September in Charlotte – What’s Going On

wcnc uptown charlotteThis September’s going to be an active one!  Here’s a sampling of what’s going on…

Labor Day in the Queen City
So much is going on in Charlotte for the Labor Day holiday!  The annual Labor Day Parade returns this year on September 2nd, starting at 11am at the Hal Marshall Center and following along North Tryon Street through uptown Charlotte until ending at 3rd Street.  The US National Whitewater Center will also have a Labor Day Celebration on September 1st, beginning at 8am with 5K and 15K trail races in the morning, followed by live music performances throughout the day, and wrapping up with a fantastic fireworks display.  And we can’t forget the Matthews Alive Festival, held August 30th through September 2nd, featuring lots of music, food, arts and crafts, and fun!

The Yiasou Greek Festival returns to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral on East Boulevard September 5th through 8th.  Sure to be a good time, the festival offers great food, fun entertainment, cultural exhibits and shopping!

Festival in the Park
The 49th Annual Festival in the Park will take place September 20th through 22nd in Freedom Park.  Since 1964, the festival has brought good music, good art and good times to Charlotte.  This fun-filled event is great for art lovers of all ages!

It’s time to cheer on fall sports in Charlotte!  The UNCC 49ers will be showing off their volleyball, women’s soccer and men’s soccer teams, in addition to their BRAND NEW football team!  The Carolina Panthers have 2 home games in September.

Robin Husney, Your Charlotte NC Real Estate Specialist
Image: WCNC/NBC Charlotte

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The Pros of an Open House

open house real estateWhen you’re selling your home, a key piece of the puzzle is getting eyes on your house.

The advent of the Internet changed a lot of how this is done, since photos and videos can now be shared on realtor websites, blogs, social media and other outlets.  But nothing will ever replace seeing the home in person for potential buyers.  Open houses offer the opportunity to show your home to several potential buyers in one afternoon.  This can be a benefit to you, as you’ll only need to leave your home once for these people to see your home as opposed to several times if each got a private showing.

Open houses also many times attract other real estate agents.  This is a benefit to you as, while that agent is listening to his/her clients and their wants and needs, he or she already has first-hand knowledge of your home.  As a result, the agent can cull out those that definitely wouldn’t be interested and bring only serious potential buyers for private showings.

Even non-buyers that attend your open house can provide valuable information, though.  Just like true potential buyers, they can offer reactions on everything from the price, to the layout, to the number of bathrooms, and about the features of the house that they like or don’t like.  This valuable feedback can help you and your realtor decide if you’re on the right path!

Robin Husney, Your Charlotte NC Real Estate Specialist

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Back to the Books

Back to School tips for Charlotte NCIt’s time for the kids to head back to school again!  Several sales are going on at stores around the area to have them looking cool as a cucumber when they hit the halls.

  • Belk is offering 15% off with a shopping pass in their biggest back-to-school sale.  The sale covers uniforms, backpacks, tech and more, so you’re sure to get your school needs covered.

  • Office Max is also having a big back-to-school sale.  Deals can be found on supplies for all age groups – from Kindergarten to College, and even to include teachers!

  • For a one-stop shop, hit Target’s sale.  From clothes and uniforms to class supplies to stuff to pack for lunch, Target’s got it all!

  • For big time savings, Staples is the place.  They have tissues and one-subject notebooks for a little as a penny, Sharpies for 50 cents, a 16GB flash drive for $8.99 and more!

As you’re picking up items for your own children, remember that there are less fortunate children in our schools whose families depend on the help and generosity of others.  Charities like Classroom Central and A Child’s Place take donations to help their clients.  As you’re shopping, you’ll also notice donation spots around town.  Or you could simply buy extra supplies and give them to your child’s teacher – many teachers buy supplies out of their own income, so your contribution would help him or her a great deal!

Robin Husney, Your Charlotte NC Real Estate Specialist

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The Pros of a New Build

new build homesIt was announced last week that Toll Brothers is restarting the development of Bromley Estates in Weddington.  These types of new builds – where the builder offers floor plans and design options for you to choose from – came to a halt in the recent recession.  But they are coming back within the Charlotte market!

These new build options are great for home buyers.  You get to pick the floor plan that best fits your lifestyle.  You get to choose many of the amenities in your home, like carpet versus hardwood floors.  You get to choose the color scheme of your house in the flooring and kitchen counters.  Depending on the builder and the promotions they have going when you buy, other options and upgrades may also be included.

Another benefit to these new build options is that there are many builders and many new build neighborhoods in the Charlotte area.  If one builder doesn’t suit your needs, another probably will.  If you like one builder’s options but not the neighborhood you’re looking in, that builder probably also has other options in another part of Charlotte.

Builders in the Charlotte area other than Toll Brothers include Eastwood Homes, Pulte Homes, David Weekley Homes, Lennar and Ryland among others.

I would be remiss if I didn’t also speak to the benefits of using a realtor, even in new build situations.  A real estate agent can assist you with location and lot selection, choosing a builder, solving design challenges, negotiations as you’re developing the contract and selecting a finance option. Builders usually have a marketing fee built into the home price.  This ensures their neighborhood homes are equally priced, but also covers realtor support and the repeat business they bring, so there is no extra charge to you for the agent’s experience.

Robin Husney, Your Charlotte NC Real Estate Specialist

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What Changing Mortgage Rates Mean for You

mortgageIn the last few months, mortgage rates have been all over the place.  Reaching highs in June, the market suffered a little as a result.  But now, rates are once again falling, taking dips for each of the last two weeks.

So what does that mean for you?

Obviously, lower rates mean it’s a better time to buy a house than when rates are higher.  It also means you can get more house for your money.  Since no one outside the head of the Federal Reserve can say for sure exactly when rates will go up until it happens, the time to act is now!  So get out there and find your dream house today!  Need help finding a lender?  Just ask – I can certainly recommend a lender, if you’d like!

Robin Husney, Your Charlotte NC Real Estate Specialist

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Get Out and About in August

Things to do in CharlotteSummer break is winding down, but there’s still time for fun!  Here are a few ideas:

Bon Odori ‘13
The 29th Annual Bon Odori Japanese Festival will be held on August 3rd from 11am to 4pm in the Wells Fargo Atrium.  Admission is free for the festival that features Japanese food and crafts, a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony, dance performances by the students of Waddell Language Academy, and a Japanese Kendo Sword Martial Art Exhibition.  And back by popular demand is Matsuriza – the drumming troupe from Disneyworld who perform at the Japanese Pavilion in Epcot Center.  Feel the rhythm of their Taiko – a time-honored form of drumming – as this troupe performs with synchronized movements.

Seussical the Musical
NoDa School of Arts is presenting Seussical the Musical on August 2nd and 3rd at Booth Playhouse.  This show is fun for the whole family! Filled with many styles of music – including blues, Latin, soul, and gospel – young and old alike will be tapping their feet and clapping their hands. This cast consists solely of children from grades 1st through 12th. Do not miss this show!

The Lion King
Broadway’s hit musical, The Lion King, returns to Charlotte from August 6th through September 1st.  From its well-known soundtrack to the stunning puppetry, this stunning musical is a show you’ll remember forever.

Adam Ant in Concert
One of the iconic faces of the ‘80s is coming to Charlotte on August 12th!  Adam Ant has just released his latest album, “Adam Ant is the Blueblack Hussar in Marrying the Gunner’s Daughter.”  The album, a musical autobiography with 17 musical stories about his life and things that interest him, debuted at #8 on The Official Chart in the UK and climbed to #3 on the UK Indie Albums Chart.  If you’re a child of the ‘80s, this show should be on your radar!

Kids Bowl Free
Looking for some weekday fun for the kids as you bring summer break to a close?  Every Monday through Friday, kids bowl free from 11am to 5pm at Strike City in the Epicentre!

Robin Husney, Your Charlotte NC Real Estate Specialist

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Are You Falling in this Budget Trap?

budgeting tips for homebuyersWhen considering buying a home, many look solely at the home price and what they think they’re comfortable paying each month. But there’s much more that should go into the decision.

Taking a look at your overall spending is a great place to start.  The National Foundation for Credit Counseling offers a great Budget Worksheet to kick off the process.  Once you see where your money is truly being spent, you have a greater feel for whether your money is going towards your wants or your needs.  It also allows you to set financial goals – including homeownership – and work towards those goals in a responsible manner by putting all of your money to its best use.

Another piece of the financial puzzle when buying a home is getting prequalified for your loan.  This is important whether you’re buying your first home or your 15th as it gives you an idea of what type of loan and what size loan you’ll be eligible for.  While this can work in tandem with your budget and your idea of what you’re comfortable paying each month, it can also give you negotiating power when you find the house of your dreams!  A word to the wise, though…No matter what your prequalification says you’re eligible for, stick to the amount you feel you can comfortably afford to avoid getting yourself into hot water.

Lastly, know your credit score.  Credit plays an important part in getting prequalified for a loan and an even bigger part in actually getting the loan to go through.  If there are any discrepancies or any outstanding lines of credit that are no longer being used, you’ll need to get those cleared up.  And mind your payment due dates; continual late payments lead to a lower credit score which can mean a larger down payment, a higher interest rate or disqualification for the loan altogether.

Robin Husney, Your Charlotte NC Real Estate Specialist

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