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

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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: Winterizing Your Plumbing

frozen pipe 2015
November is a great month to get started on winterizing your plumbing systems. We all know that water expands as it freezes, which can cause strain on your plumbing system. Below are a few tips/precautions you can take to help save you down the road.

1) Make sure your crawl space vents are closed up tight and add extra insulation over all openings you find.

2) If your bathroom pipes run along the exterior wall, open up the door on the vanity to allow warm air inside.

3) Remove, drain and store your garden hoses.

4) Leave your kitchen sink and/or bathroom sink at a slow drip overnight when temperatures drop below 32 degrees.

5) Leave a cabinet door open under all sinks to allow heat inside.

6) NEVER thaw a frozen pipe with an open flame! Use a hair dryer, heat lamp or space heater.

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Real Estate Tips: Should You Buy Before Winter Hits ?

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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 Your Yard for Winter

Autumn-Leaves-Blowing 2015 The weather is turning colder and the days are getting shorter which means winter is on the way. So you can pack up those gardening tools until next spring, right?…Wrong! You can save yourself some time in the yard next spring if you do a few maintenance tips now.

1) Stay on top of the falling leaves. Leaves can smother your grass and to keep your lawn looking nice either rake leaves regularly or mow. If you decide to mow, make sure you use a bag to collect the clippings & shredded leaves which you can use for your garden or landscape beds.

2) Prune rose canes back to knee height, mound the base with fresh compost (about 12 inches) and cover the rosebush with shredded leaves. This will help protect the bush & roots during the colder months.

3) Mulch landscaping beds with chopped leaves or pine needles. Again, this is extra protection and helps reduce the effects of extreme temperature changes.

4) Plant spring bulbs now and your yard will come alive next spring. Examples of spring bulbs to plant are tulips, daffodils, crocus, and hyacinth to name a few.

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Show Your Support & Wear Pink

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Events: Hayrides, Corn Mazes & Pumpkin Patches, Oh My!

Fall pumpkin - hay balesIt’s time for hayrides, corn mazes and pumpkin patches! Below is a list of local farms around the Lake Norman area that offer one or all three.

North Carolina

1) Amazing Maize Maze in Huntersville
   
Open from October 3rd until November 1st  from 10:00 am-5:00 pm
   They offer a fun corn maze, hayrides, games & pick a pumpkin. 
   **Children 13 and older are $11  and  children 5-12 are $7.50
Address: 4431 Neck Road Huntersville, NC 28078

2) Carrigan Farm in Mooresville
     Open from September 25th – November 1st from 9:00 am-4:00 pm on Saturday & Sundays
& Tuesday -Thursday 2:00 pm-4:00 pm

     **$10 which includes a hayride to pumpkin patch, pumpkin, visit to the petting zoo & warm apple cider.
Address: 1261 Oak Ridge Farm Hwy Mooresville, NC 28115

3) Hodges Farm in Charlotte
    Open September 25th until October 31st from 9:00 am-Dusk.
    They offer a pumpkin patch, games and on the weekends pony rides and hayrides.
    **$5 fee for admission  Extra Cost: $5 pony rides & $5 hayride
Address: 3900 Rocky River Road Charlotte, NC 28215

4)
Patterson Farm in Mt. Ulla / China Grove (Mooresville Area)
    Open September 26th until November 6th on the weekends.
    Saturday 10:00 am-6:00 pm and Sunday 12:30 pm-6:00 pm
    They offer a corn maze, hay rides, pumpkin patch & play area
    **Children 2 and under are FREE & 3-54 $9 and 55 and older $8
       Pumpkin patch express (hayride only) $4
       Extra cost: pony rides $4, corn maze $4 
Address: 10390 Caldwell Road Mt. Ulla, NC 28125

5) Regal Corn Maze in Statesville 
    Open September 26th until November 1st (weekends only)
    Fri 6:00pm-10:00pm –  Sat 12:00pm-10:00pm – Sun 12:00pm-5:00pm
    They offer a corn maze, fun games, face painting, hay tunnel & more
    **Children 4 and under are FREE & 5 and older $9
Address: 347 Bell Farm Road Statesville, NC 28625


South Carolina

1) Autumn Farm & Vineyard in Gaffney 
    Open Weekends in October – Sat-Sun 12:00 pm until 7:00 pm
    Field of Scream – Fri & Sat dark-until & Sun dark-10:00 pm
    They offer pumpkin patch, corn maze, hayride, bounce house, games & more
   **$5 during the day & $10 for Field of Scream 
     Extra cost: pumpkin (by size), bounce house $2 , games $1 each & food
Address: 2480 Pacolet Hwy Gaffney, SC 29340

2)
Cotton Hills Farm in Chester 
   
 Open Saturdays in October from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
    They offer pumpkin patch, corn maze, farm tours, animals and hayrides
    **$9 for adults, $7 for children 2-12 yrs and 1 & under are Free
       (small pumpkin included in admission fee)
   
**They also host a Farm Fair– this year it is Oct 17th and it includes all actives mentioned above plus live music and additional activities for same price
Address: 2575 Lowrys Hwy Chester, SC 29706

3)
Anne Springs Close Greenway in Fort Mill (Fall Frolic Weekends on the Greenway)
    Open October 3rd – November 1st – Saturdays 10:00 am – 6:00 pm and Sundays 1:00 pm-6:00 pm 
     They offer wagon ride to pumpkin patch, hay maze, corn maze, animals and games. 
     **Members $8, Non-Members $10 and children 4 – under Free 
       (Members of Ann Springs Close Greenway) 
Address: 1604 US Hwy 21 Fort Mill, SC 29715


Real Estate Tips: Preparing You & Your Home for School

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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: Popular Neighborhoods in the Lake Norman Area

Birkdale:  Large golf community located in Huntersville with tree lined streets and the convenience of shopping and restaurants close by. Birkdale offers an 18 hole golf course designed by Arnold Palmer, swimming pool, tennis facility and many community activities. This community is a very good investment for families and the homes range from to 220’s to 700’s.  Click here to view all homes currently on the market in Birkdale  

Cowan’s Ford:  Wonderful waterfront and golf community on the west side of the lake. Cowan’s Ford has the perfect location, with easy access to Hwy 16, Hwy 73, Charlotte, Huntersville, I485 and of course the lake views! Homes range from the 300’s to the millions and offers swimming pool, tennis courts, lake access & 18th hole golf course.  Click here to view all homes currently on the market in Cowan’s Ford & Treetops  

Governors Island:  One of the prestigious addresses on the west side of the lake. Governors Island is a small gated community located in Denver with great views and large custom homes. The homes range from 1 million to 3 million.  Click here to view all homes currently on the market on Governors Island  

Hunter’s Bluff : It’s popularity is derived from it’s location and home sizes. Located in Denver and close to the intersection of Hwy 16 and Hwy 73, this small community is a hit among first time home buyers. The homes range from 150’s to 250’s and usually aren’t on the market long.   Click here to view all homes currently on the market in Hunter’s Bluff  

Maple Grove : Another prestigious address in Denver. This gated community features large estates with acreage. These custom homes offer natural settings and lots of privacy. Another great location. Close to Hwy 73, Hwy 16, and new four lane Hwy 16. Homes range from 1 million to 4 million.  Click here to view all homes currently on the market in Maple Grove  

Norman Estates: Tucked away at the end of Unity Church Rd is the treasured Norman Estates. This neighborhood is a gated, waterfront community with picturesque views of Lake Norman. Homes range from 2 million to 4 million.  Click here to view all homes currently on the market in Norman Estates  

Northstone: An affordable golf community located in Huntersville with the finest amenities. This community was established in 1997 and features a private 18 hole golf course, aquatic complex with 4 swimming pools and 3 waterslides, 3 Plexi-paved tennis courts, 3,000 sq ft fitness center plus a playground. The amenities and location make this a treasured community. Homes range from 200’s to 500’s. Click here to view all homes currently on the market in NorthStone 

Pebble Bay:  Fabulous, waterfront community in Catawba County. Convenient to Mooresville, Denver, Hickory & Charlotte. This community offers a gated section and a wide range of home styles and sizes. Homes range from the 300’s to 2 million.  Click here to view all homes currently on the market in Pebble Bay  

River Run:  An upscale golf community with first class amenities keeps this community flourishing. Natural rolling terrain, flowing river, and a relaxed atmosphere are just a few things you will remember about River Run. The homes range from the 400’s to 1.5 million and includes the prestigious Davidson address. Rare neighborhood, where homeowner’s move within the community.  Click here to view all homes currently on the market in River Run  

Robbin’s Park:  New to the Huntersville area in 2010 but it didn’t take long for The Preserve at Robbins Park to become center stage for the 2010 Fall Home Aroma.  With it’s great location and natural settings, who wouldn’t like this neighborhood? The homes range from the 500’s to 800’s. Click here to view all homes currently on the market in Robbin’s Park  

SailView: Large, waterfront community on the west side of Lake Norman. SailView is a family friendly community located in Denver and offers a swim and tennis club overlooking the Lake Norman, an 8-acre park with a kids’ playground and exercise station, community boat dock & is close to a public boat launch. Homes in this community range from the 400’s to 2 million. Click here to view all homes currently on the market in SailView  

The Gates:  Another community located on the west side with great convenience to Hwy 73, Hwy 16 and new four lane Hwy 16. The Gates is a family friendly community with a good mixture of ranch homes and two story homes. In the spring/summer, you will find your neighbors hanging out by the pool & playground. Homes range from the 200’s to 400’s. Click here to view all homes currently on the market in The Gates  

The Peninsula:  One of the first upscale, waterfront, communities around Lake Norman. Large neighborhood with a wide range of home styles and sizes. The Peninsula neighborhood offers tree lined streets, miles of sidewalks, 18 hole golf course, swim & tennis club, club house, plus a Yacht club. Wonderful waterfront community in Cornelius. Homes range from the 300’s to 4.5 million. Click here to view all homes currently on the market in The Peninsula  

The Point:  Magnificent, waterfront, community nestled on the shores of Lake Norman. This elite community features an 18 hole golf course designed by Greg Norman, swim & tennis club, club house, and was inspired by a Nantucket village. Homes in this Mooresville community range from the 500’s to 8 million. Click here to view all homes currently on the market in The Point  

Treetops at Cowan’s Ford:  Just like it’s relative, Cowan’s Ford, Treetops has the perfect location, with easy access to Hwy 16, Hwy 73, Charlotte, Huntersville, and I-485. Located on the growing west side of the lake, this custom home neighborhood is also in the final stages. Here you can enjoy a relaxed lifestyle, lower taxes and minutes to lake acces. Homes range from the 400’s to the 600’s.  Click here to view all homes currently on the market in Treetops & Cowan’s Ford  

Verdict Ridge:  Award winning, golf community on the west side of Lake Norman. This community captivates you with it’s rolling hills and natural views. Homes in Verdict Ridge range from the 350’s to 1.5 million and offer a great swim club, tennis courts, club house and 18 hole golf course. The only things missing from this community is the traffic and you!  Click here to view all homes currently on the market in Verdict Ridge  

Westport: One of the first waterfront & golf communities on the west side of Lake Norman. This neighborhood is home to a wide range of home owner’s, from first time home buyers to retirees. Enjoy a 18 hole golf course, irresistible swimming pool with slide & first class tennis courts which all just got a face lift in 2009. Homes range from 200’s to 1.5 million depending on homes location.  Click here to view all homes currently on the market in Westport  

Wynfield & Wynfield Forest:  Located in Huntersville and convenient to I-77 , Lake Norman & Charlotte, Wynfield & Wynfield Forest offer a unique atmosphere with two neighborhoods in one.This large community is home to many families and features beautiful tree lined streets. Here you can enjoy pool/swim team, lighted tennis courts, basketball and volleyball courts, playground and kid pool, greenway and neighborhood events/parties. Home range from the 200’s to 400’s.  Click here to view all homes currently on the market in Wynfield


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