Archive for April, 2010

Back Nine Homes Does Roadside Cleanup

April 18, 2010

Brownies having fun giving back to the community

On Saturday, April 17th, a number of volunteers joined myself with roadside cleanup. I adopted a highway last year and have been working with volunteers to keep the road clean. I adopted the section of Norwood Road between Mt. Vernon Church Road and Macon Road. Since then, several volunteers have assisted me in keeping this roadside clean.

Last weekend, I had several Brownies join me with some out-of-town volunteers. A total of seven people worked tirelessly to keep this road free of trash and debris. Some of the items collected were several beer bottles, a tire, and remnants from several fast food restaurants in the area.

Volunteers collected 5 bags of trash

“It is amazing how careless some people can be with littering,” one volunteer commented. Others commented that the road was not in nearly as bad condition during past cleanups.

To volunteer to assist for the next roadside cleanup, please feel free to contact me with the date and time. Krispy Kreme donuts were provided for all volunteers by Back Nine Homes.

The Adopt-A-Highway Program

22 Years (1988-2010)
The Adopt-A-Highway Program (AAH) was established in 1988 by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) in response to growing public concern regarding litter along the state’s highways. The AAH Program is administered by the NCDOT Office of Beautification Programs, and is a joint effort between community volunteers and the NCDOT. Its purpose is to decrease the amount of litter on North Carolina’s roadsides and improve the beauty and quality of the environment.

Wildwood Greens Golf Clinic-Drivers

April 9, 2010

On Tuesday, I participated in my second golf clinic performed by Wildwood Greens Golf Club, both centering around the driver. And yes, if you are wondering, I can use the extra work with my driver.  The clinics were very interactive and informative while very basic. I have done clinics and lessons in the past where the golf pro made the swing very complicated and forces you to over-think your swing while still attempting to perform the swing.

John Budwine, the golf pro who overlooks this program indicated that the most important aspect of the swing is the setup. If you are not properly set up, your swing will not be successful. Also, if you are swinging all of your clubs the same way, you are doing something wrong.

The basic setup that John promoted is to set your club where you want it before you set your feet. Too many people do this in reverse and often times results with their hands being in front of the ball. You want your hands to be even with the club, which should be set a few inches behind the ball. This is due to the fact that the ball is on a tee and thus, you will be using a flatter plane to swing your club. If you were hitting from the ground, you would want a more vertical swing in order to pick the ball out of the grass and give it some height.

The next item to be addressed is the feet. They should always be square and shoulder length apart for maximum distance. You want your feet square and immobile, especially the back foot, to add to the rotation of your body to give yourself greater club head speed. Imagine your body as a coil when you go into your back swing. If you feet are planted, then the coil will be tighter and result in greater club head speed as you release into the ball. It is just like a catapult, the greater resistance,  the greater the release and the greater distance.

Once you have these elements in place, take a swing that is about a 45 degree angle. Do not over think the shot and do not kill the ball. A golf instructor once told me that there is no reason to swing hard with your body as your body does not hit the ball, but rather the club. The two factors that result in distance is impact and club head speed. Typically for me, the harder I swing the club, the more out of control I am and the more likely I am to top the ball. John also pointed out that if you rotate your body too much in the backswing, then you are forced to take your eyes off the ball and then you are more likely to mis-strike the ball.

Of course, after the brief lesson with setup, each player hit several buckets of balls while John walked among us to point out some specific issues that we are facing and the cures to those issues. For instance, my greatest issue was that I was bending my arms too quickly in the follow-through, thus forcing the ball to go left. The simple cure was to focus on keeping my arms straight through the swing until my arms had no choice but to bend. Another issue, I had a tendency to swing too hard at the ball and it resulted in me loosing my balance. If I swing with club head speed, but not hard, then I hit the ball farther and do not lose my balance.

Real Estate News

On a different note, the spring season for real estate is in full bloom. The pollen is out and so are the buyers looking to take advantage of the tax credits that expire at the end of April. For first time homebuyers, the $8,000 tax credit will act as a refund in the following tax year. What this means is that if you do not pay $8,000 in annual taxes, then you will get it back in the form of a tax refund, or at least the difference between your tax liability and the $8,000. Of course. many people do not realize that the tax credit is actually 10% of the purchase price up to $80,000, then it is a flat credit. So, if you are looking to buy your first home or know someone who is, you owe it to them or yourself to call a real estate professional like myself to ensure that you can take advantage of this great offering before it is too late. Will Congress extend it again? I have no ideal, but you should not count on it.

For current homeowners, you can get a $6,500 tax credit if you sell your home and purchase another one. Of course the timing for this program is running short as you must be under contract with your new home by the end of April. As far as I know, there is nothing in the bill that states that you have to sell your home before you purchase another one, but then you must be able to keep 2 mortgages until you sell your previous home.

The Triangle real estate market is moving along, not at a breakneck speed, but very well. My year has started out very well and I am on track for a record year for me. Of course, I hope the market does not die after the tax credits expire. Currently, the homes priced below $300,000 are selling the best with the lower end of this range  selling the best. New reduced interest rates for jumbo loans should help to increase the high-end market as rates recently have been very bad for these jumbo loans.

In the event that you are not from this area, the Triangle area is in North Carolina and consist of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. Where these are the major cities in the Triangle, you also have several counties that encompass the Triangle and smaller towns such as Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Knightdale, Wendell, Zebulon, Wake Forest Youngsville, Rolesville and many more. If you are looking for a lifestyle that has been consistently ranked among the best places to live in America, call or email me for a visitor’s packet of this wonderful place to live, work and play.