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Archive for the ‘Iredell County’ Category

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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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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I have some buyer clients coming to the Lake Norman area this weekend.  They’ve already visited once and become somewhat familiar with our market, our communities, and some of our neighborhoods.  In planning the next trip, they asked about a property in one of the neighborhoods in which they have an interest.  According to the property’s statistics, it’s been on the market a LONG time.  They asked me to look into it to see if I can figure out why.  That I did, using our MLS history and tax records.  After scanning all of the info, it became somewhat clear why the house has not yet sold, at least as far as can be told without a conversation with the sellers.

MLS Average Price per Square Foot
Click to Enlarge

The house was bought brand new in 2006 for a bit under $310,000.  For some reason, the sellers put it on the market around a year later for almost $350,000.  Why would anyone try to sell so soon, and for such a substantial increase over what they paid?  That information we can’t know, but it would be a good guess to say that the sellers had a change in circumstances that forced them to put the property on the market.  At that time the market was about 6 months before hitting the pricing peak (see graph), so it was understandable that the sellers could be optimistic about getting more than they paid, but that was a big jump for one year.  As we know, in early 2008, the housing market, along with the general economy, started to decline.  Nobody knew how far things would drop, but the direction was definitely down.  The problem with moving markets, particularly down ones, is that to price things right, one has to guess where the price will be in the coming months and adjust accordingly.  The sellers stood pat for quite awhile, then eventually made a small reduction, and rode that for a long time.  The property didn’t sell.  They took it off the market for an extended time, and then re-entered the market with a $50,000 reduction.  Following this, they further reduced it to $260,000 where it is now.  That price is now somewhat competitive with the neighborhood comps. So, they started at $350,000, and now it’s at $260,000.  From what I can see of the property on the MLS, it looks to be a very nice house with some good upgrades, so there’s no apparent issue with the condition or location.  Quite often, this scenario ends up as a short sale and possibly eventually a foreclosure.  Whatever caused the sellers to price the way they did when they started out, obviously, it was a plan that was doomed to failure.The lesson here is that when you are pricing a house using a Realtor, demand that the Realtor be brutally honest about the pricing, with an eye toward the direction of the local market.  Don’t adopt the “I’m not going to give it away” attitude if you really want to sell.  If you price the property too high, you won’t be giving it away because you won’t be selling it.  Your Realtor will do just as an appraiser will do- check out recent sales of comparable properties, and take a look at the local competition.  You’ve got to look at your property the way a buyer will see it along with all the other available properties.  When a buyer is ready to negotiate, they’ll have their Realtor provide local recent sales for comparison because no one wants to pay more for a property than others have recently paid.  Recent sellers establish “market value.”  Also, if you’re getting a mortgage, the lender will have their appraiser do the same thing to establish local market value.  The buyer may agree to too high a price, but their lender won’t- no mortgage, no sale!  In this case, the high price will have just wasted more time on the market.

Always remember that one way or the other, time is money, whether it be in carrying two mortgages, or just paying interest and taxes on a property too long.   The sooner you sell, the better.  So, the more reasonably priced the property relative to the current and future market, the faster your property will sell.

We’re starting to finally see some price appreciation in our local market, so hopefully this situation won’t happen as often.  Nevertheless, sellers still must price their properties within a range that will appeal to buyers in the market.

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When this year’s Emmys were awarded, the series Homeland on Showtime was a big winner of multiple categories, six in fact.  My bride was so impressed with that, I decided to spring for the Showtime premium channels so that we could watch the series.  Last year while driving around downtown Mooresville on occasion I saw film crews in various locations, and I’d heard it was for a Showtime series.  After getting set up to see it, we started watching previous episodes which are available on demand.  We were hooked and now caught up with the current season.  One of the really fun parts is to see our little town of Mooresville used to portray story events in Gettysburg, PA.  We’ve seen multiple familiar views in a number of the episodes.  Several significant scenes were shot in the John Franklin clothing store and JJ Wasabi’s restaurant in addition to shots of the characters driving or walking in the downtown area.  They also used a downtown building to be a bus station in Beaumont, TX.  My neighbor told me that last year he was driving on Linwood Road and was startled to see a sign that read “Welcome to Pennsylvania!”  He found out down the road that the area was the location for some additional Homeland scenes.

Homeland is also shooting a variety of scenes in the Charlotte area.  Last week, one of the series stars, Mandy Patinkin, was interviewed on the Charlotte Talks radio show on WFAE and commented on how much he enjoys living in Charlotte during show production.

Call us easily amused, but it is pretty neat, I think, for our pretty little town to be selected for use in the series.  They wanted a small town that was recognizable as a traditional American town- don’t know what downtown Gettysburg looks like, but Mooresville looks pretty good in the series, as long as you don’t mind the EVIL things that were supposed to happen here!

If you’re not watching Homeland, I’d recommend it.

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