Wednesday, August 31, 2011

2 InTown Goodies Now Under Contract

Just before we left for the Domincan Republic, two more of our proud listings fetched contracts. WoOHoO!!

The first pic above is 2824 Wilmot Ave. It's a Shandon cutie that has a lot going for it. The home sits in the heart of Shandon, only a few blocks away from award winning Hand Middle School. This Wilmot house has loads of Shandon "charm," like a cute front porch, and transoms throughout. I'm sure other Shandon bungalow sellers will be curious as to why this house sold so fast over others, which I'll save for another post.

1446 Kathwood Dr. actually has a line of buyers. I knew it was only a matter of time before this house "popped," as it just has too much to offer at a "reasonable" price. Located in popular Lake Katherine, it sports four bedrooms, a bonus room, a two car garage, feeds into Brennen Elem. School, and sits on a great corner.

Birthday vacations notwithstanding, Amanda and I have been busy. These two are great additions to "the board," and we look forward to a smooth closing for both. I'm chomping at the bit to put the coveted red "Pending Contract" riders on top of the signs, but Amanda keeps tapping my brakes until inspections are completed. WAA-WAAaahhh..... :|

Just FYI, Wilmot and Kathwood are scheduled to close next month, in the $300,000-$340,000 range.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Happy Birthday Jennifer, @ Punta Cana

I haven't posted in a while, and for good reason. Last Wednesday afternoon, six of us woke up early and made our way to Dominican Republic's Hard Rock Hotel & Casino to celebrate Jennifer's 40th birthday.

To get to the resort, we had to fly around a still developing Hurricane Irene. The flight was a little bumpy, but we made it, albeit about five hours late. No matter.

I can't express how big this joint is. From what I could tell, the place offers over 2,000 rooms. BIG rooms, with a hot tub in the center of each one. There are pools everywhere, of every shape and size. The casino rivals many that Vegas offers, and the spa... Oooh, the spa.

The beach is wide and expansive with soft powder sand, which of course led to clear, cool water (Not blue... but clear water, which was Jennifer's only prerequisite when planning for the trip).

I have to admit, I was impressed. Is it a 5 Star, 5 Diamond venue? Perhaps not, but it's not supposed to be. This is an all-out, all-inclusive, fun-filled, never-run-out-of-anything-to-do place to relax, at your own personal pace.

I can't reiterate enough the sheer size of, well, everything. Many of the restaurants were as big as I've ever seen. The spa seemed endless (and I only saw the boys side, of course). The bedrooms were ginormo, complete with bathrooms that would make anyone want one in their home. The shower felt more like a car wash. So good.

I'll post more pics later, but so far I've been ordered by our fellow travelers to hold back, and can't poach off our our Shutterfly account (I can't remember my dang password). The pics above are off of my phone.

In all, it was a great trip. From breakfast, beach, pools, spa, & "casino time," I'd go back to Hard Rock-Punta Cana anytime.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Downtown Columbia's MLS Hotsheet

Columbia, SC's Latest Listings: July 20 - Aug 24, 2011
It's been a while, so it's as good'a'time as any to post Columbia's Newest Hotsheet. This edition has some good stuff all over town, including Elmwood, Forest Acres, Shandon, The Hamptons and King's Grant.

In all, there's around 140ish to click over... covering all price levels.

Have fun!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Weekend For My Girl

This weekend, my real estate world stood still as all the attention turned to my sweet girl. It's pretty unfathomable to think, but Finley S. Jones turned two years old today. As Landon Denemark taught me to say, ....WoWeE!!

Having a few parents/in-laws feeling less than 100%, we found ourselves making a whirlwind tour of Upstate, South Carolina. The photo above is at our "Mimi's" home in Anderson, SC. As you can plainly see, this was a fancy affair. Linen napkins, heirloom silver, and a large centerpiece were sweet touches. Antique bowls were filled to the brim with dippin' sauces, while chicken nuggets were plated next to crustless olive finger sandwiches. Everything was well thought out, and, well... pretty yummy.

For the first two years, Finley has been not too far from perfect. As many of my friends have heard (prolly more than once)... she's slept through the night since birth; she prefers broccoli and brussell sprouts to cookies or ice cream; she says "Peeeze," "Tan'kooo," and "Wa'kom,"; doesn't pop her knuckles; and doesn't cuss.

As you can imagine, I can't say enough about our first years with Finley. I can't wait to take her to her little schoolhouse in the morning, as we begin another year together. #LoveMyGirl :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Good Buds Get New Gigs At Statehouse

If you know me or read this blog much, you're aware that I keep up with much of the business going on up the street at the Capitol building. Partisan politics notwithstanding, many of my good friends work in the political industry.

Yesterday, the Senate side of the building had a staff shakeup, whereas two of my good buds will enjoy new roles within the SC Senate Republican Caucus. I can't type anything more accurate than the paragraphs below, so I'll yield to for the details.

Good for these fellas on their new gigs. They do a good job, and I'm sure Sen. Peeler (R-Cherokee) is pumped about his new caucus lineup.

From what I understand, political innovator Wesley Donehue will continue to do what he does .

Well done, friends. FJ

COLUMBIA, SC – August 17, 2011 – Mark Harmon will take over as Executive Director of the South Carolina Senate Republican Caucus. Prior to this position, he served as the Caucus Research Director for the past six years. He is replacing Lisa Manini-Sox who served in this position for the past 10 years.

During his time as Research Director, Mark worked on several important pieces of legislation, the most recent of which include Tort Reform, Voter ID, Card Check, and Reform of the Unemployment System. He has worked hard at advancing many important conservative issues and will continue to do so as the Executive Director.

“I want to thank Majority Leader Peeler for bringing me onto his staff nearly six years ago, and also for allowing me the opportunity to take on this new challenge. The past six legislative sessions I spent working in the South Carolina Senate as Majority Research Director have been nothing short of rewarding. My goal was simply to do everything within my abilities to help the members help the people of our state by enacting the most commonsense and conservative laws. In my new role as Executive Director, I intend to continue pursuing an agenda to make South Carolina prosper, while also working to build upon the Republican majority in the Senate,” said Mark Harmon.

The goal of the Executive Director is to help expand the Republican majority in the Senate. Mark will help the caucus raise funds for reelection and work with all the Republican Senators to have a unified direction for each legislative session.

“Mark has done an excellent job serving the caucus as the Research Director. I am happy to see him take over this position and look forward to the the future successes his leadership will bring about,” said Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler.

Mark is a native of Gaffney and graduated from Clemson University with a bachelor of science degree in Ceramic and Materials Engineering.

Ben Twilley has been named Mark Harmon’s replacement as the Majority Research Director. Ben will be tasked with researching and forming conservative legislation to help get our state’s economy moving again. He currently serves as a budget analyst for the House Ways and Means Committee. He previously worked for the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce. Ben is from Graniteville and he graduated from the University of South Carolina.

“It is going to take creative ideas to get our economy back on track,” Peeler said. “Ben understands South Carolina’s business climate and the impact big government and high spending have on our economy. I know he will help our Senators draft good conservative bills to spur economic growth.”

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

2 Druid Hills Listings Under Contract

Recently, Amanda and I put two Druid Hills homes on the market. As of this week, both of these houses on well-traveled Harrison Rd. are SOLD. :)

The first pic is a sneak of the interior of 3120 Harrison Rd. I don't have a link tonight, as it has already been taken off most of the national websites. Nevertheless, you can tell from the pic (check out that granite slab!) that this house was "done right."

The 2nd pic, 3204 Harrison Rd., has its own attractive features. My favorite part of this listing is the property itself. It's a big corner lot, with loads of concrete (some covered), that translates into good outdoor entertaining space.

Every now and then I'm approached by folks that are under the impression that we don't want to list homes under the $250,000 range. This is not the case... and these two properties are prime examples of this.

Both of these Harrison Rd. listings received the same treatment and exposure on the national websites (,,,, etc.) that any Heathwood, Shandon, Lake Katherine, Forest Acres, or King's Grant home enjoys. We pay handsome sums to maximize all of our listings, no matter their price point. In short, we're volume Realtors and want to move property for our clients, period.

Both of these homes are set to close between $100,000 and $110,000, respectively. Hopefully, the coveted red "Sale Pending" and "SOLD" riders will be placed on the blue Coldwell Banker signs by Wed. afternoon. WOoHoO!

Monday, August 15, 2011

GOP Debate Was Fun Late Night TV

Bachmann Found Some Forest Among The Trees

A few days ago, some folks with not much else to do at the time, watched the Republican debate on FoxNews. I recognize that admitting I watched, may throw me into a new category of political nerd. I don't mind.

Nerd or not, what I watched was a entertaining, enlightening, and fun. In my opinion, these candidates went "after it" with truthful, thought out answers they really believed in. In short, they laid themselves out there and were willing to let the chips fall where they may.

Do I agree with what they said? Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot, and sometimes...not much. That said, it was refreshing to watch candidates actually shoot from their respective hips, instead of dance around every question with tape recorder ready rhetoric.

At this point, I don't see her winning the nomination, but I don't ever mind giving credit where it's due. If nothing else, Rep. Michele Bachmann can answer a question. To be sure, she swatted off a peppering all week long. She's obviously doing well, considering many Americans think she's got some crazy behind her eyes. So far, however, she's not having to defend her photos with, "I'm crazy for America," or, "I'm possessed about America's future." In short, she won the straw poll, and did pretty well on NBC's "Meet The Press," too.

Kudos given, I feel like Rep. Bachmann should change her stump tag line of, "We... can... make.....Obama...a one...terrrm....Pres-i--diiiiint. It's simple(minded), kinda uninspiring, boring, and a camera opportunity time sucker. To me, this is five to 10(depending on no-duh applause) seconds of dumbed down time.

Who knows what will happen in the near future. I do know, given this debate, it will be fun to watch our presidential process unfold.

Call me a nerd, or call me engaged. Either way, I'm into it!

Friday, August 12, 2011

King's Grant: Closing & Under Contract

After much effort and strategery, we're about to sell our latest King's Grant listing. Actually, tomorrow is a pretty big day for us, and the neighborhood. Sometime before lunch, 23 Huspah Ln. will finally close, and 19 W. Tombee will officially be Under Contract. WOoHoO!!!

When these two homes officially pop, we'll start fresh in the neighborhood as all our inventory will have sold.

To be clear, the prices/ft aren't breaking any records. That said, the "price points" are respectable given the present real estate arena, and today's financial world. In short, sold is "sold," and "not sold" is, get the idea. Let me put it this way: Our sellers are happy.

Having to start typing late tonight, I'll keep this short and expand on these two properties later. In the meantime, know that we're hitting this market with guns all price levels.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Palmetto Losing Good One To Lone Star

After an incredibly hot listing appointment in Forest Acres/Forest Lake (hitting market tomorrow, btw!), I tightened my tie knot a little and made my way to hang out with some good friends at a pretty cool place.

Tonight, Governor Haley graciously hosted a farewell party/reception for a friend we both introduce as, "This is one of my best friends: Eleanor." Although I couldn't stay long (no babysitter), I was flattered to be included, and glad I went.

Eleanor is leaving South Carolina to serve as Governor Rick Perry's (R - Texas) Director of Insurance. A big job, to be sure.

Eleanor is accustomed to and seasoned for such a position. She has owned and operated Driver's Choice Insurance, one of South Carolina's largest insurance agencies. Further, Eleanor served as Director of Insurance under Gov. Mark Sanford (R - SC), and most recently led South Carolina's Budget & Control Board, the nerve center of the our state government. Further still, Eleanor is the latest recipient of The Order Of The Palmetto, South Carolina's highest honor. Gov. Haley presented the award tonight. #goodmoment

Gauging from tonight's attendance, she'll be missed by a lot of folks. Eleanor has been a proactive player in private, corporate, and public life. This all said, she's secured a stellar job, and best of all, her grandchildren are in Texas. As many of you can imagine, the "grandchildren" thing seals the deal.

I hope she visits Columbia soon and often. I'm proud to know Eleanor, and a better person for it. She would've served our Palmetto State well, as a grand Lt. Governor.

Godspeed, friend.

P.S. Now it's on me to sell her house! #ProduceLikeEleanor

Monday, August 8, 2011

New Listings: Shandon/Lake Katherine

Last week, Amanda and I proudly introduced some good listings to Columbia's downtown real estate market. Two that come to mind are one on Wilmot in Shandon, and one @ Kilbourne/Whittaker in Lake Katherine.

The first home in the pics above is located in the heart of Shandon. 2824 Wilmot Ave. is a classic Shandon style home, but features some really nice upgrades. Shining floors, transoms, a good looking kitchen, and a slick new bathroom w/a granite double vanity are only a few of the goodies I can type about this house. The 2800 block of Shandon is truly in the heart of the neighborhood (2 blocks from Hand Middle), which is a primo selling point, in itself.

4323 Kilbourne Rd is located in another popular Columbia, SC neighborhood: Lake Katherine. Serving as the entrance home to fast selling Whittaker Dr, this corner-lot cutie is loaded with charm, and sits on a 1/2 acre piece of property. Hardwoods, transoms, smooth ceilings, and a killer front porch are a few features of 4323 Kilbourne.

Please don't hesitate to call or email or if you or anyone you know would like to view the interiors of these downtown Columbia charmers.

Both homes are move-in ready, and 5 minutes to anything downtown Columbia, SC. FJ.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Price Is Right! King's Grant $499,900.

19 W. Tombee in King's Grant Is Now The New Deal
If you know me, you're aware that I'm a big fan of the King's Grant neighborhood. For those who prefer newer homes and gated living, it's commonly regarded as a top-shelf neighborhood in downtown Columbia. Homes in King's Grant are rarely offered under the $500,000 mark. That said, 19 W. Tombee is not only "a deal," but an opportunity to get a serious house, in this neighborhood, "sub 500."

At almost 3,400 sf, 19 W. Tombee is a fun listing. With its open, clean, and fresh presentation, it feels spankin' new. The home is ideal for entertaining, as the spacious eat-in kitchen spills nicely into the family room area, and further still, to the awesome screened porch.

Click the links to get a good feel for the floor plan. At $499,900, this house shouldn't last long, as it's not often that a good home hits KG's market under $500K. I guess what I'm getting at is, this house is ripe and the price reflects it. Whomever puts the contract on 19 W. Tombee will be congratulated by folks around the neighborhood.

See you at the pool!!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Good Times w/ Friends In Charlotte, NC

Tonight, 10 friends cruised up the map to the Verizon Amphitheater in Charlotte, NC. First and foremost, lets get clear on one thing: it was hot.

Second, the reason I'm using the pic above is because by the time I got everything straight with work, my phone's battery was done. With no phone, I couldn't take any pics so I swiped this pic from Facebook of Townes and her new striped twinkie/bestie. If you're wondering, that's the lead singer from TRAIN... not her husband Stephen.

Other than it being dripping hot, it was a good show. TRAIN came out first, and got the crowd goin' pretty good. I have to admit, if a member of TRAIN hit me in the melon with a can of Red Bull, I wouldn't know who they were. I know so little, in fact, that when a friend emailed a joke about "Meet Virginia" earlier today, I didn't get it at all... until they sang the pretty popular tune. Have to admit, felt like a stupe.

Maroon 5 came out next. My knowledge of the group is about the same as TRAIN, although I did recognize more of TRAIN's stuff. Either way, Maroon 5 was good, too. Both lead singers were pretty entertaining.

Charlotte's Verizon Amphitheater is an impressive venue. Of course it was hot tonight, but this place is clean and sports individual seating with wide aisles, a large common area to hang out and eat/drink in, and ample parking just across the street. Obviously, I have no idea what an amphitheater like this would cost to build, but this model would be a pretty cool addition to Columbia, SC.

It was a great show, and a great time was had by all. Even though it's late, I'm glad we returned tonight because waking up in a hotel room on a weeknight so close to the office (but so far away), may put me over the edge.