I am a carnivore. I’m not proud of it. But I do love a good burger. And while Summertime is the right time to burn some ground beef on the George Foreman, I still prefer seeking out my burgers somewhere on-the-road in the Carolinas. Here are my 5 picks:
In Charlotte and Raleigh, I am a fan of Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar. Their Classic Southern Burger, topped with chili, American cheese, relish, mustard, and slaw, is a winner … but be sure to ask for plenty of napkins. I also enjoy the basic (and I mean basic) cheeseburger at O’Malley’s Pub in Raleigh. Basic…cheddar cheese…lettuce, tomato, pickle, mustard (no mayo) … and a side of onion rings. Oh, and a pint of Guinness. Perfection.
I’ve mentioned numerous times that the Carolinas were fortunate to be among the last in to the housing downturn – and among the first out.
Last week, my remarks were further validated when four Allen Tate markets in North Carolina made the list of America’s 25 fastest growing cities since the recession.
The cities included Charlotte (No. 4), Greensboro (No. 9), Raleigh (No. 12) and Durham (No. 14). Each experienced double-digit population growth between 10.3 and 15.8 percent from 2007 to 2012.
Interestingly, 17 of the 25 ranked cities (population greater than 200,000) are located in the South and are largely suburban cities and lower density, spread-out municipalities. In comparison, major cities in the Northeast experienced only minimal growth during this time period, with Washington, D.C. as the best survey performer (No. 27) with 7.8 percent growth. New York has only grown 0.3 percent since 2007, while Chicago’s population has dropped 3.4 percent.
So today, March 14, is “International Pi Day”…a day I have even less use for than I do “Wiggle Your Toes Day” (August 6), “National Bubba Day” (June 2), or “I Forgot Day” (July 2).
Pi, my Wiki research tells me, is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant…the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter…which is about 3.14159. I say “about” because mathematicians seem to enjoy calculating Pi out to a massive number of digits. The record is now 5 trillion digits, set in August 2010 by Alexander J. Yee and Shigeru Kondo. Can you say “boys with too much time on their hands?”
Pi (Greek letter “π”) is an irrational number, which means that it cannot be expressed exactly as a ratio of two integers. Oh, of course…why didn’t you say so in the first place? (I don’t like explanations that make me feel dumber than a bag of hammers.)
So what can I get out of this Pi Day? I rarely need to know the circumference of a circle, and trigonometry is not my thing. So, I say we make this Pi Day one that gives us many reasons to indulge in the Carolinas’ best pies. Let me loosen my belt now.
Most people prepare to sell their home in the Spring. However, if you are selling your home during the winter months here are three simple showing tips to consider:
Shovel the snow. The last thing you want is a fall on your property. Do a daily check of your sidewalks and driveway. Shovel the snow and treat patches of ice to remove the risk of someone falling. Don’t forget to assess the patio and deck too. And mind those steps. Stairs can be treacherous in the winter.
Warm it up. Buyers will remember a warm, toasty home on a cold winter day. Even if the house is vacant, the heat needs to be on. A warm, cozy and comfortable house may even encourage a buyer to spend some extra time looking.
The good news is that 2012 was a turnaround year for real estate – very consistent activity with very little seasonality. But the great news is that we can expect even better in 2013 in the Carolinas.
Allen Tate Company ended the year with final sales up nearly 30 percent over 2011, rivaling 2008, with a total of 19,239 contracts written. Our closings were up 28 percent – nearly 16,000. And we listed 12,956 homes, up about 7 percent over 2011, but we’re still in need of more, because we have buyers looking.
So what’s on deck for 2013? We can expect home prices to rise, steadily – about 3 percent on average. Low interest rates should hold for at least six months. New construction will be big, with lots of options. And rental rates will remain high.
So I conclude my year-long series of monthly suggestions with the one month that is most difficult to compress into just 5 things. That being said, I may run over. In the immortal words of Steely Dan, “Sue me if I play too long.”
Raleigh gets puts on ice this month. The spectacular AT&T Downtown Raleigh Winterfest Ice Rink is ready for your metal blades beginning December 1st during Raleigh’s Winterfest. Look for real ice and fake snow…unless of course we get the real stuff.
Not to be outdone, Charlotte is also home to an outdoor ice skating rink now through January 6th, part of the Queen City’s Holiday on Ice festivities. All this fascination with ice and snow makes we question the real reason why Yankees move south. Admit it…the social aspect of waiting in line to buy milk and bread at the slightest hint of winter weather is hard to resist.