Monday, August 30, 2010

Finley Sparks Jones Turned One Year

Keeping First Birthday Simple Was A Great Decision
Last week my sweet baby girl had her very first birthday. As most of you have already experienced, it's a surreal feeling that a year has already passed since we were in the delivery room.

Some folks like to have 1st birthday 'blow outs,' but my wife decided to keep everything very simple. Thank goodness!

We had a great time with some family and a few friends. As to be expected, I think Jen enjoyed the day as much as Finley did.

As you can see from the 3rd pic, Ginny and Townes were hard at work assembling Finley's new pink car. It's pretty obvious that they thought if they don't put it together that day, then it would be a week or so before Finley is able to ride around in her new gift. Thanks, girls !!!!!!!!!!! She loves it!!! :)

Unreal to think I have a one year old. I love her more everyday.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Columbia Posting Some Good Closings

Columbia's Transactions: July 25 - Aug. 26, 2010
Just FYI, the link above includes homes closed in the general downtown Columbia area. It doesn't include closings that took place in the outskirts of the county, such as what most of us consider "Northeast" Richland County. There is absolutely no reason for the omission other than the fact that a complete Richland Co. list would be too large for most readers to muddle through.

Have fun clicking!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sat. Night Birthday Party Was Big Fun

Townes W. Denemark Turns 40 With A Bang
Since my sweet wife hasn't had the chance to upload the pics of Finley's 1st birthday party, I have the perfect opportunity to post about Townes Denemark's 40th. HA... 40th!!! It seems odd that I'm typing about our friend turning 40 years old. Ooof.

Saturday night an awesome collection of friends met at the King's Grant Clubhouse to help Townes' husband and parents celebrate in grand fashion. It was a big time.

The night worked out great. The band drew tons of compliments, Brown's BBQ (Yes, the one from Kingstree, SC) was awesome as usual, and even the cake seemed to be a hit. You can tell from the pic above that many of us had a great time.

Congrats to Townes for turning the big 4-0. She has a perfect family, tons of friends that love her, and an (almost) perpetual smile on her face.

Townes and Stephen are some of the best friends Jenna and I will ever have. I'm glad we could be a small part of her big milestone birthday bash. :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Rod Helped Boost My Career Early On

'The State' Reports About Life/Death of Rod Shealy
South Carolina lost one of its most interesting sons today. Well known political consultant and businessman, Rod Shealy, passed away at MUSC according to The State, et al.

In the political arena, Rod's name was a hefty one to say the least. It's often said that Rod is one of the "Big 3" political consultants in South Carolina.

Although my personal relationship with Rod certainly involved political discussions, and a few recruitment sessions, we struck up a friendship outside of politics.

About five years ago, as a new Realtor, I was constantly looking for good advertising opportunities. At the time there was a new newspaper-style publication called "20/20 Magazine." I happened to like the style of 20/20 and emailed a salesperson.

After a few weeks of e-mail banter and missed phone calls, I found myself at Mr. Friendly's chomping on burgers with the owner of "20/20", Rod Shealy. Of course he proposed that I take out a real estate ad in his monthly magazine. As we got to know each other that day, Rod took a fancy to my mailbox flag business that Kinsey and I started while she was in the hospital.

Within 3 hours of that lunch meeting we were at a mailbox that sported the product (in front of Jennifer Sparks' house, mind you) with Rod snapping pictures of me holding a bunch of fanned mailbox flags as if they were a deck of cards. The very next week I was on the cover of his magazine, which at the time enjoyed nice rack exposure all over the Midlands. There's no telling what this meant to my career, but to me, it was a big deal.

Politically, Rod was pretty well known for many things including being the man behind the Andre Bauer machine, and Nathan Ballentine's upset win over Rep. Rick Quinn (R - Lexington).

Tonight I planned to post about The State Newspaper's article about falling real estate sales. However, when I heard about Rod's death I felt compelled to type about my buddy instead.

If I could talk to Rod right now, I'd thank him for being a friend and for throwing me on the cover of his magazine. Knowing him he would probably laugh at me a little and pat me on the back.

Godspeed, Rod Shealy.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Stellar King's Grant Home Hits Market

This 3,800 foot King's Grant stunner hit Columbia's real estate market last week. Sporting 5 beds and 5 baths, this spotless KG home certainly has something for everyone.

First of all, I can't remember the last time something on Huspah Lane has been for sale. Even my office mates have come to my desk asking "are you sure about the spelling?" I'm sure.

This being said, Huspah is one of the quietest streets in all of King's Grant. Huspah silently 'splits the difference' between N. King's Grant Drive (The Loop) and Foot Point.

23 Huspah Lane is loaded with features. Some of these include a large dining room, a kitchen with all of the 'goods' that opens to the vaulted great room, and a staircase system/breezeway complete with impressive iron spindles and runners. Further still is the gigantic owner's suite that is second to none.

If you're interested in a stellar home in one of Columbia's premier new home neighborhoods, please call us or email us at or 23 Huspah Lane is a pleasure to show.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hospital Rooms Get Top $$/Ft., By Far..

Successful Surgery Comes With A $10,000 Spanking

The pic above is my bill from last Monday's overnight visit to the hospital. Ouch...

Unbelievably, the bill doesn't include the anesthesia (yes they knocked me out) or the surgery itself. As most of my friends know, I'm all about giving the benefit of the doubt, but this was quite an eye popper.

I wasn't even hooked up to anything, not even a drip, and as long as I was leaning to the right or left there was zero pain. Furthermore, Trav brought me a Wendy's Double because the kitchen was closed.

I don't know how the system works and don't pretend to. I do, however, know a head-scratcher when I see one and by granny, this looks like one to me.

Maybe I'm wrong but I sure feel like for $10,000 I could've stayed at a swank Five Star with Victoria's Secret models throwing pixie dust in the air while woofing on a Mr. Friendly's rib eye. Guess not!!

All things considered, I have to give a shout out to the nurses and staff of Palmetto Health 'Baptist' and my surgeon, Dr. Hugh Wilcox. He took great care of me, did a great job, and continues to do so.

I did get two pairs of the cool red socks pictured in a previous post. 1 night + 2 socks = TEN THOOOOUSAND... dollars.

Monday, August 9, 2010

We Want To Be As Likeable & Accessible As Possible
After a few months of opinioning over whether to create another Facebook page, a client and friend of mine decided to pull the trigger for me. Thanks, Wesley!!!

Contrary to many sales professionals, I don't let everyone on my personal Facebook page. I don't know if it's a lot or not, but I presently have 332 "Friend Requests," and I don't quite know what to do about it. It bothers me a little because if even one of these folks is reaching out to me to hire us, then I'm going to be plenty peeved if we've lost an opportunity. Enter the "Like Page."

To make it a little more fun, we're tweaking it such that Amanda and Amy and a few others can update it at their leisure. We may set it up as a message board for local businesses to keep us abreast of what's going on in the community. If I can manage it, it should be a fun way to keep up with what's going on in Columbia. We'll see!

Thanks for reading and thank you in advance for "Liking" us!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Sharp 29205 'City Home' Hits Market

As you can see from the pics and link, this 'City Home' will speak to folks who like beautiful things. The current owners have fantastic style which resonates perfectly with this all brick in town home.

As many of you know it's uncommon to find a home on the market that features almost 1,600 sq. ft. with 2.5 baths.

I have an affection to 1708 Wheat because it may be the best example of detached, low maintenance living in Columbia. Considering every one's busy schedules, low maintenance is a big deal.

1708 Wheat has a lot of awesome features but my favorites are the cool drop-down den, awesome courtyard, big master, location and POOL!!!

Please call or email or if you or a friend would like more information. This is a sharp house.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Forest Acres Creme Puff Hits Market

This classic Forest Acres home has pretty much everything anyone would expect in the $250,000 price range. For starters, the home is almost 2,250 sq. feet and has 3 or 4 bedroooms.

Hardwoods, smooth ceilings, and other features all considered, I feel like this house will not stay on the market long for three reasons: 1) The landscaping presentation, front and backyard, are on par with homes in the $400,000 - $500,000 range; 2) This home has a den/family room that deserves nothing less than a description of "slammin"; 3) Satchel Ford Elementary School.

This updated home enjoys a nice, long kitchen that opens to the aforementioned den/family room. This feature alone sets 4650 Oakwood apart from most houses in Forest Acres. Combine this with a fantastic backyard, patio, & workshop, this home is perfect for supper clubs and parties.

I can fluff and puff all night but if you would like to see or learn more about 4650 Oakwood please call or email or . Thank you!

As of tonight this listing isn't on so please click here or above for more pics.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Biz Leaders Tired of 'Getting Killed'

'Losing Southwest Was A Wake Up Call'
“Look at what’s going on in the Upstate, in the Lowcountry, even Rock Hill,” he said. “We’re getting killed. Killed.” - Randy Halfacre

The quote above is from Lexington mayor, Randy Halfacre, regarding business development in the Midlands. Like it or not, he may be dead on.

According to an article in The State Newspaper, the local Chambers of Commerce are joining forces to recruit industry to the Midlands. Old examples such as the Upstate's BMW, to the recent landing of Boeing in the Lowcountry, have Midlands leaders scratching their heads. Southwest Airlines' decision to 'fly by' Columbia's International Airport was a big and embarrassing blow. Now Midlands leaders have decided to scratch heads, collectively.

There are many good points in the article such as the fact that neighboring counties are such polarizing opposites politically and the fact that the coalition covers such a huge geographical area. These are both challenges the new coalition will have to address.

I've long thought the Midlands should stop using three underutilized rivers, cool swamps, and a fantastic zoo as a reason for world class brands to domicile their headquarters here.

Time will tell if this effort will work. On the surface it seems to me that this line of thinking will act as a dilution of what Columbia is trying to do. We'll see.

All of this said, I hope this chamber partnershop works like a well-oiled machine and attracts the greatest companies on earth to Columbia, South Carolina.