Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What is a “Zestimate” anyway??

After seeing a property my client turns to me and says, “That’s what they want, but this is the value of the property.” “According to who?”, I asked. “According to Zillow”, said my client. That is a bold and potentially presumptuous statement to make for an online company, so I decided to look into this “zestimate" a little further.

On the Zillow website there is a little question mark noting their disclaimer. Here is a part of the disclaimer but I encourage you to read it in its entirety, for yourself, on their site.

“The Zestimate (rhymes with estimate) home valuation is Zillow's estimated market value, computed using a proprietary formula. It is not an appraisal. It is a starting point in determining a home's value. The Zestimate is pulled from data. However, your real estate agent or appraiser should physically inspect the home and take special features, location, and market conditions into account.”

For the entire article go to: is a GREAT marketing tool that many Realtors and public use, but it is a also a feeder site and many of the “listed” properties are not updated and may no longer even be available.

The moral of this story……ALWAYS, ALWAYS check with your local agent when value is the question as “market conditions” play a critical role in your local market and prices are determined by YOUR local market, not the Real Estate market as a whole.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Did you hear that...???...

I know you've heard the R.I.P news about the housing market. Well... this team is NOT LISTENING! We are however we advising our listing clients to sell now if they plan to and don't wait.. Call us today if you need advice. We are always here to help! The market is turning but our buyer agents are working feverishly to make this market work! We are creatively trying to help all of our clients find what they want and at a great price.

We as a team had our BEST YEAR EVER last year selling over 20 Million for 2010 alone and have a good start on this year so far! With 24 homes already closed and 21 pending, we are NOT LISTENING!

Client Testimonials:
Very responsive team, very helpful for out-of-state buyers! Mr. & Mrs. Bartunek

Working with Connie and her girls was great. Everyone bent over backwards to cover all of our needs. We were very pleased. Mr. & Mrs. Bohl

28 Calmar Ct. Brick Home, Gated Community near Green Valley Golf Greenville, SC 29617

This Amazing Custom Built Brick home resides in a Gated Community with great activities and amenities year round. It is only minutes to the semi private, Green Valley Country Club. Located near Furman University, Swamp Rabbit Trail, the Blue Ridge Mountains yet only 10 minutes to Downtown Greenville.

The sophisticated open floor plan welcomes you with gleaming hardwoods, an extra wide foyer with decorative columns enhancing the beautiful open Formal dining room. You an move around with ease between the Interactive Great room and Dream kitchen. The focal point of the Great Room is the Fire Place and access a private screen porch. The kitchen makes cooking a delight with granite counter tops, with a raised counter and bar stools,. It has several hanging lights adding warmth to the beautiful crafted cabinets. Master and split bedroom plan offers privacy.

The Master Suite features cathedral ceiling, large windows and private access to screened porch. Never worry about closet space in this home, there's a 11' double door walk-in closet, plus two single door width closets. The Master Bath retreat has his and her vanities, jetted tub and double shower.

There is Beautiful tile in all baths. A walk-up Bonus Room offers possibilities as an office, play, guest room or home theater and more storage in the eaves. The laundry room is in a room of its own with Built-in cabinetry and is right off the garage entry. The perfect home for families, empty nesters, retirees and even professors.

Come inside, don't drive by! You will miss the custom beauty of this home!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

60 Long Forest

WOW cannot describe this home! Elegant and timeless and character! No cookie cutter here! This classic Tudor full brick home has been completely renovated and features 3 beds and 2.5 baths. The hardwoods gleam throughout almost the entire home. The gorgeous kitchen features tile on floors, backsplash AND countertops and there are sooo many cabinets..plenty of room! Neutral paint, frieze carpeting and a master suite on main with large walk in closet and exceptional tiled bathroom and fixtures. The lot has an abundance of flowering trees, roses and privacy! The paved grotto in the back yard is so private and perfect for entertaining or relaxation. The guys will love the detached two car carport with its own work shop w/electricity! Spacious bedrooms for everyone and definitely a place to call home. So close to beautiful Furman, minutes to Cherrydale, downtown and right off the Swamp Rabbit Trail! Gorgeous and can be yours! Taxes shown are 6% will be reduced upon purchase to 4%.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tips For Buying A Home In A Down Market

Prospective buyers have an edge in a down market. When sales are slow and there is a plethora of homes to choose from, buyers can really pick up a house on the cheap. But there is a time to jump on board and a time to jump ship. Knowing the difference could save you thousands .

Buyers can  have an advantage in a down market, but this doesn't mean you should walk into a transaction blindly.  To make sure that you're able to jump on a deal at a moment's notice, you MUST be at the minimum pre-approved  for a mortgage.
Your Realtor can be an invaluable asset during this profitable market. They are professionals trained just as your doctor is, to diagnose the market, give medecine in information and close the wound
with a seamless transaction.

Thats why our team at Connie Rice & Partners has been successful in helping hundreds of buyers find Steals of deal in our current market. Go to our team website at and check out our team and let one of our expert Realtors walk you through the best market in decades and find you the perfect home for your family.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Priced to Sell!

 This great 3 bedroom 2 bath home with granite counter tops in the bathrooms, hardwood floors in the large great room/kitchen/dining area, and ceramic tile in the bathrooms.

The master bath features a separate shower and tub and dual sinks for comfort and luxury! Upgraded lighting package throughout the home boasts of custom built thru and thru. Black appliances and dark cabinets featuring gorgeous crown molding adorn the kitchen, including the refrigerator. Nearly new washer and dryer are included. Great split bedroom plan with vaulted kitchen/great room/dining area.

Craftsman styling on the exterior, with blinds on most windows except for rear patio door. Lots of parking possibilities on driveway or to the side to accommodate additional parking needs. This home is only a few years old and in top notch condition! Taxes shown are 6% will be reduced to 4% upon purchase!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Why your first home should NOT be your dream home!

General perceptions about how to buy a home are as abnormal as interest
rates and  many first-time homebuyers have been  encouraged to "buy
big", in order to stretch their budgets as much as possible, and buy the
home they wanted to live in forever.  In the past, first-time buyers
looked for purchase older  houses  to try to save money .Remember that
by considering a fixer-upper for a first home, you can build equity over
time and later move up.

Four economic changes that should discourage buyers from overspending on their house payment:

1. Inflation: while hard on the household budget, usually came
along with annual raises. These days, homebuyers cannot count on a raise
to make their housing payments easier to handle.

 2. Today, most households have two paychecks that are necessary
for the mortgage.You might consider basing your home price on one income
or perhaps 1 1/2  to make sure your house payment will be affordable if
one of you loses a job or stays at home.

 3.  We're headed back to higher interest rates and more down
payment necessities, but lenders will always give borrowers the maximum
amount they qualify for - not necessarily what they should spend.

 4.  Today, retirement savings are more typically individually
funded that come directly from your budget....if they're lucky enough to
have one.

Each of these changes suggests that today's homebuyers should
be shrinking their housing budget instead of expanding it, to be sure
they can comfortably keep up with their payments, pay down their
principal and build equity in their property.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Look no further. Fully remodeled stunningly beautiful home in desired Simpsonville! Cul-de-sac location, wooded lot offers privacy and proximity! 4 Bed/3 and a half bath home also has a FULL finished walkout basement with two extra bedrooms downstairs, a sunroom and a full bathroom! The house is so warm with new neutral paint/fixtures and upgraded plush frieze carpeting.

You will OOOH and AHH over the stunning kitchen with its cherry oversized cabinetry, new granite countertops and open plan with an island perfect for cooking or entertaining.

This is an executive home offered at a deeply discounted price, perfect for someone wanting that steal of a deal in today's economy. I mean where else will you find nearly 3800sq/ft of home for this price ANYWHERE in Simpsonville with all of these upgrades! You don't want to miss this stunning home!

View Listing

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

You will Not get your money back!

Most people have the impression that home improvements are good investments and that you will recoup the cost when you sell. If you feel that're wrong in 9 of 10 cases.

With the exception of a steel front door which recoups 102% of the construction cost at sale, most other "improvements" are for your benefit and enjoyment. So enjoy them, but don't expect much in return.
Some projects--namely room additions and upscale remodeling--are just plain dollar drains, according tothe 2010-2011 Cost Vs. Value report.

Remodeling Magazine and the Association of Realtors conducted a survey which compares construction cost estimates (provided by HomeTech Information Systems) with resale value estimates (provided by members of NAR) across the country for 35 mid-range and upscale home remodeling projects.
If you renovated in 2005 you might just now get your money back. If you do it's not happening. Home prices are still declining and the return on your "project" has suffered, especially when it comes to the room additions, pools and bigger ticket remodels.

"When it comes to renovations, it's vital to keep potential buyers' tastes in mind, not just your own" says Elizabeth Mendenhall, vice president of committees for the National Association of Realtors.

If you're going to be in the home for the next 10 years and you yearn for that 1960's retro kitchen ..well go for it! After all, most homeowners are now unable to sell so they can update to their own tastes with no issues..
But if you're planning to do a high end upgrade, remember that of each $1000 you spend, you'll only get back $600 typically on the sale. That's just the rule..we didn't create it! Some other costly projects that don't pay off can be: Home office remodeling $458 of every $1,000, sunroom additions only $486 and bathroom additions at $533.

These are national averages to be sure and will vary in different areas. But your local Realtor can give you a really good idea what to expect in your market.

If you want a bigger bang for your buck pay closer attention to your home's exterior Windows are typically good returns, as are garage doors siding. Nothing except that steel door gives you more than an 85% return so be aware. But making your home more energy efficient is wise in this economy and when it is time to sell, nothing beats curb appeal.

The easist and cheapes renovations for sellers are the basics, carpet and paint. Neutrals please. We know you like Orange for Clemson but you may really push off that Gator fan! Keep your blinds and curtains open for showings. Nothing says fresh like natural light.

So tricks to avoid that will not be cost effective. Pools, solar panels, tankless water heaters, ponds or garden figures, and very high end upgrades to the aesthetics.

Easy ones that will? Carpet and fresh paint and some nice flowers in the yard.

Friday, March 4, 2011

“The new email is v-mail”

Well, I am a little torn on this subject. Some people work better in person, others by phone, some by email, then there are the texters. Who works better by video? Is this what our clients prefer? Are we to the point that real estate messages should be delivered by video? Can you open them anywhere? Would you want to?

It is a quick and relatively easy way to deliver the messages and for those that type slowly this would be ideal.. My mother is new to the internet world and is making her way through it very well considering she had never even turned on a computer until this year. She is now a Facebook and YouTube Pro and anytime she needs to get a quick question to me, she chats me through her google email. My mother LOVES Skype and prefers to talk to me this way instead of by email and even prefers it over the phone… Maybe this is where we are headed… If so, no more working in your curlers and PJs Realtors! You just never know when your client will ring in…..