Thursday, May 27, 2010

Columbia's Newest Real Estate Listings

>>Columbia's Newest Hotsheet: May 3 - 26, 2010
It's been a while since I've thrown the HotSheet on blog but with fun stuff like Jenna going to the Bahamas and Amanda joining the team, Columbia's newest list of homes for sale had to wait.

Be sure and click "See All" on the MLS link in the top left hand corner. If you don't take advantage of the See All you may drive yourself crazy clicking each page.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Welcome Home Amanda Quick Payne

After six months of preparation, the worst kept secret in downtown real estate circles is finally official. :)

In the world of real estate, career changing events don't come along very often. Sure, selling a high priced home or listing a neighborhood is a happy event, but a real game changer can be a difficult thing to achieve.

This weekend we solidified such an event as Amanda Q. Payne joined me at Coldwell Banker United, Realtors - Midtown. Amanda is a fantastic Realtor and a top shelf asset to our brand.

As I strive to continue to grow this real estate practice, Amanda is a perfect fit. She and I will combine our time and talents to maximize each other's assets.

Amanda and I met in a little pink house on Bagnal Dr. in the first few months of my career. We were previewing the new listing, introduced ourselves and struck up an instant friendship. Ever since meeting at the pink house we've barbed, joked and recruited each other over and over again. In short, this has been a long time in the making.

I represent quite a number of listings for sale in the Greater Columbia area. Amanda will communicate with sellers and represent buyers from the different web and print media on which we have a presence. Being part of a real estate team doesn't necessarily mean that we "share" clients. It does however mean that our time will be strategically leveraged for our clients benefit, which will propel us to the next level and enable us to give a higher level of service.

I'm flattered and humbled that Amanda has decided to bring her work ethic and professionalism to the team. She's built a successful career in her own right and will only expand on this success at the dominant downtown real estate firm. Further still, Amanda arguably has the nicest voice in the business.

As for our clients this is a win, win, win. Our Buyers and Sellers will be the great beneficiaries of her move and will undoubtedly feel the effects of our combined efforts.

Amanda's transition and our work ethic notwithstanding, we recognize our success still lies with our friends and referrals. Having said this, I have to thank everyone for being a part of one of the best real estate networks in South Carolina. The addition of Amanda Q. Payne strengthens our network exponentially.

Quick Trip to Mt. Pleasant w/ Friends

Sitting Around At Sullivan's Island Is Hard To Beat
No doubt one of the best things about living in Columbia, SC is that we can be on a beach in less than two hours.
This weekend we were able to take advantage of some parents vacating a house in Mt. Pleasant for a quick trip. On Saturday everyone had a big time toasting in the sun and chasing kids around Sullivan's Island for the afternoon.

After playing cards on Friday night we decided to get a babysitter for a relaxing Saturday night out. At first we were worried about our choice of The Mustard Seed as a few in the group were taken aback at the "beer and wine" bar only. Nervousness set in deeper when it was announced that the, "Fryer was broke for the night." Of course that meant no fried oysters. Grrrr...

After dinner, we decided to hit the road and walked to The Red Drum for dessert. In pure South Carolina fashion, we found a familiar face here as Columbia friend Michael Gunn welcomed us with a smile.

As you can see from the pic above Sunday morning was dominated by the act of couponing. Yes, the women of the group have perfected the art of couponing, and the fellas don't mind a bit. I'll write a full post about it later when I have a better grasp of their newest pastime.

I'm certainly glad we headed south for the weekend. As my Park St. open house was 'covered,' it was a relaxing weekend and a lot of fun. Anyone that lives in Columbia can always appreciate that a world class beach is only a short drive away.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

29206, Satchelford, Totally Renovated

At 2,500 sq. ft. 3 bedrooms and 3 full baths, even the newest shoppers will quickly notice that this isn't your typical Forest Acres home.

As you can see from the pics and link, this house has been totally renovated inside and out. The home features hardwoods, smooth ceilings and molding throughout. It's full of living spaces and is very well done. There are lots of closets and also includes a nice laundry room.

The new kitchen is full of granite slab and stainless appliances. It's large and feels even bigger as it opens up to a fun den/family room.

This home actually features a great owner's suite complete with large bedroom and private bath with granite double vanities and a jetted tub.

The fenced backyard is very nice and has a little bit of everything. There's even a veggie garden for the green thumbs among us.

As you can see this isn't your typical Forest Acres ranch home. 6340 Satchelford Rd. is an extra nice home that enjoys being located in the very desirable Satchelford Elementary school zone.

Call or email if you have any questions or would like to take a peek.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Richland County Closed Transactions

Richland Co's Closed Homes; April 24 - May 18, 2010
It's been a while since I've posted the latest closed stats so I decided to narrow the search a little. The link above omits the Northeast section of the county known to Realtors as "Area 4," which would've vaulted the closed count to nearly 150 homes.

It's probably worth mentioning that Realtors at Coldwell Banker United's Midtown Office were involved in 104 transactions in April. With this kind of volume produced in one office, watch for a big bump in the number of closed transactions in the next report. We'll see!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Wedding Brings Friends to Low Country

Blair & Sabrina Herbert Married in Perfect SC Setting
On Saturday Jenna and her friends returned home from an awesome trip to the Bahamas. While the other seven women got to sleep in their own beds that night, my wife was scooped up and taken to the Lowcountry for some different kind of coastal fun.

Blair Herbert, a good buddy of mine from Anderson, SC, became a married man in front of a picturesque creekfront backdrop at a private home in Awendaw. No doubt, this address provided an awesome setting for a wedding. I snapped the first picture above at the very beginning of The Lord's Prayer. I wouldn't usually have the guts to do this but since we were outdoors I pulled the trigger hoping like heck my phone wouldn't make too loud of a click.

Congratulations to Blair and his gorgeous wife Sabrina. The entire weekend's events were well thought out and executed. A good time was definitely had by all.

As for my sweet wife, she was so glad to be there even though it meant another day away from our sweet baby. We were flattered to be included and glad we were able to attend. It was awesome to see such a happy couple and the venue made it even better.

Have a great time in Italy, Blair and Sabrina!

Friday, May 14, 2010

S.C. Senate Smokes Governor's Veto

Cigs vs Sigs; Tax Increase Vote Trumps Tax Pledge

Today, by a count of a lot to a little, the South Carolina Senate voted to override Governor Sanford's veto to raise the cigarette tax in our state.

I've long thought it was only a matter of time before some form of tobacco tax increase would become law. Whether you're for or against the measure, the sadness of it all is how much money our state has lost in the last decade of debate.

What most folks don't realize is there is a federal 3 to 1 dollar match attached to whatever increase each state passes. What this means is that South Carolina has lost out on hundreds of millions of dollars over the years of debate.

About a decade ago, members of the general assembly were asked to sign a "No New Tax Pledge." Now, imagine a Republican incumbent with a primary opponent. If they didn't sign this pledge they would've been burnt toast as TV ads warned the public about the unwillingness to sign.

Fast forward to the next legislative session(s) and the cigarette tax is introduced again. Any legislator that signed the aforementioned pledge is once again trapped. Even though the tax increase is popular in an incumbent's district, they were forced to vote "Nay" as to ward off any primary competition and avoid the peppering of "Liar, liar pants on fire!!" TV ads.

Some folks will tout the shame of it all is that "conservative" Republican legislators buckled and deserve a RINO label. I happen to think the shame of it all is that since an increase was obviously inevitable, our state lost out on hundreds of millions of dollars in the name of a dinky yet clever political tactic.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Eight Columbia Moms Go Wheels Up!!!

Moms Head to Bahamas Beach Club - Treasure Cay

At 8:20 Tuesday morning a great group of friends went "Wheels Up" and made their way to the Bahamas for an awesome five day trip. In my opinion, these women (some of my favorite people in the world) deserve a relaxing detox from the daily Columbia, SC scene.

Getting prepared for the trip became quite an event for Jenna and I as our pediatrician prescribed tubes to be placed in our baby's ears the same morning. To say the least I'm pretty exhausted from today's 5:30 wake up call. Thankfully, the timing ended up being perfect for Jenna as Finley was in and out of surgery with about 2 minutes to spare for her to make the flight.

As the only 'new mother' in the group, the trip became a little bit of a big deal for my baby's momma. It was a big step for her to be away from Finley for a full five days but I'm proud of her for getting on the plane. Apparently, the rest of the vacation-goers were taking bets on whether Jenna would actually board the plane. I'm glad she did as Jenna needed some days off from her perfect mother management style. Further, it made me feel good that she had confidence in me that Finley and I would be A-Ok for a few days while she was gone.

I've got great help though as my parents have been here since Monday and her mom is coming to help Wednesday morning.

Have fun girls and soak it all in! The kids are fine and I already miss seeing all of you in Shandon and King's Grant.

P.S. I bought about 100 Starbucks VIA's for y'all to enjoy but my sweet wife (who doesn't drink Starbucks) left them on the kitchen counter! :/

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day Has Whole New Meaning

This year Mother's Day had a whole new meaning. My brother and sister, in our bias, could argue that we have the best mom of them all. As kids, mom was at every event and made so many things possible that, given her difficult financial situations, seemed very impossible.

Now that I'm a dad, I can more fully appreciate what being a mom is all about. A few years ago, I married a drop dead gorgeous woman who I shared a ton of common interests and a lot of fun times. Jenna Sparks Jones is much more. She is an unbelievable mother and Finley and I would be lost without her.

From the daddy side of things it seems that my wife was made for motherhood. From her sheer love of Finley to the daily management and care of her, my baby's momma impresses me more and more every day.

Observing Jenna be the mom she is makes me even more appreciative of her and my mother, as well. Today may not make me a better son, dad or husband but thinking of all they do does makes me feel like a paternal punk.

Happy Mother's Day to all Mommies out there! Men may be from Mars and women may be from Venus but a great mom is a Godsend.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Gowns, Crowns and The Junior League

This Ain't Yo Mama's JLC!
Tonight the Junior League of Columbia showed out once again. As you can see from above they had a lot going on at their 'Year-End Celebration.'

I must admit that of all the JLC meetings/events I've attended I can't remember laughing as hard as I did tonight. The 'transition ceremony' of annual League presidents was taken to a new level as outgoing President Townes Denemark orchestrated an awesome little skit that included the cast of TLC's, "The King of The Crown."

Even though the star of the TV show, Cyrus Frakes, was a tinch didn't matter because whether she knows it or not, incoming president Allison Cox was a great sport and actually stole the show. Tonight I learned Allison is quick on her feet, combines her vocabulary with perfect timing and is overall hilarious... big time. She did an awesome job and had the tables around me laughing their faces off!

Humor notwithstanding, the second photo above shows Townes and the huge dollar amount the Junior League raised this year for Midlands charities. If I have to say or type it a million times, the women of the Junior League are second to none and continue to exemplify that they're one of the foremost philanthropic organizations in the Midlands. $276,000...!!!

The reason I attend this event is to help present the Kinsey Black Jones Award. In my late wife's memory, the award is given to an outstanding 1st, 2nd or 3rd Year 'Active' that's voted on by her League peers. This years winner is Katie Wilmesherr. Townes assured me days ago that Katie was well deserving and actually very proud that she would be receiving Kinsey's Award. I was ecstatic to stand with Townes to present the plaque and check to Katie as she received it with grace.

Congratulations to the Junior League on another fantastic year of philanthropy and fundraising. I'm sure Allison Cox and Kristy Ellenberg are poised and ready to continue the tradition of over achievement that has become standard of The League.

After tonights meeting/celebration, about 10 of us met Cyrus and the crew of "King of Crowns" at Cellar on the Greene. Their experiences are drama filled and the way they tell a pageant story is freegin' HILARIOUS!!! I can't do it justice...
From the outside looking in it was another impressive year for one of my favorite groups. I know Allison, Kristy and the rest of the Board will continue the trend and lift the League to even higher levels.

Great job, Townes!!! :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Intown Columbia Charmer Hits Market

This updated Elmwood Park home lives large with 1,800 sq. ft. with 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths.

Some of the features of this downtown Columbia home are shining hardwoods, vaulted ceilings, smooth ceilings and designer lighting.

The kitchen of this eclectic home is full of granite slab, stainless steel appliances and features an awesome range hood that acts as a focal point.

As cool as parts of the home are, the biggest selling feature may be the full, two car garage. As Amy and I walked through the house impressed, we were completely surprised to find a fully functional two car garage complete with a modern electric door. I know some of you may be saying, "Well, big whoop!" It's actually a big deal as a real garage can is a rare find in such a historical neighborhood.

Call or email ( if you or a friend would like more information about this cool house. All this in Elmwood Park is offered for $249,900.