Oct 31

Top Trending Halloween Costume Ideas for 2013

Trick-orTreat, Candy, Children, Halloween, Costumes, Showcase, Realty, Showcase Realty, Orange, Bats,Charlotte NC fall events, Charlotte NC homes for sale, Charlotte NC real estate, Showcase realty, Nancy Braun

Every Halloween will be the same; at least in the fact that there will always be trending costumes that you can’t help but notice. Last year the top trending Costume was Psy, particularly from his world famous video “Gangnam Style.” It was definitely amusing seeing bright colorful suits and people walking / dancing up to your door to get some candy. This year we will be seeing a lot of pop culture references, more than usual, and thankfully gone is the era of the sexy cat/policewoman/nurse!(of course there are always those persistent few..) None the less, I thought it was best to prepare you folks for what you are about to see tonight.

Minion- “Despicable Me” These little guys will be everywhere this Halloween. So much that you will believe you have found yourself in the “Despicable Me” world! These costumes are number one this year in popularity and have numerous tutorials on the web on how to be a minion this Halloween.

“The Great Gatsby” Thanks to the ever popular movie, this year many fans or just fans of the era in general will be dressed in glitz and glam. Flappers and dapper fellows will be gracing us with their presence this year and you better believe they will be ready to party!

“Breaking Bad” This year marked the last season of the very popular cult show and many fans will pay tribute to its characters. Biohazard Costumes will be everywhere, so remain calm when you see one at your doorstep shouting “trick-or-treat”, most likely it’s a trick-or-treater, not a government scientist who has some bad news for you; pay attention to context clues!

“Miley Cyrus” I don’t think anyone is surprised that this made the list in the least. After the highly controversial VMA’s performance and her constant presence in the media in the weeks following, I’m surprised it was not the “Top Costume” for this year. I guess her costume will take the place of the “sexy cat” this year, seeing as the options only vary from a teddy bear leotard to a nude colored bra and panties set.

I wonder which one of these costumes we will see this year at our Halloween Party. The party, “A Haunting Showcase”, takes place on Friday, Nov. 1 at our main office and we are all so excited for this spectacular event. There will be trick or treating in the office, dinner & cocktails, and contests! We hope you willl have an exciting and safe evening tonight. Happy Halloween!

Oct 30

4 Ways to Keep Your Home Safe for Halloween

Halloween, costumes, Showcase, Realty, Showcase Realty, Orange, Bats,Charlotte NC fall events, Charlotte NC homes for sale, Charlotte NC real estate, Showcase realty, Nancy Braun

 

 

Whether you like it or not, trick-or-treaters are surely coming to your home this Halloween. They’ll be dressed in different costumes like ghosts, vampires, fairies or super heroes. Although this is a fun and exciting event for everyone, there are times that accidents happen. But if you plan ahead of time, you can help make the Halloween an accident-free and fire-safe day for everyone. Take these simple effective steps discussed below.

 

  1. Keep away lighted candles and Jack O’ Lanterns away from the doorsteps, yards or walkways. Yes, it really looks nice seeing lighted candles during Halloween especially at night. But if you don’t want accidents from happening, be sure to keep them away from your doorsteps, yards or walkways where any trick-or-treaters can easily brush his/her costume against the flame. Aside from this, keep away any candles from your curtains, decorations and other items that may easily flame up. Needless to say, never leave any burning candles unattended. To be safer, better use the “flameless” LED or battery-operated candles.

 

  1. Get rid of any obstacles from your yard or pathway. We have to remember that trick or treating happens usually at night so all trick-or-treaters will be visiting your decorated house when it’s dark. To be safe for everyone and to avoid accidents from happening, get rid of any obstacles from your yard, steps, or porches. This includes cleaning up your garden hoses, yard toys, lawn ornaments, and other items that you think might cause accidents. You should also sweep your sidewalks and steps from any wet leaves.

 

  1. Make use of LED pathway markers or glow-in-the-dark tapes. Rather than using candles in lighting any pathway, steps or a small rise in your driveway or porch, just use LED pathway markers or glow-in-the-dark tapes to help trick-or-treaters in finding their way to your front door where candy awaits.

 

  1. Keep your pets inside your house or away from the backyard. As much as possible, if you have pets like dogs, keep them first in a safe location away from the area where trick-or-treaters would possible pass. Remember, dogs are a territorial type of animal and they can bark or even snap at someone in defense of their surroundings. On the other hand, other pets like cats get anxious when they hear loud people or noise and that might cause them to run away.

Oct 28

A Brief History of Halloween

Halloween, costumes, Showcase, Realty, Showcase Realty, Orange, Bats,Charlotte NC fall events, Charlotte NC homes for sale, Charlotte NC real estate, Showcase realty, Nancy Braun

 

Just like other holidays and important events, Halloween has evolved a lot since it started thousands of years ago. As one of the world’s oldest holidays, it has been celebrated today by more individuals from different parts of the world than ever before.

 

The term Halloween was originally spelled as “Hallowe’en,” which is contraction of All Hallows Eve, a term for the day before All Hallows Day, otherwise known as All Saints Day. The latter is a Catholic holiday celebrated on November 1 since the early Middle Ages where Christian saints along with martyrs are commemorated.

 

The history of Halloween originates in the ancient Celtic festival regarded as Samhain, a celebration of the end of the harvest season in the Gaelic culture. The ancient Gaels believed that, on October 31, there is an overlapping of the boundaries between the world of the living and the dead. At the same time, the deceased would come back to life and will cause havoc like sickness. Based on the prehistoric observance, Halloween used to mark the end of summer and the onset of winter where people celebrated it with sacrificial offerings, homage to the dead, feasts, and bonfires.

 

Like the Celts, the European people during that time also believed the same thing; that the spirits of the dead would came to visit the earth during Halloween. However, they feared that the spirits would hurt them or cause problems, which is why during the night they wore costumes to look like ghost and other evil creatures. They believed that by doing such, the spirits would think they’re also dead and they would remain unharmed. As the Europeans migrated to the United States, they brought such tradition with them.

 

“Trick or treat” entered the picture when there was an increasing number of Halloween pranks and mischief during the 1920s and 1930s. Schools and communities want to curb the increasing number of vandalism that’s why they encouraged the “trick or treat” concept. But the practice we do and see today where children wear costumes doing “trick or treat” started only during the mid-1940s.

 

Today, Halloween is the second most commercially successful holiday next to Christmas and is the third biggest party being celebrated yearly behind New Year as well as Super Bowl Sunday. Men and women of every age now celebrates Halloween in different ways like decorating their homes, wearing odd costumes, joining parades, and more. But we all have to remember, as long as we celebrate Halloween in a safe and happy way, then there’s no problem with celebrating it in different ways.

Oct 21

Fun and festive fall activities in Charlotte NC

Happy boy, pumkin picking, Charlotte NC fall events, Charlotte NC homes for sale, Charlotte NC real estate, Showcase realty, Nancy Braun

 

Fall is a time for sweeping up fallen leaves and baking the perfect pumpkin pie, to look forward to the terror of Halloween and the frightening gathering of your family for thanksgiving. This is a time to give and a time to enjoy. It’s a time to take full advantage of the scenery and to get out and enjoy the colors and the weather. Why not experience all The Queen City has to offer and enjoy days filled with relaxation and seasonal traditions?

The NoDa Fall Music Fest

This festival is for all you music lovers out there! There will be 100 artists and bands performing live in multiple venues. The festival is a 3 day event, which is celebrating its 11th year of delivering the best music and digital media industry education and networking in the market. If you are interested as a performer or as a business owner this is an opportunity you cannot miss, as well! Take full advantage of this wondrous event and give your soul its much needed tunes.     Nov. 8- Nov. 10

For more information and a list of bands visit their website at:  http://www.midatlanticmusic.com/

Pumpkin picking

Charlotteans know full and well they live in the country and, thankfully, that means a wide variety of farms to visit and browse through their bountiful pumpkin patches. Pumpkin picking is an age old tradition that we used to do with our parents and our parents’ parent’s. It’s a tradition that you want to pass down to you children and your children’s children. It is a very family oriented experience and a great way to get your kids excited for the changing season.  This is an innocent pleasure that will surely be one of your children’s fondest memories of fall, and if your kid is a chatter they will tell all of your family and friends how he picked his perfect pumpkin (Your welcome). Hodges farm is a great family farm complete with farm animals, horses, pumpkin picking in the fall and Christmas trees in the winter.

Click here for more information on Hodges Farm.

Tour the Mountains

The mountains in the fall are, personally, one of the most beautiful picturesque views I have ever seen in autumn. For those hikers and campers, fall is the perfect time to go since it isn’t too hot, nor is it too cold; it’s that perfect state of limbo. Grandfather mountain is the most popular with its high peaks and panoramic views, it will get a little chilly in the evening so, like my boy scout brother says, always be prepared! Little neighboring towns will solve your hunger needs or you can picnic near the mountain and watch one of the many tranquil waterfalls scattered in the North Carolina Mountains. Don’t forget to bring your Camera for the many Kodak moments that will arise with your first step on mountain terrain.

Oct 16

Open House in Waxhaw this weekend 2-4!

Stonehaven Dr- Gregg and Ed

Oct 15

Agent HUD Workshop Tomorrow! Don’t Miss it!

Eventbrite - Coffee With Nancy: Agent HUD Sales Training

October HUD flyer

Oct 08

Luxury Open House This Weekend in Waxhaw!

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Oct 04

Great Infographic on Improving Your Home in 10 Minutes or Less

In order to get top dollar for your Charlotte NC home for sale, it needs to look great inside and out. Small adjustments to your home can really improve it’s curb appeal without costing you a fortune.

The infographic below has tips and quick fixes to improve the value of your home and make it more desirable to buyers. Tips below include keeping trimmed bushes and a mowed lawn to make a the best first impression possible. Quick fixes like painting over cracks in the walls and replacing old doorknobs can go a long way to make the home look well cared for and updated.

Beyond simple maintenance and repairs the infographic suggests many decorating tips to make any space feel bigger, brighter and more inviting. It even describes the effects of feng shui and colory theory techniques on a space. For example, dark narrow hallways are made to seem more spacious by hanging a mirror at the end. The color green is also a refreshing color the promotes relaxation and recuperation; consider painting the living room or master bedroom this color.

If you have a Charlotte home for sale, these tips could mean the difference between a competitive bidding war and low offers. View the rest of the tips below! Also click the image, if you’d like to view it larger.

 

Charlotte NC Short Sales, Charlotte NC homes for sale, Charlotte NC real estate, fix your home, curb appeal, Showcase Realty, Nancy Braun, Charlotte NC Short Sale Agents, Charlotte NC real estate agents

 

 Image Via

 

 

Sep 27

Investor and Foreclosure Activity in the Charlotte NC Real Estate Market

housing bubble, Charlotte NC real estate, Charlotte NC investors, Charlotte NC foreclosures, Charlotte NC homes for sale, Charlotte NC short sales, Showcase Realty, Charlotte NC Short Sale AgentsNancy Braun was quoted three times by The Mecklenburg Times in the last several weeks. The first one, “South End by Southwest” was covered in a previous blog post. The two most recent articles

The article in September 27th issue of The Mecklenburg Times covers the investor activity in Charlotte, titled “Reits: Industry Insiders are Wondering Where the Phenomenon Will Lead.”  During May, June and July, one in every five homes were sold to investors. One the surface this seems like a good thing. Large companies purchase distressed properties, fix them up and then rent them out. This demand lowers the supply and increasing competition.

 

But the clarity dissipates and the fog of uncertainty begins to cloud the issues when real estate professionals start to consider what that means for the market, now and in the long term.

Pretty much everyone agrees that the real estate investment trusts and other institutional investment firms that since the recession have bought thousands of homes in the Charlotte market – nearly 2,000 in May, June and July – have “jump-started the Charlotte real estate market,” in the words of Nancy Braun, owner and broker-in-charge of  Showcase Realty.

They agree that many of the homes were distressed, financially and structurally, and that Wall Street has helped clean up some of the mess left by Wall Street in the mortgage-bundling fiasco.

And they agree that institutional investors are helping the market meet a demand for rental homes, as more former homeowners and more likely first-time buyers are either forced or are choosing to lead more liquid lifestyles.

 

Read the Full Article Here – The Mecklenburg Times 9.27.13

 

The article published in the September 17th edition of The Mecklenburg Times covered foreclosure activity which is closely tied to influx of investors. The article, titled “Foreclosure Activity Down from Last Year”  discussed the amount of foreclosures on the market and it’s general downward trend over the passed year. However August presented interesting numbers — an increase in foreclosures. Nancy gave her thoughts on one possible explanation for this increase.

 

One possible explanation is that because housing prices are climbing, inventory is shrinking, and institutional investors are buying houses at a rate never seen before, lenders have decided to initiate the foreclosure process. Or the lenders may have just begun the process after unsuccessfully working with homeowners on loan modifications, which have been stressed by President Barack Obama’s administration.

Braun said she recently worked on a short sale in which the homeowner hadn’t made a payment in 30 months before being notified that the lender was starting the foreclosure process.

“Maybe it makes sense to pull the trigger and foreclose on the properties they’ve been sitting on,” she said. “I don’t think anyone truly has a handle on what the shadow inventory is, but there is a shadow inventory.”

Shadow inventory includes homes that may be in default or in the foreclosure process that have not been placed on the market.

 

Read the full article here — The Mecklenburg Times 9.17. 13

 

Investor presence and bank activities on foreclosures definitely have effected the market. Short term it has seemed to jumpstart the market and result in stronger prices and quicker sales. While no one can know what the future holds or how the market will react in the long term, Nancy will continue to share her insights as things unfold.

Sep 26

Open House In Ballantyne This Weekend!

Showcase Realty is hosting an open house of this gorgeous property before it goes to auction

This property is priced to sell and is listed for significantly below tax value and other homes in the area. Please stop this weekend and view this home before it’s too late!

 uction, open house, charlotte nc homes for sale, charlotte nc real estate, charlotte nc foreclosure, ballantyne, showcase realty, nancy braun, wynridge estates

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