Downtown Columbia’s Newest Listings!

hot-text-fire-flamesThis edition of The HotSheet includes the most recent homes to hit Downtown Columbia, SC’s real estate market in the last two weeks. As of 2:11 AM, the site featured 44 new listings for sale.

Like the last HotSheet, there are a lot of good looking homes on this list and in some super popular neighborhoods. The areas include the zips 29201, 29204, 29205, 29206, and 29209, within a price range of $100,000 to $Zillion. Remember!!… No big deal if you don’t want to ‘register’ to look deeper at a particular property. Simply type in my initials or the word “Blog” (or whatever you can think of “Cocks,” “Tigers”), and shoot in a random email address in the field. Even if you don’t want to register or ‘poser register,’ you can still get a good glimpse of what’s new to the market from the Gallery Page.

If you or anyone you know would like more information about any of these Downtown properties for sale, or if you’re interested in putting your home on the market, please call 803-447-8683 or email Franklin@FranklinandAmanda.com

Happy clicking and Thank you!!

Franklin Jones

Brennen Address Verification; Go.

BRENELEM_SPRINGFEVER_02_092310If you live inside or near the Brennen Elementary School zone (or listen to every day Downtown, Columbia conversation), you’ve likely heard about the new address requirements in order for a child to attend. Below is a PSA to hop on whatever you need to do to verify your address with the school.

Thank you!

Franklin Jones

Address Verification Dates:

A reminder that registration will be held three (3) days in July and August. We have selected the following three (3) days and times for registration.

Weds., July 22 8:00am-3:00pm / Weds., July 29 12:00PM-7:00PM / Weds., August 5 8:00AM-7:00PM

During this time you will need to bring the most current information with you to register for classes. Examples of what can be used to document residency are:

-One (1) from the following: a copy of the current year’s tax return (the portion that shows the address) or a W-2, or lease agreement. CAR TAX BILLS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

-One (1) from the following: Utility bills with the SERVICE address to the domicile (cable, electric, water, or land-line phone bills) CELL PHONE BILLS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

-Brennen reserves the right to require additional proofs of residency when deemed necessary.

If the required information is not provided, your child/children will not be placed in a classroom.

We are very excited to have this process in place and will continue it each year. Should you have any questions, please contact Brennen’s Registrar at 738-7204.

About 30 Good Shots In The Arm.

Botox-shots-550x309Remember the now decades old, “Never Let Them See You Sweat,” marketing campaign? The slogan became so popular that it became a mental mantra regarding doing business in today’s society.

The obvious messages were, “If you’re sweating, you’re nervous.” “If you’re sweating, you may be weak.” “If you’re sweating, you can’t look sharp.”

Well, guess what? I sweat and deal with it the best I can. Over the years, if someone has noticed my less than dry dress shirt, honestly, I’ve just hoped they chalk it up as, “Well, it’s Columbia, SC… and he’s a hard worker.” What else am I going to do, as I have a super annoying thing called hyperhidrosis.

What does that mean? I sweat my ars off. It could be 25 degrees outside and my armpits are going off like a RainBird drip system. Some of my friends kick it off as, “Oh, that means your body is working right.” MmmHmmm. Over the years I’ve been through four dry cleaners, scores of shirts, and too many suits. Undershirts just make it worse, and more uncomfortable.

I’m actually kinda lucky in that my situation is limited to my armpits (Sorry if that’s too graphic, given our digital relationship…but I’m comfy enough to go with it). After all, some folk’ s palms and feet are part of their condition.

Even my closest friends or fellow Realtors have never seen me in a blue dress shirt, ever, or a golf shirt that’s not black, white, or dark blue…depending on the situation. In 20 years of attending USC games, I’m not sure I’ve ever worn garnet. Not once.

I’ve taken two prescriptions for years now. One is a pill, and one is a liquid application. For years I’ve been a little timid about going to the next levels; 1) Clipping my glands (Probably not happening). 2) Botox.

About a week ago I took the plunge and finally made an appointment for Botox injections. Over the years I’ve asked about insurance coverage for injections and everyone has pretty much laughed in my face. Well, I’m 42 years old now, and am at a point. I made an appointment and showed up despite insurance declinations and just paid out of pocket. Half naked, and 15 injections in each arm later, I’m a completely different person. Not kidding – no exaggeration.

Who cares, and why am I typing about sweating on a real estate blog?? Well, I may be able to help someone, of course. After all, some folks may not know anything about hyperhidrosis and/or if they have it, or their options. That all said, at present, Botox is my new and proven answer. So far it has changed my world.

Thank you!

FJ

‘Party House’ Issue Making Noise.

EvansSt.Per this article @ The State Newspaper, residents intertwined with USC student living are trying to do something about the havoc that comes with owning a home next to a ‘Party House.’ I get it, and I get it.

‘I get it,’ because now I’m 41 years old with three little girls. No way my wife is letting a party house wake the twins up over and over again, waiting on the police to bust up a rager or crappy hour.

‘I get it,’ too, because I know of what they speak. While I never ‘lived’ in a party house, I was certainly there. I can remember “The Crack House” (I have no idea about the nickname), “The Soccer House,” and all sorts of other houses near campus. The house in the pic above used to be awful. I mean full up g to y on the grody yard stick.

Remember the now very much abolished and defunked, “Alcoholidays?” #OOOOF. Well, that’s the house. It’s the house my buddy got jumped and was sent to the hospital, and walked back into society with a steel plate in his head. It is the house where buddies would jump the train only a few feet from the front yard, and one fella passed out and woke up in Kentucky or Tennessee (It wasn’t me, so I don’t remember). It was full of dogs (and what dogs do), barf, dip spit, very old Columbia, SC summer heated beer, cig butts everywhere, and overall rancidness.

This pic above actually makes the house look pretty sweet. From 1991-95ish, it was awful, with many awesome (some not awesome at all) life memories in folk’s heads across the country.

Anyway, I could type down memory lane all night, but here’s the article. I can certainly understand where the primary resident property owners are coming from. Issue #1: It’s very difficult for a property next to a “party house” to enjoy the market value, marketability, or appreciation it would receive otherwise. FJ

USC-Area Neighborhoods Speak Out Against Student ‘Party Houses’

By HARRISON CAHILL

hcahill@thestate.comMarch 24, 2015 Updated 15 minutes ago

COLUMBIA, SC — The homes in the Old Shandon, Lower Waverly-MLK and University Hill neighborhoods – each a few blocks or less from the University of South Carolina – once were populated with a wide variety of families and homeowners in clean houses with groomed lawns.

Now, many of those families have moved away, and the neat lawns are often filled with empty and crushed beer cans, flattened party cups, fragmented beer bottles and empty kegs – all of it left over from loud, late-night parties thrown by the students who primarily reside in the blocks around Five Points.

“They are always having parties and music noise and the houses are overcrowded,” said 80-year-old Alfred Davis, who lives in Old Shandon. “It’s not even a neighborhood no more.”

It was in one of these homes, at 2319 Lee St., after another late-night party, that USC freshman 18-year-old Charlie Terreni Jr. was found dead last week. St. Patrick’s Day decorations were still hanging from the weekend and a keg sat on the front porch of the home.

Although the cause of death has not yet been released by the Richland County coroner’s office, Davis said he isn’t surprised that someone might have died as a result of the parties that have been held along his street.

“The way they carry on and the way they think, I feel like something was going to happen sooner or later, because they do so many outrageous things,” Davis said.

Davis said he will have lived in the neighborhood for 50 years this June. Flanked and fronted by large houses with USC students as tenants, Davis and his wife, Ernestine, are the only ones on that stretch of the block who aren’t renters. Their home sticks out, with a green lawn and flowers – absent cigarette butts, coolers and piles of trash bags found in front of many other homes.

“It’s nothing like it used to be at all,” Davis said. “This was a family neighborhood when I moved in. It turned a 360.”

Kathryn Fenner, vice president of the University Hill Neighborhood Association, said her neighborhood, too, is scattered with these homes. She believes that one of the reasons the homes have become party houses is because the landlords don’t live nearby.

“We have three prominent landlords in the neighborhood, and 90 percent of the rental properties are owned by them,” Fenner said. “We have had more of a problem with the ‘Brand X’ landlords: They own one house; they don’t have professional property management; they don’t have anybody on site. These three people live in the neighborhood; we know were they are. If we had a problem with their property, we could call them up.”

Fenner said one of the problems she ran into while working with the city’s code enforcement task force was hunting down the “slum” or problem landlords, many of whom didn’t live in the city. Since code enforcement agents would have to serve them in person, they often found themselves driving around the state only to find that they lived somewhere else in the nation.

“How do you serve someone in Arizona?” Fenner said. “We tried to get landlord registration” in the city, but some people opposed it. “We ultimately did not get landlord registration, but we did get a requirement that they have to have a business license if they have one unit. At least there is an address in any event for service.”

Those kinds of what Fenner calls “party houses” are often what goes bump in the middle of the night for the Davises. They said they are often awakened by the repeated thud of loud music and shouting coming from neighbors’ homes. Some nights, Davis said a congregation of anywhere from 50 to 100 young people gather at the houses and throw parties, especially during festival and game-day weekends.

Davis said one night he called the police three times, asking them to go to their neighbors’ house to quiet down a party. On the third call, Davis said a plainclothes officer told him he would do what he could, but he couldn’t promise Davis anything.

Ernestine Davis said that one time, one set of neighbors offered to send the Davises out to dinner so the students could have a small get-together that they said would be over by 7 or 8 p.m.

“Doesn’t that sound dumb to you?” she said. “We didn’t agree with that. We said ‘no.’ Why do I have to leave my house for you to have a party?”

Just across the street from the Davises, at 2412 Lee St., the remnants of a large beach-themed party from the St. Pat’s in Five Points weekend could still be seen in Frank Sarnowski’s backyard.

“You can smell the beer, can’t you?” Sarnowski said as he walked into his backyard, where just days before, partygoers were drinking and using the bathroom. “If I hadn’t yelled at them to clean it up – well, I would have cleaned it up anyway – but there would have been at least 100 beer cans out here.”

Sarnowski, who is a personal property appraiser for the state and has lived on the corner of Queen and Lee streets for 35 years, said an elderly couple once lived next to him, a teacher across the street and another couple who had been in their home since 1910. Now his neighbors have been replaced by students who he says are associated with Greek life at USC.

“They’re not very respectful of the more residential neighbors that live here,” Sarnowski said. But he acknowledges that at one time he was 20-something and liked to party.

Sarnowski said that if police began to show more presence in the area, the parties would not be as bad.

“They responded when I have called, and I think they do well once you call,” Sarnowski said. “I just don’t see their presence until someone calls. When you got 100 people standing in the street at two houses having a party, they should at least come by and check on it.”

Columbia police respond when called, they say.

But Alfred Davis said it is the fault of the city and the police that the party problem has gotten so bad. “Sometimes you get so tired of fighting it and leave it alone,” Davis said. “I call the police a lot, but sometimes I just give up because there is no point of me fighting it.”

Product 1 – 47 Units For $1.75M.

HotSheet2This edition of The HotSheet includes the most recent homes to hit Downtown Columbia, SC’s real estate market between 11/24/14 and 12/08/14. As of 12:53AM it was updated 126 minutes ago and showed 52 new listings.

The areas include the zips 29201, 29204, 29205, 29206, and 29209, within a price range of $100,000 to $Zillion. Remember!!… No big deal if you don’t want to ‘register’ to look deeper at a particular property. Simply type in my initials or the word “Blog” (or whatever you can think of “Cocks,” “Tigers”), and shoot in a random email address in the field. Even if you don’t want to register or ‘poser register,’ you can still get a good glimpse of what’s new to the market from the front “Gallery Page.”

If you or anyone you know would like more information about any of these Downtown Columbia properties for sale, or if you’re interested in putting your home on the market, please call 803-758-1669 or email fjones@cbunited.com .

Side Note: If you’re interested in the most up to date real estate information (Yes, faster than Zillow & Trulia, etc) and Columbia, SC’s premiere browsing experience, take a look at www.CBUnitedMidlands.com . Even further, if you would like a glimpse of what your home may be worth in today’s market, take www.FreeHouseValues.com  for a spin. Both sites are cutting edge real estate technology and are loaded with information.

Happy clicking and thank you!!

Franklin Jones

The Newest HotSheet Is Live…

hot-text-fire-flamesThis edition of this blog’s most popular subject, The HotSheet, includes the most recent homes to hit Columbia, SC’s real estate market within the last 2 weeks. Per the back end of the site, as of 1:00AM it was updated only 67 minutes ago.

The areas include the zips 29201, 29204, 29205, 29206, and 29209, within a price range of $150,000 to $Zillion. Remember!!… No big deal if you don’t want to ‘register’ to look deeper at a particular property. Simply type in my initials or the word “Blog” (or whatever you can think of “Cocks,” “Tigers”), and shoot in a random email address in the field. Even if you don’t want to register or ‘poser register,’ you can still get a good glimpse of what’s new to the market from the front “gallery page.”

If you or anyone you know would like more information about any of these Downtown Columbia properties for sale or if you’re interested in putting your home on the market, please call 803-758-1669 or email fjones@cbunited.com .

Side Note: If you’re interested in the most up to date real estate information (Yes, faster than Zillow & Trulia, etc) and Columbia, SC’s premiere browsing experience, take a look at www.CBUnitedMidlands.com . Even further, if you would like a glimpse of what your home may be worth in today’s market, take www.GuaranteedSale.com for a spin. Both sites are cutting edge real estate technology and are loaded with information.

Happy clicking and thank you!!

Franklin Jones

New Inventory Coming To Market.

BlossomHollyBrandywineWheat2734.pngEarlier I posted that we had a quite a few listings that were about to hit the Downtown Columbia real estate market. Of course, and as usual, I like for clients and readers to know things first. Here’s the newest lineup that hasn’t hit the Zillows and/or Trulias of the world yet, or my HotSheet. 🙂

Photo 1 – Corner of Blossom & Holly @ Shandon.
Photo 2 – 11 Brandywine @ Forest Acres/Arcadia Lakes.
Photo 3 – 2700 Block of Wheat Street @ Shandon.

This collection of good looking Downtown homes will be entered into our MLS system this week and I’ll post more details about each home as they hit the market.   Be on the lookout too for addresses and pics of Olde Knight Parkway and Greenway Drive in a few days, which will be introduced to the market late this week.

I can also tell you about a couple of listings (that aren’t mine) that are about to be for sale on S. King’s Grant Drive and Retreat Lane.

If you or anyone you know would like to know more about these homes, or if you would like to know what else is going on in Columbia’s real estate market, please call 803-447-8683 or email fjones@cbunited.com .

Thank you!

Franklin Jones

“Zulia” – Monster Fight?…or Big Hug.

MBDKIKO EC005Below is a pretty interesting, big picture perspective on the “Zulia” merger. While the buyout seems to have flipped the real estate online marketing world on its head, here’s what I posted a last week about the deal; “I’m all over Zillow. I embrace it, and my monthly bill to Zillow shows it. They (Zillow/Trulia) are beating us at our online game and there’s not much any Realtor can do about it, and they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Breaking it down, Coldwell Banker is a real estate company. Zillow is an internet company. That said, I’m going to have my listings looking as good as I can on Zillow and Trulia. After all, that’s where the people are. To pay to have listings “enhanced” on Zillow is the new bar these days. As in, the expected, low bar.”

Thank you!  FJ

The Zillow-Trulia Tie-Up is Less Exciting than You Think
By Steve Tobak/ ValleyBeat/
Published July 30, 2014/
FOXBusiness

The way everyone is buzzing about the merger between Zillow (Z) and Trulia (TRLA), you would think it’s the biggest things since Comcast (CMCSA) agreed to acquire Time Warner Cable (TWC). It’s not. It’s not even in the same ballpark.

The deal will not disrupt or even change the dynamics of the U.S. real-estate market one bit. It will have zero impact on consumers and real-estate brokers. Which raises the question, why are they merging? That’s where things get at least a little bit interesting.

But first things first. Zillow and Trulia are Internet portals that rely on various Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) for information. For that, they pay licensing fees. They in turn sell ads and provide leads to real-estate brokers. That’s the business model. Neither company has anything to do with buying and selling homes. They are media companies. Very small, very specialized media companies.

To put that in perspective, let’s look at other online media companies. Google’s (GOOG) annual online advertising revenue is somewhere north of $50 billion. Facebook’s (FB) is about $10 billion. Yahoo’s (YHOO) is in the neighborhood of $4 billion.

The combined annual sales of Zillow and Trulia, on the other hand, is a paltry $340 million. Neither company is currently profitable. They have all of 2,000 employees between them. These are not big numbers.

The two Web portals are, in fact, dwarfed by a handful of giant brokerage firms. Realogy Holdings – which owns Century 21 and Coldwell Banker – boasts annual sales of over $5 billion, over $400 million in net income, and 10,800 employees, worldwide.

Zillow says that real-estate brokerage companies spend about $10 billion a year on advertising, including both traditional and online. If digital ad sales account for about half, that means the total available market for the company is $5 billion in ad revenue and I don’t think that’s expected to grow much over time.

That’s not a very interesting number as market ceilings go, and even less so if split between a gazillion websites. The only way to change that, to grow market share, is to consolidate. That’s why the companies are merging. The newly formed Zillow will have more market share, bigger scale, and at least some increased clout with brokers.

Who wins and who loses?

Both company’s shareholders are winners. More market share is always a good thing and even a modest increase in pricing power is better than none at all.

As for synergies, that’s a bit more complicated. Since the companies compete head-on and there is considerable overlap, they have to retain both brands to maximize their combined market share. So operating synergies will be harder to come by which means the $100 million Zillow expects to save by 2016 – one third of the combined company’s total expenses last year – may be a little on the aggressive side.

Clearly, Wall Street likes the deal. Ever since rumors of the merger started circulating, shares of both companies have soared. Of course that makes sense for Trulia since Zillow is paying an enormous premium (overpaying is more like it). But shares of Zillow have nearly doubled this year and a jaw-dropping price-to-sales ratio of 28 is so over the top it’s even higher than all the inexplicably overvalued cloud companies.

As for real-estate brokers, that’s sort of a wash. Large brokerage firms have nothing to fear from the merged company. That is, unless the Internet portal decides to go head to head in the far more lucrative brokerage fee business – a market that I estimate to be roughly $30 – $40 billion annually, give or take.

But don’t hold your breath for that to happen anytime soon. Zillow’s value to consumers depends on MLS data that comes from, you guessed it, real estate brokers. Sure, brokers like the sales leads, but I’m thinking they have all the leverage in that equation.

Some fear that smaller firms and lower-producing agents might get squeezed by Zillow’s somewhat bigger ad clout, but that’s nothing new. It happens every time there’s a housing market downturn. There are probably more fair weather brokers than any other profession, except maybe home construction contractors and speculators.

Lastly, as always, comes the consumer. Don’t panic; nothing will change for consumers. Those Trulia and Zestimates we know and love – or love to hate – will still be just as hit-or-miss as they are now. And whichever site you prefer will remain one of the two most visually appealing one-stop data aggregators for all your house-hunting needs.

Steve Tobak is a management consultant, executive coach, columnist, and former senior executive. He runs Silicon Valley-based Invisor Consulting where he advises executives and business leaders on anything and everything. Contact Tobak.

Unveiling Our Latest Video; Heyward St!


Welcome to 2600 Heyward Street-Shandon-29205.

This stellar, completely re-done home features 3,330 square feet with 4 bedrooms and 3 and a half baths. As you can see from the link, this house is sharp, polished, and a real showplace.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog you may be able to tell this blog post isn’t necessarily about the ‘listing’ itself. Actually, we introduced ‘Heyward’ to the market a few weeks ago. The reason for the post is to introduce our newest video. Here’s a peek in full screen mode.  It will hit the big dog syndicated websites any day now.

If you or anyone you know would like to know more about 2600 Heyward Street, or would like to discuss Columbia home values, please call 803-758-1669/803-609-0526 or email fjones@cbunited.com or amandaqpayne@live.com.

Thank you!

Franklin

Good Stuff Just Happened @ Shandon.

WilmotFrontI have good news for Shandon sellers, and all homeowners for that matter. At 10:00 Friday morning 3230 Wilmot Avenue closed for $280,000. The house is 1,500 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 1.5 baths. What’s the good news? The property closed for $186.66/foot. That’s a big deal!

Am I asking, or do I/we deserve credit for this? Nope! Sure, we provide good photos, supplied some good finesse, and had the guts to go for it, but the real credit goes to the seller and the seller once removed. Both sellers did first class renovations to the house, and the owner that just closed on the home added a premium screened in back deck/living area. It’s an awesome addition, and likely the reason the house fetched two or more offers.

Now, to be clear, not every Shandon home will fetch such a number. Why, then, is this a big whoop for the neighborhood? Answer; Beginning last Friday, every listing that fetches an offer/contract within a like price range or similar features will be able to use this sale as a comparable sale. In short, for 12 months appraisers will be able to use this “comp” to help other sales along.

Some folks get on to me for listing a house for too much money. Well, some homeowners bought during the boom, and as their life moves along, don’t have a choice but to go for a bar raising number. Insert the theory of, “If you don’t try to raise the bar, then how can home values ever rise?” Translation – I’m not scared to ‘go for it’ (and neither was this seller). #ItSold

Congratulations to the buyer, our seller, and Shandon Neighborhood. Sporting 20 ‘Pending Contracts’ & 70ish ‘Closed’ deals in the last 12 months, Shandon is getting it done. Enter the closing of 3230 Wilmot Ave. and the bar has been raised.

If you or anyone you know would like to know more about Shandon or other downtown Columbia real estate values, please call 803-447-8683 or email fjones@cbunited.com.  We would love to speak with you.

Thank you!

Franklin Jones