Lake Norman Real Estate Market Reports

Lake Norman Real Estate Sales Analysis: 4th Quarter 2007

 

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

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

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

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

 

Lake Norman Fourth Quarter Statistics Summary

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

.

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

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

Lake Norman 4th Quarter Sales Analysis  By Price Range:

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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10 Things Lake Norman Waterfront Home Buyers Should Know BEFORE buying

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Lake Norman waterfront homes

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

Lake Norman waterfront home

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

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

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

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

LAKE NORMAN WATERFRONT SALES 2007 VS 2006

(Period analyzed: September 1 – December 28)

Average days on the market:

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

Average sales price:

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

Average size of the waterfront home:

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

Average price per square feet:

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

Number of waterfront homes sold:

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

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

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

A Quick Look at Lake Norman Waterfront Lots

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

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

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Mooresville NC Relocation Resources

Mooresville Relocation Resource List

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

TOWN OF MOORESVILLE

COUNTY:

STATE:

EDUCATION:

HEALTH CARE/AREA HOSPITALS:

LIBRARIES

NEWSPAPERS

UTILITIES

RECREATION

FAITH:

FARMERS MARKETS

 

SENIOR SERVICES:

The Iredell Council on Aging:

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

South Iredell Senior Center, Mooresville: (704.662.3337)

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

Centralina Area Agency on Aging: (704.372.2416)

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

AARP

North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services

OTHER ARTICLES OF INTEREST:

Lake Norman Relocation Resources

Lake Norman Sports Resource Guide

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Relocating to Mooresville North Carolina

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

AT A GLANCE:

Established: 1873

Population: 23,100 (2006)

Median Home Price: $208,274 (2006)

Average Property Taxes: $1,406

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

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

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

NOTABLE ACCOMPLISHMENTS

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

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

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

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

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

OVERVIEW

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

Recreation:

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

Festivals and Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

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

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

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

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

Help the environment and your postal carrier!

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

It snows in Birkdale Village every night 2007!

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

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

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


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

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Restaurant Review: Maddis Southern Bistro

 

A Lake Norman Restaurant Review

By

Kathy K.

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

Rating: *****

Maddis Southern Bistro

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

Serving Lunch, Dinner and Brunch

MORE RESTAURANT REVIEWS

Lake Norman Restaurant Review: 131 Main

Lake Norman Restaurant Review: Soiree

Lake Norman Restaurant Review: The Rusty Rudder

Lake Norman Restaurant Review: Indigo Joes

Lake Norman Restaurant Review: Rock Bottom

Lake Norman Restaurant Review: North Harbor Club

Learn all about North Carolina Barbecue!

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Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations

December is THE month for Catawba Valley Pottery Kiln Sales!

Catawba Valley Kiln Firing

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

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

This Saturday, December 1, 2007:

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

Saturday, December 8th, 2007:

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

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

Saturday, December 15th:

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

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

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

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

See you on Saturday!

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Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations

Lake Norman Holiday Events Through December 11th 2007

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

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

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

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

 

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

Sunday, December 2nd:

 

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

Tuesday, December 4th:

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

Wednesday, December 5th:

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

Thursday, December 6th:

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

Saturday, December 8th:

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

Sunday, December 9th:

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

Tuesday, December 11th:

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

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

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Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Town of Davidson

Christmas in Davidson 2007

Lake Norman Holiday Events Through December 11th 2007

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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

 

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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.)

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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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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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The Real Estate Process, Home Buying and Selling Tips

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

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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Historic Downtown Mooresville, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

27 Reasons to Visit Historic Downtown Mooresville: Part 3

Whether you are relocating to the Lake Norman area or have lived here for years, unless you frequent downtwon Mooresville you may not be aware of all of the exciting changes and developments. In 27 Reasons to Visit Historic Downtown Mooresville Part 1 and 27 Reasons to Visit Historic Downtown Mooresville Part 2, I focused on some of the wonderful shops and restaurants in Downtown Mooresville. The downtown area is also home to many of the Town of Mooresville’s services and entertainment:

CHARLES MACK CITIZENS CENTER

The Charles Mack Citizen Center in Historic Downtown Mooresville

14. The Charles Mack Citizen’s Center is a newer 60,000 square-foot facility which is home to the South Iredell Senior Center, and the Mooresville Downtown Commission. This truly beautiful facility has large and small meeting rooms available to rent for various functions, meetings and activities and also contains the Joe V. Knox Auditorium which has a seating capacity of 235. It is located at: 215 N. Main Street.

MOORESVILLE ARTS AND GALLERY

The Original Mooresville Train Depot is now home to Mooresville Arts

15. Located in the historic train depot building on the corner of Main St. and Center St., the Mooresville Arts Depot  an art gallery, gift shop and home of Mooresville Arts a non-profit organization of artists offering  art classes and  art events throughout the year.  For those that are new to Lake Norman, our area attracts many artists and organizations like Mooreville Arts help to support and shart their talent and works!

MITCHELL COMMUNITY COLLEGE 

Mitchell Community College Campus in Mooresville

16. The Mooresville campus of  Mitchell Community College is located just west of Main Street on 219 North Academy Street. Mooresville Campus serves the community by offering a variety of courses in college credit and continuing education programs including Student Services and counseling plus Curriculum Courses offered at the Mooresville Campus include: College Transfer courses, Accounting, Business Administration, Early Childhood, Information Systems, Medical Assisting and High School Programs. Continuing Education courses offered at the Mooresville Campus include: Occupational Extension, Community Service, Small Business Seminars, Allied Health, and Employability classes. Registrations are accepted Monday-Thursday 9:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.Basic Skills Program offers courses in GED preparation, English as a Second Language (ESL), and Compensatory Education as well as Basic Skills preparation.

MOORESVILLE/SOUTH IREDELL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

 Mooresville South Iredelle Chamber of Commerce

17. Located behind Main Street are the offices of the Mooresville/South Iredell Chamber of Commerce. Learn more about our local businesses and join in on the many ribbon cuttings, monthly gatherings and meetings.

THE MOORESVILLE MUSEUM

Mooresville Museum in Historic Downtown Mooresville

18. The Mooresville Museum has now settled into their permanent  home in the Charles Mack build on East Center Street. After extensive cleanup and some retrofitting of the wonderful historic building which is now open for all to enjoy.  The Mooresville Museum, a non-profit organization, is dedicated to the preservation of regional heritage through:

  • Collecting, preserving and exhibiting artifacts
  • Providing educational programming
  • Promoting an appreciation and understanding of our history
  • Encouraging active participation from the community

 

THE MOORESVILLE PUBLIC LIBRARY

Newly expanded Mooresville Public Library in Historic Downtown Mooresville

19. The Mooresville Public Library, a beautiful, newly expanded in 2011 facility located at 304 South Main Street, embraces technology by working to bring the library to your computer through remote access to NCLive, Net Library, and “Ask a Librarian”. They have a spacious meeting room available as well.

THE MOORESVILLE SOUTH IREDELL SENIOR CENTER

20. The South Iredell Senior Center is truly a wonderful new facility located in the Charles Mack Citizen Center on the lower level and can be accessed from the Church Street parking lot. They offer myriad activities and recreational opportunities for seniors 60 years+ as well as legal services, insurance counseling, long term care counseling and Social Security sign-up and counseling. 704.662.3337.

DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICALS

21. The Department of Motor Vehicles vehical regristration office is located at 125 Main Street. It’s a small, quaint office off the main street across from Pie in the Sky Pizza.

MOORESVILLE TOWN HALL

22. Mooresville Town Hall is located at 413 North Main Street and is the home of the Mayor’s Suite, Financial, Administrative, Planning, Engineering, Human Resources, Risk Management and the IT Department. This is where the Mooresville Town Hall meetings are held.

RICHARD’S COFFEE SHOP

Richards Coffee Shop in Historic Downtown Mooresville

23. The most patriotic coffee shop in the America!  What started out… as a little shop named Pat’s Gourmet Coffee Shop, named in honor of his wife, became much more. It became a “Living” Military Museum, named in honor of the man who spent the last 14 years of his life honoring and supporting America’s Veterans. It was owned and operated by Richard Warren, a U.S. Army, Vietnam Huey gunship pilot, callsign “Mustang 53”.  Today it is dedicated to honoring America’s Veterans, Active Duty Military, Police, Fire and Emergency personnel.  All are welcome to join us in honoring their commitment.

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
MONDAY-SATURDAY : 0800-1500hrs
THURSDAY : Free Coffee (Vets)
SATURDAY : Blue Grass (Public)

DOWNTOWN MOORESVILLE CRUISE-IN

Downtown Mooresville Monthly Cruise-in

24.  Downtown Mooresville will shine with chrome and glitter with sparkling paint during the monthly Cruise-In. It’s a great chance to show off your car and chat with other car enthusiasts, surrounded by the architecturally historic backdrop of Downtown Mooresville. This event is held the first Saturday of the month from 4-8pm on Broad Street in Downtown Mooresville. Free.

DOWNTOWN MOORESVILLE FARMERS MARKET

25. Downtown Farmers Market is held every Saturday from 8am until noon and features local produce, handmade baskets, fresh breads, organic meats and dairy products and much more!  Located in the parking lot at the corner of Church Street and East Iredell Ave. across from the MSI Chamber of Commerce.

MOORESVILLE DOWNTOWN COMMISSION

26. Have you heard the term or seen the logo: It’s Happening Downtown!? Thanks to the efforts of our Mooresville’s Downtown Commission whose office is located in an office in the Charles Mack Citizen Center, Historic Downtown Mooresville truly is a place to go for so many reasons! The Downtown Commission, working with civic leaders and merchants, develops strategic plans to make the downtown economically attractive to citizens, customers, visitors and other businesses. Kim Atkins is the Executive Director of the Downtown Commission. Kim has all of the updates on all development in the downtown area and a great monthly events calendar as well! Bookmark and go to their website: Downtown Mooresville for a comprehensive list of events, festivals, shopping, restaurants, businesses and entertainment.

BECOME A DOWNTOWNIE!

Historic Downtown Mooresville: Become a Downtownie!

27.  HOW TO BE A DOWNTOWNIE

STEP 1. Pick Up A Downtown Passport! Next time you find yourself in any business Downtown, ask for a Downtown Passport. If you happen to be making a purchase Downtown, you’ll automatically be given one along with your first sticker!

STEP 2. Collect 20 Stickers In Your Passport! Any time you make any purchase, at participating Downtown businesses, you’ll receive a sticker for your Downtown Passport. Collect just 20 stickers to complete your Passport and you’re on your way to being an Official Downtownie!

Click here for a list of participating businesses. We will be adding more so check back often!

STEP 3. Mail Us Your Passport! Complete the form inside your Passport, tape it closed and mail it on over to us here at the Mooresville Downtown Commission. We’ll process your Passport and mail you your very own Official Downtownie Membership Card and Key Fob along with a special little treat (we’re not telling, it’s a surprise!).

STEP 4. Enjoy the Benefits of Being a Downtownie! Now you’re ready to walk around Downtown like you own the place! Just check back here to see what exclusive deals and events you can now enjoy from participating businesses. Just look for the sign printed on the back of your Downtownie Card that says “Downtownies Welcome!” to find those participating businesses Downtown.

You might also want to “like” Downtown Mooresville on Facebook because some merchants like to post spontaneous offers there. We’ll also send you periodic emails so you never miss a thing happening Downtown.
And that’s it! Easy, right? We can’t wait to see you Downtown, future Downtownie!

Related Articles:

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27 Reasons to Visit Historic Downtown Mooresville Part 1

27 Reasons to Visit Historic Downtown Mooresville Part 2

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Relocating to Lake Norman North Carolina

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations

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

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

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

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

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Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations

The Charlotte Trader Joe’s Opening Countdown

Lake Norman's closest Trader Joes

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

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

Here are the specifics:

Where: 6418 Rea Road in Shops at Piper Glen

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

Contact: 707.543.5249

NEWS!!!! 

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

Exit 18!

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Historic Downtown Mooresville, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

27 Reasons to Visit Historic Downtown Mooresville

 Historic Downtown Mooresville in Lake Norman

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

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

LANDMARK GALLERIES

Renowned artist and photographer Cotton Ketchie

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

LA PATISSERIE

La Patisserie Mooreville

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

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

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

EPIC CHOP HOUSE

Epic Chop House Restaurant

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

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

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

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

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

The Enchanted Olive

The Enchanted Olive in Historic Downtown Mooresville

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

ALEXANDER ZACHARY JEWELERS

Alexandar Zachary Jewelry Store in Historic Mooresville

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

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

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

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

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How to buy the best Catawba Valley Face Jugs!

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

How to buy the best face jugs in Catawba Valley!

 

Catawba Valley Face Jug Pottery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

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

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

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

Catawba Valley Pottery Face Jug

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

Ben Owen III is a Seagrove Potter shown here in Tokyo

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

Ben Owen turning a pot on his wheel in Seagrove NC

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

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

Mooresville Lake Norman's Race City USA logo

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

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

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

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Trader Joe’s is coming to Lake Norman!

Trader Joes Closest to Lake Norman

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

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

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

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

Entrance to Trader Joes in Lake Norman area

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

Trader Joes is now open!

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

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The Real Estate Process, Home Buying and Selling Tips

Stop! Real Estate DUAL AGENCY! Proceed with Caution!

Lake Norman Real Estate Educational perspective

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

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

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

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

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Just the facts about Lake Norman

Are You Ready to Navigate the Waters of Lake Norman?

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

Lake Norman speed-boat-hits-pole

TRY TO AVOID MARKERS!

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

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

Lake Norman Shoal warning sign with bird nest

SHOAL MARKER 

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

One of over 100 islands on  Lake Norman

ONE OF THOSE ISLANDS! 

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

No Wake Marker on Lake Norman

NO WAKE MARKER 

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

Here are the links:

BOATING SAFETY AND OVERSIGHT

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

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lake norman real estate

What is the best way to search for Lake Norman real estate on the Internet?

UPDATE 2014:

How times have changed since I wrote this in 2007.  Now, of course, Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com are the three top websites used for home searches in Lake Norman and throught the US.

Here is the original article as written on July 11, 2007:

Most potential buyers start their search on www.realtor.com:

But, if you are like I was when I was looking for our new home in Mooresville/Lake Norman, you will soon gravitate to a more local website, preferably one run by the local Multiple Listings Service (MLS), as the data is more current and they offer more detailed search parameters so that you can fine-tune your search. Our greater Charlotte MLS which encompasses the Lake Norman area has a public website: www.carolinahome.com.

Or, you can go to a local company website like mine: Lake Norman Real Estate  and you will get the identical Charlotte MLS data.

All of these are perfectly fine, but there is a better way, at least here in the Lake Norman and greater Charlotte area. We Realtors have access to the same MLS as you will find on the above websites, however, we have many more options for narrowing our searches. And, we have an automated program provided by our MLS that allows us to set a potential buyer up to receive daily updates of new or changed listings by email. You will essentially know about a new listing as quickly as a real estate agent! And, you will also be notified if a listing in your database has been taken off the active list when it has an accepted offer or been withdrawn. We can set you up with as many different searches as you would like. I have some clients who want waterfront or a boatslip or a certain school district, or a specific subdivision or even are considering buying a lot so I may have them set up to receive 4 or 5 different searches.

There are myriad other real estate related websites that are great fun to visit, like www.zillow.com but if you truly want to know the best way to find a house, go directly to the MLS source. If you are looking in the greater Charlotte and Lake Norman area email me your serach criteria; price, location and and many details as you would like and I will set you up with our automatic notifcation program!

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Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations

Why does it take a week to celebrate the 4th of July at Lake Norman?

Lake Norman's Colorful Fireworks over the Lake

We like to party, we Lake Norman and Mooresville folks. I guess that’s why our celebrations for the 4th of July expand an entire week! When you combine beautiful summer weather, a huge lake full of boats of all kinds, fireworks, picnics and a patriotic celebration like the 4th of July I think we do have the “Perfect Storm” for partying; especially here in the patriotic state of North Carolina.

You don’t need much of an excuse for a boat party on the lake. Once summer hits, weekends on the lake are not for the weak-hearted as our peaceful lake is transformed into an almost frenzied level of activity. One of the local favorites is called “rafting up”. Rafting up is: “the anchoring, mooring, tying, fastening, linking or joining any combination of six or more vessels together in proximity to one another” according to the Lake Norman Marine Commission. Essentially, they are parties with groups of boaters who hop from boat to boat to see friends, “groove to music” and drink beer. “It’s a floating block party on water”. According to those in the know, The Sandbar, near Marker D4, has long been THE place to raft up on Lake Norman. Hundreds of boaters tie-up on a given weekend. As a matter of fact, Lake Norman held the record of 1,453 boats set in 2004 until the event was discontinued due to safety concerns.

My celebration starts on solid ground on Saturday when I will be riding on the Exchange Club float handing out flags at the Iredell County Independence Day Parade. If you live in a big city and have never experienced the warmth and sense of community of a small town, then you can’t miss this parade! My fellow parade participants will include veterans, high school marching bands, scout troops, military units, re-enactments (they wear the authentic full-sleeved wool outfits despite the heat!), civic groups, local politicians and last year we even had a group of skateboarders. “The parade is all about celebrating our nations birthday…honoring our veterans, both past and present.” The parade start at 11:00 in the town of Troutman just north of Mooresville.

Also on Saturday evening is the Lake Norman Yacht Club’s annual fireworks display. (But, it’s supposed to rain)

The next big thing is my next celebration as well. On Tuesday, July 3rd starting at 6:00p.m. the Mooresille YMCA will be holding its Summer Celebration which will include a concert by the Lake Norman Orchestra, a flag dedication, fireworks!

On Wednesday, the 4th, there will myriad events:

  • Huntersville’s July 4th Celebration includes a fireman’s face-off, water challenge, parade, children’s activities, pet contests, kite decorating station and music. (10-1p.m.) www.huntersville.org
  • Davidson’s July 4th Celebration includes their annual parade followed by children’s events, live entertainment and fireworks. (Starting at 6p.m.) www.ci.davidson.nc.us
  • Firecracker 5K and Kid’s fun run: Huntersville at 8:00a.m. www.hffa.com
  • Catawba Queen 4th of July Celebration: “Come rock the boat with KISS 95.1. The event will also have snacks a cash bar and fireworks 8-11p.m.” The Catawba Queen is a large, two-decker sightseeing boat on Lake Norman; plenty big to handle the rough water on a busy holiday on the lake.
  • Finally, on July 7th, the Denver Area Business Association and Local Merchants will hold their annual community fireworks show at East Lincoln High School at 6:00p.m.

If you live around Lake Norman, you can also just sit back on your porch and almost be guaranteed of seeing some sort of fireworks on any given evening throughout the week. Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

What is it Like Living in Mooresville, Race City USA?

Mooresville's Race City USA water Tower

One day I was at the local post office when someone standing next to me asked where he should put his out-of-state mail. I turned around to see Jamie McMurray. I acted ever so casual but did decide to pay a compliment to his driving.

Race Shop Tours for Mooresville Area

See, living in Mooresville is no different than living in LA, only instead of seeing movie stars and acting cool we see racing celebrities and act cool. I’ve had breakfast a table away from Matt Kennseth , seen Casey Mears and Greg Biffle at a local coffee shop, am a member of a women’s club with the Busch brother’s grandmother…and at our local 5-Guys Hamburgers (THE BEST HAMBURGERS AND FRIES) they have menus signed by Dale Jr., Kasey Kahne, and a slew of other drivers.

 

Live Pit Stop Demonstrations at Wednesday Car gathering

When you live is a town the size of Mooresville which is home to 60 Motorsport teams, the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame, the NASCAR Technical Institute and “scores of drivers” racing becomes intertwined in our lives in many different ways. If you are a race fan, then Mooresville could be your Mecca. But, if you aren’t into racing you won’t feel out of place at all. You will hardly notice any of these signs:

Doesn’t everyone have Live Pit Stop Demonstrations at their ice cream shop?

 

Cautions Sign:  Race Fans Ahead!

A lot of my clients work for race teams, from tire changers to engineers. If you go to the DMV to get your license plates you will see Dale Earnhart autographed memorabilia on the back wall.

At the Chamber of Commerce our Special Projects Coordinator has an office full of her prized racing collection. Dale Jr. went to Mooresville High School. Like I said, it’s just part of life here.

 

Jimmy Johnson's Car in Downtown Mooresville for Stocks for Tots event

 

As a board member of The Exchange SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now)/CAP (Child Parenting Center) Non-Profit organization www.iredellscan.org, my life has become intertwined with the best part of the racing community because I witness the incredible generosity on so many levels and in so many ways.

 

Way back in 1989 Stocks for Tots was created “as a way to bring stock car racing into the Mooresville community on a hands on basis” by the President of Penske South, Don Miller, and race car driver Rusty Wallace. They decided to hold an event every December for the fans in order to collect toys and raise money for the SCAN center. Race celebrities from the area have given generously of their holiday time to sign autographs for the fans who either donated a toy or money to get in line ever since. www.stocksfortots.com.

Dale Jr. at Stocks for Tots event

 

This past December I had the privilege of being a part of the Stocks For Tots Committee Co-Chaired by Don Miller and John Moloney, General Manager of Penkse Technology; two of the most hard working and generous people you could ever meet.

 

The event’s grown so big that it is now being held in Downtown Mooresville. Last year we had 41 drivers/TV personalities and crew chiefs signing autographs, including Dale Jr., Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin, Rusty, Mike and Steve Wallace, Kurt Busch, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards, Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds to name a few.

Denny Hamlin at the Stocks for Tots event

 

The drivers and race teams also donated sheet metal and other items for an incredible live auction!

 

 

 

 

Mooresville Ribbon Cutting of SCAN Center

Thanks to these great events we were able to open a second SCAN/CAP center in Mooresville. This is the ribbon cutting attended by our Mayor, Congresswoman Karen Ray, Don Miller President of Penske South and drivers Ryan Newman and J.J. Yeley (who gave us a check for $2750 right on the spot!). It was actually quite funny because Don Miller gave Ryan a very hard time for wearing jeans to the event.

 

I really intended this blog to be strictly about racing and Mooresville but once I started I realized I wanted to share what the racing industry has meant to me and my Mooresville community. It really ends up being about nice people giving generously of their time to help those less fortunate. That’s why I love living in Race City USA.

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The Real Estate Process, Home Buying and Selling Tips

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

When my husband and I moved to Lake Norman I think our REALTOR assumed we knew everything we needed to know about the process because I had been in real estate for so long in California. It wasn’t until I started taking my North Carolina real estate licensing courses that I realized just how different the sales process is here and how much I DIDN’T know! These are the key elements of North Carolina real estate law, NC Real Estate Commission rules and regulations and common practices here in the Lake Norman area that may be different than other states:

  • Buyer’s Agency: Until the buyer has given oral or written authority to their agent to represent them as a buyer, the agent legally acts as a sub-agent of the seller. This is critical because it means that the if the buyer(s) share private information with any real estate agent before they discuss agency choices, the agent will have the duty to share the buyers’ information with the seller. Buyers should not share personal information with any real estate agent (including at open houses) until they have all agreed he/she will be their buyer’s agent because information shared by the buyer with the agent WILL NOT BE CONFIDENTIAL until a buyer agency relationship has been established. Buyers should receive a brochure entitled WORKING WITH REAL ESTATE AGENTS at first “significant contact” with their agent. If you don’t receive one…ask for one! At the time of writing up an offer, buyers will have to fill out and sign the EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO REPRESENT BUYER Buyer Agency Agreement.

 

  • Caveat Emptor: Let the Buyer Beware! This is HUGE coming from a state like California where the sellers responsibility to disclose anything and everything about their property is pounded into their heads during the listing process. In essence, in a buyer beware state like North Carolina, the responsibility to inspect and investigate a property falls directly on the shoulders of the buyers. So buyers: be vigilent!  The seller can elect “No representation” on the sellers disclosure form so essentially they don’t have to tell the buyers anything about the property. However, the listing agent must disclose any material facts that they know or should have known that might affect the value of the property and they usually provide HOA information and that sort of thing. The 4-page STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY DISCLOSURE STATEMENT should be provided to the buyer before or during the purchase contract negotiation process.

 

  • What to look for during a physical inspection: Moisture is the number one issue here. Crawlspaces should have “moisture barriers” and readings will be taken to determine if there is too much moisture. Radon is a pretty common test although I have only had a couple of properties test over the allowable 4.0 pico curies per liter of air. This is most common in homes with walk-out basements. Pest Inspections are required. If you are buying outside a city limit, you will have your own well, septic tank and propane tank for gas. Many buyers elect to test some or all of these. Synthetic Stucco is a bit of an issue as is poly-butelene plumbing but these are workable in most cases. A good inspector who provides a comprehensive report with photographs is extremely important!

 

  • Time is NOT of the essence: This is another biggie (is there such a word?). The residential OFFER TO PURCHASE AND CONTRACT does not have the legal term “Time is of the Essence” attached to the closing date and most of the deadlines with the exception of the Due Diligience Period. What this means is that closing dates can be delayed a reasonable amount of time if the party delaying the closing is showing good faith efforts to close.  “Reasonable” is the term thrown around but honestly no agent or even attorney seems to be able to give a concrete definition of “reasonable” although 2 weeks seem to be a number that comes up more than most. This doesn’t mean that contracts don’t close on time because they usually do but it does mean that there is a possibility that there could be “reasonable” delays. If you plan concurrent closings just make sure everyone is on the same page, especially the attorney.

 

  • Role of Attorneys before and at closings: Unlike some states where escrow companies or title companies handle the closing paperwork, in North Carolina real estate attorneys handle the title searches and all of the closing paperwork including handling all funds and loan payoffs. Buyers wire their funds to the closing attorney by the day of the closing. We have a formal closing meeting on the day of closing where the buyers, sellers and their agents sit around a table with the closing attorney and approve and sign the HUD statements, deeds etc. Then the sellers leave and the buyers sign their loan documents with the attorney. After all the paperwork is finished and the lender has funded the loan the attorney will take the appropriate paperwork to the county recorder to have the formal recording of the deed. This usually happens the same day. Sellers usually get their funds within 24 hours depending on time of day of the closing meeting and how busy the attorney is. By the way, in North Carolina the BUYER chooses the closing attorney and pays the attorney’s fees as well as for title insurance, the title search etc. and fees to vary by attorney.

 

  • Good Faith/Earnest Money: While it can vary, the buyer will commonly put down about 1% of the purchase price as their earnest money at the time the purchase agreement is signed here in the Lake Norman area.

 

  • Due Diligence Fee:  This is a NON-refundable fee that is paid directly from the buyer to the seller as soon as the offer has been fully signed/executed by all parties.  The amount/fee is optional and is negotiated during the offer process between the buyer and seller.

 

  • Due Diligence Period:  This is the time period during which the buyer will investigate the property, do inspections and get their loan approved.  This time period is negotiated on the Offer to Purchase and Contract  form and this time period is Time Being Of the Essence. During this time period the buyer can walk away for any or no reason at all and the seller must return the earnest money deposit.  However, after 5:00pm on the deadline of this time period if the buyer hasn’t canceled the contract in writing then the seller may keep the earnest money if for any reason the buyer can not close the purchase.  Please ask for a copy of the Offer to Purchase and Contract to learn more before entering a purchase agreement!

 

  • Modification of language and all amendments must be approved by attorney: As licensed brokers/agents in the state of North Carolina, we are taught that we can only “fill in the blanks” of all of the forms provided to us by the North Carolina Bar Association and the North Carolina Association of REALTORS. There are no blank lines in the contracts for us to use to add verbiage and there is no addendum with blank lines for us to use. On occasion we may draw up an addendum but we must get it approved by an attorney.

 

  • Counter Offers: We have no counter offer forms, which is probably my biggest complaint. If a seller wants to modify the terms of the original offer, they either cross out the terms to be changed and write in their own and initial, or, the agents verbally communicate the counter offers until there is agreement and then a new contract is written up incorporating all of the agreed upon changes. During this time the original contract is void. My greatest concern is that any time before the seller and buyer sign the final contract, if the seller gets another offer they are not bound to sign the one already negotiated so there is a window of time when we are working in good faith. In the meantime, I keep lobbying for a counter offer form!

The above is only meant to be a general summary and an overview of how the sales process is customarily handled here. I am by no means an attorney so while I will try to address any questions or comments, if you have legal questions I can also provide you with the names of several very good real estate attorneys.

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lake norman real estate

Is Lake Norman’s The Point a Victim of Brawley School Traffic?

The Point Luxury Community in Lake Norman

I live down Brawley School Road in one of the most beautiful areas I have ever seen. Yet, if I tell this to a local, I will get a knowing, sympathetic nod as if to say, ‘”you poor thing, I am so sorry”. And, if they too live down Brawley School Rd, we will immediately share war stories about the longest time it has taken us to get to the I-77 and what we each think of the latest efforts for a building moratorium. Now, I only live about a third of the way down what we all refer to as the “longest cul-de-sac in the world” so it doesn’t take me more than 20 minutes to travel my 2.7 miles to Williamson Rd. during rush hour. Those who live at the very end of our 8-mile peninsula have much better horror stories. I know one high school student who leaves at 6:30a.m. to get to school by 8:30a.m. which is about 14 miles away.

For those of you who don’t live here, the problem is that Brawley School Road is the ONLY road in and out of the entire peninsula and until it is widened in 2008-2011 it will remain one lane each way.  For me, coming from Los Angeles, this isn’t that much of a problem; I’m used to much worse, I don’t commute during rush hour, and when I am home the quiet, peaceful and natural beauty far outweigh the traffic problems. (Now I understand why the residents of Malibu CA put up with their awful commutes!)

But, this got me wondering about the real estate sales at The Point, our premier luxury community located, as you might have guessed by the name, at the very end/point of Brawley School Peninsula.  I knew the sales at The Point had been slow but I didn’t know how slow until I did this quick analysis from the MLS 4/15/07 to 6/14/07:

Price Range
# Sold
%
# Active
%
DOM
$ 100,000
to
$ 799,999
3
20.00%
12
13.64%
430
$ 800,000
to
$ 899,999
3
20.00%
12
13.64%
193
$ 900,000
to
$ 999,999
1
6.67%
15
17.05%
206
$1,000,000
to
$ 1,249,999
2
13.33%
13
14.77%
161
$1,250,000
to
$ 1,499,999
0
0.00%
8
9.09%
0
$1,500,000
to
$ 1,749,999
1
6.67%
8
9.09%
53
$1,750,000
to
$ 1,999,999
3
20.00%
9
10.23%
112
$2,000,000
to
$ 2,999,999
2
13.33%
9
10.23%
103
$3,000,000
to
$ 3,999,999
0
0.00%
1
1.14%
$4,000,000
to
$10,000,000
0
0.00%
1
1.14%
15
100.00%
88
100.00%
199

Because of the hgher price ranges, it is not terribly worrisome that the average days on market is 199 or 6.6 months VS the average at the lake of 108 days, especially when some of the homes are purchased before construction is complete. What is alarming is the fact that if they continue to sell 15 properties every two months , they have a whopping 11.7 months supply of homes for sale! The rest of the Lake Norman Area has about a 6-8 months of supply on hand which reflects a pretty balanced market. Now, there are other factors that contribute to this over-supply at The Point, not the least of which is they are still building new homes so some of the inventory is new and some is resale. Particular “Villages” are not selling as well as others. But I can’t help but think that the traffic issues play a role as well. I have had buyers, not many, but a few, who have told me they will not live down Brawley School.

My recommendation? Those who have to commute to Charlotte would be wise to explore a more commuter-friendly area around the lake until the widening is completed. But, if you don’t, then I wouldn’t rule it out. Try the traffic at different times and see if it bothers YOU. I wouldn’t live anywhere else!

 

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

Agent Bonuses and Incentives: Buyers Beware!

Lake Norman real estate tipsThe other day I heard something terribly unsettling. An agent was explaining to another agent why they should choose a certain home warranty company because the company “gives back” more money than the others. First of all, any kind of “kickbacks” from any service providers is simply illegal. Secondly, the fact that an agent would choose a service for their clients based upon their own interests is a violation of our code of ethics. This small incident led me to think again about agent bonuses and/or incentives; why I think they are all inherently wrong and the challenges I have faced while trying to give back my bonuses to my buyers.

I recently sold two new-construction homes to buyers. In both cases there were substantial bonuses for me as the buyers’ agent. In the first sale I simply told the builder to put my bonus towards the sales price. The purchase price was reduced by $5,000. That was easy. In the second case, I wanted to give the $5,000 cash back to my buyers at closing so that they would have some cash to build a fence right away for their small children and dog. The builder and the closing attorney fought me every step of the way claiming this was illegal, loan fraud and that they would only credit the purchase price. I called the North Carolina Real Estate Commission whose attorney told me as long as the $5,000 was on the HUD statement and the lender agrees to it that it was definitely acceptable to gift a bonus to the buyer. The key is it MUST be on the HUD statement and the lender must agree to it. If the lender doesn’t agree to an outright gift then there are other options like paying closing costs or buying down an interest rate.

What shocked me was not only how difficult it was to give back my bonus, but the fact that clearly no other agent had tried to do this as the sellers (a very large builder in Charlotte) and a very active closing attorney didn’t even know how to handle it. It felt so wrong to me to take that bonus money, yet I guess it is rather common for agents here to do so. (By the way, these bonuses must be disclosed to the clients.)

As I see it, the bottom line is that I, as a REALTOR, have a “fiduciary responsibility” to my clients which means I am to represent them and ALL of their interests as if I were them…guiding them through their real estate transaction with the mission of representing their interests, and their interests only. Any agent who would determine what properties to show their buyers based upon the commission offered or a bonus their might receive is violating their responsibility to their buyers. If this is true, then any “incentive” is just that, something that is trying to convince a buyer’s agent to show that property. Since it is our job to show every property that the buyer wants to see or that meets their wants and needs, then why in the world would an incentive be appropriate since it should never be a consideration?

I have heard countless agents celebrating the fact that they received a bonus so they are certainly an accepted incentive for sellers to offer. To be honest, I have had some of my seller’s offer bonuses as incentives.  But, I will never accept one!  FYI, bonuses must be disclosed to all parties in the transaction.

As always I welcome your comments!

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Historic Main Street and Face Jugs…learning about the heart of Mooresville

Lake Norman's Historic Downtown Mooresville

On our very first day in Mooresville, my husband and I decided to explore “Downtown” Mooresville; a quaint Main Street with a mixture of historic buildings containing old businesses like Turner’s Hardware and upscale shops like The Garden Party.

We happened upon an art gallery with a window full of beautiful watercolors of scenic country roads, sail boats on Lake Norman and lighthouses. Inside we found more paintings and some fascinating locally-made pottery “face jugs”. It was a lively atmosphere, with the cutest tiny white dog pretty much running the place while the owners chatted with old friends and tourists alike. I was actually quite impressed that we met the artist “Cotton” Ketchie and his wife Vickie, not having any idea what an impact they would have on my new life in Mooresville!

Renowned artist and photographer Cotton Ketchie

Kind of like the Kevin Bacon game, almost everything I do outside of real estate in some way can be linked to my friendship with Vickie and Cotton. From The Mooresville/Lake Norman Exchange Club, The Mooresville Museum, SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now), Stocks for Tots, The Cotton Ketchie Art Festival to collecting face jugs at pottery kiln sales in Catawba County, what an incredible journey in such a relatively short period of time! I am so grateful that I have been able to learn about and be involved in what I would call the heart of Mooresville and to have such special friends like Cotton and Vickie who have taught me not just about life in Mooresville, both past and present, but about the meaning of true Southern hospitality. It is now one of my goals to pass along all I have learned to newcomers.

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lake norman real estate

What’s the human side of a down real estate market?

Special Lake Norman Clients and Friends

Last August 2006, I was holding an open house when in walked two vivacious women; best friends, one from Texas and one from Massachusetts. They had just moved their families to Mooresville/Lake Norman which they decided was the ultimate place for their families because of the quality of life, the great schools, the reasonable real estate market, the great golf and,of course, the lake. We clicked immediately; talking about their moves, the area and what they were each looking for in a home. Their families were both renting month-to-month until they found their perfect homes. The friend from Texas had just sold her home but for less then they had hoped. The friend from Massachusetts had not sold her home but was optimistic that it would sell quickly because it was a lovely home in a great neighborhood.

Last month, May 2007, the family from Texas, now special friends, moved in to a wonderful home overlooking the lake. . I am so thrilled that we found the right home for them after making a few unsuccessful offers on properties that just weren’t quite right. I think we all knew it the moment we walked in the door that we had finally found it. And you know what? The house and property is EXACTLY what they described the first day we met!

Yesterday, the friend from Massachusetts signed a two-year lease on a lovely home. It has been a very tough road for them and I can’t tell you how much I admire their gracious acceptance of their circumstances. After we first met we looked at homes for sale but as the months wore on we stopped looking for purchases and began talking about leases. Their home in Massachusetts had been reduced several times but throughout the winter got almost no showings. In the meantime, they were paying a mortgage plus their rent here and watching their equity shrink. Their house now finally under contract, they feel they will be lucky and even happy to break even at closing. Their equity is gone as well as much of their savings yet they are so relieved to finally have only one house payment a month. They hope to be able to buy again in several years.

I have experienced a down market before in California in the early 1990’s when many clients were what we called “upside-down”…their home was worth less than they paid for it. We did short sales and watched our clients lose hundreds of thousands of dollars when they sold. It was very tough then and it hasn’t gotten any easier 16 years later.

Clearly, the slow housing markets throughout the country are now impacting our greater Charlotte/ Lake Norman area real estate market which had been growing despite the slowdown for quite a while. Many of our buyers are relocating here from states where they have taken a loss. Not only are these buyers now able to pay less but, having been burned, they are much more hesitant to make anything close to a full-price offer. The impact on our current market is not just financial, it is clearly psychological as well, and not just on the buyers side. The biggest challenge we have with listings is trying to convince our sellers to price their properties realistically and to not be offended with low offers. It will be very interesting to watch our market evolve and I will continue to share my experiences.

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Agent Bonuses and Incentives: Buyers Beware!

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman growth and development; what’s in the pipeline? Part 2

Okay, so you REALLY know you live in a fast growing community when it take TWO blogs to get everyone up to speed with developments in the pipeline surrounding Lake Norman. In this half I will be covering the communities of Davidson, Cornelius, Huntersville (Mecklenburg County), Denver (Lincoln County) and Sherrills Ford/Terrell in Catawba County. For Iredell County see Part 1. In the future I will provide updates in individual blogs so keep checking in!

DAVIDSON:

  • Harbor Place is a 450,000-square-foot mixed-use development. Located on a 50-acre site, it will include a three-story office building on Griffith Street and the I-77, four other office buildings, a 120-room Hilton Homewood Suites hotel and a residential component with 15 Townhomes and 29 brownstones. The development will offer views of Lake Davidson.
  • The Village at South Main is a small townhome community located in Davidson’s art district. Nestled among trees, these 38 craftsman-style homes will be within walking distance of shopping, schools and historic Main St. for more information about all developments in Davidson go to: www.ci.davidson.nc.us and click on planning.

CORNELIUS

  • The Preserve at Robbins Park is quite the talk of the town in Cornelius. “This public/private development on 200 acres between Westmoreland Rd., West Catawba Avenue and Birkdale Village includes a park, a nature preserve, a greenway, an athletic complex and a subdivision filled with143 upscale homes”. The park will likely include ballfields, soccerfields, tennis courts, bicycle trails, and a community garden and will be open to the public
  • The Village Center/Bailey’s Glen is proposed to be a 487-unit active adult 55+ community with 391 single-family residential units and 96 condominiums located on Jetton Rd. Included in the proposal are a 23,000 square-foot club house and pool, as second smaller club house and pool and a craft barn and greenhouse. Additional amenities proposed include a putting green, amphitheater, bocce court, greenway and several park ares.

HUNTERSVILLE

  • Started 9 years ago, Vermillion of Huntersville is “feathering out” from its high density core and adding larger homes as part of a new, larger vision. There is an overall 400 acres in the entire development. Now some of the nearly 250 single-family homes planned or under construction in the next two phases will exceed 4000 square feet and sell in the high $400,000s. Vermillion’s developers have also secured about 20 acres for a retail services project between the housing and a planned commuter rail stop in the core.
  • Work has begun on the 42-acre Canipe Park on Beatties Ford Road. The park, located just north of Bradley Middle School, will have six full-sized fields for soccer, football and lacrosse, restrooms, playground, walking trail, muli-purpose open-play area and parking.

DENVER/LINCOLN COUNTY

RETAILERS FLOWING IN TO ‘HOT’ INTERSECTION was the headline of an article in the Charlotte Observer recently. The “hot” intersection is the N.C.16 at the N.C. 73 in Lincoln County. With the completion of the widening and straightening of N.C.16 on the west side of Lake Norman, the commute to Charlotte has greatly improved. As a result, the entire west side of the lake has sprung into action with proposed growth and development. Once new housing was underway, it became obvious that there was a great need for closer shopping. At the intersection of the 16/73 there is a WalMart Super Center on one side and the Catawba Springs Promenade just across the street in the pipeline.

  • Catawba Springs Promenade offers an approximately 265,000 square-foot Lowe’s Home Improvement Center, a 30,000 square-foot “junior anchor” and about 40,000 square-feet of small shpes. There are also commitments on at least four of the seven surrounding retail and restaurant parcels on the 40-acre site. Also announced recently is a planned development of 3,000 homes one mile west of Catawba Springs Promenade

For more information about developments in the Denver/Lincoln County area: www.lincolncounty.org; www.denvernc.com

Sherrills Ford and Terrell

“The west shore of the lake is popping” according to a recent blurb in the Red Dirt Alert of the Charlotte Observer and she isn’t embellishing! Here are the most high profile developments in the works:

Catawba County Commisioners have approved two large developments after four years of planning and negotiation:.

  • MAG Land plans to build up to 1500 homes ina 700-acre subdivison called Key Harbor, off Island Point, Raccon Track and Azalea Roads. These will be built out over a 10-20 year period and will ultimately include clubhouses, a soccer field, swimming pools, tennis courts, walking trails and 150 acres of open space.
  • Developers with Crescent Resources plan up to 577,000 square feet of retail, office space and up to 350 homes in the “Village Center” at Slanting Bridge Road and N.C. 150. Within this plan it is expected that there will be a grocery store, a big box store, traffic improvements and a new school. It is thought that this “village” will bring more services and amenities to the area such as a YMCA and medical center.

A new sewer line planned to serve southeastern Catawba County including Sherrills Ford and Terrell is expected to “unleash” serious growth. For more information: www.catawbacountync.gov. Also visit www.lakeneighbors.com.

As one who moved here for the beauty and the kinder and gentler lifestyle, I am not without concerns about so much growth around my beloved Lake Norman. As a REALTOR I should welcome the growth but as a resident there are times I wish everything would just stay exactly the way it is now. I welcome comments about your thoughts on these developements and the the rate of growth in the area! Thank you again to the Red Dirt Alert and the Charlotte Observer for much of this information: www.charlotte.com.

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman NC growth and development; what’s in the pipeline?

Lake Norman real estate's new construction update

Today is July 29th, 2014 and I am going back to update my old articles.  This one really hits home because of the number of new construction projects listed here that didn’t happen because of the recession!

You know you live in a community that is growing significantly when there is a weekly column in the Charlotte Observer’s Lake Norman section called: Red Dirt Alert: Development in the Lake Norman Area. Knowing not only what is being constructed now, but also what is in the pipeline, is very important when considering where to purchase a home; whether it’s your personal residence or an investment. It is also important to understand growth trends and where the next “hot spots” are in the greater Lake Norman area. I decided it might be helpful to actually provide you with a list of the most talked about projects around Lake Norman. Because this is such an extensive list, I am going to start with the Mooresville Troutman area in this blog and then follow-up with the other communities surrounding Lake Norman.

Before I provide the list, I want to give you a very brief overview about our growth and development so that you can put everything in perspective. ( I will definitely discuss traffic, growth and development issues more throroughly in future blogs).

The bad news is that since our growth surge started in the 1990’s, developers have been building without comprehensive land use and traffic plans so our communities suffer from insufficient roads and infrastructure. The good news is that, “better late than never ” seems to be the philosophy of our towns’ leadership. Mooresville is currently working under a revised Strategic Plan which, for the first time, combines land use and transportations plans in the same discussions. . “Design priciples will guide developement to ensure more attractive gateway areas, streetscapes, neighborhoods and commercial centers” said Jinni Benson, one of Mooresville’s land use consultants.” Mooresille is also workiing in conjunction with the North Carolina Department of Transportation with the overall goal to “improve connections and provide travelers choices”. They are also working with adjacent towns in an effort to avoid further unilateral development that may in fact aggravate another town’s traffic flow. Progress!

DEVELOPMENTS IN THE PIPELINE FROM SOUTH MOORESVILLE TO NORTH TROUTMAN

  1. The area around Exit 33 and the now-under-construction Exit 32 is truly one of our new “hot spots”:
  • Langtree at the Lake, a spectacular $800 million dollar, 125-acre residential and commercial development on Langtree Road near the future Exit 32 was approved in December ’06, but not without a bit of neighborhood outcry. It will include a 12-story 250-room Embassy Suites with a convention center, a retail village, an additonal 4-story hotel, a par-3 golf course, a four-story boat storage building and condominium buildings with staggered heights of four to six stories that will be priced at $600,000 to $2 million. At least 100 people have already reserved condos according to developer Rick Howard. The first phases are expected to be finished in Spring/Summer 2009. For more information: www.langtreeatthelake.com
  • Legacy Village, also at Exit 33,is being described as an Urban Village that will cater to the professionals who work close by at Lowe’s Headquarters or the Lake Norman Regional Medical Center. It will have 108 homes, lofts, condos above retail stores. Construction has begun and is expected to be completed in 3 years. www.legacyvillagenc.com
  • A 112-room Hilton Garden Inn, an upscale hotel, is slated to be built on Langtree Rd. The $11 million five-story hotel will have 25,000 square feet of meeting space, banquet rooms, a restaurant, bar, in-house catering, free Wi-Fi Internet and LCD televisions in every room.
  • At Exit 33 work has begun on the Watermark Plaza shopping center, a 12,000 square foot building fronting Williamson Rd. adjacent to the Lakewood Veterinary Hospital. For more information: www.bvbproperties.com
  • Across the street from Watermark Plaza is going to be the Williamson Road Business Park which already has a Dunkin’ Donuts but other tenants have not been finalized
  • On Highway 21 just north of Exit 33 and surrounding the intersection of Waterlynn are several developement in the works: 162 condominiums by Coastal Ventures-Mooresville LLC and Waterlynn Place, a 47-acre development which will include 312 apartments, 70 town homes, 15 single-family homes and 75,000 square feet of office space. Underway further west on Waterlynn Road towards NC 115 is Waterlynn, a community of 295 single-family and 106 town homes which are under construction and will be competed over the next 3 or 4 years.

2. Moving north in Mooresville on the lake side are the following:

  • The Mooresville Town Square, located at the northeast corner of Williamson Road and Brawley School,
  • is already well on it’s way. It was created, according to the builder, to offer a different type of atmosphere than you have so far in Mooresville…a more upscale, community feel. The $65,000 project should be completed in 2008. An Aveda salon and spa, Coldwell Banker, and several restaurants are already well underway or completed.
  • More retail and commercial structures including several restaurants are under construction in the same shopping center as the Harris Teeter on the northwest corner Williamson Rd and Brawley School.
  • Further down Brawley School Road at Stutts Road: 29 acres have been released by Iredell County to Mooresville for zoning authority. All that is known at this time is that a commercial development is being proposed that will include a Bloom grocery store.
  • Construction has already begun at the corner of Perth Road and Highway 150 on the 86-acre development which will include Bryers Creek a subdivision of single -family homes of various designs and prices starting in the $200,000’s and a retail center including a Harris Teeter Grocery Store. This will be very welcome by residents on Perth Road as they will no longer have to drive on the 150 to get to a grocery store!
  • Smaller in scope than the Langtree at the Lake, Pomenade on the Lake is located next to Queens Landing on the NC 150. The proposal includes a hotel, condos, conference center, spa and retail space. To my knowledge this has not been approved.
  • Magnolia Bay subdivision is being developed in two phases for a total of 32 Charleston-style homes on the south side of Cornelius Road.

3. Mooresville City Limits:

  • Heading East on NC 150 towards the Town of Mooresville, Waterford Plaza is underway across from Randy Marion Chevrolet. It will be a Class A office and retail building.
  • Lakefield Corporate Center, located on Oates Rd of NC 150 near I77, is a 100-acre business park and retail center in the works. The retail area, Shoppes at Lakefield, will include 20,000 square feet of shops and restaurants.
  • Heading East in the Old Mooresville area the Rocky River Subdivision was recently approved by the Mooresville Town Board. The subdivision of 236 homes is in two pieces on either side of NC 3; about 56 acres north of Rocky River Road and about 50 acres south of Williford Road. The developer has agreed to provide greenways, pedestrian connections to a neighboring new school stie and to grade 7.5 acres for a public park.
  • To me, one of the most exciting projects in the entire area is The Mooresville Mills. The developers plan to transform the former Mooresville Mills factory site into an Urban Village-type mixed use development with residential, retail and office space. The town of Mooresville has agreed to partner with developers on parts of the project. Personally, I am a strong supporter of the revitalization of the wonderful Old Main Steet Downtown area of Mooresville. This project is not only vital to the area but also extremely exciting! The small, historic Mill houses are already making an effort to establish a conservation overlay zone to protect the charm of the Mill Village (www.mooresvillemillvillage.com). I see this area as a long-term gem! Take a look at the virtural tour of the new project at www.mooresvillemills.com !
  • Just when you are probably thinking our growth is all about homes, retail and commercial along comes a 100-acre Mazeppa Road Park in northeast Mooresville. Phase 1 will include 8 tennis courts, a four-field softball/baseball complex, four basketball courts, a lake, walking trails, a BMX and mountain bike trail, a picnic shelter and a dog park. Future phases which are still in the planning stages, will include a five-field soccer and football multi-use complex, a recreation center, an exercise court and an amphitheater with a covered band shell. The town of Mooresville has already bought the land!
  • Thanks to a dedicated group of skateboard enthusiasts, a Skateboard Park is now moving forward in Mooresville. It will be located at West Iredell Road/NC 3 on land behind the Police Station. The first phase will include grading work, a concession area, parking, lights and a concrete pad on which to put $105,000 worth of donated ramps. The second phase will be a bowl skating surface and areas that mimic urban and street spaces for skates to practice their tricks. This has truly been a team effort and they hope to get off and rolling very soon.

4. TROUTMAN BRACING FOR POPULATION BOOM…Community lures commuters from Charlotte, Winston-Salem. One of the hottest areas of growth right now is the area north of the NC150 including Troutman. Developers who have run out of land possibities on the Brawley School Pennisula are finding this to be the next “hot spot” for the lake area. Now a small community of about 2000, it is expected to jump to at least 6000 over the next 5 years. Most of the development is being planned around their two I-77 exits: Exit 42 and Exit 45.

  •  Exit 42’s first big news was that a Lowe’s Home Improvement store surrounded by 5 retail/commercial outparcels are on the way across U.S. 21 from Wilco. North of Lowe’s will be another commercial area with about 10 to 12 lots called The Charles Center. Arby’s is the only tenant known so far. All around these projects developers are buying up property so lots to watch for in the future. This area around Exit 42 is fast changing from rural-residential to highway commercial.
  • The last undeveloped I-77 exit between Charlotte and Statesville, Exit 45 is now the site of a massive 900-acre mixed-use development east of the I-77 between Exits 45 and 49a . Larkin, the largest development in Statesville’s history, “will change the face of Iredell County and close the border gap between Statesville and Troutman” according to planners and local officials. Builder GS Carolina of Charlotte’s proposal calls for 3,750 residential units, 1 million square feet of retail, a 500-room hotel, 250,000 square feet of office space and a 100,000-square-foot wellness center. About 180 acres will be maintained at public space. Larkin is expected to have an active adult community within the project….Wow! www.gscarolina.com/carolinacommunities.htm
  • Crescent Resources, the real estate development arm of Duke Energy, is proposing a 500-home subdivision on 505 acres in southern Troutman at the northeastern tip of Lake Norman called Falls Cove

To get the scoop directly from Kathryn Thier, author of the Red Dirt Alert you can go to www.charlotte.com and search Red Dirt Alert. I used much of her material for this article and want to credit her accordingly!

If you have any news I’ve missed please pass it along! In the meantime, I will work on my development updates for Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson, Sherrills Ford, and Denver. Questions? email me!

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

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

View of Lake Norman from a waterfront home

Not too long ago I got a panicky email from a family who just found out they were being transferred to Mooresville from Florida wondering what it was like to live here. I remember feeling the same sort of panic when we decided to move here. What is it really like? Where are the closest grocery stores and restaurants? Are there healthy places where we can get food to go? Where can my husband train for cycling? Are we going to be too far away from civilization? Will we be treated like outsiders since we are from out-of-state? And, good grief, where is the nearest Starbucks and good hair salon?

I must admit I am a bit conflicted about telling you the truth…I want to share with anyone who will listen that this is truly one of the greatest places in our country to live…but, I really don’t want it to get too crowded and grow so much that our quality of life changes. Well, I am a REALTOR after all, so I guess it is my duty to inform.

Catawba Queen on Lake Norman

The bottom line is that the only thing my husband and I regret about moving to Lake Norman is that we didn’t do it sooner! It’s truly the best of all worlds. Lake Norman is about 90 miles from the mountains and about 4 hours from the ocean. We have four mild but beautiful seasons. There is so much here in the greater Lake Norman area for every type of lifestyle and every social, physical, sports, academic, entertainment and economic level that most everyone can find their own niche and be quite happy.

The greater Charlotte and Lake Norman area is fast becoming one of the top destinations in the US and the smallish towns like Mooresville, Davidson and Huntersville along Lake Norman have increased in population ten-fold since 1990. I had no idea that Charlotte is the second largest financial center in the US let alone that major companies like Lowe’s Home Improvement are located right here in the Mooresville area.

Yet, it is a gentler, kinder world where drivers never honk their horns and no matter how bad the traffic they always let you merge in from a side street. Cashiers at markets actually walk out to get your cart if there is no one waiting. You rarely can’t find a place to park. And, because there are so many “transplants” from other states it is quite easy to assimilate. But, I highly recommend that you make the time to get to know the native North Carolinians as I have found them to be kind, warm and great friends. Not matter what, at the end of the day, if you live in the Lake Norman area or just out of town in the farm country, you will go home to utter peace and quiet.

Here is a quick overview for you:

New Harris Teeter at 150 and Perth Rd in Lake Norman

Grocery stores are at the top of most people’s list…and we have plenty right here in Mooresville. Our grocery options range from our Super WalMart, Super Target to Food Lion, Lowe’s, Bloom and two Harris Teeters. Yes, there is a sushi chef at the Harris Teeter, a fresh fish counter, olive bar, salad bar, fresh squeezed juices, full service deli and a Starbuck’s in each one in Mooresville.  Plus, we have weekly farmers markets and numerous roadside fresh produce stands.

Big Box and large chains: As I already mentioned, we have a Super WalMart, a Super Target, plus a Bed, Bath and Beyond, Best Buy, Petsmart, Pet Co, Staples, World Market, Michael’s, Dicks Sporting Goods, Goodys, Lowe’s Home Improvement just to name a few.

Our Shopping Malls 

  • The Northlake Mallis our newest and closest large mall to Lake Norman. It is located at Exit 18 and has several department stores ( Macy’s, Belks), specialty chains like J.Crew, The Gap, Anthropologie and the Pottery Barn to name a few plus a large AMC Theater Complex.
  • Birkdale Villageat Exit 25 in Huntersville is a charming outdoor Urban Village with a theater complex, a Barnes and Noble Book Store, a Dick’s Sporting Goods and lots of shops from William Sonoma to Chico’s to a wonderful Southern Folk Art Gallery called Maddi’s, some great restaurants and several really cute childrens shops. It’s a great place to have a Frappacino and let the children play in the fountains on a warm summer day.
  • If and when you need a high-end fix, South Park Mall and Phillips Place should be your destination. The South Park Mall has over 100 higher-end stores including Neiman Marcus, Nordstoms, Hermes,Tiffany’s, Frontgate, Kate Spade, Puma, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters (for the younger, fashion-hip teens), Abercrombie and some wonderful restaurants. Just down the street is Phillip’s Place where you will find not one but two Dean and Deluca’s!
  • If you are an outlet shopper then you will head straight to the huge Concord Mills Mall which has way too many shops to list here! 

 Feel like eating out?

Creme Brulee Dessert iStock_000003115350XSmall

We’ve got all of the usual suspects: Fast food like Chick-fil-A, McDonalds, Hardee’s (Carl’s Jr), Arbys, Pizza Hut, Subway, Quiznos; chain restaurants like Panera Bread, Camilles, Chilli’s, Red Robin, Steak and Shake, Evans, Applebees, Cracker Barrel, Hooters, Panda Express and lots of steak houses to name just a very few. We also have some wonderful, locally owned and operated restaurants both upscale (Jeffrey’s, 131 Main, Soirees, Dresslers) and just plain good: Five Guys for the BEST hamburgers and fries (Like In n’ Outfor you westerners); Joels which has wonderful sushi and a good variety of good Asian food; Lancasters, Gregs and others for barbecue; Laney’s for fish; Vinnies if you want to hang out with the race and lake crowd; Mexican food…both typical and up scale; a GREAT bakery called La Patisserie; New York Pizza in many styles; Chicago hot dogs…I think you’ve got the idea.

Sports and recreation are truly a huge part of the Lake Norman lifestyle and I can’t think of too many that aren’t available here. The Lake offers boating of every kind (since it is so big), great fishing, canoeing and kayaking, water skiing and jet skiing. A close second to the lake is GOLF…from Pinehurst to NUMEROUS public and private courses. Between the mountains and our local state parks you’ve got plenty of hiking, mountain biking, camping, motorcycle adventures. Our state-of-the-art Lowe’s YMCA in Mooresville is an incredible public gym. Then we have the very unique U.S. National Whitewater Center. We have a local skate park in the works, more soccer fields plus lots of organized sporting activities for all ages. Of course we have the obvious: The NCAA basketball finals that capture lots of attention, our NFL Panthers, our NBA Bobcats, our Charlotte Checkers hockey team that won the Stanley Cup last year and of course every kind of car racing you can think of since we have about 80% of the NASCAR industry here which supplies about 25,000 jobs to our local economy.

Mint Museum in Charlotte

There is also an abundance of cultural opportunities in the greater Charlotte area including: NC Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, The Mint Museum and The Mint Museum of Craft and Design, The Levine Museum of the New South, Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, The opera, The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, Actors Theatre of Charlotte, Afro-American Cultural Center, Charlotte Museum of History, NC Dance Theatre, Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Charlotte Nature Museum, the McColl Center for Visual Art and Discovery place. (I know I left many out).

Educational opportunities abound in North Carolina: The Mooresville area public schools are a destination for many families because of their top rankings. Besides numerous city colleges there are the renowned Duke University, Wake Forest University, University of North Carolina’s Charlotte Campus, Davidson College (ranked in the top 10 small liberal arts colleges), Johnson C. Smith College and even our own culinary school: Johnson and Wales in Charlotte.

Last on my list but, believe it or not first on most, is Hair Salons/Spas. I am here to reassure you that you will be able to find every type of service found in any major city depending on the price you want to pay. I have my favorites that I will be happy to share with you!

I invite you all to drop me an email with questions about ANYTHING related to the Lake Norman/Charlotte area or ask for a personalized relocation packet which I will fill up with numerous publications, maps and resources based upon your specific interests and needs.

RELATED ARTICLES

Lake Norman Relocation Resources

Relocating to Lake Norman

Mooresville Relocation Resources

Relocating to Mooresville NC

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

How a dying boy’s story conveys the essence of life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Dock at sunrise

I had been thinking for several days about my next blog in which I was going to write about what it is like to live in Mooresville, Lake Norman and the greater Charlotte area; then I read an article in the Sunday edition of the Charlotte Observer about a brave boy named Nate Mertens. Nate’s tragic story conveys the essence of the people and character of our community better than I ever could. Clearly, the Charlotte Observer thought so too as the title of the article was: Dying boy, 14, inspired circle of friendship. Teen from Calif. was treated in Charlotte; family decides to stay.

Nate Mertens was here visiting his father when he was diagnosed with leukemia. His mother flew out from California to Charlotte where she would stay with her son . “That began a ride of ups and downs as a concentric circle of strangers – who would become friends – closed in on the family”. The rest of the story describes Nate’s ability to serve as an inspiration throughout his five-month ordeal which ended in Lake Norman where on his last day he sat on a dock and looked out at the beautiful lake. It also describes the incredible kindness of strangers. As his mother said “I have never lived in a place where people were so gracious…When strangers learned my son was in the hospital they would ask his name so they could pray for him. It was’t a religious thing – it was a human thing.”

His mother and sister plan to stay in Charlotte and so do I.

For Nate’s full story go to: www.charlotte.com.

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Lake Norman Real Estate Market Reports

Lake Norman Real Estate Sales Analysis June 2007

Lake Norman Residential Real Estate Sales Analysis

So what is really happening so far in 2007 in real estate sales in Lake Norman and what trends do I see? First of all, you shouldn’t go by news articles about North Carolina or even Charlotte. Like the saying

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Why Lake Norman real estate from a transplant?

View of Lake Norman from a waterfront home

In 2004 I didn’t even know that Lake Norman North Carolina existed. Today I can look out my window and see the sparkling water of the lake while writing at my desk! Once the best kept secret in the country, Lake Norman is now the home of so many “transplants” as we are called, mostly from New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Florida, Ohio and California, that I think we significantly outnumber the native North Carolinians. It is my goal as a transplanted Realtor to provide a unique perspective to all things real estate in the greater Lake Norman area. Some of the topics I will be writing about will be:

  • Local real estate sales statistics and analysis of real estate trends in everything from waterfront, waterview, golf course view homes to popular first-time buyer developments like Curtis Pond to luxury lake communities like The Point and The Peninsula
  • Local growth and development; what is in the pipeline, what is hot and what is not
  • Local news that impacts real estate; from schools to traffic issues
  • Buying and selling tips and “how-to’s” drawn from local customs plus my 15 years selling during the dramatic highs and lows of the Southern California real estate market
  • Personal real estate experiences from which I feel other may benefit
  • Real estate news and links like “Feds keep federal funds rate at 5.25%” (www.inman.com) and the fact that Charlotte NC is in the top 25 appreciating US markets (Housing Predictor Independent Real Estate Market Forecasts)
  • News or links to other real estate blogs

So, why did I create this real estate blog? I think it is because I truly love being a resource of information and teaching others about real estate. My last 5 years in Pasadena, CA I was the Director of Business Development for my real estate firm during which time I created an incredible resource library for my fellow agents and used to love it when an agent would pop in to brainstorm or ask a question. It is my hope that my blog will be valuable enough that readers will visit ofter, ask questions, make comments and help it to become THE resource for everything real estate in the Lake Norman Area.

Pop in any time!

Diane

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