Monday, September 27, 2010

Quick & Fun Weekend at Pawley's

Fun Time At The Beach w/ Paul, Amanda & Lee Payne
This weekend we found ourselves in a favorite place...Pawley's/Litchfield! Paul, Amanda & Lee invited us down, and of course...we couldn't get there fast enough!

The house we stayed in is pretty awesome. It's a 100+ year old dwelling that sits smack dab at the S. Causeway to Pawley's Island. It's very cool and about 20 paces to the creek. Other than have a good time on the beach on Saturday, we took advantage of the immediate surroundings.

Pic 1: Jennifer and Finley looking over the marsh. Finley LOVED it! My sweet wife is a noticeably nervous mom as Finley just couldn't get enough. Notice the kung fu grips a loving mother has on our baby and that poor 2 x 4!

Pics 2 and 3: Shows what was biting in the creek this weekend. I caught about 12 or 14 of the cool pan fish, but I have no idea what that winged eel thing is. As I tweeted around 3 o'clock in the morning, "I had no idea what I was catching but they sure were biting!" What is that nappy beast, anyway???

Pic 4: Finley losing her battle to the sleepy monster on Sunday morning. My sweet girl wanted so badly to stay awake but the minute she hit the hammock beside me, it was 'lights out.' I could have stayed there for hours. So sweet.

Other than watching the Gamecocks lose a close game to Auburn, it was a fun and relaxing weekend. Another good time at the beach!

Like all beach weekends, the morning after sets up for a big Monday 'gang tackle' at work. I want to say, "OOOF" but I'm actually am looking forward to it. :)

Thanks to Paul and Amanda for a fun weekend!!! Can't wait to do it again!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Technology Is Awesome...Until It's Not

A Sharp Edge and Leverage Used To Bust A Glitch
These days, technology and real estate go hand in hand. That said, when technology fails it can be very counterproductive and actually get pretty embarrassing.

Our local CMLS uses a very cool lockbox system as they lease the blue key holders from General Electric Company. In turn, each individual Realtor pays a fee for every lockbox we receive from CMLS. To illustrate, every 'Franklin Jones' sign in Columbia also has a lockbox somewhere on the property. At present, I think we have about 50 in the community.

On a weekly basis, I report to clients that, "Real estate is an imperfect industry." Well, the lockbox system is a VERY imperfect system within the industry. When a lockbox runs out of juice or malfunctions for some reason, we have to rent the giganitco bolt cutters pictured above to pry them from our listings. After I strain to snap the lockbox from the doorknob or handrail, I have to take the box to The Key Shop so they can drill the steel cradle from the box to free the key.

You can tell from the pic above the sheer size of the bolt cutters makes this an awful process. Actually, I have to place one arm of the tool in my torso and pull hard with the other. All the while, it's a challenge not to bite off my tongue when it snaps.

In all, as the calls/texts/emails rolled in, today's lockbox episode took about two hours from the day. It's a great micro-example of how technology makes our world great, until it doesn't.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Article Hits State With Brutal Truth

When I checked out the conversation on Facebook this morning, I ran across a post from one of my Gamecock buddies that got my attention. As I clicked his Post and read a little my first thought was, "Why is The Wall Street Journal writing about the unimpressive history of South Carolina college football???" Reading further, my next thought was, "Well...we knew most of this, but dang if this isn't interesting."

As a South Carolinian it's an interesting article that on the surface, is a slap in the face. Deeper reading however illustrates that it's more than a fun poking article, as it offers true dilemmas and potential solutions.

It's obvious there's a passion for college football in our state. In a reverse kind of way, it can almost be deemed as painfully obvious. This said, the article illustrates there's more to a successful program than fan support, and 'X's & O's.

According to The Journal, the way to win is through an exponential addition to our population or a dramatic improvement to our education system. Ooof. Yes, the latter can somehow be achieved, but reality says that it won't produce a winner soon. This said, in the short term USC and Clemson are just going to have to out recruit the competition. When this is achieved, South Carolinians are just going to have to depend on the respective coaching staffs to take the programs to the next level.

Yes, the WSJ reveals an inconvenient truth to millions of readers. Even so, I have great memories of attending Clemson games and of my 37 years, four of the best ones were at the University of South Carolina.

Perhaps in some small way this 'calling out' will make some small difference. Time will tell but in the meantime, good luck to Clemson and... GO COCKS!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bucking Headlines With Production

As Amanda and I see friends around town, the first question many of them ask is, "How's the market?" or "How's business?" When we respond with, "Great!" or "Kinda awesome..." we get some surprised facial expressions, to say the least.

Bucking the national trend, we have a lot going on in the form of offers, contracts, and closings in the works. Above are pics of homes on Olde Knight Pkwy, Blossom St, and Wheat St that are scheduled to close soon. Add Whittaker Dr, Kathwood Dr, and another one on Blossom St to the mix and we've got a pretty good month going. Heck, even Chester St (the one that was featured on The Today Show) went under contract today.

Obviously I'm not posting this to boast (that's a sure jinx!) but rather to report that there's some movement in the downtown Columbia real estate marketplace. No doubt we have a lot of signs (listings) out there, but our recent track record shows that if a house is move-in ready and offered at a fair price, we can procure offers.

Amanda and I thank you for using us and thank everyone for any referrals. We can't wait to ramp up production in the 4th quarter to make 2010 a banner year. Keep it coming!

Monday, September 13, 2010

RF's Loss Is A Big Deal On Many Levels

Open Finals May Be Best Match That Didn't Happen
Now that college football is in full swing, our Saturday afternoons are guaranteed to be filled with big time TV drama. This past Saturday, however, had even more drama in the form of a springboard for a WORLD CLASS Sunday sporting event... that didn't happen.

As I was only able to see a few points of the US Open tennis semi-finals, it was still a punch to the gut to watch Roger Federer get beaten by a worthy fella named Novak. That said, as hard as it was for me to watch Roger go down, I can't imagine what the TV network and US Open sponsors were feeling. UGGGH.

Anyone who enjoys tennis, big time rivalries, or the sports world in general was pulling for a Federer vs. Nadal final at this year's US Open. We were all hoping to see something like their Wimbledon match a few years ago.

To add a bucket of water to the whole sha'bang, the finals have now been moved to Monday afternoon due to rain. I can't imagine the disappointment of the US Open officials, or the big money donors that make it all happen.

There's Michigan vs Ohio State, Tiger vs. Phil, Cowboys vs. Redskins, Yankees vs. Red Sox, and Roger vs. Nadal. The thing about a tennis rivalry is that the players aren't guaranteed to face each other, as in most other rivalries. This is what makes it awesome, or in this case... brutal.

Nevertheless, I'm sure some folks will find a way to watch a very entertaining sporting event. Too bad it has no chance of being what it could have been.

If you follow the sport and caught Federer's press conference, it's easy to know why he's so popular. He's a champion at winning and also a winner in losing.

Good luck Rafa and Novak.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Polished New Listing In King's Grant

This stately all brick home in King's Grant sports over 3,600 sq. ft with 4 bedrooms and lots of bathrooms.

492 N. King's Grant Dr. sits on a very well-manicured, corner cul-de-sac lot in one of Columbia's most popular neighborhoods. As you can see from the pics above/attached, the exterior of this property features a circular drive and a lush, private backyard.

The home is nicely appointed with shining hardwoods, cathedral ceilings, a black spindled banister, and designer colors throughout.

The 'open plan' downstairs flows nicely from kitchen, den, to deck, which makes for great entertaining opportunities.

Call or email or if you would like more information or a tour of 492 N. King's Grant Drive. It's easy and a pleasure to show.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Elizabeth Tackles 'Winter Whites'

Follow Elizabeth @
An impressive friend of mine and fellow blogger took it upon herself to tackle the age old question regarding wearing 'whites' after Labor Day. If you grew up in the South, you know that the quick and traditional answer is, "absolutely not." Welcome to 2010.

Elizabeth refers to Emily Post for a good answer. Apparently, Ms. Post gave an inconclusive and less than declarative answer.

My quick answer is that it depends on the material you're wearing and your confidence level. No doubt, I don't expect to see many of my buds sporting seersucker suits, but I'm not surprised one bit to see some of my friends wearing white this winter. Actually, one of my good friends has a pretty cool white wool suit. When I raised my eyebrows at Starbucks one day he simply said, "winter whites." Not bad.

Anyway, I liked Elizabeth's post and thought it deserved a shout out. It's only a matter of time before Southern folks see more whites after Labor Day.

All this said, I probably won't be sporting a seersucker suit this winter. A good pair of oatmeal khakis is most likely my 2010 max.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

'GAMEDAY PLACE' Facility Is For Sale

Unique 1/2 Acre Gamecock Party Facility Is On Market
When folks see "For Sale" signs near Williams-Brice Stadium, they're likely for a Cockaboose, luxury condo, or a single asphalt 8'x12' parking 'spot.' The sign you see in the pic above, however, is an ad for an entire parking facility. Yes, you read my last sentence correctly. The entire "Gameday Place" party/parking facility is for sale.

At present, Gameday Place leases 29 parking spots and can easily offer more spots. A pretty cool well-built building at the back of the property enjoys two nice bathrooms and a great bar area for watching Gamecock and SEC football.

Gameday Place is a unique property that can be used for all sorts of activities such as band parties, fraternity/sorority mixers, oyster roasts, political activities, or other social events.

Call or email or if you would like more information or a tour of the facility. It's a rare situation and a perfect opportunity for serious Gamecock fans or event/party throwers.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

'Girls Night' Takes It To Greenville, SC

Tuesday night my wife and a few friends decided to have a "Girl's Night" in Greenville, SC. While Columbia may be 'Famously Hot,' Greenville is apparently pretty cool. Actually, from the pics and text messages I've received tonight, Greenville is a very big hit.

Being from Anderson, I've always known that Greenville has been a town on the move. When I moved to Columbia to attend USC in '91, Greenville seemed to explode into a mid-metro cosmopolitan southern city. Apparently, it just keeps getting better.

I'm well aware that the schools in Greenville are some of the best in South Carolina. Now, the nightlife seems to be a great experience, too.

While at USC, I can remember my Grandaddy telling me that Greenville definitely had a modern 'jump' on the rest of the state because the city produced two straight two-term governors. Sure enough, 16 straight years of executive leadership from Riley and Campbell seem to have made a difference. BMW is probably the best example of this success, and the trickle down effects continue exponentially.

The pics above are our friends showing me what they think is my new office. They got an especially big kick out of the "We're Open" sign as sort of a perfect fit omen for my late night habits.

Everyone that visits Greenville seems to be very impressed. I've seen many Tweets and Facebook updates about how awesome it is, I can only assume that folks visiting Columbia publicize positive experiences, too.

Who knows what the future holds and I'm glad that Coldwell Banker Caine has such a great presence in the Upstate. For now, I'm as happy as a little pig in the sunshine to live in Columbia and love my career at CB United. Come on home, ladies!