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


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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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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: 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! 




FREE Summer Fun Events

Looking for something to do this Summer and is easy on the wallet? McGuire Nuclear Station is ready to help. McGuire is hosting Movies@McGuire and a one day Summer Camp. 

Movies @ McGuire 

July 10th at 8:45 pm – HOME

August 14th at 8:15 pm – TBD

A wonderful way to watch a movie with family and friends. The movie is shown on 2 large screens that can be enjoyed by land or by boat. Refreshments are available for purchase. Don’t forget to bring a blanket or chairs.



One Day Summer Camp

August 7th from 10 am-3 pm

A fun filled day of Scientific discovery & excitement. This is a first come, first served event. To register call 980-875-5600

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.