The Clutch: North Main Spotlight

The Clutch: North Main Spotlight

We are lucky to have several wonderful neighborhoods in the heart of downtown Greenville – each with its own unique vibe. North Main is definitely one of the hippest and is comprised of an eclectic mix of historic and modern homes, townhomes, apartments and duplexes all nestled on wide, tree-lined streets. The architectural styles of North Main are diverse and include Craftsman, bungalows, Georgian, prairie, mid-century modern, ranch, Tudor…and even a famous Frank Lloyd Wright house called Broad Margin.

As of August 15, 2017, there were 27 properties available for sale in MLS ranging from $185,000 to $3,500,000! Homes in the North Main neighborhood are always in high demand and sell quickly!

Tip: Keep your eyes open for new developments including Westone Station and Northpointe.

The neighborhood is an active one with several neighborhood association websites including:  North Main Community Association  and Colonel Elias Earle Community Association. Those without websites can be found here.

It’s never hard to find something to do in North Main…from tennis, miniature golf, playgrounds and rental facilities at McPherson Park to baseball, basketball, picnics and playgrounds at North Main Park…the list is endless! A membership to the Stone Lake Community Club and Pool provides pool, clubhouse and swim team access.

One of the North Main area’s latest attractions is the Stone Pin Company, a boutique bowling alley with 6 bowling lanes, a bar and dining areas serving up amazing food, beer and premium cocktails. For music lovers, a visit to Horizon Records is key. It offers a unique mix of new and used vinyl, CDs, DVDs and often has live shows. The Trolley pick-up and drop-off is located here as well.

Other cool things to experience are the craft beers, select wine and food truck offerings at The Community Tap and al fresco dining on the patio at Universal Joint – (its fish tacos are heavenly and the wait staff is amazing!). Both of these spots offer pet-friendly outdoor spaces. Local favorites include the healthy fare and live music at The Bohemian Café, great options for dining-in or takeout meals at Two Chefs Café and Market. Some new hot spots include Ji-roz for outstanding Greek food and wine, stone-fired pizza from Stone Pizza Company and coffee and espresso from 101 Espresso Bar. And last but not least is a pimento cheeseburger from the infamous Northgate Soda Shop!

If you’re looking for something unique, North Main is the go-to spot with retail spots like We Took to The Woods, Billiam Jeans, P Squared Boutique and coming soon… Blossom Greenville!

According to founder Kimberly Stephens, “Blossom Greenville will be opening the doors this fall – we’re hoping for mid-September if construction goes as planned. We will be located at Main and Stone: 644 North Main Street between Ji-roz and Two Chefs Café and Market. We chose this area particularly for the cool neighborhood vibe and because there’s PLENTY of parking via an on-site lot and a {FREE} garage”. Downtown shopping where you can easily park? Sign me up.

Blossom plans to offer similar merchandise to its original location in Uptown Greenwood with an emphasis on fun, fashion footwear for ladies. Handbags, jewelry and other accessories will round out the mix. Blossom is thrilled with the fresh, new brands it’ll bring to the area and has some great events planned for the fall.

Co-owner Mason Dunlap notes, “Our opening weekend promises to be something you don’t want to miss—cocktails, nibbles, giveaways and great shopping… with a few surprises thrown in! Keep an eye open on specific dates”.

I’m partnering with Blossom Greenville to help one lucky reader up their shoe game for fall. Follow the directions below for your chance to will a $200 gift certificate!

HOW TO ENTER: No reposting or commenting necessary; 1. Follow me @vhayesrealtor on Instagram. 2. Like the post featuring the Blossom logo. 3. Follow @blossongvl on Instagram. So simple! Remember that you must follow both businesses to qualify. Please make private accounts public during the giveaway for verification. All entries must be submitted by August 26 at 11:59 p.m. EST. The winner will be announced on August 28. Good luck!

This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram.
#vhaygiveaway #virginiahayesrealtor #blossomshoes

Interested in Buying an Older Home? When to Buy and When to Run!

Interested in Buying an Older Home? When to Buy and When to Run!

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always been drawn to older homes full of unique character and charm. I’ve considered all the quirks and imperfections in the older homes I’ve lived in, a fair trade off for the unexpected nooks and crannies, ornate woodwork, tall ceilings and original pine floors that these homes boast. And, I love dreaming about the stories each home could tell of its past.

And I am not alone. Through my work as a real estate agent in the older areas around downtown Greenville, I’ve found there are many like me who find something romantic about buying an older home. While falling in love with a home when searching is ideal, it’s important to review the following points to avoid future heartache and major expenses down the road.

  1. Lead Based Paint –Any home built prior to 1978 may have lead based paint but most sellers in this market don’t have records of whether their home has it or not. According to the U.S. EPA, approximately 87 percent of homes built before 1940 contain lead based paint. The good news is if the paint is in good condition, the lead doesn’t usually pose a risk. The hazard comes when lead based paint starts breaking down, peeling or chipping. If that’s the case, or you have particular concerns about lead exposure, it’s best to hire a certified inspector to test a sample for you.
  2. Energy (In)efficiency – While original windows, old systems and original faucets maybe oozing lots of charm, some of them are super inefficient. It’s a great idea to ask the current homeowners for a breakdown of current utility costs, as well as detailed information on the age of major components like the roof, HVAC system, hot water heater, windows, plumbing and electrical. While you’ll want to maintain the historic integrity and charm of an older home, there are still ways to increase efficiency through smart updates after you purchase the home.
  3. Structural Issues – While many old homes are very well constructed, over time issues will arise with any home…foundations will sink, structures shift and moisture can find its way into the home’s support structure. Many things like wall and ceiling cracks, sloping floors, stuck windows and doors that won’t close are typical old house issues, but it’s always recommended to get a thorough inspection done by a reputable home inspector prior to purchasing. This will help ensure there are no major structural issues that need to be addressed.
  4. Bad Renovations – The range of renovations among older homes in Greenville run the gamut between never renovated, should never have been renovated, to award-winning remodels. For any renovations you notice, it’s wise to ask the homeowners if the renovation was permitted by the city, who did the renovation, what all was included with that renovation (ie. was electrical or plumbing updated to code of that time, etc.), is there a warranty on the renovation, etc. If the homeowner states that it was a DIY project with no permitting, I’d advise really checking it out with your inspector or possibly running if it doesn’t look like a professional job. Undoing a messy or careless renovation can be a costly nightmare!
  5. Musty Smells – Many homes with basements often emit musty smells into the home. A licensed home inspector and termite inspector can do a thorough investigation of the basement to make sure there are no moisture issues. Additionally, getting a company to clean the air ducts and vents in an old house is key to eliminating musty smells, dust and pet dander. I can attest that this really helps with allergies too!
  6. Design Guidelines – If you are looking at an historic home in one of Greenville’s seven historic districts that you want to renovate, it’s very important to get a copy of the design guidelines prior to purchase. Many have strict rules about modifications – namely exterior, structural changes and aesthetic changes like exterior paint colors – to make sure the home is preserved correctly.

Now that you know the key things to look for, your search for an older home will be smoother. Buying an older home in one of Greenville’s established neighborhoods is not only an exciting experience it’s a great investment. As you know, Greenville has just been named the fourth fastest-growing city in the nation by the US Census Bureau, so I anticipate the demand for our charming older homes to keep rising and rising.

Poolside Necessities—Summer Must Haves

Poolside Necessities—Summer Must Haves

Summertime means pool time! With how hot and humid it can get here in the Upstate during the summer months, I am thankful for every opportunity I get for a dip in the water. Whether it’s your own private watering hole in your backyard sanctuary or the fun and excitement of your neighborhood oasis, hanging in and around the pool is a staple for summertime traditions. Truly getting into your summer groove and lounging poolside is made so much sweeter when you have your poolside essentials with you. Here are some of my favorite poolside necessities and the inside scoop on where you can snag them, locally:

 

Cabana Station: A cabana station can be as elaborate or as simple as you need it to be. Having a fun, stylish place to store all of your towels and pool accessories is a must to keeping your backyard clutter-free. Invest in a few weather-resistant storage pieces that reflect your personal style. Looking for something a little more lux? I’ve seen cabanas with built in coolers, sunshades and even outdoor showers to rinse off the chlorine. For a truly unique storage piece, check out The Rock House Antiques on Mauldin Road. There are many great local resources for outdoor furniture such as Carolina Furniture & Interiors, The Firehouse Casual Living StoreJeff Lynch, and Craft Stove Store and Patio. A great non-local resource for online ordering is Frontgate.

 

Plush Beach Towels: If you’re going to splurge on any poolside necessity, let it be your beach towels. Investing in ultra plush and super absorbent towels that stand up to the wear and tear of the sun and little ones is must for long summer days. Bright, oversized towels with vibrant designs and patterns add a touch of personal style and fun to an otherwise typical summer staple. Two of my local favorites that currently have colorful beach towels and popular beach blankets are Kate Carlyle on Augusta Road and The Pink Azalea on Main Street in downtown Greenville.

 

Decorative Floaties: Fun, oversized pool floaties are all the rage for Summer 2017. You pick something as functional as a floating lounge chair complete with a cup holder or something totally unexpected and eclectic like a jumbo pink swan to surprise the kiddos. Blown up floaties typically last longer than pool noodles and come in so many different styles and designs. Check out the colorful Havaianas flip flop pool floats at Splash on Main.

 

Waterproof Lounge Chairs and Folding Chairs: During the summertime, I am obsessed with outdoor patio furniture. A lot of pools have tanning ledges these days. It’s great to have a wide and shallow area in the pool that allows for relaxing and cooling off. Waterproof lounging chairs are a great option to place in the shallow end of a wading pool on hot summer days. If you do not have a wading pool, investing in waterproof fabrics and materials for your outdoor chaises is always a good idea if you’ll be sunning yourself by the water. Low-profile folding chairs are also a must have this summer. Sitting on the edge of a pool may not be possible if the ground is hot (and since we’re in Greenville, you know it will be). Folding chairs are great to perch at the edge of your pool if you want to dip your toes in but still keep an eye on the kids out of the water. These pieces are easy to clean and portable. Stop by Carolina Furniture & Interiors on Mall Connector Road, The Firehouse Casual Living Store on Congaree Road, Jeff Lynch on Roper Mountain Road and Craft Stove Store and Patio on Wade Hampton Boulevard for a great selection of outdoor furniture and much more!

 

Prepping Your House to Sell

It’s hard to believe it’s almost March but if the fast-paced January and February 2018 real estate market is indicative of what’s to come…we’rein for one of the hottest Spring selling seasons ever! If you’re planning on selling your home this year, now is the time to start getting it ready! Historically, the Greenville market has been best before Summer rolls around so, don’t delay. See my tips below on what you can start doing now to make listing a breeze within 30 days or less!

Replace Light Bulbs and Update Dated Lighting
The perfect lighting can really enhance a home during showings, while dim or dated lighting makes itseem depressing. Simplygo through your home and replace any burned out bulbs and goto any hardware store to get some inexpensive replacement lighting if you’ve been hanging onto 1980’s brass. Hint: This is also a good time to clean dust or cobwebs off lighting.

Clean or Replace Light Plates and Switch Covers
Continuing with the lighting theme, it’s a big turn off to buyers when turning lights on/off for showings and they see cracked or dirty wall light plates and switch covers. I think these often go unnoticed when living in a home. But, the good news is, it’s a very easy and cheap fix as they can be purchased at any hardware store.

Get Extra Keys Made
While at the hardware store—Duncan’s Hardware is a great choice on Augusta Road—it’s a good time togo ahead and get keys made for the lockbox. Make sure to get a few sets and try them out to make sure they work! If the locks don’t work well, then now is the time to get those repaired. Try American Lock and Key on Laurens Road.

Begin De-Cluttering
Purchase boxes, a POD—anything that will help you de-clutter! If you are in doubt of what to keep and what to remove, contact your real estate agent or a staging professional to outline this process. De-cluttering includes all major parts of your house AND the basement and attic for optimal showing potential.

Home History Discovery
The de-cluttering phase is also a great time to unearth information about your home that will beimportant to future buyers from warranty information, to ages of major systems like roofing, HVAC, hot water heater, details on updates or renovations, surveys, average utility bills, covenants and restrictions,HOA information, paint colors and more! Create a home file for easy access to this information when ready to list.

Spruce Up Bathrooms
Re-glaze tubs if needed, add missing grout, replace cracked tiles, add new hardware if needed and replace old towels and shower curtains with crisp, white ones. Target has a great selection of bathroom décor and supplies.

Tidy Up the Kitchen
Throw out old food and dishes, get new towels, clean off the fridge and put as many things upas possible. Since kitchens and masters are typically the main selling points of a house, you’ll need to make yours shine!

Touch-Up Paint Throughout
If you can go through and touch up the paint and it looks professional that may suffice in many places, but the look and smell of a fresh paint job throughout can add thousands to your offers!

Freshen Up Flooring
Clean or replace carpets, get major hardwood scratches fixed orre-finish any areas that are in bad shape.

Contact Your Handyman
Got leaky faucets? Missing doors, broken handles… really anything that you’ve been putting off that would be off-putting to any buyer needs tobe addressed now.

Update the Landscaping, Outdoor Pots, Door Wreath or Flower Basket
A simple but effective fix—add some mulch, flowers and a pretty wreath or flower basket to the front door. This is the first impression so make it count! One of my favorite saviors for this is Joy Gregory of Pretty Pots!

Hire a Professional Cleaner to Majorly Deep Clean
While this isn’t cheap, it’s a must-do… cleaning baseboards, windows, appliances, closets, drawers…basically every inch of your home needs to be scrubbed and scrubbed!

These helpful tips should get you ready to list and stand out among the competition!

For more information on these tips OR for my full-list of recommendations on how to sell your house for top-dollar FAST, contact meat 864.313.2986 or vhayes@cbcaine.com

Smart  House

Smart House

The digital age has officially taken over our lives and our homes are no exception. Everyone wants to have the latest and greatest home technology and if you are buying or selling a home, these are the kinds of updates that can make or break a contract. Your home is your space and it is important that you are able to unwind and maximize your home’s potential. Transitioning your space into a smart home does not have to be costly, or time-consuming, and you definitely do not need to be a tech genius. All you need are a few software and hardware pieces around your home to make the switch. Smart home technology is any home tech gear that makes your space more comfortable, more convenient or more secure. Here are a few suggestions I have to help make your space a smart home:

A smart home must have at least three of the following:

  • Lighting– Smart light bulbs, lighting systems Imagine being able to turn the lights off with one word. A more advanced version of the “clap on, clap off” lights, smart light bulbs and lighting systems can be set to a schedule to turn off and on automatically, through your smartphone or even verbally. Smart lights are also brighter and more energy efficient.
  • Safety– Smart fire/carbon monoxide detectors, nightlights Having the ultimate peace of mind when you are home (and even when you are gone) is essential to enjoying your space. Smart fire and carbon monoxide detectors will immediately alert you, via smartphone, and the authorities if CO2 levels rise in your home or if smoke is detected. You can also say goodbye to chirping fire alarms when the battery gets low! Smart safety systems check themselves and have longer lasting batteries. Installing smart safety technology around the home is not just about having a cool, state-of-the-art system, it is simply just smart living.
  • Heating/Cooling– Smart HVAC system, smart fans or vents Smart heating and cooling systems operate much more dynamically than traditional systems. The vents and fans use motion and proximity sensors to detect which rooms are in use, residents set room-by-room target temperatures, and motorized vents automatically open and close to redirect air as needed. These advancements can also mean major savings on your energy bill, so you can avoid the “go put on a sweater”conversation this winter.
  • Outdoors– Smart plant sensors, smart watering systems With summer coming up, you will want your yard looking its best. Whether it be a sensored pot that can climate control your plants or a wifi irrigation system, smart landscaping systems take the guessing out of gardening. Control your sprinkler system from your smartphone so you don’t overwater after a big storm, or you can have the system run a little longer when the kiddos want to run through the sprinklers on a hot summer day.
  • Security**– Smart locks, networked security cameras Perhaps one of the most vital smart home technology pieces is a smart security system that will keep your loved ones and your home safe and sound. Install smart locks on your exterior doors that lock automatically so you never have to run back to the house to check. Motion detecting smart cameras will illuminate a space if activity is detected and can automatically send live footage to your smartphone or device. Smart security systems make it so that you never have to worry about what is going “bump” in the night ever again.
  • Temperature**– Smart thermostats, smart HVAC system, smart fans or vents Another essential smart home feature, smart thermostats can adapt to your unique home environment and your personal preferences. Smart thermostats are all about efficiency and convenience and smart heating and cooling systems operate much more dynamically than traditional systems. The vents and fans use motion and proximity sensors to detect which rooms are in use, residents set room-by-room target temperatures, and motorized vents automatically open and close to redirect air as needed. These advancements can also mean major savings on your energy bill, so you can avoid the “go put on a sweater”conversation this winter.

**In order for a home to be considered a “smart home” it must have either a security or temperature component.

Style Your Home for Spring

Style Your Home for Spring

Spring is right around the corner, which means it’s time to ditch dark and heavy winter home décor and liven your space with some fresh and bright spring pieces. I love the lightness of springtime and have seen several home décor trends that are sure to bring the beautiful, blooming season into the comfort of your home. Here are a few of my suggestions and favorite resources to help you transition your space into spring:

  1. Bold Accents—Colorful décor is a fun choice for springtime and easy to execute for even novice decorators. Create an accent wall with some bright and bold wallpaper or paintings like these from local artist Marquin Designs.
  2. Soft Florals– Prefer to bring in spring with floral décor? Then look no further than local interior designer Whitney McGregor, who has mastered the art of pairing old classics like florals in a modern way.
  3. Leafy Greens—Bring the beautiful outdoors inside with some potted plants. Foliage is a great way to freshen up your home with the changing seasons. Green also happens to be Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year, so make a big statement with a potted fiddle leaf fig tree or a subdued nod to springtime whimsy with hanging succulent terrariums. One of my favorite local resources is Pretty Pots.
  4. Pretty Pottery––Looking for the perfect bowl to display Easter eggs or other seasonal décor or food? Check out one of my go-to local resources for handmade pottery, Stone Lotus Pottery, a mother and daughter team who make the most gorgeous robin’s egg blue pieces – perfect for spring!

I hope these suggestions and local resources help prepare your home for the lighter and brighter season ahead of us. Visit my Instagram account and enter to win a $200 Pretty Pots gift card to help you get started!

…………………………….

Virginia Hayes Bio:
As Greenville grows and changes, choose a Realtor® you can trust – one who has lived and worked here for more than 20 years. Virginia is continually one of Greenville’s most award-winning agents for sellers and buyers alike, earning top honors through exceptional client service and market expertise. See current listings at virginiahayes.com, and follow Virginia on Facebook and Instagram for news and updates.