lake norman real estate, The Real Estate Process, Home Buying and Selling Tips

Lake Norman Real Estate: What are “Seasonal Views”?

One of the first things you will discover as you begin your search for a home on or near Lake Norman is that there are myriad variations of “waterfront” and “waterview” homes.

Our Charlotte Regional Multiple Listing Service provides Lake Norman real estate professionals and home buyers and sellers with specific search catagories entitled “waterfront” and “waterview” but it is truly up to the listing agents to properly describe the type of waterfront (wide, main channel or cove) and the type of waterviews the property actually has.

The most common term you will find when looking for Lake Norman waterveiw homes is “seasonal”. So, what are seasonal waterviews?

Here are pictures of the view from my own waterview home taken in Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter: Continue reading

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Best Real Estate Lake Norman is Back and Improved!

Lake Norman Boat Launch at Stumpy Creek

Over a month ago, on a Monday afternoon, I went to log in to my blog to finish my post on Lake Norman’s October real estate sales when I discovered to my horror that my entire blog was gone. After checking other real estate blogs throughout the country that I knew used the same host/server/designer as I, we all realized the server had crashed and the company was gone! For all intents and purposes almost two years worth of my Lake Norman related real estate and community articles were gone.

That launched a saga filled with more drama than you need to know or I’m sure care about. But, today I am thrilled to be back writing on my blog…with all 243 articles saved and the entire site re-designed and ready for an exciting future. You will notice some missing pictures and a few links that may not function but all of those will be completely fixed in the next several weeks. Continue reading

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Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Newcomers Drop-in at The EnergyExplorium on 11/19/08!

Lake Norman's Energy Explorium at the McGuire Nuclear Station

One of the disclosures our folksy Lake Norman real estate agent neglected to mention to my husband and I when we moved here in 2005 was that Duke Energy’s McGuire Nuclear Station (yes, a full-blown nuclear power plant) was just 9 miles away from our home…opps!

While the presence of a nuclear power plant on Lake Norman doesn’t seem to bother most home buyers, I do think it is important for them to know that it exists and be able to appease any concerns they may have. Every year Duke Energy sends out calendars to Lake Norman home owners with basic information about the plant and emergency exit plans. Continue reading

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Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations

Halloween Happenings in and Around Lake Norman 2008

 

Lake Norman area pumpkin patch

Every year at this time the Lake Norman area comes alive with pumpkin patches, Halloween festivities for all ages and homes decorated to welcome all of our young trick or treaters.

Perhaps it is because we are all trying to take our minds off of the Lake Norman real estate market and our national economic worries but it seems like this year the color orange is everywhere! Are you in searcch for a pumpkin patch? How about:

  • Carrigan Farms: Open 9-5 weekdays, 9-4 Saturday and 12-4 Sundays through Halloween. Pick a pumpkin, visit the animals and have some fresh apple cider. There are even hayrides every 20 minutes! 1261 Oak Ridge Farm Highway/N.C.150, Mooresville.
  • Fifth Annual Boy Scout Pumpkin Patch: Pumpkins and gourds of all shapes and sizes. 17115 Kenton Drive, Cornelius
  • The Great Pumpkin Patch for Missions: Pumpkins, decorative corn, gourds and more! Davidson United Methodist Church: 233 S. Main Street. Davidson.

Or, just look to any of our many local produce stands who are brimming over with pumpkins and decorations for your Lake Norman home! Continue reading

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Historic Downtown Mooresville, Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations

Mooresville’s Second Annual Historic Tour of Homes October 17-19 2008!

 

Mooresville Historic Home on Museum Home Tour

For those of you interested in seeing some of Lake Norman’s historic homes, mark your calendars for October 17-19!  Thanks to such great success last year, once again Mooresville is holding The Second Annual Historic Mooresville Tour of Homes. Sponsored by the Mooresville Historic Preservation Commission and DEJ Realty, this event was created last year as a way to promote Historic Downtown Mooresville. Proceeds of the event benefit the Mooresville Historic Preservation and The Mooresville Museum.

VIP Reception

This year the VIP Reception is being held in the spectacular J.A. Stewart house located on 832 North Main Street on Friday evening, October 17th from 6-9pm. Soiree Restaurant (located in Historic Downtown Mooresville) and Say Cheese at the Grapevine will be catering the evening reception. Tickets are limited and may be purchased for $40 at the locations on their website: Historic Mooresville Tour of Homes.

The Home Tours

All of the homes on the tour are located in downtown Mooresville. The tour hours are:

  • Saturday, October 18th: 10am – 6pm
  • Sunday, October 19th: 1pm – 5pm

 

Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 on the day of the event. Parking and ticket information is also on their website: Historic Mooresville Tour of Homes.

The Homes on Tour:

  1. 334 West Center Avenue: The Ernest Henry Miller House (1898)
  2. 318 West Center Avenue: The W.M. Lentz House (1884)
  3. 351 West Center Avenue: The Zebulon Turlington House (1906)
  4. 832 North Main Street: The J.A. Stewart House (1896)
  5. 329 South Academy Street: The Annie Rankin Carr House (1902)
  6. 335 South Academy Street: The Mary Howard Rankin Turlington House (1902)
  7. 354 South Academy Street: The C.L. Emiston House (1920’s)
  8. 318 West Wilson Avenue: The Davidson House (Turn-of-the-Century)
  9. 419 Harris Street: Mooreville Mill Village (1917)
  10. 328 Messick Street: Mooresville Mill Village (Early 1920’s)

 

This group of homes will provide an opportunity for historic home enthusiasts to see everything from small Mill homes to the grand estate on Main Street. Visitors can start and stop at any home on the tour. The tours are given in groups led by an experienced docent (I will be a docent at 329 South Academy on Saturday so be sure and say hi!) so that you learn about the special characteristics of each home as well as some fun history.

If you have been visiting this Lake Norman Real Estate Blogsite for very long you know I love our Historic Downtown Mooresville and I truly hope this opportunity to see so many wonderful historic homes will encourage more of our Lake Norman home owners to venture east a bit and learn more about our historic part of town!

RELATED ARTICLES

Relocating to Mooresville NC

27 Reasons to Visit Historic Downtown Mooresville

Lake Norman Real Estate: Our Schizophrenic Communities

Does Lake Norman Have Affordable Housing?

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lake norman real estate, Lake Norman Real Estate Market Reports

Lake Norman Real Estate: “The Point” : A Case Study #2

The Point and Trump National Golf Club Entance

Several weeks ago I wrote an article Finding the Truth About Lake Norman’s Housing Market: A Case StudyIt got such a great response and I learned so much preparing it that I decided to do another one, this time on our beautiful, upscale Crescent Homes Community: The Point.

In these real estate “case studies” I use our Multiple Listing Services Archives to research the actual original listing price and listing date to determine exactly how long a home was on the market before it sold and the actual listing to sales price percentage. The need for this effort stems from the common practice of agents taking a listing off of the market and then listing it as NEW when doing a price reduction. While this is helpful to the home seller because it allows their listing agent to market it as new, it makes it nearly impossible for someone to quickly do an accurate comparative market analysis because our MLS system only gives us the most recent listing prices and listing dates. Hence, the need for the archive search below.

Case Study #2: The Point in Lake Norman

Step One:

Do a quick search on the MLS for the past three months including the number of active listings, pendings and solds. The Point currently has 123 active listings, 5 pending sales and 9 homes sold since June 15, 2008. This means that at the current rate of sales The Point has about a 41-month supply of inventory. The overall Lake Norman real estate market has about a 28-month supply of inventory so right now The Point has a seriously high number of listings compared to their rate of sales. You will note in the report below that the average days on the market are VERY high.

Step Two:

This is probably THE MOST IMPORTANT step in this process. As a Realtor, I can do an “Archive” search on each for the properties sold in the past 3 months AND the home you are thinking about purchasing. An archive search in our MLS database tells us the entire history of the property including previous sales, the actual initial listing date, the actual initial listing price, the number of price reductions and the final sales price. This is the only way to find out the real MLS listing data for a given property. (Even this is only as accurate as our MLS so there will be errors.)

Step Three:

Using this archive information, calculate the actual days on the market and the actual % of the sales price versus the first listing price for each comparable property. This is what I found about the 9 sales at The Point:

Listing PriceSales Price% ChangeDays on Market
1$819,000$747,500-8.7%

8/28/06 -7/22/08

2$995,820$812,000-18.5%12/5/06 – 9/12/08
3$815,900$831,715*+2%10/3/07 – 6/24/08
4$895,000$852,500-4.7%6/26/07 – 7/17/08
5$948,500$865,000-8.8%1/26/07 – 8/7/08
6$965,000$925,000-4.1%3/28/06 – 7/3/08
7$1,749,000$1,625,000-7.1%9/9/07 – 7/21/08
8$1,750,000$1,550,000-12.9%5/16/08 -7/29/08
9$3,250,000$2,900,000-10.8%10/5/07 – 8/25/08
Average$1,354,247$1,234,302-8.9%428 Days

*Note: This property included the purchase of a boatslip not included in the original price

** Note: Sales #2,3,4,6, were new construction so the days on market include construction time

Step Five:

Before making on offer there is one more thing to do if your are considering a re-sale home: research the tax records to find out as much as possible about the current owners: When did they buy, what was the purchase price, and, if possible, what is the loan amount.

Summary:

I was actually quite surprised by these findings. Despite the extremely high number of active listings and average days these 9 properties took to sell, the average list to sales price of a home in The Point was only -8.9% with a high of -18.5% and one sale that actually went over asking due to an added boatslip.

One additional observation: Several of these homes sat at their highest listing price for the bulk of their days on the market. Once reduced, they did sell within a couple of months.

Of the 5 pending home sales in The Point right now, 3 are in the $700,000’s and 2 are above $1 million.

It does appear that sellers at The Point, whether builders or individual homeowners, seem to be willing to have their homes or estates on the market for over a year without making significant price reductions. Whether this trend will continue remains to be seen. With over 3 years of supply of active listings based upon the current rate of sales I would predict that prices will come down further until the number of homes for sale drops to about a 1 year supply on hand.

RELATED ARTICLES

Is ‘The Point’ Lake Normans Ulitmate Luxury Home Community?

The Peninsula in Cornelius: A Lake Norman Luxury Community

Lake Norman Waterfront Home Buyers: Before Buying, See it by Boat!L

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Legacy Village; Lake Norman’s Newest Live/Work Urban Village!

Lake Norman townhomes

 

I remember when Mooresville’s Legacy Villagewas just some large renderings under a tent on Williamson Road for Realtors to preview. Today I took the photo above of Phase 1. As you can see, one row of town homes is complete and construction is well underway on the next block.

 

One of four mixed-use developments planned or underway in Mooresville, Legacy Village is a 28-acre Urban Village style community that includes 118 Townhomes (89 of which are already sold), 200 condo “flats”, a 10,470 square-foot child care facility The Learning Experience which is nearly complete, 324,999 square feet of office space, 91,703 square feet of shops, restaurants, and a hotel.

Entrance to Lowe's Corporate Headquarters in Mooresville

This true “urban density” live/work project couldn’t be better timed for Lake Norman considering the current gas prices. It is also strategically located just off of Exit 33 between the 157-acre Lowe’s Headquarters and the Lake Norman Regional Hospital and Medical Center in Mooresville.

In hopes of the yet finalized North Corridor Commuter Rail Line from Charlotte to at least Exit 33 in Mooresville, Legacy Village has also dedicated 1.5 acres for a rail station. Their vision is that Legacy Village will become almost a “self contained” small town” according to Doug Hollidge of Pinnacle Properties.

The entire housing and commercial development is currently on schedule with the town homes nearly complete, The Learning Center is due to open in about three weeks and the entire Village is expected to be competed in 4 years.

While it’s sometimes hard to let go of the past and our quiet Lake Norman communities, this massive housing and commerical project, along with Langtree at the Lake at Exit 32, Morrison Plantation’s The Meeting Street town homes at the Harris Teeter close to Exit 36 and the Mooresville Mills in Historic Downtown Mooresville are 4 urban village housing projects that will offer what many people are already seeking; a home where they can walk to work, shops and dining right here in Lake Norman!

In Part 3 of this series I will feature Morrison Plantation’s The Meeting Street town homes.

RELATED ARTICLES

How to Predict the Next Lake Norman Hotspots

Lake Norman Relocation Resources

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lake norman real estate

Lake Norman home buyers and sellers: Changes to forms effective July 1, 2008!



 Please Note: There are been many more changes and revisions since I wrote this in 2008 so please check with your Realtor to learn about the latest forms and purchase process!


Effective July 1, 2008, there have been numerous small and more significant changes/additions/deletions to the standard North Carolina real estate forms jointly approved by the North Carolina Association of Realtors AND the North Carolina Bar Association.

As a home buyer or seller in the Lake Norman area, there are several things you should do or know if you are currently thinking about or in the process of buying or listing a home:

  • Always make sure that the forms you are provided by your Realtor are the most current form available. Our four most commonly used forms, the Offer to Purchase and Contract (Form 2-T), The Additional Provisions Addendum (Form 2A11-T), The Exclusive Right to Sell Listing Agreement (form 101), The Exclusive Right to Represent Buyer Agreement (Form 201) as well as many others were revised on July 1, 2008. At the very bottom of each form you will find the Standard Form number and the date adopted. Check to make sure it says: Adopted 7/2008. (Or later depending on when you read this!)
  • Have your REALTOR explain the changes in the forms, especially if you have used the old forms recently.
  • There is a 60-day grace period to transition to new forms.

Here is a very brief summary of the most notable changes to these 4 forms. *This is general information only. Please note, I am NOT an attorney. If you have any questions regarding these changes please consult a real estate attorney. I would be happy to provide you with names and phone numbers for several in the Mooresville Lake Norman area!

Offer to Purchase and Contract (Form 2-T)

  • Important clarification of the loan condition (paragraph 5) including when the buyer can terminate the contract with return of their earnest money and when the earnest money will be forfeited due to a breach in the purchase contract.
  • Clarifications and changes related to Paragraph 16, 1, 17, 27.

Additional Provisions Addendum (Form 2A11-T)

  • New “Agreed-Upon Repairs and/or Improvement” provision has been added
  • “Closing of Existing Contract” provision has been eliminated as it is now addressed in the new Contingent Sale Addendum

Exclusive Right to Sell Listing Agreement (Form 101)

  • New wording has been incorporated into the Dual Agency paragraph 20 and they have eliminated the separate Dual Agency Addendum we have been using.
  • Additions include a paragraph encouraging Sellers and agents to discuss advantages of having a home inspection done before listing
  • Clarification/new wording added to address ethical duties of Realtors regarding disclosure of multiple offers and a new Real Estate Commission rule prohibiting “shopping of offers” by real estate agents. Briefly, if the seller authorizes disclosure, a firm shall disclose the existence of other offers, who obtained the other offer(s) but”disclosing the price or other material terms contained in a party’s offer to purchase, sell, lease,rent or option real property to a competing party” may not be done without the “express authority of the party making the offer”. In other words, without the buyers permission, price or terms must not be disclosed to other buyers or their agents.

Exclusive Right to Represent Buyer Agreement (Form 201)

  • The same changes have been made to this form as were made to the listing agreement regarding incorporating the content from our previous Dual Agency Addendum
  • This form also has been modified to address the new North Carolina Real Estate Commission rule prohibiting the shopping of offers by real estate agents.

There is also a great, new Form 780 which is a form created to help real estate agents keep track of the increasing number of contractual deadlines and whether they are “time is of the essence” or not.

Again, this is meant to be a brief overview for Lake Norman buyers and sellers of just some of the many changes/additions and deletions to North Carolina real estate contracts that went into affect as of July 1, 2008. For more information, please contact your Realtor or real estate attorney.

There are some indications of major changes to our Offer to Purchase and Contract in the near future. I will devote an entire article to our currently rarely used “Option 2? and why there may be a move to make this the sole option for home buyers and sellers.

RELATED ARTICLES

Lake Norman Real Estate: What does the Closing Attorney Do?

What you need to know about buying real estate in North Carolina

Lake Norman, Our Inland Sea

Relocating to Lake Norman: What you should consider before buying real estate Part 1

Lake Norman Relocation Resources

 

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lake norman real estate

Lake Norman Home Builders Launch “The Lake” Magazine

Lake Norman shoreline

The Lake Norman Home Builders Association launched a new quarterly magazine ”The Lake” this spring which, according to Larry Airey, Executive Officer of the Lake Norman Builders Association, “flew off the shelves”!

To substantiate that Lake Norman home builders are not just interested but taking action about “Green” building, their second issue of The Lake, Summer 2008, features the “Green Building Guide“. On February 14th of this year the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released their “Model Green Homebuilding Guidelines” which are discussed in this feature article with great examples and insights from local builders.

As one who is interested in sustainable buiding, it was great to learn that the Lake Norman Home Builders Association has created their own “Green Building Council” which is “dedicated to educating and incorporating environmental considerations into every phase of the Lake Norman home building process.”

This article also outlines the guiding principles of green building:

  • Lot design, preparation and development
  • Resource efficiency
  • Energy efficiency
  • Water efficiency
  • Indoor environmental quality
  • Operation, maintenance and homeowner education
  • Global Impact

And, it goes on to interview Lake Norman Builders, some of whom are certified Green professionals, about their projects, their focus and their interpretation about how to implement these principles when building a home here in the Lake Norman area. I often read about green efforts nationally but this article goes into great depth with local builders.

Keeping in the green theme, there are two addtional articles “Green your home with these remodeling tips” and finally “Green Communities“.

I must say I am quite impressed with this new publication. The quality of the design, photography and local information provided to future and current home owners is top notch. Right now “The Lake” is available in magazine rack around Lake Norman but they are planning to have the ability to mail it directly to homes by the fall issue. I highly recommend that you get a copy before they run out!

OTHER ARTICLES of INTEREST

Lake Norman Relocation Resources

Lake Norman Sports Resource Guide

Relocating to Lake Norman

10 Things Lake Norman Waterfront Home Buyers Should Know BEFORE buying

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Historic Downtown Mooresville, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Historic Downtown Mooresville: New shops, Art Galleries and Restaurants!

Historic Downtown Mooresville

Don’t let the last phase of the Historic Downtown Mooresville street beautification keep you from exploring and enjoying an amazing array of new shops, art galleries and restaurants! If you haven’t been downtown in just 6 months you will be amazed at the changes! Most of the historic buildings have had beautiful face-lifts, the sidewalks and crosswalks have inlaid bricks, the park next to the Mooresville Artist Guild Depot has brand new landscaping and there is new signage and lamp posts.

Behind the temporary cement barriers on the north end of downtown Mooresville, there are some exciting new shops ready to welcome you! There is plenty of parking at the Charles Mack Citizen Center if you can’t find any on street parking.

 

 

Right on the corner just down from Cotton Ketchie’s renowned Landmark Galleries you will find the new 202 North Main Fine Wines store which offers a great selection of higher-end wines and wine tastings.

 

Be sure to check out “The Corner of Art and Main”, Downtown Mooresville’s Artwalk featuring live music, art and festivities. Enjoy wine and cheese as you browse the many shops on Main and Broad Streets that will be featuring the works of local artists on the second Friday evening of every month.

If you haven’t visited Historic Downtown Mooresville lately, now is a great time to go!

 

UPDATED in August 2014: 

27 Reasons to Visit Historic Downtown Mooresville Part 1

27 Reasons to Visit Historic Downtown Mooresville Part 2

27 Reasons to Visit Historic Downtown Mooresville Part 3

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Lake Norman Real Estate Market Reports

Lake Norman Real Estate: Friday Hot Sheet

FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2008 LAKE NORMAN RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE HOT SHEET
Hot Sheet6/27/086/10/085/12/084/12/083/10/08
New Listings142149189169174
Back- on Market5555464240
Price Changes248243212204154
Pending Sales5547493752
Sold4147454435
Conditional + Contingent1819181722

 

Announcing a new feature for this Lake Norman Real Estate Blog:  The Friday Hot Sheet!

Despite all of our technology, one part of our real estate practice has consistently been an important part of our routine…pulling the daily, or in this case, bi-monthly Hot Sheet which gives us a snapshot update for all residential real estate activity in Lake Norman for the past two weeks.

Above is a chart with today’s numbers and then, for comparison, numbers I pulled throughout the spring.  Here are some highlights:

  • The past two weeks almost mirror the first two weeks in June.
  • New listings are trending down which we would expect at this time of year.  Considering our large inventory, this is a good thing!
  • There are more listings coming back-on-the-market than earlier this year which usually indicates they have fallen out of contract.  This could be due to a number of factors like problems with loans, appraisals, inspections or buyers remorse…this is an indication of the uncertainty of our market!
  • The number of price changes has risen substantially since early spring indicating that price-reductions are increasing as sellers realize they are over-priced.
  • Pending sales are at their highest which shows a recent upswing in sales about to close.
  • Solds (contracts that closed in the past two weeks) were down slightly but have remained about the same since April.
  • Contingent and Conditional Sales are almost identical showing no obvious trends or changes.

Next week I will do my second quarter sales analysis by price-range which will go in to a lot more detail about our sales trends.

Have a great weekend!

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lake norman real estate

Lake Norman Real Estate: First-Time Home Buyers are Welcome!

Lake Norman area First-time-buyer communitiesIf you read my article about the schizophrenic nature of the towns along the east side of Lake Norman, then you will already know that the east side of the Interstate 77 is where you will find the original Main Streets and older homes. These areas have also experienced significant growth but because they were mostly farmland and are a fair distance to Lake Norman, the housing growth has focused on more moderately priced homes.

In Mooresville, three of the most popular subdivisions where prices are in the $100,000’s – $200,000s are Curtis Pond, Kistler Mill and Linwood Farms. All three of these housing developments are within the city limits of Mooresville so enjoy their excellent schools, and city services like water and sewer.

Curtis Pond in Mooresville Lake NormanCurtis Pond is a very popular, large subdivision offering new and resale homes from as low as $128,900 to their new basement homes at $279,900 with an average sale this past spring of $206,405. The homes range in size from about 1000 square feet to 3200 square feet. Most streets have sidewalks on one side making them perfect for walking and visiting with neighbors. Almost any time of day you will see children playing, neighbors chatting on their front porches or taking a walk to one of their two pools. (There was a bit of a fuss about which neighbors got to use the original pool but the second pool area is nearing completion. If you are considering a home in Curtis Pond make sure that you completely understand what rights you have to the pools!)

 

Mooresville Lake Norman homeRight across the street from Curtis Pond is Kistler Mill, which is their sister development. Smaller and completely built out, Kistler Mill (see picture on the left) offers homes from the $100,000’s to the low to mid $200,000s. They too have sidewalks and enjoy a neighborly environment.

Linwood Farms is a Ryland community located just out from Historic Downtown Mooresville. Smaller and a bit cozier in feel, there are homes currently for sale from $167,500 – $298,000 that range in size from 1200 square feet to about 3400 square feet. Like Curtis Pond and Kistler Mill, they offer mostly two-story homes. Community amenities include a pool, playground and club house.

These are just a few of our many subdivisions in this great price range!

Added 9/14/08: Harris Crossing is a brand new, smaller subdivision in the same area of Mooresville with homes starting in the high $180,000’s.

RELATED ARTICLES

Relocating to Lake Norman: What you should know before buying real estate Part 1

Relocating to Lake Norman: What you should know before buying real estate Part 2

Relocating to Lake Norman: What you should know before buying real estate: Part 3

Relocating to Lake Norman: What you should know before buying real estate: Part 4

Relocating to Lake Norman: What you should know before buying real estate Part 5

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Lake Norman waterfront homes

Lake Norman Real Estate: Is the Luxury Home Market Coming Back to Life?

Lake Norman waterfront estateTwo things prompted my to write this post about high-end real estate sales in Lake Norman: A series of national articles about ˜affluent or ˜wealthy home buyers and several recent Lake Norman sales of homes over $3 million. Since there have been NO sales in the greater Lake Norman area of homes over $3 million since 5/14/07, the points in the three articles I read made some sense:

˜Wealthy Homeowners Take Advantage of Marketby Blanche Evans of Realty Times (4/17/08) is an analysis of ˜The Annual Survey Of Affluence and Wealth in America from American Express and the Harrison Group. (Participants were divided into three groups: the upper-middle class $100,000 – $149,000; the affluent $150,000 – $249,000; and the supper affluent $250,000 +). The bottom line of this report? 40% of the nations wealthy plan to buy real estate in 2008. ˜The wealthy view real estate as diversification and % believe real estate values will rebound.

˜Wealthy see buying opportunites in sluggish real-estate by Amy Hoak of MarketWatch also uses the American Express/Harrison Group survey as the foundation of her article. Of the highest income earners, she writes that ˜40% said they are in the market to acquire real estate this year. However this figure drops to 17% of their upper-middle class participants.

˜If Trump and Buffett can do it, so can you by Bernice Ross is the second of a two-part series she wrote about ˜reluctant buyers which was published by Inman News. ˜Its no secret that people like Warren Buffett and Donald Trump are actively involved in purchasing as much real estate as possible¦The smartest people in the real estate business are contrarians. They sell when prices increase and buy when prices are going down.

Here in our Lake Norman Area, $2,000,000 is probably where our true luxury home market begins. However, I found it very interesting that there had been no sales over $2,950,000 since May of 2007¦until this month. Showings of the highest priced homes have picked up and two Lake Norman estates recently went ‘under contract’: 20940 Bethelwood Lane (list price is $5,750,000) and 17216 Connor Quay Ct. (Listing price is $3,830,000).

It is hard to know if this is a true sign that luxury home buyers are returning to Lake Norman but it certainly indicates that there are some positive moves in that direction.

*Thank you to Chris Lowery of www.Open2View.com for the photograph!

**Update 9/14/08: The property on Bethalwood Lane closed at $4,900,000.

RELATED ARTICLES

Is ‘The Point’ Lake Normans Ulitmate Luxury Home Community?

Lake Norman Luxury Real Estate Market: The intimate private community of West View

A Lake Norman Sanctuary: A Lake Home with a Craftsman Feel

Lake Normans Cornelius: From small village to posh suburb

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lake norman real estate, Lake Norman waterfront homes

Is “The Point” Lake Norman and Mooresville NC’s Ultimate Luxury Community?

 

Lake Norman's Luxury Waterfront and Golf Community The PointPicture 1,200 acres of real estate with lush gardens nestled in tall trees along 18 miles of the most beautiful shoreline of Lake Norman and you can begin to imagine arguably Lake Normans preeminent housing community: The Point. Now add an 18-hole golf course designed by Greg Norman, a Nantucket style village and 900 luxury homes built on large home sites by a group of the most respected builders hand-picked by Crescent Communities and the result is an upscale country club lifestyle blended perfectly with the casual Lake Norman lifestyle. Welcome to The Point!

Waterfront Estate at The Point Lake Norman

What makes The Point special?

  • The Point has been recognized for their environmentally sensitive landscape design capturing the natural beauty as well as their outstanding landscape maintenance
  • The Point has received numerous acknowledgements and awards for outstanding building and design achievements in real estate
  • The Greg Norman designed Golf Course is known for a course that incorporates the magnificent land with the beautiful lake into a very challenging yet playable course
  • Trump National Golf Club Charlotte  offers an incredible range of services and activities including their Nantucket Style Village
  • Some say they feel like their are on a permanent vacation!

Lake Norman Waterfront Estate in The Point There are 13 phases of housing at The Point most of which have been completed but there are still custom homes available as well as some lots. The Community map provides a good overview of the real estate homesites.

While many homes reflect the feel of New England, because these are custom homes built by at least 15 different builders you will find everything from French Provincial, to Colonial to traditional and contemporary styles of architecture.

There are currently 113 homes for sale and re-sale ranging in price from $569,000 to $4,500,000 and ranging in size from about 3000 square feet to over 9000. The average sale price is just about $1,100,000.

The beauty, friendly neighborhoods, luxury watefront homes are just a part of what makes The Point stand out as Lake Normans most popular housing communities. It is the sense of community and the amenities ˜for every lifestyle that make The Point an almost self-sufficient neighborhood.

The Nantucket-style village with its cobblestone streets is the heart of the community and the center of the myriad amenities offered for residents of all ages including a General Store, a Tavern, Fitness Center, the Village Green and Meeting House, Golf Pro Shop, Children’s activity rooms. Since writing this article, these wonderful amenities are now part of Trump National Golf Club Charlotte!

The Point welcomes children of all ages with open arms!They even have a separate CD available that just focuses on all of the activities offered to children including a full-time activities director, sports including swim teams, golf lessons, water sports from wake boarding to sailing, parties and fun events like movies at the pool, arts and crafts and so much more.

There is a Junior Olympic swimming pool, a slash pool with a towering lighthouse waterslide and play equipment like water jets, toys and games Finally, there is a Tot pool with play fountain and a cabana snack bar.

Imagine a summer camp on steroids¦thats what children are offered!

Another important factor for parents to consider is the popular public schools that service children living at The Point: Woodand Height Elementary, Brawley Middle School and Lake Norman High School

So, if you are looking for Lake Norman waterfront real estate or Golf Club lifestyle but the comforts of an upscale community with myriad sports and amenities for all ages, visit The Point.

*Update 9/14/08 Sales have been very slow at The Point prompting many price reductions so if you haven’t looked for a while, you might be surprised at the prices.

RELATED ARTICLES

The Harbour at The Pointe; A Popular Lake Norman Subdivision

A Lake Norman Sanctuary: A Lake Home with a Craftsman Feel

Lake Normans Cornelius: From small village to posh suburb

Lake Norman Relocation Resources

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Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations

Mooresville’s Brawley School Road Widening and Development Update

Anyone who lives in Mooresville down Brawley School Road knows that changes seem to be happening literally every day! Not only are the utility poles being installed in their new locations well inside many homes’ and businesses’ front yards requiring myriad trees to be removed, but more businesses have also moved since my last update and quite a few homes are now vacated and have bright red numbers on them.

By far the most dramatic of the changes is the preparation of the land for the new Mayhew Promenade across from Fast Phil’s which has changed the entire landscape around Stutts Road.

Saturday one of two remaining homes on the Mayhew Promenade lot was officially burned by the fire department while quite a crowd of neighbors looked on. When I stopped this morning to take this picture there was still one spot of flames and smoke.

It is hard to believe that just a few weeks ago this huge area was covered with tall trees and homes were nestled away in them.

In the meantime, The Auto Spa and several other businesses along Brawley School Road have also closed to make room for the widening which is now officiallly being given a “let date” (the date the project is awarded to the contractor) of August 19th for the section from Chuckwood to Williamson Road.

As a resident of Brawley School I must admit I have mixed emotions. Yes, I am very excited at the thought of having 4 wide lanes to ease the traffic. But, I am also a bit sad to see us loosing our wonderful wooded, peaceful roadsides and signs of a slower, gentler times gone by.

 * Update 9/14/08: The utility poles have been installed, most structures that had to be removed are now gone and the Bloom Market is looking great!

RELATED ARTICLES ABOUT LAKE NORMAN’S GROWTH

Mooreville’s Brawley School Road Widening Has Begun!

Lake Norman Relocation Resources

Relocating to Lake Norman

60 Things You Should Know About Life in Lake Norman, Part 1

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Lake Norman Real Estate: Significant Change in Square Footage Information Beginning March 27, 2008

A rather significant change to the data provided about Mooresville Lake Norman homes will take place this week. On March 27, 2008, the display of square footage for all active listings will change from an exact number provided by the listing agent to a RANGE.

The quoting of square footage has been controversial and problematic for Realtors as well as home buyers and sellers for years. I remember when got my license in 1991, due to a lawsuit, many of the local real estate firms had stopped providing any square footage numbers at all.

Then we progressed to a database that required us to provide an assessors figure, a seller’s or a figure obtained by an appraiser and we had to state the source of the figure.

When I moved to Mooresville in 2005 I was truly amazed to discover that the North Carolina Real Estate Commission required every listing agent to provide the actual square footage obtained from his/her own measurement. We did sample problems in our broker license classes and not one person came up with the exact same measurement! (I ALWAYS hire a professional to measure my listings).

While this requirement has not changed, starting this Thursday, March 27th, the Charlotte Multiple Listing Service will change from displaying an exact figure to a range. The range will be determined by the following formula:

  • 10% down then rounded down to the nearest hundred, and 5% up and rounded up to the nearest hundred

What hasn’t changed: Listing agents will still input an exact square footage into the MLS program and searching by square footage will work just as it has so when searching by square footage, only listings that include the actual square footage input will come up in the search results. Once a sale has been recorded the exact square footage number will replace the range on all reports.

A few interesting facts:

  • The Residential Square Footage Guidelines put out by the N.C. Real Estate Commission indicates that “deviations of less than 5% will seldom be cause for concern”.
  • A room must have a ceiling height of 7? for it’s square footage to be counted.

It will be interesting to see how this change is received!

 Related Articles about Buying an Selling Real Estate in the Lake Norman Area:

Stop, Dual Agency! Proceed with Caution!

Lake Norman Buyers: What you should know about Agent Bonuses

What you need to know about buying real estate in North Carolina

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Lake Norman Real Estate: The Farms; a Cresecent Community with a more casual and natural feel

The Farms community in Mooresville

 

The Lake Norman neighborhoods I have featured so far have all been waterfront communities where the focus is on the lake. However, there are other lifestyles offered around Lake Norman that are also very popular particularly wooded retreats with a focus on privacy and an almost rural feel. It is all about nature and a desire for a peaceful and even serene environment.

An example of this is the recent Crescent Community The Farms; another quality housing development on Mooresville’s Brawley School peninsula on Lake Norman.

Instead of the more formal feeling of The Point or The Harbour at The Point just down the road, The Farms has a casual atmosphere. The rolling hills, heavily wooded lots (which range from .7 to 2.5 acres) and the absence of curbs and sidewalks create a private and rural environment. Most homes share a more traditional design style with large front porches and a touch of Craftsman detailing.

Since this is a relatively new development buyers can choose to build their own or buy a completely finished home built by one of Crescent Communities Featured Builders who are hand-picked by Crescent for their quality and stability. They also maintain an architectural control review to maintain the aesthetics of the neighborhoods.

Just the Facts:

  • Broke ground in 2003
  • 600 acres (6 Phases) with 450 planned homesites
  • Minimum square footage requirements are 2200 for a ranch or 2400 for a 2-story
  • Mostly 3-car garages and at least 4 bedrooms
  • Very few waterfront lots but Hager’s Creek public boat launch is just down the street
  • Boat Storage
  • Low Iredell Taxes
  • Iredell County Schools
  • Activity Director at the Homestead Activity Center
  • Located in Mooresville between McKendree and Chuckwood Roads on the Brawley School Peninsula

 

Crescent Communities are known for their incredible amenities and recreation and The Farms is no exception! The Homestead Activity Center , with architecture reminiscent of old barns, boasts:

  • Pavilion for community events
  • Competition-sized Junior Olympic pool
  • Six tennis courts for league play
  • Activity fields for soccer, baseball and softball
  • Fitness trail with exercise stations
  • Playground
  • Picnic areas and activity lawn

There are currently 42 active listings in The Farms ranging in price from $529,000 to $1,275,000. Since it’s opening, 190 properties have been sold through our MLS (some new construction homes do not get listed in our Multiple Listing Service) with an average sales price of $622,051 and average size of 3814 square feet.

The Farms is just one of many options in and around Mooresville for those wanting a quiet retreat to come home to after work!

 

RELATED ARTICLES

The Harbour at The Pointe; A Popular Lake Norman Subdivision

Lake Norman’s waterfront communites: North Shore and Pine Isle

Lake Norman Luxury Homes Market Report

Relocating to Mooresville NC

Lake Norman Relocation Resources

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Lake Norman waterfront homes

Lake Norman Waterfront Homes Have Water Again!

Lake Norman waterfront home views

I always love showing buyers waterfront homes because Lake Norman is just so beautiful. But, today was special. Even in the smallest of coves there was plenty of water for the first time since our drought started last summer.

Our beautiful lake is gleaming, the boats are back at their docks and our waterfront homes look better than ever!

My friend, who moved here from Texas a year ago, commented on the fact that when they first moved here they had no idea how large Lake Norman really was and that it is truly more like an inland ocean than a lake. I thought that was great perspective to share with anyone thinking about moving here.

Just to confirm officially, I came home and checked the Lake Norman water levels on Duke-Energy’s website. They are actually 1.5′ ABOVE our target level of 95.9 and are, as of 2:28 today, a very comfortable 97.4′.

Add a profusion of blossoming trees, daffodils, bright yellow forsythia and the budding of myriad bushes to the sparkling lake and you might just say it was a perfect day to be in real estate!

ARTICLES

The Harbour at The Pointe; A Popular Lake Norman Subdivision

A Lake Norman Sanctuary: A Lake Home with a Craftsman Feel

Lake Norman’s Cornelius: From small village to posh suburb

Relocating to Mooresville NC

Lake Norman Relocation Resources

 

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lake norman real estate, LKN Realty LLC, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Why a Lake Norman Real Estate Blogsite and how to use it!

When I tell people that I have a real estate blog I usually get an odd sort of nod in response as if to say, that’s nice but why?Aren’t blogs for politics, pundits and social media addicts?   And, why a blog rather than a traditional, static real estate website?

What is so cool is that this blog is actually both a real estate website where you can simply search all day for properties in the Lake Norman area AND a blog where you can also read over 700 articles I have written about my favorite topics:

  1. The Lake Norman real estate market ( I do at least two comprehensive home sales analysis every month to keep my readers up to date on the everything from overall home sales to waterfront home sales to new construction and even comparing Lake Norman to the national housing market).
  2. Relocating to Lake Norman
  3. Life in Lake Norman
  4. Local news that my readers might find particularly interesting
  5. Photos and more Photos and videos are coming too!

The traditional real estate websites all seem the same to me. You can go and search for listings in every way imaginable, get standard, boiler-plate information for buyers and sellers about real estate and learn about why you simply must use Rita Real Estate because she is #1 and sold millions of houses and has a really old photo that doesn’t even look like her.  (Okay, that was simply mean! But true ;-).

 My Lake Norman Real Estate blog is a whole different way to learn about real estate which enables the consumer to get all of the services and property search tools found on old-fashioned sites AND learn real, up-to-date and personalized information about a community, neighborhoods, real estate sales trends and guidance from me, a real estate agent who is working every day in the community about which I write.

How to use this Lake Norman Blog-site

Property Searches:

Notice the SEARCH FOR HOMES link at the top of my home page. My blog’s property search has all of the MLS listings that typical real estate websites have as well as some cool tools to research a property, find out the absorption rates and get an estimate of value which uses a unique program created by a local Charlotte based company.

 

This is Lake Norman:

This is similar to what you are reading right now!


Home: 

This will always bring you back to the home page when you click on it

 

Diane Aurit:

Here is where you learn about me including my experience, education and client testimonials

 

Contact :  Email or call me anytime!  diane@dianeaurit.com

 

It is my goal to convey to my readers my passion for Lake Norman, my expertise as a Realtor and my desire to work with clients with whom I share a mutual trust and respect.

So that’s it! Welcome to the Blogosphere!

Now, if you have any questions or suggestions for topics that I should write about please leave me a comment or contact me directly!

 

 

 

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Does Lake Norman NC have affordable housing?

Would you be surprised if I told you that there are 43 single family homes for sale in the towns surrounding Lake Norman that are listed UNDER $100,000? What you don’t see on most real estate websites about Lake Norman is any information about the modest older homes that are dotted about our more rural areas and clustered around our downtowns.

All of the communties of Mooresville, Davidson, Cornelius, Huntersville and Troutman on the east side of Lake Norman truly have two distinct cultures that stem from their historic roots as railroad stopping points for our cotton farmers and the spectacular housing and retail growth along the lake in the past two decades.

The real estate developments on the west side of these Lake Norman towns that include all of the lake shore homes and much of the recent retail growth came about upon the completion of the I-77 in 1975.

However, east of I-77, are the roads that parallels the railroad tracks that run from Charlotte north to Statesville and beyond. It is around this old Main Street that most of our older homes can be found.

Our historic downtowns were all built along or in close proximity to Main Street in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. At the same time several large cotton mills were established, the most significant and long standing being the Burlington Mill in Mooresville that closed in 1998 and the Cannon Mill farther southeast in Kannapolis. The mill owners built self-sufficient villages or what we refer to as “mill houses” for their textile workers.

From 1902 – 1930 over 400 homes were built for the influx of cotton workers in Mooresville. A variety of floor plans were built; 3 bedroom T-shaped houses with front and back porches were most common.

Today, the modest historic homes and mill houses clustered around Main Street are just beginning to be appreciated by home buyers. And that means they are still affordable! Of the 18 active real estate listings under $100,000 that are not mobile homes, 14 are mill houses located in the Historic Mooresville Mill Village. They range in size from 640 sq. ft. to just over 1200 sq. ft.; were built between 1911 to 1970 and range in price from $65,000 – $99,900.

Throughout the South there is a textile heritage movement as well as a growing appreciation for historic homes and preservation.

The residents of homes in the Mooresville Mill Village have organized their efforts to renovate and restore these special pieces of living history by creating the Mooresville Mill Village Historic District. On their website you can learn more about the history, as well as their current restoration efforts.

Once the urban village development Mooresville Mills, which will be built on the site of the old Burlington Mill, is completed the real estate values in the entire mill area will be exciting to watch

LEARN MORE ABOUT HISTORIC MOORESVILLE

27 Reasons to Visit Historic Downtown Mooresville Part 1

27 Reasons to Visit Historic Downtown Mooresville Part 2

27 Reasons to Visit Historic Downtown Mooresville Part 3

Fresh Sushi, Hush Puppies, The Scoop About Relocating to Mooresville

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Just the facts about Lake Norman, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Learn all about Lake Norman from THE expert: Gus Gustafson!

If you truly want to learn anything and everything about Lake Norman, there is only one man to turn to: Gus Gustafson! Although I have seen his fishing articles in The Charlotte Observer I had never met him until I had the pleasure of hearing him speak to our Mooresville/Lake Norman Exchange Club this past Thursday.

For some reason I had always expected him to be a crusty old fisherman and I couldn’t have been more wrong! It turns out Gus Gustafson is the Cotton Ketchie of Lake Norman. Yes, he is exceptionally knowledgeable about all aspect of Lake Norman, but his sense of humor and very tall, strong and lively demeanor makes an entire room light up; you would hardly know you are actually LEARNING about Lake Norman or fishing!

Here are just of few of Gus’s credentials:

  • Gus has fished Lake Norman since it was created in the early 1960’s
  • He has his USCG Captain’s License
  • He is the “premier fishing guide on Lake Norman”
  • He has a weekly column, “Fishin’ with Capt. Gus”, which is published in The Charlotte Observer, News at Norman, The Lake Norman Times and many others.
  • Gus’s website: Lake Norman Stripe Fishing, features a weekly column, a monthly fishing forecast, and “Fish Tales and Other Stories Told by Gus”
  • Owner of Lake Norman Ventures Inc which provides everything from fishing guide services to luxury chartered boat tours of Lake Norman to the Lake Norman Laugh Liner!
  • Innovator or seller of boating and fishing products which he sells online on his website.
  • Gus provides speeches and demonstrations to clubs and organizations abut lake issues, boating safety
  • Gus provides fishing clinics and seminars
  • President of Lake Norman Striper Swipers

While you might think that his knowledge and passion is all about fishing you would be terribly wrong. It was clear after hearing him speak that his passion is all about Lake Norman…from the water quality, to the best times of year to visit Lake Norman State Park to when to expect to see Blue Herons, Osprey, Loons and where, down to specific Markers like D4 and D6, to the nature walk and movie at the Duke Energy Explorium.

In his most recent article written on February 10th entitled: Rising Water Levels, Gus writes about lake levels and how they affect fishing, some tips and a list of upcoming events like a new boating course on February 19th “Navigating Lake Norman” held at Mitchell Community College. He also provides current lake levels and a Hot Spot of the Week for fishing.

I plan to hire him to take me and my husband on a long tour of Lake Norman so that I can take my Lake Norman home-buyers out on our boat and introduce them to our incredible lake while viewing homes from the water!

RELATED ARTICLES

  Are You Ready to Navigate the Waters of Lake Norman

Lake Norman Relocation Resources

Relocating to Lake Norman

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Charlotte #4 Best Cities for Bargain House-Hunters According to Forbes!

I don’t often take too much stock in real estate news sources top ten lists because they tend to make gross generalities that sometimes contradict reality for our Lake Norman real estate market. However, this recent article in Forbes: Best Cities For Bargain House-Hunters , caught my attention because Raleigh NC was #2 and Charlotte #4.

Well, what did they consider when ranking for “bargain house-hunters”?

They were looking for markets with:

  • Strong job growth
  • Relatively low foreclosures
  • High inventory of active listings both new construction and resale

So, a buyers market, healthy job growth and more inventory than buyers…that sure sounds like Lake Norman AND Charlotte!

When I first saw the headline I thought of locations that have large foreclosure rates and unemployment like parts of Michigan, Florida and California. But, truly, those may seem like bargains yet they don’t have the strong foundations of jobs that we do here in Lake Norman and Charlotte and they have too many foreclosures.

Here is what Forbes said about Charlotte: “Just like in-state neighbor Raleigh, Charlotte has expanded quickly as the result of an economic boom that has drawn many residents from the North and Northeast. The financial sector is largely responsible and this is something to keep an eye on as banks’ woes continue. While the city continues to growl, building activity has supplied plenty of inventory on the market keeping thing in the buyer’s favor.”

Just like the Three Bears, we are not too hot or too cold but just right for buyers!

RELATED ARTICLES

Lake Norman Relocation Resources

Relocating to Lake Norman

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman reaches out to newcomers of all ages!

 

So, you are finally here. You’ve moved to Lake Norman, whether for work or like me and my family because you fell in love with it, and now that you are here you turn around and realize you are complete strangers! How do you go about meeting new friends here in Lake Norman?

Trust me, I have moved many, many times in my life and I have never found a community more welcoming to newcomers. When we moved here the sellers of our new home had neighbors over to meet us even before our sale was final.

Perhaps it is because Lake Norman and the greater Charlotte area is the destination of so many “transplants” from around the country. But, since so many of us are newcomers, it truly was an almost seamless transition for us.

One of the best resources is newcomers clubs. I am a member of the Mooresville/Lake Norman Newcomers Club; a group of about 200 women that meet the first Wednesday of every month at 10:00a.m. at the Lake Norman Christian Ministries located at 2940 Charlotte Hwy (Hwy 21) just south of Brawley School Rd. The list of monthly events includes: Bowling, Canasta, Euchre, Watercolor Painting, “Chick Flicks” (movies!), Couples Bridge, Oil Painting, Ladies Bridge, Book Club, Couples Euchre, Hiking, Crafts, Out-To-Lunch-Bunch, Garden Club, Ladies Poker, Southern Living Lunch Group (sharing favorite recipes), Golf, Bunco, and special evening programs and outings.

The men’s version of our club is called The Golden Boys. They enjoy almost every sport you can imagine from sailing to golf to tennis as well as many other get-togethers.

Mom’s in Lake Norman have an incredible resource: LakeNormanMommies.com. The Mommies network is a free community for moms of all ages in the Lake Norman area. “LakeNormanMommies.com offers a simple way to connect with local moms for friendship, support and fun. Members meet on our forums to share information on everything from where to get the best haircut to tips on transitioning to a “big kid” bed.” They also offer face-to-face events throughout the Lake Norman area and are a great resource for finding out more about the local schools.

Finally, there are the traditional community churches, schools and civic organizations like The Exchange Club, Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, plus quite a few business networking groups. As President-Elect of the Mooresville/Lake Norman Exchange Club it would be my pleasure to have you as my guest to any of our business lunches held the second and fourth Thursdays of every month at the Charles Mack Citizens Center in Downtown Mooresville.

RELATED ARTICLES

Lake Norman Relocation Resources

Relocating to Lake Norman

Mooresville on Money Magazine’s List of Best Places to Live

Lake Norman, Our Inland Sea

Lake Norman Where to Find Fresh Produce Stands and Farmers Markets

Are You Ready to Navigate the Waters of Lake Norman?

What You Need to Know About Buying Real Estate In North Carolina

What is it Like Living In Race City USA?

Fresh Sushi? Hush Puppies? The Scoop About Relocating to Mooresville Lake Norman

 

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

The New North Carlotte Trader Joe’s is Awesome!

It was like walking into my best friend’s house after not seeing her for a several years. A few things had changed but when I walked through the doors I felt this warm and fuzzy feeling. I had just rekindled an old friendship and rediscovered a part of my past.

The familiar greeting by one of the crew members, the wall of fresh flowers at the entrance and the Hawaiian theme felt like putting on old slippers. I was home.

When I first heard about Trader Joes coming to the greater Charlotte area I felt that now life in Lake Norman was truly as perfect as any place in the US could be. Yes, I might also like a Whole Foods and a Peet’s Coffee but I can live without them.

Trader WHO?

So what is it about Trader Joe’s that creates such a cult-like following? I’m amazed at how many of my Lake Norman & Mooresville friends and clients are equally excited about Trader Joe’s. Everyone will have a different answer to this and they will all be true. Going to Trader Joe’s reminds me a bit of shopping in Berkeley when I was in college. You get a sense of being surrounded by healthy, fresh, highly nutritional and even organic foods. But, it also makes you feel a bit like you are a gourmet because they have exotic products that you can’t get in regular super markets. Finally, it makes you want to be a better person. You simply know that you must use canvas shopping bags. In fact, they even have an awards program for people who bring their own re-usable bags for their groceries!

Trader Joe’s products:

When my husband and I entered the store, we almost immediately went different directions. I went straight to the wall of great salads and prepared meals, the containers of fresh mozzarella cheese, humus dip, the scones and cookies and their frozen Indian and Asian foods. (The pot stickers are great!) My husband headed for the whole-grained baked goods like bran muffins and then directly to the frozen food section where he loaded up with really good frozen Mexican food (especially their green tamales!)

As they say on their website, Trader Joe’s buyers: “travel the world – from exotic locales to local farms and dairies – looking for interesting, great tasting foods and beverages at terrific everyday values.” I highly recommend that you visit the our new Trader Joe’s…it’s really not that far from Lake Norman and well worth the drive!

How to get to Trader Joe’s from Lake Norman

Map to North Charolotte Trader Joe’s We live down Brawley School Rd in Mooresville and the drive was about 28 miles. We took the I-77 south to Exit 18. Turn left on to WT Harris Blvd, turn left on to Mallard Creek Rd and finally right on Mallard Creek Church Rd. The Trader Joe’s is on your left in a new shopping center at the corner of Arbor Drive. The address is 1820 Arbor Drive. 704.688.9578. They are open daily from 9 am – 9 pm. We went on a Saturday morning. There was no traffic on the road and while the store was busy, there was no wait when checking out. I have a feeling this may become a weekly ritual. I hope to see you all there!

INTERESTING LINKS

Fresh Sushi, Hush Puppies; The Scoop About Relocating to Lake Norman

27 Reasons to Visit Historic Downtown Mooresville

Lake Norman Relocation Resource Guide

Trader Joe’s

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Lake Norman Real Estate: Let’s have some fun!

It  is truly amazing how much I learned about Web 2.0,  social networking on the Internet and technology while working on this Lake Norman  real estate blog.

Once in a while I have a little fun while doing research for my real estate and Lake Norman area articles.  Okay, sometimes I have a lot of fun while working on my real estate articles!

I mean, really, doesn’t everyone need a photo with Lake Norman written on a golf ball or a head that says “LKN ROCKS”?

When I wrote my first post (article) for this blog I hardly knew how to add a picture to it let alone place the picture in the right spot, size it or modify it in any way.

It seems like just about every day I find some new, fun and creative website or tool. ImageChef and BigHUGELabs are two of my favorites…and they are free!

I used ImageChef to create all of these Lake Norman photos. You can write just about anything on a great selection of sign images, license plates, sports items, coffee cups, flowers and even etched in the sand. Warning: Once you get started it is really hard to stop so don’t visit this site unless you have lots of time!

BigHUGELabs is another really great site. It enables you to take digital photos and create all sorts of sorts of fun things from Jigsaw puzzles to artistic photo cubes to different types of framing as I used with this Lake Norman sunset photo.

 Okay, so tomorrow I’ll get back to the huge stack of research materials on Lake Norman Real Estate. In the meantime, have fun with these!

MORE FUN AROUND LAKE NORMAN:

Moving to Lake Norman North Carolina: Amazing Discoveries

Learn About Lake Norman NC Barbecue

27 Reasons to Visit Historic Downtown Mooresville

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Lake Norman Real Estate: January 11th Home Mortgage Market Update

Lake Norman Real Estate Mortgage Update: January 11, 2008

As potential Mooresville and Lake Norman home buyers and home sellers I know how important and difficult it must be to fully understand today’s complicated mortgage market. Rates have been going down all this week; there were Fed speeches and I just heard that our own Charlotte-based Bank of America will be buying Countrywide. I decided it would be best to provide you with some insider insight in to the ever-changing mortgage market and how it will affect your Lake Norman home buying or selling process.

It is my pleasure to introduce you all to Matthew Rosov, CMPS of Envision Lending Group. I have been reading his daily updates about the housing market and mortgage rates for quite some time. He is brief and to the point and has earned great respect within the real estate community:

~

I’m honored that Diane requested that I write for you, her loyal Mooresville Lake Norman readers, this week’s area mortgage market update.

For scheduled news, the early part of the week was rather slow. A few of the regional Fed Market chairmen were scheduled to give speeches to various groups. They all agreed that the Fed would react accordingly to the various economic reports that are due to be released between now and when the Fed meets again later this month.

Thursday saw the release of Jobless Claims for the previous month. The number of jobless claims came in lower then expected which caused rates for Thursday to rise a bit.

Overall, bonds have been reacting well to the news and have been trading in multi-year highs translating to the lowest interest rates in the past 2 to 2.5 years!

Remember that mortgage interest rates are actually tied to the FNMA 30-year bond as opposed to the 10-year Treasury note. Also, remember that bad economic news translates to good news for bonds. So in order for mortgage rates to improve the economy needs to have bad things happening.

I will be asking Matthew to write brief updates on a fairly regular basis. (Even though he is located in Maryland he is able to do loans in North Carolina). Please feel free to contact him with any specific questions regarding your Lake Norman area home mortgages at mjrosov@envisionlending.com , 301.536.2875 or visit his website – www.matthewrosov.com

RELATED ARTICLES

Lake Norman Relocation Resources

Lake Norman Sports Resource Guide

Relocating to Lake Norman

10 Things Lake Norman Waterfront Home Buyers Should Know BEFORE buying

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The Real Estate Process, Home Buying and Selling Tips

Lake Norman Real Estate: How to research the Sex Offender and Public Protection Registry

This is one of those subjects that can be uncomfortable to discuss but is very important to many Lake Norman area home buyers. As a Realtor, I want to provide as many resources as possible so that you can find any information you may need to feel comfortable about your family’s safety. Whether you are moving to Lake Norman or already own a home here, I hope you will familiarize yourself with The North Carolina Sex Offender Registry

On the North Carolina Sex Offender and Public Protection Registry website you can type in an address and search by 1, 3 or a 5 mile-radius to see not just how many registered sex offenders live in the area but also their home addresses and photos.

On this same website you can also sign up to be notified by email if a sex offender reports moving in or out of the radius of the address you requested.

Buyers many times ask me if a neighborhood is “safe”. The very best way for anyone buying real estate in Lake Norman or anywhere to learn about crime rates and data is to contact the local town police department. And, thanks to legislation like Megan’s Law, we now have this sex offender registry available as well.

Here are a number of other online resources:

If you have any questions regarding Lake Norman or Mooresville real estate or ideas for subjects for me to write about drop me an email!

RELATED ARTICLES

Lake Norman Relocation Resources

Relocating to Lake Norman

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Lake Norman Real Estate Market Reports

Lake Norman Real Estate Sales Analysis: 4th Quarter 2007

 

Real estate is in the news just about every day. Between the national decline in sales, the sub-prime mortgage meltdown, increases in foreclosures and tougher mortgage standards, it’s been a busy time for real estate.

I doubt that the fact that we are in a buyers market in Lake Norman is surprising to you. However, once again, I must quote the saying “all real estate is local” and take it one step further. Lake Norman real estate has pockets of strengths and weaknesses as well as overall trends and it is very important to be armed with this specific information when pricing your Lake Norman home for sale or buying your dream home at the lake.

There is no doubt that our Lake Norman properties have been greatly impacted because of the number of transplants who are coming from markets that are very slow. In fact, I think, because the greater Charlotte, Mooresville and Lake Norman economy is growing we probably wouldn’t have experienced a real estate slowdown if we weren’t so tied in to what happens to potential buyers coming from states that have been hard hit by the current national housing decline.

Here is the 4th quarter summary of Lake Norman real estate sales. All data I used was obtained through the Charlotte Multiple Listing Service and include the entire Lake Norman area #13 with the exception of the Catawba River. (Areas 13: 1,2,3,4,5).

 

Lake Norman Fourth Quarter Statistics Summary

  • Number of Active Listings = 1259 @ an average listing price of $715,736 ( vs 1351 active listings last quarter)
  • Number of Contingent Sales = 17 @ an average listing price of $437,607 (vs 20 contingent sales last quarter)
  • Number of Conditional Sales = 30 @ an average listing price of $492,041 (vs. 34 conditional sales last quarter)
  • Number of Pending Sales = 106 @ an average listing price of $520,159 (vs. 154 pending sales last quarter)
  • Number of Solds = 268 @ an average listing price of $495,899 and sales price of $478,708 (vs 360 listings sold with an average listing price of $512,147 and average sales price of $497,699 in the 4th quarter 2006)
  • The average sales price was 96.5% of the final listing price (About the same as last year) (Keep in mind the number of price reductions before selling!)
  • The average days a listing was on the market was 116 where as the average days a listing was on market in the 4th quarter 2006 was 105
  • We currently have a 18.8 months of supply of inventory. (A balanced real estate market has between 6-8 months of inventory. This high number would substantiate that we are definitely in a buyers market in Lake Norman.)
  • Our average sales price has dropped 3.8% versus the same period of 2006

.

  • Our sales volume in the number of units sold has declined 25.5% versus the same period of 2006

What does this all mean? In a nut shell, the sales volume in the Lake Norman area has dropped by a whopping 25.5% but the average sales price has dropped only 3.8% compared to the fourth quarter of 2006 and our inventory of active listings has dropped 6.8% since October 1. Because our number of sales dropped so significantly, even though we have slightly less inventory of homes for sale in Lake Norman we currently have significantly more homes for sale than meets the current demand.

Lake Norman 4th Quarter Sales Analysis  By Price Range:

 

Months of
Price Range# Sold%# Active%DOMSupply
$ 1 to 99,999 93.36%131.03%485.8
$ 100,000 to 199,999 2910.82%473.73%896.5
$ 200,000 to 299,999 6022.39%12610.01%1128.4
$ 300,000 to 399,999 5420.15%15812.55%9611.7
$ 400,000 to 499,999 3211.94%18114.38%13422.6
$ 500,000 to 599,999 155.60%18614.77%17349.6
$ 600,000 to 699,999 197.09%15011.91%15231.6
$ 700,000 to 799,999 134.85%967.63%10729.5
$ 800,000 to 899,999 124.48%624.92%14020.7
$ 900,000 to 999,999 20.75%514.05%124102
$1,000,000 to 1,249,999 114.10%393.10%11814.2
$1,250,000 to 1,499,999 31.12%514.05%11468
$1,500,000 to 1,749,999 51.87%312.46%19424.8
$1,750,000 to 1,999,999 20.75%262.07%17452
$2,000,000 to 2,999,999 20.75%241.91%3948
$3,000,000 to 3,999,999 00.00%131.03%0
$4,000,000 to 00.00%50.40%0
Totals:268100.00%1259100.00%11618.8

 

This chart provides you with a number of ways to analyze our sales:

  • Compare the percentage of the properties sold by price range to the percentage of the actives. Example: Properties listed between $300,000 – $399,000 were 20.15% of the sales in the 4th quarter but represent only 12.55% of our active listing inventory. This is a strong price range compared to many others.
  • Look at the DOM which means the Days a listing was On the Market before it sold. The average DOM for the 4th quarter for all of Lake Norman was 116 days. Obviously, the shorter the time on the market the better for sellers and the stronger the sales were in that price range.

The most important number, however, is the months of supply on hand or the “absorption rate”. The months of supply on hand is simply a way to determine, if no new listings were to come on the market and we continued to sell at this current rate per month then how many months would it take to sell out of homes.

Economists say that a healthy, balanced market should have between 6 to 8 months of supply on hand. Therefore, any price range that falls short of these numbers would be very active, lacking in enough listings and basically a sellers market. On the other hand, any price range that has more than 8 months of supply is probably overstocked with listings for the number of sales and therefore it becomes a buyers market. It truly is as simple as supply and demand.

I have highlighted in Yellow the price ranges that are under-stocked and therefore a Sellers Market and the Green price ranges are overstocked and therefore a Buyers Market

The bottom line is that the overall Lake Norman real estate market has slowed down versus 2006 and inventory is up which would indicate that as a whole, we are in a Buyers Market. However, the lower price ranges are actually very active and there is a lack of inventory.

If you are a buyer, then take note of the price range you are considering to learn what kind of bargaining power you might have.

And, if you are a seller, note that the listings that did sell sold relatively quickly. The key for all sellers right now is to price your home realistically AND stage it so that it is perfect for the few buyers that are looking in your price range.

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10 Things Lake Norman Waterfront Home Buyers Should Know BEFORE buying

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Lake Norman waterfront homes

Lake Norman Real Estate: How are waterfront homes and properties fairing?

Lake Norman waterfront home

Buyers looking for Lake Norman waterfront homes or lots have over 520 miles of shoreline inventory from which to choose. This is part of what draws so many people from all over the country to Lake Norman to find their dream home, cottage, or even lot for future retirement.

Because there is a finite supply of shoreline there is also a finite number of waterfront Lake Norman homes and lots. It is truly necessary to study the supply and demand for these waterfront properties separately from the rest of Lake Norman real estate.

According to the Charlotte Regional Multiple Listing Services (MLS) there are currently 366 waterfront homes and 259 waterfront lots listed for sale on Lake Norman. The average listing price for a waterfront home is $1,248,759 and for lots is $586,965. Prices range from the $200,000’s to $6,250,000 for an 11,395 square foot waterfront estate!

Lake Norman real estate sales, overall, have slowed due to the national housing downturn and sub-prime mortgage problems. But, what about our waterfront homes and lots?

LAKE NORMAN WATERFRONT SALES 2007 VS 2006

(Period analyzed: September 1 – December 28)

Average days on the market:

  • 2007: 113
  • 2006: 94
  • % change: +19% longer this year vs. 2006

Average sales price:

  • 2007: $944,909
  • 2006: $909,286
  • % change: + 4% increase in average sales price

Average size of the waterfront home:

  • 2007: 3722 square feet
  • 2006: 3601 square feet
  • % change: +3%

Average price per square feet:

  • 2007: $254 per square foot
  • 2006: $252 per square foot
  • % change: 0

Number of waterfront homes sold:

  • 2007: 69
  • 2006: 107
  • % change: -35%

If you look at these statistics you will see that while it took longer to sell a waterfront home this past fall and the number of waterfront homes that sold dropped 35% the average sales price actually had a modest increase during this period as compared to the same period in 2006. The weakness, while not quite as signifcant as the entire Lake Norman real estate market, is the amount of inventory of active waterfront listings which is more than double that of a balanced real estate market .

What is interesting for a seller or prospective seller of waterfront property to note is that the average days unsold listings have been on the market is 140 which is significantly higher than those that sold. In this market, it is critical to price your home at market value!

A Quick Look at Lake Norman Waterfront Lots

My MLS sales analysis of Lake Norman Waterfront lots resulted is much the same findings as above for homes. This fall fewer lots sold and they took a bit longer to sell but their average sales price was up from $400,752 to $539,643.

Before our downturn in early spring 2006, waterfront properties were hot and I expect them to be again once buyers gain confidence in the economy. Our local economy is very strong and with our limited supply of waterfront homes and lots, I would expect them to be “hot” again. If only I could say when! If you have read my previous articles you will know that I am predicting a flat real estate market in the Lake Norman area for 2008. As we get in to the new year, I will keep updating my sales analysis and the future trends.

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Mooresville NC Relocation Resources

Mooresville Relocation Resource List

Researching the Mooresville North Carolina area when contemplating a move is an exciting adventure! There is so much information available it can be a bit overwhelming. Here is a comprehensive list of website links to help you learn about our area; from town, county and state government sites to detailed information about schools, recreation as well as plenty of just plain fun things to discover! Also, be sure and take a look at my list of articles on the left column of this website to learn more about life in Mooresville!

TOWN OF MOORESVILLE

COUNTY:

STATE:

EDUCATION:

HEALTH CARE/AREA HOSPITALS:

LIBRARIES

NEWSPAPERS

UTILITIES

RECREATION

FAITH:

FARMERS MARKETS

 

SENIOR SERVICES:

The Iredell Council on Aging:

  • Statesville: (704.873.5171)
  • Mooresville: (704.663.5112)
  • Troutman: (704.677.2386)
  • Services: Congregate Meals, Home Delivered Meals, Chore Service, Respite Care, Transportation

South Iredell Senior Center, Mooresville: (704.662.3337)

  • SISC offers a wide variety of health, education, recreation and social activities for people who are 60 years of age or better
  • Located in the Charles Mack Citizen Center in downtown Mooresville
  • Senior citizens are involved at the Senior Center as participants, group leaders, instructors, volunteers, advisory council members, Title V personnel, and employees

Centralina Area Agency on Aging: (704.372.2416)

  • The Senior Community Service Employment Program
  • Developing the mature and older worker for meaningful employment

AARP

North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services

OTHER ARTICLES OF INTEREST:

Lake Norman Relocation Resources

Lake Norman Sports Resource Guide

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Relocating to Mooresville North Carolina

Once you have narrowed your destination to the Lake Norman area, it can be difficult to choose in which town or community to look for your new home. The land around Lake Norman comprises 4 counties and 10 towns; each with it’s own character. “Relocating to Mooresville NC” is the first in my series about each of the 10 towns.

AT A GLANCE:

Established: 1873

Population: 23,100 (2006)

Median Home Price: $208,274 (2006)

Average Property Taxes: $1,406

Location: 30 miles north of Charlotte in Iredell County on the east bank of Lake Norman straddling the I-77 highway. 2 hours from the Blue Ridge Mountains and 4.5 hours to the ocean.

Geography: Located in the Piedmont section of North Carolina, Mooresville stretches from the east shoreline of Lake Norman on its west through the Historic Downtown eastward to farmlands that abut Rowan and Cabarrus County. The unimproved land in and around Mooresville is a combination of hardwood and pine forests and farmland.

Weather: 4 distinct but mild seasons. Average annual rainfall: 49.32″, % Clear days = 30%, Average high temperature in July: 87.7, Average Low Temperature in January: 26.8.

NOTABLE ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • As “Race City USA”, Mooresville is home to more than 60 NASCAR racing teams

  • Mooresville is the world headquarters for Lowe’s Home Improvement Company

  • In 2007 Mooresville was named in top 100 of Money Magazine’s Best Places to Live

  • Mooresville was named nations top micropolitan area by the economic trade publication Site Selection for past 3 years

  • Mooresville is the sixth fastest-growing municipality in North Carolina

OVERVIEW

Real Estate/Housing: Mooresville real estate ranges from modest bungalows in the historic downtown area, first-time buyer subdivisions in the $100,000s, family-oriented communities like Curtis Pond in the high $100,000- mid $200,000s, on up to The Point, a Crescent Homes development covering 1,200 acres on a peninsula jutting out into Lake Norman. With 18 miles of shoreline, an 18-hole gold course designed by Greg Norman, this country club community has homes ranging from the $600,000s to more than $5 million. As a Realtor I can honestly say we have such great diversity of types of housing that I think there is something for everyone!

Recreation:

  • Lake Norman: Offers every type of water sport you can think of; boating, sailing, water skiing, fishing, kayaking and canoeing to name a few
  • Golf: There are public and private golf courses within the Mooresville community plus myriad in the greater Charlotte area
  • Lowe’s YMCA: A new, 57,00 sq.ft. facility with state-of-the-art fitness equipment, indoor water park, full gymnasium, indoor walking track and outdoor running and walking trail, childwatch, personal training, youth and adult sports, camps, field space, racquetball and lap pool.
  • Mooresville Parks and Recreation Department: They are currently developing a greenway, new skate park and the new Mazeppa Road Park which will include softball, baseball and soccer fields, dog park, BMX/Mountain bike trail, tennis courts, playground structures, a trail system, a recreational center
  • Stumpy Creek Park and Lake Access
  • Lake Norman State Park

Festivals and Events

  • Holiday celebrations and parades
  • Cotton Ketchie Arts Festival
  • Lake Norman Festival
  • Monthly Art Gallery Crawls

Schools: Mooresville has it’s own very highly regarded school system: the Mooresville Graded School District. Those outside the town limits attend the top-ranked Iredell County Mooresville schools serving the Lake Norman area. There are also a number of private schools.

Retail Stores: Thanks to our strong economy we have a great selection of chain and private retail stores from Best Buy, Best Bath and Beyond, Staples, Sam’s Club, BJ’s, Super Target, Super WalMart, Belks to high-end specialty stores like Lavender and Sweet Grass.

Markets: Harris Teeter, Lowes, Food Lion, Target and WalMart  (Fresh Market, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s are in the area south of Mooresville)

Restaurants: Upscale options like Epic Chop House, Al Gusto, Prickly Pear, Jeffrey’s, Joel’s, Carussos, La Patisserie to fun spots like Shoal’s, Lancaster’s Barbecue, Big Daddy’s to chains like Panera Bread, Camilles and Starbucks to wonderful home cooking like The Daily Grind and Sun Up. We also have every fast food and pizza chain I can think of!

Seniors: The South Iredell Senior center is located in the new Charles Mack Citizens Center and offers an array of services, activities and entertainment

Healthcare: Mooresville is home to the Lake Norman Regional Medical Center and continues to attract high-quality physicians in private practice as well

The recent and current growth of Mooresville, including housing, retail shopping centers, office buildings, medical offices and even much anticipated resort Langtree at the Lake have transformed a sleepy textile community into a thriving eclectic community drawing people from all over the country. I love the fact that I can spend time in the historic downtown and experience the essence of a small, close-knit southern town, drive a few miles to find all of the conveniences of a big city or take our boat out on the Lake and escape it all to enjoy the incredible beauty of nature.

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

How to get rid of unwanted catalogues and help the environment!

Apparently, one of the benefits of shopping online is that you begin to receive myriad unwanted magazines and catalogs. It has gotten so bad for us that I have been thinking we were going to have to get a larger mailbox.

There is help! I just found out about  Green Dimes a company that provide services that allow you to stop getting print catalogs you no longer wish to receive; reduce the amount of unsolicited mail in your mailbox while helping to preserve the environment.

 It is very easy to do! I signed up with Green Dimes about six months ago and I am now getting only the catalogs I want to get. I used to get 5 or more very day.  It’s not only great for the environment but it really saves me a lot of time and energy as well.

Help the environment and your postal carrier!

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Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations, lake norman real estate

It snows in Birkdale Village every night 2007!

A Huntersville Christmas, hosted by The Huntersville Parks and Recreation Department is December 14th from 6-9pm in downtown Huntersville! Some of the highlights will include:

  • Santa! (He sure gets around. He will be at 109 S. Old Statesville Rd)
  • While Santa is doing his thing, Mrs. Claus will be reading stories (at the Huntersville Police Department, 102 Gilead Rd.)
  • Clown bounce and letters to Santa
  • Two Magic Shows at 6:15 and 8:15 pm at the Town Hall
  • The Huntersville Elementary Choristers will be singing carols at 6 pm at Bunky Gandy’s Auto Exchange.
  • Pony rides
  • Horse and Carriage rides
  • Train Rides
  • Jugglers

Or just huddle around the bonfire…the weather is turning COLD!


If you can’t make tonight’s event, drop by Huntersville’s Birkdale Village any evening each hour starting at 6pm and let your children dance in the “snow shower”! The center courtyard area surrounding the Christmas tree will enjoy falling snow thanks to 4 snow machines.

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Restaurant Review: Maddis Southern Bistro

 

A Lake Norman Restaurant Review

By

Kathy K.

When my husband first suggested Maddi’s Southern Bistro for lunch on a recent outing, my first thought was…”fried chicken, Ho Hum.” I couldn’t have been more wrong, there is absolutely nothing ordinary about Maddi’s Southern Bistro!

 

This is apparent from the minute you enter the dining area and your eyes are immediately drawn to the huge, colorful hand-crafted glass chandelier hanging from the ceiling in the center of the room. It just keeps getting better from there. All of the table and stemware are handmade, right down to the tiny “face jug” sugar holders on each table. Owners, Diane and Madis Sulg own this lovely restaurant along with the adjoining, award-winning gallery that features jewelry and Southern folk art, much of which is handcrafted by some of the region’s finest folk artists. The gallery art spills into the dining area and adds a wonderful touch to the dining experience.

The service we received was impeccable. Everyone was personally involved in our culinary enjoyment from the hostess to our server to the manager as well.

Most importantly, Executive Chef, Jon DuBay was involved. The “Low Country Shrimp and Grits” for $12.00 consisted of a good quantity of Medium Sized Sauteed Shrimp with Seasonal Vegetables, which happened to now be mostly Zucchini and Squash, served on a bed of Chipotle Cheddar Grits and accompanied by a Lobster-Sherry Butter Sauce. Scrumptious!! I had wavered on this dish when ordering wondering if it may be too rich and heavy but that was not the case at all. My husband, who is not a fan of grits had a taste and then asked for another, and another… He ordered the “Hand Carved Turkey Club” for $7.50 and was thoroughly impressed with the thick slices of Oven Roasted Turkey and Applewood Smoked Bacon accented with a Basil Pesto Aioli and served on Toasted Italian Bread with a side of Asiago French Fries. I couldn’t keep my fingers out of his fries…the melted Asiago cheese on them had me addicted at first bite!

 

Their creative menu features appetizers, soups and salads, sandwiches, entrees and dessert for lunch and they offer an extensive beer, wine (the Ca’del Sarto Pinot Grigio, Fuili, 2005 was a great choice) and liquor menu.

Maddi’s Southern Bistro is a feast for both the pallet and the eyes!!!

Rating: *****

Maddis Southern Bistro

Birkdale Village
16925 Birkdale Commons Parkway
Suite A
Huntersville
    704-987-7762    

Serving Lunch, Dinner and Brunch

MORE RESTAURANT REVIEWS

Lake Norman Restaurant Review: 131 Main

Lake Norman Restaurant Review: Soiree

Lake Norman Restaurant Review: The Rusty Rudder

Lake Norman Restaurant Review: Indigo Joes

Lake Norman Restaurant Review: Rock Bottom

Lake Norman Restaurant Review: North Harbor Club

Learn all about North Carolina Barbecue!

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Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations

December is THE month for Catawba Valley Pottery Kiln Sales!

Catawba Valley Kiln Firing

I must admit that I write this post with mixed emotions. On the one hand I want everyone to know about my favorite hobby, collecting Catawba Valley pottery, but on the other hand, the more people that learn about these sales the less likely I will get to choose a really good piece of pottery!

So, it is with great personal sacrifice that I letting you all know that in the next three weeks almost every great potter in Catawba Valley will be having a kiln sale at their homes. Not all of the potters have announced yet but here is what I know so far:

This Saturday, December 1, 2007:

Joe Reinhardt is having his annual kiln sale at 10:00a.m. at his home on Cat’s Square just down from Burlon Craig’s place. Arrive at 9:00 to preview…numbers will be drawn at 10:00. This is Joe’s only kiln sale each year and he is one of my favorites!

Saturday, December 8th, 2007:

Gary Mitchell is having his kiln at 10:00am and

Steve Abee is having his sale at his home in Lenoir at 2:00p.m. Steve does some incredible swirl pieces!

Saturday, December 15th:

Kim Ellington will be holding his kiln sale at his home on NC10 at 10:00a.m. and

AV Smith is holding his sale at 12:00 noon in Hickory.

Information on all of these sales can be found on: Catawba Valley Pottery which is a great website created by Steve Abee. It also has some wonderful history and pictures about Catawba Valley Pottery.

Remember, all of these potters sell by a lottery system: they have a pot full of numbers and each attendee picks one. The number you pick determines when you get to choose your piece. If you get a low number it is really exciting because you are one of the first to choose. But, if you pick a high number in some cases you won’t even get one piece! Arrive early to preview the whole selection and keep a note of several of your favorite pieces as you may not get your first or even second choice.

See you on Saturday!

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Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations

Lake Norman Holiday Events Through December 11th 2007

I think one of the greatest things about living on Lake Norman is that we are not one large city but rather a group of about 10 small towns clustered around the lake. Each town has their own character and every one is special. This is particularly evident during the holidays when there is such an eclectic assortment of holiday celebrations from large parades to historic home tours to breakfasts with Santa. There truly is something for everyone!

I have surrounded my desk with clippings from local newspapers, the Charlotte Observer, the Lake Norman Magazine and copies of articles on the Internet in an effort to make a list of the most notable of the upcoming events. If I miss anyone, please don’t hesitate to add the information in the comment section! The more the merrier!

This Saturday, December 1st, truly is a BIG DAY around Lake Norman:

  • The North Mecklenburg County Christmas Parade and Cornelius Holiday Celebration: Leaves Beaty Street in Davidson at 1pm and travels south on NC115 ending at Mount Zion United Methodist Church about 3p.m. This is one of our community’s oldest traditions. There is a celebration immediately following the parade with horse-drawn carriage rides, arts and crafts and of course a visit from Santa at the Cornelius Holiday Celebration which will be held at the Cornelius Town Hall until 5:00p.m,. For more information: Cornelius Holiday Celebration
  • Grand finale to the Christmas in Davidson’s three-day celebration from 6pm-9pm. (See article below for more details)
  • Lighting of the Christmas Tree in Downtown Mooresville: At John Franklin Park on Main Street. This coincides with the Downtown Mooresville Gallery Crawl and The Mooresville Museum will also be open and serving hot apple cider.

 

  • Breakfast with Santa: Mooresville’s Lowe’s YMCA: 8:30a.m. – 11:30a.m. Food, fellowship, arts and crafts, entertainment and free 5×7 photo with Santa Open to the public. $18 for members, others $25.
  • Christmas Tree Lighting at the Sherrills Ford Library: Santa will be there with gifts for the children…free!
  • Christmas at Mt. Mourne: 8am-2pm Photos with Santa, and food. Mt. Mourne Fire Department (1577 Mecklenburg Hwy).
  • November 30 – December 2 is the Christmas Tour For Sally’s Y: A tour of homes to benefit Sally’s Y in east Lincoln County featuring Historic Ingleside and 5 unique homes in Maple Grove. $25 per person. Fri and Sat 10 – 5 and Sunday 1 – 5p.m..

Sunday, December 2nd:

 

  • Christmas Star Concert: Mooresville Christian Kids Company will present “Finding the Christmas Star” 5pm at Broad Street Methodist Church 355 So. Broad Street. This is a community choir.
  • Make a holiday wreath at Mills Garden Herb Farm: 2-5pm, $25 per person. 732 Mills Garden Rd. Statesville: 

Tuesday, December 4th:

  • First Day of Hanukkah: Special table of crafts ad books to celebrate the 8 days of Hanukkah 6-8pm at the Sherrills Ford Library

Wednesday, December 5th:

  • Homeschool Christmas: A Victorian Christmas celebration for homeschoolers and their families at the Historic Latta Plantation. 12-4p.m. $5 per person.
  • Christmas Crafts for kids: Sherrills Ford Library 3-5 p.m. (Also on Dec. 12 and 19th)
  • Hanukkah Songs and Crafts: Show ages 2-5 the traditions of this favorite Jewish Holiday; featuring songs, crafts and noshes. 10-11:00a.m. Cornelius Art Center $10 per child with adult.

Thursday, December 6th:

  • Handmade Holiday Cards: For ages 6-11 3-4:30pm. $14. Register at: Childrens Art Project

Saturday, December 8th:

  • A Candlelight Christmas: Historic Latta Plantation. Step back in time to a 19th century Christmas as you are led through the plantation by lantern. 6-9:00 pm. $7 for Adults. $5:00 for Children 6+.
  • Holiday Tour of Historic Statesville Homes: (Dec. 8-9). “Visit some of Statesville’s architectural marvels that create a priceless account of the people and events significant to the South. Enjoy 8 historic properties, all on the National Register, decorated for the holidays.” For more information or tickets: Preservation Statesville
  • Pet Photos at Friends for Life LKN Humane Animal Rescue and Huntersville Petco: Pet photos with Santa 11-4p.m. Donation $6.95. Proceeds go to benefit homeless pets. Balloons and prizes for kids and Santa will be there!
  • Holiday Story Time at Davidson Town Hall: Mrs. Happy Holiday Shares Stories of the Season 9:30-10:30 ages 5-7; and 11:00 – 12:00 for ages 8-10. Children of any and all abilities can join in stories, decorating holiday cookies and crafts. Includes Therapeutic Recreation program participants. For more information: www.d-recs.org
  • A Celtic Christmas! The Beggar Boys Holiday Performance: Traditional Irish and Scottish music and step dancers. 7:30p.m. at the Charles Mack Citizen’s Center in Mooresville. For details: 704.941.0650
  • Breakfast with Santa: 8:30 – 11:30a.m. Includes arts and crafts, magic show and visit with Santa. Lake Norman YMCA Cornelius. For more information: 704.716.4400
  • Mooresville Library’s Holiday Party: 10- Noon. All ages, crafts, Paws to Read, refreshments and Santa.

Sunday, December 9th:

  • Hannukkah at Birkdale: Beth Shalom of Lake Norman presents the third Hanukkah at Birkdale. Food, crafts and the lighting of the menorah. 1:00pm Birkdale Village

Tuesday, December 11th:

  • 2007 Stocks for Tots!!!!! THE EVENT for race fans of all types and ages! 5:30p.m. to 10:00p.m. at the Charles Mack Citizens Center in Mooresville. This is an event near and dear to my heart. I will write a separate article about all of the details. I will be there working the VIP Reception. Autographs from NASCAR and other racing celebrities, live auction of sheet metal and other collectibles. For more details go to: www.stocksfortots.com.

So, this takes care of the next two weeks. Please check your local newspapers for other events I may have missed!

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Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations

19th Annual Christmas in Davidson is Nov. 29 – Dec. 1st 2007!

The annual Christmas in Davidson event is the epitome of the warmth and sense of community of a small college town. An annual tradition since 1988, it starts November 29th (Thursday!) and runs through December 1, each evening from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. As they say on The Town of  Davidson home page: “Christmas in Davidson is our signature event–a wonderful holiday celebration that now draws crowds of more than 20,000 over three evenings. No other festival generates such an atmosphere of warm ambiance, nor creates such lasting goodwill toward our residents and businesses.”

The opening ceremonies begin on November 29th at 6:00 p.m. on the Village Green and include Santa arriving by fire truck at 6:30.

Here are just some of the fun activities you can enjoy:

  • Old-Fashion Hayrides
  • Horse drawn carriages (Arrive early to make reservations!)
  • Live Nativity
  • Angel Tree
  • The Gingerbread Lake House (Make your own gingerbread house)
  • Live music of all kinds from strolling carolers to gospel singers
  • Arts and Crafts: Handmade Christmas Fairies at The Village Store, cookie decorating at Southern Bella, handmade candies from Heaven Scent, angel ornaments from Angels of ’97, hand knitted scarves and shawls from The Knitting Lady, Beadexplorations from the Depot Artist Group, homemade gift bags from the Lake Norman Teen Council, hand painted ornaments and accessories from Brooke Powel Hand Painted Accessories. Wow, what a list!
  • Lots of wonderful food from chili and cornbread to coffee, to hot chocolate, donuts, hot dogs and baked goods all for sale to benefit various charities.

 

This is the 2007 Christmas in Davidson Ornament designed by Pittsburg artist Tom Pollard. It depicts the “hip and historic” Town of Davidson.

The event concludes on the evening of December 1st with a parade through town.
To me, this is what the holidays are all about; a community joins together to share their joy and warmth, raise money for those less fortunate, and have wholesome fun with friends and family!

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Town of Davidson

Christmas in Davidson 2007

Lake Norman Holiday Events Through December 11th 2007

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Moving to Lake Norman North Carolina; Amazing Discoveries!

When my husband and I moved to Lake Norman in 2005 we knew pretty much nothing about the area, let alone the state. Since then we have discovered the beautiful mountains and beaches, the great weather, the wonderful blend of new and old, urban and rural, natives and resident transplants from all of the country.

One of the first things I did was subscribe to Our State: North Carolina. Our State is a beautiful source of history, current events and wonderful explorations into the wonderful state of North Carolina.

There was one article that made a greater impact on my appreciation for North Carolina than any thing else I have experienced. Titled Famous Firsts; “North Carolinians can take pride in being the first at making national history. From technology to education to culture to sports, the Old North State has paved the way for others across the nation and around the world.” Here is their list:

  • First successful powered flight. Orville Wright’s first flight was on December 17, 1903 in Kitty Hawk NC.
  • First English settlement in the New World. Sir Walter Raleigh arrived on Roanoke Island in 1587 and began the first English settlement in the New World.
  • First formal sanction of American Independence. The “Halifax Resolves” of 1776 was the first official call for independence by a colony.
  • First state or public university. “In 1793, the cornerstone was laid for the brick building that would become UNC Chapel Hill. In 1795 it was the first state university in the country to open its doors.”
  • First Gold Rush: Move over California, it turns out North Carolina’s gold rush began 45 years before yours! During the height of the gold mining in NC, we led the nation in gold production!
  • First musical note transmitted by radio: In 1902, Reginal Fessenden, considered to be greatest wireless radio inventor at that time, transmitted the first musical notes about 48 miles from Buxton to Manteo in 1902.
  • First state-funded art museum: “In 1947, North Carolina became the first state to use public funds to purchase works of art for the public.”
  • First state-funded school for the performing arts: “In 1963 the North Carolina School of the Arts was established…becoming the first state-supported school for the performing arts in the country.”

 

  • First rural national parkway: Of course, we are talking about the incredible Blue Ridge Parkway which crosses the Southern Appalachian Mountains in North Carolina and Virgina. At 469 miles long, The Blue Ridge Parkway “was the country’s first and still the longest rural parkway.”
  • First national shoreline: “The unique history and natural resources of North Carolina’s Outer Banks were preserved when the Cape Hatteras National Seashore was authorized in 1937…becoming the first seashore in the national park system.”
  • First book published by an African-American in the South: George Moses Horton had been a slave for 68 years, often walking miles to the UNC campus where he sold his poems to students…In 1829, The Hope of Liberty became the first book published by an African American author in the South.
  • First school of forestry: Dr. Carl Schenk, who was hired by the Vanderbilts to manage their 125,000 acre estate which is now known as Pisgah Forest. “In 1898, Schenck began the first forestry school in America…”

This incredible list made me realize that North Carolina is much more than just a wonderful place to live. In fact, it has a deep and important history that has greatly impacted our entire nation. I am proud to be a North Carolinian!

(This issue of Our State was January, 2006. It is no longer on their website but I would be happy to send you a copy of the article from my own copy of the magazine.)

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The Real Estate Process, Home Buying and Selling Tips

Lake Norman buyers: What you should know about agent bonuses!

Several months ago I wrote a post about why I don’t ever take bonuses or any agent incentives because of my personal feeling that they are unethical:  Agent Bonuses and Incentives: Buyers Beware!

Today, on the front page of The Charlotte Observer, there was an article: Homebuyers in the dark? NC rules may leave customers unaware of bonuses received by their agents’.

The most chilling statement was the first paragraph: ” N.C. regulations leave potential homebuyers vulnerable to having their search guided by their real estate agent’s financial interests.” The article then goes on to discuss a specific real estate firm’s relationships with builders and the million’s of dollars in bonuses they received in exchange for finding the buyers their homes. The focus of this article was that the buyers were not told about the bonuses and whether the NC Real Estate Commission should require written disclosure of all real estate agent incentives and bonuses to every buyer rather than the current verbal requirement.

As I did in my previous post, I would like to explain that I passionately disapprove of any kind of financial incentives for buyer’s agents. As a Realtor, I think that we should show buyers any and all properties that meet their search parameters without regard for compensation. It would simply be wrong not to show a buyer a property because the commission was too low or to choose to show a buyer a property because there is an agent bonus. When I have come across these kinds of situations my buyers have always offered to pay me a reasonable amount for my services. Or, if I am offered a bonus, I give all bonuses offered to me directly to the buyer at the closing table. This can be done legally as long it is on the HUD closing statement and the lender is aware of and approves it. Usually, this can be done by putting the bonus towards a buyer’s closing costs or upgrades.

Important Update!  Real Estate Agents are now required to disclose any bonuses IN WRITING before you make an offer.

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Lake Norman Relocation Resources

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Relocating to Lake Norman North Carolina

Lake Norman has become a destination for so many out-of-staters that we actually have a name: “Transplants”. Or, if you are originally from the North, moved to Florida and THEN moved to Lake Norman you are known as “Half-backers” as you moved half-way back to the north!

The type and depth of the questions I get from those considering relocating to the Lake Norman area are extensive but vary considerably depending upon the person’s age, type of employment, familial status, interests in sports and hobbies, lifestyle, eating habits, and personality. I will provide answers to the most common questions now and in a separate blog post provide myriad links for you to peruse based upon your own questions, needs, concerns and interests. I hope you will find this helpful but don’t hesitate to call or e-mail me even if you just need reassurance that you are going to love living in Lake Norman! For more of my own perspective you might want to also read : Fresh Sushi, Hush Puppies, The Scoop About Relocating to Mooresville 

One of the first questions I get is about our weather; particularly concerns about the humidity in the summer, if one needs to worry about hurricanes and how cold it gets in the winter. Our great weather is one of the reasons so many choose to move to Lake Norman. We have four very distinct yet mild seasons: Spring and Fall are simply gorgeous with bright skies and mild temperatures.

The past few years we have gotten one snow storm with several inches of snow that melted that day.  Summers are warm and yes we do have some humidity but not nearly as much as the states south of us. We average about 3 inches of rain every month. The last hurricane to come this far inland with any force was Hurricane Hugo in the early 1990’s and that storm did cause trees to topple. Since then we have just experienced some rain or wind if that.

Next on many people’s lists are insects, reptiles and wildlife. Folks, we are not Florida, so even I, coming from California, find the bugs easily handled in the heart of their summer season with some deet. We have some mosquitoes but we have a monthly bug service which eliminates spiders, ants, and all other pesky insects so I personally don’t consider bugs an issue. There are a few snakes here and there although I have only seen a couple of them dead in the road. We have lots of bunnies, squirrels, some deer, raccoons and opossums plus an amazing array of birds. One of the first things I recommend is putting a least one bird feeder out. The bright red cardinals, our state bird, are so pretty but we also get blue birds and so many others that I can’t name!

Somewhere near the top on the list is how easy or hard is it to assimilate into the community? Will we be accepted and welcomed? My personal experience is that the warmth and acceptance matches your efforts to embrace the community and try to make a contribution rather than try to change it to suit your old ways. I have found our neighbors and new friends to be as warm and sincerely kind as any in the many states I have lived. Even though I went to Berkeley and am one of those crazy Californians I feel completely welcomed by the native Southerners. The one caution I would make is to please not constantly refer to your previous state as: “Well, in such and such” we did this or had that. Because transplants out-number natives you will find quite a few restaurants and markets like Trader Joes that came from other areas in the country. Stores of all kinds from all over the country are either here or planning on coming here in the near future. It’s the best of all worlds! You can eat great North Carolina barbecue one day and delicious fish tacos the next!

Sports of all kinds are a big part of life around Lake Norman; from organized competitive sports for those of all ages to every kind of water sport like sailing, water skiing, jet skiing, wind surfing, kite sailing, kayaking, mountain and road cycling, golf, tennis, fishing, skateboarding parks, and of course racing of everything from motorcycles to drag racers to sprint cars to NASCAR.

Are Lake Norman and towns like Mooresville, Davidson, Huntersville, Cornelius, Denver and Sherrills Ford small towns? Well, yes and no. Individually their populations are small but when you combine them and add that fact that Charlotte is about 30 miles south we have access to a metropolitan lifestyle and shopping but can also immerse ourselves in our small towns as well.

Commuting will be an issue if you plan to live in the northern Lake Norman communities and have to work in Charlotte. I have maps with estimated distances and commuting times for any of you who are interested. There are plans to widen a number of roads including the I-77 but until those are successfully completed you best consider the commuting challenges of each area carefully before deciding where to live.

One of the decisions you will need to make when looking for your ideal Lake Norman home is whether you want to live in a subdivision with lots of community amenities like pools, play grounds, golf, tennis, community meeting rooms and lake access or boat slips or independent of any planned communities. I have found that families tend to gravitate to subdivisions with amenities for their children and that us Baby Boomers tend to want to be a bit more independent and live where there are few if any community rules or restrictions.

Finally, schools, taxes and insurance rates are of great interest. In my next post I will provide all of the links that you will need to research all of the area schools, county taxes and insurance rates. In the meantime, feel free to contact me for those links or for materials I can mail to you about schools.

Want to weigh in on one of these subjects or ask a question? Use the “comment” section or email me directly. Check the link below to my two extensive resource guides/website links for Lake Norman relocation and Lake Norman sports.

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Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations

3rd Annual Wiener Race is Sept. 8th, 2007 in Downtown Mooresville!

Do you ever hear about something and dismiss the seriousness of it almost immediately because it is just too silly? When I originally heard about Mooresville’s Dachshund Race I simply laughed. The image of the little weiner dogs running in a race was so cute that I decided I really wanted to go just for the sheer fun of it all. When I decided to write a blog about the event I started asking questions and the answers simply blew me away. Not only is this a serious event, but “ringers” are brought in from other states much to the displeasure of the local dachshund owners. Check out Floridian wonderdog Sammy and you will understand that he is in a league all his own: (Sammy has won 37 of 38 races in 5 states!)

So, it turns out there are National Dachshund Races every September!

Mark your calendars for Saturday, September 8th. The races are from 10-2 on Broad Street in Downtown Mooresville. This is a 50-yard Dachshund sprint to the checker flag! There are 4 age divisions. Each race consists of heats with the finalist of each heat advancing to the finals to determine the winner of the “Grand Wiener Trophy” . All proceeds go to the Lake Norman Animal Rescue which is Dedicated to rescuing adoptable shelter pets and placing them into loving forever homes.: I hope to see you there!

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Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations

The Charlotte Trader Joe’s Opening Countdown

Lake Norman's closest Trader Joes

Trader Joe’s Opens This Friday, August 17th!

For those of you who follow my posts, you know that I have already written about why it is so awesome that a Trader Joe’s is opening in Charlotte and what makes Trader Joe’s so special. (See What’s Happening section in this blog). If you don’t believe me, just read today’s Charlotte Observer The cover of the Living Section plus page 4 is devoted to the Trader Joe’s grand opening including an article “Getting to Know Joe” and some recipes!

Here are the specifics:

Where: 6418 Rea Road in Shops at Piper Glen

When: “lei cutting” (ribbon cutting) at 8:45 a.m.. Regular daily hours are 9.a.m.-9.p.m.

Contact: 707.543.5249

NEWS!!!! 

Since I wrote this a third Trader Joes has opened just off

Exit 18!

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Historic Downtown Mooresville, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

27 Reasons to Visit Historic Downtown Mooresville

 Historic Downtown Mooresville in Lake Norman

When I first moved to Mooresville I thought I had to drive all the way to South Park to find upscale stores. I was so wrong!

One of the unfortunate truths about the Lake residents is that we tend to stay West of the I-77 with the exception of an occasional trip to the DMV or to some of the big box stores like WalMart along HWY 150. I urge everyone to take the time to visit Main Street; explore, take advantage of, and support the fine shops, restaurants and public services. Here are 27 reasons why:

LANDMARK GALLERIES

Renowned artist and photographer Cotton Ketchie

1. Landmark Galleries is the home of world renowned artist “Cotton” Ketchie whose beautiful watercolors and photographs are dedicated to preserving the heritage of Mooresville, North Carolina and special landmarks throughout the country.  Landmark Galleries, run by Cotton’s talented wife Vickie, (As Cotton claims he is “retired” yet he starts work in the wee hours of the morning and doesn’t stop!) has a wonderful selection of Cotton’s original watercolors, limited edition prints, giclée, photography, North Carolina pottery, hand-carved decoys and even screen-savers featuring Cotton’s photography. His work’s subjects include Lake Norman, lighthouses of North Carolina and Maine, country landscapes and landmarks like grist mills and old barns, the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway and Appalachian Mountains as well as newer works like Shelton Vineyards and Davidson College. If you EVER need custom framing, I can not tell you what an incredible job they do. I have had numerous prints framed by them and am always overwhelmed when I see them! One last thing, you simply can’t leave without getting an autographed copy of Cotton’s latest book “Memories of a County Boy”. To truly understand and appreciate the history of Mooresville and laugh as you do so, it is a must read!

LA PATISSERIE

La Patisserie Mooreville

2. La Patisserie Bakery :There simply are none better than La Patisserie; whether you want to relax at a sidewalk table with an espresso and one of their incredible pastries or scones, order a cake or dessert tray for a special occasion or enjoy a delicious crepe for lunch. Family-owned and operated, their expert pastry chef and cake decorators are known for their authentic ingredients that are used to create exceptional wedding and specialty cakes.

Thanks to their Cuban heritage they offer a truly unique lunch menu as well.

This past year La Patisserie out-grew their quaint coffee shop on Main Street and opened a new location further up on 627 North Main Street where they now have a sit-down breakfast and lunch restaurant/bakery. Their crepes and empanadas are simply divine! (I can’t believe I just wrote that:). This is now where you would go to order or buy a cake or meet with their catering expert as well.  (Or visit their Lake Norman Location on Brawley School Road).

EPIC CHOP HOUSE

Epic Chop House Restaurant

3. Epic Chop HouseThe first thing that you will notice when walking into this popular restaurant is the care and detail that went in to the preservation of the historic building where they reside, kitty-corner to the original train depot on the corner of Main and Center Street. With 4 stars on Yelp and 67 reviews you know it is one of Lake Norman’s best restaurants!

Epic Chophouse offers fine dining in an elegant and comfortable setting. Our great selection of steak, seafood, other fine foods and wine has quickly made us one of the most sought-after dining choices in the Lake Norman region of North Carolina. Our experienced chefs can please the most discriminating palate and our friendly staff strives to give you wonderful dining experience.

Come on over for a relaxing night of great food and drinks!

The restaurant is open 5 – 10 pm Sunday – Thursday
and 5 – 11 pm Friday and Saturday.

The bar is open 4 – 11 pm Sunday – Thursday
and 4 pm- 12 am Friday and Saturday

The Enchanted Olive

The Enchanted Olive in Historic Downtown Mooresville

4. The Enchanted Olive: If you like olive oil, balsamic vinegar and want the best quality and variety available I would highly recommend a visit to this awesome story located at 119 N Main Street. They have row of large jars of olive oils that you can taste samples of and once you pick your favorite they create your own fully sealed bottle offered in three sizes.  My favorite it their Myers Lemon which is great on a fresh salads!!!

ALEXANDER ZACHARY JEWELERS

Alexandar Zachary Jewelry Store in Historic Mooresville

5. Alexander Zachary JEWELERS:I had gone to the same, third-generation family-owned jewelry store for 25 years before I moved here. Luckily, I found Alexander Zachary Jewelers. They have a gold smith in the store who provides jewelry repair service, stone setting, design and casting, 3 Gemological Institute of America trained appraisers who will work directly with your insurance companies, and, their watch services include battery replacement while you wait, repair and servicing and restoration of vintage watches and pocket watches. I can’t recommend them more highly!

I was surprised the first time I visited the store to discover a nice selection of quality jewelry and watches for sale! They carry such brands as Tissot Swiss watches, Galatea’s “Diamond in a pearl”, Auro Design’s Rio collection of vibrantly colored stones set in trendy styles, as well as custom set diamonds.

One extra that I hadn’t counted on as well was that the owner, Bill Thunberg, our past Mooresville Town Mayor, will mostly likely be there to help you and even to chat about the town. They definitely live up to their slogan: Real People Helping Real People.

Okay, so I’m only done with 5 of the 27 but it is clear this would be simply too long if I tried to write about all 27 in one post. So, stay-tuned for Part 2.

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How to buy the best Catawba Valley Face Jugs!

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

How to buy the best face jugs in Catawba Valley!

 

Catawba Valley Face Jug Pottery

Early Saturday morning I picked up a friend and drove west on the 150/16/10 for about 45 minutes until we arrived at what would look to most people to be a very modest home with an old, rather odd-looking outbuilding.

The only sign that it might be more that just a quiet farm was the policeman helping people cross the street from the field where they had parked to enter renowned potter Kim Ellington’s front yard. As we turned the corner into the yard we could see them all.

From tiny bud vases to one large vase about 36″ tall, several hundred pieces of pottery were spread out on the lawn, tree stumps and folding tables.
Way back in the back were 6 face jugs and 3 snake jugs.The reason I point this out is that Kim Ellington very rarely makes these any more so buying one directly from him is nearly impossible.

 During the next hour about 75 people, mostly serious collectors, quietly arrived and start circling around the yard whispering to each other, picking up the pottery for a closer look, and trying hard to hide their excitement about any one piece. It’s a bit like playing poker!.

About 10:00a.m. Kim Ellington made an announcement that he and his wife would each have a pot full of numbers from which we each were allowed to draw one. After everyone had a number (mine was 27 and my friend’s was 70), the entire group of us moved away from the pottery and Kim called out Number 1. The lucky drawer of number 1 quickly walked to his favorite piece and picked it up holding it tightly. Not one I wanted so I was still safe. Number 2. This young dentist who is ALWAYS lucky, chose my favorite face jug. As they got closer to 27 all of the face jugs and snake jugs were gone. Well, I consoled myself that I already had one of his face jugs and a snake jug which I had bought from a collector last year. My friend, who is a Catawba Valley pottery newbie, won a beautiful little vase for having the highest number.

There is absolutely no way to describe the excitement and unique experience of attending a Catawba Valley Kiln Sale. The system of drawing numbers came about when the Godfather of Catawba Valley Pottery, Burlon Craig, got so popular that when he dropped the rope to let people in his yard to buy his pots and face jugs people literally got trampled and pots were broken when two people grabbed for the same one. From that point on, he used this number-drawing system which today is still used by all of the more renowned Catawba Valley potters. I once met a writer who had traveled all the way from Indiana just to experience a Catawba Valley Kiln sale, not even to buy the pottery!

Don’t be surprised if you have never read about an upcoming kiln sale in Catawba Valley. While the more business-like potters do send out post cards to their mailing lists, I hear about many of them through word-of-mouth. So, if YOU want to find out about upcoming kiln sales, check the website CV Pottery.com or drop me a quick email and I will notify you as soon as I hear about the next one. Oh, by the way, my friend who won the vase but had vowed she would never buy a face or snake jug? She emailed after we got home asking me to let her know when the next sale was as she had a perfect place picked out for a few pieces of pottery; another collector is born!

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Lake Norman, Face Jugs and North Carolina Pottery; a True Story!

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman, Face Jugs and North Carolina Pottery; a True Story!

Did you know that Lake Norman is smack in the middle of some of the best pottery making in the entire country? To the east of us about 60 miles is the community of Seagrove  and just to the west of Lake Norman is Catawba Valley. Both of these areas can trace their potters and styles back several centuries. Yet for the most part their styles, glazes, shapes and even the way the potters sell their work varies greatly. Two separate regions with two wonderfully collectible but different pottery and Lake Norman right in the middle!

When I first moved to Lake Norman from California I had no idea North Carolina was known for its pottery or what a “Face Jug” was let alone the difference between an alkaline glaze and a salt glaze or Seagrove pottery versus Catawba Valley pottery. The first face jugs I ever saw were in Cotton Ketchie’s Landmark Gallery in Mooresville. I guess like most folks, my first impression was…well…YUK. I could not understand the attraction.

Catawba Valley Pottery Face Jug

It was easier to go to Seagrove and buy beautiful vases by Ben Owen III . Seagrove’s origins date back to the late 18th Century when a handful of families from Great Britain settled in the area and started making and selling pottery. Ben, a fourth generation potter from the talented Owen family, has already become world renowned. Most recently he was in Tokyo to deliver some of his spectacular vases to the Tokyo Ritz Carlton:

Ben Owen III is a Seagrove Potter shown here in Tokyo

Like many potters, Ben and his family live on the same property as his gallery/shop in Seagrove. He holds periodic “kiln sales” . Each sale will offer specific glazes from one of his selection of kilns. When you attend a Ben Owen III kiln sale, plan on arriving before the sun as it is first-come first-served and some people even camp out overnight! I have met some wonderful people from all over the country while waiting in line. We peak in the windows of his gallery to try to see all of the new pieces because once you get inside you must rush to grab your favorite pieces very quickly or they will be snatched up by another collector Ben Owen III’s gallery before a sale.

Ben Owen turning a pot on his wheel in Seagrove NC

Above is a picture of Ben Owen adding the finishing touches to a stunning vase he just “turned” on his potter’s wheel at his workshop in Seagrove.

Ben Owen III Showroom at his home/Gallery in Seagrove NC

 

I can’t even remember when I turned from the lovely Seagrove pottery to the earthy Catawba Valley pottery. I think it was after I read “Turners and Burners…The Folk Potters of North Carolina” by Charles G Zug III, truly the Bible of North Carolina pottery. His research and attention to detail was so great that several of today’s more popular Catawba Valley potters used it as a reference guide while teaching themselves how to turn, glaze and burn.

The entire legacy of Catawba Valley pottery rests on the shoulders of one man, Burlon B.Craig. True to the heritage, he continued the tradition of digging his own clay, grinding his own alkaline glazes out of glass, turning his potter’s wheel with his foot and firing his groundhog kiln using leftover wood from lumber mills. Burlon made face jugs, butter churns, jars, pitchers, bird houses, snake jugs and his unique swirl pieces until he died in 2002 at the age of 88. Today, some of his earlier pieces will sell at auctions for thousands of dollars.

Thanks to Burlon Craig a new generation of Catawba Valley potters emerged in the late 1980’s. Most hold fast to the same traditions of hand digging their own clay, making their own glazes and building their own groundhog wood-burning kilns.

Burlon Craig working on one of his utilitarian potsCatawba Valley Potter Burlon Craig Face Jug

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above is a photo of an early face jug by Burlon Craig and a picture of Burlon Craig working on a 5-gallon jug.

I encourage anyone reading this to visit Seagrove or one of the Catawba Valley potter’s kiln sales. I will put updates on this blog site of upcoming kiln sales and events. In the fall there is a Seagrove Pottery Festival AND a Burlon Craig Festival where many potters come to sell their work. If you have any questions send them my direction!

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Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations

37 Reasons to attend the Cotton Ketchie Arts Festival: August 17th and 18th 2007

You could come because there are going to be over 40 of North Carolina’s top artists selling everything from oil paintings to gorgeous turned-wood pieces that would light up anyones home.

You could come to MEET these artists and even commission someone like William Sundberg to paint a special remembrance of a favorite classic car, boat or motorcycle.

You could come to the Friday Evening Charity Gala and bid on over 40 donated pieces of art in our silent or live auction and enjoy a delicious catered buffet dinner by Nancy Brody, Shelton Vineyards Wine and music by Night Shift. Only 350 tickets are sold to this special evening and we sell out every year!

You could come and bring your children so that they can enjoy the art and the many children’s activities.

You could come to say hi to me as I will be there Friday evening and all day Saturday!

You could come to see “Cotton” Ketchie’s newest giclee release Mountain Grandeur and even buy a $5 raffle ticket or two in hopes of winning this beautiful piece of art!

But, I hope you will come to help us remember the 37 children that died last year in North Carolina as a result of child abuse. All of the proceeds received by the Mooresville/Lake Norman Exchange Club from this event will benefit the Exchange/SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now)/ Child and Parenting Centers of Iredell County. www.iredellscan.org.

We had over 1600 reported cases of child abuse in Iredell County last year. So please, come to enjoy the art knowing that you are making a difference in our own community. If you are not able to come but would like to make a donation please drop me a quick email and I will send you the details. And, of course, I have tickets to the Evening Gala…first come, first served!

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Mooresville on Money Magazine’s list of Best Places to Live!

Mooresville Lake Norman's Race City USA logo

Today’s headline in the Mooresville Tribune reads: “Mooresville joins list of top places to live”. Officially, we were #65 out of 100 on Money Magazine’s annual Best Places to Live list. As James Justice, our Town Manager said in the Tribune article: “This particular accolade supports what many of us already know, and that is Mooresville is a great place to live.”

According to Money Magazine, “For this year’s list we focused on smaller places that offered the best combination of economic opportunity, good schools, safe streets, things to do and a real sense of community”. Well, this is simply validation of what I discovered three years ago while researching on the Internet and why my family lives here today! For a town of 23,100 to have great schools, miles of shoreline on beautiful Lake Norman, great shopping and restaurants, and be located close to the major metropolitan area of Charlotte yet just miles to rolling farmlands and picturesque countryside, an hour and a half from the incredible Blue Ridge Mountains and the artsy town of Ashville and about 4 and a half hours to some the most beautiful beaches in the country is pretty darn hard to beat.

For more information and lots of statistics about Mooresville go to: www.money.cnn.com and click on Real Estate.

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Trader Joe’s is coming to Lake Norman!

Trader Joes Closest to Lake Norman

Some might ask why the fact that a small grocery store opening in the Charlotte area would make the front page of The Charlotte Observer. Well, I can only guess that those who are asking have never shopped at a Trader Joe’s! Because once you have been to a Trader Joe’s you will find yourself going back again and again and again.

In fact, they have such a cult following that there are even groups formed to lobby the privately owned company to open a store in their neighborhood/city.

I feel that I was indeed quite fortunate to live in Pasadena where Trader Joe’s was born. I even knew the original owners who have since sold it to another private company. As this wonderful company evolved, they never lost the essence of what makes them Trader Joe’s and yet I’m not sure I can describe their essence in words. It is a small grocery store, kind of healthy, reasonably priced, a unique and even exotic selection of salads and ready to eat fresh and frozen foods, fresh organic produce, meats, imported cheeses, beers, wines, lot of nuts, desserts, candy (incredible chocolate), staples like milk and eggs and unusal items that they buy in bulk for a one-time only opportunity.

This is one of their most famous items. Truly good wine for $2!

Entrance to Trader Joes in Lake Norman area

When you approach the front doors of a Trader Joe’s, you will be welcomed by an incredible array of fresh flowers and plants. As you enter the store, you will be greeted by more fresh flowers and orchid plants, and also a friendly hello from one of the ‘crew” in a Hawaiian shirt. The nautical island theme may escape you as your eyes are drawn immediately to the front displays of whatever interesting items they are featuring…everything from wine to Italian Panetones…always at incredibly low prices. You see, Trader Joe’s is about really cool, delicious foods and beverages at very reasonable to even low prices. You simply can’t beat that combination!

Trader Joes is now open!

1820 E Arbors Dr
Charlotte, NC
(704) 688-9578

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The Real Estate Process, Home Buying and Selling Tips

Stop! Real Estate DUAL AGENCY! Proceed with Caution!

Lake Norman Real Estate Educational perspective

It happened again, and still, I simply couldn’t do it! I was showing some really wonderful buyers property in Lake Norman several weeks ago and we happened to run in to a builder. He invited us to look as his newest home currently under construction across the street. My buyers fell in love; it was perfect for them. As it turned out, the builder’s listing agreement just expired so when my buyers proposed making an offer the builder suggested that I represent both sides and cut the commission. I told the builder no. Not because I had to cut the commission, but because I absolutely will not personally represent both sides of a sale. The builder as astonished, exclaiming that every agent he knew would have jumped at the chance. I told him I would gladly do all of the work for just the buyers’ agent’s half of the commission but he would have to act as a For Sale By Owner and my representation would be exclusively of the buyers. He agreed and we are successfully moving forward with the sale.

Okay, here is my problem: By law, we, as licensed real estate agents, owe a fiduciary responsibility to our clients. The definition of fiduciary according to my Webster’s Dictionary is: “the relation existing when one person justifiably reposes confidence, faith, and reliance in another whose aid, advice or protection is sought in some matter: the relation existing when good conscience requires one to act at all times for the sole benefit and interests of another with loyalty to those interests“. Where in this definition does anyone see room for a single Realtor to represent both sides of a transaction and still fulfill their legal responsibilities as a fiduciary?

In reality, an individual Realtor (as opposed to a firm) representing both sides in a transaction becomes a facilitator. But, don’t I owe my buyers more than that? When the builder brought up this idea of dual agency I immediately envisioned a few weeks down the line when there was a disagreement about the roofing or the hardwood floors. How in the world could I “protect” my buyers and act for their “sole benefit” and remain “loyal” to their interests if I am now simply a facilitator and owe equal representation to both buyers and seller?

Well, the reality is that I can’t and I never have in the 23+ years I’ve been a Realtor (Licensed in 1991).

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Lake Norman Relocation Resources

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Just the facts about Lake Norman

Are You Ready to Navigate the Waters of Lake Norman?

One of the first questions most of my relocating clients ask is something related to some sort of boating/fishing/playing on Lake Norman. I think some people think it’s just a matter of buying a boat and off you go! But, it’s not that simple. Trust me, the first time we went out on the lake we were amazed at just how large the lake really was and how all 520 miles of shoreline kind of look alike. Then, before you know it, a boat is coming right towards you…which way are you supposed to turn? Suddenly you realize that your inexperience and lack of training can not only endanger you but others on the lake as well.

Lake Norman speed-boat-hits-pole

TRY TO AVOID MARKERS!

So here are a few tips I gathered from many sources about what you should do and where you can go to learn about boating on Lake Norman BEFORE launching your vessel:

  • Learn How to Drive a Boat: There is no equivalent of a drivers license for boating but numerous classes are available for boaters of varying skills.
  • Take a Boating Safety Class: You will learn all of the navigational aid and the rules of the water.
  • Learn How to Navigate the Lake: I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to have a GPS in our boat. Without it, we would have a much tougher time. At the very least you need a good map that shows you not only all of the coves and islands but also the markers that guide the way. Knowing the shallow points, sandbars, shoals and danger markers could save your boat some serious damage. Our first time out, in a rental boat, we went between two islands and despite my telling the captain (my husband:) that I could see the bottom he continued on while watching his depth meter until we ran aground. A little embarrassing but no damage to the boat.

Lake Norman Shoal warning sign with bird nest

SHOAL MARKER 

  • Have an Experienced Boater Show You the Lake: Our boat salesman took us out on our boat the first day and gave us a complete lesson on how to approach boating on the lake, the do’s and don’t’s and all sorts of great information: AWESOME guy!
  • Don’t Go Small on the Weekend: We actually avoid the weekends whenever possible because the lake can get so crowded and choppy that it just isn’t that fun. If you want to canoe or kayak I would suggest keeping it to the weekdays or early mornings on the weekend. We have a 20′ pontoon boat which we were told is about as small as you would want to be on a busy day on the lake.
  • Don’t Shortcut Points and Islands. Swing around them then to avoid any shallow areas. (Like we did our first time out!)

One of over 100 islands on  Lake Norman

ONE OF THOSE ISLANDS! 

  • Watch Out for Bridges, Docks, No Wake Zones and Other Boaters: At Slanting Bridge Road, one of the bridge pilings still shows a series of cuts where a boat crashed head-on years ago.

No Wake Marker on Lake Norman

NO WAKE MARKER 

  • Know the Lake Level: Is it “Full Pond” which mean there will be less space under bridges. Or, is it 3.6′ lower, like it is right now, which means larger sandbars and more shallow areas.
  • Know the Rules!: Here are some great resources for you: 1. The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department’s Lake Enforcement Unit has a great pamphlet “Boating in Mecklenburg County…What every boater should know before launching their vessel”. Email me for a copy or go to www.cmpd.org. 2. One of our all time experts on the Lake Norman is Gus Gustafson. He has his own website:  www.fishingwithgus.com or can be reached at gus@lakenorman.com. He provides very detailed updates on broken or missing markers and Aids to Navigation as well as warnings about rocks, bridge clearances, what boaters should be aware of and even a list of the Ten Dangerous Places on Lake Norman. He also a Professional Sport Fishing Guide on Lake Norman and the author of several books on fishing.

Here are the links:

BOATING SAFETY AND OVERSIGHT

There is NOTHING like taking a quick outing on the Lake even as a lunch break. No matter how stressed I might be, it all melts away. How lucky I am to live here!

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