Category: Carolinas

16 Jun 2010

It’s All About the Arts

The importance of the arts, be it concerts, museums, dance, visual arts or theater, is undeniable. The arts teach us about a region’s history and more importantly enriches the lives of those who live there. Oftentimes, when individuals or families are moving to a new region, an important factor that they consider is a strong prevalence of the arts.

North Carolina is filled with cities that offer countless opportunities to engage with the arts, the city of Charlotte being no exception. I’m a concert junkie and recently I had the chance to attend two great concerts in Charlotte.

The first was The Oak Ridge Boys, held in uptown Charlotte at the Belk Theater in North Carolina’s Blumenthal Performing Arts Center.  Ok, so it may not be everyone’s taste in music but even my husband, who wasn’t so sure about going, enjoyed the music.  From the suburbs of Charlotte, it took us 30 minutes to drive uptown, park a block and a half away for free, yes free since it was after 6 pm, and walk to our venue.  What other large city (Charlotte is the 21st largest in the US) offers such convenience?!

14 Jun 2010

What’s Up with the Upper End Market?

There has been a lot of conversation recently about the first time homebuyer’s tax credit and its effects on the market. But what about the upper end of the market, specifically homes priced at $750,000 and above?

To understand the current status, we need to review what impacts buyers and sellers in this part of the market:

  • Ability to get mortgages
  • Inventory of homes on the market
  • Consumer confidence

While the same 3 factors affect all buyers and sellers regardless of price point these trends affect the high-end buyer a little differently. Let’s take a look at how this group specifically has been affected.

11 Jun 2010

The Spirit Rides On!

On May 20, 1775, British oppression reached a boiling point and the Scots-Irish drafted the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. This May, a statue of Captain Jack was erected in Charlotte, NC in honor of the brave citizens who delivered the Declaration one full year prior to the Philadelphia signing.

North Carolina stirred the pot.   Cornwallis called us “A Hornet’s Nest.”

Independence has been the cornerstone of America.  In residential housing, independents are still the driving force.  Contrary to what one might think, there is no national real estate company.  Yes, there are brands that folks may identify as such, but with those franchise brands, there is a required disclosure: “Each office is independently owned and operated.”

11 Jun 2010

Taste of Charlotte Starts Today!

We all love to eat…and there’s no better time to try new foods and restaurants in Charlotte than during the “Taste of Charlotte” festival, June 11-13. Whether you favor BBQ, Indian cuisine, fine wines, or gourmet pizza, it’s all found along Tryon Street in Uptown Charlotte this weekend. Best of all, admission is free!

Food, drinks, dancing and music are part of the festival, and it’s not to be missed. Invite your friends who are new to Charlotte to attend…maybe offer them a few “Festival Coins” so you can treat them to some of the delicious food. The event is very “kid-friendly” with many games and activities just for the youngsters.

10 Jun 2010

Taking a Look at the Triad

I’m often asked how the real estate market is doing in the Triad Region.  In fact, one person recently commented that if the real estate market is improving, then everything thing else will too.  Housing normally leads the economy and I have to say the last 60 days have been fun again!   The first quarter was a promising start for 2010 real estate sales in the Triad market. March was especially strong and the federal government’s tax credits helped stimulate more April sales.

For those who are trying to sell their home, just remember that selling a home is dependent upon numerous conditions, especially price and maintenance. If your home is priced correctly and is in great condition, it will take approximately 4 months to sell a house in the Triad.  The average number of days your home will spend on the market will also slowly decline as the spring market continues to accelerate.

7 Jun 2010

What Does Quality of Life Mean To You?

The long term health of a real estate market is impacted by several factors. Previously, I discussed the importance of supply and demand. Another factor that plays an equally important role is quality of life. Unlike supply and demand, quality of life is not objective.   What does it really mean?  How would you measure it?  How could it be impacted positively or negatively?

A recent survey from Portfolio answered all of these questions by comparing the performance of the country’s 67 largest metro areas in 20 statistical categories.  The highest scores went to well-rounded markets with healthy economies, moderate costs of living, light traffic, impressive housing stocks, and high powered education systems.  And…drum roll please….

Raleigh, NC ranks #1 and Charlotte, NC ranks #16.  Our only 2 qualifying metros and they are both in the top 20.

1 Jun 2010

New Construction vs a Short Sale or Foreclosure

foreclosure1What can I say…I’m a new homes guy. I grew up in the business and have been involved with new construction for 33 years, so I guess I’m partial to “brand spanking new homes”. Re-sales and new homes have always battled each other. Now there are two more competitors that have entered the ring and are getting much attention. They are short sales and foreclosures.

So how do you decide which is the best VALUE for you? The old adage that the cheapest price isn’t always the best deal holds true here. So, let’s take a look at your options.

We’ll begin with the short sale which is usually a distressed property that the owner can no longer make the payments on. As a result, owners negotiate with the bank to let them pay off the loan at an amount lower than that of their mortgage. What is unfortunate is that, oftentimes, these owners cannot afford the negotiated monthly payment which means that they cannot afford to properly maintain the property. The result is disrepair. It may seem like you are getting a “deal” but after all the repairs are made…is it really? In addition most short sales are sold “as is” with no warranties, which means you have no remedy if there is a major problem with the home! To say however, that there are never warranties would be incorrect. Just be sure to specifically ask if the home comes with one.

27 May 2010

City of Charlotte: Start Your Engines

On May 12, I was fortunate to attend the opening ceremonies of the NASCAR Hall of Fame It did not truly sink in until I was there, but what an amazing event to be able to say I was there!

Having attended many NASCAR races over the past 25 years, I know a little something about NASCAR and instantly recognized several drivers and others involved in the sport. One of the first was Ernie Irvan which is a name that many won’t recognize as he retired in the late 1990’s after being involved in an accident.

Opening the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C. is a great honor and opportunity for the city and region. As a sport, NASCAR has a tremendously large and dedicated fan base that has been waiting years and years for something like a Hall of Fame to open. Given where many people within the industry are from and where a majority of the teams are located, Charlotte, N.C is an ideal fit. It is a great place to not only see a race but also vacation with beautiful beaches and breathtaking mountains, including the Blue Ridge and Appalachians, being only 2-3 hours away.

26 May 2010

To Market! To Market!

“How is the market doing?”  If I had a dime for every time someone asked me that … Over the past 24 months that seems to be the question on everyone’s mind.  I am happy to report that the market is recovering.

The health of any real estate market is based on the principle of supply and demand.  Supply and demand is generally impacted by three factors:  the availability of jobs in the market, consumer confidence, and the cost of home-ownership.  Moving one step above that is that fact that all real estate markets impact one another, especially in an area like the Carolina’s where many people relocate from other parts of the country.  If you can’t sell your house where you currently live, then you most likely can’t purchase in your new location.  Or if you have to sell for less where you currently live, then you might have to purchase differently in your new location.

25 May 2010

Oh to Be in the Carolinas in the Morning!

Sitting back and reflecting on the real estate industry, I am amazed at all that we have been through. There is no denying that over the past decade, we have lived through some extreme highs and extreme lows together. That being said, if we take a step back to examine the real estate market since 1950, it is clear that we are continuing to see forward progress. Today, we are adjusting and recalculating from a 5-year hiatus, which is why I felt the need for the Allen Tate Company to create a blog where myself and my Allen Tate team members can share with you information about home ownership. This is a very important topic to us and is one that covers buying and selling homes, mortgages and insurance, relocation and renovation as well as the state of national, regional and local housing markets.

As the sun rises on the residential housing market in America, there is an extra ray of light shining on the place I call home.

The I-40/85/77 corridor has been named among one of the strongest metropolitan areas in the country. In a nutshell, the Carolinas represent a region poised for unparalleled growth and attention. Why is this, you may ask? I attribute it to the economic diversity of our job clusters, climate (who could possibly say no to this weather?!), pro business attitudes, work ethic, quality of life, and cost of living to name just a few.

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