North Carolina Tag

11 May 2016

BEST NC: Making a Mark

Recently, 125 North Carolina-based CEOs saddled up to move the public education needle. The education systems of America are not built for producing job-ready students for today’s changing world. But BEST NC is working hard to change that. The group’s newest initiative, It’s Time to Lead (Again), focuses on critical issues facing the state’s education system – and what needs to be done. BEST NC believes that it’s time for North Carolina to once again lead the nation in education. This non-profit, non-partisan coalition of business leaders is committed to improving North Carolina’s education system through policy and advocacy to meet our growing economic demands and prepare students for success in school, work and life. Leading the nation in education starts with attracting...
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4 Dec 2013

Destination Carolinas!

We frequently hear media reports about yet another company moving to the Carolinas. This is great news – translating to job creation, home buyers and overall economic growth. But did you ever stop to think WHY their employees would want to move here? In 1999, I had the opportunity to relocate to the Carolinas to operate the Relocation Division of Allen Tate Company. My first question was “What could the Carolinas and Charlotte offer my husband and me?” We would be relocating from exciting Atlanta, home to the World Series Atlanta Braves and host to the recent summer Olympics. Could the Carolinas offer us the same kind of opportunities? We began to explore that question – and found many of the same...
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4 Nov 2013

Rockin’ with the Carolina Panthers

When I was in school, we heard a lot about the 3 R’s – reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic. Today, we’ve added another “R” to the list – rock. Just about every K-12 school in the Carolinas has a large rock in the school yard. I’m talking about the enormous painted boulder that serves as a banner, billboard, birthday card and display of every form of school spirit. The rocks may have originated because of our jagged Southern topography, but if you think about it, the school spirit rock is one of the first forms of social media. Always original, constantly changing and worth checking often, just to make sure you don’t miss something newsworthy. This year, Allen Tate Company found a really cool...
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15 Jul 2013

You Better Believe That You Can Achieve It

Market Update for CarolinasBelieving you can achieve is half the battle when facing any challenge. It’s that same kind of confidence driving buyers back to the Carolinas’ real estate market in 2013.

In the latest edition of Carolinas Market Update, I talk about confidence and its considerable impact on today’s real estate market. There are plenty of good reasons to be confident right now. Appreciating home values, more realistic comparables, and a modest increase in interest rates have consumers asking “when do I pull the trigger for my next life move?”

The “confidence factor” is key to a stable and healthy real estate market. As home values continue to appreciate, buyers have a returned confidence in knowing that they can sell their home at a certain price, and buy a home that will increase in value at the same or greater pace.

24 Jun 2013

Success in Today’s Real Estate Market

80380382So you are hearing the good news that real estate markets across the Carolinas are improving and you are thinking is this the time to sell or buy?  The answer is a resounding yes!

It is true the real estate markets in most, if not all, communities has greatly improved.  But no matter how good the real estate market is, you need to take steps to insure the greatest likelihood of success whether you are buying a home or if you are selling your house.  Here are three easy steps to help guide you to success:

1. Get pre-approved for your mortgage loan.

Today’s financing is complex so why take a chance finding your dream home and then realize you cannot get the loan?  Many buyers get pre-qualified for the loan, which has no substantive verifications – it’s a snap-shot into the big picture of the buyer’s ability to get the loan based on what is said.  A pre-approval takes more steps to verify all your income documentation and your debt-ratios qualify you for the loan in order to buy that dream home.  With a pre-approval your offer is solid with only the appraisal of the property being the contingency – it’s like having a green light in a busy traffic intersection!

For sellers in the market, if you have priced your house right and have it in great condition, you could get multiple offers.  If so, you want to look at those offers that have buyers with solid financing options, and in writing.  In this improving market, you don’t want to take a chance on a buyer who hasn’t confirmed their financial ability to buy your house because you risk losing that buyer who does have good financing!

16 Jul 2012

We’ve Got the Music in NC

As usual, it has started off as a great season for concerts goers. My husband and I started our concert season with Van Halen at Time Warner Arena on April 25 – loud and awesome as usual. We were lucky to see them since the rest of their tour has been cancelled. That same week, we attended the Sugarland concert at Verizon Amphitheater and especially enjoyed the audience interaction. On May 17, we were back at Verizon withStyxREO Speedwagon and Ted Nugent, and bought Jimmy Buffet tickets while we were there.

The Carolinas have many great venues for concerts, with both indoor and outdoor. And there is certainly no shortage of North Carolina artists.

Albemarle native Kellie Pickler played Charlotte on April 20. The former American Idol contestant was raised by her grandparents and cites her grandfather as a major influence in her life. Her sixth place finish was a springboard for her career, which included her biggest hit “Best Days of Your Life,” which she co-wrote with Taylor Swift and reached No. 9 on the Billboard Charts.  When I saw Kellie perform in Erie, Pa. about four years ago with Sugarland (yes, I’ve seen Sugarland four times), she was a very sincere and enjoyable performer.

6 Jul 2012

The Greensboro Downtown Greenway

I love to spend time outside riding my bike. If you are like me, and are looking to explore some new paths in Greensboro then the Downtown Greenway is just the place. The Downtown Greenway is a planned four mile walking and biking trail that will loop around downtown Greensboro. Its purpose:

  • Economic development for the community
  • Enhance urban landscape with green space
  • Promote fitness
  • Encourage alternative transportation
  • Provide connectedness and well-being for Greensboro residents and visitors

When the Greenway is complete, it will be the only one of its kind in the state of North Carolina and only one of a few in the United States. So far, two phases have opened to the public. The photos show you the view of downtown Greensboro from the Greenway, and the art work that is at the Morehead entrance off Lee Street. That’s my bike leaning up against the artwork and what a great place to explore on your bike.

6 Jun 2012

Is Now the Time?

One of the real benefits of living in the Carolinas is the temperate climate coupled with the ability to travel and within a few hours visit gorgeous mountains and beautiful beaches. My daddy always told me it’s great to have friends with boats, mountain houses, and beach houses. That’s the best of all worlds. Many of us have always dreamed not only to have access, but to own a second home for future generations to enjoy.

Because of the economy and financial reforms, the secondary housing market has been impacted the hardest, second only to new home construction.  To that end, if one has a nest egg or equity in their current home, the opportunity to take advantage and to own a second home is here.  There will never be a time in history to strike better than now.

25 Apr 2012

Rafting Through Charlotte

Need a little adventure in your life? Look no further than the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte. It is the premier outdoor adventure center, and for me, a great place to spend a warm spring day. The USNWC is located on approximately 400 acres of woodlands and offers everything from rock climbing, mountain biking, rafting and kayaking, to a mega zip-line and aerial Adventure Course.

A few years ago, a group of us tackled the Adventure Course. It was a great experience and team building exercise. Walking across the high ropes course 30 feet in the air, with a partner, quickly forces you to put your trust in someone else. The rafting was also a thrill. You can experience up to class IV rapids on the largest man-made re-circulating river in the world. Luckily, I didn’t have to do any swimming that day!

26 Mar 2012

5 Things Every North Carolinian Should Do in April

Any month that begins with an official Fools’ Day bodes well as far as I’m concerned. Unfortunately, April Fools’ Day falls on a Sunday this year, making it less likely that my co-workers will even read my updated policy memo that forbids “self-Googling.”

Then comes April 2 and the NCAA College Hoops Championship Game followed closely by Opening Days atminor league baseball parks all across NC. You have to admit the month gets off to a pretty auspicious start.

Saturday, April 7, may take you to a Sandhills favorite…the 61st Annual Stoneybrook Steeplechase in Raeford. It’s a family affair this Easter weekend, with lots of activities for the kids, tailgate contests, food vendors…and, of course, the race itself.

Another annual event “blooms” April 11-15 when the 65th Annual North Carolina Azalea Festival returns to Wilmington. In addition to the beautiful gardens, the festival includes a street fair, a circus, a tour of historic homes, and the coronation of Queen Azalea. Another highlight of the festival…singer-songwriter Kenny Loggins will be in concert on April 12.

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