Friday Five // November 22nd, 2019

It’s Friday once again, and you know what that means: time for another edition of the Friday Five, our weekly roundup of five fun events taking place in the Charleston area this weekend. Watch some polo and go on a balloon ride, feast on oysters in a beautiful setting, and more. And as always, no matter what you choose to do, the staff and agents at Johnson & Wilson Real Estate Company hope you have a very happy and safe weekend!

Start your Thanksgiving week early with dinner and a movie at Knightsville General Store and Country Cafe on Friday evening. Come early for dinner and stay for the backyard movie, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. The kitchen and store will remain open, and there will also be popcorn, snacks, and hot chocolate. Movie starts at 6:30pm. Bring your own chairs and/or blankets to spread out and sit on. No outside food or drinks will be allowed. 

Spend the weekend at Johns Island County Park celebrating Charleston’s Hot Air Balloon Festival & Victory Cup Polo Match! Now in its fourteenth year, this event isn’t just a polo match. It’s a network and social destination attracting thousands of people to enjoy a day of green grass, majestic horses, heart-pounding polo, dozens of food and alcohol partners, and beautiful hot air balloons. The 2019 Victory Cup Match & Hot Air Balloon Festival is kid- and pet-friendly. Enjoy balloon rides on Friday evening from 4pm until 9pm and Saturday morning from 7am until 10am. Saturday morning’s activities start at 7am with a scheduled Hot Air Balloon activation on the polo field. After the balloon launch, the food, wine, and polo portion of the schedule kicks off around 11am for Golden Mallet VIPs and Founder’s Lounge passholders. The VIP portion of the event includes live music, a Hospitality Alcohol Tasting Tent, and a kids’ play area. Founder’s Lounge Passholders can also enjoy a farm-to-table dinner on the polo field with the polo players. Both VIP and General Admission tickets include the hot air balloon portion of the event. 

Kick off the holidays at the College of Charleston this Saturday afternoon with Cistern on the Half Shell: a Lowcountry Oyster Roast. Enjoy oysters, chili, hot dogs, craft beer and wine, and live music from the Bluestone Ramblers. Student organizations, service clubs, sororities, and fraternities will host mini reunions for their alumni at tables around Cistern Yard. Clyde the Cougar will be on hand for photos, so bring your Cougar Cubs! Proceeds from Cistern on the Half Shell will benefit the Alumni Association’s programs and scholarships. Tickets are $65 per person and include alcoholic beverages for those 21 and older; tickets for persons age 15 and up that do not include alcoholic beverages are $5; tickets for children ages 7 through 14 are $20; children ages six and under are free. 

Head to McLeod Plantation on Saturday for a Unique Lowcountry Outing and Feast, hosted by the Center for Heirs Property Preservation. The event will feature live music from Graham Whorley as well as a delicious homemade BBQ feast by Richard Habersham. Historic tours of the plantation will also be available. Heather Hodges, Executive Director of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission is the featured guest speaker for this event. Tickets are $50, and sponsorship opportunities are also available.

For a little Christmas spirit, head to Mt. Pleasant Towne Centre on Saturday evening for Lights Up! Don’t miss the spectacular laser light show and the lighting of the 40-foot Christmas tree. There will be live musical performances from the East Cooper Baptist Church Choir & Orchestra and FAME Performing Art, a special performance by Gravel Road, a bluegrass band with a modern twist, featuring vocal harmony precision, popular song choices, and holiday favorites. And we can’t forget a visit from jolly old Saint Nicholas himself! There will be delicious treats and drinks available from Wine Cellar Wine & Gifts, Burtons Grill, Savi Cucina + Wine Bar, LongHorn Steakhouse, Sweet Julep’s, Dave N Dubs Hot Dogs, Charleston Pops, Pure Fluff, Holy City Popcorn, The Cookie Chick, King of Pops, and James Brown’s Famous Boiled Peanuts. Kids will enjoy face-painting, balloon animals, and a jump castle too. Camp Rise Above—whose mission is to provide life-changing camp experiences to children with serious illnesses, disabilities, and challenges—will be on hand selling Christmas Tree Wands and Christmas Bulb Necklaces so all event guests can Light Up too. Lights Up is sponsored by Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital, AV Connections, and Y102.5.

How to Motivate Yourself to Get Organized for the Holiday Season

Getting your home organized can sometimes feel like an insurmountable task. When things have been neglected for a bit and have built up, it can be pretty difficult to motivate yourself to declutter and organize. But during this time of year, when you have family and friends dropping in periodically or gathering at your home for Thanksgiving and Christms festivities, it’s much easier to organize and clean beforehand than face scrambling at the last minute. Here are some great tips to help you motivate yourself to get organized ahead of the holiday season.

Make a list. 

Get a pen and some paper (or open up a computer doc if that’s easier) and just do a brain dump. List all the things you want/need to accomplish around the house, no matter how big or small. Getting everything out of your head and onto paper helps get your mind more organized and ready for the task at hand. When you’re finished, sort and order your list in whatever way helps you most, whether it’s by room, by task, or by order of importance. Highlight the things you need to accomplish first.

Plan an event. 

A really good way to force yourself to be motivated to clean and organize is to plan an event for a later date. It doesn’t have to be anything major—maybe just having some friends over for dinner or a wine night. But having an event marked on the calendar gives you an end goal, a deadline to work toward that will keep you motivated.

Get ready.

We’re not talking about running out to buy all the organizational containers your little heart desires. This will just add to the clutter for now. We’re talking about getting yourself ready. It’s tempting to just roll out of bed and get things started in your pajamas or sweats, but getting up and getting ready will put you in a work mindset and help you stay on track later. Get up, get showered and dressed, put on some comfy clothes and sneakers, put on some upbeat music or an audiobook, and get ready to work! 

Start with the task that makes the biggest impact.

Starting with the most impactful task helps you see progress right away and keeps you motivated. Often times, this means starting with decluttering and getting things off the floor and onto an elevated space, where you can sort through them later. Seeing less of the visible clutter will also help you feel calmer and less overwhelmed.  

Enlist help.

If you’re feeling too overwhelmed, call on a friend or family member who can help you get started. It sometimes takes a more subjective eye to help you figure out what kind of clutter you can get rid of and what areas need work. If you need more official help, look into a professional organizer who can come in and help you get into the right mindset and give you great tips for getting organized.

Make it fun. 

Set challenges for yourself. Set a timer and see how much you can accomplish in just ten or fifteen minutes. Reward yourself when you complete a task (but don’t get off-track). If you’re sorting through clothing or a collection of some sort, take it outside or into your favorite room to get the job done in a happier environment. 

Bring in fun organizing tools. 

Once you’ve finished the decluttering process and things don’t seem quite so impossible, you can start to bring in organizational bins or tools that inspire you. When you can see what you have left to organize and the space you have in which to store it, you’ll know exactly the type of organizing tools you need. Have some fun with it! Find bins or baskets in your favorite colors and textures. Making things look nice will assist you in wanting to keep it organized all the time. 

Friday Five // November 15th, 2019

It’s Friday once again, and there’s lots of fun to be had in the Charleston area! This week’s roundup of five fun events taking place in the Lowcountry includes gorgeous Chinese lanterns, a pet walk, a living-history event, and more. As always, no matter what you choose to do, the staff and agents at Johnson & Wilson Real Estate Company hope you have a very happy and safe weekend!

Step inside a unique blend of Chinese Culture and Southern hospitality, starting this weekend at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. Lights of Magnolia, a fully accessible walkthrough lights experience that’s fun for the whole family, is a nine-acre experience of larger-than-life Chinese lanterns in the shapes of flowers, animals, traditional Chinese symbols, and more. Stroll through 23 different themed areas, such as Shooting Starry Night, Dragon Walk, an Ostentation of Peacocks, and create unforgettable memories. Your ticket includes admission to Lights of Magnolia, parking at an off-site location, shuttle to Magnolia Plantation & Gardens, and the opportunity to purchase festival-exclusive merchandise and enjoy a nightly rotating selection of food trucks. This event takes place on Wednesdays through Sundays weekly through March 15th. 

Want to hang out with some super awesome, real-life superheroes? Bring the family to mason Preparatory School on Saturday from 10am until 1pm for Hanging with Heroes. Meet local firefighters and police, see firetrucks, police cars, and beyond. You’ll have the opportunity to interact with some favorite superheroes! In addition, there will be interactive activities, games, arts and crafts, food, local vendors, and more. Don’t miss this awesome family-friendly event hosted by Mason Preparatory School and Charleston Moms Blog. Get tickets ahead of time at the link above to avoid long lines and overcrowding.

This Saturday, you can join the Friends of Charles Towne Landing for Colonial Trades and Harvest Day, a living-history event that focuses on the diverse labor force of the early Carolina colony. From 10am until 4:30pm, attendees can interact with educators dressed in period clothing and learn about 17th century foodways, woodworking, timber-framing, fiber arts, dye production, the Indian trade, health-and-healing practices, and much more. Come see what life was like in the early settlement as the costumed interpreters prepare for a colonial winter at stations located inside the fortified area. Experiences will include colonial games, colonial foodways, and black powder demonstrations. 

Join the Charleston Animal Society at Riverfront Park on Saturday for Paws in the Park, a 5K run and walk to benefit Toby’s Medical Fun at Charleston Animal Society. Come out and run or walk for the animals and be their voice! This race is a family-friendly event for all skill levels. Complete the 5K, 5K with dogs, or ¼-mile petwalk for the animals, and then hang out with friends and pets while enjoying oysters, beer/cocktails, kids’ games, Hibachi Heroes, vendors, and more. The walk/run takes place at 9am, and the following festivities go on until 2pm. 

To show thanks for all the love and support they have received from the Charleston area community, King of Pops Charleston is putting on their first ever Field Day this Saturday. The event includes free popsicles, but most importantly, it’s a party for the community! The field day event will include games, face-painting, a bouncy house, goats to pet, balloons, a tie dye station, free pops, and more. Field Day takes place Saturday from noon until 3pm at Frothy Beard Brewing Company in West Ashley.

5 Do’s and Don’ts for Your Home Inspection Period

When you’re buying a home, there seems to be a lot of waiting around on things that happen behind the scenes. But during the home inspection period, there’s actually a lot you should be doing and educating yourself about. With that in mind, we decided to put together some info on the do’s and don’ts of your home inspection period. Read on for some friendly educational tips on how to navigate and negotiate during what can sometimes be a tricky period of time! 

Don’t Wait Too Long to Schedule Your Inspection

Give your inspectors and yourself plenty of time to complete inspections and reports in a timely manner. It’s best to go ahead and start scheduling any inspections you need as soon as you have a ratified contract and go into escrow. Not only will you need the time to actually have the inspection done, but you also need plenty of time to go over the report and decide what you’d like to ask the seller to fix before closing. Give yourself a couple of weeks for the whole process, and don’t forget that a lot of companies just perform inspections on weekdays. On the back end, the seller will also need plenty of time to have the repairs done if needed.

Do Look Into Other Specialists

One home inspector might not cut it for you. For example, one inspector may go to great lengths where structural, mechanical, or electrical integrity is concerned, but they might not be as well versed in child safety as the next. When you have specific concerns or requests, you should consider checking into other specialists. If you’re buying an older house, you might need to hire someone who specializes in things like asbestos and lead paint. If you have a child/children, you could recruit a child safety specialist to be sure things like banisters, stairs, cabinets, and the like are all satisfactory and as childproof as possible.

Don’t Neglect the Report

A good home inspector will provide you with a very detailed report that includes photos of any problematic areas. It’s very important to set aside some time to go through this report thoroughly. Sit down with a cup of coffee or a glass of your favorite beverage, a notepad, and a pen, and make a list of anything you want to address. Make some time to go over the list with your real estate agent as well. A seasoned agent can offer up great advice on what you should definitely request that the seller fix versus what minor details and repairs you can let go and address on your own later.

Don’t Ask for Too Many Repairs

It’s super important not to overwhelm the seller with your repair requests. If you present them with a big ol’ laundry list of repairs just to see what they’ll approve, they could very well just say no to everything and send you packing (especially if they’ve had multiple offers on the property). If the issue is something major that affects the structural integrity of the home or the safety of its inhabitants, you should absolutely include it in your wish list. Examples of major issues might be faulty wiring, leaky pipes, a compromised roof, or an HVAC system that’s in dire need of repair or replacement. Just don’t sweat the small stuff that could be considered cosmetic damage, such as peeling paint (as long as it’s not lead-based), a deck that needs restaining or sealing, or siding that needs a good power-washing. All of this can be taken care of later. 

Do Check Credentials

When it comes to protecting your family and your investment, you need a qualified, professional home inspector. Though a great handyman is an extremely useful contact to keep in your phone for later on, this isn’t the job for them. Make sure to hire a qualified and credentialed home inspector who comes with good reviews and lots of experience. And feel free to ask questions and interview a few before you make a final choice. 

Friday Five // November 8th, 2019

TGIF! It’s time once again for the Friday Five, our weekly roundup of five fun events taking place throughout the Lowcountry over the weekend. Get into the holiday spirit with a holiday market, check out some rad vintage rides, sample some of the Lowcountry’s best shrimp and grits, and more. Whatever you choose to do, the staff and agents at Johnson & Wilson Real Estate Company hope you have a very fun and safe weekend! 

Start your Christmas shopping this weekend at Charleston’s Holiday Market, the Lowcountry’s Completely Holiday Experience! Kick off the holiday season at the North Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center among all the gifts and glitter, music and magic, food and fun the season has to offer. Experience aisle after aisle of specialty shops, boutiques, arts and crafts, gourmet foods, seasonal specialties, toys, jewelry, and lots more! Be sure to bring your camera for photo ops with Santa, who will be there to visit with the children and hear their Christmas wishes. Admission is $8 for adults, $1 for children ages 6-12 (children under 6 get in free!). Parking is free for this event. Click the link above for a printable coupon for $1 off adult admission. 

Spend your Saturday in Park Circle at the 7th Annual Rockabillaque, presented by Southern Roots Park Circle and Vive Le Rock Productions. Enjoy a fun-filled day of classic cars, vintage, bikes, live music, pin-ups, tattoos, cocktails, brews, contests, block party, and more from 11am until 11pm. This year’s Rockabillaque promises an epic Classic Car & Vintage Bike Show with over 300 cars and bikes, and more than 35 national, regional, and international bands. Contests themes include Pin-Up, Beard & Mustache, Mr. Man, Tattoo, Doggie & Me, and more. For even more fun, head to the Merchant Market with more vendors than ever before; the Beer Pairing Garden; and the kids’ section featuring activities, contests, and performers.

Head down to The Joe on Saturday from noon until 3pm for the Shrimp and Grits Festival, presented by Geechie Boy Mill. Sample shrimp and grits from some of Charleston’s most favorite restaurants, such as Poogan’s Porch, The Barbadoes Room, Grace & Grit, Ms. Rose’s Fine Food and Cocktails, Moe’s Crosstown Tavern, and more. You’ll also have the opportunity to hear some live music, shop with local vendors from around the Lowcountry, and enjoy a cash bar with drinks from Charleston Mix Bloody Mary. General admission tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. VIP admission is $40 in advance and $45 at the door and includes complimentary beer, wine, and oysters while supplies last. 

Carnes Crossroads and the City of Goose Creek are teaming up this Saturday to present Movies on the Village Green, an outdoor movie night series. Gather the family and bring your blankets and chairs to see Mary Poppins Returns in the heart of the Carnes Crossroads community. Food trucks and other vendors will be on hand to offer up delicious options for dinner and snacks. There will also be lawn games and activities to enjoy before the movie begins at 5:30pm. This is a free event with free parking!

For a free, family-friendly event on Sunday, head to Mount Pleasant for Boone Hall Farms Home Grown Sunday. Admission and parking for this event are free! Enjoy live music all day long from Palmetto Soul. Sample beers and wines and Mr. Tom’s Smoked Half Chickens and BBQ. The kiddos will love the baby goat petting zoo, face-painting, and Miss Missy from Burdon Creek Dairy. Meet Terry Hamlin, local author and founding father of the Cooper River Bridge Run. And be sure to check out all the local artists, crafts, cookies, and eatable vendors, such as Ciaburri’s Fresh Mex, Christopher Hyatt - Charleston Traditions Cuisine, Melissa Henderson (author of Licky the Lizard), Holy City Popcorn, Serenity by the Sea, Old World Glass Works, Virginia Bond Fine Art, There’s No Place Like Charleston, and much, much more! 


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