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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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

OctoberBreastCancerMonth

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

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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

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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!