More than once, people have been intrigued by my work schedule. I'm not so sure it's because people are curious about what agents do all day or the common misconceptions shown on TV shows showcasing high-end, luxury Realtors. Truth is - we actually just sit around all day and pick up the phone while sipping our cocktails on the beach or by the pool. We walk around looking at gorgeous homes all day with nauseating, giddy clients who are only cash buyers, can close as soon as title work is in and insist to take the property as-is, no contingencies. Then, we all happily show up at the closing table, sign a few papers, exchange hugs, keys, well wishes, and everyone lives happily ever after. My work is done - on to sip more cocktails!
Our title comes with a wide array of job descriptions/requirements that before I got into real estate, I was too naive to actually understand the ways to a paycheck. Truth is - we are hard workers who care about our clients and try to go above & beyond.
So, when you find us at the gym/store/etc. at some odd hour during the day, remember our schedules vary. We might not finish working until late that night. And no...it's not because we spent all day sipping cocktails by the pool. (wink-wink!)
And we sleep...sometimes. Night!
Now that it's halfway through college football season, nothing is all said and done until ONE football game - if you live in South Carolina that is. Yep. THE ultimate college rivalry between the Tigers in the Upstate at Clemson University and these fighting Gamecocks here in the Midlands. No matter what rank, what games won/lost, nothing matters until Thanksgiving weekend on Nov. 29th when the Gamecocks travel to Death Valley to take on the Clemson Tigers. No other games matter. Whichever team wins this game has automatic state bragging rights until next years game. Why am I blabbing about a college football game? Well, for starters: 1. I like college football. 2. I pull for those Tigers (growing up in Easley, SC and having family play ball for them). 3. I live/work/play in Gamecock country. and 4. It's a love/hate relationship when the Gamecocks win due to my career.
Columbia, SC is home to the University of South Carolina aka Gamecocks. The college has over 31,000 students that populate the Columbia area, specifically the downtown area since the college is located in the heart of it all. This makes the real estate market flourish. Why? Let me explain. For those of us that live in the downtown/in-town area, our property values increase. If you are an investor, buying a few properties and renting them out to the abundant supply of college students keeps your cash flow happy. And, if you are a Realtor in the downtown market (hint, hint) it means parents take advantage of the affordable properties to buy for their students. The on-campus housing is pretty steep at prices to upwards of $8,000 per year - for just one student! Now, I'm not in finance or a mathematician, but it's common sense. Example, say you buy a 3 bedroom home for your student around the $150k mark and his/her 2 other roommates at $500 per room and well - you can do the math. It pays your mortgage and your students housing is free or almost nothing all.
While I'm pushing the 5 year mark in my real estate career, I've had the pleasure of helping many college parents purchase homes/condos for their college student(s). I absolutely love it. I love it because I get to work with the 18-20 something year olds and reminisce on my college days - ahhh, to be carefree again? I love it because I help the parents who are most likely from another state or city get to know the Columbia real estate market/area. And most of all, I love it because they trust me on the advice I give which influences their ultimate decision on where their son/daughter lives during college - undergrad, grad, medical, law, etc.
Two teams, One State. - Lauren
In honor of #tbt aka "Throw Back Thursday", I felt I'd share with you a little fun project in the making. Yesterday, I had a closing on a cute home (but WAY outdated) in Forest Acres and today, renovations started with the kitchen - exciting! So technically it is #tbt to yesterday because as of today this charming brick home is getting a face-lift! We hope to have this one back on the market all spiffy and ready in just a few weeks so check back here for more posts on progress. Check out the before/after pics thus far, below!
September 11, 2001 has a different meaning for each person. To some, it's just a normal day with a tragic event that happened 13 years ago (Wow. 13 years? - seems so recent). However, to many, today is a difficult day - a somber day of remembrance for lost loved ones. Many might have had friends, family, co-workers lost in the mindless events of 9/11. Regardless what the tragic events of 9/11 mean to you, it also brings a sense of American pride and cohesion. Don't believe me? Well, I have a little proof for you. Riding around today doing my Realtor errands I couldn't help but to be taken by such remembrance that I started taking pictures. The display of American flags were blowing significantly more today than any July 4th. Every residential street I rode down had a flag posted up proudly blowing in the perfectly, picturesque wind - like today was meant to me - God sent his angels to us today. It was a perfect, sunny day with just the right amount of wind to make those flags fly so proudly. The "American Dream" was alive and vibrant today. It goes to show that we will not let an event such as Sept 11, 2001 define who we are as American's, South Carolinian's, Columbia residents - we will prevail.
For the last few weeks, I have had the pleasure of showing and picking through new construction homes at Saluda River Club - a luxury neighborhood with custom built homes along the Saluda River in Lexington. This community has it all. It has a little bit of everything for every person. The community features two full sized pools that each carry their own extravagant club houses at the residents personal use. An adult only pool and family pool - walking trails, dog parks, golf cart paths, beach volleyball, a full fitness center at your disposal anytime of the day or night, beautiful grounds, and etc.! Community events make this neighborhood an inviting place to live. Homes here start in the low $400s and can go up to the $1 million range. It's the adult Disney of Lexington and I'm sold!
The picture above is from my client's newly built fireplace. We are all so in love with the quality, southern architectural detail! Wow. What do you think?
Well, I do have a good excuse for skipping a week in blogging - we have been BUSY! All the above pictured homes have either closed or are under contract since I last had a chance to blog on August 9th. The locations vary from Northeast Columbia, Downtown Columbia, to Southeast Columbia. I have some offers in negotiation status currently and hope to share those with you next week, but I'm not going to count my Chickens before they hatch - ya with me?
Each home above came (and comes) with it's own obstacle that we navigated through - low appraisal, zoning issues, multi-offers, repair issues, etc. We love what we do and are thankful for our clients who trust us to solve the issues that arise. This week, I am especially thankful for grateful for clients who truly appreciate all the work we do for them and understand our devotion and worth - gosh, THANK YOU!
In other somber news, the Realtor world lost a fellow agent last week. Rhett Wolfe (Co-Owner of Wolfe & Co.) passed away at the young age of 65 - same age as my Father. I didn't know Rhett that well at all, but he did stand out to me at one of his Agent Open House Lunches when I discovered he was a Citadel grad (so is my Husband) and an Army veteran which earns extra respect in my heart. The one dealing I had with Rhett was when my Husband and I were looking to purchase our first home in Columbia. We had found a cute, OLD bungalow in Shandon and got an offer accepted. Through divine intervention ( I truly believe at times), we did not end up purchasing that particular home, but I do remember Rhett being a stand-up Realtor in that short transaction dealing. I send my deepest condolences to his family and know he was well-loved in our small, Realtor community.
A couple of weeks ago you might recall my post about Paige's Summer Benefit Concert (which you can still donate) that was being held at a listing of ours coming on the market soon. Well, the condo finally hit the market this week - perfect timing for the kick-off of USC Football Season! 1100 Bluff Rd Unit 601, is a Penthouse condo unit located at The Spur which is conveniently located directly across from Williams-Brice Stadium and in the heart of Gamecock central. The Penthouse boasts a 2000+ square feet of a private, entertainment balcony - large enough for the entire football team! Imagine tailgating and not even having to leave your house. The view is one of the best in Columbia - check out that sunset picture!
To make this an even sweeter deal, the condo is being sold furnished - how perfect? Currently it would sleep eight people in designated beds - just bring the tailgating food/beverages and you are set. This unit is very exclusive to anything the downtown stadium area offers in Columbia. Whether you are a die-hard Gamecock fan or a company wanting to purchase for corporate events/clients, this rare condo would be the perfect host.
Not a Gamecock Fan? It's okay - pull for the other team while enjoying the view (wink, wink)!
Who's ready for some college football?
This weekend after returning from the beach, I had a bit of a scare with my sweet, 4.2 pounds of fury Chihuahua, Sully. To spare the details, we went to the emergency vet around 4:30pm on Sunday. Finally, we were cleared to leave a little before 8pm - they were busy! Though sad to see sick doggies come and go, it was quite reassuring knowing I'm not the only one in Columbia who loves their dog like a kid. Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse with Sully and we made a trip back to the emergency vet around 2:30am that morning (FYI - it's amazing how fast you can get out of downtown to the Piney Grove exit when you are the only car on the road - imagine that). I was the only one in the waiting room and we were in and out in an hour - this time I had prayed would be the last for the night/day. After Sullivan was all doped up on fluids and antibiotics, we were released to go back home and try to get some sleep. And sleep, we finally did. Whatever drugs the staff decided he needed put him to great ease and on the road to recovery.
Long story short, I am thankful for a place such as SCVSEC. I love my regular vet, Griffin Animal Hospital which is conveniently located 2 blocks from my office and a short 7-8min drive from my house, but it's nice to know there is a place to go no matter what hour of the night/weekend. We saw Dr. Bruner both times and her reassurance made me not feel like such a crazy person. Her calm presence made everything seem all would be well and my fur-child would pep back up the next day.
So, this is my shout out to thank SCVSEC and Dr. Bruner, you made my night a little less stressful and i'll sleep easier knowing you'll always be just a 20 minute drive away. Sully is back to full guard-dog status - barking at miscellaneous objects from the couch windows.
Lauren & Sully
There are two sides in a real estate transaction: seller side and buyer side. The listing agent represents the seller and the buyers agent represents the buyer. Duh - why am I writing about this? Well, twice this week I ran into situations of buyers who are completely unaware a buyers agent actually exists and at a cost FREE to the buyer. Well, this is how real estate works (at least in SC & most of the US), peeps. The sellers hire the brokerage to list their home. When the listing agent advertises the property for sale and lists it in MLS they advertise a certain percentage of the transaction to be split with the buyers agent in reward for bringing forth the buyer. After all, wouldn't you want your best interest represented?
The biggest hurdle with this process is the general public not understanding that a buyers agent is for their benefit. After all, a buyers agent owes their client-level six fiduciary services: confidentiality, accounting, disclosure, obedience, loyalty, reasonable care & skill. It has come to my attention that many buyers are under the assumption that having a buyers agent would be on their dime when that's just not the case. I completely understand and sympathize with all buyers. Buying a home can be a costly time with inspections, appraisal, moving fees, etc., Having an agent is about the only "free" thing, but it IS the most valuable and priceless - priceless as described in those Mastercard commercials (see below).
Long story short, if you are in the market to buy a home, please obtain an agent. If you are in the Columbia/Lexington/Irmo area, obtain me if you wish - I would be more than happy to assist. This is the LARGEST investment of your life, why wouldn't you invest in your future wisely?
If you are looking to buy, contact me at your easiest resource, email - firstname.lastname@example.org, text/call - 803.409.9667, or send a raven if need be - 1711 Gervais Street!
For those that don't know me well, you aren't aware that I have an awesome business partner. Paige Tyler and I met in 2010 when I was new to real estate and first joined Coldwell Banker. She was one of the first "second floor agents" I was introduced to. It was in brief passing/greeting, but I still remember that day. It was a gloomy, Fall day and she was wearing a bright, yellow outfit - a ray of classy, sunshine. Paige is one of a kind. She is kind-hearted, well-rounded, smart, beautiful inside & out, puts her clients best interests first, and an athlete. She puts her heart and sole into her job and life goals. Besides sitting 2-feet away from each other almost everyday, Paige and I have a good bit in common. One thing is undoubtedly true about both of us, we will achieve our goals. And for those people that tell us we can't and/or won't achieve those goals - it's just more fuel to our fire - so please, pour it on.
Speaking of goals, how about doing a triathlon? That's what my inspiring, partner is doing this year. For those who don't know, a triathlon consists of a grueling 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and a marathon (26.2 miles) - it's a back to back long distance race. Whoa! I have only done one 1/2 Marathon (13.1 mile run) and felt like death afterwards. I think we can all agree, a triathlon is challenging enough, but not for Paige. She decided to "tri" harder and is in a personal campaign to raise $15,000 for Haiti Under God. All proceeds raised in her campaign goes straight to her HUG (Haiti Under God) an IronBeliever Campaign - 100%. Below is a short description from the website on her campaign:
"On September 28, 2014, I will compete in IRONMAN® Chattanooga triathlon. IRONMAN triathlon is a long-distance event that consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run. It has a strict time limit of 17 hours. I will spend nearly seven months getting prepared for the IRONMAN Chattanooga race. All training time and race day will be dedicated to the girls. All donations contributed on behalf of my efforts will go toward supporting them with the basics: food, clothing, shelter and tuition/books."
If you are inspired to donate, this is one cause you can be assured 100% of the proceeds will be put to needed use. If you are in Columbia this Thursday evening, come support Paige in her Summer Benefit Concert. Just follow the directions in the below graphic to donate and come on by. And, if you are in the market to buy a condo near Williams-Brice, the event is being held at our newly listed Penthouse condo located at The Spur. It's even so newly listed it doesn't hit the market until later this week - come take a peak and stay for the view!
Be inspired by the positive people around your every day life.
Millennial. Southern. Professional, REALTOR in Columbia, SC.