Friday, January 18, 2019

Expanding Science at Roper Mountain

expanding science at roper mountain
Rendering provided by Lee H. Skolnick Architecture and Design Partnership
Upstate residents will soon have a new place to learn about environmental stewardship and get science education. Greenville County Schools is planning to construct a $14 million facility at the Roper Mountain Science Center. This facility will provide environmental education and sustainability.

The new building will provide students and visitors an immersive education as well as the opportunity to foster exploration and stewardship of natural resources. There will be hands-on leaving and encouragement for committing to create solutions to combat human interaction with the natural environment.

Work is underway and construction will begin this spring or summer. Tentative open scheduled for fall of 2020. This new two-story building will have about 28,000 sf of interior space and located on a 5-acre parcel of land next to the Harrison Hall of Natural Sciences.

It will have flexible teaching spaces, open-concept exhibits and a lot of new amenities that they haven’t been able to provide to visitors before. Three in-depth learning classroom/labs, pledge wall and lobby are included on the top floor. And the history of Roper Mountain will be shared in a 1,200-sf orientation space with digital interactive upstate map and a habitat overview.

A 2,200 sf “Sustainable Future” museum exhibit will feature interconnected stations to highlight how decisions about energy, food, water, waste, transportation and clothing will affect our community’s future and the world. Each station will challenge students and visitors to measure their impact on the environment with graphic panels, action lists and local organization stories.

The ground floor will include a dining space with room for 200 seats and four classrooms. Also included is a 2,000-sf exhibit called “Water Story” that highlights the importance of the Greenville Watershed and the water cycle processes. This “Water Story” will include graphics and models depicting plants and animals living within the watershed environment.

The design process has included input from several Upstate businesses and organizations. Each of the museum exhibits will highlight how partner businesses and organizations work to help the environment.

Roper Mountain Science Center is also working with the David E. Shi Center for Sustainability at Furman University to incorporate new learning methods and techniques into brand new lesson plans that will be made available in the new facility. Due to capacity restraints, Roper Mountain’s natural science programs focused on elementary grade children. The new facility will allow them to expand and provide lessons and labs for middle-schoolers as well as expand the elementary programs. Students served will increase another 20,000 a year.

Projections show the facility costing around $14 million to complete. Ten million will be provided by the Greenville County School District’s Long-Range Facilities Plan and Capital Improvement program. Roper mountain is planning to start a fundraising campaign to gain the additional $4 million needed.

And remember if you, a friend or family member need assistance with selling or buying a home I can help. Referrals and people needing relocation assistance are welcome! Search Single Family homes in Greenville. Search Condos and Townhomes in Greenville.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Timing Your Purchases

timing your purchases
What, we just had Christmas and we are already talking about shopping again? Well, there are certain times of the year when it is a bargain to shop for home furnishings, appliances, mattresses, tools and other materials. Here are some guidelines.

  • Furniture: January and July. Manufacturers introduce their new inventory in February and August so your best time to shop is January and July. Retailer are making way for the new styles by having specials to clear out existing inventory. Floor samples will often be your best bet so go ahead and ask about them.
  • Storage Essentials: January and August. Retailers slash prices and offer free shipping on storage bins, baskets, shelving and organizing systems. Once in January to help you organize your Christmas gifts and keep your resolutions and again in August to sell to parents sending their graduates to college.
  • Linens and Towels: January. Started in 1878, department store “white sales” are the perfect time to renew your bedding or linen closet. Most high-quality linens will be on sale and prices smashed to move them out. If something is not available, ask about a rain check.
  • Major Appliances: January, September, October and Holidays. Once an appliance becomes last years model, the price drops drastically except refrigerators. You can buy last year’s models in September, October and January for less when stores are making room for newer models. If you want a current model, shop on black Friday or any major holiday. If you have more than one appliance to replace, holiday shopping will get you better incentives for buying multiple items.
  • Mattresses: February and May. Best times are President’s day sales and Memorial Day sales. Department stores will offer coupons and specialty chains will offer 50 percent or more off. Don’t worry about price shopping. Different manufacturers will provide discounts based on models across the board. You would be better looking for a retailer having an inventory blow-out and negotiating from there.
  • Refrigerators: May. New units come out in May, hence Memorial Day sales are the best time for fridge shopping. Most retailers will offer savings all month long, so they are overwhelmed on that weekend. Check your local ads.
  • Roofing: May. This month will give you the best price on materials. If you are paying a professional, try for a wintertime installation since prices will rise on April 1.
  • Power Tools: June and December.
  • Paint: January, May, July, November and December. As temperature drops so does the price.
  • HVAC Equipment: March, April, October and November. Best time to buy is when you don’t need a new one. Months with moderate temperatures are when you will find the lowest prices. Installers may even run promotions during these months just to pick up business. You might even negotiate better prices for free upgrades.
  • Flooring: December and January. Mid-December through January reflects a decline in most home improvement projects due to the holidays. But flooring retailers and installers want your business. Use this slow time to negotiate better prices and get a good rate on your new flooring.

Hope these guidelines help you save some money in 2019 because who doesn’t want to save money. If one of your resolutions was to budget better, then using the months above could just help you get something for your home snuck into your budget a bit faster. Happy New Year!


And remember if you, a friend or family member need assistance with selling or buying a home I can help. Referrals and people needing relocation assistance are welcome! Search Single Family homes in Greenville. Search Condos and Townhomes in Greenville.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Equity Stakes and New Year’s Quakes

This year has been a good one for the real estate market across the U.S. and especially in South Carolina. Homeowners who bought when the market went crazy are just now realizing some equity in their homes. Here are a couple of stats from the CoreLogic Quarter 3 Equity Insights report.

South Carolina has a 3.7% negative equity share when compared nationally.
South Carolina has had an average equity gain of $8,095.

Frank Martell, President and CEO of CoreLogic says, “The number of homes in a negative equity position have remained around 2.2 million for two consecutive quarters this year.”

Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist at CoreLogic states, “On average, homeowners saw their home equity increase again this quarter but not nearly as much as in previous quarters. During the third quarter, homeowners gained an average of $12,400 compared to the second quarter when the average home equity wealth increase was more than $16,000. This lower year-over-year gain reflects the slowing in appreciation we’ve seen in the CoreLogic Home Price Index.”

If we refer back to my last article about the increasing Greenville SC economy, then we can assume that homeowner equity will continue to increase through the first quarter of next year. With the FED raising rates once again, homebuying may taper off a bit. With fewer buyers in the market, homeowners may be holding on to their homes a bit longer. We will see what 2019 brings.

equity stakes and new year's quakes
Speaking of 2019, here are some places to celebrate New Year’s Eve at in Greenville, SC.

For a more complete list The Greenville News has a more detailed article online.


And remember if you, a friend or family member need assistance with selling or buying a home I can help. Referrals and people needing relocation assistance are welcome! Search Single Family homes in Greenville. Search Condos and Townhomes in Greenville.


Friday, December 21, 2018

Out with 2018...In with 2019

out with 2018...in with 2019
In the latest video from CoreLogic, they talk about their outlook for economic growth nationally, so I wondered where Greenville SC fits into their numbers.

Here are some key factors I found on how the economy in the City of Greenville SC is cooking along.
  • Unemployment rate is 3.9%. The national average is 5.2%. 
  • The job market in Greenville SC has seen an increase of 2.8% over 2018. Ten-year predictions place job growth at 41.2%, which is higher than the national average of 38.0%. 
  • Sales tax rate for Greenville SC remains at 6.0% which meets the national average. 
  • Income tax rate is 7.0% which is higher than the national average of 4.6%. 
  • Greenville SC resident average income is $31,043/year. The national average is $28.555/year. 
  • Median Greenville SC household income is $41,147/year. The national average is $53,482/year. 
  • Personal income is projected to grow 4.3% in 2019. 
Looking at the unemployment rate which is below national average, we find that health care and social assistance lead the way at 14.3%, followed by educational services at 11.6%, followed closely by manufacturing jobs at 11.5%. Professional, scientific & technical services follow up with 9.7%, then accommodation & food services at 9.6% and retail coming in at 9.4%.

If job demand for the top three stay consistent there will be a trickle-down effect into the other categories and below. Thus, possibly dropping the unemployment rate even further below national average.

Other areas showing this lower unemployment rate include Travelers Rest, Taylors, Greer, Mauldin, Gantt, Parker, Five Forks, Simpsonville, Fountain Inn, Wade Hampton, Berea, and Welcome. Cities further from Greenville SC are showing higher unemployment perhaps because they are too far to commute or most of the companies prefer to locate in the larger Greenville SC metro area.

Rising lumber costs due to an imposed import tariff on Canadian lumber has slowed the housing industry a bit this year. Builders are incurring higher costs for new development. But despite the costs, single family residential building permit activity was up across the state including in Greenville SC. Spartanburg, Florence and Myrtle Beach had the most significant gains reaching near 20 percent.

And remember if you, a friend or family member need assistance with selling or buying a home I can help. Referrals and people needing relocation assistance are welcome! Search Single Family homes in Greenville. Search Condos and Townhomes in Greenville.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Tariffic Effects Around Greenville SC

tariffic effects around greenville sc
What do you do when America doesn’t produce the steel you need to run your business and make your product? You import it from Europe. However, President Trump imposed tariffs on imported steel among other imports. The family-owned business of KnifeSource in Fountain Inn has felt the squeeze. They have reduced their work force from 42 to 28 people. Paying the forced tariffs has had a huge impact on their income.

Using the legal system, KnifeSource has been spending money to get exemptions from the tariffs which have been granted but they are also hoping to get back the nearly $100,000 in already paid tariffs. Under current U.S. Commerce Department rules, KnifeSource has had to apply for 60 exemption requests where before it took only one. The company does support the President’s policies and speaks to the fact that steel manufacturing in America is not what it used to be. If you can help support this local company, please do.

On other tariff news, China is moving toward cutting its tariffs on imported U.S.-made cars. The proposal would reduce the tariff from 40 percent to 15 percent and bring the U.S. back in line with what other countries are paying. This would be good news for BMW. Their U.S. Spartanburg SC production plant exported more than 100,000 sport-utility vehicles to China in 2017. Out of the top 10 American-made cars, 4 were made at the BMW plant. Any reduction from China on tariffs will revert into a boon for U.S. automakers who export to China. Other than the BMW, Mercedes, Lincoln and Ford Explorer rank up there in exports to China.

Looks like Greenville county is back in court. An organized contingent of rural residents is working to block a 45-home subdivision called Howard Farms of Fairview Road. One of the major complaints is that developers are dropping in high-density subdivisions in rural areas. This “urban” sprawl is happening in both north and south Greenville county. A big opponent to Howard Farms is a local farmer who says people are polluting the ground and surface water and using her land as their own “green-space.” Her animals have been shot, stolen, mailed and killed by subdivision residents and their pets.

Greenville county has adopted new Land Development Regulations (LDR) and did reject one subdivision for density. In the case of Howard Farms, the developers use of roads pushed the county to approve. Either way a good neighborhood development should consider the surrounding land use and neighboring “feel.” Instead of high-density developments maybe a development of mini-farms or 1-2 acre lots would be more accepted and appropriate. Development, although needed, should make as little impact as possible on its neighbors.

To end on a light note, here are some ways to eat, drink and be merry at local bars and restaurants on Christmas Day. Here is the list.
  • Aloft WXYZ Bar 
  • Barley’s Taproom & Pizzeria 
  • City Tavern 
  • Chicora Alley 
  • Connolly’s Irish Pub 
  • Dave & Buster’s 
  • Handi 
  • Jack in the Box 
  • Local Due 
  • Mimi’s Steakhouse of Japan 
  • On the Roxx 
  • Roost 
  • Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse 
  • Saffron Fine Indian Cuisine 
  • Spare Time 
  • The Radio Room 
  • Up on the Roof 
  • Waffle House (do they ever close?) 
And remember if you, a friend or family member need assistance with selling or buying a home I can help. Referrals and people needing relocation assistance are welcome! Search Single Family homes in Greenville. Search Condos and Townhomes in Greenville.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Just Listed - 349 Archway Court, Moore, SC 29369

349 Archway Court, Moore, SC 29369
349 Archway Court, Moore, SC 29369
Bedrooms: 4
Full Bathrooms: 2
Partial Bathrooms: 1
Levels: 2
Square Feet: +/-2053
Type: Detached Single Family
MLS # 1381661
Price: $222,700

You instantly feel welcomed as you drive into the neighborhood headed towards your next home. This 2-story has four-sided brick and vinyl accents on second story and is situated in a Cul-de-Sac with level yard. Let's talk about additional privacy at no cost to you, the vacant lot next door is common area and won't be built on, now that's a great perk!

This beauty has a rocking chair front porch with full yard irrigation and features 4 bedrooms 2.5 bathrooms, Family Room, Dining Room, not to mention the Bonus Rec Room. Once inside the home you are instantly wowed by the beautiful Dark Cherry Stained Hardwoods that flow throughout the main living areas. Your Family Room is spacious with the HDMI hookup in place for your entertaining pleasures. The Dining Room has Picture and Crown molding and a new chandelier. The kitchen is adorned with stainless steel appliances, tile backsplash, Granite Counter tops, Under Cabinet Dimmable Lighting, Recessed lighting, Walk in Pantry with custom storage racks, great cabinet and counter space, then over the sink there is a window that overlooks the fenced in private backyard.

A 17x15 Master Bedroom which is on the First Floor with nice walk-in closet is off in its own hide-away for a great retreat and Crown Molding. Master Bathroom has Granite Counter comfort high vanities with dual sinks and cabinet drawer storage. There is a garden tub great for relaxing and taking away the days stress, an is accompanied by approx. 4-foot walk in shower with seating. Laundry Room is on the main floor and is a walk-in with plenty of shelving that was added to include an area to drop jackets and shoes. As you venture upstairs you will find three more bedrooms and the 15x13 Bonus-Rec Room. Once inside the garage you have garage door opener with remote, a key pad entry to enter from outside. There are plenty of storage options from the pull-down attic stairs, to the high ceilings so you can install racks and hooks for more storage options.

For more photos and details, click the link below.
349 Archway Court, Moore, SC 29369

The interactive map below shows 349 Archway Court but not necessarily the exact location of the home itself. Directions: From 1-85 exit 63 towards Moore/Spartanburg. Go app. 3 miles and TR onto
296 (Reidville Rd) near Ingles store. Sweetwater Hills is on 296 1/2 mile up on the LT. TL into Sweetwater Hills, TL onto N. Sweetwater, TL onto Bayshore, TR onto Archway home on LT.

Developing Story…Literally

Coming Soon Holland Park!
Dateline: December 2018 in Greenville, SC.

Breaking ground in early 2019 will be a new 12-acre mixed-use development at 813 Laurens Road in Greenville, SC.

Anchoring this new development will be nationally recognized Home Team BBQ and Double Stamp Brewery. The development called Holland Park also plans for a half-acre of shaded green space and 18,000 sq. ft. of office, restaurants and retail space. The green space will be saving 12 existing 100-year-old oak trees. Getting a nationally recognized tenant like Home Team BBQ is a big win and helps elevate Greenville, SC’s rising culinary scene. This will be their six location.

The future Swamp Rabbit Trail extension will provide direct access to Holland Park and there will be 175 parking spaces. This will provide residents another access to the recreational trail within Greenville, SC and places to park.

There will be two phases of development for the land. The back portion, bordered by the Swamp Rabbit Trail extension, will undeveloped until the first phase is complete. The developer is looking to find the right use for this land and is considering all options.

Laurens Road is becoming a major corridor with growth that was predicted. It hosts the Hollingsworth Park Verdae Development near I-85. Near downtown, Willy Taco Feed & Seed has opened. And many other projects are underway such as Think Tank Brew Lab.

All these projects are the results of the proposed Swamp Rabbit Trail extension in the works. Greenville County is heading the extension and they have removed the old rail lines. Plans are to place a flyover bridge near Willy Taco to go over Laurens Road and tie into the city-owned property north of the Spinx gas station and connecting to Cleveland Park.

The Swamp Rabbit Trail expansion has become an incentive for developers thus opening Laurens Road development. Holland Park has taken about 18 months to get started hinging on land purchases.

The developer sees Holland Park bringing new and interesting choices to Greenville, SC. The idea is to bring brands and concepts that we have not seen before in our market.

And remember if you, a friend or family member need assistance with selling or buying a home I can help. Referrals and people needing relocation assistance are welcome! Search Single Family homes in Greenville. Search Condos and Townhomes in Greenville.