Trust the Professionals

19 Sep

Market Update for CarolinasWhen you visit Bank of America Stadium this football season, you’ll be sure to notice the impressive additions – new escalators, ribbon boards circling the seating area and two amazing 12,180-square-foot, high-definition PantherVision video screens.

What you won’t notice is the team of experienced professionals – contractors, engineers, electricians, and other skilled craftsmen – who seamlessly incorporated these enhancements into the “bones” of the original stadium. If you’ve ever remodeled, you have an idea of how involved the process can be.

While the professional knowledge and experience of a Realtor® is essential when buying a home, it’s also important when it’s time to make enhancements. In the September-October edition of Carolinas Market Update, I talk about the role of your Realtor between transactions.

Your Realtor works for you, represents your best interests, negotiates for you and shops for you when you’re buying a home. Your Realtor can also offer professional advice you can trust when it’s time to remodel or make repairs.

For example, your Realtor can help you understand the right level improvements for your market area, so that the improvements will add value and you’ll see a return on investment when it’s time to sell.

Your Realtor can also help you choose the right contractor, building products and materials, as well as understand the latest trends in design and decorating.

Whether you’re ready to buy, ready to sell or simply navigating the world of homeownership, your Allen Tate Realtor should be part of your game plan. Give us a call.

Pat Riley
President and Chief Operating Officer, Allen Tate Company

Make a home inventory list

17 Sep

9.17.14 Making a listWe all are so busy with life that we never really think about “What if I had a fire or natural disaster?”

If tragedy happened, would you be able to remember every item you own, itemized room by room?  We don’t typically notice, nor do we keep a documented list of all our worldly possessions. But this is exactly what you would need to do in the emotional aftermath of a disaster in order to file an insurance claim.

Why not take time now to put together a home inventory? Here are some tips:

  • Take pictures or videos of your home, room by room. Be sure to make sure this is somewhere other than your home. Your insurance agent can keep it for you, or you can place it in a safety deposit box.
  • Make a list of your possessions, along with their value. Make a handwritten list, obtain a form from your insurance carrier, or access online resources, such as KnowYourStuff.org to keep a digital list of your possessions. The site will store your inventory and send you an email reminder when it’s time for you to update.
  • Don’t have the time or ability to do it yourself? Ask your agent for recommendations of home inventory companies that will inventory for you. Some will store your records for you, or will provide the documentation for you to store securely, away from the house.

A home inventory will help provide the information your insurance company needs in order to settle your claim. Any items not listed in the loss report will not be paid by the insurance adjuster.

This is also a great time to review your insurance coverage with your insurance agent, to determine if you have replacement cost or actual cash value coverage. If you have actual cash value, depreciation will be used in settling what you are paid in a claim. Also, be sure to review your coverage whenever you purchase any high-value items (and add them to your inventory list).

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Be sure to inventory on an annual basis.  And ask your trusted Allen Tate Insurance advisor if you have any questions.

 By Robin Price (Vice President of Sales, Insurance)

It’s FUNday Season!

15 Sep

PrintNow that summer is winding down and kids are settled back in school, it seems to be the “season” for everything – football season (and the end of baseball season), apple-picking season, fall yard work season, community festival season, etc.

At Allen Tate Company, it’s FUNday season. For 17 years, Allen Tate Company has held annual FUNday events, where agents “pay to play” to raise money for public education in the local communities we serve throughout the Carolinas.

During that time, we’ve held field days, golf tournaments, dance parties, karaoke contests, corn hole competitions, tailgates, chili cook-offs and silent and live auctions. We’ve played in the rain and baked in the sun. And during those years, we’ve grown exponentially as a company and expanded our footprint to other regions.

This year – for the first time in FUNday history – we will hold four unique events, one in each of our regions.

We’re making history in another way, too. This year’s FUNdays will actually be FUN nights! In each of our regions, we’ll host an evening event with food, drink and our famous silent and live auctions.

We’ll kick-off FUNday season with an evening reception on September 24 in the Upstate. We’ll “roll out the red carpet for public education” in the Triad on October 2 and hold two FUNday events on October 9, when we’ll embrace our inner Mad Men in the Triangle and party at the Panthers home at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

And while our agents are having FUN (and they do have loads of FUN), we’ll be raising FUNDS (lots of FUNDS) for the kids. In the past 10 years, we’ve raised more than $1.4 million from this event – which stays in our local communities to benefit education foundations and other initiatives that directly impact public education.

Why do we do this? Because we understand how important public education is to families making home-buying decisions. We believe in working together and giving back to make a difference that, yes, impacts our business – but most importantly, impacts the quality of life in our communities.

So we’re ready to have some fun. If you’d like to help, please contact any Allen Tate Realtor. Share in the joy of FUNday season!

Pat Riley
President and Chief Operating Officer, Allen Tate Company

It’s Apple-Picking Time

10 Sep

9.10.14 Apple pickiingSeptember brings the beginning of fall, but here in the Carolinas, we sometimes feel summer-like temperatures well into October. After a long, hot summer, I was ready for cooler temps, crisp air and something apple-flavored, so I headed north last Sunday.

I found a perfect day trip at Sky Top Orchard in Flat Rock, North Carolina, just a 1 ½-hour drive from the Charlotte area and less than an hour from Upstate South Carolina. It makes a great short weekend trip if you’re in the Triad or Triangle.

Sky Top Orchard welcomed me with cool mountain air and fresh apples. Open from August to December, the orchard is home to more than 20 varieties of apples, picked by the staff and by visitors. Each apple variety arrives in a different part of the season, so you can choose the perfect time to pick your favorites.

As you walk toward the orchard store, you can smell the fresh baked apple doughnuts (yes, doughnuts) and they ARE yummy. You’ll see folks stocking up before they head home, and I suggest you do the same. And be sure to try an apple cider slushy or hot apple cider.

Exploring the store, you’ll see pecks and bushels (don’t worry, the staff can explain) of every apple in season. You can purchase apples picked by the staff, and near the back of the store, you’ll see where they sort the apples to sell or use for cider or other products. The staff is happy to explain how this large machine works.

Ready to pick? Check in to receive your basket and wagon and head to the orchard. Not sure what kind of apple you want? Head over to the sample section to try the apples currently available.

As you make your way to the orchards, you’ll pass several play areas for kids, as well as a petting zoo. Soon, you’ll find rows and rows of apple trees, ready to be explored. Spend as long as you like gathering apples, then head back to the store to check out.

Don’t miss the live beehive in the store. It’s a treat to see the bees in action and purchase honey created by the same hive. And don’t miss the delicious jams, jellies and even barbeque sauces with an apple kick.

Looking to extend your trip? Flat Rock is near the Blue Ridge Parkway, home of great hikes and fantastic views. For a list of great hikes in the area, click here.

As fall settles in, take advantage of the North Carolina mountains – just a short drive away. Pull out the jackets and long sleeves, pick your own apples, and see the leaves change. And as we say in the South – Happy Fall Y’all!

By Jennifer Suggs – Guest Blogger

What I love about living in the Carolinas

8 Sep

9.8.14 Friendly neighborsIt’s been 15 years since I received the call about moving to Charlotte to run the Relocation division of the Allen Tate Company. While I was excited about the opportunity, I was a bit nervous about moving to “The South.”

I wondered what it would be like and if we would fit in. Of course, I wondered if my Northern accent would be that obvious.

I’m sure many people have shared my thoughts when they are considering a move here. But fear not – The South is a pretty awesome place.

Consider these experiences I’ve had in just the past two weeks:

The Helpful Traveler – I was boarding my flight in Buffalo to return to Charlotte. A man in his mid-30s was standing off to the side instead of stowing his bag. He said to the ticket agent “I’m just waiting to see if she needs help,” referencing a mother with a young child, struggling to put a stroller in a large bag. He approached the woman and offered to carry the bag for her. As she thanked him repeatedly, he simply responded “I was happy to.” Later, this born-and-raised Southern boy told me he was only doing what he hoped someone else would do for his wife.

The Considerate Lad – As I’m waiting at the pharmacy in a medical facility, I notice a boy about 9 playing with a toy and waiting for his mother. He calls “Ma’am” to a woman waiting at the elevator, but she does not hear him. He gets up and walks over to the woman to let her know that the elevator on the other side of the entry way is available.

The Happy Transferee – Two days later I’m attending a Charlotte Knights baseball game with a couple who moved to Charlotte a year ago to work with MetLife. He recalled a story of how impressed he was with the movers. When he arrived at his new home, one of the movers stopped what he was doing, introduced himself and asked how he liked the area. It was a very different experience than the one he had when he moved out of his previous home.

The Nice Neighbors – That Sunday, I went to welcome friends who had moved here from Chicago the day before. I arrived with a care package of cleaning supplies, a gift for both boys and homemade cookies (because my friend loves them). When the father called the boys downstairs, they were joined by two others who had already made fast friends with their new neighbors. In unison, both neighbor boys greeted me with “It’s a pleasure to meet you.” My friend said his boys had been nervous about meeting new friends – but obviously that problem was solved on Day One!

Here’s the lesson I hope to share: Pass along the welcoming atmosphere that others have shared when you moved here. In the South, no one is a stranger for long!

DJ Stephan Blog 
DJ Stephan
President, Allen Tate Relocation
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