Charlotte Real Estate
Alisa Bellamy, ABR, CRS, CDPE
Alisa Bellamy, ABR, CRS, CDPE
(704) 9686845 Up Close & Personal
Clear Out the Clutter: A Simple Road to Happiness It doesn’t take long for closets to become cluttered, but sooner or later even the most dedicated packrat must make room for new belongings. Stop procrastinating and instead schedule time to tackle storage sheds, the garage and closets. Not only will you feel better, but by planning ahead you can help others out during these tough economic times. Free Up Space: Decluttering is the fastest way to free up space without adding cost or upkeep. In fact, less stuff means less cleaning. If you haven’t used items within the past year, then it’s time to toss them. Exceptions include family heirlooms, collections and other keepsakes. Possession Perspective: Save time and money by keeping a healthy perspective on your possessions. Many people are surprised by the sense of newfound freedom achieved by keeping a healthy attitude about belongings. Allow them to complement not compete with your life. Not only will you spend less by breaking the shopping habit, but it’s often easier to organize and enjoy the things you keep without the headache and hassle associated with cluttered closets.
The Charlotte Market Sales Reporting 12/6/091/5/10: New Contracts:
1466; up 14.1%
1527; up 13.1%
Average Sales Price:
Avg. Days on Market:
Total Listings Closed:
Total Listings on Market : 21,727 Months of Inventory:
(The time it will take for all inventory to sell based on the current number of homes selling each month.)
CharlotteGastoniaConcord Mortgage Delinquencies (Oct. 2009)
90+ Delinquency Rate
It’s a Strange Old World: Bizarre News You May Have Missed Train fans got in trouble with police his home and landed on the couch.
after building a ramshackle locomotive out of garden furniture and salvaged train parts and then running it on an actual track. Police used a helicopter to block the line and stop the train, which even had a refreshments car – in the shape of a crate of beer. A man was given the shock of his life while watching football on TV. A deer crashed through the window of
GuiltFree Living: Sometimes it’s difficult to let go, but it’s healthier to look ahead to the future than live in the past. Learn to let go without the guilt by donating unneeded items to charity. Not only does it provide you with a fresh
The doe was last seen fleeing into nearby woods. A fashion crime was committed when thieves stole $550,000 worth of dresses belonging to former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham. Police said the heist at London’s Heathrow Airport must have been wellplanned.
(Oct. 2008) 90+ Delinquency Rate
Special Buyer Programs FHA Mortgages 3.5% Min Down Payment; Max Loan Amount $303,750 HUD 100 $100 Down Payment using an FHA mortgage to buy a HUD Home. Fannie Mae Buyers receive up to 3.5% for closing costs or Appliances.
Nearing Retirement? Don’t Neglect Long-Term Care More than half the nation’s population will spend time in a longterm care facility at some point in their lives, research shows. Unfortunately, very few people carry longterm care insurance. Longterm care insurance is perhaps a necessity for the nearly one in five Americans nearing retirement age. To find out if you’d benefit from purchasing longterm care insurance, consider the following: 1. Do you or an immediate family member have a family history of Alzheimer’s disease, stroke or other condition that might make it difficult or even impossible to remain at home? 2. Can you financially afford an average of $50,000 or more for the annual cost
Quick Quiz Each month I’ll give you a new question. Just email me for the answer. A riddle for you this month: I am at the beginning of everything, and the end of time. What am I?
Requesting All 2010 Referrals! I succeed when people like you refer me to your friends, neighbors and loved ones. It’s the best kind of feedback I can receive. So thanks for continuing to pass this newsletter on to people you care about.
of caring for a loved one in a longterm care facility? Experts expect the annual cost of care to rise faster than the rate of inflation and rapidly approach the $75,000 per year limit. By 2030, the average cost is expected to reach $300,000 per year far beyond the reach of most retirees. 3. Can your children or family members afford the time and cost of providing in home care, including skilled services for special needs? If not, longterm care insurance provides the protection you need to avoid becoming a financial burden on your loved ones. Remember, nearly one of every five workers will become disabled before retirement age, and more than 50% of people over the age of 65 experience some form of debilitating disease or illness that impedes their ability to perform normal
W ords-W orth: Your Monthly Dictionary Dose Evanescent Pronunciation: /evuhNESint/ adj: passing very quickly; transitory, ephemeral “The evanescent nature of time has plagued philosophers from time immemorial.” Adventitious Pronunciation: /advenTISHus/ adj: without an inherent connection; accidental “It was an adventitious meeting of minds that led to the discovery of the new element.” Meretricious Pronunciation: /mereTRISHus/ adj: showy or gaudy “Although attractive from a distance, her jewels were overwhelming and meretricious up close.”
New Friend Spotlight Meeting & helping new people is my treasure chest. Here is just one such story.
Tunisia emailed me one day to get my opinion of a real estate contract that she was currently in that was making her very uncomfortable. She explained how the builder’s lender had delayed her closing a few times and how the delays had impacted her both personally & financially. Over the course of a few weeks, we exchanged emails about her situation and it was clear that she was very frustrated and needed guidance. Ultimately, she decided to terminate her contract with the builder. Her hope was that a new start would result in a great house at a payment that suited her lifestyle. We finally met face toface and started her mortgage and home search. Within a month’s time, we found her a great new home, with more space, a larger lot, a better location and a local city grant to help with her mortgage! She was delighted! The builder offered her incentives and an even better deal that proves that good things come to those who wait and who don’t give up! Congratulations Tunisia for trusting your instincts…you did a GREAT job & it was my pleasure to be of assistance! Can You Think Of 1 Person Who Needs My Help? Call Me with Their Name & Number so that I can Be of Assistance! Thank You!
Recipe: Valentine’s Raspberry Heart Cake Ingredients Yellow cake mix (such as Pillsbury or Betty Crocker) 1 cup raspberry jam 2 tbsp. water 2 pkg. fresh raspberries 1 oz white chocolate Directions Bake cake according to instructions on packet. Completely cool. Use heartshaped cookie cutters to cut out hearts, and then split each heart horizontally into two layers of equal thickness. Boil raspberry jam with water until slightly thickened, and brush onto hearts. Stack one cake layer on top of another and arrange raspberries on top layer. Brush raspberries with jam. Sudoku instructions: Complete the 9x9 grid so that each row, each column and each of the nine 3x3 boxes contains the digits 1 through 9. Contact me for the solution!
Drizzle melted white chocolate over raspberries in a pretty pattern.
How to Find the Best Mortgage for You You would think that finding a home The reasons for this are twofold. convoluted. Even with the best of Today loan these days would be easy with all intentions, the required disclosures the bailout money going to the banks. Not so. But you can still get a good loan if you go about it in a smart way. Before you take the leap, though, there are a few things you should think about. The first question that you might want to ask yourself is how long you intend to occupy the property. Fixed or adjustable? If you’re reasonably sure that you are going to be there for the short term, an adjustablerate mortgage might be something worth looking into. If you are unsure, consider going with a fixedrate mortgage.
First, you protect yourself against rate increases that an adjustablerate mortgage would have.
Second, if you do wind up staying and want to refinance into a fixedrate loan, chances are that the rate will be higher than it is now in early 2010. Rates have been at record lows for a long period of time. When the economy turns around, and it eventually will, both fixed and adjustable rates will increase. Comparing mortgages Mortgage disclosure laws for brokers and banks alike continue to get more Page 3
make it almost impossible for consumers to compare apples to apples. You should take the time to talk to different lenders, see what they have to offer, and don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions. It’s also important to understand what’s best for you in the long term. If you’re planning to stay in the property for an extended period of time, say, 20 years or more, ask how getting a lower rate would benefit you, even if you have to pay more in fees to get it. A savings of even $30 per month
3 Ways to Protect Yourself Online The sophisticated techniques being adopted by cons and scam artists have made it increasingly difficult to protect yourself against the criminally fraudulent process of online phishing. However, the following guidelines can help mitigate the risks: 1. Install a Complete Software Protection Suite: Don’t depend just on antivirus programs. Today’s malicious software is more prolific than ever. Instead, arm your computer with a complete protection suite that includes site verification, firewall and virus scan. 2. Identity Alert: Avoid doing business with unknown entities and never give out personal information unless you know the site is safe. Don’t use links provided in email. Instead, type in the direct link before signing in and never respond to unsolicited inquiries about banking or other sensitive data. 3. Secure Sites: Insist upon encryption when supplying sensitive data online. Look for a little yellow lock to indicate a secure site, and then verify the signature. Better yet, use software to validate the site and avoid any URLs that elicit an error message or warning.
February Birthdays Feb 1: Clark Gable
Feb 16: LeVar Burton and Sonny Bono
Feb 2: Christie Brinkley and Farrah Fawcett
Feb 17: Michael Jordan
Feb 3: Joey Bishop
Feb 18: Yoko Ono and John Travolta
Feb 5: Hank Arron
Feb 19: Smokey Robinson
Feb 6: Natalie Cole, Ronald Reagan, and Babe Ruth
Feb 20: Ansel Adams
Feb 7: Garth Brooks and Charles Dickens
Feb 22: Sparky Anderson
Feb 8: James Dean and Lana Turner
Feb 23: Michael Dell and Peter Fonda
Feb 10: Jimmy Durante
Feb 25: George Harrison
Feb 11: Burt Reynolds and Eva Gabor
Feb 26: Johnny Cash
Feb 14: Hugh Downs and Jack Benny
Feb 27: Elizabeth Taylor and John Steinbeck
www.ThinkCharlotteHomes.com Alisa Bellamy, ABR, CRS, CDPE ● (704) 968-6845 RE/MAX Metro Realty ● 7300 Carmel Executive Park Drive, Ste. 200 ● Charlotte, NC 28226
Newsletter for First Time Home Buyers