How to Prevent Fires in the Home

A house fire feels like something that could never happen to you, until it does. The U.S. National Fire Administration reported that in just one year, house fires caused about 3,000 deaths, 15,000 injuries and $11.6 billion in damage. While some house fires are caused by things beyond our control, a lot of those fires are easily preventable. In addition to having a smoke alarm on each floor, and preferably in each bedroom, there are a several things you can do to make sure the tragedy of a fire never affects your home.

The number one threat for fire comes from your kitchen. Cooking while distracted, especially on a stove top, can lead to burnt food which can turn into a very harmful fire. Stand by your food and be sure to watch it carefully. A watched pot may take longer to boil, but we’d rather you didn’t multi-task when something so important is at stake.

Smoking is very dangerous when it comes to house fires. A cigarette that’s lit inside can easily catch on fabric or another combustible item. The inside of your home is extremely flammable, so if there’s a smoker in the house, ask them to take it outside.

Electrical fires are a serious matter and, with all the electronics there are these days, it could happen to anyone. Frayed or cracked cords can send out sparks, catching items in your home on fire. Same goes for heaters. Heaters that are near flammable items can be incredibly dangerous. Be sure to do an electronics check up now and again. Keep heaters and cords away from draperies, pets, and anything else that sparks could land on.

Believe it or not, your dryer could be putting you at huge risk for a house fire without even realizing. Always clean the lint out of the filter or screen before putting a new load in. Lint can build up in lesser checked places as well.

The dryer vent and exhaust duct should also be cleaned periodically to avoid a huge fire risk. This is a job best left to the professionals, like our friends at Servpro. They will come out and clean your vents and check your dryer for any fire hazards. Take advantage of this wonderful offer from SERVPRO of Northeast Mecklenburg Co. and enjoy 50% OFF HVAC Duct Cleaning for a limited time. Don’t forget to mention us for your discount!

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Charlotte: One of America’s ‘Most Livable’ Cities

Boring is NOT a term that people would use to describe Charlotte! On any given week in this growing North Carolina city there are an abundance of activities and events. From whitewater rafting, to $5 movie nights, to concerts, there’s no shortage of things to do. Not only that, but there’s an invigorating diversity in the Charlotte scene; residents can try something new every day. So, it came to no surprise to us when Charlotte was named USA Today’s 26th most livable city in the US.

All over the city streets you’ll see the phrase, “Charlotte’s Got A Lot” and it’s no question why! Someone living in Charlotte just five years ago can tell you that each and every day something new pops up. Whether it’s a new skyscraper, or a hot new restaurant, the city is quite literally growing before our eyes. Charlotte’s growth can also be credited to its prosperous economy. Job opportunities are in plentitude around the Queen City. For example, Charlotte is home to the east coast operational headquarters of Bank and American and Wells Fargo just to name a few.

But Charlotte isn’t all work, no play. There are a multitude of breweries and entertainment amenities, like the Carowinds Amusement Park, as well as NFL, NBA, and minor league baseball teams.

Charlotte has the vibe of a big city while still being a close knit community. Not only is the Queen City livable, it’s lovable and completely worthy of its top title.

Thinking about relocating to Charlotte? We can help! Contact one of our agents today

3 Tips for Holiday Home Staging

It’s officially November and the holidays are right around the corner. Fortunately, the strong housing market in Charlotte means you don’t have to wait until next spring to put your house up for sale. Even though showing your home this time of year can add to the holiday stress,  these 3 tips will help you stay calm during the hustle and bustle of the season.

  1. Go easy on seasonal decor. One of the most important things to remember about staging a home is about maximizing space. Trees, garland and wreaths can quickly clutter an otherwise spacious room.
  1. Beware of overpowering scents. As much as you might love your Gingerbread candle, a prospective buyer may not. Keep any aroma clean and fresh no matter the season. Don’t forget to store all of your pet gear as well!
  1. Stay organized. Your guest rooms are in use, your kitchen is crowded, but you must remain focused on the goal. Boxes, suitcases and other clutter must have a home even with a full house.

Our team is here to help you every step of the way. Give us a call today so we can help get your home sold before the New Year!

How to Design a Small but Stylish Space

Whether you grew up sharing a room with a sibling, experienced a tight college dorm room, or lived in a fabulous (yet tiny) apartment, you probably know that organizing a small space can sometimes be downright frustrating. However, thanks to the genius of the Internet, designers are beginning to release their secrets for making a small space not only livable, but comfortable. We compiled a few tips and tricks that will help make your small space feel bigger and more organized.

Build from the ground up. If you don’t have a ton of space, but lots of ‘things,’ think up…not out. Add a bank of tall shelves or even an extra bookcase to organize your stuff. Put your items on display and make them part of your home décor.

Hang your drapes high. Professional designers will hang floor length drapes as tall as the crown molding near the ceiling to make the room appear longer. It seems intuitive to only have your curtains hang the length of the window, but that will actually make your space, and the window, seem much smaller.

Think multi-use furniture. The possibilities are endless with furniture today. Many beds also double as drawers and shelves, which are tucked not only under the bed, but in the headboard as well. Think outside the box when purchasing furniture for a small room, how many purposes can your desk, bed, or side table hold?

The more double-duty finds, the better! Mirrors have you seeing double, literally. Hanging a large, yet not chunky, mirror can help double the space of a small room. Not enough wall space in say, a tiny kitchen? Think small! Mirrored backsplash is a great (and incredibly trendy) option.

Utilize the dead space under your stairway. There is so much potential underneath the stairs! While most people use the space as messy storage or leave it completely empty, designers are starting to really utilize the space. Open up the wall and put in drawers, a bookcase, or more shelving. Incorporate baskets from somewhere like The Container Store.

Don’t be afraid of color. You can do a fun color in a small space, just try to stick to a generally neutral tone of said color. Keeping the colors in the same family throughout the house will also make each room feel less choppy.

Laundry room woes? Install an expandable dryer rack on the wall. This saves so much space whether you have a laundry closet, or an entire laundry room. Placing shelves with laundry supplies above or next to your washer and dryer also adheres to our building from the ground up advice.

Helpful Hints for a First Time Buyer

The process of buying a home can be incredibly overwhelming no matter how many times you’ve done it. And, for a first time home buyer, it can feel sometimes feel downright impossible! Luckily, with the help of a great agent and a few tips, you’ll be on your way to buying your dream home in no time!

First off, brush up on your real estate vocabulary. Don’t get too stressed about
memorizing each term. Your real estate agent will be able to guide you. However, many
people find it helpful to understand the process and the terms that go with it. Check out
our guide to some real estate 101 terms 

Once you have a general understanding of the real estate process and terms, it’s
time to get your finances in order. To start, you’ll want to check your credit score to see
what type of financing and loan you qualify for. You’ll also want to organize all of your
assets and debts to figure out your monthly budget. Once you’ve determined these
factors, think about how much you can afford for your down payment. Hint: it doesn’t
always have to be 20%.

These are just a few tips! Have more questions? We’ve got answers! Give us a call today.

Why Fall is the New Spring of Real Estate

The spring and summer months have always been known as the hottest time to buy and sell a home, but now you can add fall to the list, too! Here’s a few reasons why fall is a great time to buy and sell a home in the Queen City.

For starters, many people consider fall to be an off-season. Buyers often pause or completely stop their searches. School starts and the holidays come quickly making for busy schedules. Sometimes this allows for more room for negotiation on both sides. Sellers are often worn out as well. They just spent the last several months exhausting their resources trying to sell which means they could be more willing to negotiate prices now.

Alternatively, this certainly doesn’t mean that homes on the market are summer’s leftovers. Some people are looking to sell in the fall because the timing is right for them. They’re serious about selling and need to leave because of a job, family situation or another pressing reason. Those types of sellers could be more open to negotiations as well.

Finally, it’s one last chance to take advantage of those tax breaks! You can’t escape paying income tax but you can make a dent in what you owe. When it comes to owning a home, there are tax breaks you can claim to help sweeten your return this season.

If you’re looking to buy or sell this season give us a call today and we’ll help you every step of the way!

From Planes to Trains; A Look at Charlotte’s Transportation Improvements

The Charlotte real estate market is booming! Home prices up are up and the job market is strong. It seems like the city’s growth won’t be slowing down anytime soon as resident numbers continue to soar. You might have noticed a variety of ongoing projects, expansions and plans around the city aimed to help improve CLT’s transportation sources. Here’s a look at what’s underway to make transportation to and from the Queen City better for residents and tourists.

The Charlotte Douglas International Airport expansion. With 100,000 daily passengers connecting in CLT, the pressure is on to expand. According to the Charlotte Observer, passengers are up from 28 million in 2005 to 44.9 passengers in 2015! The increasing popularity of our airport is one reason why the 10-year expansion plan is underway at CLT. Among the many additions, there will be a new terminal roadway, expanded lobby, and new gates totaling $2.5 billion.

I-77 Express Lanes Project. As the city continues to grow, so do the suburbs. The I-77 Express Lanes Project will help provide shorten travel times to and from the city from Exit 11 to Exit 36 north of the city. The express lanes are optional and will be tolled so motorists have the power to choose. More lanes will equal less congestion (or at least that is the hope!) For more specific details on the project, check out NCDOT’s website.

Lynx Blue Line Extension. The blue line extension (happening in the Northeast corridor of the city) is a plan that extends service from Ninth Street in Center to the North Davidson (NODA) area. Once completed, the extension will bring new life to Center City and allow people to enjoy all that the area has to offer without needing a car.

Magic Listing Words That Attract A Buyer’s Attention

The Charlotte housing market is booming right now and, as real estate professionals, it’s our job to make our listings stand out. When it comes to a listing, there are certain words that can gain a potential buyer’s attention as well as turn them off. Here are some words you can use in your next lists to help attract buyers as well as ones to stay away from.

Magic Words (positive and intriguing)

Green: Energy efficient homes are one of the top phrases that young buyers look for in a potential home. Be sure to highlight all of the green upgrades and features of the home in your listing…bonus if there are solar panels!

Storage: A key word that helps buyers feel like they’ll be organized in their new home. Storage implies space which is appealing to buyers.

Landscaping: Highlighting outdoor living space could attract buyers with families or those who love to entertain.

Stainless: Any word that denotes quality help move along a sale. Don’t forget about other words like upgraded, updated and remodeled if applicable.

Amenities: Using this word makes the home sound luxurious. From HOA info to pools, tennis courts and club houses, be sure to describe all features and amenities included with the home.

Beautiful: Seems simple but using the word ‘beautiful’ or ‘gorgeous’ can speed up sales. According to a Zillow article, “lower-priced listings with the word “beautiful” sold for 2.3 percent more on average than expected.”

Kill Sale Words (negative connotation)

Potential: Zillow released this as one of the top words that turns buyers off. Remember, not everyone see the glass half full!

Fixer: Unless they’re employed by HGTV, buyers see this as work. However, there is a specific market out there looking for fixer-uppers especially in Charlotte. Know your audience and sell accordingly.

Unique: It’s probably best to leave this one out because everyone has their own definition of unique especially when it comes to a new home. Think about what you like best about the home and use that a selling point.

Great Places for Apple Picking Around Charlotte

Friday marks the first day of Autumn and with that comes one of our favorite traditional fall activities….apple picking! Fortunately, there are some great places in the surrounding Charlotte area to take the family, a date, or just wander around solo. We’ve gathered some nearby apple orchards so you can head out for some fall fun within the coming weeks.

Windy Hill Orchard is arguably the most well-known. Located in York, South Carolina, the cidery and orchard’s picking season began in August. At Windy Hill, you can grab a cider, apple cider doughnut, and head into the orchards for some good, old fashioned picking.

Carrigan Farms is a beautiful area that offers apple picking beginning in September. It’s located in Moorseville, North Carolina and is the perfect backdrop for those Instagram worthy “picking” pics. For $10 you can pick a half peck of apples. After the orchard, the farm offers haunted tours, hayrides, and areas to picnic.

Apple Hill Orchard is about an hour and a half from Charlotte in Morganton, North Carolina. The orchard offers a variety of apples including gala, arlet, and honeycrisp. They also have apple cider doughnuts. Still hungry? They also have a full bakery. After picking, you can take your treats to the picnic area and set up camp.

Kick Off Football Season With Premier Property Solutions!

Football season is back in the Queen City! Panther’s fans are already celebrating with the first victory of the season of the 49ers and we’re looking forward to many more. Come celebrate with us all season long at our Panther Tailgate Party!

Starting this Sunday, September 17th, we’ll be setting up at 1341 S. Mint Street, conveniently located near all of the excitement of Bank of American Stadium. You’re invited to join us for food, drinks, music, fun, family-friendly activities and raffles for giveaways…Don’t miss out!

We’ll kick off our first tailgate for the Panthers v. Bills game starting at 10am for the 1pm kickoff. Can’t make it this weekend? No problem! Take a look at the schedule and join us for another home game this year. Keep Pounding, Charlotte!

*Please remember to drink and travel responsibly and don’t forget to bring a valid ID*