Thursday, March 31, 2011

Columbia Lost A Good Man Saturday

I'm A Better Person For Having Known Jimmy Evans
Wednesday, the downtown Columbia real estate world stopped for a moment to say goodbye to longtime Realtor, Jimmy Evans. It was a good, moving funeral which included his grandson playing Jesus Loves Me on his violin (This tugged everyone's hearts, big time).

It's clear how Jimmy was loved in the real estate community, by the number of attendees. Realtors/agents from all companies were present, while pretty much every Realtor from Coldwell Banker - Midtown was there.

Jimmy was certainly a character of the industry. He was fun to be around, and if a person would take the time to listen, they'd surely learn something from his experiences and very advanced thought process.

Jimmy knew me, before I knew him. When I first entered the doors as a newbie at CBUR, Jimmy approached me about how his wife knew who I was. Little did I know....his wife, Carolyn, took care of my late wife Kinsey (and the Blacks/me) when we were 'living' on the 8th floor of Baptist Hospital. As you can imagine, this was an attention getter. Enter, instant friendship. Over the years, Jimmy and I became pretty good buds, and worked well together on our various transactions.

He was well known for giving an educated, long answer to a simple "yes, or no" question. His mind was like an encyclopedia and sometimes we just had to wait for Jimmy's longer than necessary version of an answer. We're better for this.

Jimmy and I logged many hours talking state and national politics. He shared story after story, many of which involved Sen. Strom Thurmond, et all. Further, he had a particular fondness for Henry McMaster. I can't imagine the hours we conversed about state and national politics.

It gives all of us peace that Jimmy knew his place on earth. Anytime I'd ask him, "How you doin', Jimmy?" He'd answer, "Franklin, I'm above the soil." You get the idea. Further still, he knew his Maker very well.

We'll all miss Jimmy very much, as our office won't quite be the same without him. He was a good real estate man, and moreover... a good man.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Forest Acres/Satchel Ford @ $154,900

Take A Look At This Cute 'All Bricker' In Forest Acres!
If you're looking for an attractive house in the "$150's," that feeds into Satchel Ford Elementary School (VERY POPULAR!), this may be the one for you.

With 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths, this Forest Acres/Forest Trace home is complete with new comfy carpet and fresh interior paint. Being one of the cutest in the neighborhood, and one of the 'all brick' ones, 1528 Forest Trace Drive is ready to go.

The large elevated deck looks over the immense, fully fenced backyard. Translation: This house is ready for playsets, fetch, and a long grilling season.

1528 Forest Trace Dr. is minutes to Trenholm Plaza, and anything downtown Columbia. Again, if you're in the "$150's," this may be the goodie for you. It's sharp inside, move in ready, and zoned for popular Satchel Ford/Crayton/Flora.

Call or email or for any info, or to schedule a showing. It's very easy to show. Thank you!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Big 2010 Produces A Career Milestone

Big Day For Amanda, Amy & me.
Humbled... Beyond All Recognition. THANK YOU!
It took about six years, but this afternoon the sales stats in my professional world bounced to a new level. A few weeks ago, I was humbled to post our 2010 position regarding MLS rankings for the Midlands. At lunch today, the numbers were confirmed as we took home the big trophy for the company (actually it was a silver platter thingy).

A few years ago, I was driven to be in the "rear view mirrors" of the top producers in our office. This was sort of an internal personal mantra/goal. After all, any Columbia Realtor would be ecstatic to be mentioned in the same sentence with names like George Walker, Earl Pierce, Danny & Karen Hood, Michele Moore and Bill Graham. Further, legendary hard worker Susie Carlson, and the "Undisputed 'Michael Jordan' of Columbia real estate," Whit Moore, seemed out of reach. In short, I work with the best and flattered for these top producers to have me as part of their company.

Now, for a notion that a reader may actually care about. :) Today was awesome and all of that, but it's really just a fun symbol of how hard Amanda, Amy and I go at this. Thank you for being loyal, and giving us the opportunity to represent you and your friends. As in any sales careers, these two facets are a very big deal.

Dialing it down a notch, I wouldn't be honest if I didn't report that we have a lot of listings out there that haven't sold yet. For serious, I don't want to paint TOOOO rosy of a picture, given today's real estate world.

This all said, if you're looking for a Realtor in Columbia, SC, give us a call or reach out to us via email. We're in the top mix, at the #1 office (CBUR-Midtown), with the #1 brand (Coldwell Banker). Actually, per (an intra-office website) we claimed the top spot in two categories for the whole state of South Carolina. In other words, we very much would like to be your Realtor(s), and hope we present a track record to give you the confidence to hire us.

Thank you for your business and referrals!!! Keep them coming, and we will try our best to make you and your friends proud!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New Cola Home Hits Downtown Market

Modern Everything + Southern Charm In Elmwood 2300 Rembert St. is located in Columbia's historic Elmwood Park. This downtown neighborhood enjoys some of the oldest homes in the entire city. At about 5 years old, however, 2300 Rembert St. sports all of the modern amenities today's world has to offer.

This good looking, corner cul-de-sac home is loaded with hardwoods, granite, an semi-open floor plan, and on and on.

The owners suite is complete with walk in closet, which is obviously rare for the area. Further, the large master bath is exactly what most 2011 buyer's are searching for. As a cool extra, the owners suite spills onto the second level deck that overlooks the neighborhood.

Call or email or to check out this Elmwood Park beauty. 2300 Rembert is a move in ready, sharp home and only minutes to anything downtown Columbia.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Columbia, SC's Updated MLS Hotsheet

Columbia's Newest Listings: Feburary. 9 - March 17
Yikes! The last time I posted a Hotsheet was Feb. 8. WOOPS!

Given so many houses have hit the market lately, I almost began this edition with a March 1 start date. However, I thought better of it, and included everything back to Feb. 9, 2011.

There are about 225 houses in this edition. Happy clicking!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Gov.Gives Darla Moore The Pink Slip. WUUUUT??

Can't Help But Think There's Something Else To This Tonight, I was sitting around thumbing through my little iTouch, when an article passed by that got my attention. After a few 'touches,' I read that Gov. Haley decided to remove Darla Moore from the University of South Carolina's Board of Trustees. Borrowing from the entertaining but simple phrases of Jack McFarland, "Confuse Me!!??"

Could the article have been written by "The Onion," perhaps? Nope. April Fools, maybe? No such luck.

Turns out, Governor Haley has indeed removed the largest contributor in school history from its Board of Trustees. Moore's replacement is a resident of Lexington, SC. Because there are so many facets to this story, I'm gonna go the non-partisan route. That said, I haven't found anyone from either side of the aisle, that 'gets' what this is all about. Here's the first Tweet that came across my TweetDeck regarding the matter: "Dear Gov XXXXXXXx, YOU MUST BE KIDDING Darla Moore is the reason my degree matters to any1 outside of Richland Co."

While I don't quite endorse how the Tweet is phrased, I see what he's getting at. Since my days in college, USC has academically excelled in two particular areas; The Honor's College & The International School of Business. One ginormous reason our Business School is at the top of the class, is Darla Moore. Ms. Moore's generosity and leadership, is why USC's Business School has enjoyed such high rankings in national publications.

I've enjoyed politics for a while now, but can't think of a bigger blow out (that was intentionally directed) than this. I'm no expert, but on the surface this is a lose, lose, lose. I can't imagine Gov. Haley, USC and our state gaining anything from this decision. Giving the benefit of the doubt, however, perhaps the new board member has something special that Gov. Haley admires. We'll see, but at present this is an unnecessary P.R. boondoggle for our governor, which effects the Palmetto State and it's flagship university.

Putting this in perspective, it's like Oklahoma State University telling T. Boone Pickens or the University of Oregon telling Nike's Phil Knight, "Hey, thank's for the bazillion dollar cabbage truck, but we know this local guy that ReeeEALLY likes talking about football."

As mad or confused as folks may be, the most furious may be the RGA. If they're forced to dump loads of cash into South Carolina to beat back Darla Moore money, they'll be another loser of a dreadful decision.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

"Lined Up Like Airplanes On A Runway"

Some Realtors are competitive, while some simply like to keep up with who's doing what in the marketplace. One Realtor friend of mine, who I see on a regular basis, enjoys telling everyone in the room how many homes we've sold. He frequently uses an airport tarmac as an illustration saying, "Franklin & Co. have the closings lined up like jets on a runway. They're all on schedule and ready to take off." I think it's a pretty funny parallel.

I typed that short diddy because at the moment, he's right on target. Last Wednesday, for about five hours, Amanda and I had 17 'sides' Under Contract. Remember, in every real estate deal (in theory) there are two 'sides.' At present, we have an unusual number of 'both sides,' which is contributing to such a large number of Pending Contracts.

I'd love to attribute this big number to things like hustle, strategery, sphere of influence, and a great overall network. However, I'd be fibbing if I didn't attribute it to a simple but important facet of this business; timing. We've been collecting contracts since we opened the year with a big, seven side January. In short, we had a 'closing lull' in February, and it caught up to us.

A few folks in my office are aware of this monster number, and to be sure, they're scratching their heads. Now that I'm typing about it, perhaps some of my buds will understand why I've been off the grid for a little while, and why I'm so anxious about Amanda's return to the office.

Now that some of these contracts are hitting their closing dates (Somerton, lot in Wildewood, D. Avenue, Briarwood), the pressure is starting to release. SHEWWW!

Funny thing, as I type about our much needed closings tonight, one of my seller clients is going to wake up Monday morning with a shiny new offer in their inbox. I have no idea whether they read this blog or not, but I'm confident there will be a smile on someones face...and another 'Pending Contract' on our office white board. :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Charleston Style Stunner.... @Shandon

Fancy Baths, Big Closets & New Everything - Shandon At almost 2,500 sq.ft. and 4 bedrooms and 2.5 full baths, this good looking Charleston style home @ 319 Sims is full of goodies.

Being one of the newest homes in all of Shandon, 319 Sims has more to offer than most in one of Columbia's most popular neighborhoods. Features include shining hardwoods, smooth ceilings, receseed lighting, crown moldings, impressive spindles and built-in entertainment spaces for today's flat screen TV's. Even better, the bathrooms and closets are ginormous compared to most in this popular/established neighborhood.

The open plan of this Shandon beauty is perfect for entertaining. The kitchen, full of granite slab and stainless steel appliances, opens nicely into a large dining area and family room. Translation; Supper Club Ready.

The downstairs owners suite is complete with a walk-in closet, and fancy bathroom which features a granite slab double vanity, jacuzzi tub, and seperate stand-up shower.

Along with three nice bedrooms, upstairs is complete with another huge bonus room that's perfect for Wii's, Playstations or giant slumber parties. This room may just be too nice for today's popular, "Man Cave." :)

True to the 'Charleston style,' 319 Sims sports a double deck system that most Shandon homes are surely envious. As Shandon is famous for it's front porches, I can't think of any home better positioned to watch the walkers stroll by.

As a Realtor, this is one of those great listings that seems to 'have it all.' Somehow the designer/builder fit amazing ameneties in 2,500+/- sq.ft. These features, combined with the luxury of walking to Devine St... is a win, win for the next homeowners of 319 Sims Ave. In short, this is a good looking, sharp, move-in ready, Shandon creme puff.

If you would like more information about 319 Sims Ave., please call or email or 319 Sims Ave. is offered for $424,000.

Monday, March 7, 2011

King's Grant Beauty Has Hit Market!

At $549,900, this 3,300 sq.ft. all brick stately home is one of the best priced in the popular King's Grant neighborhood.

Some features include shining hardwoods, box & soaring cathedral ceilings, moldings and clever storage space throughout the dwelling. In short, this is a fresh feeling, open, move in ready King's Grant house.

The spacious 'eat in' kitchen is larger than most in King's Grant. It has loads of counter space, which includes a island w/ cooktop and bar/penninsula that's perfect for snacks or homework. The open plan, oversized hallways and walking space, and large great room provide a perfect 'flow' for entertaining.

The large owner's suite is complete with a view of the backyard and a fancy box ceiling, while the spacious bath features a double vanity, seperate stand-up shower and walk in closet.

The outdoor space is complete with a screened porch and open air patio, which overlooks a beautiful semi-wooded, level backyard that's waiting for fun BBQ's or Bunko.

Come enjoy one of the social cul-de-sacs of the neighborhood, and take advantage of the awesome pool, tennis and walking trails that are part of 'KG' living.

Call or email or, if you or someone you know would like more information about this gorgeous King's Grant home.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Columbia's Latest Closed Transactions

Columbia's Closed Listings: Jan. 21 - Feb. 28, 2011
As many of us know the difference between 'downtown' Columbia and the area labeled 'Northeast,' it should be noted that when I included the latter in this list, the number of closings more than trippled.

As previously reported, Amanda and I closed seven 'sides' in January. Obviously, we're proud of this number. That said, hopefully our February 'Pending Contracts' will help Columbia's in town stats creep up a little.