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: Home Grown

basic-vegetable-garden-design
March is the ideal month to get your garden started. Whether you dream of a lush herb garden or vegetable garden, now is the time. Below is a list of some vegetables and herbs to get your garden started. 

First you must get the soil ready. For most, you can simply start by mixing in compost. However, if you are planning for a large garden, getting your soil tested is the best way to start. 

These veggies can be planted in March and can withstand the last frost days.
Beets
Cabbage
Cucumbers
Onions
Peppers
Spinach

Grow these veggies/herbs indoors first, before transplanting outdoors.
Tomatoes
Peppers
Herbs: basil, oregano, thyme and sage

Real Estate: The Role of a Trusted Real Estate Advisor

Homeownership is wonderful thing and a source of pride like no other. You get to build equity, deduct taxes and interest, plus have a place to call your own. With that said, there is a lot more than just buying and selling your home. As your trusted real estate advisors, The Lee Ann Miller Team is here to help you maximize your investment and release some of the hassles of homeownership between purchases. Here’s how: Re-insurance- You should do an annual insurance “checkup” to make sure your coverage is adequate to cover the replacement value of your home and contents. We will be happy to assist you and give you a few of our favorite Insurance agents. Remodel You have to be careful when remolding your home. Some improvements can be “over-improvements” while others can be ‘”under-improvments”. We can help you determine which improvments will give you the biggest return on investment and those you should avoid. Refinance– Interest rates are at a historic low however, they are expected to rise soon. This may be your last opportunity to refinance  and lower your rate. We can advise you if it makes since to refinace and put you in contact with some of our trusted Mortgage consultants. Re-valuation– Monitoring the recent sales in your neighborhood and keeping up with the current real estate market makes you a smart homeowner. Ask us how you can receive a customized Market Report to keep you in the know! Repair- unfortunately, this is a big part of homeownership. Things break and it is usually when it’s least convenient. Let us connect you with trusted vendors. That’s one less thing you will have to worry about. Re-asses- When you receive your annual property assessment, do you know what it means? Do you think it is fair? What actions can you take if it’s not what you expected? I can help you understand your assessment and advise on how this may affect the resale of your home. Referrals– If you didn’t already know, your referrals are our greatest compliment. We would be happy to provide your family, friends, neighbors and colleagues the same service and knowledge. Whether they are moving across town or across the country, we can help them sell their home or find their next one. Contact your favorite advisors today!

Real Estate Tips: Ways to Save Money Every Day

Buy the Smaller Package – Yep, you read that right. Some supermarkets and drugstores charge more per unit for the supersize product. Swap Books and CDs – Websites make it easy to trade used books and records for titles you want. PaperBackSwap.com is a great place to start. Choose Refurbished – When consumers return products after opening the box, computer, electronics, and appliance manufacturers make any necessary repairs and resell returned goods as “factory refurbished.” If you buy direct from the manufacturer’s Web site, this lightly used gear often comes with a warranty. Change Your Calling Plan Because You Can – Until recently, cell phone companies wouldn’t let customers convert to a cheaper plan unless they extended their contract another year or two. Sprint, Verizon Wireless, and AT&T have announced that customers can now switch their minute allowance, text, or data options without repercussion. Source: Oprah.com

Charlotte, NC home prices on the rise?

Charlotte sign 2 

Forbes.com recently posted the top five cities where home prices will likely rise and Charlotte was one of them. This is good news but don’t expect it to happen overnight. They will likely inch, rather than fly, and not all areas will be the same.  Charlotte, NC is one of the areas where economist believe is showing an early sign of strengthening and the home prices are predicted to rise. Moody’s Economy.com provided Forbes with their housing price forecast for the country’s 40 largest metropolitan statistical areas. These are the top five (1) Atlanta, GA (2) Austin, TX (3) Baltimore, MD (4) Boston, MA & (5) Charlotte, NC.  Charlotte’s percentage change over the next five years is predicted to look like this 1 year, 2009: -8.15%, 3 year, 2009-2012: 3.54% and 5 year, 2009-2014: 12.20%. Let’s hope they are close. That’s great news for all of us.

 LAMT&ATClogo

                                                            704-896-5141 Office                                                         www.LeeAnnMiller.com

 

 

Forbes.com (September 18th 2009)

LAST CALL!!

September 2009

I am sure you are familiar with the stimulus provision that provides an $8,000 tax credit to first-time buyers if you purchase and close on a home prior to December 1, 2009. This is an amazing opportunity for first-time buyers to take advantage of the current real estate market benefits. Just what are the current benefits? First, affordability is at an all-time high. According to the National Association of Realtors, 72.3% of Americans can afford to buy the median priced house with their median family income. This number has never been higher since we began keeping records. Second, interest rates remain historically low. So long as you have good credit and stable, documentable income, rates remain between 5% and 5.5% for a conventional loan. I anticipate these will rise as the economy continues to improve, Third, inventory levels are high, providing you with a wide choice for the home of your dreams. Builder spec models, resale homes and distressed properties are all in great supply. Lastly, the $8,000 tax credit provides you with real cash if you are a first-time buyer (or if you have not owned a home in the previous three years). Please consult with your tax advisor for details on this program. So, why is this last call? With the tax credit currently set to expire on December 1, 2009 you have a limited time to take advantage. If you already own your own home and are considering a move, I anticipate interest rates will rise and inventory levels will drop next year. This will reduce affordability as the economy improves and make your move-up purchase more costly. Pull the trigger now and take advantage of this last call! Call the Lee Ann Miller Team Today!

LAMT&ATClogo

                                                       704-896-5141 Office                                                      www.LeeAnnMiller.com

50 Things to do in & Around Charlotte, NC-“The Queen City”

                   50 Things to do in & Around Charlotte, NC-“The Queen City”   

             (The 50 Things to do are in no particular order & are suggestions)

 

• Reed’s Gold Mine- Documented as the site for the 1st gold discovery and the 1st gold rush in the United States. Today, you can enjoy panning for gold, guided tours of underground tunnels, view gold & mining exhibits & have a picnic. Fun for the entire family. For more information visit www.nchistoricsites.org/reed/reed.htm   • US National Whitewater Center 300 acres for your enjoyment nestled along the side of the Catawba River and only minutes from Charlotte, NC. The US Whitewater Center is perfect for the adventurous or businesses wanting to work on team building. The Center includes: 11 miles devoted to walking trails, bike trails & running trails, a class III-IV rapids for rafting or kayaking on the World’s largest, man-made, recirculating river, a flat water paddling tour on 1.5 acres in the beautiful Catawba River, a climbing center (rock wall) that is 1 of the largest man-made in the world, a team development center (ropes course) that put your skills to the test &  zip lines where it is a  great opportunity to see the Center from above. For information visit  www.usnwc.org   • Mint Museum of Art – is a diverse facility offering gallery guides, touchable objects, hands-on workshops and Family Days that enable participants to connect to art and to each other. The Mint museum welcomes families, children, adults and seniors. For more information visit  www.mintmuseum.org   • Carowinds- Entertainment for the entire family! Plan on spending the entire day at the park and pack plenty of sunscreen. Carowinds offers 112 acres of stage shows, concerts, rides, 20 acre water park and more. You may even run into some of your Nickelodeon friends. For more information visit www.carowinds.com   • Concord Mills Mall- North Carolina’s #1 tourist attraction. With over 200 stores, 24 screen movie theatre, restaurants, NSACAR Speed Park, Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World and themed neighborhoods & food court; it’s a true shopping adventure. For more information visit www.concordmills.com   • NASCAR Speed Park – Do you enjoy racing? Are you adventurous? Then look no further. This racing themed park offers 5 racing tracks for all ages, an arcade, interactive games, mini golf, speed bumper boats, rock climbing, laser tag & more!  For more information visit www.nascarspeedpark.com   • Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World- is the largest supplier of outdoor recreational products in the world. Do you know someone that likes to hunt, fish or camp? Then the Bass Pro Shop in Concord, NC is your store. Enjoy a rustic, outdoor theme as you stroll through the store 364 days a year. This store has something for everyone! From a large fresh water fish tank, huge stone fireplace (real fires in the winter months), women’s clothing section, boats, shoes, snack stand, and a virtual shooting range. At Christmas time, Santa and his reindeer even make an appearance. For more information visit www.basspro.com   • The Billy Graham Library- Indulge into a family friendly facility that features the Graham family home place, library, bookstore & the Graham Brothers dairy bar. Take a tour of Billy Graham’s extraordinary life, view art exhibits & films or take a spiritual stroll through the Prayer Garden. An attraction that everyone will enjoy. For more information visit www.billygraham.org   • Quail Hollow Championship (Formerly Wachovia Championship)In 2003, the prestigious Quail Hollow Country Club began hosting the championship and now, it has become one of the top events on the PGA TOUR. The QHC draws players & fans to Charlotte every May where practice sessions take place Monday-Wednesday & the real action begins on Thursday. Past winners include Anthony Kim 2008, Tiger Woods 2007, Jim Furyk 2006, Vijay Singh 2005, Joey Sindelar 2004 & David Toms 2003. Who will become the next one? For more information visit www.quailhollowchampionship.com   • Ray’s Splash Planet- Cool off at an one-of-a-kind indoor water park & fitness facility. Ray’s splash Planet features over 29,000 square feet & 117,000 gallons of water & fun. It also offers 8 out-of-this-world water features- The Orbiter (a lazy river), Blue Comet (3 story waterslide in the shape of a figure eight), Saturation Station (4 slides & tumble buckets), The Vortex (a quick current pool that will have you swimming in circles), Meteor Showers (buckets that fill up with water and spill out), Sun Drops (water squirters), Moon Beach (gradual beach-like entry pool) & Sea of Tranquility (2 lap lanes for swimmers &/or water basketball & volleyball players). So what are you waiting for! For more information visit  www.rayssplashplanet.com   • NASCAR Hall of Fame- “It Belongs Here”. Charlotte was chosen as the home for the NASCAR Hall of Fame due to its rich racing history, deep roots, and the fact that lots of race teams are based in and around the Charlotte area. The Hall of Fame opened on May 11th 2010 and it’s a state-of-the-art facility to honor NASCAR icons as well as become an enduring tribute to everyone that has made an impact to the sport in the past, present & future. You will feel a true admiration for the drivers, crew members, team owners & others involved to make racing a growing sport. The Hall of Fame is approximately 130,000 square feet featuring the Full Throttle Theater 270 seat state-of-the-art theater for viewing historic informative NASCAR films, Glory Road which displays 15-18 historic cars along a banked road leading to second level, Hall of Honor where NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees will be honored, A Week in the Life a behind the scenes look at  of what a NASCAR team and the NASCAR industry goes through to prepare a car for race day, two simulators (racing & transporter), restaurants, retail stores and more. For more information visit  www.belongshere.com   • Discovery Place- is a ever-changing science, health & technology center geared towards family fun but truly is a place the whole family will enjoy. Take a walk through a live rain forest, view a film in the IMAX Theater or take a peek at some of the hands-on exhibits. For more information visit www.discoveryplace.org   • Lake Norman- is largest man-made lake in North Carolina and covers approximately 32,510 acres. Named after former Duke Power president Norman Cocke, Lake Norman is nearly as large as the other ten lakes on the Catawba combined. It is even larger than the Sea of Galilee. Lake Norman’s shoreline that stretches 520 miles and  its deepest point a little over 100 ft and the average depth is 25 ft, no wonder it’s a growing attraction.Enjoy the sites and sounds of Lake Norman by boat or simply driving by. Swimming, boating, fishing & waterskiing are the most common actives seen but the possibilities are endless. The lake borders Catawba, Lincoln. Iredell & Mecklenburg counties. For more information visit www.visitlakenorman.org  or to check out the lake level visit www.duke-energy.com/lakes/levels/lake-norman.  • Queen’s Landing- is home to the Catawba Queen, a replica of a Mississippi River Paddle Wheeler and the Lady of the Lake, a luxury yacht. Two great ways to view the lake, celebrate an occasion or watch a romantic sunset. Queen’s Landing also offers a Pirate Land Miniature Golf, boat launch area, Lake Norman’s only Floating Dock Bar, Jack’s Lakeside Grill & Jokers– a dueling piano bar. If that isn’t enough during the summer, you can enjoy the Summer Music Concert Series at the Melanie Williams Ampitheatre. For more information visit www.queenslanding.com   • Birkdale Village- is located just 15-20 minutes north of Charlotte, in Huntersville, NC, and is a mixed-use complex of retail stores, specialty shops, restaurants, a movie theater, apartments & single family residential homes. With stores like American Eagle, Ann Taylor Loft, Banana Republic, Gap, Talbots, Victoria’s Secret, Gap Kids, Gymboree, Janie & Jack and Dick’s Sporting Goods, there’s a little something for everyone. Not to mention Barnes & Noble, Williams-Sonoma and dining. Children of all ages are free to play in the interactive water fountain during operating hours. The fountain area also host the Mingling on the Green Concert Series every Friday & Saturday nights. For more information visit  www.birkdalevillage.net   • Duke Power EnergyExplorium- is located at McGuire Nuclear Station and features informative/educational energy exhibits. There is also a 1 mile nature trail along the shore of Lake Norman, view a movie about Lake Norman & the community and engage in interactive games & hands on exhibits on converting energy into electricity. During the summer, you can view box office movies from the lawn or by boat. If you are in the area around June or July, The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra performs a free concert you can enjoy from your boat or stretch out on the lawn. For more information visit  www.duke-energy.com/visitor-centers/energyexplorium.asp   • Cowans Ford Dam- is located just 20 miles north of Charlotte and it is the largest conventional hydro station owned by Duke Energy. After damming the Catawba River in 1963, it is responsible for creating Lake Norman, the largest man-made body of fresh water in North Carolina.It’s total length is 7,387 feet, including more than a mile of earthen dam. The concrete portion of the dam is 1,279 feet long and 130 feet high. This hepls provide a dependable supply of water to Lincoln County and the communities of Davidson, Mooresville, Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Huntersville. Truly a site to see! For more information visit www.duke-energy.com/power-plants/hydro/cowans-ford.asp   • Lazy 5 Ranch- Feed over 750 animals from 6 continents through you car window or by horse drawn wagon rides. Established May 22nd 1993, the Lazy 5 Ranch became an unique, 3.5 mile, drive-thru, safari park with the purpose to educate while entertaining, as well as, provide an excellent environment for reproducing some of God’s most unique creatures and help with the recovery of several endangered species including the Grevy Zebra, Scimitar Horned Oryx and Ring-tailed Lemur. Additional features found on the ranch include a walk through petting zoo, picnic area, playground, blacksmith shop, antique horse barn, snack post & trading post. The animals are waiting! For more information visit www.lazyfiveranch.com   • NC Blumenthal Performing Arts Center- is a multi-purpose arts and entertainment venue with three theaters. Enjoy Broadway shows, family attractions, celebrated headliners and international artists in this venue. The Center is also home to ten resident arts organizations, including the Charlotte Symphony, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Opera Carolina and more. For more information visit www.blumenthalcenter.org   • NBA Charlotte Bobcats- become the sixth man/woman as you cheer on the team in the Time Warner Cable Arena and witness some of the league’s finest talent. For more information visit www.bobcats.com   • NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race & Coca-Cola 600 Mark your calendar for a week in May. One of the most popular weeks in racing! Begin the week with Sprint All Star Qualifying & then The All Star Race. The All Star Race is unique and is one of the shortest. It give drivers a chance to express themselves & teams an opportunity try out new strategies or parts ,since the race doesn’t count in the points chase. The weekends with the Coca-Cola 600 a true endurance race for drivers & fans. If you’re a race fan, you don’t want to miss this week!    www.lowesmotorspeedway.com   • NASCAR Bank of America 500- The only Saturday night race in the points chase. This race heats up the track every October and is number 5 of the last 10 races to the Sprint Championship. For more information visit  www.lowesmotorspeedway.com   • NFL Carolina Panthers- Watch a Panthers game as they host numerous teams in the Bank of America Stadium. Regular season games start in September and continue to January. For more information visit www.panthers.com   • ECHL Charlotte Checkers- Don’t miss the thrill of a hockey game. The Carolina Checkers take the ice in the Time Warner Arena every October through April. For more information visit www.gocheckers.com   • Charlotte Knights- Hit a homerun with family and friends when you take them to a Charlotte Knights game. The Knights, a Chicago White Sox affiliate, are a AAA minor-league baseball team and they take the field every April through September. Don’t leave early or you will miss a spectacular fireworks display after every home game. Kids will love “Homer” the team mascot. For more information visit  www.charlotteknights.com   • UNC Charlotte 49ers- Experience the thrill of local Atlantic 10 Conference sport teams. The 49ers posses some of the best soccer, baseball, softball, basketball, cross country, golf, track & field, volleyball, & tennis teams in the conference. After 50 plus years, the 49ers will again add a football team to their list of sports with kickoff planned for the fall of 2013. While you’re there, take a tour of the beautiful & budding campus. For more information visit  www.charlotte49ers.com   • Carolina Raptor Center- is a hospital for the injured or orphaned raptors. Their mission is “dedicated to environmental stewardship and the conservation of birds of prey through education, research, and the rehabilitation of injured and orphaned raptors”. Take a tour on the 3/4 mile long natural trail where you will see around 22 different species of raptors. Also, you get a backstage pass to view each step of the rehabilitation process. This an educational experience for all ages. For more information visit  www.carolinaraptorcenter.org   • South Park Mall- Shop till you drop. South Park Mall is known as a classy mall with some of your favorite upscale retailers such as Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Nordstrom, Kate Spade, Neiman Marcus & more. For a list of other retailers visit  www.simon.com   • The Charlotte Museum of History- Step back in time when you visit The Charlotte Museum of History & the Hezekiah Alexander home site. The Hezekiah Alexander home is the oldest structure on the 8 acres & today the guides still wear period dressed attire as they escort you through the home & exhibits. Want to know how things were done in the past? Then don’t miss a “Living History”, live history interpretations. For more information & events visit   www.charlottemuseum.org   • Bob Timberlake Gallery- Take a trip north of Charlotte to Lexington, North Carolina, the home of one of Bob Timberlake’s Galleries. Here you will view fine art reproductions, finely crafted furniture inspired by 18th century artisans, decorative accessories, home furnishings & menswear. The Gallery itself is a true work of art & offers the ultimate shopping experience. Bob Timberlake insist that his line be produced in the United States but preferably in Lexington, NC, his hometown. www.bobtimberlake.com   • Greater Charlotte Antiques & Collectibles Show- occurs monthly at the Cabarrus Arena & Events Center. One of the largest events of its time, Antiques & Collectibles Spectacular Show, takes place twice a year in the spring & fall. More than 2,000 dealers from around the world come together to display a wide array of quality antiques & collectibles. For more information visit  www.charlotteantiqueshow.com   • EpiCentre- The Queen city’s newest entertainment headquarters. The EpiCentre contains a first class movie theaters, bowling alley and a multitude of retail stores, restaurants and nightclubs. The restaurants vary from fine dining to coffee shops and an array of nightclubs from a Country/Rock bar (Whisky River) to a dueling piano bar (Howl At The Moon). There’s also a upscale lounge/bar, if that’s more your style (Suite). All the nightclubs overlook the large Pavilion, which is home to the “Alive After Five” a summer concert music series. For more information visit www.epicentre-charlotte.com    • Whisky River- Party like a race car driver at Dale Earnhardt Jr’s personal bar. Whisky River, located in the EpiCentre, features the eclectic blend of Rock & Country music. So kick up your heels and head to Whisky River where you can soak up some local music, dance to your favorite DJ, ride a mechanical bull, have a drink or two at a VIP table, or watch many sporting events on 14 flat screens & 3 (10′) projection TV’s in 1090i HD. Sure to be an uptown hot spot for years to come. Good job Dale! For more information visit www.whiskyrivercharlotte.com   • Tour Local Wine Vineyards- Two of the most recognized vineyards in the area are the Childress Vineyards & Shelton Vineyards.  *Childress Vineyards, located in Lexington, NC, is proving to be another victory for Richard Childress, race team owner. Childress Vineyards is a 35,000 square foot facility inspired by Italian Renaissance Architecture with approximately 65 acres of vineyards. Discover the state-of-the-art Production Center, designed to be a highly interactive experience with an Old World atmosphere. Here you can see, hear, smell, & taste the wine making experience from vine to bottle. See why Childress Vineyards is taking the checkered flag in North Carolina. Also, every weekend in May-October “Music in the Vineyards” & every Thursday in June until end of August, “Wine Down Thursdays”, indulge in live music while sipping wine. For more information visit www.childressvineyards.com    *Shelton Vineyards, located in Dobson, NC, started out as a hobby for two brothers, Shelton brothers. Today it is one of the largest vineyards on the East Coast and features a 33,000 square foot gravity flow facility. Shelton Vineyards offers tours & tastings, reserve tasting, restaurant-the Harvest Grill, and walking trail. Also, outdoor concert May-September “Shelton at Sunset” and in October, “Harvest Festival”-a family event. For more information visit www.sheltonvineyards.com   • Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens- With over 110 acres of themed gardens, a dozen fountains & an ever changing floral show it easy to see why HGTV named DSBG one of the nation’s “20 Great Gardens”. It is also a popular location for weddings, anniversary parties & other celebrations. For more information visit www.dsbg.org   • The Federal Reserve Bank of Charlotte- is a operational & regional center for the Carolinas. Take a tour a view the history of currency & coin in the United States from the Colonial Days to the Present. Sure to have you seeing dollar signs. Don’t miss the special display on the gold mining era in the Piedmont region. For more information visit www.richmondfed.org   • Schiele Museum of Natural History & Planetarium- where Science, Nature & History come to life. Study lifelike exhibits filled with live animals and/or mounted specimens, vegetation & land formations showcasing collections of North American birds, mammals & reptiles. Explore the James H Lynn Planetarium where you can get an un obscure view of the sky, the stars stay out all day & it’s Charlotte’s only planetarium. Appreciate interpretations of History & Present day lifestyles in the outdoor exhibits such as the Catawba Indian Village, Stone Age Heritage Site & an 18th Century Backcountry Farm. There is also a natural trail and Memorial Wildlife Garden for your enjoyment. For more information about the Schiele Museum in Gastonia,NC or Featured Exhibits, visit  www.schielemuseum.org   • Historic South Endalso known as South End, is the neighborhood immediately south of uptown Charlotte. It first began with Charlotte’s first railroad line that connected the Queen city to Columbia & Charleston, SC. It was a blooming textile center until the late 1970’s to early 80’s when plants began to shut down. It wasn’t until the 1990’s when South End got its second chance with restaurants, shops & design related stores anchored in some of the old mills & warehouses. Today South End is still growing with an eclectic mix of retail stores, restaurants, design centers, upscale historic homes, lofts, apartments & condo’s. The newest addition, Charlotte’s Light Rail, will only continue the revitalization of the Historic South End of Charlotte. For more information visit www.historicsouthend.com   • Latta Plantation & Nature Preserve- was once James Latta’s flourishing cotton plantation complete with livestock, crops, a mill & a quarry in the 19th century. Today, it is Mecklenburg’s largest nature preserve with over 1,300 acres and is also home to the Carolina Raptor Center, Latta Plantation Equestrian Center & Historic Latta Plantation. Enjoy many outdoor actives such as Segway tours, hiking trails, horse or pony rides, horseback riding lessons, Civil War reenactments or take a tour of the restored Latta Plantation Home. Lots to do and worth the trip. For more information visit www.lattaplantation.org   • North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame- is dedicated to all types of racing from drag racing to stock cars. Located in Mooresville, NC also known as “Race City USA”, the Hall of Fame features a display of 35 race cars from all types of racing, view some of racings best highlights over the years in the Goodyear Mini Theater, appreciate photos & renderings from some of the motorsports’ top artist in the Art Gallery & purchase the widely popular “The Fan’s Guide to Race Shops” in the Gift Shop. For more information visit  www.ncarhof.com   • Lowe’s Motor Speedway’s Feel The Thrill Tour- The half-hour tour includes an up close look at areas closed to the public during race events. Take a van ride around the superspeedway where you will feel the full-tilt force of the 24-degree banks. Plus, visit a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage, travel down pit road and take a picture in Victory Circle. For more information visit www.lowesmotorspeedway.com   • North Carolina Transportation Museum- is the “museum that moves you”. Located in Spencer, North Carolina, the 57 acre site was once the Southern Railway Company’s largest steam locomotive repair facility with a 37 bay Bob Julian Roundhouse. Today, you can take a 25 minute train ride around the historic acreage, tour the Bob Julian Roadhouse with 40 restored locomotives and rail cars, ride the ever popular Turntable and visit the Bumper to Bumper and Master Mechanics exhibits. The Bumper to Bumper exhibit features a collection of antique automobiles, ranging from a 1901 White Steam Stanhope to a 1978 Plymouth N.C. Highway Patrol car and the Master Mechanics exhibit includes a Conestoga Wagon, a corduroy road, and an amphibious plane built by a North Carolinian in his backyard! The mission of the North Carolina Transportation Museum is to “preserve & interrupt the history of transportation in North Carolina and to present this history in a manner that allows visitors to enjoy their experience as well as learn from it”. They’ve done a fabulous job. All aboard!! For more information visit www.nctrans.org   • Children’s Theatre of Charlotte- has been introducing children and educational groups to live theater since 1948 through dramas & musicals.www.ctcharlotte.org  Also visit, IMAGINON, a library for the youth with exhibits and a theme of bringing stories to life. www.imaginon.com    • Levine Museum of the New South An interactive history museum that is home to one of the best exhibits in the Southeast “Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers”. It is also the nation’s most comprehensive interpretation of post Civil-War Southern history. For more information visit www.museumofthenewsouth.org   • NoDa- 2 miles north of Charlotte you will find the budding artist community of Historic NoDa. Located around the corners of North Davidson Street (shortened to NoDa) & 36th street. It began in the 1900’s as a small textile village until the 1975 when the last textiles were produced. In the late 1980’s, young artist moved into the area with dreams of an art community. Now the area is inundated with trendy restaurants, swanky galleries & local street musicians. If you are in the area on 1st & 3rd Friday of the month, enjoy a FREE Gallery Crawl. For more information visit  www.noda.org     • Visit A Race Team Headquarters Over 80% of Sprint cup teams, 72% of Busch teams and 55% of Craftsman Truck teams call North Carolina home-and most of those are in the Charlotte’s NASCAR Valley.  According to the NC Motorsports Association, 73% of the state’s motorsports jobs are in the Charlotte area.  Drivers, pit crews, team owners and many corporate sponsors live and work within an hour’s drive from Charlotte. To name a few…Roush Racing www.roushracing.com, Hendrick Motor Sports www.hendrickmotorsports.com, Michael Waltrip Racing www.michaelwaltrip.com, Joe Gibbs Racing www.joegibbsracing.com, Dale Earnhardt Jr www.dalejr.com, Richard Childress Team www.rcrracing.com, and the list goes on and on   • Carolinas Aviation Museum- Soar back in time as you relive the history of aviation in the Carolinas and around the country. Visit the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, home to the Carolinas Aviation Museum, to view collections of the General Aviation Aircrafts, Military Aircrafts, Commercial Aircrafts, working hanger built in 1936-1937 and more. Some of the featured aircrafts are the Piedmont Airlines Douglas 1944 DC-3 (which is still active today on movie sets & air shows), Grumman OV-1D Mohawk, Bell Textron 1960 UH-1H Iroquois (prototype of the “Huey” helicopter), Boeing KC-97L Stratotanker-cockpit only (basically a B-29 expanded to become an aerial tanker) and the McDonnell Douglas F-45 Phantom II-cockpit only (greatest fighter of the post war era). Or view the aircraft in an air show across the Eastern United States. The Carolinas Aviation Museum’s team of experienced airline & military flight crews have been flying high since 1996. Before you take off, the museum is also a superb place to take pictures, view planes taking off & landing, or try out the active interactive KC97 cockpit. For more information visit www.carolinasaviation.org   • Stay in a Historic Home- Each home offers a unique atmosphere and experience catered to office meetings, bed and breakfast, weddings or other social events. Duke Mansion made famous by its former owner James Buchanan Duke, the Duke Mansion is a state-of-the-art meeting and retreat facility or a cozy bed and breakfast. Here you’ll enjoy old Southern charm wrapped in twenty-first century luxury and amenities, with the added benefit of individual attention. VanLandingham Estate built in 1913 by Ralph and Susie Harwood-VanLandingham, the VanLandingham Estate offers luxurious guestrooms filled with period furnishings and a host of fine amenities and conference rooms several sites both inside and out suitable for your business needs. Nestled on five acres surrounded by Rhododendrons, Cedar trees and touches of stone, it is easy to imagine that you are embedded in the North Carolina mountains. A charming place to relax and rest your soul! The Morehead Inn was constructed in 1917 on the corner lot of East Morehead Street and Berkeley Avenue as C.C. & Marjorie Coddington’s personal residence. It was designed after Mrs. Coddington’s family home in Pennsylvania. The Morehead Inn offers charm, elegance and Southern hospitality within each guest room & conference room. Enjoy a step back in time to the grace and elegance of the Victorian Era South. You won’t be disappointed! For more information about each home visit  www.dukemansion.com, www.vanlandinghamestate.com, www.moreheadinn.com   • Visit the College Town of Davidson, NC- A small Southern town just 30 miles north of Charlotte, but full of history and home to the prestigious Davidson College. The town began in 1835 when the Presbyterian Church funded and began the planning of Davidson College. It was then, the town was given the name Davidson College, until 1891 when they dropped College. Davidson today, is still a booming college town but maintains the character of the past. Main street is the charm of the town with wide sidewalks, specialty shops, local restaurants and small business. Some of the most well-known are the Soda Shop, Toast, Ben & Jerry’s, Tom Clark Studio, & Main Street Books. Right off the exit ramp from I77, a new Davidson is evolving with apartments, townhomes, condos, single family homes, new school, and Harris Teeter. Keeping the history & character of the town takes precedence and by maintaining pedestrian friendly streets, walking trails, green space & culture, it’s no wonder Davidson is a growing community for people of all ages. For more information visit www.ci.davidson.nc.us or if your a Davidson Wildcat fan visit www.davidsonwildcats.com                                                                                                                         704.896.5141 Office

                                                         Allen Tate Company

                                                        www.LeeAnnMiller.com

It’s Time to Get off the Fence

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Buying a home is one of life’s most important decisions – and one of the most gratifying. Yet today’s economy has kept home buyers “on the fence” – and paralyzed about moving forward in pursuit of their goals and dreams. “Lack of decision making results in deferred dreams and lost opportunities,” said Rhoda and Jeffrey Makoff, authors of Get Off the Fence! “But you want to feel that you have made the right choices at each opportunity, especially the major crossroads.” “When you have decided what your dream is, what your goals are and what your plan is, all you need to do is get off the fence and just do it,” said business philosopher Jim Rohn. “Making the effort to get off the fence is the hardest move, as after that, everything will flow easily as you put your plans in motion.” Lower home prices, interest rates at 25-year low, and a strong inventory make this a perfect time to buy a home. If you’re ready to make a move – or just thinking about it, Allen Tate Realtors will make sure you’re standing on solid ground. Let “The Lee Ann Miller Team” know how we can help you get off the fence and get on with living the best possible life.                                                                                Lee Ann Miller Team Logo w/Tate                                                                          704-896-5141 Office                                                                       www.LeeAnnMiller.com

New tool on my website

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 June 2009

Home values certainly are among the many questions I get when asked about how the real estate market is performing.  Fortunately, I have many resources available to me that allow me to provide that information to you.   The CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) is the best way for me to determine the value of your home, but if you’d like to do a little research on your own, I have a new tool on my website that you will love!   I am now updating my website every hour to include recent sales in the Charlotte market with the active listings.  Want to know what homes in your neighborhood are selling for?   Moving up and need recent sales data in another community?  Thinking of an investment property and need to know values to determine where you should buy?   I have the information!  Simply go to www.allentate.com/LeeAnnMiller  and click the “TateMap Interactive Search” button.  From there, zoom in to your area (or zoom directly to a subdivision from the button at the top).  You will see the active listings by default.  Hover over any active listing and click the link to view recent sales.  Sold homes going back 12 months will now be represented by the gray pushpins.    Remember … the data is important in determining values.  The expertise I bring that analyzes that data and makes adjustments for location, condition and other factors is critical.   Feel free to look around – I am always happy to meet with you and discuss your questions on values or any of your other real estate needs.   Best wishes for a great summer!      Lee Ann Miller  Lee Ann Miller Team Logo w/Tate “The Lee Ann Miller Team” Allen Tate Company 704-896-5141 Office 980-233-3152 Fax LeeAnn.Miller@allentate.com www.LeeAnnMiller.com

What’s All the Huffing and Puffing About in North Carolina?

                                                                                                                                                                  

Will It Blow Our Houses Down and Our Insurance Companies Away?

Just as President-Elect Obama has the economy to keep him awake at night, our newly elected North Carolina Commissioner of Insurance, Wayne Goodwin, has inherited an issue sure to cause nightmares.  What do you do with a $70 billion coastal property exposure growing at the rate of $900,000.00 per month but not enough insurance to put it all back if hit with a Katrina?

Most homes insured along our coastline are covered for wind and hail through the NC Beach Plan, also called the Wind Pool, sometimes called the Last Resort.  This is a result of insurance companies excluding wind and hail on homeowners policies because of the huge exposure.   This plan currently has around $2.4 billion in reserves, or money available to pay claims.    Do the math.  $70 billion minus $2.4 billion equals NOT NEARLY ENOUGH MONEY.  What happens if (or when) our coast has a major storm?  When the $2.4 billion is handed out and more is needed the state will begin to access all licensed property insurers in NC according to their percentage of the market.  For example, Hurricane Floyd hit the coast in 1999 and a carrier could have easily been assessed $30 million.  If a major storm hits the coast their cut of the damage today would exceed six times that amount.  So even though companies may choose to exclude the coverage, they still have to help pay for the claims.  And if some companies declared bankruptcy as a result of a major storm the remaining companies would be assessed again.  How does this impact us?  Many options are being explored: • Increase homeowner premiums for coastal property. • Increase wind and hail deductibles for coastal property. • Increase homeowner premiums across the state. • Many of our companies are already asking for a better spread of risks; they want agencies to write auto and other lines of business as well as homeowners, or we may be forced to move the homeowners only client to another company. What’s the worst that could happen?  Companies could begin a mass exodus out of North Carolina.  Farmers Insurance has already left the state.  Encompass, an independent market of Allstate, has declared a moratorium on new property insurance.   Nationwide announced they will stop writing new “wind and hail policies” in North Carolina. As with the economy there is no quick fix, just the hope that the wind doesn’t blow for a few more years until this can be resolved.   In the meantime, I will let you know of any changes that may affect you or your clients.      

Annette White  (704-957-2764)  annette.white@allentate.com

                                                                                                      704-896-5141     Allen Tate Company      www.LeeAnnMiller.com