Category: Homeownership

30 Nov 2017

Throwing a holiday party? Make sure you’re covered!

Ah, the holidays. Some of you are giddy with excitement, and some of you might be mumbling bah-humbug already. I know this. So, it seemed like a good time to offer some tips for helping you navigate parties and guests, while keeping your risks to a minimum. I caught up with Robin Price, president, Allen Tate Insurance, and asked her how to get “merry and bright” right when it comes to insurance coverage. Before the festivities get started You can go ahead and deck the halls, but before you host a holiday dinner or throw a big party, check your property insurance (e.g., homeowners, renters, condominium) for property damage and liability coverage. Remember, it doesn't matter whether you invite one guest or a...
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21 Nov 2017

From grills to fire pits, 6 ways to keep it all safe and fun

The fall season in the Carolinas brings cooler temperatures, and time to get back outdoors for tailgating, home cookouts, marshmallow roasts or simply mellowing out by an outdoor fire. Robin Price, President, Allen Tate Insurance, reminded me that while having fun, we should be careful. In the U.S., 7,000 Americans are injured every year while using a grill (ABC news). And since, according to the American Society of Landscape Architects, fire pits, or outdoor fireplaces, are the No. 1 requested design feature today, a quick review of safety precautions would probably be a good thing. So we chatted last week, before I could run outside eagerly with my fire starter lighter. “First,” Robin says, “Read the safety instructions that came with...
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14 Nov 2017

Kitchen cleaning hacks

As a self-proclaimed neat freak, I can appreciate a good cleaning tip or two. And with the holidays right around the corner, I’m kicking up my cleaning game. Looking for ways to deep clean your kitchen before you invite the masses over for a Thanksgiving feast? You can be sure to impress even your most OCD family member with these tips. Vent hood Go ahead find the vent hood in your kitchen. Chances are you’ve never even seen this thing, let alone attempted to clean it. This one’s easy: Just grab some borax and treat the vent hood to a nice relaxing soak in hot water. It’ll be as good as clean in an hour or so. Oven Nobody wants to pull...
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2 Nov 2017

Leaf it to us– here’s what to do with fall leaves

As soon as the brightly colored leaves start to blanket yards, many homeowners start to dread the falling foliage because it usually means one thing: It’s time to dust off the rake. Not sure what to do with the mounds and mounds of leaves taking up residence on your lawn? Try these suggestions. Leaf removal tips Use a tarp If your aversion to raking is pretty strong, consider using a brown tarp to do the heavy lifting. Just don’t leave the tarp out for too long, as it will likely kill your grass and annoy your neighbors! Mow Looking to kill two birds with one stone? Get rid of leaves when you use the bag attachment on your mower. Make sure to clear up any...
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31 Oct 2017

6 ways to inexpensively update your kitchen

Thank you, Chip and Joanna for giving us all kitchen envy. Perhaps the only good news out of the recent announcement of your show coming to a close is that our bank accounts will now finally get some much needed rest. But despite the dynamic duo’s departure from our television screens, I have a feeling that America’s obsession with updated, open-concept kitchens won’t come to an end anytime soon.  And that’s okay, because I’ve rounded up six tips to help you get the kitchen of your dreams, without breaking the bank.   Cabinets Want to make your heart skip a beat? All you need to do is invite a contractor to give you a quote on brand new cabinets. Cabinets are easily...
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8 Sep 2017

7 Ways to inexpensively update your bathroom

Have a 1950’s era bathroom but don’t have a chunk of change lying around to help bring the bathroom into the modern age? No problem— here are seven inexpensive ways to bring that pink tile-laden space into the 21st century. Tile Tile— whether you’re using it for floors or walls— can add up pretty quickly. Luckily, there’s a couple ways you can have your cake and eat it too with this more expensive material. Try shopping at big-box retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s for tile. Hitting up these supercenters as opposed to shopping for custom tile can save you a pretty penny. If you have to go with custom tile, consider using it just as a border. Beadboard has recently...
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31 Jul 2017

Call a Realtor® before you remodel

So you’ve finally decided it’s time to remodel. Maybe you’re thinking about upgrading the countertops, opening up the living room or re-doing the master bath. Or maybe all of the above. But who do you call? A general contractor? Remodeling company? Handyman service? Actually, your first call - before you make any changes - should be to your Allen Tate Realtor®. Sure, your Realtor is your trusted advisor when it’s time to buy or sell a home. But Realtors are also your best source for figuring out what home renovations will yield the best return. It’s important to have a professional guide you in your remodeling endeavors. The last thing you want to do is make unnecessary repairs or put money into a project...
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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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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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