Category: Home Services

15 Jan 2014

The Allen Tate Family of Companies: Part 1

"Family” is a powerful word.  It usually refers to your immediate or extended collection of loved ones. These are people that help you feel secure – people you can count on. But it can also mean a non-familial group that provides support and assistance to accomplish a shared objective. That is the inclusive family I think of when I think of the “Allen Tate Family of Companies.” It’s another family you can count on. H. Allen Tate, Jr., founded the Allen Tate Company in 1957 with two goals in mind. The first was to provide an outstanding real estate experience for buyers and sellers. His second goal was to bring “one-stop-shopping with choices” to our clients. The Allen Tate Family of Companies...
Continue reading
13 Jan 2014

55+ Homebuyers – Market Trends and Advice

If you are a homeowner age 55 or older, the past few years may have put you in a quandary. Maybe you wanted to sell your home for something smaller, in a different location or in a 55+ community that more closely matches your desired lifestyle, but found yourself staying put due to decreased home values or limited housing choices. But here’s the good news. Robert Karen, chairman of the 50+ Housing Council of the National Association of Home Builders, recently stated that we are now seeing steady improvement in the 55+ housing sector, as buyers and renters are once again moving in the direction of new homes and communities that offer what this homebuyer group desires. If you are a 55+...
Continue reading
6 Dec 2013

It’s easy to go green

Going green is more popular among homeowners than ever, and it’s become incredibly easy and affordable to adopt sustainable design techniques in your decorating. Eco-friendly design is not only good for the environment, it makes for a healthier home for you and your family. By incorporating sustainable, non-toxic and recyclable materials in your home, you ultimately use less energy and water and fewer non-renewable resources, putting less stress on the planet. Here’s an easy start: Sustainable design revolves around taking existing items and reusing or re-purposing them. So instead of tossing an item in the trash, give it new life. Or head to your nearest Goodwill retail store to see what goodies you can rescue and turn into fabulous home accessories. Install reclaimed wood shelves in...
Continue reading
18 Oct 2013

Choosing the Best Company

At Allen Tate Company, we do business with only the best. As such, we’re extremely picky when choosing the vendors that we refer to our clients through our Allen Tate Home Services. Whether you are looking for help with home maintenance, repairs or remodeling, we can connect you–free of charge–with some of the finest firms in the area. Reputation is important to us, and we only work with vendors who offer superior customer service. We also look for those exhibiting the best character traits, such as passion, honesty, integrity and quality. No more worrying about whether those recommendations from a friend of a friend are really what you want. We also make it easy by doing the homework for you. We conduct background...
Continue reading
18 Sep 2013

What NOT to Do During the Mortgage Process

As a buyer, you are justifiably filled with excitement about the largest purchase you will ever make.  But slow down … and contain your excitement just a bit. There are pitfalls you must avoid on the road to homeownership, as they may impact your loan approval. Don’t open any new credit accounts before or during the mortgage loan application process. Any new debt can negatively affect your credit score and may affect your ability to qualify for the loan you want. Buyers beware: Lenders may pull another credit report 3-5 days prior to your closing to ensure no new credit has been established. Don’t move money around in your checking/savings accounts. Most of the time, deposits into a checking/savings account must be verified by source...
Continue reading
11 Sep 2013

Buyers Like Garages – A Lot!

For many buyers, a garage isn’t simply a nice extra to have when purchasing a new home. Increasingly, garages are on the must-have list. In addition to protecting cars and other vehicles from bad weather and animals, garages provide extra storage space which is always a plus. They can also expand the living area and serve a multitude of uses, such as providing space for an outdoor gym or room for an impromptu band rehearsal with the old roommates. A recent report by the National Association of Home Builders found most buyers want a garage. About 32 percent of buyers said they view garage storage as essential, while 54 percent rated it as desirable, according to the report What Home Buyers Really Want. Most...
Continue reading
9 Sep 2013

The Housing Scorecard

As we move into the last month of the 3rd quarter, it’s a good time to take inventory of where we are – and how far we’ve come thus far in the housing recovery in 2013. Where are we nationally with distressed properties? Here in the Carolinas, it feels like the inventories have dropped dramatically. From July 2012 to July 2013, distressed properties fell 32 percent nationally, according to CoreLogic. In July, 949,000 homes were in some stage of short sale or foreclosures, compared to 1.4 million just a year earlier. How about homeowners who are still “upside down”? Negative equity means that the homeowner owes more than what they can sell the home for. It is a real measurement of the health...
Continue reading
6 Sep 2013

How To Get The Most In A Multiple Offer Situation

The real estate market is sizzling. You’ve done your research and have put your home on the market and voila - your hard work pays off as multiple offers come rolling in. But what to do with your abundance of good fortune? Your Allen Tate Realtor® will lead the process and handle the finer points of negotiating. However, a little homework and understanding of negotiating etiquette can help ensure you avoid landmines and keep the advantage. Before you even list your home, it may be wise to order your own home inspection. That way you are aware of work that might need to be done and can decide whether you want to make the repairs or reduce your asking price accordingly. When the...
Continue reading
4 Sep 2013

Curious About Housing Activity In Your Neighborhood?

market reportEvery homeowner is curious about home values in their neighborhood and how the current market activity may be affecting their home’s value. At Allen Tate, we’ve made that really easy for you!

“Market Report” is an exclusive tool developed by our firm to keep you abreast of real estate activity in your neighborhood. It provides a summary of all the properties for sale, properties under contract and recent sales. It allows you to link to full property details on each home including photos, and then summarizes all the statistical data for the properties included.

We currently send in excess of 60,000 Market Reports monthly to homeowners who have subscribed to the report. It’s like receiving your stock investment portfolio statement every month – but it includes data on your real estate investment!

28 Aug 2013

Does My Credit Affect My Insurance Prices?

credit scoreTo the typical consumer, insurance rates and credit score probably seem completely unrelated.  Who would think that the price you pay to insure your home, autos, and personal property would be directly related to your credit?

As a 30-year veteran of the insurance industry, I’ve personally seen the ebbs and flows of the business. It’s been interesting to observe how insurance companies choose their individual philosophies on how to succeed and take care of their clients, but also how they figure out the cost of that service and product.

In the last decade, the relationship between credit scoring and insurance pricing has come to the forefront of the industry. And as with any controversy, you have people on both sides of the topic.

Despite personal opinions, the simple truth is that most insurance companies and actuaries have found mathematical links between the credit score and insurance pricing. Because of this information, companies can better determine the profitability of a risk and an insured client’s likelihood to file a claim.