Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Sales Tax or Property Tax Increase: 
The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners will be building a new courthouse in downtown Winston-Salem for $120 million.  There’s no doubt the need for it is great but the way it gets paid for is just as important.  On the ballot this election cycle will be an option to vote for a 1/4% (.25%) sales and use tax increase but if that does not pass, the county will be forced to apply a 3.1 cent property tax increase.  While we hope there were other choices, this is what we are left with so we will be supporting the sale tax increase as it mitigates the damages the most.  Since Forsyth County has a lot of folks that drive into the county to shop, more than just homeowners and property owners will pay for the new courthouse.  So if you live in Forsyth County, make sure to support the sales tax and not the property tax increase. Click on the pictures to learn more...

ICYMI - September - Local Real Estate Market Update:
“While steady appreciation continues, we are beginning to see the market balance out in certain price points,” said Brooke Cashion, the association’s president. “Rising interest rates will further encourage buyers to secure housing sooner than later, as the rate increase will impact affordability and monetary outlay for years to come.”

Business 40 in Downtown Winston-Salem closing:
Business 40 through downtown Winston-Salem will be closing at 8:00 AM on Sunday, November 11 due to construction.  For more information on how to get into and around downtown Winston-Salem, please see the website the North Carolina Department of Transportation put together - it will be a great tool and NCDOT has partnered with WAZE for best routes.

Work Ready Forsyth:
Businesses in North Carolina, the Triad and Forsyth County are thriving, but the biggest issue impeding their continued growth is the growing shortage of workers with the adaptable skills needed to succeed in the modern workplace.  Education and talent supply are, by far, the top concern weighing on job creators’ minds according to a recent CEO poll performed by the NC Chamber.

However, an important step has been taken in Forsyth County.  The County Commissioners recently decided it was time for the community to put a focus on our talent supply.  Forsyth County has applied to become a North Carolina Certified Work Ready Community (NCCWRC).  Currently in NC, there are 62 counties that are participating which means, 62 other counties are working every day to become more economically attractive to businesses, in direct competition with Forsyth County.

NCCWRC is a collaboration of members from the Office of the Governor, NC Chamber Foundation, NC Community College System, NC Department of Instruction, NC Department of Commerce, regional economic development professionals and local community college leaders. 

What does this mean for Forsyth County, now that county leaders made the decision to acquire certification? 
  • Business and industry gain confidence that Forsyth County has a skilled workforce and a considerable talent supply
  • Individuals and students understand what skills are required in today’s workforce and therefore know how to prepare themselves for success
  • Allows policy makers to consistently measure the skills gap and work on adjustments
  • Educators can help close the skills gap via tools integrated into curriculum and career pathways with industry credentials
  • Economic developers can use an on-demand reporting tool to market the quality of the workforce and therefore, become a more competitive marketplace
In order to become certified and therefore more competitive, workers and  students must obtain enhanced and relevant skills.  Forsyth County’s endeavor to meet these needs will be called, Work Ready Forsyth.  Thankfully, Forsyth County is well on its way to earning certification, however, business engagement is critical and needed on our local level.   

We'd like to ask your company to simply say you SUPPORT the program by lending your company name to this important effort.  It's that simple.  Will you help our students, our workers, our businesses, our education systems and our economy by lending your support?

We hope we can count on your support to ensure a healthy program that will keep us current regarding industry needs and the skilled talent necessary for our economic future.

More information about Work Ready Forsyth will be available soon. Visit for information about the NC Certified Work Ready Community Certificate.

Friday, September 14, 2018

With fall, comes cooler weather...

Want to warm up the house this fall?

"We can hardly believe it, but summer is quickly coming to a close. The kids are back in school, apple-picking is on the weekend agenda, and pumpkin is starting to show up again in the local grocery stores! While the world around you is transforming for the new season, it’s also important to make your home look the part. 
We love fall because it gives us the opportunity to really make our homes feel cozy with throws, wreaths, autumn-scented candles and warm decor. In our opinion, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. 
We spoke to Lauren Nicole Designs — a talented interior designer based in Charlotte, North Carolina — to get the inside scoop on current design trends and...."

Monday, August 13, 2018

The State of Economic Development in the Triad

Recently, we had the opportunity to sit down with Bob Leak, Executive Director of Winston-Salem Business Inc., which is the economic development arm of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County.

Winston-Salem Business Inc. "is the only local agency that conducts external economic development marketing. WSBI promotes Winston-Salem and Forsyth County as an excellent business location and provides unparalleled customer service to clients and consultants interested in locating businesses in our community."

We appreciated Bob taking some time to speak with us.  As you'll see in the video, there is a lot going on and tremendous opportunity for our region.  

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Are baby boomers to blame?

Recently, there was some positive real estate news concerning the Triad real estate market and we were interviewed by several news outlets.  We'd like to thank Spectrum News 14, the Winston-Salem Journal and the Greensboro News and Record for paying attention to this important economic factor.

We thought that it was an interesting headline...but NO, baby boomers are not to blame.  It is no one's fault.  But it is more of the market conditions, but the sentiments are accurate.  

Frankly, it would be nice to see a little bit more inventory.  There are a ton of buyers in the marketplace and a few more listings would help drive a stronger local economy.  See below for the story:

“Buyers are in the market, but frankly we still need more folks to consider selling,” said Brooke Cashion, the association’s president.

“Inventory is becoming more of an issue with only a three-month supply. We would like to see more of a four-to five-month supply.
“However, Winston-Salem is a stable housing market with nice steady growth, and not the spikes we need to try and avoid.”

Thursday, July 19, 2018

All this is yours!

Have you ever found yourself in this situation?  It can be frustrating.  When looking to get your home on the market, make sure you take into account clutter!  Are you ready to list your home in this hot sellers market?  Below are a few tips from to make your experience better and more profitable!

Much like buying your first home, selling your first home can be tricky if you don’t know what to expect. So rather than navigate the unknown on your own, let me be your guide! Here’s 5 tips to help lead you through this new endeavour.
Find the right listing agent
Your first step is to choose the right listing agent. You’ll need someone who can leverage their expertise to get your house sold, and this is certainly no small feat.
During the listing appointment, the right listing agent should present you with a full marketing plan as to how they plan on successfully selling your home in a timely manner and for the right price. You’ll also want someone who can accurately price your home, provide home staging tips, and effectively negotiate with buyers when the time comes. And just as importantly, your agent will advise you once a buyer is under contract to buy your home to make sure you get to the closing table. Make sure you feel comfortable with your agent; sometimes you may need to interview more than one agent to find the right fit for you.
Consider a pre-inspection
Your home needs to be in pristine condition if you want it to sell quickly, but more than just ridding every nook and cranny of dirt and dust, consider going the extra mile and having a pre-inspection done.
Your Realtor® can provide you with a recommendation for a good home inspector who will be able to zero in on potential pitfalls that could scare off buyers. Get ahead of the game by fixing any serious issues and feel confident that come closing time there won’t be any red flags. A pre-inspection can possibly prevent any surprise repair expenses once you have a buyer.
Enhance your curb appeal
I’ve heard too many stories of would-be buyers driving up to a home for sale, only to speed away before ever stepping foot on the ground all because of a horrible first impression.
Make sure buyers make it past the front door by dedicating enough attention and detail to your home’s exterior. Strategically placed and well-maintained landscaping goes a long way towards amping up your home’s outward appearance. Give your weathered trim and front door new life by applying a fresh coat of paint, and consider using a pressure washer to excavate dirt that’s taken up residence on your sidewalk, driveway and porches.
Stage to sell
Remember when your mother used to harp “a place for everything and everything in it’s place” when you were younger? Who knew she was actually giving sage advice you’d need to recall as prep to sell?!
Cut down the clutter by boxing up items not essential to what you might need to continue living in your home comfortably. You’ll need to make sure buyers can envision themselves living in your home when they tour it, so make sure to remove personal items while you show your home. Make a cleaning schedule and stick to it–you never know when you might receive a frantic phone call from a Realtor whose client desperately wants to see your home.
Oh, and don’t forget about your furry friends. Get a game plan together now for how you’ll keep them occupied while someone is viewing your home.
Be patient
We’ve all heard stories about houses that go on the market in the morning and are sold by the time dinner’s ready, and while this is certainly every seller’s dream timetable, experts say it isn’t exactly the norm.
According to, the median amount of time a home spends on their site is 65 days–this is measured from the time the for sale sign is planted in the yard to the moment the new buyers walk in the front door. This number will of course fluctuate depending on a number of variables, and everything from inventory, location, condition, price and time of year can make time on market ebb or flow.
Phyllis Brookshire
President, Allen Tate Realtors®

Monday, July 09, 2018

Are you ready for a "flood" of information?

Have you ever had to have a flood insurance policy on your property?  There is a huge issue going on in our nation's capital concerning flood insurance that you are probably not hearing much about.  In the following post, we briefly discuss it:

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will expire on July 31.  If it expires, this will cause many challenges to the real estate market right when things are going well.  

This is important because our area has a number of properties included on the FEMA Flood Zone Maps.  Depending on qualifications of the property, the property could be eligible for the NFIP program which helps keeps flood insurance cost down on consumers.  

Reforms are also needed to the NFIP program.  From the National Association of Realtors, "as currently structured, the NFIP is not financially sustainable over the long run. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the program is not charging enough in premiums to cover expected claims in catastrophic loss years, and has already borrowed over $30 billion from taxpayers to make up the difference." 

We have been talking to our elected representation in the US Congress.  In their responses, action is highly possible and it is our hope that a viable solution comes together.  Stay tuned or see some challenges ahead!  

If interested in more information, just give us a shout!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Small Businessperson of the Year...

On May 24, 2018, Brooke Cashion of Brooke Cashion and Associates - Allen Tate was named the "Small Businessperson of the Year" by the Kernersville Chamber of Commerce.

The Small Businessperson of the Year is chosen based on several criteria:
-demonstrated a history of managing or operating and established business of less than 100 employees and have shown growth in the number of employees
-shown continued sales growth over the years
-have used creative approaches to business
-contributes to the community

According to the Kernersville Chamber of Commerce, this year there were a record number of nominees for this award making the process of selection very tough.

"I am truly honored and humbled and I thank the Kernersville Chamber of Commerce for this wonderful award.  I look forward to continuing being involved and most appreciate all of the support from family, friends and many others!"

To learn more about Brooke, visit our home on the web -

Below are some pictures from the awards ceremony and Brooke's acceptance speech.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Top 10...

We have the good fortune of talking to many different people.  We get questions about restaurants and breweries and places to find good wine often, so we thought we would put together our current top 10 of where we go to regularly and included their websites for additional information.  There are many great places to visit but just wanted to name a few...go give them a visit - you will not regret it!

Top 10 in no particular order:

Mozelles - Winston-Salem, NC  

Full Moon Oyster Bar - Jamestown, NC 

Miss Orrs Kitchen - Winston-Salem, NC

Blue Rock Pizza and Tap House - High Point, NC

Lighthouse - Winston-Salem, NC

Fitz's on Main - Kernersville, NC

Joymongers - Greensboro/Winston-Salem, NC

Southern Roots Cuisine - Jamestown, NC

Hops Burger Bar - Greensboro, NC

Blue Water - High Point, NC

Wise Man Brewery - Winston-Salem, NC

Monday, April 30, 2018

The New Long Branch Trail...

Urban centers are becoming more and more popular and the cities that are growing are using innovative and creative ways to offer different amenities.  Recently, a good example of this is in Winston-Salem when the Long Branch Trail opened for use.  

The new trail is a partnership between the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, the City of Winston-Salem, the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the North Carolina Department of Transportation, Rail Division.

This new "urban greenway" runs north to south and will allow downtown residents, workers, and anyone else who wishes to to walk, run, bike or simply enjoy the nice weather in a downtown setting.  Eventually it will connect to the Salem Lake Trail and provide for approximately 20 miles of trail for the public use.  

The short clips gives you an idea of how the urban greenway looks and feels.  What do you think?  Would you use this trail?

The Long Branch Trail - downtown Winston-Salem

The Long Branch Trail - downtown Winston-Salem

Monday, April 16, 2018

Why Wouldn't You Want a Trusted Advisor?

#WhyWait - Why wouldn't you want to use a buyer's agent?  

When a buyer in the marketplace gives the "emphatic NO", we get that bewildered look on our face.  In the following short clip, Brooke goes over some reasons WHY you NEED one.  

To learn more, see "Working With Real Estate Agents" Brochure – this important information explains real estate agency and what it means for the consumer.

Working With Real Estate Agents

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Ready to fluff?

Recently, we put a YouTube video of us "landscape fluffing" a home that we are getting ready to put on the market and sell. First impressions are important and help set the tone.  Curb appeal is very important when selling a property.  This is a very good and inexpensive way to get your home in tip-top shape for the market!  Below, we've included some before and after pics and the video to explain more.

Is your home looking tired?  Fluff it!


Friday, March 30, 2018

Happy Easter!

On this most important and holy time, we simply wanted to pass along a Happy Easter to you and your family.  Enjoy the weekend and this important celebration!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

A Great Honor Happened Today....

REALTORS Give Back...and What A True Honor!

We had an incredible time this morning at the Centers for Exceptional Children in Winston-Salem. We put out easter eggs for the annual easter egg hunt the Winston-Salem Regional Association of REALTORS does in conjunction with school. 

The Centers for Exceptional Children is "dedicated to serving children with special needs and their families".  They operate under the belief that "every child deserves the chance to realize their fullest potential in life. While others may focus on the challenges of the children we serve, we see possibilities. Possibilities for confidence, happiness, achievement and self-reliance.  For more than 65 years, The Centers for Exceptional Children has been providing a critical combination of support services, programs and facilities dedicated to one thing: helping children with special needs and their families thrive."

What an incredible group of children and a huge thanks to the teachers, staff, volunteers and others who really do a wonderful job with these exceptional kids. We thank them for brightening our day...Happy Easter to all! 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Meet THE Hollie Breazeale!

We are excited about Hollie joining Brooke Cashion and Associates - Allen Tate.   Hollie is going to be and already has been a great addition to the team.  Take a moment to watch this short clip about Hollie...#WhyWait

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Winston-Salem's Ardmore...

Finding the right home can be tough in a tight inventory market like we are currently experiencing.  However, we are seeing some softening of the inventory challenge as supply increased in February and we are in the process of listing a lot of property and those will be hitting the market place soon.  

Currently, we are showing a lot in the Ardmore area of Winston-Salem.  For your benefit and ease, we have compiled a list of homes currently for sale in Ardmore.  Please click the link below to see the full list, a map and information about the homes.  

We are happy to assist you should you have more questions!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Do pools impact my home value?

This is a question we often receive moving closer into the summer.  However, today, March 12, it is snowing and as we work and watch the cold snow fall, ironically, we found ourselves thinking about the warm sun and the cool water of a pool.

The answer is that it all depends...but you should think of it, not necessarily as an investment but more of an enjoyment.  We have lived in two different homes with pools--both have been in-ground pools.  Our first pool was already there when we bought it.  It was a nice pool, well maintained but was daily maintenance when opened and had a lot of wood decking. That wasn't bad, but it wasn't optimal either.  As well, the pump was very close to where the lounge chairs were so when the pump was running which was most of the time in the summer, there was always noise.  We added additional landscaping to improve the aesthetics of our pool area and that made it much more enjoyable.  We did not have a problem selling the house with the pool and we did not see any sort of premium or negative.

When we moved into our current home, it did not have a pool.  Given the fact we are on acreage decided to build a concrete, salt-water pool.  We love it, as were able to design it as we wanted to.  It is relatively low maintenance even though we leave it open all year long.  However, several years later there are some things we would have done differently.  For example, we probably would have added more concrete pool decking would have added bench seating in the pool. Other considerations would have been to make it deeper and a darker colored bottom.  Several times per year we wish we would have made it a little bigger in general as our friends spill out of it.  Because we do not live in a neighborhood with a neighborhood club or amenities and because our home sits in the middle of acreage we think the pool will be seen as a positive when it is time to sell and we personally believe it adds to the marketability of the property.

The other thing we learned is that you can do anything you want with a pool, especially a concrete pool.  Get creative and have fun with it.  After all, that's what summers is for!  

If you are considering putting a pool in or buying a house with a pool, maybe ask yourself, do I see this as an investment or enjoyment?  Take a look a the pools below and daydream on this snowy day!

If you have specific questions about pools feel free to reach out.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Is NC only about Charlotte and Raleigh?

Do you ever ask yourself, why? Why has Charlotte seen so much growth?  Why is Raleigh booming?  Why do we only think of Charlotte and Raleigh when thinking about North Carolina?

North Carolina is a great state.  It is a growing and changing state and one that has captured the attention of many from across the country and globe.  As natives, we sure are proud of the Old North State!    While Charlotte and Raleigh are two of the country's great cities, there are many others in North Carolina that deserve attention, comparison, and visits.  Pay attention to the Triad...we sure are bullish about its future opportunities!

The Triad is made up of Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem and many other cities and towns in a 12 county region of the state that is geographically located in the center-west of North Carolina.

It is conveniently located along the East Coast of the US and can serve approximately 70% of the nation's population within two days by truck.  This is an amazing stat and one that many businesses look at.

Our workforce is strong - 650,000+ strong; and yes, just like all areas of the country there are workforce issues but thankfully we are well positioned to help fix the issues with the many and great educational facilities.  Here are a few - Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem State University, UNC-Greensboro, Guilford College, North Carolina A&T, High Point University, Forsyth Technical Community College, Guilford Technical Community College - all world class facilities and ones that are growing and seeing national and global attention.

Our transportation network is strong and getting stronger.  Because of the growth and the needs of our area, we are currently seeing approximately $2 billion worth of transportation construction and improvements underway.  When I-74 is complete, it will have a 30,000 job regional impact - new jobs studies tell us!  We have an unbelievable hidden gem in the Piedmont-Triad International Airport and one of North Carolina's only inland ports in Greensboro that feeds not only our area but the entire East Coast.

Compared to our counterparts around the state, we have a low cost of living and competitive wages.

We have affordable housing ranging from under $100,000 to several million dollars and we are seeing a lot of cranes around the Triad building new buildings of all kinds.

We have world-class business parks with well-known, respectable world-class companies and brands.

We have world-class healthcare facilities with some of the globe's leading researchers, doctors and nurses.

We have a growing and vibrant entrepreneurial and innovation network and facilities that allow for the next Fortune 500 companies to not only move here, but to grow here.

We have many great cities but the three bigger ones are all working on their core downtown areas and those are growing and are vibrant.  If you have not been to one of the downtowns on a weekend evening, GO!

We have an incredible Farmers Market where you can buy of plants, vegetables,  meats, interesting knick-knacks and all kinds of cool things.

There is a cultural scene like no other.  From street festivals, to symphonies to Old Salem, which frankly is more authentic than Williamsburg, to great art scenes and talent galore!

Did you know the state's largest economic event is in High Point twice per year - the High Point Furniture Market brings in thousands from around the globe.  If you ever get a chance to go, GO!

There are a ton of sporting opportunities.  If you don't play sports we have numerous minor-league teams in the Triad that you can support and go see live.  For the kids, t here are a ton of ways for the kids to participate in all kids of different sports and excel at those.

For the food and drink lovers - the food scene is awesome and growing.  There are plenty of great restaurants, pubs, breweries, distillers and we are minutes from the Yadkin Valley Wine region which is becoming nationally known with some really cool vineyards.

These are just a few - the Triad is full of opportunity and we are excited about its future, especially as people get sick and tried of all the traffic in the Charlotte and Raleigh regions. What's not to love?!?!  You can have a robust lifestyle and a laid-back southern-style all in the same location.

Go for it...BELIEVE in the Triad...WORK in the Triad...LIVE in the Triad...PLAY in the Triad...WORSHIP in the Triad...RAISE a family in the Triad...RETIRE in the Triad...GRADUATE AND STAY in the Triad!


Tuesday, February 06, 2018

With Wall Street Volatility....What's Going on With Your Home Value?

We are sure you have seen in the media that Wall Street volatility has returned in earnest.  As the media goes into hysteria on a day-to-day basis, it is important to remember that markets will bounce up and down.  The macro economy is strong.  Important economies like real estate are strong as well across the nation and thankfully, North Carolina is in the top 10 residential real estate markets nationally.  But given that the stock market and Wall Street are what is driving the narrative, what does this mean for our LOCAL real estate market?

As we predicted in an earlier blog post, we think mortgage rates will be increasing over 2018.  As a matter of fact we have already started to see this and rates are UP to around 4.25-4.5%.   This is important as this impacts what your mortgage payment will be at the least depending on your situation.

As we review the data from January 2018 we are seeing some signs that things are picking up pretty quickly in this new year.  For example in ALL price ranges in the TRIAD MLS system:

-the AVERAGE Sales Price was $180,000, up from $173,000 a year ago
-the number of new listings is up month over month
-average days on market is up to its highest level since March 2017
-months supply is up month over month, and
-the percentage of list to sales price is down to 97.3% 

All this means is that now is the time to enter the market if you have been considering it.  We think 2018 will be a strong year, however as we get closer to spring and the number of homes on the market increases, competition will increase meaning a seller could be in a less competitive position.

Do you go to the doctor on a regular basis for a check-up?  Do you meet with your financial advisor on a regular basis to make adjustments as necessary?  Do you go through an annual review at work? 

Have you ever thought about a simple home valuation check up?  Where are you positioned in the marketplace?  Are you considering "updating" your home or would you be better off to sell it?  Shouldn't you know what your valuable asset is doing for your financial position?

Touch base with your professional REALTOR today - in these market environments, it is important to stay abreast of your financial position.

If you do not have a professional and experienced REALTOR, reach out today for a "no strings attached review".

Monday, February 05, 2018

Go ahead - showcase the wine!

“Wine can of their wits the wise beguile, Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile” 
― Homer

Have you ever gone to a winery and really loved that Carneros Pinot Noir that you were tasting?  Do you remember thinking to yourself, "I really want to buy this bottle or two and keep it for a special occasion, however, I do not have a good place to store it."  Do you have a lot of wine bottles stored and want to show them off or use as decorations?  Ever thought about how wine needs to be stored?

Here is a pretty cool idea - why not build a wine cellar/storage in your own home!

In the Houzz article, 7 Steps to Create a Connoisseur's Wine Cellar, you can get a few good ideas about how to start a wine cellar in your own home.  The following seven steps serve as a couple good ideas to think about and consider should you want to create you own wine cellar/storage area:
-Size of Space
-How to Keep the Wine Cool
-Door/Entry Style

So go for it!  Make you own home a home for great wine!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® is an awesome referral network that is LOCAL and GLOBAL and one that is not a publicly-traded organization. It is made up of independent real estate companies from across the globe who share best practices, build relationships and most importantly, create a network of the world's greatest Realtors in order to serve our clients needs best.  
Because Brooke Cashion of Brooke Cashion and Associates is one of the Top 100 Realtors in the Allen Tate Companies in NC/SC and on the RealTrends Top Producer list as seen in the Wall Street Journal, she was invited to participate on a top producers panel in Las Vegas.
Take a moment to hear from Brooke about her time in Las Vegas and what it means for you! Also, if you need to discuss how we can help you find the best agent for your real estate needs in Australia, the UK, China, in another state in the US or simply in another city in NC, don't hesitate to ask. Would love to connect you with the right fit!