Thursday, July 28, 2011

Shandon Scalp & Home Values. Hmm...

Given all the "tree flap" going on in Shandon right now, there are dozens of questions popping up about a plethora of issues. "Can they bury the power lines?" "How can we stop them?" "Why does an out of state company have the contract to cut trees in Columbia, SC???"

One Facebook user (who happens to be a friend and client of mine) posed this question: "Does anyone know if there is a way to estimate any loss in property values - either for the neighborhood overall or for individual streets or properties? We're on Woodrow and I think anyone can agree that we got it worse than most streets. I feel sure any buyer would choose a comparable house located on another street in the neighborhood based on what happened yesterday." GREAT QUESTION!!

My late night quick answer to her post: "Neighbor!! I think it's great that you're so active on this page!! As far as property values go, you're good to go! I see what you're getting at, to be sure. That said, your property value shouldn't diminish (or rise) b/c of the pruning... an appraiser isn't going to give a credit or a debit to a tree trimming. As far as procuring a buyer is concerned, it will be an "eye of the beholder" thing (like any other property). Sure, someone may comment, "Well, snap... that house has a funny looking oak", but that won't come into play when "comps" are pulled. What I'm getting at is, some folks may care, and some won't... but it won't mess with the pure "value" of your house. Keep doing what we talked about, and you should be good. You have a great house, on a popular street, in a top shelf neighborhood! See you in 5 Points!"

Good for this Woodrow St. homeowner for being concerned about the value of her property, and the questionable direct hit an unsolicited, altered landscape may procure. I'll stick with my answer, but the short of it is... while the buyer pool may diminish ever so slightly (1 folk, maybe, in a world of averages), an appraiser is going to look at cold hard neighborhood comps (adjusted accordingly, if necessary) to get the value.

Just FYI for interested readers, the home she's typing about is a classic Shandon brick bungalow in the middle of Shandon, about two blocks from Hand Middle School. Primo!... complete with a pruned oak and power... via SCE&G.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Heathwood, SC Stunner Hits RE Market

"Magazine Cover" Worthy Heathwood Home For Sale

Sporting over 3,200 square feet, 1536 Tanglewood Rd. has 4 large bedrooms and 4 full baths.

Features of this gorgeous dwelling include "designer dark" hardwood floors, smooth ceilings, recessed lighting, and gorgeous moldings. The multi-level floor plan is ideal for the needs/wants of today's modern buyer.

The kitchen is complete with artful tilework, new appliances, and a commercial(esque) appliance package. As you can see from the first pic, this spacious area boasts a peninsula/bar and elevated hearth fireplace that flows into a "keeping room." Further, a cozy den is just off the keeping room. It's an awesome area, to be sure.

The formal living and dining rooms of "Tanglewood" are as gorgeous as any home in Columbia. These rooms, combined with the kitchen arrangement, make this home perfect for entertaining at any level.

"Tanglewood's" master suite is clever, to say the least. The large bedroom and sitting area transition nicely into a large dressing room and two (2) full baths. I'm going to let this set in for three seconds: One... Two... Three. His & Her's full bathrooms. Umm... Sound PERFECT??

The outdoor areas of this house are awesome, to say the least. There is a covered porch off the den, perfect for morning coffee. Three or four patios surround the home for a plethora of entertaining areas, or just for hanging out. The backyard is a gardener's canvas, and the attached two-car garage with ample storage is a generous bonus.

I could type all night about this Heathwood stunner. That said, I'll leave you with this description I'm borrowing from a good friend. 1536 Tanglewood Rd. is "Better than new! This place is PRISTINE, perfectly decorated, impeccably maintained, and replete with updates." You get the idea....

Call or email or if you or anyone you know is ready for Heathwood life. As most of you know, this home is five minutes to anything in downtown Columbia.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Shandon Tree Massacre of 2011

If you live in downtown Columbia, SC, chances are you've heard screams coming out of the historical Shandon neighborhood. Scream 1: The chainsaws and wood chip machines going full bore. Scream 2: The trees that are being sliced without regard to, well... anything. Scream 3: The Shandon residents watching their neighborhood landscape get transformed by a government contract.

No doubt, there are two sides and many explanations for what's going on. Thoughts and arguments range from "They're killing the trees!", "My whole property looks different now!", "We need power, tree lover!", to "What is a Texas tree company doing with this contract?!". All thoughts, to be sure.

Given all that is going on, this post could get pretty long. That said, I should mention the drum beat of the neighborhood has halted the carving for a day while a meeting takes place tomorrow at 11 to discuss the issue.

Whether you care about this or not, I need to mention that our elected officials and some other Shandon lovers/activists have really stepped up on this. Mary Greene, Carla Moore, Tina Cundari, Seth Rose, Belinda Gergel, James Smith and John Courson, et al, have at very least stalled the action for a day so folks can get a good grip of what is actually going on.

I've heard of a few plans of action. One stall tactic is for residents to park their cars on the curbs, to give the tree cutters an obstacle to deal with. More radical plans are to file a lawsuit, let the air out of the truck tires, and/or start asking for green cards (the green card thing would be a whole 'nother boondoggle, for sure). Most are waiting to see how the meeting goes tomorrow to react accordingly.

Stay tuned!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Downtown Columbia's Updated MLS

Columbia's Newest Listings: May 15 - June 18, 2011
Well... I got 'called out' by a comment on my latest post (obviously, boring post! ;) ). Woops!

Have fun browsing Columbia, SC's latest real estate inventory.

You know the Hotsheet drill. Click away!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Quick Trip To Charleston, Is So Easy

I haven't posted in a while, but a least I have a good reason (or two). Late Friday afternoon, Jen and I packed the backseat, and cruised down I-26 to spend the weekend in Charleston, SC. As you can understand, this is reason #1 in itself.

On Saturday, while my fellow male travelers played golf at Charleston National, I decided to "lay low" and stroll the streets of Charleston. Truth told, I'm in desperate need of a new round of white dress shirts, so I volunteered to hang back and do the shopping thing.

Saturday night we found ourselves at "Water's Edge," @ Shem Creek. Umm, mine was good, and that is about all I have to say about that. Happy and full, we kicked the can down the creek from establishment to establishment finding long lost friends along the way. A good time was had by all.

For Columbia residents, a trip to Charleston is almost too easy. While Jen and I don't seem to go enough, I hope we'll step it up a notch or two over the next few years.

So what is the second reason I haven't blogged? You won't believe it, but the home we stayed in wouldn't hook into our wireless accounts. The family has never had "cable" either, so perhaps there's a direct correlation. I dunno.

Either way, it was a fun weekend in Charleston.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Google+ : Coming To A Screen Near You

After a couple of years of having BIG FUN on Facebook and Twitter, I've had the good fortune of being "invited," to what may be the next big thing. Thank you, Elza!

Some folks are hesitant, and even critical about Google+ getting in the social networking game. Bloggers, etc., are asking questions like, "Why now?" or "Why would anyone want to spend time starting with ZERO friends, when I have 500 somewhere else??" These are certainly good questions, and I understand their crux.

My first few minutes on the new site was ho-hum, to say the least. After clicking around a while longer, I began to get more engaged. Google+ has introduced new social terms like "Circles," "Hangouts," and "Huddle." After I understood what each of these terms were getting at, my experience actually became fun. Moreover, once I entered more engaging "Circles," Google+ quickly became pretty cool.

After a few days of giving Google+ a chance, I understand differences between it, and other social sites. Actually, Google+ is, "A lot of Facebook, with a twist of Twitter", all Googled into one.

Using the quote in the last paragraph as a guage, Google+ feels a little smoother than Facbook, but the basic setup is the same. As most of you know, the "NewsFeed" is the unintended star of Facebook. In contrast, the front end focus of Google+ seems to be the "Stream"....and so far, it streams like warm butta'.

I may be missing the mark on this, but Google+ feels like Twitter"+", too. Obviously, the 140 character thing is blown out of the water, but the focus on the Stream makes Google+ a news blip bonanza. The reason I feel like it is "Twitter+," is because the necessity to click a "twitpic," "yfrog," or "tinybit" link, to dive further into someones "Tweet." All the info is right there, for your viewing pleasure. Further still, Google+ gives more multi-lateral options (unlike Facebooks more bi-lateral function) to participate in a "Circle."

Will Google+ replace Facebook? Probably not. This said, it certainly has a place, especially given that Google+ doesn't have to start from scratch, like Facebook did. I mean, seriously, Google knows where I am right now, and where I'll be tomorrow. Really and truly, Google can wirelessly thump me in the head, start my car, and change a dirty Finley diaper if they want to. This power is, well....powerful. As far as the, "Why would I start at ZERO dilemma is concerned, I'm pretty sure there is already a way to morph Facebook friends to Google+...once Google opens it up to the general population, of course.

In all, like Facebook and Twitter, Google+ was uncomfy for a few minutes. However, taking it back a few years, for instance, I'm the dummy who was answering other folks questions on my own wall, until someone told me I was doing it (Facebook) wrong. Further, using "@" on Twitter took some getting used to, before I got it right. What I'm getting at is, once I get the full "hang" of Google+, it'll be informative and fun.

My prediction is Google+ will be a social networking monster by default. One day, terms like "Circle," "Hangout," and "Huddle," will become as mainstream as, "Status," "Wall," and "Super-Poke."

Since it is late, I'll wrap it up. In short.... get ready. On some level, Google+ is on the way to your laptop.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Busy As Ever, Amanda Returns Monday

The other night (late night) I posted on Facebook, "CRAZY, hectic week. Still not done. Amanda Quick Payne returns tomorrow...WOoHoO!" I couldn't have typed with more emphasis.

Some friends think I post this kind of thing for marketing purposes, or to project a clever illusion that I'm a busy Realtor. Here's the real rub. In a few days, for the first time in my career, we could have 20 'sides' "Pending Contract." As of Monday, our white board is sporting 17, with three sides currently playing the sometimes eternal game of counter-offer, ping pong.

To be sure, this is an anomaly. Usually, real estate closings happen with a little more tempo than our current scenario. That said, given the current lending environment, we have to get through this production storm, while also servicing our active listings and current buyer clients.

The above pics are a few examples of what is currently Under Contract. While I'm happy to "pull" midnight+ hours of paperwork and emails, it'll be nice to have Superstar, Amanda Q. Payne, back in action from quality family time at the beach.

We're always striving to find a more perfect system, and now that Amanda is back, it is time to ramp up the volume again. We wouldn't be the team we are, without covering for each other through crazy times, and this is certainly one of them.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Not Surprising, Crazy American Verdict

After watching a few Casey Anthony snippets on TV Monday night, I put my iPhone down and said to Jennifer, "Looks like Anthony is going to get off." My sweet wife kindly said back, "What are you talking about?" My simple response,"I'm tellin' ya. Watch this." Thankfully, the conversations ended, as Jennifer was about to fume.

If you were on earth Tuesday, you noticed (or took part in) the public fury, as the verdict of the Casey Anthony trial was announced. Facebook and Twitter went stupid crazy, as the biggest courtroom upset since the O.J. boondoggle, unfolded in front of millions of eyes. My friends were stunned, and they showed it via their keyboards.

Here's the thing. The prosecutors couldn't put the case in a box, and wrap it up tight. Further, the defense attorney had a good enough answer, (however vague) for keep the jury thinking and guessing. He had an answer for everything, including: Searcher tampered skull with stick, MOM typed "chlorophyll" on computer, Casey partied nasty b/c that's how some people grieve, dad made her a liar because of childhood sex stuff, NO DNA on duct tape.

Did a ghost place duct tape on the mouth of the deceased? Of course not!! Well....Hmm....well...ummmmmmm......I don't think so, anyway. I guuuuess not. Hmmm. Well, crap. Did one?

Does a bear crud in the woods? NOOOPE! He cruds on the ground. Well, where's the ground? Zoo? Road? Park ranger throw it in a Hardee's parking lot? Hmmm. Well, you get the idea.

Did the defense cheat? I'm not a judge or lawyer, so I don't know. I do know, however, that Baez created a room of smoke and mirrors. While the jurors were looking one way (death/murder), he created a fireworks show in another direction, in the form of childhood sexual abuse.

The defense did this so well, in fact, that he made it tolerable for the accused to lie. Actually, he made it such that lies didn't matter, as this is what his client was, "trained to do."

The lies became so accepted, that I'm not even sure why folks had to, "raise their right hands." I mean, really. Why even go through this motion? This is another flaw in the system, by the way. Folks putting their hands on a bible, and raising their right hands doesn't mean squat to a person staring down death row. Surely, the rationale is they'll just make it up with their Maker, when it comes to that.

Getting back to the subject, the prosecutors just couldn't wrap it up tightly enough. That said, when it comes to jury verdicts, nothing should surprise the public. For instance, it wasn't too long ago when our own Attorney General couldn't send away a person that had a dug out kidnapping dungeon/pit on their property.

Anyway, I'm not comfy writing about this, at all. Every time the image of that sweet two year old is on the TV screen, I want to take the flat side of a canoe paddle to someones forehead. That said, I'm not surprised by the verdict.

Consider this. Of all the Facebook and Twitter rant banter, I haven't seen one lawyer post a thought. Maybe I've missed something, but I can only think that they're immune to this sort of verdict/judgement, and not surprised either.

Here's the salt in the rub. Casey Anthony with probably sign a book deal, and cut a movie opportunity, and for a while...become a millionaire.

P.S. Don't be surprised if Jose Baez and Casey Anthony end up a couple. I don't know squat, but with these two, be ready for anything.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fun, Laid Back Holiday With Friends

While much of our population celebrated the 4th on the coast, downtown Columbia, SC, was a very sleepy town. Given that our favorite beaches are only a couple of hours away, I can't blame those who traveled one bit. That said, we had a big time celebrating the long weekend right here.

Coincidentally, my birthday fits in nicely the day before the 4th. What does this mean?? Not tooo much, other than I got to sleep late, watch the Wimbledon Finals, play a set of tennis in beat down heat, and grab an extra Sunday nap. Perfect day? Could be!

Facebook added to the birthday experience, in a big way. Now that I carry an iPhone, the amount of "alerts" was overwhelming. It was buzzing so rapidly that I slept with it under my chest, as to not wake Jennifer. Why didn't I turn it off, you ask? Not sure... but that's how it went down. #stupe

In all, this weekend was awesome. We celebrated Sunday at the Hairston residence (kid pic above), with ribs and fireworks and then again tonight with burgers and friends at the King's Grant pool, which was packed with kids.

We all love the beach on the holidays, and can't get there enough. That said, it's fun too, to kick up, lay low and enjoy a lazy weekend with family and friends.