Author Archives: Carol Morgan

Essex Homes Gives Back to Local Heroes

essex_HTH_300x250Firefighters, police officers, teachers, medical personnel and members of the military spend their life helping others. Essex Homes would like to thank these local heroes for their services by offering them $2,000 toward the purchase of a new Essex home in Columbia, South Carolina or Charlotte, North Carolina.* This incentive may be used toward closing costs or design upgrades with a purchase of a new home.

“These local heroes serve us every day with unwavering dedication, and this incentive is our way of saying thank you,” explains Mike Cancilla, Columbia Division Manager with Essex Homes. “They have taken care of us, and now we want to take care of them by making it easier to purchase a new home.”

Essex Homes offers many single-family homes in both Columbia and Charlotte. Currently building in more than 40 communities, buyers in Columbia can choose new homes priced from the $100,000s to more than $700,000, while buyers in Charlotte can purchase a new home priced from the $200,000s to more than $500,000. With many communities to choose from in sought-after locations, there is a perfect home for all of our local heroes!

For those searching for a home available now, Essex Homes has quick move-in homes ready throughout both Charlotte and Columbia. Also available to home buyers is the option to select a home site, floor plan and design features for their new home.

For more information on the Homes for Heroes incentive from Essex Homes, call 844-456-2020 or visit

*Homes for Heroes includes military, firefighters, police, medical personnel and teachers. The $2,000 incentive can be used for closing costs or designer upgrades. This incentive is not available in combination with other offers, incentives or discounts. Certain conditions and restrictions apply. Prices, rates and terms subject to change without notice. See a New Home Advisor for details.

Learn to Dispute Charges on Your Credit Report for After Shopping Season

Check credit after holiday shoppingAfter all is said and done with holiday shopping, even if you were very careful with credit card usage, staying close to budget and being a responsible borrower, there is still a chance for errors to end up on your credit report. Some of this may be errors, or it could be fraud, and it is important to know how to report and resolve the issue. The credit and finance experts at Equifax share information about what to do when you find errors on your credit report, after the holidays or otherwise, in the new article, “

How Do I Dispute Information on My Credit Report?”

First, you want to carefully look over your credit report for all activity. If you spot something off, you need to dispute it with the credit reporting agency right away. The dispute is free of charge, and depending on the agency, you may have to call or send in the dispute by mail. Equifax offers free and easy online disputes. If you send in a dispute and it is resolved, the one credit reporting agency will notify the other two agencies of the corrected information. If you want to have the most up to date information though, in the case of needing to have a spotless report for an application for a mortgage in Atlanta or the like, you should contact each agency independently and immediately.

After you report your dispute, the credit agencies are legally required to investigate within 30 to 45 days, and before the time has elapsed, the credit agency will inform you of their findings. From there, the disputed item will either be removed or the reporting agency will explain that the findings of their investigation lead them to keep it on.

Even if the disputed item wasn’t removed, you should keep a close eye on your credit report going forward and dispute as necessary. If you are concerned about activity on your credit file (due to identity theft or potential identity theft), you may want to sign up for a credit monitoring service like the Equifax Complete plan.

For more information about protecting your credit score and more

personal finance advice, check the Equifax Finance Blog.

Things to Remember when buying a Carolina home in the Offseason

Buy Carolina Real Estate on offseasonNow that summer has passed and we’re in full swing for fall with the holidays fast approaching, we have passed what is traditionally known as the “homebuying season” – where most buyers are on the hunt, generally in summer, when it’s nicest outside and a move can be done without interrupting the school year. Still, there are plenty of homes being listed and cold weather is not stopping buyers from getting in on the hunt. If you are interested in buying during the offseason, you should check out the tips in the new Equifax article, “

Six Things to Remember When Buying a Home in the Offseason.”

For instance, it’s important for buyers to recognize that very few homes that are on market now are long term listings. There were many homes listed in late spring and midsummer, so there is selection as well as great deals out there. In addition, there are fewer buyers to compete with as many are stuck to the on-season mindset, decided they aren’t going to find the property they are looking for until next year, or are unwilling to move their children mid-school year. With a lesser field, sellers are sometimes more eager to negotiate, as they are getting less foot-traffic and trying to sell their home before the holiday season when buyers reach an annual low as they are focused on spending time with friends and family.

There are more great tips in the full article and while you are there, you can explore a wealth of money management tips on budgets,

credit reports and more!

New Midtown Apartment Complex Construction Underway

uptown charlotte

Lennar has begun construction on a new apartment complex located in midtown Charlotte. The new mixed-use development will feature 261 units and approximately 7,700 square feet of retail space.

Lennar Multifamily Investors, the apartment division of Lennar Corporation, is constructing the new complex on South Kings Drive across from the Metropolitan development. The 2.5-acre site, which is bounded by South Kings Drive, Charlottetown Avenue, Cherry Street and East Third Street, was purchased last year for $8.25 million.

The complex will wrap around a five-story parking deck and feature five levels of residential living along the East Third Street side. On the Charlottetown Avenue side, there will be six levels with the bottom level consisting of retail shops.

With its location near uptown, two major hospitals and the Metropolitan, Lennar is gearing the floor plans in the complex towards the expected market. One bedroom and studio units will make up 70 percent of the apartments in the new, as-yet unnamed building.

“We think having a grocery and a variety of dining and shopping across the street is one of the most exciting things about the location,” says John Gray, director of Lennar Multifamily Investors in Charlotte.

The luxury apartments will include granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, and the outstanding amenities that will be available to residents will consist of a pool, yoga room, fitness center, spin room, dog spa and a coffee-shop area for residents who work from home.

The first units in the new complex are expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2014.

StrucSure Home Warranty Presents Platinum Builder Award to O’Dwyer Homes

Cindy Huber and Dan O'Dwyer

Cindy Huber and Dan O'Dwyer

StrucSure Home Warranty is proud to announce it has presented Dan O’Dwyer, President of O’Dwyer Homes, with its Platinum Builder Award. This award represents a mark of excellence and designates O’Dwyer Homes among the top builder members in the country. Obtaining a Platinum Builder designation with StrucSure Home Warranty is an accolade that is presented to builders who have maintained a high level of customer satisfaction and have shown exemplary building practices and strong industry involvement.

Dan O’Dwyer is a licensed home builder in the state of Georgia, is a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association (GAHBA) and is a member of the prestigious Certified Professional Home Builders Program (CPHB). In 2006, O’Dwyer Homes was recognized by its peers with a Builder of the Year award from the GAHBA at the annual OBIE Awards. Dan O’Dwyer gives back to his community by maintaining an active roll with HomeAid Atlanta, a non-profit organization that provides shelter to homeless women and their children.

Over the past 20-plus years, O’Dwyer Homes has built more than 1,000 homes in the Atlanta metro area. Each home has been constructed with careful attention to detail, quality construction and the latest trends in building practices. As a builder who is focused on energy efficiency, every home built by O’Dwyer Homes is Energy Star certified by a third-party. O’Dwyer Homes’ customer satisfaction program represents the epitome of excellence recognized by the StrucSure Home Warranty Platinum Builder program.

O’Dwyer Homes goes above and beyond in ensuring their customers are satisfied and protected with third-party, insurance-backed structural warranty coverage from StrucSure Home Warranty. “In a competitive housing market, this is a must have to attract buyers and close the sale,” said Donna Steakley, Director of Marketing for O’Dwyer Homes.  “The entire O’Dwyer Homes team always focuses on putting the customer first while demonstrating the highest level of integrity and providing exceptional customer service from the beginning to end of the buying process,” commented Steakley.

“Our relationship with StrucSure is very important in today’s home buying environment,” commented Dan O’Dwyer. “The additional comfort in having warranty protection from StrucSure Home Warranty when buying a home is an added benefit to our homebuyers.”

“Having O’Dwyer Homes as one of our select Platinum home builders is an honor. Dan has weathered the downturn in the market by applying smart business and risk management practices. We work closely with him to ensure that each new homeowner has a positive customer experience,” said Cindy Huber, V.P. of Sales for the Eastern Division of StrucSure Home Warranty.

About StrucSure Home Warranty

For more than 16 years, StrucSure Home Warranty has been providing builders, remodelers and contractors with warranty products that deliver peace of mind. Our warranties protect our clients from expensive claims, liabilities and legal fees, and offers their clients peace of mind through third-party, insurance- backed warranty protection. Just like any risk management product, the hope is that you’ll never need it, but when a problem emerges, you’ll be glad you’re covered!

For more information, call Cindy Huber, Vice President of Sales, Eastern Division, at 770-363-7823, email or visit