Best Burgers in the Midlands

“Hot Mess” Burger – Grill Marks

Whether you like your burger medium or well-done, fully loaded or cheese only, it’s near impossible to not LOVE a great burger! Whether you’re looking for a classic burger or something more gourmet, here are some of my top places around the Midlands for delicious burgers that are hard to resist!

The Root Cellar – Lexington, SC
The Root Cellar has something for everyone with a classic, pimento, or my personal favorite, “The Root Cellar,” a ground chuck burger with goat cheese and fried green tomato on a brioche bun. YUM!

Wayback Burgers – Lexington, SC
Wayback Burgers is a family-friendly franchise known for its made-to-order burgers and hand-dipped milkshakes. Whether you are looking for a taste of Texas with the “Rodeo” or something more Southern with the “Carolina,” burgers are sure to please. Restaurant also offers single and double “Craft Your Own.”

Grill Marks – Columbia, SC
Known for its “sophisticated” hamburgers, Grill Marks uses a blend of Certified Angus beef cuts to make fresh, chopped (not ground) made-to-order burgers with unique toppings on buns baked daily. Don’t forget the side of White Truffle Parmesan Fries! WOW!

Kingsman Restaurant – Cayce, SC
This long time Cayce favorite is known for its 10 oz Ribeye burgers, which are ground and formed daily. Order the “Palmetto,” topped with pimento cheese, bacon, and fried jalapeno, or be bolder with “The Big Cheese,” a burger between two bacon grilled cheese sandwiches.

Tombo Grille – Columbia, SC
In the heart of Forest Acres lies Tombo Grille, home of the Monday night “Burger and a Beer” special for just $10. Live music included.

Pawleys Front Porch – Columbia, SC
Pawleys Front Porch made a name for itself on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives for serving half-pound burgers named after South Carolina cities. Try the “Kiawah” with marinated portabella mushrooms, fire roasted peppers, red onions and melted brie, or the “Wadmalaw” with chipotle barbeque sauce, fried pickle chips, applewood smoked bacon and cheddar cheese. All burgers served with choice of hand-cut fries or coleslaw.

Steve’s Classic Burgers – Columbia, SC
Recognized as “the most Deliciously Cheap Burger in South Carolina,” the list would not be complete without Steve’s on it. Burgers are made from ground chuck with Steve’s special seasoning and cooked to order. Burgers are classics with choice of cheese and special add-ons such as pimento cheese, fried egg, grilled onions, bacon or mushrooms.

If you have a favorite that you think should have made my list, please let me know so it can be added! Happy hamburger eating!

Why Own vs Rent: The Financial Benefits

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Everyone wants to make smart choices financially that will help their future. Do these include buying a home? If not, it should. Here are 5 financial benefits to owning a home.

  1. Tax breaks: As a homeowner, you may qualify for tax benefits. These deductions can help offset other costs of homeownership. Potential deductions include the interest on your mortgage, property taxes, and home equity lines of credit. There are no tax breaks with renting.
  2. Stability: If you take out a fixed-rate mortgage, you’ll know what payments to expect for the life of the loan. Rent, on the other hand, often increases, sometimes even yearly. When you own a home, you also have more control over expenses such as utilities, so you can make choices that encourage efficiency and save money each month.
  3. Forced savings: Each month, as you pay down your mortgage, you are adding equity. This can be an excellent way to build wealth. In the future, you can sell the home for a profit or borrow against the equity to obtain needed funds. Medical emergencies, college tuition, and home repairs or renovations are common uses for these funds. You cannot build equity on a rental.
  4. Good health: A mortgage looks good on a credit report and can help you establish a healthy score. As you faithfully pay off the loan, your score can increase. This can prove helpful in obtaining lower insurance rates and qualifying for lower rates on future purchases.
  5. Final payment: When you buy a home, there will come a day when you no longer have to make a monthly mortgage payment. You will own your property, free and clear. This scenario is much different than paying rent, which will continue for a lifetime.

Are you wondering if a home purchase makes sense for your financial future? I’d be happy to discuss these and other benefits and help you determine if now is a good time for you to pursue homeownership.

Create Romance In Your Home This Valentine's Day

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You may have planned to take your sweetheart to a nice dinner this Valentine’s Day, but if you want to make it extra special, consider some simple, yet effective strategies to create a romantic ambiance in your home this year instead.

Clean Up and De-Clutter
Although this doesn’t sound very romantic, be practical. No matter what changes you make to your home to create a special place, it’s impossible to make it look romantic if it’s messy! Once the rooms are clean and clutter-free, half the battle is won. Now, it’s time to add the intimacy.

Create the Right Mood with Lighting
Small changes to lighting can make a world of difference. If you have dimmers, setting the lights low can create a fairy-tale atmosphere for you and your sweetie. No dimmers? No worries. You can achieve the same effect using candles. Salt crystal lamps are another option to get that gossamer glow.

Let Love in the Air
Sense of smell adds another dimension to your intimate evening. Kick it up a notch with aromatic candles, potpourris, or oil diffusers. Sandalwood and lavender are among the tops scents to create that dreamy vibe. You can also incorporate fresh flowers for extra oomph!

Music Makes the Mood
You simply cannot have the right ambiance without the right romantic music playing in the background! Download a playlist of soft instrumentals, old-time classics or 21st century love songs depending on what type of music you and your partner enjoy.

Use the Color of Love
Red is the official color of love so why not add some red accents? Get new curtains, bed sheets or pillowcases, heart shaped pillows, or even just some red candles to add pops of color. The key here is to avoid going overboard. While a little red says “I love you,” a lot of red says something much different. Consider pairing red with white or gold to give a balanced and beautiful look to your interior.

Don’t forget to grab the goodies
Lastly, have a box of chocolate and some wine on hand to give your honey and make this the happiest Valentine’s Day yet!

Top Tech in the Kitchen

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More and more people are turning to tech in their kitchens, and it has become common practice to incorporate them in kitchen remodels. What’s the top tech for the kitchen? Read on!

Home Assistants and Charging Stations.

Home assistants, like Google Home and Alexa, are becoming increasingly popular in the kitchen. The trend is sure to continue with new products coming on the market that give the benefit of home assistance with video, including Amazon Echo Show and Google Nest Hub. Charging stations are also becoming commonplace in the kitchen with almost half of remodels including docking or charging stations. 2020 is a digital word and any technology that can make tasks easier is on the rise!

High-Tech Appliances and Faucets.

High-tech faucets and appliances remain prevalent in kitchen remodels. Upgraded faucets include features such as touch-only or touch-free activation and water-efficiency. Appliances have built-in apps and wireless controls.

Kitchen Gadgets.

Even gadgets and kitchen knick-knacks are leaning toward technology. There are so many innovative products out there with a variety of high-tech advances. A few worth mentioning – Hiku, an ultimate fridge magnet that creates grocery lists through voice and barcodes; Days Ago – a suction cup that let tracks days opened so you never need to worry about expired foods; and Drop, a Wi-Fi -enabled food scale that adjusts measurements and offers substitutions if you’re running low on an ingredient.

Kitchen Upgrades On A Budget

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Kitchen upgrades are one of the best options when it comes to both increasing your home’s value and making a change to how your home looks. They can be costly but don’t have to be. Here are some upgrade ideas that make an impact without breaking the bank.

Redo Your Cabinets. Changing your cabinets can make a big difference to the look of your kitchen. We are not talking rip out and redo here – even the smallest changes can make a signficant change to the look of your kitchen. Ideas to consider: paint cabinets, change hardware or open them up by removing doors. Options are endless and can be done at little to no cost.

Put In A Hanging Pot Rack. You’ve probably seen these in plenty of TV shows and movies. They not only free up space, but it really looks nice to see pots hanging down from above.

Make A Statement With A New Backsplash. While you can make your backsplash look like an extension of your countertop, you don’t have to. You can really get creative – whether it’s a bold color or a pattern that really stands out, backsplashes go a long way to changing the look of your kitchen, and it’s something you can do yourself. Check out this video on how to install one.

Tint Your Grout. Instead of boring gray grout, why not accent your tiles with tinted grout? If you have light tiles, consider a dark grout, or with blue tile, maybe a light blue grout? Again, let your creativity go to work.

Paint Your Kitchen Island An Accent Color. We usually want everything in our kitchen to match, but it doesn’t have to! Painting an island can be a great way of to add a pop of color to your kitchen and of showcasing it.

When Should You Offer Over Asking Price?

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The thought of offering over asking price is enough to make a home buyer wince. But, there are certain situations where you need to go big or go find another home. Here are a few situations where offering over asking may be essential.

Situation 1: It’s a seller’s market.
A seller’s market means there are more people buying homes than selling. As a result, home buyers face challenges in both home shortages and competition from other buyers. A buyer often has to act fast and bid high to get sellers to accept their offer over others that come in. How do you know if it’s a seller’s market? If homes are selling in ten days or less, it is a good indication that it’s a strong seller’s market. Another sure sign is that homes are selling for 10% or more over list price. As your REALTOR®, I can help you make a good offer in a hot seller’s market.

Situation 2: The house is obviously underpriced.
Some sellers list their homes below market value either because they hope to spark a bidding war or need to sell their home fast. By making a bid over asking price, it may help your offer outshine others. As your agent, I can pull comps to help you assess what other homes in the area are selling for, which you can use as a baseline when making your offer.

Situation 3: You’re competing with cash buyers.
Home sellers LOVE cash buyers, which gives them a big advantage over those needing a mortgage. If you know you’re competing against a cash offer, it may be a good idea to go over asking price to help convince a seller that your offer is the one they should accept.

Situation 4: You absolutely want the home & do not want to risk losing in!
Sometimes, a buyer just falls completely in love with a home. If you know your heart will be broken if you don’t get this house, than making an offer over list price can help you get the property of your dreams.

New Year's Resolution For Your Home

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We did it! 2020 is here and we have made it to a new decade which means we all are thinking about ways to better ourselves and our lives in the new year. Well how about your home? The best way to start a new year is to start with the home. It will help you get into the right mind set to hit your other new year’s goals if the place you spend most of your time is updated and fresh for 2020 too!

Revamp

You don’t need to go out and drop a ton of money buying all new furniture or redoing your floors because let’s be honest, after the holidays, most of us are looking for ways to save money not spend it. There are little things you can do to make your space feel fresh and new without breaking the bank. Consider painting a room or changing a light fixture. These are simple and inexpensive ways to freshen up a room and by buying and doing these things yourself, you can add “Get Handy” to your list of New Year’s resolutions.

Wallpaper

No, we haven’t lost our minds! Wallpaper no longer needs to look like your grandmothers living room. There are plenty of modern wallpaper options available and will instantly add character to a dull room.

Add Some Life

A little greenery goes a long way in livening up your home and helping if fell brand new. Hang some potted plants or place a tree in the corner of a once bare room. The pops of green help tie everything together. Added bonus: health benefits! Greenery inside the home is known to boost your immune system and improve productivity, air quality and mental health.

Clean that Tile

You may look at your kitchen or bathroom and think that you need a whole overhaul but that’s not always the case! Your rooms may just need a little love by way of heavy scrubbing and grout cleaning. You’ll be amazed at the transformation a little elbow grease can bring. Save some money by doing it yourself or bring in the professionals if needed.