It’s Small Business Saturday

Small Business Sat w logoToday is the day to shop local, shop small. Go out and support the locals! 


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It’s BLACK FRIDAY!

Black FridayWhat are your plans for today? Shop, decorate or just relax? Whatever you chose, we hope you have fun doing it! 


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Parades, Tree Lightings & Other Holiday Events – 2015

christmas tree
It’s time for the holiday parades and tree lightings. If you love parades or just looking for something to get you into the holiday spirit, then take a look at all the holiday events happening around the Lake Norman area.


Birkdale Tree Ligthing – (Click on event for more details)
November 14th from 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Charlotte-South End Tree Lighting – November 21st at Atherton Mill

Concord Tree Lighting – November 20th from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Concord Christmas Parade – November 21st from 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Mooresville Christmas Parade – (Click on event for more details)
November 24th from 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm


Carolina Panthers Tree Lighting – November 24th from 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Novant Thanksgiving Day Parade – (Click on event for more details)
November 26th from 9:30 am – 12:30 pm


Light Up Cornelius – (Click on event for more details)
November 28th from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Denver Tree Lighting – (Click on event for more details)
November 29th from 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Belmont Christmas Parade – (Click on event for more details)
December 1st from 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

McAdenville – Christmas Town Festival & Tree Ligthting – (Click on event for more details)
December 1st from 4:30 pm -9:00 pm (town lights up every evening 12/1 – 12/26)

Mount Holly Christmas Parade – (Click on event for more details)
December 2nd from 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Fort Mill Tree Lighting – December 3rd from 6:00 pm 

Fort Mill Christmas Parade – (Click on event for more details)
December 4th from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Waxhaw Festival of Lights – December 4th from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

North Mecklenburg Christmas Parade – (Click on event for more details)
December 5 @ 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Denver Christmas Parade – (Click on event for more details)
December 5 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Matthews Hometown Holiday Celebration – (Click on event for more details)
December 5th from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Gastonia Christmas Parade – December 6th from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Stanley Christmas Parade – December 9th from 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Huntersville Tree Lighting – (Click on event for more details)
December 12th from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Waxhaw Christmas Parade – December 13th from 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

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Real Estate Tips: Should You Buy Before Winter Hits ?

snowflakes_big
It’s that time of year; the seasons are changing and with them bring thoughts of the upcoming holidays, family get-togethers, and planning for a new year. Those who are on the fence about whether now is the right time to buy don’t have to look much farther to find four great reasons to consider buying a home now, instead of waiting. 

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

The Home Price Expectation Survey polls a distinguished panel of over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts. Their most recent report released recently projects appreciation in home values over the next five years to be between 10.5% (most pessimistic) and 25.5% (most optimistic).

The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase

Although Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have softened recently, most experts predict that they will begin to rise later this year. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are in unison projecting that rates will be up almost a full percentage point by the end of next year.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. Your housing expense will be more a year from now if a mortgage is necessary to purchase your next home.

3. Either Way You are Paying a Mortgage

As a recent paper from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University explains:

“Households must consume housing whether they own or rent. Not even accounting for more favorable tax treatment of owning, homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord plus a rate of return. That’s yet another reason owning often does—as Americans intuit—end up making more financial sense than renting.”

4. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But, what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide whether it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe it is time to buy.

Bottom Line

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.



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Real Estate Tips: Preparing You & Your Home for School

owl-calendar
August is usually the month for going back-to-school and you and your home can suddenly spin out of control. Below is a list of some hopeful tips to help you stay organized during this crazy time. 

1) Establish a routine. Start homework as soon as the kids get home from school. This is a great way to cut down the stress before bedtime. Also, Preparing food for lunches, laying out clothes, signing all homework, etc… can be done the night before and will save you time in the mornings.  

2) Get a calendar. Having a calendar on a wall near the kitchen can help you keep track of daily, weekly or monthly activities at a glance. You should include family event, test dates & other important information. Try adding a inspirational quote to the top every month. 

3) Make a designated area for school backpacks. A mudroom is an excellent place to keep backpacks. This way, they are out of sight to your guest yet your family knows exactly where to look for them the next day.   

4) Prep lunches. Its a good idea to have designated areas for school lunches in the refrigerator and pantry. This way you can grab the items you need to make a quick lunch. 
    Refrigerator: Make designated area for juice boxes (school drinks) in the door.

    Pantry: Designate a shelf or drawer for school lunches & store single serve                        snack items in different baskets or containers.

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Real Estate Tips: Did You Know It’s National Water Quality Month?

drinking-water-
Well it is!…August is national water quality month which makes it the perfect time to provide you with some smart water quality tips.

Below is a little list of the small things we can do to ensure a happy, healthy home.


1) If you have a well, have it tested once a year for bacteria. Since August is National Water Quality Month, now is a great time to start.

2) Help conserve water by installing a water saving showerhead and toilet.

3) Install a backflow preventer to prevent garden hose water from flowing backwards into your drinking water.

These are a few things to you can do to help keep your drinking water safe. If you additional tips you would like to share, just leave us a comment and we will add to the list.





Real Estate Tips: Have Yourself an Energy Efficient Summer

summer

Summer is here which means the energy bill goes up, right? It doesn’t have to! Below is a small list of things you can do to help cut some of your cost. 

1) Say no to cracks – Do you have air leaks in your home? A good way to check is to walk around your home with a lit candle or incense stick. Walk up to doors, windows & electrical outlets. If the candle flame moves or the incense smoke moves, you have a leak. Sealing the leaks is the best way to fix the problem and will help you in the Summer & Winter.

2) Conserve Water – Cut back on watering your lawn in the Summer or let it go dormant. This would help you reduce your water bill and conserve water at the same time. Think about using a natural resource – rainwater. Try setting out containers to collect rainwater to help water a flower garden or planting new trees. 

3) Get Unplugged – Did you know that your TV’s, computers, printers and other electronic devices still use power even when turned off? Well they do and the Summer time is perfect time for outdoor activities. So unplug your electronic devices and head outdoors. 

4) Your Grill – Did you know your grill uses less energy than your oven? It does and it could help reduce your energy bill too. How you ask? When you use your oven it creates heat inside your home which may trigger your AC to turn on. When you use your grill, you are outside in the fresh air and you are keeping the extra heat out. It is a win win situation! 




Real Estate Tips: Unwanted Party Guest?

Backyard Birthday Party  
Summer time is a great time to invite friends over for backyard parties. However, many of us have unwanted guest that regularly attend these parties…mosquitoes. Below is a list of some things to help keep the guest away. 

mosquito warning

1) Prevention – Mosquitoes begin their lives in water. Walk around your home and look for standing water. All it takes is a bottle cap full of water to welcome mosquitoes to your home. 

2) Lemongrass – A mature Lemongrass plant can help keep these unwanted guests away. You must trim the top and plant it in a clear container of water. 
lemongrass likes sun so place it in a windowsill that gets plenty of sun. Once the roots have been developed, you can transplant the plant outdoors. 

3) Citronella & a Wine Bottle – Mosquitoes do not like the smell of citronella. Here is a way to use old wine bottles & citronella to keep them away.
– 1 empty and clean wine bottle
– 1 Tiki torch wick refill (thick)
– 3/8″ diameter metal washer (or adjust for size of openings)

     Feed the wick through the openings of the washer. Try leaving about 1/4″ of     the wick sticking out of the top for a snug fit. Make sure there aren’t any gaps between the washer and the wick. This may cause the bottle to fill up with smoke.

     Pour the oil into the bottle to cover half of the wick. Feed the longer side of the wick into the bottle. Light the top wick and enjoy the smell. 

4) Maintenance spray – Many local business have a mosquito sprays. The company comes out once a month for 4-5 months and sprays bushes and small trees around your home. From experience, this treatment does help. 


Real Estate Tips: Kid Friendly Spring Cleaning

kids cleaning house
It’s time for spring cleaning! Make it a family affair and get the family involved. Here are a few cleaning tips for different age groups.

2-4 years old 
  • Dust- windowsills
  • Dust- baseboards
  • Help feed pets
  • Sweep (with supervision)
  • Clean up toys
  • Check under tables, beds and furniture for items that don’t belong

5-8 year old
  • Everything listed under 2-4 years old
  • Load and unload the dishwasher
  • Dust- table tops & furniture
  • Clean the windows
  • Help with groceries 
  • Set the table
  • Clear the table
  • Make beds
  • Hang up clothes
9-12 years old
  • Everything listed from 8 & under
  • Clean bathroom
  • Help with laundry- run washer & dryer
  • Fold clothes
  • Wash dishes
  • Take out the trash
  • Rake leaves 
  • Walk pets
13-17 years old
  • Everything listed for 12 & under
  • Vacuum and/or mop floors
  • Help prepare meals
  • Change bed linens



Real Estate Tips: Take Your Window Screens for a Swim

cleaning-window-screensApril is the month to start talking about spring which also means spring cleaning. One of the hardest things to clean is window screens. Here is a tip to help get the job done. Children can help you with this as well. 

To get started, you will need the following items…
  • Kiddie pool
  • Water & water hose
  • Dish soap
  • Soft bristle broom
First, fill the kiddie pool with water and a few squirts of dish soap. Grab the broom and swish the water around to create a foam on the water.

Place all screens in the pool and let them soak for a few minutes (5 minutes max). 

Once the screens are finished soaking, swish them back and fourth. You can use the broom to assist you in this. Repeat for both sides.

Now that both sides are cleaned, take the screen out and rinse with a hose to remove all soap. Then, lay screens out to dry before putting back in windows. 


*If you would like to clean your screens on a weekly basis, use your vacuum cleaner by running the hose up and down the screen very lightly. Don’t push too hard or it could cause stretching.