March 22, 2018

Curb Appeal

      March 22, 2018


 Small changes in your home's curb appeal can make a big impact.

Lawn and garden

The state of your lawn and garden are the most telltale sign of your maintenance habits. If they aren’t neat and pretty, you come off as someone who doesn’t really invest enough time into home maintenance. The lawn and yard are usually the first thing your buyers see, so they need to be impressive. If you have a green thumb, there is plenty that you yourself can do to make your yard look stellar. Watering and mowing your lawn regularly is just the first step. With a bit of creativity and work, you can transform your outdoor space into a flower garden, an organic vegetable patch, or even an orchard. If you’re not into gardening, or just don’t know how to start the transformation from a boring yard to an enchanting garden, consider professional help like expert landscaping in Sydney.

Driveway and paths

Driveways and paths on properties often get neglected, but are in fact, come to think of it, very important. After all, you use them every day, and it’s crucial that they be in a good condition. First of all, assess the overall state of your driveway. What is it made of? Is it just a dirt road? Is it made of stone? Is it paved, but the pavement is old and has started to crack? In all of these cases you should consider paving it over. If it’s gravel, does it need regravelling? If it’s in good condition, then all you need to do is make sure there are no unsightly grass and weeds growing in or along it. If there are, don’t worry. There are plenty of simple methods to get rid of them.

The exterior of the house

Most sellers worry more about what their home looks like on the inside, but, in fact, every buyer will first see it from the outside. That means that a little basic maintenance goes a long way when it comes to making your home an appealing property. First of all, a fresh coat of paint can do wonders for the overall look of the house. How often you will need to repaint the exterior of your home depends on several factors, like the climate and quality of paint. While you’re painting, check out the doors, windows and shutters too. Do they need a fresh coat as well? While you’re dealing with the windows, replace any old or torn mosquito nets. A pretty, sturdy, high quality front door is also important to buyers. Look at the roof next. Does it need retiling? Don’t forget basic maintenance, like cleaning your gutters. Finally, it’s much easier to remove unnecessary, old, or ugly features than to add new ones. Consider removing rickety old sheds, rusty basketball hoops, and cracking, broken fountains.

When it comes to selling your property, always remember that first impressions are crucial. The first thing your prospective buyers are going to see is the way your home looks from the outside, as well as the yard that surrounds it. If your facade is peeling, the lawn is not mown, and the fence is rickety, you might lose your buyers before they even set foot into the house. So, before you advertise the sale, try investing a bit of your time into getting your home’s exterior into tip top shape.


March 13, 2018





On March 17, everyone’s a little Irish. Even though St. Patrick’s Day is only a public holiday in a handful of places – the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Newfoundland, Labrador and Montserrat – Irishness is celebrated around the world. We put together 9 fun facts about St. Patrick’s Day to help you channel your inner Irishman or Irishwoman.

1. Once upon a time

St. Patrick is one of the most famous patron saints of Ireland: According to the legend, he brought Christianity to the island, made the shamrock fashionable and freed Ireland from snakes. The holiday marks St. Patrick’s death and has been observed as a religious holiday in Ireland for over 1500 years.

2. Cheers to the official holiday!

Ireland only officially started celebrating the day in 1903. Since the Emerald Isle is mainly catholic and St. Patrick’s Day usually falls on Lent, it used to be a quiet and religious holiday – until the 1960s, when a law allowed pubs to open on St. Paddy’s Day. (Never call it St. Patty’s Day!)

3. The patron saint formerly known as Maewyn

St. Patrick is not actually an Irishman named Patrick: Born Maewyn Succat, the Irish patron saint was actually British. According to the legend, he was sold into slavery in Ireland when he was a teenager, became religious, escaped back to England, became an ordained priest named Patrick and started converting all of the Irish Celtic pagans to Christianity.

4. The freeing of the snakes

He had it with these *** snakes in this *** country.*

According to the legend, St. Patrick freed Ireland from snakes. According to biologists, there were never any actual snakes in Ireland. The diplomatic explanation is that the snakes are a metaphor for paganism that was forced out by St. Patrick.

5. The popularity of shamrocks

It’s said that St. Patrick used shamrocks (aka clovers) to explain the holy trinity (God, Son and Holy Spirit) to the Irish. The Celts believed that each leaf of the clover has a meaning, so using clover leaves as teaching material was fruitful: St. Patrick started several churches, schools and monasteries and made the clover popular.

6. Going green

It’s green as far as the eye can see – from hair to clothes and even food. We’re not talking spinach here but bagels, pancakes, and even beer – if you can put green food coloring in it, it will be served on St. Patrick’s Day. But the coloring fun doesn’t stop there: rivers, monuments and even ski resorts have all been turned green to commemorate the occasion.

7. Green became the new blue

Even though everyone goes green, Patrick himself apparently preferred blue and proof can still be seen on old Irish flags. During the 1798 Irish Rebellion, wearing the the clover and the color green became a symbol of nationalism – and it stuck.

8. Let’s parade

Besides the drinking and green-wearing, watching or participating in a parade is the perfect way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Interestingly enough, the largest St. Paddy’s Day parades are held outside of Ireland as the Irish expat communities around the world are taking the festivities very seriously. More on the best St. Patrick’s Day parades in the world in this post.

9. Cheers!

During St. Patrick’s Day, the worldwide consumption of Guinness almost triples – from 5.5 million pints on a regular day to 13 million pints. That’s 150 pints per second! Cheers!


On Saturday, March 17, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. there will be magic in the air on Devine Street in Columbia, South Carolina where one of the nation’s largest St. Patrick’s Day Festivals will begin its second event of the day, the St. Pat’s Parade.

The St. Pat’s Parade will assemble at Dreher High School and travel the Musical Mile down Devine Street into Five Points offering several blocks of public viewing. After entering Five Points, the parade will wind its way down Devine Street and up Saluda Avenue, returning to Harden Street at the Five Points Fountain and concluding near Food Lion.

Be sure to wear your green and get your Sham-Rock On at the St. Pat’s Parade! If you have any questions about the parade, you may e-mail Silvia Butler at for additional information.





Posted in HOLIDAYS
March 4, 2018

Spring Cleaning






Do the words cleaning and decluttering fill you with joy or make you want to run to your Netflix binge session?  Does anyone really like to clean and declutter?  The answer is for most of us, NO.  However it is a necessity if you are planning on putting your home on the market.  Hopefully some of the following tips will help make it a little easier.



 Love this bright, cheerful and simple spring cleaning checklist! Pop over to the post to snag the free printable!


      Five Point Plan     

The best plan of action I have found is called the five point plan.  While 10 or more tasks may seem overwhelming, five seems like a much more manageable number.

This list is simple.  It is broken down by area of the house and space to add five tasks for each room.  If you hit one room each week-end for the next few months, you will have accomplished your Spring Cleaning and your house will be ready to sell!


Love this bright, cheerful and simple spring cleaning checklist! Pop over to the post to snag the free printable!

Feb. 20, 2018

Decks-Your Outdoor Living Space!

Good weather should be enjoyed to its fullest extent. To do that you have to actually go outside. But if your home lacks an enticing outdoor living space, there’s little incentive to venture out.

Outdoor living is seeing a bit of an explosion lately: Adding a deck is one of the most requested home projects today, and demand is steadily rising. 

New durable outdoor materials, furniture and accessories plus unique shade options and smart tech that lets us watch movies and have full kitchens have no doubt fueled the interest. So if you’re hoping to make the most of good weather in your area, a new deck has likely crossed your mind. Here’s what you’ll need to know about finally getting one.
Posted in Outdoor Living
Feb. 15, 2018

Getting Your House Ready To Sell

Top 8 Issues Found In Home Inspections

When selling your home there is a good chance that the buyer will request a home inspection. Having too many issues in the home inspection report could send up red flags to the buyer that causes them to back out of the deal. Many of the issues found in home inspections can be remedied beforehand so that the home inspection will turn up nothing but a clean check of the home and useful suggestions on various aspects of the home. Ideally getting your home inspected prior to listing it for sale is best since a home inspector will go through your home just as they would for a buyer and give you a list of all the issues they find. With that pre-listing inspection list you can repair those problem areas ahead of time so there is one less thing to cause your home sale to go bad.

Regardless of whether you decide to go the pre-listing inspection route or not there are some common issues found in home inspections that you should be aware of. By checking your home with regards to these common issues and making repairs before you list you are in better position to reach the closing table. Additionally you may end up saving yourself time and money since having to make repairs while under the deadline of a closing date means you may have to go with whoever is available and pay whatever price they charge since it has to be repaired.


1. Electrical

Electrical Issues are the number one issue to be on the lookout for as they are one of the most common problems found by home inspectors. You should be checking to make sure all your electrical outlets work properly, that there are no defective electrical outlets, and that all GFCI outlets work properly. Burnt out light bulbs should be replaced and any electrical switches that no longer work should be looked at to determine the problem and repaired.

The main electrical panel will be inspected to make sure it meets quality and safety standards. If the electrical panel in your home is very old it will be noted on the inspection report. While it may be working for you now it is possible that the home inspector will recommend replacing the electrical panel due to age and safety concerns so be ready for that possibility. Upgrading a very old electrical panel prior to selling may be a wise investment as that will allow buyers to be comfortable knowing the electrical panel is new and can handle any future upgrades.

2. Water and Plumbing

Drippy faucets, leaking drain pipes, or faucets that spray water in the wrong directions should be repaired prior to listing your home for sale. Water and plumbing issues are very sensitive matters for buyers and have resulted in many deals being cancelled because the water or plumbing issues were costly to repair and could not be done in time before closing. You also should avoid do it yourself repairs for water and plumbing issues for all but the simplest tasks. Home inspectors will note where repairs look less than professionally done and will suggest a redo of the work to buyers prior to closing if there are issues.

Mold or other damage from water is always a big concern for buyers and will always be noted on an inspection report. Any past water damage that has been repaired should be fully disclosed on the home disclosure forms. If the water damage is not disclosed and a home inspector finds the water damage it will be mentioned to the buyer which can result in a buyer walking away from a deal because failure to disclose one issue may mean there are more issues buried within the home. Homes suffer from water issues quite frequently. Repairing the cause of the water damage, the water damage itself and disclosing to potential buyers is the correct thing to do and will save you from a deal falling apart.


Your Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) is a major mechanical system of the home and will be looked at during the home inspection. Prior to putting your home on the market you should make sure everything is in good working order and replace any filters in the HVAC. Ideally you should have an HVAC company come out and perform a tune up on your system.   As part of the tune up the HVAC company will be able to pinpoint any problems and repair them before a home inspection. Repairing any issues beforehand will save you money and time since you will be able to shop around the repair work in the event the cost to repair is higher than expected. At the last minute with a closing deadline looming you may not have the luxury of shopping around.

4. Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Ensure that your smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are functioning properly as home inspectors do check their operation. Most smoke and CO detectors are very easy and cost effective to replace if there are problems with them. To add some more value to your home you might consider replacing old smoke detectors with one of the new smart smoke detectors that interface with other

smart devices in and around the house. Either way if the smoke or CO detector is not functioning, make sure to replace them with new working devices so it is not an issue on your home inspection.

5. Windows

In addition to making sure your windows are clean both on the inside and outside you should also make sure all window hardware is intact and the window can operate properly. Windows should be able to freely move up and down and all the weather stripping should be in good condition. If the window does not move freely or the weather stripping is worn, decayed or not there it will be noted on the home inspection report. While the chances of being asked to repair/replace items like weather stripping is not checking pipesas likely since it is a lower cost item that the buyer can handle on their own that does not mean some buyers through improper guidance from their agent won’t make it an issue. So the best bet is to make sure the window is properly operational for opening and closing and that all weather stripping is present and looks in good condition.

Cracked windows should always be replaced as they will be noted on the home inspection report and represent a safety hazard if not replaced. When you have fogging in between the window panes, that is an indication of broken window seals which require the windows to be replaced. Ideally replacing windows that have broken seals beforehand will prevent the home sale from being delayed by a request to have those windows replaced. If you chose not to replace broken seal windows prior to listing your home on the market then expect that to become a matter that the buyer will ask for replacement or a reduction in the final sales price. For showing purposes fogged windows are noticeable and can have the effect of the buyer wondering what else may be wrong with the home and that maybe they should avoid this home for fear of other issues.

6. Pests

While you may not have pests at a particular time the evidence of their infestation will cause concern with buyers. Pests (termites, mice, squirrels) which can damage wood, electrical wiring, insulation should be treated professionally to ensure the problem no longer exists. If the damage is extensive or has occurred over a long period time it is best to have a contractor evaluate the condition of the damage and repair/replace the damaged areas as needed. Pest damage can happen in almost any home, by being proactive, repairing pest damage and maintaining records of treatments and repair you will be viewed as a responsible homeowner who took care of their home and that will make buyers happy.

7. Foundation Cracks

Small cracks in drywall usually is not cause for much concern since when a house settles or shifts with the changing temperature drywall cracks can happen. What will cause concern in an inspection is when the shifting or settling of a home has caused noticeable issues such as doors that may not close properly, clear settling of parts of the home where other parts remain stable, water intrusion in the basement area or the foundation has cracked. In cases of excess shifting or settling of the home a qualified contractor should evaluate the home for correction of the problem. If your foundation has been properly repaired by a contractor, having a long term or life time transferable warranty on the work will go a long way to assuring buyers that they are not purchasing a money pit. Always check with the contractor as to what type of warranty they will provide and if that warranty is transferable to later owners.

8. Doors

Doors in the home will be inspected for operation. The home inspector should verify that doors open, close and lock where needed. Cracked or broken doors are generally noted on the home inspection. While cracked or broken doors may not be a deal killer, fixing or replacing those problem doors before listing the home on the market is advisable.

Problems with garage doors can cause a deal to fall apart since due to the weight and the operation of thermal imager attic windowgarage doors they are a major safety concern. Garage doors with safety sensors that don’t work properly, have been improperly installed or have been bypassed will be noted on the home inspection report. Garage doors with bad or worn rollers, excessively noisy opener motors or other bad hardware are also noted. Prior to listing your home for sale getting a garage door tune-up by a garage door service should be will help in identifying and repairing any potential problems.


Sometimes investing a little money up front to take care of the above noted inspection issues can save you from wasting money down the line. Buyers will only wait so long and accept only so much compromise before they decide the home is not worth it to them with the issues found and decide to walk away. So double check your home before listing and repair any issues so you can close the first time.

Posted in Home Inspections
Feb. 12, 2018

Organizing Your Pantry

So you’ve tossed the old, unloved and expired food and spices. What’s next? After decluttering the pantry, it’s time to get organized. But with so many organizing products to choose from, it can be hard to know which are worth buying and which will end up gathering dust (or worse: making your pantry even more cluttered). 

To help you bring order to this hardworking part of your kitchen, we’ll divide your things into three categories: stuff you reach for every day, meal building blocks and staples, and occasionally called-for ingredients.
Jan. 29, 2018

History of Lake Murray

                          Lake Murray Living                                  

The Lake Murray area is home to one of Columbia's finest recreational assets. The lake covers an area of 78 square miles or about 50,000 acres of land. It is 41 miles long and 14 miles at its widest point. There are 520 miles of shoreline, which is more shoreline than the entire Atlantic coastline in South Carolina! All this is just 15 miles northwest of Columbia.  





Lake Murray History

Lake Murray is named after William Murray, the engineer who, with his partner T. C. Williams, conceived and persevered until "the world's largest earthen dam" at that time was finished. Their vision of harnessing hydroelectric power here and at the Santee Cooper project brought abundant electricity to the middle part of South Carolina. Work on the dam across the Saluda River was started on September 21, 1927 and was finished on June 30, 1930. 


The river begins near the North Carolina border. As it runs to the sea, it fills Greenville Water reservoir, Greenwood Lake, and then Lake Murray. Past the dam, the Saluda joins the Congaree and Wateree rivers to flow to the Atlantic Ocean.

Lake Murray History - Lake Murray Dam
The dam itself was built over 200 feet tall. It runs a distance of a mile and a half across. The ground level of the dam is over a quarter of a mile thick. The lake that it forms is forty-one miles long and, in places, over fourteen miles wide. State Highway 6 runs along the top of the dam, giving a panoramic view of the water on one side and the layout of the SCE&G Power Plant below.

The lake has over 500 miles of shoreline, and forms an impoundment of over 50,000 acres. To make the building of the lake possible, more than 1000 tracts of land were acquired, and 5,000 people's homes were relocated. In its conception, it gave jobs and cheap electricity to the people of the Midlands of south Carolina, and in its enduring, gives them lasting beauty  and enjoyment.                                                                                            Find your next home at

Posted in Find a Home!
Nov. 17, 2016

Community Service

On November 22nd W Realty hopes you will join our staff in supporting a fellow South Carolinan. Donna Linares is a family friend of W Realty and we are extremely thankful for this opportunity to help out a friend.  From 5 p.m. To 8 p.m. We are sponsoring a 10% night at Texas Roadhouse located at 400 Columbiana Drive Columbia, South Carolina.  Texas Roadhouse is donating 10% of every check to Donna.  Just by eating dinner you are helping us help her!

About her :

Donna woke up one morning experincing double vision.  At first, she ignored this, figuring it would go away.  Eventually, she went to the eye doctor, who upon consultation referred her to a neurologist.  The neurologist proceeded by running several tests and came back with news that Donna would most likely be in a wheelchair within the next ten years.  Her first thought was only for the wellbeing of her son and how would she care for him.  Multiple Sclerosis or MS is an autoimmune disease that attacks the central nervous system.  It's symptoms vary from numbness and tingiling to paralysis and blindness. Diagnosed at 29, Donna's MS was managble for ten years before her symptoms began to grow.  The injections used to combat her symptoms had horrible side effects that were more debiltating then the symptoms themselves.  Today, she cannot walk unaided, has cognitve function problems, and bladder problems, just to name a few.

 Why she needs our help:

Donna is traveling out of the country to get Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantion or HSCT, a chemotherapy proceduere that utilzies the patient's own stem cells to reboot the immune system.  The patient's stem cells are removed, the patient is then given chemotherapy, and then the patient's stem cells are placed back in their body.  Even though this procedure has proven a 90% success rate and used in trials on MS for the past twenty years, it is not approved by the FDA in the United States for MS.  In today's hospitals this procedure is done everyday for Lukemia and Lymphoma.  While there is a trial for  MS patients in Chicago, Illinois, Donna does not qualify.  She along with so many others has to travel out of the country to get her second chance at life.  With this procedure, she could walk again and live without pain, her cognitive functions will improve and she can have a normal life.

As a small business in a big pond, we want to make a difference, not only to our clients and staff but to those who share our community.  The greater columbia area is our home and we know it's yours too, so help us help her.  Grab a steak and a sweet tea and donate to Donna.  We look forward to seeing you there.

Real Geeks


Posted in Community Service
Nov. 2, 2016

Buying your first Home!






Buying your first home is a different experience for everyone.  Home buyers tend to be over the age of 25, but  many would say it is overwhelming and even intimidating for everyone.  No matter your age or experience with real estate you might find yourself stressing out.  It is common for first time home buyers to be confused, understandably so. There are numerous things to consider when buying your first home. Here are some tips:



    This includes the different financing programs available to you. Get estimates from reliable sources.  Some finance programs will work for some houses, while others will not.  Some loans offer down payment assistance while others lack private mortgages insurance on them.  Knowing your budget assists your Realtor by allowing them to see what is realistically available to you.  It is also beneficial to you because it gives you a black and white layout of the possibilities. 


    When meeting with your Realtor for the first time you need to have an outline for what is imperative for your family or you to have in your next home.  If you have children, what school districts are you looking into?  If you have pets, do you need to have access to dog parks and need to be in the city?  Do you want more space and no neighbors in sight? Then maybe a house outside of the city is the best option for you.  Knowing what is non-negotiable for you first home is important.  It allows you and the Realtor to automatically get on the same page. 


    • There is a big difference on what you need and want.  Some things you cannot live without and others are just a dream that maybe you cannot achieve with your first home purchase. Recognizing it early will assist your Realtor and you. 



    • Buying your first home is a milestone and picking a house that suits you is important to you and to us.  Renting ends up being much more expensive and in the long run it is not a viable option for most and living with family does not always work out.  Your perfect house is out there and with help we can get you a key!


Posted in Find a Home!
Dec. 1, 2015

How to get Pre-Approved




There are lots of benefits to getting a preapproved mortgage when you’re going house hunting. Chief of these is that a preapproved loan provides an individual with concrete idea about how much cash they can borrow at a lender. A lender will conduct an in-depth financial review to learn the borrower's financial history. This process calls for the borrower to prepare a mortgage application even before a property has been chosen. 


Here are 4 suggestions about getting a preapproved mortgage:


1. Shop for Alternatives

When looking for a preapproved loan, talk to at least three different mortgage lenders. This is simply because different lenders have got different deals, so you will be able to discover the home finance loan package that best suits your family needs.


2. Prepare Your Fiscal Documents

Upon selecting your mortgage company, the lender would inform you about the financial documents you'll want to prepare for the in-depth audit that it needs to perform. This is so that they can verify the borrowers' cash flow, assets, and credit to ensure that the borrowers can make the necessary monthly home loan repayments.


3. View Deadlines

All preapproval letters have due dates. These dates vary among lenders, but in general, these letters are only valid for three months. This means that if you still have not found the property that is right for you, then you will have to contact your lender to get an extension to help you re-validate the preapproved mortgage letter.


4. Watch Your Credit Score

It is practical for a loan request to decrease your credit ranking. However, this excludes any inquiry in your pre-existing student loan, automobile loan, or property loan requests which you have made at least one month prior. But the good news is that if you have multiple requests for new loans, it will be calculated as one loan inquiry in your credit score the following months thereafter.