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Ray Tanner 12K Columbia Run

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Last Saturday was one of the best days of my life. As I mentioned earlier, my wife and I have been running a lot this year and really getting into our fitness. The Ray Tanner 12K (7.5 miles) was to be our grand finale this year and the longest race we have ever competed in. Earlier this year when we were struggling to do a 5k we thought at 12K would be impossible. We saw that there was a time limit on it and just hoped to finish before being cut off and not allowed to do the entire race.
When we first signed up for this race I hoped to do it in 1 hour 17 min. As we continued to train and improve our running speed and fitness level my goal time steadily came down. I got to the point where I decided if I could run it in anything from 1:05 to 1:10 then I would be very happy. I was super excited when I crossed the finish line at exactly 1:05:00. To reach my goal so perfectly for such a big race to me, meant the world.
If you would have asked me at the end of August if I would have trouvle with this race, I would have said no. Unfortunately, I hurt my knee in early September and have only been able to run once a week for at most 6 miles since then. I was really worried about my knee holding up as the pain becomes unbearable. I didn’t want to go to the doctor before the race for the doc to tell me I couldn’t/shouldn’t run. I didn’t want to go to the doc for him to say to just watch it, rest it, ice it. I already know that. Sometimes ignorance is bliss and in this case I chose to go that route. Thankfully, my knee held up. I am using some crazy knee braces to run right now but at least it held up and I was able to finish and finish in my original goal time. One thing that is so neat about this race is that not only do you run all around the USC campus and beautiful bridges in Columbia but you get to run in the stadium for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks 2-time National Champion Baseball team and finish the run by crossing home plate. Very neat.
Now, I need to fix my knee, get back on the horse so to speak, and get even fitter. I feel like having to back off for my knee has hurt my fitness and I have decided I want to run a half marathon before the year is over. I will keep everyone posted on my progress.

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2013 in fitness, running

 

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New Home Countdown

Life is busy as ever for us and a large part of that is our new home. We started this process last November/December and we will be closing on our new home just before Thanksgiving!
We are so excited! We have put all of our thoughts, dreams, money, time, and hopes into this home. It is so exciting to see it all come together. We broke ground in August and at times it seems like it is crawling by and other times it seems like it is flying by. We went to the house today to check it out and the painters have started. We did some different things with the paint that we were very nervous about but I think they will turn out really well. I will wait and post some pictures once the painters get a little further. Right now it will just look like a mess but hopefully by next week the home will look a lot more complete. So with the painters in there now, here is what is already done on the home….
Obviously the home is all framed and all of the wiring is in, the sheetrock is in as are the cabinets. Brick is on and the stone guys are supposed to start this week as well as the rest of the guys to finish the exterior trim. The granite has been cut and will be installed soon. A lot of the crown molding/trim has been installed with just a little bit remaining. Once the painters are done the tile work will start. That is for our tile flooring and tile showers. The rest of the flooring will go in, the light fixtures, appliances, speakers, and the exterior (landscaping, driveway, fence, etc).
We can’t wait and I will post some pictures in a different post soon. The next month will fly by as there is a TON to do in just a month but hopefully it will all get done!

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2013 in Columbia, New Home

 

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Time To Grind

My last post was about our home that we are building. This post will not be about selling or buying homes either but it will be about some work my wife and I have done to our bodies this year. A year ago I lost a bunch of weight, about 60 pounds. I was really happy with the ‘new me’ and I took football season off from dieting and exercising as a reward. I gained about 10 pounds back but this year we really got after our fitness. It wasn’t so much about losing weight but that was a nice side effect. My wife and I discovered that we love to run. Running has become a big part of our lives and we have done several 5K’s and 10K’s this year. We are going to be running a 12K in a few weeks and have a plan to run a half marathon in December.
All of this running and conitnuing to hit the gym has meant I lost the 10 pounds I gained last football season plus another 20. I am down now a total of 80 pounds from my all time high and I could not be happier. I love the way I look and the way I feel now. I can’t imagine my life without running. It is such a great way to get in shape and stay in shape and is something that you don’t need a lot of fancy, expensive equipment to do. I love it. I do have a slight knee injury right now requiring me to take some time to rest (driving me nuts since this is the meat of our race schedule and when I need to be doing the most running) and so lately I have been getting my bike out and riding that as well. Hopefully my wife and I can accomplish our goals in the final races of the year and finish the half marathon in December that we are looking forward to so much. One thing I have learned is that our lives are so much more productive now that we are in shape and fit. We have also learned that we are most definitely ‘runners’ and proud to be runners.

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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New Home Progress

photoSo I am awful about blogging regularly but maybe this will change. I decided it would be good for this blog to not just be about buying and selling home but to include some personal stuff as well.
We are in the middle of building our home and it really is a dream. We are so excited and can’t wait for it to be finished. I attached a picture and will hopefully post more as the home progresses. We are actually further along now than this picture shows. We have sheetrock hung, brick is going on the home and we are making steady progress.

My wife and I have worked for many years to get to this point. Often people don’t believe me when I say that but it is true. We have talked about building this home together since before we were married (3+ years ago). We weren’t in the right situation with credit and income and stability to be able to do this and now that the time has arrived, it is all surreal.

We are extremely happy to be working with the superintendent that we have. He does an exceptional job and I couldn’t be more pleased. The home is really starting to look like a home now that the sheetrock is up. It is nice to see all of the little touches we put into the home come to life and really make a difference. Some neat things that we just finalized this week are the outside living areas. We are going to have a deck and a covered porch which I think is great. We are also going to have a firepit outside which I think will be amazing. We found a nice cozy area for the firepit that will be private yet accessible. We will build a brick bench seat/wall on one end and have chairs around the firepit on the other end. It will be wood burning to get the nice smell/sound/heat from a true wood fire. I can’t wait. More soon!

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2013 in Columbia, Home Buying, New Home

 

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What Is Happening Now?

Today’s real estate market is changing faster than a newborn goes through diapers! In Columbia, we are still have record months for sales and things continue to improve. One interesting dynamic is that we are starting to see people enter the market that might not have gone through the proper financial approval process. These are folks that are wanting to buy and going in the wrong order. It is vital that people work on the financing before looking for a home! It is incredibly important to know what you are able to buy before you start your search so you look in the right price range and find something that fits perfectly with your budget. This also helps you as the buyer! With sales increasing, you need to stand out and make yourself look like a more qualified buyer than the next person and by already having your financing under control with the right documentation, this will put you a step ahead of the competition.
Like I mentioned, sales are still going strong and throughout Columbia a builder’s land position will be critical in the coming months and years. There just isn’t enough dirt right now! The demand for new homes is greater than the available lots in Columbia. This is going to cause prices to continue to go up so as I keep telling people, the time is now. If you want to buy a home and can afford to buy a home, then don’t wait. The selection will not be getting better!

 

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It Only Gets More Expensive

Sorry I haven’t blogged in a while. Life has been busy and that isn’t always a bad thing! A while ago I spoke about missing the bottom of the market and things were going up. This trend has continued and if you really haven’t purchased a home and plan to, DO IT NOW. Interest rates have continued to climb (VERY rapidly in the last few weeks) and prices of new homes continue to go up. I would be willing to bet that if you bought a home in January of 2013 versus a home in January of 2014 it would cost about $250 per month more for the same EXACT home. $250 is a lot of money to spend every month just because you waited! Don’t wait!

Also, with prices going up, don’t expect to get any sort of incentive or deal from the builder in today’s market. The deal is that you bought now and not next month! If you buy now and prices continue to climb a few thousand every month, then you are still getting a great deal and still getting a better deal than the person that decided to sit on the fence and wait. I heard about one model home in Columbia that literally has a sign when you go in the model listing every price increase so far this year, when it happened, how much it was for, etc. This is to show people that the best time to do something is NOW. All of the people that are telling you this aren’t saying it because they just want to sell a home. Sure we all want to sell a home but it is true, it will cost more tomorrow than it does today so why are you waiting? Odds are you are just nervous about making a big decision. While I can understand the apprehension with such a large purchase, remember that the longer you wait, the more it will cost you. When you find the right home and your gut tells you this is it, go for it!

Off my soapbox now! Happy Friday everyone.

 

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Progress on our new home!

Finally! We have progress!
We started the process of a new home at the end of November last year. Unfortunately, we needed to put things on hold for about three months. We needed to select the stone for our home so it could get approved by the ARB for our neighborhood. We were phasing out some stone and introducing a new line of stone so we wanted to wait for the new stuff to arrive. We finally were able to pick that out as well as some other selections that we were on hold with and we have finally signed off! Now the guys in the office are busy preparing our plans and samples so the ARB can approve everything. Once that happens we can begin physically building our home! Can’t wait! Once we get going, there will be lots more pictures. Also, sorry for not blogging as much recently. I have been busy focusing on my job in Lake Carolina to sell the Ashland Falls, Downes, and Grove for Essex and have been consumed with everything that it entails! Much success so far but a lot more work on the way so it will be a busy and demanding year but that is the way I like it.

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2013 in New Home

 

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