Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Thank You, Blogger! Hello, WordPress!

Well hey there!  Sorry for the profile style pic, but given the subject matter, I couldn't think of anything else to put up there. 

If all goes as planned, tonight will be my last post on the Blogger product.  If my project manager pulls this post to the new site, it'll also be the first post you see on the new blog.

To be honest, this is a bittersweet move.  This was one of the first real estate blogs in Columbia, and may be the oldest as many Realtors have long since terminated theirs.  Further, it's given me an outlet to expand on thoughts about whatever I could think of from midnight until around 2AM, three days a week since 2007.  I've typed about everything from local and national politics, USC/Clemson, The Junior League of Columbia, TV shows, holidays, the invention of sweet tea elixers, beach trips, clever stuff, dumb crap, Columbia neighborhoods, my wife, my daughter, my late wife, countless listings, and all things in between. 

As time consuming as a blog can be, I'm 100% certain it's produced results.  Further, it's provided a major platform to develop our brand of real estate. 

While I hate to seem dramatic, I can't tell you how many hours have gone into this thing.  Typing, moving commas, choosing pictures, changing pictures, setting up links, proofreading, and on and on.  Thinking on it a minute, the blog may be the most time consuming part of my entire business.  Hmmm.. 

As I've typed before, the new platform will provide more tech options and provide a Google boost.

So, with that, here goes.  If you've been visiting via www.franklinjonesrealteam.blogspot.com or have this as part of your "favorites," I first need to, 'Thank You!!!"  Second, if you'd like to keep on reading about what we're doing, it's time to go directly to www.TeamFranklin.com

Hopefully this will be a smooth transition.  We switched the URL feed on GoDaddy.com earlier this afternoon.  Either way, whether you're a regular reader or occasionally find us on Google, I'll see you on the other side.

Thank you!

Franklin Jones
Your Realtor

Monday, August 20, 2012

Thank You, Incarnation @ Byron Road

If we're friends on Facebook you may have noticed that I'm kinda involved in our daughter's "Day School" enrollment process. For example, every year since Jennifer was pregnant with Finley, I've sat and written a waiting list check to Eastminister Day School when I was told. No problem. That's just the process. 

If you haven't caught on, there's a big market for downtown Columbia child care/pre-schooling. Finley has been on waiting lists all over town, all this time. That's a whole 'nother blog post.

Tonight's post is about the sheer awesomeness of Incarnation Lutheran's Child Development Center on Byron Rd. I think many people know it as "Incarnation @ Byron Rd." That's what I call it, anyway.

OK, here's the thing. Incarnation @ Byron Rd rocks. You may not have ever noticed the cute little building behind the VA hospital. Truth told, we've sold many houses in this neighborhood and I've been to Hammond many times and never noticed this little school.

As we were waiting on lists in downtown Columbia, Finley "got in" to Incarnation. Naturally, Jennifer was curious/probing about the school. After all, FJ is our first child and we hadn't heard anything about it. Well, after finding out that some of our best friend's/client's kids were enrolled, we became more comfy.

We can't say enough good things about this little place. Everyone knows Finley, and Finley knows everyone. It's easy in, easy out. Our girl has made some awesome friends here, and on many levels we're sad to leave. Further, I know we'll continue to use some of the teachers as babysitters. 

If you've made it this far into the post, I'm sure you're asking, "Why are you leaving Incarnation?"

Answer 1:  Geography.  

Given that we live 2 blocks from 5 Points, and both work three blocks from the State House, we travel exactly backwards twice a day to get to her little school house. I mean, we drive by five or six schools on the way to ours. Her new school is MUCH closer.

Don't get me wrong; we are THRILLED to be at Eastminster Day School. I have to admit, however, that we were so happy at Incarnation that the decision became difficult. After all, I've learned, "Don't mess with happy." 

The reason for this post isn't to debate schools. Our girl is moving schools and we're all excited. That said, now that some friends might be in our former situation, I thought it might help to write a diddy about our experience with this fine place.

Here's my thought: Incarnation Lutheran @ Byron Rd. gets an absolute full endorsement from Jennifer, Finley, and me. Over the last three years, this smile factory couldn't have served our family any better.  

To sum up, my kid was anxious going in, safe while there, and happy at the end of the day. Well done, and Thank You, Incarnation Day School @ Byron Road.  

Finley and her parents will miss you.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Quote Taken Out Of Context @TheState


Today you may have read the article in The State Newspaper entitled, "Home Sales Gain Strength In S.C."  The piece is a welcome collection of good news, and I was happy to discuss some thoughts with the reporter.  That said, my comments were taken out of context and I need to correct it.

Part of the article reads, "Jones and his team partner, Amanda Payne, are being honored by their company for closing on 100 homes in 213 days this year already. That includes 23 closings in the last year in Kings Grant, where homes list between $350,000 to about $1 million."

Although we're proud of our sales record in this downtown neighborhood, we have not closed 23 homes in King's Grant since Jan. 1, 2012.  

Here's the rub. During the interview the reporter and I spoke, at length, about many specific areas in downtown Columbia, SC. Because I had the stats right in front of me, I touted, "For example, King's Grant is selling. In the last 12 months King's Grant has enjoyed 23 closings, has X Pending Contracts, and X Active Listings. King's Grant is selling."  

The stats I rattled off included every KG sale by all real estate sales professionals in the last full 12 month period. This has nothing to do with sales by Amanda and me since Jan. 1, 2012 (seven months). As you can imagine, the two are wildly different. Even so, the reporter hooked the stats to the 100 sales we've had year to date @2012. Again, they are not related.

At the time I gave the KG numbers, we weren't talking about Team F, Amanda and me, or our team's closings. We were speaking about what was happening in the market, where I thought it was going, and why, which was the reason for the conversation.

In all, it was a positive and fine article of which I was flattered to be included. I do, however, feel compelled to set the record straight. Taking it a notch further, I've requested that The State print a retraction.

Thank you! 

FJ

Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/2012/08/16/2401553/home-sales-gain-strength-in-sc.html#storylink=cpy

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Take A Look At All Those Realtors....


The pics above are of a sales seminar given by one of the more popular real estate coaches in the U.S. I wish the pics were clearer but this is the max size allowed on my Blogger template. It isn't capturing the full tone of the moment, but you get the idea. There are 1,000's of salespeople in there!

To see this on an iPad in full screen is quite a sight. I had to do a double take, and actually thought so much of it that I'm typing on the subject. There are a few things that struck me:

1)  Tom Ferry can pack a freakin' house. Totally impressed that he draws this kind of crowd. I've not attended his seminar, but maybe he's on to something. I dunno, but WOW.

2)  Look at all that competition. Folks and friends often approach me about getting into the residential real estate industry. The images above speak volumes, and here's what fence sitters should take away from the pics: unless you're entering real estate sales with an all-in, full-tilt, adrenaline, time, and sweat soaked sponge attitude... don't do it. Don't even go through the motions. 

Again, take a look at that crowd. That's only one city, and one seminar. Sure, you can make some bucks by selling a few houses, but unless you dive in hard core, it's not going to produce enough fruit to be worth the effort and fees.

3)  We need to step up our game. Our local MLS membership hovers around 2,000 +/- members. Yes, Amanda and I are posting top production numbers in Columbia's real estate market. That said, the pic above is a quick reminder that in the big scheme of things, there are much bigger producers in other parts of the United States.  

After all the hard work we've done, that last paragraph was hard to type. However, competition is a great motivator and I need to get over it. To be blunt, tomorrow I need to suit up and just do better. 

To sum up, I welcome anyone and everyone to this awesome industry. The images above just struck me in a big way and puts a lot of what we do into perspective. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm impressed at how many real estate sales professionals are trying to step up their game, which makes me want to get up in a few hours and crush it.

Side Note:  Some of you may notice that I "Checked In" at CBUR-Midtown on Facebook around 1:45AM. This may seem a little weird, but the truth is I committed my biggest pet peeve. Once again, I didn't pack up my laptop power cord when I left the office today;  HATE... H-A-T-E it when I do that. Given tonight is a "blog night," it was killing me not being able to post up, so I drove over to get it. There you go...

Monday, August 13, 2012

Columbia, SC, Statement Home For Sale

If you follow this blog, you're well aware that I've posted about hundreds of cool properties around downtown Columbia, SC. Amanda and I take pride in representing more than our fair share of premiere Columbia real estate. That said, while there are many sharp and polished homes out there, "statement" properties don't often hit Columbia's market for sale.

In the next few days the home in the pic above will officially be for sale. At first glance, some of you won't know the house. Truth told, many longtime Columbia residents won't recognize it at all. After all, 2630 Stratford Rd. has a crazy air of privacy. While the privacy is bada**, the vantage point provides a spectacular bird's eye view of the historical Forest Hills neighborhood. #Win/Win..

2630 Stratford Rd. is history, charm, and character personified, but meets the needs and amenities expected in today's world. Pool included... BOOM.

Over the years, friends and visitors of this blog may remember me talking about "magic streets" in Columbia, SC; Heathwood Circle, Wateree Ave, and Abelia Rd come to mind. In short, people just love them. Like the "magic streets," there are a few homes that dot Columbia's landscape that excite more than others. Enter 2630 Stratford Rd.

If you or a friend would like a preview of this Forest Hills beauty, call or email fjones@cbunited.com or amandaqpayne@live.com

Stay tuned for more info and pics of this intown classic. 

P.S. - This downtown stunner feeds into popular Satchel Ford Elementary.  ;-)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Graduation Day @ TeamFranklin.com


After five years of late-night typing, I feel like the time has come to make a blog change. This is a bittersweet move, to be sure, but I think it's the right call.

In 2007, "blogging" was a relatively new thing, especially for the real estate industry. As far as I know, this is the oldest real estate blog in the Midlands. Five years ago, I decided to give it a try. Amy customized it and I started typing, adding widgets and gadgets along the way. Has it been worth it? I think so.

Of all the marketing that goes into this job, blogging is probably the most laborious of them all. The trick to blogging is to keep "posts" short, frequent, and in some sort of rhythm. This is no easy task, especially when I don't open the laptop until midnight.  

Enter Facebook and Twitter, which made blogging more difficult. Even though I pounced on both big-time (remember "Late to bed, early to rise, work like hell and socialize."?); as effective as that Facebook ad was, the entrance of Fbook and Twitter made everyone aware of everything, which made blogging more challenging.

I can't quantify how many sales the blog is responsible for, but it's pretty heavy. While most real estate websites sit around stagnant, this blog shows folks who I am and brands what we're doing. Again, I can't completely quantify it, but two of my largest sales of the year are directly related to this blog. The owners of Delano ($675,000) and Martha's Glen ($589,000) didn't know me, but enjoyed the blog and learned how we do things through my late night posts. Kinda cool!

You may ask, "If it's working, why mess with a good thing?" It's just time. As awesome as "Blogger" has been, I don't own any of my content. Making the move to WordPress will change this. Further, even though Google owns Blogger, switching to WordPress will boost my search engine optimization (SEO) options. Further, I think it will be easier and less intrusive for readers to leave comments. We'll see.

As a rule, I usually don't reveal what I'm doing next. The blog is different, however, as I know full well most Realtors aren't going to have the time to emulate this facet of the business. After all, right now it's 2:24AM... and there's only so much time in the day.

I just looked up and saw a bunch of text. It seems as though I need to take my own advice in regards to keeping posts short. That said, in the next few days we'll be changing the look, feel, and vibe of our web presence.

In short, given that Facebook and Twitter are easier outlets to self-promote and blurt out real estate tidbits, most Realtors continue to abandon their web/blog efforts. Conversely, I'm stepping it up a notch.

It's bittersweet, but I'm excited to move forward with our new blog and WordPress theme. It's Graduation Day for www.TeamFranklin.com .

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Snapshot of Inventory Under Contract




When folks ask me, "How's the market?", I give a conscious effort not to answer with a good ole', "GREAT!", or "Couldn't be better!"  If you know me, you know full well that being salesman(y) is something I try to avoid.

Could I spin a huge spool of good news and awesomeness within a few sentences? Absolutely, but it's just not me. After all, Amanda and I have a lot of active listings and a lot of work ahead of us to get them sold.

This all said, the blog gives me the opportunity to project a snapshot of what's going on. The pics above are some examples of our listings "Under Contract" that you may otherwise not know about. A couple of interesting dynamics about the homes above: 1) They reflect different price levels ($249,000, $289,000, $389,000, $699,000) and 2) All four represent very different neighborhoods within downtown Columbia.

Circle Drive (Forest Acres), Somerton (King's Grant), Blossom Street (Shandon), and Lincoln Street(Elmwood Park) are all at different stages of their respective due diligence periods. Appraisals and inspections have been ordered on a couple, while the other two haven't navigated very far through the process. Even so, they're Pending Contract, and that's a good thing.

In sum, inventory is moving and I thought you might like a quick read of what's going on in a few downtown Columbia, SC neighborhoods.

Thank you!  FJ

Monday, August 6, 2012

Neighborhood, W/In A Neighborhood..

Every now and then a home hits the market that speaks to a "niche". A few examples of this are those that are uber swank, zero maintenance, wheelchair friendly, horse affable, or perhaps have a built-in "mother-in-law" suite. That said, if you're familiar with the small paved loop in the back of the King's Grant neighborhood, you know why the homes @ Oakman Court are rarely for sale.

In the coming days, we'll put 10 Oakman Court West on the market. These King's Grant homes usually speak to a few of the attributes in the paragraph above, and 10 Oakman West is no different.

There aren't many areas in downtown Columbia that can offer what "Oakman" can. A few that may put up a good fight are Wheeler Hill, The Preserve, The Cloisters, or Olde Park in Forest Acres. All of these have "zero lot lines," and enjoy little maintenance. Everything considered (amenities, schools, and pools) Oakman remains a top option. 

What really sets Oakman apart is that it's a neighborhood within a neighborhood. This small pocket of homes enjoys all the goodies that popular King's Grant can offer.

In the coming days I'll post more pics and info of the property. I can tell you with zero hesitation that this home may be the primo listing in the "Oakman Loop" in a long time. It's full of arches, high ceilings, tall doors (both floors), a killer kitchen, and sports a primo setup for entertaining.

Stay tuned for more pics and details. No doubt, this week 10 Oakman Court West will be the new shiny listing in King's Grant, and downtown Columbia, SC.

Thank you!  FJ

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Keep Winning The Metal, Team USA!!

In today's world of quick jabs and sound bites, pretty much everything is used to churn political venom into Facebook and Twitter gold.   Today is a prime example of this.  In the vain of political savvy(ness), we all watched our Facebook pages fill up with photo ops of politicians sitting around with bags of fried sandwiches.

Sad truth is that many of those Chick-fil-a bags are likely props filled with staplers or wireless keyboards.  Who knows...

The Olympics is no different.  Remember the Ralph Lauren designed suits Team USA wore during the opening ceremonies that were, "Made In China?"  This was pounced on by the spin machine, big time.  A few days later, we all saw some of Team USA in Adidas garb.  Still outraged?   Notre Dame wears Adidas.  Andy Roddick wears Lacoste .  "It's different," I know.  I get it.

This all said, in the next few days you're gonna see some spin regarding the value of the medals, and how the athletes will be taxed about $9,000 for bringing home a medal of precious metal.   Digging a little further, the actual medal/metal isn't what brings the bill, it's the $25,000 cash prize that comes with winning.

Here's the apparent rub.  Unless the athlete makes over $380,000ish, and takes $0 deductions, they may owe the dough.  Well, after you peel back the soundbites and the layers of what's really going on, the deductions from food, travel, equipment, and an Olympic level coach, pretty much zaps the bill away.  There ya go.

So, if you catch a Tweet or Facebook 'Status Update' from a fuming friend about Team USA getting taxed 9 clams for succeeding, don't get as fired up so fast.  The original post may be created by a spin jobber couched as a soundbite intended to fire you up, one way or the other.  

Disclaimer:  I'm not saying the hard working athletes shouldn't keep every cent, no matter what.  I'm simply pointing out that we prolly don't want to go crazy per a political soundbite without peeling back a few informative layers.  

Just a fleeting thought.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Letting The Blog Rest A Little Tonight..

As some of you know it kinda bothers me to disrupt the rhythm of the blog.  If I can help it, I rarely skip more than two or three business nights without posting.   That said, this is one of those nights!

If you haven't heard, last week Amanda and I closed our 100th house of 2012.   As a, "Thank You!!" we threw a little diddy at The Oyster Bar @ The Vista for the folks involved in the sales.

I'm pretty sure everyone had a good time and filled up on seafood.  I know I did.   After all, I'll always enjoy hanging out with clients and friends with shrimp, oysters and cocktails everywhere.

Since Amy hasn't thrown me any photos yet for the header pic, I'm using one of our other fun marketing gigs as a filler.

Thank you for the pass tonight!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Newer, Move-In Ready @ $289,900!!

Please welcome 3356 Overcreek Rd to the downtown Columbia real estate market. Now that I've typed a pleasantry, here's what's really going on: this property may be "the best bang for the buck" in all of Columbia right now.

3356 Overcreek features gleaming hardwood floors, high/smooth ceilings, heavy moldings, four bedrooms, loads of living space, and a roof line that touches the sky. Why would anyone care about a high roof line? Three things come to mind: 1) "Wow! factor" curb appeal; 2) Storage! You won't believe the slightly unfinished areas - it's massive, and could easily be expanded living area; 3) The scenery.

How does one categorize a roof line that touches the sky? I can't quantify it with math (and stuff), but given I have to move my head back to see it, you see what I'm getting at. It's grand, and provides for awesome views from inside.


Overcreek features a real-deal owner's suite complete with double vanity, separate shower, and jetted tub. No kidding, the view from the master bath makes you feel like you're in the mountains. It's high up, and kinda awesome.

The updated, semi-open, eat-in kitchen includes new appliances, granite tops, and flows into the family room/den and elevated screen porch. One of my favorite facets of this house is the eat-in kitchen. Before Finley (my 3 year old) was born this wouldn't have been a big deal for me, but now I know better. That said, the breakfast area is large and has a treehouse-like view of the backyard. It's pretty cool. The dining room is the same, btw.

Outside the windows, you'll see the backyard is uber private. It's suggestive of your own golf driving range, surrounded by mature trees on all sides. Take a look at the pics... you'll see what I mean. Notice all the playsets, slides, deck space, and the garden. In short, there's room for just about anything you can imagine.

Overcreek is only a few turns from I-77, and minutes to anything downtown or everything Forest Acres has to offer (Trenholm Plaza). 

If you're looking for the amenities of a newer home, four bedrooms, lots of living space, private backyard, outdoor fun, and tons of storage... this is it. 3356 Overcreek has just about everything, and all for only $289,900. 

If you or anyone you know would like to see this stately home, please call or email fjones@cbunited.com or amandaqpayne@live.com. It's a pleasure to show.

Remember, if you visit the links above be sure to click the picture itself and not the arrows. This way, you'll have larger images to look at. 

Thank you!

Friday, July 27, 2012

One Hundred Closings - Year To Date...

Around 3:00 PM Thursday I proudly sat beside one of my sellers at a downtown Columbia law firm. After about an hour of transferring blue ink from pen to paper, and a cordial exchanging of the keys, we closed on our ONE HUNDREDTH "side" of 2012. Two salespeople, one team manager. Whoa....

Many blog posts ago, I wrote about how Amanda and I tried to recruit each other to join our respective real estate firms. At the time, she had a great business going with another franchise.

Remember when Za's was PACKED every Thursday night? This is when most of the recruiting banter/wars took place. More often than not, whenever she and I started jawing about real estate, most of our buds would be so bored they'd leave the conversation immediately. Can't say I blame them!

Fast forwarding to today, I don't think either one of us had any idea we'd be closing 100 "sides" seven months into 2012 (remember, there's a seller "side" and a buyer "side" to each deal).

Over the years we've closed a lot of volume and units, but nothing like this. I suppose there's a myriad of explanations for the boost. Team chemistry, perhaps? Who knows. The crux that possibly holds the most weight is that Amy (Team Manager) is back full-time.  

When Amanda joined me @ Coldwell Banker, Amy was a full-time mom of her baby boy. This was tough timing for the team. Too bad, however, as nothing could be done. After all, we all know how backed up the "Day School" situation is in downtown Columbia, SC. Anyway, Amy tried to do all the detail management "stuff" from home. We got it all done, but it was a huge clog in the pipeline. Now we're well-oiled, and all systems are a GO.

Typing through this blog doesn't properly project the "Thank Yous!!!!," I/we owe. Yes, we hustle and work hard, but when it's broken down and observed from a bird's-eye view, it's the loyalty and referral network of our sphere of friends that makes this kind of volume happen. It's over the top. In short, it's the best real estate network in South Carolina.

This may sound odd, but I'm chomping to get to the office tomorrow. Hustling at this pace is part of the gig, and we love making stuff happen. It's about 1:38AM right now, and I'm about to answer a bunch of emails. "Pawn Stars" is on TV, btw.

We'll see in December where this years ends up. Hopefully, we can keep up the pace and continue to make our clients proud.

Thank you for a great year, and as Amanda texted me earlier..."Here's to the next 1,000!!!".

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

"Charleston District," @ Columbia, SC

Historic Lincoln St. Home @ Elmwood Park For Sale
Part of what makes Columbia, SC real estate interesting is how different the neighborhoods are within a very close proximity. To name a few: Forest Hills has intertwined streets and huge oaks; Shandon enjoys a hodgepodge of architecture (led by its classic bungalow), grid-like master plan, and sidewalks absolutely everywhere; Forest Acres is full of large lots, ranch style homes, and tall pines.

Elmwood Park is different from them all. Populated with "four-square" and Charleston-style architecture, Elmwood Park is arguably the most colorful neighborhood in Columbia. It's like a kaleidoscope of real estate. Further still, I'd bet there are more front porches per capita than any neighborhood in the Midlands. In short, Southern Charm is everywhere.

As most clients know the age of these houses (about 100), every now and then I'll stick a mind-bender on Elmwood Park buyers and sellers. When they ask about the history of the area, or start talking about the age/charm of a house, I'll toss out, "Elmwood Park is the only neighborhood that looks like this 'cause it's the only area in Columbia Sherman didn't burn." Pretty much everyone goes with it, until the math kicks in. Nothing wrong with a little "duh" moment!

Many think Lincoln St. is the premiere street in all of Elmwood Park. This one, 2214 Lincoln, has been completely renovated. As you can see from the pics in the link, the star of this show is the top-shelf kitchen and the size of the lot. Both features are very large, awesome, and perfect selling elements.

HOLD UP:  Well, as a reader you couldn't know this, but I just took a little break in the blog action to check my email. Looks like this house is now Under Contract. WOW!  

Congrats to my sellers of 2214 Lincoln!

Notwithstanding the Pending Contract, if you or anyone you know would like to view this beautiful home, please call or email fjones@cbunited.com or amandaqpayne@live.com .  

Thank you!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Idea, "So Crazy, It Just Might Work!"


Life, Liberty, And The Pursuit of A Lower Payment
Just as I was pasting pics of a new Charleston style listing on Lincoln St. (killer kitchen, btw) @ Elmwood Park, I clicked over to Facebook to see what was going on.  While scrolling I found the diddy below, and thought it was interesting enough to start my post over.

Here's the quick of it:   If you're "under water," the government could take the property per the power of eminent domain, sell it off to big cats for a lower number than what the owner bought it for, whereby they would refi the homeowner.  Bang, there ya go.

You remember "eminent domain."  It's the right of the government to take some or all of your property for the public greater good, with "due" compensation, without your consent.

Why could this possibly be a good idea, you ask?  It skips the steps of the expensive process needed for lenders to foreclose, and the legal red tape that comes with it, and allows folks to remain in their homes at a lower payment.   Simply put, it takes the law of, "We can do this, because we just can" from a level of highways, train routes, or economic development, to a financial tool for homeowners, lenders, and cities.  Win/Win/Win?   Hmm....

My purist Capitalist and Libertarian friends will kick this off as as the dumbest thing ever.  Staying true to their core, I can't blame them.  After all, homeowners shouldn't cry, "U.S. Government, pleeeeze take my land."  Somehow this just doesn't seem like the coveted American way, at all.  Personally, I worry of the precedent that could be set and a potentially dangerous slippery slope.

I'm not sure if it's a good idea or not.   Good or bad, it's an idea, and if you know me I'm a big fan of ideas.

Perhaps they should try a pilot program in San Bernandino, or Detroit, and see how things shake out.  

For the record, on the surface the idea sounds like a goodie for upside down homeowners.  However, when I back up a few frames and go big picture, it feels like a potential disaster and a new national attitude in the making.

Hmm............

FJ
"Under the proposal, towns would essentially be seizing and condemning the man-made mess resulting from the housing bubble. Cooked up by a small group of businessmen and ex-venture capitalists, the audacious idea falls under the category of... "That’s so crazy, it just might work!" One of the plan’s originators described it to me as a "four-bank pool shot."

Here’s how the New York Times described it in an article from earlier this week entitled, "California County Weighs Drastic Plan to Aid Homeowners":

'Desperate for a way out of a housing collapse that has crippled the region, officials in San Bernardino County … are exploring a drastic option — using eminent domain to buy up mortgages for homes that are underwater.

Then, the idea goes, the county could cut the mortgages to the current value of the homes and resell the mortgages to a private investment firm, which would allow homeowners to lower their monthly payments and hang onto their property.'

I’ve been following this story for months now – I was tipped off that this was coming earlier this past spring – and in the time since I’ve become more convinced the idea might actually work, thanks mainly to the lucky accident that the plan doesn’t require the permission of anyone up in the political Olympus.

Cities and towns won’t need to ask for an act of a bank-subsidized congress to do this, and they won’t need a federal judge to sign off on any settlement. They can just do it. In the Death Star of America’s financial oligarchy, the ability of local governments to use eminent domain to seize toxic debt might be the one structural flaw big enough for the rebel alliance to exploit.

The plan only makes sense in the context of America’s overall economic paralysis. Right now the economy is stuck in a standstill, largely because of the housing bubble. Five or six or ten years ago, when Wall Street was cranking out trillions of dollars of cheap home loans so that they could later be chopped up, pooled, and sold to unsuspecting investors in the form of high-grade securitized bonds, millions of ordinary people jumped on the housing comet, buying big houses for big money." http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/from-an-unlikely-source-a-serious-challenge-to-wall-street-20120720

Friday, July 20, 2012

Good Listings About To Hit Our Market



Over the next few posts you'll notice a ton of good homes hitting the market.   If we decided to press the issue, nine nice new listings would've entered the marketplace on Monday (This doesn't include Amanda's action).   However, since Amy is at the beach for the week, and as I knew I'd be in Anderson all of Wednesday, we felt it would be wise to spread the timing, and the responsibilities.

A good example of "spreading," is the photography.  Taking pics isn't as easy as snapping a pic.  There's cropping, sizing, uploading, etc.  That said, with Amy gone, I'm paying a good photographer $65 to snap pics of each home.  After he takes about 100 pics, he'll zip the photos to Amy so she can do her thing.    

Further, key production, lock box placement, data sheet input, and "write ups" are all important part of the listing process.  That said, we're utilizing the combination of talents throughout the office to get it done.

As a heads up, there's some awesome inventory about to hit the market.  To start, three in Lexington are almost ready:  They're all move in ready, and enjoy different price levels.  One is in Woodcreek, one is in Rose Lake, and the other is in Palm Court, respectively.  Asking prices vary from $89,000 to about $450,000.

To give you another heads up, we're about to absolutely rip it up in Forest Acres/Druid Hills.  Homes on Mills Dr., Concord Dr., Craig Rd., Glenwood Rd., Glenbrook Circle, and Overcreek will be hitting the market in the next few days. 

The pics above are some of the sharp features of Mills Drive - 29204.  This home, which is located on a very quiet street, has a surprisingly large owner's suite, dining area, and family room.   There's a lot of bang for the buck for this downtown listing, offered at $174,500.

If you're curious about any of these new listings about to hit the market, please call or email fjones@cbunited.com or amandaqpayne@live.com .  

When Amy returns from a week of fam time, we'll be back on the fast track!

Thank you!  FJ

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wed. @ Anderson To Say "Bye" To "Bo"

I can't blog too long tonight, as I'll be WAY off routine Wednesday morning.   Getting right to it, my grandmother's closest sibling passed away Sunday morning.  With that, I'll be traveling to my hometown of Anderson, SC early tomorrow morning.

Here's the first paragraph of her obituary (paraphrased) :  Mrs. Elizabeth “Bo” Brown Wakefield, age 94,... was a daughter of the late Joseph Dexter Brown and the late Frances Finley Brown. For 66 years, she was the devoted wife of David C. Wakefield, Jr. who died in 2008.

As you see, Mandy, Michael, and I are of the Brown family from the Upstate.  As I age and find relatives around South Carolina, the Brown family is where I find the most connections, by far (usually cousins, obviously).  You can also see where my girl, Finley, gets her name.  

For my Columbia, SC friends, there are more Finleys (with an "e") in South Carolina than you think!

Through my grandmother, Mimi, my memories of "Bo" are of a good and perhaps normal "great aunt" relationship.   That said, my bigger connection to "Bo" was via one of my best childhood friends, and cousin, John Wakefield.   For a while, John and I pretty much did everything together.  We rode bikes until called home, built forts and dams in the creeks, were soccer teammates, spent hours playing tether ball (remember tether ball???), attended Camp Greenville together, and were just plain buds.  Getting back to the point, our grandmothers, "Mimi" and "Bo", helped make most of these memories happen.   To me, that's "Bo."   I won't forget her.

So tomorrow, I'll climb in the car early and blow up I-26 to get to the cemetery by 10:00ish.  I'm anxious to see John, my cousin and friend.

I know John would agree as I type that we wouldn't be a 10th of the men we aspire to be without influences like his grandmother, Bo.

PS:  If you need anything real estate in Columbia, SC, email amandaqpyane@live.com or call 609-0526.   Thank you!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Jennifer, Finley, And Their Odyssey...


Ever since I met my first set of in laws, Jim and Nell Black, I've purchased my vehicles in Manning or Kingstree.   When I met him, Mr. Black owned Santee Motor Company in Manning, SC, and Longstreet Motor Company in Kingstree, SC.  Between the two dealerships, he retailed almost all the GM brands, including Cadillac.  Shortly after their daughter, Kinsey, passed away, he sold Santee Pontiac/Buick/GMC to friendly competitor Prothro Chevrolet, respectively.  Given the circumstances, it was a natural and seamless move for all involved.  Win/Win.

To date, I've purchased two trucks, and my current car from one of these two dealerships.  Fast forward to this weekend.  On Saturday, Jennifer, Finley, I cruised to Kingstree to trade Jennifer's SUV for a nice shiny....MINIVAN!

Over the years I've stayed true to Mr. Black's brands, too.  This time, however, because Jennifer wanted to go the minivan route, we ventured into the world of Honda.  To this point, I asked one of my best car buddies, Chase Craven, "If the Toyota and Honda's minivans are so popular/hard to get, why doesn't GM get into the the minivan game?"  His response, "It's just not who they are."  I get that.

I should mention too that as much as I would've liked for Jennifer to get a Yukon or Tahoe, she works in one of the downtown towers.  What does that mean??  Garage.  I can certainly understand why she wouldn't want to maneuver a Yukon through a parking garage every day.   The Odyssey is a smooth fit.

Jennifer owned her red Explorer for almost 11 years.  I've never known her to drive anything else, and to her credit, she's been without a car payment for a very long time.  That said, this was a tough mental step.   Uncharacteristically for me, I was able to vanish my payment about a year ago as well.  Obviously, it's been nice for our little family to not have a car payment at all.

So far we're impressed with the Odyssey.  The ride is awesome, and there are buttons on top of buttons, but the biggest reason she wanted this is the sliding doors.  Since Finley can't open a car door yet, but can let herself in, this will be an extremely convenient feature.

Yay to Jennifer for waiting on what she really wanted.   Thanks to Mr. Black for making it happen.

All the sudden, we're a minivan fam!

Friday, July 13, 2012

USA - China Sewing Competitive Fabric

U.S. Olympians In Sino Threads, With A French Twist
In a couple of weeks pretty much all of us will be Tweeting and FBook'in about the Summer Olympics. After all, since the last summer Olympics four years ago, I can't think of too many events that jumped me off the sofa like two of Michael Phelp's races. Remember that medley??? Holy moly, Jason Lezak (the anchor leg), had the whole world YELLING as he paddled the leader down. Whew, I remember it like it was yesterday.

Fast forward to 2012, and the announcement of the uniforms to be worn at the Opening Ceremony in London. As a side note, here's an interesting tidbit - "For inspiration, the Ralph Lauren team relied on photos from USOC's archives, 1948 in particular, the last time the Games were held in London. Knowing that we were going back to England, there was a feeling of Chariots of Fire," David Lauren, the designer's son, said.

Two things:
Point 1 - They're made in China. Hmmm. There's outrage all over Capitol Hill about this. Leading the bark, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid went off saying, "I think they should take all the uniforms, put them in a big pile and burn them." Strong statement, and I get it. I also remember the Canadian company "Roots" that outfitted our team. Outrage? Different relationships, different time. Again, I get it.  

Team USA should be wearing uniforms made in the United States.

Point 2 - That flippin' BERET. C'mon Ralph! Your stuff is awesome and I may not know fashion, but the success of the Roots brand beret in Canada years ago won't translate into huge beret sales in the United States.  

Here's an novel idea (sarcasm injected). Why not outfit our athletes in a good ole' American baseball cap? Here's the thing: I'd bet ONE (1) in 1,000 of my friends own a beret (and he owns 25ish baseball caps!). Conversely, I know that 1,000 of 1,000 friends wear baseball caps. Get it? It's us. It's American. I don't understand why Ralph Lauren keeps pushing the French beret.

To take it even further, I can't think of one noun (person, place or thing... haha), sporting or otherwise, that's had a more worldwide influence than our baseball cap. I mean seriously, pretty much everyone in first world countries, and even many in third world countries, wear baseball style lids. C'mon, Ralph! Go with it!

We often debate regarding "substance vs symbolism." The two points above, in my opinion, cover substance AND symbolism, both of which have their place in American pride.

This all said, no matter the garb, I'll be watching Team USA pretty much every night.

Just FYI, during some of my Googling for this post I saw you can purchase the Ralph Lauren Olympic blazer in the pic above for $795. Remember, made in China...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Popular 2700 Block @ Shandon $249K.


One good thing about having a fluid blog, is that I can "push" info out there before the syndicated websites like www.Zillow.com or www.Realtor.com grab it.  Actually, because I post so late at night (It's 1:38 right now), early readers often receive info before other Realtors are privy to it.   Does this really mean anything for the masses?  No, but readers can pick up on some uber local info that most folks don't see for a day or more.  Enter this price adjustment in Shandon.

Tonight, this classic Shandon home will enjoy the attractive price point of $249,900.   We're having the red sign rider made in the morning, and I'm itching to get this one up!

Here's my original post about 2711 Blossom St.   As you can tell from the pics, the house is move in ready, and loaded with charm, and pretty cool.  The front porch is spot on Southern Living, and the location is primo if you love everything @ Devine St., Shandon, and 29205.

Call or email fjones@cbunited.com or amandaqpayne@live.com to take a peek.  2711 Blossom St. is a pleasure to show, and very close to anything we're doing.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Our "Motorboat" Had A Big Weekend!


After declaring in this post that everyone should've concentrated on having great time on and around Independence Day, we decided to carry it on into the weekend, too.  

On Saturday night, Rockbridge threw a huge celebration party, complete with DJ, BBQ, jerk chicken, tons of sides, and a pool and pool deck slammed with friendly folks.  

As you can see from the pics above, the kids had a great time. I think at any one time the line to the diving board was seven to 10 deep. It's the most folks I've ever seen at the pool, by far. In fact, the pic above doesn't do the crowd justice, as the pool curves around to the right where most folks are hanging out.

As you can see too, Finley was as patriotic as her mommy could get her! The "Motorboat" (yes, that's what I call her right now because of the way she kicks in the water), had a HUGE time. Notice the juice resting, feet crossed, a bucket of cheerios, and that smile. We had such a good time, I think FJ hit her bed around 10 that night. Worth. It.

According to my Twitter and Facebook feeds, it looks like a big time was had by everyone this weekend. For Jennifer, Finley, and me, it was no different! Well done, Rockbridge.

As fun as last week was, I'm drooling for Monday so we can get back to the work routine.

Friday, July 6, 2012

How Many Solo Cups Have You Held ??

The Party Vessel Is Actually A Measuring Apparatus
Although we've had a pretty productive few days, I'm confident this unusually looong holiday week will continue to feel like a few more Saturdays in a row. Since so many folks are at the beach, lake, or in a pool, I'm aware the amount of eyeballs of this little blog will decrease.

Knowing this is an off week, and to continue with the holiday spirit, I want to take an opportunity to relay some useless information. From the moment you notice it, however, it's kinda gonna be kinda useful moving forward.

If you haven't paid attention yet, take a sec to look at the pic above. There ya go!

I got this useless tidbit from Facebook a few weeks ago, but held the pic in my phone until now. Of the thousands of SOLO cups I've been around, I'm not sure any of my friends are aware the lines actually serve a purpose. 

Two thoughts come to mind: 1) Who knew?... Duh  2) Dead simple clever.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Have A Happy & Prideful 4th of July!!!

Have A Good Independence Day, Or Miss The Point
In the morning, we'll all wake up to competing and polarizing television stations, watching nasty venom and lava ooze from our 42" flatty's.   Let's face it, it's just what we do.  

While passion is important, and healthy infighting has its place, be sure and take a good look around you on July 4th.   To be sure, I'm well aware that a good political battle is an important part of the American experience.  That said, I'm also aware we're Americans first, and for a day this should be cause for coast to coast celebration.

Whether you're on a South Carolina beach watching fighter jets fly overhead, or sitting on your kids kickboard in a crystal blue pool with a Bud Light Lime sitting four feet away, recognize and inhale the day as a pretty good one.  I know I will.

Happy Independence Day, everyone!!!

FJ

Monday, July 2, 2012

Celebrating July 4th in Columbia, SC




Since July 4 falls on a Wednesday this year, many of us are confused as to which weekend we should celebrate our nations birthdate.  Some, in fact, are utilizing this as an opportunity to have two holiday weekends.  After all, living in South Carolina, that means a lot of beach time.  Perfect!

Converseley, some of our clients cleverly chose the upcoming week to close on their new homes.  With that, we're celebrating "The 4th" by doing some good ole' American commerce. 

The homes in the pics above are scheduled to close Monday, Thursday, and Friday, respectively.   If you think about it, these buyers and sellers are pretty smart, as the new owners of Lord Neslon Ct., Florawood Drive, and Delano Drive get to take advantage of this unusual week to move into their new homes. 

Just as a point of information, and so CMLS recognizes I'm not false advertising, Lord Nelson Ct. and Florawood are not my listings.  We represent the buyers on both.  It also may be interesting to some readers that Florawood has been on the market since May of 2007.   You just never know!!!

I can't imagine a better way to celebrate our nations freedom than doing a little business.  After all, we're helping hard working tax paying folks acquire private property, so they can enjoy the American dream. 

What a great week!

Friday, June 29, 2012

The "SOLD" Sign Often Means Pressure



Some people pay attention to real estate, and some don't.  That said, you may be the type that pays attention to the real estate signs that dot downtown Columbia.  If you do, you may have noticed we've put together a nice little run of listings that enjoy the coveted red lettered, "Pending Contract" or "SOLD" sign riders.  You may have noticed, too, that we love signs!

To list a few, the pics above are Delano Dr., Martha's Glen, N. King's Grant Dr. and Churchill Circle. 

What many don't understand, is often times the marketing process isn't the most difficult facet of the job.  Sometimes, it's the "contract to close" part of the sales process that takes the most creativity, tact, finesse, and work.   For instance, two of the homes in the pics above have potentially sticky moisture issues, but a very quick closing date.  One has an easement issue, which is a legal problem.  Further still, one of the homes above didn't appraise, falling $50,000+ short.  UGGH!  Some of these issues may not seem like big whoops, but considering the super fast closing dates, of eight total buyers/sellers involved, four face the possibility of being homeless.  You can imagine the pressure.

How do we deal with these situations?  Well, we just do.   The one that came up "short" was a terrible problem for the buyer and seller, for different reasons.  After writing a letter appealing the original appraisal, the VP brass of the bank agreed to allow a 2nd appraisal.  Since I was confident in our product, knew the neighborhood, and most of all, ravenously competitive about making it work, I gave the bank my CC# to pay for the 2nd appraisal.  

Thank goodness this was, "in compliance" as all lenders are different.  As a nice gesture, the lender agreed to pick up the tab if the 2nd appraisal came in 10% higher than the first.   BoOM.   We'll be closing in two weeks, and the sellers are now fiercely looking for a home to rent in order to make it happen.

I can't type through this keyboard how intense some of these transactions can be.  Not knowing if a sale is going to happen can be an incredibly stressful feeling for any family.  The pressure is overwhelming, and we can feel it from our clients.

Getting back to the seeing all the red "Pending Contract" and "Under Contract" sign riders, all is not as it seems.   Don't get me wrong, when Amanda, Amy, or I put the rider on the sign it's a great feeling.  That said, sometimes the challenges and pressure ahead is much more difficult than the marketing process projects.

While some think we're pretty good at marketing, it may be the "contract to close" part of the transaction we excel the most.  After all, it's June, and we're closing in on 100 transactions for 2012.  I can't verify, but I'm pretty sure this isn't because of our snazzy photos, "status updates," blog posts, or tweets.

Thank you!  FJ

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Helmet Models Spotted In Shandon.


Of course, the day after I put the latest blog post on Facebook describing how we don't ride bikes as often as we should...we ride bikes.

Truth is, if it's 80ish degrees, and live in Shandon with a little time before dinner, it's kinda criminal not to take a stroll or cruise around the neighborhood on a bike.   After all, it's one of the reasons we live here, and part of being a Shandon'ista.   With all the huge shady oaks, wide streets populated with sidewalks on both sides, and located adjacent to everything on Devine Street and Five Points, Shandon is tailor made for walkers, runners, and bikes.

It's so popular, in fact, that I know a lot of folks who drive/park at Hand Middle School just so they can walk around and enjoy the sights and charm of Shandon.   When I lived on Atascadero, I did the same thing.   To come clean, I did it partially for marketing purposes, and to get as familiar and knowledgeable as possible about a neighborhood I could do a lot of business.  Maybe it worked???

Just fyi, Jennifer doesn't know I took the first pic above.  We'll see how long it takes her to realize it's there, and/or if she lets me keep it up.  I just couldn't resist putting such a fun shot of our little snack break.  More accurately, I've prolly never seen better looking girls in biking bonnets. 
Somehow, Jennifer can even make a bike helmet look good.   Finley, on the other hand, may need that helmet to keep me from squeezin' all that cuteness to freaking pieces!

No, I don't wear a helmet.  Waaaah, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa...........

The porch they're sitting on is an awesome house in the 3400 block of Blossom St. we closed a few weeks ago (Cavanaughs old house!).   True to form, while we were snacking on Goldfish the new owner, and awesome client, ran up on us and gave a tour of what they've done to their new home.  Nice!!

As you can tell, it was a pretty great evening in Shandon - Columbia, SC.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Only A Few Miles Away, Rockbridge Fits


For a while now, I've been debating on whether to join a local social organization, or "club."  Years ago, tons of my friends and I belonged to The University Club.  It was awesome, until Mr. Ginn kicked us all out so he could build his vision, Cobblestone Park.  To compensate for the golf loss, I pulled the trigger on The Capital City Club.  It seemed like a nice fit, as it reciprocated with a number of golf courses around the Midlands.  The dues were very reasonable, as back then I qualified as a junior member.

Fast forward a few years.  With a two and a half year old in tow, we may have found the best match for our needs.  Last week, Jennifer and I (and Finley) joined Rockbridge Tennis and Swim Club.  It's kinda awesome.

Hear me out:  As great as Riverbanks Zoo is for our community, it just doesn't seem to draw me out of the house (off the sofa) like I need it to.  Don't get me wrong, Finley loves it.  However, it's Famously Hot in Columbia, and that matters when it comes to a two year old.  EdVenture is a big deal too, and we are members, but I don't see us spending entire summers there.  Further still, living in Shandon is awesome.  We're surrounded by parks and enjoy walking and towing the kiddo behind our bikes.  Again, enter the heat.

Thinking further, given the work load we have going on at CBUR, and given I love being w/ Jen & Finley at night and on the weekends, golf is over for a while.  Enter, Rockbridge.

I should insert here that Jennifer is a much better golfer than I am.  Even so, golf has become a time sponge, and we just can't make it work more than a few times a year.

Rockbridge Club has been around a long time.  Nestled between the fuzzy border line of Forest Acres and Arcadia Lakes, Rockbridge used to have a nine hole golf course and ice skating rink.  Today, Rockbridge is an expansive, lively social experience that focuses on tennis and swimming, big time.

Rockbridge annually produces competitive tennis and swimming teams on a statewide level.  From the moment you enter the clubhouses, you're well aware how serious they are about both activities.  Lessons, camps, tournaments, events and parties ... this place does it up.   After all, notice the two diving/spring boards in the pic.  This isn't just a neighborhood wading tub.

The tennis is as good as it gets in Columbia, SC.  Rockbridge sports five hard courts and five clay.  The topography of the courts is pretty cool.  It's almost like you're playing in the mountains.  Today I let the ball machine wear me out on Court 10, sky high above the others.  The clubhouse feels new and clean and is always staffed.

The pic above is a good snapshot of the pool house but not of the full pool experience.  The pool is huge.  It has lots of decks and chairs, primo landscaping, and the little ones enjoy a nice 1' deep kiddie pool.   There are two lifeguards, the music starts at 5:00PM, and the beer is famously $1.00.

Given the stage our little family is in right now, Rockbridge may be primo perfect for us.  We've been three days in a row now, and we even spent a little while Sunday afternoon in Target gathering a few pool toys for the weeks to come (floaties, goggles, noodles and stuff).

Here's the vision: After banging tennis balls (sweating) for an hour or so, step down to the pool where Finley will screech, "DaDDaaaaay!!!"   BOOM.  That's it.  Totally worth it, and can't wait for the next time.

Thank you, Rockbridge, for having us...

Friday, June 22, 2012

Yard Cocks Bring It Big Today... 2wice.


Keeping in the spirit of Gamecock baseball, I'm going to shut down this blog quickly tonight. After all, USC's pitching staff shut down Kent State and Arkansas in uber-nasty fashion all day and night.  Even further, the entire Midlands community was shut down as we all watched or listened to the games in complete awe, collectively. 

Well done, and thank you, Michael Roth and Jordan Montgomery.
This may be a bold statement, but Mr. Michael Roth may be one of the Top 2 most celebrated student athletes in the history of Gamecock Nation.

What a day for the University of South Carolina, and Columbia, S.C.  Absolutely outstanding...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

On This One, The Pic Is The Headline...


The other day I was surfing around our Coldwell Banker corporate intranet site that affiliates get to take advantage of. The site, www.coldwellbankerworks.com, has tons of content like form documents, a lead management system, logos, and all sorts of good stuff. As you can see, "CBWorks" also shows sales performance for each professional to review.

What you're looking at in the pic above is how Amanda Payne and I rank in relation to all other Realtors within the Coldwell Banker brand from January 1, 2012 - May 31, 2012. Credit due, Team Manager Amy Ackerman Cartin holds our business model together. 

The four rows in the graph are Total Closed Volume, Total Units Closed, Listings Units (Sellers), and Selling Units (Buyers), respectively. It's over the top. It's overwhelming. It's humbling.

We've posted some pretty good numbers for a while now, and are proud of what we do. That said, the reason I snapped this pic is that I'm not sure we'll ever see this level of craziness again.

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You to anyone who's helped us attain the numbers above. If you know us, you know how we hustle and grind every single day for our clients. The graph above is an incredibly rewarding snapshot of how hard we get after it.

For years I've touted having "The best real estate network in South Carolina, bar none." It's not just a salesman(y) tagline. 

Production and statistics notwithstanding, I wouldn't be true to our brand if I didn't bring this blog post home by asking for your business. With that, I'm sure you know what's next. You got it, and here it goes... If you or anyone you know is thinking of buying or selling real estate in Columbia, SC, please call or email fjones@cbunited.com or amandaqpayne@live.com. After all, hard work and referrals are the lifeblood of any sales industry.

Thank you!!!!!!!

FJ

Monday, June 18, 2012

This Father's Day Was So Well Done...

This Father's Day was a fun, easy going day, full of some of my favorite things. First, we watched a couple of good political shows, then Dr. Estep give a good lesson to all the Christian dads out there. After that, we headed to Cafe' Caturra for a late lunch. Obviously being so close to a Starbucks, you know what came next.

After opening a house for an investor on Sylvan Dr. in Forest Acres, we cruised to King's Grant to remove a lockbox from the front door of 35 W. Tombee. Driving around the loop, we put a fresh red and white "SOLD" sign on the house at N. King's Grant Drive, then headed home.

After watching some U.S. Open, and realizing Tiger was out of it, a short nap was clearly in order.  Then, the best stuff...

Since a photo is the first thing you see when you click on this blog, you may be wondering why in the world I'm wearing an apron. That said and truth told, I don't know any fellas that mess with an apron, including me. That's fine, 'cause here's the thing: the apron in the pic is part of my Father's Day gift, and is now one of my favorite things!

Like most of you, we've done a ton of grilling lately. A few weeks ago, I mentioned to Jennifer it might be kinda fun to get a Starbucks, barrista-style apron from somewhere (yes, she looked at me like I was a complete d.a.). Well, knowing that I love my job and that I feel at home in a pinstripe suit, Jennifer and Finley cleverly stopped me in my tracks with this gray, chalk, pinstripe... apron. 

Thank you, Jennifer & Finley, for this fun and thoughtful Father's Day gift. We had a great day together, and I'm all about my new pinstripes. Unlike the steaks in the pic, this Father's Day was very well done.

Friday, June 15, 2012

BOOM!! Look What You Just Found...



Extremely Rare Waterfront... For Sale @ Forest Acres
When most folks think of lakes and ponds in downtown Columbia, usually Lake Katherine and Forest Lake come to mind. There are a few other smaller ponds, like Cary Lake, which are visible from N. Trenholm Rd. Then there are the "secret ponds." Not secret as in, "Shhhh!!," but rather just not well known. For instance, not many people know there's a pond in Heathwood, between Devine St. and Kipling. Most don't know about the fishin' hole in the pic above, either.

We put this home on the market a few days ago. You really need to see the pics on this one, as you won't believe all you can get in the $300,000's. Seriously, here's a short list. You'll notice a few items that differentiate it from almost everything out there that's not $500,000+:  polished kitchen with granite slab and stainless package (including ice maker and compactor), three large living areas, a huge owner's suite complete with luxury bath and walk-in closet, 4th bedroom suite on opposite side of the home (ideal for in-laws or guests), wide circular drive, a huge party deck, saline pool, an outdoor shower, solid fencing and safety gates, and a large/fully fenced plush backyard. Further still, neighbors include soaring ducks, waddling geese, bass, bream, a bunch of finchy/roadrunner looking birds, and a blue heron (yes... the Litchfield/Pawleys type). I'm tellin' ya!

Here's the kicker: Satchel Ford/Crayton/Flora. BOOM.

Let me paint a picture: you wake up around 6:30ish, or whenever. Looking out the master window, you check to see where the ducks are. Who cares... but it's still so cool. After about 5 minutes of Morning Joe and Mika, you take your Starbucks and step in the pool to play with your kid, or ponder whatever it is you ponder. When it's time to get going, you casually step under the outdoor shower... soap, razor, and all. Humor me, and think about that for a few seconds. You just had the morning no one else can have.
Later that afternoon, you plop back in the pool, or load the canoe with the kid and pooch. Paddling around the pond while the grill is set on "Low," you might even get a line wet and catch a few fish... cocktail in tow. Know anyone else that can do this every day, 5 minutes from everything? Just sayin...
Take a look at the pics and let me know what you think. If you or anyone you know would like to visit this awesome home, please call or email fjones@cbunited.com or amandaqpayne@live.com .   Like many of our listings, it's a pleasure to show. Who knows, maybe we can go fishin' while we're there. Why not?

Thank you!