The Real Estate Process, Home Buying and Selling Tips

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

Part 2: Types of Siding

Thanks to having several years of experience selling real estate in the greater Lake Norman area after 15 years selling in California, I can not only tell you exactly what to look for regarding earthquake safety (okay, not terribly useful here) but now I can also explain the benefits and shortcomings of different types of siding, how to mediate moisture in your crawlspace, what levels of radon are considered acceptable, how to test septic systems, private well-water and what to do if your double-pane window seals break.

Part 2 of this series will focus on the types of siding commonly found on homes in the Lake Norman area.

I must admit, we didn’t even use the term “siding” in California and I was really shocked to find out they used vinyl rather than real wood for not just siding but shutters and even deck railings. But, that was before I fully grasped the importance of controlling moisture in and around our Lake Norman homes.

Siding: Siding is simply the material that covers the exterior of a home. In the Lake Norman area, you will find

  1. All Brick (veneer or full)
  2. Stone (veneer of full)
  3. Vinyl
  4. Stucco (hard coat or synthetic)
  5. Fiber Cement
  6. Wood/Shingles
  7. Any combination of the above 

Briefly, brick is durable, never needs painting and is quite popular here. It is one of the most expensive siding options so if you are buying new construction or building a new home plan on paying an additional amount for all brick or even partial brick exteriors. When we first moved here in 2005 brick was extremely popular however there is a move now towards a more Craftsman look using a combination of shingles, planks and even stucco.

Vinyl was completely new to me but is extremely common here in Lake Norman homes. I was shocked when I discovered that this siding, which I thought was wood from far away, actually feels like plastic as do their companion shutters. Vinyl is very low maintenance, cost effective (affordable!) and common in the lower to middle price ranges of homes in Lake Norman. There are many different grades of vinyl siding. See The Pros and Cons of Vinyl Siding

 

Stucco is both good and bad and inspires lots of controversy. This is because of a product called “synthetic stucco” or EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems). In 1996, 90% of homes tested in Wilmington NC that were clad with synthetic stucco were found to have high moisture levels in the wood components of the walls. As you learn quickly living in Lake Norman, high moisture levels can lead to the damage of wood and mold. Since this discovery, the use of synthetic stucco plumetted and now builders use primarily “hard-coat” stucco.  You can usually tell if a stucco is hard-coat by the existence of seams.

There are companies that do elaborate testing of stucco homes to determine if there are any high readings of moisture behind the walls. The key is to keep all areas around windows, chimneys etc. sealed properly so that moisture can not seep in. For more information go to the North Carolina Department of Insurance and select Engineering and Codes, then NC Building Code Council and finally Exterior Insulation Finish System. Or, the EIFS Industry Members Association , or The EIFS Alliance. By North Carolina law, Sellers may disclose the existence of synthetic stucco and listing agents must disclose it. I have a great stucco expert who can inspect and provide a very comprehensive report about existing synthetic and hard-coat stucco.

 There are also some very popular cement fiber sidings that look similar to vinyl but are more durable and more expensive. Hardieplank is highly recommended by contractors. It is a fibrous concrete that termites can’t eat, is impervious to moisture, comes in different colors but can be painted.

Wood is most common in older homes and higher-end custom homes but is not used extensively in new construction because of the regular maintenance and painting required. I still love real wood and hope someday to replace our current siding with wood. But, that’s probably because I am used to maintaining wood and love the look and feel.

If you do a Google Search on the pros and cons of siding you will get myriad results that will help you do further research if desired.

Part 3 of this series on Lake Norman real estate will discuss moisture issues.

MORE ARTICLES ABOUT BUYING A HOME IN LAKE NORMAN

Relocating to Lake Norman: What you should consider before buying a home Part 1

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

Lake Norman Relocation Resource

10 Things Lake Norman Waterfront Home Buyers Should Know BEFORE buyingR

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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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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman, Schools

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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lake norman real estate

The Lake Norman Real Estate Market Versus The Big Picture

Everywhere you turn, there is yet another perspective, debate or article on housing, mortgages and the economy.

Just look at our local news. The headline in today’s Charlotte Observer: Banks warn of more mortgage pain ahead; BofA, Wachovia brace for mounting loan defaults, losses tied to bad debt. A small article to the left: A push to disclose agents’ bonuses is a follow-up to an article I wrote about a couple of weeks ago. Several days ago The Charlotte Observer had a story entitled “New suburbs in fast decay…Foreclosures in starter neighborhoods lead to vacancies and crime” which was a part of a series on the effects of easy credit on Charlotte’s landscape.

 This week’s news related to the financial market: The Feds lowered their short term rates again this week but the market was hoping for more than the .25 basis point. The inflation numbers released today were higher than expected due primarily to the higher gas prices. Does this mean the end of the Feds short-term rate cuts?

Right now loans, loan fees and rates are a moving target as the financial institutions react to the sub-prime crisis. Fees have been hiked, even for prime credit candidates; jumbo loans are running a full 1% higher than conforming loan rates; the amount of the required down-payments fluctuates but there is no doubt that buyers now have to jump through more hoops to get a mortgage even with good credit scores and a solid down-payment.

And what about the “R” word? UCLA’s renowned Anderson Forecast that I have been reading for years came out on December 6th claiming that there is a “disconnect in the housing and jobs market” and that “if we can get through another couple of quarters without rising joblessness, we will have completed the first and hardest part of the housing correction, and the drag that the housing is creating for the economy will substantially abate…”. Therefore, they are saying No Recession based upon economic data at that time. This is a big deal because usually they are very negative.

So, what does all of this mean to Lake Norman real estate and how does all of this impact the Lake Norman area housing market?

As a Realtor I receive flyers on a daily basis from builders and listing agents offering myriad incentives to attend an open house luncheon…not even tied to selling a home! I got one the other day from Willow Creek announcing: “$10,000 give away and register to win a Visa gift card!” for attending a luncheon! Clearly, it is currently a buyers market in our greater Lake Norman area as a whole.

Based upon my own analysis, gut and experience, I honestly feel that 2008 will be flat. Listings that are staged well and priced right will sell in the usual 100 days for close to asking price just as they are now. Over-priced and stale listings may languish for months or even a year or more. Inventories of new and resale properties will remain high relative to the number of buyers. And, sales prices will probably come down slightly or remain flat versus the previous year.

Today, well qualified buyers with credit scores of at least 680 and a good down-payment (20%) are able to get great loan rates which are hovering around 6% right now. Those with lower credit scores and small down-payments, if they can get a loan, will pay a premium in fees and rates. If you fall in the first category then you are in the drivers seat today. There is no way of knowing how long these loan options will last.

Because the mortgage market is so volatile right now, I have asked a mortgage expert to start writing updates on specific loans available, rates and whether to lock or float a loan here on my blog/website so that you all can get more accurate mortgage data on a regular basis.

I have been through a recession while a Realtor in California in the early 1990s. I know this instability will be temporary and that in the long run the real estate market in Lake Norman is going to be very strong. There are so many positives in our local economy that will provide the forward momentum we have enjoyed.

We simply can’t loose our sense of humor even when faced with uncertainty. Here is my favorite quote by Ed Learner, director of the UCLA Anderson Forecast: “Now there are countless prognosticators throwing around recession. That may be the best indicator that a recession is not coming soon…Better remember a recession is not measured by the frequency with which newspapers use the ‘R’ word.”

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Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations

Forget real estate; Happy New Year Lake Norman!

It’s pouring rain outside and that in itself is worth celebrating. But, as much as you feel like cuddling around your fireplace at home today, tomorrow is New Year’s Eve and it’s going to be perfect weather for getting out of your home and celebrating the New Year around Lake Norman!

From the New Year’s Gala at the Statesville Civic Center to a New Year’s Prom Night at the Visulite Theatre in Charlotte; there are myriad reasons to leave the comfort of your Lake Norman home and spend a night on the town(s).

Here are some links to detailed lists of parties in Lake Norman and Charlotte:

New Year’s Eve Parties

New Year’s Eve Countdown

Lake Norman Fun!

If you are looking for more family oriented activities, Thomas Moore’s interactive show is a great alternative to the typical, alcohol oriented adult parties. It is being held at the Halton Theater on the Main Campus of Central Piedmont Community College from 11:00a.m. to noon located at 1206 Elizabeth Ave. For more information: 704.332.4838.

I wish you all a safe and Happy New Year. I’ll see you back here for more about Lake Norman real estate in 2008!

 

 

 

 

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Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations

The Lake Norman drought; where do we stand today?

It was 79 degrees today but I’m not celebrating or truly even enjoying the recording breaking warm weather. I think our cold weather had eased my concerns about our drought since we didn’t have to think about watering our garden. Talk of the drought was all but gone from the news until a small article in The Charlotte Observer “Charlotte area unlikely to see new water limits for months”yesterday.

Despite “a worsening drought and dry forecast“, Duke Energy doesn’t expect to declare a Stage 4 drought in mid-December as it had earlier predicted because one out of three of their key indicators, the lake levels, still support only a stage 3 level of restrictions. They now expect a Stage 4 declaration in February.

Somehow, the fact that Duke “has revised an earlier forecast for when the usable water in the reservoirs will be gone to mid-May instead of mid-March” doesn’t really make me feel any better, especially with the forecast for a dry winter looming in front of us.

So, exactly where are we right now? According to Duke Energy, today Lake Norman is at 93.2 VS 93.4 when I wrote: Rain and Lake Norman Drought; an important update!. (October 27th). And, our aquifer has actually gone up a foot to 6.6. However, if you look at a 20-year average of 4.99 we are still a foot and a half lower than normal for December. (There are links in this article to the Duke Energy lake levels and the aquifer tables).

Now that all of the trees have lost their leaves we again have a wonderful view of Lake Norman from our front porch; only this year we see more stark beaches than sparkling water. So, I’m going to keep conserving water hoping for the good old days when we could take our boat out and our biggest complaint was loud speed boats traveling too close to the shore. I don’t think I have ever appreciated Lake Norman more than I do today!

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Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations

December 11th Stocks for Tots event in Mooresville: It’s all about the children

It started 19 years ago as an effort by Penske’s President Don Miller and several race car drivers to collect toys for children. Today it is one of the most incredible racing events of the year but it has not lost its focus on the children.

On December 11th 2007, NASCAR, NHRA, ARCA and Legend drivers and celebrities past and present will join County Music stars like Brooke Morton to help raise money for the Exchange/Iredell SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now) Centers in Statesville and Mooresville.

Downtown Mooresville’s Main Street will be transformed into a showcase of race cars, pit-crew demonstrations and live music while inside the Charles Mack Citizens Center over 30 of the top drivers/media and Country Music celebrities will be signing autographs for fans AND there will be an incredible auction of collectibles like sheet metal from famous race cars. There is no other event like this where so many drivers are in one place at one time to meet with the fans. The drivers, many of whom live in the Mooresville area, generously give of their precious holiday time to help battle child abuse.

The event is 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and driver signings are from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. If you are interested in getting autographs you will need to learn more about the wristband procedures (wrist bands are needed to enter the event, obtain an autograph and/or attend the auction) by going to the Stocks for Tots website

The list of drivers and celebrities is updated on the Stocks for Tots website as well.

As the Treasurer of the Board of Directors of SCAN I can tell you that this event has enabled our organization to expand programs, add parenting classes all of which have resulted in the downward trend of child abuse cases in Iredell County.

I am constantly amazed by all of the hardwork that goes in to putting on this event and the full year of planning and dedication by the Stocks for Tots committee. This is the essence of what life is like here in Mooresville and it is one of the reasons I love living here and being a part of this wonderful community. I hope to see you there!

If you would like to make a donation or become a volunteer at SCAN please contact me or Amy Eisele, Executive Director of our Iredell/SCAN center.

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Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations

Brawley School Road Widening has begun!

It started a few weeks ago when tree crews were out cutting down and clearing sections along parts of Brawley School Rd.

At first I wasn’t sure what was happening so I talked with a few of the businesses along Brawley School Road. Medicap Pharmacy told me they had to be in their new location on Stutts Road by the second week in December and Cheyl Lynn’s Dry Cleaners began construction to remove the front half of their building and reconfigure their existing building so that their business can stay where it is.

Within a week or so, most of the land near the utility lines had been cleared and utility crews had begun installing new poles and lines. As of today they were working near Isle of Pines Rd, at the intersection of Canvas Back Road, in front of the Brawley Middle School and in various sections in-between.

As much as we all dread what lies ahead during the three-year period it is supposed to take to widen Brawley School Rd to four lanes with a median divide or 5 lanes depending on the section, I must admit it is exciting to finally see the work begin!.

The state’s plan to widen 5.9 miles of Brawley School Rd from U.S. 21 to Chuckwood Rd. includes relocating 11 residences and 8 businesses because of the unprecedented 120-foot right-of-way acquistion.

The Material Depot has already moved to the old David’s Garden site.

And, just to make things more interesting, a “Future Home of Bloom” market sign was placed across the street from Fast Phils about a month ago and I noticed they have started to demolish the small house located on the site just today.

Hold on fellow residents of Brawley School Peninsula…we are in for a wild ride. Just keep reminding yourself that it’s going to be wonderful in 2011!

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The Real Estate Process, Home Buying and Selling Tips

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

I recently read an article by Bernice Ross in Inman News entitled: Avoiding a relocation nightmare. It brought a smile to my face because I could tell that she, like me, was also used to housing issues common in California and seemed truly alarmed by all of the unexpected things she encountered while building a new home in what I’m guessing was the Southeastern part of the country.

It’s amazing to me how truly different the home-buying experience is throughout our country. When my husband and I moved to Mooresville our Realtor didn’t even begin to educate us on all of the differences and things we needed to consider; probably because he was a native of Lake Norman and didn’t have a clue what we didn’t know.

Thanks to having several years of experience selling real estate in the greater Lake Norman area after 15 years selling in California, I can not only tell you exactly what to look for regarding earthquake safety (okay, not terribly useful here) but now I can also explain the benefits and shortcomings of different types of siding, how to mediate moisture in your crawlspace, what levels of radon are considered acceptable, how to test septic systems, private well-water and what to do if your double paned window seals break. Below is a list of things to consider and learn about before or during the house-hunting process.

Does your new community have issues with floods, fires, mold, water shortages or even hurricanes? (No earthquakes that I know of here.)

  • Here in Lake Norman and the greater part of the Southeast we are experiencing an extreme drought. While this is not common, it is certainly not something my husband and I even thought was possible! Those who have city services are under water restrictions however those of us with private wells need to watch the underground water tables (see my article on the Lake Norman drought).
  • Because of our topography and red clay soil, many lots have low areas that are prone to flooding so it is important to learn as much as possible about the lot you are buying
  • Mold comes with living in a humid climate. The homes here are built specifically to address moisture issues. From moisture barriers in crawl spaces to building materials like Tyvek, to different types of siding, there are many ways to protect your home from potential moisture problems. It is important to know what products your builder uses or used or didn’t use.
  • Here in Lake Norman we rarely are affected by hurricane although Hugo in 1989 did topple some trees and cut power to many homes

Do you have city services including sewer, natural gas and water or does the property have a septic system, private well water, propane and private trash pick up?

  • As a general rule, if you live in the town limits of any town around Lake Norman you will have sewers, natural gas, trash pick-up and city water. However, many of the areas on the lake itself are in the counties not the town limits so, like my home, have private wells, septic systems, underground propane gas and private trash pick-up. I have absolutely no complaints about this but it is important that you educate yourself about the differences and decide which better suits your needs.

What are the average insurance and property tax rates?

  • Property taxes vary by county and also if you are in the town limits or county. Compared to states like Florida, New Jersey and New York our taxes are extremely low. The 2007-2008 tax rates range from a high in Charlotte of $1.2973 per $1000 to a low of .4650 in Iredell County outside the town limits of Mooresville, Statesvillle and Troutman which just happens to include the Brawley School peninsula where I live!
  • We have found our own insurance rates to be about half of what they were in California

In Part 2 of this series “What you should consider before buying” when relocating to the greater Lake Norman Area, I will start to talk about the types of sidings, and other issues that may or may not come up during physical inspections. Since the North Carolina does not require the seller to disclose problems related to the structure of the homes, it is very important to know what to look for and where to go for the best information regarding these issues.

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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

Lake Norman Relocation Resources

Relocating to Lake Norman

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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!

RELATED ARTICLES

How to buy the best Catawba Valley Face Jugs!

Lake Norman, Face Jugs and Collecting Catawba Valley Pottery

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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!

RELATED ARTICLES

It snows in Birkdale Village every night!

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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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lake norman real estate

Lake Norman Real Estate; All Real Estate is Local: Update

Three months ago I wrote Lake Norman Home Sales: Are We Swimming in the Number of Homes for Sale? It was prompted by a very negative headline in the Charlotte Observer’s Business Section about our housing slump. So, what have we learned in the past three months?

According to three news articles today: “Odds rise for economic recession” “…there is a 45% chance that the U.S. Economy will spiral toward a recession in 2008 as real estate foreclosures and gasoline costs continue to escalate, according to economist Ken Rosen.”;or “Home prices rise in 33 states since September 2006″ which takes the glass half-full perspective and finally, economists are analyzing the notes from the Federal Reserve’s Oct. 30th meeting and predicting that they will not slash short-term interest rates again. It is clear that the experts simply don’t agree and clearly use the economic data in different ways.

Once, again, I would like to look at our actual Lake Norman MLS data to give you a better idea of our local real estate picture. We currently have 1358 active listings as compared to 1328 on 8/28/07 and 1300 on 6/30/07. 93 properties closed in the past 30 days ( compared to 153 in my August report which is a 39% decline in sales volume. In the same period of 2006 there were 117 sales which is a 20.5% decline.) If we were to assume that this pace of slower sales would continue, and you divide 1358 by 93 = 14.6 months of supply of homes for sale, almost double what we had three months ago and well over the 6-8 months which represents a balanced market.

Let’s once again look at the Lake Norman Sales by area:

  • 13/1 (North of Hwy 150 in Iredell County): 201 Active listings and 11 solds in the past 30 days. Summary: 18.2 months of inventory of active listings.The average price per square foot decreased by 17% and the sales volume decreased by 42% compared to the same period last year.
  • 13/2 (South of Hwy 150 to Langtree Rd): 445 Active listings and 24 solds in the past 30 days. Summary: 18.5 months of inventory of active listings. The average price per square foot increased by 19.4% and the sales volume decreased by 33.3% compared to the same period last year.
  • 13/3 (Mecklenburg County): 210 Active listings and 18 solds in the past 30 days. Summary: 11.7 months of inventory of active listings on hand. The average price per square foot decreased by 12% and the sale volume deceases by 10% compared to the same period last year.
  • 13/4 (Lincoln County): 303 Active listings and 25 solds in the past 30 days. Summary: 12.1 months of inventory of listings on hand. The average price per square foot decreased by 6.4% and the sales volume was identical to the same period last year.
  • 13/5 (Catawba County): 199 Active listings and 15 solds in the past 30 days. Summary: 13.2 months of inventory of listings on hand. The average price per square foot increased by 6.2% and the sales volume decreased by 12% compared to the same period last year.

So what does this all mean? Iredell County is suffering the greatest slump in sales, average sales price and number or volume of sales. Mecklenburg County has experienced a modest decline in sales and average prices and does have a supply of inventory over the balanced figure of 6-8 months so they are also experiencing a buyer’s market. While also heavy in inventory, both Lincoln and Catawba Counties are the strongest of the Lake Norman area. Lincoln County had a slight decrease in the average sales prices but their volume is equal to last year. Catawba County actually had an increase in their average sales price while a decline in the number of homes sold.

If you look at my third quarter sales analysis you can also see the sales broken down by price range.

Again, I will reiterate what I said 3 months ago. While the overall Lake Norman real estate market is down and very heavy on inventory of active listings, there are some bright spots as well. If you have any questions regarding this analysis or the Lake Norman real estate market, please don’t hesitate to call or email me!

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

How Lake Norman Real Estate’s Quarterly Sales Analysis by Price Range Helps Both Buyers and Sellers!

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Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations

The Mooresville Christmas Parade is This Tuesday, 2007!

It was great, hope to see you next year!

(For information about Mooresville’s Christmas Parade 2009  click here).

Enjoy another slice of Mooresville’s hometown Americana at the 63rd. annual Mooresville Christmas parade this Tuesday, November 20th at 3:45p.m! One of Mooresville’s richest traditions and the communtiy’s most festive kick-off to the holiday season, Mooresville’s Christmas parade is touted to be one of THE BEST in North Carolina.

This year’s Mooresville Christmas Parade will feature 130 entries including 4 marching bands, classic cars, floats from community organizations, church groups, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, ROTC units, radios stations. And, over 3000 children will be participating in the parade.

All of the area parades are scheduled one week at a time so that none of them overlap days. Mooresville’s Christmas Parade, which is considered one of the very best, is on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving every year.

Instead of the usual race celebrity, this year our grand marshall will be 20 year-old professional bull rider J.B. Mauney of Mooresville.

The parade starts at 3:45p.m. on North Main St. in Downtown Mooresville at Statesville Avenue. Come early and bring your lawn chairs, blankets and the whole family. Look for the RE/MAX Balloon as I will be with our float and balloon in the parade! This is my first year in the parade and I am truly lookiing forward to it! I hope to see you all there! 

Mark Your Calendars for Dec. 11th: Our huge Stocks for Tots event will be at the Charles Mack Citizens Center. For more information: Stocks for Tots

 

RELATED ARTICLES

Relocating to Mooresville NC

Mooresville NC Relocation Resources 

Mooresville on Money Magazine’s Best Places to Live!

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

27 Reasons to Visit Historic Downtown Mooresville Part 1 

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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.)

RELATED ARTICLES

Mooresville on Money Magazine’s Best Places to Live!

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

27 Reasons to Visit Historic Downtown Mooresville Part 1

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Learn about Lake Norman North Carolina Barbecue!

The other day one of my dear friends, a native of Mooresville NC, and I decided to take time out from our crazy schedules and have lunch together. We hadn’t planned on where to go until I met her at which point she asked if I liked barbecue. It turned out the Coddle Creek ARP Church on Coddle Creek Rd. was having their annual barbecue. Boy, was I in for a treat! It was some of the best barbeque, coleslaw and homemade cakes (I had a red velvet cake) I have ever had!. There was quite a line when we arrived but we were able to find two empty seats at one of the large round tables. It wasn’t even quite noon and the place was packed. We chatted with everyone as if we had known them forever while savoring every bite of the deeply smoked and chopped pork, spicy coleslaw, sweet pickles, bread and myriad fresh baked cakes of every kind. I felt like I had lived here my whole life. This was truly the essence of life in a small southern town…worlds away from the estate-studded Lake Norman yet just 10 or so miles away.

I admit it, when we moved to Lake Norman I didn’t know very much about life in North Carolina, we just knew we loved it here. The first time we ordered barbecue we were a bit confused by the large serving of finely chopped pork, coleslaw made with spicy vinegar (no mayonaise) and hush puppies. Where were the bones, the ribs, the chicken breasts and the thick red sauce? Well, clearly we had not done our homework!

According to The North Carolina Barbecue Society, “North Carolina is the Cradle of the Cue”. But, in North Carolina, unlike other states, barbecue is all about roasted pork, often the entire pig. It is not about a red sauce. Here, barbecue is about the process of cooking the meat as much as about the ingredients. While some debate whether it should be cooked in a pit vs. over gas, normally it is a slow-roasting process which lasts most of the day. The barbecue I had last week had the best, smokey flavor I have had so I am guessing it was roasted in a pit.

North Carolina Barbecue has quite a history, dating back to the 1500’s according to Terry Mancour’s “North Carolina Barbecue: A Primer” . “The hog roast, or “pig pickin” is perhaps the heart of North Carolina culinary culture…The pig pickin’ has been used by hundreds of churches as a fund-raising technique” going back as far as 1757, Around Lake Norman, it is not uncommon to see home made signs at major intersections announcing an upcoming barbecue by not just churches but fire stations, community organizations and schools.

Every year, the town of Lexington which is about an hour from Mooresville/Lake Norman, holds their Lexington Barbecue Festival. My husband and I went our first year here. Not only was there great barbecue but the streets were full of entertainment, arts and crafts, pigs made out of sand, wood, clay and just about anything you can think of!

 

If you check out the links above you will find wonderful lists of restaurants, recipes, and an extensive history about our great North Carolina barbecue. Enjoy!

OTHER ARTICLES of INTEREST

Mooresville on Money Magazine’s Best Places to Live!

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

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lake norman real estate

Move on us: Lake Norman!

My apologies but I am now the Owner/Broker of LKN Realty, LLC but I don’t believe they have the truck anymore as the company was sold.

Dear Clients and Friends,

It is my pleasure to invite you to use our new RE/MAX at the Laketruck for free!

As one of the agents choosing to participate in this great program, I am able to offer you the use of our truck for anything from an actual move to picking up a large item that doesn’t fit in your car for free.

It is simple:

Call or email me

All you will need is a valid driver’s license, current insurance card and a major credit card. Remember to book early, especially for a weekend as it is first-come first-serve. And, be sure to let them know that I sent you and it will be free!

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

How Lake Norman Real Estate’s Quarterly Sales Analysis by Price Range Helps Both Buyers and Sellers!

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About Diane Aurit

Something about Diane

Diane B. Aurit

Welcome! I am so glad you stopped by to see what is happening in our wonderful Lake Norman area.

You will probably find that I write quite enthusiastically about Lake Norman and about life here. That is because I am writing through the eyes of someone who discovered, fell in love with and just up and moved to Mooresville Lake Norman in 2005 for no other reason than my husband and I decided it was the ultimate place in the country to live.

If you know the old adage “There is no substitute for experience,” I have found that this definitely applies to all of my real estate services. My extensive marketing background, years in real estate that have encompassed a diversity of locations, economic markets, price ranges, types of housing, cultures, ethnicitys, ages and personalities of clients, comprise the foundation upon which I build all of my customized real estate services.

But, honestly, there is only one thing that truly motivates me: I care. I care about every one of the clients I choose to work with and I do my absolute best to represent them, support them and educate them; designing their real estate experience to best suit their needs and meet their goals.

Just the Facts

  • Full-time licensed REALTOR since 1991 specializing in residential sales
  • Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)
  • Certified Green Professional
  • Green Specialist 
  • EcoBroker Certified
  • Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES)
  • Graduate REALTORS Institute (GRI)
  • At Home with Diversity National Certification from the National Association of Realtors
  • Designated Relocation Specialist
  • Member, Historic Real Estate Program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • Member of the Charlotte Real Estate Association, North Carolina Association of REALTORS and the National Association of REALTORS
  • Community Involvement includes: Treasurer of the Board of Directors of SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now) Center of Iredell County; President of the Mooresville/Lake Norman Exchange Club; Founding member of the Mooresville Museum; Member of the Mooresville Artist Guild; Committee Member of the annual “Stocks for Tots” (NASCAR related) fundraiser and the Annual “Cotton Ketchie Arts Festival”.
  • B.A. in English; University of California, Berkeley
  • Married with two children
  • Just for fun: Cycling around Brawley School Road, gardening; boating; collecting North Carolina pottery (especially Catawba Valley); my cats and going GREEN!

While establishing my real estate practice in Mooresville, NC I realized that I was immediately drawn to the many people from all over the country who are relocating here, whether by choice or for jobs.

Having lived in California, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey and now North Carolina, I can find common ground with just about anyone relocating to our Lake Norman area. I know exactly what it is like to relocate here from personal experience so am able to guide my clients through the process. It is what I love to do!

Posted on 2007-11-12 @ 3.13:35 pm by Diane Aurit
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lake norman real estate

Update: Homes currently available in Lake Norman’s Crescent Communities?

The Crescent Homes’ communities at Lake Norman including their newest at Falls Cove, plus Sailview in Denver, The Point and The Farms in Mooresville and The Peninsula in Cornelius are some of the most beautiful in Lake Norman; offering exceptional amenities and community activities. I just received this update on the specifics of all of their available homes. If you are just thinking about relocating to Lake Norman perusing these links will give you a better idea of what the more upscale communites offer.

Homes on the Rise at Falls Cove
Construction at Falls Cove is continuing at full force. Currently, 16 homes are under way and all are in the $500s and $600s – this is a great time for you to become part of Crescent’s new community on Lake Norman. Click here to view a list of all available homes at Falls Cove.

Find Your Ideal Home at The Point
Whether you are looking for a home on the golf course, on Lake Norman or with a view, The Point can deliver. Click here to check out The Point’s inventory, including nine homes on the golf course, three on the water and two with impressive views.

Four- and Five-Bedroom Homes at SailView
If you are looking for a four- or five-bedroom house, SailView has nine homes that fit the bill. With many of these homes priced in the $500s and $600s, now is the time to get in on the few remaining homes at SailView. Click here to see all available homes.

Available Homes Inventory

Falls Cove has 15 homes in the $500s and 1 home in the $600s. All 16 homes are Ready To Customize (RTC).

The Farms has 8 homes in the $500s, 24 in the $600s and 9 in the $700s. Of the 41 homes, 22 are complete and 19 are RTC.

The Peninsula has 1 RTC home for more than $3 million.

The Point has 1 home in the $600s, 10 from the $700s to $900s, 12 in the $1-million range and 1 for more than $2 million. Of the 24 homes, 12 are complete and 12 are RTC.

SailView has 6 homes in the $500s, 3 in the $600s and 1 in the $1-million range. Of the 10 homes, 7 are complete and 3 are RTC.

the Sanctuary has 8 homes in the $1-million range and 5 in the $2-million range. Of the 13 homes, 4 are complete and 9 are RTC

 

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Grateful to our Mooresville Lake Norman Veterans

Last night was one of those experiences you just want to put in your pocket so that you can find it whenever you need to. It was a night filled with pride and humility, good and horrific memories, friends and strangers sharing an indescribable bond without the necessity of a word being spoken.

As I went from table to table refilling sweet tea I heard snippets of old and not so old war stories from World War II to Iraq and Desert Storm. There were moments of laughter and somber moments as experiences were shared.

We had about 155 attend our first-ever One Nation Under God dinner (instead of our lunches in the past) which is an event dedicated to honoring our military and clergy.

Each attending Veteran was asked to send us a photo of themselves in uniform which was converted to a presentation that ran all evening on the big screens.

The highlight without a doubt was our guest speaker Bill Lowrance. Bill Lowrance was one of three medics to survive the invasion of Omaha Beach and Okanowa. He drew a chart of the incredible layers of land mines, explosives and enemy combatants that they had to clear for the incoming American equipment. They buried American 9300 soldiers once they gained control.

The defining moment was when Bill described the bright white light of the Japanese plane, which had been painted white, that flew in to officially surrender. After a standing ovation the program ended with everyone in attendance grateful for the reminder of how so many have given their lives or risked their lives for our country. Another reminder of why I love living here in Mooresville, North Carolina.

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Restaurant Review: Soiree

 

Please note that Soiree is closed and the Epic Chop House  is now open in its location!

A Lake Norman Restaurant Review

By

Kathy K.

For our wedding anniversary my husband and I made dinner reservations at Soirée in historic downtown Mooresville. I had previously passed by the restaurant on several occasions while strolling through town showing all of our out of town guests all that downtown Mooresville has to offer. Each time I passed by I’d make a point to peek in through the windows of the restaurant and liked what I saw. The restaurant is quaint and has a rich history which you can read about if you log onto their website which is listed below. The decor is tasteful and offers an upstairs “gallery” that you can stroll around either before or after your meal and the service is top notch in this upscale restaurant.

 

My husband ordered the Pan Roasted Sea Bass which was seared and served over a Lemon Essence Truffle Risotto Cake and accompanied with a Saffron Seafood Sauce for $27.00.

I chose the Pan Crisped Snapper which came with two Artichoke-Fennel Raviolis and a Smoked Paprika Sauce for $26.00. Both dishes were well presented and very tasty; the problem was that there just wasn’t enough to them. The portions were quite small which may have been overlooked had they come with a vegetable or some other accompaniment.

Normally, after a meal we hem and haw over whether to get dessert or not because we’re so stuffed and in addition we often bring part of our meal home because we just can’t finish it. Not this time…dessert was definitely in order and had the bread basket not been taken away before our meal was served we would have been back in it. The basket came with 4 little pieces of bread…two were the standard restaurant served bread and two were truly delightful herbed pieces of bread. We ate those and left the other two in anticipation of our meal. Darn, would have liked to have them back after we finished our meal.

Now it was definitely time to order dessert. We were in the mood for cheesecake and we love a good old-fashioned New York Style Cheesecake…plain. We don’t care for toppings and other flavors since they often tend to over-power the cheesecake. The only cheesecake on the menu was a Ginger Pumpkin Cheesecake which we ordered. What a surprise! It was beautifully presented and had a ginger color to it and just a hint of the ginger and pumpkin to allow the cheesecake to still shine through…it was a perfect blending of flavors, absolutely delicious!!

The entire meal was delectable and dining experience was quite good, our only complaint would be that the portions were too small and that is a rare occurrence for us to encounter. We also found it a tad pricey for what we were served. If you plan to spend a day just taking in the wonderful shops in downtown Mooresville I would recommend you stop in for a nice meal and a little bit of history, just don’t show up too hungry.

Rating: *****

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About Diane Aurit

What do Diane’s Clients and Fellow Agents have to Say?

What I truly hate about real estate is the fact that I have to sell myself. I simply love marketing properties but I feel SO uncomfortable trying to tell people why they should want to work with me. So, instead, here is a list of what some of my clients have written:

  • Diane, I wanted to thank you again for your assistance in helping Jenifer and myself with the purchase of our new home in Denver NC. We were worried about the logistics of trying to relocate from California within such a short time frame. We were very impressed that you were able to meet our needs with ease. We were simply amazed that you were able to schedule and show us 15 houses in one day. We were equally impressed with your depth of knowledge about the real estate industry and the advice that you were able to provide us with based on that. Your professionalism and attention to detail throughout the entire purchase process was exceptional. I honestly don’t think that we would have been able to meet our time frame without your help and support. We will continue to refer our friends and colleagues to you with the assurance that they will be well taken care of. Thanks, Christian and Jenifer.
  • Dear Diane, Moving is just the most exhausting and stressful time for any family. Carl and I have done this task more times than we would like to count. Having said that, we’re so fortunate to have met you. You’re an amazing person and a great Realtor. Within one afternoon you were able to determine the exact wants and needs we were after in our new home here in Mooresville. The time and energy that you put into finding our new home was above and beyond the realm of your job. Spending time with you looking for our home was just an extreme pleasure. You made us feel like we were your only responsibility. We couldn’t be happier with our lovely new home. Saying thank you doesn’t cover how we feel about our experience working with you but that’s all I can say, so thank you so very much. Take care and stay in touch. Carl and Judy
  • Thank you for your wonderful work on behalf of the church in marketing the five historic homes that comprise the Ross Grove Historic District. You provided sound advice and represented the church impeccably from our initial discussions through the closing of the last house. Thank you for your organization, responsiveness and proactive communication throughout the sales process. You handled every detail of these complicated transactions with professional ease and through your efforts provided good sales prices to the church. Mathew Morgan, Secretary of the Board, Worldwide Church of God
  • Many thanks, Diane, for all the work you did to make this sale possible. Three contracts in order to sell one house; you really earned your money! Thanks too for all of the footwork, the ads, the caravans and all of the other things I didn’t hear or think about. I appreciate it all but mostly I really appreciate your professional attitude and your gracious willingness to do the small tasks that aren’t a whole lot of fun–like accompany the bee exterminator in the rain! Thanks! Sandra Tasca
  • Diane, We would like to thank you for helping us find our new home and for working so hard to do it. We are so happy at Conistan! Sincerely, Jamie and Ben
  • I recently closed on a house in which your company represented me as the buyer. My agent was Diane Aurit. I am writing this letter to let you know what a fabulous job she did for me. Since I am very particular about what I wanted it took over a year to find the right house. In that time we encountered many disappointments in which the transactions fell through. During this period, Diane’s dedication never wavered. She maintained the highest levels of integrity and professionalism. Diane is a rare person and should be considered a great asset to your company. David Gould
  • We appreciated everything you did to make sure we ended up with the house of our dreams!…I don’t think anything could have prepared us for all the twist and turns, ups and downs, but you were there for us and helped us keep things in perspective…We absolutely LOVE our house! Suzanne and Joe Paul
  • Thank you – its been great to work with such a professional and nice person…we look forward to years ahead of friendship.
  • Diane, we could not have made it without your advice, expertise…thanks for pushing us when we needed it and for putting up with all of my problems!
  • Thanks to you, I have a home. You’ve done what some said was impossible!
  • Diane is truly amazing…she made the process most enjoyable?
  • Thorough, honest, pleasant, very professional, always willing to help. Diane is extremely thoughtful.
  • Diane was very sensitive to and knowledgeable about our situation…I would strongly recommend her.
  • Did not waste our time with “salesmanship”…found and showed us property that suited us.
  • She is professional and friendly. Non-intrusive, sincere, followed up and a delightful person
  • Diane really extended herself to ensure that all transactions were handled efficiently
  • Communication, candor, professionalism, knowledge, “can do” attitude
  • Attention to detail, thoroughness in her explanations of real estate procedures, her professionalism and pleasant demeanor

And, the one comment that really stuck and became my motto:

Professionalism with a personal touch

From Realtors:

  • They (his clients) have been really impressed with your work. I’m happy to have found a top notch agent for them. Their new home sounds wonderful. Thanks for all of your efforts. Jim Dolan
  • Dear Diane, Thank you so much for all your help with Pintail, Canvasback and Fair Oaks Open Houses…I really appreciate your professionalism and most of all your genuine effort and willingness to help. I realize you’re very seasoned and it takes great commitment and courage to move across the country and start your business over again….its square one again or deja vu. Your knowledge, tenacity and professional attitude will serve you well to once again be successful. You have my utmost in respect and appreciation…You’re a winner! Laura Ferguson
  • As a seller, I loved: feedback from my agent about buyers/other agent’s response to showings, reassurance from my agent that my responses to offers were reasonable, updates from my agent about….I’m not sure that I really always remembered how important immediacy and timing is to a seller. Reassurance about the appropriateness of decisions is vital…All of these things represent ‘value added’ element which makes me believe the transaction was “fun”, commissions were deservedly earned, and my agent is professional, knowledgeable and my friend! (I listed and sold my broker’s father’s home after he passed away and this was part of a letter that she wrote to her owner/broker partner about her experience).
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Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations

Mooresville Exchange Club to Honor Veterans, Active Military and Clergy on Nov. 9th!

This Friday evening, November 9th at 6:30 at the Charles Mack Citizens Center, my Mooresville/South Iredell Exchange Club will be hosting a free dinner honoring our Veterans, Active Military and Clergy as part of our One Nation Under God program. If you, a family member or friend are a veteran we would love for any and all veterans or active military members to join us for a wonderful dinner and evening of appreciation for all of the untold sacrifices which they have and will continue to make.

This year we are truly honored to have Bill Lowrance as our guest speaker. Mr. Lowrance, a World War II veteran, is going to share some of his stories about being on the beach of Omaha and a number of other battles that he survived. I have been told that it has only been in the last several years that he has even been able to speak about his experiences in some of the most horrific battles of the entire war. We are honored that he is willing to share with us!

Last year I sat with a veteran of World War II, The Vietnam War and Desert Storm and listened as they, with great humility and almost reluctantly, shared some of their experiences. But, when it came time to acknowledge each branch of the military they stood with such pride and a sense of comaradarie.

Please email me ASAP so that I can put your name(s) on our list and ensure that we have plenty of food! All veterans, active military, and clergy are welcome!

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Grateful to our Mooresville Lake Norman Veterans

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lake norman real estate

Lake Norman Real Estate: Are we in a Buyers Market? (12/07)

I have refrained from making any hard core predictions or gross generalities about our Lake Norman real estate market until I truly had enough evidence to provide well founded guidance to both buyers and sellers. Today was the “Perfect Storm” of data that has prompted me to go out on a limb and give you specific advice based upon my October sales analysis, interest rates, national economic indicators and interviews with some of the leaders of the real estate industry.

For Lake Norman Buyers: It is now time to buy. Why?

  • Interest rates have dipped below 6.0%!
  • The Federal Reserve dropped their target rate by .25 yesterday but the Mortgage Bankers Association Chief Economist predicted that this would be “the last adjustment needed to reach a neutral position that allows for moderate growth while keeping inflation in check.”
  • Lenders have regrouped since the summer crisis. Jumbo loans are returning and good loan options are available.
  • The inventory of homes to choose from has never been better: there are currently 1350 active listings in the Lake Norman area (about twice as many as in a balanced market.)
  • Sales this past month of October were identical in numbers to October 2006 but the average price was down 11.5%. This is the first month since I have been doing there reports that the sales were equal to 2006. Last month sales were down 22% in volume.
  • The average days a listing was on the market for the listings that sold in October was 102 which is quicker than last year at the same time.
  • Builders are heavy in inventory and are offering additional price reductions and incentives to buyers.
  • We are heading into the holidays which are historically slow for sellers and may be an opportunity for stronger negotiations on price and terms.
  • It is impossible to time the market perfectly. Take advantage of all of these conditions while they are still relevant!

For Sellers: How to sell in a buyers market:

  • Price your property using the very most recent comparable sales.
  • Don’t test the market at a higher price than the comparable sales suggest.
  • Be sure to look at comparable sales outside of your own neighborhood because chances are the buyers are looking in more than one neighborhood.
  • This past October the average sales price dropped by 11.5% but the days on market dropped to 102 days. This indicates that properties that were priced properly sold relatively quickly.
  • Stage your house and gardens before listing! Buyers have many listings to choose from so make yours stand out!
  • Make sure the day your property hits the MLS that all marketing is ready as well.
  • Make your property easy to show.
  • Don’t bank on a significant pick up in the market in 2008. The experts that I heard from today at a RE/MAX conference from the National Association of Realtors and other respected economists all predicted that 2008 will be a repeat of 2007.
  • Work with what you have! Make it shine! The only thing to fear is complacency.
  • Expect your Realtor to be innovative and to rise to the challenges of this market.

Even the experts agree that you can’t perfectly time the real estate market any more than you can perfectly time the stock market. But, you can identify the strengths and weaknesses of a market and use those to your advantage, whether you are a buyer or a seller. Carpe Diem!

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Just the facts about Lake Norman

Lake Norman: a Look at the Past and its Uncertain Future

 

The news about the drought in the Southeastern part of our country is getting more and more serious. I’ve been assuming and hoping, like our current real estate market news, that the news writers are choosing a more exaggerated perspective on our drought in order to attract more readers. However, when we got a 911 reverse call from Iredell County asking residents to cut their water usage by 50%, read about the looming Stage 4 water restrictions, heard about farmers having to sell off their livestock for lack of food then it really started to hit home. I had simply never even considered that this wasn’t just a fluke and all would return to normal in a few months. Now, like so many others, I am making short term and long term plans for how to best face the drought and related issues.

To better understand the scope of our water sources in the Lake Norman area, it is necessary to look at the big picture; the past, present and future issues related to the entire Catawba River.

On Sunday, The Charlotte Observer started a fascinating week-long series about the Catawba River “A Cry for the Catawba…Join us for a journey along a river at risk” which I highly recommend you read whether you live in Charlotte and get the newspaper or read it online. Sunday’s kick off included an historic timeline for how Duke Power harnessed the river, a huge map of the entire river from the Blue Ridge Mountains to Lake Watertree in South Carolina, and some charts on water usage and statistics about the river.

Written in the context of our current drought, it is a sobering yet wonderful journey from ancient times to today; following the evolution of one very special river which became “a necklace of 11 lakes connected by a few free-flowing stretches” due to the efforts of James Duke starting at the turn of the century and culminating in the damming of Lake Norman in 1963.

The story starts with one man, Arthur Joe Hemphill and his passion to protect the Catawba River. He and his wife Mary, own 328 acres where one of three springs, considered to be “The Source” and where the river begins. “Joe and Mary believe the land…should not be tampered with.” Instead of selling their acreage to a developer they sold an easement to Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy. The agreement protects the land forever from development…” It then travels through the major lakes along the river’s path and ends at Lake Watertree in SC.

Below is a list of the series of article with links to the two most relevant to Lake Norman. You can access the entire series on the Charlotte Observer’s website as well as they unfold this week. I do have a copy of the Sunday and Tuesday articles including the large map of the entire river with which I would be happy to provide anyone printed copies.

THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER SERIES:

Sunday: The Source of the Catawba River and it’s history

Monday: The Struggle to Save Lake James

Tuesday: A Developer’s view of Lake Norman”

Wednesday: Protecting Mountain Island Lake, Charlotte’s water supply

Thursday: A lakefront landfill at Wylie

Friday: At Landsford Canal, a surprising water garden

Saturday: A revival for Great Falls S.C.

Sunday: At Lake Watertree, how many demands can one river take?

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Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations

Rain and Lake Norman’s drought: Important Update!

The past threes days felt like pure magic. Something was falling from the sky but it has been so long I wasn’t sure at first what it was: RAIN!

Here is a chart from today’s Charlotte Observer showing how much rain our area actually received during this past three-day storm. Our own rain gauge registered about 2.75″ at our home in Mooresville.

Unfortunately, persistent drought conditions still exist in the entire Carolina region. Duke Energy has created a section dedicated to serving as a central source for drought information:

Duke Energy: Carolina’s Drought Information

Here you will find copies of all press releases as well. As of Oct. 25th they wrote: “The Catawba River Basin remains in a Stage 3 drought condition this week. Rainfall in recent days has been helpful but ongoing conservation and more rainfall is needed.” They went on to say “Based on recent data, Duke Energy estimates the basin would likely meet the triggers for a Stage 4 drought condition by mid-November to early December 2007. Stage 4 does not mean we are out of water–it means it will be time to enact further water use restrictions…”

If you are on private wells as most of us are around Lake Norman, you can also monitor the water tables in our specific “aquafer” where our Piedmont water comes from by going to the following site: Water Table Levels for Piedmont Province Aquifer

If you would like, you can also Check Lake Levels. These numbers are updated daily by Duke Energy. As of this morning Lake Norman was at 93.4 whiile our target is 97.1 and full pond is 100.0′

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Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations

Lake Norman gets pretty spooky on Halloween! (2007)

 For information about Lake Norman Halloween 2011 go to:  Lake Norman Halloween Happenings 2011

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. When I was little we had a pumpkin carving contest at school and I remember proudly placing my crudely carved pumpkin on the tables that lined the halls of my elementary school. There was one house in my neighborhood that went all out and made an amazingly scary haunted experience for the kids. I think every neighborhood has one of those exceptional families. Here in Cornelius it is the home of Trish and Dick Mahoney. It takes them a full two months to transform their house to a “house of horrors” complete with ghoulish poker game, a haunted wedding scene, a cemetery with plenty of zombies. The Mahoney’s welcome all who dare to enter from a few days before Halloween right through the spooky night itself according to our October Lake Norman Magazine published by the Charlotte Observer.

As a mom I can remember sewing a furry mouse costume which my poor daughter ended up wearing on a very hot California Halloween and painting gruesome scars on my son’s devilish face. Of course, one year he was Oscar the Grouch. I’m not sure if he picked that costume out or I did!

Here in Lake Norman the first sign of Halloween is the arrival of pumpkins at our area produce stands and markets.

In addition to myriad neighborhood parties and trick or treating we have some extra special Halloween activities:

CARRIGAN FARMS

At the top of the list has to be a visit to Carrigan Farms located here in Mooresville. Their 12-acre pumpkin patch already opened October 1st and they have said that despite the drought they have a giant crop of pumpkins. Every weekend through October they offer hayrides to the pumpkin patch where everyone can pick a pumpkin, visit the animals and even have a cold glass of apple cider! (Saturday 9-4 and Sundays 11-4. Cost is $8 per person, children under 2 are free and wagons leave every 15 minutes.)

They also take reservations for Night Hayrides for the Bigger Kids of all ages.

For the Biggest and the Bravest is the debut of their “Forbidden Farms”!

This October, Carrigan Farms morphs into North Carolina’s scariest new haunt… Forbidden Farms.

Featuring three spooktacular attractions: The Haunted Trail, The Forbidden 3-D Labyrinth and Hell’s Harvest Corn Maze.

Come early or come late, but there are no lines, even if there’s a wait…

  • Civil War Ghost Tour: Latta Plantation: Oct 27 and 28th 7-10pm. A frightful tour!
  • Halloween Fright Festival: Latta Equestrian Center: Oct. 27 and 28th 6:30-11pm. Hayrides, pumpkin picking, cowboy-style trick-or-treating. 704.992.1550
  • ClubFX and Backstretch Grill: Halloween Ball: Monday, Oct.29 5-8:30 for Middle School ages and 9-Midnight for High School ages.
  • 5th annual Trunk-or-Treat Celebration at Lake Norman Christian Ministries in Mooresville: Oct. 31st 6:30-8p.m
  • Rocky Mount UMC Trunk or Treat on Oct. 31st @ 6p.m. Free hot dogs and drinks
  • Williamson’s Chapel UMC Fall Festival Oct. 31st
  • Davidsons annual Halloween March Oct. 31st at 5:15p.m.
  • Terror by the Creek: Old Howard’s Creek Mill; now through Nov. 3rd.
  • Rowan County: Patterson Farms in China Grove offers a produce market and petting farm. Saturdays 10-4, Sundays 1-5 and Wednesday hayrides 4-7.
  • Gaston County: Lineberger’s Maple Springs Farm in Dallas has pumpkins, gourds, greens, muscadines and hayrides throughout October.
  • Just in from a reader! Diane – don’t forget about the fall festival that Lewis Farm is hosting the last two weekends of October. I took my son out there a few weeks ago and he just loved their hay bale mountain and their bale maze

Please add any additional Halloween activities going on around Lake Norman in the comment section or email them to me and I will add them to this list!

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The Real Estate Process, Home Buying and Selling Tips

An Open Letter to Lake Norman Area Home Sellers

 

Dear Potential Sellers in Lake Norman,

If you are considering listing your home in the next 6 months, it is extremely important that you not only know the current status of our local Lake Norman real estate market, but what to consider before listing your property and finally what you and your Realtor should do to prepare and market your property in this challenging real estate market.

General Overview of the Current Lake Norman Real Estate Market

There is simply no doubt that we are now, and have been since late spring 2007, in a buyers market. The number of active listings around the Lake Norman Area (#13 in our MLS) is double what we should have in a healthy, balanced real estate market. Add to that the fact that we are entering the holiday market which is traditionally slow, and it becomes a tough decision whether to list now, take your property off the market and/or wait until spring. Interest rates have dropped slightly and may drop further but the home mortgage market is still recovering from the sub-prime market collapse. The negative news is prompting many buyers to wait and see if the market continues downward in the spring or whether it will pick back up as it does traditionally. For a detailed real estate sales analysis see: Third Quarter Lake Norman Sales Analysis. (Link below)

Whether or not you should sell now depends on what you have to sell (price range, location, size, amenities), what kind of condition its in, how well it is priced for this market and how motivated you are to sell. The holidays are usually a time when only serious buyers and sellers are active. If you don’t have to sell you should seriously consider postponing until there is a sign that the market is improving.

What to consider before listing your home

  • What is your motivation to sell?
  • Your direct competition…the amount of inventory of homes for sale and the number of days they have been on the market.
  • Are you willing to list at a truly realistic price? This is not a market in which to “test” a higher price on a home sale. If a property is not priced properly it is likely to sit for months and ultimately sell for less.
  • Are you ready to manage your expectations? Be grateful for any offer at a reasonable price from a well-qualified home buyer.
  • Buyers are not overpaying in today’s real estate.
  • You are not only in competition with other homeowners but you may also be in competition with builders. Builders right now are offering myriad incentives and financial inducements with which home sellers may not be able to compete.
  • Be open to offering to pay buyers closing costs and/or pay points to reduce the buyers mortgage rates if the lender allows it.

How to list and sell a property in today’s market

  • Price your home to sell! Never “test” a higher price because you are not in a hurry to sell.
  • Be prepared to make your property perfect before it is placed in the MLS. With so much to choose from, home buyers want a property that is like-new or in move-in condition. Make all necessary repairs before it is listed.
  • Your real estate agent should help you “stage” your property, both inside and outside. It should be your goal to make your property a buyer’s dream home. If your agent can’t help you themselves then at the very least they should get you in touch with a professional staging company.
  • With so many homes to choose from, buyers are pre-screening online before they even physically visit the property so it is also imperative that your real estate agent capture and present the absolute best images and comprehensive visual experience of your home and garden for home buyers online. This means professional photos, videos and floor plans.
  • When you interview potential listing agents it is no longer enough to ask them how many homes they have sold. Make sure that they have a very clear marketing plan that is designed specifically to target your niche of potential home buyers. Print is not necessarily the best use of your real estate agents time and money. There are myriad sites on the Internet where your property can be displayed. Take advantage of all of today’s technology and social networking on the Internet!
  • Make your property easy to show.
  • Hire an agent that will provide you the very best comparable sales to help you price it properly and who offers all of the above marketing and staging services.

Having moved here from California where I have experienced the lows and highs of real estate markets, one of the first things that I noticed about sellers and listing agents here is that because the greater Lake Norman and Charlotte real estate markets have been consistently growing and have not experienced a slow down:

  • Both sellers and agents can be almost complacent about how they price and market a listing.
  • Sellers assume that if they are in no hurry the real estate market will eventually catch up to their price.
  • Many real estate agents are willing to take over-priced listings because it will get their name and signs out in the community.
  • Sellers tend to hire the agent that provides them with the highest price rather than the best services and most realistic price.
  • It takes a strong agent to be honest with a seller about a realistic listing price and be willing to walk away if the seller insists on a higher price. That is the kind of real estate agent you want!
  • Many sellers end up overpricing their properties for months, ultimately reducing them to where they should have started.
  • The first two weeks a listing is on the market are the most important. All marketing and staging must be complete and ready to go when the listing hits the MLS. This is when most properties will sell at the highest prices and when the most serious buyers will first see your property.

I hope this list has been helpful!

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Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations

The Carolina BalloonFest is October 26-28 2007 in Statesville!

Did you know that our very own Statesville NC is considered the “Kitty Hawk of ballooning” and is second only to Albuquerque NM for ballooning in the entire nation? It turns out that our Lake Norman area weather and terrain are perfect and October is a prime month according to Charles Page, chairman of Nation Balloon Rally Charities which hosts the annual Carolina Balloonfest. “People who come here are the cream of the crop in terms of experienced pilots” Page said. And, Masha Treacy, director of the current rally, was featured in the Smithsonian’s commissioned book “Women in Flight” according to a recent article in the Charlotte Observer by Sandra Phillips.

This weekend, October 26th-October28th is the 34th Annual CAROLINA BALLOONFEST  just up the I-77 from Mooresville at the Statesville Regional Airport! Join in a fun-filled weekend of exciting, family-oriented activities culminating in the mass ascensions of 50 colorful, hot air balloons. I have heard it is simply spectacular and it looks like the weather will be perfect as well. (Last year it rained.)

While the big attraction is the hot air balloons, the competition and mass ascension every evening and even balloon rides, there are many many more things going on throughout the weekend including:

  • Kid’s Fun Zone and Children’s Stage
  • North Carolina Wine Tasting (11 Wineries are participating this year)
  • Aviation Displays
  • Live Main Stage Entertainment including: Rockie Lynne, Coastline Band, Acoustic Band and David Lamotte
  • Artisan Village Arts and Crafts
  • Market Place
  • Eat Street’s Great Food

Admission to the Carolina Ballonfest is $5 or $15 for the wine tasting. Children under 5 are free. For more information go to: Carolina Balloonfest

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Restaurant Review: Rock Bottom

A Lake Norman Restaurant Review

By

Kathy K.

Rock Bottom is located right in the heart of the city of Charlotte.

On the day we visited there was a huge festival going on in the streets with plenty of food vendors yet Rock Bottom was packed and had a 10 minute waiting list. They offer inside and outside seating but my husband and our friends took whatever we could get which turned out to be inside seating.

The decor isn’t bad but I have never been a fan of the open ceiling, industrial loft look especially when I can see dust and webbs all over the ducts. In addition, the ladies restroom was appallingly filthy. I did take into considerationthough that the bathroom is located next to a back door and I believe in addition to all the restaurant patrons, the restaurant was being bombarded with all the women from the festival using it as well.

On to the food: Our server, Ed, was friendly and informative and steered us in the right direction. His suggestion was the Flame-Grilled Meat Loaf which everyone except for me opted for. It’s a blend of Italian Sausage and Ground Beef and is served over White Cheddar Mashed Potatoes along with a Brown Gravy and Vegetables. That dish got kudos all around.

I took my suggestion from the menu which listed the Hazelnut Crusted Chicken as being one of their specialties. The encrusted chicken is sauteed with a Sun-Dried Cherry Sauce and is also served with the White Cheddar MashedPotatoes and Vegetables. Delicious!! The chicken could easily be cut with my fork and had a wonderfully, unique taste. The potatoes had just the right amount of cheese and the veggies were nice and firm.

We all split their Signature Carrot Cake for dessert and that was delightful as well.

 

Though none in our party sampled any of their beer, Rock Bottom is a brewery as well as a restaurant and offers a long list of beer choices that they brew on the premises. (Editor’s note: Rock Bottom is part of the Gordon Biersh Brewery which is known for their wonderful beers! We had one in Pasadena CA. and it was quite popular with the young crowd.)

For food and service I would rate Rock Bottom 5 Stars but for aesthetics I give them 3 Stars for a total of…

 

 

Rating:*****

Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery
401 N. Tryon Street, Suite 100
Charlotte
704-334-2739  

Rock Bottom

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lake norman real estate

Lake Norman Real Estate: What Are the National Experts Saying?

Housing Recession: This frightening term is being bantered about in the news quite a bit. But what does it actually mean to the Lake Norman home buyer or seller? When should you buy or sell? Are interest rates going up or down? Whether its on real estate sites on the Internet, in blogs or at real estate office meetings, most discussions focus on the state of today’s real estate market and predictions for the future. The reality is, no one really knows. However, it is helpful to keep abreast of what the pundits and housing industry experts are saying.

Here is a summary of this week:

First and foremost, what has Fed Chief Bernanke said this week? In a speech on Monday at the Economic Club of New York he said:

  • “A further sharp contraction in residential construction seemed likely to hold down overall economic growth in the fourth quarter and in early 2008” and put a “significant drag” on economic growth in 2008″.
  • Data since mid September suggests a “further weakening in the housing market, as sales have fallen further and new residential construction has continued to decline rapidly”.
  • The decline in the housing sector “has intensified this year as demand has declined further, inventories of unsold new homes have climbed relative to sales and house prices have decelerated…”
  • “Conditions in financial markets have shown some improvement since the worst of the storm in mid-August, but a full recovery of market functioning is likely to take time…The ultimate implications of financial developments for the cost and availability of credit, and thus for the broader economy, remain uncertain.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said on Wednesday, Oct. 17th that:

  • Mortgage originations are expected to fall 18% in 2008.
  • Their chief economist “expects the pace of home sales to remain below 2007 levels until late next year, and said prices could continue to decline beyond that before flattening out in 2009.
  • The MBA expects rates on fixed-rate mortgages to rise to about 6.6% by the beginning of 2008 but are expecting at least one more reduction by the Feds in the next few months.

The National Association of Home Builders will be releasing their latest forecast during their October 24th Fall Construction Forecast Conference. In the meantime they have said:

  • Housing starts were down 10.9% in September.
  • “We do expect some additional downward movement in housing production going into next year, at which point starts should begin to stabilize as sales turn upward in the second quarter.”

Today’s Charlotte Observer’s Business Section’s lead article: Housing starts worsen; Eyes on Fed for rate cut as Sept. construction hits a 14-year low is just one of many throughout the country this week. The writer of this article feels that the recent housing figures “strengthen the case for Fed policy makers to cut interest rates again.” And, an economist at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. predicted that the “contraction will go on into at least the middle of next year.” This article goes on to state that in Mecklenburg County, residential building permits for single-family homes were down 43% versus September of last year.

Just to make our Lake Norman and Charlotte real estate news more interesting, Vero Real Estate Solutions, released a forecast that looks at the last quarter of 2007 to the second quarter of 2008. This forecast states that Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord housing markets will be one of the top five markets in terms of price growth in the country! “Despite the turmoil we’re seeing in the markets right now there are some areas of the country where real estate is holding onto its value, and some where it is actually appreciating” said Veros CEO Darius Bozorgi.

So, what is my conclusion of all of these expert’s opinions and statistics? First of all, it is clear that the future remains uncertain. Even the experts agree on that. As I have said countless times before, I can’t emphasize enough that all residential real estate is local. If you look back at my recent sales analysis (see link below) you will see that even within our Lake Norman real estate market there are many variables, strengths and weaknesses. My advice to all who read the media regularly is to use this information as a general overview but not to base your own personal decisions upon them.

I will address the specifics and timing of listing and buying a home in our Lake Norman area during the upcoming holidays and through the first quarter of next year in the next few posts.

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Blog Action Day: How Going Green Saves Lake Norman

 

For those of you who dont know, today is Blog Action Day, a day when bloggers throughout the world are writing for the purpose of getting “people thinking, discussing, questioning and talking about the environment…” I am just one of over 12,000 bloggers participating so this should be quite a day on the Internet!

I dont know about you, but sometimes all of the talk about the environment and “going green” seems like something too big for us as individuals to even begin to make a difference. I have been building a file of environment related articles and during this process realized how every much I still have to learn. But I also understand that even one small change we make in our daily lives can and will make a difference.

First, lets look at Lake Norman. Clearly, right now our water levels are frighteningly low. But what about long term problems and solutions? According to a Charlotte Observer article on May 4, 2006, lakeside buffers are not only extremely beneficial but are now required for all new waterfront construction. Those of you who live on the lake might find ways to improve your buffer.

What is a lake buffer? It is a buffer of trees and other natural vegetation 50′ or more deep on the land closest to the shoreline.

Why are lakeside buffers important?

  • ·They filter runoff: Tree canopies slow down the speed at which rain/water hits the ground thereby allowing it time to soak into the spongy mulch and act as a filter to keep sediment, nutrients and other pollutants out of the water
  • ·They halt erosion: Tree roots hold the soil on banks
  • ·They capture nutrients: such as nitrogen and phosphorus that shouldnt go in the water
  • ·They serve secondary roles: allowing water to seep into the soil thereby recharging ground water, providing shade, food and habitat for wildlife

The bottom line is the more trees the better. You can add from an approved list of native plants but not subtract trees. Ground covers, leaf litter and pine needles must be left to filter sediment and pollutants.

Recycling is probably the second most important way we can help the environment and once you get a system going it’s not that hard!

Unfortunately, our county does not provide pick-up for recycling however it is not hard to do it on your own.My husband and I have large plastic trash cans designated for paper, aluminum cans, plastic and an area to keep all flattened cardboard boxes…from large UPS boxes to cereal boxes. We take these to the Iredell County Solid Waste Transfer Station on Hwy 150 at the ramp to the 21 going south whenever they are full. This transfer station has separate containers to put plastic, aluminum cans, flattened cardboard and paper as well as other trash. They will ask for verification of your residence in Iredell County. Once a year they send out a sticker for you car/truck as well.

What else can we do?

  • Stop Smoking: This one is easy for us because we dont smoke. Did you know that it takes 10 years for a butt to degrade?
  • Cut down on miles driven: Telecommuting, carpooling and use our school buses! (This will help our traffic as well. )
  • Get a tune-up: Keep tires inflated properly, avoid heavy breaking, lighten the load…every little bit helps!
  • Garden: Use soaker hoses or drip systems whenever possible. Mulch around plants to prevent erosion and conserve moisture
  • Plastic or Paper? Neither! Bring your own. I must admit I have yet to be willing to do this but we do recycle the plastic bags
  • No more plastic bottles for water and beverages: This is another one we are finding hard to do after years of drinking bottled water but its on my list.
  • Turn off lights when not needed
  • Save a tree: Go digital or email whenever possible
  • Energy efficiency: Program thermostats, caulking and weather-stripping and proper insulation all cut down on heating and AC.

Truly, green is now the color of the decade. I frankly didn’t even make a dent on my file of information on going green because the list of how we can help our environment is so long. I will write more in the future.

I know all of this can be terribly overwhelming so I just concentrate on baby steps, knowing that if we all join in we can make a difference!

Resources:

greenlivingonline

Island Keepers (Join the effort to keep Lake Norman Clean!)

Lake Norman Covekeepers

Duke Energy

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Historic Downtown Mooresville, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

2008 Historic Mooresville Calendar Now Available!

 

When I first moved to Mooresville/Lake Norman, I was almost immediately drawn to the historic side of town. Before long I discovered that there was an effort getting underway to perserve the wonderful history of Mooresville.

As a founding member of The Mooresville Museum , I am thrilled to see the progress the group has made towards preserving Mooresville’s history for future generations. We now have a building, the 1927 Charles Mack Store! The museum volunteers are working hard to get the building ready to occupy. Over the past several years they have been collecting items for the museum as well as conducting numerous oral histories from our older residents in order to capture our rich history before it is too late.

Last year we published the first Historic Mooresville Calendar which was a great success and helped to raise some of the much needed funds to help us complete the work on our new location. The 2008 calendar, in which I was again able to sponsor the month of April, will be available to purchase starting October 28th at various locations in downtown Mooresville and on the museum website for $15. But, you may also purchase them at the Historic Mooresville Tour of Homes on October 19th and 20th. Or, contact me and it would be my pleasure to send you one!

“The Mooresville Museum is a nonprofit, local organization dedicated to the preservation of regional history and public interests. It is a grassroots endeavor that combines personal, public and private collaboration for the benefit of providing the public with a tangible repository of items and artifacts of local significance. Public education is a major focus of the efforts of the Mooresville Museum. We are a new venture, currently working to obtaining momentum towards a permanent home for the past. Our collections are currently in protective storage, waiting for their new home!”

Quarterly meetings are the 2nd Tuesday of March, June, September and December at 7:00p.m. at the Mooresville Public Library. All are welcome!

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Greater Lake Norman Area Growth and Development Update

August 5, 2014: It is important to look at articles like this one to see just how much the recession impacted growth and development in the Lake Norman area.  I am not going to update it because most of these projects never happened and I find it helpful to see where the growth was headed 7 years ago and what where it might go in the future!

I don’t know about you, but with so much growth and new developements in our Lake Norman communites it’s a bit challenging to keep up with it all! I think my favorite part of The Charlotte Observer is the Red Dirt Alert in the Neighbors of Lake Norman section. Several months ago I did a pretty comprehensive series of write-ups about a lot of the latest developments which I will provide links to below. Since my stack of news articles is getting very high I have decided it is time to provide a brief update on growth and development in our Lake Norman communities.

Mooresville:

  • A Bloom Grocery Store  (this store did open and is now a Foodlion) was recently approved for the lot kitty-corner to Stutts Road on Brawley School Road. There is a sign now up: The future home of Bloom
  • Walgreens (this store did open along with others in the shopping center)has been approved for the new Harris Crossing shopping center. a mixed use retail and residential project that has been in the works for nearly 4 years
  • A Food Lion  (this store did open as well)has been approved as part of the Rocky River Promenade, a retail center at the corner of Rocky River and Shearers Road. The grocery store is expected to open In August 2008 and the remaining shops will be constructed sometime after that according to Darrell Palasciano of Pinnacle Properties
  • .
  • The Mooresville Mills (Canceled!)revitalization project has been delayed due to the need for the developers to revise their financial plan and then the Town of Mooresville will send the tax increment financing plan to the state for approval. Developer Dave Rogers said he can’t start the project until all the site work is done, which the town will design and administer. According to Town Manager Jamie Justice, the tax increment financing debt won’t be issued until the developers sign an argeement to a minimum tax assessment which is used to cover the debt. and until town is convinced that there’s enough tenant commitment. My guess from all of this is that it will be a while before they break ground!
  • A group of investors that includes NASCAR driver Kurt Busch and investor Howard Kosofsky, Old Downtown LLC, have purchased several of the historic downtown Mooresville buildings including the old Cool Breeze Cyclery building and have already refurbished the exteriors. According to a recent Charlotte Observer article, the developers said “with the right building rehab and tenant mix the historic downtown can become vibrant again.” One of the first projects is on the corner of Main Street and Moore Ave where they are planning an open air seating area for a planned restaurant. In addition they are looking at a coffee shop/art gallery, a children’s theater group, and a cooking school/upscale kitchen store. This is very exciting!
  • Langtree at the Lake (Sold and now an entirely different project but the first phase is open)has opened a beautiful showroom where potential buyers can go to choose site locations and all of the details from granite colors to hardwood floors and cabinetry. I have been there and words simply can’t describe the scope and quality of this exciting community. Construction of the first phase of the $800 million-dollar planned residential and commercial project at the future Exit 32 may start by early spring 2008. One of the developers, Brad Howard, will be writing updates on this blog so look for more news to come!
  • Backstretch Grill & Catering and ClubFX a teen night club have just opened at a 12,000sf dining-entertainment complex in Talbert Pointe Business Park at 243 Overhill Drive.
  • Legacy Village (went under during the recession) has broken ground near the Lowe’s Headquarters

Cornelius:

  • Village at Lake Norman (Canceled), the proposed retail center which will be situated on 102 acres south of Westmoreland Road in southern Cornelius, will require traffic improvements including a new Exit 27, widening of U.S. 21 and a fly-over bridge connecting Baily Road across the interstate to the development, hopes to break ground in 2010 and open in 2011. It’sproposal includes three department stores, 284 condos above stores lining a central green, a high-end grocery store, and a full-service hotel and conference center. This will the 3 times the size of Birkdale Village! Stay tuned for more updates as it travels through the approval/partnership with the Town of Cornelius process.

Huntersville:

  • Bryton, (Canceled) a $1billion retail, office, warehouse and residential development, is planned for 450 acres around a proposed commuter-rail stop at Exit 23 on the northeast quadrant of NC 115 and Alexanderena Rd.
  • Northcross Village (completed) on NC 73 includes a Marshalls, Petco, HomeGoods and Staples as well as smaller stores

Troutman:

Larkin, (canceled)a 900 acre development slated to have 3,750 residences including an active adult community, a hotel, retail, offices and wellness center is moving forward on the east side of the I-77 between Exit 45 and 49, is due to break ground at the end of this year or early next.

Sherrills Ford:

  • Key Harbor and The Crescent Resources Village Center  (canceled)proposal includes 1,500 homes, a village center which will feature 577,000sf of shops and offices and roughly 350 homes

Denver:

  • The Wal-Mart Supercenter (completed)at N.C. 73 is nearly complete but is not expected to open until March 2008.

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Historic Downtown Mooresville, Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations

Historic Mooresville Tour of Homes: October 20 & 21, 2007!

Mark your calendars! The inaugural Historic Mooresville Tour of Homes is coming on October 19th and 20th.

For those of you who have not yet visited the historic downtown Mooresville area, or who love our historic neighborhoods like I do, this is a rare opportunity to get a glimpse of the history behind nine of our some of our wonderful historic homes never before opened to the public and all very different from one another. The tour also includes three historic buildings in downtown Mooresville.

The event consists of a VIP Reception on Friday, October 19th from 6-9 which is going to be held at the 1906 Brawley-Cashion home and will be catered by Soiree Restaurant.

On Saturday, October 20th from 10:00a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday October 21st from 1-5p.m. visitors will receive a tour and oral history of the nine of Mooresville’s historic homes and three historic buildings.

Come visit me at the Zande House on Saturday from 10-2 at 372 West Center Street!

 

This project was created by the Mooresville Historic Preservation Commission and proceeds will benefit their preservation projects.

Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door. Click here to purchase tickets for the VIP reception or home tour.

Here is the map of the tour:

Mooresville Historic Home tour map

I hope to see you all there!

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Restaurant Review: The North Harbor Club

 

A Lake Norman Restaurant Review

By

Kathy K.

Let me start off by saying…I love this place! I’ve been several times now and haven’t had a bad meal yet and I’ve tried several different dishes. You have the option of dining outside on a large patio deck that overlooks a marina and Lake Norman. There are numerous tables with umbrellas to help shade you from the sun while you enjoy the view. If it’s too hot out, no outside tables available or you just prefer to dine inside then you can enjoy your meal in the nautically themed, upscale inside portion of the restaurant and still have a view. It’s a win/win situation.

This review will be of my most recent visit with my husband and parents. We went for lunch and because it was such a gorgeous day we decided to wait approximately 15 minutes for an outside table to become available. I selected one of my favorites dishes off of the menu, the Grilled Tuna.

The tuna is sushi grade and always grilled exactly the way I request it. It comes on top of a sauteed baby bok choy bulb along with a small, crisp lobster spring roll. This is all pulled together with a spicy pineapple vinaigrette. If you order this dish off of the dinner menu it comes with a mango salsa instead of the vinaigrette. I can’t put into words just how delicious this entree is…you just have to try it for yourself!

My husband and my Dad both ordered the North Harbor Half Pound Burger which is basically exactly what is says it is…a half pound burger. It comes with fries and the option of adding cheese, smoked bacon, mushrooms and/or caramelized onions. They both opted for plain and moaned with pleasure throughout the dining experience. My Mom selected the Grilled Fondina and Wild Mushroom which is a Farmers bread covered with olive oil and “white truffle fondue” and accompanied by 3 large asparagus fries. I’m glad she ordered that dish because I’ve been tempted to order it several times in the past but always thought it sounded as if it would be very rich and heavy and leave me feeling overly full. Now, I would finally be able to taste it without being committed to eating all of it. Well, she shared her 3 asparagus fries with us all and they left us wishing we had a whole pile of them. Then I got a bite of the sandwich…I was right, although it tasted incredibly good I know had I eaten the whole sandwich I would have felt much too stuffed and that’s exactly how my Mom felt the rest of the day. I can’t say this wasn’t a good dish but I can say you need to be really hungry to order it. The restaurant also has a fabulous dessert menu and an extensive list of wine and martini’s to choose from. Like I said before, I love this place!

Rating: *****

 

The North Harbor Club Restaurant and Bar
100-D North Harbor Place
Exit 30 off of I-77
Davidson
704-896-5559

MORE RESTAURANT REVIEWS

Lake Norman Restaurant Review: 131 Main

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lake norman real estate

Relocating to Mooresville/Lake Norman: Subdivision or No Subdivision?

 

When my husband and I started looking for homes in the Mooresville, Lake Norman area I was surprised when we were asked whether we wanted to live in a subdivision and what kind of amenities we were looking for in our community. Coming from a city that had almost all older homes and no real subdivision-like communities, I didn’t realize that in areas like Lake Norman and Mooresville, which are mostly newer homes, a large majority of homes are located in various levels and types of subdivisions.

Therefore, when moving to the greater Lake Norman area, one of the very first things you need to decide is whether you want to live in a subdivision or not. And, if you do want to live in a subdivision, what “amenities” do you want and how restrictive do you want the HOA rules to be?

Why do many people choose to live in a subdivision?:

  • Sense of community
  • Ease of meeting people/social life
  • Many are geared to children so there will be plenty of new playmates and activities for children
  • Uniformity of look and maintenance of homes and common areas
  • Amenities like playgrounds, pools, tennis courts, volleyball courts, walking trails, golf courses, lake access, boat ramps, boat slips, organized sporting activities, social activities, community meeting rooms and club houses
  • Subdivisions are available in the first-time buyer price ranges all the way to the luxury home communities like The Point and The Peninsula

Subdivisions vary greatly as to how many amenities, strictness of HOA rules and HOA dues so if you do decide to live in a subdivision it is important to list your priorities: Do you need a pool or tennis courts or do you simply want access to the lake? Do you want playgrounds and amenities that are geared towards younger children or do you want a boatslip and a golf course membership? Do you want restrictions regarding your landscaping, deckings, outdoor storage?

Why people prefer NOT to live in a subdivision:

  • Sense of privacy
  • Desire for an informal environment/ neighborhood
  • Freedom, lack of HOA restrictions
  • No HOA dues
  • Don’t want or plan to use community amenities  

 

My husband and I knew we wanted to enjoy the peace and quiet of Lake Norman and have the freedom to build a second garage and live a casual lifestyle. We did not want or need the amenities offered by subdivisions so we only looked at homes that were not in subdivisons and chose a home on this quiet gravel road! For us, this is heavenly but for some the idea of living in a community full of life and things to do is most important.

The bottom line is, when buying a home in the Mooresville Lake Norman communities, besides identifying the location, commuting distance, schools, lake access or whatever is important to you, be sure to decide whether you do or don’t want to live in a subdivision!

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lake norman real estate

Lake Norman Real Estate Trends: 3rd Quarter 2007

As I was preparing this 3rd quarter real estate sales analysis for our Lake Norman area I took a moment to read my 2nd quarter sales analysis and was actually surprised that just three months ago I was having to justify my opinion that sales had slowed in the greater Lake Norman area. Today if you were to talk to just about any Realtor you would hear more of a doom and gloom attitude about our down-turn and how their listings are over-priced, their seller’s aren’t grasping the reality of the down-turn and concern about their future in this kind of a market. Quite a change in three months!

Now I find myself playing the opposite role, again. Rather than making a broad brush statement that we are in a down market, I know that there are many opportunities in this market if a buyer or seller is educated about their specific price-range and community. Yes, the over-all numbers reflect a decrease in sales and a drop in the average price of homes sold. However, within the greater Lake Norman area there are some hot spots and some good opportunities for buyers and sellers.

Plus, we should always keep in mind that we are not in a volatile area like California or Florida and that the greater Charlotte area economy is stable and growing. Our Lake Norman properties have been greatly impacted because of the number of transplants who are coming from markets that are very slow. I have networked with agents throughtout the country and in some places like Florida they have two-three years of inventory of active listings. But, buyers are still relocating here for jobs and baby-boomers are still looking for a Lake Norman retreat. According to an article in the Charlotte Observer: “The Carolinas rank among the top 10 states nationwide in new home growth amid an explosive population boom, according to Census figures..,”. Iredell County ranked 6th statewide and Mecklenburg ranked 8th in growth statewide.

Here is the 3rd 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.

Lake Norman Third Quarter Statistics Summary

  • Number of Active Listings = 1351 @ an average listing price of $708,609 ( vs 1300 active listings last quarter)
  • Number of Contingent Sales = 20 @ an average listing price of $486,634 (vs 23 contingent sales last quarter)
  • Number of Conditional Sales = 34 @ an average listing price of $580,659 (vs. 42 conditional sales last quarter)
  • Number of Pending Sales = 154 @ an average listing price of $500,537 (vs. 170 pending sales last quarter)
  • Number of Solds = 413 @ and average listing price of $500,347 and sales price of $486,576 (vs 485 listings sold with an average listing price of $556,251 and average sales price of $541,489 in the 3rd quarter 2006)
  • The average sales price was 97.2% 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 107 days where as the average days on market in the 3rd quarter 2006 were 98
  • We currently have a 9.86 months of supply of inventory (a balanced real estate market has between 6-8 months of inventory. Our numbers would substantiate that we are in a buyers market in Lake Norman)
  • Our average sales price has dropped 10% versus the same period of 2006.
  • Our sales volume in the number of units sold has declined 14.8% versus the same period of 2006

What does this all mean? In a nut shell, sales in the Lake Norman area have dropped by about 10%, the average sales price has dropped 14.8% compared to the third quarter of 2006 and our inventory of active listings has been steadily increasing. Sales are down, prices are down and inventory is up = a buyers market. However, this does not tell the whole story. If you read my post from last week you will know that certain areas like Denver are very strong right now. And what about price ranges?

Again, 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 might have sold very 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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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 Restaurant Review: Canyons

 

A Lake Norman Restaurant Review

By

Kathy K.

With the severe drought causing the water level to drop significantly in Lake Norman I know many of you are probably in the “same boat” as my husband and I are in…we just can’t get off our lift anymore. Since we can’t enjoy our love of boating right now we thought it would be a good idea to check out some sights and restaurants other than the local ones.

We’ve heard from some local folks that Blowing Rock is an interesting little town up in the Blue Ridge Mountains so off we went for the day to check it out. The locals know what they’re talking about…it is a lovely little town with an eclectic grouping of shops and restaurants. After looking around a bit we settled on Canyons for lunch.

Canyons offers casual fare ranging from appetizers, soups and salads, burgers, sandwiches and platters, as well as a large selection of Southwestern dishes. They also have a decent selection of wine and beer and all at a reasonable price.

I had the Wild Turkey Sandwich piled high with a good quality of sliced turkey along with peppers, onions, mushrooms, pepper jack cheese and mayo served warm on a Kaiser roll and a side of fries. It was tasty and it hit the spot but it wasn’t anything special that I haven’t had before. My husband decided on the Chicken Burrito Especial. The wheat tortilla was stuffed with chicken, both jack and cheddar cheese and refried pinto beans. This was dolloped with sour cream and accompanied with rice. Again, yummy but forgettable.

What was not forgettable was the view from the restaurant! The food was good but we didn’t choose Canyons because of their menu…there were other restaurants in town with much more interesting selections. We choose it strictly for the spectacular view of the Blue Ridge Mountains that it offers. If you’re lucky enough to snag a table on the outside deck, you’ll want to sit there all day! It is possible to get a good peek of the mountains from some of the inside tables but at this time of year the air is crisp and the weather is cooler up there and sitting inside just wouldn’t compare to sitting out on the deck. Do yourself a favor and take the scenic route on the Blue Ridge Parkway, it’s worth the trip!

Rating: ***

Canyons
Hwy 321, Blowing Rock

 

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Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations

Latest Update on Lake Norman’s Water Restrictions

It seems like almost every day there is a new restriction on water use added to the communities and counties surrounding Lake Norman. For those of you who don’t know, North Carolina is in a severe drought, our lake levels are so low that boating has become nearly impossible.

Here are this week’s new restrictions:

  • Duke Energy has banned the pumping of water from Lake Norman for lawn irrigation.
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities has banned all lawn irrigation
  • Lincoln County has had a lawn-watering ban since Mid-August
  • Iredell and Catawba counties still allow lawn watering
  • Mooresville has limited lawn irrigation to three times a week based upon the street address
  • Sherrills Ford residents who get their water from Hickory are limited to watering Tuesday and Saturday evenings
  • Statesville and Troutman isn’t currently under any conservation measures.

Duke Energy has said that the ban will be in effect “until rain returns to the area and restores streamflows, lake levels and groundwater levels to normal operating levels”. First-time violators will be issues a warning but a second violation will result in Duke Power removing pumping facilities from the lake and continued violations could result in a loss of dock access for up to 5 years!.

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Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations

What You Should Know About Lake Norman’s Water Supplies

 

(Please note, I wrote this earlier in the summer but re-posted it today so some of the information is out-of-date).

Yesterday one of my neighbors stopped by during their morning walk to chat and, has been the case a lot recently, the topic of our current drought and potential water shortages in areas around Lake Norman came up. When I heard that a friend of theirs’ well had run dry that got me to wondering about our own well and the possibility of us having a problem. Honestly, this is the first time we have owned a home with it’s own well and septic system so I decided to do some research and here is what I found out:

Where Lake Norman’s Water Comes From and How It Is Distributed

For those readers who are new or don’t live here, there are two sources of water for residences on and around Lake Norman. The towns like Mooresville provide city water and sewer. For all the rest of us who don’t live within town limits we either have individual wells and septic tanks on our property or if one lives in one of the large subdivisions like The Point, The Harbour or The Farms, water and septic service is provided by large community wells run by companies like Carolina Water Service. Water for the town of Mooresville residents is pumped from Lake Norman which is considered a very reliable source since the water is replenished by the Catawba River. However, “in this part of North Carolina, well water comes from rainwater and wastewater that seeps through the soil and collects in fractures of bedrock. The water available fluctuates with the amount of rainfall more that in the eastern part of the state” according to an article last October in the Charlotte Observer written by Kathryn Thier. There is an in depth article Ground Water and the Rural Homeowner by the U.S. Geological Survey which goes in to great detail about rural wells and ground water if you are interested.

The Bad News: The Lake Norman 2007 Drought

As of today, August 27, 2007, Lake Norman’s water level is 94.6′ or 5.4′ below “full pond” while an average August level would be 98′. Because of our record temperatures and persistent drought conditions “boaters and other recreational users are encouraged to use caution and examine their surroundings for potential hazards when on Catawba-area lakes and waterways…Duke Energy, along with more than 70 other major water users, are urging individuals to voluntarily conserve water during this time of drought.” The current low levels have forced the closing of the Lake Norman State Park swim area and some other boat ramps. And, Mecklenburg County has joined others by announcing today that they are starting mandatory water useage restrictions.

The Good News: This Week’s Lower Temperatures and Storms Mark the Beginning of the End of Our Hot Streak

It looks like the worst wil soon be over as our high temperatures have finally dipped in to the 80’s! And, those of us with wells have thankfully not lacked for water. Once the rains return to normal so will our ground water levels and that of Lake Norman. Plus, ” water systems here are regulated and designed to adequately supply the developments they serve”. “With normal usage, there’s no reason they can’t meet demand” according to Setzer about Carolina Water Service which provides water to the Crescent Communities’ The Point, The Harbour and The Farms. “The water system serving those communities was designed two to two-and-one-half times beyond the state requirements to meet the expected high demand at those large, heavily landscaped homes, said Martin Lashua, regional manager for Carolina Water Service.”

If you would like to read more about water supply issues on the Brawley Peninsula and the general Lake Norman Area, Kathryn Thier of The Charlotte Observer was kind enough to email me a copy of all of her recent articles addressing this subject and I would be happy to send a copy to you. If you are like me and want to know more about your own well, on the well itself you will find the depth (ours is 300′) and the company that dug the well. The question I can’t answer is will 300′ always be deep enough or will there come a time when wells will have to dig deeper in to the aquifers? If you know something more or would like to weigh in on this subject I invite you to Leave a Comment!

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Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations

Lake Norman’s Denver Days Fall Festival: September 28th-29th, 2007

 

The 5th Annual Denver Days Fall Festival on September 28th and 29th promises to be better than ever with more rides, vendors and live music performances! The festival features 14 amusement rides, more than 100 crafts, arts and food vendors, an

expanded beer garden and more than 2 dozen live performances from dancers and musicians including “Little Texas”, “Atlanta Rhythm Section” and the “Fantastic Shakers” according to the Charlotte Observer

When: September 28th 4 to 11p.m and September 29th 10.00a.m to 11:00p.m.

Admission: Free

Parking: $10

Where: NC Highway 16 and Triangle Circle in Denver (see map below)

The goal of the nonprofit group is to boost visibility for Denver-area businesses and to raise money for a future park that would become a permanent home for the annual festival as well as other events and activities. “I think it’s two days for us as the Denver Community to come together and celebrate” said spokeswoman Lou Anne Alexander. “It also gives us an opportunity to show off our community to people from the surrounding area.”

Denver is an up and coming town on the southwest corner of Lake Norman and the site of significant growth of residential subdivisions along the lake as well as a new retail hub at the intersection of the Hwy 16 and Hwy 73.

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News Flash! You Can Still Get a Mortgage!


Guest Post: I decided with all of the confusion and discussion about the mortgage market that it would be helpful to have a mortgage broker provide you with his perspective on that market:

I know, I know. You wouldn’t believe it by watching the news that there are any more lenders in America. Everybody is going out of business. It’s all gloom and doom! The sky is falling! The sky is falling! (to quote Chicken Little) Well, guess what? It just ain’t so!

Keep in mind; bad news sells. The news media would never write a story about a boy scout helping a little old lady across the street, but have him hit her over the head and steal her purse and they’ll be interviewing his kindergarten teacher, his neighbors, check with the state to see if he’s ever received mental health treatment and bring in an endless parade of psychologists, legal experts, expert witnesses, law enforcement officials and Nancy Grace to provide unending coverage until your eyes glaze over and brain activity ceases.

First off, remember that sub-prime loans weren’t all about having bad credit. It was no-documentation loans, stated income loans and jumbo loans (over $417,000). If you can provide full documentation (can prove income), put at least 5% down and are under a $417,000 loan amount; NOTHING HAS CHANGED. Even if you have to do a stated income or no-documentation loan; they still exist. They just may require a higher credit score.

Secondly, and I had this conversation with my partner, Dave, last week. We aren’t turning down many more loans than we would have six months or a year ago. Sure, there are those who are “on the bubble” around the 580-620 credit score that are more difficult to do now, but we have a tool we use in conjunction with our credit bureau that allows us to show a customer how to raise their score by 30-50 points within 30 days. The couple or individual needs to have a little cash to pay down some debt, but in many cases that tool allows us to act as if the “credit crunch” never happened.

Now, we did lose approximately 100 lenders nationally, (ouch!) but the big secret is that there are still several hundred national and regional lenders out there. Guess what? You only need one! They are still selling their products to Fannie Mae and the good news is that the rates are still low.

Here’s some more good news. Fannie Mae (a government sponsored agency that establishes standards and buys 1st mortgages on the secondary market) and FHA (Fair Housing Administration that establishes guidelines and insures loans for people with limited credit) are being pressured by consumer groups (and Congress) to pick up some of the slack in the non-conforming market. FHA is especially sensitive to the non-conforming market fallout and has even begun a program called FHASecure Initiative. This program allows homeowners with adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) to refinance with FHA after the loan has become adjustable. If there is sufficient equity in the home, FHA will allow the homeowner to refinance WITH LATE MORTGAGE PAYMENTS. FHA is also raising maximum loan amounts allowed and dropping the minimum score requirement. (It used to be 580) All good news for those clients, “on the bubble”.

The long and short of it is this….now is a great time to buy in North Carolina and probably in many other markets as well. We have the best of everything. Nice stable market, good, but not overblown appreciation, plenty of selection and the rates are low. What changed? NOTHING! So relax and know that selling bad news is the news media’s job.
J .R. Finger
Branch Manager
1st Metropolitan Mortgage
 
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What’s New in Mooresville, Lake Norman?

 

Everywhere you turn in our Mooresville Lake Norman area something new is cropping up. If you have time to read the The Mooresville Tribune you will be overwhelmed with news of new shops, restaurants and entertainment. As a matter of fact, I have a very thick file of fun new happenings to write about! I picked a collection of my favorites for today’s post. Enjoy!

Nestled in the new shopping center on the corner of Brawley School and Williamson Road is a wonderful new, upscale women’s boutique: Lavendar Boutique. When my daughter was in town from California we dropped by the shop just to check it out and ended up staying quite a while and purchasing some “must haves” that she had been planning to get at Neiman Marcus. They have a particularly good selection of designer jeans: Seven for All Mankind, Anlo, Genetic, Diesel, People’s Liberation and Citizens for Humanity to name a few. They also have a nice selection of Rebecca Taylor, Vince and Theory on order as well. Their website says it best: “No where in the Charlotte area will you experience a shopping trip like this…from the minute you walk into our contemporary, NY designed store, to the knowledgeable staff that will offer you a glass of wine and an opportunity to have a personal shopper for an hour to outfit your entire wardrobe…” And, the owner is a native of Mooresville!

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t spent much time yet exploring the new shops and cafes at Exit 33. Beside Jeffery’s, Cool Breeze Cyclery, Starbucks there are a few notables: The first is Legends of Lake Norman Coffee and Wine Bar which offers an extraordinary array of food, wine tasting, beer tasting, coffee and live music. They offer a “full menu morning ’till night” including savory pastries and decadent desserts. I’m definitely going to check it out soon! (This is now closed!)

Hidden in the small shopping center at the corner of Brawley School and Canvasback is a wonderful new option for breakfast and lunch: The Daily Grind Grill and Cafe. (This has moved to Main Street in Downtown Mooresville) I have driven by it numerous times and finally had lunch there this week. It reminds me a bit of Egg at the Lake; fresh, homemade food. They have quite a selection of breakfast and lunch options. The service was cheerful and prompt and the food was very good.

I have been a great fan of Maddi’s Gallery in Birkdale Village for years as I love her selection of artists and the folk art from some of the best artists in the region. This past year, Maddi’s expanded and introduced the Maddi’s Southern Bistro which offers ‘handcrafted cuisine with artistic flair and Southern hospitality”. I have yet to eat there but knowing Maddi it must be unique and fun as well as good food. They just announced the introduction of their new Sunday Brunch!  (I am sad to say that Maddi’s is now closed).

Too tired to cook and don’t feel like going out to eat? There is a wonderful new service that is just what you need! The Traveling Waiter is a new, Mooresville based, delivery service that let’s you choose from 11 lake-area restaurant menus and then delivers the entrees for a $3.99 fee plus tip. The restaurants include: Giordianos, Monterrey, Thai Lanna, Teddy’s, Acropolis, Sangam, Chicos, Jersey Mike’s, Mia Famiglia, Cafe Mia and Matt’s Chicago Dog. They deliver 11a.m. to 2p.m. and 5-10 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

Finally, just for the ladies: I don’t know if you have noticed a new magazine Skirt! at your beauty salon, market or other shops in town but it definitely stands out with it’s 17′ x 11′ size! Skirt! was created in 1994 as a monthly magazine for women in the Charleston and Columbia areas of South Carolina. “Skirt” is all about women…their work, play, families, creativity, style, health, wealth, bodies and souls. Skirt! is an attitude…spirited, independent, outspoken, serious, playful and irreverent, sometimes controversial, always passionate.” I picked it up while getting a hair cut and brought home a copy so that I could read the whole thing! Sorry gentlemen, perhaps there is a “Pants!” coming soon.

Well, I hope you have enjoyed my little excursion. If so, check back as I will continue you to share new discoveries I find particularly fun or wonderful!

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lake norman real estate

Is Now a Good Time to Buy Real Estate in Lake Norman?

Why is it that when it is a seller’s market and home prices are on the rise the news calls it a great real estate market. However, when home sales are slower the experts use nothing but negative adjectives to describe the real estate market? Now , if you are in a real estate related business or a seller then this would make sense…the faster the pace of home sales the more money you will make or the higher the sales price. However, if you are a potential home buyer or real estate investor then wouldn’t the opposite be true? In my opinion, this current market is, in fact, a very good time to consider buying:

  • The inventory of active listings is up. Buyers now have more choices in most price ranges and in most of the Lake Norman communities
  • Prices are more negotiable. While the overall average sales prices in the Lake Norman area have not dropped a lot, certain price ranges and locations are extremely slow and inventory is sitting. Many builders are offering myriad incentives including paying closing costs and upgrades. I have been bombarded with flyers from builders and even listing agents offering various incentives for buyers and buyer agents. (As always,I personally will turn any bonuses I am offered over to my buyers through closing).
  • Mortgage interest rates are hovering at 6.0%. This is historically VERY low. With the Federal Reserve cutting their overnight rates by 50 basis points, the second mortgages and home equity lines will be positively impacted by this drop. And, mortgage rates may be affected in a positive way but there is also speculation that if investors are inspired by this rate cut to invest in the stock market that, in fact, the 30-year fixed rate may go up. Either way, rates right now are excellent!
  • The holiday season, while slower, is a very good time to buy or sell. Why? Because the sellers that keep their homes on the market during the holidays are very motivated to sell and buyers who are looking to buy during the holidays are usually very motivated to buy.

The current mortgage crisis is related to the subprime market. A buyer with little to no downpayment, lower credit scores or an unsubstantiated income history will probably not be able to get a conventional loan. However, if you have good credit scores, a tradtional 20% cash downpayment and can provide documented income you should be able to get a very good rate. Lenders and mortgage brokers are looking for clients, they just don’t have the same flexibility that led to the current rate of foreclosures and that is a good thing!

Finally, the possibility of a significant drop in home prices in the greater Charlotte and Lake Norman area is remote because our economy is simply too strong. So, why wait in the off chance that housing prices might decrease and that interest rates will also decrease simultaneously? If you find the home you’ve always wanted, you plan to live here a while and you can line up good financing, buy it and hold on to it!. Now, if you want to flip a property or plan to stay a very short period of time, then I would hold off on buying. Real estate has been a good long-term investment and will continue to be especially in areas of stability like Lake Norman and Charlotte.

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