Staying on Top of Everything that there is to See and Do in the Charleston area!

Charleston is great city for a lot of reasons: Outstanding restaurants; Great beaches; Lots of Water; Tremendous History; An emerging Tech industry with Charleston being characterized as "Silicon Harbor"; Nightlife; Friendly people and Great weather.

Our intent it to provide a view into all the interesting activities that are possible in Charleston. Whether you a local resident, tourist or considering relocation, this will be a great resource to get tips on activities to make your visits to Charleston and the surrounding areas even more memorable!

Jan. 18, 2019

Why? Retain 100% of your GCI + Equity = +100% of GCI

eXp Realty Charleston HomesAndCondosCharleston Vito Boscaino

eXp Realty is giving agents throughout North America a new opportunity to reinvent their businesses and to significantly enhance the earning potential they have. Does your broker offer you the opportunity to earn MORE than 100% of your GCI? Don't think its possible? It is. It's called Equity. Contact me to learn more: Vito Boscaino 614.571.9054 ~ or DM me on LI.

eXp Realty Exceeds 16,000 Real Estate Agents Across North America

Agent and Broker Growth Increased 145% Year-over-year

BELLINGHAM, WASH. — Jan. 18, 2019 — eXp Realty, the first, cloud-based real estate brokerage and a subsidiary of eXp World Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPI), today announced that it surpassed 16,000 agents and brokers in North America, which represents an increase of more than 145 percent since the same time last year.

“We continue to innovate and change the industry, and we’re fortunate that so many agents want to be a part of it. Our business model offers a value to agents that isn’t available anywhere else,” said eXp World Holdings CEO, Chairman and Founder Glenn Sanford. “This is particularly awesome because when we started the agent equity award program, the ceiling was 16,000 agents and now we are breaking it. Our new sustainable equity plan allows agents to continue to receive equity in the company while securing eXp’s place in history.”

The milestone of 16,000 agents was the initial target company leadership used in 2013 when setting up the first equity incentives for agents. The Sustainable Equity Plan goes into effect immediately and provides a similar dollar value in equity today as the former plan. Under the new plan, agent incentives will be paid as a dollar value of shares, rather than a stair-stepped number of shares for achieving stated goals on a go forward basis.

About eXp World Holdings

eXp World Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPI) houses eXp Realty and eXp World Technologies, LLC, which operates the VirBELA platform.

eXp Realty is the first, cloud-based real estate brokerage, the largest residential real estate brokerage by geography in North America and the first and only real estate brokerage to operate as one company-owned brokerage in all 50 U.S. states. It is one of the fastest growing real estate brokerage firms in North America with more than 15,000 agents across 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian provinces. As a publicly traded company, eXp World Holdings uniquely offers real estate professionals within its ranks opportunities to earn company stock for production and contributions to overall company growth.

VirBELA offers a modern, cloud-based environment focused on education and team development with clients in various industries from government to retail. VirBELA developed eXp Realty’s current cloud campus, which provides 24/7 access to collaborative tools, training and socialization for the company’s agents and staff.

For more information, please visit the company’s website at

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Jan. 4, 2019

eXp Realty Virtual World Tour

Heard about the eXp Realty virtual campus for its agents? eXp is changing the business of real estate. Technology coupled with agent focused compensation systems designed to provide agents and brokers with the opportunity for 100% commission retention in addition to accumulation of equity in eXp World Holdings (EXPI). Check out this 90 second clip for a quick tour of the virtual campus. Over 15,000 agents have decided there is a better way. Don't you at least owe it to yourself to find out why? ~ Call/text me at 614.571.9054 or email:

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Dec. 19, 2018

5 Simple Steps for a Better Home Appraisal

5 Simple Steps for a Better Home Appraisal

If you’re looking to refinance your home or possibly sell, you’ll need a killer appraisal. A bank will not refinance a home for more than it is worth, and a potential buyer will not pay more than the recognized value of the home.

Here are 5 simple steps for a better home appraisal.

Tidy your space Make sure your yard looks well-groomed and the interior of your home is clean clutter-free. It is well worth the investment to have the home professionally cleaned and have your yard serviced.

Invest in the right types of renovations Kitchens and bathrooms are the best types of renovations. They will typically provide 80% ROI. High-efficiency appliances and upgrades that improve the overall efficiency of the home are well worth the investment.

Document your upgrades Provide the appraiser with a list and documentation of all upgrades, renovations, and improvements to the home.

Do your homework Research and provide your own comparable valuations for similar properties in the area. Note your tone. You don’t want to come off as defensive but rather helpful.

Be available but not in the way Be present to assist with the process but don’t be the appraiser’s shadow. You want to appear helpful, not nervous that he’ll find something wrong!

Appraisals can be helpful in increasing the sale of your home or assisting in refinancing your mortgage. Use these tips and you’ll get a better value for your home.

Dec. 18, 2018

eXp Realty is a technology leader

The following is an excerpt from an article that Peter Diamandis wrote, with the full article available here ~

eXp Realty Vito Boscaino

"In addition to enabling an annual $52 billion Virtual Goods marketplace, the Spatial Web is also giving way to “virtual company headquarters” and completely virtualized companies, where employees can work from home or any place on the planet.

Too good to be true? Check out an incredible publicly listed company called eXp Realty.

Launched on the heels of the 2008 financial crisis, eXp Realty beat the odds, going public this past May and surpassing a $1B market cap on day one of trading.

But how? Opting for a demonetized virtual model, eXp’s founder Glenn Sanford decided to ditch brick and mortar from the get-go, instead building out an online virtual campus for employees, contractors and thousands of agents.

And after years of hosting team meetings, training seminars, and even agent discussions with potential buyers through 2D digital interfaces, eXp’s virtual headquarters went spatial.

What is eXp’s primary corporate value? FUN! And Glenn Sanford’s employees love their jobs.

In a bid to transition from 2D interfaces to immersive, 3D work experiences, virtual platform VirBELA built out the company’s office space in VR, unlocking indefinite scaling potential and an extraordinary new precedent:

Foregoing any physical locations for a centralized VR campus, eXp Realty has essentially thrown out all overhead and entered a lucrative market with barely any upfront costs.

Delocalize with VR, and you can now hire anyone with Internet access (right next door or on the other side of the planet), redesign your corporate office every month, throw in an ocean-view office or impromptu conference room for client meetings, and forget about guzzled-up hours in traffic.

Throw in the Spatial Web’s fundamental blockchain-based data layer, and now cryptographically secured virtual IDs will let you validate colleagues’ identities or any of the virtual avatars we will soon inhabit.

This becomes critically important for spatial information logs — keeping incorruptible records of who’s present at a meeting, which data each person has access to and AI-translated reports of everything discussed and contracts agreed to.

But as I discussed in a previous Spatial Web blog, not only will Web 3.0 and VR advancements allow us to build out virtual worlds, but we’ll soon be able to digitally map our real-world physical offices or entire commercial high rises too.

As data gets added and linked to any given employee’s office, conference room or security system, we might then access online-merge-offline environments and information through augmented reality.

Imaging showing up at your building’s concierge and your AR glasses automatically check you into the building, authenticating your identity and pulling up any reminders you’ve linked to that specific location.

You stop by a friend’s office, and his smart security system lets you know he’ll arrive in an hour. Need to book a public conference room that’s already been scheduled by another firm’s marketing team? Offer to pay them a fee and, once accepted, a smart transaction will automatically deliver a payment to their company account.

With blockchain-verified digital identities, spatially logged data and virtually manifest information, business logistics take a fraction of the time, operations grow seamless and corporate data will be safer than ever."

Interested in learning more about how you can be part of the eXp Realty team? PM me or check out all the information at the following link:

July 22, 2017

Food & Wine picks Charleston as one of world's 10 most exciting food cities

Charleston has picked up one more “best food city” prize to add to its crowded trophy case.

Food & Wine on Friday named Charleston one of “the 10 most exciting cities for food around the world.” The city will be featured in the August issue of the magazine, along with Florence, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Paris, Tokyo and Toronto.

This is the first time that Food & Wine has compiled such a list.

Over the past year, Charleston’s dining scene has been celebrated by outlets including Conde Nast Traveler, which put the city atop its list of “Best Food Cities in the U.S.” It finished second to New Orleans in Travel + Leisure’s survey, and also appeared on unranked lists of leading food cities created by Zagat, Food Republic and the Travel Channel, as well as earning Southern Living's title for best city overall.

The only lists of food-showcase cities from major publications that Charleston hasn’t recently cracked are those which impose criteria related to population size or affordability.

To accompany the listing in the magazine, Food & Wine is running a feature on Sean Brock’s favorite restaurants and the heirloom ingredients on their menus.

July 20, 2017

Kiawah Island home sells for $15.25M

Though not a record, a secluded Kiawah Island house sold for a hefty sum this week at about half the asking price from seven years ago.

The 15,322-square-foot home at 85 Blue Heron Pond Road on a private, 11.7-acre peninsula in The Preserve neighborhood sold for $15.25 million, according to luxury real estate firm Daniel Ravenel Sotheby's International of Charleston. The pricey pad features seven bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, a deep-water dock, infinity pool and separate guest house.

The firm declined to release the buyer's name.

The home, designed by world-renowned architects Shope Reno Wharton, was built by Russ Cooper and Associates in 2005.

Full article details:

April 3, 2017

Study: Charleston ranks No. 25 on 'startup economy index,' poised to grow

Charleston Startup Economy - Charleston, SC Digital CorridorA new study of up-and-coming tech hubs says Charleston is poised to pop.

TechNet, a Washington-based innovation advocacy group, says the Lowcountry ranks No. 25 on its "startup economy index." The measure looked at what proportion of job postings in an area used the word "startup."

Michael Mandel, the Progressive Policy Institute researcher who came up with the index, says it offers an insight into how many tech companies are hiring. And while not every employer calling itself a startup actually is one, it gives an indication of how locals think about the tech economy.

Charleston landed relatively high on the list, on the same tier as cities like Houston, Pittsburgh and Richmond, Va. At the top of the list were traditional tech hubs like San Francisco and Seattle.

Linda Moore, chief executive of TechNet, praised the region's colleges, economic-development efforts and quality of life. She said the city has a good mix of big employers such as Blackbaud, Benefitfocus and Booz Allen Hamilton, and a slew of startups angling to match them one day.

But like several other cities with nascent tech sectors, she said it still has work to do on helping entrepreneurs find talented workers and funding to pay for their ideas. Much of the policy work that could help ease those shortfalls, she says, is done at the state and local level.

Ernest Andrade, director of the tech economic-development initiative Charleston Digital Corridor, cheered the news, calling it "gratifying external validation to what we have accomplished in Charleston over the past 15 years."

"The key to accelerating our start-up economy is to further coordinate and align the state, regional and local efforts to tease out additional economic value," Andrade said in an email.

Link to original Post & Courier article:

April 3, 2017

Downtown hotel will soon offer what may be the most expensive room in Charleston

St. Philip Suite, Planters Inn, Charleston, SCThose wanting the biggest and most expensive hotel room in historic Charleston may soon have another choice.

The new St. Philip Suite at the Planters Inn in the City Market is expected to rent for more than $2,000 a night when the price is finalized. It’s likely to cost more than the presidential suite at Charleston Place, which was renting for $2,115 a night last week.

"This has got to be the nicest room in the city,” owner Hank Holliday said during a recent tour. "My sense is that the St. Philip Suite will become one of the most sought-after rooms in the city and in all likelihood the most expensive."

The Charleston native has been buying and upgrading properties for years and has has been one of the forces moving the City Market more upscale.

The St. Philip Suite boasts 1,400 square feet of space, compared to 1,195 square feet at Charleston Place. Three windows, with remote-controlled blinds, overlook the Market and the steeple of St. Philip's Church, the room's namesake.

The floors are walnut and the east and south walls the original brick. The dining room table can seat 10 guests in historic Charleston style, with the meal either by prepared in the full kitchen or catered from the hotel’s Peninsula Grill, one of the city's highest rated eateries.

The bedroom is set back from the street behind thick walls to keep it quiet. It’s on the third floor of the hotel’s piazza wing, where rooms have their own entrances overlooking a courtyard.

The St. Philip Suite is the biggest of 11 rooms that are being renovated for a more demanding and affluent clientele.

"We did it to distinguish ourselves from the competition," Holliday said. "There is an ample supply of hotel rooms coming on the market, and we want to make sure we got the nicest show in town."

Guests include referrals from Relais & Chateaux, an exclusive network of luxury hotels and gourmet restaurants in 55 countries. The Planters Inn is the only hotel in the state that's part of the network.

The renovation also includes the 1,100-square-foot City Market Suite, which features a separate bridal dressing room. The living area also has three windows facing the Market. That suite will rent for about $1,100 a night, according to Sergio Roa, Holliday’s company president who has been overseeing the renovations.

Nine 700-square-foot rooms called the Garden Courtyard Suites should start around $569 a night. They have high ceilings, white oak floors, sliding barn doors on the bathrooms and a separate door on the water closet.

One of the hardest parts of the renovation was opening up eight windows that had been bricked over when the space was a nightclub, Holliday said. He added that he was glad to see many of the bars moving from the Market to northern King Street and being replaced by nicer restaurants.

"Noise was major issue." he said. "An upscale client does not enjoy having a drunk outside at 2 a.m."

Holliday bought the Planters Inn in 1994, refurbished it and opened the Peninsula Grill. He bought the two buildings to the east to bring the number of rooms to 64.

He ended up buying and upgrading 19 properties in the Market. He and partner Steve Varn, who owns the nearby Andrew Pinckney Inn, finished the renovation of the City Market’s retail spaces in 2011.

Other hotels in the Market are also renovating for a more demanding clientele. 

Holliday owned the 212-room DoubleTree Inn at North Market and Church streets until he sold it in 2015 to Rockbridge, a real-estate investment firm based in Columbus, Ohio. At the time, Rockbridge CEO Jim Merkel said in a written statement that his firm plans to reinvest in the hotel "to enhance the strength of its location and physical attributes."

Both Holliday and Varn said Rockbridge is planning to invest more than $20 million in a major renovation, although the plans have not been disclosed yet.

"The owners prefer to keep the renovation plans confidential until they have decided on the entire scope and time frame," Michael Tall, CEO of Charlestowne Hotels, which manages the property, said in an email.

Video U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley Says Russia Wa…

Varn is also planning a significant renovation of his hotel.

"Some of this is just the result of normal wear and tear, but we will go to a higher-end renovation as a result of what we’re seeing in the marketplace," Varn said. "The Market area is going upscale, not just the hotels but also the restaurants."

The Spectator raised the bar when it opened in 2015. Now at least half a dozen other new boutique hotels are planned within a couple blocks of the Planters Inn.

"The Market area is really becoming an upscale location, versus what it used to be, which was the tacky tourist district," Varn said. "I think the renovation of the Market was one of the catalysts for this change."

The city has been working to improve the flooding with a new drainage system. A renovation of the streetscape is expected to start in a couple years.

Jay Keenan and Batson Hewitt, partners with Palmetto Commercial Properties, developed The Spectator, as well as the French Quarter Inn and the HarbourView Inn. Keenan says the high-end market has certainly been growing, although he's not sure how much.

"If you’re going to charge the kind of rent that Hank is talking about, it’s going to be a very discerning traveler," he said. "I hope he does well with it. If he does, then we will."

What concerns him is whether there is really enough demand for all the new hotels in the Charleston area.

“I know if Batson and I were going to do another hotel, we’d be scratching our heads and saying we’d better wait and see what’s going on in this market," he said. "Is there enough demand to handle all this new product? I’m doubtful. I’m doubtful about that."

For original Post & Courier article, click here:


Feb. 8, 2017

Charleston, SC Ranked 27 out of 100 as Best Place to Live!


U.S. News analyzed 100 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people's desire to live there. Charleston ranks as #27 with an overall score of 6.8 out of 10.

What's the cost of living in Charleston, SC?

The average Charleston resident earns less than the average American. Also, the region's cost of living is noticeably higher than the national average, which makes Charleston a difficult place to live for those on a budget. Housing costs are fairly high in the area, and Charlestonians tend to pay more for everyday expenses – such as food and transportation – than residents of other U.S. metro areas.

What kind of jobs are there in Charleston, SC?

Charleston's tourism industry is booming. The influx of travelers – particularly during the summer months – creates a variety of jobs, especially in the hospitality and service industries.

The technology industry is also big in Charleston, and downtown offices continue bustling even in tourism's off-season. The sales, advertising, marketing and art professionals also contribute to Charleston's year-round livelihood. Some of the metro area's largest employers are manufacturing companies, including Boeing and Nucor Steel.

The region's unemployment rate is roughly equal to the national average.

What's the weather like in Charleston, SC?

Heat and humidity sometimes make it tough to enjoy Charleston's outdoor spaces, generally between May and September. These summer months can prove unbearably hot, soupy and mosquito-filled. The other three seasons offer comfortable temperatures that residents enjoy; however, Charleston's location on the Atlantic Ocean makes it susceptible to hurricanes and tropical storms.

What's the best way to get around Charleston, SC?

Downtown Charleston is small, covering just under 8 square miles. Most people drive to get around and, unfortunately, this leads to traffic congestion. Traffic is a particularly large problem in the summer when the region teems with tourists.

Public parking is available almost everywhere; however, there are usually high costs or long walks involved. There is no metro rail or subway, but there is a trolley and public bus service offered through Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority. Biking is also a viable means of transportation, and because the region is very flat, it makes it easier to get somewhere by bike. 

The Charleston International Airport is only about 12 miles from downtown Charleston. Amtrak trains stop in North Charleston (about 10 miles northwest of downtown), while Greyhound buses stop about halfway between the city center and the airport.

Who lives in Charleston, SC?

Charleston's median age skews slightly older, though the downtown area features large pockets of younger residents, particularly around the College of Charleston. The region also bursts with youth during the summer months, as the service industry hires extra employees to handle the influx of seasonal tourism.

Charleston, nicknamed the Holy City, is home to more than 400 places of worship for various religions and different denominations. When it comes to politics, the metro area is pretty evenly split between liberal and conservative views, though Democrats hold a slight majority.

Downtown Charleston caters more to millennials and residents without children at home, though there are families who call the region home. Neighboring communities like Mount Pleasant, James Island and Daniel Island are popular among families who need more space without the premium cost.

Similar to most metro areas, homelessness remains an issue in Charleston, and the area offers several emergency shelters for these individuals.

What is there to do in Charleston, SC?

Charleston is a foodie's heaven. The booming food and beverage industry provides countless places to eat, drink and be entertained. After a delicious meal, residents can catch a performance at the area's new Gaillard Center, or they might walk off their calories with a stroll at the waterfront Battery Park.

Speaking of exercise, the town is very active. Outdoor yoga classes are quite popular, as are water sports like surfing, paddle boarding, kayaking and fishing. The surrounding towns – Mount Pleasant, Folly Beach and Isle of the Palms – offer additional outlets for such outdoor activities, too.

Charleston also has a long, intriguing past, leaving many historic places to tour and visit: Fort Sumter, various plantations and historic homes, Charleston City Market, Charles Towne Landing and the famous Angel Oak Tree are just a few of the must-see places.

Complete Report

To read the complete US News and World Report on Charleston, SC click here:

Dec. 21, 2016

S.C. was among fastest-growing states in U.S. during past year

South Carolina’s population was the 10th-fastest growing in the nation over the past year and will likely top 5 million in 2017, statistics released by the Census Bureau Tuesday show.

Having eclipsed Alabama's population last year, South Carolina is now closing in on Minnesota, currently the 22nd-largest state.

“I just can’t believe South Carolina has that many people," said Minnesota native David Wood, 49, who moved to South Carolina in 2000. “It’s incredible that we have that many people here, without a major metropolitan area."

Minneapolis has a population larger than South Carolina's three largest cities, combined.

Jonathan Maze, 46, used to live in West Ashley but returned to his native Minnesota more than 10 years ago and lives in the Minneapolis suburbs. Maze, a former Post and Courier reporter, said traffic in the Charleston area was "very annoying" even a decade ago, and he can't imagine how the area is coping with rapid growth.

“My concern would be, it’s not very easy to adapt that area to a rising population," said Maze, now senior financial editor at Nations Restaurant News. 

Minnesota's population has been growing, but not as much as South Carolina's. Maze said older people tend to leave for warmer climates.

"It’s not uncommon for people to retire to other states, because the winters are pretty brutal here," he said. “This weekend it was 24 below zero."

Wood, who now lives with his family in Mount Pleasant and is a partner and the creative director at digital brand agency Blue Ion in Charleston, said if South Carolina does become larger than Minnesota, he doesn't think residents of his native state would really care.

“Up in Minnesota there’s a saying — ‘Minnesota nice’ — so even if they did care, they wouldn’t say so," said Wood.

During the 12 months ending July 1, South Carolina State gained 66,285 residents. More than two-thirds of the growth was due to people moving in from other states.

Only six states gained more population from domestic migration — the difference between the numbers of people moving in from other states and moving out to other parts of the nation. For South Carolina, that's a continuation of a long-running growth trend.

Much of the state's growth has been concentrated along the coast, and nearly all has been in urban and suburban areas.

Last year, census data showed that the three most rapidly growing metropolitan areas on the U.S. Atlantic Coast were all in the Palmetto State — for the third year in a row. Those areas were the multi-county Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head and Charleston metro areas.

And within the Charleston metro area, the town of Mount Pleasant was the fastest-growing city east of the Mississippi River in 2015, among those with at least 50,000 residents.

Link to original article: