As a young child growing up near the Pennsylvania Turnpike (the nation’s first “modern” turnpike), I was convinced that my parents were paying “the troll” to enter its broad swath of concrete. I would duck onto the car’s floorboard in order to avoid laying eyes on the hideous, man-eating (but very short in stature) beast. I also didn’t want the troll to spot me, believing myself to be very tasty.
At some point in my young life (hopefully before I earned my driver’s license), I learned that it was a “toll” that was being paid. As a nascent driver, I would take the ticket at the toll booth with awe and trepidation. I was entering the promised land called a “turnpike,” and always fearful that my admission ticket would blow out the window and I’d have to pay the full freight for the entire length of its route. A turnpike still holds a special place in my inner psyche.
I have some history with Wallace Wade Stadium on the campus of Duke University in Durham, NC. That’s where I last saw the Rolling Stones perform on a rainy night in October 2005…a rockin’ experience for this Rock and Roll REALTOR®. Built in 1929, the horseshoe-shaped facility is named for the legendary Duke Football coach and can seat nearly 34,000. And while the Stones can pack ‘em in, it was another rainy spectacle, this one in 1942, that eclipsed that rock and roll event in attendance and significance.
The college football season of 1941 had just ended when the gruesome attack on Pearl Harbor occurred on December 7th. Fear gripped the country, and travel restrictions were placed on our nation’s entire West Coast.
Businessweek.com recognized Raleigh as America’s Best City a couple of weeks ago. At a recent Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce meeting I attended, we all celebrated the accolade and thanked those leaders both in the public and private sector for all they had contributed to make this ranking possible.
The ranking was based on metrics like school performance, green space and cultural amenities.
Here is how Raleigh ranked:
After our celebration, our attention turned to the future. How are we going to keep this ranking? At Wake County’s Oct. 11 election, a new mayor will be elected which will certainly impact our future. But there is also an important transportation and housing bond vote that will be critical to what the city can accomplish in the coming years.
Not too long ago, I was in the car with some fellow Taters heading up to the Allen Tate VIP celebration in High Point at the High Point International Furniture Mart. Mike Oelz was driving while Robin Price and I were working on a program for a transferring employee who was moving to the area and had questions regarding his benefits (a question for me) and the changes in his insurance (a question for Mike and Robin). A topic that came up was shopping; he asked, “What is Belk?” He and his wife had passed a shopping mall and saw the Belk sign.
The Triangle Region of North Carolina receives numerous accolades: #1 Healthiest Housing Market…#1 Metro in the U.S. for Gender Equality…#1 Fastest Growing Cities in the U.S….#2 America’s Biggest Brain Magnets.(Watch your back, New Orleans.) Frankly, it’s an embarrassment of riches. Regardless, I’ve taken it upon myself to add yet one more rave: #1 Best Region to Enjoy a Great Meal in the U.S.
This is Triangle Restaurant Week (June 6-12), a weeklong celebration of culinary excellence featuring over 70 Triangle-area restaurants. Now in its 4th year, this is the week to enjoy as many of the region’s premiere restaurants as your stomach and wallet will permit. Restaurants are offering specially-priced, prix-fixe lunches and dinners throughout the week.
Have you ever considered recycling your home?
You buy a house and lot with the plan to tear down the existing house and build a new one to your particular liking. Nothing new here. Neighborhoods have been being “redeveloped” in this way for years.
But now there’s a twist.
You can donate the existing house to Builders of Hope and they will recycle it.
No, I don’t mean they will take it apart and give the different materials to be reused (which is another form of recycling). They actually relocate the entire house.
Amanda Jones’ recent post explained how North Carolina, South Carolina and Federal Fair Housing laws (and our REALTOR® Code of Ethics) prohibit real estate practitioners from “steering” clients toward or away from any neighborhood based upon the agent’s perception of an area’s safety; its religious or racial characteristics; or the quality of its public schools…even at the client’s request. Doing so is illegal and unethical. That puts the onus on the consumer to research factors that are important to them.
To that end, the Triangle Region of NC offers a variety of on-line resources that can help homebuyers do their own research and draw their own conclusions on matters outside the legal purview of a REALTOR®. Here is a partial list:
Wake County Economic Development is developing a plan and strategy to attract highly talented professionals to the Research Triangle Region. Recently, our Corporate Services Manager, Renee Daniels gave area overview tours to the consultants who are charged with designing the marketing and branding campaign. The consultants gained insight on the quality of life, cost of living, real estate market and all the things that make our Region a great place to be. Wake County Economic Development is now sponsoring a survey to hear from YOU on what you value most and why you chose to call our Region your home.
The Wall Street Journal recently published a list of the Best and Worst markets for investing in real estate. Not surprisingly, three cities in the Carolinas topped the “Best” list…Greenville, SC #9, Winston-Salem, NC #7, and Durham, NC #1. Markets that ranked highly have a low likelihood of a significant continued downward spiral in home prices; have a large percentage of jobs in government, health care, and education; and have experienced a moderate growth in income.
As a native of the Triangle Region, which includes Durham, I enjoy that city’s culture, history, and diversity. Durham, also known as the Bull City because of its bustling, 19thcentury Bull Durham tobacco factory, became the center of North Carolina’s tobacco industry following the Civil War. Ironically, it is the health care and biotech industries that have replaced tobacco as the city’s economic engines. Since its founding in 1869, Durham has grown to become the state’s fifth largest city.