Monday, August 27, 2007

Wake Forest goes for the 'Cool Green'.....

Excellent! Wake Forest has just joined the growing list of cities that are considered "Cool Cities". Check out the article hot off the presses from The Daily Tarheel. As a resident of Wake Forest I can certainly say that the Urban Foresty Advisory Board and the Greenway Advisory Board are donig a fantastic job! Kudos to Wake Forest!

Environmentally green shucking.....

Saturday, August 25, 2007

History Prevails.....

For those of you not familiar with Wake Forest let me give you my view point. It is a wonderful "small" town that is quickly being consumed from the ever-expanding Raleigh. There is a wonderful historic downtown area and the birthplace of Wake Forest University is here. I can't tell you the number of times that I have run into people (out-of-towners) looking for directions to get to the University. The reply is always an abridged version of how Wake Forest University was originally Wake Forest college and was founded in 1834. In 1956 the college was relocated to Winston-Salem and thus became Wake Forest University. Anyhow, Wake Forest retains much of it's charm and has many historic residences and buildings. Sadly, as with any small town progression, little by little the historic charm is fading away. Committees, such as the DRC (Downtown Revitalization Corporation) are moving swiftly to put into place a plan that will preserve, maintain and foster many of the historic attractions in the area and I must say, they are doing a great job! Following is an article that came from regarding one of the historic homes that is being saved.........HOW WONDERFUL!

If you are interested in preserving historic homes and sites please let me know. I served on the Capital Area Preservation Committee and am also a member of National Trust for Historic Preservation. I would be happy to supply you with any information that you would like.

Old time shucking.......

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

No more water under the bridge.....

For those of you local this certainly isn't news....however, if you are in another part of the country let me just say that we are experiencing a serious drought! If anyone knows a bonafide rain-dance please pass it on. Not only are we lacking rain but the heat has become unbearable. Yesterday set an new all-time high in the Raleigh-Durham area with a temperature of 105 degrees.

The City of Raleigh held a meeting yesterday to discuss the current water restrictions that we are under and the following link will take you to the new restrictions that are to take effect August 28. Please take heed! Fines are hefty and we need to conserve.

Raleigh Water Rules To Get Stricter

Water-conserving shucking...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

How Low Should You Go????

I found this great article that I wanted to pass along. You must admit that the shift to a Buyer's Market has certainly occured. As with all things cyclicle we will eventually stablize and start the pendulum move back in the other direction. However, I have many buyer's that are currently looking for "deals" and the question always arises, "How low should I go?" The following link is for a story about just that from The Real Estate Journal. There is some practical advice for making that initial offer without offending the seller. Hope you find it helpful!

How To Bid Low On A Home Without Offending The Seller....

"Do your research" shucking......

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Does Sex Sell?

Um, in this case the answer would be NO! You have already read how a dirty house turns a buyer off but what about a "dirty" house?

Again, this past weekend while showing homes I not only ran into filthy homes that were on the market but some interesting situations to say the least. I know that many Realtors®, on-site agents and friends of mine that are contractors read this blog - so, I ask you to please take heed and learn from this story.

While touring homes this past weekend my clients and I had visited a new home community. One home in particular that was under construction was just to the phase of flooring being installed. Cabinets were in and some finishes were on the walls. It was great the first time through. Laborers were there working while we toured and there were no problems at all. After previewing we left and went on to other homes. The next day my clients decided that they would like to return to the home. This particular home had everything that they were searching for and then some. (Including the "man" room which has nothing to do with this post but I will venture to explain that in a later post)

We arrived about 4:30 in the afternoon on Saturday. I was a little surprised that there was no one in the house working but actually that was great for us to go through without feeling like we might be in someones way. We made our way through the living room, dining room and butler's pantry. My clients were in front of me and started to round the corner into the kitchen when the wife started laughing hysterically. You know the kind of laugh, it is the awkward, giddy kind of laugh when you don't know the appropriate response to a certain situation. The husband followed and also was surprised. As I made my way into the kitchen I was blessed with 2 hard-core porno magazines laying on the counter beside a Mountain Dew can. Wow, how do you recover from that one? Fortunately, my clients are well aware that it was beyond my control that the magazines were there and, at that point, there was nothing that I could do since they were already "spied". (Very hard to miss!) We were able to move past them and continue through the house.

My point? What if my clients had their child with them? What if, what if, what if. Extremely embarassing! It is the responsibility of the on-site agents to police their inventory of homes as well as the superintendents of the work crews to maintain a professional atmosphere regardless of the stage of construction the home is in. I have spoke to the on-site agent and she apologized profusely - however, no one should be put in a most embarassing postition such as we were this past weekend.

So, to my associates out there........dirty homes don't sell, and "dirty" homes don't sell either! Clean them up and keep them clean!

Here's to porn-free shucking...............

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Through the eyes of a buyer.....

I really thought that instructing sellers to have a clean house when it was on the market for sale was like beating a dead horse.......the point should have been long understood! Boy, was I wrong!
After showing many houses this weekend I can safely say that I was appalled at the condition of some of the homes. One of the first responsibilities of any real estate agent worth their salt when preparing a home to be listed for sale is to advise the sellers to CLEAN UP! Get rid of the clutter, scrub walls, clean floors, and keep it neat. Spruce up the entrance, set an atmosphere, open the curtains, etc. But, the fundamental remains - clean your house.

To help you with a home in particular was trashed from top to bottom. Dirty dishes all over the living room, important documents strewn about the furniture, dirty dishes in the sink, "sticky stuff" on the kitchen floor, writing on the walls (literally), the master bedroom was PILED high with dirty clothes all over the floor, end of bed and in the closet, bed was not made, master bath was a disaster with filthy shower, dried toothpaste all over the sinks, nasty, nasty toilet, a dresser top that was so clutters and stacked with "stuff" that you couldn't see the dresser. You literally had to side step through the house to move about. My buyers didn't however; I chose to see the rest of the house for myself - UNBELIEVABLE!

The topper came when the buyers had wanted to see the back yard. A dog was in the kitchen with "doors" up so it couldn't run about the house. We stepped over the "doors" and went to the sliding glass doors to exit out onto the deck. What did we step on? A doggie pad that was saturated with dog urine. DISGUSTING!

Seriously, if you are contemplating selling your home you MUST put yourself in a buyers mindset. If you were with me and you saw this house would you remotely be interested in buying? I have to also say that this home was in a neighborhood with gorgeous homes and a higher than average price range. It was not tenant-occupied so clearly the owners had full control over what the property looked like.

Folks, live your life how you wish.....but, when it comes to selling your home - it is BASIC, FUNDAMENTAL, and INESCAPABLE to clean your home. If you can only see through your eyes it is then your real estate agents duty to guide you through the steps necessary to get your home ready to be shown. What a disservice the agent representing the above mentioned house has done to their clients.

Excuse me while I step down from my soap-box!

Shucking on.......

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Doing it Old-School Style!

Well, can you believe it??!!?! The summer is almost over, commercials are advertising the best back-to-school clothes, the stores I have visited lately are brimming with notebook paper, pens, pencils and every supply under the sun for the triumphant return of students to their respective educational institutions! Don't fret! There is still time to get one last hurrah in before that "first-day-back" arrives. I thought I would get a little creative and make some suggestions for short getaways that are reasonably price.

  • Wet-N-Wild in Greensboro/Winston-Salem. If you and yours are into water (personally, I am not) then this is a great place to spend the day. Several different pools to lounge by and play in geared for all ages, a plenitude of rides ranging from a lazy float down a river to a ginormous (technically a word now thanks to Will Ferrell and ELF) water slide. Food concessions are moderately priced and the drive is only 1-1.5 hours from Raleigh.
  • Falls Lake - Is camping your bag? Falls Lake has numerous campgrounds with a variety of amenities at each. Two that I recommend are Rollingview and Holly Point (great lakefront first come-first served sites!)
  • U.S.S. North Carolina Battleship a short 2 hour drive gets you to Wilmington! Not only is there the USS North Carolina to explore, there is Fort Fisher Aquarium, historic Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach OR Carolina Beach just minutes away!
  • Have you been to the Blue Ridge Mountains lately? Checkout Linville Caverns for a cool respite from the summer heat. Just a short trip and a great way to do some family exploring before the first school bell rings.

If you would like more suggestions or ideas just drop me a line! There are tons of things to do that only require a short drive, a little spontaneity and some adventurous spirit!

Here's to lazy summer shucking....

A Walk Through Historic Wake Forest, NC