Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Epic Win Means BIG Party in 5 Points

Imagine This Big Party Two Blocks From Your House
Now that USC has beaten the Top Ranked Kentucky Wildcats, the folks that live in the first few blocks of Shandon get to enjoy the sounds of victory. Some people may see this as a liability, but for those of us that live here accept and enjoy it as part of living in the middle of USC life.

Stepping just a few strides out my back door I was immediately surrounded by the yelling and car honking that comes with a huge gamecock victory. Living on the first block of Wilmot Ave. in Shandon, we live only 2 blocks up the hill from 5 Points. You get the idea.

I must admit the experience is a little different now that we have a new baby in the house. I'm sure my wife is upstairs stirring about hoping that the ruckus down the hill doesn't wake up our five month old. Me too!!! I have to admit, we didn't think about big Gamecock victories when we put the nursery in the front of the house!

Congrats to the USC family and the Carolina basketball team. I can hear all too well that Gamecock Nation is celebrating accordingly. :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Poor Choice of Words About the Poor.

In Gov's Race, 'They Breed' is the new 'You Lie.'
Every now and then we read or hear about something that makes us raise our eyebrows and shake our heads. For me, reading or listening to the now infamous "They Breed!" quote from Lt. Governor Andre Bauer certainly raised the brow! I was so taken aback that I probably read parts of it four or five times.

On paper, Andre's thoughts definitely test the shock meter. As I usually try to give people the benefit of the doubt, I have to think that he didn't mean it quite like he said it. Controversy, outrage and shock notwithstanding there will probably be one winner amongst all of this flap....Andre Bauer.

In one swoop, Andre has fired up a segment of the Republican party. He's illustrated and sensationalized an issue to a point that has put him on every TV news channel in South Carolina. The talk and debate is all over Twitter and Facebook. In short, everyone is talking about Andre right now.

It would be a completely different situation if he just apologized. Democrat's and Republicans alike would be attacking him and perhaps asking him to step down from his job as Lt. Governor. On the contrary, Andre is sticking to his guns. This move will make it difficult for other Republican candidates to deal with.

On the flip side, Sen. Vincent Sheheen's (D-Kershaw) quick and public demand for an apology likely vaulted his campaign as the leader and unofficial Democratic spokesperson.

Andre, at least for one weekend, owns the conversation about abuse of government assistance. Time will tell if he can parlay this into branding himself as the champion of the issue.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Point of Sale Tax is South Carolina's Business Noose
For the sake of time, I'm going to dive right in with a quick illustration.

Three years ago a Bobby bought condo Unit-101 at William's-Brice Stadium for $500,000. Today five other people purchase the same exact condos that are adjacent to the Unit-101 for $200,000. Under current law, Bobby is still forced to pay a rate based on his $500,000 sales price even though the condo is clearly only worth $200,000. Unit-101 looks like 200K, smells like 200K and appraises at 200K...but is taxed at $500K. This is not right.

Bobby can't possibly sell his unit nor can he rent it to cover his tax burden. He also can't pay his tax bill. Bobby is trapped and the next step is foreclosure.

For further thoughts, blogs FitsNews and PalmettoScoop have posted about the Realtors efforts to change the law. Further still, the SC Association of Realtors created Facebook and Twitter pages as they try to gather support for the cause.

South Carolina has completely shot itself in the face. Property owners everywhere are trapped into tax burdens that don't fit the value. It's a wreck.

Consider the same situation for an office building or skyscraper. The tax burden is out of the stratosphere. Given the situation, out of state investment is completely halted.

We can tout having "Smiling Faces" and great beaches but this is not enough to battle our terrible Point of Sale tax situation. Any state senator that acts as an obstructionist to the bill before them clearly doesn't have South Carolina's best interest in their hearts.

The state senate has a South Carolina stimulus bill in its chamber. They need to act and get this noose off of our necks.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Wales Garden Home Has New Owner

228 Wateree Ave. in Wales Garden is Officially Closed
If you keep up with downtown Columbia real estate you may wonder what's going on with the house for sale on Wateree Avenue. This house is SOLD and CLOSED!

228 Wateree Ave. is the house with the awesome adjacent lot that sold some months ago for $275,000. The house itself however took a little while longer.

After having competing offers and enjoying a label of "Pending Contract" for much of 2009, we finally solidified a closing.

Congratulations to the sellers and new owners of this property. The location is hard to beat and the new owners may never have to move again. The location is that good.

The new owners are coming from a cute house on Woodrow St. in Shandon. Be on the lookout as it will be on the market in the coming days.

Friday, January 15, 2010

3 New Goodies & 2 Price Reductions

Houses and Price Reductions Hit Market Thursday
I may have jumped the gun on the latest Hotsheet. Since the latest "Hotsheet Post" three solid listings hit the market and two good ones experienced dramatic price reductions.

I haven't been in the new listing on Satchelford yet but I'm sure it's worth a look. The new listing on Brentwood won't last long because it has a great new kitchen and a sweet master bath and I'm sure the new one on Erskine looks ready to go.

The price reduction on the Gregg Park home makes this a HUGE amount of house for the money. It's open plan is fancy and features loads of big bedrooms. Now at $ was first listed at $574,900.

The home on Yale Ave. is super clean and fancy in its own right. This may very well be the best buy in 292o5 right now as the price was lowered $75,000.

This is the first time I've followed up the Hotsheet with a post like this, but I thought these new listings deserved some looks.

Call or email if you want more info or like to peek!

Monday, January 11, 2010

White, Leopard!!, Pink, Black, White!!!

Women Shout Out Their Colors on Facebook
When many of my female Facebook friends began to share different colors followed by explanation points, I have to admit my curiosity. As the different colors kept coming into my feed I knew it had to be something sensitive to women because not one of my male friends typed a color, not even as a joke.

It was when one of my friends typed "Victoria's Secret Million Dollar," that I knew they were referring to their bras.

The trend went viral as the colors and styles kept trickling in. The excerpt below illustrates how quickly the trend spread.

"It was no game to the people at the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, who were stunned to find themselves the beneficiaries of a Web phenomenon they didn't begin to understand. At the start of Friday, they had exactly 135 fans on their Facebook page. By 5:30 in the evening, they had 135,000." - Washington Post. The page now boast more than 139,000 Fans.

The idea isn't without controversy. Some are asking, "How does shouting out a bra color help raise awareness about breast cancer?" Others say, "You'd have to be living in a cave if you didn't know you're surrounded by pink ribbons. Why should women need to tell the world what color bra they're wearing?"

Personally, I think Facebook is a fun outlet for people to express themselves. If women want to "Become a Fan" of a good organization and have fun doing it...then good for them.

Sure bras can be a great tool of sexuality but I'd like to remind skeptics of the campaign that everyday undergarments serve as a function of health and comfort. Anyone that can't fathom this may need to simply get over it...and do what they can to find a cure.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Gamecocks Deliver Rumors...Not Pizza

Even though I'm a USC graduate and live two blocks from 5 Points, I certainly wouldn't qualify myself as a Gamecock football expert. That said, it's difficult to miss the gossip about Moe Brown "throwing a punch" at asst. coach Steve Spurrier, Jr. Even the group in front of me in the Starbucks line was talking about it.

The blog post below should clear the rumors. Joe Person, long time Gamecock beat writer at The State Newspaper, seems to have some pretty accurate scoop. FJ

A story from Birmingham that’s been making the rounds on message boards is that senior receiver and team captain Moe Brown took a swing at receivers coach Steve Spurrier Jr. in the locker room at Legion Field after the game.

From what I’ve been told by multiple sources, the two had a heated argument about Brown’s role in the offense, but no punches were thrown.

The incident supposedly began when Spurrier Jr. approached Brown in the locker room to congratulate him on a good career. But Brown was having none of it, and started yelling at Spurrier Jr., upset that he was not featured more prominently.

Brown only had a couple of passes his thrown his way against UConn, one of which he dropped. He finished with one catch for 12 yards against the Huskies, and was USC’s second-leading receiver on the season behind freshman Alshon Jeffery.

Brown has been one of the Gamecocks’ best leaders and a great ambassador for the university, volunteering at community service events and never turning down an interview request – and there were many – from the media.

I’m sure Brown – like everyone else affiliated with USC – was frustrated after what had been a long, cold day in Birmingham.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Great 2009; Ready for a Monster 2010

Adrenaline is Pumping for Listing/Sales Opportunites
The end of the year can be a pretty sad time for Realtors. No matter how successful the year, December 31 is the day that all sales figures are completely wiped clean. Every sale and every volume dollar that's we've worked hard for is now vanished. We start back at 0 sales and 0 volume.

We had another great year! The final figures certainly aren't in yet but it looks like we finished with around 34 or 35 closings. We'll take it!! In a year where many producers took a hit, we kept it going and tried to make good things happen for our clients. Keep in mind that many Realtors have less than 10 closings.

I have to admit that our pace wasn't the same as 2008, but with Amy, Caroline and me having babies this year, we're proud of our production.

The glaring difference between 2008 and 2009 was the sale prices of the homes. I don't know what our "average sold" is or anything, but most folks around the industry sold many less homes that required "jumbo loans" than in years past.

I'm ecstatic about our 2009 stats but my adrenaline is up about 2010. With 30+ listings on the books, hard work and awesome referrals we're poised and ready to absolutely crush it this year. The biggest upcoming question is whether we should add another team member to help handle the load.

Call or email if you or anyone you know is ready to sell or make a move. We're ready take it to the next level.