Scary Tales of Housing and NECCO® Wafers

31 Oct

10.31.14 HalloweenBack in the 1960s, I was not the least bit interested in the bizarre Celtic-Christo-Pagan religious events that led to our weird Halloween activities. I was much more concerned about my costume choice and, more importantly, which of my neighbors consistently offered the best candy. (That meant to me anything that was not NECCO wafers!)

TV shows like The Munsters and The Addams Family gave me costume ideas back then, but I was always more of a traditionalist. It was Dracula, the Wolfman, the Mummy and Frankenstein that inspired my ghoulish garb. The classics never went out of style … much like homeownership.

Today, my Halloween traditions consist of being crotchety “Old Man Gongaware,” listening ad nauseam to Jumpin’ Gene Simmons’s 1964 hit “Haunted House”, and offering boxes of raisins to the neighborhood kids. (Oh the horror!)

I also like to regale the surprisingly “veteran” trick-or-treaters trolling through my ‘hood with strange and disturbing stories about housing. After all, what Millennial still trick-or-treating for groceries wouldn’t be terrified by these chilling tales?

  1. The median asking rental rate has increased every year for the past 25+ years and has gone up at or higher than the rate of inflation. (The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University)
  2. A homeowner’s net worth is 36 times greater than that of renters. (Federal Reserve 2014)
  3. Mortgage rates are projected to rise to 5.4 percent by Q4 2015. (National Association of REALTORS®)
  4. A homeowner’s net worth is more than $195,000 … while a renter’s net worth is a meager $5,400. (Federal Reserve 2014)
  5. A rental agreement may prevent the tenant from making any cosmetic changes to their abode. I hope you like mauve paint, a pink bathroom, faux paneling, and the droopy, dusty valance that now resembles Cousin Itt. Frightening!

Now I realize that not every neighborhood is awash with 20-somethings still trick-or-treating – some of whom may be living in their parent’s basement. But just in case you know one, you should warn him or her. Basements with a musty smell more pronounced than the occupant’s socks may have a mold issue. That, in turn, leads to bugs and other creepy creatures, bizarre growth on beams and floor joists, and insulation that looks like a stalactite. Scary stuff.

So, those are your real estate tales of terror for this year. But I have one more suggestion for you to dissuade night visitors on Halloween. Only offer orange NECCO wafers as a treat … or orange-flavored chalk. They both taste the same.

Tom Gongaware
General Sales Manager, Triangle Region

Best Rate Guarantee: New and Improved

29 Oct

BRG_4BlogPostShopping for your home is most likely the largest purchase you will ever make. Most buyers these days also need to finance the purchase with a mortgage. Making sure you have the best total finance package for your mortgage is of primary importance.

With rates low, many buyers assume that finance packages from all mortgage lenders would be the same. Between interest rates, points and fees, there can be a wide spread. Since your home is most likely your most expensive purchase, don’t you want to make sure you are getting the overall best deal?

Allen Tate Mortgage has extended and expanded our Best Rate Guarantee program until year end, so you can compare loan packages as you shop for your new home.

Here’s how it works. Simply provide an Allen Tate Mortgage Consultant with a copy of your Comprehensive Loan Rate and Fee Quote from another lender. (We’ll also need a bit of information to pull a second credit report.)

We’ll review your information and give you our best rate.

If we meet or beat your current rate (and you accept it), we can start immediately to process your loan. And if not, we’ll pay you $750 at closing.

We believe in this promotion so much that we’ve increase our guarantee from $500 to $750, if we can’t meet or beat your current lender’s loan estimate.

Educating our buyers on the costs associated with a mortgage loan is a top priority for us. This program allows us to walk you through the difference in what our competition is offering you.

If you are in the market for a new home, let us talk with you about your options and help you compare.

To get started, contact any Allen Tate Mortgage Consultant or visit for more information. The Allen Tate Best Rate Guarantee expires December 31, 2014. Certain terms and conditions apply.


Lisa Green (Vice President of Loan Origination)

Allen Tate Mortgage NMLS# 79543

Loans available in NC/SC

All loans subject to credit and collateral approval.

Home vs. Neighborhood

27 Oct

Family in Front of Their New HomeSo you’re looking for a home, and have been very focused on buying in only a certain neighborhood or location. However, a house just came on the market that is perfect (great lot, pretty house, right price) – but not in one of your target neighborhoods.

So how important is the house vs. the neighborhood? If this is the right house for you, does that override everything?

It seems to depend on what stage of life – or homeownership – you are in. Here are some major points to consider:

What’s important to you?

If the house is calling to you, is the neighborhood still worth considering even if it isn’t on your list of preferred locations? Are you willing to step out of your comfort zone?

A good place to start is You can enter search criteria that allows you to define the type of home you want, or the geographical location. You can also set up a 1st to Know alert, which will email you information about homes meeting your criteria, as soon as they come on the market.

If you’re currently a homeowner, sign up for Market Report to keep updated on home values and sales in your neighborhood.

Location, location, location.

Are you willing to live in the house of your dreams, but live farther away from the things you want to do, your friends and your favorite spots?

Use TateMap to search for homes that are near work, school or other destinations you frequent. You can also view recently sold properties on TateMap, to give you a good idea of home values.

Lessons learned.

You may love the house, but your children will be growing up in the neighborhood and attending local schools. And if you don’t have children, schools are important to resale. On every home profile page on, you’ll find information about Nearby Schools to help your decision.

Know your neighbors.

Is the house great – but the neighborhood questionable? Check out Community Profile information on every home profile page on for information about population, employment, household income, housing inventory and turnover, climate and more.

Only you can decide what is right for you and your family. But if you’re uncertain, hold out for the location you want. You can modify a home, but you can’t change its location.

Your Allen Tate Realtor® will respect your wishes and will help you focus your search on what’s most important to you!

Tony Jarrett
Vice President of Operations and Regional Vice President

A Big Time at the Panthers Den

22 Oct

Social-Media-2At Bank of America Stadium, everything is BIG.

The stadium footprint occupies 15 acres, with another 19 acres surrounding it. There are 73,778 seats, 429 fixed concession areas and 95 public restrooms. On the Carolina Panthers team, there are 13 big guys who weigh more than 300 pounds, including one who tips the scales at 340.

On the field, there are big talents, big plays, and big wins. And those big video screens.

On November 8, Bank of America Stadium will be the location of a big time for 25 Carolina Panthers’ fans and their guests – the winners of the Prowl the Den contest, sponsored by Allen Tate, an Official Partner of the Carolina Panthers.

On that evening, 25 lucky winners will participate in a guided, open house tour of the Panthers’ facilities. Each winner may bring three additional family members or friends, and will begin their tour with a tailgate party with Sir Purr. The 90-minute tour will take winners to areas throughout the stadium that are not open to the general public, including the Panthers’ locker room, kitchen, and famous Gridiron Club.

At the end of the tour, one of the 25 tour winners will win a big Grand Prize – four suite tickets and four field passes for the December 21, 2014 home game vs. Cleveland and four replica Carolina Panthers jerseys.

We think this is a pretty big deal. And so do the folks who participated last year.

Are you ready to win big? Then register now at; contact any Allen Tate Realtor®; or stop by any Allen Tate sales office. No purchase is necessary. Contest is open to North and South Carolina residents age 18 or over at the time of entry, with a valid email address. Winners may bring guests age 5 and older. Limit one entry per person.

Contest registration ends at 11:59 a.m. on October 31, 2014.

Pat Riley
President and Chief Operating Officer, Allen Tate Company

Our Partners in Education

20 Oct

PrintFor 17 years, Allen Tate Company has made a commitment to supporting public education in our local communities through its annual FUNday event.

This fall, we held four regional events, in Greenville, SC, and Greensboro, Raleigh and Charlotte, NC, with more than 1,000 people in attendance. Among those in attendance at each event were our valued business partners and vendors, who share the Allen Tate Family of Companies commitment to public education and generously sponsored our events.

Without these valued partners, FUNday could have never become a reality. Over the years, FUNday has raised $1.38 million – and that’s not counting 2014 monies that are still being tallied.

Please join us in extending a big “Tate thank you” to our FUNday 2014 partners across the Carolinas. We’re honored to call you our friends.

  • 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty, Advanta Clean of the Piedmont, Alert Construction and Energy Solutions, Amanzi Marble & Granite, America’s Choice Home Inspection, Artisan Graphics, Automated Shredding, Inc., AV Homes, Bank of North Carolina, Bonterra Builders, Brentwood Carpets and Bunch & Associates.
  • Canon Solutions America, Carolina Realty Signs, Chaney Properties, Charlotte Observer, Charlotte Residential Services, Closet Pro, Coley Law Firm, Coltrane and Overfield PLLC, Crown Communities, Donato & Grewal, Doncaster – Ashley Vaughn and DR Horton.
  • Evans Coghill, Gate City BNI, Got You Floored Inc., Greensboro News & Record, Greenville News Media Group, H&H Homes, Home Inspection Carolina, J. Terry Laws Attorney, John Wieland Homes, Julie’s Jewels and Gifts, KB Homes and Kimberly E. Fox, PLLC.
  • Leith Land Rover Jaguar, Lennar Homes, McMillan & Psaroudis, PA, News & Observer, O. Henry magazine, Office Depot/Office Max, Our State magazine, Peachtree Residential Properties, Piedmont Service Group, Pillar to Post Home Inspectors, Professional Home Staging and Quantum Digital.
  • Randy Carson,, Red Wolf Vodka, Renovatia, Rite Rug, River Run, Riverwalk Carolinas, Ryan Homes, S&D Coffee & Tea, Samantha Terres, PLLC, South Law Firm and Superior School of Real Estate.
  • TelWare Corporation, The Terry Law Firm, TMC Property Solutions, Tony DiPasquale Law Firm, Traton Homes, Triangle Imports, True Homes, Two Men and a Truck, United Laser, United Printing, Verizon, WCNC, Wendell Falls, William & Fudge and Winston-Salem Journal.
Pat Riley
President and Chief Operating Officer, Allen Tate Company

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