My House in Downtown Greenville, South Carolina is For Sale- You Want It?

I  am fortunate to be getting married soon and in doing so we are moving to another home in downtown Greenville which we are renovating. Having enjoyed this one for close to three years, it's time to move on to the next rehab project.  Real estate is my second professional passion after practicing law.

I bought this 3BR/2BA home from a Greenville County Master In Equity Foreclosure sale in early 2008 and before I left the courthouse that day was offered $20,000.00 more then I paid for it. I guess that was a good sign, I made a good buy.  (That particular bidder had gotten there after bidding on this home ended, lucky for me). However, I wanted this house for my primary, residential home to live and walk downtown. It was an investment but not purely an investment. I wanted to enjoy it, too.

My best friend and I from college, Christopher Smith, started Smith & Mills, Inc. out of college rehabbing and buying foreclosure homes in 2000 when there was a slight recession and credit was good because we had no cash. We have never really profited any substantial gains on these properties but we keep our fingers crossed that they will be just as good as an IRA.

When I moved to Greenville, I was lucky enough to meet Royce & Jackie Dessaure because they have been a blessing when it comes to dependable, trustworthy, and cost minded contractors. They helped me jump into 103 Arlington Avenue and remove all the carpet, white tile, counter tops, and start the whole interior over again. We ended up putting in all hardwoods, except in the kitchen and bathrooms where we used slate flooring to provide that earthy, warm look. Then went with custom lighting, granite counter tops in kitchen & baths, fenced the yard, repainted the whole home, scrapped the ceilings to have the smooth finish, made a walk in closet off the master, satin nickel plate hardware and switch plates, landscaping and created a "dry bar" out of nook in the hallway.

All this could be yours. I talk and negotiate money everyday with insurance companies so I am just giving this home away at $183,900.00. Now of course we can negotiate some but you got to remember what I got into it. Bought for $95,000.00 + Repairs, fence, appliances, landscaping $75,000.00, + mortgage interest for three years $12,000.00. Hence you have the price listed above. Make me an offer I can't refuse and if I do refuse it, just keep moving up with your offer.

103 Arlington Avenue, Greenville, South Carolina 29601


2009 South Carolina Personal Injury Articles in Review

I started blogging back in November of 2008 therefore with the closing of the 2009 calendar year, this will be my first (1st) full year in review.

There is little doubt from my background, occupation, and particular writing style that I hate insurance companies. I have highlighted those articles I wrote throughout the 2009 year that provide the biggest return on investment for my readers. I hope that you have enjoyed reading my blog, regardless of your own personal beliefs and opinions, as there are always two sides to any issue.  

South Carolina Foreclosure Sale: My Personal Experience

Given the current economic climate and the many more foreclosures I feel will be coming on the market in the first quarter of 2010, this is a good read for those of you thinking houses are bought for $1.

What Can I Do About Property Damage to my Car After a Wreck?

Numbers speak for themselves and more than likely you will be involved in a wreck. If the wreck is bad enough to cause any property damage you do not necessarily need a lawyer.

South Carolina Property Arbitration for Depreciation, Loss of Use, & Actual Damages

This article goes into more depth than the one above when the insurance company jerks you around over something so easy to determine value such as property.

Dogs Bite, Owners Pay: South Carolina Dog Bite Law

There is no one bite rule in South Carolina. This is strict liability and if your dog bites someone else anticipate some insurance payout.

Insurance Companies Don't Care About You: They Care About Your Premiums

I say what others think and know. This is no different and you should understand the logistics.

Allstate Insurance's "Good Hands" are Wrapped Around Your Throat!

They are awful. The worst insurance company you could possibly use in my personal opinion. I can tell war stories against Allstate for days on cases I had just in 2009. Please stop letting such blatant insurance abuse happen by using the worst insurance company out there.

Insurance Claim Game: 10 Tips to Follow

When you are injured in an automobile wreck these tips may help you avoid having to hire an attorney on a smaller case. 

Tips for Young Lawyers on Being Trial Lawyers

After four full years of practicing and being thrown into a trial the first couple months as a lawyer, I guess I have learned some things. I am just excited to still call myself a young lawyer at 31.

Graduation Speech for Mid-Carolina High School 2009

I was blessed and honored to come back to my high school and give the commencement speech.

F___ You If You Have Never Had Cancer!

After my uncle was diagnosed with cancer and started his battle earlier in the year a flow of emotions and memories were brought back from my experience some 14 years ago. Sorry for the language but it was what I was feeling at the time.








South Carolina Foreclosure Sale: My Personal Experience

The current home I live and work out of is on the West End of Greenville, South Carolina:

The current Greenville County Master-in-Equity, Judge Charles B. Simmons Jr., provides an excellent "Primer for Mortgage Foreclosure Sales" on the Greenville County website. Judge Simmons highlights 14 points that are important if you decide to embark upon this path during the recent economic climate.

As an attorney and real estate investor, I felt confident in the process because I had bought foreclosure sales before from banks but not "on the courthouse steps" so to speak. I made several mistakes and got lucky. I do not trust that luck will get me through again so I share these tips:

  1. Always have title work done/checked on your prospective foreclosure house!- The house I bought was being foreclosed upon the "Smith" family-seriously.
  2. Physically go see the house. Don't trust internet services or court records. I visited my prospective house but never got inside. I knew I was going to "gut" the inside to my liking but wanted the "bones" to be good. On another home I went to go bid on, I went by the morning of the auction and there was no house on the lot, just a lot. Imagine how high I would have bid for what I thought was a house and a lot.
  3. Factor in more time and/or money if it is inhabited. I paid for the first month's rent and moved the inhabitants of my foreclosure house out because I had just sold my house. I was on a tight time frame with repairs and knew how slow the eviction process could be if disputed or fought.  "Honey attracts more flies than vinegar." 
  4. Have financing and closing attorney already arranged. You only have a short turn around time to complete the closing on the house after you put your deposit down the day of the sale. Likewise, you can't move in or make repairs until you have title, ie close.
  5. This is not a "new" thing. Some people make their living off of buying homes in foreclosure sales. You may very well find a great deal but don't think you will be the only one there.

Anytime there is an opportunity for reward there is a risk. Foreclosure sales are the poster children for inherent risks. Do your homework and you can capitalize.  Have fun and enjoy your new experience.

If you would like for me to forward you the recent article entitled, "Prudent Bidding at a Foreclosure Sale," by Clifford P. Parson and C. Joseph Roof that was published in the January 2009 edition of the South Carolina Lawyer, please email me ( or post a comment request.

A side note: I do civil personal injury law, not real estate law. Outside of paying lots of money for a "Real Estate" class in law school and visiting the records room of a Georgia courthouse, I have no real estate law experience.