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.

Do I Need Identity Theft Insurance?

Faster recovery with identity theft protection

Faster recovery with identity theft protection

You’ve probably seen advertisements for identity theft insurance. Have you wondered what it really is and if it’s something you need?

The insurance pros over at the Equifax Finance blog recently covered the topic of identity theft insurance in the article, “

Do I need Identity Theft Insurance?

Here’s the rundown: Identity theft insurance is niche insurance, for those people who are concerned about the costs involved with repairing their identity should a theft ever occur. Recovering from identity theft can be costly in time and in money. Identity theft insurance can’t actually stop a theft, of course. It just helps reimburse individuals for the costs of restoring their identity, like phone bills, lost wages, notary costs, certified mail costs, and possible even attorney’s fees. The insurance also usually provides access to services that can also help. If you are interested in purchasing identity theft insurance, be sure you know what you are buying. Get all the details on policies from several different companies, comparing price, coverage, limits and deductibles.

If you have been a victim of identity theft, call one of the three major credit reporting agencies to request a fraud alert (whichever agency you contact will alert the other two agencies, so you only need to call one). Order a copy of your

credit report so you can see what is going on.

Get more identity theft protection information at the Equifax Finance blog.