Friday, December 21, 2012

5 Great Home Apps for the Holidays

Image from Blue Matter

At some point over the next week or so you’ll probably be spending some more time at home than usual, and it’s quite possible that your home will be a little bit more crowded than normal too.
Schedules get a bit hectic and it’s nice to have some helpful resources at your disposal to keep your time at home enjoyable and your entertaining on track. We thought we’d see if we can help your home management over the holidays become a bit simpler with some simple but pretty awesome apps.
Read the whole article

Thursday, November 29, 2012

It's Out! The 2012 Coldwell Banker Home Listing Report

Author: David Siroty of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC

Play with our Home Value Estimator tool & get local real estate market data

How did this happen? It’s a question I often ask myself. I am a lucky guy. I look back often at how far I’ve come in life and am amazed at how things have turned out. I’ve got a great wife, two amazing boys (and a dog), a job I enjoy and a home we love.

I’ve come a long way from my first $200 a month apartment in Providence, RI, that was home to a menagerie of insects that the landlord couldn’t get rid of. After that, it was a return to mom and dad’s for a while, then back to renting with roommates until meeting my wife. We bought our home in 1997 and recently completed an addition, so now it’s four bedrooms and 2 baths. It’s modest, but at the same time, it’s a dream house, an aspiration that I never thought I would achieve.

Even though we are not planning to move and quite frankly hope we never have to, I routinely wonder what my house would cost in other places. Since I travel some for work, I am lucky to see different parts of the country and always enjoy learning how our 4 bed/2 bath home would compare in cost around the nation. In preparing for today’s launch of the Coldwell Banker Home Listing Report, I recently visited Los Altos, CA, the most expensive market in the nation where such a home might cost more than $1.7 million. The findings of the HLR made me feel pretty good! A house like ours in Westfield, NJ, would be a steal at $ $726,974.

Read more on Coldwell Banker Blue Matter...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Change Your Windows 7 Control Panel to Classic View

It’s not uncommon for someone to miss the classic view of the control panel… the new look has everything sorted into a few categories so that what you’re after may take a couple of layers to find.

For example, let’s assume that I’m looking for the power settings on my laptop. When I open the Control Panel I initially see this:


With no direct reference to power settings, so it’s time to guess. It’s under System and Security but if you tried any other category you’d have to go back to the main screen and try again.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Moving Right Along into Fall 2012

Helen Nagy, Director of Relocation
Relocating? Click here
The last big holiday of summer has come and gone, the kids are back in school and the weather has cooled down a bit.  We are moving right along into my favorite time of year, fall. Now that the temperatures are more conducive to walking outside, I'd like to share one of my favorite places in the Triad to enjoy our new season and get some exercise.  Before I do, let me tell you about a new "gadget" that has made me more conscious of every step I take.

I was lucky enough to be the recipient this summer of something called the Nike Fuel Band.  One of my sons received it as a give-away at a company sponsored event.  He was nice enough to pass it along to me in hopes that it would help keep me motivated to be as active as possible during the day. Sitting in an office all day talking to people who are being "moved" hardly burns an adequate amount of calories!

On the outside, the Nike Fuel Band looks like a simple black bracelet; but on the inside is where the magic resides.  As you press a button on the top of the band, it reveals different readings. One is for the current time, just like a watch. As you keep pressing the button, other displays show up for calories burned and steps taken like a pedometer.

Most importantly, something called a digital fuel count is revealed.  The user sets his or her own fuel goal and tries to gradually increase that goal as results are achieved.  The best feature to me is that it resets itself automatically each day so that you don't have to worry about remembering to do that.  There is also a Nike Fuel App for your phone so that you can sync it at the end of each day and see your activity results over the past days, weeks and months. Do you have any tools or new tech gadgets that help you achieve your desired goals or results?  Fall is a great time to begin our goal planning for 2013.
Want more info on this activity monitor?
Go to

One of the nicest spots that I have found for all us to "get moving" is the Triad Park in Colfax/Kernersville at 9652 E. Mountain Street.

The 426 acre park is maintained by a great crew who are friendly and helpful. There are many picnic shelters with grills, lots of places for kids to play and endless quiet spots if you just want to enjoy the beautiful trees or read a book. Ride a bike?  There are lots of good hills and trails for you too.

 If you have not visited Triad Park yet, plan a few hours soon and enjoy what it has to offer. The colors will be spectacular as the trees begin to change for fall.  And some exciting news for all Triad residents; it will soon be the home of the Carolina Field of Honor.  I will give  you the details about that in my next blog and how you can get involved in honoring your special military veteran.

Back at work, we will also be getting our minds "fit" with training this fall for relocation agents.  Our CBTR Relocation Essentials class will be held on October 3rd at the High Point office from 9-12.  This is for new agents and seasoned agents who want to learn more about relocation business.  I will be receiving our new Cartus Certified Agent training modules shortly for  2013-2014 and all relocation team agents will need to be re-certified by the end of this year.  When this is completed, it will be time to relax and enjoy the holidays.  And, if you really want to challenge yourself to get moving in 2013, you could ask Santa for a Nike Fuel Band! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Is the Housing Market Improving?

Contact Sandra Fincher
I’m Sandra Fincher, a Sales Associate with Coldwell Banker Triad, Realtors.  For the past 7 years I’ve worked primarily in the Coldwell Banker Greensboro office, but also spend a fair amount of time in the High Point and Kernersville branch offices.  For me, Real Estate is a second career.  I graduated from NC State with a degree in Chemical Engineering and worked for Procter and Gamble in a wide range of Technical and Management assignments for more than 25 years.  About 8 years ago I made a “failed attempt” at retirement and soon discovered my new passion…helping folks with the home buying and selling process. 

I find a lot of skills from my first career have served me well in Real Estate, including problem solving, managing details, creating systems, use of technology, negotiating, etc.  And I suppose the “math loving geek” in me results in my interest in analyzing Real Estate trends.  I develop graphs by using MLS searches and entering the data into a custom excel spreadsheet.  When used in a Listing presentation I find this trend data can help sellers in setting realistic list prices and realistic expectations regarding time on market.  It can also help buyers understand that the value “lost” on their current home may be recovered on the buying side.
Included are a couple of charts looking at trends in the Guilford County Single Family homes market.  This data varies quite a bit across the Triad but serves as a sample of the information available. 

Click the image for larger view

My key observations from these graphs include:

-          We have turned the corner on average sale price  J

-          Time on market is declining but is still almost 4 months on average

-          Average sales price YTD is about 87% of the price at the peak of the market

-          Buyers are negotiating big discounts from list price (95% of list price on average)
I’d like to hear from some of you.  First, how have you found skills from past careers or work experience have helped you in Real Estate?  Second, what type of data would you like to see in my next post?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Using Gmail Filters to Categorize Emails

Filters are an amazing way to take control of your incoming mails in Gmail. With filters, you can sort mail into different folders as and when they arrive. This sorting is done automatically, and creating a filter is just a one-time process.

Before we go ahead with the sorting, it is extremely important to formulate a strategy for dividing mails into categories.

Let us consider a scenario: I am an active social media user and blogger – I read newsletters, and I am subscribed to deals for my city. Therefore, my probable labels are Social Media, Blog comments, Newsletters and Deals.

Now that you have decided on your label names, it is time to create them.

I am using the new look on Gmail, which has the feature of creating filters without going to the settings page at all.

Step 1: Select some of the mails you want to filter into one label and select “Filter messages like these” from the drop-down menu.


Friday, August 24, 2012

What's the Difference? History. Experience. Global.

What's Behind The Blue Door? 
Coldwell Banker Previews International®

Through the Previews International® luxury home sales program, Coldwell Banker has represented an impressive array of the world's most fabulous real estate.

The exclusive group of luxury certified Coldwell Banker Previews Property Specialists make up approximately eight percent of Coldwell Banker® sales professionals worldwide. These specialists have participated in more than 13,500 transaction sides of homes priced at $1million or more in 2011.

“There is a reason why Coldwell Banker sells, on average, more than $70 million in luxury homes every day,” said Michael Fischer, chief marketing officer, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “Our certified Previews luxury specialists routinely represent some of the world’s most prestigious properties. This new campaign is a testament to their success.”

This new campaign Fischer speaks of has recently been launched by Coldwell Banker, highlighting the efforts of Henderson Talbot, a real estate entrepreneur from the 1930s. Talbot was one of the first to market real estate beyond his local area, redefining luxury real estate marketing. He captured prized estate homes on film and held exclusive gatherings for affluent buyers to “preview” these homes as cinema.

That ingenuity inspired the “Previews” name and establishment dating back to 1933. Acquired by Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corporation in 1980, this luxury home marketing program continues to build its success through the Coldwell Banker Previews International® program.  The “Previews” name holds true today, as video and high-end photography have emerged as essential sales tools for luxury real estate properties.

Coldwell Banker Previews - History is the difference. Experience is the difference. Global is the difference. Take a look at our video and upgraded Previews website – As a luxury home buyer, seller, or Realtor, how do you see our new campaign and website as more beneficial and in-tune with the market demands? 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Is there a marketing strategy for economic obsolescence?

Has an image like this caught your attention while looking online or flipping through a magazine? 

Pretty powerful first impression, huh?
This head-turner is part of a marketing strategy used by Mike McMullen with our Coldwell Banker Triad, Realtors office in Burlington, to sell 'highest-and-best use.'  These are Mike's remarks: 

"There is nothing wrong with this listing that a bulldozer can't fix. Even the tax card says Economic Obsolescence. Home has no value. But we do have three nice lots being sold as a package with a total of 157 ft. of road frontage by 192 Ft deep. The area contains many multi-family homes and lots would make an ideal site for new multi-family construction."
This image not  the actual MLS sheet, meant only as 
representation. Click here for a better view of the photos.

Would you rather see the front of the home (below), make an appointment to visit the home because it is a smokin' deal, but later see wood rot, roof damage, plaster removed and a crumbling foundation - OR - would you rather know all this info up front? 

"The tax card says 'economic obsolescence' - this is the first time I had seen this on a tax card. This is how the idea came to me because the house is not habitable and not cost effective to renovate," said Mike.

 If Mike had used the traditional marketing strategy, it could be costing his client extended time on the market and lower offers. But instead, he used this 'outside-the-box' marketing strategy. He has answered many emails and calls from investors, builders and Realtors inquiring about the property. 
So, what do you think of Mike's approach? What are some other "outside-the-box" approaches to a marketing plan you found successful or you would like to see a Realtor use in their marketing strategy to sell your home?

If you want a better look at the cartoon or the survey, I'm sure Mike will be glad to send you the listing. :-)

Contact him today!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Windows 7 remove those duplicate files on my hard drive.

Windows 7 remove those duplicate files on my hard drive.

Duplicate files can be a real nuisance to the organization of your PC. They take up unnecessary room, and can be a headache when trying to find the right version. This tip will take you through how to delete these files and take the power back from your clogged up hard drive.

It’s simpler than you might think to get rid of duplicate files, and doesn’t even require you to download external software.

To get started hold the windows button on the keyboard and hit “F” at the same time.

Search bar

This will open the search program. Type in the file that you suspect to be duplicated. On the toolbar, click “views” and then “details”.

Scroll down the list and look for files with the same name. If the date modified is the same in two that appear to be the same then the chances are that you can delete one of them.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Here's to Giving Back

Giving back to our community is an important aspect of life, not only for the real estate professional but for all of us. It helps keep us aware, in touch and available to serve the needs of others. When you click through these images and as you read on, you will see life in a way that is so difficult for many to understand. No matter how near or far, it shows how important community helping hands are.

Can you imagine being sick and walking 30 kilometers (about 18 1/2 miles) to see a doctor? The Massai people of Nairobi, Africa have been accustomed to this and are in great need of medical help.

One of our agents, Rodney Ashby, has been actively working with foreign missionaries around the world since 1983. About 3 years ago, Rodney, his wife, Liz and daughter, Rebecca began to visit the Massai villages in Nairobi.

Understanding the magnitude of their need stimulated the Ashby’s into action.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

HARP and Other Home Refinancing Options

Melanie Troutman
Coldwell Banker Mortgage
The housing bubble of 2008 placed many homeowners in an underwater position where mortgage balances greatly exceeded a home’s actual market value. In response to these conditions, the federal government started the HomeAffordable Refinance Program, or HARP. 

And while HARP provides a convenient option for homeowners stuck with underwater mortgages, some homeowners may not be eligible for the program. Fortunately, there are other refinancing options available for those who don’t qualify for the Home Affordable Refinance Program.

HARP Refinancing

Homeowners unable to obtain financing due to a drop in home value may want to consider the HARP as a refinancing option. The effects of the housing bubble and resulting drops in home value left many homeowners paying considerably more in mortgage payments than before. This happened in cases where mortgage contract terms involved interest-only payment options or balloon payment arrangements.

The Home Affordable Refinance Program is designed to make mortgage payments more affordable while setting homeowners up in stable mortgage contracts. Refinancing through HARP involves an application process and underwriting review process. Applicants must also pay refinancing fees.

In order to qualify for HARP refinancing, applicants must meet the following requirements:
· Homeowners must be current on their mortgage payments and show a 12 month history of timely payments made
· Existing mortgages must be underwritten through Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac
· Existing mortgages must have been sold no later than May 31, 2009
· HARP requires a loan-to-value (amount owed vs. actual market value) ratio of 80 percent or more.

FHA Refinancing Options

FHA refinancing options may come in handy for homeowners who can’t qualify for HARP refinancing because they’ve built up considerable equity in their home. Homeowners with existing FHA- or VA-backed mortgages loans can easily qualify for FHA financing provided they are current on their monthly mortgage payments.

The FHA actually has a streamlining process that allows homeowners with existing FHA or VA mortgages to qualify for refinancing without going through the usual credit score checks, appraisal process or proof of employment requirement. Borrowers can qualify for FHA refinancing as long as they have remained current on their mortgage payments for the past 6 months, with a limit of one late payment within the past 12 months.

With FHA loans, homeowners can finance as much as 96.5 percent of the existing mortgage amount. Lenders also lump the mortgage insurance premium costs in with the total loan amount. So, an FHA refinance can convert a mortgage with 20 years left to pay into a new 30-year loan. By doing so, homeowners can considerably lower their existing interest rates.

Provided by

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Moving Right Along

Helen Nagy
Director of Relocation
MOVE. What does this word mean to you?

Maybe you are trying to “move” towards a healthier lifestyle and you recognize the value of this word as a call to action by walking or jogging to try to burn more calories…

Maybe you’d love to change careers and are looking for a career "move.” This would be taking a calculated step to gain an objective: a new position with more challenge and potential!

Or, maybe you are thinking about (or have recently experienced) a physical “move” or relocation to the Triad from another part of the country…

Have you always lived in the same place all of your life?  I’m Helen Nagy, Director of Relocation and you will hear more from me in future blog posts. 

Here is my story…

Our family has lived in 5 different states: Michigan, California, Massachusetts, Indiana and now in the beautiful state of North Carolina. Each place has unique memories and special friends that will always be a part of our lives.  Don’t get me wrong, these times were not without stress and strife as we moved two young boys from place to place. But as I look back on each adventure, I feel that when all of us were exposed to new places, people and cultures we were very fortunate.  Without a doubt the need to be extroverted has helped shape my sons into the men that they have become. They understand what it means to be accepting of others and truly enjoy the excitement of meeting new people and making new friends.    And, in my role as Director of Relocation for our company, it is a pleasure for me to talk to others who are going through this “life” event. 

Whether it is due to a job transfer, family situation or just choosing a wonderful place to retire, relocation will mean a big change for you and your family. Our CBTR Relocation Services Department can help! We work directly with our five sales offices across the Triad located in Winston-Salem, Kernersville, High Point, Greensboro and Burlington. We have 85 certified relocation agents across the Triad to assist you with your move.

We are the only Principal broker for CARTUS Relocation in the Triad. In addition, we are proud to be the preferred broker for the USAA MoversAdvantage program in our area.

Please contact us today if we can assist you in either buying or selling your home. We can also help you with your needs in areas all across the United States because of our broker partnerships.

Remember, if a move “anywhere” is on your mind, let Coldwell Banker Triad Relocation Services help you find the answers and assistance you need. You will be glad you did. 

We'll help you get moving right along.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Personalizing Siri

Siri is the voice-recognizing personal assistant who comes equipped with the iPhone 4S. It listens and speaks like a normal human being, and like any relationship, the better you get to know each other, the more rewarding the connection will be. Today, we’ll teach Siri a little bit more about yourself.

To begin, open the Contacts app.

We are going to create a contact for yourself that Siri can use. If you already have one, then you’ll simply need to edit your existing contact. If not, select the button in the upper right-hand corner.

Begin by filling in your most basic information such as your name and telephone number. Next, I’d like to direct your attention to a few fields and how Siri can creatively utilize their information:
  • Home and Work Address – Siri has a “geo-fencing technology”, so with the help of location services it can provide you with features based on your location. For example, “When I leave work, remind me to get milk.” To enable this option, select add a new address.
  • Phonetic First and Last Name – Siri can call you by name if you’d like, but here you can sound it out for perfect pronunciation. Select add field, followed by Phonetic First or Last Name.
  • Related People – This is probably my favorite Siri personalization trick. If you let Siri know who your parents, siblings, children, and spouse are you can reference them as such, i.e. “Text my mom that I’m running late.” To add a relationship, select add field, Related People, and the relationship. Now, press the blue arrow and select the corresponding contact from your list.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Century 21 agents excited about being 'blue'

Coldwell Banker Triad, Realtors Greensboro agents 
Coldwell Banker Triad, Realtors is pleased to announce that Century 21 Elliott Properties and Century 21 First Choice have become a part of the Coldwell Banker Triad family. They are joining agents at our Greensboro office located at 1505 Westover Terrace and the Coldwell Banker Triad real estate café style office located at 422 Huffman Mill Road, Burlington, respectively.

“Coldwell Banker Triad, Realtors is excited that Century 21 Elliott Properties and First Choice Realty agents, owners, and staff have joined our company. It was a natural fit for our offices to come together as sister Realogy brands. Our tools, education, innovative marketing, and commitment to excellence are parallel. This partnership will open doors for more opportunities for our agents and their clients. The cultures are similar, and the agents have already bonded together to form a strong team in the Burlington/Alamance/Greensboro markets," said Jodi Tate, CB Triad Chief Operating Officer.

Coldwell Banker Triad, Realtors Burlington agents
“After 26 years of being a part of Century 21 as an agent and an owner, I felt that we could increase our presence in the market by joining with Coldwell Banker Triad,” said Barb Kelly, who will continue to sell real estate as well as grow her real estate school, Elliott Real Estate Academy. “We are excited to be at CB Triad and feel the synergy that is a part of the CB Triad culture. We have been welcomed warmly, and the transition is going very smoothly.”

Charlie Elliott has a very successful appraisal business that he will focus his attention on full time. Clyde Corbitt, owner of the Century 21 First Choice franchise, has retired from management but maintains an active role in the business with CB Triad.

“I have been aware for several years that a mid-size company struggles in this economy and is better off joining with a company that is like-minded. It is in the best interest of our clients and agents to team up with Coldwell Banker Triad, Realtors. We feel this merger offers better exposure for our clients and better training for our agents,” commented Dwight Epperson.

"The agents mentioned below have hit the ground running with our tools, support, and education and have become Coldwell Banker “blue” quickly! They fit into our team culture like a glove. The transition took place very smoothly, and all clients and customers are already seeing marketing and exposure benefits from this new affiliation," said Tate.

Agents joining CB Triad from Century 21 Elliott Properties are: Barbara Bass 543-7450, Nixxie Coleman 580-1434, Glenn Evans 707-8500, Jeff Everette 706-1484, Jane Hornsby 854-3070, Jina Jourdan 456-5755, Barb Kelly 339-2368, Karen Leath 558-8099, Art Reenstra 423-7635,
Teresa Rowe 908-7693, Eileen Shubert 215-4437, Sharon Taylor 497-8667, and Gloria Vaughn 908-3693.

Agents joining CB Triad from Century 21 First Choice are: Jamie Goodson 214-1046, John Clark 260-8945, Clyde Corbett 260-0003, Elmer Dalton 803-0636, Dwight Epperson 260-2189, Mike McMullen 509-6882, Paul Richmond 213-4577, and Lisa Shomaker 360-5601.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Do I need to sell?

Contact Melanie Troutman
Do I Need To Sell My Home Before I Can Qualify For A New Mortgage On Another Property?

Yes. No. Maybe. It depends.
Welcome to the wonderful world of mortgage lending. Only in this industry can one simple question elicit four answers…and all of them may be right.

If you are in a financial position where you qualify to afford both your current residence and the proposed payment on your new house, then the simple answer is No!

Qualifying based on your Debt-to-Income Ratio is one thing, but remember to budget for the additional expenses of maintaining multiple properties. Everything from mortgage payments, increased property taxes and hazard insurance to unexpected repairs should be factored into your final decision.

What If I Rent My Current Property?

This scenario presents the “maybe” and the “it depends” answers to the question. If you’re not quite qualified to carry both mortgages, you may have to rent the other property in order to offset the mortgage payment.

A huge hurdle is the equity ratio most lenders require. In most cases, if you are going to rent out your current home, you will need to have at least 25% equity in order to offset your payment with the proposed rent you will receive. An appraisal will be done to determine the value of your existing home.

If you do have 25% equity, the lender will require a rental contract and documentation for the rent deposit. Lenders will only count 75% of your rent as net rent to offset the mortgage payment on your existing home. Generally, lenders will require six months reserve on the old property, as well as six month reserves on the new property.

For example, if you have a $1500 payment on your old house and are buying a home with a $2000 monthly payment, you will need over $21,000 in the bank.

As you can tell, purchasing one home while living in another can be a very complicated transaction.  Please feel free to contact me anytime so we can review your specific situation and suggest the proper action plan.

info source: Mortgage 101

Friday, June 29, 2012

Stay Cool & Beat the Heat

Heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke, can occur and because they do we all still need a few simple reminders how to protect ourselves and our loved ones during periods of excessive heat.

  1. You may be longing for a cold beer or a chilled white wine spritzer especially around a holiday weekend, but avoid alcohol as it increases dehydration.
  2. Drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Try chrysanthemum tea, which practitioners say is a cooling herb.
  3. Drink less caffeine and sugary drinks or sodas- these increase both metabolic heat production and water loss. Replace with fruits with high water content, like watermelon.
  4. Eat smaller meals and more frequently. The larger the meal, the more metabolic heat your body creates breaking down the food. Avoid foods that are high in protein, which also increase metabolic heat.
  5. Try eating spicy food. Although this may be the last thing you want to eat in hot weather, curries and chillies can stimulate heat receptors in the mouth, enhance circulation and cause sweating, which cools the body down.
  6. Wear light weight, loose fitted & lighter colored clothing. Dark colors can trap heat.
  7. Keep cool with wet clothing items, such as a bandana. Place around neck, chest and under hats.
  8. Run your wrists under a cold tap for five seconds each every couple of hours. A main vein passes through this area, which helps cool the blood.
  9. Stay indoors with fans circulating the air and/or with air conditioning.
  10. Draw blinds and cover windows to prevent sun from coming in during hottest hours.
  11. When outdoors, wear sunscreen.
  12. Reschedule strenuous outdoor activities to early morning or later evenings.
  13. When working outdoors, schedule frequent rest breaks in the shade or indoors.
  14. Keep a watch on relatives and neighbors who may be affected by the heat.
  15. Move those who seem affected by the heat to cooler or shaded areas… seek help (symptoms include: dizziness, fatigue, lightheadness and nausea. One’s skin can also suddenly go from hot to cool. More symptoms)

Remember, these days can be fun! Check our Pinterest page for fun ideas to Beat the Heat! What are some other things you do to Beat the Heat?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Monday, June 11, 2012

Syncing Bookmarks

What's Behind The Blue Door of Real Estate?
Guest Blogger: Aaron Wood
Ever wanted all your computers and devices to have your bookmarks synced? You know how it goes! At work you found a web page that's useful and found another on your tablet, now you're at home and just can not remember what that site was. We have a solution for you.

Xmarks allows you to sync your bookmarks. For free you can sync between browsers, want more like phone and tablets you can pay for the premium.  Supported browsers are Firefox, Internet Explorer, Mac OS X, and Chrome.

Web address

Friday, June 1, 2012

June 1 - Official Start to Hurricane Season

Grocery shopping...check. Graduation present for your cousin Randy...check. Mow the yard...check. Hurricane preparation ....check that later.

Today is the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season and the end of Hurricane Preparedness Week so the timing is just right to devise or revise your safety plan.

Taking action to prepare for a hurricane might be one of the least favorite tasks on your to-do list,  but could be time better spent than lounging on the couch...dreading your list...putting off today what you know you should do, at some point...and soon  Being proactive can save you more in the long possibly saving your house or even a loved one.

It is strongly recommended to get prepared before a storm as well as know what to do during and after one.  The National Hurricane Center provides great insight in this guide to help you prepare your family and home for hurricane season, which includes:
  • Tips to being ready before, during and after a storm.  
  • Suggested items for an Emergency Supply Kit 
  • What to include in your Family Emergency Plan
  • Items to take to a shelter 
How do you protect yourself, family, pets and home during hurricane season?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Get your Kimtag

QR code that serves as a hub for
all CB Triad social connections

How sweet is this?

I dare you to take 5 minutes of your time & go to right now. If you are asking why, you didn't scan this QR code or link to it.

Kimtag is a connection hub- it provides you with a single web and mobile address, as well as a QR code for all your social networks, blogs, websites and other connections. You can even include a short bio, provide a phone number and your physical address which displays a Google Map.

Try it now and happy connecting!

P.S. Please "like" us. :0)
P. P. S. Thanks to Terry Watson for the tip(s)!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

CB Triad Rewarded & Recharged by Terry Watson

International speaker Terry Watson speaks at Coldwell Banker Triad,
Realtors 15th Annual Awards Celebration
There was not a dull moment at the Coldwell Banker Triad, Realtors 15th Annual Awards Celebration held yesterday in Kernersville at the Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden. Agents, staff and management gathered to recognize Sales Associates and staff for their accomplishments in 2011 as well as to hear the greatly anticipated guest of honor, Terry Watson.

The awards began with Tenure Awards for staff, management and Sales Associates. There were 24 staff and managers recognized for 5 - 30 years of service and 47 Sales Associates who were recognized for being with the company for 10 - 30 + years.

Watson, an international motivational speaker from Chicago, transformed the room, recharging the agents and staff with an unique spark only he can ignite. He opened the floor with a powerful video suggesting social media is the marketing vehicle that continues to lead the race toward the largest audience. Three key principles he shared in how to reach it- make it easy, deliver some value and reduce the steps to get there.

For many years, CB Triad has been working on providing just those things to its consumer, by implementing innovative concepts and integrating the newest technologies into the marketing tools and benefits offered to its clients and customers. 

"We knew Terry Watson would engage our team with humor, real estate tips, and he even shared a couple powerful life lessons. This was a departure from our normal awards event- we chose a festival atmosphere so our family of agents and staff could RE-WARD and RE-CHARGE together, celebrate their accomplishments and acknowledge the hard work of so many! Everyone received a Coldwell Banker back pack stuffed with goodies and great door prizes were given throughout the celebration. We are so fortunate in our company to work side-by-side with so many professional Realtors and staff," said Jodi Tate, Chief Operating Officer.

Employee Recognition presented to those employees who have provided dedicated service to Coldwell Banker Triad, Realtors for 5 - 30 years of service. 

5 or more years: Sunni Lauten, Carol Wailes, Elizabeth Castelda, Michelle Amador, Lili Gerrard, Ellen Moore, Helen Nagy; 10 or more years: Valerie Fricault, Julie Aites, Gail Harris, Aaron Wood, Jan Sherman; 15 or more years: Sallie Goza, Ed Stafford, Carol Hudson, Linda Petitto, Denise McGahan, Hope Drake; 20 or more years: Gam Bates, Wanda Pedersen, Jodi Tate, Lane Young; 30 or more years: Steve Culler, Beverly Godfrey.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

"Flopping" - a New Fraud Scheme

Melanie Troutman
Coldwell Banker Mortgage

What's Behind The Blue Door of Real Estate?

The precipitous decline in home values and the distress of homeowners facing foreclosure has given rise to new fraudulent schemes, and one that is currently on the rise is a scheme known as "flopping."  Unlike property flipping, which uses an inflated appraisal to secure a loan for more than a property is worth, property flopping is executed by forcing the sale of a home for less than it is worth and reselling it at its true value.

Flopping schemes can be very elaborate and can involve a number of co-conspirators.  The simplest explanation of the scheme is that "...participants buy a home from an owner who may face foreclosure, at a price well below its distressed value by agreeing to deal with the lender, then immediately resell if for a profit, sometimes to a fellow conspirator."

This is illegal on so many levels and is another reason that a homeowner needs to work with a trusted and experienced realtor.

~ Melanie Troutman

Friday, May 4, 2012

Saying 'bye' to Helene and Joachim

Helene & Joachim, our interns from Denmark
What's Behind 
The Blue Door of Real Estate?

Lately we have been asking, “What makes a house a home?” and for these two ‘home’ hasn’t been confined to one country. In less than 2 weeks, Joachim Selnaes and Helene Hohle will head back to their permanent home Copenhagen, Denmark. During their time as interns with us in Winston-Salem they have made it a home too. Or rather, has Winston-Salem made it ‘home’ to them.

Joachim and Helene wanted to leave Denmark to experience the differences in American culture and in real estate. Of their ‘favorite American things,’ our social exchange is something they enjoyed so much they want to integrate it into their lifestyles at home.

“People are so different here in the Triad- they are more curious and react positively to strangers. We knew we needed to make an effort to make an impression but people here are so easy going it has been simple for us to make friends. We aren’t sure if it is because of where we are in the United States, but everyone has been so polite and good to introduce us to their friends. Networking is so much easier here than in Denmark,” they both said.

As one would begin the business brand new, they went through the life of an American real estate agent.  Joachim and Helene completed our new agent training, which included Fast Start, many weekly skills classes and BOO$T. They also observed phone duty and open houses, helped measure homes, input listings, got experience with our document management system, and other technology. 

“iPads, apps and technology in general are used more in the US– there is an appearance of high use of technology in Denmark but it seems people are further ahead here because they are actually using it,” said Joachim.

There couldn’t be more truth to this- ‘Real Estate is Location, Location, Location.’  One of the homes they helped measure was 435 Torrington Lane, a Tuscan-style home just under $690,000 built by Keith Rogers and listed by Wendy Taylor.

“Copenhagen’s prices are four times the price they are here and can get up to approximately $500 per square foot - this home would sell for over $3 million there,” said Helene.

Most of the homes there are built of stone, brick and some wood with high quality materials such as marble. Also, there’s much more real estate here -opportunities to purchase are fewer in Copenhagen than they are in the Triad. 

“When it comes to marketing to different generations, we have some of the same struggles as you do in the US.  People in Denmark are more traditional, though, in how they want to see listings. They would rather see homes in the newspaper versus video tours,” said Helene.  

They’ve been so busy they haven’t yet experienced as much of the Triad as they want. However, they hope to fit in as many fun things they can before they leave. Their plans when they head back?

Of course they both look forward to reuniting with family and friends. Helene also looks forward to returning to her ‘puppy dog’ and will finish her degree at University of Copenhagen…possibly pursue further education. Joachim plans to get into the Copenhagen real estate industry, preferably selling higher end homes he says.

Some of their other ‘favorite American things’- lower prices in real estate, autos, technology and out-to-eat food costs;  care of animals through animal shelters and food drives; Ford Mustangs and domestic beer (Joachim’s favorites); all the good FOOD! (Helene’s favorite, steak); Wendy Taylor Chatter Tour; Boone, NC; and our patriotism and pride for our country.

When asked, they both said they would love to come back to the United States. Maybe they will come back for good. A big thank you and good luck goes out to you two – we’ve really enjoyed having you at CB Triad! 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

2012 Spring Parade of Homes

Cover art by Melanie Fink
It's that time of year! The 2012 Spring Parade of Homes is right around the corner. Coldwell Banker Triad, Realtors is proud to announce the following homes and developments participating in the parade:

Our entries:

9214 Sparrow Hawk Court (The Lake at Lissara - Lot 26) - Alan Fletcher Construction Company

9211 Sparrow Hawk Court (The Lake at Lissara - Lot 28) - Buck Horn Builders, a tribute to Buck Horn

773 Fountain Brook Lane (Fountain Brook) - Robin Greenwood

114 Sycamore Park Lane (Bermuda Run West) - J.K. Canter Builder, LLC

107 Scotch Moss Drive (Summer Hill Farm - lot 75) - McGuire Construction Company, Inc.

114 Old Homeplace Drive (Summer Hill Farm - Lot 77) - Homes by Jeff West

6109 Sunny Brook Drive (Sunny Brook Village - Lot 9) - Samnaz, Inc.

363 Quick Silver Drive (Border Creek - Lot 96) - McGuire Construction Company, Inc.

1705 Castle Peak Drive (The Bluffs at Riverstone - Lot 47) - Wagoner Homes

4388 Millhaven Park (Millhaven Park - Lot 6) - Aher Builders Inc.

Shelburne Village and Fountain Brook.

Click here for a map of all Parade Entries. Good luck to all!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Always Show Menus in Windows 7

Guest Blogger Aaron Wood

A feature I miss in Windows 7 that was in previous versions was the menu with “File, Edit, View, etc.” menu that hung around up at the top of each explorer window. I guess Microsoft didn’t want us to use it anymore.

Well, too bad, because today we’re bringin’ it back!

Just click Start, and in the Search Box type “ Folder Options”. Make sure you’re under the View tab, and under the Advanced Settings area, check “Always show Menus”. Click OK.


Now whenever you’re messin’ around in Windows Explorer you’ll notice it’s gone from this:


To This: