Holy cow, I couldn't believe how long it took to drift a few feet.

Congrats to the Gamecocks for bringing in a "W", and thanks to my Clemson friends for being so hospitable. It was great seeing everyone and I'm anxious to get back for another visit.

It'll be interesting to see if this same parking spot will be $100. in a couple of years.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Good Idea. But Oooof, The Logistics....

Columbia Rails To Trails Project May Be On Track
If you know The Vista, you're sure to know the scene above..

A group of Columbia residents are starting to make some noise about transforming old downtown railroad tracks into nice walking and biking trails. Apparently, this is not a new idea as seems to have been around for a while. Further, our more progressive friends in Greenville, SC seem to have taken full advantage of the concept, as their former RR track is a big success.

Again, on the surface this sounds like a good idea. However, after a few minutes of logistical thought this may not be the best fit for Columbia at present. A few quick reasons: 1) We have the relatively new 'Riverwalk' that seems to be pretty successful, that a "Rail To Trail" project may dilute. 2) Columbia already has a problem managing a flagship venue, Finlay Park. As beautiful and useful as it is, Finlay Park has been an attractant for the homeless and sexual misconduct. I'm not sure former train tunnels and/or viaducts won't procure the same. 3) Local Columbia, SC politics and government. Period (.).

Overall I think it's a good idea, just tough one to implement. Whenever I park behind Blue Marlin and see the old tunnel, I always try to think of a creative use for it. I never even thought of the fact that it could connect downtown neighborhoods with foot traffic.

Take a look at the attached video. The finished product could be pretty cool.

Friday, November 19, 2010

From $499K to $275K: Need Offer Now

Parking Facility Price Has Been Sliced To Move Fast
Now that the Gamecocks are the true 'Beasts Of The East', property at Williams-Brice Stadium should enjoy a boost in value. Nevertheless, the owners of Gameday Place on S. Stadium Rd. are more motivated than ever to procure a buyer for this primo spot.

While some folks are selling condos and others are selling 60 sqaure feet of asphalt, this piece of property is the best investment in the entire area.

Gameday Place is now offered at $275,000. from an original price of $499,000. Bring any and all offers fast, as the sellers are ready to sell to a big time Gamecock fan.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Forest Hills Listing Now A "Deal"

$209,900, Is A Great Price For 2936 Stratford Rd.
With over 1,700 sq. ft., 4 beds and 2 full baths, this cute bungalow style brick home is ready for a new owner.

2936 Stratford Rd. is in one of Columbia's oldest and more popular neighborhoods. The area is full of tree lined streets and gorgeous, historical homes. To ad to the popularity, the many children of Forest Hills attend the very popular Satchelford Elementary School. No doubt, this is a big deal and a big selling point for 2936 Stratford.

The home itself features hardwoods, smooth ceilings and an updated kitchen complete with granite slab counter tops and stainless appliances. No question, at $209,900 in Forest Hills, this home has a lot of bang for the buck.

Call/email Amanda or me for a tour as the home is easy to show. We can be reached at or .

Thank you!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

No Sign For Now: 3rd House On Right

1529 Wyndham Rd. In Heathwood Hit Market Today
If you know Columbia, you're well aware that Heathwood is one of our most popular neighborhoods. When a home in Heathwood hits the market, it usually turns a lot of heads. Obviously this doesn't mean a Heathwood listing is a guaranteed sale, as some are incredibly dated or have a price tag that's unreachable. Every now and then, however, one comes along that's updated AND doesn't carry a million dollar price tag. 1529 Wyndham is probably a primo example.

This updated, stately all brick home has polished hardwoods, smooth ceilings and nice moldings throughout. Unlike most Heathwood homes, 1529 Wyndham has 3 living areas as a former porch has been nicely converted into a great extra den/family room.

As the main house sports 2,700 sq.ft, the property includes a spotless garage and 1,250 sq./ft FROG. This 'Room Over the Garage is perfect for an in-law, teenager, game room or 'man room.' It's more than 'just a room,' as it is complete with a full bath and a cute kitchenette.

I can blog about how great this home is all night, but all readers know the star of this show is the address.

The home is very easy to show. Please call/text or email or if you know anyone that would like to live in beautiful Heathwood.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Columbia's Latest Closed Transactions

Intown Columbia Closing's: Oct. 1 - Nov. 10, 2010
Usually I like to post the "Closed Transactions" a few days after the "Hotsheet," but for some reason I missed the last round of closings. There's no telling what the reason is, but I'm going to chalk it up as something blog worthy must have happened that week. :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Kinsey's Birthday. She'd Be 39 Monday

Knowing that Monday is Kinsey's birth date and Tuesday is the anniversary of her death, Jennifer and I decided to travel to Manning to be with the Black family. I felt bad about strolling in Manning Methodist a few minutes late, but I don't think anyone minded. Mr. and Mrs. Black were in their usual seats, of course.

We left the church to find ourselves eating lunch among the fine folks of Manning. In my bias, Manning, SC is populated with some of the friendliest folks on earth.

After going to the Black's home to pick up a large bouquet of flowers, we made our way to the cemetary. As Jennifer and I visit Kinsey throughout the year, going to the cemetary with the Blacks somehow makes the moment 'deeper.'

Obvioulsy, I don't mean to bring up sad moments by this post. I'm simply typing to remind friends that, "It's that time of year."

It was a good day in Manning.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My Girl Finley Meets Her New Dentist

Docs Ellis/Jenkins Are Top Pediatric Dentists In Town
My sweet girl got to meet one of my good buddies and best clients the other day. Too bad for her that he happens to be her new dentist!

Even before Finley was born, Jen and I knew who her dentist would be. Dr. Robert Ellis is undoubtedly one of the nicest guys I know and certainly a first class pediatric dentist. Further, I happen to be incredibly fond his beautiful wife, Angie Goff. :)

Being from Anderson, I don't know the long history of Ellis, Green and Jenkins, but have to admit that I was rather impressed. While the dentists are top notch, the staff and facility were just as impressive. From the moment we arrived, the three of us were comfy, well taken care of and constantly greeted with smiles and waves of "Hello."

As most of my friends know, I try to shop 'loyal and local.' As Ellis, Green and Jenkins is a short drive from downtown Columbia, it's definetly worth the time to reciprocate with folks that support our real estate business.

In short, I can see why this is such a successful small business. Robert Ellis and John Jenkins do a great job and Jennifer, Finley and I are happy to have our girl on the patient list of such a great practice.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

South Carolina Hit The Polls Big Time

Candidates Strive For A More Perfect South Carolina
What a night! My affection for politics and policy had me on the edge of the sofa all night. Whew!...

Congratulations are certainly in order for our new governor, Nikki Haley. Sen. Sheheen ran a good race for the highest office in our state, but fell short in our "R" leaning state. No doubt, he'll continue to serve South Carolina well in the state senate.

On a more local level, I'm proud that Seth Rose is my new councilman. As we'd hit tennis balls, every time a ball got away from us (me), Seth would always stop the action and want to meet at the net to talk about running for Kit Smith's seat. No doubt about it, he wanted it badly and went after it hard core. Once his campaign started our tennis halted because he was pounding the pavement for votes. I hope I can lure him back to the court, but at present he's preparing himself to represent us well. It's hard not to be impressed with Seth.

Kudos to the new Sheriff of Kershaw County Jim Matthews. Jim and his wife, Heather Hoopes Matthews, worked as hard as any political candidate in the world for this office. While I don't live in Kershaw County, I have to believe Kershaw is a safer place for having elected Jim.

Coach Dick Smith of Anderson County really 'went for it,' as he won the at large seat on Anderson School District 5's Board of Trustees. Here's a man who's devoted his whole life to the betterment of the students of Anderson, SC. I'm glad to call Coach Smith a mentor and a friend, and I'm proud of him. He really went after it, and it paid off.

Winners notwithstanding, I feel compelled to thank Rep. John Spratt for his tireless service in the halls of Congress for his constituents and our state. Love him or hate him, Rep. Spratt did what he thought was right. His mind and hard work garnered him the label, "One of the smartest men in Washington." I hope Rep. Spratt can find peace with his work and take on the next stage of his life with a smile.

While there are many races I'd love to mention, I have to stop it somewhere and this seems as good a spot as any. Thanks to all of the candidates as it takes guts to 'put yourself out there,' no matter the ideology.

Friends, don't get too comfy just because the 2010 cycle is over. We have a presidential race staring us in the face, and South Carolina is kind of a big deal. Get ready !!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Forest Acres Is Hot Area of The Week

Amanda and I Are Producing In Forest Acres
Real estate sales is a funny industry. Truth told, I've been a little confused about the Forest Acres area. For a while, we were really piling up the sales in the area only to see a small lull in the action lately. Not anymore! With Caroline's house on Oakwood and Cav's on Wofford leading the way, we've caught fire again in Forest Acres and glad of it.

The two brick homes (Pinehill and Peachtree) went Under Contract this weekend and we put an offer on N. Hunters Court earlier tonight. :) To continue with the action, our listing on Sylvan is getting some great action, and we put a cutie on the market today on Harrison Rd.

Some of me hates to report home sales before they 'close.' However, as the news media constantly poopoos the market, I think it's good to report what's going on in downtown Columbia neighborhoods.

Keep the referrals coming! Forest Acres is hot right now.

Cola Neighborhood Kings of Halloween

Newer, 'Cul de Sac(y)' 'Hoods Are Kings of Halloween
When it comes to Halloween in Columbia, SC there's no shortage of fun places to take the kids. In my experience however, two downtown neighborhoods stand above the rest. In fact, I'd put King's Grant and "The Hamptons" up against any area in South Carolina.

This year we found ourselves at the King's Grant Clubhouse around 5:00 PM. As we tried to park, the amount of golf carts and SUV's were enough to impress any Halloween enthusiast. In short, it was total mayhem.

The huge crowd included hundreds Batmen, Sumo wrestlers, Tinkerbells and ladybugs. It was something to see. My little girl was probably the smallest one there on two feet and she was completely mesmerized.

Trolling through the neighborhood on a golf cart is another experience in itself. It's an obstacle course of hay rides, police officers and hundreds of costumed kids.

I'm impressed with King's Grant and The Hamptons. These two neighborhoods really have it going on when it comes to community events. Halloween is an event that provides a perfect microcosm of what a neighborhood can become.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Newest King's Grant Listing Hits Market

25 Otranto Lane In King's Grant Is For Sale
At 3,412 sq. ft. and 4 bedrooms with 4 baths, this home fits a lot of buyer's needs. Even more attractive, most of the footage and rooms are conveniently located on the first level.

As awesome as the house 'lives,' the star of 25 Otranto is the privacy of the lot. Without exaggeration, this may be the most private property I've ever listed in King's Grant. Actually, it may classify as THE most private lot in the entire neighborhood.

As you can see from the pics above, the covered deck/porch overlooks a large, flat backyard that transitions into a green canopy. The wooded area behind the lot enjoys a creek that feeds a nearby pond, which acts as a deer's paradise. I've blogged about many listings in my career, but this is the first time I've boasted about the deer.

25 Otranto is an attractive home with hardwoods, cathedral ceilings and a fun floor plan. It also sits on a desirable and ultra quiet interior street.

Call or email us at or if you would like to take a peek.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Grody Odor Is Not Good For Downtown Sales
Given my daily consumption of a Claritin-D, I've never pretended to be an aroma expert. That said, I found myself questioning what in the world was permeating throughout downtown Columbia today.

I heard Tuesday was supposed to be unusually hot. Since it was kinda damp outside I just chalked up the odor as some sort of combo of concrete 'wet heat', combined with some autumn plant bloom. Clearly, this was just a guess, but as my patio steamed this morning it was my best guess.

WIS is reporting that the aroma can be blamed on a nearby farm laying chicken manure. While it wasn't a knock down stink, it was certainly a grody funk that Columbia can do without for the rest of the week.

As beautiful as Georgetown SC is, everyone knows about the smell that comes with it. Downtown Columbia doesn't need such a label and I am thankful the culprit is temporary.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Teamwork Makes Shandon Sale Happen

This weekend we finally put a deal together on this cool Shandon home. This sale is a perfect example of why the team concept works in the real estate industry.

The buyers have been looking in Shandon for a long time. I first met them at my Open House on the corner of Woodrow and Monroe. After over a year of looking, Amanda helped find the perfect house for them. Notwithstanding inspections, it's a happy transaction in the making.

This is a perfect microcosm of how we work best. Since Amanda has joined us, we've honed in and deferred to each other's individual talents. In this instance, her veracity to get new clients in the door at all costs combined with my great working relationship with the listing agent turned into a good sale for everyone involved.

In the real estate business, teamwork can be a fun thing. The sale of 2705 Duncan is an example of how it's fun AND prolific. :)