May 2011

31 May 2011

Who Can I Trust?

Suze Orman and many others like her have Americans hanging on their every word. Many have said that because of the duration of the “Housing Reset,” the housing dream is dead.

Yes, at no time in history have we had as many people selling their homes, which are upside down balance-wise to fair-market value, and returning to renting; or who have credit challenges. While that is a fact, it is not in any way indicative of what Americans want. They do not want to make a landlord wealthy and they do not want to lose the benefits of homeownership.

26 May 2011

My Visit to Capitol Hill with Lyle Lovett

Earlier this month, the National Association of Realtors sent their delegation to visit all Members of Congress and Senate to discuss issues vital to homeownership in the United States. I visited with Congressman Howard Coble (NC), whose district includes Alamance, Guilford, and Moore Counties, and his staff.

All in all it was a great visit! Here are 5 points we covered this year:

  • Short Sales – With almost 30% of all sales in North Carolina and South Carolina being distressed sales, and with an average time of 345 days to get these sales to the closing table, something needs to be done to speed up this process for today’s buyers. Solution = require a 45-day to 60-day approval process that brings certainty to the closing.
25 May 2011

The Carolina Panthers Outlook for 2011

I recently attended the Carolina Panthers Business Summit.  We had the opportunity to meet with Danny Morrison, president of Panthers Football, and several of the coaches, including Head Coach Ron Rivera for an open forum.

One of the first questions from the audience was, “How do you make a draft choice selection?”  Ron responded that, before making the recent decision, he talked to all of his coaches, discussed what their needs were, and drafted accordingly.

It then turned to conversation about the new draft pick, Cam Newton, and what he would need to be successful.  Ricky Proehl, special teams coach, felt that Cam will not only need to spend time learning the game but also spend some necessary time with his receivers.  From a coaches perspective they will also need to look at reasons why he could fail and reasons why he could succeed.

23 May 2011

Real Estate Adventures with Bob Dylan

Being a huge fan of American treasure Bob Dylan, I strained to find an obvious reason to write about the man on a real estate blog as he approaches his 70th birthday (Tuesday, May 24th). Turns out, the task was as easy as remembering what we all love about real estate…our innate interest in housing, homeownership, and lifestyles of the rich and famous.

The bard from Hibbing has diversified his real estate holdings over the years. He still owns a farm in Minnesota, but his primary residence is a beautiful home in Malibu that was custom-designed and built for the Dylan’s in the mid-1970s when he was married to Sara Lownds. (Musician Jakob Dylan is their youngest child…more on Jakob’s real estate later.)

21 May 2011

Videos Have Become the New Photograph

Earlier this week, I found myself sitting on the couch channel-surfing, not something I do often. I was hoping to come across something of value, when suddenly, a title of a TV show that I once watched religiously jumped out at me (no judging on the TV show ok?). It wasn’t the name of the show that caught my eye, but rather, the little word in parentheses that followed it. There it was: America’s Funniest Home Videos (new).

For a naïve moment, I thought, “How on earth can this show still be running?” But then I realized that this is the precisely the type of show that will never run out of content – especially today.

20 May 2011

Making a Difference in the Carolinas

On May 11, the annual St. Jude Concert for Hope was hosted by Paul and Meg from The Kat, 96.9 at Coyote Joe’s. Last year I was unable to attend when Rodney Atkins was performing, which just killed me, but I did see him later that year at the Speed Street Festival in uptown Charlotte during the Coca Cola 600 event.  This year, the list of entertainers giving their time for the event was fabulous – Little Big Town, Jerrod Niemann, Chris Young and Lee Brice made for an outstanding show!  There was no way I was missing it again!

There was a silent auction as well as a live auction, where a guitar autographed by the artist performing that night sold for $2000. Then after a marriage proposal on stage (she said yes!) the show began!

19 May 2011

Wine Down in the Carolinas

What is one of my favorite things about living in North Carolina, you may ask? Without skipping a beat, I will tell anyone who poses that question that it is the vast number of cultural and fun events that I have access to and can experience. I know that any weekend of the year there is something going on that I can check out.

During the summer, I love to take a trip for a day or weekend and explore the numerous vineyards that we have in the area. Even if you aren’t an avid wine lover, the vineyards themselves are located on some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve seen. Don’t believe me? Then check out a recent post from my friend, Regina Walter, who talks about the stunning Biltmore Estate.

18 May 2011

We Are Growing In Kings Mountain!

We are pleased to announce that Gateway Properties, a full-service real estate firm located in Kings Mountain, N.C., has joined the Allen Tate family. Kings Mountain is a pivotal location between Greenville, S.C., and Charlotte, N.C., making this new partnership all the more exciting for us at Allen Tate.

Gateway Properties has operated under the ownership and management of Joni Smith, and has served the Kings Mountain area since 2001. Gateway’s values and commitment to customer service mirrors our core beliefs at Allen Tate, and we are excited to come together to continue to serve the Kings Mountain community. Allen Tate and Gateway believe in serving the customer above all else, and making our clients friends for a lifetime.

17 May 2011

Make House Hunting Easier

While having access to so many online tools and resources can make the home-buying process less time consuming, it doesn’t necessarily make it any less overwhelming.

There are a few basic steps I recommend that can make the process a whole lot easier for you.

  • Get pre-qualified. When I say that you may be sitting there wondering, “What does that exactly mean?” Well, simply put it’s how much house you can afford to buy. There are lots of great online calculators that can give you an idea on payments, but be sure to talk to a lender before you start looking at homes. You want to make sure you can qualify for a loan and determine how much house you can afford. It is a waste of your time to look at houses that may be out of your price range.  The good news is that getting pre-qualified is a fairly simple process. Through Allen Tate Mortgage, for example, it can be done online!

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