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Our real estate market is heating up both because of improvements in the economy and because it’s spring.  Spring has traditionally been when those who are considering a move get fired up and start the looking process, or if they have to sell first, the fix up and list process. We may soon see something close to a seller’s market.  Not yet, but the inventory is going down.  I was working with a couple moving from Maine last week, and we’d come up with a short list of about 18 homes to look at over two days.  Before we could get them set up, 3 of those homes went under contract!

The improved market doesn’t mean that you can ignore the condition and style of a home that you want to sell.  Many buyers are still rather particular about wanting a house in move-in condition.  Unless they are looking for the absolute cheapest square footage out there, they don’t want to have all aggravation of moving in and then add the aggravation of making updates to the home.Paint Swatches

That said, I ran across a very nice little video on Yahoo today that shows 6 low cost ways to improve the impression your home will make on prospective buyers.  Even if you don’t plan to sell anytime soon, these are relatively inexpensive improvements that you can enjoy while your living there, and will save you time if you decide to sell within the next few years.

You can see the video HERE.

Statesville and Mooresville are known by many things.  One of them is that they are classified as a “Micropolitan” area by the U. S. Census Bureau.  That classification has become one that we hear about often in these parts.  That’s because the Statesville-Mooresville micropolitan area has been named Top Micropolitan Area in 2012 for the 9th time out of the last 11 years in corporate facility projects by Site Selection Magazine!  What does that mean? It means that companies who want to grow find our area a great place to do that.  It means that our employment opportunities and tax base are growing.  It means that the quality of life in our area is attractive to companies looking for a good place to move.  Site Selection Magazine is a publication read by economic development professionals and corporate move specialists who are constantly on the lookout for great places in the country to do business and put down roots.  Success often begets success, so don’t expect this trend to stop.  I think most of us agree that Iredell County and the Lake Norman area is a great place to live and work, and this continuing honor confirms that.

Check out more details of this great news HERE at Site Selection MagazineHere’s another article on this subject at the Mooresville Tribune.

The Mooresville Graded School System has for many years enjoyed a reputation as an excellent school system. That positive reputation has been a great contributor to the quality of life of a multitude of Mooresville families and has also been a factor in bringing people and businesses from all of the country to settle here. Recently, the Mooresville Graded School System received a new distinction. A couple of weeks ago, the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) named Mooresville Schools’ Superintendent, Mark Edwards, the 2013 National Superintendent of the Year. Yep, I said National Superintendent of the Year!  Mark has been here since 2007, and as soon as he arrived, he made it know that he was going to do things differently.  That goal has matured into a systemwide adoption of digital (computer based) tools to enhance the educational process.  It has been so successful in the academic results for our students that our system has become prominent nationally and internationally for this advancement.  The system is visited regularly by representatives from all over the world to find out what and how this was done. Read a detailed article about the award and the accomplishments which helped win it HERE in the Mooresville Tribune.

Remarkably, Mooresville Schools’ neighbor, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, last year hired the 2012 National Superintendent of the Year, Heath Morrison.  At the time, Dr. Morrison was Superintendent in Washoe County School District in northern Nevada.  Hopefully, he’ll be successful in bringing his skills to Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools.  See a link HERE about this from the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza.

As a Realtor, I can tell you that the reputation of local schools is very often a high priority with families and businesses who want to move here.  Communities either grow or die.  They rarely manage to stay healthy by just maintaining the status quo.  The quality of Mooresville’s schools is certainly one of the reasons that we continue to see good things happen in Iredell County and the Lake Norman area.

The founder of Merino’s Home Furnishings was recently given the Mooresville-South Iredell Chamber of Commerce’s Willis Barnette Entrepreneurial Award.  Michael Bay, a native of Turkey, started the business in the middle of 2011 in the old Burlington Industries complex in Mooresville.  The business was successful from the start and has been a great asset to the town.  The sprawling complex had been vacant since the late 1990′s, so Mr. Bay’s idea to use it as a home furnishings retail business was very welcome by the town.  Prior to Mr. Bay’s coming on the scene, there had been several attempts to re-purpose the complex for a variety of uses, but none had ever been fully developed.  Given the fact that the complex faces the south end of Mooresville’s Main Street, it was hard to ignore.  Mr. Bay came along at a time when most people thought starting a new business would be most difficult, but he saw the opportunity and made a success of it.  It’s no wonder that the local business community has rewarded Mr. Bay for his efforts.  The business helped solve a huge problem for downtown Mooresville, and gave us another worthwhile source of quality home furnishings.

Since the opening of Merino’s, my bride and I have made several purchases there, and I’ve recommended it to my clients moving to the area.  They report that they’ve also found good value in purchases there.

For a little more history on Michael Bay and Merino’s, click HERE for a link to an earlier article in the Charlotte Business Journal.

The Charlotte Observer’s Mooresville News section recently reported on a TV series named “Today in America” which came to Mooresville, NC last year to prepare a segment on our little town.  Football great, Terry Bradshaw, narrated the segment which highlights many of the reasons why Mooresville has become so popular with businesses and individuals choosing to move here.  I work with many people relocating to our area to work with many of the national businesses which have headquarters in the area.  It’s always a pleasure to introduce them to our area when they are looking for a home.  They always find that we compare very favorably to other areas, and they seem genuinely excited to be moving here.

If you’d like to see the segment, click on this link: http://www.ci.mooresville.nc.us/portal/node/880

Ginger Dowdle

Each year, Realtor Magazine presents the annual Good Neighbor Award to five recipients around the country.  These awards are to honor outstanding community service provided by local Realtors.  We Iredell County citizens can be especially proud this year because one of the five awards was presented to Ginger Dowdle of Dixie Land Inc. and Sunrise Realty of Statesville.  Ginger and her husband have been caring for numerous foster children in their home, and in 2007 they created The Shepherd’s Watch Ministries which provides a summer camp for area children that provides them an opportunity to learn about nature, farm animals and team building.  The camp is located on the Dowdles’ 60 acre ranch.  The ministry offers scholarships and free tuition to foster children and kids from low-income families.  What a great way to provide a positive experience to dozens of children each year.

Read the Realtor Magazine article including an inspiring video at the link HERE about Ginger and The Shepherd’s Watch Ministries.  If you want to help support this ministry, you can conveniently do that at the link HERE.

We know that there have been far too few jobs available over the last several years.  That sad fact was an indicator of a slowed economy.  Well, if you’re searching for an indicator of an improved economy, take note that the South Iredell Community Development Corporation is making plans to create a third industrial park in the Mooresville, NC area.  The two business parks that have been here for a while, Mooresville Business Park and South Iredell Industrial Park are full, and we need new space because of the recruiting success of our economic development folks.Industry Graphic  We’ve known for many years that Iredell County and the Mooresville/Statesville area have provided a strong base for economic development.  As I reported earlier in the year HERE, Site Selection Magazine which serves the economic development community, named the combined two towns as number one in the nation for 2011 among “micropolitan cities” in terms of business expansion and new business additions.  The towns have won this distinction in 8 out of the last 10 years!

Apart from helping to keep our local workforce employed, it’s important to keep a focus on growing businesses and industry which provide a stronger tax base than pure residential properties.  That helps spread the property tax load for all of us.

For more details on the new industrial park, check out the link HERE from The Charlotte Observer’s Lake Norman News which reported on the new park on November 11.

So perk up!  Things are looking more positive for the future.  Housing sales are even showing more positive numbers!  More on that later.

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