In addition to being just a 2 hour drive to the ocean and a 3 hour drive to the mountains, the Triangle region of North Carolina offers lots of summertime fun for kids of all ages. In fact, there are so many things to do, I am going to tell you about indoor and outdoor activities separately. Let’s start in the air-conditioning! With a record setting summer for temperatures upon us, I want to stay indoors as much as possible and I’m sure you do as well!
When my clients first move to Charlotte, they typically ask for utility provider information and the numbers of my hairstylist, dentist and doctors. As soon as they start getting settled, I get calls for paint color ideas, where to find unique lighting fixtures, where to buy outdoor furniture… the list goes on.
I love getting these calls because I know how hard it is to find out what the insiders already know. In fact, it has taken me 14 years of living in Charlotte to discover these “Insider Secrets” myself. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
My husband & I were heading to see our first performance but couldn’t decide if we were more excited about the play or our highly recommended dinner location. As soon as we booked the show, I reached out to a good friend at the Durham Chamber of Commerce, for recommendations on where to dine. Having visited Durham numerous times, I have my old favorites such as farm-to-table Watts Groceryand the Parisian-style Rue Cler, but wanted to venture outside of my comfort zone and try a new spot for dinner. Hands down no questions asked, the recommendation we were given was forRevolution. It was the perfect selection for us!
Every year since I was a baby my family takes a trip to the Great Lake Erie in Ontario Canada to celebrate the 4th of July. Our festivities start with a prayer for an off shore breeze to create the perfect setting for fireworks over the water and a bonfire that blows away from the cottage.
One year our prayers were not answered and the wind gusted onshore, so we tried shooting the fireworks over the field on the front side of the cottages. What a mistake! After two close calls with fireworks landing on some adjacent cottages we called it a night. This was a good learning experience for us adults as well as the kiddos. We added some safety features to our firework preparations.
Water hose running and ready
Pot holders to pick up spent casings
Close adult supervision
No alcohol for the coordinator of the display
All spectators maintain a safe distance from the firework platform
This weekend we celebrate one of America’s favorite holidays. The 4th of July weekend is a holiday that has become synonymous with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, political speeches and ceremonies, and of course, Will Smith’s defeat of alien invaders.
Having not been born in the United States and only gaining citizenship a few years ago, I decided to do a little investigative research and ask my co-workers what the 4th of July weekend means to them:
Everyone who owns a home or aspires to own a home has a vested interest in the quality of education being delivered at their neighborhood school. We hear so much today about staging and making your home memorable; doing everything possible to make sure it stands out in a crowd so that it will sell.
Truth be known, we can have the most appealing home on the market, but if the perception or the reality is that the children can achieve a better education somewhere else property values could be negatively affected. Homes associated with top-notch schools typically sell faster, in good and not-so-good market conditions. If and when a market goes south, areas with excellent school systems are still sought after areas to live. As a result, these regions usually retain their values better than the overall market.
As the historic residential “spring market” comes to a close and we enter the transition period following the expiration of the tax credits, I am often asked questions such as, “where does the real estate market stand?” and “what is next in the recovery plan?”
Let’s look at the first half of 2010 to understand what we can expect moving forward.
Overall, the trends have been very favorable in 2010. I can best illustrate what is happening by examining one of our regions. In May, 2,537 homes were sold and the average closing price was $212,454. This was the largest number of closings and the second highest average sales price in the past 12 months. This is indeed good news and is reflective of most of the Carolinas.
Carl Sandburg told us that “nothing happens unless first we dream”. A fundamental dream that is as American as apple pie is the dream of owning a home.
That dream just got a boost earlier this month with the launch of a workforce housing program that will educate the public about affordable housing options. It will also prepare REALTORS to lead the way when they complete a Workforce Housing Certificate Program.
Why put a program like this in place? The bottom line is that it just makes sense!
First time home buyers accounted for almost half of all home sales in 2009 and are projected to be the fastest growing segment of the housing market through 2012. When we help our everyday heroes, like police, firefighters and school teachers join the ranks of homeowners we are building communities, stabilizing our neighborhoods and putting their dreams within reach.
If you are in the market for a home or are thinking about purchasing a home…let me tell you now is the time to buy. Interest rates are at a 25-year low and the inventory of homes available is high, which means the advantage lies with the buyer. So there is a perception that buying a home in today’s market can be an easy decision if you have a steady job, good credit and don’t have a home to sell.
Let’s take a closer look at that statement.
Historically, we could win on both sides of the transaction because America’s housing values were appreciating. Within the past three year’s however, we have seen depreciation creep in, especially where acute price increases were enjoyed. Like the stock market, we are recalculating our market values to reflect the new norm.
The importance of the arts, be it concerts, museums, dance, visual arts or theater, is undeniable. The arts teach us about a region’s history and more importantly enriches the lives of those who live there. Oftentimes, when individuals or families are moving to a new region, an important factor that they consider is a strong prevalence of the arts.
North Carolina is filled with cities that offer countless opportunities to engage with the arts, the city of Charlotte being no exception. I’m a concert junkie and recently I had the chance to attend two great concerts in Charlotte.
The first was The Oak Ridge Boys, held in uptown Charlotte at the Belk Theater in North Carolina’s Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Ok, so it may not be everyone’s taste in music but even my husband, who wasn’t so sure about going, enjoyed the music. From the suburbs of Charlotte, it took us 30 minutes to drive uptown, park a block and a half away for free, yes free since it was after 6 pm, and walk to our venue. What other large city (Charlotte is the 21st largest in the US) offers such convenience?!