Treat Yourself to These Carolina Eateries

27 May

Hungry? Well here’s our take on some tasty Carolina eateries that should satisfy even the biggest appetite.


The Tavern in Old Salem  was built in 1816, and features dishes inspired by 19th century Moravians, served in an upscale casual environment.

At Soby’s New South Cuisine in Greenville, SC, rub elbows with the city’s movers and shakers while enjoying fresh, delicious dishes.

Race over to the Speedway Club Restaurant in Concord, NC for one of the area’s most unique dining experiences—delectable food, gracious hospitality, and a panoramic look at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Down Home

Fried chicken worth standing in line for is served at Prices Chicken Coop in Charlotte, as seen in this Travel Channel feature.

Mama Dips, has been a Chapel Hill destination since 1976, and Mama Dip’s two cookbooks have been touted by famous chefs and food writers around the world.

Dames Chicken and Waffles in Greensboro and Durham serves up this soul food worthy of a New York Times mention.

The Beacon Drive in Spartanburg, SC sells more iced tea than any other restaurant in the U.S, perfectly paired with their Chili-Cheese A-Plenty or BBQ hash.

Eastern vs. Western

Try western style Carolina barbeque pork at Lexington BBQ, – in the white building on the hill in Lexington, NC, which has grown to a nationally known barbecue restaurant.

Get a taste of Eastern style barbeque at the Skylight Inn – in Ayden, NC, featured in National Geographic’s book Back Roads America.


Cowfish with locations in Charlotte and Raleigh specializes in sushi, burgers, and “burgushi” and bento boxes.

Chef and the Farmer has been made famous through the PBS series A Chef’s Life with chef Vivian Howard narrating small town life in Kinston, NC while running an upscale, new southern cuisine restaurant.

Featured on the Food Network’s Unique Eats and named in Gourmet Magazine’s “America’s Top 50 Restaurants,” Lantern in Chapel Hill serves up Asian fare with southern ingredients.

And now, you are no doubt starved, so load up the car and let’s go eat!

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

Allen Tate Luxury Portfolio Online Collection – Volume 2

21 May

Luxury-FB-May-Cover (1)The Allen Tate Luxury Portfolio Online Collection May Edition has arrived!   From lake front properties to countryside estates, this magazine features some of the finest properties in the Carolinas.

Each luxury property featured offers the reader color photos, a detailed property description and agent contact information. The magazine links directly to additional property photos and listing price.

To explore additional luxury properties available in the Carolinas, please visit the Allen Tate Luxury Portfolio Collection.


Phyllis Brookshire
President, Allen Tate Realtors®

The market for Jumbo Loan financing options

20 May

JumboThere is a lot of good news as it relates to buyers who are looking into financing a mortgage with jumbo loan terms.  So what exactly is a jumbo loan?   This is a loan in excess of FNMA/Freddie Mac’s loan limits.  In the Carolina’s, this is any loan over $417,000.   This limit has not changed in the past few years.   A few years back, Jumbo loans were less available than they are today.

When you as a buyer, are looking into jumbo financing you should know that the rates/terms have gotten considerablybetter over the last few years.  In fact, many times they are the same or could be better than a typical loan program.

There are also more lenders offering these loan programs, so more choices and more options for financing.

The issue we hear about most – the amount of documentation required for these loans.   It’s the same amount as a typical mortgage loan program today.  The difference is most jumbo buyers are typically move-up buyers, many of whom have not financing since 2007/2008.   This was before the housing crisis and before the requirements for documentation were so onerous.

Many buyers feel as if lenders are being invasive and that it has become much more personal. They’re right, it has.   But the requirements aren’t personal; they apply across the board to all applicants.   There was a great article in Forbes a few years back that is a great third party insight as to why lenders need so much information in general.

Many times, borrowers want to substitute what they believe the lender is looking for, but you can’t.   The lender has put conditions on their loan approval for a reason, it is best to get them what they are looking for and not create any other questions.   This way your loan approval and subsequent closing will go much more quickly.

Allen Tate Mortgage offers a variety of competitive jumbo loan program options for you to consider.   Talk with your Allen Tate Mortgage Consultant for more information.

Lisa Green
Vice President of Sales, Allen Tate Mortgage

Allen Tate Mortgage NMLS# 79543

Loans available in NC/SC

Listen to the Music: Part 2

18 May

iStock_000009362476_SmallAll genres of music can be found around the Carolinas. We’ve taken a look at our Folk, Bluegrass, Jazz and R&B traditions
in a previous blog. Here is the scoop on the Gospel, Rock and Indie Alternative sounds that have also filled the Carolina air.

Gospel and Contemporary

Mt. Airy, NC native Andy Griffith graduated with a music degree from UNC at Chapel Hill. In 1996, he released I Love to Tell the Story – 25 Timeless Hymns, winning a Grammy for best Southern ,Country, or Bluegrass Gospel album.

Urban Gospel great Donald Lawrence was born in Gastonia and was host of How Sweet the Sound; The Search for the Best Church Choir in America tour from 2008-2013. He is based in Charlotte.

2011 Grammy winners in the Contemporary Christian category, producer/songwriter Ed Cash grew up in Charlotte, and singer/songwriter Laura Story hails from Spartanburg.

Rocking and Rolling
One of the major Southern rock bands of the ’70s, the Marshall Tucker Band was formed in Spartanburg, SC. They are best known the Top 15 single “Heard It in a Love Song” in 1977.

Edwin McCain, from Greenville, SC found a wide audience with his radio Top 40 hits, “I’ll Be” and “I Could Not Ask for More” in 1997 and 1999.

Indie and Alternative

The Avett Brothers grew up and got their start in Concord, NC, going on to perform at the 53rd Grammy Awards.

Alternative music trailblazers Ben Folds Five was formed in 1993 in Chapel Hill by Ben Folds. Folds has since found success as a solo artist/producer and judge for the TV show Sing Off.

Other contemporary Carolina Indie bands of note include Carolina Chocolate Drops, Southern Culture on the Skids and Squirrel Nut Zippers.

Can  you hear it? It seems no matter your musical taste, you’ll find a little bit of everything from everywhere in the Carolinas.

In case you missed it, check out Listen to the Music: Part 1!

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

When winds blow, roofers follow

15 May

Have you ever seen roofing trucks that advertise they work with insurance companies?

iStock_000016395160_SmallAfter spring and summer storms hit, it’s prime time for unscrupulous companies to canvas your neighborhood and knock on doors, claiming they are fixing your neighbor’s roof and offering to inspect yours – often with a “special deal” they claim your insurance will cover.

But what if you believe you have actual damage? Rather than fall prey to one of these questionable door-to-door vendors, it’s a good practice to call your insurance company and ask for qualified companies that can inspect your roof. And it never hurts to get a second opinion.

Once the insurance carrier has reviewed the roofer’s inspection report, your insurance company will advise what is covered. Some policies provide only actual cash value, while others will provide full replacement cost for your roof. Depending on the extent of the damage, it might make sense for you to pay for the repairs outside of your insurance, which will always have a deductible for this type of repair.

It is important to exercise caution when working with any contractor. Be sure to read any paperwork for signing anything that is legally binding. You have a 3-day right to cancel any services contracted, in case you change your mind.

If live in North Carolina and think you’ve been scammed, you can call Attorney General Roy Cooper’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-877-5-NO SCAM or file a complaint online.

Keep in mind that your insurance agent is always your best source about what coverages and limits apply for your policy. A roofer who claims that your insurance company will pay for a new roof has neither details about your policy – or your best interests in mind.

Robin Price
Vice President of Sales, Allen Tate Insurance

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