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You can't be too careful shooting photos of Spring flowers in the median strips. These lovelies are in the median at the entrance to the KELLER WILLIAMS® Cary office parking lot, just begging to be photographed. And, being a parking lot, people seem to be coming and going regularly. So, I needed hazardous duty pay.... We come and go through the side door, as it is closest to my office. So today, I popped into the front door, and there is a very nice bed of pansies and tulips. It will be safer to snap, once the sun comes back to visit again. (8 comments)
You won't often see Wisteria well-controlled in a yard. Despite the pretty blossoms Wisteria vines are a rampant invasive species in the wild.They will climb trees, and choke the life out of them. Wisteria will grow so large, they require stout structures for support. The intoxicating fragrance is not enough to justify growing them unless the gardener is willing to invest the time and effort to maintain control. Here is a photo of two rampant invasive species, Wisteria, growing on Bamboo:
Cary, NC: It is Azalea Season! - 03/27/11 11:22 PM
Azaleas in Cary NC! The Azaleas are here! The Azaleas are here! It's that time of year again, when all of Cary lights up with Azalea blossoms.
Some folks will tell you they are over used, but I'm not so sure. I'm not at all sure that azaleas can be overused. The visual impact of masses of azalea blossoms, mixed with flowering dogwoods, and a host of other currently blooming ornamentals makes me even more confident that, at least when it comes to azaleas, the more the merrier!
Just a few of the azalea photos I (10 comments)
No More "Paperwork!" Just "Documents." But What's in a Name? - 03/26/11 11:17 PM
NO MORE PAPERWORK!!! It's a mindset. I've decided we won't be doing real estate "paperwork" anymore. No real estate agency paperwork. No Offer to Purchase paperwork. No loan application paperwork. No closing paperwork. No paperwork at all in buying or selling homes. Nope. None. This is not due to a 100% paperless endeavor. Oh, no. It isn't because clients will not be signing and committing. Uh-uh. We are just going to ELEVATE! our functions to the level of "Documents." Maybe "Legal Documents." It's a mindset. The term "Paperwork" as an often derisive catchall slang term for all real estate documents diminishes the perceptions of value (12 comments)
Ideal Closing Gifts for Cary NC Home Buyers - 03/25/11 11:48 PM
I struggle with closing gifts. And therefore, unfortunately, I usually have not given a closing gift to my buyers. Partially, it is due to not wanting to unload an unwanted tschotske on them that will clutter their move or their lives. Sometimes that is how I feel when given an article that I would not purchase for myself. But that mindset is "all about me," and is something I have determined to focus on, to consider it sincerely from my clients' perspectives. It seems closing gifts may be either memorabilia or practical items, and I am more practical in nature. So, I have a list of (9 comments)
The scene is Wake County's Crowder District Park, Apex, NC. Crowder District Park is 33 acres in Eastern Apex, NC, and a great getaway, with a picnic pavilion, trails, learning center. and Turtles. And turtle scenes will be available in lakes and ponds all over the Triangle, as they come out to enjoy the sun and warm themselves after a long winter. Hmmmm. I think I have that in common with them. (9 comments)
Easy Gardening in Cary, NC: Carolina Jessamine - 03/23/11 06:32 PM
Sometimes in gardening and landscaping around Cary, just to taste success, you have to go with something that works, a plant that is a slam-dunk survivor. Something to make you know you can grow stuff.
At my mailbox, that plant is Carolina Jessamine. I tried a couple of other things, and no luck. My mailbox gets full North Carolina sun, and in the summer, that is from aout 8:00AM to 3:00 PM. And it is in hardpan, beside the curb. Definitely a hostile work environment for plantings. I have seen hollies, junipers, and firepower nandina give it up (10 comments)
We pulled up a list of a couple hundred agents who co-brokered sales with us last year, worked the phones, and invited them out for an Office Open House. Maybe feed them a little, and say, "Thank you," for working with us last year. Why not? It is natural to appreciate the effort the other agent exerts to help keep everyone focused on the workings of the transaction, and to (4 comments)
Spring Renewal 2011 Demands Renewed Appreciation for What I Have! - 03/21/11 11:54 PM
And, I know have a LOT going for me, personally and professionally, that I should think of when I think of renewal. Foremost, I have a wonderful wife who stands by me through ups and downs, better and worse, thick and thin, who has never waivered in her support for my real estate work. Who I look forward to seeing every evening. What more could a fellow ask for?So, I will renew my recognition of her position as the Number One motivator in my personal life, and in my desire for success.Not too bad. Accountability starts at home. I have very good health. (18 comments)
YOU tell her that YouTube is one of the absolute largest networking sites on the internet. Go ahead. I'm sure I'm not going to be the one....
YOU tell her she needs to Tweet her videos for more exposure. I'm not going to be the one to introduce her to Twitter...
Time for a New Phone? Be careful signing a 2 year deal with TMobile, soon to be ATT! - 03/20/11 09:56 PM
Hot off the wire: It appears that Deutsch Telekom is selling off T-Mobile to AT&T, for a cool $39 billion in stock and cash. So T will be going to ATT sometime in 2012, as it will take about 12 months to consummate the deal. If you sign a 2 year T agreement this week, I would think you would be able to finish out the terms of the T deal, but then what?It's a fair question to ask. CNBC report. CenterNetworks report. Of course, final arrangements are subject to US Government review. I remember when VZ acquired Alltel, VZ had to (6 comments)
As reported in the Cary News, today, April 3, 2011 will mark the 140th anniversary of the incorporation of the Town of Cary, NC. The Cary News also reports today on the historical portrait, Images of America: Cary by Sherry Monahan, an area author, with an interview with Ms. Monahan about her research into the stories in her book. Ms. Monahan is scheduled to do a reading and book signing at the Page Walker Hotel in downtown Cary on March 31, at 7:00PM.
The photos with the Cary News article are great, most particularly the aerial photo (4 comments)
Super Moon does Not Guarantee Super Photos - 03/19/11 11:03 PM
A little frustrating, it is. Maybe I should fool with learning my camera's capability in more depth before the next full moon and see if I can do better. My point and shoot has some ISO settings, but while the moon is climbing the sky in an infrequent celestial event is the wrong time to take the tutorial. Trust me, since it isn't in the photo, the sky is very clear, with just a wisp of hazy cloud here and there, and the moon was bright with detail tonight. But, it is a great evening to set the tripod on the porch and (20 comments)
Time Warner Cable vs. AT&T U-verse: No Holds Barred Broadband Wars in Cary, NC! - 03/19/11 12:06 AM
Decisions, decisions.... Who do I like better, TWC or AT&T? Who makes me madder, less mad, or even routinely delights me more often? They both have entry to the house, since ATT is my phone provider, and TWC is my TV and internet service provider. In a development we thought we would see last summer in my end of Cary, or at least by Fall, 2010, TWC and ATT are moving into my neighborhood with upgraded HDTV/DVR/Internet/Phone offerings. And it is a shopper's dream: Multiple undecipherable service plans from which to select, including rates and fees that are nearly impossible to pin (2 comments)
Can the "Evil Empire," MSFT, Actually be More Ethical than the "Do No Evil" Empire, GOOG? - 03/17/11 11:28 PM
. You saw it first, here, on ActiveRain! Some people say it is so. That would be the folks at The Ethisphere Institute. (Uh... Try saying "The Ethisphere Institute" fast, three times. "Theethithhth." ) Yep. MSFT is perched on the 2011 list of the 110 Most Ethical Companies in the world. GOOG, on the other hand, is not. How can that be? GOOG gives stuff away for F-R-E-E, making it the darling of the privacy-adverse amongst us. And MSFT must have gone all Miss Goody Two Shoes after Y2K when Mr. Bill first pondered how many Bill-ions it would take to ELEVATE! himself to a Supra (7 comments)
When First Time Buyers Close on a Great First Home, It has to be a Good Day! - 03/16/11 11:07 PM
And today was a good day. You just can't beat the feeling. Seeing a cute home in Cary pop onto the market on the MLS, and knowing the home and neighborhood. Calling the client who just hadn't been seeing what they wanted at a price they could do. Telling them I was going on a preview, but to be flexible about seeing the home ASAP. Sent over a Flickr photo I had taken a couple of years ago. And it was the house. And we wrote an offer before the sun set on the second day on market. And made the (7 comments)
From the Triangle Business Journal: University of North Carolina, Charlotte, economics professor John Connaughton projects that North Carolina's economy will gain 46,200 jobs in 2011, an increase of 1.2% over the level in December, 2010. On one hand, adding a total of 46,200 jobs in a state with a population of nearly 10 million doesn't sound like much, but on the other hand, it is a positive number, not a negative statistic. I hope he is being conservative, because an ongoing "jobless recovery" is inflicting a lot of pain on folks who need paychecks. Additionally, we have to hope that the (4 comments)
Selecting a Buyer's Agent? 10 key points for Buyers to consider - 03/15/11 11:37 PM
Selecting a Buyer's Agent to help you in your quest for a new Cary home doesn't have to be stressful. Here are 10 points to consider: 1. Is the REALTOR® a full-time real estate pro, up to date on current trends and developments, or just dabbling at your business in off-hours from the day job, when possible? Which works better for you?2. Your Realtor should be on your wavelength. Not pressing you to buy or trying to increase your urgency. But concerned enough to get properties in front of you for your consideration. When you are ready to kick your quest (8 comments)
If You think Short Sales and Foreclosures are Crazy, Welcome to the Wild West: Buying an iPad on Craigslist! - 03/14/11 05:20 PM
I've been perusing the Raleigh edition of Craigslist for an iPad. Craigslist is where I go when I want to peek at stuff, but am not married to the outcome. It is great to be an elective shopper on Craigslist, with no urgency, as Craigslist never comes off as totally civilized. I don't NEED an iPad, but I have a little itch I may scratch under the right circumstances. But, I'm not going to hock the farm to scratch that iPad itch. There seems to be a pretty good spread between the Bid and Ask on Craigslist, whether you are talking (7 comments)
Kevin Martini, one of the Top 50 Mortgage Originators in the nation, announced this week that he was joining Suntrust Mortgage as a mortgage originator. Martini is well-recognized and respected among real estate agents in the Raleigh and Cary, North Carolina, region as the "go-to guy" originator when consumers have complex financial histories and profiles. He is a consummate service professional who thoroughly enjoys thinking laterally, outside the proverbial "box," and relishes rolling up his sleeves and diving into tangled financial profiles. Finding clarity and Buyer opportunity, and often producing successful outcomes that ordinary mortgage industry folks cannot envision, (4 comments)
Spring Forward? "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? - 03/12/11 09:44 PM
Does Anybody Really Care... About Time?" Thank you Chicago Transit Authority for raising that pithy question in 1970. It was only a few years earlier, in 1966, that Daylight Savings Time became a permanent fixture in the time-keeping paradigm in the United States.And only in 1883 did time become standardized, and Time Zones created.Coincidental to the CTA classic rock hit, it was the railroads who made that happen. Superior Time Management, I would say.
Prior to 1883, every village and hamlet and city had their own time of day. It may have been Noon in Raleigh, NC, and (20 comments)
Fences - 03/11/11 11:35 PM
I got into shooting photos of fences on a trip to Asheville a couple of years ago. Decided to loosely define "fence," and to include any structure used for dividing property or intended to limit foot travel from an area.
I like wood fences, as they tend to present the best opportunities to catch texture and the dance of light and shadows. Throwing in a stone wall here and there is cool too.
And I like long shots along a fence that lead my eye into the distance. Parallax View and all that.
I (17 comments)
"Buyers are Liars?" Well, then, DON'T WORK WITH THEM! - 03/10/11 11:24 PM
In two stints with a couple of classic "Tin Men-style" home improvement companies that taught high-pressure closing tactics, one of the common rationalizations for being a hard-core and unprincipled boilerroom-type closer was the old saw, "All Buyers are Liars, and Sellers are too." I didn't last long, and I am fine with that. That attitude was at odds with my general optimistic and idealistic nature. I look for the good in people, and really don't have much trouble finding good in almost everyone I meet. And, I think pinning the blame on prospective clientele for my failure to engage, rather than (11 comments)
Endangered Mussel and Army Corps of Engineers Flexing Their Muscles at Garner, NC - 03/09/11 11:55 PM
It is a story that MUST include a few levels of government. It would not be believable otherwise. Nortth Carolina Turnpike Authority and North Carolina Department of Transportation have since the 1990's planned to build the Southeast Extension of 540 Outer Loop and connect it with US 70 where it joins Interstate 40 in Southeast Wake County, near the Johnston County line. NCDOT had identified a study corridor and purchased several plots of obvious highway corridor land over the years. Long skinny plots, oriented in the direction of the highway, within the study area. DOT was leaning toward their original plan. (9 comments)
Cary NC: Toscana is a Move Up Neighborhood near Parks and Recreation - 03/09/11 08:30 AM
. Toscana on Green Level Church Road in western Cary, NC, is a new subdivision of move-up homes by Forever Homes, LLC. The location on a small ridge offers homeowners the option to select from some fairly level lots, an opportunity that does not present itself routinely in new construction in Cary. Toscana is adjacent to The Town of Cary's Thomas Brooks Park, home of Baseball USA, and 224 acres of recreational opportunities.Also, access to Jordan Lake, Research Triangle Park, Durham, and employment in Cary are easy. Available Toscana Homes in my No Hassle Home Search. Recent Sales in Toscana, from the (2 comments)
View Larger Map Get Directions View Bird's Eye Westfield was developed in the 1990's and homes built by Tri-State Homes. 2000-2700 square feet is a common home size range, with 3 or 4 bedrooms. Lots tend to be .25 acre and larger, up to nearly half an acre. Lots vary from heavily (0 comments)
Cary, NC: Weycroft Offers Fine Custom Homes by Well-Known Local Builders - 03/07/11 06:21 PM
.. Weycroft in Cary, NC, is a subdivision of new homes built by a great team of local custom builders. The location is wonderful for commutes to Research Triangle Park, or to Durham or Chapel Hill. It also allows homeowners easy access to Durham's Streets of Southpoint major shopping area. View currently available homes in Weycroft. View Larger Map Get Directions View Bird's Eye Weycroft was developed in 2006 by IPG Development, with home sales beginning in 2007. Weycroft homes range between 3,000 and 5,000 square feet, with the features you would expect from custom home builders. Granite, stainless steel, (2 comments)
Cary, NC: Springtime is busting out all over! - 03/07/11 04:54 PM
Whatever your personal favorite harbinger of Spring is, you can probably find it right now in Cary, NC. Bradford Pears? Oh, yeah. We have them in bloom, at their peak right now, as well as a ton of other ornamentals.
Forsythia? Sure, and that great burst of Yellow spreads a little cheer everytime I see it. They just don't last long enough.
Daffodils? We have them, too. Everywhere you look.
And in just a few weeks, we will have trees leafing out, azaleas and dogwoods in bloom, and green, green grass!
Revisiting: REOs with Quit Claim Deeds. It Could Happen - 03/06/11 10:18 PM
I mentioned this here a while back, and went into it a little deeper than I would generally, as we had a live offer on the table. But you MUST read the addenda on REOs, refer to attorneys, and keep your client safe as possible. REOs with Quit Claim Deeds... I wonder if it has actually happened to unsuspecting buyers? The addenda for the provision certainly exist:
Want the Brooklyn Bridge? As far as I am concerned, I will Quit my Claim for $20.00. Cash. Good luck with your recording. See, I am taught that all that QCD is, (7 comments)
Thinking I'm going to BURY my next lockbox.... - 03/06/11 09:41 PM
My back aches, and blood rushes to my head. Pounding pressure in my temples And, my glasses are trying to slip off my face... And, I can't see the combo dial. But at least it is raining, so my skin isn't drying out. Hoping that electrical conduit is sound, and the GFI is operable, Regretting holding 20 sheets of paper while trying to dial. Resisting putting my knee down on the wet sidewalk, But maybe I need to belly crawl to sneak up on this baby.
And... I'm inspired I'm going to BURY my next lockbox, (32 comments)
Cary, NC: Upgraded Showers Can Really Help Sell a House! - 03/05/11 11:27 PM
Who doesn't love a great shower in the morning? Bring the water, hot, and lots of it! Upgraded showers are extremely popular in Cary homes' master baths, and we want that shower to be pleasant and easy cleaning. Tile is great, and looks best when the floor also has tile on it.
But, the old one-piece fiberglass, while not glitzy or stylish, offers easy cleaning and great durability.
I have this little pet peeve with a lot of showers. At 6'5", and carrying a few groceries too many, I want to be able to get in and out. The (9 comments)
North Carolina's New Due Diligence Fee: Agents must educate their clients! - 03/04/11 11:16 PM
Since the beginning of 2011, North Carolina REALTORS® using the Standard NCAR Offer to Purchase and Contract have been endeavoring to come to terms with the concept of Due Diligence, and the optional Due Diligence Fee mentioned in the Standard Form, Offer to Purchase and Contract. Some misconceptions are held by agents, and unfortunately are being promoted to consumers. This can work to make transactions more difficult than necessary, or may even create enough friction to help transactions fail unnecessarily.
..Dude, You're getting a House! Not a snow job! What the Due Diligence Fee is: 1. Negotiable consideration from Buyer (6 comments)
MS Windows since MS-DOS. Fun video - 03/03/11 11:37 PM
I got a kick out of this. Somewhat of a hike down Memory Lane, upgrading through every version of Windows. Of course, I really only go on board with Windows 98, but found this video entertaining and fluid in presentation. When is the last time you thoguht of Doom II, or Monkey Island? Or DOS, for that matter. Gotta say, I love my Windows 7, which the video calls the "latest and greatest" Windows OS. we just saw W7 32, Service Pack 1 load last night. For some reason, it hasn't hit my 64 bit OS machines yet. But, it went (5 comments)
The Numbers are In: U.S. Census says Raleigh, NC, Gained 46.3% Population in the last decade. - 03/02/11 11:11 PM
The U.S. Census folks have spoken: Raleigh, NC, ended the last decade with approximately 403,000 residents. That is an increase of 46.3% from the figures at the beginning of the 21st century. Wake County also gained 43.5% in population to exceed 900,000 residents, as of April 1, 2010. That puts us very close to being the largest county in the State of North Carolina, as Mecklenburg County's population was totaled at 919,000. Predictions are that Raleigh and Wake County will surpass Mecklenburg County, becoming the most populous county in North Carolina, within a year or two.
Any way you look (10 comments)
Warren Buffett Bullish on Housing, According to CNBC - 03/02/11 09:02 AM
Warren Buffett is putting some serious money behind the U.S housing market. He expressed some long-term optimisim regarding housing futures and the U.S. on CNBC today. A few key quotes: "There are plenty of things to do in the United States that make economic sense," speaking of BRK's capital investment in industry and infrastructure like railroads and utilities. "It will cost much more to build a brick factory in 5 years" than it does to acquire a state of the art facility now. So, Berkshire Hathaway is buying the country's 9th largest brick maker. Buffett says we used 10 billion bricks (6 comments)
Today was a good day. The best part of what I do in real estate is when I get to see the look on folks' faces when I am able to hand over their new keys to them. After a couple of years of looking for "The" house, and a somewhat arduous closing process, we got them into "It" this week. It feels good. It feels good to know that I helped them, helped the whole family. Of course, the great lender, skilled home inspector, and wonderful closing attorney I introduced (13 comments)
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