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I started a new blog site

It’s called This Is Real Estate Today. That’s my business slogan. The web address is michaeldixonrealty.com. It’s a WordPress blog site that allows readers to comment. I’m hoping it will be discovered by local people who will ask questions or comment about their real estate interests.

As I write this it has started to rain at my home on Sherwood Road in Dixie Hills Estates. I love Dixie Hills as a neighborhood. The people, the location, everything about it. I will have been here 20 years on June 20.

My poor real estate business has practically ground to a standstill. We need some new people moving into the area in need of homes, but newcomers are a trickle if any at all. Population projections for Sumter County have us losing population in the coming decades. That’s bad news for the community, and for the housing and real estate industry in particular.

Do you have any thoughts on the subject?

Although it’s nearly 8 p.m., I made a fresh pot of coffee. It’s pretty good if I do say so myself.

Easter 2015

As we usually do around Easter, we’re having a cool spell. It was chilly this morning, but this afternoon the temperature is edging up into the 70s. I’m writing this on my back porch, in the swing.

An odd thing happened a few days ago. I noticed honeybees going in and out a small hole in the metal cover over my well. The cover was the top half of a 40 gallon water storage tank.

I carefully lifted the cover off the well. Luckily, the bees didn’t sting me. Sure enough, they had established a home inside the well cover. In time they all left. I’ve ordered a new cover, one of those faux rock covers. It should arrive at the local Lowe’s store this week, and I’ll pick it up.

That’s the most exciting thing that has happened in my life lately. My real estate business has ground to a halt. The public has retired me. I’m hoping to get a particular property listed this month. It would be nice to have a listing that would actually sell.

This is the first time I’ve used this Windows writing program on my computer. I think the idea is, you write here and then post it on your blog. It’s been a long time since I posted anything on my blog. I know that to be effective a blog needs to be updated all the time, but I write only when I have some inspiration, and that’s not often.

So let me see if this will transfer to my blog. Thanks for reading.      

Change is: good/bad/otherwise

Here in southwestern Georgia, more than a week before Thanksgiving, it’s as cold as mid-winter, or colder. Like most of the country we’ve been slammed by a weather phenomenon called the polar vortex. I’m staying in for the most part.

Went outside for a half hour or so to pick up the many pine cones that had fallen with the rain and wind earlier this week. Picked up three five-gallon pails of them and tossed them onto the large pile of them at my back lot line. Every day I pick up pine cones and dead and down limbs, and throw them on the pile.

My house here on the west side of Dixie Hills is surrounded by tall pine trees. A squirrel can go completely around my house from tree top to tree top. I’ve never tried to count all of my pines, but they must number between 50 and 100. Part of my front yard is what I call my pine forest. The forest floor is covered with pine needles that have fallen there for, probably, 50-plus years, judging by the height and girth of the trees. They are big and tall.

A tornado or a really strong wind storm could be catastrophic for me. Still, I love my pines. They provide lots of shade in the summer. I don’t mind picking up after them. Mathematically, what is the likelihood of my little place being devastated by a tornado or wind storm? Very slight. I’m in greater danger when I drive to the super market.

You may know, I’m a real estate broker in Americus and Sumter County, and adjacent counties. As such I maintain a website on the Internet: www.americusgarealestate.net.  It gets updated every day with the number of properties listed in the Americus Area MLS. Anyone can use my website to search for any property in the MLS. Just click the Search button and enter your desired criteria.

At times someone will ask me a question about our local real estate market, and I may answer the question in the Real Estate Q&A feature of my website. If you have a question for me, please email or phone it to: michael@michaeldixonrealty.com or 229-924-3089. Thanks.                  

Rainy Day Reflections, October 3, 2014

It’s the changing season, I guess. Here we are in early October, having left summer behind for another year, and shifting into fall. It’s wet today, but will be dry tomorrow, and we’ll see the nighttime temperature drop into the 40s.

I’m not a good blog keeper, not at all. Weeks go by, and not a word do I add here.  Not that anyone besides myself reads it. But I should write to myself occasionally just to have a record of my thoughts from time to time. (You’re not reading this, are you?)

Yesterday brought a rewarding kind of experience, the kind most of us would like to have more of. I’m a real estate broker, as a few people around town may have heard, and yesterday a long-awaited closing took place. A young couple, after three months of jumping through their lender’s hoops, finally took title to a country property in Schley County.

They were happy, the sellers were happy, I was happy, and the closing attorney was, too. If we could have played Pharrell William’s “Happy” we all would have danced – or acted like we were dancing. A Realtor’s greatest reward isn’t always the commission check; it’s seeing those smiles break out on the faces of your customers, and being thanked for doing your job.

Someone asked me why Zillow and Trulia often have incorrect information about homes for sale. I don’t know why, but they do get things wrong. The most reliable national real estate search site is Realtor.com. It gets its data directly from our MLS listings, and so is accurate. You can look up any listed property in the Americus Area MLS on my website, http://americusgarealestate.net.

Today’s rain will give our lawns another growth spurt. It’s too soon yet to put away the mower.

Reflections on news of the day

This is part of what I wrote in my regular morning greeting to my cousin Harriette this morning. It’s just a commentary on current events in the country:

Meanwhile, kids born in Central America ride atop train cars all the way up through Mexico to the Rio Grande where they are taken across in rubber rafts, or walk across, and are herded into buildings surrounded by locked gates and razor wire, where they remain until bused to towns and cities around the country, where they join relatives or whoever will take them in. Many of the “children” are actually boys in their late teens. Many of them will gravitate toward gangs in lieu of real family ties. The Latino gangs are already well established in the cities.

Calls go out to Anglo patriot militias to come down and guard ranches owned by U.S. citizens in Texas, and to turn back the Mexican “coyotes” with their retinues of immigrants entering the country illegally. The Border Patrol, charged with intercepting the illegals, is overwhelmed and is preoccupied with processing the flood of “children.”

Federal employees with police powers and SWAT-like gear will confront patriots in Murrieta, CA, trying to stop buses loaded with illegal immigrants from dumping them in their city. Other militia members will arrive to back up the local citizens as they did at the Bundy ranch. There will be weapons and lots of ammunition on the scene. One finger on one trigger could bring blood in the streets. Amerika 2014.

Missing Cuckoo BBQ and More Restaurant

Did you visit Cuckoo BBQ and More restaurant when it was open on Southerfield Road? Everyone I know who ate there was pleasantly surprised by the great food and service, not to mention reasonable prices. It was “different” in a good way. Whatever you ordered was freshly prepared in the kitchen, and the staff intended for you to leave full and satisfied.  As the name suggests, you could order barbecue smoked on the premises or select from a menu full of old favorites as well as some exotic entries normally found only in upscale establishments.

Despite the restaurant’s excellent fare and friendly atmosphere, it had the disadvantage of being located off the most highly beaten tracks in Americus. It was literally ahead of its time. The owner opened the restaurant at 1200 Southerfield Rd. in anticipation of the coming Americus Motor Sports Complex, since renamed the Georgia International Raceway Park. That much awaited development will happen, but not soon enough to help Cuckoo BBQ and More. Alas, the owner couldn’t hang on until the raceway opened.

It has always seemed to me that a restaurant is a business in which you can lose your shirt in no time if things don’t work out as well as hoped for. I’ve seen more than one restaurant come and go in the 19 years I’ve lived here. A few of them may not have earned the right to stay, but Cuckoo BBQ and More deserved a better fate. Simply put, it was a great place to eat.

Speaking of restaurants, I see that Green Tea, which was in the old KFC building, has closed its doors. And what’s the deal with the former El Jalapeno? It’s been renamed Gio’s Place, so they say, but why? Maybe we’re maxed out on Chinese and Mexican restaurants for a town the size of Americus. 

Is anyone reading this? Visit my real estate websites: http://americusgarealestate.net. Or

It’s not every day …

This has been a beautiful Easter Sunday in Southwest Georgia, as we natives call our part of the state. I hope that wherever you happened to be today, you found peace and hope.

This blog entry is about a house. It’s one that I listed for sale earlier this year located in Ellaville, Georgia. Ellaville is the county seat of Schley County, Georgia, one of Georgia’s 159 counties, and one of its smaller ones. It’s where I’m from originally, and it’s near and dear to my heart.

The house is at the corner of College and Broad streets in Ellaville. Students of local history believe it was built in 1860. That being so, it is an antebellum house, that is, built before the U.S. Civil War. It has that look about it with its wrap-around porch, its high-pitched roof, and its five chimneys.

The most distinguishing thing about the house, however, is not physical but historical. It was the home of Charles Frederick Crisp (January 29, 1845-October 23, 1896). Crisp represented Georgia’s 3rd Congressional District and was the 37th speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

He served as speaker during the 52nd and 53rd Congresses beginning December 8, 1891 and concluding March 4, 1895. He died the following year, and is buried in Americus, Georgia.

Crisp was one of three Georgians who have served as speaker, the other two being Howell Cobb, who preceded Crisp, and Newt Gingrich, a living speaker and former presidential candidate.

Photos of the house can be found on several websites including http://americusgarealestate.net and http://clientrealty.net.