Does Your Lender Go Above and Beyond?

A mortgage lender should be more than a person who collects your information, checks your credit, and signs some forms. The best mortgage lenders are the ones who take the time to get to know you and your needs and offer tailored services. After all, they're working right beside you to help you take a big step in life! With that in mind, we would like to introduce to you one of our favorite loan officers, Tricia McCarthy from Starkey Mortgage. 

Tricia makes obtaining a home loan a positive, pleasant process. She is friendly, offers personal service, and is highly knowledgable. "To me, it's always been more than a job," she says. "The satisfaction and pride I feel each time one of my borrowers becomes a homeowner is indescribable. Each one is an emotional investment for me as every borrower is more than just a loan. They are friends, neighbors, and my community."

Every interaction we have had with Tricia and Starkey Mortgage has been rewarding, and we cannot recommend them enough. As a preferred lender of the Hometown Heroes program, Starkey Mortgage is a shining example of giving back to the community. In addition, for every deal we close together, Starkey Mortgage will make a donation to a charity of our choice. So help us out by telling us what your favorite charity is and why in the comments below!

For more information on Tricia McCarthy and Starkey Mortgage, visit their website.

How-Tuesday: DIY Backsplash

Tired of having to clean dried cake batter and spaghetti sauce off your painted kitchen wall? The cause could be one of two things. Either your toddler is having way too much fun with his food, or you haven't installed a backsplash. There's not much we can do about that overly enthusiastic eater, but we can help you with the backsplash problem. Whether you don't have one at all or you're simply tired of staring at boring tiles or laminate while you cook, replacing a backsplash is one of the easiest and most practical DIY projects out there. Whether styled with masonry, embossed metal sheets, or mosaic tiles, making a backsplash is fun and easy and gives you a chance to add personality to any kitchen. 

Here’s how to get started on your own:


1. Plan your backsplash. Decide how much of the wall you’d like to cover. The quickest, simplest plan is to cover the wall directly behind the stovetop, since this is where most of the errant splashes will come from. Some people, however, prefer to cover the wall along the entire stretch of countertop. This is entirely up to you. Just make sure to measure the area you want to cover so you don't end up having to trek back to the store to buy more materials or return a bunch of unused tile.


2. Prepare the walls. Check to ensure that they can withstand the added weight if you choose to use heavy tile or stone. Make any needed repairs so you can be sure that nothing’s festering underneath that pretty new surface. Remove electrical outlet covers carefully, and clean the area you will be covering. 


3. Place the adhesive. Use the recommended adhesive for whichever material you’ve chosen. Ask an employee at your local home improvement store for certainty. Don't rush this step! Follow instructions carefully so that you won’t find yourself having to remove and reapply the adhesive. 


4. Lay the tile. Carefully place your tile or other material of choice on the wall in whatever pattern you wish to achieve. Use a laser level if you wish for your tile to be perfectly aligned. Or if you're not a stickler for clean lines, go for the laid-back asymmetrical look. 


5. Begin the necessary grouting procedure if tile was your material of choice. Then clean the tiles off, replace the outlet covers, and you're all finished!


That was easy! This is a project that has the potential to change the look and style of your kitchen completely, yet it can be completed in a day! Now you can rest assured that all will be well the next time your pots and pans start slinging sauce, or your blender sends globs of strawberry smoothie hurtling toward the kitchen wall. Cleanup is easy, and so is upkeep. Enjoy your new backsplash!


Friday Five // April 4, 2014

There are so many things to do this weekend in the Lowcountry. Check out these five events and decide what to do in Charleston this weekend, then get out there and enjoy it!

The 37th Annual Cooper River Bridge Run takes place this Saturday. Every April, about 40,000 runners and walkers participate in the annual 10k race, which runs from the Shem Creek area of Coleman Blvd. in Mt. Pleasant to Marion Square in downtown Charleston. After the race, celebrate your accomplishment at the Finish Festival in Marion Square. If running isn't your forté, cheer on the racers and enjoy the after party!

Lowcountry residents and tourists will celebrate spring at the 42nd Annual Flowertown Festival in Summerville from April 4th-6th. Bring the family out and enjoy fun activities, food, sights, arts and crafts, and more! Admission is free for all. 

Jambalaya, andouille sausage, alligator, étoufée, and crawfish will abound at James Island County Park this Sunday during the Lowcountry Cajun Festival. In its 23rd year, the festival features a crawfish eating contest, live music, a crafts market, carnival rides, and games for kids. Admission is $10 for those over 12 years of age. Kids 12 and under get in free. 

Every spring, students at the College of Charleston are invited to submit their recent works of art to Young Contemporaries, a juried student exhibition that takes place at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. This year's juror is artist Bill Dunlap, who must choose the students who will exhibit their work from among hundreds of entries. The work will be available for viewing the the Halsey Institute from Friday, April 4 through May 3. 

The Family Circle Cup wraps up this weekend with its semi-final and final matches. Enjoy concessions from food trucks and local restaurants, wine and beer gardens, and live music, and live music between matches. Visit their website (here) for ticket prices and packages. 

With so many activities to choose from, we know you'll have a great time! Johnson & Wilson Real Estate Company wishes you a safe and happy weekend.

A Brief History of Summerville's Flowertown Festival

The first weekend in April is a favorite time of year for many residents of Summerville thanks to the spring weather, the beautifully blooming azaleas, and the loads of family fun provided by the Summerville YMCA's Flowertown Festival. This weekend, April 4-6, 2014, South Carolina natives and tourists alike will flock to historic Summerville for the 42nd annual festival. 

The Flowertown Festival is a long-standing tradition dating back to 1972, when two volunteers for the Young Women's Christian Organization, or the YWCO, visualized a springtime event that would celebrate the blooming azaleas and help raise funds for the YWCO. The first festival was a great success, featuring arts and crafts booths, carriage tours, hayrides, pony rides, bicycle races, a tennis tournament, a square dance exhibition, a parade, and a beauty pageant to crown Miss Azalea Queen. 

Today, the Flowertown Festival is ranked by the Southeast Tourism Society as one of the top 20 events in the Southeast. The festival still offers something for everyone: booths featuring fine art, crafts, and vendors, a Children's Jubilee with carnival rides and activities, exhibitions from various clubs and organizations, and delicious foods and beverages from the Taste of Summerville. A new event. dubbed KidsFest, has been added this year as well. It features Blooming Artists, where kids can "develop their artistic potential through personal expression by selling their individuall crafted, original objects," says the website. Also included in KidsFest is ChalkFest, an event in which kids aged 14 and under can create works of art using sidewalk chalk on a 5'x5' area at the Cuthbert Center Tennis Courts. A panel of judges, which includes News 2's chief meteorologist Rob Fowler, will award prizes to three winners from each age group.

All proceeds from the festival go toward the furthering and continuation of the YMCA's philanthropic mission by "offering programs at an affordable rate and helping families in need who cannot afford to pay program or membership fees," states the festival's official website. "Over 15,000 people in Summerville and its surrounding communities participate in YMCA sponsored programs and membership."

If you're looking for some family-friendly fun, one-of-a-kind purchases, and delicious food from local restaurants, head on out to the 2014 Flowertown Festival this weekend and participate in some major family fun. We hope to see you there!




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