Second Street Sundries Cafe

Last Wednesday I had the absolutely pure pleasure of meeting some of the employees and staff for GHA Autism Supports at their store, Second Street Sundries cafe! The coffee was delicious, the atmosphere was friendly, clean and buzzing with good energy! They staff some of their amazing people at the cafe, and words can’t even describe the great vibe going on there!

Dee Pankey, Chief Strategy Officer, has been with the organization for over 20 years. She greeted me with her warm and beautiful smile and joyfully filled me in on how they got started and where they are now. 6 group homes, the cafe, Carolina Farms, and a new project underway for Morrow Valley Homestead.. it is more than impressive to hear where they started and where they are now.

People are visiting from Japan, Denmark, Germany, and Canada to learn more about this organization!

Their vision is to create an environment where people of all ages with Autism Spectrum disorder are understood, valued for their diversity and are given opportunities to grow, as well as contribute to the community.

This week I bought several gifts from the gift store including hand made soap, a cool mug, and a beautiful ornament made by “Creations by Mark”. Mark LOVES Christmas and loves to make ornaments to share his joy with the world!

I will be heading out to Carolina Farms this Wed to get some eggs, veggies and learn more about the farm. Excited is an understatement!

Come join ‘Yoga on the Lawn’ this Sat 9:30AM at 5 Points Realty, 2433 The Plaza. Exercise, connect, and contribute to your community! Yoga pic

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‘Yoga on the Lawn’ Kick off!

5PointsYogaJPEGI am so excited to get ‘Yoga on the lawn’ kicked off this Sat!! I want to start by thanking my AMAZING real estate company 5 Points Realty for coming together with me to bring this idea to fruition! We raised $100 last week on the trial run and are really excited to watch this grow and expand!

Yoga has been a healing agent for me and a practice I have loved for over 10 years.. I began teaching 3 years ago to deepen my understanding of the practice and to share that with those seeking more connection, mindfulness, integration, strength, and flexibility. To show up on your mat is to show up for yourself.. and with our added layer of donating to community you are showing up to something greater than yourself as well. Through breath, poses, flow, and focus yoga connects and heals.

Each month we will highlight a local effective organization to raise money and awareness!!

Our first organization for the month of April is GHA Autism Supports. They strive to help people with autism have a full and productive life in an effort to fulfill their life dreams. They currently serve nearly 100 children and adults with autism from culturally diverse backgrounds.

“We individualize the supports given to assist them in meeting their fullest potential. Our staff assists them with skill building, self-advocacy, job training and becoming as independent as possible. ” GHA Autism Supports is celebrating 40 years of providing quality services!!

Most recently, they developed Second Street Sundries Café and Coffee Shop in downtown Albemarle to provide employment opportunities for people with autism. Currently, Second Street Sundries employs 10 individuals with autism. I will be visiting next week to check it out and meet some of the employees.

If you want to help by volunteering your time check out Carolina Farms program OR you can assist with special events. The 10th Annual GHA Rubber Duck Derby is scheduled for Saturday, May 19th. Please visit Ruber Duck Derby to learn more.

Thank you for the shout out Charlotte Five!

Come do some yoga with us on the lawn at The 5 Points realty office 2433 The Plaza every Sat 9:30AM-10:30AM and you donation will go to GHA Autism Supports! If you can not make it and want to donate you can donate here

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Charming Medford Acres Home for Sale!


Organic, country living only steps from Uptown!

Through my experience in real estate, I’ve come to know one thing is true … a home is a not a house, nor simply a place to rest your head. A home is where your heart, mind, and spirit are replenished and energized! The moment I walked in the door at 1710 Medford Drive, I knew I was in a very loving and special home. This unique place has so much character and spirit! The home is filled with thoughtful love, organic fruits and vegetables, bees and their golden magic, warm sunlight, and fresh air flow.

The seller loves the home and has described some of the features it has … “The chicken coup, which is repurposed from the old deck, houses eight chickens. Three water barrels collect the rain that flows from the tin roof of the coop. The garden consists of 5 raised beds. The berry bed has raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries. The three fruit trees in the yard are in their 3rd year … all are organically cared for!”

The bluebirds on the kitchen floor were painted by the owner and her grandchildren. They fill the kitchen with generations of soul and laughter. The open sunroom and European bathroom tie in the owners’ world travels. The door to laundry/European bathroom is “the old garage door. Beautiful old solid wood door!”

This home is truly unique and is ready for a new owner that will continue to love and appreciate its character just as the current owners have.

Come make this house your home!

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Right House, Right Time, Right Person…

Here is a story from a lovely client of ours, Tami, who just recently purchased a home!

“What an incredible example of ‘right house/right time/right person’… I had a chance to meet the previous owner of the home I purchased! She was a tiny woman, but really a fireball and gave me a big old hug! In the 1960’s she took a class at CPCC and drew up the architectural plans for the house herself. Also, many of the beautiful flowers I inherited in the backyard were cuttings or transplants from her parents homestead.

     photo 4

The little white shed in the back was where she stored her fabric both for quilting, and making lingerie for mastectomy patients.

photo 5

One thing that absolutely blew me away was when I asked her son what all the heavy-duty electrical plugs in the great room were for. He said she’d operated a typesetting business there for years –. I owned and operated a typesetting business for 13 years myself… we even used the same equipment!

Back to my original statement about right house, etc., she said the house had been on the market for 7 or 8 years, and they couldn’t understand why hardly anyone was even coming to look at it. I told her I knew it was the right house the minute I walked in the door, and also apologized that it took me so long to get there.

Everything is coming along! Once we get settled, we’ll invite y’all over for a cookout, for sure. Here are some photos of the flowers I inherited!”

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Apartment Boom Continues on the Booty Loop

photoIf you’ve driven by the intersection of Selwyn Ave and Queens Rd West then you may have noticed the construction that is underway at the southeast corner.  Although not set in stone, the initial buzz is that Faison is bringing 19 luxury apartment units to the popular corner of the Booty Loop in much the same style as the luxury condominium building behind it on the corner of Roswell and Queens Rd West!

If true, this follows the continuing trend of developers building new apartment buildings in and around Charlotte.  Many experts agree that while there is a gap in the marketplace now that it could easily be oversaturated if developers continue to build inventory for renters.  Myers Park has very few lots left to build but this will no doubt get a lot of attention as it develops!

One thing is for sure, its all about location and the convenience of being able to run or bike right out of your front door and be on the Booty Loop won’t be lost on those seeking luxury apartments in the area!

By Briley Burris

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3 Steps to Sell Your Home in a Buyer’s Market

The real estate world is currently in what’s called a “buyer’s market“. Simply put, that means there are more home sellers than home buyers. And what does that mean to you?

If you’re selling your house, it means you won’t have so many people looking to buy your house.  At the same time – there are more houses like yours for those buyers to shop (in other words, more competition).  But don’t let that discourage you!

Some people figure it’s a lost cause, and the only solution is to just wait for the market conditions to improve.  Don’t do that.  By doing so, you are joining thousands of other homeowners with the same idea.

Instead, here are three tips that BB & A would like to offer you to get your home sold at the highest price, and in the fastest time possible.

Obstacles don’t have to stop you.  If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up.  Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.

~Michael Jordan

Step 1 – Get Help!

To give yourself the best shot at success, look for someone who has done it before.  Better yet, look for someone who has done it before… several times.

Here at BB & A, we only hire seasoned agents.  That is, agents who have the “know how” and ability to guide you through the intricate processes of selling a home.  Agents who have put in their time to learn the markets, understand real estate and test for what works well.

It is far more than just placing a sign in the yard!

With any house I list, my first task is to provide my client with a Comparative Market Analysis.  This is to help the seller use real estate market information to decide on a selling price.  I’ll talk more about this in step #2.

As an agent, my clients hire me to “plant the seed” in various areas.  I maximize the exposure for each house I sell, and ensure that each potential buyer knows all about the house.  Regardless of how few buyers there may be in a particular market.  After all, it only takes one buyer to sell a house.  I find that one buyer.

I also enter your home into the Carolina Multiple Listing Service, which advertises it to over 8,000 real estate brokers in Charlotte and the surrounding areas.

In addition, we use all of our marketing tools to cater to the savvy buyers who do their home shopping via the internet. We make sure to provide “top notch” photos, provide feedback along the way and assist with negotiations from the contract to the closing table.

Step 2 – Price it Right, Price it to Sell

Price is crucial and plays an important role in selling your home effectively. There is nothing more appealing to a buyer than an “attractively priced” home.

Statistics show that by pricing your home 5% below the comparable homes is realistic.

Given the influx of the inventory on the market, Buyers want to know that they are getting a good deal.  And they won’t stop until they find one.

Sellers should also consider other homes for sale in their neighborhood, when determining their house’s selling price.  You want to avoid pricing too high, as that will lead to the house staying on the market for longer.  And the longer your home sits on the the market, the “staler” it tends to look.  Dropping the price is always a possibility, and can ultimately get the house sold.  But be conscious that constant price reductions take longer than pricing it right to begin with.  And they send the message that the house was overpriced in the first place.

We suggest coming out of the gates strong when setting your home’s listing price.  Price it right, and you will enjoy more interest from buyers, and a faster sale.

Step 3 – Preparing Your Home for Sale

Finally, sprucing the home up has always been a major staple to the sales process, and it’s an important piece of the selling puzzle.  We like to see that all of our listings be turn-key ready before we list them in the MLS.  Nothing raises red flags quite like a property being listed while it’s still being improved.

We suggest you first remove all clutter.  Everything should have a place, and be in its place.

Brighten up the front porch and the lawn for that excellent curb appeal.  After all, this is the first thing a buyer sees when pulling up to your home.

Remove your personal items, such as family pictures, refrigerator decor, and take your toiletries out of sight.  Anything that prevents the buyer from picturing the house as theirs should be hidden.

Make minor repairs, and provide and environment, in which, a buyer can imagine transforming it into their own home.

First impressions play a major role in our society.  By following the steps above, we will make sure that your home leaves a lasting impression and sells!!

And remember – it only takes one buyer to sell your property.  :)



[ If you liked this blog post, subscribe to our Charlotte Real Estate Newsletter - packed with info on the Charlotte real estate market, latest news & events, home buying and selling tips, and neighborhood-specific data. ]

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The Sense of Community is Strong in Plaza Midwood

Here at Briley Burris & Associates, we feel a great ‘sense of community’ and I hope that you will follow our blog as we grow! Each week we will have tips to guiding you to your perfect residential community, assisting you as you move on to new destinations, community event information, and more!! We hope that we can give back to so many, as we watch dream after dream come true – finding a place you can call home.

Historical.  Tree-lined streets.

Neighborly.  Vintage Shopping.  Parks.

Local Artists.  Diverse.

And delicious dining.

These are the words that come to mind when I think of Plaza Midwood. One of the most sought-after neighborhoods, it was established in the early 1900s as a streetcar suburb of Charlotte. The population has approximately 4,000 residents living in about 2,000 housing units. As of the mid-90s, many of these homes have been converted into funky urban dwellings. Located a mile northeast of Uptown, it is truly one of the most diverse and eclectic neighborhoods in Charlotte!

Birds-Eye View!

Character meets custom in our featured listing this week located at 1812 Dearmon Drive, located in the heart of Plaza Midwood.  Not only is it a great “bang for your buck,” this home is sleek yet cozy and built with excellent craftsmanship. We will be hosting an open house on Thursday, September 29th, opening the doors at 5pm, and offering tours of this great home until 8pm. There will be collections of art and jewelry for sale, so come and shop and enjoy a glass of wine to wrap up your day.  I hope to see you there!



[ If you liked this blog post, subscribe to our Charlotte Real Estate Newsletter - packed with info on the Charlotte real estate market, latest news & events, home buying and selling tips, and neighborhood-specific data. ]

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Finding Your Dream Home

I love this one! …actually I think I really like this one!
…wait this is definitely the one!
…oh this is THE ONE! I LOVE it!!!!

~Typical Dream Home Shopper

That quote above is the beautiful music I love to hear during a new buyers home search. It tells me that I’ve done my job in helping them find what they’re looking for.  They love almost everything they see, and, “this one… no this one” is what I most commonly hear.  Too many dream homes is a good problem to have! Although this makes finding your dream home sound so magical and easy…there are some very specific steps you need to take in order to get to this place of wonder.  (Here’s a free workbook to help you)

Barbie's Dream Home

Barbie and Ken love their dream home!

First Things First

  1. Define where you want to be. Do you need to be close to a job? A family member? Away from a family member? Do you like the city life, or winding back roads, wildlife and quiet?
  2. Get pre-approved financing. How much can you afford? How much cash can you pay up front (for the down payment and closing costs)? Find out what kind of interest rate can you get from various lenders. How much do you want to pay each month, and how much can you reasonably afford to pay? If you don’t already have one, a personal budget can go a long way in helping you with this step.
  3. Needs & Wants - What do you absolutely need in your house? Also included in this question are those things you know you absolutely do not want in your dream house. Keep in mind things you’d like included if they are available? This will help to narrow down your choices if your initial search turns up an overwhelming number of options.  Some items for your consideration: if you have or planning for kids, where will they go to school? How many bedrooms and bathrooms? Fenced yard? Storage space? What is important to you?

Once these first 3 steps are completed, you have created your road map and you are ready to begin the search. The next step is to access the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) through what is called the “Client Gateway”. This system searches homes for sale that fit your criteria. Your Realtor can set up your search for you, and the relevant homes will be e-mailed directly to you.  We offer this as a free service for our clients – contact us to get your dream home search started!

And the e-mails begin!

Additionally, there are other websites which you can use to supplement your MLS search.  Here are a few: Zillow, trulia, Yahoo Real Estate, and Craigslist.  We’ll cover these in a later blog post.


Cream of the Crop

We’re almost there!  Now that you’re receiving the search results from MLS, there are five more steps to finding your dream home:

  1. Pick your top 5 houses. Sounds easy, huh? Not so much. It can be very difficult to pick the first 5 to see. We limit it to 5 to keep confusion between houses to a minimum. It also takes a lot of energy to look at homes, more than you might expect. So you want to be selective as you get going.
  2. Go see some homes! This helps you to see which neighborhoods you love, and usually causes your Needs & Wants list to evolve and change. Rank the 5 in order from most favorite to least favorite, and take it back to the drawing board. What do you love, what do you hate, and how have your Needs & Wants changed?
  3. Round 2. If you followed the above steps,  you may have already found a home you want to make an offer on. Even so, I recommend you look one more time before you move forward unless you are 100% sure this is the one!
  4. Round 3 - This is it! Most home buyers at this step have found the home of their dreams.  If that’s you, congratulations!! If not, then don’t dare settle for a house that’s less than what you want.  Repeat steps 1-4 until it surfaces. And it will surface.  Sometimes, it just takes a little more effort.
  5. Do not be discouraged if it takes longer than you expected. Finding the home of your dreams is no easy task, but with the proper steps, along with good listening and evaluating skills, it can be yours!  Once you’ve found your home, it’s time to make the offer.  We will cover how to submit an offer on your dream home in a future blog post.

Stay tuned, and happy hunting!!

[ If you liked this blog post, subscribe to our Charlotte Real Estate Newsletter - packed with info on the Charlotte real estate market, latest news & events, home buying and selling tips, and neighborhood-specific data. ]

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The Little Known Secret to Effective Home Staging

The current economy has created a buyers market for homes. If you want to sell your home in no time, you have to effectively stage it. The key concept of ‘staging a home’ is to make the property more alluring to potential home buyers; speeding the sale of the property by showcasing it’s visual potential and increasing the home’s perceived value in the process.

The key to effective staging is to distance yourself emotionally from the home and treat it as a asset to be sold. Staged homes get higher offers, sell faster and tend to get more showings. Here are a few easy steps to help you stage your home successfully.
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The Lazy Person’s Guide to Homeowners Insurance

Shopping for homeowners insurance can be one of those nagging details that somehow manage to slip through the cracks. It is quite normal for insurance agents to receive eleventh hour frantic calls from escrow companies who are requesting a home insurance binder, so it’s best to plan ahead.  A good policy will not only save you money should a tragedy strike, but it can also help you focus on the preparatory work of making your house more resistant to loss from natural disasters. The total cost of your home insurance policy may vary a couple of hundred dollars, depending on which company you purchase your insurance policy from. Here are handy tips to help you save time and money.
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