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Friday Five // May 18th, 2018

With a closed bridge and some rather wet and muggy weather, it’s been sort of a rough week here in Charleston. Why not treat yourself to some weekend fun to make up for it? Check out our roundup of five fun events happening throughout the Lowcountry this weekend. Celebrate the royal wedding, check out a cultural festival, sample local beers, and more! Whatever you choose to do, the staff and agents at Johnson & Wilson Real Estate Company wish you a safe and happy (and dry!) weekend.

Looking for a place to celebrate the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Megan Markle? Roadside Blooms will host A Royally Floral Affair Saturday morning. The wedding takes place in person early in the morning, but the shop will re-air the big event at 10am, serving light brunch bites and a mimosa bar. Learn how to create a floral adornment for your fanciest hat and design a petite garden-style arrangement inspired by Ms. Markle’s wedding bouquet. Come dressed as a wedding guest if you wish, bring your hat and your own bubbly for the mimosa bar, and Roadside Blooms will provide the rest. Register at the link above.

With definite rain in the forecast for Saturday, you might want to do something indoors with the kids but still get out of the house. Mellow Mushroom will be hosting their monthly Mellow Matinee this Saturday at their West Ashley location in Avondale. This month’s family-friendly feature is one of our favorites: Aladdin. Kids can enjoy $5 kids’ meals, while adults can order from the full menu and take advantage of $2 mimosas. As a fun extra, special guest Princess Jasmine from Glass Slipper Productions will join the fun!

If a little rain isn’t enough to keep you from raising money for a good cause, check out the 2018 Walk to Cure Arthritis on Saturday. This event will be held rain or shine at James Island County Park. The Walk to Cure Arthritis is the largest arthritis gathering in the world, celebrating arthritis warriors and raising funds for research, resources, and a cure.

Beer lovers, unite! The seventh annual Charleston Beer Garden will be held rain or shine this Saturday with Carolina craft beer taking center stage. More than thirty breweries from North and South Carolina will be serving up over sixty craft beers, including IPAs, stouts, reds, and ciders. Festival-goers can enjoy the Yelp Beer Games, live music from The Dubplates and Sol Driven Train, samples from the Homebrewers’ Village, and shopping in the Vendor Village.

Unity of Charleston hosts the 12th Annual African Market and Festival this Sunday from 1pm until 4pm. A celebration of African culture, the African Market and Festival will include African art, crafts, clothing, jewelry, dancers, drummers, skin care, and more. A variety of vendors will be in attendance, and there will also be a silent auction. Come enjoy an authentic, delicious African meal including flavored peanut stew, fried fish, plantains, jollof rice, couscous, vegetarian specials, beverages, and more. This event is a fundraiser for the African Community Exchange (ACE) to benefit the Ann Sandell Independent School in Paynesville, Liberia. Proceeds enable boys and girls to attend school and gain an education to help them reach their full potential. Admission to the festival is free, and the event will be held rain or shine.

Dating Do’s and Don’ts That Apply to Buying a Home

Not long ago, online dating wasn’t the norm, but now you can’t go many places without encountering someone who met their significant other through the internet. It’s much the same with the real estate industry. A mere decade ago, before even everyone’s ten-year-old had a smartphone, fewer people started their search for a new home online. Now around 80% of home buyers start their home search online. And that’s not the only parallel homebuying has with dating. Both quests are about finding that one perfect fit for you.  Finding a home is like navigating the world of dating in many ways. Let’s look at a few dating rules that apply to home shopping.

Do know your “type.”

Most people have a type of person they know they fit best with, be they rugged, outdoorsy types; successful and independent go-getters; fun-loving travelers; or homebodies who love to relax and enjoy their personal space. Everyone knows their type in the dating world, and it’s important to know your type when it comes to real estate too. Is your “type” a mid-century modern with three bedrooms and outdoor entertaining space? A brick ranch house on a large plot of land? A townhouse with minimal to no outside maintenance required? Before you start shopping for a new home, you should know exactly what you’re looking for.

Do know your dealbreakers.

There are some things you won’t be able to look past or get along without. For example, when it comes to romance, you might never consider dating a smoker or someone who has to travel for work a lot. Think about those details you know will be dealbreakers for a home. Maybe you don’t want to live near a busy street—or maybe you need to live near a busy street. Maybe you absolutely must have three bathrooms with no exceptions. Making a list of these dealbreakers before you really start your home search will help you weed through what’s out there without wasting any time.

Don’t be afraid to commit.

Before you start your home search, know for sure that you’re ready to move on. Buying a house isn’t a short-term commitment—unless you’re planning to flip it, but that’s a whole different story. If it’s time to break up with renting or sell your starter home, you’ll know. But have some proof. Show your real estate agent and any sellers out there that you’re serious about a long-term commitment by getting pre-approved and having your ducks in a row.

Don’t rely on first impressions.

You might absolutely love the look of a home, but that doesn’t mean it’s not hiding a few secrets that could turn you off. Take things slowly if you can. Go back and see the house again when you’re not on an emotional high. Have an inspection done. Taking a closer look and having a third party’s unbiased, professional opinion will help you see things more objectively. A flip job that is simply gorgeous on the surface might have a lot of underlying issues. Find out what issues you’re willing to take on or overlook versus the dealbreakers.

Do look for something deeper.

Don’t discount a home based on bad photos or less-than-stellar written descriptions. Not everyone knows how to present themselves effectively online. That home could be your absolute dream home in person! On the other hand, realize that you can change anything you don’t like about a home (unlike in the dating world). If a house is missing something you want at first glance, or if it has an exterior color or detail you hate, it can absolutely change to your liking.

See what we mean now? Finding THE ONE person to share your life with is a lot like finding THE ONE house to love! Follow these dating rules for home shopping, and you shouldn’t have much of a problem finding your perfect fit.

Summer-Proof Your Home Now for Hotter Months Ahead

Summer doesn’t officially start until June 21st, but here in Charleston, we’ve already bumped the thermostat down several degrees and switched on the fans. With the changing of the weather comes the adjusting of utility bills. Keep yourself from having to sweat those energy bills in the next few months by summer-proofing your home now, before things really heat up!

Have your HVAC system serviced.

Stay ahead of the game by having preventive maintenance performed on your HVAC system. Your car needs maintenance like oil changes and belt replacements to prevent future issues, right? Similarly, your air conditioning unit needs periodic inspection and TLC to keep it in good working order. Many heating and air companies have programs that include preventive maintenance so you can keep everything running smoothly and reduce the chance of an emergency visit from your HVAC tech during sweltering months, which can cost a pretty penny.

Make sure your AC unit is the right size.

Size does matter in some cases, and this is one of them! When it comes to AC units, bigger isn’t always better. If your unit isn’t the correct size for your house, it won’t be efficient and could end up costing you a lot of money. A unit that is too big for your house will use too much power and will work inefficiently. If the unit is too small, it will run continuously and result in a more expensive energy bill.

Use passive design.

Passive design takes advantage of the local climate to help maintain a comfortable temperature in your home, eliminating the need to keep the AC pumping away all day. Take advantage of sunlight in the daytime instead of using overhead lights or lamps. Plant trees for shade and install overhangs to keep direct sunlight from heating your home too much during the hottest, sunniest parts of the day. Check areas around windows and doors to ensure there are no air leaks, which are major contributors to cooled air loss in the warmer months.

Upgrade your windows.

If you have older windows, upgrading to energy efficient windows can be extremely beneficial. The energy savings you’ll see in the long run will take the sting out of the upfront cost of new windows, even if it doesn’t make up for them completely. Energy-efficient windows are also a great selling point when it’s time to move on to a new home. If window replacements aren’t an option, try a low-emissivity film (or Low-E film). These plastic films contain metal or metal oxide and block UV rays, reflecting heat and reducing glare.

Check your insulation.

The better insulated your home is, the less cooled air will leak out. You pay good money for all that air conditioning. You don’t want it literally flying out the window. Hire a pro or check yourself to ensure that all windows, floors, and ceilings are properly insulated. It’s best to do this in the warmer months in case work needs to be done. You won’t want to be opening up walls and attic spaces when it’s cold outside.

Being prepared for the hot months ahead lessens your chances of having to rearrange your budget to accommodate higher energy bills or emergency HVAC repairs. Take these tips and “summerize” your home to stay one step ahead.

How-To Tuesday: Choose the Perfect DIY Kitchen Backsplash

Of all the elements in your kitchen, the backsplash is probably the area where you can best express your personal style and exercise your DIY muscle. There are so many unique and customizable options available these days that you’re bound to find multiple choices you love. Here are just a few of those options and why you should consider using them to customize your kitchen backsplash.

Subway Tiles

Subway tiles have become insanely popular over the last few years thanks to their low cost, uniformity, and minimalistic design. Because they’re so versatile, they blend with many different design schemes, including both the popular industrial and farmhouse chic looks. Subway tiles have simple, clean lines, making them extremely easy to work with. There’s no need to match up any patterns or colors. Just decide on the layout you like and go!

Wallpaper

For a super easy DIY project, and one that can be switched out as often as you like, try a wallpaper covering. The design options are nearly endless! Go with a faux tile or brick print to create the illusion of real tiles, or opt for a pretty floral pattern, an art deco design, or a nautical theme. There are even multiple finishes to choose from, including traditional paper, woven materials, and raised designs.

Vinyl Tile Decals

Vinyl tiles have come a long way and offer another not-so-permanent solution for your backsplash. This is the perfect way for renters, for example, to personalize the kitchen and cover those outdated tiles that are in dire need of attention. Just stick the self-adhesive panels right over old tiles. Tile decals are made of waterproof vinyl that comes in larger panels, often segmented into smaller tiles. With gorgeous designs that even include faux grout, these vinyl tiles easily look like the real thing.

Artificial Stone

If you love the look of natural stone but hate the price tag and amount of work it takes to install, you might want to look into artificial stone. Natural stone is far from DIY-friendly, but a manufactured veneer stone can make for the perfect backsplash material. Manufactured stone is made from a slurry of Portland cement, aggregates, and iron oxides that are baked in molds. The cement makes the mixture more stable, and the iron oxide gives the stone its pigment. Since it’s porous and lightweight, it’s far easier to work with than natural stone.

Wood Laminate

For a truly easy, simple yet charming backsplash, look no further than the flooring department. Nope, that’s not a typo! Wood laminate flooring can be the perfect option if you’re going for a rustic or natural look in your kitchen. Sourcing reclaimed wood or buying wood planks can get expensive and time-consuming. Try inexpensive laminate flooring instead for an equally pretty and easily cleaned alternative. If you want to go even cheaper, look for vinyl planks that look like wood laminate.

Tin Tiles

Metal backsplash tiles give an awesome industrial feel and are perfect for the minimalist look, but they can be expensive and take just as much time to install as traditional tile. For a similar feel, go with tin tiles. There are tons of styles and designs of tin tiles available. Using just a pair of tin snips and some construction adhesive, you can give your kitchen an highly customized touch.

These are just a few of the many cool options for kitchen backsplashes available right now. With a little time, planning, and creativity, you can make your backsplash the centerpiece of your kitchen.

Friday Five // May 11, 2018

It’s time once again for the Friday Five, our weekly roundup of five fun events happening around the Lowcountry throughout the weekend. Don’t forget that this Sunday is Mother’s Day! Take Mom to a party on the beach, do a 5K in her honor, take her to the theater, and more. Whatever you choose to do, the staff and agents at Johnson & Wilson Real Estate Company wish you a happy and safe weekend!

Start the weekend off right with Party at the Point this Friday from 5:30pm until 9:30pm. This week’s all-ages party takes place at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina and features the Dave Matthews Tribute Band. The 5-piece ensemble from Chattanooga pays homage to the actual Dave Matthews Band by matching the excitement, energy, intensity, and intimacy of a DMB live show. Tickets are $8, and children 12 and under get in free. Bring cash for food and drinks. No coolers or pets allowed.

Postpartum Support Charleston hosts the 15th annual Moms’ Run and Family Fun Day this Saturday at MUSC Health Stadium, from 7am until 11am. This 5K run is the organization’s largest fundraiser, allowing the organization to further its mission of eradicating the stigma surrounding PMADs (perinatal mood and anxiety disorders) to ensure all women who suffer receive support. Participants can run or walk the 5K, which starts at the stadium and winds through Daniel Island before ending back at the stadium for Family Fun Day. Free entertainment includes face-painting by Parkwood Pediatrics, activities with Play Garden, putt-putt with Saltwater Books, music with Black Tie Music Academy, styling with Vanity Salon, and much more!

If you love Singin’ in the Rain as much as we do, listen up! The Footlight Players proudly present the stage adaptation of “the greatest movie musical of all time.” Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont are a hot item in silent films, but things aren’t always as they seem. Lina’s squeaky voice might be the end of her career when the “talkies” come to the big screen. The only thing that can help save her career is a talented young actress, who will do the talking and singing for her. But will she steal the spotlight in other ways as well? Musical lovers will have three opportunities (Friday and Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 3pm) this weekend to see this classic that has delighted audiences for decades!

Take Mom out for Sunday brunch at Tavern and Table or Red’s Icehouse on Shem Creek. Celebrate by taking part in the 3rd annual Just Ducky Race. Rubber ducks are $20 and can be purchased in person at either restaurant or online at the T&T online shop or MUSC’s Just Ducky Race website. Proceeds benefit MUSC Hollings Cancer Center’s research, specifically earmarked for women’s cancers. The winning duck owner will receive a $250 Red’s Icehouse gift card and a $300 Tavern & Table gift card.

If you didn’t get your fill of running on Saturday, head out to Hampton Park on Sunday for MUSC Heart Health’s 4th annual 5K Fun Run/Walk for Healthy Kids. This event raises funds to benefit the Heart Health Program of MUSC’s Children’s Hospital. Run or walk to joint the fight against childhood obesity. Registration fees include a t-shirt, race packet, water, and healthy snacks. There will be official timing with overall and age-group awards. A finisher’s medal will also be given to all who complete the entire 5K course. Day-of registration begins at 8am, warmups kick off at 8:50am, and runners/walkers start and 9am. Bring cash to purchase raffle tickets! The drawing for the fun and exciting prizes takes place after the race.

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