Friday Five // August 1, 2014


It's time once again for the Friday Five, where we bring you five fun and interesting things to do around the Lowcountry for the weekend. Check out an artists' market, enjoy Gullah culture, shop tax-free, and more! Read on for details.

Charleston Culinary Tours is hosting a Fresh at the Farm Dinner Series, and this weekend marks the second of the series. On Sunday, August 3rd, attendees can enjoy a cocktail and hors d'oeuvres hour from 5:30 to 6:30pm. Family-style dinner will be served from 6:30 to 8:30pm. The cost is $75 per person.

The Music Farm is the place to be this Saturday from 10am to 3pm for the Lowcountry Artist Market. Come see handmade and vintage items like jewelry, clothing, stationery, decor, art, and more. Admission is free, but bring your wallet! You won't be able to turn down some of the amazing wares vendors have on display.

On Saturday from 12pm to 7pm, learn all about Gullah/Geechee culture at the Gullah-Geechee Nation International Music & Movement Festival. The event takes place at the Charleston Maritime Center and features visual art, music performances, and a living Gullah/Geechee marketplace.

Reptiles take over the Omar Shrine Auditorium at Patriots Point during ReptiDay this Saturday from 10am to 5pm. View snakes, lizards, and exotic animals on display and available for purchase. Live seminars and demonstrations will show you that these animals are much more than creepy crawly critters! Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids aged 5-12. Children under 4 get in free.

Don't forget about tax-free weekend in South Carolina! This Friday through Sunday is the perfect time to get your shiny new school supplies, back-to-school wardrobe, and college necessities. For information on what items are exempt from sales tax this weekend, click here. Hint: It's a long list!

That's it from Johnson & Wilson Real Estate Company this week. Have a fun, safe weekend!


Tips For Making A Move Easier On Pets

Moving is usually stressul for everyone, but it can be especially vexing for the furriest members of the family. If you're moving with pets, there are a few things you can do to help them stay calm and acclimate to their new environment more easily.

 Before the move:
 -Request your pet's records from the veterinarian. Having those handy when  you visit a new vet will help make the switch seamless. There won't be any  question about medication names or due dates for vaccines.

 -Buy a new collar with updated tags. You'll need to make sure you have your  new address and phone number printed clearly.

 -Check to see whether the county or state you're moving to requires pet licenses. If so, register them in advance so you'll have the tags ready for the new collar.

-Take your time with packing. The more of a "norm" it becomes for pets, the less stressed they'll be when they see their home being upended from top to bottom.

-Make sure you have a refill of any medications so you don't run out during the move or before you can find a new vet.

During the move:
-Keep your pet in its crate. Even though it might seem cramped and uncomfortable, it will actually bring them a little comfort during the stress of travel. It'll also keep pets and other travelers safe.

-Make sure food, water, medications, toys, etc., are easily accessible.

-If you're driving, don't forget to make regular stops for bathroom breaks!

After the move:
-Lay out your pet's essentials before unpacking so he or she has a few familiar items in a strange new house.

-Start a new routine right away. Pets need routine to feel comfortable. Allow them to familiarize themselves with the neighborhood or surrounding area.

-Seek out a new vet right away if you haven't already done so, and find out where to take pets in the event of an emergency.

Do you have other tips for helping make a move go smoothly for family pets? Let us know in the comments section!


How-To Tuesday: Paint A Piece Of Wood Furniture


Painting old furniture has become a great money-saving trend in the design world. It's much more convenient and thrifty to salvage a piece or breathe new life into one you already own than it is to spend time searching for the perfect new piece that fits your budget. In just a few short steps, you can have a brand new, custom piece of furniture that fits in seamlessly with the rest of your decor.

Step 1
Remove the hardware and clean the piece of furniture well, especially if you rescued it from a junk heap, yard sale, or thrift store. Use damp paper towels or a rag to remove any dust or dirty spots. Pay close attention to corners, where dirt and sawdust can gather.

Step 2
Decide on the perfect paint color and finish. Think about the room this piece of furniture will live in. Sleek, modern decor begs for a shiny, polished piece, while a seaside cottage style might require something matte.

Step 3
If you're working with stained wood, give it a light sanding. Don't sand too hard, or you could damage the wood. If you're painting over laminate, there's no need to sand. In fact, it could damage the surface and make your paint job look messy.

Step 4
Clean it again! Use paper towels or a soft rag to clear away any grit left over from sanding.

Step 5
Prime your surface. Don't skip this step! Priming will help the paint adhere and last and keeps you from having to apply multiple coats of color. If your piece is laminate, a primer that's made for adhesion is absolutely necessary. No ifs, ands, or buts. Use a foam roller to get a thin, even coat.

Step 6
Once the primer is dry, it's time to add some color. Use another foam roller to paint the piece. If there are small crevices, apply paint with an angled brush and then smooth it over with the foam roller. Allow to dry for at least a few hours before you apply a second coat.

Step 7
Give the piece a coat of polycrylic to finish it. This step is optional, of course, but it will help keep the piece durable and looking great. Polycrylic is low-odor and won't yellow over time.

Step 8
Change the hardware. This is optional as well, but a new look deserves new accessories! Choose something modern or browse antique or salvage shops and websites for older options. You can customize them with a quick coat of spray paint.

Painted furniture can change the look of a room completely, giving it the perfect pop of color you didn't know you'd been missing. Of course there are purists who cannot fathom the thought of covering a mid-century mod stereo cabinet or antique hutch, for example, in aqua paint. But listen to your own needs and tastes and do what's best for you. What's your opinion on painting old furniture? Tell us in the comments section below!

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7 Steps To Turning Your Home Into A Rental Property

Becoming a landlord isn't as easy as handing over the key to your house and collecting rent. Here are 7 steps to help you turn your home or investment property into a rental property. 

1.Start updating. You want your house to be somewhere tenants will love to live. Make sure everything is up to date and that you can compete with other similar rentals on the market. Update plumbing and electrical work, and fix leaks and toilet problems. You might want to consider updating or upgrading some features as well. Even if the property is in great shape, you'll probably need to do a few minor things here and there. Give the house a deep cleaning, steam or replace carpeting, and give the walls a fresh coat of neutral paint.

2. Change status. Depending on where you live and your mortgage, you might need to let your mortgage company know that your home is now considered an investment property.

3. Change insurance. You won't need homeowners insurance anymore, but you WILL need insurance specifically for rental properties in order to cover yourself and your property.

4. Decide who will manage the property. You might save money by doing it yourself, but the potential stress gained and time spent on managing your rental might not make those cash savings worth it. Property management companies usually charge around 10% of the month's rent, but they will handle everything for you, from collecting rent to supervising maintenance to evicting tenants.

5. Determine what you will charge. If you hire a property manager, he or she will know just how to price your home. If you're managing it yourself, search for comparable rentals in the area to find a jumping-off point for determining your rental rate.

6. Screen applicants. All applicants should be employed, have good references from previous landlords, and should make around three times more than the monthly rent. Their background checks should be free of felonies, recent evictions, judgments, criminal activity, or bad finances. Property management companies will take care of all of this for you. You should also know that landlords, no matter if you own one single family home or an entire apartment complex, are bound by the Federal Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or handicap.

7. Sign a lease. Even if you decide to rent to a friend or family memeber, NEVER assume that an oral contract will be sufficient. Draft a lease that spells out all the details. This will protect both you and your tenant and is legally enforceable.

Do you own a rental property? What have your experiences been in the world of tenants and landlords?





A friend of ours who recently bought a house enthusiastically referred us to Johnson & Wilson. Our friend's recommendation was top notch - Johnson & Wilson. is AWESOME! - Brian
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