Cheddar’s Will Be Mmmm, Mmmm Good

CheddarsI was one of the very lucky local business(wo)men invited to be a part of Cheddar’s Training Day on Friday.  I thought I’d been to a Cheddar’s before (when I lived somewhere else) and didn’t remember thinking it was great.  After Friday, I walked away knowing Cheddar’s will be in my Top 5 Favorite Restaurants.

The decor was very pretty.  There was a gigantic fan-like sculpture looking thingamajig in the middle of the restaurant that was epic. A whole army of hosts and hostesses welcomed us, but that was probably because EVERYONE was working for that training day.

I went with three other Realtors so we got to see a variety of menu options.  Two had the fruit tea (which I sipped and instantly regretted not ordering) and two of us had unsweet iced tea.  For the appetizer, we ordered the spinach dip – a not-too-spicy but enough-to-make-me-happy flavor that nicely complemented the salty chips – perfecto!

I ordered the fried shrimp lunch with side dishes of corn and broccoli casserole.  (If you get a baked potato, it counts as two sides).  Normally I hate broccoli but find it tolerable in a casserole.  This casserole was quite good … it appeared to have rice, cheese, and some kind of crumbs in it (Ritz crackers? Bread?).  Unfortunately, the corn tasted a bit out-of-the-can.  The lunch serving of shrimp came with TEN jumbo sized shrimp (is that even possible to have a “jumbo” “shrimp”?).  Except for the corn, everything tasted great and there was so much food there that I took about six shrimp home with me.

The other agents ordered chicken pot pie (which came with a simple side salad), a monte cristo, and a spasagna.  The chicken pot chicken pot chicken pot piiiiiiie* seemed pretty tasty (again huge serving).  I had no idea what a monte cristo was, but quickly learned it’s a sandwich dipped in batter and deep fried.  It was served with a raspberry sauce.  My arteries just lurched just thinking about it!  Finally, my buddy Karmen ordered the Spasagna (picture spaghetti and lasagna combined – it sounds like Spuh-sahn-yuh).  It looked pretty good and you can order it with meat sauce or plain marinara.

The service was great in this dry run for the restaurant.  The price was right (free!), but had the four of us paid for drinks, appetizers, and main courses our total would’ve been $49.62 (inc. taxes but not tip).  Very very reasonable prices with actual costs ranging from $5.99 (chicken pot pie) to $9.99 (shrimp).

Cheddar’s is scheduled to open at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, May MARCH 2nd.  I think you’ll enjoy it there!

I thanked so many people as I left that I believe I thanked another customer coming in.  He had the grace to ignore me rather than saying, “You’re welcome!”

*My nod to pop culture – a reference to Slow Donnie featured on long-gone Just Shoot Me.

Sky Lights + Rain = Bad Mix

rainWe’ve had a leak in our skylight for some time now and have reached the point where it really needs to be fixed before major damage occurs.  In the past both skylights leaked, but a friend of mine was able to fix one of them.  We really don’t want to go to the expense of replacing the whole window if we’re able to simply make the repair.

So my question …. can anyone here recommend an honest, skilled person to repair a skylight?

I love home ownership except for when things go wrong.  We did finally find the leak in our water line and had that repaired for $230 rather than the $1500 it would’ve cost to replace the entire line.  I’ll be trotting my repair receipt to the water department soon to see how much of an adjustment they can make on our outrageous water bill.

In my dream world, I want vinyl soffits put up around the entire house, I need the columns replaced on my front porch, new gutters, and WANT vinyl replacement windows (double sashed so I can clean the tops too).  In reality, we’re doing just one little thing at a time and hoping nothing else falls apart in the interim.

So if you’re thinking about buying a home, the good part is this year (if you’re a first time buyer or haven’t owned a home in 3 years), you get an $8000 tax credit that you won’t have to repay (and interest rates are fantastic).  the bad part is when repairs need to be made, you’re responsible.

Photo by Tapio Hurme via flickr creative commons.

Cheddars to Open Soon in Smyrna

I’m so excited.  I got a *pass* today for the Cheddars Training Session tomorrow.  This means that the restaurant should be opening very very soon.  It’s located at 955 Industrial Blvd. in front of Target on Sam Ridley. Their number is 223-9394.

I’ll keep you posted!

It’s Pancake Day!

TODAY ONLY!!!

Until 10:00 p.m. you can get 3 free buttermilk pancakes at IHOP to celebrate National Pancake Day!

If you’re still hungry after that buttery, syrupy goodness, you can drive over to Jack in the Box for two free tacos.  There’s a Jack over by Kroger on Lowry Lane in Smyrna.

Yum!

New Economic Stimulus Bill

The economic stimulus bill that was just signed by President Obama should be pretty sweet for many people.  Of course we saw in the paper earlier this week that it could help pay for *finally* widening Waldron Road.

To be eligible, projects must be what Obama calls “shovel-ready.” That means they must have plans in place and contracts ready to be signed. Most of the money would have to be spent within 18 months to get architects, engineers, plumbers, electricians and construction crews and others on the job quickly.

Erwin said the city is putting the finishing touches on engineering work and is about 75 percent complete with right-of-way acquisition. Eager to get a share of the stimulus money, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen will soon begin condemnation proceedings to wrap up the process.

I sincerely hope this happens – the sooner the better.

However, the part I’m watching carefully as someone in the real estate business is the $8000 first-time home-buyer tax credit.  As I understand it, if you’ve never owned a home – or haven’t owned one in the last three years – and you buy from January 1 – December 31, 2009, you will be eligible for an $8000 tax credit.  This means that if you owe $10,000 to the IRS, you’ll only have to pay $2000.  If you owe $0 to the IRS, you’ll GET BACK $8000.

What makes a good thing even better?  You don’t have to pay it back.  Hopefully!  Here’ s what CNN has to say about it.

To qualify for the credit, the purchase must be made between Jan. 1, 2009 and Nov. 30, 2009. Buyers may not have owned a home for the past three years to qualify as “first time” buyer. They must also live in the house for at least three years, or they will be obligated to pay back the credit.

Additionally, there are income restrictions: To qualify, buyers must make less than $75,000 for singles or $150,000 for couples. (Higher-income buyers may receive a partial credit.)

Be careful to read the fine print – a friend of mine recently bought the family home from his mother and thought he’d get the $7500 from last year’s offer.  When he filed his taxes, he learned buying from a family member invalidated his claim.

I am ready, willing, and able to serve you… buyers of LaVergne!  LOL…  (but seriously. call me!)  :)

Library Restructuring is Mandatory

libraryI hadn’t realized the restructuring of our beloved city library was so urgent since according to the DNJ, the way it’s now managed is … ummm…. against the law?!,

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen recently learned the way things are handled now don’t line up with state law. City Attorney Evan Cope said, on paper, it appears the library, located at 5091 Murfreesboro Road, operates as a city department and is governed by a library board.

If this were the case, state law requires that the library board be responsible for the day-to-day operations while using city money.

I remember when I first moved here that I was utterly shocked that the library was closed on Sunday.  I’ve finally gotten used to that, but it took awhile.  I heard on the news earlier this week that Nashville is now considering closing its libraries on Sundays as well to save money.

Housing Numbers for LaVergne: January 2009

Perhaps I could interest you in some housing numbers for LaVergne today?  I know, I know… the weather outside is to-die-for, but still.  Who doesn’t like some good old-fashioned number crunching?

Homes Currently For Sale (on MLS): 348
Least Expensive:  $42,000 mobile home, 1100 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 1 bath
Least Expensive Site Built:  $69,900, 1291 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 1 bath

Home Under Contract (Pending): 44
Prices range from $68,900 to $339,900

Homes Sold (Closed) January 1 – 31, 2009: 16
Least Expensive Sold:  $80,000, 1110 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths
Most Expensive Sold:  $413,765, 3820 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths

Homes Sold (Closed) January 1 – 31, 2008: 34
Least Expensive Sold: $96,500, 941 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths
Most Expensive Sold:  $283,500, 2550 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3 baths.

You can jump to your own conclusions, but I will point out that last year at this time there were 420 homes on the MLS for sale (active listings).  We’ve dropped that number by nearly a hundred, so the inventory is finally going down which means there has been progress.

Don’t forget about the beautiful home I have listed on Hampton Road Drive.   Yes, a shameless plug.