As I got into my car this morning I saw the first signs of Yellow Snow. Not the dreaded yellow snow made famous by Frank Zappa on his 1974 Album Apostrophe, but rather our annual NC spring “snowfall” of big yellow pollen coming from the long needles pines that are so abundant throughout the state. Spring is off to a slow start as we got a late March blast of colder than average weather, but over the past several days as the weather has warmed up we’re rapidly catching up.
For those of you who don’t live in the area April is in my opinion one of the prettiest times of year here in the
Research Triangle area. The Red Bud trees are in full bloom as most dogwoods. We have Camellias blooming, and even some of the Azaleas are beginning to bloom. In the next couple of weeks there will be all sorts of bulbs blooming and the only “downside” to all this natural beauty is the inevitable yellow snow.
Along with increasing pollen counts there’s increasing real estate sales activity. In the past 10 days I’ve put 10 homes under contract, have two offers I’m negotiating on, have new buyers scheduled every single day for the next couple of weeks and new listings coming on. In short; if you’re a Realtor and not busy now then something is drastically wrong. the market is definitely changing, in general there roughly 3 months of inventory on the market in most price ranges and throughout much of the Triangle (Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh, Hillsborough, etc) With inventory low it’s not uncommon for buyers to find themselves in competitive bidding situations and for sellers to be getting very close to full price or even slightly above. Nonetheless it remains an excellent time to buy as interest rates remain incredibly low and for those who know they’ll be living here for at least four years there’s no doubt at all that it makes more financial sense to buy than to rent even if you were to take a very pessimistic view and feel that property values were going to drop by 10% over the next four years. (I personally expect most properties to see between 10-15% appreciation over this time period.) If you want to see the numbers check out these two links from a posting of a year ago 2012 Buy or Rent Part1 and 2012 Buy or Rent Part 2. If anything the numbers are more compelling now as rent prices have gone up. If you’re a potential buyer who is on the fence and have questions feel free to call or email me, I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have
For those of you who follow my blog you know that my wife and I love gardening and grow many of the vegetables and herbs we consume in what I’ve taken to calling Front Yard Farms. We’re just wrapping up our winter garden (Still have one good batch of Spinach to harvest and we’re waiting to see if we can’t get a few more turnips before we turn our last winter bed over for spring planting. ) We have two of our raised beds already planted with spring vegetables, and it won’t be more than another 4-5 weeks before we start enjoying freshly harvested produce. We’re trying a few new varieties this year all of which we purchased as seed from Sow True an organic seed company based in Asheville NC.
I can’t say I’m surprised that Durham won Southern Livings 2013 award as the tastiest City in the South. I’m headed out tonight to enjoy one of Durham newer Restaurant, Mateo an exceptionally fine Tapas restaurant before heading over to the Carolina Theater (around the block) to see mandolin player extraordinaire Chris Thile (Nickle Creek, Punch Brothers and others ) along with jazz pianist Brad Mehldau.
It’s this incredible combination of natural beauty, a vibrant economy, one of the best food scenes in the country and a thriving Arts scene that make “the Triangle” one of the finest places in the country to live and play.
In eight days The NCHomesbyLarryT Team will be co-sponsoring an evening fundraising event at the Washington Duke for the Noah Z.M. Goetz foundation; non-profit that is particuarly close to my heart.
The Noah Z.M. Foundation was originally founded by fellow Durhamites and friends of mine, Nathaniel and Parul Goetz with the stated mission of: “Guiding North Carolina couples and individuals with infertility challenges through the infant domestic adoption process by providing education and monetary assistance to make the dream of parenthood a reality.” Continue reading
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.
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 specifically Chapel Hill, Durham, Hillsborough, Raleigh and the surrounding areas are still incredibly cheap for what we have to offer.