July 2010

30 Jul 2010

Does Your Car Need An Insurance Physical?

Last month, my own personal auto insurance policy was up for renewal- so as Pat Riley had recently pointed out—it was time for my own insurance physical!  When I looked over my policy, I realized that the use of one of my vehicles had changed from a “commute” back and forth to work to “pleasure” use.  When we changed that usage, I saved some premium!  Also, I realized that the same vehicle was now more than 10 years old, and it didn’t make a lot of sense to carry both comprehensive and collision coverage anymore- so we removed that as well.

The changes to my policy directly related to the changes in my life—and had I not sat down for a few minutes to review what was different from last year, I may have been paying for coverage I didn’t really need anymore.

28 Jul 2010

Beat the Heat this Summer!

I recently spent five days with family in Rhode Island, where I grew up. While I thought it would be much cooler there it really wasn’t. The day I flew out it was 94 degrees but felt even hotter than that because central air is the exception there rather than the rule. Even window units are not common. Most rely on ceiling fans, open windows and a season long avoidance to using the oven.

All of this got me thinking about what I take for granted in my temperature controlled life.  But it also got me thinking about both energy conservation and energy efficiency. With the help of Google, I put together some helpful tips on summer time energy saving that I have already begun to implement myself:

27 Jul 2010

Summertime Fun in the Triangle – Part 2

You may remember that earlier this month I talked about all of the great indoor activities that the Triangle region of North Carolina offers its residents, visitors, friends and families. To be honest, I could have made that blog post A LOT longer but sometimes its fun to explore and discover new places for yourself (hint, hint! If you found one I didn’t list then please let me know!).

This week I am heading outdoors and sharing several great attractions and activities that are an absolute must this summer!

The Durham Bulls are a minor league baseball team based in Durham, North Carolina and are the Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays major-league club. Enjoying a game outdoors with friends or family is a perfect way to spend an afternoon or a whole day!

26 Jul 2010

Deed Restrictions Can Predict The Future!

Pay attention and take a few minutes before you agree to purchase a home. Why? Because it is important to understand the “goal posts” or “boundaries” of the deed restriction as they not only dictate how you can and cannot use the property but also determine the integrity of the respective neighborhood.

In the current market economies, deed restrictions can be your best friend or your worst nightmare.  Deed restrictions spell out, in most cases, the MINIMUM standards that the developer sets when he/she develops a piece of land.

  • Examples: minimum square footage requirements, brick on one side or all around, the parking of utility vehicles like RVs/boats on or near the property, etc.
  • Some restrictions can be very specific, such as roof pitch, mailbox types, and the governance for maintaining common areas.
23 Jul 2010

Mobile Games Keep You Top of Mind

FourSquare … GoWalla … Loopt … Yelp … BrightKite …

If you aren’t familiar with the lingo above, fear not. You’re probably not alone but I’m willing to bet that at least one of the terms above has, at the very least, crossed your ears recently.

Should you be paying attention to what these applications are? I’d say yes. Should you jump in and sign up for all five right now? Probably not. But my advice would be to learn more about them because all of these applications are gaining momentum and popularity every day.

Each of the above applications is a location-based social networking application meaning that the application allows you to identify, share and make use of your geographical position. In English? You can “check-in” at any venue or location you are visiting using your mobile device. What makes these applications unique is that users can be rewarded with special badges or bonus items after checking in. This feature makes the applications game-like and everyone likes to play games, right? So why not play a game on your phone that increases and strengthens your personal brand awareness?

22 Jul 2010

Music and Memories at Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre

The fourth of July may have been a few weeks ago yet we still tend to think of the entire month as one during which we celebrate and remember our troops and veterans. Being the lyrical lover that I am, I can think of no better way to honor someone than through a piece of music.

Recently, I had the immense pleasure of attending a concert at the Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre in the University Area of Charlotte, NC. The concert featured Southern stars including James Otto, Trace Atkins and Toby Keith.  For those who have experienced a concert at Verizon Ampitheatre you already know about the magical atmosphere that this outdoor venue offers its patrons.

21 Jul 2010

How to Negotiate with Your Builder

Today, buyers have the luxury of being able to negotiate prices on homes. However, that strategy for negotiating changes when it comes to buying new from a builder rather than purchasing a re-sale. What is the biggest difference?  A re-sale seller is dealing with equity, the difference between what they paid for the home and what they can sell it for. A builder is dealing with materials, land, overhead, plus profit, for a builder, equals sales price.

The typical builder has the following expenses that all add up to 100%… land 18%, materials 50%, overhead expenses 15%, marketing 6%, permits, fees, warranty 3% and profit 8%. So, for a $200,000 house, the profit is only $16,000, not the mega bucks that most buyers think a builder makes. All the other costs are essentially fixed, meaning thatthe only place to negotiate for the builder is their profit line.

20 Jul 2010

The GPS of Home Searching

property-scout11Remember the days when you had to keep at least one folded map in the glove box or behind the seat of your car? And if you could find that map in the car when you were lost, you had to struggle to fold it just right to figure out where you were going?

Much to my family’s delight, a GPS device that automatically pinpoints location and maps my route has replaced the folded map in my car. And, if you’re like me and enjoy this kind of technology, then you will be happy to know that finding a home can be as easy as navigating to a new location with your GPS device.

19 Jul 2010

What Baseball Can Teach Us about Real Estate

The Carolinas are rich in baseball lore.

South Carolina produced major league standouts like Camden’s Larry Doby and Anderson’s Jim Rice. North Carolina brought us Williamston’s Gaylord Perry, Hertford’s Catfish Hunter, and Raleigh’s Josh Hamilton. And while the Carolinas do not have a major league baseball team (yet), minor league teams such as the Durham Bulls, Charlotte Knights, Carolina Mudcats, Burlington Royals, Greensboro Grasshoppers, and Winston-Salem Dash keep the game relevant and thriving.


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