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Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 78

Is a Swimming Pool For You?

by Kecia Burkart

It’s Spring and the real estate market is booming.  Buyers are tempted this time of year to look for homes with a swimming pool.  The pool is beautiful; they can imagine entertaining family and friends around it, back yard BBQs and kids splashing.  But, do you really want the investment of a pool? 

Here are a few things to consider –

It is always less expensive to buy a house with a pool than to install a swimming pool.  So if you are a pool person, look for a house that already has one, installing an in-ground pool is $40,000 plus (and I mean PLUS).

There are other cost factors to consider as well, the electricity to run the pool will add about $30 - $50 onto you monthly electric bill, chemicals to keep that pool sparkling can run $100 plus a month during the hot summer months.  And they are work to maintain them.  They also increase your liability so you may want to check with your insurance provider to see if your policy is up to date.

So should you buy a home with a pool or not?

On the plus side, swimming pools are part of the unstoppable outdoor trends which have given new emphasis to backyard landscaping, fencing, walkways, decks, weather-proof kitchens, fireplaces, covered and open patios, arbors, ponds, and play areas. Pools are fun, they promote fitness and they give you a great place to entertain family and friends.

On the negative side are safety and compliance issues. Pool maintenance can be monthly and turned over to a pool service, but that’s yet another bill to pay. If you do not maintain your pool’s water things can go wrong and it is another bill to correct the issue. A swimming pool uses lots of water and chemical treatments to keep it clean, attractive and safe, and it will increase your homeowner’s insurance.

Pools come in five styles, in order of the least to most expensive type of basin:

• Above-ground pools

• Fiberglass pools

• Vinyl-lined in-ground pools

• Gunite pools

• Poured-concrete pools

Now that you know more about structures of pools and the pros and cons, do you want to be a home owner of a home with a swimming pool? 

Before you buy, ask the seller for any maintenance and repair records they might have for the pool, and include the pool in the home inspection. Remember when you purchase a home with a pool you are getting a real deal on that pool.

Let us help you find your perfect home with the outdoor oasis you will adore.

Spotlight Local Business of the Week - Doolittle's Resturant

by Terri's Team

Downtown Anderson has plenty to offer.  On one of your trips we suggest a visit to Doolittle's Restaurant.  It is located just in front of our new Carolina Wren Park and there is outside dining next to the fountains for added ambiance.   

Doolittle's slogan is Eat. Drink. Do Little. "Fresh, Local, and Homemade in a laid back atmosphere"

Doolittle's has a regular menu plus daily specials that are made with local cuisine made fresh and in house.  John and Shandra Doolittle know you will enjoy a warm atmosphere with great food and genuine hospitality.

The menu has quite a variety you can find everything from great sandwiches and juicy burgers to fresh seafood and hand cut steaks. Plus they have a full bar and scrumptious desserts…hint try the white chocolate raspberry cheesecake.

Doolittle’s also has a banquet room with beautiful views of downtown Anderson, SC and they caterer as well.

Everything you crave with an experience that has a personal touch that you can only get from a local business that cares. The service is great and the trivia cards on the tables are a nice touch.

You can visit Doolittle’s at 112 North Main Street, Anderson, SC.  Their phone number is (864) 222-3893.  Or visit them on the web at www.doolittlesrestaurant.com

 

The Home Inspection

by Kecia Burkart

After viewing numerous houses, you finally find it, the one, the house of your dreams.  Your Realtor submits the offer, the Seller accepts it, and you are simply elated! Your financing is going along seamlessly and then comes the home inspection.  What if there is something wrong with your beloved new home?

News flash, a home inspector will always find something wrong.  It is more of a matter of “what” is wrong.  Here are a few problem areas that you need to really think about. 

Outdated Electrical Wiring

With today’s families using technology and more devices than ever, it’s important to ensure your home’s electrical system is up to date. Pay close attention to aluminum wiring if it shows up on your home inspection report. It was used between 1965 and the mid-1970s in place of copper, and it poses a dangerous fire hazard due to the potential of overheating at connections.

Foundation Damage

Every home’s foundation will experience some degree of settling. A qualified home inspector can tell you when a seemingly minor crack spells major trouble. Watch out for bulging or bowing foundation walls, which is a sign of structural weakness that can cost thousands to repair.

Septic Tank Failure

If your new home comes with a septic tank, make sure trouble isn’t bubbling below the surface. You can get a separate inspection just for the septic tank. A septic tank that fails can be costly to replace.  Sometimes septic tanks only need to be pumped which is approximately $350 - $500. Foul odors, slow or gurgling drains, and standing water are common symptoms of a septic tank that needs some looking into.

Mold

A home plagued by mold can affect your health. You can typically clean up areas of mold that cover less than 10 square feet on your own at a reasonable cost. But extensive growth requires professional help.

Water Stains

Your home inspector should investigate any water stains to determine if there’s an active leak and to check for the presence of mold. A brown spot on the ceiling, for instance, may indicate a faulty roof, while stains on basement walls can clue you in to drainage issues—and neither are a cheap fix.

Summary

Just because your home inspector uncovers an issue doesn’t guarantee the seller will fix it. Ultimately, you decide whether to walk away or negotiate with the seller, and a lot of that depends on your budget and willingness to take on a major home improvement project.

An experienced real estate agent can help you navigate the findings and set priorities for moving forward.

 

Spring Time Activities That Don't Empty Your Wallet

by Kecia Burkart

The official first day of spring is March 20, but here in South Carolina, we don’t have to wait that long. With a nice weekend upon us, it’s a great time for a dry-run of warm weather fun outside. Here is a list of things that will fill your time without emptying your wallet.

Go Fishing

 Imagine sitting on a dock at Hartwell Lake and casting a line into the water or just sitting by a pond. Then, enjoy the quiet and all that nature has to offer you as you simply sit and wait. You don’t care if you catch anything. Or take a child and teach them to fish, after all you will be enriching their life by simply spending time with them.

Go to a Baseball Game

No matter how you feel about baseball, the American thing to just go and soak up the atmosphere.   Now is the time to get out and see a game. The spring season just reinforces baseball as our national pastime.  Go to Fluor Field in Greenville for a fun day with the Greenville Drive. And if you are really ambitious go see the Braves before they move on to their new stadium in the very near future.

Take a Bike Ride or a Stroll

Anderson isn’t exactly known for its encouragement of bike riding. There are very few trails around the area that connect homes and major roads with other areas.   Your neighborhood might be well suited to bike riding. But don’t forget about the East-West Parkway it has a great path the length of the road that is perfectly suited for bikes, runners and just plan strolling. 

Plant a Flower Bed or Vegetable Garden

Sure, planting anything sounds like a lot of work and to some the task seems impossible. But Lowes and Home Depot, as well as local nurserys, can help you pick out the flowers or vegetables to get you started.  Just pick a place in the yard and pay attention to how much sun the area gets.  Pick out plants suited for this area and water them.  Your results will be worth the effort.  Not ready to break the ground yet?  Start with container gardening.   You will provide yourself with free produce, lovely gardens, something for the whole family.

Buy a Hammock or Rocking Chairs

Relax for an afternoon and stare at the skies or just rock back and forth.  Take a cat nap while reading or listening to your favorite music or sporting event.  Rocking chairs on the front porch, screened porch or a hammock stretched between to tress is so relaxing.  And if don’t have to have the perfectly placed trees for a hammock.  There are all types of hammocks made of various materials and structures.  

Eat Outside

Picnics are nice, sure, but there are other ways to eat outside.  Fire up the grill and grill some BBQ chicken, corn on the cob and watch the kids play in the backyard.  Family time outdoors can be fun and when you add a football or baseball to the mix you just found an outdoor family activity.

Go Shopping

Get outside and enjoy the weather.  There are flea markets all over the area just waiting for you to come and buy something. The most obvious choices are the Jockey Lot on U.S. 29 or the Farmers Market downtown Anderson.  And don’t forget about the Yard Sales. 

Spotlight Local Business of the Week - Grady's Great Outdoors

by Terri's Team

Grady's Great Outdoors in a local Anderson business that has grown with Anderson.  The business has diversified throughout the years but one thing remained the same - it is a family owned business.  And if you are lucky enough to know this family you know they are fine people that serve our community.  This is their story...

In 1961, Grady & Ann Phillips opened “The Sport and Hobby Shop” in an 840 sf vacancy in the Pruitt Shopping Center in Anderson, SC. This store stocked model cars, fishing supplies, athletic goods and a total of two guns. Growth came quickly and in 1963, the store was moved 3 doors down in the shopping center to a 1,400 sf location. Here Grady and Ann added more firearms, toys, games and even Barbie Dolls!

As the business continued to grow, it was moved in 1965 to a 2,400 sf building in the then-new Belvedere Plaza Shopping Center. Horseback riding equipment, western wear and more toys and hobbies were added to the inventory. The name was also changed to “Grady’s Sport Shop” – a name by which some people still refer to us today.

In 1969, Grady and Ann decided to focus on the core business – hunting and fishing. The store was moved one door down in the Belvedere Plaza to a 3,600 sf location. The variety of hunting and fishing equipment was expanded and a mail-order division was started. Grady began producing direct-mail flyers which are still our most effective form of advertising today.

Explosive growth came in the early 70′s and the store was moved 3 doors down in the Belvedere Plaza to a 7,000 sf building – almost double the size of the previous location. 10 years later, Grady and Ann felt that a free-standing building would best serve our customers. Property was secured in our current location and a 9,800 sf building was constructed. The name was also changed to “Grady’s Great Outdoors” at this time.

Over the last 22 years, the original structure has been expanded and remodeled to its current 19,000+ sf size. The current line-up of products includes: Hunting, Fishing, Camping, Kayaks & Canoes, Casual & Work Clothing, Casual & Work Footwear and much more!! They carry virtually all of the major brands as well as many hard-to-find specialty items.

Grady’s Great Outdoors continues to be owned and operated by the Phillips Family. 

Grady’s Great Outdoor contact information -

3440 Clemson Blvd.

Anderson, South Carolina 29621

Phone

(864) 226-5283

Email

shopgradys@gmail.com

Website

http://www.gradysoutdoors.com

Fabulous New Restaurants & Retail Stores are coming to Greenville

by Kecia Burkart

Dozens of new restaurants and business like Dave and Buster's will soon call Woodruff Road their new home.

It's all part of a multimillion project on the site of the old Greenville Mall called Magnolia Park. The complex is located between Interstate 85 and Verdae Boulevard.

The site is set to feature a Toby Keith restaurant, Firebird's Wood Fired Grill, and Bad Daddy's Burger Bar. The ToysRUs and BabiesRUs are already under construction.

Dave & Busters is a place you will find a mix of food, drinks and plenty of fun.  Dave & Buster's, the only place with a restaurant serving everything from wings to New York strips, a bar with the best happy hour and the latest interactive and video games. Let your inner kid run free. Our Million Dollar Midway offers over 200 games to play with a rechargeable Power Card in your pocket you win no matter which arcade game you choose to play.

Toby Keith’s restaurant, I Love This Bar features the bars themselves are in the shape of giant guitars, creating a unique country music atmosphere that visitors will love.   The menu is fairly traditional southern American food, but they do it big. Whether you’re getting the ribs or the chicken wings, it’s impossible not to notice the insanely generous portion sizing for a very fair price.

Plus, the development will feature Cabela's for hunters, fishermen and campers set to open next spring. The developers tell us they are working with a number of other tenants for their first location in South Carolina too.

Source – FOX News

Financial Benefits of Home Ownership for Tax Season

by Terri's Team

Homeownership Builds Wealth Over Time

Homeownership can be a very savvy financial move – but only if people buy homes they can actually afford. Our parents purchased homes to build wealth.   When the recession hit people became wary of purchasing homes due to the flood of foreclosures.  The idea of sticking to a home you can afford to gradually build wealth is a “rule” that just happens to be new and old at the same time.

You Build Equity Every Month

Your equity in your home is the amount of money you can sell it for minus what you still owe on it. Every month you make a mortgage payment, and every month a portion of what you pay reduces the amount you owe.  That reduction of your mortgage every month increases your equity. The way mortgages work is that the principal portion of your payment increases slightly every month year after year. It’s lowest on your first payment and highest on your last payment.

Mortgage Tax Deduction Benefits

Mortgage deduction: The tax code allows homeowners to deduct the mortgage interest from their tax obligations. For many people this is a huge deduction, since interest payments can be the largest component of your mortgage payment in the early years of owning a home.

Property tax is deductible: Real estate property taxes paid on your primary residence and a vacation home are fully deductible for income tax purposes.

Tax Deductions on Home Equity Lines

In addition to your mortgage interest, you can deduct the interest you pay on a home equity loan (or line of credit). This allows you to shift your credit card debts to your home equity loan, pay a lower interest rate and get a deduction on the interest as well.

Long Term, Buying Is Cheaper than Renting

In the first few years, it may be cheaper to rent. But over time, as the interest portion of your mortgage payment decreases, the interest that you pay will eventually be lower than the rent you would have been paying. But more importantly, you are not throwing away all that money on rent. 

Source - Trulia

Spotlight Local Business of the Week - Skins' Thrasher Hotdogs

by Terri's Team

Those who try’em say they have never had a better hotdog.  With stores across upstate South Carolina, Skins has created a deep tradition of giving each customer quality service, a quality hotdog, and a clean environment—all for a reasonable family price.

Skins was established in Anderson, SC in 1946 by Loyd “Skin” Thrasher.  In a humble, “pool hall” type atmosphere Skin sold anything he could, including short-order meals such as sandwiches, hamburgers, and the same hotdogs we enjoy today.  As time passed, the hotdogs became the item of choice for Skin’s patrons.  To meet the local mill town folks’ demand for a quick and quality meal, Skin decided to get rid of the pool tables and concentrate on hotdogs.  Today the legend lives on just the same.

By the 1980’s, Skins had built a reputation across upstate SC, as well as other states all across the southeast.  News outlets everywhere began spreading the word about the tiny house hidden in the heart of Anderson.  In 1985, Skin decided to hang up his apron and pass the business on to his 2 sons and son-in-law.  1988 saw Skins open up the #2 store on Clemson Boulevard in Anderson and in the 1990’s Skins opened 5 more stores(Seneca, 28 Bypass in And., Clemson, Easley, and Mauldin)  With the growth, came national attention via Gourmet, Money, and Fortune Magazines, as well as PBS and National Public Radio proclaiming Skins as 1 of the top 10 hotdogs in America.  Soon after, Skins was invited to make a trip to Capital Hill to participate in the Washington DC “Taste of the South” fundraiser where each year the south’s best foods and flavors are handpicked and served in the nation’s capitol with area charities receiving the proceeds.

Skin Thrasher passed away in April of 1998, but the passion for a good hotdog and a great overall experience lives on though his family.  In 2000, Skins stepped into Greenville, SC with stores on Pelham Road and Mills Avenue.

In August 2006, Skins found their way back home to Anderson County opening a location in the Hopewell community, which is on Highway 81 in Anderson. Skins has since opened a store in Greenwood in March 2011 and opened its newest store on Congree Rd in Greenville during 2012.

The Skins attitude is one of commitment and tradition.  Commitment to old fashioned family values, to unmatched quality, and to the most important thing…you, the customer.  Please make yourself at home and enjoy the secret recipe chili, a side of homemade cole slaw, and fresh homemade chocolate pound cake. Your will taste the tradition.

For more information about Anderson's favorite hotdogs visit  Skin's Hotdogs.com

A Winter Wonderland for Parents and Kids Alike

by Kecia Burkart

While Wednesday’s snow kept many off the streets, there was no stopping the students, parents and children determined to play in the snow at McCants Middle School on Marchbanks Avenue.  The infamous” McCants Bowl” has always delighted Old North Anderson residents.  Neighborhoods are filled with sleds, used pieces of plastic, storage tubs, laundry baskets, boogie boards just about anything you can sit on and slide down hills.

For many parents they got to experience snow like this for the first time with their children.  If you are a Southerner this amount of snow does not happen often so you better make sure to take full advantage of it. 

Anderson University students with no available sleds, turned a skateboard into a snowboard and repurposed baking sheets, trash bags and shower curtains.

Many of the grocery stores stocked shelves furiously as Anderson and surrounding areas readied themselves for the upcoming store earlier this week. People stocked up on flashlights, candles, charcoal to grill with, hot chocolate and canned food (as well as the preverbal milk and bread) so they could enjoy their day in the snow without worries.

With snow accumulations predicted to be 6 – 10 inches and ice accumulations expected power loss is the main concern.  Duke Power has called in crews from the Midwest and Florida into the Carolinas in anticipation of the winter storm. Duke customers who experience outages should call 1-800-POWERON. Anyone who sees a fallen Duke power line or safety hazard involving the company’s equipment should call that number and select Option 2 immediately.

Roads are also snow packed and while crews work continuously public officials are urging people not to drive and stay home and enjoy the Winter Wonderland. 

Facebook Turns 10 - What Other Trends Were Happening in 2004?

by Kecia Burkart

Mark Zuckerberg launched "Thefacebook" while he was a student at Harvard University on Feb. 4, 2004. Zuckerberg's creation “facebook” now has over a BILLION users and has changed the way we relate to one another.  While there was social media before “Thefacebook” it was more niche and only for Harvard students. Now facebook is for teens, adults, grandparents, businesses, causes and communities. 

So, what else was popular in 2004?

Google Top Trends

Everyone was searching on the internet.  Top searches included Linsey Lohan, Ashlee Simpson, Michael Jordan, pets, Boston Red Socks, NY Yankees, Nick Berg, Oprah Winfrey, Ford Mustang, Cosmopolitan Martini,

Super Bowl XXXVIII Halftime Show Controversy

Justin Timberlake tore off a piece of Janet Jackson's outfit during their performance, and the term “wardrobe malfunction” was born.

Top Selling Christmas Toy - The Beyblade

Hasbro's Beyblades. The craze swept the nation, leading to massive championship battles across the world.  The game was extremely complicated and kids gathered to stores such as ToysRus to compete.  I really do not think most people understood the rules.  But just spinning that little top was fun.

Number 1 on the Billboard Top 100: 'Hey Ya!' by OutKast

Can’t you just hear it now? “ Shake it, sh-shake it. Shake it like a Polaroid picture.”

Number 1 Film at the Box Office – The Butterfly Effect staring Ashton Kutcher

Remember the movie about a young man blocks out harmful memories of significant events of his life. As he grows up, he finds a way to remember these lost memories and a supernatural way to alter his life.

The #1 New York Times Bestseller: The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

The book has provoked a popular interest in speculation concerning the  Holy Grail legend and Magdalene's role in the history of Christianity.

Top Selling Video Game: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Some things never change, as evidenced by Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto series topping the charts in the gaming world in both 2004 and today.

Top Fashion Trends

Uggs boots, pointed toe shoes, “Boho” sheek,  dressy Capri pants, Velour/Track Suits and graphic t-shirts.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 78

Contact Information

Terri's Team
Keller Williams Realty - Western Upstate
4107 Liberty Highway
Anderson SC 29621
864-314-0573
Fax: 864-226-9238

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