Friday, March 27, 2009

April 2009

Spring has sprung in Greater Raleigh with a wide variety of festivals, sporting events, performing arts and the anticipated start of concert season. Find out why the Raleigh area is the place to be for affordable family fun this April.

Festival Fanatic

Fresh herbs, North Carolina wines and Turkish folk dancing are just some of the themes you'll find this month during festivals held throughout Wake County. Enjoy Wake Forest's historic downtown while learning about fresh herbs during the 10th Annual HerbFest (4/17 - 4/26), complete with duck parades, seminars, local food, music and family entertainment. Conservation and preservation is the goal during Earth Day (4/18) celebrations at both the N.C. Museum of Art and the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, while Cary's Koka Booth Amphitheatre hosts more than 15 wineries and 150 different wines during the 6th Annual Great Grapes! Wine, Arts & Music Festival (4/18). Find plenty of baklava at the Turkish Festival (4/18) at the N.C. State Fairgrounds, shag the night away at the 11th Annual Beach Music Festival (4/25) in Garner or buy your mom an early Mother's Day gift at Cary's Spring Daze Arts and Crafts Festival (4/25). Learn More


Sports Enthusiast

Warmer temperatures mean the ice is heating up in the RBC Center as the Carolina Hurricanes take on the Rangers (4/2), Penguins (4/4), Islanders (4/7) and Sabres (4/9). Want to enjoy a game outdoors? Head to Zebulon's Five County Stadium and root for the home team as AA Baseball's Carolina Mudcats take on the Huntsville Stars (4/20 - 4/24) and the Chattanooga Lookouts (4/30 - 5/4). Regardless of whether you're a spectator or a participant, Cary hosts the 31st Annual Cary Road Race (4/4) and Earth Day Celebration: Bike, Run, Walk at Umstead State Park (4/18), or watch the Carolina Railhawks bend it like Beckham during games against the Minnesota Thunder (4/11, 4/26) and Rochester Rhinos (4/18). Learn More


Performance Highlights

The curtain will rise for an incredible month of musicals, ballet and theater by some of the area's most notable performing arts groups. Broadway Series South presents the family classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (3/31 - 4/5) and brings back the fabulous '50s with Happy Daze: The Musical (4/15 - 4/19). The Carolina Ballet pays tribute to Bernstein and Robbins with American Music and Dance (4/9 - 4/12) and performs the family-friendly Coppelia (4/30 - 5/3). Speaking of dance, your toes will be tapping when the popular Lord of the Dance (4/24 - 4/26) comes to the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Theatre in the Park looks at three different outcomes to a dinner party in Life x 3 (4/17 - 4/26), and Lend Me A Tenor (4/10 - 4/26) by Raleigh Little Theatre is a madcap backstage farce. Learn more


Concerts Rock

Neko Case (4/7) is the first concert in a month of performances that offers everything from soulful sounds to rocking riffs and a little bit of Margaritaville. The N.C. Symphony performs American Romantics (4/3 - 4/4) and I Got Rhythm: Mickey and Judy's Hollywood (4/17 - 4/19), Pinecone presents Jake Shimabukuro (4/30) who plays the violin in a non-traditional manner and Yanni (4/24) makes a stop at the RBC Center for his nationwide Voices Tour. Outdoor concert season is here, and Rock 4 Pets (4/19) and Kings of Leon (4/28) open Koka Booth Amphitheatre's 2009 season, and the Dave Matthews Band (4/22) and Jimmy Buffet (4/23) rock Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion at Walnut Creek. Learn more


Special Events

Get those shopping bags ready--it's a bargain-filled month throughout the area. Get ideas for home and garden improvements at the Southern Ideal Home Show (4/3 - 4/5), shop for THE big day at the Southern Bridal Show and Expo (4/19) or pamper yourself at the Southern Women's Show (4/24 - 4/26)--all at the N.C. Fairgrounds. Also, at the N.C. State Fairgrounds are the weekly Flea Market (Saturdays and Sundays) and the Spring Boat Show and Sale (4/17 - 4/19). If you're looking for some kitchen remodeling tips, discover the most innovative and creative ideas during the Junior League of Raleigh's Showcase of Kitchens (4/16 - 4/18). Learn More


Museum Exhibitions

Are you a buccaneer or a landlubber, a lass or a scallywag? Learn about pirate-speak along with the legacy of infamous rogues of the high seas, from ancient times to the present. Intriguing artifacts, legends and history will bring their ruthless adventures to life at the N.C. Museum of History's special exhibit Knights of the Black Flag (3/6 - 1/4). This is an interactive exhibit showcasing the largest collection of artifacts ever assembled from Blackbeard's famous ship - the Queen Anne's Revenge. After the exhibit, head over to North Carolina's only 3D IMAX theatre at Marbles Kids Museum and discover the creatures that call the sea their home in films like: Monsters vs. Aliens, Nascar 3D and Mummies 3D.

Enjoy the first signs of spring on 164 acres of trails, woodlands and open areas at the Museum Park at the N.C. Museum of Art, and explore the people that make up the Raleigh area's history during Portraits of Raleigh: Images of a City and Her People at the Raleigh City Museum. The N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences is gearing up for the blockbuster exhibition Chocolate (begins 5/11), but in April discover the best-of-the-best in animal images during Wildlife in North Carolina Photo Exhibit (through 4/19), and the N.C. Museum of Art showcases Highlights of the American Collection (ongoing). Learn More
Thursday, March 19, 2009


Governor Beverly Perdue recently proposed steep tax increases amounting to $680 million in her budget proposal intended to stimulate North Carolina ’s bruised economy.

AFP- North Carolina is very excited to join hands with the many grassroots activists across the country to protest not only Governor Perdue's tax hikes, but all federal bailouts, spending sprees, so-called stimulus packages, earmarks and fiscal irresponsibility in national, state, and local governments.

Please attend one or more of these events and help us spread the word. Our economic freedom is under attack and we must fight back. All of the events below are free and open to the public. (If you are having an event and we don’t have it listed, please email us at

Date: Saturday, March 21, 2009
12:00-2:00 pm
NC State Capitol (east side) downtown Raleigh
Free Lunch for the first 150 people who attend. Rain or shine.
Register online here.

Date: Saturday, April 4, 2009
11:00-1:00pm 35.2176 -80.8389
Marshall Park, Second and McDowell Streets, 28204
Need info?

Date: Tuesday, April 7, 2009
5:30 pm
Wilmington Tea Party on the Cape Fear River: “Taxation Without Representation”
Protest at the waterfront by the Federal Building in Wilmington. Federal Building is located at N. Water Street between Market and Princess.

Then, the Tea Party will march to City Hall for a City Council meeting at 6:30 pm. One item on the agenda is a public hearing for the annexation of Monkey Junction area.
City Hall is at 102 N. 3rd Street, Wilmington, NC 28402

Register online here.

Date: Wednesday, April 15, 2009
5:00 pm
Edenton Courthouse Green ( Chowan County)

Note: The Edenton Tea Party was one of the earliest organized women’s political actions in United States history. On October 25, 1774, Mrs. Penelope Barker organized, at the home of Mrs. Elizabeth King, fifty-one women in Edenton, North Carolina. Together they formed an alliance wholeheartedly supporting the American cause against “taxation without representation.”

This event will include Revolutionary war re-enactors to celebrate the famous Edenton Tea Party. This is a once in a lifetime event to celebrate our past and protect us from a future of debt and high taxes.

Please register today here.

Read more about the history of the Edenton tea party here.

Date: April 15, 2009
Note: Two Raleigh Tea Parties on this date—different times and locations—attend both!
4:30-6:00 pm (tentative)
Federal Courthouse. New Bern Avenue across from the Post Office
6:30pm - 8:30 pm
NC State Capitol at One East Edenton Street (east side)
Register online here.

Date: Wednesday, April 15, 2009
4:30 pm
Sidewalk in front of Asheville City Hall and Buncombe County Courthouse
Non-partisan Movement to Repeal the Pork!

Date: Wednesday, April 15, 2009
12:00-1:00 pm
Center City Park, downtown Greensboro, between Elm and Davie streets
More details here.
Register online here.

Date: Wednesday, April 15, 2009
2:00pm - 4:00 pm
City Hall Lawn
600 E. Trade Street
Charlotte , NC
Register online here.

Dallas Woodhouse
State Director
Americans for Prosperity
Friday, March 13, 2009

Obama Plan ............... New Refinancing Program.
Yesterday I wrote the first of two parts on the Homeowner Affordability & Stability plan that was released by the Obama administration on Wed March 4th. Which contained two major parts they hoped would have an impact on assisting homeowners with troubled mortgage. The first part of the plan which I blogged about yesterday is a modification program that Servicers will offer to borrowers with high debt-to-income ratios or who are at risk of foreclosure. The second part of the plan which I am blogging about today, a refinance program for existing Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loans.
As I stated yesterday our Executive Vice President at McCue Mortgage, Kim Neilson and others are still assessing the details of the Homeowner Affordability & Stability plan to determine our next steps, but in the mean time we are trying to provide a summary of its major points so that it might help other to better understandable it. So here we go:
The second part of the plan is a refinance program for existing Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loans. Fannie Mae is offering two different programs:
The Refi Plus Program that requires the servicer of the loan to be the originating lender.
The DU Refi Plus Program (DU is the Automated Underwriting System for Fannie Mae) that allows any lender using DU to originate the loan as long as the existing loan is a Fannie Mae loan.
Freddie Mac requires the servicer of the loan to be the originating lender. Some specifics of the program are:
Existing mortgage must currently be a Fannie or Freddie loan.
Existing loan may not be considered ineligible (must get an Approved/Eligible from DU). Ineligible loans include existing mortgage loans that received a DU Expanded approval (EA).
Maximum LTV for 1-2 unit properties is 105% and require an appraisal.
Maximum LTV for 3-4 unit properties is 80% and also require an appraisal.
No maximum CLTV.
Existing mortgage must be current and have acceptable mortgage payment history. No minimum FICO score is required although borrower must meet bankruptcy and foreclosure requirements. In addition, borrower must demonstrate credit worthiness.
Rate and term refinance only (No Cash Out) - purchase money seconds MAY Not be included.
Loan level price adjustments (points) will apply (determined by credit score on credit report)
MI required (same coverage factor of existing loan) for mortgage loans that had original LTV’s greater than 80%.
DU Refi Plus must receive Approve/Eligible and will not be available until April 4. Income and employment verification is required.
Refi Plus is a manual underwrite and requires verbal verification of employment. Lender must determine that the borrower has a reasonable ability to repay the mortgage based on current information provided by borrower.
There it is in a nut shell. I actually have higher expectations for this part of the plan then I do for the Loan Modification part. This part of the plan stands a chance to actually help those who have good credit and have little to no equity in their property. But I do not see it doing anything for those who are in areas that property values have taken a noticeable hit, and 105% LTV is not going to do anything for them. Also this does offer a second option to FHA which will allow a borrower to go to a 96.5% LTV on a No Cash Out Refi.
While I think that this plan might actually help a few people, but it will be a source of false hope for many more. As I ended my last post, the purpose for providing this information is so that those who read it may have a better understanding of the "Homeowner Affordability & Stability Plan", and help them come to their own conclusion.
Thursday, March 5, 2009

While relaxing this morning, looking out on to the lake..I saw a real big fish jumping out of the water. Now this is a sight quite common if you are on the coast or in the sound, but this morning in Abbott's Creek Cove. Well needless to say I was a bit taken back and thinking to myself, if I was a fisherman I would go down and wet my hook!

What a beautiful morning it is down here at High Rock Lake today. The seagulls are swooning over the Great Pond and have been for weeks now. We are scheduled to have some warm temps here this weekend so I imagine the boat traffic will pick up today. We have been experiencing some Cold Temperatures lately so I wonder does that blast the Global Warming theories! HaHa! Still we don't know who will sign the contract for the Lake and that does have quite alot of homeowners and Lake enthusiast sitting on the edge of their seats.

Sales of homes here on the lake have been steady but there is a "sitting on the fence" mode that we are thinking will pass soon. The home sales will be picking up soon as there are great deals this year like we haven't seen in the past 2 years. The market has been correcting itself in NC as a whole, whether anyone would like to face those facts or not, the facts don't lie. If you don't have to sell right now, I would recommend you don't because I do believe after some of this credit stagnation flushes, you will see prices increase tremendously out here. We are one of the few lakes in NC you can actually build a waterfront homes. Still there are some draw backs to this lake. The main one I have addressed: We need a River Keeper that cares about the eco system and will maintain the Pond at levels that will be condusive to nature and it's wildlife habitats. We believe this will happen soon.

Still, this is one of the most peaceful places on earth. A true hidden treasure. Please join us sometime and see what our Lake has to offer you and your family. Best fishing in the country for Bass.

For information and Listings:

Call JoAnne S. Mercer- 919-559-7584
RaleighCaryNCNewHomes Realty
336-798-7733 Direct

Monday, March 2, 2009

Heritage Wake Forest is Still a Great Value with Wonderful Small Town Setting. The long shadows of sunset blanket the fairways and trees surrounding the 15th, 16th and 17th holes of the award-winning Heritage golf course as you make the turn into the Overlook; coming home just became sweeter. Luxurious, elegant residences grace its low-maintenance home sites (some with water views)! A tastefully designed and situated play area, complete with picnic tables and park benches, will delight all ages. Take the adjoining walking bridge to the clubhouse, home to 1250 Heritage restaurant, where exceptional dining awaits. Neighborhood- Heritage Overlook- Price Range for Neighborhood- 590,000's

The Amentities of this Great Golf Course Neighborhood are:

Heritage Wake Forest offers a wide variety of recreational opportunities for all ages. Within the community, an award-winning golf club, a swim & tennis club and numerous parks and playgrounds provide hours of family fun. Nearby, and within the beautiful Wake Forest township, you'll find endless choices of activities and entertainment, including a 12-screen multi-plex movie theatre, a sports complex, and lots of shopping.
Heritage Heights
"On top of the world..." a pretty nice state of mind; at Heritage Heights, it's an even nicer state of everyday living. With the greenways of our golf course to one side and a panoramic vista of the gently rolling expanse of the greater Heritage community to the other, each custom home stands against a pleasing backdrop. The collection of single-family home designs offered here have been described as casually elegant, already anticipating your family's desire for livability (indoors and outdoors) along with an unmistakable sense of style. Price Range in the $400's

Why Heritage?
This is why
Proximity to major roads: I-540 (6 miles), US-1 (1 mile) and NC-401 (2 miles). Stoplights in place at major intersections.
Adjacent to high growth residential areas in Wake Forest, Raleigh and the unincorporated North Wake County.
Adjacent to Wake County Public School Campus (3 schools).
Adjacent to 160 acres public park/greenway complex.
Utilities in place: Town of Wake Forest water and sewer. Town of Wake Forest or EMC electric facilities, high speed telecommunications lines to each lot. Natural gas to each lot.
Pre-developed sites: Balanced grading and clearing complete.
Environmental certainty: Pre-approved, delineated wetlands, Neuse Buffers and Phase I Audits.
Utility Capacity Guarantee: Through town of Wake Forest contract.
Collection-road improvements in place.
Protective covenants in place.

Dear JoAnne,
Thanks so much for directing us to the Heritage Wake Forest Community. Everyday we wake up here we are so thankful to be in such a great community. You listened and heard our hearts! Thanks for your Professional assistance in every detail.
See you soon,
Richard & Kathleen


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