Fresh and modern in Fort Mill

22 Apr

Ask any Realtor® what’s important in a home for sale, and they’ll likely tell you “curb appeal.” A home’s curb appeal is a first impression – and often a lasting one.

Fort Mill BlogAt our new Allen Tate Fort Mill location, we have curb appeal. Our office space is new, modern and highly visible, and our front door faces a busy retail corridor and popular Publix grocery store.  We’re easy to find – less than one mile from Gold Hill Road, Exit 88 off Interstate 77, at the corner of Gold Hill and Pleasant Roads.

Step inside and the “appeal” continues. The design is sleek, modern and even a bit hip, if you will. That’s because the office was designed with busy clients and agents in mind. It’s light and open. The lobby/reception area features a high work table, where clients can relax and view properties on a flat screen. Private conference space is easily accessible for more private meetings.

Today’s real estate agents are no longer tethered to a desk in a formal office. In many cases, their office is wherever and whenever they need to work – from their home, a client’s home, a listing, their vehicle or a local coffee shop. Our new office speaks to that flexibility by offering a “landing pad” design, where agents can stop by and work or meet with clients, as their schedule and needs call for.

The open floor plan is also highly conducive to agent communication, morale and growth. We can host an onsite sales meeting, agent training session or casual reception for clients and guests. The flexible design also allows the office to easily accommodate new agents, which is already happening as agents learn about Allen Tate and see the great new workspace they can call home.

The Fort Mill area is rich in local history, with natural areas including the Anne Close Springs Greenway and nearby Lake Wylie, and close to Charlotte and the airport. But what attracts buyers is the hometown feel, exceptional schools and low South Carolina taxes. Both new home builders and businesses are being drawn to the area.

We’re certainly not new to Fort Mill – just our office location. So you can still count on the same great service that you’ve come to expect from Allen Tate.

When you’re out and about on one of these great spring days, please stop by our office and say hello. We’re excited about our new home, but we’re even more excited about helping you find yours.

Carol Hampton (Branch Leader, Fort Mill)

Should I “bundle” my home and auto insurance?

20 Apr

One of the most common questions we get from customers is if they should insure their home and autos with the same insurance carrier. That’s a great question.Manicured Yard

And the answer is simple: Absolutely. By “bundling” your home, auto and other insurance policies with the same carrier, the carriers will reward your business with a discount – usually 10 to 20 percent.

But here’s an even better question. Why should you work with an independent insurance agency?

  • Your independent insurance agent is your best resource for obtaining the best coverage at the best price to protect you and your assets.
  • Your independent agent “shops the market” from a variety of top insurance carriers to find the right type of coverage for your individual needs. Your agent provides you with options, when available, so you can make the right decision.
  • Your independent agent makes sure that the correct information is obtained and everything is in place for your coverage to begin on the date that it is needed.
  • Your independent agent provides a single point of contact for questions, claims, changes to existing policies, and new policies if needed.
  • Your independent agent is your first and best advocate in the case of a loss. Your agent is your trusted advisor and is there to help.

Here’s a little secret: Any insurance agent can obtain the same rates from an insurance carrier, based on the client’s information, claims history, etc.

The main reason you should work with an independent insurance agent is that an independent agent has access to coverage from a variety of carriers, not just one brand. An independent insurance agent offers you choices.

Rather than provide you with a price, an independent agent provides you with service – to ensure you get the best coverage at the best price, from the insurance carrier that’s the best fit for your needs and situation.

If you haven’t already done so, contact an independent insurance agent at Allen Tate Insurance to save money on your home and auto coverage – AND a whole lot more.

Robin Price
Vice President of Sales, Allen Tate Insurance

What to plant, when to plant

17 Apr

It’s hard to know when to do what in the garden during our fickle Carolina spring. A weekend with temperatures in the 70s might find us enthusiastically planting tender annuals, and the next weekend covering them with sheets and hoping for the best as temps dip below freezing.ThinkstockPhotos-178712376 (1)

Here are a few tips to keep you blooming and growing.


Although the colorful displays may tempt you, don’t plant annuals anywhere in the Allen Tate areas until at least after April 15. April 26 may be even better.

In October, plant pansies and violas among spring flowering bulbs, and they will provide a perky display until it’s time for spring annuals.

Perennials and Native Plants

Late blooming perennials (such as mums, black-eyed Susan’s, and perennial ornamental grasses) are best planted in spring. Chrysanthemums, day lilies, Shasta daisies, asters and others can be planted any time from early spring until hot weather arrives.

  • Choose a cool, cloudy, or damp day to plant, or plant in late afternoon.
  • Plant in good soil; create a basin of soil or mulch around each plant; and give a good, soaking watering. Check that the water drains well.
  • Mulch after planting.

Perennial clumps already coming up in your garden can be dug, divided and replanted now. But let the spring-flowering ones, such as bearded irises and primrose, stay put until after they bloom.

Native plants will be resilient to our Carolina pests and summers. Look for and include natives in your garden plan.


 During the remainder of April, look for cool weather crops. This includes lettuce, cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower. You’ll find young plants of these veggies in the garden centers now, ready to plant.

Start your summer garden – tomatoes, eggplants, summer squash, cucumbers and peppers – from mid-April to early May at the latest. Optimal planting times for other vegetables vary, so be sure to consult a planting guide for your region of North Carolina or South Carolina if your garden is diverse.

To Prune or Not to Prune

Pruning hollies, laurels, boxwoods, ligustrums, cleyeras and nandinas growing in the Carolinas is best done in late winter, before new growth begins, so mark your garden schedule and take care of that next year.

However, azaleas, forsythia, rhododendrons, camellias, pieris, gardenias, spiraeas, and most other shrubs that bloom in spring and early summer should not be pruned until the flowers fade, or you risk removing flowering wood and buds.

Happy planting!

By: Susan Larkin (Vice President, Marketing & Public Relations)

Good things are happening in Greensboro

15 Apr

In the real estate business, it’s not unusual to have a client who is moving with mixed emotions. While they are excited for their new home, they’ve grown quite attached to their current home.NorthElm_Full

We feel a bit like that at the Allen Tate Greensboro-North Elm office.

We will miss our old location, but we are so excited about our new location that we just moved to at 3623 North Elm Street, Suite 100. It’s a great spot – a contemporary business park near Lake Jeannette, with all the modern conveniences, near major travel routes, yet surrounded by natural wooded areas and walking trails. It’s really quite beautiful, and we have the best neighbors – professional services firms including law, accounting and insurance – whose clients will hopefully become our clients, too.

Real estate is a business that requires consistent connectivity. So it was the right time to find a new office location and design that will take us into the future, catering to the workforce we want to attract and retain, and the client service we strive for at Allen Tate – and to remain the Greensboro market leader.

We’re excited about our new home. The living room-style lobby is open and welcoming; the technology is impressive; and the space is versatile, including private conference space for client meetings. We love the soft, contemporary colors and sleek furnishings that warm the agent offices, and we can’t wait for the opportunity to go for a walk or run at lunch time (the office has a shower and a locker room too!).

And, finally, our street name matches our office name – North Elm – so hopefully that means we found the right place to settle in for a long time into the future.

Stop by and see us. We can’t wait show you around – and show you why you’ve made the right choice.

By: Nancy Radtke (Branch Leader, Greensboro-North Elm Office)

The World of a New Home Agent

13 Apr

Once again, the new construction market is healthy. As you drive past these new communities, did you ever wonder what goes on in the world of the new home agent?Woman Architect

It looks like a dream job: coming to work at 10 a.m. to a posh, decorated model home, just waiting for someone to come by and ask “Would you please sell me one of your homes?” Well that’s the perception – but it’s certainly not the reality.

A new home agent starts their day like the rest of the working world, usually with an 8 a.m. meeting with their sales manager, then off to the model by 9 a.m. The model doesn’t open until 10 a.m. but there’s plenty to do before then: dropping off flyers at the office; checking the models; returning phone calls and emails; and possibly meeting with the onsite superintendent.

Next, the agent is out checking on all inventory and sold homes to make sure they are being built they way they were ordered. The weather doesn’t care that the agent is dressed in their Sunday best and ready to greet customers at the model.

And then there is paperwork – updates to the customer, builder, lender, customer’s broker, onsite super, design center coordinator, appraiser, and more. All these reports are crucial so that home of your dreams is exactly the way you ordered it.

It’s now 10 a.m. and the model officially closes at 6 p.m., unless there are still customers in model homes or contracts to be written. Lunch is 10 minutes whenever the agent can steal it. A new home agent routinely puts in 10 hours that can easily turn into 12.

Is it all worth it? Ask any new home sales person and they will likely tell you that even with all the hours, paperwork and duties, selling new homes is still their “dream job”. And yes, they live for that moment when you come through that door and ask “Would you please sell me one of your homes?” Because that is the most rewarding.

Thinking about buying new construction? Visit to view new homes communities in North and South Carolina.

Mike LaRuffa
President, Builder Services Inc.



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