Author: Aprill Jones

18 Jul 2017

9 things to know when shopping for auto insurance

Did you get a new vehicle for those summer road trips, or pulling a boat or camper? Do you feel confident you have the best coverage at the best rate available for your current or new vehicles? This week, Robin Price, president, Allen Tate Insurance, shared some good advice with me that I thought I should pass on to you. So, here are nine things to know about shopping for auto insurance. 1. Understand the value of an independent agent. One of the biggest advantages of working with an independent insurance agency like Allen Tate Insurance is that it gives you more choices. Because a variety of carriers can be represented, an independent agent has multiple resources to find the best...
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11 Jul 2017

Top kitchen remodel trends

You’ve put up with an old cranky oven and stubborn drawers that never quite close. You bought a sledgehammer in anticipation of Demo Day with not just a little glee. And now it’s finally time. You get to re-do your kitchen. A good place to start your update is with a look at current trends in kitchen re-do. Some are pretty surprising, some are not (how many times do we have to hear about “greige?”) some you’ll love, and some, not so much. The good news is that with a little creative thinking and planning, you can get the remodeled kitchen you want, any way you want it. Colors While it’s hardly a new trend, white kitchens still seem to be all the...
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20 Jun 2017

How to avoid closing day surprises

Closing day, as in signing the papers and finalizing the sale of a house or property, isn’t always as cut and dry as it sounds.  Allen Tate President Phyllis Brookshire and I spent some time recently discussing closing day surprises and how to avoid them. She had just talked to some of the top Allen Tate agents about the subject, too, and had gathered some good information. Because who needs unpleasant surprises? Closing day has enough excitement going on all by itself. “Even if closing day truly is the simple transfer of a home from seller to buyer, the buyer and seller represented at the table may be filled with anxiety, relief, anticipation, and expectation Along with all those emotions, some...
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6 Jun 2017

What’s up with the real estate market?

Did you know that in years past, homeowners spent about 4 ½ to 6 years in a home, but now that average is closer to 8 to 10 years? Well, if you were at the recent Breakfast at Southpark event sponsored by The Charlotte Observer, you did hear that interesting fact and many more from Allen Tate President and CEO Pat Riley. Pat was there to speak to a sold-out crowd of invitees about Charlotte’s ever-changing real estate market, what is making it hot, and how long he expects it to continue based on current economic factors and trends. Believe me, this was MUCH more interesting than high school advanced econ, since now, as a homeowner in the Carolinas, the stats...
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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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