Enjoy the Queen’s Feast starting this weekend

This January, you can once again be a part of the Queen’s Feast in Charlotte. This annual event includes over 130 restaurants in 9 counties around the Charlotte Metro area. Each restaurant offers a price fixe menu for dinner with 3 courses for $30 or $35 not including tax and tip. The event begins Friday January 20th and runs through January 29th.

This year, there are many new restaurants making their debut at the Queen’s Feast. Among the newcomers are:

     O-Ku – Japanese and sushi in Atherton Mill

     The Pump House – Southern influenced modern cuisine in Rock Hill

     Sea Level – locally sourced seafood in Hearst Tower in Uptown Charlotte

     Essex Bar & Bistro – a gastropub and craft cocktail restaurant in Uptown Charlotte

     Babalu Tapas & Tacos – small plates and tacos in Dilworth

     204 North Kitchen & Cocktails – fresh farm-to-table cuisine in Uptown Charlotte

     Burtons Grill & Bar – chef inspired food in Park Road Shopping Center in South Charlotte

     Comida  – Mexican inspired cuisine in Plaza Midwood

There are also some well established restaurants joining the Queen’s Feast for the first time this year. Most notable of the newcomers is Reid’s Fine Foods in SouthPark. Many long-time favorites are featured on the line-up as well. 300 East in Dilworth, The Cajun Queen in Elizabeth, Sullivan’s Steakhouse in SouthEnd, and Ruth’s Chris in SouthPark are just a few of our favorite picks.

Heading to the Queen’s Feast is a great way to sample cuisine from all of these amazing eateries, but it is also a chance to check out a new neighborhood. Many of these restaurants have rooftop terraces or patios from which to observe the people and pace of a neighborhood. You can take a drive around before your reservation to see how the area looks around dinnertime. This is a great way to see how vibrant and area is in terms of fitness, walkability, traffic, and more. You can drive past local schools, parks, shopping and more to really get a feel for an area you haven’t spent much time in before.

If you plan to visit a restaurant for Queen’s feast, reservations are recommended. You can click the link below to see the participating restaurants. Most will allow you to make reservations online, but some only take reservations over the phone. No passes or tickets are required.

To find a full list of restaurants participating in the Queen’s Feast, click here.

If you are driving around before your dinner and find a home you want to tour, call us at (704) 525-4045 or visit our website with comprehensive search capabilities here.

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December Market Analysis

This week the Carolina Regional Realtor Association released their monthly report of housing data in the Charlotte area. These figures are based on Carolina Multiple Listing Services data which includes Charlotte and surrounding areas including two counties in South Carolina. This area also includes 10 counties in North Carolina ranging from Statesville to Fort Mill, and from Gastonia to Salisbury.

Numbers on the report were not surprising. They continued the trend of low inventory and strong sales which has been going on for the entire year. In December, the total MLS area was up 4.5% over last December for total closed sales. If you look at the entire year, 44,386 homes were sold, up 8.4% over 2015.

Sales activity wasn’t the only number on the rise. Both the median and average sales price rose for both the month and the year. This December, median sales price rose 10% to $209,000 and average sales price rose 8.2% to $258,108. For the entire year, median sales price was up 7.5% at $207,000 while the average sales price rose 6.5% to $257,701.

Inventory numbers continued to fall throughout the year. December’s inventory number was down 25.7% from last year at this time. This leaves the Charlotte region with just 2.3 months of inventory which is well below the six months of inventory needed to have a balanced market between buyers and sellers. This leaves sellers with the upper hand in transactions for now.

The rise in prices and lack of options could leave some buyers out of the market entirely. Mortgage rates are expected to rise as well which could be a problem for first time buyers in particular. However, the market is strong, and expected to remain steady for the coming year.

If you are looking to buy or sell in the Charlotte area, call us at (704) 525-4045. You can also see listings on our website here.

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Just announced Runnymede City Homes seeks zoning approval

What a crazy week it’s been. Macy’s is closing stores all over including two in North Carolina. Sears and Kmart are closing stores throughout America. Sears has sold its iconic Craftsman brand. Limited is closing stores across the country. And to top it all off, a winter storm is headed our way with all of the expected closings and delays.

What better way to spend a snow day than drinking some hot cocoa (or something stronger) and looking through home listings to find the home of your dreams? No matter if you are a millennial looking for your first home, or a senior looking to downsize, or any kind of family in between, New Angle Realty has what you are looking for.

If you are looking for something completely new, take a look at some just announced plans by Capital Land Partners for a new condominium project near the intersection of Selwyn and Runnymede. A rezoning petition was just filed for a 29 unit complex on a three acre site. This project, tentatively called Runnymede City Homes, joins many others in and around the area.

According to the site plan, each 4 story townhouse will include a two car garage and can have an optional rooftop terrace. Each home will also have 400 square feet of private space, as a garden or patio is unclear from the current plans.

The rest of the design and finishes have not been announced yet. If the zoning petition is accepted, you could look at the other projects Capital Land Partners have completed in the area to give you an idea. Ardrey Kell Villages, Lawing Pond, Mintworth Village, Andover, and The Meadows at Houston Hills are a few of the projects they have completed in recent years.

Capital Land Partners are also working on a number of projects in and around Charlotte. We would be happy to talk to you about purchasing a new construction home in Stevens Grove in Matthews, Belair Ridge in Lancaster County, SC, or Cotswold Commons near Uptown.

If you are looking for a home in the Charlotte area, give us a call at (704) 525-4045 or visit our website with comprehensive search capabilities here.

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Year End Wrap-Up

As we ring out 2016 and prepare to welcome 2017, it seems like everyone wants to discuss what went right and wrong. We also long for certainty about what is to come. Here are some thoughts and predictions and reflections about the Charlotte real estate market.

North Carolina in general had a great year when it comes to population. The U.S. Census Bureau recently reported an increase in population of 111,602 people over the year. This brings the total state population to more than 10.1 million. This increase was felt in the Charlotte area with much new growth and new housing projects. It has also driven a seller’s market as higher population leaves less inventory.

Home prices in the Charlotte metro area climbed year over year. In fact, the entire region is showing strong home prices. Higher home prices are great for sellers, but they can leave buyers in a bind as they deal with affordability. Many first time homebuyers have to wait longer to purchase a home or can be priced out of the market entirely.

It remains to be seen what if any impacts HB2 has on the real estate market. Many sporting events and businesses have reacted. Reactions have ranged from mild censure, to pulling out of the state entirely. There have already been financial impacts, but we don’t yet know if there will be other long term repercussions.

Basically, the future looks mostly rosy for the Charlotte area. As the region grows, we attract more talent, retail, restaurants, businesses, and tourism. We truly have the best weather, we are close to everything, and people want to be here. This makes it look like we will be a strong real estate market for years to come.

If you are looking to buy or sell in Charlotte or surrounding areas, call us at (704) 525-4045 or search on our website here. Happy New Year everyone!

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Inexpensive ways to go green in your home

If you’re like me, you start the year off thinking of all of the projects you can do at your home to make it more comfortable, have less environmental impact, and save money. Well, I’m here to provide you with a list of simple things you can do to make that a reality. Resolutions, and going green doesn’t have to be hard or expensive.

One of the easiest ways to go green in your home is to get a programmable thermostat. There are many on the market now, including some models that you can activate remotely from your phone. These help keep costs low as you can program them to be off when you are away from home or sleeping. It is also a good idea to get regular check-ups for your heating and cooling system to make sure it is running properly.

You can also put on a sweater or blanket before you reach for the thermostat. In the summer, you can add a fan to a room instead of turning down the air conditioning. These small changes in behavior could have big impacts during the hottest and coldest months of the year.

Another easy way to save on energy costs in your home is to change out to compact fluorescent or LED light bulbs. You may not think you will save much by doing this, but over time there can be significant savings as these bulbs draw much less power and last years instead of months.

If you’re in the market for new appliances, consider energy star appliances. These are manufactured to use less energy but still get the same job done. While you are at it, clean any old appliances so they are running properly. You would be amazed how much better your refrigerator will work when you vacuum the coils in back. Also, cleaning out a dryer vent will help efficiency and can help prevent a fire.

Turning off appliances you aren’t using can also save you a bundle. Your computer is a constant draw of power even if it is asleep. Turning it off and any other appliances like your smart toaster, phone chargers and more can lessen your energy drain.

Saving water is another way to go green in your home. Repair leaky faucets. Install water-saving toilets and shower heads. If you have a pool, cover it during times you aren’t using it to prevent evaporation. Additionally try and run the clothes washer and dishwasher with full loads.

If you still feel like you aren’t doing enough, you can start composting. You can recycle, you can repaint your home with low or no VOC paint. You can even purchase green power from your power company or buy vouchers. If you have it in your budget, you can install solar panels on your roof or put in geothermal heating or a solar hot water heater.

There are so many ways to go green in your home, many of them really affordable. No only will you be helping the planet, you will be helping you wallet and potentially making your home more attractive to a future buyer.

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in the Charlotte area, call us at (704) 525-4045. Our agents can help you decide what green upgrades can sell your home faster. You can also browse our listings on our website here.

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Get Privacy and Luxury living in Highgate

Highgate in Weddington was developed in the early to mid-2000’s as a custom home community with a park-like setting. These luxury homes are nestled on one to three acre lots where privacy abounds. Despite the young age of the neighborhood, builders wanted a well established feel so they carefully preserved trees and green space. Highgate is located just a few miles from I-485 making it readily accessible for a commute or trip to the airport.

Highgate boasts 24 acres of green space including parks, ponds and walking trails. There is no amenity center in Highgate. Instead, many homes have private pools and recreation facilities. Winding streets with sidewalks, mature landscaping, and charming street lights welcome you home.

Seven carefully selected, highly sought after builders developed Highgate. Most homes feature an old world European styling with custom building materials making each home unique. There are still some lots available so you have the opportunity to create the custom home you desire. Existing homes have interesting architectural details like towers and balconies.

A recently sold home in Highgate

Interiors of homes in Highgate include every feature. Designers have customized every detail. Many include chef’s kitchens with commercial grade appliances, antique wooden beams, heavy mouldings, coffered ceilings, home theaters and more. Many homes even feature separate guest wings for a grand old world feeling.

Highgate students attend highly sought after Weddington schools. There are also various private school options nearby.  

Shopping options near Highgate are many and include but are not limited to, Promenade on Providence and Blakeney. A short drive will take you to SouthPark Mall area with world class shopping and dining.

If you are looking for a home in Highgate or are looking to sell a home in Highgate, give us a call at (704) 525-4045 or take a look at our listings here.

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Repeal of HB2 could bring more millennials to Charlotte

With the repeal of HB2 looking more likely, Charlotte may gain back sporting and entertainment events that pulled out of the state. Various estimates put the financial losses from HB2 between $500 and $750 million. As many as 2,000 jobs have been lost due to the bill. In addition, a few companies that were looking to expand or relocate to the area have decided on alternate locations.

While this news may not be welcome to some people due to their beliefs, it is really welcome from a financial perspective. A repeal of HB2 may even be the last step needed to help secure an expansion team for MLS soccer. This, combined with a return of the NCAA tournament, NBA All-Star game, and ACC Football Championship, would be a boon to the local economy.

Charlotte is becoming one of the most popular destinations for millennials. To stay competitive with other mid-sized cities, Charlotte really needs to have events and destinations catering to millennial desires. Millennials overwhelmingly support same-sex marriage and alternate lifestyles so the repeal of HB2 should continue to attract more millennials to the area. This might even help overcome the slow market analysts are expecting in 2017.

Charlotte is poised for more growth which is a great thing for the Real Estate market. Sellers in the area have consistently gotten higher prices for their homes than in years past. Low inventory has helped drive prices higher as well. Builders have many projects in the works and on the horizon. All in all, it adds up to a healthy sellers market.

Buyers may have a trickier time of it though. Low inventory combined with higher prices mean extra competition. Many buyers are priced out of the market at present. President Elect Trump has vowed to overhaul and re-privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with unknown consequences to the market.

If you are interested in buying or selling a home in the Charlotte area, give us a call at (704) 525-4045 or visit our website here.

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November Market Statistics

November numbers have been released from the Carolina Regional Realtor Association. We are again looking at a deepening of the trend where inventory continues to be low and prices continue to get higher. This trend has been continuing for the entire year with no end in sight.  

2016 started off in January with 10,350 homes on the market. November has 9,770 homes listed for sale. By themselves, these numbers don’t mean much, but when you compare them year over year, you begin to see the larger picture. In January of 2015 there were 13,607 homes on the market. November of 2015 had 13,004. This is a reduction year over year of 31.8% for January and 31.6% in November.

When you look at home prices, they have continued to go up every month for the entire year as well. In January 2016 the average price for a home sale was $229,766. By November average price for a home sale was $259,205. Last year in January the average sale price was $214,166 and in November it was $239,680.

These trends of inventory going down and prices going up illustrate the main principle of supply and demand. There have been some signs that supply and demand will remain out of balance going forward. New announcements of corporate headquarters in the Charlotte region, and Millennials moving to the area in greater numbers are just two of these signs.

There are predictions saying that things may be changing in 2017. Redfin data scientists are predicting that the housing market will continue to grow, but at a slower pace due to affordability pressures. Affordability will be an issue in part because of a slight rise in interest rates coupled with rising home prices. They also believe new-construction growth will slow. This may be enough to slow the trend, but it will take quite a bit longer if the market is going to even out or become a buyers market again.

If you are interested in buying or selling a home in the Charlotte area, call us at (704) 525-4045 or check out our website with robust search capabilities here.

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Spotlight: Alexander Ridge

Recently, USA TODAY published a list of the most instagrammed places based on geotagging. The top locations in Charlotte are:

  1. Charlotte Douglas International Airport
  2. Lake Norman
  3. Carowinds
  4. Bank of America Stadium
  5. PNC Music Pavilion

Alexander Ridge in Matthews is convenient to all five locations. If you want to be where the fun is, come to Charlotte, and stay in Alexander Ridge.

This home sold this year in Alexander Ridge for 101% of list price

This home sold this year in Alexander Ridge for 101% of list price

Located just north of the intersection of Highway 74 where it meets I-485, Alexander Ridge is in a great spot. Charlotte Douglas International Airport is 30 minutes away. Lake Norman is a quick 40 minute drive. Carowinds is only 21 minutes down I-485. Bank of America Stadium is 23 minutes away via a short drive on Highway 74. PNC Music Pavilion is a quick hop of 22 minutes up I-485.

Not only is Alexander Ridge convenient to all of those places, but it is also in the town of Matthews. Matthews is a great place to live, work, and raise a family. Matthews has historical charm, plus great shopping, hotels, restaurants, recreational facilities, and hospitals.

Homes in Alexander Ridge were built in 2001 and 2002. They have 3+ bedrooms, and 2+ bathrooms. Homes have 2000+ square feet of living space. Exteriors are brick or vinyl siding. Interiors have open floor plans and many have vaulted ceilings and upstairs lofts. Lots are wooded with outdoor living spaces.

This charmer sold in in June for 98% of list price

This charmer sold in in June for 98% of list price

Alexander Ridge is currently zoned for excellent schools. Bain Elementary School and Mint Hill Middle School both rank 10 out of 10 by Carolina School Hub. Butler High School gets 9 out of 10. Please verify school assignments as they are subject to change.

In the past year, homes in Alexander Ridge have sold for between $195,000 and $238,000 with an average sale price of $209,200. At the moment, there are 4 homes on the market in Alexander Ridge with one under contract. The homes are 3 or 4 bedroom with 2.5 bathrooms and 2,132 to 2,400 square feet.

If you are interested in seeing a home in Alexander Ridge, call us at (704) 525-4045 or check out our listings in Alexander Ridge on our website here.

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2017 Market Predictions

Predictions are starting to come in for the Real Estate Market for 2017. They all seem to point to good news for the Charlotte area. The Queen City is poised for growth yet again, but maybe not quite as much as 2016.

Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller home price index report showed a 6.2% rise in prices in September over last year. This exceeds the national average of 5.5%. It puts Charlotte in 7th place among the top 20 metro areas in the US. Seattle leads this group with 11% growth.

Realtor.com is projecting a strong year for Charlotte next year. They forecast a 4.3% rise in home prices and a rise of 6.3% in sales activity. Realtor.com ranks Charlotte #21 out of the top 100 metro areas in the US. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale sits atop their list.

It looks like the growth will be moderate and a little bit slower than last year per Realtor.com. There are a few reasons for this prediction.

The first is that interest rates are unsure at this time. There was a 40 basis point increase in rates after the election. An increase in interest rates would disproportionately affect first time homebuyers and can price some of them out of the market entirely. 95% of first time homebuyers rely on mortgages to finance the purchase of a home.

Second, there is a lack of inventory in the Charlotte area. In October there was a 23.1% decrease in the annual rate. This drives prices higher which can also price many homebuyers out of the market.

Realtor.com is predicting a few additional trends. 1. Millennials and baby-boomers will dominate the market in 2017. 2. A slowing of price appreciation. 3. Lower inventory. 4. Quick turnaround on sales. They also foresee price and sales increases in western states and millennials relocating to midwestern cities.

If you are thinking of buying or selling in the Charlotte area, call us at (704) 525-4045. Or check out our listings in and around the Charlotte community here.

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