Wilmington NC Real Estate Blog

Monday Morning Coffee Aug 31st, 2009

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take . . .
but by the moments that take our breath away." ~ Unattributed

GO RETRO - SIMPLIFY!

You've heard that it's good to "take time to smell the roses." You may have also read how Steven Covey encourages you in "Seven Habits" to take time to "sharpen the saw." You no doubt have also experienced the frustration of trying to find even a spare moment for yourself.

Why do so many sources advise taking time off for yourself for thoughtful introspection? Don't they know it's impossible in today's fast-paced world of money, soccer games, career challenges, family responsibilities, church & school activities, and so much more?

In fact, our society is totally preoccupied with all of the above. For those living in a big city, or even the suburbs, the pressure is even greater. Those who live in the country at least enjoy a little peace and serenity at the end of the day.

How did this happen? It's simple - or at least it was in the 1950's. Back then there were two kinds of soap - Lifebouy and Ivory. There were four automakers - GM, Ford, Chrysler, and American Motors. There were no computers or Internet, and long-distance was used only to inform relatives of illness or death. A schoolteacher's most serious behavior challenge was passing notes in class. Families watched "I Love Lucy!" together. There was no MTV.

Today the choices that face us each day are awesome. Which of many Internet providers or long-distance services should you use? Which cell phone or notebook computer should you have? Where will you find the money for the special dress, chauffeur, and professional photograph required for your daughter's fifth-grade "Prom"?

The world is spinning so fast, and isn't likely to slow down soon. As usual, relief must come from within. While you can't change the...

Financial Peace University Starts Sept 16th

Could you imagine your life if you were debt free? Have you ever wondered why your money always felt like it was disappearing?

Welcome to Financial Peace University.

Financial Peace University is a 13 week small group environment designed to teach you and your family how to get out of debt, stay out of debt, and build wealth for generous living. You will meet with the large group each week to watch the video lesson and participate in discussion and accountability groups that will change your whole attitude about money.

In addition, the group will cover information on:

  • eliminating debt
  • stewarding God’s money
  • the importance of tithing
  • creating a plan for savings
  • insurance options
  • ways to cut back expenses
  • long-term investing
  • ...and much more!

Groups begin Wednesday September 16th running weekly for 13 weeks ever Wednesday evening at 6:30 in the Living Rooms at Port City Community Church. There is a two step process to register for Financial Peace.

  1. Please follow this link (coming soon) to register.
  2. Stop by the bookstore on Sunday and purchase a member kit.
    • One kit per family is acceptable
    • Cost of the kit is $99.99 plus tax

IF YOU WANT TO DO THIS BUT DO NOT HAVE THE $99.99 

    Email Buddy to see if you qualify for The Buddy Blake Team Financial Peace Scholarship

For more information stop by the information Center on Sunday. For any questions, email Financial...

Going Through the Opening

Going through the Opening
Contracting before Expanding
Sometimes our lives contract before they expand. We may be working hard on ourselves spiritually, doing good in the world, following our dreams, and wondering why we are still facing constrictions of all kinds—financial, emotional, physical. Perhaps we even feel as if we’ve lost our spirituality and are stuck in a dark room with no windows. We may be confused and discouraged by what appears to be a lack of progress. But sometimes this is the way things work. Like a caterpillar that confines itself to a tiny cocoon before it grows wings and flies, we are experiencing the darkness before the dawn.

When things feel tight, it’s easy to panic or want to act in some way to ease the feeling of constriction. We might also spin our wheels mentally, trying to understand why things are the way they are. However, there is nothing we need to do at this time other than to be patient and persevering. We can cling to the awareness that we are processing the shift from one stage to another, and the more we surrender to the experience, the more quickly we will move through the tightness into the opening on the other side. Just like a baby making its way down the birth canal, we may feel squeezed and pushed and very uncomfortable, but if we remember that we are on our way to being born into a new reality, we will find the strength to carry on.

Even as we endure the contractions, we can find peace within ourselves if we remember to trust the universe. We can look to the natural world for inspiration as we see that all beings surrender to the process of being born. In that surrender, and in the center of our own hearts, is a willingness to trust in the unknown as we make...

US New Homes Sales surge 9.6 % in July

WASHINGTON (AP) - Sales of new U.S. homes surged 9.6 percent in July, another sign the housing market is climbing back from the historic bottom it reached early this year. Driven by falling prices, the fourth-straight monthly increase was greater than expected.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 433,000 from an upwardly revised June rate of 395,000. Sales are now up more than 30 percent from the bottom in January, but are still off nearly 70 percent from the frenzied peak four years ago.

The median sales price of $210,100, however, was down slightly from $210,400 in June and was off 11.5 percent from year-ago levels. Prices are still up from March's low of $205,100.

Last month's sales pace was the strongest since September and exceeded the forecasts of economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters, who expected a pace of 390,000 units.

In a kind of Cash for Clunkers effect, homebuyers are rushing to take advantage of a federal tax credit that covers 10 percent of the home price, or up to $8,000, for first-time owners. Home sales must be completed by the end of November for buyers to qualify.

Builders and real estate agents are pressing Congress for that credit to be extended. If it isn't, sales could reverse their upward trend.

Some builders are already seeing sales dip.

At A.F. Sterling Homes in Tucson, Arizona, sales dipped in July because the builder said it couldn't guarantee the homes could be finished in time to qualify, said Randy Agron the company's vice president,

"The real estate market is really a fragile thing," he said. "It's not the right time to take (the tax credit) away."

But still, the economy is healthier now, so sales are unlikely to fall back to the lows of last winter, even if the credit is discontinued, said Wells Fargo economist Adam York,

"People don't have the sense of panic and dread," about their futures,...

FREE Real Estate Workshop Sept 1 6:30 - 8:00pm

Our team is hosting an informal no strings attached workshop for buyers and sellers in the Wilmington area at our office located across from the Mayfaire entrance on Military Cutoff. 

If you are considering buying, selling, remodeling or short selling feel free to join us for an informal Q&A session with Buddy Blake of Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty and Chris Hutchens of Alpha Mortage.

Date:  Tuesday Sept 1, 2009

Time:  6:30 - 8:00pm

Where:  Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty   1001 Military Cutoff  2nd floor

Please RSVP via email to buddy@buddyblake.com or call Brittany at (910) 395-1000

There is no obligation and we are set to answer any of your questions.

...

Watch the space shuttle launch in Wilmington

Well, sort of. According to the Star News, we should be able to see the shuttle Discovery this evening weather permitting. That is of course, if you're a night owl since the launch is scheduled for 1:10 AM. Check the story here: http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20090825/ARTICLES/908259979?Title=Post-midnight-shuttle-launch-may-be-visible-from-Wilmington

I had the priveldge of watching the space shuttle Endeavor launch down in Florida many years ago and it was quite an experience.

 Anyone else out there ever watch a shuttle launch?

Erik

...

Monday Morning Coffee | Aug 24, 2009

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:

"To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it -but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor."   ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

STUCK IN PORT?

Imagine the Pearl Harbor attack of 1941 going unanswered . . . Many of our ships found at anchor by attacking planes went down, never to leave the harbor again. Imagine the economy floundering with interest rates at 12%, and learning that the head of "the fed" has taken a six-month, non-working vacation to Tahiti. Imagine how you would have felt on September 12, 2001 if our president had appeared on TV to tell us how sorry he was about the attacks without announcing action to protect us in the future.

We expect our nation's leaders to act in times of crisis, don't we? But - what do we expect of ourselves when a family crisis arises, our sales flounder, or we notice the numbers on our scale beginning to creep upward to uncomfortable levels? Do we set sail, or lie at anchor hoping "someone" will do "something?"

Babe Ruth sailed against the wind more often than with it. He is remembered for his home runs - 714 of them - yet he struck out 1,330 times in his career. Best of all, he set sail and got out of the harbor (took his bat to the plate) 8,399 times. Had he stayed safely in the dugout, he could have avoided all those strikeouts.

So - what about you? Having difficulty setting sail lately? Perhaps it's time to give your engine a little maintenance, or take out a needle and thread to repair torn sails. You may also want to pull out your map to redefine the direction you'll be taking in coming months.

If you've been spending too much time at the "Captain's Table" and not enough time on the bridge with the wheel in your hand, perhaps some planning now will send you full speed ahead out of the harbor and with some exotic port of call in sight. Bon Voyage!

...

Surf's Up!

I'm not a surfer (more the boogie boarder / people watching type), but, several guys from our team were in the water before 6:00am this morning...   I just got off the phone with Erik and he said it was gorgeous and big...  you had to be picky and it was getting crowded.  Erik travels to Costa Rica for a guy's surf trip each year and he said the waves are as good or even better right now here.

Wanna check out the waves for yourself,  CLICK HERE to view live surf cams.
...

National Builder Plea For Help Video - MUST WATCH

It's time for banks and the federal government to step up and help builders across the Country.  The solid builders who have never had defaults, short sales etc are not able to get construction loans from banks, much due to the fact that the Federal Government has pretty much told banks to NOT do residential builder loans.  Many builders were given loans to close the lots so they could build new homes, but now the very same banks who loaned them the money to buy the lots will not give them the loans to build the houses, even in the much active first time buyer market. 

Please talk to your elected officials and any bankers you know and get this on the front burner.  The Federal goverment is so consumed with the proposed Health Plan they are completely ignoring the one industry that provides over 20% of the jobs in the Country and has always been what has lead us out of recessions.  IT'S TIME TO ACT PRESIDENT OBAMA!!!  Talk is Cheap...  Do something now before good, solid and responsible builders fall...

Watch This Video Done By Real-Life Builders

...

Proud Pappa

My son Brady was at the batting cages the other day with my wife Lisa and my daughters and had the fortunate luck of running into a local reporter from the Star News paper. Brady is getting ready to move up for his first season of machine-pitch baseball and the reporter interviewed him to be a "Little Star" for the week. Here's a link to the article. http://youthrec.blogs.starnewsonline.com/10422/little-star-brady-hoffacker/

I know this isn't real estate related but I'm still giggling knowing how excited Brady was to see himself in the paper. :)

 erik

...

BEWARE of Mortgage "Brokers"

I just wanted to do a quick blurb about some things we are seeing in the current marketplace.  With all the new lending regulations (appraisals, time-frames etc) its VERY important you KNOW who you're dealing with when getting a mortgage. 

My opinion is that you should make sure you are dealing with a Mortgage BANKER.. they are able to still do 21 day closings in most cases and as quick as 10 days for rush situations.  Also, they are able to make sure the appraiser is from the local area.  We've seen a rash of appraisers being done by folks from as far away as Charleston, SC... they have no idea of the different factors effecting our local market and most don't even have access to the local MLS.. they are cheap and the "3rd party" appraisal ordering company makes money by hiring these out the lowest bidder. 

These situations are a result of the new Federal Lending rules that are being put in place on a daily basis.

So... KNOW THE FACTS and ask local REALTORS who they use for their personal loans.... 

...

Monday Morning Coffee | August 17, 2009

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take . . .
but by the moments that take our breath away." ~ Unattributed

GO RETRO - SIMPLIFY!

You've heard that it's good to "take time to smell the roses." You may have also read how Steven Covey encourages you in "Seven Habits" to take time to "sharpen the saw." You no doubt have also experienced the frustration of trying to find even a spare moment for yourself.

Why do so many sources advise taking time off for yourself for thoughtful introspection? Don't they know it's impossible in today's fast-paced world of money, soccer games, career challenges, family responsibilities, church & school activities, and so much more?

In fact, our society is totally preoccupied with all of the above. For those living in a big city, or even the suburbs, the pressure is even greater. Those who live in the country at least enjoy a little peace and serenity at the end of the day.

How did this happen? It's simple - or at least it was in the 1950's. Back then there were two kinds of soap - Lifebouy and Ivory. There were four automakers - GM, Ford, Chrysler, and American Motors. There were no computers or Internet, and long-distance was used only to inform relatives of illness or death. A schoolteacher's most serious behavior challenge was passing notes in class. Families watched "I Love Lucy!" together. There was no MTV. Divorces were rare.

Today the choices that face us each day are awesome. Which of many Internet providers or long-distance services should you use? Which cell phone or notebook computer should you have? Where will you find the money for the special dress, chauffeur, and professional photograph required for your daughter's fifth-grade "Prom"?

The world is spinning so fast, and isn't likely to slow down soon. As usual, relief must come from within. While you can't change the world's...

Tuesday Morning Coffee | August 4, 2009


Power in Honesty
Staying True To Your Word

Promises are easily made. Keeping them often proves more difficult because when we are pressured to strive always for perfection, we find it simpler to agree to undertake impossible tasks than to say no. Likewise, there is an infinite array of circumstances that conspire to goad us into telling falsehoods, even when we hold a great reverence for truth. When you endeavor to consistently keep your word, however, you protect your reputation and promote yourself as someone who can be trusted to be unfailingly truthful. Though your honesty may not always endear you to others—for there will always be those who fear the truth—you can nonetheless be certain that your integrity is never tarnished by the patina of deceit. Since frankness and sincerity form the basis of all life-enriching relationships, your word is one of your most precious and powerful possessions.

When we promise more than we can deliver, hide from the consequences of our actions through falsehoods, or deny our true selves to others, we hurt those who were counting on us by proving that their faith was wrongly given. We are also hurt by the lies we tell and the promises we break. Integrity is the foundation of civilization, allowing people to live, work, and play side by side without fear or apprehension. As you cultivate honesty within yourself, you will find that your honor and reliability put people at ease. Others will feel comfortable seeking out your friendship and collaborating with you on projects of great importance, certain that their positive expectations will be met. If you do catch yourself in a lie, ask yourself what you wanted to hide and why you felt you couldn’t be truthful. And if life’s surprises prevent you from keeping your word, simply admit your error apologetically and make amends quickly.
...

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