Empty Bowls 2013

It is that time of year again and you don't want to miss this lineup. Thank you Bryan Gilmer, Director of Marketing and Development at Urban Ministries of Durham for keeping us updated on the event.

 Click here to Purchase Tickets Urban Ministries

You'll sample soups prepared by more than a dozen local restaurants and vote for your favorites. Local artists and artisans are donating hundreds of hand-crafted bowls, and you'll have the chance to select one to take one home. The evening will feature a live jazz combo and celebrity soup judges.

Let's talk about HOA's...

Advantages of HOA
  • The restrictions, conditions, and covenants of a HOA are intended to provide protection to the homes' value and to maintain peace and order in the neighborhood. For instance, a HOA may inhibit your neighbor from putting up a hideous fountain in their front yard, parking a car or RV on the lawn or on the street.
  • Generally, the houses in communities that are governed by such associations are well kept.
  • If you're having an argument with your neighbor about something, you can take the issue to the association to help you sort things out.
  • The dues for the Homeowners Association may finance shared services such as snow removal, lawn maintenance, garbage pickup, insurance and security. There would be less work for you.
  • Such associations may possibly fund for community get-togethers and events.
Disadvantages of HOA
  • All homeowners are mandated to become a member of the association in HOA-governed communities.
  • Members are required to pay for membership dues, which may possibly increase. Before you buy a property you need to know about the dues, when you should pay, what these fees do and do not cover, as well as the possibility of an increase.
  • Some associations do not permit homeowners to have certain breeds of pets and may limit the amount of pets per home.
  • Members of HOA may have less influence on how they may change their homes' appearances since some associations have rules against installing a pool, fencing one's backyard, or even painting your front door red (most are flexible but may suggest a certain material for fencing and color that has to be approved).
  • You may not be allowed to rent out, under HOA rules and regulations.
  • If you aren't able to meet the requirements or you break a rule, the HOA can charge a fine. If you're unable to pay the dues and/or fines, the HOA might attempt to foreclose on your property.

Show Durham some LOVE! Vote Today!

I LOVE Durham and the Spirit that has been wrapped around Voting for The South's Tastiest Town. South Living Magazine has started the challenge and the fight is tough. Be sure to show Durham some Love and Vote Daily! 

Let's talk about the Market...

The Triangle Multiple Listing Services just released the January statistics. Take a look at the video below and read my take on what is happening.

What does this mean for Sellers? It means that the market is the healthiest it has been for some time. It also means that the inventory is low so if you are considering putting your home on the market, NOW is the right time. 

What does this mean for Buyers? Our office has been writing offers like crazy and we are seeing Multiple Offer situations again so you may not have as much negotiating room as you would like and need to make solid offers and get homes under contract as soon as possible. 

What is the financing situation? Lenders are requiring more paperwork and its up to you to get the documents completed in a timely manner. You need to be pre-qualified before looking at homes. There is still 100% Financing Options and the popular FHA with putting down 3.5% Down. If you need a referral let me know.

Let's talk...

Strength from a Stranger...Meet Virgina!

I recently had the opportunity to meet a phenomenal woman named Virgina Brown that touch my life within just a few minutes. It was almost like I was sent to her restaurant, Black Jack's Pub and Grill in Jefferson, NC to meet and hear her message. Now don't get the wrong idea...Yes, I was at a pub but no alcohol was involved so this really happened. During our interaction we discussed owning a small business, taxes, food services, families, politics, poverty, children and believing in dreams. I really think we could have resolved world peace if time permitted.

Thank you Virgina! I feel like a better person from just meeting you. I'm so glad you placed your hand on my shoulder when I was taking this picture of the letter that was on each table. Your food warmed our bodies and you warmed my spirit.

This was a powerful reminder of how words can stop you dead in your tracks and a hug can melt deep into your soul. You raised the bar, my friend.

Living in the NOW!

When I first saw this random picture it just made me feel good. Most children are usually full of imagination and have a spirit that is bright and innocent. They tend to Live in the Now. They may express themselves with cheerfulness, joy or tears but move on quickly.

I have personally made a conscious effort to be more present when I'm with others. This sounds simple but can often be complex. The process of quieting the mind, not multitasking, giving others my full attention and focusing in on something is challenging.

I encourage you to join me in the task of being present. Turn off your cell phones, limit the amount of TV and video games in your children's lives. Start the conversation, listen and learn about each other. Don't waste any time with your love ones, friends or colleagues. Time is definitely a gift and it is limited. Paying attention to what is in front of you can often be magical.