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Crown-Jewel Park for Raleigh

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Raleigh to buy 308-acre Dorothea Dix property for $52 million

By Andrew Kenney and Colin Campbell

akenney@newsobserver.com ccampbell@newsobserver.com

January 12, 2015


By Andrew Kenney and Colin Campbell The_News_and_Observer


The near-finished deal sets in motion plans to turn the former psychiatric hospital campus into a destination park for Raleigh. TRAVIS LONG — NEWS & OBSERVER FILE PHOTO

RALEIGH — Mayor Nancy McFarlane and state Rep. Skip Stam leaned over a table-size landscape on Monday afternoon, surveying tiny white buildings and houses scattered inside a glass case.

Dozens of reporters and local officials milled around them, crowding the ballroom of the Governor’s Mansion. With her granddaughter cradled under one arm, McFarlane deftly guided Stam across the model of the hills south of downtown Raleigh.

“That’s Western Boulevard … that’s Boylan Heights, and that’s the prison,” the mayor told the Apex Republican.

At the heart of the display was the 308-acre Dorothea Dix property, once a campus for the care of people with mental illness and long the object of Raleigh’s desires. The mayor knew the land so well because she was finally ready to buy it on behalf of the city.

Minutes earlier, McFarlane and Gov. Pat McCrory had announced that the state of North Carolina would sell the entire property to Raleigh for $52 million, while leasing space to the state Department of Health and Human Services on the campus for as long as 25 years.

The near-finished deal closes years of negotiations between the two governments, and it sets in motion plans to turn the former psychiatric hospital campus into a crown-jewel park for Raleigh.

It’s a plan that has long eluded the city. Gov. Bev Perdue agreed to lease the land to the city in 2012, but legislators tore the deal apart in 2013. Only a compromise bill allowed McCrory to begin negotiations anew with the city – and even so, the governor warned months ago that the two sides were moving further apart.

On Monday, though, the two leaders appeared sure of success.

“This agreement allows the creation of a destination park in our state capital, protects our state taxpayers and continues to honor the legacy of Dorothea Dix,” McCrory said Monday. “How’s that for good news?”

For McFarlane, the park would mark the completion of a cause she’s pushed throughout her eight years as councilwoman and mayor, working alongside a slate of local advocates.

The coming years of planning and development will be a “community event,” McFarlane said.

And the finished product, she added, could attract people from across the country. “Today truly is a win-win for all of us,” the mayor said.

More work ahead

The Raleigh City Council approved the sale terms unanimously during a special meeting Monday morning, after a week of late-stage negotiations.

Hours later, McCrory and McFarlane signed off on the outline of the sale, including the purchase price and the division of responsibility for environmental cleanup.

The parties still must negotiate a contract, and the city must raise the money by the end of this year.

“I think the key thing right now is that, first, we got all the acreage. We all wondered if that would happen again,” said Bill Padgett, president of the advocacy group Dix306.

“Second, we actually own it now. … When we ask for investments to improve the property, that’s an improvement that the city will actually own.”

Joey Stansbury, a representative of the conservative Wake Citizens Coalition, said that the city should hold a referendum and that voters should weigh in on the full cost of developing the park.

“Right now, she’s asking Raleigh citizens to commit to buy the land without a full knowledge of how much it would cost,” he said of McFarlane. Councilman Russ Stephenson said the city would fund the development of the park in phases.

If the council wants to hold a referendum on the spending this year, the panel would have to begin discussions around May, according to City Attorney Tom McCormick.

The deal will allow the state to lease back acreage to keep Department of Health and Human Services offices on the Dix property.

Additionally, proceeds of the sale of the land will go toward state mental health programs, honoring the land’s original use, McCrory said.

Legislative interference?

The governor described the purchase as the first step in a larger strategy of cooperative development between the state and the city of Raleigh, though he did mistakenly call the capital city “Charlotte” a few times.

On Monday, McCrory said he couldn’t speak for the legislature, but he thought the new plan had the support of statehouse leaders.

State Senate leaders had little to say about the agreement Monday. A spokeswoman for Senate leader Phil Berger said he was still reviewing the details of the proposal and had no comment.

And two sponsors of the 2013 legislation to revoke Raleigh’s original lease – Sen. Ralph Hise of Spruce Pine and Sen. Louis Pate of Mount Olive – also said they hadn’t read the new terms.

Several Republican House members, however, praised the deal. Rep. Nelson Dollar of Cary said he thinks it addresses the concerns raised by legislators in 2013. House leaders partnered with McCrory to propose the new negotiations, while the Senate initially voted down the compromise.

“I think it represents a fair agreement between the parties,” Dollar said. “The decision in the General Assembly will be how to ensure that those funds best serve the mental-health legacy of Dorothea Dix.”

Dollar said he doesn’t think any legislators would try to revoke the deal. “This agreement is a far better agreement than the one that was hurriedly put together two years ago” by the Perdue administration, he said.

Final negotiations

Padgett, of Dix306, has been pushing for a Dix park for some 12 years, since the state called a downtown meeting to discuss the land. It’s been a roller coaster, he said, but he likes what he has heard from the latest proposal.

Raleigh is practically alone among sizable cities, he said, in having such a large open property near downtown.

“You’ve got a unique opportunity,” he said. “It’s not that they don’t come around often. They don’t come around. Period.”

The current round of negotiations, between the city and the governor’s office, began last March, when Raleigh offered to buy all 308 acres for $37.93 million. The governor’s office countered in April, proposing a price of $52.2 million for 244 acres.

Representatives of the city and the state met anywhere from once a month to twice a week, often in a Department of Administration conference room. Even when the process dropped out of the news, negotiations were grinding on.

“We didn’t see anything going very far fast,” Padgett said. “We were pushing our mayor hard, and we were pushing McCrory hard.”

The city of Raleigh made its most recent bid in September, offering $52 million for the entire property. However, disagreements remained on how much land would be included in the deal.

“We really wanted to make sure it was all of the property,” McFarlane said.

State and city officials had also disagreed on who should pay for cleaning up environmental contamination at Dix.

The final deal requires Raleigh to assume “all environmental conditions” – but only after the state cleans up the site to “standards acceptable for recreational use.”

The city has no firm estimate yet of cleanup costs, according to McCormick, the city attorney. However, the bill may be fairly substantial.

First, the city and state will split the costs of remediation at the former site of a coal plant, with the state paying as much as $600,000.

Raleigh also will have to deal with asbestos-laced buildings that it likely will demolish, McCormick said. Demolition could cost about $10 million, he said.

The purchase also could carry a cost for Raleigh taxpayers. Any bond referendum would have to take place this year, according to the agreement.

That would likely come with a property tax increase in 2016. If recent bond referendums are an indication, borrowing $52 million through parks bonds would amount to a tax increase of roughly 1 cent, or about $30 more a year for the owner of a $300,000 home.

Leaked news

News of the imminent deal leaked Sunday night, when state Rep. Duane Hall, a Raleigh Democrat, reported on Twitter that there was a potential deal between the city and state governments on the property.

Hall posted the news to Twitter out of excitement, he said, and accidentally beat both city and state leaders to the punch. He was not told to keep the news secret, he said.

Hall later spoke to McFarlane and McCrory; neither seemed upset with him for breaking the news, he said.

Once the state fully approves the sale, McCrory told McFarlane, “then, mayor, it will be up to you to make this dream a reality.”

Kenney: 919-829-4870; Twitter: @KenneyNC

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2015/01/12/4470397/raleigh-mayor-deal-on-dix-park.html#storylink=cpy
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Triangle home sales increase 3% in third quarter

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By David Bracken

dbracken@newsobserver.comOctober 13, 2014


Triangle home sales were up 3  percent in the third quarter compared with the same period last year, as much of the region continues to deal with a lack of inventory.

The number of homes for sale in the region fell 3 percent in the quarter, Triangle Multiple Listing Services data show. While the number of new homes on the market jumped 15 percent, listings for existing homes fell 8 percent. There are now 7,727 homes for sale in Durham, Johnston, Orange and Wake counties, a 44 percent decline from four years ago.

The exception to the region’s inventory shortage is in Orange County, where a 17 percent drop in closings in September combined with a 19 percent increase in supply has led to an oversupply. The county now has a 10-month supply of homes on the market at the current pace of sales. Ten months or more is considered an oversupply, while three months or less is considered to be an undersupply.

Durham and Wake each have a three-month supply while Johnston has a four-month supply.

The third-quarter numbers continue a sales pattern that has been in place for much of the year. After surging 24 percent last year, demand has leveled off. Sales are up 2 percent through the first nine months of this year compared with the same period last year.

One bright spot is that pending sales in September were up 9 percent. The average price of homes that sold during the quarter also rose 3 percent to $257,300. But there are signs that pricing in some areas of the Triangle may be softening.

The percentage of new home listings that have had at least one price reduction is now 24 percent, up from 17 percent during the same period a year ago.

Stacey Anfindsen, a Cary appraiser who analyzes MLS data for area real estate agents, said a big run-up in the average list price of new homes over the past three years may be a factor. The average list price of new homes is now $367,900, up from $309,800 in 2011.

“That could be where we’re starting to see some of the softness come into it,” Anfindsen said. The average list price for new homes is still well below its peak of $395,000, reached in 2008 before the market crashed.

Anfindsen said the housing recovery has occurred at different speeds in different parts of the Triangle, which makes it hard to make blanket statements about the region.

“I think it’s one of those cases where, regardless of price, there are parts of the Triangle where the new home market is soft and there are parts where it is rocking and rolling,” he said.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/10/13/4231292/triangle-home-sales-up-3-in-third.html?sp=/99/104/134/#storylink=cpy
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More Available New Homes to Choose From in the Triangle…

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Triangle home sales up 2% in second quarter as new home inventory rises

By David Bracken


Triangle home sales increased 2 percent in the second quarter as the inventory of homes on the market got a big boost from new home listings.

New home listings were up 20 percent for the three-month period ending June 30 compared with the same period last year, Triangle Multiple Listing Services data show. The number of existing homes on the market remained flat, with overall inventory up 4 percent.

Stacey Anfindsen, a Cary appraiser who analyzes MLS data for area real estate agents, said the rise in new home listings may be a sign of softening demand.

“Last year they were just trying to catch up, but now I think that’s related to demand,” he said.

The average days on the market of the active new home listings during the second quarter was 117, up from 71 during the same period a year ago. There were also 275 new home sellers who dropped their list price during the quarter, a 77 percent increase compared with the second quarter of 2013.

Despite the increase in new homes for sale, inventory levels in the Triangle remain at historically low levels. Several areas of the Triangle – North Raleigh, inside the Beltline and Cary, Apex and Morrisville – continue to have an undersupply of housing. Seventeen percent of the existing homes that sold in the quarter did so in 30 days or fewer.

Anfindsen said for the first time ever the Cary/Apex/Morrisville area had zero inventory of single-family housing priced under $150,000. The trend reflects both shifting demographics and rising home values in that part of the Triangle and the unwillingness of owners of homes in that price point to put them up for sale.

With so few existing homes on the market in some areas, finding and putting a property under contract requires both quick action and the cash to outbid competitors.

“It seems more volatile than last year and the lack of inventory is part of it,” said Frank DeRonja, owner of Frank DeRonja Real Estate in Raleigh. “ … If the listing hits on Friday at 5 p.m. you’ve got to be ready to go out there.”

One of DeRonja’s recent clients found that out firsthand as they looked for a house in the $300,000 range in an active-adult community in west Cary.

“It was their seventh multiple offer and we finally got them a house,” DeRonja said.

There are signs that home prices continue to rise in the Triangle. The average price of the homes that sold in the second quarter was $258,000, up 3 percent compared with the second quarter of 2013. The average price of the homes put under contract during the quarter was even higher, $274,000.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/07/10/3998100/triangle-home-sales-up-2-in-second.html?sp=/99/104/134/#storylink=cpy
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“Good News” from the new home industry provided by the Wake County HBA

Current FSBB LogoGood news from the new home industry provided by the Wake County HBA…

“Mark Kring with Chesapeake Homes would like to once again thank all the suppliers who donated their services for the Operation Coming Home Six house which was completed the beginning of November and keys given to Army Ranger Nathan Rimpf at the Key Ceremony on November 7th.”

 “ Lennar Sales #1 in market in September and tied for 1st in October!”.

“The Jim Allen Group finished up a strong October with 30 homes sold and $10,695,255.00 volume contracted!

“Paragon Building Group is pleased to announce the hiring of David W. Clendenin as a new Project Manager and Christopher A. Corsi as a Superintendent” 

“The Jim Allen Group sold 4 homes in the new home community of Winston Ridge in Youngsville”.

 “Kelly’s NC is proud to welcome Samantha Tropper, a recent Duke University graduate, to our team”.

 “The Jim Allen Group and Foxwood Builders sold their award winning parade home in Seville”.

“Kelly’s NC is proud to welcome Tim Oke, formerly of IBM, to our team”.

“ForeverHome has had 3 sales in 3 weeks at their Renaissance at Regency Cottages community!

“Mark Kring with Chesapeake Homes announces the model at Kitts Creek is now open and Blake Reaves has had 11 sales at Kitts Creek since the beginning of May.” 

“The Jim Allen Group sold 3 homes in the new home community of Applewood in Creedmoor”.

 “Paragon Building Group has recently outgrown their triangle office in Garner and relocated to 829 Purser Drive in Raleigh”.

“L and L of Raleigh had their annual Vendor Appreciation Day held at HBA!

“The Jim Allen Group is excited to announce 6 pre-sales in our new subdivision The Reserve in Wake Forest. Price ranges from the high $500’s to high $700’s”.

“Habitat for Humanity of Wake County will be having a home dedication on December 18th for the Davis Family in recognition of our “Home for the Holidays” campaign”. 

“The Jim Allen Group is supporting Turkeys for the Triangle buy selling raffle tickets! 

 “Lennar is pleased to announce the Grand Opening of Trillium at Flowers Plantation on Saturday, December 14, noon-3:00pm”.

“Habitat for Humanity of Wake County had over 50 volunteers participate in our Veterans Volunteer Day to honor all veterans and active duty service members on November 11th”.

 “Mark Kring with Chesapeake Homes is pleased to announce Danya Bizzell has had 70 sales year to date at Renaissance Park.”

 “Lennar SOLD OUT of Phase I of Hanover Pointe in Durham. With plenty of new opportunities available now in Phase II”.

 “Homes in Fryars Gate, by Lennar, are going VERTICAL. And Follow our progress on Facebook!  https://www.facebook.com/Lennar.FryarsGate

“New Homes & Ideas magazine is excited to announce the hire of Leigh Ann Teague as the new account executive for the Ideas side of the magazine”.

 “Habitat for Humanity of Wake County has a planned a MLK Day of Service event  on January 20th in Wake Forest that includes a luncheon and repairing 5 homes with the “A Brush With Kindness” program”.

“This Jim Allen Group welcomes 3 new hires this month – Brian Strombotne, Vicki Peters,  and Jolene Johnson”.

 “Good news at Movement Mortgage, we are growing and have just added two more great loan officers to the team”.

“Lansing Building Products celebrated their Grand Opening on Tues. Nov. 19th”

“LiveGreen’s Energy Efficiency Department has completed 42 LiveGreen Certifications this month, bringing the total amount to 575 LiveGreen Certified homes in the triangle area”.

“Bobby Murray Chevrolet has given $2500 to Susan G Komen for the Cure to help in the fight against breast cancer!

“Blake Massengill was elected Fuquay-Varina Town Commissioner and was sworn in on December 2.”

“John Gates with Union Mortgage Group has been named President of the Raleigh Mortgage Bankers Association”.

 “PHWS is now managing Revolution Homes warranty and customer care”. 

 “Lennar proudly sponsored the Military Missions in Action annual golf tournament Tee Off For the Troops on Veteran’s Day”.

“Brandco, Inc is excited to announce that they’ve recently added over a dozen new Heritage Stone selections to their “in stock” inventory at their location near Brier Creek.”

“The Raleigh office for Union Mortgage Group has approximately $56 million in construction/perm loans in process”.

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Congratulations to the 2013 Parade of Homes Winners (Durham, Orange and Chatham County)…

Category #1: Under $120,000

  • GOLD (D15) Davis Park Group, LLC Fairmont

Category #2: $159,000 – $172,000

  • GOLD (D2) DR Horton The McAdams
  • SILVER (D3) Lennar Carolinas The Belmont

Category #3: $191,000 – $245,000

  • GOLD (C4) Saussy Burbank Carsen D
  • SILVER (D20) Lennar Carolinas Chastain A
  • BRONZE (D6) Standard Pacific Homes Fuller

Category #4: $254,000 – $285,000

  • GOLD (C10) Phil Stone Homes, Inc. The Lilly Pad
  • SILVER (D17) Bill Clark Homes The Portsmouth
  • BRONZE (D21) Ryland Homes Landrum

Category #5: $333,000 – $378,000

  • GOLD (C8) Homes by Dickerson The Millhaven Tudor II
  • SILVER (O3) M/I Homes Summit
  • BRONZE (D7) Standard Pacific Homes Edison
  • BRONZE (D18) Drees Homes Ashville

Category #6: $389,000 – $405,000

  • GOLD (C6) David Weekley Homes The Milliron
  • SILVER (C13) D. Walsh Construction Tullmore Square

Category #7: $435,000 – $495,000

  • GOLD (D10) Carolinian Homes The Jessica Ann-A
  • SILVER (C7) Homes by Dickerson The Bristol
  • BRONZE (C14) Horizon Custom Builders Rosemore

Category #8: $594,000 – $680,000

  • GOLD (C1) Arthur Rutenberg Homes Woodcliff 1173D
  • SILVER (D12) David Weekley Homes Havenstone

Category #9: Custom Builder Classification

  • GOLD (O8) Loyd Builders, LLC Pleasant Green Estate
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Congratulations to the 2013 Parade of Homes Winners (Wake County),..

Category 1     $134,900 – 209,700
Map # Winner House Name Bldg Co City Community Cert Price
16 Gold Somerset III-C HHHunt Homes Apex Villages of Apex $163,900
14 Silver The Joseph Ashton Woods Homes Apex Pemberley $180,900
1 Bronze Abbey Lennar Carolinas LLC Apex 55James at Midtown $187,540
Category 2   $213,790 –   233,203
Map # Winner House Name Bldg Co City S/D Cert Price
66 Gold Dogwood Massengill Design   Build Fuquay Varina Varina Park at Buckhaven $225,000
65 Silver Oak Massengill Design   Build Fuquay Varina Varina Park at   Buckhaven $220,000
36 Bronze Carlton Lennar Carolinas LLC Cary Townes at Stonewater $213,990
Category 3:  $244,500 –   $285,312
Map # Winner House Name Bldg Co City S/D Cert Price
74 Gold Walker’s Grace Stephenson Builders Inc. Willow Spring Honeycutt Landing $279,900
183 Silver James-D Mungo Homes Knightdale Princeton Manor $249,900
96 Bronze Lassiter II D.R. Horton,   America’s Builder Raleigh Bryson Village $283,330
Category 4:  $288,900 –   $304,900
Map # Winner House Name Bldg Co City S/D Cert Price
143 Gold Jefferson Murdock and Gannon Rolesville Carlton Pointe $292,690
64 Silver Lassiter II D.R. Horton,   America’s Builder Fuquay Varina South Lakes $298,703
182 Bronze Rutledge Citizens Homes Knightdale Princeton Manor $299,000
Category 5:  $309,088 –   $336,865
Map # Winner House Name Bldg Co City S/D Cert Price
123 Gold The Addison Atkins Building and   Remodeling Raleigh Rand Meadows $314,000
4 Silver Davidson Robuck Homes Triangle   LLC FV Brighton Forest   Wynwood $335,000
142 Bronze The Worthington Brandywine Homes Inc. Rolesville Carlton Pointe $322,490
Category 6:  $339,000 –   $368,900
Map # Winner House Name Bldg Co City S/D Cert Price
149 Gold Davie Medallion   Construction Inc. Rolesville Heritage Gates $339,000
37 Silver Victoria Standard Pacific   Homes Cary Trace in Village   Square at Amberly $357,510
146 Bronze Casa De Costanza L and L of Raleigh Rolesville Heritage Cornerstone $359,900
Category 7:  $381,935 –   $399,900
Map # Winner House Name Bldg Co City S/D Cert Price
151 Gold Heritage Hideaway L and L of Raleigh Rolesville Heritage Gates $399,900
145 Silver Queen of Hearts L and L of Raleigh Rolesville Heritage Cornerstone $399,900
150 Bronze WWCD L and L of Raleigh Rolesville Heritage Gates $399,900
Category 8:  $407,500-   $429,900
Map # Winner House Name Bldg Co City S/D Cert Price
72 Gold The Bennett Kevin Reinert Homes   Inc. Raleigh Banks Pointe $429,900
166 Silver The Moonlight Rose Foxwood Builders Inc. Wake Forest Heritage Valley $410,000
56 Bronze Madison Future Homes by Jim   Thompson Inc. Fuquay Varina Brighton Forest $405,000
Category 9:  $434,900 –   $452,290
Map # Winner House Name Bldg Co City S/D Cert Price
176 Gold Forsythe JordanBuilt Homes Wake Forest Traditions at   Heritage $452,290
167 Silver The Hayden MBM Builders Wake Forest Heritage Valley $439,000
30 Bronze Ocracoke C Royal Oaks Building   Group, LLC Cary Peninsula at Amberly $444,998
Category 10:  $458,000 –   $469,250
Map # Winner House Name Bldg Co City S/D Cert Price
135 Gold The Belmont Brandywine Homes Inc. Raleigh Stonewater $464,900
153 Silver Sagamore Homes by Dickerson Rolesville Heritage Woodlands $459,900
79 Bronze The Bedford Wardson Construction   Inc. Holly Springs 12 Oaks $459,000
Category 11:  $470,000 –   $529,900
Map # Winner House Name Bldg Co City S/D Cert Price
169 Gold The Thompson CityScape Builders Wake Forest Heritage Woodlands $494,900
80 Silver The Alta III Reward Builders Inc. Holly Springs 12 Oaks $500,000
163 Bronze Lake View Creech Construction   Co Wake Forest Heritage Walk $489,740
Category 12:  $540,007 –   $589,000
Map # Winner House Name Bldg Co City S/D Cert Price
41 Gold Bella Amward Homes Cary Westvale $565,000 *1 Perfect Score
105 Silver The Chelsea Ashton Woods Homes Raleigh GlenLake South $550,000 *1 Perfect Score
97 Bronze Madison Homes by Dickerson Raleigh Carrie’s Reach $569,900
Category 13:  $595,000 –   $649,900
Map # Winner House Name Bldg Co City S/D Cert Price
137 Gold Siena Tuscany Contruction   Group Inc. Raleigh Tuscan Hills $645,000
6 Silver The Cambridge Wardson Construction   Inc. Apex Churchill Estates $599,000
100 Bronze Monticello Tuscany Construction   Group Inc. Raleigh Edwards Mill $595,000
Category 14:  $684,900 –   $751,500
Map # Winner House Name Bldg Co City S/D Cert Price
108 Gold Riverwalk Homes by Dickerson Raleigh Hamptons at Umstead $684,900
109 Silver Watermill Amward Homes Raleigh Hamptons at Umstead $749,000
103 Bronze The Oakmont Homes by Dickerson Raleigh George’s Grant $692,900
Category 15:  $769,834 –   $822,000
Map # Winner House Name Bldg Co City S/D Cert Price
102 Gold The Cameron Robuck Design Build Raleigh Gates at Ethans Glen $789,900
21 Silver The James E, The Duke   Miracle Home Terramor Homes Cary Cameron Pond $771,448
132 Bronze Casa Bella Foxwood Builders Inc. Raleigh Seville $820,000
Category 16:  $825,000 –   $925,000
Map # Winner House Name Bldg Co City S/D Cert Price
107 Gold The Cedar Ashton Woods Homes Raleigh Greys Landing $850,000
115 Silver Umstead Park Retreat Beaman Building and   Realty Inc Raleigh Lakes at Umstead $839,900
35 Bronze The Chesley Upright Builders,   Inc. Cary Renaissance at   Regency Manors $925,000
Category 17:  $980,000 –   $1,200,000
Map # Winner House Name Bldg Co City S/D Cert Price
101 Gold Family Time Woody Built LLC Raleigh Falls Preserve $980,000
124 Silver Anand Nivas (Happy   Home) Bost Custom Homes Raleigh Registry at Bailey   Farms $1,200,000
23 Bronze Shelton Manor Wardson Construction   Inc. Cary Copperleaf $1,025,000
Category 18:  $1,250,000   – $2,290,000
Map # Winner House Name Bldg Co City S/D Cert Price
139 Gold High Five Dixon/Kirby &   Company, Inc. Raleigh N/A $1,250,000 *1 Perfect Score
129 Silver Million Dollar Dog   House JM Davis Custom Homes   Inc Raleigh Rose Hall $1,385,900
31 Bronze The Regency Shail Construction   Inc. Cary Renaissance at   Regency $2,290,000
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The Triangle Continues to Grow

Current FSBB LogoThe Triangle continues to rank as one of the best places to live and work in the country.  The regional nickname of “The Triangle” originated after the 1959 creation of the Research Triangle Park (RTP).  Although the name is now used to refer to the geographic region, “The Triangle” originally referred to the universities.  The three major research universities of NC State University, Duke University, and UNC-Chapel Hill provide an educated workforce and  have historically served as a major attraction for businesses located in the region.  These three universities are located in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill.

The reason RTP is important when looking for a new home is because people often like to live close to where they work. There is direct correlation between home values and proximity to RTP.  Brier Creek has been a popular choice because of it’s proximity to RTP, it’s Wake County location and it is only 5 minutes from RDU airport without being in the flight path.   For resale, this is a great location to consider.  When looking for a new home in the Triangle there are many great towns to explore.   Cary is very close to RTP and is often the first choice for people relocating to the area.   With the growth Cary has experienced over the last twenty years, it is now larger than Chapel Hill.

Many people in the real estate field believe that buying in the path of growth is a good way to choose a location.  When looking at the Triangle, its apparent that there are some major plans just west of Cary in Chatham County.  Preston Development is set to start Chatham Park, which is a 7,000 acre planned development.  7,000 acres is the same size as RTP.  Chatham Park will pull from the same talent pool and offer the same Triangle conveniences as RTP  yet it also offers plenty of choices for companies that want to build a campus larger than a hundred acres.  Chatham Park is just west of Jordan Lake and will be offering an opportunity to live, work and play all in one place.   There are many reason’s Cary is often the first choice for people moving to the Triangle, a new reason is that Cary is located right between RTP and Chatham Park.

See video on Chatham Park…


Kim Johnson





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Green Building

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Over the past ten years, there have been many changes to the standards and procedures being used when building new homes.   Recently, there has been a big movement toward building homes that are energy efficient.  Many within the new home industry have adopted “green” home building techniques.  There are many different ways to make a home more efficient, if green building techniques and/or the energy star program have not been adopted, they have definitely been evaluated.

One of the things that has changed the most is with the attic and crawl space insulation.   Instead of insulating new homes at the ceiling and floor joist level, many builders in the greater Raleigh, NC area have started offering a sealed crawl space or attic.  In many of the new homes, spray foam insulation is being used instead of batt or blown insulation.  At first glance, this may seem like it wouldn’t make much of a difference.  When evaluating further, you’ll find that many of the new techniques are allowing homeowners to enjoy larger homes without paying larger monthly energy bills.

Here are a couple of resources that provide a good place to start if you are interested in evaluating the different options…

Whether its home features, location or neighborhood amenities; the new homes for sale in the greater Raleigh, NC area are exceeding expectations.  If you haven’t had a chance to take a look at new homes lately, take a look through our magazine, I’m certain you’ll be very impressed with what is available.  New homes for sale.

Kim Johnson

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Here We Grow Again

Current FSBB LogoOnce again, we’re hearing positive news from the Home Builders Association about the new home industry in Raleigh, NC.  In a recent email from Tim Minton, Executive Vice President HBA of Raleigh-Wake County,  HBA members were notified that Wake County reported that single family permits were up 83.3% in October of 2012 compared to October of 2011.  Overall, permits are now up 30.3% for the year.

New homes in the greater Raleigh, NC area provide a great value.  We continue to rank very high as a popular place to live.  Many people locating from other parts of the country appreciate North Carolina’s 4 distinct seasons.  The proximity to the NC coast and Appalachian Mountains provide a variety of vacation choices within a few hours.   Research Triangle Park, home to numerous high-tech companies and enterprises, is in the center of the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area.

The combination of these things provide a unique advantage over other parts of the country.    The three main colleges located in the Triangle are North Carolina State University, Duke University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Having these Universities nearby allows local employers an opportunity to draw from a large pool of local graduates.

The one item that continues to fuel growth is the outer loop which was extended to HWY 64 West this year.  Living in Raleigh for over 30 years, I’ve seen many things change; however, one thing always seems to stay the same, this is a great place to live.   If you’re in the process of shopping for a new home, our publication is very useful, it features many great homes and neighborhoods.  Make sure to use our magazine as a resource when doing your research.

Have a great day!

Kim Johnson



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