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: 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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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: #1 Reason to Sell Your Home NOW


Its as simple as one little word…PRICE

The price of any item (including residential real estate) is determined by ‘supply and demand’. If many people are looking to buy an item and the supply of that item is limited, the price of that item increases.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the supply of homes for sale dramatically increases every spring. Putting your home on the market now instead of waiting for the increased competition of the spring might make a lot of sense.

Buyers in the market during the winter months are truly motivated purchasers. They want to buy now. With limited inventory available in most markets currently, a seller will be in a great position to negotiate.


Contact The Lee Ann Miller today to get your home Sold!




Posted by the KMC Crew on January 13th 2013
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Real Estate: 5 Reasons to Sell Now

Audrey Cir
Many sellers feel that the spring is the best time to place their home on the market as buyer demand increases at that time of year. However, the fall and winter have their own advantages. Here are five reasons to sell now.

1) Only Serious Buyers Are Out

At this time of year, only those purchasers who are serious about buying a home will be in the marketplace. You and your family will not be bothered and inconvenienced by mere ‘lookers’. The lookers are at the mall or online doing their holiday shopping.

2) There Is Far Less Competition

Housing supply always shrinks dramatically at this time of year. The choices for buyers will be limited. Don’t wait until the spring when all the other potential sellers in your market will put their homes up for sale.

3) The Process Will Be Quicker

One of the biggest challenges of the 2013 housing market has been the length of time it takes from contract to closing. Banks have been inundated with both purchase and refinancing loan requests. Both of these will slow in the winter cutting timelines and the frustration these delays cause both buyers and sellers.

4) There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move-Up

If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by over 25% from now to 2018. If you are moving to a higher priced home, it will wind-up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. You can also lock-in your 30 year housing expense with historically low interest rates right now. There is no guarantee rates will remain at these levels in years to come.

5) It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and decide whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

You already know the answers to the questions we just asked. You have the power to take back control of the situation by pricing your home to guarantee it sells. The time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire. That is what is truly important.

Contact your favorite Lake Norman real estate team today to get your home on the market. 


Posted: 19 Nov 2013 04:00 AM PST — Written By The KCM Blog
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Real Estate Tips: Does a Learners’ Permit Require Auto Insurance?

 

(Whether Parents Should Add Student Drivers to their Insurance Policy)

 

Your child just got her learners’ permit.  Uh oh!  Besides the obvious worry about safety issues, the pushing your foot into the floor on the passenger’s side to step on an imaginary brake, and the holding on for dear life while she’s putting in her practice time, have you thought about the issue of insurance?  Do you know what is required when your little munchkin gets behind the wheel?  States and insurance companies do differ, so take heed. In the vast majority of states, all drivers need to carry some form of financial responsibility and be able to prove it, in order to buy a car, register a car, or respond to a police officer if you are pulled over for a traffic violation or if you have an accident.  Where insurance is required for licensed drivers, a young driver without a license must also have insurance.  Typically, but not in all cases, a teen driver with a permit can get away with being covered on her parents’ auto insurance policy, and there is usually no extra charge until she gets her license.  A driver with a learners’ permit must have an adult in the car at all times; this is usually a parent who owns the car and thus, carries the insurance on it.  Check with your insurance agent for the company’s procedure on including a young driver with a permit on the parents’ policy.  State law also comes into play. Most states will not require that a beginning driver with a learner’s permit have his or her own insurance. In those cases, however, the car being used must be insured; it can be insured under another person’s policy, but it must carry the mandatory minimum amount of insurance. The policyholder might be required by law to formally notify the insurance company that there is a driver with a learners’ permit driving the car. Notifying the insurance company should be done regardless of state laws or policy stipulations. Normally in these circumstances, the driver-in-training will not be officially listed under the parents’ insurance policy, but they will still be covered should anything happen while they are driving.  That is not to say that learners’ permit insurance does not exist. Insurance specifically for those with learners’ permits is sold. It is just not usually necessary. Ask your auto insurance provider for the rules in your state and you can search online to find quotes if such insurance is required.  Note that if your child is taking lessons with a driving school, he or she will be covered under the driving school’s insurance policy while driving the school’s car.  That coverage does not extend to your child driving any other vehicle, however. ***If your child makes A’s & B’s, and has taken a drivers safety course, you may be entitled to additional savings under your auto insurance policy!  Make sure to advise your insurance company if your child qualifies and they will usually request a copy of their most recent report card and a drivers’ training certificate and they will add these discounts right away! Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!!  The Lee Ann Miller Team

Real Estate Market: The Spring Market Recovery

It is looking like the long-awaited real estate recovery has taken off!  While the past few years have presented a few challenges to sellers and buyers alike, 2012 has come out of the blocks very strong – exceeding our expectations.  According to the January report from the Carolina MLS service which serves Charlotte and the surrounding counties, the MLS closed transactions increased 9.2% January 2012 as compared with January 2011.  However, the Allen Tate Company Charlotte region closed sales increased 21.7% – our growth is more than double the overall market growth!  What does that mean for buyers and sellers?  Great news on both fronts.  For buyers, you should be feeling more confident that the economic rebound we have seen in the past six months provides job security.  You also should be pleased with the incredibly low rates for qualified buyers – hovering around 3.25% for 15-year fixed and 3.75% for a 30-year FHA loan.  If you plan to be in the house for a shorter period, 5/1 ARMs are near 2.5%.  And that’s BEFORE the tax benefits for mortgage interest deductions!  For sellers, you are seeing more buyers in the market as indicated by the increase in sales activity.  Properties placed under contract so far in 2012 is nearly 60% above 2011 numbers.  This is a very strong signal that the housing recovery is here.  A word of caution – there is quite a bit of “shadow inventory” that comes in two forms.  The reported foreclosure inventory has yet to be consumed by today’s buyers.  Additionally, many non-distressed sellers who chose to wait for the recovery may now test the market again.  As this inventory enters the market, it is not likely that we will see appreciation for the short-term.  If you are interested in what the market is like in your neighborhood, call The Lee Ann Miller Team or visit our website at LeeAnnMiller.com.  If you use our TateMap Interactive Search function, you can see what the houses in your market are listed for as well as two years of recent sales activity.  

Happy Holidays 2011