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Carolina Wren Park - Downtown Anderson SC

by Terri's Team


Carolina Wren Park serves as a retreat and gathering place in Downtown Anderson. The multi-use facility lends itself to a wide variety of activities for people of all ages and interests. The site is a venue for concerts, theatre performances, cultural events, festivals, weddings and reunions.

Carolina Wren Park is operated by the City of Anderson and is maintained by the City of Anderson Parks and Recreation Department. It is open sunrise to sunset* and is patrolled regularly by the City of Anderson Police Department.

Facilities

Wren Pavilion: The red brick building located on the left of the site will house storage, restrooms, a warming kitchen for events, and also functions as an open air pavilion for the park. Maximum number of persons seated is approximately 200, standing is 440; this includes the overlook.

Stage /Spray Plaza: The Stage/Spray Plaza is the focal point of the site which includes the water wall and the interactive splash pad which includes LED lighting and music integration. This feature gives offers scripted water and light show. The water wall and interactive splash pad creates the plaza area.

Hours for Waterqall & Spray Pad

Waterwall:
Sunday - Thursday 9 am - 10 pm
Friday & Saturday 9 am - 11 pm
Light Show (on the hour lasting 30 minutes)
Sunday - Thursday 6 pm - 9:30 pm
Friday & Saturday 6 pm - 10:30 pm

Spray Pad:
Sunday Noon - 2:30 pm 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Monday - Saturday 11 am -1:30 pm 3 pm - 5:30 pm
Piedmont Natural Gas Block Party Continuous during the event

Courtyard: The gold building located on the right of the site has been incorporated into the park. The west wall has been removed creating a courtyard which complements the park with additional seating/programming space. The front façade remains and allows pedestrian access.

Amphitheater: The amphitheater incorporates a green lawn and low stone walls to sit on; it is located next to the monumental staircase which makes a grand entrance into the amphitheater. Maximum number of persons seated is 240, standing is 460

 

Tips for a Fashionable & Pet-Friendly Home

by Kecia Burkart

Many people are letting their houses go to the dogs and the cats and the birds without sacrificing style or comfort. Instead of banishing their furry friends to the yard, many pet owners are decorating and remodeling their living spaces with their pets' needs in mind and turning pet-friendly decorating into a full-blown trend.

1. Vacuum regularly.

Even if you match your chaise to your Cocker Spaniel so perfectly the hairballs are barely visible, vacuum puppy’s hair off the furniture at least twice a week. You may need to vacuum daily when your pet is shedding.

2. Bathe and groom your pet often.

Keeping your dog or cat clean will help your house stay cleaner, longer. Trimmed nails won't scratch floors or upholstery. Regularly brushing and bathing removes loose hair before it ends up on your floor, your bed, your throw pillows and your curtains. Furniture and rugs will last longer if they don't need to be washed as often. Think of it this way: It's easier to clean your dog than your upholstery, and it's usually more fun.

3. Use stain-resistant fabrics.

Forget silk, chintz or the pet-hair magnet known as velvet. Discover the joys of Crypton, a nearly indestructible, synthetic fabric that's resistant to stains, smells, bacteria and muddy paws.

Leather is a good choice, easy to clean and durable. Most grades of leather will suffer only scratches from Fido or Fluffy's claws, but hey, the scratches add patina.

Then there's Ultrasuede, a machine-washable microfiber that feels as smooth and seductive as real suede. It's beautiful, and it always stays cool and comfortable no matter the climate. That's important for your and your animal's comfort.

4. Put washable fabrics on your bed.

If your dog or cat sleeps with you there will be accidents. Protect your mattress from the inevitable by covering it with a thick pad. Use cotton sheets, preferably in a medium color or a pattern that can hide the pet hair and stains between washings. For bedspreads, duvet covers work well because you can take them off and wash them regularly.

5. Skip wall-to-wall carpet.

Carpet absorbs odors, traps pet hair and soaks up inevitable pet-related stains like a sponge. If you must have carpet, choose a low pile. It's easier to clean if there's an accident. And avoid continuous loop carpet because a pet toenail can unravel it by catching a single woven loop.

6. Choose hard surface floors.

Bare floors are the way to go, but bare doesn't have to be boring. Painted concrete is lovely and durable, as are terrazzo and brick. Hardwood floors are simple to mop or vacuum and add a warm glow to a room, but keep in mind that large dogs can scratch wood.

The best floor is ceramic tile, because it's easy to clean and resistant to any stain an animal can dish out. Tile is toenail-proof, it makes a room look sleek and elegant, and it gives furry animals a cool place to nap during hot weather. Porous materials like marble or other natural stones aren't as pet-proof as other hard surfaces, since acids present in pet “accidents” stain them, even if they're sealed.

7. Match colors to your pet's fur.

Your pet can be a source of inspiration when choosing colors for your room. Paint a concrete floor the same shade of gray as your cat. Cover your sofa in a honey microfiber that matches your golden retriever. This isn't just an aesthetic shout-out to your pet; it's also a practical choice because the hair they leave behind won't be as visible. Put a white floor in a house with a black Lab, you're going to have black fur balls everywhere, most all of the time.

Source - HGTV

10 Best-Kept Secrets for Selling Your Home

by Kecia Burkart

 

Tricks of the trade to help you get top dollar when selling your home.

Selling Secret #10: Pricing it right

Ask your Realtor what your home is worth, then shave 15 to 20 percent off the price. You’ll be stampeded by buyers with multiple bids — even in the worst markets — and they’ll bid up the price over what it’s worth. It takes real courage and most sellers just don’t want to risk it, but it’s the single best strategy to sell a home in today’s market.

Selling Secret #9: Half-empty closets
Storage is something every buyer is looking for and can never have enough of. Take half the stuff out of your closets then neatly organize what’s left in there. Buyers will snoop, so be sure to keep all your closets and cabinets clean and tidy.

Selling Secret #8: Light it up
Maximize the light in your home. After location, good light is the one thing that every buyer cites that they want in a home. Take down the drapes, clean the windows, change the lampshades, increase the wattage of your light bulbs and cut the bushes outside to let in sunshine. Do what you have to do make your house bright and cheery – it will make it more sellable.

Selling Secret #7: Play the agent field
A secret sale killer is hiring the wrong Realtor. Make sure you have a broker who is totally informed. They must constantly monitor the multiple listing service (MLS), know what properties are going on the market and know the comps in your neighborhood. Find a broker who embraces technology – a tech-savvy one has many tools to get your house sold.

Selling Secret #6: Conceal the critters
You might think a cuddly dog would warm the hearts of potential buyers, but you’d be wrong. Not everybody is a dog- or cat-lover. Buyers don’t want to walk in your home and see a bowl full of dog food, smell the kitty litter box or have tufts of pet hair stuck to their clothes. It will give buyers the impression that your house is not clean. If you’re planning an open house, send the critters to a pet hotel for the day.

Selling Secret #5: Don’t over-upgrade
Quick fixes before selling always pay off. Mammoth makeovers, not so much. You probably won’t get your money back if you do a huge improvement project before you put your house on the market. Instead, do updates that will pay off and get you top dollar. Get a new fresh coat of paint on the walls. Clean the curtains or go buy some inexpensive new ones. Replace door handles, cabinet hardware, make sure closet doors are on track, fix leaky faucets and clean the grout.

Selling Secret #4: Take the home out of your house
One of the most important things to do when selling your house is to de-personalize it, family photos are fine as long has they are not to many.  Buyers like to look at photos of the people that live there, just don’t go overboard with photos in every room. The more personal stuff in your house (like large collections of items, memorabilia, personal keepsakes) the less potential buyers can imagine themselves living there. And always de-clutter.  Get rid of a third of your stuff – put it in storage. Clutter looks like no storage.

Selling Secret #3: The kitchen comes first
You’re not actually selling your house, you’re selling your kitchen – that’s how important it is. The benefits of remodeling your kitchen are endless, and the best part of it is that you’ll probably get 85% of your money back. It may be a few thousand dollars to replace countertops where a buyer may knock $10,000 off the asking price if your kitchen looks dated. The fastest, most inexpensive kitchen updates include painting and new cabinet hardware. Use a neutral-color paint so you can present buyers with a blank canvas where they can start envisioning their own style. If you have a little money to spend, buy one fancy stainless steel appliance. Why one? Because when people see one high-end appliance they think all the rest are expensive too and it updates the kitchen.

Selling Secret #2: Always be ready to show
Your house needs to be "show-ready" at all times – you never know when your buyer is going to walk through the door. You have to be available whenever they want to come see the place and it has to be in tip-top shape. Don’t leave dishes in the sink, keep the dishwasher cleaned out, the bathrooms sparkling and make sure there are no dust bunnies in the corners. It’s a little inconvenient, but it will get your house sold.

Selling Secret #1: The first impression is the only impression
No matter how good the interior of your home looks, buyers have already judged your home before they walk through the door. You never have a second chance to make a first impression. It’s important to make people feel warm, welcome and safe as they approach the house. Spruce up your home’s exterior with inexpensive shrubs and brightly colored flowers. You can typically get a 100-percent return on the money you put into your home’s curb appeal. Entryways are also important. You use it as a utility space for your coat and keys. But, when you’re selling, make it welcoming by putting in a small bench, a vase of fresh-cut flowers or even some cookies.

Source - HGTV

How to Choose a Great Contractor for Your Remodel

by Terri's Team

It’s the contractor you pick who makes or breaks your remodeling project. Finding the right contractor for your job will determine the quality and timeliness of the work, and the amount of emotional and financial stress you will have to deal with. 

To make sure you are getting the best work from a contractor, here are five questions to ask the candidates. Tip: Listen for how prospective contractors answer your questions. Difficulty communicating now means difficulty communicating on the job later.

1. Would you please itemize your bid?

Many contractors prefer to give you a single, bottom-line price for your project, but this puts you in the dark about what they are charging for each aspect of the job. For example, if the original plan calls for upgraded fixtures in your bathroom but you decide not to install them, how much should you be credited for eliminating that work? With a single bottom-line price, you have no way to know.

If you get an itemized bid, it will show the costs for all of the various elements of the job, including:

  • Demolition and hauling trash
  • Framing and finish carpentry
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical work
  • HVAC
  • Tiling or other floor covering installations
  • Lighting fixtures
  • Drywall and painting

That makes it easier to compare different contractor prices.  If you need to cut the project costs, you can easily figure your options. Plus, an itemized bid becomes valuable documentation about the scope of your project, which may eliminate disputes later.

2. Is your bid an estimate or a fixed price?

Some contractors treat their bids as estimates, meaning bills could wind up being higher in the end. Be sure to request a fixed price bid instead.

If a contractor says he can’t offer a fixed price because there are too many unknowns about the job, then try to eliminate the unknowns.  If you can’t resolve the unknowns, have the project specs describe only what he expects to do. If additional work is needed, you can do a change order—a written mini-bid for new work.

3. How long have you been doing business in this town?

A contractor who has been practicing his trade locally for five or ten years has an established network of subcontractors and suppliers in the area and a local reputation to uphold. That makes him a safer bet than a contractor who is either new to the business or planning to commute to your job from 50 miles away.

Ask for a business card with a nearby address, not a P.O. Box.  Also, ask for references from one or two of his latest clients.

4. Who are your main suppliers?

Contractors are networked with their suppliers. You can tap into information on your contractor’s reliability and level of quality by talking to their suppliers such as: tile shops, kitchen and bath showrooms, lumber yards or the pro desk at your favorite home improvement center.

Ask about a contractor’s professional reputation, if he’s reliable about paying his bills — and whether he’s someone they would want to hire.  Your contractor should have no qualms about telling you where he gets his materials if he’s an upstanding customer.

5. I’d like to meet the job foreman

Many contractors don’t actually swing hammers. They spend their days bidding new work and managing their various jobs and workers. That makes the job foreman, the one who’s working on your project every day and the most important member of your team.

Meet the foreman in person, ask to go meet him at his current project and see if his current job is running smoothly. Asking to meet the foreman on the job gives your general contractor an incentive to assign you one of his better crews.

If your contractor says he will be running the job himself, ask whether he will be there every day. He will want to give you a positive response, something you can hold him to later on.

 

Source - Realtor.com

How To Sell Your Home On A Tight Timeline

by Kecia Burkart


Selling your home can be stressful under normal circumstances. But add a deadline to the mix, or trying to sell your house and buy another one at the same time and your blood pressure goes up just thinking about it.

Whatever the reason, you’re in luck: Now’s a great time to sell! According to the latest data from the National Association of Realtors, 41% of recent home sales were on the market for less than a month.  If other homeowners can do it, you can too! Sell your home in record time with these simple tips.

Choose a Great Real Estate Agent

Hire a Realtor with expertise and experience in YOUR market.  Ask questions about how they communicate with their clients.  Ask how many transactions they have completed in the past year.  Do they work part time or full time?  Ask them what is their area of expertise and do they have referrals of past clients they can provide for you.

Don’t waste your time on an agent who only sells a handful of homes a year. It takes more than a sign in your yard to sell your home fast. You need a pro with a plan, and a short deadline calls for the best in the business. A true pro knows there’s strength in numbers and brings a creative mind and a mile-long contacts list to expose your home to as many buyers as possible

Price the Home to Sell

Again, this is where you need a great Listing Agent with real estate experience.  If you price it too high buyers will pass it up without ever stepping through the door. Price it too low, and you’ll give it away to the first taker. Consult with your Realtor to find a happy medium so you don’t lose time or money. Your agent can help you set a competitive price by comparing recent sales of homes in your area.

It doesn’t matter how much you paid for it eight years ago or what you owe on your mortgage. Your home is worth what buyers will pay, plain and simple.

Accentuate the Positive

Staging spotlights your home’s best features while downplaying its problem areas. It starts with cleaning and decluttering and can include painting and rearranging furniture, among other tasks. The goal is to create a welcoming environment that’s easy for buyers to see as their own.

You can hire a professional stager, ask your Realtor’s opinion of what to do or do it yourself. Either way, it’s well worth your time and money. A recent study by the Real Estate Staging Association found that homes that were staged before being listed sold in an average of 26 days. That’s 87% faster than those that sat on the market for several months before being staged!

Use Professional Photos

Today’s buyers rely heavily on the Internet in their search for the perfect home, and photos play a big role in capturing their attention. According to the Wall Street Journal, photos are the first thing buyers go to in the MLS listing and where they spend most of their time.

That’s why it’s important to put your best face forward. Save your smartphone camera for family snapshots. This job calls for a professional photographer or at least a very good camera and someone with an eye for photography. Schedule your photo shoot for a time of day when the sun casts the perfect light on your home and make sure every room looks catalog-ready.

Marketing Plan

Ask your Realtor what their Marketing plan is. Some Realtors enter your listing in the MLS and that is all.  Other Realtors buy enhanced packages on Realtor.com, have highly ranked websites, market to other Realtors, have Buyer clients already looking for homes.

 

Source - Dave Ramsey

Create Curb Appeal in a Day

by Terri's Team


If your home's curb appeal makes a great first impression, everyone, including potential home buyers, will want to make the most of your curb appeal. Check out these simple, low-cost curb appeal improvements that you can do in a day

Dress up the front door

Your home's front entry is the focal point of its curb appeal. Make a statement by giving your front door a blast of color with paint or by installing a custom wood door. Clean off any dirty spots around the knob, and use metal polish on the door fixtures. Your entry should also reflect the home's interior, so choose a wreath that reflects your personal style.

Replace old hardware

House numbers, the entry door lockset, a wall-mounted mailbox, and an overhead light fixture are all elements that can add style and interest to your home's exterior curb appeal. If they're out of date or dingy, your home may not be conveying the aesthetic you think it is. These elements add the most appeal when they function collectively, rather than as mix-and-match pieces. Oiled-bronze finishes suit traditional homes, while brushed nickel suits more contemporary ones.

Create perfect symmetry

Symmetry is not only pleasing to the eye, it's also the simplest to arrange. Symmetrical compositions of light fixtures and front-door accents create welcoming entryways and boost curb appeal. This door is flanked by two sidelights. The lantern-style sconces not only safely guide visitors to the door, but also coordinate with the door hardware and urns.

Install outdoor lighting

Low-voltage landscape lighting makes a huge impact on your home's curb appeal while also providing safety and security. Fixtures can add accent lighting to trees or the house or can illuminate a walking path. If you aren't able to use lights that require wiring, install solar fixtures (but understand that their light levels are not as bright or as reliable).

Create an instant garden

Container gardens add a welcoming feel and colorful curb appeal to any home exterior -- quickly and affordably. You can buy ready-made containers from garden centers or create your own with your favorite plants. For most landscapes, a staggered, asymmetrical arrangement works best to create a dynamic setting.

A mailbox makeover

Mailboxes should complement the home and express the homeowner's personality. When choosing a hanging drop box, pick a box that mirrors your home's trimmings. Dress up mail boxes for curb appeal by painting the wooden post to match the house's exterior color, or by surrounding it by a beautiful flowering garden.

Source - bhg

Interest Rates Continue To Fall

by Terri's Team


For the fifth consecutive week, mortgage rates inched down, lowering borrowing costs for home buyers and refinancers, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey. This week’s national average on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage sank to its lowest level since late October. 

"Fixed mortgage rates eased a bit for the fifth consecutive week as reports that existing home sales are up 1.3 percent but not as much as expected,” says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “As the spring home buying season continues, we see stronger consumer confidence as house prices remain on the rise.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national mortgage rate averages for the week ending May 29: 

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.12 percent, with an average 0.6 point, down from 4.14 percent last week. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.81 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.21 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from 3.25 percent the previous week. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.98 percent. 
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.96 percent, with an average 0.3 point, holding the same as last week. Last year at this time, 5-year rates averaged 2.66 percent. 
  • 1-year ARMs: averaged 2.41 percent, with an average 0.4 point, dropping from last week’s 2.43 percent average. A year ago, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.54 percent. 

Source: Freddie Mac

Great Reason to Sell Now

by Terri's Team


The price of any item (including a home) is determined by the basic law of ‘supply and demand’. If many people are looking to buy an item and the supply of that item is limited, the price of that item increases.

According to the National Association of Realtors(NAR), the supply of homes for sale is still below the normal 6 month level of inventory. That means less competition.

However, a recent study revealed that 71% of current homeowners are considering selling their home this year. Putting your home on the market now instead of waiting for this increased competition to come to the market might make a lot of sense.

Buyers currently in the market are motivated purchasers. They want to buy now. With limited inventory available in most markets, a seller will be in a great position to negotiate their best possible price.

Source -Keeping Current Matters

Tips How to Get Your Dream Home in Today's Market

by Terri's Team

May through August signals prime time to buy or sell a home 60 percent of all homes are bought and sold during this timeframe. Buyers during this busy time and now that the market is recovering nicely the days of multiple offers, cash buyers and over-asking sales prices are becoming more and more often.  So in order to make your offer stand out and get that house you want here are a few tips.

1. Be aggressive.

Buyers house hunting in a hot market is like a marathon.  You need to have your eye on the goal of obtaining the prize (your new home).  For many buyers, it takes losing a home or a few homes before they realize that making below-market offers doesn’t result in a great deal if it can’t grab the attention of a seller.  Buyers who mess around making weak offers can end up priced out of the market or the type of home they were hoping for entirely.

Of course, being aggressive in an offer doesn’t mean blindly throwing money at homes.  Experienced Realtors with market expertise will look at the following factors.

  • How long homes stay on the market in your target neighborhood.
  • How much above or below asking homes usually sell for in your neighborhood.
  •  How many other offers you are competing with on any given home.

2. Don’t let up once in contract.

Your Realtor has negotiated the price for you and the Seller has accepted.  Woo! House hunting is done. But the work is far from over. Your Realtor will facilitate the transaction for you but the last thing you want to happen is for things to fall through the cracks. Important things like showing up in person for an inspection or delivering paperwork to lenders promptly can make a big difference in how smoothly a transaction goes.

3. The Emotion of the Deal

Conventional wisdom advises buyers not to get emotional about a property. But it’s easy to fall in love with a home, and buyers should be excited about a place that likely represents the biggest financial investment they’ll make.  There are multiple steps after the contract such as financing, appraisals, home inspections and title work where things could go wrong.  Just keep in mind “if” they do there will be another house or Buyers may need to re-negotiate with the Seller.

4. House-hunting couples

In the hot spring/summer market, hesitation kills deals. When co-buyers are not on the same page about what’s important, the time between seeing a home, deciding to make an offer and deciding how much to offer can be much longer than it should be. The delay can be devastating — many a dream home has been sold to the highest bidder while a couple argues over whether it’s the one.

 

Source - Trulia

How to Manage Your Move to Your New Home

by Terri's Team

Moving, just the thought of it is overwhelming when you think of all there is to do. Going through all of your belongings, what stays, what gets donated, how to organize everything and then the dreaded packing up years of accumulated stuff.

Here are some tips to help relieve some of your stress. To start off, try not to think of moving to a new home as a single, overwhelming ordeal. Break the moving process down into easy-to-accomplish phases to keep you focused and motivated.

 At Least Three Months Before Moving Day

1. Don’t waste time or space packing what you don’t use or need. Clear out closets, cabinets and any other random storage places and sell, toss or donate anything you haven’t used in more than a year. Have a pre-moving yard sale and make a little extra cash while you’re at it!

2. Start gathering sturdy boxes from grocery, furniture or electronics stores. It may take more time to get what you need, but they’ll be free!

3. Start pre-packing! If you’re selling your home, this will help you clear out clutter and make your home appear more spacious to prospective buyers. Pack up photos, knickknacks, rarely used dishes and cookware—almost anything you don’t use on a daily basis.

Packing Tips

—Label and/or color-code boxes to make unpacking easier. Place labels on the sides of boxes so you can see them when the boxes are stacked.

—For items that must be disassembled, keep screws, washers, and so forth in labeled plastic bags. Put all the bags in one box so they won’t get lost. Do the same with the cords from your electronics.

—Instead of wrapping each dish in newspaper or bubble wrap, separate your dishes with Styrofoam plates. Stack them in boxes vertically instead of flat. They’ll be less likely to break.

 One Month Before Moving Day

1. Coordinate your moving dates with some overlap. Leave plenty of time between closing on your current home and the move-in date for your new home to paint or put in new flooring—whatever projects you have in mind—before you move in.

2. Go ahead and set up utilities and internet access at your new home and notify the post office of your new address.

3. Take measurements at your new home to make sure your current appliances and furniture will fit.

4. Keep packing!

 

One or Two Weeks Before Moving Day

1. Finish up the immediate updates to your new home.

2. Put up shower curtains at your new home and stock the bathroom with towels and soap so you can have a hot shower after a long day of moving. Have paper plates, disposable cups, paper towels and cleaning supplies at your new home so you don’t have to search for them the day of the move.

3. Pack a bag of essentials for each family member: medicines, toiletries and a change of clothes. Keep these handy so you’ll have everything you need for your first night in your new home without digging through boxes.

4. Nearly done packing.

More Packing Tips

—Take pictures of your electronic hookups so you have a guide to use when you get to your new home.

—Slip your hanging clothes into garbage bags while they’re still on the hanger. Simply transport them to your new closet and remove the bag.

Moving Day

1. All your prior hard work should make this day a simple matter of moving your things from one location to another. Make things even easier by having a friend watch your kids and/or pets so you can focus on the task at hand.

2. If you’re relying on volunteers to help you move, organize your teams in shifts so one group of friends helps you move out while the other helps you move in. That way no one has to give up a full day, and you get all the help you need.

Professional Movers Can Do the Heavy Lifting

If your budget allows, consider hiring professional movers who will take on much of the physical stress of packing and transporting your belongings. Remember, it’s your responsibility to keep things organized.

Look for companies that have a reputation for good customer service. Be sure you understand your responsibilities so you don’t end up paying more than you expect.

A Small Price to Pay for a Great New Home

Don’t let the task of moving keep you from finding a new home you and your family can enjoy. Take your time, think ahead, and keep your sense of humor!

 

Source – daveramsey.com

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 97

Terri’s Team is licensed in SC & GA and located in SC