Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Choosing to Learn and Learning to Choose

What is ONE of the biggest concerns to a parent?

As parents, we all want the best for our children, especially during the K-12 education phases of life. Education impacts everything we do and in North Carolina it is a constitutional right as a citizen to receive a public eduction.  We believe that a strong, solid education creates a strong community.

However, not all school systems are alike.  The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System has an interesting and innovative education model called "school of choice" or school zones.  As a matter of fact, it is the only school system in North Carolina to have this type of model.  But what does it mean and how does it impact your daily decisions such as student transportation but also your longer-term decisions such as where you live.  There is also a part of this model that helps with the county's competitive position to improve educational outcomes, quality-of-life and attract economic growth.

Now, are there questions and does it cause some consternation until completely understood, yes.  As Realtors, we get questions all the time about this model in Winston-Salem, Kernersville, Clemmons and all over Forsyth County.   So we decided to interview a key leader in the school system.  In the following short, but important clips, we bring you some answers.

The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Board is fortunate to have a strong Chairwoman in Dana Caudill Jones.  Chairwoman Jones has extensive leadership and an experienced background.  She is the owner of Caudill Electric in Kernersville, NC where they have a team of experts who handle electrical, security, audio/visual and automation.  It's a great company that has been around for years serving clients needs.  She served as a Town of Kernersville Alderman for years where she helped lead the city to strong growth and helped prepare if for the future.  She then saw her passion in the education areas and was voted by the citizens of Forsyth County to lead the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Board, where she is currently serves.  Most importantly, she is a mother of a high school senior and a wife to David.

Chairman Dana Jones can be reached at: - she's open to any and all questions or comments.

While only a couple minutes these clips provide some good information.

Watch to see what has 100% graduation rates!

What is school of choice and why does it matter?

What is on the horizon that parents need to pay attention to?

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Urban Agricultural-Is it for you?

When we think of the "city-life", we do not normally think about growing food or having an edible landscape or housing farm animals.  However, many people like to grow their own food.  It's healthy,  can be relaxing, helps save money, promotes a stronger eco-system, promotes sustainability and if you do so with kids, it helps to educate.  You are seeing more and more small chicken coops in and around the area as well and that leads to questions about government regulations.  

Every now and then we get questions about "urban farming" and live agriculture.  Therefore, we thought we'd put this together as information for how to get started and what sort of government requirements in Winston-Salem there may or may not be.  Here is a great tool from the City of Winston-Salem that discusses urban agriculture and what requirements there may be, particularly as it relates to live animals.

We hope that you do make an effort to try your hand at urban-farming if you live in the city or at least grow a tomato plant.  (there's nothing like German Johnson tomato sandwich on white bread with salt, pepper and mayo in the summer!) While we are heading into winter, there is soil to prep so there is always something to do.   Go out there and get started today - you'll be glad you did!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The State of the Triad Region...

Today, the Piedmont Triad Partnership, our regional economic development organization and the Triad Business Journal held the State of the Region address at Elon University and to celebrate a few of the Triad's "Power Players".  This event an overview of the local economy, where we currently are as a region and the cities that make up the region, such as Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Kernersville, High Point and others.  It was a good report, but like anything else, there is always work to do. Ted Abernathy with Economic Leadership and a friend, gave a great economic report.

A few key takeaways for us include the following:

  • the region is poised for growth, particularly manufacturing such as aerospac
  • strong infrastructure such as highway connectivity, railroads, airport & an inland port
  • strong leadership - what are called "tribal leaders"
  • local economic development organizations that are working together
  • NC's housing prices and the Triad's as a whole are outpacing the national average
  • Jobs, wages and GDP are leaders in the nation

The key takeaway for the next number of years and will directly impact our ability to compete, grow and sustain will be our workforce and talent supply.  Places like High Point Andrews have put in place efforts like the Aviation Academy which directly helps trains students for work with great Triad companies, like HAECO - which operates globally.  The NC Chamber is also leading an effort statewide called NC Certified Work Ready Communities which basically tells manufacturers that your region is open for business with a well-trained workforce.

We commend the Piedmont Triad Partnership and the Triad Business Journal for their program today.  It was well worth the time and we would encourage you to go to others.  We've added some pics below for your review.  Happy to discuss in more detail!

From 16% to 36% in four years....!

We live in an ever-changing world.  Technology is changing everyday.  Heck, by the time we get used to one device or piece of technology it is already obsolete.  

Our homes are also becoming autonomous.  In this article, "The Future of Homes: from Smart to Autonomous", the author tells us that "the end of 2017, it’s estimated that only 16.3% of Americans will live in a smart home, though this percentage will increase to 35.6% by 2021."  I suspect the percentage will only increase as the years go by.

I'd be interested in your feedback.  Take a look at this infographic and give me your you want to live in a fully autonomous home?  Do you have smart devices in your current home?  Where do you see things heading?

Thanks for your support.  Hope to talk soon!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Think Brooke will get clearance?

Story People by Brian Andreas

I just love StoryPeople by Brian Andreas.  Every time I see his work, it brings a smile to my face so I thought I'd share a blog he did about anxiousness.  It is easy to become anxious during the real estate process...there is a lot going on and a lot that you probably feel burdened with I'm sure.  But take comfort that there are expert professionals out there to help you and will help mitigate the anxiousness and maximize the excitement!

I thought this piece by him helps put things into perspective just a little...No Reason to be Anxious...

Thanks - enjoy the day and the real estate process!

Monday, October 23, 2017

College and Real Estate...How to Tackle the Tough Questions...

If you are like us, you are thinking about college and those next steps in your kids' life.  What also comes to mind is how to pay for it.  There are many different strategies to pay for college and different people do it in different ways.  The following is a good summary about how to tackle the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and what to do as it relates to you real estate.  As a caveat, it would be a good idea before embarking upon any of these suggestions to simply speak with a tax expert as it relates to your personal situation.

"Getting ready to fill out the dreaded Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)? It's the form that strikes fear in parents of college students and college students-to-be who have been cautioned about the tedious process involved, and the disappointing results. And while there is a ton of advice out there about how to properly prepare, what you need, and what to expect, there's another layer of concern for homeowners and homebuyers: How does the FAFSA affect you if you're in the market, already own a home, have investment property, or are thinking about refinancing?..." The FAFSA And Real Estate: When To Buy And Refi To Get The Most Aid For College

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

What is one of the largest economic events in NC each year?

The High Point Market is in high gear this week.  This is one of the largest economic events in North Carolina each year and has been for a number of years.

In 2013, Duke University conducted an economic study on the furniture market...from the report, the authors said:

"Overall, this report indicates that the High Point Market has a significant economic and fiscal impact on the 30 county study region of North Carolina and south central Virginia. Overall, the Market generates over $5.39 billion in total economic output across all types of activities modeled here, including visitor spending, direct HPMA budget, vendor spending, sales of furnishings and rental income. The Market supports a total of 37,616 jobs across all the industry sectors stimulated. Of the total of 21,461 direct jobs created by Market related activities, the largest share accrues to manufacturing and related sectors (i.e. distribution, accessories). These are jobs supported due to sales of furniture and related accessories that can be directly tied to transactions made at the Market."
To celebrate the furniture market, we ran across this article...Tips for Decorating Rooms That Are Long and Narrow - it has some good ideas that we get questions regularly about.

Here is some more information concerning the High Point Furniture Market - it is an impressive event twice per year.

We get a lot of questions about interior design..happy to share with you folks we know who are really good at it if you have interest.