Halloween Happenings 2019

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Halloween is around the corner! Whether you love it or hate it, one thing’s for sure, lots of great events coming up in October! In the spirit of the season, here are some happenings around the Columbia area in September & October.

Deceased Farms: Experience a self-guided haunt through 6 terrifying buildings, 3 outdoor zones & 2 acres of creepy corn fields. Intense haunted attraction not intended for those under 12. For hours of operation, visit here. Attraction at Clinton Sease Farms in Lexington.

Corn Maze – Farmers Feed Families: For $14 per person, enjoy unlimited hayrides & a variety of corn maizes. Children 3 and under are FREE. Located at Clinton Sease Farms in Lexington. Times are Friday from 6-11 PM, Saturdays 10AM to 11PM and Sundays from 2-7PM.

Dark Castle Haunted Attraction: Elgin’s extreme haunted attraction is back with a spooky hike in the woods with an enhanced trail including Zombie Zone & escape rooms! Visit their site for more information.

Scarecrows in the Garden: FREE in October, visit the Gardens of the Robert Mills House in Columbia for an exhibit that features handcrafted scarecrows made by local families, businesses, organizations and classrooms. There will also be a Trunk or Treat on October 29th.

Gilbert House of Terror: For more than 19 years, this Halloween event has terrified those who dare! Located off the beaten path on the edge of the dark woods, this haunt combines dark twists & turns through rooms with an ever-changing atmosphere of terror through over 20 scenes. Not recommended for scaredy cats or those under 10.

Dracula: Join Saluda Shoals Park for the classic, sinister tale just in time for Halloween. Showings from October 17-19 for $8 per seat. Tickets on sale now at Seven Oaks Park, Crooked Creek Park & Saluda Shoals Park.

Boo at the Zoo: Located at Riverbanks Zoo, children 12 and under are invited to wear their costumes and stroll through trick-or-treat trail and visit Frankenstein’s foam zone, Mummy’s Eeeky Freaky Dance party & much more! Cost is $11 for Riverbanks Zoo members & $13 for general public. There will also be a marshmallow roast, haunted carousel and a spooky railroad ride for additional costs.

Lake Scare-o-lina: Village Church presents a family-friendly festival on October 20th at Jeep Rogers YMCA in Lake Carolina. FREE event includes climbing rock wall, carnival games, hayride, pumpkin patch, cake walk, candy & more! Starts at 4PM.

Halloween At The Park: October 25th from 6:30-8:30PM at Crooked Creek Park, bring your little ghouls & goblins to an outdoor trick-or-treat trail through the park. Inside, little ones can enjoy carnival games, costume contest, SCREAM contest & loads of family fun! Cost is $5 per child.

Dracula – Ballet with a Bite: Columbia performance of Bram Stoker’s Dracula at Koger Center on October 25th and 26th at 7:30PM. Watch Count Dracula continue his reign of terror in this Halloween must-see dance favorite. Tickets are $22-$54 & can be purchased here.

Top Design Trends for Today’s Homes


Wondering what’s hot and what’s not for interior design today? Whether you’re hoping to create a buyer-friendly look as you prep your home for sale, or just want to update the look of your home, these finishes will help keep your home on trend in today’s market.

On the Walls: Neutrals are still in, but cold whites are fading away in favor of softer whites. Warm whites and neutrals help make a space feel warmer and more welcoming.

On the Floors: Wood is still in. Hard surface manufacturers continue to push towards replicating natural wood in tile, vinyl and laminate options. Newer materials are also on the rise including waterproof carpet, vinyl and laminate and eco-friendly options.

In the Kitchen: Designers are moving away from all white kitchens. Add splashes of color in deep blue, green or grey. Contrasting metals in hardware and fixtures are also on trend.

Off the Presses: Recent enhancements and modern materials have increased the quality of faux finishes. Choices like marble and concrete will likely see a decrease as they are replaced by faux options, which are a fraction of the cost and easier to install.

For the Future: Builders and buyers are becoming more environmentally aware. Current trends include eco-friendly materials and processes that will have a long-term positive impact on the environment.

Upcoming Events at Lexington’s Icehouse Amphitheater

Plan your October & November with events scheduled at the Icehouse Amphitheater!

Big Time Band – Thursday, Oct 3rd at 6:30 PM Band from Lexington featuring some of South Carolina’s most talented musicians with a song list that covers almost every genre. Part of “Lexington Live,” this is rain or shine FREE event.

Southside Station – Friday, Oct 11th at 6:00 PM
Multi-talented musicians playing acoustic guitar, lead guitar, bass, fiddle, banjo, mandolin, upright bass, harmonica and drums, and all five members sing vocals! Proves to be a non-stop, exciting show. Join Lexington County Fire Services for this fundraiser benefitting the Jeff Chavis House and families of burn victims.

Hops and Harvest Craft Beer Festival – Saturday, Oct 12th at 4:00 PM
Rain or shine event with proceed benefiting the Virginia Hylton Park Committee in their efforts to upgrade the park. Advance tickets $30 or $40 week of event. Come rain or shine at the second Hops and Harvest featuring the great craft brews of the Carolina’s. Tickets include a complimentary beer tasting glass, unlimited tastings and live music from Ryan Trotti. Must be 21+ to attend.

Will Hoge – Thursday, Oct 17th at 6:30 PM
Join the singer songwriter from Tennessee for a solo acoustic show with hit songs that include Strong and Even if it Breaks Your Heart. Tickets are required and can be purchased here for $12 in advance or at the door for $15.

Toy Story 4 – Friday, Nov 8th at 6:00 PM
Join Woody, Buzz and the gang for a FREE showing of Toy Story 4. Film is rated G and fun for the whole family!

Aladdin – Friday, Nov 22nd at 6:00 PM
Icehouse Amphitheater and Lexington County Recreation and Aging Committee present a FREE showing of the Disney classic. Move is rated PG and tickets are not required.

Attention Sellers: What Buyers Want

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Today’s television lineup is filled with shows on buying, selling, and flipping homes. These shows give homeowners great ideas on what they want in their home, how they want to decorate, and which DIY projects are worth it; but, they have also overloaded home shoppers with ideas about real estate. Because of this, buyers have very high expectations when searching for a potential home. They’ve seen houses on TV and that’s what they want to see when they schedule a showing of a property. Things should be picture perfect to grab their attention and keep it. Fresh paint, updated kitchens and bathrooms, neutral décor and modern conveniences top the list of what buyers want.

It is important to keep these standards in mind as you prepare to put your home on the market. Invest in upgrades for outdated interiors such as swapping out dated fixtures and taking the time to boost curb appeal. Definitely paint and declutter. Think about hiring a professional to help stage the home. Finally, ask a REALTOR® for recommendations to help decide which investments would make the best investment.

As sellers make these changes, keep in mind that location matters. Although you want your home to look good to prospective buyers, you do not want to price your home out of the area. Remodeling and redecorating should be appropriate for the neighborhood that you live. Extensive updates may make a home look beautiful, but you do not want it to be overpriced. A seller does not want to go overboard and create a $200,000 home in a $100,000 neighborhood.

A local real estate agent is your best friend when it comes to which projects should be completed to properly prep your home for sale. They are knowledgeable about the area and know what sells. With the right updates at the right budget, sellers are much more likely to sell their homes quickly and get top dollar for their property.

5 Things You Need To Know About Your Future Neighborhood

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If you are currently on the hunt for a new home, you probably have a list of wants and needs that you want in your home. But have you included anything about the neighborhood? Not only does the home have to fit what you are looking for, but the neighborhood does as well. Here are a few questions you may want to ask to help determine if the neighborhood will be a good fit for you, and your family if you have one.

  1. Is the area well-maintained? Take a walk around the block. Drive through the neighborhood. Are properties well-maintained? Are roads in good condition? The appearance of the lawns, homes, and public spaces can reveal a lot about the area.
  2. Are there any rules and regulations you need to be aware of before you commit? Do you mind if your renovations and landscaping are restricted by homeowner association bylaws? Find out if the neighborhood has any rules and regulations, and what they are. You may also want to find out if there are any monthly or yearly dues that you need to pay to live in the neighborhood.
  3. What is the reputation of the school district? Even if you don’t have children, the school district’s reputation can affect property values. Find out about the district’s rankings in academics and financial stability.
  4. What’s the crime rate? Normally, you can find maps provided by the city that show what crimes occur in the area and how often. Do a little research to make sure you’ll feel safe in your new home.
  5. What amenities are nearby? For some homebuyers, access to public transportation is important. Others want to live near parks, shops, or restaurants. Find out what amenities the area offers to ensure that you choose a neighborhood that suits your lifestyle.

NAR’s Top Curb Appeal Tips

How your home looks on the outside could significantly impact a potential buyers perception of how much your home is worth. Here are some noteworthy tips from the National Association of REALTORS® on how to enhance your home’s curb appeal and help you get the best possible price when it’s time to sell.

CLEAN EXTERIOR WALLS & WINDOWS It’s not only the inside of your home that needs to be kept clean of dirt and grime, the outside of your home should be just as spotless. Clean your outer walls with soapy water and wash your windows inside and out.

FRESH COAT OF PAINT A new coat of paint is like a face-lift for your home. Try to pick a color in a neutral so that it will appeal to the most people possible.

KEEP GRASS CLEAN & TIDY Your front yard creates your home’s first impression to prospective buyers. Make sure that your lawn is green and trimmed and your shrubs and flower beds are well tended.

CLEAN & REPAIR THE ROOF If your roof is damaged, dirty or missing shingles, it can have a negative impact on the value of your home. Make sure your gutters are cleaned at least once a year; this will show you have maintained your home well.

Five Steps To Be In Your New Home By Fall

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Are you thinking of buying a home, but just haven’t taken the first step? Now is a great time to buy a home. By following the below tips, you can be on well on your way to that perfect home to call your own.

  1. Contact a REALTOR® as Soon as Possible. Having a REALTOR® to help you while house hunting is extremely important. When you find the house of your dreams, you want to be ready to move quickly.
  2. Establish Your Needs and Wants. It is always a great idea to make a list of your features you absolutely need in your new home, the features you want in your new home, and the ones that would be nice but are not required. This will help you weed out homes and give your agent a guide as they go on the hunt for “the one.”
  3. Set Up A Home Search. In order to buy a home, you need to find a home. Your agent will find properties and make suggestions, and you can search online via multiple platforms, but for the most accurate and up-to-date listings, have your REALTOR® set up some automatic feeds that will send you a list of properties meeting your criteria daily, weekly, bi-weekly or however often you want to receive them.
  4. Determine Your Financing Options. It is a must to go through the pre-approval process when starting your home search. This will not only give you an idea of how much home you can afford and be approved for, but it will also allow you to make an immediate offer on a home you want. Your REALTOR® can put you in touch with qualified mortgage providers if you need assistance.
  5. Stay Positive and Get Excited! Be prepared to work side-by-side with your agent as you search for your new home. Buying a home can be a stressful process, but your REALTOR® will guide you through and help you meet your home ownership goals. Imagine all you will do in your new home and GET EXCITED for perhaps the biggest purchase you will ever make.