Friday, December 28, 2012

Recycle your Christmas Tree for Fish Habitats

army corp uses christmas trees for fish habitats at lake hartwell sc
Recycle your Christmas Tree!
Location Lake Hartwell, South Carolina. Help the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers by donating your used Christmas tree. These trees will be used as "fish attractors" throughout the lake.

Using the recycled trees provides cover and enhances nursery habitat for juvenile fish. The trees create a beneficial environment for aquatic insects, which in turn are a food source for the fish.

Collected trees will be bundled, weighted with concrete anchors and then sunk in marked fish attractor locations around the lake.

Drop your tree off at the following locations:

  • Big Oaks Recreation Area - located on U.S. Hwy 29, one mile past the Hartwell Dam in Hart County, GA.
  • Twin Lakes boat ramp (Pickens County, S.C.) From Interstate 85 in South Carolina, take exit 14, Hwy 187. Going north on Hwy 187 towards Pendleton, S.C. Immediately after passing Clemson Research Center, take a left on Fant's Grove Road, follow directional signs to park.
  • Coneross boat ramp (Coneross Park, S.C.) From Interstate 85 in South Carolina, take exit 11 on Hwy 24 towards Townville. 1.5 miles past Townville, turn right onto Coneross Creek Road. Directional signs will lead to the park entrance.
  • Poplar Springs boat ramp (Franklin County, Ga.) From Lavonia, Ga., where GA 328 crosses I-85, go north on GA 328 for 3.5 miles, follow brown directional signs.

army corp uses christmas trees for fish habitats at lake hartwell sc
Support Fish Habitats
Drop off your tree from December 26th through January 15th at Mount Lebanon Elementary School in Pendleton, SC. Located at 2850 Lebanon Rd. There will be a roped off area near the entrance.

Hope you had a great Holiday and are looking forward to a awesome New Year! If you need assistance with selling or buying a home in 2013 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 22, 2012

Greenville is ON!

greenville county south carolina tourism
Across the country the travel industry is continuing to outperform the general economy. Domestic tips taken by Americans in 2012 will hit an all-time high.

Demand for hotel rooms in the United States is stronger than in previous years. In the third quarter of 2012, the hotel industry sold more room nights than ever before: 106 million. So despite the uncertainty, Americans are traveling not only for business but for pleasure. With new hotel openings being sparse this has generated  higher occupancy rates on existing hotels across the U.S. United States occupancy for the first nine months this year hit 63% which is up 2.6% over 2011.

As far as Greenville, the switch is on! Occupancy rates for Greenville in the first nine months of 2012 outperformed the U.S., the South Atlantic Regions and the state of South Carolina. As an example, the average occupancy rate for Greenville hit 67%. Greenville County hotels had a +6.4% occupancy gain over 2011. Second only to coastal Charleston, Greenville County hotels are leading the state in occupancy performance levels.

Also on the up side is overall growth throughout Greenville County is increasing. It should come as no surprise the first nine months of 2012 have also advanced y-o-y: Restaurant Sales (up 8.7% - Jan-Sep 2012), Retail Sales (up 13.2% - Jan-Sep 2012) and Hospitality Tax (up 11.01% in the City and 6.53% in the County—Jan-Sep 2012). These other industries benefit directly from travel spending.  Food & beverage business gets a third of their revenue from visitor spending. Amusements, attractions and  recreation venues get half of their sales from tourism. And airports get almost all of their revenue from Tourism.

victoria cottle greenville real estate agent
With this influx of travelers visiting Greenville County, a side benefit will be the buying and selling of real estate. How many of these travelers visited Greenville and now are looking to buy? An increased demand for homes will benefit sellers in our market. If you are interested in getting a FREE in-depth market report, contact me and I will set you up. This report is available for buyers too. I also offer a FREE Relocation Package.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Glimmer of Light for the Holidays for Homeowners

Christmas wishes by homeowners in trouble have been answered.  It was announced that both Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FMCC) would suspend all bank repossessions stating December 17, 2012 through January 2, 2013.  Bank of America (BAC), JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Citibank (C) also announced that they will halt evictions over the holiday season on properties that it holds loans on and properties that they service for investors. Wells Fargo (BWF) has not made a public announcement as of yet, but have in past years also postponed foreclosure actions during the month of December. Although firms contracted by all companies will continue to file foreclosure documents, such as eviction notices and scheduling auction sales, by during this time. 


Executive Vice President of Credit Portfolio Management’s at Fannie Mae, Terry Edwards, stated "We're taking this step in support of families who have faced financial challenges and gone through a foreclosure, the holidays are a chance to be with loved ones and we want to relieve some stress at this time of year. We encourage homeowners having difficulty to reach out for help as soon as possible."


Foreclosures have decreased recently, but are still high. In 2006, when housing prices started to decline, 21,000 foreclosures were completed on average.  As of October of this year there were approximately 1.3 million homes in some state of foreclosure.


This is in addition to last month’s notification that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae would suspend evictions and foreclosures in areas affected by super storm Sandy for 90 days.  Homes in storm hit areas of Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island with loans held by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) received foreclosure suspensions also.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Sell Your Home Fast By Staging It

Number one question from my home sellers is “How can we get our home to sell fast?” My belief is “Staging”.  What is staging you ask, it is making your home the best showcase it can be.  Optimizing your space to show the potential it holds for buyers viewing it.  By staging your home, you are helping your buyer’s envision their belongings in your home. I suggest that you ask yourself one thing when staging, “Would I see this in a model home?” and go from there. Do this before your list.  Agents will take photos when you list your home.  These will be used to market your home and get buyers to schedule showings.

          Curb Appeal – If you can’t get buyers at a glance of a photo, you can’t get them to make an offer. Take the time to clean up the yard, get rid of the kid’s toys, trim the shrubs, weed the flower beds, pick up leaves and park extra vehicles someplace else until after the sale.

          De-clutter – Remove all the unnecessary items.  Minimizing the d├ęcor creates space. Allowing your buyers to see their things in that space. Remember that just packing these things up and putting them in the garage is not helping maximize that space, so consider an off-site option. Remove mementos, heirlooms and photos – anything that may make the buyers see you and not them in the space. All counters and cabinets should be cleared off. Bathrooms - should be organized and free of any personal hygiene products. Bedrooms - should be as neat and impersonal as possible. Anything that can be removed should be especially any garbage, throw blankets, pillows, shoes and coats. Pets – always arrange for your pet to stay with offsite for showings.

     Clean – this goes with removing things, of course you will have to vacuum, sweep or dust after things are gone.  It may be easier to hire a service to do this for you after you have de-cluttered.

          Minor repairs – Do all those little things that you keep telling yourself you will get to. Fix the leaky faucet, the nasty scratch in the hardwood floor, missing handles or knobs on cabinets or replace light bulbs.  First impressions are all you get with selling your home.

          Painting – Fresh paint is not always needed, but is sometimes just that little extra that makes the difference. If you are not the painting type, hire a professional, it will be well worth the expense in the end.

Painting by Rodger

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Greenville is Being Recognized for the Recent Enhancements to Their Area

ConventionSouth’s Prestigious 2012 Renovated Meeting Site Award is recognizing Greenville, South Carolina for recent enhancements, in their December 2012 issue.  ConventionSouth publisher J. Talty O’Connor states “The recent enhancements to Greenville make it a hot spot for meetings and events.”  According to O’Connor, the Awards Issue is one of the most popular must-read resources within the meetings industry. Greenville has made major improvements to their downtown area that has made them a point of interest where meeting/event attendees and guests get a unique Southern experience. With the new energy from the structural improvements, Greenville seems to jump out at people.
Greenville’s revitalization of their downtown stems from over a quarter century of planning with the help of public-private partnerships mixed with strategic and sound planning.  Greenville’s central business district is the largest in South Carolina. The vision of this redevelopment is based on the opportunity for people to live, work and play in a thriving state of the art community, thereby creating a flourishing downtown atmosphere.
Greenville offers great shopping, dining, recreation and accommodations.  Shopping is Greenville sets a canvas for all shoppers at heart offering designer boutiques, eclectic shops and major chains set amongst tree lined streets in shopping districts around town. While shopping of course you will need to eat, so check out the wide variety of options from local coffee shops to light lunches to fine dining at the many fine culinary locations, many have mid-day menus for the lighter appetites. Check out the Greenville Arts & Entertainment Guide for a detailed list of options. Recreation options are endless in Greenville, whether you like to enjoy a picnic lunch from one of our local deli’s, biking, hiking, boating, fishing or camping, The Blue Ridge Mountains, along with our city, county and state parks offer enjoyment and breathtaking view for all ages. Accommodations are vast with over 8,000 rooms available at 75 locations that include the simple homey atmosphere of a bed and breakfast to the luxury hotels.

Greenville Convention and Visitors Bureau is a great resource for all your planning needs.  Their services range from assisting with arrangements to finalization of your event details including; Assistance with press releases, offering greeters or Visitors Information tables at registration, flyers with area attractions, activities, and events of interest during your stay, coordination of day trips, outings, guided tours and/or golfing, informational brochures and their Housing Bureau Assistant.  Greenville has a variety of venues for meetings, conventions, weddings and family gatherings; Such as BI-LO Center, TD Convention Center, Peace Center, Camp Buckhorn and Falls Park.  Greenville has renovated itself into a location destination for all of the family. There are new adventures just waiting for you. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Holiday Lights on Roper Mountain

What is lighting up the sky around Greenville, you ask, that would be the Annual Roper Mountain Holiday Lights, opening Thanksgiving evening thru December 30, from 6 pm - 10 pm nightly.  For 21 years The Rotary Club of Greenville and the Roper Mountain Science Center Association have been organizing this event.  With over 600 volunteers working more than 4,000 man-hours and starting in September, they set-up the 72 light displays with nearly 64,000 bulbs powered by 31 electrical meters. Visitors are invited to experience this great family tradition with the Winter Wonderland, visit and have pictures taken with Santa Clause in his restored 100 year old sleigh, walk the lighted trails, enjoy the elves and their balloon art or have a cup of hot chocolate.

Over 20,737 vehicles carrying almost 83,000 guests attended last year’s event generating $150,000 in donations to be distributed to Rotary Charities and the Science Center Association, including the Rea-To-Me and Money Smart Literacy Program in Greenville County, Salute to Educations annual program in Greenville County and the Greenville Literacy Program.  Sponsorships of varying degrees are available including an 18” Lighted Snowflake.  See Sponsorships available for more details.

2012 Holiday Lights Events Schedule
      ·         Monday, December 3......... DOG NIGHT
·         Tuesday, December 4......... Don't Miss USC’s Cocky! - 7:00 to 8:30 pm
·         Wednesday, December 5.. Meet The Clemson Tiger! - 7:00 to 8:30 pm
·         Thursday, December 6........ Grove Elem. School Choir - 6:30 to 7:30 pm
·         Monday, December 10....... Sue Cleveland Elem. Singers - 6:30 to 7:30 pm
                                                          DOG NIGHT
·         Tuesday, December 11....... Reedy Rip'It! - 7:00 to 9:00 pm
·         Thursday, December 13 .... JL Mann High School Choir - 6:30 to 7:30 pm
·         Sunday, December 16........ Robert E. Cashion Elem. Choir - 6:30 to 7:30 pm
·         Monday, December 17....... DOG NIGHT

Admission Per Vehicle

Cash and Checks Only
Car, Minivan or SUV: $10
Activity Vans:
Multi Car Pass: $21. Good for three visits. Saves $9!
Click here to get directions.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

O, Greenville

Oprah Magazine’s Associate Editor, Katie Arnold-Ratliff, recently visited Greenville for the food, wine and music festival, Euphoria.  Katie has selected Greenville, South Carolina as her Favorite Unexpected Vacation Destination for the December 2012 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, stating she “can’t wait to go back.”

Katie mentions sitting on the bank of the Reedy River under the stars, which runs through Falls Park near The Historic West End in downtown Greenville. This park is 26 acres within the city, offering an oasis for people to play and celebrate life while enjoying nature.  The park is maintained by the City of Greenville. 

Named in honor of Liberty Corporation founder W. Frank Hipp and his children, the unique curved suspension, Liberty Bridge, was constructed over a period of 12 months. Suspended 28 feet above Reedy River, the concrete reinforced deck is supported by a single suspension cable, 350 feet long, 12 feet wide and 8 inches thick. This bridge with its geometry is the first to be constructed in the United States.

·         Merrill Lynch Overlook
·         Wyche, Burgess, Freeman and Parham Overlook
·         Furman Overlook 

·         Main Garden
·         Pond Garden
·         Cascade Garden
·         Old moll Garden
·         Spring Falls Garden 

Katie also mentions, eating different types of shrimp and grits, and drinking Blueberry-infused beer, while attending Euphoria, a weekend long food and music festival held in September each year.  Exhibiting the best food, drink and music
the south has to offer.  Euphoria invited guest chefs from all over the country to participate in events alongside Greenville’s best chefs in guest chef dinners. Highlights from the weekend were:

·         Taste of the South
·         Tasting Showcase
·         Jazz Brunch
·         Wine Seminars
·         Cooking Demos