Speak for Animals

Three small brown dogs lined up side by side on asphalt road facing forward

Speak for Animals Lends a Voice to Animals

Each year, Prime Realty partners with a local organization. For 2023, we are proud to announce we will be partnering with Speak for Animals!

Speak for Animals was founded in 2003 by Susan Bufano. Her right-hand woman is Lindsey Deon, who has been involved with SFA for 8 years. We can’t wait to dish more details about all the amazing things SFA has done, and all what we plan to do together in 2023.

Our newest Prime Purpose partner will benefit because Prime agents willingly donate proceeds from each of their transactions, and Prime Realty matches it. The decision to partner with SFA was easy since our office is full of animal lovers and because we had a Prime agent (Erin Halperin) encourage the partnership after having been a volunteer with SFA for years.

Who is Speak for Animals?

Speak for Animal’s mission is to reduce financial barriers for pet owners that want to spay/neuter by offering low-cost services. When you complete an application, you will receive a voucher to make an appointment with one of SFA’s partner vets. Please be aware that veterinarians are backed up right now and make sure you make an appointment ASAP.

SFA accomplishes their mission through:

  • Low-Cost Spay and Neuter programs
  • Partnerships with dedicated veterinarians
  • Community Outreach, Advocacy, and Education
  • Planning and collaborating with animal welfare organizations
  • Aid with veterinary care through our Pickle Fund
  • Advocating a compassionate lifestyle

What is SFA?

Their goal is to help animals primarily through spay/neuter and vet care. SFA is different from local animal rescue groups in town since they mainly act as a resource coordinator for individuals and organizations alike. We had the opportunity to speak with the founders and after gaining their valuable insight, it is evident that SFA’s focus is to provide care to those animals that need it the most.

Our Programs

Fix-A-Feline (Friendly Cats)

Fix-A-Pit (Pit Bull/Pit Bull Mixes)

Government Assistance Client (Proof of Assistance required)

Feral (Wild) Community (Cat Program)

Our Services

Spay/Neuter

Speak for Animals believes the best way to combat overpopulation is by providing spay/neuter procedures. When you donate, your gift could mean the difference of life for the cat on the street that’s having litter after litter. Or the dog that can finally calm down and lose interest in roaming about once it’s neutered. “Thank you for taking a stake in improving the health and happiness of dogs and cats, while reducing suffering with your investment in Speak for Animals.”

The Pickle Fund

“The Pickle Fund was started in memory of a dog with cerebellar brain damage, who was rescued by Speak for Animals’ founder, Susan. When Pickle passed away, we started a fund to help dogs and cats “in a pickle” who need veterinary care due to the lack of resources in our area.”

Animals can’t speak for themselves! Please contact animal control to report animal cruelty.

Catch Up with Our Partner

Speak for Animals is an innovative 501(c)3 charitable organization operating in the Upstate responsible for tens of thousands of vulnerable animals receiving care through their programs for the last 20 years.

Donate Now 

Speak for Animals on Facebook

Day Trips Not Far from Greenville

Small minivan in front of a cliff overlooking the sky's sunset in preparation of day trips

Plan Your Next Day Trip in 2023

Greenville was in the limelight for most of 2022. Major publishers from Southern Living to Condé Nast Traveler wanted in on the action. We even had our own 60 minutes segment that aired Jan. 09 called “The Big Quit.” As a result, what was already a town that was beginning to gain traction, Greenville experienced a serious influx of new residents (17 a day), new developments, food & arts venues, and more! So, if all the hype drew you into our charming city, then let us show you all the places you can travel to for perfect day trips.  

Asheville, North Carolina 

Less than an hour away, this North Carolina town is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Whether you wish to walk or drive, you can find easy access to the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Appalachian Trail. Renting cabins are popular in this area, especially during the winter months.  

 

 

Athens, Georgia 

Filled with a healthy dose of southern charm, Athens has on display a Victorian-era historic district filled with antebellum buildings that are accompanied by the lively arts and music scene perfect for day trips.

 

 

 

Atlanta, Georgia 

Less than 2 hours away, Atlanta is one of the busiest towns South Carolina residents have access to. If you visit Atlanta, three places you should visit are the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola Museum, and the Atlanta Botanical Garden.  

 

 

 

Greer, South Carolina 

This city is known for its friendly small-town feel, especially in downtown across 12 blocks filled with shops and restaurants. During the summer months, you can catch live music performances every Friday. Greer is also home to the country’s only BMW manufacturing plant. 

BMW Factory Tour 

BMW Zentrum Museum offers this unique experience of stepping inside a working BMW factory. The museum is open to visitors throughout the week, but you’ll have to reserve that factory tour ahead of time if you’re interested. Among the museum’s treasure filled trove is state-of-the-art, rare, concept vehicles like the Isetta “Bubble Car.” 

 

Charlotte, North Carolina 

The modern downtown, described as Uptown by locals, is where you will find the bulk of the city’s best restaurants and retail stores. Surrounded by soaring skyscrapers and high-profile attractions, like the NASCAR Hall of Fame, you’re sure to be entertained.  

 

 

Columbia, South Carolina 

Did you know that South Carolina’s capital is often referred to as “The Real Southern Hot Spot”? Columbia offers trendy stores and fancy cocktail bars, and at the same time, offers a glimpse into the city’s rich heritage. If you’re travelling with your family, a family favorite is the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden.  

 

 

Easley, South Carolina 

Dubbed as the biggest city in Pickens County, Easley is at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains allowing visitors to enjoy many lakes, waterfalls, and scenic hiking trails. Every city in South Carolina has a bustling food and retail scene, but Easley specializes in a weekly farmers market and has plenty of antique stores to browse making it a perfect destination for day trips.

 

 

Fountain Inn, South Carolina 

Fountain Inn received its name from a historic inn that served as an overnight stop for exhausted stagecoach travelers. Today, the town still offers tranquility to visitors who want a break from city life with plenty of parks, walking trails, and outdoor concerts held at Commerce Park during the summer.  

 

Simpsonville, South Carolina 

The city of Simpsonville has roots dating back to the 1820s. For visitors seeking a thrill, this city has a zipline canopy tour that takes you across the lush Green River Gorge. You can also get behind the wheel of a race car at the BMW performance Center, or whitewater raft down the Chattooga River. Take your pick. 

 

Musgrove Mill Historic Site 

Built in 1780, the site commemorates an important battle fought at that time and the history of the Revolutionary War. The park also boasts some of the best nature has to offer, including the Enoree River and Horseshoe Falls. 

 

 

Paris Mountain State Park 

A nature lovers paradise. Seriously. This historic park was constructed during the Great Depression by the Civilian Conservation Corps and offers more than 1,500 acres of land for visitors to enjoy. You can do whatever your heart desires: mountain biking, hiking, picnicking, nature watching or swimming in the designated lake during the summer. Start planning your day trips now!

 

Pickens County 

This area is still up and coming with a humble selection of restaurants and shops, but the highlight of the area is the Sassafras Mountain. It’s the highest natural point in the state, so when will this make your perfect day trips list? 

 

We have two blogs sharing state parks and waterfalls in the state and surrounding areas that are worth checking out! Continue reading for some local favorite state parks.

 

Lake Hartwell State Park 

There’s a high chance you have heard of the popular Lake Hartwell State Park. Georgia’s 56,000-acre Lake Hartwell surrounds the state park. This state park is suitable for people that enjoy recreational activities like playing basketball and fishing. This park has many paved campsites suitable for tents and RV camping at 115. Aside from those campsites are 13 walk-in tent sites, two camper cabins, one picnic shelter, and a 75-mile nature trail. 

Croft State Park 

A historic state park worth mentioning is Croft State Park. What used to be a WWII Army training camp now holds several recreational activities like biking, hiking, camping, fishing, and equestrian riding. For the avid equestrian, this park has over 20 miles of equestrian trails and houses equestrian events. Of the 7,054 acres of land, there are three picnic shelters, 50 campsites for tent and RV camping, over 20 miles of biking trails, and almost three miles of hiking trails. Lastly, Lake Craig spans 165 acres and is perfect for fishing. Paddling is also an advantage of the lake. 

Table Rock State Park  

Another park built by the Conservations Corps is Table Rock State Park. There are 94 campsites for tent or RV camping, four picnic shelters, and a swimming hole with a high dive that’s open in the Summer. There are two park lakes, the Pinnacle Lake and Lake Oolenoy amounting to 103 acres of the total 3,083 acres (about twice the area of Philadelphia Airport) of the park.  

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee 

Home of the infamous Dolly Parton’s amusement park, Dollywood, Pigeon Forge is a lively mountain town for country music fans and mountain lovers alike. What many people don’t realize is that this mountain town hosts several annual car shows, like the Great Smoky Mountain Jeep Club Invasion. “With over 43,000 people (about twice the seating capacity of Madison Square Garden) in attendance and 20,000 Jeeps over the 3-day event, GSMJI 2022 shattered previous years’ records in attendance.” It is a car enthusiasts’ paradise and an ideal destination for day trips.

South Carolina Botanical Garden  

This 295-acre sanctuary for a diverse collection of plant life is on Clemson University’s campus and has no admission fee. Visitors have the choice to use the garden’s 3 mile of nature trails, check out the geology museum, or visit the Hanover House; a house built during the early 18th century.  

 

The Anderson County Museum 

The museum is home to more than 25,000 artifacts that show off the county’s history. You can also learn more about the history of South Carolina and engage in family-friendly activities the museum offers like scavenger hunts and interactive games.  

Travelers Rest 

The name of this city has an interesting backstory. Because TR is located near the start of the Appalachian Trail, travelers would rest in TR before starting or continuing their journey, hence Travelers Rest. This small town has plenty to highlight. Although the downtown area is not vast, several retail stores, restaurants and souvenir shops are sprinkled along the street. What is new in Travelers Rest are the two brand new wineries: Eagle Mountain Vineyards and Kennington Family Winery. 

 

Check Out More Prime Realty Blogs About Upstate South Carolina

Day trips are good for the soul! If you are looking for recommendations of more places to go or things to do, check out Prime Realty’s blog all about the Upstate of South Carolina. If you want to learn more about some local favorites in the Upstate, our real estate agents would love to share their personal favorites with you! What is more exciting? The New York Times kicked off the start of 2023 by featuring an article, “52 Places for travelers to Visit in 2023.” Not one, but two South Carolina cities made the list! Greenville and Charleston.

Dog Friendly Places in Greenville 

State Parks Not Far from Greenville 

Happy Hours Around Town 

Waterfalls in Upstate, South Carolina

Photos are sourced from various websites like SC Picture Project, GVL journal, and respective official city webpages along with stock image sourcing. 

Prepare for Your Mortgage Loan Application

Mortgage Loan Application

Applying for a mortgage is something that most people never learn to do until the time comes. And when that time comes, many can feel like they’re already 10 steps behind. If you’re in the process of buying a house, that most likely means you have your finances in order and a budget set in place. So, what’s next? When you’re shopping for a lender, consider different options like your bank, local credit union, or online lenders. Mortgage brokers offer a considerably wider array of options and can streamline the mortgage process for you. 

Let’s Begin

Once the seller accepts your offer, you’ll need to apply for a loan. According to Bank of America, “All lenders require you to provide information about yourself and anyone else who will be listed as a co-borrower on the mortgage.Keep in mind that each lender has their own criteria, so the results of your application can vary. On average, it can take anywhere from 30 days to several months for your application to be approved. The exact forms for different applicants vary but a lender can gauge whether you’ll be approved by checking out your recent pay stubs, bank statements, W-2 Forms, and tax returns.

Your financial situation affects the documents you are required to submit, but here are seven commonly requested documents: 

1. Tax Returns

Your tax returns allow lenders to gauge your financial health. For the lender to be able to request a copy of your tax return to the IRS, you must provide the lender with a signed Form 4506-T. They want to see one to two years’ worth of tax returns. 

2. Pay stubs, W-2s or other proof of income

Pay stubs allow lenders to gauge your current earnings. For those of you that are self-employed, you might be asked to show proof through 1099 forms, direct deposit or other methods. 

3. Bank statements and other assets

Lenders request these documents to verify your financial standing. Since lenders are assessing your risk profile, they’ll look at your bank statements and other assets. Any traces of savings or emergency savings plans will be taken into consideration when reviewing your application. Lenders want to know how prepared you are for an emergency. Having 3-6 months of savings equivalent to your living expenses will indicate that you are responsible and prepared for an emergency. They’ll also reference your investments assets like your life insurance. They will also analyze the amount of time the direct deposit’s total has been in your account and verify it didn’t appear overnight in your account. 

4. Credit History

With your verbal or written consent, lenders will pull your credit report. Industry members advise you to be prepared to write a statement that explains negative items in your credit report. For example, if you underwent a short sale or foreclosure, you would include stating so. Not disclosing blemishes will delay the application process and could even prevent mortgage approval.  

5. Gift Letters

If you are in the position that your friends and family can give money towards your new home, then you’ll have to provide written information that the money is in fact a gift and not a loan.  

6. Photo I.D.

Solely to verify you are who you claim to be.  

7. Renting History

A person’s rental history is vital for applicants who don’t have an extensive credit history. Lenders will request proof that you were an ideal tenant who paid on time. Lenders could ask your landlord to provide documentation backing up your claim or ask for a year’s worth of canceled rent checks (checks that were cashed by the landlord). 

Locking in your interest rate

According to Bank of America, “A rate lock, also known as a rate commitment, is your lender’s assurance that the interest rate and discount points are guaranteed until the rate lock expiration date.” Talk to your lender about ways you can protect yourself against rising interest rates. If you’re worried about the rising rates, you can lock your rate with your lender when you fill out the application. You are not obligated to do this if you believe the rates will decrease prior to signing off on your new house, but the rate must be finalized and locked in prior to the lender preparing your closing documents.

At the time of signing, you need to already have your budget set for the down payment. According to Patch.com, “the long-accepted ‘standard’ down payment for buying a home is 20% of the total sales price.” Make sure to also budget for the anticipated appraisals, inspections, and the home’s closing costs.

Prospective Buyers

What is a prospective buyer? A prospective buyer is:

  1. a person who has submitted an offer to the seller, but the seller has yet to accept the offer. 
  2. a person who is in preparation to buy their first home. 
  3. a person who expresses interest towards a specific property but has yet to make an offer. 
  4. a person who has begun their home search but has yet to select a specific property. 
  5. a person whose offer has been accepted by the sellers, the negotiation process may or may not already be underway, and the closing documents are what’s left to sign.

From a legal standpoint, the term prospective buyer is most commonly reserved for once the potential buyer’s offer has been accepted by the seller. It can be essential to know whether you qualify as a prospective buyer for legislative reasons. South Carolina is included in the sum of states that acknowledges and accepts the term: prospective buyers. 

Why is it important?  

Because the prospective buyer is entitled to certain rights during the sales process. In some areas across the nation, the potential buyer isn’t classified as a prospective buyer until an offer is submitted, as a legal standpoint. In other areas, the status isn’t disclosed to the buyer until the seller has accepted their offer.

Why have I been refused a mortgage?  

According to Experian, if you are refused a mortgage, here are a few common reasons why: 

  • The lender has calculated you won’t be able to make the repayments. 
  • You’ve made too many credit applications in a short space of time in the past six months, resulting in multiple hard searches being recorded in your report. 
  • You’re not registered to vote on the electoral roll (this is used for proof of your address and identity). 
  • There are mistakes such as incorrect addresses or other errors on your application form. 
  • You may not fall into the target bracket for the type of mortgage you’ve applied for. (Experian, 2022)

Community Assistance Programs

1.) SC Housing 

2.) Community Works Downpayment Assistance 

3.) GCRA 

“Established in 1974, the Greenville County Redevelopment Authority (GCRA) works to improve the living conditions of the county’s residents by building new homes, rehabilitating existing homes and improving the infrastructures within communities.”

Did you know you could be eligible for down payment assistance? 

Qualifications: Eligible Buyer

  • Must be a first-time home buyer 
  • Stable income 
  • Secure a 30-year, fixed rate 1st mortgage 
  • Complete the application process
  • Invest a minimum of $500 into the home purchase
  • Attend a community works orientation
  • Attend a homebuyer education workshop through GVL County Human Relations Key Program 

Qualifications: Eligible Properties 

  • New and existing properties in GVL County 
  • Max purchase price for new construction is $240,000 
  • Max purchase price for an existing home is $195,000 
  • The home must be the buyer’s principal residence 
  • Monthly mortgage payment must be affordable (33% of monthly income) 

Eligible Uses 

  • Funds may be used for down payment and for closing costs.
  • The total of bank mortgage on the property may not exceed 100% of the appraised value. (This does not include funds from Community Works.)
  • Buyers may not receive any funds back at the time of closing. 

Thank you for reading our blog! If you have any questions or are looking for a recommendation, please email us at info@primerealtysc.com. 

 

References

Credit Karma

Experian

Bank of America

GCRA

SC Housing

Community Works 

Winter in the Carolinas | What You Can Do

New Year’s Day Festivities in the Carolinas & Tennessee 

New Year’s Eve Celebration and Fireworks Show

Sat, Dec 31

Gatlinburg Space Needle

115 Historic Nature Trail, Gatlinburg, TN

New Year’s Eve Family Night

Dec 31, 2022, 7 PM – Jan 1, 2023, 12 AM

Beech Mountain Ski Resort

1007 Beech Mountain Pkwy, Beech Mountain, NC

New Year’s Eve Celebration at The Island

Dec 31, 2022, 10 AM – Jan 1, 2023, 12 AM

The Island in Pigeon Forge

131 The Island Dr, Pigeon Forge, TN

Happy 2023! Fireworks Show!

Sat, Dec 31

Newberry / I-26 / Sumter NF KOA Journey

567 Fairview Church Rd, Kinards, SC

Juniper New Year’s Eve Rooftop Masquerade

Sat, Dec 31, 8:30 PM

AC Hotel by Marriott Greenville • Greenville, SC

Starts at $150.00

New Year’s Eve 2023 Southern Gala

Sat, Dec 31, 8:30 PM

Commerce Club – Greenville • Greenville, SC

Starts at $100.00

Hoppin’ New Year’s Eve Party!

Sat, Dec 31, 8:00 PM

Hoppin’ • Greenville, SC

Starts at $85.00

New Year’s Eve Bar Crawl – Greenville

Sat, Dec 31, 4:00 PM

NYE at Ink n Ivy Greenville

Sat, Dec 31, 9:30 PM

Ink N Ivy Greenville • Greenville, SC

Starts at $20.00

Holiday Light Shows in the Upstate

Upstate Holiday Light Show

November 24 through December 31

6:00pm-10/11:00pm | $35 to drive through

Holiday Lights Safari

November 22 through January 1

6:00pm -9:00pm | $10 per adult/child

Anderson Christmas Lights

November 24 through December 25

5:30pm-10pm | $35 to drive through

Winter Activity Alternatives

Snow Tubing in Hendersonville, NC 

Winter Hikes

Waterfalls

Ice on Main

November 24 through January 16

Open 7 days a week, excluding Christmas Day. | $10 Adults, $8 Children FREE for children 2 and younger

Holidays at the Zoo

December 15-30 at the Greenville Zoo

3pm-8pm

Visit The Toasty Farmer at Brewery85

This is the seventh season for the Toasty Farmer, which runs December 3 through March 2023 every Saturday, except for some additional select dates.

Prime Realty is Eager to Assist the Upstate of South Carolina

Are you looking to buy or sell in the Upstate of South Carolina? Then list your home with Prime Realty. We can deliver Prime Results in Prime Time.

As a boutique firm, we pride ourselves in delivering that personal touch for you. Not only will our dedicated agents make you their #1 priority, but we can also provide services that will accelerate the sale like home staging. Learn more on our About page or visit our inventory site that is in sync with the MLS, which means as soon as a listing enters the market it will be featured on our Live Greenville site.

Home Staging & the Role it Plays

Holiday Home Staging Do’s & Don’ts

No matter the holiday, it’s important to keep it simple when it comes to home staging during the holiday seasons, especially before a sale.

 
Decorating for the holidays is something the majority of home owners look forward to and it tends to be no different when the home is for sale. We’re here to tell you that if your home is for sale, you’ll want to remove your holiday decor. Here are some do’s and don’ts to consider:
 

Do’s

  • For every holiday decoration, switch it out for “season appropriate” decor. Since it is the fall season, swap your orange pumpkins for some potted Mums.
  • Swap out the holiday scents for season scents like Pine and Marshmallow Fireside
  • It’s important to remove these decorations prior to taking the MLS photos. Once they have been taken, you can revert back to your holiday decorations!

Don’ts

  • Don’t leave inflatable decorations that actually double as obstruction of views for your home.
  • Don’t overwhelm visitors with obnoxious holiday scents that will divert their attention away from your beautiful home.
  • Don’t let your Halloween decorations scare potentials buyers away!

Interior Designers and Home Stagers are similar but also, very different.

The Real Estate industry contains several professions and services that are instrumental to the success of the transaction. Several buyers and sellers are familiar with the importance inspectors, lenders, and appraisers hold to the transaction. But what about the individuals that arranges or stages the furniture? These individuals are referred to as home stagers.

Different from interior designers, home stagers must appeal to the buyers by personalizing or depersonalizing the space in preparation for the sale. Prior to designing, an interior designer must consider the customer’s individualistic or familial personality and lifestyle to deliver a tailored environment perfectly suited to them. 

What advantage do staged homes possess?

The goal of staging homes is to emphasize the home’s architectural details and best assets. This allows buyers to effectively gauge the potential that the new house could offer them.  

The time the house stays on the market is significantly reduced when a stager is introduced into the space. It allows the buyers to envision their lifestyle easily and that is harder to do if the home is empty. According to NAR, “Statistics have shown that houses that have been staged average 42 days on the market vs. non-staged homes that can average 142 days on the market.”

The Home Stager Steps in

A home stager’s main competition is the staged homes that home buyers witness from watching the HGTV channel. Many home buyers are inspired by the overall aesthetic captured through the screen they’re regularly stationed in front of, and often find themselves on home décor retail sites. 

“A home stager must know the difference between decorating to sell and designing to live. There must be a perfect blend of eye-catching with mass appeal,” according to Erin Halperin, an agent at Prime Realty who happens to have extensive experience in the real estate staging world. 

Many home stagers don’t ever step foot inside the space they’re tasked to stage, let alone meet the prospective buyer since there is rarely only one, especially at the start! If the home stager does not have access to personnel on either side of the transaction, I asked Erin how she finds inspiration:

“Inspiration comes from places such as art, Architectural Digest and Elle Décor magazines, catalogs, but also social media. It serves one purpose to me only which is that it allows me to see designers and architects making beautiful spaces all around the globe, that I would never know of otherwise.”

How Social Media is at Play

The beautiful thing about social media is its accessibility. Home stagers do not have to follow all industry-related social media handles to be successful. All social media platforms have the option to filter through their respective platforms through categorical hashtags. So, if a home stager needs specific inspiration for a certain aesthetic, say boho style or eccentric, they can find an ample number of options through that hashtag. With some hashtags collecting over 500K posts within an hour of when it was first posted, users all around the world can engage with your post!  

Selling a Lifestyle, not Just a Room

What are the benefits of staging your real estate listing? 

Leaving the task to the buyers of envisioning their life can be a mistake. They’re not totally to blame. Who could really walk into a space with no furniture and still be able to envision themselves in the house? “Staging a home helps consumers see the full potential of a given space or property,” said Jessica Lautz, NAR’s vice president of demographics and behavioral insights. 

Today, Erin stages smaller homes by incorporating pieces that sellers already have coupled with items from her small collection of accessories such as rugs, pillows, and lamps. Erin believes it is easy to walk into an empty space and furnish it, however, she likes the creative challenge of taking existing items and rearranging a room. “I love re-envisioning a room to its fullest potential to attract a buyer. The greatest compliment I get is when a seller says “Geez, well now I want to stay!” 

Quarantine changed how people made changes in their homes based on their new way of living. Every home stager is different. Here’s how Erin approaches real estate staging in terms of trends: 

There are several more trends in both categories but in regards to Erin’s approach, the trends listed are what she’s paying attention to during her staging appointments. 

Anti-trends: 

  • Open shelves in kitchens
    • Impractical because if you cook often, it’s hard to maintain 
    • Easy + cost-effective but impractical
  • Gray as the only color throughout the home versus as an accent color, infused with other colors
  • Farmhouse/Barn Doors
    • There’s a place for the Farmhouse style and its attributing features but it’s not for every home
Design Trends: 
  • Built-in appliances
  • Less industrial kitchens; hoods for example
  • Backsplashes are either continuing on the countertop or tiles are stacked vertically versus horizontally 
  • Color, florals, bringing natural elements inside to “inform” the color palette & create rooms that reflect the people living in them
  • Black accents are used to make everything pop

Key Takeaway for Home Stagers

Home stagers must be very sensitive to a seller’s attachment to items in their home. It’s their job to help the sellers realize why they want to sell and that everyone has a different style preference.

It’s also important to note that real estate staging does not have to mean bland neutral. Personality makes a home memorable and shows a buyer walking through the home what kind of creative potential exists for them to make it their own. “Clean,” “Bright,” and “Flow” are the mantra words that I use regularly when staging.

Prime Realty is Eager to Assist the Upstate of South Carolina

Are you looking to buy or sell in the Upstate of South Carolina? Then list your home with Prime Realty. We can deliver Prime Results in Prime Time.

As a boutique firm, we pride ourselves in delivering that personal touch for you. Not only will our dedicated agents make you their #1 priority, but we can also provide services that will accelerate the sale like home staging. Learn more on our About page or visit our inventory site that is in sync with the MLS, which means as soon as a listing enters the market it will be featured on our Live Greenville site. 

Pizza in Greenville

Pizza Spots in Greenville, South Carolina

Greenville South Carolina pizza places to visit, group eating pizza slicesSlice of Greenville

There are so many different places to get a slice of pizza. And depending on who you ask, some places are better than others. The perfect ratio of sauce to cheese is what Prime Realty thinks makes an amazing slice. How about you?

For when you’re craving pizza in Greenville, SC…

Bada Bing Pizzeria: Located on Woodruff Road, their New York style pizza is a worthy contender. You can also get a bowl of pasta with meatballs and two garlic bread knots for less than $15. 

Barley’s Taproom and Pizzeria: Barley’s originally opened in Downtown Greenville in 1993. Barley’s has some of the largest slices you can get in Greenville.

Brooklyn Pizza Bites: Brooklyn Pizza Bites consistently delivers on flavor. They have classic NY style pizza as well as flavorful buffalo wings and hearty calzones. 

Coastal Crust: Originally located in Charleston, South Carolina, Coastal Crust has now expanded to the Village of West Greenville. Their Neapolitan Wood-fired pizza is delicious!

D’Alessandro’s Pizza Greenville: Also known as D’als, they are located behind Community Tap on Wade Hampton Boulevard. They have vegan and gluten free options!

Frodos’ Pizza: Located off Pleasantburg, right across from Greenville Tech, the little white building is the perfect place for children’s’ parties or family gatherings. Try their salad bar and pizza by the slice!

More Pizza in Greenville

Grimaldi’s Coal Brick Oven Pizza: Authentic, fresh, and not like the rest. There’s not a better Margherita pizza in town.

Local Pie Pizza Co.: This is your go to pizza food truck. They specialize in hand tossed pizza made fresh in the truck.

Merrell’s Pizza: Next time you’re in the Greer area, make sure to try a New York style pizza at Merrell’s.

Napoli Pizzeria and Restaurant: This family run Greek and Italian Pizzeria and Restaurant is best known for their pizzas but everything on their menu is just as delicious!

Tacozzini: Located on Augusta Street, Tacozzini creates mixes casual with modern with their unique style of food! They also have amazing gluten-free cauliflower crust available!

Tito’s Restaurant Pizzeria: Located near Cherrydale, Tito’s is a great location to go for delicious pizza! They don’t have a website but trust us on this one.

Todaro Pizza: Located near Downtown Greenville next to Urban Wren and Hoppin’ Brewery, Todaro features a weekly special. $5 Mondays! For $5, get a whole pie from Todaro for dinner.

Trio Brick Oven Cafe: Trio is in the heart of Downtown Greenville and has been around for over 20 years! Their pizza is a classic brick oven style with a variety of toppings. They offer gluten free crust and more recently have added take-and-bake options to their menu.

World Piece: Located on Stone Avenue, World Piece offers amazing Chicago Style Pizza along with amazing salads, wings, burgers, and other delicious menu items!

Learn More About Greenville, South Carolina 

Thanks for reading! Think we missed a notable favorite? Email our marketing team at marketing@primerealtysc.com to let us know, and we’ll make sure to include it. Learn more about what the Greenville community has to offer through our blog.

If you’re in the market for real estate in South Carolina, be sure to check out our inventory site for available properties. Our experienced team is dedicated to helping you find your dream home, so please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or to schedule a showing. And remember, if you’re ready to take the next step in finding your new home, give us a call or visit our website to schedule a consultation with one of our expert agents today!

Real Estate Agent Spotlight: Matt Poole

Matt Poole real estate agent in Greenville, South Carolina

Real Estate Agent Spotlight: About Matt

For our third real estate agent spotlight, we are featuring Matt Poole. 

How It Started

Prime Realty: Why did you decide to become a Realtor?

Matt Poole: I wanted to be my own business owner. I have an entrepreneurial mindset and I love having the ability to set my own schedule for the day. That flexibility with my love for real estate and people just made for a perfect storm of interests that led me to getting my license and taking me to where I am today.

PR: What were you doing before Real Estate?

Matt Poole: I was working as the Deputy Director of Short-Term Finance for a lender here in Greenville. I worked my way up through that company in about 3 years and was running the day-to-day operations of one of our underwriting departments. It was a great opportunity to learn the real estate investment side of the business and learn management. It provided me a great foundation for the transition into being a Realtor.

PR: For people who aren’t local, tell us about where you live and why you’re the most ideal Realtor.

Matt Poole: I was born and raised in the Greenville area. I lived in Mauldin and Simpsonville for most of my life and I have lived in Anderson too. Being a native, I have seen the Upstate grow and I know all the details about this area. Whether its recreation, history, the food scene, sports, entertainment, or anything in between, I have knowledge of all of it. In addition to knowledge of the area, my experience in real estate lending gives me a unique perspective. Since I have worked on both sides of the transaction, that gives me an advantage because I can speak that language and really set expectations for my clients for both sides of the transaction.

More About Matt

PR: What is your favorite aspect about being a Realtor?

Matt Poole: The people! I love meeting people from all different parts of the country, all different walks of life, all in different situations. You learn so much about these people and become friends with them. I think it is important because you are being trusted to help them through the biggest purchase of their life. And at the end of it, keeping in touch and hearing all the fun stories is more rewarding than any paycheck. I also love that I get to just be a listening ear too. Some people have been through tough times and if I can just be a friendly face and let them know that things will be okay, then I have done my job.

PR: What’s been the most impactful part of your job as a Realtor?

Matt Poole: Two things: Making a difference in the lives of the clients I meet and helping them transition into a new home and sometimes a new area. The second, and equally important to me is making a difference in the lives of the people at Prime Realty. I love helping our new agents get going, being a resource for people in the office, and just paying my knowledge and experience forward so others can succeed. Those two things are what keep me going every day in this industry.

PR: Tell us the positive changes you’ve personally witnessed since becoming a Realtor, and about any industry standards or ethics that surprised you in a good way?

Matt Poole: One of the biggest positive changes I have seen in myself is confidence and the ability to connect with people, no matter their walk of life, situation, or personality. I have found a true passion for connecting with people through this job. And more on a professional level, the positive changes I have seen in Greenville with the growth, both in the housing industry and in just the economy. I watch those statistics firsthand every month and year and being a native from Greenville, it is fascinating, and I love knowing that I have been a part of it.

Click Here to Watch Matt’s YouTube Video

PR: You’ve been in the industry long enough to share some advice. What’s the most important piece of advice you would want to share with someone who is interested in becoming a Realtor?

Matt Poole: Do not treat this like any other position. You are a business owner, and you must treat it as such in order to be successful. This is not a 9-5 and you must be ready to work hard and do the behind the scenes work like marketing, calling people, networking and much more. If you have that mindset, you will come into this industry and you will see success.

PR: What advances in the industry have you been able to accomplish since joining Prime Realty?

Matt Poole: The most recent one was getting my Real Estate Broker’s license. That was a goal of mine since the first day I got my salesperson license. I have always wanted to move my way up and earn a spot with the company that allowed me the opportunity to manage and train new agents so they can be successful like myself, and many others.

How It’s Going

PR: What’s it like being on the PR team?

Matt Poole: It’s like working with a big family. Everyone helps everyone and we try to ensure the success of everyone around us. It isn’t “cutthroat” or all about one person. And this mentality has really allowed Prime to have so much success in such a short amount of time. I could not imagine selling real estate with anyone else.

PR: Do you wish you entered the field earlier or do you think when you started was perfect timing?

Matt Poole: I think I entered at the right time. My time in real estate lending prior to becoming a Realtor helped me have a solid foundation of knowledge before getting my license so the learning curve was easier and I understood the language and the business better. This helped me have a strong year 1 and that success carried me into the next years up until now.

Find Your Dream Home in South Carolina

If you’re in the market for real estate in South Carolina, be sure to check out our inventory site for available properties. Our experienced team is dedicated to helping you find your dream home, so please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or to schedule a showing. And remember, if you’re ready to take the next step in finding your new home, give us a call or visit our website to schedule a consultation with one of our expert agents or with Matt today!

Prime Realty Agent Spotlight: Sierra Wright

Prime Realty’s First Agent Spotlight

Are you interested to learn more about what being a realtor is all about? Once you’ve read Sierra’s story, we encourage you to submit a contact form. Click here.

Meet Sierra

The agents at Prime Realty are dedicated professionals that have a genuine passion for the industry. For our first agent spotlight, I chose an agent that is relatively new to the industry and in the short amount of time she has been an agent, she has proven that she contains the work ethic that this industry demands from real estate agents.

Sierra Wright is a Residential Sales Specialist who joined Prime Realty just under two months ago in December of 2021. Before real estate, Sierra was working as a banker and teller at two local branches for six years. Sierra loved building relationships and assisting her customers financially in her day-to-day role at the bank.

Before Joining Prime Realty

To Sierra, timing is everything. Sierra has always been interested in real estate. She has always admired the realtor profession. Sierra says that riding around looking at neighborhoods and searching for houses online has always been something she enjoyed doing. Entering the field was something that crossed Sierra’s mind frequently while she was working in the banking industry.

Sierra entered the field because she wanted a career change and decided to register for online courses just to give it a try. When I asked Sierra why she decided to become a real estate agent, she said:

The greatest joy in life for me is making others happy. I’ve always wanted a career that was rewarding and gave me a chance to make a positive impact on someone’s life. Real estate allows me to run my own business and help someone achieve one of their biggest goals in life and nothing satisfies me more than that.

Since Joining Prime Realty

Sierra is grateful that she entered the field when she did because otherwise, she isn’t sure she would have had the chance to meet the management team at Prime Realty. Had she started her search sooner, they wouldn’t have been able to invite her to join. Sierra values the team-oriented environment Prime Realty facilitates. Stepping foot into the office for the first time, Sierra recalls feeling assured that she made the right decision. At her start at Prime Realty, Sierra recalls everyone being so willing to help her:

When some people are in the same industry as you, they aren’t as willing to help or give advice. I love that everyone looks out for one another because that’s the personality that I have. I wouldn’t have learned as quickly as I did if it wasn’t for everyone at PR.

In the four months since Sierra was onboarded, Sierra has noticed a positive change within herself. She is finding herself to be more organized since becoming an agent and feels confident she has better time management skills because of it. Even with her career change, she is still able to enjoy all the things she loves about Greenville! She mostly enjoys going to Downtown Greenville because there are so many restaurants to choose from, favorites like: Larkins, Trio, and Ink & Ivy. She also absolutely loves Legacy Park for how relaxing it is for her.

All in all, Prime Realty takes the time and dedication necessary to ensure all the agents that are onboarded, share the same sentiment as Prime Realty: Our customers are our #1 priority. Sierra recently personified that sentiment by successfully going under contract within two days of posting her very first listing into the MLS. Within the short span of time Sierra has been a Realtor® at Prime, she has been making strides and it’s all thanks to her dedication and persistence!

Now that you’ve heard Sierra’s story, are you ready to take a leap of faith?

So many Realtors® experience a similar feeling prior to entering the Real Estate Industry. They either don’t believe it’s the right fit for them, or they create excuses as to why they should hold off on pursuing the profession. Rest assured, the agents at Prime Realty are licensed Realtors®. Prime Realty focuses on training and education. From the moment our agents are onboarded, they are provided their very own binder with several resources, guidelines, industry practices, and more! Prime Realty’s B.I.C. and Executive V.P. of Sales personally host training meetings on a weekly basis, host videos on our online training platform, Prime U., and facilitate mentor and mastermind groups to ensure their agents are well-versed in industry standards and practices.

If you are interested in learning more about Prime Realty and what we can do for you as an agent, submit your information on the ‘Join Us’ page of our website.

Stay tuned for the next agent spotlight premiering in May.

Prime Realty’s Vendor Program: Prime Trusted

Prime Trusted was created with the idea of facilitating a network of vendors that could be readily accessible to not only our agents, but also our past and present clientele. Prime Realty continually aims to collect and distribute resources that are beneficial to our clients. Our vendor program allows us to assist our clients beyond the closing table.  

Within our network of vendors, we have 30+ businesses in 25+ service categories. The companies and individuals listed on the preferred vendors list have either provided service(s) or conducted work for clients of Prime Realty, for individuals that Prime Realty agents have met and have expressed satisfaction towards their service(s), or that Prime Realty has felt confident in utilizing their service continually. 

Who?

The Prime Trusted Vendors act as stakeholders in the agents’ businesses by offering tools, world class service, and ongoing training to achieve individual and collective growth.  

What? 

Prime Trusted is designed to give vendors who are leaders in their own respective industry and who are in alignment with our values the opportunity to build relationships with our agents. 

When?

Starting February 2022. 

Where?

Headquartered in the Prime Office located in Greenville, South Carolina. The location of our network of vendors spans from all around the Upstate of South Carolina. 

Why?

Prime Realty takes pride in being able to support our local associates by helping facilitate relationships with reputable vendors, a part of the real estate industry. 

program's contact infoFrom Our Broker-in-Charge

Our BIC Ashley Lewis shares why our vendor program, Prime Trusted, was created.

“One of the most valuable things a realtor brings to a transaction is the network of people and businesses that they know and trust. We formed Prime Trusted to gather those [people and businesses] into one database to help our clients have quick access to some of our favorite businesses in the area. Naturally like any generated sheet, we do not have any control regarding their service or responsiveness, but if it is brought to our attention that select Prime Trusted vendors are not meeting expectations and not abiding by our Prime Trusted Commitment letter they have signed to be considered for acceptance, they will be removed from the program. So, please rest assured these vendors have been vetted, their licensure and insurance have been verified, and I would trust them in my own home. For many of the vendors included, chances are they have already been there, too!” 

Once the transaction is completed and you’re now settling into your new home, let’s say you are inspired to redo your bathroom, or want to upgrade your kitchen; your resource pool may be limited. If you aren’t privy to the home buying process, the despair of “What do I do next?” is staggering. Nothing feels worse than not knowing where to find your next resource. With the Prime Trusted Vendor Program, you have access to all services in your area at the click of a button.

Q & A 

Where can I learn more? 

To learn more, visit the Prime Trusted Vendor page on our website at primerealtysc.com. There you can find our full and comprehensive list of Prime Trusted vendors for your reference. 

How to get started? 

To get started, submit your application to the firm and within two weeks, expect a follow-up from either the firm or our agent leader. 

What are the requirements? 

Your business must be in the Upstate of South Carolina, you must present documentation of licensure and insurance, and you must abide by our Prime Trusted Commitment letter.

How long is my membership of this vendor program? 

The duration of your 12-month membership begins at the time of acceptance. The membership is contingent on completing monthly charges and your ability to abide by our Prime Trusted Commitment letter. 

How will this benefit me? 

Brand awareness and exposure is monumental for your business when it comes to competition. The benefits to you and your business in its entirety are not disclosed below but continue reading to learn the basics. 

You would have access to our office meaning a few things: 

  • Display your promotional and marketing materials in the office. 
  • Have marketing materials displayed periodically in the office. 
  • Can host breakfast for agent training meetings and take 5-10 mins to share the latest news pertaining to your business. 
  • Can schedule quarterly meetings with Prime admin to assess agent engagements. 

What differentiates your vendor program from the competitor’s program?  

Our program was built through the established networks of our agents and company. With quality being at the forefront, the quantity of the vendors allowed in our program is heavily dependent on the vendor’s quality of service.  

How is your list different from a Google search? 

The main difference between compiling and referencing your independent research versus ours is that we at Prime Realty have already taken care of the nitty gritty. Each one of our vendors undergoes a screening process, one that verifies they are bonded and insured, that they provide services within the Upstate of South Carolina, and that their company values align with ours.  

To learn more, visit our Prime Trusted page on our website. For an application, email ptvendors@primerealtysc.com. 

Helpful Apps for the First Time Homebuyer

There are more apps to discover, but here are eight to get you started.

To learn more about an app, click on the company’s logo on the left hand side.

Centriq

Centriq brand logoCentriq offers tutorials, how to videos, and more. Buyers have supplies accessible through their fingerprints and can even be alerted if a supply they are looking for is on recall. On their website, Centriq claims, “Just snap a picture of the appliances, electronics, and tools in your home. We’ll add the user manuals, warranties, how-to-videos and more. Personalize and group all your information to make it as unique as your home.”

 

GreenPal 

Green Pal brand logoLike the Handy app, this platform connects you with trusted professionals for easy      scheduling. Moving to a new area as a first-time homebuyer can present its limitations, especially regarding the available resource pool you have access to. Who really prioritizes lawn care above all else during their move anyway? Plus, you can pay through the app, so you don’t have to be present at the time the local lawn care professional is present at your home. 

 

Moved 

Moved brand logoThink of this app as your personal moving concierge. The app connects you with an assistant that will help manage the complex process and various steps that are involved in the moving process. It can organize every step of the way—from finding movers, hiring packers, and selling unwanted items, to updating your address and even hiring cleaners and painters. The app can also help you find moving professionals, affordable packing materials, and storage facilities.  

 

Everything But The House 

EBTH brand logoThis service is an estate sale marketplace conveniently packaged in an app that makes buying and selling secondhand goods easy. EBTH was designed with the idea to help people through their full-service approach to consignment. Similar to eBay’s business model, EBTH features products for seven-day periods where you may bid against other shoppers. Every item listed in EBTH starts at $1.  

 

 

NextDoor 

Nextdoor brand logoThe inventor, Nirav Tolia, spent a decade acquiring data and fine-tuning information that could offer residents a sense of community within their neighborhoods. In neighborhoods across the country, NextDoor is thought to be like a group chat for neighbors. It not only connects neighbors but community members within communities. This app is also a great tool to gauge your potential new community without ever having to worry your contact information will be publicly displayed.  

 

iScape 

iScape brand logoiScape utilizes augmented reality to allow homeowners the chance to visualize potential improvements for their outdoor spaces. Not everyone in the south has access to a truck, so this app is perfect for those that have to arrange a service before retrieving their purchase. Users can experiment with several outdoor implementations like flowers, furniture, and even shrubs before ever having to commit to purchasing them.  

The only downside to this app is that it is only compatible with iOS devices.  

 

Homezada 

Homezada brand logoHomezada is an easy-to-use home inventory app that allows homeowners to manage important documents and plan projects. During every real estate transaction, there are several moving parts and it is easy to forget what important resources you need to readily access. Think of it as a digital hub for home improvements, home maintenance, inventory and finances.  

 

ADT Pulse 

ADT Pulse brand logoSimilar to the Ring Video Doorbell, ADT Pulse allows users to access their security cameras from anywhere in the world. It will allow you to turn on lights, switch small appliances on/off from the app, lock and unlock doors from the app, and more. The main difference between ADT Pulse and their competitor is that ADT Pulse offers a touchscreen control panel, and Ring solely operates by a push-button panel. 

 

Learn more about how Prime Realty can assist you here.