Posts Tagged ‘Iredell County’

One of the local groups which I support and work with is the Iredell Concert Association.  ica-logoThis group has been bringing a wide range of live musical performances to Iredell County for 40 years.  Each season, we arrange 5 performances beginning in the fall and ending the season in the spring.  For $40, you can have a season ticket for these performances plus attend performances put on by several other cooperating area concert associations.  Altogether, that $40 ticket admits you to around 20 performances- quite a deal!  This coming Sunday, November 30 at 3:00 pm, the ICA hosts The Wandering Minstrels, a mixed quartet who will be singing Christmas songs in the Old English street singer fashion.ministrelsbiltmore1The performance will be at Western Avenue Baptist Church in Statesville.   It will no doubt be lots of fun and help you get into the Christmas season.  If you don’t have a season ticket, never fear!  Tickets can be purchased at the door for $20, and you can buy a season ticket for the remaining performances, also.  For more information, go to the Iredell Concert Association website at Iredellconcerts.com.

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I’m working with a couple who are interested in buying a home in Mooresville.  Part of the process of working with clients is talking about what, if anything, they’ve done toward getting qualified for a mortage.  This couple had done all the right things including contacting a lender and getting pre-qualified.  Turns out, their lender had suggested a USDA loan, and that is what we are aiming for.  These loans are in many aspects, more attractive than FHA loans.  The trick is to buy in an area that will meet the qualifications of these loans.  USDA is US Department of Agriculture, so you might think that this is only for farm property. usda_logo But that’s not the case.  Actually, most of Iredell County qualifies, except for Statesville.  Large parts of Lincoln, Catawba, and Rowan Counties also qualifiy. The qualifier is for communities under 20,000 population, and the maps are re-drawn every 5 years.  So, it is likely in my opinion that Mooresville will lose this loan option the next time around.  Right now, you can go to the USDA Rural Development website to see if an area or address qualifies.  Here is a flyer they’ve put out that shows some of the benefits of this program including no downpayment and no mortgage insurance.  Now, I’m sure that they won’t do this unless you show solid ability to re-pay the mortgage, but that’s what we all want, right?

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From the Greater Statesville Chamber of Commerce:

Dr. Terry K. Holliday, Superintendent of Iredell-Statesville Schools, was named the 2009 A. Craig PhillipsNorth Carolina Superintendent of the Year at an awards presentation and reception held Tuesday, Nov. 11 at the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center in Greensboro. The award was given jointly by the North Carolina Association of School Administrators (NCASA) and the North Carolina School Boards Association (NCSBA). TE21, Inc. sponsored the event and provided a $5,000 award to the winner.

Since 2002, Dr. Holliday has been superintendent of Iredell-Statesville Schools, a district that serves over 20,000 students in grades PreK-12. Prior to coming to Iredell-Statesville Schools, Dr. Holliday served as superintendent of Transylvania County Schools in Brevard, N.C.

A native of Belton, S.C., Dr. Holliday holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Furman University, and Masters and Educational Specialist degrees from Winthrop University. He earned his Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of South Carolina.

During his tenure as superintendent, Dr. Holliday has led the district to great gains in student achievement; Iredell-Statesville schools consistently measure in the top ten in North Carolina in student performance despite being one of the lowest funded districts in per pupil expenditures in the state. Dr. Holliday has also made an impact on education at the state level with his work on reforming the N.C. accountability program while serving on the Blue Ribbon Commission on Testing and Accountability.

A statement written by Iredell-Statesville Schools Board of Education Chair Dr. David W. Cash says this about Holliday, “He truly believes and his daily leadership shows that our school system’s significant accomplishments have been achieved largely through multiple collaborative relationships in this community based on trust earned by improved accountability, transparency, and communication skills. Dr. Holliday’s dedicated and untiring efforts have definitely made an enduring difference in this community.”

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A new recycling program seems to be receiving good support from Mooresville residents. This is a pilot project that covers only a small portion of the city and will run for a year before they decide whether or not to continue it. However, you don’t have to wait until then to participate in the worthy effort of recycling. Did you know that there is something called a “Transfer Station” just off of River Highway (Hwy 150) west of US 21? I went there on the way to work today to drop off my recyclable items, and I do that every two or three weeks. Century 21 Hecht offices also recycle lots of waste at the transfer station and at other locations. Any Iredell County resident can do the same. That’s why you get a windshield sticker in your property tax bill each year. The sticker gives you free access to drop off most types of recyclable items whenever you want without having to stop by the attendant’s window. They take newspaper, magazines, phone books, aluminum cans, steel cans, clear and brown glass, plastic bottles, cardboard, and motor oil, plus many more items.

It just makes good sense to recycle these things. I think we’ve figured out that the throw-away culture that we got used to in the last half of the twentieth century was really pretty short-sighted. That stuff’s gotta go somewhere, and no one wants it near them. Plus, we’ve come to realize how much more energy it takes to make new stuff versus recycling old stuff, and we know that energy is no longer cheap, regardless of the source. And this is not just for waste. If you want to rid yourself of still useful items, don’t forget Mooresville Christian Mission, Goodwill, Yokefellow and others who will be happy to put your discarded items to good use. A more direct way to give away (or receive) recycled items is to check out Statesville Freecycle.  Just don’t throw them away!

By the way, Statesville has citywide recycling plus a recycling site at the Twin Oaks facility, and Troutman and Harmony both have recycling centers available. For more information see the Iredell County Solid Waste/Recycling web site. If you are a resident of another county, check their web site for information on recycling. See Charlotte/Mecklenburg, Lincoln County, Catawba County, and others. If your county doesn’t address this important issue, call up a commissioner and ask them why.

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When I’m out in the community talking to people who know that I’m a real estate professional, they all eventually get around to asking about the real estate market.  It usually goes like this, “How’s the market?  Nothing’s happening, is it?”  At that point, I patiently explain that the market is not DEAD.  It is just slower than it has been, but still moving along.  Then they say, “Still, I guess it’s hard to get a loan from what I’ve heard in the news.”  That’s when I tell them that no, if you have a steady job and decent credit scores, then the lenders are falling all over themselves trying to get you to borrow from them.  Basically, what we’re looking at is an abnormal market behind us which was inflated in volume due to too easy credit, and we’re moving back to a market supported by buyers who are likely to have the financial means to maintain their mortgages.  I do think it will pick up when the economy improves, mainly because the uncertainty that so many people are facing right now will be reduced.

Now, to illustrate that the market is not dead, here are some stats from our local market for the last two weeks- Oct. 24 to Nov. 7 from our Multiple Listing Service:

Iredell County (Area 12) Single Family Under Contract: # of properties- 48

Iredell County (Area 12) Single Family Sold:                  # of properties- 47

Lake Norman (Area 13) Single Family Under Contract:  # of properties- 28

Lake Norman (Area 13) Single Family Sold:                   # of properties- 25

N. Mecklenburg (Areas 1&9) Single Family Under Contract: # of properties- 119

N. Mecklenburg (Areas 1&9) Single Family Sold:                  # of properties- 103

Our real estate market is like Mark Twain’s quote, “The rumors of my death are highly exaggerated.”

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I was out with clients today showing homes around Mooresville, and they commented on how wonderful the weather was today- Carolina blue skies and 70’s temps.  The family originally came from Pennsylvania, so they really appreciate such wonderful weather in early November.  That is one of several reasons we have so many transplants coming to the Lake Norman area.

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A recent article in the Statesville Record & Landmark told of the Statesville City Council’s initial approval of annexing and rezoning land for a plan to build a new regional mall just south of exit 45 between Statesville and Troutman.  The developer, Christopher Bitterlin, is a gentleman from San Diego, CA whose son is going to Davidson College near here.  Mr. Bitterlin toured the area as part of his placing his son at Davidson and really was impressed with our local communities and with the economic potential of the Iredell County area.  So, he formed a group of investors, including local folks, to buy property and start the process of designing and building this mall.  I know there are local people investing because I met one recently at a meeting of the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association Board of Directors (I’m one of them).  Don Harrow is Executive Director of the Piedmont Public Policy Institute, and when this proposed mall was mentioned, he said he is an investor (small world!).  Their immediate goal is to close on 50 acres in January and open the first phase sometime in 2011.  They will market this as a regional mall that will draw from a large area much like Concord Mills but on an upscale focus rather than outlets.  I have heard rumors that it may have Mall of America-like entertainment as a drawing card.  This project will be just south of the in-progress mixed use development, Larkin, that covers almost 1,000 acres with groundbreaking planned for early 2009.  Mr. Bitterlin considers Larkin to be complimentary of his project with a different but supportive approach.  Larkin got Statesville City Council appoval for a phase one sketch plan in August of this year.  In the face of all of our economic uncertainty, it is nice to see that there are those who feel we have the strength and circumstances to offer successful investment opportunities down the road.  More to come!

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Singer-songwriter-pianist-comedian Dale Gonyea performed on Sunday and Monday for the Iredell Concert Association.  Sunday was for the community at the auditorium at Mooresville High, and Monday was for enthusiastic Brawley Middle School students.  Dale’s style is to interweave excellent piano playing with fun chatter about his life, his background and a very hefty portion of local details incorporated into his humor.  This he does in a funny and engaging way.  The Sunday crowd seemed to really enjoy his songs made up of names of local communities- how would you sing about Eufola?  On Monday morning, Dale had the Brawley Middle students if not in the palm of his hand, at least under reasonable control.  Many of his jokes and comments were directed toward encouraging their appreciation of music and learning to play musical instruments for the sheer self-satisfaction.  I think they “got it.”

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I work with the Iredell Concert Association to bring live music to local venues.  This association has been doing this for the last 40 years.  Our next concert  is tomorrow, Sunday, October 26 at 3:00 PM at Roland R. Morgan Auditorium at Mooresville High School.  Dale Gonyea will be performing.  Dale is an Emmy winner and Grammy nominee.  His performance combines his skills as a pianist, songwriter, and comedian.  One of the things I’ve done with the ICA is to create a blog to help publicize the association and concerts.   So, for more information about tomorrow’s concert and future concerts, go to this link for Iredell Concerts and read more.

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My wife, Susan, and I went to the County Commissioner Candidate forum at Barium Springs last night.  I’d mentioned this last Tuesday.  This was not a debate, but rather an opportunity for the candidates to make opening and closing statements and each answer 10 questions provided by people who wrote in to the Greater Statesville Chamber and the Mooresville-South Iredell Chamber, both of whom were sponsors.  This turned out to be a useful approach to getting to know the candidates.  Five of six candidates were able to attend.  By the end of the evening, each candidate had had a chance to really demonstrate their approach to county government.  Iredell has always been conservatively managed with relatively low taxes.  Many of the questions had to do with how to keep the tax rate low in the face of reductions in tax revenue because of the business downturn and challenges to keeping up services given the growth being experienced by the county.  We’ve got some good people running, two of them incumbents.  M-I Connection recorded the forum and will be running it, and the Statesville and Mooresville newspapers covered it.  Here is the Mooresville Tribune’s article.

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