Matthews Hometown Holiday & Tree Lighting – 2015

christmas treeHead over to the Town Hall for the annual holiday & tree lighting celebration. You will find carriage rides, crafts, activities & visit from Santa! 

Tree lighting to take place 5:00-6:00 pm at Town Green

Matthews Tree Lighting-2013

Santa arrives in Matthews! The Hometown Holiday Festival and Tree-Lighting ensures fun for all. The tree lighting ceremony wouldn’t be complete with pyrotechnics. Enjoy crafts for kids, carriage rides, entertainment, caricature artists, magicians, photos, and more!  Free admission  

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

Charlotte, NC-South Charlotte

South Charlotte is home to some of the region’s most desirable neighborhoods as well as shopping venues galore. In addition, two of Mecklenburg’s most historic towns Matthews and  blend seamlessly with the city’s southern edge. The two major destinations for living, shopping and working on the south side of town are SouthPark and Ballantyne. SouthPark was once part of a 3,000-acre farm owned by former N.C. Governor Cameron Morrison. The farms main house, the Tudor Revival style Morrocroft Mansion, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. South Park A prestigious address, SouthPark offers a variety of housing styles, ranging from the 1950s ranch houses of Beverly Woods to newly-built town homes and million-dollar mansions in the gated Morrocroft community. SouthPark is a major business district, second only to Uptown. Contemporary glass and marble buildings are home to many major Charlotte businesses. The area also boasts several fine hotels. SouthPark shopping is unmatched in the city. SouthPark Mall, Charlotte’s most upscale shopping center, includes major department stores and shops such as Tiffany, Louis Vuitton, Brooks Brothers and Pottery Barn. The malls newest additions include Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. Additionally, an amphitheater on the property hosts the Charlotte Symphony’s Summer Pops concerts. Just down the street, pedestrian-friendly Phillips Place features high-end specialty shops, restaurants, movie theaters and luxury apartments. Sharon Corners and Specialty Shops on the Park offer local and national retail shops as well as restaurants. Ballantyne Ballantyne is a new live-work community encompassing 2,000 acres south of I-485. The Corporate Park includes office buildings, a resort hotel, an 18-hole daily-fee golf course and the nationally renowned Dana Rader School of Golf. Residential options include several apartment communities and neighborhoods with single-family homes in nearly every price range. Ballantyne Country Club features custom homes and a private, 18-hole golf course. The town center has shops, restaurants and a YMCA. Ballantyne also boasts several new public schools. Other South Charlotte Neighborhoods South Charlotte also offers other living and shopping options. The Cotswold area offers easy access to Uptown and is known for its lovely, older neighborhoods and newly renovated shopping center. Along Park Road are several charming neighborhoods dating back to the 1950s, including Madison Park, which features brick ranches and tall trees. Nearby Park Road Shopping Center is a Charlotte landmark with the popular Blackhawk Hardware, the independent bookstore Park Road Books and Sir Edmund Halley’s, an English-style tavern with a lovely patio. Dozens of neighborhoods in a variety of price ranges are accessible from N.C. 51, as are countless shopping venues, including the Arboretum at Providence Road. In addition to a wide variety of churches, from modern Calvary Church to historic Providence Presbyterian, South Charlotte is also home to Shalom Park. The center of Charlotte’s Jewish community, Shalom Park includes two synagogues and the Jewish Community Center. Recreation South Charlotte also offers a variety of recreational opportunities. SouthPark’s Harris YMCA and the Siskey YMCA in Matthews are family favorites. For nature walks, try one of the greenways. The McMullen Creek and Lower McAlpine Greenway feature four miles of trail and a picnic area. McAlpine Creek Greenway has 8.9 miles of greenway, cross country trails and nature trails. The planned Little Sugar Creek Greenway will run 15 miles from North Charlotte to Pineville, right through the heart of South Charlotte. This area also has several parks with lakes, athletic fields, playgrounds and trails. Pineville Pineville, Mecklenburg’s smallest town, is the birthplace of America’s 11th president, James K. Polk. The town is proud of its success in preserving its historic downtown, where dozens of antique shops line Main Street (N.C. 51). At the same time, Pineville has embraced growth in the surrounding areas, including several hotels, shopping centers, senior residences and a thriving medical community surrounding Carolinas Medical Center-Pineville. Although it rests on the S.C. border, Pineville will feel much closer to Charlotte when the town is connected to Uptown by light rail, expected to be completed in 2007. Matthews To the east on N.C. 51 is Matthews, another picturesque town that embraces its past and future simultaneously. A mixed-use development downtown houses a new town hall, library, shops, restaurants and offices, all in keeping with the towns historical aesthetics. Just outside downtown are huge shopping complexes, restaurants, offices and Presbyterian Hospital-Matthews. In addition to the commercial development, Matthews is seeing tremendous residential growth as new communities are cropping up everywhere. Matthews is known for its community events such as Stumptown Park summer concert and movie series; Picnic on the Green, a local summer farmers market; Fourth of July parade and fall ArtFest. Its Matthews Alive! Festival gathers more than 100,000 people each Labor Day weekend for food, fun and music.                                                                                                                        704-896-5141 Office                                                       www.LeeAnnMiller.com                                                         Allen Tate Company

6 Tips To Help Your Home Attract Buyers

The goal is to get buyers to walk-in & feel like they are at home. This helps them visualize themselves living in your home and makes them want to buy your home because they are emotionally attached! 1) Neturalize! Yes, it sounds boring but by neutralizing your home you are helping buyers envision themselves & their belongings in, what could be, their new home. Plus, your home becomes more “move in ready” compared to your compettion. Keep in mind that some colors make rooms appear smaller than they really are. Not good when you are wanting to attract buyers! 2) Make It Shine! A clean home is a happy home. Dust regularly, empty all trash cans, wipe off countertops, wash windows, vacuum, clean carpets, wipe off blinds & wash baseboards. The more shine equals the more time a buyer may stay in your home. 3) Conceal Clutter Clear surfaces help buyers visually place their personal items in your home. A few stylish items are fine but should not devert any attention away from that surface. Notice show homes, the countertops are free from clutter to help you remember the granite or the custom cabinets. Aslo, turn rooms back to what they attended to be. For instance, if the living room has been taken over by toys-turn it back into the living room & find a new home for toys. 4) What’s That Smell? Smells can make or break your home. Try to conceal or completely remove pet beds, feeding bowls & litter boxes, if possible. Stick to the more pleasant smells of fresh baked cookies or flowers. Also, try to avoid cooking fish or cabbage. You don’t want buyers to be turned off the minute they step through the front door. And if you have to smoke, please do it outside–oh & hide the ashtrays! The purpose is to sell your home. You don’t want potential buyers to remember your home because of an unpleasant smell!  5) Less Is More! Clear out those closets. Again, look at a show home or closet brochure, hanging only a few items makes the closet look larger!  6) Crub Appeal Freshen up your landscaping. Keep your yard & hedges neatly trimmed. Keep sidewalks swept & tidy.  For a  warm welcome, add flowering plants to the front porch or a cozy chair. A great first impression is the key! Some buyers may cancel showings if the grass is tall or hedges are sloppy.

                     team-logo

704-896-5141 Office

www.LeeAnnMiller.com

Allen Tate Company

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