BHHS Is Giving Away $50,000 for Home Renovations


bhhs 50k

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is giving away $50,000! The winner of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices $50,000 sweepstakes will win the money to put towards fixing up their home with any renovations of their choice. Along with the prize money, the winner will also receive a consultation from Joanna and Chip Gaines from HGTV’s Fixer Upper.

Don’t miss your chance to win $50,000 towards your next home renovation.

To enter the contest visit here: Enter $50,000 sweepstakes.

Contestants must be 21 years of age, and must be a legal resident of the 20 United States or D.C.


Best BBQ Joints in North Carolina


10. Backyard BBQ Pit  5122 NC Hwy 55 Durham, North Carolina

Best BBQ in North Carolina

Source: Backyard BBQ’s Facebook Page

Professionals at bringing you that ‘backyard barbecue’ experience that everyone enjoys. Established in 2007 they have moved their cooking style away from commercial methods and made grandma’s old fashion cooking techniques their own. Cooked in a pit over oak and hickory, their full flavored ribs and brisket bring people from miles around.

9. Lexington Barbecue 100 Smokehouse Ln. Lexington, North Carolina

Best BBQ in North Carolina

Source: Lexington BBQ’s Website

Listed on USA Today’s 10 Best Southern Barbecue Spots this little shop has been a living monument in Lexington for over 50 years. Known by locals as the “Honeymonk” or “The Monk” Wayne Monk has built his business on great service and a delicious product. Definitely a must have if you are in the area.

8. The Pit Authentic BBQ 328 West Davie St. Raleigh and 321 W. Geer Durham, North Carolina

Best BBQ in North Carolina

Source: The Pit’s Facebook Page

It is not hard to see, or taste, why The Pit has more than 2,300 5 star reviews. With a solid reputation for mouth watering ribs and a welcoming NC environment The Pit continues to diversify their menu by adding their own creations to keep barbecue lovers excited to come back.

7. The Original Q Shack 2510 University Dr. Durham, North Carolina

Best BBQ in North Carolina

Source: The Original Q Shack’s Facebook

“BBQ as tender as a mother’s love” is how they describe all their meats which are smoked in-house with a blend of hickory and mesquite wood for a full and natural flavor. Q Shack’s fans are not only in love with the food, the business is also active in the community – giving back to locals every chance they get.

6. Wilber’s Barbecue 4172 US Highway 70 E. Goldsboro, North Carolina

Best BBQ in North Carolina

Source: Wilber’s Website

With more than 50 years experience in the barbecuing industry Wilber Shirley has grown his business from just a handful of employees to more than 100. Wilber’s philosophy is that every part of the hog is different, and when cooked as a whole it is the combination of flavors that makes their BBQ special. 

5. The Pig 630 Weaver Dairy Rd. Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Best BBQ in North Carolina

Source: The Pig’s Facebook

One satisfied bride described The Pig’s catering service as, “I mean, we already knew they were fabulous, but Cathryn and her team really made our reception something to be proud of.” She also added that they offered a vegetarian option which is something that you do not often see at barbecue joints. If you have an upcoming event be sure to consider The Pig team, they will help you steal the show.

4. Clyde Cooper’s BBQ 327 S Wilmington St. Raleigh, North Carolina

Best BBQ in North Carolina

Source: Clyde Cooper’s Facebook

Named best bbq and fried chicken by the Triangle Downtowner Magazine in 2014 as well as making an appearance on Destination America’s BBQ Pitmasters, this spot has a reputation for producing some of the best barbecue in all of America. Friendly service, affordable prices and out of this world chicken and ribs make Clyde Cooper’s one of the best BBQ joints in North Carolina.

3. The Blue Note Grill 4125 Durham Chapel Hill Blvd. Durham, North Carolina

Best BBQ in North Carolina

Source: The Blue Note Grill’s Facebook

Touted as one of the Triangle Region’s premier live music venues, The Blue Note Grill is the perfect spot for fabulous barbecue and a great show. The family owned and operated business has a very relaxing feel a delicious menu, definitely a great date night option.

2. Midwood Smokehouse 1401 Central Ave. Charlotte, North Carolina

Best BBQ in North Carolina

Source: Midwood Smokehouse’s Facebook

Having just undergone an indoor makeover and the addition of an outdoor patio, Midwood Smokehouse’s Ballantyne location is setting itself up as a go to spot this summer. Their tender smoked ribs and pulled pork ranks among the best in the country.

1. Skylight Inn 4618 Lee St. Ayden, North Carolina

Best BBQ in North Carolina

Source: Skylight Inn’s Facebook

Thrillist has named Skylight Inn as North Carolina’s most iconic restaurant and rightfully so. Their nation wide reputation has been solidified by consistently ranking among the leaders in food events and by catering to their loyal following by providing top notch barbecue for generations.


14 Things No One Tells You Before You Move to North Carolina


14. You’ll switch from heat to A/C in the same day

In a state where the greatest 24 hour temperature change is more than 60 degrees, it’s always good to have both your air conditioner and furnace system in good working order.  There is a strong possibility  you will use both in the same day at least a few times a year.

13. The Triangle isn’t a shape, it’s a region

Raleigh Manison

Governor’s Mansion, Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill make up what is known as the Triangle Region. The area is highlighted by a rich culture and a welcoming sense of community. Encompassing three of the biggest universities in NC, it is a hotbed of research and development which is sometimes referred to the Research Triangle.

12. We invented Krispy Kreme doughnuts

Krispy Kreme

(Source: www.krispykreme.com/)

In case you did not already know Krispy Kreme traces their roots back to Winston-Salem where it all began in 1937. The now franchised doughnut shop instills a sense of pride for North Carolinians because we know they were cool before they became mainstream.

11. In the summer time you have home-grown tomatoes with every meal

Tomato Garden

The residents of North Carolina take great pride in their gardens and notably their tomatoes. Having fresh picked vegetables from the garden with dinner is as common as sweet tea.

10. You’ll “go all the way” when you order a hot dog

Also known as Carolina style, “going all the way” means loading up your hot dog with chili, coleslaw and onions. There is room for local variation but you get the idea. Our hot dogs are no longer road side meat, they are gourmet works of art.

9. When someone says, “bless your heart,” they feel sorry for you

clasped hands

Depending on the situation hearing, “bless your heart” can mean a few different things. It can be used a phrase expressing sympathy, or conversely it can be passive aggressive.

8. Get ready to meet the friendliest people

According to topretirements.com North Carolina now tops Florida as the favorite retirement state. This can probably be attributed to the low taxes, extensive recreational opportunities and affordable cost of living. However, we know that it is more than likely our friendly demeanor that keeps people around.

7. You go out to eat and the only type of tea is sweet tea with ice

sweet tea

There is nothing quite like a tall glass of sweet tea with dinner. People from out of state will never understand this until they sit down for a good ol’ home cooked meal and jug of North Carolina’s pride.

6. Coke tastes better in the little bottles, and peanuts make Coke taste even better

Coke & Peanuts

(Source: www.hungrypassport.com/)

Passed down from generation to generation this seemingly crazy combination of sugary sweet Coke and the crunch of a shelled peanut is considered completely normal in NC. No one really knows how it started, but we are happy that someone stumbled upon it.

5. Ya’ll is the only proper way to address a group of people.

ya'll map Jashau Katz

Jashau Katz of NC State University compiled dialect data from throughout the USA and found that more than half the country is addressing groups of people wrong.

4. You will have a snow day…without any snow.

Everyone loves a snow day, sometimes we love them so much that we have them with just a snow fall warning.

3. You’ll know the difference between “Lexington” BBQ and “down East” BBQ, and have a strong opinion about which is best.

North Carolina takes their barbecue very serious with nearly every major city having some sort of rib or grill festival. While one style uses only the shoulder and the other using, “everything but the squeal” both are delicious, but we will let you form your own opinion before we tell you which is which.

2. College basketball is king

Along with producing community leaders North Carolina produces some great NBA talent and it is not hard to see why. With universities that regularly rank atop the national NCAA basketball brackets, March Madness is a fun time in NC.

1. You’re moving to one of the best places in the United States.

 

hot-air-balloon

 

We will understand when you do not want to leave!


6 Burger Joints in North Carolina That Will Get Your Taste Buds Dancing


burgers in the triangle

We are all guilty of it, leaving the house, and no one can decide where they want to eat and you end up at the same old spot time after time. Well, before hunger strikes again check out some of the best burger joints in the North Carolina. Which hidden gems in North Carolina did we miss?

6. Only Burger 3710 Shannon Rd. Durham, NC

Best burger places in North Carolina

OnlyBurger has been leading the way on the North Carolina food truck scene since they started back in 2008 and has continued to evolve. Now boasting multiple walk-in locations OnlyBurger continues to take over North Carolina with their mouth watering menu.

5. Bull City Burger & Brewery 107 East Parrish St. Durham, NC

Best burger places in North Carolina

Come in for the burger stay for a brew. Bull City prides itself on keeping it all in the NC family. Using ingredients sourced from local farms and grade A beef from the state, the in house beer and gourmet burgers are as one customer put it, “Best Burgers in town and Great Beer!”

4. Char-Grill  618 Hillsborough St. Raleigh, NC

Best burger places in North Carolina

Driven by their motto, “Simpler Times, Simpler Choices.” Char-Grill has been sharing their award winning, charcoal flamed burgers with the Raleigh community since 1959. Step in for a taste of local history.

3. Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar 1626 East Blvd. Charlotte, NC

Best burger places in North Carolina

With an all-star chef at the helm it’s no wonder that Bad Daddy’s continues rack up awards for their endless selection of delicious burgers. From a basic burger to bacon cheeseburger on steroids, they take your average burger to the next level.

2. Emma Key’s 2206 Walker Ave. Greensboro, NC

Best burger places in North Carolina

Emma Key’s offers a premium classic burger grilled on a flat top, the secret sauce isn’t actually the sauce but the Lou Lou which is Emma’s homemade pimento cheese recipe. They also offer gluten-free options, fresh sweet potato fries and a juicy burger at a great price.

1. Chuck’s 237 S. Wilmington St. Raleigh, NC

Best burger places in North Carolina

At Chuck’s quality meets price. From the Bear in Heaven to the Last Word Chuck’s signature burgers offer a diversity of tastes like none other. One satisfied costumer vividly describes her experience as “I took a bite, good God. Again, incredible.”

What are your favorite burgers in North Carolina? Let us know in the comments!


6 Home Selling Mistakes To Avoid


home selling mistakes to avoid

Sell Your Home

The process of selling your home is never a short one, but of course you want it to be done as quickly as possible. There are many shortcuts you can take to get your house up on the market and off the market quickly, but we strongly recommend that you don’t take any of them. If you want to see your house taken off the market in a quick fashion here are 6 Home Selling Mistakes to Avoid. Hopefully these tips can speed up the process of you selling your home.

1. Skipping a Home Inspection

It is easy to think your house is the best house in the world and you don’t need anyone to tell you what is wrong with it’s foundation, walls, or plumbing. But you do, and potential buyers are going to want to know what a home inspector has to say about your home. Skipping out on a home inspection could hurt the sale of your home as most home buyers now require to see one before even taking a look at a house. This is definitely one of the home selling mistakes to avoid, because without a home inspection, you may never be able to sell your house.

2. Neglecting Your Curb Appeal

Selling your home also includes selling your front lawn, and backyard, which is why it is important to take great care of the outside of your home as well. The outside of your home is the first thing everyone sees when they are coming to your house, and the only thing people see when they are casually passing by your house. You’re front lawn can quickly be a turnoff to a buyer if it is not well maintained, because that means extra work for the new home owner, and if it is too damaged, most people won’t even want to bother.

3. Letting Your Kids or Pets Ruin the Sale of your Home

As much as we love our kids and pets, sometimes they choose the worst times to want all of your attention, and when your showing your house to a potential buyer can be one of those times. Try to plan ahead of your visits, if you know you are going to showing your home all day Saturday, find a babysitter or dog sitter for the day. This will definitely help your day go smoother and limit unexpected events that your children and pets bring along.

4. Withholding Information From Your Buyers

This could be one of the most important home selling mistakes to avoid, not telling buyers everything about the house is a big a no-no. Withholding information for a buyer could immediately cause you to lose the trust of a buyer and completely ruining the relationship. If the buyer cannot trust you, chances are they won’t want to buy your home. Be sure to let potential buyers know about everything in the house, even if you think it might cause you to lessen the price of your home.

5. Not Accommodating Potential Buyers

When your house is on the open market you will have no idea what type of people are attracted to your home. A wide range of individuals will be coming to view your house, and since every person won’t be the same, you need to be accommodating to these potential buyers. Some people may only be able to come view the house during the day time, while others may only be available to view during the evening, you are going to need to make yourself or someone available at both of these times to show the house. If you own pets, some of these potential buyers may be afraid of dogs, so be nice and bring your dog Spike to your neighbors’ house for an hour to avoid a scared house guest.

6. Using Bad Photos

As technology becomes a more important part of our culture, it will continue to become a bigger part of the real estate process. The buying process now includes people doing preliminary searches online to find whether they are interested in your home in the first place. It is important to use good quality pictures of your home if you are going to be posting them online. Don’t make the mistake of not getting great photos, it will come back to haunt you when you realize no one is coming to view your home.


6 Things That Will Decrease Your Property Value


things that decrease property value

Reasons Why You Might Have a Tough Time Selling Your Home

When you feel it is time to sell your home, of course one of your main goals is to get as close to the asking price as possible, hopefully even more. Just like you can do things to improve the value of your house such as renovations, there are also things that can decrease the value of your property. You may not be able to control some of these factors, but for the ones that you can, try to stay clear of them. And to help you avoid a decreased price on your home, here are 6 Things That Will Decrease Your Property Value.

renting a home

1. Renters

You’ll always take better care of something when it belongs to you, as opposed to something that you borrow from your friend. The same goes for property, you will take much better care of your home when you an owner as opposed to a renter. If you own a property that is being rented by someone, they will not show the place the same care you would, and it may be a turn off to buyers. Your tenants might also fail to tell you about something around the house that needs to be fixed so they can save a couple dollars in there pockets.

bad neighbors

2. Bad Neighbors

No one wants to live next to mean or messy people. If you have either of those type of people as a neighbor, you may have a tough time selling your home. Your neighbors can ultimately decide how much you’re going to be able to get for your home, so if you have a chance to have a good relationship with them, don’t hesitate, you don’t want your neighbors to be the deciding factor on how much you get for your home.

backyard swimming pool

3. Pool

Everyone would love to have a swimming pool in their backyard, there is nothing like taking a nice plunge in to a pool when the hot sun is beaming down on you. A pool can also cause buyers to look the other way simply because it may cost them too much to maintain the pool, and a pool is also a liability for families that have small children. The upkeep of your swimming pool could be a huge turn-off to potential buyers and it is something that will decrease your property value.

broken plumbing

4. Major Upgrades

If you haven’t taken care of major upgrades to your home that need to be done, good luck trying to sell your home. If you think you will be able to sell your house for a great price without taking care of something significant such as a plumbing issue or a mold problem, or even an issue with the roof, think again. Not many people want to buy a house in which they have to move in to and spend a lot of cash to fix things they need to make the house a home. Try to get these major upgrades done before you put your house on the market, they can be used as selling points to potential buyers.

purple house

5. Too Many Custom Renovations

Of course you want your home to be an extension of your personality and one way of doing that is with custom renovations to different parts of your home. Now that your personality is shining through your home, it may be difficult for you to now sell your house to someone who doesn’t share the same personality as you. Just because purple is your favorite color, doesn’t mean the next person who wants to move in to the house wants to be known to the neighbors as ” the purple house family”. Try to stay with neutral colors if you are thinking about painting your house, a color that will allow you to blend in with the rest of the neighborhood.

kids in class

6. School District

Most families looking to purchase a new home usually have children, and their children will definitely play a big factor in the home buying process. Parents want their kids to go to a good school, and if there isn’t a good school their child is able to attend because of where they live, chances are that it will decrease your property value, and your house will be out of their selection process. This is not something that you can really control as a home owner, but it is definitely something you should keep in mind. Check out our post on the 5 Best Cities to Raise a Family in North Carolina.


North Carolina Food & Wine Events in Early 2015


food and wine events

 

With an assortment of fabulous food and wine events slated for 2015, North Carolina is quickly becoming a food lover’s paradise. With Durham being named “the south’s tastiest town” by Southern Living, and Asheville quickly stepping onto the map with a world class food scene, there is a lot to explore in North Carolina. Here are a few of the best food and wine events coming to North Carolina in early 2015.

Annual Triangle Wine Experience 2015
Location: Raleigh
Date: February 5th-7th

 

The Triangle Wine Experience features some of the most delicious food and notable wines that you’d come to expect out of such a first class charity event, you are guaranteed not to leave with an empty stomach. Share the day with like-minded food and wine lovers, and bid on luxury items at the charity auction for some extra fun. Tickets are on sale now, but the event is sure to fill up. See the featured participants at the Triangle Wine Experience website and reserve a spot today.

 

triangle wine experience

 

Queen City Brewers Festival
Location: Charlotte
Date: January 31st

 

Since the inaugural festival in 2012, the Charlotte beer scene has taken off in a big way. The Queen City Brewers Festival showcases the city’s award winning breweries, sponsors and other exhibitors, and provides attendees with a great atmosphere to take in the best of the Charlotte beer scene. The festival not only provides event goers with the opportunity to see some of the best craft beer in Charlotte – it also raises awareness and accepts donations for ACEing Autism, an organization that uses sport to connect with children on the autism spectrum.

 

queen city beer festival

 

Asheville Winter Warmer Beer Fest
Location: Asheville
Date: January 24th, 2015

The Winter Warmer is one of the best places to sample local food, music, and of course beer. The local and regional line-up of brewery’s attending the Asheville Beer Fest is extensive, with over 30 breweries scheduled to participate. The Winter Warmer Beer Fest is slated for January 24th this year, at the US Cellular Center Asheville (Asheville Civic Center). Come down and try some of the local, regional and guest breweries fantastic beer samples. Tickets are $48 and are selling out quick.

 

asheville beer festival