Luxury Lakeside Living

22 Aug

8.22.14 LPI logo for blogHere in the Carolinas we have several lakes with exceptional views. As an affiliate of Luxury Portfolio International, Allen Tate Realtors offers a seller’s property exposure to luxury buyers on a global basis.

The award-winning website, has luxury listings from 47 states and 30 countries and visitors from over 200 countries monthly. Here are some beautiful homes with lakefront views from around the world, courtesy of Luxury Portfolio International.

A Look at Lakeside Luxury

If your idea of paradise includes the beach, boating or bonfires, chances are you’d enjoy a house by the lake. With pristine views, total tranquility and the promise of plenty of outdoor fun, who wouldn’t? We found three exceptional properties that demonstrate lakeside living at its finest. (Continue reading …)

Dreams really can come true

20 Aug

8.20.14 Dream jobThere is an old saying to be careful what you wish for. You might very well get it.

As a recruiter, I often find myself across the table from many trained and respected professionals who became terribly unhappy with their chosen career path. They may have dreamed of their brilliant performance as a defense attorney or perhaps, envisioned themselves as the brain behind the latest trendy ad campaign. But, at some point, those dreams fell short – along with the passion they once had.

Many of their frustrations didn’t stop with unrealized career-path dreams. Many longed for more time with friends and family; many desired fair and unlimited compensation. And more than a few expressed frustration over the lack of ability to actually, truly make a difference – free from the intrusion of the ever-changing corporate structure.

I must admit – it is sad to see these hard-working, dedicated, educated people simply going through the motions, only to find themselves at the end of day with more regret than reward.

Phil Blair, staffing professional and author of the job search book Job-Won, says “Finding a dream job is about finding your passion.”

For many, a real estate career is that dream job – a job that harnesses and nurtures that passion – and allows it to grow.


  • You desire to have a business that can last a lifetime;
  • The thought of helping others fuels your fire;
  • Creating, managing and developing your business your way is what you have been searching for

Then it’s time to create Me, Inc. and find your passion in a real estate career.

Your life, your way. It’s that simple.

Ready to get started? Contact me at

By Barbara O’Rourke, Director of Career Development

Help – I’m a landlord!

18 Aug

8.18.14 LandlordIn working with our Allen Tate Realtor® partners, I am often made aware of situations where a buyer finds their dream home, and rather than sell their current home, elects to rent their home to a tenant. For many people, becoming a landlord is a great alternative to finding a buyer and in many cases, a smart investment and source of income.

But when the occupancy of a home changes, so do the insurance needs. When your home is your primary residence – the place where you lay your head at night – a homeowners insurance policy is written to cover the dwelling, property, and liability.

But once you move out, and a tenant moves in, the type of policy and coverage you need on that home changes drastically. The property is now considered a rental property and must be covered on what is known in the insurance business as a “dwelling fire” form, often referred to as a landlord policy.

This type of insurance policy still covers the dwelling, but personal property coverage is much more limited. This is because most of the personal property within the dwelling will now belong to and become the responsibility of the tenant. The tenant now needs their own renter’s insurance policy to cover their personal property.

To be clear: If something happens to the structure while it’s being rented, your policy will cover it. But if the home catches fire, the tenant’s possessions are only covered if they have a renter’s insurance policy.

Anytime there’s a change with your home – or your life – it’s a good rule of thumb to contact your Allen Tate Insurance agent. We’ll make sure you have the coverage you need, at the most competitive price.

Robin Price
Vice President of Sales, Allen Tate Insurance

What is a Multiple Listing Service (MLS)?

13 Aug

MLS ListingsOnce upon a time, years before Major League Soccer co-opted “MLS” as their own acronym, real estate brokers worked to create a system that would make a real estate transaction more efficient.

Beginning in the late 1880s, brokers began gathering to share information about properties they were trying to sell. They also established rules that detailed how they would compensate one another. Those fundamental principles formed the basis of an industry model unique to organized real estate: Help me sell a property and I’ll help you do the same. This was the precursor to the real estate agent’s MLS or Multiple Listing Service.

Some background: The National Association of Real Estate Exchanges was formed in 1908 “to unite the real estate men of America for the purpose of effectively exerting a combined influence upon matters affecting real estate interests.” In 1916, members of the Exchange coined the term “REALTOR” to identify themselves as subscribers to a strict Code of Ethics that would differentiate their membership from other real estate practitioners. The name of the organization was changed to the National Association of Realtors® in 1972, and it was those early agreements that dated back to the late 1880s that became the foundation for the Realtor MLS.

An MLS establishes a system that facilitates compensation and cooperation between listing agents and other real estate brokers. It is a unique arrangement in a very competitive business – a system that has benefited millions of buyers and sellers. Realtors “invented” the MLS, and they have invested a great deal of expertise and money to ensure its accuracy and usefulness. Simply put, the MLS was built, maintained and paid for by real estate professionals to help their clients buy and sell property.

The Allen Tate Company is a participant in 9 MLSs throughout the Carolinas, which means visitors to can see all the available homes for sale within the large Allen Tate footprint. It is the MLS platform that enables our website visitors to be confident that they have access to the largest pool of properties for sale in the marketplace.

Phyllis Brookshire
President, Allen Tate Realtors®

A Six-Month Look Back on the New Homes Market

11 Aug

8.11.14 New constructionIt’s hard to pick-up a newspaper or magazine or glance at your favorite online news feed without reading something about the new homes market. So let’s take a peek back on the past six months and see what’s been going on.

For the past three months, most reporting agencies that track new construction have been trying to put a damper on the market by reporting bad news. But let’s look at where we were four years ago and where we are today. In 2013, we saw the most new home starts since 2008 – a stellar year! And while the first six months of 2014 may not have been quite as good as 2013, they haven’t been too shabby, either. The new home market has slowed down, because the year-over-year percentage increase for the past five years was just not sustainable.

So why has new home construction and sales slowed?

  • While job creation is vibrant, it hasn’t returned to the level where it needs to be – and people need to be confident in their job to buy a home.
  • There has been a shortage of ready-to-build lots, especially for entry-level buyers.
  • The price of land, building materials and labor has gone up, creating inflation in new home prices and knocking some buyers out of the new home market.
  • There’s a lack of inventory, for two reasons: builders filling orders for sold homes and being cautious to not create an oversupply of homes.

So when the headlines scream “New Homes Starts Decline,” you really have to look behind the curtain and analyze the facts. Builders are still smarting from the recession and are cautious about their start-to-sale ratio. Builders prefer to have excess demand rather than excess supply – and so do their banks and investors.

Maintaining a steady pace and delivering fewer homes on a more consistent basis is preferred to the roller coaster of building and selling out. When the building pace is steady and the profits are consistent, investors are happy and the stock market is in good shape – which is the lifeline of the new homes market. See if you can find that important info in the headline, or even buried in the details.

As I reflect on the first half of 2014, I can tell you that the new homes market is alive, well and definitely vibrant. See for yourself this weekend; go out and visit your favorite community – and don’t be surprised to see a beehive of activity.

Mike LaRuffa
President, Builder Services Inc.

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