Upcoming events and news about the sounding area of Rocky Mount North Carolina Eastern North Carolina, promoting the New Belmont Lake Community and Golf Club.

In our first installment of this two-part series, we attempted to open your eyes to common Mistakes Made when Building a Home. In this post, we will remind you of four more mistakes that homebuyers can easily make if they have not completely familiarized themself with the process.

5) Location, Location, Location…Take it into Consideration and Avoid Mistakes Made When Building a Home

Location is a big item to consider when deciding where to build. Proximity to grocery stores, gas stations, schools, etc . are all important.

When we are talking location as it relates to our list of Mistakes Made when Building a New Home, we will provide you a list. (Yes, a second list…) On our list of things to remind you of regarding location, we will show you four reasons why this is a mistake you DO NOT want to make. Don’t just go for the least expensive lot at the neighborhood you choose. Remember, the lots are priced as they are for a reason and remember though you are excited to be building a new home, at some point you may be reselling this same home. Think about the long term return on your investment when selecting a lot.

Do some research on the land viability where you are building. Again, when thinking of the overall value of the lot you’re purchasing, you really want to be knowledgable of things such as terrain, water table, slope, utilities, etc.

Specific Items to Search for in Purchasing a Home Lot

  • Don’t just go for the least expensive lot at the neighborhood you choose. Remember, the lots are priced as they are for a reason and remember though you are excited to be building a new home, at some point you may be reselling this same home. Think about the long term return on your investment when selecting a lot.
  • Do some research on the land viability where you are building. Again, when thinking of the overall value of the lot you’re purchasing, you really want to be knowledgable of things such as terrain, water table, slope, utilities, etc.
  • The lot size is also something to factor into eventual return on investment. Also, while you are living in the home this is important. Do you prefer a lot that is closer in distance ton a neighbor? Or would you rather have a more spacious lot that is built at a greater distance from a neighbor?
  • How close are you to the necessities? A gas station, grocery store, schools, etc. Depending on you, your family size, and personal taste you may want to be sure to be relatively close to things like this. Then again, some prefer a quiet, more spaced out, and more private location.

6) Budget with No Buffer!

Planning ahead with a budget, including a reserve “slush fund” can help avoid Mistakes Made When Building a Home.

First and foremost, you need to come up with a budget when you are building a home. Sticking with our theme of helping you avoid common Mistakes Made when Building a New Home when you build this budget, you want to keep a few things in mind.

First, the budget you create needs to include a “slush fund.” This is a “little extra” to take care of incidentals that happen along the way. This could include any unforeseen circumstances or overages in the building process. Also, special or additional features you may decide you want when in the building process will need to be covered. Again, this is where the slush fund would come into play. 

Before you find yourself making any mistakes, calculate the baseline price and add in any extras or upgrades before putting a deposit down. Trust us, you will be happy you did!

7) Never Assume that Your Previous Home is a Sure Thing to Sell Before the New Home is Built!

In all honesty, to assume anything in this process could earn inclusion among our listing of Mistakes Made when Building a Home. But to just figure in the cost of your previous home as “money in the bank,” could prove to be a very large mistake.

Depending on your previous home location or the local economy at the time you have it on the market, there is certainly a chance your home will not sell by the time the new house is built. For our recommendation for being prepared in this situation, we again turn to a list…to keep you away from making mistakes on our overall list. Here are your options to consider and keep in mind.

  • You move into the new home and rent out your previous home while still trying to sell it.
  • Make payments on both the new and previous home at the same time. This could obviously get costly in a hurry.
  • Try and find a realtor other than the one you initially hired that has not seen the home sell. Some realtors are just frankly more creative and better at their job than others. This could be the difference in finding a buyer.
  • Lastly, you can walk away from the newly built home and lose the deposit money from it and stay where you are at.

8) Do Your Homework to be Sure You Have not Selected the Wrong Builder

Doing the research and finding a builder you can trust and work well with will save you many headaches.

The final of our 8 Mistakes Made when Building a Home is quite probably the most important of any. The last thing you want to do is select the wrong builder for whatever the reason. Put the time in to research the builders that you are considering and asrrive at an educated decision you are comfortable with on this.

How do you arrive at this educated decision you may ask? Well for starters find their website and take a look through. Look for examples of their work. Likewise, you can get background on who you are dealing with and asking to “build your home.” Also, check for actual customer reviews, look at Facebook or Google reviews. Seeing how others viewed working with a builder can certainly be beneficial to you moving forward. 

Lastly, ask the potential builders to give examples of their work to you. You can also tour some of the neighborhoods in which each builder had worked previously. This is another chance to ask people about their experiences.

To read our initial post on Mistakes Made when Building a Home, follow the link below.

Belmont Lake Preserve- Blog“Mistakes to Avoid When Building a New Home”

This concludes our two-part series on Mistakes Made when Building a Home. For some floor plans, ideas, and even photos of homes at the Belmont Lake Preserve NC golf community, visit belmontlakepreserve.com


Preparing to build your new dream home, can be an exciting time, no doubt. However, a process that is by no means cheap. In this time of excitement, there is no need to rush into any situation that can make this more costly. Therefore, we will steer you clear of the more common oversights made when people choose build a new house. Consequently, what follows is part one of our two-part series listing Mistakes to Avoid When Building a Home.

Hiring a general contractor is essential in your build process, do not go at this alone!

1) Hire a General Contractor…You Are NOT Qualified for This!

We can chalk this one up to the excitement factor that was spoken of above, I suppose. Regardless, this is one of the most common Mistakes to Avoid When Building a Home. It’s plain and simple, it’s cut and dry, and there is no in-between! The general contractor that is hired to supervise and oversee the construction of your home is qualified for this. Just to be clear, in most cases, you are not.

The importance of the previous statement calls for it to be spoken clearly. A general contractor’s duties include (but are not necessarily limited to) identifying and sourcing out sub-contractors. They are also responsible for gathering bids for the various parts of the job. Thus, hiring a reputable contractor will be more likely to deliver the quality results that you want when building a new home. To explain, when a sub-contractor is hired out by a known, respected general contractor for your job, they can create an opportunity to get more work in the future by delivering quality work in a timely fashion. On the contrary, if you are personally “the contractor,” they can be almost sure they will never work with you again. Thus, they are much more likely to not pay attention to detail and quality or stick to budgets and scheduled completion times.

To summarize, you may look at hiring a general contractor as an unnecessary expense. However, not hiring one, we feel is the first of our Mistakes to Avoid When Building a New Home.

2) There is a Difference Between Spending Wisely and Being Cheap…Now is NOT the Time to Be Cheap!!!

There are many areas and aspects of life where saving a few bucks is a commendable move. When making the major life decisions involving the building of your new home, is not one of these aspects or areas. Thus, looking to be frugal when sourcing out bids for your home build for sure falls among our Mistakes to Avoid When Building a New Home.

This mistake is one that is understandably made. Due to the process being expensive, looking to save in certain spots may seem a wise idea. Rest assured that builders bidding to build your home are familiar with this method of thinking from customers, too. This can lead to them offering a lower price and a faster schedule for completion in their bidding. However, there is a fair chance that they used the lower price and time table to secure the work. 

What will follow from there, is anyone’s guess…and again, “guessing,” will not guarantee you anything. It will, however, place you securely among our list of Mistakes to Avoid When Building a New Home.

Becoming very familiar with all legal documents involved in the home building process will make so you have no unwanted surprises.

3) Be Sure to Have Your Own Back Covered…Because No One Else Will!

Building a new home is unquestionably one of the biggest investments you will make in this lifetime. In this process, there are many opportunities for a savvier and more experienced party involved to take advantage of your inexperience. Therefore, our third entry among our Mistakes to Avoid When Building a New Home is to be actively aware of all steps in the building process and oversee every single detail. In other words, COVER YOUR OWN BACK, every step of the way!

Our first suggestion here is to become familiar with any and all legal documents in the building process. Likewise, it is advisable to read and go over any documents with a lawyer. This includes a copy of the contractor or subcontractor’s insurance policies. (To make sure you are not liable for an on-site injury!) While you are with the attorney, it also is wise to go over the agreed upon floorplan and home features you have agreed upon. Once the construction process begins, changes to the plans can prove very costly.

Read up on the documentation, discuss and share this and all paperwork with a lawyer to be sure you understand exactly what they read and what is expected in the building process.

The incentives offered in your building process can wind you up with nice appliance or in some cases, thousands of dollars off the closing cost.

4) Get What You’ve Got Coming to You! Always Ask About any Incentives Being Offered!

We mentioned above that in the case of an experienced contractor, they may take advantage of your inexperience or lack of knowledge in some areas of this process. These same contractors and builders are many times offering incentives and deals if they are selected for the job of building your home. The next of our Mistakes to Avoid when Building a New Home is to make sure you ask and are aware of these incentives. If they are giving you something (or in the case of price taking something off!) you want to be aware of it and “get what is yours!”

Usually, the home builder’s incentives for you selecting them to build your house are pretty valuable. Some examples of the incentives that may be offered include money off of the closing costs or overall home prices. Likewise, they sometimes will give upgraded features, appliances or amenities.  

Regardless, when incentives are offered they likely something that you will want. After all, how often are you offered something of significant value for free?

Location, Builders, Budgets and More to Come in Part Two

In our next post we will look at our final four Mistakes to Avoid When Building a New Home. There we will discuss the importance of taking your location into consideration. Likewise, look at the budget you have for building and selling your previous home. In addition we will touch on what is the “right” or “wrong” builder.

In conclusion, the process of building a home is a costly one. You don’t need to make it become even costlier. However, if you keep in mind these Mistakes You Want to Avoid When Building a New Home you can save yourself a headache. To see the floor plans currently available here at the Belmont Lake Preserve golf community, visit the “New Homes” section at belmontlakepreserve.com.


In the first article of this series, we looked at a few Bonus Room Trends that are popular heading into 2020. We will continue along in this, our second of a three posts on popular Bonus Room Trends for this year. These trends which were brought about by the experts at nader.com will include 4 new ideas. Our remaining suggestions set to be included in our third and final post of the series in the near future.

To read the first article from this series that was posted last month, follow this link below to the Belmont Lake Preserve blog.

Belmont Lake Preserve Blog- Bonus Room Ideas for 2020- February 13, 2020

Using your bonus space for a personal gym is a popular idea.

No Excuses: Bonus Room Trends to Increase Strength and Stamina Right at Home

How many of us are always thinking, “I’ve got to get myself in shape?” It sure is easy to find an excuse, however, to not go to the local gym. Am I right? Well, with the next of our Bonus Room Options, there are no more excuses about commuting or not liking to work out at the gym. This is because next on our Bonus Room Options is a home gym.

Now, no one expects a “state-of-the-art” professional athletics team workout facility in your spare room. By a home gym, this idea from our Bonus RoomOptions can be catered to your needs. Whether a treadmill or some type of cardio machine, weights, mats for yoga, or whatever ou choose, your home gym can be as much or little as you choose. The addition of a mirror on the wall, a teevision, and a fan or two to keep it cool in your “home gym,” is all you need to get that exercise and put your bonus space to great use, too.

From a “Work” Out to “Play” Time: A Space Just for the Kids!

Ok, so the next of our Bonus Room Options is one that could solve a problem that any young family can relate to. That problem would be clutter…and not just any clutter. Toys, stuffed animals, games, books, and so on…are you following me yet? That’s right, this option is for the little ones, and with a little creativity, your bonus room can be their fun, new playroom.

It is certainly not strange for families with young children to have a designated room for toys and such. As a matter of fact, just ask anyone who has repeatedly stepped on a LEGO their thoughts on this! In addition to keeping down the clutter to just one room, you can also make them a fun room all their own. Also Bonus Room Options is in the case of having company over, you can simply keep the playroom door shut and that mess of toys and the like that you dread picking up again is out of sight.

Transforming your extra room into an art studio can be done in a variety of ways while encouraging you and your family’s creative side.

Color and Creativity Await with the Next Option

Time to let those “creative juices” flow with our next entry from the Bonus Room Options. An art studio is a room that can be enjoyed by all ages of members of your household. Again, like the “home gym” you can as far or as simple as you’d like on this one. It is after all, your own personal art space.

That being said, you could go as simple as adding a few easels with art supplies and storage. Remember, an art studio is going to have its messy moments. Thus, an option is to think of replacing the floor with lineoleum or vinyl that looks cleans easy. Once again, the possibilities are endless with this project for our Bonus Room Options. This room could be used for leisurely painting or art you work on. It also could be used for the kids school projects and the like.

A “Twist” on the Trends Takes a “Dirty” Turn

This next of our Bonus Room Options is one for the resident green thumb. I’d reccomend that with in this space there is a sink, as it could be helpful in a few ways. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, this room would be for plants and gardening.

What is a “green” or “gardening” room you ask? Well, it is what it sounds like. Its a place to complete gardening tasks such as repotting your plants. What is the convenience of having an indoor space for this, you ask? Well, first and foremost, you eliminate a need for transporting them. Keep all your gardening tools on hand and utilize the sink to rinse fresh fruits and veggies you pick. Even make a centerpiece with your fresh-grown flowers.

Do You Prefer to Work? Play? Rest?…We got the Bonus Room Idea to fit Your Needs Coming Up Soon!

Our next blog post will be the final one in this series on Bonus Room Trends. In that piece, we will discuss and detail our final four Bonus Room options. Much like those in this article, there are an array of different choices depending on personal tastes. In our third and final piece, we will look at ideas for a musician, a “book worm, “ or a visitor!

To see more of our Bonus Room Options, you can visit the previous article from our blog at belmontlakepreserve.com. Likewise take a detailed look at these bonus room suggestions and more, visit naders.com.


For nearly 70 years kids growing up in this area have delighted in the activities and exhibits at the Rocky Mount Childrens Museum and Science Center.

Founded in 1952, even almost seven decades later, the variety of fun and educational experiences to be had are too plentiful to list. In this, our next series of articles on entertainment in the city of Rocky Mount, we will touch on fun places and activities for the whole family.

This is a photo of the building that is now home to the Rocky Mount Childrens Center taken in the 1960’s

One of the Originals: Humble Beginnings of the Rocky Mount Childrens Museum

Rocky Mount hosts one of the first museum’s in the entire United States aimed solely at children. Rocky Mount Childrens Museum opened its doors 67 years ago. The original concept of the museum for kids is credited to the Rocky Mount Jaycees and Junior Guild.

These two entities were able to raise the funds needed to open the museum. The Rocky Mount Childrens Museum secured space in the basement of the old Braswell Library and in 1952 was open to the public.

A Permanent Home for Growth and Development

Under two years after initially opening the doors, on Easter Sunday of 1954, Rocky Mount Childrens Museum reopened. Its doors were now at its new permanent home in beautiful Sunset Park. The facility continued to grow and develop at this point with the addition of the “Science Center.” Consequently, it was at this point that the city of Rocky Mount became involved with the museum.

Not only is the Rocky Mount Childrens Museum fun, but they have many educational displays as well.

Due to the fact that it was now a division of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, the Rocky Mount Children’s Museum saw continued growth and development in the coming years. In 1967 another 3,000 square feet of new exhibit space becomes part of the museum..

A Flood, A Move and Adding Some Science

After 30 years in the same location, in the Fall of 1999, the Rocky Mount Children’s Museum falls victim to mother nature. This was due to a flood and the after-effects of Hurricane Floyd. The Museum, much like a good part of the city felt the effects of the flood. It was at this point the Museum, is relocated to a temporary site the down town area.

Consequently, this would lead to the Rocky Mount Children’s Museum again seeing an expansion. It moved in with the Arts Center, and a Science Center became part of the Museum also. This is now the extremely popular Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences, which likewise hosts the Children’s Museum and Science Center.

Visit the Rocky Mount Children’s Museum and Science Center Today: It’s “Out of this World”

The Children’s Museum features several “themed” areas, where the kids can use their imagination and “make believe.”

Today, the Imperial Centre is located at 270 Gay Street in Rocky Mount. It is the home of the Rocky Mount Children’s Museum and Science Center. In addition to the exhibits, there is also regular programs and classes offered at both the museum and Science Center.

There is also a Theatre section that likewise offers classes and live performances. Artist opportunities are also available in several genres. One of the newer main attractions is also Cummins Planetarium, located in teh Science Center.

Just a Short Drive from Belmont Lake Preserve, Enjoy “A Rocky Mount Original” with the Whole Family

The Rocky Mount Children’s Museum and Science Center is just minutes from your new home at the Belmont Lake Preserve community. To see all the great upcoming events there, visit imperialcentre.org. For more information on the great new homes in Rocky Mount NC at Belmont Lake Preserve visit belmontlakepreserve.com.


You’ve just decided to build your new dream home. You have ideas and design plans, for your kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms, and all points throughout. However, you are still unsure of what to make that fantastic extra and unfinished room you have.

The experts at nader.com recently released a helpful list that may give you an idea of what you’d like to do with that space. Hopefully, by the end of this series of articles, you will have found one of these Bonus Room Ideas for 2020 something that you will consider to fill your extra space.

Bonus Room Ideas: Games, Food, or a Movie Anyone???

The possibilities may not be endless, but with a decent sized bonus room, they may be pretty close. Naders, the popular California-based furniture experts, name 12 Bonus Room Ideas for you to ponder as you decide what to do with your space.

Turning a Bonus Room into a Walk-In Closet gives everybody more preparation space.

Get Ready with Plenty of Space and Storage

Starting at #12 on the Bonus Room Ideas listing is a walk-in closet. At naders.com, they explain the reasoning and perks on turning this space into such and area. “If you are the kind of person that always seems to have more clothes and shoes than closet space.” It goes on to finish saying, “you might love the idea of turning your spare room into a giant walk-in closet.”

Moving on to suggest what to include as part of these, the article continues. “Add a few clothes racks, a vanity table with a mirror, and lots of shelves and drawers. You will soon turn your wasted space into the perfect place to get ready for school, work, or a night out.”

Sit Back and Relax in a Home Theater

In the number 11 spot from the Nader’s post for Bonus Room Ideas is a Home Theater. Do not get drawn in and worried thinking this idea is only doable by spending outrageous amounts of money… because that is certainly not the case. While you may splurge if you like, this can also be an inexpensive method if you’d rather.

Just as long as your family likes to relax, whether for movies, sports, or a favorite TV program, the Bonus Room Ideas to make this a Home Theatre is a great one. Again, Nader’s offers up how to approach the Home Theater room and different ways you may set it up. “If you want to go big or go home, you can add in a row of recliners with built-in cup holders and a large, flat-screen TV. Other, more cost-conscious families might opt for an older TV and a well-loved sofa, recliner, or a few beanbag chairs. Pair your seating area with blankets, pillows, and popcorn and you will have the perfect place to relax and unwind.”

A game room is another popular way to transform your bonus room.

Cards? Billiards? Bonus Room Ideas for a Game Room

Sticking with the entertainment theme, number 10 on Naders’ listing of Bonus Room Ideas is a Game Room. This like the previous idea could be done in either simple of grand fashion. The Nader’s team touch on a few ways to approach the game room idea.

“Combine a pool table or a poker table with a cozy lounge area,” it begins. “You will be well on your way to hosting a relaxed group of friends or neighbors. You could upgrade the game room by including a built-in bar, complete with a mini-fridge full of cold drinks and maybe even a wine rack.”

Snacks and Refreshments: Bring a Bit of the Kitchen to Your Bonus Room Ideas

Number nine on Nader’s Bonus Room Ideas for 2020 is a kitchenette. “Keeping a few snacks and cold drinks in a kitchenette can be extremely convenient for busy families.” Nader’s continues explain, “especially those with larger houses.”

“This works particularly well for spare rooms that are located in the basement or on the home’s upper floors.” It concludes, “Grab a snack between activities or a cold drink to keep you going during a long day.”

Creativity, Health and the Kids: More Bonus Room Ideas Discission is Ahead.

In our next post in this series, we will look at the numbers 6-8 Bonus Room Ideas. This will take us to places that the whole family can enjoy, whether they want to use their creativity, muscles, or just have fun.

To see more of Bonus Room Ideas at Nader’s, visit naders.com under an article called, “12 Ingenious Ideas for Using That Extra Room in Your House.”


In choosing to relocate to Belmont Lake Preserve, many factors weighed into selecting Rocky Mount. Location and access to may points across the East Coast certainly was a factor. However, one factor that could keep you in shape, feeling great, and living long into your retirement is the nearby Senior Fitness Programs offered at the Harrison Family YMCA.

“Keep Movin’ and Stay Connected at the Harrison Y in Rocky Mount”

Health experts will be on hand to assist you with your growth and reaching fitness goals.

There are several options for Senior Fitness Programs at the Harrison Family YMCA. However, before making a decision on which may be best for you, there are several items to consider.

In the brochure, they offer for Senior Fitness Programs, the Harrison Family YMCA starts off explaining their understanding of how tough keeping to a program is, especially as age goes up.

“97 percent of Americans struggle to complete their regular exercise each week,” it starts. “Even though we know how important it is to our health and well being.” This introductory piece concludes by saying the following. ” We will get you started and give you the tools to keep going.”

What are the Benefits Both Physically and Mentally?

Making friends and building relationships is another nice part of joining the programs at the YMCA

In the same Harrison Family YMCA brochure, they bullet point all the ways in which their Senior Fitness Programs can benefit you. The obvious ways are physically, but as shown below, benefits may also be mental and even social. Below is the list of Senior Fitness Programs benefits.

  • Build Success
  • Commit to a Manageable Program
  • Create Realistic Expectations
  • Increase Energy Levels
  • Reduce Fatigue
  • Find the Connection Between Exercise and Feeling Better
  • Tailor Workouts around Activities You Enjoy
  • Connect with Other Gym Members and YMCA Staff
  • Become Comfortable with the Facility and Your New Health Plan

Start Small, But Aim High with the “Senior Coach Approach”

Pictured is the Harrison Family YMCA, located at 1000 Independence Drive in Rocky Mount

To “start small,” there is one keyword, and that is “start!” You can’t move along in any of the Senior Fitness Programs unless you start one! One of the most popular programs at the Harrison Family YMCA for older members is the “Senior Coach Approach.’

The “Senior Coach Approach” will find you meeting once a week for a 30-minute session, for six consecutive weeks. The experts from the Harrison Family YMCA go on to explain. ” During these sessions, we will evaluate your goals together, give you advice in the right direction that will be most valuable to keep you moving and staying connected.”

In addition, you also will be introduced to the machines, classes, and certified staff at the YMCA. The staff also lays out what you can expect during your sessions, these are detailed in the bullet points below.

  • Get friendly guidance to safely use the Precor brand of strength equipment and cardio equipment from a certified knowledgable wellness coach.”
  • Receive an Overview of the Building, its Facilities, Programs, and Services
  • Get Answers to Youe Exercise Questions
  • Gather many great tips to help you stay on track, No Matter What Happens 

Stay Connected…for Free???

These particular Senior Fitness Program at the Harrison Family YMCA is what most would call “Healthy, Done the Right Way!” This would be because not only will you be in better health and mind, but also because the program is 100 percent free to all new or returning Senior Members.

The Harrison Family YMCA is located just a short drive from the Belmont Lake Preserve new home and golf community in Rocky Mount. Its located at 1000 Independence Drive in Rocky Mount. To read more about the Senior Fitness Programs visit harrisonfamilyy.org. For all the information available on Belmont Lake Preserve, visit belmontlakepreserve.com.               

Barley and Burger first opened its Rocky Mount doors in the winter of 2018.

After a three-way tie at number seven, the Top 10 Restaurants in Rocky Mount moves on! However, there is another tie in this posting as well, as we visit number six and at “five” we have a pair of great local eateries.

Barley and Burger: The “Best Burger in Town” Among Restaurants in Rocky Mount

Barley and Burger has quickly become a favorite stop for a burger and a brew. They first opened this Rocky Mount eatery in the winter of 2018. They obviously are known for their array of brews and burgers. However, Barley and Burger also features great sandwiches, salads, and more. Located at 2921 Zebulon Road, on top of their great choices, “You can even build your own burger to ensure your experience is perfect with every bite.”

To summarize just how delicious the Barley and Burger experience is, one customer gave a review while still in the restaurant entitled, “Speechless.” “This has to be one of the best burgers I have had in a restaurant in a long time. They don’t even have to wash my plate because I cleaned it off for them.” The satisfied customer added, Plenty of staff and super friendly. I’m writing this as I sit in the restaurant.”

On top of gourmet burgers, the Main Course features great sandwich specials like the Meatball Hoagie.

The Main Course at Belmont is a “Hole in One” Among Restaurants in Rocky Mount

The “Main Course at Belmont” comes in tied as number five of Restaurants in Rocky Mount. Located in the Golf Clubhouse building at Belmont Lake Preserve, the Main Course has become a Rocky Mount favorite for residents not only in the neighborhood, but across the city. With gourmet burgers, delicious entries, and so much more, the review below truly epitomizes the general feel of the restaurant located at 201 Belmont Way.

“You’re on the right course at the Main Course,” the pleased customer begins. “I’ve been here on multiple occasions and I’ve NEVER had a bad bite! Servings are plentiful, the food is well presented and fresh, and the daily specials are always the way to go!”

Fresh salads and sandwiches are favorites at the Westridge Grill.

Westridge Grill is a “Great Sandwich Place,” and is “Tied at Five” Among Restaurants in Rocky Mount

Westridge Grill refers to itself as the “neighborhood place to be in Rocky Mount.” Specifically pointing to their “great food and friendly service” as a “good combo for a fun time,” this is a laid back stop for some delicious eats.

Backing the words of the Westridge Grill itself, one out -of-town customer described the 3639 Sunset Avenue eatery as follows. “We went to this restaurant based on a suggestion from a friend we were visiting in Rocky Mount. This place is wonderful with food that is excellent.” The review concluded, “This little place had a great atmosphere, friendly staff and fantastic food and I would definitely go here again when I’m in the area.”

On top of their burgers and beers, Barley and Brews serves incredible chicken wings. Shown is the garlic parmesan variety.

The Climb Past the Top 5 of Restaurants in Rocky Mount to Follow!

In our next post continuing our series on Restaurants in Rocky Mount, we will look at the number four, three, and two food spots in the city. For more reviews and details on each of these restaurants, visit tripadvisor.com. If specifically looking for greter detail on the Main Course at Belmont, go to belmontlakepreserve.com

In this post, we move along in our educated predictions for Popular Kitchen Trends in 2020. This piece will detail the last four of the nine trends covered in a recent article at homesandgardens.com. As said in our previous post, the kitchen has seemed to gain momentum and attention to detail. Over time the kitchen has truly become one of the most important rooms in a new home. 

The following are the four remaining Popular Kitchen Trends for 2020. Once again the areas listed are taken from the experts at Homes and Gardens. 

  • Unexpected Paint Combinations
  • Black Walls, Cabinets, and Surfaces
  • Ash Backsplashes
  • The Return of Marble
Unexpected color combinations is a trend on the rise in kitchens of new home owners.

“Throw Out” the Rulebook on Color Up Until This Point

The next of our Popular Kitchen Trends for 2020 is spoken of at homesandgardens.com. In the accompanying article, Jennifer Ebert, a blogger at Homes and Gardens discusses what she called “Color Pop.”

“Throw the rulebook out of the window in favor of unexpected paint-color pairings. Kitchens are rife with color opportunities, from appliances and flooring, to window treatments and cabinets.” 

In conclusion, she does add that with an unexpected color pairing there should be at least some thinking ahead, however. “Start by deciding how much of permanent commitment you are willing to make. One of the easiest and least expensive options is to paint a wall that can be easily updated should you tire of it. Choosing color is such a personal experience.”

Back in Black: It’s No Longer Just an Accent Color!

Ash cabinets and surfaces make for a great accent and thus have gained popularity in recent times.

The next item on the Popular Kitchen Trends for 2020 list is a more prominent usage of the color black. Basically pigeon-holed for years as mainly an accent color, in recent months and heading to the new year, it’s fair to say “black is back.”

Whether walls, cabinets, or other surfaces, using black adds an inviting charm to your kitchen. Ms. Ebert agrees in her blog post, as she noted the following. “Black becomes livable, luxe and inviting, with textured woods adding rustic, homely charm.”

First There was Walnut, Now Its Ash!

“Out of fashion for a while, wood is now enjoying a bit of a revival,” Ebert begins. A bit paler than either walnut or oak.”

The usage of this paler, subtle grained wood helps to accent colors and tones around it. Ash can be used in many different spots throughout the kitchen, and the way momentum is going, the wood will be getting used even more usage.

Marble countertops and surfaces are making a big comeback and are expected to continue being a hot trend into the new year.

Luxury, Style Await in the “Stone Age”

The final of our nine trend, two-part series brings us to the elegant appeal of strongly veined marble. Countertops and most surfaces if switched to marble can appear to be a whole different room than before the switch.

Once again, homeandgardens.com spoke glowingly of the resurgence of marble. “It’s the time of strongly veined marble, the busier the better for unmissable luxury and next-level style.” The piece reads on. If there’s one thing that’s storming the style charts and shaking up interiors, it’s the return of marble.”

These trends as well as the ones we will cover moving forward are all items that could be discussed with and implemented by “America’s favorite Builder,” DR Horton at Belmont Lake Preserve. For more information on the DR Horton builder team at Belmont Lake Preserve, go to belmontlakepreserve.com. For more on the Kitchen Trends for 2020, visit homesandgardens.com.


We continue with part two of our series on the Top 10 Rocky Mount NC Restaurants in this post. Moving along with our next three delicious eateries, we have a tie at number seven on our list. We continue to “let the customer” do the talking, basing the rankings on actual scores and reviews from Trip Advisor.

The incredibly large portions at Smith’s Restaurant is shown here in this “half sandwich” plate.

It’s a Triple Play at Number Seven Among the Rocky Mount NC Restaurants

In the number seven spot on our list of the Top 10 Rocky Mount NC Restaurants, we have a three-way tie. In the spirit of not leaving any of the favorite local food stops from getting there accolades, we will touch on all three.

“What a FIND!” It’s “Good Country Cooking” at Smith’s Restaurant

Well known both locally and by travelers, Smith’s Restaurant is known for its mouth-watering breakfast and lunch. Located at 3649 North Halifax Road, a reviewer at Trip Advisor may have best summed up the Smith’s experience.

Speaking of this entry in our Top Rocky Mount NC Restaurants, the customer explained the following. “We spent the holidays in Rocky Mount, visiting from Albuquerque, NM. We decided to have breakfast together at Smith’s before leaving. What a treat! The service was excellent! It felt like family all around!” The out-of-town visitor concludes, “This welcoming setting felt like a family hug! The food was plentiful (huge servings), and every single item was absolutely delicious!”

Great variety in their menu, and delicious homemade desserts are staples of the Chew-n-Chat Cafe.

“Great Variety” for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, or Brunch at the Chew-n-Chat Cafe

Located at 1005 West Mount Drive, the Chew-n-Chat Cafe is next among the top Restaurants in Rocky Mount NC. This favorite stop explains their “Mission and Heritage” at their official Facebook page. “The original Chew-n-Chat was located in southern Alabama during the 1950s and was owned and operated by my grandmother’s family.” It continues, “The café was well known for its good cookin’ and as a place for locals and travelers alike to come together, enjoy a meal, and share in great conversation.”

With great sandwiches, dinners, breakfast, salads, and of course the homemade desserts, it does not appear much has changed. But don’t take our word for it. The following review from Trip Advisor can do the explaining. “This place blew all of my expectations. This menu is phenomenal with creative twists on both southern dishes and current trends in the restaurant biz.” They concluded, “The pricing was good and portion size is perfect for a take-home leftover box, which is just as good later.”

El Jimador gives Rocky Mount an always fresh and always mouth-watering taste of Mexican cuisine.

Of the Rocky Mount NC Restaurants, El Jimador is “Superior Mexican Cuisine” and Scores an A++!”

New to town in early 2017, El Jimador Mexican Restaurant made a great first impression and continues to meet and exceed customer expectations. El Jimador is located at 2181 Lawrence Circle and its freshness and unique Mexican dishes seem to be reasons that many keep coming back again and again. The Trip Advisor revies from one customer began with our headline of “Superior Mexican Cuisine” and goes on in glowing detail.

“Their menu offers all the choices you know and love, as well as a variety of unique and wonderful options to discover. The location is beautiful, well maintained, and the service exceeds any offerings locally. El Jimador is bringing quality and service back to the area.” This obvious frequenter of the restaurant continues on with his compliments. “Thank you for having such a strong commitment to excellence and ensuring your customers receive not only incredible food but great service and experiences every time. Congrats on such an outstanding achievement and a job well done. Well done indeed. A++”

Shown are two of the Chew-n-Chat Cafe daily specials, the Shrimp Platter and Oyster Platter. Both are with Slaw, Collards, and Corn Muffin.

Rocky Mount NC Restaurants: Moving Past Number Seven

To give all the fine Rocky Mount NC Restaurants on our list the accolades and recognition they deserve, we will continue on with our top six in upcoming posts. Though we have a tie for seventh, the rankings will still continue with six, five, and four in our next article.

All of these Rocky Mount NC Restaurants are a short drive from your new home at Belmont Lake Preserve. For more details and reviews of these restaurants, visit tripadvisor.com. For all the great things happening at Belmont Lake Preserve, visit belmontlakepreserve.com.

In this series of articles, we will look at projected trends for new homes being built in 2020. Each article will be based on the educated forecast of some of the most respected publications in home design and real estate. Likewise, we will dedicate each post to a different room in the house and its projected trends. In this our first piece in the series, we will look at Kitchen Design Trends for 2020. 

In addition to listing each of the most popular trends expected in each room for the upcoming year, we will give a brief description of each. Due to this room having so many wildly popular trends, our initial two posts will be a two-part look at popular new ideas for the kitchen. While the experts at homesandgardens.com listed nine total trends, we will look at five of these today. Thus, our next article will feature the remaining four Kitchen Design Trends in 2020.

Kitchen Design Trends for 2020 Featured in This Article

  • Gold Hardware and Sinks
  • Walnut Cabinets
  • Larder/Pantry Cupboards
  • Handleless Cabinets
  • Double Kitchen Islands
Gold sinks and hardware are predicated to continuing working their way back into kitchens in 2020.

Going for the Gold!

With the popularity already on the rise regarding different finishes and colors of sinks, the Homes and Gardens experts feel this will continue to see an increase in interest. These Kitchen Design Trends for 2020 visit the upswing in the importance of the sink and an increase in seeing the gold sink as opposed to the more conventional finish.

In the article detailing these trends at homesandgardens.com, they speak with the Product Development and Training Manager from Home Appliance innovator, SMEG, Joan Fraser.

“Sinks have moved up on the scale of importance in kitchen design.” Fraser added, “Models are introduced to meet customers’ demands for a sink which, in addition to being purely functional, also makes a definitive style statement.”

Walnut for More Warmth

Another of our Kitchen Trends for 2020 includes “warming up” the look of the room. While there are many ways this could be achieved, in this case, we are talking about the use of walnut around the kitchen.

Homes and Gardens columnist, Jennifer Ebert gave the following take on the “wonder of walnut.” Ebert begins, “We have recently seen a rise in walnut cabinetry.” She adds, “It’s rich, dark color, fine grain and natural warmth are prized by makers for its feeling of instant luxury. “

Lots of Love for Larders

Larders or pantry cupboards have seen an increase in popularity with new home builders.

A somewhat consistent feature is the focal point of our next entry among Kitchen Design Trends for 2020. That trend is larder or pantry cupboards.”Having a larder makes perfect sense. All the food goods are in one place and not scattered around in numerous wall cupboards.”

Ebert goes on to explain, “Meaning people can be more organized when doing their food shopping.” In addition to making ones shopping less of a task, this also makes for less of a need for wall cupboards. Consequently, with more wall space, as a result, the choice is yours as to how to cover that open space.

Handleless is Handy…If You Can Handle It!

“‘Handleless kitchen cabinets are one of the biggest trends for 2020, ” exclaims Busola Evans of Homes and Gardens. “… “For a more pared-back, streamlined look. It’s all about simplicity and a focus on cabinetry details.’ “

Doubling Up…on Islands???

The fifth and final of our Kitchen Design Trends of 2020 stays consistent with the kitchen becoming larger and more accommodating. This trend is having double kitchen islands.

Ebert echoes this in her article on Kitchen Design Trends. “With the move towards larger kitchens, in open-plan spaces, the kitchen island has become an essential kitchen feature.” She adds, “A pair of island units has become the last work in luxury, an expansive addition for when space is no object.”

Four More Kitchen Design Trends for 2020…To Go!!!

In our next article, we will cover the remaining Four Kitchen Home Design Trends for 2020. Any of these ideas can be implemented by explaining to “America’s Favorite Builders,” DR Horton at Belmont Lake Preserve (BLP) exactly which you prefer.

To view the great amenities and available homes at BLP, visit belmontlakepreserve.com. To see more on the Homes and Gardens predictions and more, visit homesandgardens.com.