There are four significant economic engines that are critical to the vibrancy of Raleigh, Chapel Hill and Durham; collectively referred to as either “the Triangle” or “the Research Triangle”. In no particular order they are Duke University, UNC- Chapel Hill, NC State University and the Research Triangle Park where many a graduating graduate students and/or former employes of one of the above mentioned schools will work at one point in their career.

Since its inception over 50 years ago the Research Triangle Park's vision has remained largely unchanged, but no longer. A week ago a new master plan was officially unveiled to the public and I will admit to being excited about the planned changes that will be taking place as I firmly believe they bode well…

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As leader of the NC Homes real estate team, it's critical that I know not only have a detailed understanding and knowledge of the local real estate market, but also monitor the general economic trends affecting the local economy of Durham, Chapel Hill and Raleigh, collectively referred to as “the Triangle or the Research Triangle.” to that end I'm constantly scouring a variety of industry specific sources.

Today I read over the Wells Fargo North Carolina Economic Outlook commentary produced by Mark Vitner (Senior Economist at Wells Fargo) and his staff. As might be expected they have a number of concerns for the State predominately concerning the Global economy and the upcoming challenges surrounding the resolution of our own homegrown “fiscal cliff.”…

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Finally - Economist are becoming believers! With the recent reports from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), it is now crystal clear that home building is a leading source of economic growth for 2012. In fact, all of the reports from the Homebuilder Association, the National Association of REALTORS, The Federal Housing and Finance Agency support the fact that the National Economy is improving, and as it improves, the National housing market is recovering too!

What Changed In The North Carolina Real Estate Market

As the overall economy slowed, housing generated a large share of the expansion. Home building and remodeling (residential) added 0.33 percentage points to the final tally of GDP growth, or 17% of the total. Those are numbers that can't…

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Yesterday was my first “day off “ meaning I was able to work from home and limit it to a few hours and only visit one property, since returning home from a vacation with my wife. As many of you can no doubt relate to, when you return to work after being away, it's piled up high waiting for you.

This isn't meant as a complaint, without the work I couldn't afford the vacations, and I came home to two closings, several new listings and several new buyers. Nonetheless I enjoyed having time yesterday to work outside enjoying some great Fall weather while cleaning up our gardens, pruning back some of the landscaping and helping my wife get our Fall garden planted.

Front Yard Farms is currently producing eggplant, peppers, and basil (Making and putting up…

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Just recently my wife and I spent some time in Europe, visiting old friends from Durham now stationed in Paris and then on to Turin, Italy to visit with another Durham resident who was visiting her mother there, before heading out on our own to spend some time driving through much of Northern Italy as we visited Cremona, Florence, Sienna, and finally Rome before heading home.

Comparing International Homes Prices To Durham's

Given my penchant for real estate as well as an innate curiosity/nosiness, I couldn’t help but look at and consider real estate prices in a variety of towns and cities we stopped in along the way. Doing so I was reminded of just how relative real estate values and prices are and how overall the values here in North Carolina…

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OK, I admit it, I love living here in Durham, NC and can't help but boast to friends, family and clients about my new home town. It's easy to do when hardly a month goes by without one national publication or another singling out Durham for accolades.

This year Kiplinger has been stoking us. Back in February they listed Durham as the #9 city for singles in the country and today I see where they ranked us as the #2 city in the country for mid-career professionals siting below national average home prices, strong income growth over the past 6 years, and below national average unemployment. What they failed to mention was our strength in diversity and open mindedness, the fact that we are the culinary center of North Carolina and rapidly becoming one of…

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It's an absolutely stunning weekend and there's a lot of exciting things going on that have me excited.

First there's CenterFest in downtown Durham centered on Morris St centered around the newly renovated Carolina Theater and the Durham Convention Center. A showcase for local North Carolina artisits of all sorts, there will be numerous free live shows as well as street food and more. It starts today (9/15/12) at 10AM and will open up tomorrow (Sunday September 16th) at 11AM.

Also going on today is a benefit for the Durham Crises Response Center at the Grand opening of The Cookery's Front Room this will be between Noon - 3PM and will feature a food truck round up, lots of free music, wine and beer tastings and promises to be an absolute blast! Both…

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This morning I received an email from another Realtor asking me what I knew about the upcoming 2013; 3.8% Federal sales tax on real estate sales. My guess is that they or one of their clients received either an email or mail flier warning of dire consequences to homeowners who might be selling their home in the future.

I've seen this a version email and honestly found it insulting to my intelligence as well as poorly written, false in it's assertions and essentially more of the usual Tea Party/ Republican sponsored nonsense designed to frighten people in advance of the upcoming election. I believe that that everyone is entitled to vote from whomever they wish, whether I agree with them or no. That's part of living in a democracy, however I'm not in…

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Today on Good Morning America, Zillow.com was referenced for a recent report they released where they analyzed the data in over 200 US metro areas and 7,500 cities to determine the actual time frame it would take to come out ahead if buying rather than renting. Unlike most analysis which typically only looked at price to rent when considering buying versus renting; Zillow new report factors in data such as taxes, tax deductions, down payments, utilities, appreciation/depreciation, maintenance, opportunity expenses and fluctuations in the rental market. These type of calculations would very extremely difficult for most people to accurately calculate with a high degree of accuracy (including even someone like myself) for a couple of reason, the most…

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Vegetable garden harvest, Durham 2012It's been an absolutely crazy year so far in terms of real estate here in the Durham, Chapel Hill/Carrboro and surrounding areas. In fact I started this on July 1 and here I am on the July 19 hoping I can get this finished and posted before heading out on afternoon appointments. After a quick update on our home gardening efforts.

If you read my Blog occasionally you already know that my wife and I love gardening and have been actively growing much of our own organic produce for the past couple of years in raised beds in our front yard which I've taken to referring to as Front Yard Farms. Here's a picture of what we harvested yesterday and honestly we gather up about this much every couple of days. Through careful staggering of plantings and the good…

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