Category: Homeownership

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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27 Jan 2017

#FBF Before closing, don’t do these 5 things

You’re approved! The contract is signed on the house, the closing date is set and you are ready to go! But hold on. Don’t go buying new appliances for the new house or a new car for the new commute just yet! Why? Because your credit is monitored right up to the day you sign the contract. Lenders will question any big transaction or change in financial status until you have the keys in hand. So be aware that not only is a credit check run when you apply for a mortgage, but another is run just before you close. So avoid these 5 things before closing on your home—or risk losing it before it’s even yours! Don't change your job status. Banks...
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16 Jan 2017

Real estate 2017: Still looking good

Wonder what’s in store for the Carolinas’ real estate market for 2017? No major changes, but that’s a good thing, according to the experts. In 2016, Allen Tate Company ended the year with 22,194 closed sales units and $5.45 billion in closed sales volume, a respectable increase over 21,565 closed units and $5.16 billion in closed volume in 2015. That’s a trend Allen Tate President and CEO Pat Riley is comfortable with – the kind of steady growth that helps normalize and sustain the market. In the January-February edition of Carolinas Market Update, Riley talks about factors that helped define the past two years – and are expected to continue in 2017. “Low inventory will propel higher than average price appreciation (5-6 percent). Builders...
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13 Jan 2017

6 ways to mix up your space

As the last box of holiday decor is safely tucked away, and the final bite of pecan pie consumed, you may look around your house and think that it looks, well, bare. And while most of us are ready to declutter our home after the holidays, there’s nothing like a mini home makeover to breath new life into a tired old space. Don’t worry about breaking the bank for these simple solutions though, because we’ve rounded up six inexpensive ways to go from dismal to delightful. Pack it up If you hate your room but love your furniture, try looking at things from a different perspective. Sometimes the best way to revamp a living space is by seeing it completely empty....
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28 Dec 2016

Real Estate resolutions for 2017

  What positive changes do you plan to make in 2017? If you are looking to lose weight, stop smoking or eat healthier, we wish you well, but we probably can’t help you. But here are a few “real estate resolutions” to consider that can save you time, money, frustration or all of the above in the New Year: I will only buy or sell a home with the assistance of a professional Realtor (ideally, an Allen Tate Realtor®). Unless you have previous experience in real estate (and even if you do), going the For Sale by Owner (FSBO) route is just a bad idea. Real estate can be complicated and even a simple mistake can be costly. You need a professional. ...
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4 Nov 2016

Is it time to downsize? #FBF

Ready to have some fun? Ready not to spend your weekends doing home maintenance and cleaning? Ready to pack away the princess’s playthings and have a grown-up guest room? Then you might be ready to downsize. The upsides to downsizing Most of the time, we think of downsizing when the kids have grown-up and moved out, or when we’re looking at a more senior lifestyle. But today, choosing less space often has more to do with a desire to live simpler—whether you’re retiring or just want a cozier, eco-friendly, low-maintenance home. According to BecomingMinilmalist.com, there are many different reasons you may decide you want to live larger by living smaller. Smaller is easier to maintain and clean. Going small can free your mind and your...
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24 Oct 2016

Halloween safety tips to take the fright out of the night

Halloween is a time to stir up some scary good times. Welcome guests and trick or treaters by ensuring their safety and fun. 1. Clear your porch and driveway of debris such as loose gravel, slippery moss, leaves, etc. It’s “acorn season” in the Carolinas, which means walking on your paved areas could be like walking on marbles, so remove those, as well as flowerpots, garden tools, hoses, bikes, toys, shoes and whatever else could be a safety hazard. 2. Secure any loose railings, steps, stepping stones, pavers etc. You’ve been meaning to do that, anyway. 3. Turn off the sprinkler system. Easily overlooked, but hard to forget. Remove sprinkler heads temporarily if they pose a tripping hazard. 4. Keep pets inside in their...
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26 Sep 2016

Garden Tips for Fall in the Carolinas

While spring is the best gardening time in many parts of the country, fall in the Carolinas is an excellent time to plan and plant for year around beauty and enjoyment. Now is the time Now is the time to embrace fall flowers such as snapdragons, ornamental cabbages and mums. Pansies and violas will give you a fall show that carries on until next April, so don’t be shy about bright colors and big quantities. Improve soil with compost before planting and fertilize monthly for best blooms. Now is the time, as well, to shop garden centers, where you may find huge mark-downs on perennials or summer bloomers that can be planted now for flowers next summer. Planning your garden ahead could save...
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7 Sep 2016

Know your zone. Now get to planting.

One of the best times for planting in the Carolinas is right around the corner—glorious autumn. The cooler nights and occasional rainy days make it the perfect time to get out and dig. Start now to think about which trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals you want to include in your landscaping, but first, know (and understand), your hardiness zone. How hardy? According to the USDA, the “official” designator of hardiness zones, Charlotte, Winston-Salem and Durham, NC, are in Zone 7a, which means plants need to be able to survive temperatures as low as 0˚ F. Raleigh, Greensboro, NC and Fort Mill, Greenville and Simpsonville, SC are designated as 7b, which means plants would need to be hardy to 5˚ F. Landscapers Favorites Another good...
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