Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Amanda and I End Year w/ Big Listing

True to our efforts and label, it looks like our 2011 will end with a huge bang, as Amanda and I are set to put this beauty on the market late Wednesday afternoon. Sporting five bedrooms and loads of living space, this home is sure to turn some heads.

One would expect a home of this stature, while gracing the corner of street names like Canterbury and Cambridge, to be somewhere across the pond in Wales or Scotland. Conveniently, however, this manor sits overlooking a gentle hill, in the historic downtown and picturesque Forest Hills neighborhood.

Stay tuned for links and pics. This house if full of charm, rooms, and blowing out the WOW factor from the curb.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Old Columbia Homes Can Punish Wi-Fi

If you know me (or Jennifer), or have read this blog a few times, you're probably aware that before we were married, I purchased a house in the first block of Shandon. It's old, brick, and has a deep footprint, to say the least. Well, it's so long, and has so many bricks, and so many walls filled with concrete and plaster, that our WiFi coverage doesn't extend from back to front. As you can imagine, it's been a constant battle.

Today, we set out to change this problem with a quick trip to BestBuy. As we were all set to purchase another 'booster,' or 'extender,' the salesperson sold me on the supposed fail safe product in the pic above. Given it's an Apple product, I had no problem paying for a product we'd have complete confidence in. Fast forward to 1:44AM, and we're back to a six or seven year old Linksys. Ugh.

To be fair, I'm confident the Apple router is experiencing "User Error." That said, thank you for bearing with me while we mess with technical difficulties.

I'll be back at the office tomorrow with no problems, and hopefully by tomorrow night, our old box of bricks will be glowing with new WiFi.

Thank you! FJ.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Nick Rolls Out New Habitat/Realtor Tag

New Design To Grace Car Trunks of REALTORS
The pic above is the president of the South Carolina Association of Realtors, Nick Kremydas, holding up what is sure to be known as "The Realtor Tag." The current version of the tag looks about the same but focuses more on beneficiary of the funds, Habitat For Humanity, instead of the professional organization supporting the cause.

I currently have the more subtle "Realtor/Habitat" flair screwed to my trunk. That said, I'm not sure the new one is for me. I like it well enough, but I'm not sure it hits on the label we try to project. I guess what I'm trying to say is that the new tag may be one step over the salesman(y) line, as opposed to the current "supportive" notion, which I very much prefer. It's a little hard to explain behind a keyboard, but I think you get what I'm trying to say.

At the time of renewal, I'm not sure which tag I'll go with. I do know, however, in the name of sales, and in the effort to fetch the most dollars for a great cause, the association wants to design the most popular tag possible.

Hmmmm, this fleeting thought may have just sold one more tag. We'll see....

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Homes In Heathwood & Shandon Fetch Contracts

After a long real estate journey, as of today, the two homes in the pics above are finally Under Contract. One is my listing, and one is not. Nevertheless, there are two "sides" to every real estate transaction, and both have specific merits and challenges.

If you live in downtown Columbia, SC, you're sure to know the top picture as it sits handsomely atop the crossroads of Adger and Berkeley, looking down a Heathwood hill. Pretty cool spot, to be sure. When the flags are blowing, it looks not too unlike my visual of Appomattox Courthouse. That may be a stretch, but you get the idea. Given the location and topography of the lot, it stands tall from the street and is recognizeable by most everyone. All this considered, it's sort of a statement/landmark house.

The second pic above is the cool house in Shandon with the slammin' kitchen. Sloan St. is a very short street off of Burney, which not many folks know about. The buyers of this home endured the everlasting conundrum of; "Do we buy a little more house in Rosewood, or pay a little more to live in Shandon." The couple chose the latter. For Sloan's sake, I'm glad they did!!!

Once again, I hope I'm not jinxing these sales by typing about them. That said, I think it's nice to share some of what's going on in the market, that most of the public doesn't know about.

As a bonus to everyone involved, both properties enjoy "clean" (non-contingent) contracts.

Next up? Inspections!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Productive Day w/ Adolescent Kindness

Today was a crazy busy day, and may actually go down as the largest volume day of 2011. I'm not sure of this, but assume it has to be close. This morning, we closed 27 Davant Place in King's Grant, where we represented the buyer and seller (I'll post about this in a few days). At 4:30 this afternoon, we closed a house on Rockwood, which is behind "VA" in 29209.

Nice production numbers and hard work aside, the most memorable part of the day was when about eight of us discussed the note above. The note was written by one of the children of the sellers of "Rockwood,"and found by the child's mom on a shelf in a bathroom medicine cabinet. I cool (a little bittersweet) is that?

In the hectic hustle of moving one's life (stuff) on a truck, and perform the necessary business side of a real estate transaction, we sometimes forget about what's going on in the heads of the little ones. Should we care? It's a case by case thing, but obviously matters on some level. After all, life happens and moving is part of it. This said, before Jennifer and I had our little girl, Finley, I wouldn't have thought toooOOOoo much about it. Well, for me, it's a clearer picture now.

In all it was a good day. A few "sides" closed, lots of happy people, and a little note to make us all think a little bit.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Southern Charmer Hits Market - 29209

Last week I posted about a house coming to the market in the 29209 area of Columbia. As planned, it hit the market Monday afternoon, and is now ready to go. I showed it Friday to a buyer client of mine, and we were there over an hour. Who knows what will happen with that particular family, but any visit over an hour is always a good sign. Oddly, we presented an offer on behalf of another couple on the house across the street this afternooon.

Since it's a little late, I'm going to cut/paste the description about the house from the websites. I think you'll get the idea...

"With its 'Southern Living' curb appeal, this home is replete with top-shelf design and materials.Shining hardwoods, recessed and designer lighting, smooth ceilings, and loads of living spaces. Eat-in kitchen is complete with granite slab, Sub-Zero/Wolf appliances, stacked-drawer dishwasher, sitting area, & breakfast bar island. Tremendous owner's suite includes private bath w/double vanity, jetted tub, and a vast walk-in closet. Bedroom 2 provides dual master possibilities. Vast closet space upstairs. Home is ideal for entertaining on all levels, as the kitchen opens to a vaulted den and expansive deck system. Spring time foliage looks like The Masters & the front porch of this Southern belle is ready to grace your next Holiday card."

Please call or email or if you have any questions about 18 Dandridge. As you can tell from the link and "remarks," this is a sharp home.

Thank you! FJ

Monday, December 12, 2011

Ready To Get Back At It. #CabinFever!!

Since I've pretty much been asleep since December 2, I decided to grow my first beard, and have the pic above to show for it. Well...that was fun.

Tomorrow, Jennifer will drive my immobile self to Dr. Willcox's office, where, we hope he'll grant driving privileges. Over the past week, I've been taken aback about how helpless I've been without the ability to drive. As great, cool, and helpful as technology is one still has to eat, do baby chores, and overall get stuff done. In short, my car hasn't been 'crunk up' in over a week, and I'm ready to get back in the saddle at Coldwell Banker-Midtown.

Last night I took a shot and went to a "Toy's For Tots" event, and an awesome 40th birthday party at The Inn at USC. While I can stand, but not sit, I pretty much stood with my back to the wall all night. We had a big time at both parties, and glad we went.

Now that I think about it, I'm more than ready to bust outta here as I think we have a few closings this week, and two listings waiting to be set up. With that, I'm going to pop a few vitamins and a fish oil pill in about 30 seconds. Gotta mend!!


Friday, December 9, 2011

Cool House To Hit Market On Monday!

Next week we'll be putting this super handsome, updated home on the market in 29209. In the meantime, here are a few tidbits: Corner lot, large formal dining w/ fireplace, granite slab filled kitchen w/ first class appliances (Sub-Zero, for instance) & keeping/sitting area, large new den with vaulted ceilings, a new owners suite complete with a crazy large master bath, and a deck system ready for all the BBQ's and oyster roasts you can have.

Stay tuned for a link!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

No Driving/Doc's Orders, & This Stuff

In case you've noticed a stall in my online action, it's because I've been down and out via a little surgery last Friday. Again, it's really no big whoop, but it does have me immobile for about a week.

Being home bound is not an easy thing. Most of me very much wants to suck it up and 'get on with the world,' but my brain (and wife) would rather 'get this right,' and not have to do it again.

When the docs and nurses informed me I wouldn't be able to drive for a while, I thought to myself, "This is gonna honk, but OK..." After all, anyone that has a new cavern in their backside is sure to be sore. Yes, I'm hurting and moving makes it worse, but it's just not that. The bigger picture, and what I didn't realize, is that the meds I'm taking work. I mean...THEY WORK, and can understand why patients shouldn't drive or make big decisions while consuming them.

I don't know squat about drugs or medication, but I can type with all authority that these pain meds are effective. Further, I was reminded early in this venture to "Stay ahead of the pain." That's certainly a big deal, to be sure.

I'm on the uptick now, and hope to be in the office within a day or two. In the meantime, thank you for contacting and for anything at all.

Thank you!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Downtown Columbia's MLS Hotsheet

Columbia's Newest Real Estate Listings: November 2011.
Given Jennifer has been such an awesome nurse this weekend, she might be a tinch offended that I'm up right now. She may be even more mifffed that I'm in any sort of typing position... and I understand. That said, I didn't want a boring post about a surgery (the last one) being "out there" too long. Further, I didn't want a lot of time to pass before our fun "HotSheet" got too stale.

I didn't take much time to skim the listings, but seem to remember a nice variety of homes that hit the market.

Night, night! #gottahealquickly

Friday, December 2, 2011

#Occupy Palmetto Baptist. Here I Come!

No Drama Intended...Just A Scheduling Heads Up
Friday at noon, I have the distinct displeasure of arriving at Palmetto Baptist Hospital. It's no HUUUGE whoop, but tomorrow I'm finally (hopefully) getting rid of a pesky cyst. If you know me well, you're aware that I've been messing with this thing for almost 20 years. Awful!

Tomorrow, Dr. Hugh Wilcox and his team will knock me out and Doc will put the scalpel to me. In short, I'm about to go through a pretty uncomfy experience. I'm typing about this simply to inform folks that I'm going to be on major pain meds for a couple of days, and immobile (can't drive at all) for almost a week. Grody visual: For a month or so, I'm gonna have a hole in my back an iPhone could fit in. :(

I strategically nestled the surgery between Thanksgiving and Christmas, thinking most folks would be focused on things other than real estate. Conversely, my seemingly clever thoughts backfired, as we are super hot pouring listings in and working about a dozen Pending Contracts. #BUSY!

Enter... "Teamwork." and have everything covered, all the way around. As we all sit less than four feet from each other, they both know everything...about everything. What I'm getting at is.....for the next couple of days, you'll get a much quicker response by contacting Amy or Amanda directly with any thoughts, requests, or inquires.

Thank you for understanding, and for reading about a less than pleasurable subject. I'll be back next week a new person!

PS: I'm due to post a HotSheet, and will get it out in a day or two. Thank you!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Time To #OccupyJuniorLeague. C'mon!

Midland's Christmas Season Begins @Holiday Market
No matter how early big box retailers put out their blinking green and red displays, many Midlands residents consider the Junior League of Columbia's Holiday Market as the unofficial start to the Christmas season. This year is no different, and tomorrow night is the annual kick-off party.

Wednesday night, over 1,000+ friends will participate in the Junior League's incredibly popular Holiday Market Preview Party. The Preview Party is a big deal for the Holiday Market, and the League itself, as a great deal of money is raised for the League's charitable activities.

As you can tell, I'm a big fan of the Preview Party and the League. I know first hand how many hours are logged, and how hard the women work for the League's various causes. In short, they're a well-run machine that would be the envy of any organization I can think of.

The second pic above is the stack of frosted cups that arrived at Coldwell Banker-Midtown a few days ago. For a few years now, I've had the pleasure of supplying the vessels of drink to all in attendance. I'm happy to do it, and it always seems to be one of my favorite advertising efforts.

Year after year, the Preview Party provides a grand time for all in attendance. That said, I hope to see you all at The Cantey Building at The S.C. Fairgrounds tomorrow night!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Smiling Faces Saturday @Columbia, SC

Before the weekend actually begins, I feel like South Carolinians wonder, "Why did they schedule the USC/Clemson game on Thanksgiving weekend??" Admittedly, I wonder the same thing. On the front end, it feels like a scheduling nightmare, and a huge chore to do the 'family thing,' only to rush towards a stadium on Saturday. Then the weekend begins, and it all works out in big fashion.

As we never really "shut down" our real estate world (we received an offer @ 8:30 tonight. WooHoo!), things were relaxed enough to have a great time this weekend. We did just that.

Columbia, SC was 'packed and jacked' last night, as the Gamecocks welcomed, and soundly defeated, our orange-clad Clemson friends. Before the "Wins" and "Losses" were played out, everyone had a great time in the shadows of Williams-Brice Stadium.

Given the 7:45pm kickoff, it was fun to hear and watch everyone adjust their tailgating habits accordingly. I'm pretty sure I saw no less than seven people look at their watch face, only to be stunned at what time it was. Comments like, "Holy crap, it's only 5:30!???," were being belched all over the place. We sounded old, but battled through it just fine!

What a great day for GamecockNation. Who woulda' ever thought USC would be 10-2, playing in the SEC, without their Heisman candidate for 1/2 the season, and losing their starting 5th year senior QB.

A special shout-out to @MarkHarmonSC for an awesome seat Saturday night. Thank you!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Corner @ Davant Place/King's Grant Dr.

451 N. King's Grant Dr. 29209 Is Officially On Market
In case you haven't noticed, we're really hot in King's Grant right now. So hot, in fact, that I feel compelled to write a Post entitled, "Occupy King's Grant." I'll save that for another day.

I hope no one minds, but since my clock is showing 4:04 AM, I'm going to do a quick cut/paste job from MLS to describe this listing. Thanks for understanding!

Premium location @ the top corner of Davant Place and King's Grant Dr. This all-brick stunner is complete with HW floors, high ceilings, heavy molding, and 'magazine cover'level light fixtures throughout. Eat-in kitchen features first class brands & materials including Sub-Zero fridge, Viking range, granite slab, new hardware, & designer lighting. Super-sized master replete with sitting area, his & hers closets, and brand-new top-shelf bathroom with double vanity. Semi-open floor plan flows into a large, elevated screened porch AND deck ideal for entertaining and fun. This is a sharp house that feeds into award-winning schools and is close to anything downtown. Come see!

This is a beautiful home, with loads of custom features, in a primo location of the neighborhood. Call/email or for more info, or if you'd like to take a peek.

Thank you! FJ.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Friendly Competitor Shares A Birthday

For obvious reasons, it's not often I type about my friendly competitors...especially if they work with a competitor's brand. Tonight, however, I was so humbled to be a part of a fellow Realtor's birthday party, I just can't help myself.

This week fellow Realtor, Stephen McCardle, turned 50 years young. To be clear, I had no idea Stephen was even close to 50, as he looks younger than my 38! :

Since I don't have any Realtor friends on the 'birthday blitz' we know as Facebook, I need to start off by saying, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!" Second, but more importantly, I need to report how flattered I was to be invited to Stephen's affair. The gorgeous house on Portobello was packed, and the party food was serious. In short, I was ecstatic to be in attendance.

Stephen is a staple of the downtown real estate industry. Although we've never done a deal together, we run into each other quite often. We seem to attend the same Agent Open Houses, which gives us a chance to visit and kick thoughts off of one another. I value his positive attitude and in some facets of the industry, hope to emulate his work ethic. Apparently, Stephen is a beast when it comes to calling/working "Expired" and "Withdrawn" listings.

As most of you know, I usually use my Monday posts to throw out a new HotSheet, a good political/Gamecock diddy, or to feature a good new listing. After all, for whatever reason, Mondays fetch my biggest click count. That said, I was so humbled to be invited to Stephen's birthday party, I simply felt compelled to type a few paragraphs.

Congrats and great job, Stephen McCardle. Now....let's do a deal, friend. We're overdue!!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

BOOM! Contracts X's 3 In King's Grant.

As of tonight, with a deep breath but a big smile, we simultaneously have 3 homes Under Contract in King's Grant. Hoping I'm not typing at the risk of jinxing the transactions, I can't hold back this "first" in my career.

While we seem to have created quite the niche in King's Grant, I can't remember a time when we've had this much going on in this neighborhood. 27 Davant, 24 W. Tombee, and 19 Oakman Ct. are for sale at very different price levels, respectively. That said, they're all great properties with their own special features.

Since we represent one seller and three buyers of this particular list, there will be at least two properties coming to market in the next few days. As a heads up, one will be in Hampton's Ridge, and one is located on King's Grant Drive. Stay tuned for details!

At present, King's Grant has less than 10 active listings for sale. While many buyers think the neighborhood is for buyers in the $600,000+ range, this is not the case. There's actually a pretty wide spectrum to choose from. In short, there's a wide range of product, and we're proud to find the right fit for all who's ready.

>If you're interested in King's Grant, please call or email or . We'd love to try and find the right fit for you or your referrals. As you can summize, we have the jump on what's happening in this primo popular neighborhood.

Thank you! FJ

Sunday, November 13, 2011

This Week Starts A Little Off Routine

As many of you know, it's not often I get thrown off my routine. For instance, it's Sunday night, and I'm typing from a hotel in Tampa, Florida, 500'ish miles from my routine. Yeeesh!!

Last Friday, my brother and I packed up the car and made our way South to a cousin's wedding. As the wedding wasn't until Sunday night, we had plenty of time to make our way to Florida. Given the extra time, we spent the first night in Jacksonville, Fla and enjoyed a stellar view of the river and skyline.

Once we arrived in Tampa, we quickly learned it's a pretty cool city. Since it's our first visit here, however, we're just getting our bearings and not able to take advantage of all Tampa has to offer. Next time we'll know, "what's what." Rest assured, there are plenty of Starbucks stores here!!!

Tomorrow morning, Michael and I will load up and cruise the purple line in the pic above. We'll be back @FamouslyHot, ASAP!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Surreal To Think... Been 10 Years Now

Remember 10 years ago? Perhaps you do, maybe you don't. Ten years ago, all the TV stations were covering the awfulness and effects of 9/11. It was also 10 years ago, when Lou Holtz was leading the Gamecocks to a pretty good season, beating the likes of Alabama in a high scoring shootout. I remember details, because it was ten years ago, too, that Kinsey Black Jones was taken.

If you're unfamiliar with her story, Kinsey was struck with breast cancer in her 20's, which later metastasized to her liver during pregancy. We were married 11 months.

Last Sunday, as I usually do this time of year, I cruised to Manning United Methodist to attend service where I've shared a pew with the Blacks since I've known them. As always, I'm glad I made the trip.

After a spell at the Blacks home, Mr. Black and I rode together to the cemetery. As I've posted before, Jennifer and I visit Kinsey's marker at various times during the year. Driving there with a loving father, however, brings about a whole 'nother perspective (especially since I'm now a dad).

As this may be the first time Kinsey's marker has been projected online, please notice the sleek mirror shine, and lack of leaves, debris, or dust. If you've never had your name etched in a cemetery stone, I can report with authority the feeling changes only slightly at 38 years old, as it did at 28. That said, what you see in the pic above, is the devotion of a loving father, as Mr. Black visits and "swiffs" the marker every day he's in the county. Let me let that sink in for a few seconds. To my knowledge, Mr. Black has visited the cemetery every single day... for 10 years.

As another year rolls by, I need to type how fine and strong of a woman & wife Jennifer S. Jones has been. She became part of an extended familial situation, that many folks may not have had any interest in. That said, Jennifer loves the Black family and the feeling is reciprocated exponentially. In short, we've been one big happy family for a few years now. Enter our daughter, Finley S. Jones! :)

As Finley grows older, she's going to know three sets of loving grandparents, in-laws, uncles, aunts, and cousins. She loves all of her Nana's and Papa's, and they flippin' adore her (of course!). Next year, I'm hoping her niece, Elizabeth Black, will attend USC so they can form a fun bond.

Of course, I don't type this post to tug at any one's hearts, or to make anyone sad. I am compelled, however, and feel a sense of responsibility to mention Kinsey's memory. Overly simplified, I just want to remind our friends that... "It's that time of year."

Kinsey would have been 40 yesterday.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Polished Home @29205 To Hit Market

It's been a few weeks since a "sexy" house has hit the market in 29205, in the "$300's." On Monday, however, a sharp house on S. Saluda Avenue is poised to fill the void.

Tomorrow, 210 S. Saluda Avenue will enter Columbia's real estate market with a bang. Of course, I'll post again when the listing goes live. In the meantime, readers of this blog will have a 'heads up' on this Wales Garden/Hollywood/Rose Hill area property.

210 S. Saluda is 'finished' in such a fashion, that it deserves the high level 'polished' description. In short, this house is nice.

The home is roughly 2,000 sq. ft, and three stories. The moldings at 210 S. Saluda are impeccable, and the backyard is Charleston'esque. Further still, it's only steps away from the incredibly popular Hollywood/Rose Hill park

Stay tuned for the link to this very nice listing. Call or email or if you're interested in this move in ready, downtown Columbia home.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Downtown Columbia's MLS Hotsheet

Columbia's Newest Real Estate Listings: October, 2011
Like most months, the October edition of The Hotsheet has a good variety of listings. As usual, Coldwell Banker United - Midtown, enjoys the dominant presence on the list, including the top two price points, (Glenwood Place @ $700K+, and King's Grant @ $646,000).

It should be noted a home on Kennilworth in Heathwood was also new to Columbia's market, but won't be on the link. The house was Under Contract before it hit the MLS, which closed @ $900,000 just a few days ago.

Have fun clicking and scrolling, and don't hesitate to call or email or if you'd like more information, or would like to take a peek at any home on the list.

Thank you! FJ

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween @King's Grant: Best In Show

No Neighborhood Does Halloween Better Than KG
For the 5th year in a row, Jennifer and I (and now Finley, of course) headed to King's Grant to spend Halloween night with some of our best buds. I mean... why not!? IMO, the King's Grant neighborhood provides the biggest and best Halloween experience in Columbia, and perhaps all of South Carolina.

I can never seem to snap a picture that does the excitement justice. All I can tell you is that it all starts off with a mob-style pizza party followed by several hay rides, smoke-filled doorways, dozens of golf carts clogging up cul-de-sacs, adult treats served in cups, hundreds of costumed little ones of all ages, and hundreds of adults having almost as much fun.

As I report about KG's Halloween being an all-out blast, this year I get to bring into it my own personal daddy fun. At two'ish years old, this was the first time Finley was able to get into the action. I gotta say, our little ladybug hung right in there with the big kids and didn't miss a trick, or a treat. I had so much fun walking with her from door to door and watching her say "Shann'ku!" (thank you) dozens of times. Moreover, I learned tonight that riding through the woods on a cold, dark night with your two-year-old girl is absolutely over-the-top fun. Like many of you have told me before, "It's the little things, Franklin." I'm getting it now...

All sugary-syrup daddy-ness aside, tonight was one of the best few hours I've had with our little girl. It was an all-out, top-shelf adventure. The hugs, expressions, and comments were the stuff that make dads melt. Thanks to all the folks in this great neighborhood who put on such a show.

See you next year! Well done, King's Grant...

Monday, October 31, 2011

New Listing Hits Market @ King's Grant

A few days ago, we had the pleasure of putting King's Grant's newest listing on Columbia's latest MLS Hotsheet. I'm sure glad about it, too, as all our other inventory in the neighborhood has sold.

As we've represented some great product in King's Grant this year, I'm not sure they've been on as popular of a street as Foot Point Rd. Further, 18 Foot Point is part of the stretch of lots that back up to the thick, wooded area of Fort Jackson.

"Foot Point" has many things to offer, including 5 or 6 big bedrooms, an open floor plan, and soaring ceilings. "Foot Point's" kitchen opens nicely into the great room, which flows into a large screened porch, which is perfect for entertaining.

As nice as many of the homes in King's Grant are, the two things that set this one apart are lot location and the oasis backyard... complete with a pool! I'm not sure of the percentage of homeowners that have a pool, but from experience I feel like the number is pretty low. In short, this is a pretty primo feature that's compounded exponentially given the privacy of the lot.

If you or anyone you know would like to know more about this stately King's Grant home, please call or email or .

Come see!

Thank you!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Knowledge/Teamwork = Happy Friends

In the world of residential real estate sales, days like today are pretty tough to beat. It's not often when we get to watch a transaction come full circle, then, via networking, teamwork, and loyalty, loop around again.

Consider this. Our awesome friends and clients, pictured above (obviously), purchased a home from my team manager, Amy, and I a few years ago. Fast forwarding to 2011, a few weeks ago, we facilitated the listing and sale of the same Cannon St. (Shandon) home. Fast forward to today... Seth and Anna purchased a house Amanda and I listed, not too many blocks away.

Wait, there's more. Amanda and I listed and sold the same house a few months ago to a contractor/builder client, who with the help & vision from Anna, produced the polished home we closed on today. In Realtor speak, that's seven real estate "sides."

To be clear, I'm not typing to boast about the real estate transaction sides or the volume. The reason for this post is to illustrate how unreal the power that client loyalty, market knowledge/info, and teamwork can produce. If any of these three facets weren't present, Seth and Anna would still be looking for a house, and would therefore have missed the opportunity to sell theirs.

Congratulations to Seth and Anna Rose, Evan Wilson, Amanda, and Amy, all the way around. Today was a perfect microcosm of how buying and selling can work in today's real estate world.

P.S. Seth is the County Councilman for much of 29205. If you don't know him, or have his email or # on hand, give us a call and we'll get it to you. He wouldn't have it any other way!

P.S.S. In her time away from the pharmacy, Anna's taste and touch has transformed an otherwise great house, to magazine level. #Impressed

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

We're A Complete Starbucks Family :)

Starbucks is the best at a lot of things, including packaging nourishment to a milk-less home on the way to a little girl's school house.

Finley and I would like to thank the incredibly-skilled Garner's Ferry Rd. Starbucks Barrista for serving up this perfectly-chilled, tall, no shot, no room, no squirt, no sprinkle, double spun, classic, quin-double shot cup of milk.

While in the parking lot, Finley helped pour the contents in the pic above into an opaque pink & blue sippy-cup. The little things are the best things.

Thank you, Starbucks! :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Foot Point @ King's Grant, Hits Market

Monday morning, we'll place another beautiful home on Columbia's MLS Hotsheet. The address is 18 Foot Point, and is sure to hit the market with fun anticipation.

If you haven't noticed, there haven't been a lot of $500,000+ product to hit Columbia's real estate market in the last few weeks. To be quite frank about it, I'm not sure why....but that's ok. That said, I'm proud to introduce another King's Grant home to Columbia's marketplace.

Oddly, for the first time in 4ish years, I'm out of King's Grant inventory. Your first reaction may be, "... Must be the ecomomy." I can understand this initial reaction. However, it's quite the contrary. Instead of typing the pharse, "Out of inventory," perhaps I should have typed "Sold Out!" :-)

I'm not sure about this, but 2011 may be my best year in the popular neighborhood. So far, we've recorded five "sides" in King's Grant. Not too shabby! Hopefully 18 Foot Point will be #6 and/or #7.

18 Foot Point is a well appointed, all brick home in "the back" of the neighborhood. I'll post more info (and pics) after it's listed, but some highlights of the property are: 1) Master down. 2) It backs up to Fort Jackson (major privacy). 3) Private pool. In short.... Yummy.

If you or anyone you know would like to take a peek @ the newest home for sale in King's Grant, please call or email or .

Thank you!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Shandon Sales Have Really Cranked Up

All Three Sales/Pics Above Are Of Wilmot Ave., 29205
I'm not sure what's going on with this, but Amanda and I are going gang busters in Shandon right now. For instance, we were only a few hours away from having three homes on Wilmot Avenue Under Contract, simultaneously.

Fast forward one week, two of the three homes pictured above have Closed, with the top pic (the cedar-shake house) ready for inspections Friday afternoon.

Today we had the pleasure of closing 4243 Wilmot Ave. (the one with the red door). After battling through some issues with the closing/occupation date, our Seller worked hard to 'make it happen.' After all was said and done, the property is in pristine condition, and ready for the new happy owner.

Since the beginning of 2011, Amanda and I have really racked it up in Shandon, almost oddly so. Our action on Wilmot Ave. has become a fun micro illustration of our 'Shandon run.'

As many of you know, in real estate, "You're only as good as your last sale." This said, it's up to us to keep this roll going in the popular 29205 neighborhood.

Sales numbers notwithstanding, we love Shandon, and all it has to offer. Looking forward, we're determined to keep the pressure up, and keep our buyers and sellers churning the best we know how.

Thank you to all Shandon'istas, and a special 'Shout Out' to WILMOT AVENUE!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

O-Fensive E-Fence...Now On D-Fence.

While I haven't had too much time for the news this week, I feel compelled to type on something that caught my ear this morning on "Morning Joe, and kept popping up throughout the day.

What's the big whoop, you ask? Herman Cain's idea/joke to put a fence between the Texas - Mexican border.

Let me be clear. I don't pretend to be any expert regarding immigration, or border control. Further, I don't pretend to be a fence expert, either.

Disclaimers disclosed,... I'm not sure what the big deal is.

The other day, at a campaign stop in Tennessee, Cain said, “We’re going to have a real fence. 20 feet high with barbed wire. Electrified. With a sign on the other side that says, ‘It can kill you!’ ”

If it's the "...kill you," part, I can understand how that may be pretty rough talk. But let's think about this. If the sign says it, in English and Spanish, whether true or not, shouldn't it be taken seriously, and therefore the point? I mean, is the stupid fence supposed to keep folks out or not? If no, should we just erect a picket fence? If this is the case, will an illegal alien build the fence, and whitewash it, too? I mean, really....

Since all the hubub of an apparently slow news week, Mr. Cain has attempted to spin his fence thoughts as, "a joke."

Bu-dump, bump, for Mr. Cain...on both ends. Instead of saying, "It was a joke," Mr. Cain probably should have said something more on the lines of, "I'm sorry for the way that came out. I just want to build a strong and effective fence."

I mean really, is a fence supposed to properly work, or not? I can see where the sign should read, "DANGER" or, "KEEP OUT," or, "COULD CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY." Further thinking on the subject, but given our litigious society an, "It Can Kill You" sign, protects the U.S. on the front end from someone, or another government from filing suit against the United States. Kidding here, but wouldn't that be the ultimate disclaimer...??

Again, I'm certainly not weighing in on any immigration issue. I'm simply putting a thought out there whereby if someone builds a fence, should it work as intended, or should it just be a symbolic diplomatic gesture?

Really and trully, how effective is this plan, anyway? All folks have to do is put a heavy rock on the gas pedal of a massive bulldozer to wreak havoc on any fence. Or, further, just set up a 20' "A" ladder, and take a nice hop to 'freedom.' Further still, for convenience sake, why not just roll up a nice shiny 22' escalator...?

In short, C'mon Man...

Monday, October 17, 2011

USC Can Still Do It. Lattimore Would...

Gamecocks Can Rally Around Loss of Superstar
Around 2:30ish, while I was holding an Open House @ my listing on Kilbourne Rd., a visitor shared the news about Marcus Lattimore being lost for the remainder of USC's football season. My first reaction was, "Holy crap. Wow, the air just let out of this city." Second reaction: "I wonder how he's taking it." While I didn't mean anything terrible by the order of my thoughts, I felt a little guilty about it.

That said, given the statement from Lattimore's family, I think the young man's going to be OK. I also think the Gamecocks still have a chance to grab the precious SEC East title. Now that the Gamecocks have gotten this far, and lost to Auburn anyway, USC still continues to hold its own future, with only UGA nipping at our heels. Given that UT and UF are having down years, and the Gators forced to play under the Sandstorm @ Williams-Brice, USC can pick up the needed "W's." We'll see.

I have no idea where the pic above derived. My best guess is it's from the running back's days in high school. I chose it because it's a good illustration of what's to come for USC's young hero. Further, it's a pretty good illustration that major college sports isn't just showing up, putting on a slick Under Armour uniform, and running really fast while 84,000 fans chant your name. It's hard work, and crazy preparation. Marcus Lattimore is about to go through major preparation, and I just felt like the pic shows he's up for it.

I don't mean to post this for negative purposes. Quite the contrary, in fact. Carolina football has major athletic talent, and can slick & power through this setback, if they decide to.

Either way, we'll be @ Williams-Brice...or a parking lot near by.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Downtown Columbia's MLS Closings

Cola's Downtown Transactions: Sept. 1 - Oct. 10, 2011
This report of the closed transactions has a little bit of everything. A few Shandon properties, a few in Forest Acres, two in King's Grant, and even a few condos at Williams-Brice popped in the last month or so. There are about 75 houses on the list.

Interestingly, a home behind the VA Hospital closed for a head turning $830,000 (Chimney Hill - Hampton Crest Estates).

Have fun browsing!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Stephen Garcia's Carnival Is Over @ USC

If you live in Columbia, SC, you're well aware that the South Carolina State Fair is rolling into town. What you didn't know was coming, however, was a more bizarre and wacky sideshow from the guys that perform across the street @ Williams-Brice.

Today, GamecockNation was all abuzz about the video of Coach Spurrier calling out (w/o actually calling out) Ron Morris of The State Newspaper for fabricating the news and being an overall poop on Spurrier's program. In all of this, Spurrier walked out on his own presser... twice.

Eclipsing the Spurrier vs. Morris affair, however, was the dismissal of 5th year senior Gamecock quarterback, Stephen Garcia. The quarterback was stripped of his duties as a football player for failing an alcohol and/or drug test. Unfortunately for Garcia, the alcohol/drug test came not long after the fella lost his grandfather, threw a crazy number of interceptions on national TV, was blamed for the loss to Auburn (1st loss of this season), and lost the starting job he won (back) in USC's first game.

The moment the news regarding Garcia was announced, the Twittersphere and Facebook went nut balls. In the name of space and time, I cherry picked a couple of Tweets. While I don't think either of them are perfect statements, I have to admit to having shared these fleeting thoughts:

@5daybender @USCMark2001 bottom line is big time programs don't have these shenanigans in the middle of the season #embarrassed
@ToddKincannon @fitsnews And you know, some guys need liquor and whores to succeed. Tiger. Joe Namath. Maybe Garcia's in that category.

When it comes to flat out quarterbacking, Garcia leaves USC as #3 all time for yards and completions. He'll leave #2 in the "WIN" category, with 20 (I think these stats are correct).

Years ago, I blogged that Garcia was the man for the job. At the time, Beecher and Smelley just didn't have the spark or spunk that Garcia seemed to have. Turns out, that was right. Also turns out that there's just a little too much off-field spunk to mess with.

Godspeed, Stephen Garcia. Nice wins, 5+ suspensions, terrible bowl performances, and an unreal 2010 season dot your legacy at Carolina. As you connect the dots moving forward, we all hope you'll represent your Alma mater well in future endeavors.

Now that USC's #1 sideshow has exited the tent, the State Fair can get back to providing Columbia with the bizarre and weird stuff. The Gamecocks in the meantime, hopefully, can get back to X's, O's, and W's.

Monday, October 10, 2011

All This in Shandon Proper @ $199,900

215 Sloan St, 29205, is a Shandon Opportunity
Monday morning, this classic Shandon home will hit the MLS Hotsheet with a new "move it" asking price. At $199,900, this updated, three bedroom house is certain to fetch some serious online eyeballs.

With a peek at the pics above, and attached, I'd challenge anyone to find a more slammin' kitchen and living area at this price level, or even the next, in Shandon, SC.

In the last few months, Amanda and I have experienced nice success in Shandon. I'll save the examples for another blog post, but I have to admit, our Shandon action is turning some heads. For instance, as of tomorrow we may have three homes Under Contract on Wilmot Ave. alone. I'm typing this to report that Shandon inventory is moving, and at this price level, Sloan St. should be considered by anyone looking downtown in the $200K range.

If you, or anyone you know, wants to be in this popular downtown Columbia neighborhood, please call or email or

I'm not sellin', I'm simply tellin'... this is a an opportunity to live in one of Columbia's most popular neighborhoods at an affordable price level. Be sure to check out all the features that 215 Sloan offers. Thank you!

This home is move-in ready and waiting for its new owner. I'm looking forward to a great new neighbor!

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Fella Named Steve Changed Our Times

As much of the world publicly acknowledges the life/death of Steve Jobs, most of them immediately associate him with the impressive and superior products of iPad and iPhone. Don't get me wrong, I don't think it's incorrect to think this. iPads and iPhones are the devices in millions of hands right now. If you take a few steps back, however, it is even more impressive to think of all this man did and how he changed the world.

For instance, take a good look at the picture above. Think back to the first time you held a floppy disk in your hand. Remember DOS? Remember when we had to punch the arrow buttons on the keyboard to get anywhere on the computer screen? Now, take a look at pic again and notice the "mice," and reflect on how much we are on the computer each day.

Jobs didn't just change the computer industry. His iTunes/iPod blew up the music industry and and all the components that go with it, like Henry Ford vaporized the stagecoach of the transportation industry.

Fast forward to the iPhone and iPad. Really and truly, I challenge anyone to find a more superior product in any product category. Cars, shoes, watches, finger nail clippers, sandwich meat, or whatever you can think of, there are few products/brands that are so far ahead of others (in their prime) in their respective categories. Jordan, Tiger, Federer, and Starbucks come to mind. Premium & superlative; Apple.

As I posted before, I fought and fought the idea of joining the iWorld, when in the end, I purchased an iPhone. For some reason, I acted as though Apple was equal to Darth Vader. Stupe on my part.

I like to describe the iPhone as a tight, smooth, brilliant machine with a screen that looks like a rainbow of chrome, with a little melted butter on top to fluidly swipe and pinch. It's just that fine of a product.

To get back to the point, the man in the pic above changed the world more than once. I mean, how impressive is that? Who knows how the world would operate today without this man's vision and work.

We can't help but ask ourselves, "What could be next after things that are as cool as an iPad??" Who knows. Time travel? Traveling hologrammed clones? Maybe Finley and her friends will do a little morphing? We'll see!

In the meantime, however, we're able to perform and experience the coolest and most mind-blowing things because of a fella named Steve, and his Apple.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Downtown Columbia's MLS Hotsheet!

Columbia, SC's Newest Listings: September 2011
This edition of the downtown Columbia, SC HotSheet offers some good product. While not many homes in the top tier price level hit the market this month, there are a lot of solid properties that are new to the market in the more affordable level.

Of if you'd like to be on the HotSheet, or if you see something you may want to peek.

Thank you!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Florida GOP Is Diluting Itself.....IMO

In an effort to feel more important, Florida Republicans are desperately trying to move ahead of South Carolina, as the 'First in the South' primary date. If you're even a little "political," you know that the great state of Florida is attempting to 'move up' its Republican event to a January date.

On the surface, this seems like a perfect marketing/PR move. Breaking the thin layer of the shiny grapefruit, however, exposes the bitter taste of what's really there.

1) In politics, a week is a lifetime. Think of it. One segment on Meet The Press, Newt Gingrich is "done." Michelle Bachmann won the front-runner position after the Iowa Straw Poll, and presently doesn't matter (and neither does the Iowa Straw Poll). Today, front-runner Rick Perry has been exposed for having a hunt club/camp (or whatever it is) named something pretty terrible. To be sure, a shift is on the way.

The stock market, Congressional climate, entire American economy, oil/gold prices, and everything else in the world can change, change back, and change back again in a few months time. In short, the candidates and the world around them, and how they react to the world, are continually evolving. That said, while the world rotates, Florida's votes will have been cast, with old news being the factor.

2) Florida holds a beastly amount of votes. While Florida jostles to be first, it does so at the peril of half their power. The RNC has threatened to strip Florida of half their votes if they decide to go against Party rules. Apparently, Florida R's don't care.

3) This seems to be an example of, "It's more about us, not country." Am I too naive or sanctimonious to think everyone else doesn't do it? No. I'm simply saying this is another example of it. Doesn't feel very Tea Party'ish.

Sure, the candidates, their staff, and the press will flock to the Florida sunshine and spend money on hamburgers, vodka, and hotel rooms. That said, these folks will come and go in swift fashion and then forget about Boca, Orlando, and Tallahassee. Will it be worth it? For an economy as big as Florida's, I don't think so. In my bias, Florida would be better served swinging its elbows in the heat of the campaign, not on the front end only to be forgotten about.

Being a South Carolinian, I may be typing with a little bias. With this in mind, I have to remind folks that South Carolina is a better microcosm of the true South, with far less electoral power. The difference between Florida being first, and South Carolina being first, is an entirely different thing. Florida being first is a waste of Florida's population power, especially with the penalty coming from the RNC (50%). Conversely, it's a big deal for the Palmetto State.

So brothers and sisters of Florida, you want to break rank and be first? Go ahead. Have fun for a couple of weeks. Have fun, too, being irrelevant for the rest of the primary season.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Daddy/Daughter Night With My Girl

As Jennifer took a mini vacation to Greenville, SC, with her mom tonight, Finley and I found ourselves on a daddy/daughter night. While we miss Mommy terribly, Finley and I had fun breaking the regularly scheduled program.

After scooping Finley up from school, we went straight to preview the house on Woodland Drive that was reduced to $399,000 today. I needed to go in, and glad we did, because now Finley and I know this particular house isn't a good fit for our buyer clients.

After the house preview, we cruised around the corner to Heathwood Park. Living in Shandon, we usually rotate between the three parks that surround the house (Emily-Douglas, Sims, and Hollywood/Rose Hill). I thought she'd like a new scene, which we both enjoyed. We found ourselves among folks we've never met before, which was fun to watch.

After some swinging, and saying "Hold On Tight!" at the top of a sliding board, we went straight to Casa Linda for a little Mexican cuisine. Finley's favorite item by far is the salsa.

Realizing I was operating on borrowed time, we scampered home, only to find ourselves wading in a baby pool full of rain water.

After a little Barney... BOOM. Nite, nite time.

I had a fantastic daddy/daughter night with my girl, and I think she enjoyed it, too. I'm already anxious for what tomorrow morning brings. Her first word will prolly be, "Mommy?" :)