Swamped…

Sorry I haven’t blogged in a while. We’ve been swamped!!! So you will know some of the market action…. Laurel Springs is under contract, Forest Dr. went under contract (need one more initial) this week, Belmont sold tonight, Springhill/Atascadero and Sandwood close tomorrow, Shropshire closes tomorrow, Brennan closes on Fri., Shirley may close next week, Woodhill Estates condo closes 10/10, Wheat quads should close within 2 weeks and offers went in on Heatherwood and York Dr. tonight.

I’ll have to wait and throw a new Post up this weekend or Monday. We have not been home before 8:00 once this week. Tonight, I walked through the door at about 9:45. OOOOOooooooooof! My treadmill and tennis time are thrown out the window!!! Not good for fella’ trying to lose a few lbs! Keeping everyone happy trumps everything though, and I hope to be back next week.

Keep the referrals coming!

Thanks Bunni and Jay!!!

OK, I’m officially impressed with Hilton Head. We had a big time…

Getting acquainted to the island took some time. For example, it took about an hour to find a Starbucks! Zoinks!!?? All of the stores are hidden with deep vegetation and all of the signage is incredibly low. Of course, after such time had elapsed, I ordered two! After the first few hours of getting to know the island, we had a routine going and loved it.

For dinner, we ate at 211 Park and Red Fish. Both were fantastic. They both reminded me of Mr. Friendly’s for some reason. I may be way off, but they both seemed to have the “New Southern” thing going on, with a boatload of wine ready to be uncorked.

The golf that we chose was very nice, but very expensive. It was $165.00 for us to play 9 holes. Yes, 9. The Ocean Course at Sea Pines was great and all, but for that kind of money, I would love to see some marsh or ocean. It was nice, and it may just have been my cruddy slice (water to the right on the first 4 holes), but I would rather spend about half the money at the mega-plush Caledonia or super-scenic Pawley’s Plantation. Maybe we’ll try the courses recommended by Forge Ahead in my last Post.

We ended the weekend at South Beach and The Salty Dog. This is a very cool and very convenient place for vacationers. Everything anyone would want to do (beach, fish, golf, tennis, eat, sleep, pool, etc.) is “right there.”

Jenna and I will certainly be going back to Hilton Head. I may even have to bring my brother and a jon boat… Thanks to Jay and Bunni for a great wedding present!

Thank you for keeping the calls, texts and emails to a minimum (sort of :-)). Back to Columbia, and back to work!

REAL|TEAM Weekend Instructions…

OK everyone, Jenna and I are off to the beach again. I know the timing is not great, but our friends Jay and Bunni Hicks gave us their Hilton Head condo for the weekend as an awesome wedding present. It’s going to serve as sort of a 2nd honeymoon for us. Yay!!! I’ve only been to HH once, almost 10 years ago…

Again, I know the timing is not great, as the REAL|TEAM has 7 closings scheduled for the 27th and 28th of this month. However, I can’t do much about it as we had to choose a weekend back in March.

I should have wireless connection for the laptop. If I don’t, I still have the Treo for email. If you need something and I can’t respond immediately, you can call Amy at 467.0712 or email aackerman@cbunited.com. As most of you know, Amy sits right in front of me and knows everything that is going on with your deal. Furthermore, if you want to see a house, Amy or Caroline Milliken (422.1993 – cmilliken@cbunited) can pop a house open for you.

Thanks to everyone! Can anyone suggest good spots to eat, hang out and play golf?

Sertoma Club Throwing Huge Tailgate at Carolina Walk for USC vs. LSU !!!

Franklin! Pass this along if you will to your thousands of adoring fans. It’s an invitation to Sertoma’s Tailgate Party for the USC v LSU game this weekend. We want as many people there as possible.

This is a major fundraiser for us and any help would be greatly appreciated. Last year went well, but the response this year has been tremendous.

Where else can you find the game on 6 big screens and 1 jumbo screen, food from Carrabba’s, Sub Station II and Cromer’s, an open bar, music by The Root Doctors and door prizes – with all proceeds going to the local charities we’ve supported since 1950?

Tickets are available at all Jewelry Warehouse locations, online at www.columbiasertoma.org/tailgate and at the event Saturday. Prices are $30 for singles and 2 for $50.

Food Provided by Carrabba’s Music by The ROOT DOCTORS open bar

Tickets are available at the event on September 22, at all Jewelry Warehouse locations and online at www.columbiasertoma.org.
All tickets purchased online can be picked up at Carolina Walk on the day of the event.
The event will take place rain or shine. Carolina Walk is a covered facility.
This is a 21 and over event. No one under 21 will be admitted.

Hope to see you there compadre.

Todd
240-1213 cell

The “M” Word Again…

Uhhh, ooh…The “M” word, again. This time, all of Richland Co. is involved.

Before I chime in with my own thoughts about this proposal, I need to find out what Mr. Jackson’s purpose is. I will know soon. Stay tuned…

Read below. FJ

WEB ALERT
Call to Action to Stop Moratorium in Richland County

Richland County Councilman Norman Jackson has proposed a moratorium on all major developments in Richland County for the next three months. Jackson has defined a major development as “50 or more units”.

The proposal will be forwarded to the Development and Services Committee for a vote as early as September 25th. Members of the Development and Services Committee include Bernice Scott, Joyce Dickerson, Val Hutchinson, Bill Malinowski and Norman Jackson who chairs the Committee.

5 Points on Steroids…?


Should we propose to the SEC that we play Georgia in Athens every year?! USC has a great set-up, but Athens may have Saturdays perfected. We seem to do better against the Bulldogs in Athens anyway!

Athens is 5 points on steroids. Restaurants, bars, nightclubs, students, alumni, guests galore. There is energy everywhere. To make matters even better, everyone seemed to feel safe during the entire weekend.

On game day, it’s great because after hanging out with everyone downtown, people just walk straight to the stadium. After the game, fans just walk back downtown. Very cool. Furhtermore, there is no driving for visitors, just $5 cab rides home when you’re ready. Sure, there are many “campus” stadiums out there, but I’ll bet there aren’t many that compare to this overall atmosphere.

Two possible negative thoughts about Athens.
1) When the team enters the stadium, it is reminiscent of high school days. It’s neat and all, but it doesn’t have the effect of UT’s “Power T,” Clemson’s Hill or USC’s “2001”. Not even close. Running through the banner just doesn’t get it, when put in the awesome scale of everything else UGA has going on.
2) My buddy Stephen pointed this out. When a student graduates from UGA, he/she almost MUST leave the town that they have grown to love. At Carolina, we all have the opportunity to stay, live and work with some of the greatest friends we could ever have. We are one big mesh of former USC graduates, and we love it. To be sure, one can certainly leave and thrive elsewhere, but at least we have the option.

What a college town, and what a great trip. The victory was cool too. I will be going back to Athens.

Headed to Athens…



We’re headed to UGA!

Amazingly, since ’91 (my freshman year) this is only my 3rd road trip to watch the Gamecocks play. I have been to Tennessee twice. The first time, USC took the Vols to the limit, only to lose in overtime with a touchdown pass right in front of the Gamecock section. If anyone remembers, the punter was the MVP. It was because of this one dude’s lucky (probably very skilled) punts, that field position killed us. Last year, we brought home a victory. It was pretty much unreal. UT fans were shocked.

UT has a great atmosphere. Carolina fans pretty much hang out at Calhoun’s until its time to make the walk to the stadium that seats 100,000+.

I’ve heard that USC v UGA is a great experience, too. I’ve also heard many times that Georgia has incredibly obnoxious fans. We’ll see!!! Any suggestions?

Don’t think I won’t be looking for condo’s and parking space opportunities, or other good ideas to bring to William’s-Brice!

See you on Monday!

NBC, USAToday, TODAY, and FOX need to visit COLUMBIA, SC…


Trulia Trends
Gainers

1. Columbia, SC 88.59%

2. West Chester, PA 57.07%
3. Boston, MA 29.05%
4. New Orleans, LA 22.98%
5. Albuquerque, NM 22.29%
Fallers
1. Yuma, AZ -51.64%
2. Denver, CO -47.84%
3. Corpus Christi, TX -41.41%
4. Fairfax, VA -41.24%
5. Valdosta, GA -39.21%
*Based on changes in search behavior on Trulia from June 07 – July 07

The national news media has gone nuts, reporting on how “dire” the real estate market is in U.S. Their camera’s show real estate signs in Phoenix and San Fransico, et al. If they would call me, I would ruin their story. To start, I would tell them to search www.trulia.com, and they would see that Columbia, SC was the #1 market nationwide, in terms of the “click jump” for homes searched from June to July, 2007.

The downtown Columbia real estate market is doing just fine. Of course, the “Gold Rush” of two years ago has slowed, and sure there are a ton or real estate signs out there. However, if a seller has a good house at a good price, it will “go”. Sure, it takes a tinch longer for a buyer to “weed” through all of the listings on the market, but Columbia is action packed, especially (in my experience) the property that’s under $400,000.

So far, I’m having my best year ever (thanks to all of my friends out there). At present, I have 12ish listings (down from 18ish), with most of them are getting plenty of action. At the same time, I have around 9 contracts that are pending. Just this past Friday, I put three offers on homes and received one on a listing. As in any market, there are Realtors that don’t have much going on. On the flip side, many Columbia Realtor’s are having banner years.

No matter what the national news is, Columbia enjoys three enormous facets working in it’s favor. 1)State governement, which is by far Columbia’s largest employer. 2) Fort Jackson, the nation’s largest training facility. Columbia survived the latest round of BRAC closings (where Columbia actually expanded its military presence). 3)The University of South Carolina. USC provides thousands of jobs and even more residents for the Columbia market. In short, our jobs ain’t going anywhere.

Don’t let the NATIONAL media get you down about your local market. Your intown Columbia, SC (29204,29205,29206) neighborhoods are holding strong.

Jeesh… How Many Cogs To Make A Wheel Turn?


Take a look at this email to Columbia’s Director of Development Services today. Mr. Anders wrote this in response to a long Memo some of us received earlier this morning.

His email is insightful and thought worthy, to say the least. On another hand, this is a good illustration of how specific this sort of thing gets, how hard it is to please everyone and why the political process takes SO DANG LONG…!

See below. FJ

Marc,

Have any of the following been discussed with staff?

1. Exemption of major corridors that line designated districts (North Main, Rosewood, Bull Street, Millwood, Etc.)? Seems that some single family homes on these major streets would be functionally obsolete and may create blight and is not “highest and best use”.

2. Modern Design with-in districts? If the guidelines had been in place years ago we might not have the “Robot House” on Forest Drive or the Mcgee-Degenhart House on Harden St.. While Disney-esque copies of bungalows are sometimes nice, that is not the only design vernacular in the world. Has The Columbia Design League been consulted?

3.Have any of the findings from the “affordable housing task force” been considered and put into possible solutions? They should be a major voice in this.

4. Has staff discuss the possibility of Easing the requirement of “50 years” to maybe say 80 years and a “spot zoning designation” structures deemed worthy by Historic Columbia from the 1930’s thru the 1970’s. To me, a fifty year window means we could lose several great examples of 1950, 60’s and 70’s architecture (tomorrows history).

The article you included I think perfectly touches on the problems here. How do we protect homes of historical significance in Shandon, Heathwood, Elmwood Park while not shutting down redevelopment in North Columbia. Would the small, post war homes on the back side of Rosewood (and elsewhere) be placed into preservation districts? (I think we along North Main we have four neighborhoods that would qualify for Historic Designation – Seminary Ridge, Windemere Springs, Hyatt Park and College Place).

Thanks,

Rhett Anders
President
Windemere Springs N.A.

Cool Heads, But Subtle Political Undertones Too…



Some are playing checkers, some are playing chess. Either way, this continues to get interesting…

I went to the meeting in Columbia City Council Chambers today. The meeting was a little slow, and some of the comments were very repetitive, but overall it was very interesting.

Mayor Bob invited two builder/developers to the floor. They (one being Dorsey) presented a pretty good plan. It needs to be tweaked a little, but it is a great start. The biggest cog in its wheel is that an owner/builder/developer must post something on a property 15 days before any action can take place on the subject property.

Some sort of a 5 member review committee will then hear the plans from the owner/builder before an action can take place. My guess is that this committee will have more than 5 members when all is said and done. A second guess is that one of the members will be a revolving one, depending on which neighborhood a particular home or lot is in. I thought this was a good idea, until a permanent one can be found for Columbia.

One example of a good point was from a Rosewood resident. She noted that when one sells a backyard of a property, both properties very often lose the “drive in” driveways that the original property enjoyed. This makes for double the number of cars that must then park on the street. She made a great illustration saying that, because of the plethora of cars, there are many times that a fire-truck could not pass through her street.

If you are a political person (you would have to be to notice this), the best (but subtle) exchange came at the end. Mrs. Gergel stood up and said some very repetitive, but fine thoughts. However, she prefaced her thoughts, saying to the chamber that she never called for a “moratorium” on building. Hmmmm. I immediately wrote a note to the person seated to my left saying, “Belinda (Gergel) is trying to look like the big winner in all of this.” In my opinion, if Brian (Boyer) was going to flank this attempt, he needed to get to a reporter immediately. Immediately! If he didn’t, the press could have run with this and probably would have reported how Belinda has protected our neighborhoods. Instead, Brian took the microphone and reminded the crowd that Mrs. Gergel did indeed call for a complete moratorium (which would effectively shut down many industries, and act as an all out job killer). If Boyer had not reached the press fast, or grabbed the microphone in that moment, he may have been a victim of a good ole’ political two step. We will see how it plays in tomorrow’s (Wed) news…

Today, both sides had good points and cool heads. Stay tuned to see if these same heads can stay below Columbia’s summer heat…