Raleigh, North Carolina, is One of the Best Cities to Buy Real Estate

Have you been pondering buying a home or investing in real estate? Like most people you might be putting off buying real estate because you are leery of the economy, waiting for the stimulus package or heard some negative press.

Well, now is a good time to buy, and the Raleigh area housing market is doing well.

Raleigh, NC, is listed as the 6th healthiest housing market in the US for 2009 according to a recent article in Builder Magazine. This comes as no surprise. The Raleigh-Durham area consistently ranks in the top 10 best US cities to live and is a popular choice for relocating families.

According to the article in Builder Magazine, they analyzed the top 75 housing markets in the country. The article looked at population trends, job growth, home prices and number of building permits to determine the top markets. The article noted what the healthiest housing markets have in common, including close proximity to the ocean, mountains or major universities and no significant increase in the price of homes. The Raleigh area has all these attractive qualities plus the four seasons, a comfortable climate, affordable cost of living, Research Triangle Park (RTP) and more.

The US Census Bureau announced the Raleigh-Cary area as one of the fastest growing metro areas between 2007 and 2008. From July 2007 to July 2008 there was a 4.8 percent increase in population in the Raleigh metro area and most of these people have yet to purchase homes. Additionally, Forbes recently ranked Raleigh as the number one city in the US for job growth.

The Triangle housing market is more stable and steady than the rest of the country. Homes here have not depreciated. According to the Triangle Area Residential Realty (TARR) Report, homes in the Triangle are appreciating between 2 and 4 percent. US homes on average are depreciating at 8.2 percent.

Plenty of homes are selling at their top value in a short time period. For example, a recent search for single family North Raleigh homes on the MLS in the $ 275K to $ 325K range yielded only 73 homes on the market with a median of 54 days on the market. That does not qualify as an oversupply in our marketplace. That is also an indicator of why most of our market areas have appreciated in the past 12 months, not depreciated as most of the nation has.

However, if you are patient, you can find a deal, not a steal. A majority of what is on the market now has been on the market for a while mainly because the initial asking price was too high. These are starting to drop in price.

Interest rates are the lowest they've been in 37 years. If you wait, thinking that you might get a lower price on a home, you may lose in the long run if the rates go up. Whatever, if any, savings in the sales price you may possibly gain would be outweighed by the higher interest rate compounded over a 30 year loan.

When the market starts turning to a sellers market, it will happen quickly. Listings that are properly priced and are in top condition will sell immediately when they hit the market.

Now is a good time to start shopping for a home. Talk with a real estate agent about available listings in the Raleigh area. Contact your mortgage broker to take advantage of the low rates.

NC DWI Laws and Administrative Codes

Here are various laws and codes relating to North Carolina Driving While Impaired (DWI) Law:

NCGS 20-138.1 is the Impaired Driving statute that makes it a crime to "drive" (which means, operates) any vehicle upon any highway, any street, or any public vehicular area within North Carolina:

While under the influence of an impairing substance; or (appreciable impairment by alcohol or any other substance)

After having consumed sufficient alcohol that he has, at any relevant time after the driving, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more. The results of a chemical analysis shall be deemed sufficient evidence to prove a person's alcohol concentration; or With any amount of a Schedule I controlled substance, as listed in GS 90-89, or its metabolites in his blood or urine. (opiates, whether prescribed or not)

NCGS 20-138.2 is the Commercial Driving Impaired Driving statute. Instead of a.08, it merely requires a showing of.04 Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) while operating a commercial vehicle.

NCGS 20-138.3 is the Provisional Impaired Driving Statute for people under the age of 21 at the time of the offense. A person may be charged with both a standard DWI and a Provisional DWI. Odor is insufficient unless the driver was provided the opportunity to blow into a machine and failed to do so. North Carolina has a zero-tolerance rule, which means that any amount of alcohol can result in a Driving After Consuming conviction.

NCGS 20-138.4 effectively makes it difficult, if not impossible, to have a DWI charge reduced in most places in North Carolina. That's because this provision requires the prosecutor who reduces the charge to make a comprehensive report to his boss – the elected District Attorney – the court system in the court shuck and to the Administrative Office of the Courts.

NCGS 20-179 governs sentencing under 20-138.1, 20-138.2 or a second or subsequent conviction under 20-138.2A or 20-138.2B (North Carolina's zero tolerance rules for Bus or Commercial Vehicle Operation). As described elsewhere in on this site, this section sets out the Aggravating, Grossly Aggravating, and Mitigating factors that can be used in sentencing, as well as the six levels of punishment, and the various fees, fines, and jail times that can be imposed.

NCGS 20-139.1 establishes the procedures by which a chemical analysis may be taken under North Carolina's implied consent laws. An implied consent chemical analysis requires, among other things, that the person be informed of his or her rights (and be provided with a written list of rights, and be allowed a waiting period prior to the breath or blood analysis. types of analysis – breath and blood, although there is a provision for urine analysis that I've never seen used. The section also deals with the admissibility of the results (or refusal to take the test) at trial, and provides time limits for the defense to object after having been provided notice at prior to trial.

NCGS 20-16.2 is usually read along with NCGS 20-139.1 to establish North Carolina's implied consent provisions. This section deals with the driver's obligation to produce a sample in the event of an implied consent criminal charge, the person's rights to a Refusal Hearing if the officer has deemed the person to have refused and the limited right to a hearing in Superior Court if the DMV Refusal Hearing Officer decides against the driver and revokes his or her license for one-year for refusing to submit a sample.

NCGS 20-19 is a general statute granting the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to suspend or revoke licenses, including for implied consent offenses and including for refusal to submit to a breathalyzer or chemical analysis at the time of an implied consent offense. In addition, this section instructs the DMV to place restrictions on the license once it is restored so that the person may not have.04 or more BAC for a period of time after having his driving privileges restored following a DWI conviction.

NCGS 20-141.4 creates a felony (Felony Death by Vehicle) in cases where the person unintentionally cases the death of another person, while engaging in impaired driving, and where the DWI was a proximate cause of the death. The section also creates additional felonies where serious injury results from a DWI offense.

NCGS 20-138.5 creates a felony where the person has been convicted of three or more impaired driving offenses (DWIs) in the preceding 10 years of the date of the current offense.

NCGS 20-17.6 governs how DMV will restore a license after a conviction for driving while impaired (DWI) or driving while less than 21 years old after consuming drugs or alcohol. Essentially, the Division of Motor Vehicles must receive a certificate of completion for alcohol treatment.

NCGS 20-17.8 governs the imposition of an Interlock Device (where the BAC was a.15 or higher) and the restoration of driving privileges after a DWI with an Interlock Device.

NCGS 20-16.3 permits an officer to request a Preliminary or Portable Breath Test (PBT) prior to arrest, but after the car has been stopped and there are reasonable grounds to believe that the driver has consumed alcohol. If the driver refuses to submit to this handheld breath test, the driver's refusal may be used against him in court (although his license will not be suspended for refusal to submit to the PBT).

NCGS 20-28.2 and NCGS 20-28.3 allow the State to confiscate a person's vehicle (through a civil forfeiture process) where the driver had previously been convicted of a DWI and had his license suspended or where the person was driving on a suspended / revoked or without a license and had no insurance at the time of the DWI even if it was the first DWI. This section describes the process for forfeiture, as well as defenses available to "innocent owners" who may be people who also have a property interest in the vehicle (such as a parent, or spouse) and were unaware of the fact that driver was in violation of the law.

NCGS 20-16.3A permits North Carolina police agencies to establish roadblocks pursuant to "a written policy that provides guidelines for the pattern, which need not be in writing" (whatever the heck that means!).

NCGS 20-28.9 grants the Department of Public Instruction the authority to tow, store, and sell vehicles seized as part of a DWI offense.

NCGS 20-16.5 creates a Civil Revocation in the event of an implied consent offense where the person's BAC was high enough, or where the person refused. The Civil Revocation is usually 30 days, although may be longer. This section also establishes the guidelines by which someone can request Limited Driving Privileges during the Civil Revocation period.

NCGS 20-23.2 says that North Carolina will recognize the conviction of a DWI or impaired driving offense in a federal court the same as if the offense had resulted in a conviction in a State court.

NCGS 20-179.3 permits Limited Driving Privileges in certain DWI cases, either with an interlock device (if the BAC was a.15 or higher) or without and for certain purposes only.

NCGS 20-17.3 revokes a person's license for purchasing or attempting to purchase alcohol beverages for underage persons.

NCGS 20-36 places a ten year limit on how long the DMV may consider prior convictions or implied-consent refusals (except in cases involving holders of commercial vehicle licenses).

NCGS 122C? 142.1 establishes the requirements for Substance Abuse Assessment agencies, including the requirements for various levels of treatment. For instance, if a person has no prior DWIs, did not blow a.15 or above, and does not have a substance abuse disability, the treatment facility must impose ADETS, the lowest level of treatment.

10A NCAC 41B are regulations established by the Department of Health and Human Services in North Carolina regarding the proper maintenance of the Intox EC / IR II (and other intoximeters devices) as well as the screening devices (PBTs) used by officers on the roadside.

NCGS 17C-10 requires that all "criminal justice officers" (Law Enforcement Officers) abide by certain basic law enforcement training (BLET) in order to be certified as law enforcement officers in North Carolina. The BLET is issued by the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education And Training Standards Commission, and includes within it the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests as established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Sometimes judges in North Carolina will say that NHTSA is not the law. That's only partially true. Since the BLET adopts the SFSTs from NHTSA in their virtual entirety, NHTSA's SFSTs are effectively the law in North Carolina.

NCGS 15A-534.2 is a pre-trial release statute that permits a magistrate to order a defendant held if he is too impaired to be released, and there is no sober person available to release him to.

Reforms to NC Criminal Law

For the first time in about 100 years, the Republicans control the state legislature in Raleigh. Usually Republicans are regarded as "tougher" on crime than Democrats, and so it somewhat surprising that over the past 100 years North Carolina has developed a criminal justice system that is largely – though not entirely – difficult for criminal defendants.

Now that the Republicans are in control, some people had worried that the climate toward criminal defendants would be even more hostile. But some signs of reform are emerging from the General Assembly.

First, in 1994, North Carolina adopted structured sentencing which eliminated parole. Structured sentencing limits the way in which a judge can depart downward from a presumptive sentence, meaning that it favors harsh punishments.

As a result, while crime rates have fallen in North Carolina over the past decade, the number of people incarcerated in North Carolina's jails and prisons has increased by 23 percent. The vast majority of the increase is the result of harsher punishments for non-violent drug crimes – drug possession, drug sales, maintaining a dwelling where controlled substances are used or sold, and so forth.

But now with a massive budget deficit looming, the Republican-controlled General Assembly is looking to lessen punishments for non-violent crimes and change certain felonies into misdemeanors.

This is the right approach. Violent felonies should be punished harshly. But non-violent crimes – where there is no victim and where there is merely the sale or possession of a drug – are costing North Carolinians billions of dollars in extra spending while achieving little in terms of safety.

Second, the General Assembly is considering introducing post-release supervision. While I don't particularly favor creating new punishments after release, if someone has otherwise behaved properly in prison, and can be released early and placed on a supervision program, it can dramatically decrease costs and increase safety.

NC Cash 5 Lottery Tips – Learn How to Win Today

Don’t assume that you’re never going to win in the Cash 5 lottery. By applying effective strategies and tips into your game plan, you can actually win the jackpot without having to waste thousands of dollars on lotto pay slips. There are different kinds of lottery games, and this article is going to talk about the most effective NC cash 5 lottery tips for lotto players residing in North Carolina.

The rules of the Cash 5 lottery are simple: buy a lottery ticket and pick 5 numbers to bet on. If one or two of the numbers you picked become the winning numbers, then you win the prizes corresponding to them. The more numbers chosen, the higher your chances are for winning the lottery. If there aren’t any winners at all for the day, then the grand jackpot prize increases making it even more exciting those who are playing. Normally you would have to pick numbers within the range of 1-30, but this varies depending on what state you are playing in. North Carolina, for instance, focuses more on the cash 5 lottery games so definitely you have to play by the rules and focus your strategy more on this type of lottery instead of the usual pick 3 or big time lottery games.

There are NC cash 5 lottery tips online that will give you some ideas and even hone your own strategy on how to increase your chances of winning. Though they may or may not work for you, it is important that you get these ideas from NC cash 5 lottery players who have already experienced winning the big prize through careful planning and strategizing whenever they play. Here are some NC cash 5 lottery tips that can boost your chances of winning:

-Always remember that even in the Cash 5 lottery, the numbers are drawn randomly, so one way of choosing particular winning numbers is to use the potential of probabilities. For example, choosing a good mix of odd and even numbers using probability is a good strategy to use. You can choose at least 3 even numbers and 2 odd numbers, or the other way around. This way, your chances of getting a winning set of lotto numbers is high as compared to only picking odd or even numbers.

-Avoid using arithmetic sequences when picking out the lotto numbers. A lot of NC cash 5 lottery tips will tell you that this isn’t going to improve your chances at winning simply because the numbers are drawn randomly and cannot be predicted as such. So if you really want to win in this game, avoid picking numbers that come in sequences like 3, 6, 9, 12, etc.

-Believe it or not, the sum of the chosen 5 numbers in your lotto ticket can also be a basis for the winning combination. According to some of the NC cash 5 lottery tips, numbers that add up to a range of 75 – 125 have a good chance at winning since normally 60-70% of the lottery winning numbers add up to a number within that range.

Florida Play 4 & Georgia Cash 4 – North and South Carolina Pick 4 Winning Tickets

The Southeastern States of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina have a lot of beautiful attractions, not only for the visitors, but also for their own residents to enjoy. Some of the great attractions of these States for their residents are the Florida Play 4, Georgia Cash 4, North Carolina Pick 4 and South Carolina Pick 4 lottery games. Even visitors and vacationers can make their visits more enjoyable and memorable by playing and winning any of these Pick 4 Lottery Games during their stay.

Three of these State’s Lotteries offer two drawings per day. The first drawing is referred to as “Day” drawing. This drawing takes place during the local midday hours: 1:30pm in Florida, 12:29pm in Georgia, and 12:59pm in South Carolina. North Carolina does not have a Pick 4 Midday drawing.

The second drawing is referred to as “Evening” drawing. The Evening drawing takes place at 7:57pm in Florida, 10:59pm on Sunday, Monday, & Thursday and 11:34pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, & Saturday in Georgia; 11:22pm in North Carolina, and 6:59pm in South Carolina.

A simple visit to a local grocery store, gas station, or other lottery retailers provides visitors and residents alike the opportunity to make a $1.00 investment on their favorite 4-digits in hopes of becoming $5,000 richer with a Winning Pick 4 Ticket for the matching Straight (Exact) order of their four digits.

One of the best ways to choose a daily Pick 4 Winning Number is to use a proven verifiable Pick 4 Winning Strategy. A Quick Pick has a 1 in 10,000 chance of being a winner; it’s like finding a needle in a haystack. To be successful like most professionals Pick 4 players need to have a plan and use a strategy. This way they increase their chances to win…and win big!

With a knowledgeable and proven winning strategy players lower the odds in their favor and narrow their number choices to play. With a small, low risk dollar investment of $5, $10, or $20 a Winning Pick 4 Straight Ticket will give players a huge return on their investment in the amounts of $25,000, $50,000, and $100,000.

The Pick 4 player needs to visit the lottery retailer before the drawings close, usually 15 to 30 minutes to the actual time of the lottery drawing. The drawings are usually televised on a local TV Station in each state. Excited Cash 4, Play 4, & Pick 4 Lottery players can actually watch their Winning Numbers be drawn as each digit – one by one – matches the four digits players have on their ticket which they hold in their hand.

In Florida, players can watch the Winning Play 4 drawing and results on the following television stations: Jacksonville WJXX & WTLV, Miami/Fort Lauderdale WPLG, Orlando/Daytona Beach/Melbourne WKMG, Tallahassee WTXL, Tampa/St. Petersburg WTSP, Pensacola WJTC, Sarasota WWSB, West Palm Beach WPBF, and some local TELEMUNDO TV Stations throughout the State.

Winning the Play 4 Florida Lottery – whether being a resident or visitor – is something one will never forget, and help make dreams come true!

In Georgia the Cash 4 results and drawings can be viewed on these following local TV Stations: Atlanta WSB Channel 2, Augusta WJBF Channel 6, Macon WMAZ Channel 13, Savannah WSAV Channel 3, Columbus WRBL Channel 3, and Toccoa WNEG Channel 32.

In North Carolina the Winning Carolina Pick 4 drawing and results (only evening lottery results) are announced on the following television Stations throughout the State: Raleigh WRAL Channel 5, Greensville/New Bern/Washington WITN Channel 7, Wilmington WILM Channel 10, Charlotte WCNC Channel 36, Winston-Salem/Greensboro/High Point WXLV Channel 45, and Asheville WYCW Channel 62.

The South Carolina Educational Lottery does not televise their midday drawings. The South Carolina Pick 4 Evening Results and drawing are available for viewing on: Hilton Head WHHI-TV Channel 3, Florence/Myrtle Beach WFXB Channel 43, Columbia WLTX Channel 19, Greenville/Spartanburg WHNS Channel 21, Charleston WCBD Channel 2, Aiken/Augusta WRDW Channel 12, and Rock Hill/Charlotte WMYT Channel 12.

Whether you are a resident of the southeastern part of the United States or just a visitor, take the journey, appreciate all the beauty and opportunity that is set before you in the States of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Enjoy the beauty, have fun, relax, and become rich by playing and cashing FL Play 4, GA Cash 4, NC & SC Pick 4 Winning Lottery Tickets.

Zoning 101 – Understanding Buncombe County Zoning and Real Estate in Asheville, North Carolina

Zoning can be a confusing issue regardless of where you own real estate, whether it's a large city like Charlotte (NC), a small city like Asheville (NC) or a rural area like Buncombe County Western North Carolina. Zoning is a tool used to designate individual areas of land for specific purposes. When used correctly zoning can help fast developing cities and counties create a smart growth plan. This is one of the reasons Buncombe County commissioners are implementing new zoning in the metropolitan region surrounding Asheville, North Carolina.

The new zoning, adopted in May of 2007, impacts property owners throughout Buncombe County, as well as future homebuyers, sellers and real estate investors. A clear understanding of the zoning ordinances and restrictions is essential if you are going own real estate. It affects the value of your home and the choices you can make when selling or building on your property. This applies to residential real estate as well as commercial property owners.

Zoning Rules for Real Estate in Asheville, NC: The Importance of Community Accountability

In a video entitled "Will Zoning Affect You?" on the Buncombe County web site, (http://www.buncombecounty.org/governing/depts/Planning/landUse.htm), Assistant County Manager Jon Creighton explains the county's motivation for implementing new zoning in the spring of 2007 and describes the proposed zoning changes. He also confirms that concerns about the increasing number of county residents, real estate developers and homes being built on the tops and sides of mountains have compelled Buncombe County and city of Asheville officials to make zoning a priority.

Creighton begins by defining an Open Use zoning designation. Open Use, or OU, is zoning usually found in rural areas. Land considered available for Open Use means property can be purchased and sold for a wide variety of residential and commercial purposes with the exception of certain restricted uses. The uses restricted on Open Use land include incinerators, concrete plants, landfills, asphalt plants, chip mills, mining operations and motor sports facilities.

According to Creighton these types of businesses have a large impact on the community, as a whole, so any real estate investor or property owner interested in these ventures must present a project proposal at a public hearing. This allows other property and homeowners in the Asheville area to hold Western North Carolina business and real estate developers accountable for the impact they have on existing neighborhoods and residents.

How Does Zoning Affect Buyers and Sellers of Mountain Homes and Land Near Asheville, North Carolina?

The comprehensive zoning throughout Buncombe County and Asheville, NC also changed in 2007. Comprehensive zoning differs from Open Use because it separates residential and commercial areas into designations like R-1 and R-2 residential districts, employment districts, and neighborhood and commercial service districts . Buncombe County and Asheville homebuyers and sellers can find their property's zoning designation using the county's online GIS system. The system can be found at (http://www.buncombecounty.org/governing/depts/Planning/landUse.htm).

Property owners and real estate investors interested in changing the zoning designation of specific land can approach the Buncombe County Commissioners and Board of Adjustment. Public hearings are required if an Application for Variances or Conditional Use Permits or an Application to Amend the Buncombe County Zoning Ordinance Text or Maps are submitted. In order to obtain a building permit for any zoning district other than Open Use real estate investors and property owners must file for Certificate of Zoning Compliance. The cost associated with these applications varies.

Size Does Count! Downtown Zoning in Question on Merrimon Avenue

The most recent zoning debate taking place in Buncombe County is actually happening in downtown Asheville, NC. In an article written by Mark Barrett in the January 15, 2008 issue of the Asheville Citizen Times the Asheville City Council will explore two major zoning matters in 2008. First, the developers of the Horizons Project, which would erect nine buildings including two 10- story towers, have asked to postpone a public hearing until July in order to evaluate neighborhood opposition and economic conditions.

Barrett also writes that the Asheville City "council is scheduled to hear from city staff on zoning proposals for the 2.4-mile stretch of Merrimon between Interstate 240 and North Asheville Library near Beaver Lake." "The city had considered creating a new zoning district for much of the property along the street that would encourage taller buildings closer to the street," Barrett continues, "but several property owners and some residents objected."

As Buncombe County moves forward into the future growth is inevitable, but the real effects zoning will have on real estate in Asheville, North Carolina is yet to be seen. Local homebuyers and sellers can achieve more real estate success the more they educate themselves about zoning restrictions and changes. To learn more about zoning or buying and selling real estate in Asheville, NC visit http://www.MarkGJackson.com .

Don't Move By Yourself, Hire Movers In Fayetteville

Fayetteville in Cumberland County, South Eastern North Carolina, is a famous town, well recognized for the US Army installation called Fort Bragg. This County seat holds the 6th largest position in the State of North Carolina and has a recorded population of about 2.05 lakhs. A visitor stays in the town must include a tour of America's history stored in the must-watch landmark, "Airborne and Special operations museum".

Nature lovers can wallow in the beauty of the Daffodils and camellias spread out in the Botanical Garden in Cape Fear. There is so much more to see, just head to Fayetteville, North Carolina for a stay! Is a smooth move possible alone or should you hire professionals for the job?

1) People are very busy and always on the run. A constant time demanding job, attending to the needs of the family, performing daily chores and so many more necessary tasks, can pull the morale down excessively. The thought of going to a new place that is not familiar is also scary and stressful. Plan your relocation carefully and make it easy by hiring the specialist movers in Fayetteville, NC.

2) It's a tough and agonizing task to pack your whole family's stuff. It takes up loads of time, needs a lot of effort and demands extra planning to complete the task in a smooth manner. You are going to shift to a new home in a new town. The transfer is definitely emotionally and physically taxing so leave the packing worries to the expert movers in Fayetteville, NC.

3) You need to start segregating your precious memories and belongings one by one to carry them safely. Each item has to be assessed and delicate ones need extra care. Can you fathom how much sweat, struggle, and energy is required in all this? Get a certified packer and mover to do the tasks for you.

4) The move may require loads of packing and supplies and the stuff may have to be stored securely for a long or short while depending on the needs of the customers. You need state of the art and safe facilities, till the transfer is complete and unpacking done.

5) Delicate and fragile stuff needs special care and this can be done properly only by trained diligent and dependable staff. Experienced moving teams pack and unpack the material by assessing its properties. The packed belongings are picked from source and unloaded at the destination.

6) Packers and movers work around your schedule and provide a time for pick-up and delivery so that they do not disturb your daily routine.

7) The products are covered tightly with dirt proof covers so that no dust settles on them. This is a great option for carved furniture items. Dirt particles cling to the small carved areas and settle there refusing to budge. The best way to protect these delicate items is to shield them tightly with water and dust proof coverings.

What Real Estate Investors Should Know About Local Customs

As a commercial real estate investor, there is a good chance that you will invest in a property located in another state in which local customs may be very different from where you live. Knowing some of these customs may help you avoid mistakes that may cost you money. While people say when you are in Rome, do what Romans do. However, there is often disagreement about whether the seller or buyer is in Rome. This article discusses some of the common customs that you should know. It may or may not explain why these customs are what they are which could be a very long story.

Independent Consideration

You often see this independent monetary consideration in contracts in Texas (TX), Georgia (GA), and North Carolina (NC) but not in California (CA) where love and affection are acceptable consideration. Listing brokers in these states often insist that you pay the seller $1000-$5000 as independent consideration for the right to cancel the contract during the typical 30-day due diligence period. As an out-of-state investor, you have to pay for air fare, hotel, food, and car rental to visit the property as part of your due diligence. So if you decide that the location is not as good as it appears from satellite map or whatever reasons, it does not make sense to pay another $1000-5000 to cancel the contract. While the law in these states requires an independent monetary consideration, it does say what that amount must be. So you should pick a big number between $1 to $10 to make the contract legal!

Nonrefundable Earnest Deposit

In CA, there is no such thing as nonrefundable deposit per a CA court ruling. Most if not all real estate contracts in all states have a paragraph addressing damages due to contract breaching by either party. This is often sufficient. However, some listing brokers and sellers outside of CA often insist that all the earnest deposit “going hard”, i.e. becoming non-refundable and released to the seller, after the expiration of due diligence period. While the purpose is to make sure you think twice about breaching, it could be difficult to get any of earnest deposit back if

  • You, for unforeseeable position, e.g. hit by a truck or have a heart attack and go to heaven or wherever, cannot close the transaction.
  • The property is partially damaged, or even burned down by arson.
  • The seller spends it all and your loan is not approved due to soil contamination discovered later on!

You are in a bad position to negotiate with nothing to offer when the money is in possession of the seller. It is therefore advisable to keep the deposit in escrow until closing. However, sometimes you have to make a tough choice, especially when there are multiple offers so you can buy a desirable property.

Property Taxes

In CA, the property is automatically reassessed at the purchased price. The property tax rate is about 1.25% of the purchased price. Due to the Proposition 13, property taxes can only increase by a small percentage annually unless there is change in ownership.

In TX, the property tax rate is about 3% of the assessed or taxable value. However, the taxable value may or may not be the purchased price which is often higher. If the higher purchased price is reported to the county then you will pay property taxes based on the higher purchased price. So it’s a good idea not to report this higher purchased price since it is not required. Lately in TX, the local government tries to raise revenue by aggressively reassess the property values. The new assessed value could be significantly higher than, e.g. 100% the old assessed value. Should this happen to your property, you may want to hire a professional company to protest this property taxes increase even on a property with NNN leases. The success rate appears to be fairly high. As an investor, it’s wise and prudent to keep the NNN expenses as low as possible for your tenants. You definitely want your golden goose to keep laying eggs.

In Florida, there is a monthly state sales tax for commercial properties, so make sure you know who is supposed to pay it. In Illinois, the property taxes rate is fairly steep at about 5%. The property tax rate for NC is about 1.45% of the taxable value which is not changed after the sale.

Attorney States

In CA, an escrow company can handle the closing of a real estate transaction. In GA, FL, or NC, escrow companies can only hold the deposit for you and you must hire an attorney licensed in that state to do the closing. These states are often called “attorney states”. The proponents say that a real estate transaction is very complex so it must have an attorney to assist you. For opponents, it’s all about job security for lawyers. If you invest in a property in an attorney state, you want to hire an attorney who charges a flat fee since the amount of work is very much predictable. You will receive an estimate based on what you need the attorney to do. He or she won’t start working until you authorize him or her in writing to do it. The attorney will review all the documents and give the blessing before you sign them. It is advisable to avoid an attorney who charges you by the hours. Most likely you are dealing with a lawyer looking for a big pay day.

In CA, the buyer automatically receives the Preliminary Title report which shows the owner and various information, e.g. liens and loan amount on the property. If you cancel the transaction, you normally don’t pay escrow any fees. In attorney states, the attorney will do the title search and review. The title company then issues a title commitment to insure against any title defects. Should you cancel the transaction, the attorney and Escrow Company may charge a fee for the work done.

Closing Costs

When you make an offer, you often state that buyer and seller split closing costs based on the custom in the county where the property is located. In CA or TX, the sellers customarily pay for owner’s title insurance premium based on the purchased price which guarantees the buyer of a clear title (technically you should not have to buy owner’s title insurance when you refinance the property because the title was already insured when you bought the property.) The buyer pays for the lender’s policy premium based on the loan amount. This lender’s policy is required by the lender to protect it against losses resulting from claims made by others against the property. Of course, if you pay cash for the property then there is no lender’s policy. However in GA, it’s customary for the buyer to pay for both owner’s and lender’s policy. So make sure you have sufficient fund to close the transaction.

Deeding Instrument

In CA, the sellers often transfer his interest to the buyers by a grant deed. In other states, the seller will transfer his interest to the buyer by a general or special warranty deed.

  • General warranty deed is used to convey the seller’s interest in real property to the buyer. The seller certifies that the title on property being conveyed is free and clear of defects, liens, and encumbrances. The buyer may sue the seller for the damages caused by the defective title.
  • Special warranty deed is also used to convey an interest in real estate. However, the grantor does not warrant against the defects arising from conditions that existed before he/she owned the property. So the special warranty deed is not as good as the general warrant deed. However, most sellers will use this deed for obvious reasons.

Bentwinds Golf Course Community Review – Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina

The Bentwinds Community is one of two golf course neighborhoods in Fuquay-Varina. Bentwinds residents enjoy the privacy afforded by the large lots with mature trees. A variety of home styles are represented in Bentwinds, appealing to every taste. Construction began in 1978 with homes built as recently as 2007. Home sizes range from 2600 to 5500 square feet with prices starting in the mid $400,000’s to over $900,000.

Bentwinds residents truly embrace the concept of community as shown on the friendly and conscious neighborhood blog. Here a group of active residents highlight the activities and accomplishments of the community while addressing any concerns. The Bentwinds Clubhouse features a full service restaurant and bar and can accommodate banquets, weddings and parties of all kinds. The neighborhood pool offers a relaxing place for the entire family to swim or cheer on the Bentwinds Swim Team. In addition to walking trails, Bentwinds offers tennis facilities equipped with 4 hard courts, a backboard and lights. The club also offers a summer golf, swim and tennis camp for kids. This neighborhood offers the perfect place to relax and enjoy a private, leisurely lifestyle.

Built between1978-2007 homesites are available today for around $115,000 for? acre

The Bentwinds Location Bentwinds is located off of Sunset Lake Road in Fuquay-Varina, NC. This ideal location offers a short drive to Holly Springs and Cary. Fuquay-Varina is a small-town community with charm and a neighborly atmosphere. Fuquay-Varina boasts two separate downtown areas featuring specialty shops including The Chocolate Bean coffee shop, Toytown Hobby Shop, and Carolina Bead Company as well as professional services, restaurants, a library and a book store. Additionally, grocery stores, banks, a hardware store, and a department store can be found on Main Street in Fuquay-Varina. The Parks and Recreation Department offers thirteen park sites with seventeen athletic fields, a gym and a community center offering fitness, educational and recreational programs. The Fuquay-Varina Athletic Association offers many opportunities for adult athletic leagues as well as exceptional youth sports programs. Annual community sponsored events include an Independence Day Celebration with live music and fireworks, a Holiday Parade and an annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. Fuquay-Varina is a 30 minute drive from Cary or downtown Raleigh and is accessible to the areas universities and entertainment. Fuquay-Varina’s convenient distance from larger local cities offers the amenities of city life, but allows residents to enjoy larger lots and often reduced housing costs. While this close-knit community stays true to its small town atmosphere, it is one of the fastest growing towns in Wake County and has a promising future.

Bentwinds Golf Course offers the golf lover a great place to golf as well as a wonderful community in which to live.

In Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, Hurricane Shutters Are An Essential, Not a Luxury

Cape Hatteras is on the coast of North Carolina, and is one of the most dangerous areas to sail in the world. It's part of the Outer Banks, and the dangerous waters and many storms that strike the area are the reason it's so unsafe to sail there. So many ships have been lost off Cape Hatteras that the area is known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic. It's also notorious for being frequently struck by hurricanes that move up the east coast.

One of the worst happened in 2003, when Hurricane Isabel ravaged Hatteras island, and actually created a new inlet. The inlet already there was washed out, and Hurricane Isabel tore a new one. It took two months for the new inlet to be filled with sand, and for life on the island to return to normal. Roads, electrical lines, and water pipes were all impacted, and residents had to wait for the original inlet to be repaired before they could fix any of these.

Because Cape Hatteras is so vulnerable to storms, if you live there permanently or have a vacation home in the area, hurricane shutters are a must. Because the area is hit by tropical storms so frequently, not having them on your home is a mistake. Hurricane shutters protect your home in a variety of ways – they protect you from high winds, from pressure changes during a hurricane that can actually rip your home apart, and from missile impact.

Much of the damage to your home during storms occur when windows or doors break and the driving rain and wind is allowed free rein. Hurricane shutters are tested to prevent this, and they are easy to secure quickly when a storm is coming. When storms are imminent, permanent hurricane shutters can be closed in a matter of minutes, and this is important in an area where storms hit so frequently.

There are many types of shutters to choose from. Some of the most popular:

Rolling shutters – Convenient, motorized shutters that close at the touch of a button. They also have a manual option so that you can open or close them in case of power outages.

Accordion shutters – Shutters that open accordion style, and fold up unobtrusively beside the sides of the windows when not in use.

Colonial shutters – Southern-style shutters that are in two parts; they come together and secure in the middle. Very popular in the south, and very attractive.

Bahama shutters – Shutters with an island flair, popular in Florida and other tropical and sub-tropical areas. They're louvered and fasten at the top of the window, allowing them to be cranked out for shade when not in use.

No matter what kind of shutter that you decide on, if you live on Cape Hatteras, they are an essential requirement for your home. The area is vulnerable to the many hurricanes and tropical storms each year. Protect your home and your family, and install hurricane shutters today.