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?" :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Estate @Heathwood Gets Nice Haircut

Check Out 3320 Devereaux Rd. - Heathwood 29205.
If you ever cruise down Devereaux Rd., in Heathwood, you're sure to know the house in the pic above. It's a memorable home by any measure, as it has an estate like setting, and sprawl across its vast property lines.

If you've ridden down this Heathwood strip lately, or see this property often, hopefully you've noticed a difference in the street view. Last week, we had a lawn man jerk greenery and shave foliage in large fashion. The difference is exponential, as the entire front facade has been altered.

Sometimes the simplest of thoughts can make world's of difference. We'll see if this move procures an offer sooner rather than later. In the meantime, however, we're enjoying all of the positive comments about the new look.

If you haven't already, give this landmark home a look. It's spacious, sits on a huge piece of property, and has a lot to offer inside and out. One interesting thing about 3320 Devereaux, is that the actual stone that marks the corner of the original "Heathwood" is on these grounds. Pretty cool.

If you or anyone you know is interested in a Heathwood statement type setting, please call or email or . Thank you!

P.S. Don't mind the two bare areas in the pic. They're being dealt with, and will look great in the not so distant future. #easyfix

Monday, September 26, 2011

Wilmot Ave. - 29205 @ $119/Ft. Nice!!!

Mountain Style Cottage-Shandon Area Hits Market
On Friday, we put this super cute cottage feeling home on Columbia's real estate market. 4243 Wilmot Ave., located in the Shandon/Sherwood Forest area of town, enjoys the primo 29205 location of many others, but offers a completely different interior flavor.

Features include hardwoods, high ceilings, very large rooms, and an open floor plan from the front door to the back. The uber large master suite is complete with a bath/closet area as large as any downtown Columbia home.

Upstairs is a perfect loft ready for a guest/teenager suite, game room, "Wii room," craft area, office, or anything else you can think of. It's a large private space, complete with a full bathroom.

Even with all 'Wilmot' home has to offer (see link for pics), the star of this show is probably the elevated (x's 2) double deck system, that looks over a very private backyard. A cascading double fountain water feature nicely completes this mountain cottage feel, all in the middle of our city. Have to admit, hanging out on the top deck is pretty cool, and would be hard to replicate anywhere in downtown Columbia, SC.

Further, this home has a pristine double garage underneath, that almost serves as an ideal quasi-finished basement area. Yes,... it's that clean!

If you or anyone you know may have an interest in a unique downtown opportunity, call or email or for more info, or a tour. It's really easy to show, and at $250K...ready to go!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Secretary's Tax Rate is Perfect Spin Job

If you open your laptop to any news website, or turn on your TV to any 6:30pm news channel, or follow a bunch of cable news "talking heads" on Twitter, you're sure to have heard about The President's Plan or Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction. Love it or hate it, it's what's going on in Washington, DC right now, and Republicans and Democrats are dealing with it how they may.

In this initiative, President Obama is using a capitalistic American hero as an incredibly popular prop. Given that Warren Buffet feels the uber rich need to be taxed more, I'd use it too. I think they're calling it "The Buffett Rule."

Within this prop however, is a very compelling illustration. An illustration so perfect, that, when I read it, made me let go of my mouse and throw a few comments Amanda's way. I suppose it's all over the place now, but on page 46 of Obama's report, he exclaims, "As Warren Buffet has pointed out, his effective tax rate is lower than his secretary's." BOOM. Perfect illustration to prove a point.

Thinking a few steps further, however, reveals that things aren't as simple as the quote may hope. First, Buffet's taxes are a red hot rich mess. He's wrapped up in investments, which are taxed at a lower rate than income (Remember, the President is talking "rate" only). Second, Social Security somehow plays into his rate.

Moving along, here's my bigger thought regarding the secretary illustration. How many jobs does Warren Buffett supply? For simplistic reasons, let's say 10. If Buffett supplies 10 American jobs that receive W-2s, who pays the taxes? I suppose the short answer is that the employees do. I mean, after all, it is taken out of their paycheck.

Well, actually, it seems to me Buffett pays the taxes. Here's the rub. The taxes exist, only because a job opportunity exists (and is placed). In short, the job comes first, which is at the pleasure and opportunity born from Mr. Buffett. Sure, a tax rate may come before the job, but no one pays "tax rates." Taxes are paid, for a job a person is employed in and performs, at a rate. Taxes are paid, not tax rates.

No doubt, I'm not a tax expert. Far from it, actually. Further, I'm not a "hater," as exemplified by previous posts. No one wants the President to succeed more than me. Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama... Let's go! I'm an American, just like you.

This all said, the kabillionaire vs. secretary tax rate seemed like the perfect microcosm of what's wrong with our tax system. After all, it'll probably be a VERY effective "play" with the casual voter. Who knows, that may be the point...

Why did I post a pic of the young Warren Buffet, you ask? I can't help but wonder if the Buffett above would preach the same message we're hearing from the billionaire of today. Yesterday's Buffet had cleats on his wingtips, hustling and hoping someone would listen. Today's Buffett could wear Umbros and a Michael Jackson zipper jacket, and people would listen. Point? It's a little different once you've made it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Shandon Stunner Is For Sale - 29205

3608 Duncan St. In Shandon, Now On Market
Last week, I posted about a Shandon cream puff listing that was scheduled to hit the market any day. At the time, I didn't have any interior pics, or a link click on. Fast forward a couple of days....3608 Duncan officially hit MLS on Friday afternoon, and it's getting some attention. A couple of years ago, this Shandon stunner was asked to participate in the fun and prestigious "Tour of Homes." Two years later, 3608 Duncan is still "tour worthy."

While the footprint of the house is like most 3/2 - 1,750 sq. ft. Shandon bungalows, the interior is...well, superior. Features include hardwoods, transoms, painted high ceilings (to refract light), recessed lighting, arched door ways, slate fireplaces complete with working faux coal inserts, moldings, granite slab in kitchen, stainless appliances, distressed cabinetry, a jacuzzi tub and double vanity in the master bath, elevated deck and a two car garage. In short, this "classic" Shandon bungalow is power packed with all the modern amenities it can hold.

The 3600 block of Duncan St. is across the street from popular Sims Park, which is a Shandon staple, and walking distance (4 blocks) from the Devine St. corridor. In short, the location is primo.

Call or email or for more information. In the meantime, click around the websites for more pics. I'd put this house up against any Shandon bungalow that's hit the market in the last few years. It's a sharp house.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Massive Parking Shift @ Williams-Brice

This year's edition of Gamecock football is stacked with game changers. One off field game changer, no doubt, will be the addition of 3,000+ parking spots in what used to be the S.C. Farmer's Market.

USC enjoys an "off campus" stadium, which makes for some all day, all out tailgating. The dynamics of gameday parking has altered dramatically since I was in school ('91-'95).

For instance, "Greek Life" used to park at Tally Ho!, which was a dirt lot where Seawell's now sits. Then came the era whereby thousands of fans actually purchased spots (own a deed/pay taxes on) for $5,000 - $50,000, depending on the team's success and proximty to the stadium. It was during this phase when four luxury condo complexes changed the industrial, concrete landscape forever.

Fast forward to a shift of 3,000 tailgate spots on the Bluff Rd. side of Williams-Brice. Ultimately, this project will cost upwards of $30,500,000. This map shows you the layout and pricing, as I understand it. This link presents the game day parking info, including the Farmer's Market. Notice charcoal grills are prohibited @ The Farmer's Market, while gas grills are allowed.

If I'm not in Anderson, SC visiting our mom, I'll be on the opposite side of the stadium from the new facility, splitting time between The Lizard's Thicket corporate office, and hanging with friends at The Coop.

No matter where you park your Yukon or minivan, we all want the same two things; Have a good time, and leave each respective parking spot with a Gamecock win, only to do it again another day.

See you Saturday! (Hopefully)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Shandon Cream Puff Coming To Market

It's not on the market yet, but this Shandon bungalow will be available any day now. We haven't quite taken all of the photos yet, and don't have a link for you to click. Still, I wanted to introduce it for those who may know of someone looking in Shandon.

I'll keep this short as to be able to give a full description when I have links, etc. That said, this is an absolute slammin', "cream puff" of a Shandon bungalow. The seller has done some awesome things in this house. So much so, in fact, that it was on Shandon's "Tour of Homes" a couple of years ago.

The first example I'll share is the master bath. The master bath is probably as good as a classic bunglow can possibly offer. It's well thought out, cleverly finished, and going to make someone very happy.

I'll post a more detailed description with pictures in the next few days. In the meantime, tell your friends or forward this to a friend who wants to live in the popular Shandon neighborhood. The home will be offered in the low $300,000's.

Monday, September 12, 2011

"The Duplex," in Anderson: Fun Home

My brother, Michael, and I decided Sunday would be a good time to head to Anderson, SC, and visit mom while she's in the hospital. For now, I'll refrain from typing about moms condition. I'll report, however, she's one tough human, and that she's battling and recovering from a plethora of some very painful conditions.

On the way back to Columbia, I asked Michael if he minded if we rode by, "the duplex." The duplex, as I refer to it, is 1124 Springdale Rd. This is where we grew up.

As Michael trolled down the hill of Springdale Rd., I asked him to slow down, where we eventually came to a stop. As I raised my iPhone to snap a pic, we joked that I probably looked like a foreclosure agent, or an appraiser and may get a bat to the head from a confused owner. Still, we stopped, and I got out of the car to take a few more pictures.

This was a great house to grow up in, to be sure. While we didn't have hardwoods, granite tops, or even the wonders of air conditioning, we had a lot of memorable moments. The more I look at the picture above, I can't help but remember my friend Randy Heritage (sadly, deceased) and I coating that big ars deck with Thompson's Water Seal. Ugh!! That was not a good weekend! Twenty+ years later, it's a great memory.

I have no idea why I stood in the road so long to reminisce about our days on Springdale. Perhaps because I now have a two year old, and sought to recreate it...or "better" it? Who knows? I'm sure my brother was thinking, "What is he doing??" Either way, I'm glad we cruised by the old duplex, as it served as a fine HOME for the four/five of us.

Next step?....."Provisional Year" (PY), at USC. More fun times!

What does this have to do with a real estate blog, or our practice? Not much, I suppose. This said, "The duplex" is part of what we did this weekend, and sticking in my I thought I'd type about it.

P.S. Mom is experiencing some difficulities, and in terrible pain. However, she's recovering the best she can...

Friday, September 9, 2011

'Fun Project,' Becomes Game Changer

Video Trailer Debut Has Created Crazy Stir
When I viewed the trailer of 1536 Tanglewood Rd., in Heathwood, I knew we had something special. That said, the video is enjoying such a buzz, that I need to leave the subject matter at the top of the blog for a little longer.

Even though the product may not be completely finished (may need to add a shot of the owner's suite, and back patio), I had so many ants in my pants to show someone, that I put it on Facebook. Obviously, I'm glad of it.

What I didn't expect, was for Amanda to throw it on her Facebook Wall this afternoon. I'm ecstatic she did, but in doing so she exposed it to a fresh set of eyes, including hundreds of REALTORS.

What I'm getting at is, I need to let the link marinate a little while longer. If you can't tell, I'm beaming at the reaction the project is getting. :)

It's fun to be ahead of the curve on things like blogging or QR Codes, but it's something else to raise a bar into a flat out game changer, and bounce a whole new product category. My new video partner may have blasted out the best real estate video on the East Coast.

And to think.... this is our first go at it! I can't wait to expand on the possibilities. It shows better (bigger), if you click the link instead of the actual video above.

Thank you for your patience regarding a repetitive post!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Having A Big Time With Video Project

Trailer Released!! Our Brand of S.C. Real Estate
For a good while now, I've tinkered with the thought of incorporating video into some of our inventory. Sure, we have "Virtual Tours," which certainly have an impact in the overall marketing effort.

Truth be typed, I haven't taken video to the next level because I haven't been impressed with many of the finished products out there.

I quickly learned that making good video takes a good videographer (duh). Expanding on this, all videographers are not the same! In searching for local talent, I embarrassingly admit to having watched scores of wedding videos in the middle of the night looking for the right person to approach about our little project. I mean, where else would you know to look for videographers, other than trolling wedding videos on Google??? Hence, my wedding scout time.

After what seemed to be a million minutes of searching, I finally found who seems to be a perfect fit for what I was trying to accomplish. When this husband/wife team learned about the upbeat-tempo, time-lapse vision of what I was looking for, they put their flavor on it and produced a game changing product.

Anyway, I'm not sure our movie trailer of "Tanglewood" is quite finished, and I'm pretty sure the seller hasn't seen any of it yet. In my bias, however, it's good enough in its current state to leapfrog everything 10-fold in our marketplace today.

I don't want to overdo it, but I think you'll like our product well enough to tell your friends about how we do things, and about our brand of real estate. I'm proud of this new product/project we've added to our practice. If you think its pretty good, shoot us an email at or to see if your house (or a friends) is a good fit for something like this.

This trailer is short & sweet, and I hope you'll like it enough to watch it twice. Welcome to my listing in Heathwood, SC.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Downtown Columbia's MLS Closings

Columbia's MLS Property Transactions: August 2011
Once again, this month's edition of closings is pretty interesting. There's a good variety of price levels, with a few in the $500,000+ range. We're pretty well represented in the list, and also have the highest priced sale of the month....which is kinda fun. :)

Have fun scrolling around Columbia's latest closings!