Something new for buyers: No Hassle Neighborhood Quiz

A little something that has been in the works for a few months.
No Hassle Neighborhood Quiz

Home buyers wonder if there are neighborhoods in the Cary area that come closest to ticking off the boxes in their “Wants and Needs List.”
Using a selection of neighborhoods, and the features and amenities commonly available, we have produced No Hassle Neighborhood QuizNo Hassle Neighborhood Quiz.

You will answer 10 questions about location, features, neighborhood amenities, house styles, schools, etc, and we will email you a report.
The report includes a few neighborhoods, each graded as to how well they fit your quiz input.

Cary Area Neighborhoods
Explore Cary Area Neighborhoods

Yes, we need your email address to send you the report.
No Hassle style. That is, we don’t hassle you, don’t put you on a spam email marketing list, don’t pester you routinely.
If you want more information, complete the quiz, and click the “More Info” button, or just Contact Me.

Moving to North Carolina? A LOT of other People are, too!

This fascinating graphic of relocation statistics from Atlas Van Lines shows that as of 2012 50% more people are moving to North Carolina than are moving out of the state.
And that relocating to North Carolina has been quite common for years.
Of course, those of us who have been living in the Triangle for many years have noticed that. Neighborhoods spring up and fill up rapidly! I moved to Cary in 1997, and have seen Cary swell from abuot 80,000 residents to almost 140,000. And Raleigh has also grown tremendously in that time.
They had to come from somewhere!

The graphic, courtesy of Atlas Van Lines:

2012 Migration Patterns
2012 Migration Patterns by Atlas Van Lines

Triangle Real Estate Forum? Free Real Estate Advice? Why? I say, Why Not?

Visit Zillow or Trulia. Watch people with reasonable real estate questions being offered no help as they are routinely pestered and solicited by hordes of real estate agents resembling Biblical swarms of locusts. I did. And I thought there MUST to be a better way to help consumers with general real estate topics.

Enter the Triangle Real Estate Forum.

I picked up some world-class forum software, had it installed on a server, did a few minor tweaks, and opened it up to anyone who has questions to ask, or answers to give. All manner of discussion is welcome. General agency topics, sharing of Triangle regional information. Information about our towns and cities. Cary or Carrboro. Raleigh or Durham. foreclosures. Short sales. Luxury Condos or affordable Townhomes.
But, the forum is designated a “Safe Place” for visitors to ask questions and discuss topics, No Hassle style.
No solicitations for business are allowed.
No advertising.
No “Contact me for more details.”
No feeding frenzy on the poor visitor who says, “Help! I was just transferred to Raleigh and we need a 5 bedroom home in a great neighborhood, with a home-buying budget of less than $600,000. Where should we be looking?”
Just help and information. No strings attached.

It’s not for everyone. Many real estate pros cannot bring themselves to give away “free advice.” So it goes. Those are the rules.
Drop by and check it out.

Buyers’ Market? Sellers Market? Maybe it’s a Ninja’s Market!

Home buyers are noticing that desirable properties, depleted inventory, and great demand are creating multiple offers daily in the Triangle.
Welcome to the Cary NC real estate market, 2013 Version.

We are seeing homes sold with 0, Zero, Days On Market. The Pocket Listing is back. Sell them before they hit the MLS.
We are seeing showings declined on Active listings, and no response from the listing agent. Et Voila! A contract!
We are seeing homes go under contract before photos are posted to MLS.

Buyers’ agents must sniff out opportunity and be ready to turn on a dime.
Like the ninja of old, it can take legendary skills to complete the task. I haven’t developed the skills of invisibility, time travel, or shape-shifting, but they may come in handy.

More seriously, the market was strengthening for sellers and getting more competitive for buyers through last year, 2012. Then the news broke that Wake County Public Schools would resume school assignment by address. And some areas went into hyper-drive. Davis Drive Elementary School and Davis Drive Middle School are two very desirable schools. Historically, homes with school assignments for those two schools have traded at a premium. Confusion over school assignments for a couple of years defused that demand. Now? Buyers flock to homes in neighborhoods that have assignments for both schools.

Polybutylene Water Supply Lines

Thousands of homes in the Cary area have polybutylene piping.

Polybutylene Water Lines in Cary NC

Thousands of homes in Cary NC neighborhoods, built from the mid-1980's through the mid-1990's were plumbed with polybutylene water supply lines.


Polybutylene Pipe


Polybutylene water line systems have a history of higher than expected failure, to the point that the manufacturers settled a class-action law suit with an agreement.
That said, I don't consider Polybutylene Pipe  to be a deal-breaker if found in an otherwise desirable home.  Location, Lot, and Layout are still most important.  And, if the system is working without issues known to the homeowner, the existence of Polybutylene piping in a Cary NC home is not even a material fact that is required to be disclosed to a potential buyer.  A buyer may be able to negotiate for credit for replumbing, or an agreeable price that considers the cost of replumbing.  Again, thought, the existence of polybutylene piping is not a violation of any building code, and is not a material defect.


As a real estate agent working for buyer clients, I tell them that, to the best of my ability, they will not write an offer on a home from the 1980's or 1990's until we determine whether it was plumbed with polybutylene water lines.
I try to help them avoid paying a home inspector a few hundred dollars to tell them that they have PB pipe, particularly if they consider it a deal breaker.
A photo of PEX water lines (the white pipes) connecting a replacement water heater to an existing polybutylene piping system:


Polybutylene Pipe


Identifying Polybutylene water supply piping can be accomplished in a few different ways. 

Often it can be seen coming through a wall at the water heater.  Sometimes it is exposed at laundry room connections, or under sinks or vanities.

My preferred method is to look in a crawl space or basement to see what water line material was used.

For further information on polybutylene piping uses and issues, here is a great article by Kenny Hart, former plumber, real estate agent, and home inspector.

A flowery diversion from real estate

I have taken to shooting photos of typical NC flowers as they come into bloom.  Great fun, it is, trying to get a blossom on a long stem to hold still in the breeze.  I might have to get a tripod, too. I see quite a few opportunities as I pass through neighborhoods while stalking houses.
This one is a gladiolus outside our front door in Cary.

Gladiolus 004

And some poppies along I-40 near Lake Wheeler Road, on the south side of Raleigh:

photo whimsy 039

photo whimsy 040

We had a great spring azalea season:


Azaleas 007

A year in photos with Flickr.

Crape Myrtle, Lagerstroemia Lake Johnson, Raleigh, NC Stoneybrook Estates, Cary, NC

With over 3,000 photos posted, and over 8,000 views of photos, I have to say I really have enjoyed my first year using Flickr. I have the Flickr Pro account, that offers me unlimited monthly photo posting for only $24.95/year. A bargain, I think.

Flickr has served me many ways: Continue reading “A year in photos with Flickr.”

Real estate isn’t war. I don’t “Capture” folks. Clients are not prisoners.

People are increasingly wary of web sites that require registration, particularly real estate sites that want their personal information as the ticket to searching for homes.

That wariness is warranted.  Agents are taught to “capture” visitors; that it is good business to “capture” them to be able to stalk them for business. Continue reading “Real estate isn’t war. I don’t “Capture” folks. Clients are not prisoners.”

Affordable homes in great Cary neighborhoods

Cary, North Carolina, routinely pops up on lists of most desirable towns when areas are ranked.

A combination of factors creates a wonderful environment.

Cary, NC, is located in the center of the Triangle region, between Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill and just minutes from the Research Triangle Park.

This location allows for easy access to all the amenities of the area, which would include entertainment districts, employment centers, sports venues, medical care, parks and other outdoor recreation, Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), and great shopping complexes.

And Cary is an easy 2.5 hour drive to great North Carolina beaches.  A similar drive takes you to the mountains of North Carolina.

Town of Cary government is very proactive in creating a safe community, and the Town routinely ranks as one of the safest towns under 200,000 population in the United States.

Growth has been rampant, and well-managed.  In 1970 Cary’s population was under 4,000.  Today it is over 110,000 and growing.  Growth has been very suburban in style, with subdivisions organized in a cul-de-sac layout which leads to quiet streets with low traffic.  Growth has allowed Town government to maintain a superb credit rating for bonds, and low property taxes.

I have lived in Cary since 1997, and enjoy it tremendously.

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