The Most Important Questions in Real Estate Today

  Common Sense Answers from Real Estate Expert Steve Harney   How do I price my house to sell in today’s market? Your Allen Tate Realtor® is your best resource in helping you understand what it will take to sell your home timely and at the maximum value. Your Realtor can provide you with a comparative market analysis of recent home sales in your area, and offer helpful tips to market your home in top condition. Successful sellers are willing to price their home at or below market value, and reduce their listing price accordingly if it remains on the market. Research shows the longer a home is on the market, the lower the sales price when the home sells.*   How do I know that now is the right time to buy? If you are employed, have decent credit and some money set aside for a down payment, then this is one of the best times in history to purchase a home.  Interest rates are at an all-time low; there’s a great inventory of homes, priced to sell; and there are a wide variety of loan programs available. Additionally, first-time home buyers with adjusted gross incomes of $75,000 for single filers and $150,000 for joint filers are eligible for an $8,000 federal tax credit for homes purchased in 2009. That’s a great opportunity.   How do I sell my house at the price I need to move up? If you have equity in your existing home, you can leverage that equity to move up. Most North and South Carolina home owners who purchased their homes before 2005 will still be able to recoup their investment and potentially see some return. Sellers need to understand that if they are willing to take less on their existing home, they will very likely be able to purchase a new home at the same discount or better. Sellers simply need to get past the mindset that they “deserve” the same price as their neighbor, who sold his home two or three years ago. It’s a different market today, and it is very unlikely that will happen.   Will interest rates continue to fall? Low interest rates are designed to stimulate the economy by encouraging consumer confidence. The interest rates we’ve been seeing since last summer are at a 25-year low. So when interest rates begin to rise, it’s a sign that the economy is improving. We’re already seeing some small increases in interest rates. Buyers who are waiting for “the bottom” may find themselves disappointed when their ideal home is sold to a more eager buyer. The reality is that we will not know when we have hit “bottom” until it has passed.   What do I need to know about mortgages? Contrary to popular belief, mortgage money is still available, but more documentation is required than ever before. You’ll also need a down payment, but there are several loan programs which require only 3-to-5 percent down. There are several excellent programs targeted to first-time buyers, as well as federal loan programs, if you qualify. As always, it makes good sense to pre-qualify for a mortgage before you start shopping, so you know how much home you can afford. Your Allen Tate Mortgage Consultant would be happy to answer your mortgage questions and guide you through the pre-qualification process.

*National Association of Realtors 2008 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers                                   

           For information Contact The Lee Ann Miller Team         

LAMT&ATClogo  704-896-5141 Office

                                                        www.LeeAnnMiller.com

Charlotte Area Shopping Centers

Ayrsley     NC 49 at I-485     Charlotte, NC  28273     704-643-4148     www.ayrsley.com     Baxter Town Center & Village Shops    1030 Assembly Drive    Fort Mill, SC 29708    877-570-4663    www.villageofbaxter.com    Birkdale Village    8712 Townley Road    Huntersville, NC 28078    704-895-8744    www.birkdalevillage.net    Carolina Place Mall    11025 Carolina Place Parkway    Pineville, NC 28134    704-543-9300    www.carolinaplace.com    Concord Mills    8111 Concord Mills Boulevard    Concord, NC 28207    704-979-5000    www.concordmills.com      Hickory Furniture Mart     2220 Hwy 70 SE    Hickory, NC 28602    800-462-6278   www.hickoryfurniture.com  Monroe Mall    2115 W. Roosevelt Boulevard    Monroe, NC 28110    704-289-6547 www.shopmonroemall.com    Northlake Mall    6801 Northlake Mall Drive     Charlotte, NC 28216     704-921-2005     www.shopnorthlake.com    Phillips Place                      Cameron Valley Parkway at     Fariview Rd    Charlotte, NC 28210 www.phillipsplace.com       Prime Outlets-Gaffney    1 Factory Shops Boulevard    Gaffney, SC 29341    888-545-7194    www.primeoutlets.com   Rock Hill Galleria    2301 Dave Lyle Boulevard    Rock Hill, SC 29730    803-324-1711    www.rockhillgalleria.com    South Park Mall    4400 Sharon Road    Charlotte, NC 28211    704-364-4411    www.southpark.com    Shoppes at University Place     8929 J.M. Keynes Drive    Charlotte, NC 28262    704-549-4811   www.shoppesatuniversityplace.com Specialty Shops on the Park    Morrison Boulevard at    Roxborough Rd    Charlotte, NC     Westfield Eastridge Mall    246 N. New Hope Road    Gastonia, NC 28054    704-867-1847    www.westfield.com/eastridge     704-896-5141 Office   Allen Tate Company  www.LeeAnnMiller.com

Shopping Around Charlotte

Love to shop? You will find yourself at home in Charlotte. With everything from upscale to antique to bargain shopping, Charlotte is continuously expanding its retail space and drawing shoppers from across the region. Whether you’re looking for a Louis Vuitton handbag, unique Victorian jewelry or just a good deal on a new suit, Charlotte has what you’re looking for. The most exclusive mall in Charlotte is Southpark at the corner of Sharon and Fairview  roads. Anchored by Hecht’s, Nordstrom, Dillard’s, Belk and the latest edition, Neiman Marcus. Southpark houses numerous specialty shops and several high-end retailers including Burberry, Kate Spade and Louis Vuitton. Other posh shopping centers in the area include Specialty Shops on the Park behind Southpark mall and Phillips Place on Fairview Road, characterized by cobblestone walkways, upscale restaurants, galleries, jewelers and a salon. Concord Mills, opened in 1999, draws mall enthusiasts from across the region to its 1.4 million square feet of shopping and entertainment. Packed with a number of outlet stores like Polo Ralph Lauren, Nike, Osh Kosh B’Gosh, Saks Fifth  Avenue and Ann Taylor, Concord Mills boasts more than 200 stores, a 24 –screen movie theater, restaurants and Dave and Buster’s with a dance club, hibachi grill, four bars, billiards and a bowling alley. Located about a mile from Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Concord Mills also draws visitors to its NASCAR SpeedPark, which features six race tracks, miniature golf, kiddie rides, laser tag, an arcade and a rock climbing wall. About 15.3 million people flock to Concord Mills each year, making it the top tourist attraction in the state. The University area is bursting with shopping centers, but none a aesthetic as the Shoppes at University Place off W.T. Harris Boulevard. Set around a small lake, the Shoppes at University Place also includes a two-mile walking trail. In addition to big-box retailers Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Dick’s Sporting Goods, the Shoppes at University Place are home to more than 80 stores and restaurants, many of which offer a spectacular view of the lake. The Mooresville area is exploding with shopping areas. Most are anchored by a big box store, such as, Super Wal-Mart, Lowe’s, Super Target, Khols, Belk or Best Buy and surrounded by specialty shops that include World Market, Ross, Pier One, Old Navy & Pet Smart to name a few.  You will also enjoy the vast variety of restaurants & race shops. Birkdale Village, a mixed-use development of shops, apartments, restaurants and offices, occupies more than 700,000 square feet in Huntersville. With an old-time Main Street and park benches, Birkdale Village includes a Banana Republic, Gymboree, Gap, American Eagle, Barnes & Noble, Williams-Sonoma, Pier 1, salons and a 16 screen movie theater. In fall of 2005, Northlake Mall opened to much fanfare at the intersection of I-77 and W.T. Harris, serving North Mecklenburg and the booming Lake Norman area. With more than 150 shops and restaurants, the new mall is anchored by Belk, Dillard’s, Hecht’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Borders and a 14-screen movie theater. In Pineville, Carolina Place Mall is extremely popular, drawing South Charlotteans to its more than 140 specialty shops that include American Eagle, Ann Taylor, Abercrombie & Fitch and Gap. Near the I-485/NC 51 interchange, Carolina Place is anchored by Dillard’s, Hecht’s, Belk, JCPenny and Sears. Across NC51, the Centrum offers big-box retailers Best Buy and Home Depot. Just up I-485 at NC 49, Ayrsley is a new mixed-use development of retail, office and residential space with specialty shops and restaurants. Nearby, Whitehall Commons is a new shopping center with 585,000 square feet that includes Super Wal-Mart and Lowe’s. Distinctive shops are popping up all over Charlotte’s historic mill villages, Southendand NoDa. Known for their galleries and renovated mills, both areas offer unique clothing stores and restaurants. Antique lovers will also enjoy the Metrolina Expo, a trade center that hosts a monthly Antique & Collectible Show, which attracts avid collectors from across the Southeast. A number of shopping centers outside of Charlotte also provide excellent shopping ventures. Westfield Eastridge Mall in Gastonia is anchored by Dillard’s, JCPenny, Sears and Belk and includes more than 75 specialty stores. About 45 minutes southwest of Charlotte via I-85, the Prime Outlets in Gaffney, features more than 80 outlet stores including Banana Republic, Polo Ralph Lauren, Bass, Pottery Barn, Nautica, Nine West and Jones New York. Because of its abundance of manufacturers, North Carolina is one of the best places in the country to buy furniture. About an hour from Charlotte, the Hickory Furniture Mart in Hickory offers domestic and imported furniture and home furnishings from more than 100 factory stores, outlets and galleries, and features more than 1,000 lines.

       704-896-5141 Office

 Allen Tate Company

www.LeeAnnMiller.com

Golden Opportunity?

January 2008 Is this your golden opportunity? Anyone that has ever invested in the stock market knows the value of buying low and selling high. Some investors try to “time” the market in order to maximize their “low” buys and “high” sales. Is this your chance to look at real estate from an investor’s eyes? Interest rates are once again approaching historical lows for buyers with good credit and 10% down payment. In fact, strong borrowers are being rewarded in this new mortgage market with preferred rates as low as 5.5%. The demand for rental units is unusually high as transferees from other parts of the country are unable to sell their homes, resulting in a rental option in our region. Have you ever considered real estate as an investment? There are some incredible opportunities in this market. Builder closeouts are very appealing as the builders want to move inventory. Relocating sellers don’t want to own two properties might entertain your offer as an investor. With the interest rates incredibly low, this might be your chance to “buy low and sell high” once the national market improves and our local market once again catches fire. Don’t get me wrong – our local market remains the envy of the nation. Our seller’s market of 2005 has softened and has become very normal. Our supply of homes in inventory is in line with demand in most markets and most price points. Indeed our market is strong, particularly as compared with the national market. If you are interested in purchasing an investment property, the home of your dreams or simply your first home ever, don’t miss this chance to take advantage of the current rates. You might be sorry in the near future if you don’t!                                                Call The Lee Ann Miller Team today!                                                                                                                                        704-896-5141 Office                                                                     Allen Tate Company                                                                  www.LeeAnnMiller.com