Category: Uncategorized

26 May 2017

Do you wanna buy a house? Here’s step 3: Pick the right one

Ah, the fun part--finally. We’ve got a lot to cover to get you ready to ace the home search process like a pro, so we’ll get right down to it. Step 1. Make your wish list Wanted: Charming 1950’s-style bungalow. Open floor plan, updated kitchen and bathrooms and space for furry friends to roam around outside needed. Must be within walking distance to grocery stores, shopping and restaurants. When you close your eyes and think about what your future home looks like what do you see? Whatever you desire, write it down--and don’t forget to bring this along with you during the house hunt! Here’s some common factors you might want to consider while you create your list: Style: Is there a particular look...
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24 May 2017

Life in the fast lane

Jesse Samples Jr. never planned to become a race car driver. But the road of life brought some exciting twists and turns that sent Samples, now an Allen Tate Realtor®, on a high-speed journey most could only imagine. At 4, Samples was given a go-cart by his uncle, who helped manufacture carts sold through the Sears catalog. Samples was too short to reach the pedals without extensions and learned to ride in his grandparents' yard. A few years later, Samples' parents divorced and he lived with his father in Charlotte. They spent the weekends riding go-carts but entered some local races for fun. That year, they won the local track championship; the next, they won state championships in North and South Carolina; and...
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12 May 2017

Do you wanna buy a house? Here’s step 1: Choose the right Realtor

Congratulations! You’re about to embark on one of the largest financial decisions in your life as you purchase your first home. And with experts predicting rent prices only increasing, not to mention the fact that current mortgage rates are very low, historically speaking,  affording a home has never been easier on your wallet. And here to give you the lowdown on the whole process, comes a series of blogs designed to help you successfully maneuver through your first home buying experience. First up on your checklist is finding the right Realtor for you--because, after all, your Realtor is your biggest ally, your confidant, and your self-appointed BFF for the next six to nine months. In other words, choose carefully. Why you need a...
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28 Apr 2017

A little dough on the side

Food makes up some of our strongest memories - a childhood treat, a romantic dinner, a special meal associated with a holiday or vacation. In fact, research suggests that the part of the brain that is critical for memory has strong connections to parts that are important for emotion and smell. For Jamie Eliahu, food memories from her grandma's kitchen in New York are vivid: matzo ball soup, brisket, meatloaf, noodle pudding. And lots and lots of onions. "My grandma is an amazing cook. She's 92. To this day, she still follows a recipe exactly, even when she's made something hundreds of times," said Jamie, an Allen Tate Realtor® with the Margulies Team in the company's Raleigh-Falls of Neuse office. Her husband,...
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28 Mar 2017

Take a walk on the wildflower side

Last spring, during a long weekend in the most visited National Park in the U.S., the Great Smoky Mountains, I took a trail touted as the best wildflower display in the park. My day along the easy Porter’s Creek Trail allowed for plenty of time to bend down and get face to face with beauties such as trillium, Solomon’s seal, Bloodroot, Hepatica, Crested Dwarf Iris, Wild Geranium and many, many more. It was the spring break I needed. So this year, I’ve decided to try to find some wildflower walks a little closer to home in the Carolinas and hit as many as I can before the summer sun shines. I uncovered that one of the largest displays of Rocky Shoals Spider...
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21 Mar 2017

High flying in high heels

Some of us harbor secret dreams – and regrets – of a road not taken. But some of us listen to that inner voice and seize the opportunity, no matter the risk. When Keaira Huffman was young, she imagined herself on television as a famous broadcaster. Her brains and talent landed her a full scholarship to the University of South Carolina to study broadcast journalism. She stayed for exactly three days before coming home. That's because another dream was calling this young woman, now an Allen Tate Realtor® in the company's Greer, S.C., office. She wanted to fly. Huffman was no stranger to aviation; her grandfather often entertained her with tales from his days flying in the U.S. Air Force in the 1950s....
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16 Mar 2017

We’re going green

St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, is right around the corner, and it suddenly occurred to me that this year, we might want a wee bit more than green beer to celebrate. So, you lassies and laddies who are handy in the kitchen, listen up. We’re going to need some food. Make that Irish food. Yes, there is such a thing, and despite an undeserved reputation of bland, mushy, tasteless fare, there are some recipes to try and Irish specialties to sample that might just change your mind—and bring you good luck. You never know. First, set the mood for some Irish food with fun and festive leprechaun hats, shamrock boutonnieres, a lucky banner, and a candle centerpiece made with split peas—just a...
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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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1 Mar 2017

Classroom Central: The magic of school supplies

When Britnee Reid (pictured above) dreamed of becoming a middle school science teacher, she envisioned a classroom of children taking careful notes, creating projects with colored pencils and scissors, and packing homework in their backpacks each day. Teachers in qualifying schools have the opportunity to “shop” with Classroom Central each month for supplies for their students. What she didn't imagine was a room full of students who came to class with no supplies. Reid, a fourth-year teacher at York Chester Middle School in Gastonia, N.C., later learned that approximately 50 percent of students in the six-district greater Charlotte region - 100,000 kids - can't afford lunch, let alone school supplies. Some children are homeless. "There's just no extra money," said...
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24 Feb 2017

Swimming with sharks

If you’re looking to tour a home in Greensboro on a Friday morning, Allen Tate Realtor® Wayne Young will need to reschedule. He’s busy then – swimming with sharks. For the past year, Young has spent almost every Friday morning as a volunteer diver at the Greensboro Science Center, where he spends one hour in the 90,000-gallon aquarium filled with 300 marine animals, including five sharks. Young, a certified SCUBA diver, has been diving since he was a teenager in Texas. He earned a degree in marine biology at Texas A&M University, then spent some time in the Merchant Marines before embarking on what would become a 21-year career as a middle school science teacher “Then it was time to teach someone else,...
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