Author: Aprill Jones

23 May 2017

What you need to know about a home appraisal

It’s a busy market in the Carolinas, but if you’re a buyer with a contract on a house, you may be scratching your head at the to-do list. For instance, why is there an inspection AND an appraisal? “Yes,” said Lisa Green, Vice-President, Origination, Allen Tate Mortgage, when I talked to her last week. “It’s important for a buyer to understand the difference between a lender appraisal and a home inspection. In fact, one of the most common real estate misconceptions is that a bank appraisal and a home inspection are one and the same.” “First, if you are paying cash for a house, an appraisal is not necessary, unless you just want to have one,” she said. “An appraisal is a professional opinion...
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18 May 2017

Things to do in May

Ah, May. It may just be the best of all the months in the Carolinas. It makes you just want to get out and do something! Over my thirty years of living here, we’ve often gone to the beach in May. The sun, the surf, and the silence! The crowds haven’t come but the great weather has. One of our favorites is Oak Island, because it is one of the few Carolina Beaches that allows dogs on leash on the beach 24/7, and has hundreds of dog-friendly rentals. You may be looking to stay closer to home this May, though, so look no further than here to see what’s happening in your area of the Carolinas. You could, for example, visit Apple Hill...
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11 May 2017

10 Reasons to list your house now

Thinking of putting your house on the market but are concerned you may have missed the spring upswing? Put it out of your mind. Here are ten reasons to go ahead and list your house. Like now. 1. The Carolinas are hot, and I’m not just talking about the weather. While March through May are considered the spring real estate season, here in the Carolinas, the spring market is so hot, the summer market may just get hotter! 2. Get in before school is out. When ready to relocate, most families prefer to find and buy now with time to settle in over the summer while school’s out.  If you have school-age children, you probably want to do the same, so why not set...
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2 May 2017

8 signs you’re ready to buy a home

It’s spring and it’s in the air. You want to live in that house. You have to have that house. But are you ready to buy that house? Here are eight signs to help you know if it’s a dream, or a reality. 1) You’ve got your financial act together. Clean credit report, check. Little or no debt, check. And, there are other ways your financial house should be in order before you can make your move. Do you make enough money or have income from other sources that make the house affordable? Do you have funds for the downpayment and closing fees? It all adds up. Can you cover it? 2) You’re ready to settle down for a while. Before you...
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13 Apr 2017

5 tips for throwing a killer housewarming party

Thinking about giving a friend, neighbor, or even yourself a housewarming party? I love these gatherings because most people have no preconceived notions or expectations of what it should be—except awesome. Take a look at these five tips to get the ball rolling. 1) Celebrate the dream home with a dream theme. The possibilities are endless, so think about what the homeowners need, want or can handle. Will they be landscaping or did they just complete a landscape renovation? Could be a garden party. A “stock the bar party” is a great way to toast the new home. Or how about a “laundry day party” for first-time homeowners or newlyweds? The theme then sets the tone for food, decorations and gifts. 2)...
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28 Mar 2017

Take a walk on the wildflower side

Last spring, during a long weekend in the most visited National Park in the U.S., the Great Smoky Mountains, I took a trail touted as the best wildflower display in the park. My day along the easy Porter’s Creek Trail allowed for plenty of time to bend down and get face to face with beauties such as trillium, Solomon’s seal, Bloodroot, Hepatica, Crested Dwarf Iris, Wild Geranium and many, many more. It was the spring break I needed. So this year, I’ve decided to try to find some wildflower walks a little closer to home in the Carolinas and hit as many as I can before the summer sun shines. I uncovered that one of the largest displays of Rocky Shoals Spider...
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16 Mar 2017

We’re going green

St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, is right around the corner, and it suddenly occurred to me that this year, we might want a wee bit more than green beer to celebrate. So, you lassies and laddies who are handy in the kitchen, listen up. We’re going to need some food. Make that Irish food. Yes, there is such a thing, and despite an undeserved reputation of bland, mushy, tasteless fare, there are some recipes to try and Irish specialties to sample that might just change your mind—and bring you good luck. You never know. First, set the mood for some Irish food with fun and festive leprechaun hats, shamrock boutonnieres, a lucky banner, and a candle centerpiece made with split peas—just a...
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8 Mar 2017

#TBT Home staging secrets

“All the world’s a stage” – and so is your home when it’s on the market. It’s important that you present your property in a way that helps buyers visualize themselves at home – in your home. To give your home that “wow” factor and distinguish it from the competition: 1. Get rid of clutter. Most of us have it, but when you’re trying to sell a home, clutter can distract buyers from what you really want them to notice. Pare down your belongings and remove personal items, such as photos, children’s artwork and vacation souvenirs. You’ll enhance your home visually, and make the space look bigger. But don’t hide your clutter in the closet: You'll want to show off your storage space, too. 2....
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7 Mar 2017

Get your home improvement ROI—and enjoy it, too!

Yes, I know. There are plenty of lists online about which home improvements will give you the greatest return on investment. There are TV shows, past and present, from Biggest Bang for the Buck to Flip or Flop. Pinterest, Houzz and other social sites are full of ideas and opinions. Feeling a bit overwhelmed, I turned to an expert to get the real scoop on the subject. It turns out Allen Tate Realtors® President Phyllis Brookshire has a lot to say on the topic. You might be surprised when you find out her point of view on what to do, and what not to do, when it comes to getting the biggest ROI when it comes to home improvement. “For the most...
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