Our monthly newsletter article.

There is nothing we love more in the winter than a toasty, crackling fire but our warm weather, flip-flop wearing paradise does not always cooperate. Icy weather is headed our way in the next couple of days, and we are gearing up for some firey evenings. In fact, we just had wood delivered today from Carolina Morning Firewood so we will be ready. We don’t get to use our fireplace as much as our cold weathered neighbors so when we do, it's a real treat. No fireplace? No problemo! Turns out you don’t have to have a hearth in your home to get that hygge feeling we all crave. We have some options for you that can give you that same ambiance without an actual fireplace. 

Burn Some Candles

Scent options are endless and there are even some with a…

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After the past few years of climbing home prices—and a pandemic that made even spacious homes feel cramped—you’d be forgiven for fantasizing about moving your brood into a big country house.

One way to make it happen? A barndominium is what you get when you convert an old barn into a luxurious condominium-style abode. (You can also build your own from scratch.)

We’ve been just as curious as you are about these nontraditional country homes. So we talked to folks who have lived in (or sold) these unique homes. Here are the main pros and cons for all would-be barndominium dwellers.

Pro No. 1: Rural lifestyle

All the barndominium owners we spoke to echoed a similar line of thought: Living in one is a great option if you’re looking for a…

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If you’ve ever looked over real estate listings and came across an ad for a “luxury home,” you might have thought, “Wow, this one must be special!” But what exactly defines a luxury home, anyway? Is it determined by price, location, square footage, or some magic combination of all of the above?

Well, for starters, “luxury” isn’t strictly about how much cash you blow on the purchase. It’s much more subjective, and a moving target based on what a particular area’s high-end buyers have come to expect.

“It isn’t simply a price per square foot metric,” says The Agency’s Daniel Stevenson, who specializes in selling luxury listings. “Many times luxury is simply in the eye of the very covetous neighbor.”

While it’s hard to pin down an exact…

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The holidays are coming, and we've put together a list of essentials to have on hand when company comes over. It's the most wonderful time of year if you are prepared. 


1. nuts/cheese/stuffed olives

These easy staples can be stored in your cabinet and easy to pull out when guests come over. 


2. wine

Stock up on a few extra bottles. You can use them in case you underestimated how many people were coming over or as a quick hostess gift when you're heading out for a party.


3. local goodies

It is always fun to put out local treats like honey or olive oil and balsamic vinegar from the oilerie down the street.  


4. plenty of kitchen towels

Holiday themed kitchen towels spruce up the room. Whether they are quirky or traditional,…

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"They were this gorgeous, greenish-teal, and they looked great in my laundry room," says Eliesa Prettelt, avid DIYer and author of "A Pinterest Addict" blog.

The washer/dryer combo was perfect. Such a delightful way to brighten laundry day — with a cheerfully colored front-loader set. They could actually make laundry fun!

But after barreling through three sets in four years, she knew she'd made a mistake. "They looked so pretty, but I had nothing but problems with them," she says.

She eventually gave up and got nondescript, white, commercial-grade top-loaders she scored for less than half the cost of her original machines. They may be plain, she says, but "I've had no problems since."

Lesson learned. The hard way. Now for learning the easy…

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It turns out, millennials aren’t the renter generation after all. The 2022 Consumer Insights Report from Mynd says there’s a portion of millennial and Gen Z buyers who are pursuing homeownership as a way to build their wealth, but it may not be exactly the way previous generations have done it. The study explains how they’re breaking into the market:

“. . . younger generations of Americans are not buying into that dream in the same way that older generations have. A growing number of Americans are choosing to make their first real estate purchase as an investment property.”

Instead of buying a home and moving into it themselves, some young buyers are purchasing a home so they can use it as a rental. This tactic may be gaining popularity,…

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With all the headlines and talk in the media about the shift in the housing market, you might be thinking this is a housing bubble. It’s only natural for those thoughts to creep in that make you think it could be a repeat of what took place in 2008. But the good news is, there’s concrete data to show why this is nothing like the last time.

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From The Cobb Group: You've probably heard "patio home" thrown around when you were looking for a house. Locally we have a lot of patio or "zero-lot line" homes available within almost every community. For the owner looking for maximum house with minimum maintenance they make a lot of sense. With very small yards they also make great "turn key" properties as vacation or second homes. In our area they can be attached or not attached to other patio homes.


What is a patio home? Well, it’s not a house with a porch out front. What defines a patio home is that it’s attached to other patio homes, making it similar architecturally to townhomes or condos—only in miniature.

Patio houses: What to know

While townhouses and condos are typically at least…

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As you set out to buy a home, saving for a down payment is likely top of mind. But you may still have questions about the process, including how much to save and where to start.

If that sounds like you, your down payment could be more in reach than you originally thought. Here’s why.

The 20% Down Payment Myth

If you believe you have to put 20% down on a home, you may have based your goal on a common misconception. Freddie Mac explains:

“. . . nearly a third of prospective homebuyers think they need a down payment of 20% or more to buy a home. This myth remains one of the largest perceived barriers to achieving homeownership.”

Unless it’s specified by your loan type or lender, it’s typically not required to put 20% down. According to the…

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Many homeowners and interior designers appreciate wood trim, as it makes any room look a little more buttoned up. Wainscoting is a decorative wall trim that’s centuries old and has never gone out of style, likely due to its versatility—there’s a type of panel that suits just about every design style.

Here are some details on where the heck this trend came from, and (more importantly) the many ways wainscoting can be used to boost your home’s interior appeal.

What to know about wainscoting

Wainscoting came into use in the 18th century, as a wall covering, applied to the lower third of the wall. It’s similar to chair rail—a less opulent form of wood trim that was placed “chair height” along all the walls of a dining room to protect the walls…

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