Archive | August, 2011

Get Friends Together and Throw Shrimp in a Pot!

31 Aug

With Summer coming to a close, I always like to get friends together to celebrate the end of another great season. It’s hard to believe that Labor Day Weekend is right around the corner. Times flies, doesn’t it?

Hosting a “Low Country Boil” is a great way to casually entertain during the hot summer months. While it is typically seen as a Fourth of July or Memorial Day meal, I think it serves as a perfect Labor Day Weekend festivity.

The “Low Country Boil” originated in the 1960s. When Frogmore Stew was first cooked in the 1960s, Frogmore was a little hamlet on St. Helena Island, near Beaufort, South Carolina. Unfortunately, much to the annoyance and dismay of the local residents, the name Frogmore was abolished in the 1980s by the postal service. That changed the name of the popular dish to Lowcountry Boil or Beaufort Stew-except. I’ve been told that the residents of Frogmore have kept the name Frogmore Stew. Continue reading

Another Recovery Perspective

30 Aug

Last month I attended the meeting of the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World Board of Directors in Chicago. The board members represent premier residential real estate companies and, as I was heading back to my home sweet home in the Carolinas, I felt a sense that the second half of the year had the promise to be very positive. Even our Florida and Midwest brokers are reporting an increase in business without the tax incentive that we had last year.

Overcompensation in mortgage reform is still causing more-fall throughs than we would like. However, as the pendulum is trying to get back to a place that is a win-win for the customer, as well as the investor, we are seeing some movement. Continue reading

Looking for Opportunities in Real Estate?

29 Aug

There is little question that foreclosures are a major part of the real estate market today.  One of the challenges that comes along with buying a foreclosure can be the condition of the property. If the property is damaged, neglected or just plain outdated, you may want to consider a renovation loan.  Here are some simple steps when considering such a loan: Continue reading

What It Takes To Remodel Your Kitchen Part II

26 Aug

Surviving without kitchen was actually easier than I had anticipated.

To get by, we set up a make-shift kitchen in the basement. Now, I know what you must be thinking. The basement?!? Really, DJ? The reason it worked out so well was because of my husband, who, afew years ago, installed a utility sink next to the washer and dryer. The old refrigerator that we had in the garage also came in quite handy. We moved the microwave next to the sink and set up a card table and had our own little kitchenette!

Everyone but the dog adjusted well. After being let out in the morning, he continued to go upstairs to wait for my husband to cook breakfast and give him his snack.  I would hear him come up the stairs and plop down, waiting for my husband.  Then, a few minutes later, I hear the microwave beep and Keona trots back downstairs as he realizes that is where breakfast is being served!  The card table was a bit lower than our kitchen table which made it easy for Keona, being a large golden retriever, to run his noise along the edge of the table. But as far as we could tell, nothing ever went missing. Continue reading

Empty Nesters…Time to Downsize?

25 Aug

I have several boomer friends who are now calling themselves “empty nesters.” The kids are off to college…or have graduated…and curiously they’re aligning themselves with primitive avian nesting habits. They imagine that now that they’re back to being a couple (the lucky ones), they’ll have more “freedom” and revert to happy college-era activities…like going sockless and eating over the sink. They fantasize about spontaneous get-togethers with other empty nesters, learning Russian, walking around the house naked, and taking more long weekends. For extra cash, they consider renting out their child’s room and finally emptying the garage of scooters, pink bicycles, and remote-controlled dump trucks. That’s when it hits them.

After the initial rush of joyful irresponsibility passes, these new empty nesters are finding themselves, in their words, “rattling around in a too big house with too many rooms, a too big yard, and too many memories.” They look around and see all the “stuff” accumulated during their “family years” and wonder if the TV show about hoarding is about them. “Well, the kids will want to come home [just twice a year] and they’ll want to relive their childhood in the old family homestead.” To which I say, “Stop it! You’re not The Waltons!” Continue reading


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