Can you guess what home buyers want now?

The top 5 design trends for 2010 reflect desire for value and quality, not lavish amenities and conspicuous consumption

By Marcia Layton Turner, Cyberhomes Contributor
Published: December 8, 2009

Can you guess what home buyers want now?

Posted using ShareThis

This just in...

One of my "extra curricular" activities is with the Triangle Sales and Marketing Council. We filmed this video as our entry for a National Award. Hope we can bring home the gold! This video was just a snap shot of the amazing things we accomplished this year. We have a dynamite organization with the best professionals around! Special thanks to Allison Moriarty of Go Realty. Linda Dickert, Jenny Martin, and Allison Chetwood of the Stone Agency. Jean Paul Dame of Firehorse Films and Andy Ladner of the HBA of Raleigh Wake.


US Veteran Rita Bonville

On Saturday, I attended the Veterans Day Parade in downtown Raleigh. We had so much fun seeing the bands, the military vehicles and all of the soldiers- past, present and future. But there was one Veteran in the parade who was extra special, my grandmother Rita Bonville. She will be 95 years old in January and was a nurse during WW2. She got to ride in an antique Model A! When her car came down the street my kids were yelling and waving at their great grandmother and it put a big smile on everyone's face. Way to go Nanny B, we're proud of you!!


New, existing home buyers get new tax credit ::

Check it out, I was recently quoted on WRAL. They were doing a story about the new tax credit extension.


FAQ about tax credit extension

Stay tuned for official word but the UI bill including the homebuyer tax credit extension and expansion has passed the House by a vote of 403-12 after passing the Senate last night 98-0.

The new provisions take effect as soon as President Obama signs the bill, which we expect will be before the weekend. I'm including below a couple questions I've received in the last couple days about the new credit:

1.  Existing homeowner credit:  Must the new house cost more than the old house?  

A.  No.   Thus, for example, individuals who move from a high cost area to a lower cost area who meet all eligibility requirements will qualify for the $6500 credit.  

2.  I am an existing homeowner.  On October 25, 2009, I signed a contract to purchase a new home.  I have lived in my current  home for more than 5 consecutive years and am within the new income limits.  I will go to settlement on November 20.  If President Obama has signed the bill by the time I go to settlement, will I qualify for the new $6500 tax credit?

A.  Yes.  The existing homeowner credit goes into effect for purchases after the date of enactment (when the bill is signed).   There is no reference to the date of contract for the new credit. The provision looks solely to the date of purchase, which is generally the date of settlement.  

3.  I am a first-time homebuyer but was not within the prior income limits at the time I entered into my contract to purchase on October 30, 2009.  I will be covered, however, by the new income limits.  If the new rules have been signed into law by the time I go to settlement, will I be eligible for a credit?  

A.  Yes.  The new income limitations go into effect as soon as the President has signed the bill.  The income limit and other eligibility rules will look to your status as of the date of purchase, which is the settlement date.  So if the new rules have been signed when you go to settlement, you should be eligible for the credit (or a portion of the credit if you're within the phase-out range).

4.  I am an eligible existing homeowner.  I have a fair amount of equity in my home.  I have found a home with a non-negotiable price of $825,000.  Will I be able to use any of the $6500 tax credit?

A.  No.  The $800,000 cap on the cost of the purchased home is firm at $800,000.  Any amount above $800,000 makes the home ineligible for any portion of the credit.  The $800,000 is an absolute ceiling.  

5.  I owned my home for 10 years, but sold it two years ago year and have been renting since.  If I purchase a home, will I be eligible for the $6500 tax credit if I meet all the other eligibility tests?

A.  Yes.  Because you lived in the home for more than 5 consecutive years of the previous 8, you will qualify for the $6500 credit.  For example, Say John and his wife bought a home in 2000 and lived there until 2008 when he got a divorce. Whether John has been renting or bought in the interim, he WOULD INDEED be  eligible for the credit because he owned a home and occupied it as his principal residence for 5 consecutive years out of the last 8 years. The keyword here is "consecutive." As long as he lived in that house for 5 years straight, what he did since 3 years doesn't impact eligibility.

6.  I am an eligible first-time homebuyer.  I entered into a contract to purchase on November 1, 2009.  Do I have to go to closing before December 1?  How does the extension date affect me?

A.  You do not have to close before December 1.  Once the legislation has been signed, it will be as if the Nov 30 date had never existed.  Therefore, so long as the contract settles before April 30 (or July 1, worst case), the purchaser will be eligible for the credit.  

(thanks to Chris Gosselin at NAR for information)


Partnership with US Veterans Corps

Thanks to my friend Andy Ladner, I have recently been given the opportunity to partner with the United States Vetrans Corps and I am proud to be involved with such a special group. But let me be upfront. I have never served in the military. Never shot a real gun. Never had to be away from my family for more than a few days. I do not claim to "understand" what a veteran has experienced. It is simply impossible.

BUT I do believe we have something in common- that is the willingness to serve others for the greater good. I went to Catholic school for 9 years, but I don't mean this as a religious statement. I just genuinely enjoy helping other people. I love volunteering. I love connecting people who will do better collectively than as individuals.

We have two underlying philosophies in our company. The first is simple. Treat people like rockstars. Veterans have earned the right to be treated just a little better than everyone rockstars are. Second- 'give it back' - With every transaction I donate $50 to the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and my company matches my donation. I have been involved with them for a number of years and they do great work. Now I hope to help members of another oganization who do great work. Interested? For information about our program and other USVC membership benefits, contact Andy Ladner at

By working together we will build stronger communities with service at the core of what we do.


Big Brother Big Sister Fundraiser

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Ron Francis of the Carolina Hurricanes (oh- and the Hockey hall of fame) at a fundraiser for the Triangle Big Brothers Big Sisters. What a great event! There are hundreds of kids on the waiting list for mentors in the Triangle. That is part of the reason why I am donating $50 of every transaction to BBBS and my company, Garman Realty will match it! That is $100 going to a wonderful cause and it will help people right here in the Triangle. Do you know someone who needs help buying or selling a home? Have them call me today so we can continue to help create "Big Magic!"


Raleigh homebuilder up for TheView's Ultimate Volunteer

Tom Gipson, one of our HBA builder members, has been selected as one of the ten finalists for the Ultimate Volunteer contest sponsored by the ABC Show, the View.  The winner of this contest will be announced nationwide on the show.  Tom is being recognized for his efforts with Habitat for Humanity and his founding of the nationwide Builder Blitz program to build houses across our country.  His charitable efforts represent the heart of our organization and we need to help him be selected as the Ultimate Volunteer.  If he wins, then all of the members of the home builders association win as well.
The winner of this contest will be determined by online voting from Tuesday through Sunday.  Please click here to vote.  You can vote once a day with your email address.
I want to encourage you to send this email/info to all of your contacts and post it on your facebook, twitter, etc.  I will be sending this out twice a day to remind everyone to vote.  Get your teenagers to post it as well.
Let’s make it happen!


Seth Godin figured me out

Every day I get dozens of emails, tweets, RSS feeds and eNewsletters from some of the worlds best thinkers. But one stands out. Every morning, I wake up and look for the latest blog entry from Seth Godin. Here's why. Seth provides clear, concise, relevant topics from technology to business to education to customer service to non-profit organizations and everything in between. But here's the kicker: His approach is not "Here's a little wisdom, buy my book if you want the rest of the story." He doesn't use this forum to promote his business, seminars, best selling books, or consulting services.

And guess what? Every day I am motivated by his thoughts and pass along his articles to family and co-workers who I think would enjoy them. It helps me get in the right mindset for the day.

And guess what else? When Seth publishes his next book, I would wait in line to buy it. Because I know his information will be relevant and valuable. Just because he doesn't charge for it the first time, doesn't mean it isn't valuable. Its just the opposite. It has to be that much more valuable or it would be easy for me to disregard.

As a matter of fact, Seth- if you happen to read this- put me down for two of your next book whenever you write it. I'll keep one and give one away. And let me know when you come to Raleigh, NC. I'll be there.


Use your IRA to buy a home. Good idea or Bad Idea?

Did you know that first time buyers have the ability to pull money out of an IRA to use towards the purchase of a principal residence? If you act quickly, you may be able to pull money out of your retirement account, buy a home, then pay yourself back with the $8000 tax credit. You should consult your CPA for tax consequences but why not take advantage of a great loophole for first time buyers!! Act fast, only 82 days left until the tax credit deadline. Contact me to discuss your individual questions.

From Investopedia (a FORBES Digital Company)

IRA owners can make penalty-free distributions to buy a first home for themselves, their spouses, children, grandchildren or other family members. This distribution cannot exceed $10,000 for each spouse's lifetime, and exempts IRA owners from the early-distribution penalty (which applies to distributions occuring before an IRA owner reaches age 59.5). You do not have to buy a pre-existing home in order to be eligible for the waiver. The waiver also applies to building or rebuilding a home.

The distribution received must be used to pay qualified acquisition costs before the end of the 120th day after the IRA owner receives the distributed assets.

According to the IRS, you are a first-time home buyer if you have not owned an interest in a principal residence during the first two years prior to the purchase of a new home. Principal residences include mobile homes and house trailers, houseboats and stock held by a tenant-stockholder in a cooperative housing corporation.


My little monkey jumping on the bed...

For those of you who know about the "Monkey's jumping on the bed..." Enjoy!

Raleigh Fair Housing Hearing Board announces new partnership

Dr. James West addressed the crowd today, as the City of Raleigh's Fair Housing Hearing Board announced a new parntership with the Wake County Clerk of Courts. The partnership will help distribute copies of the Tenants Rights and Obligations Handbooks in the Wake County Courthouse. For more information about the Fair Housing Hearing Board please contact Tyrone Lindesy at 919.996.5711

go realty

People will doubt that a new company can start, survive, and thrive in "this economy."

""There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction” Winston

Some will say it is a bad idea.

“People underestimate their capacity for change. There is never a right time to do a difficult thing. A leader's job is to help people have vision of their potential.” - John Porter.

The future is being shaped now. A leader has a vision and the tribe is following. Please offer your thoughts and help to shape the next generation of real estate companies. It is beginning right here in the Triangle.


Give it Back!

It's official! This picture is with Kimberly Breeden, the CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Triangle. I am presenting my first donation to the BBBS! In case you don't know, when I joined Garman Realty I made a pledge to donate $50 from every real estate transaction to Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Triangle and the company agreed to match it! Its one of the 4 Garman Differences- "Give it Back."
Just six years ago, BBBS was serving less than 100 children. Today, they serve over 1,100 each year and are on target to serve approximately 2,000 annually in the next 3-5 years! Today there are also over 200 children on the waiting list. In challenging economic times more single moms and struggling families are reaching out for support.
A special thanks to all the executive officers, staff, and board members for your hard work and dedication. Despite these difficult times, you continue to provide support and leadership to a growing organization that has helped thousands of people. Awesome!! Keep rockin!


5 Tips to Living in the Triangle

After many years of living and showing homes in the Triangle area of North Carolina, I have come to notice a few pretty standard frustrations of those who move here from other areas. I moved here from upstate NY about 15 years ago and I would like to pass on some of the lessons I've help you avoid some of the growing pains. This really is a great place to live.

Tip #1: The "Triangle" was a term developed in the 1950's with the creation of Research Triangle Park- but encompasses many more towns now, click here.

Tip #2: In the Triangle area, there are no natural defining boundaries between cities and towns. You will not cross a bridge or over a mountain and automatically be in a new town like in some other cities. You will most likely drive on one road (which changes names three times) and pass through three towns. Tryon Road, for example, on the Southern part of the county, passes from Raleigh to Cary, and then merges into HWY 64 and runs through Apex and on to Chatham County.

Tip #3: Not everyone uses their turn signal. Its annoying and frustrating (at least to me) but you don't have to lay on your horn. Life will go on. If you feel the need to use your horn to let the world know you're in a hurry, two short beeps should do. But I must warn you...most people are not in a hurry-even if you are.

Tip #4: People are ALWAYS polite, whether they mean it or not. If you are in line at a grocery store and someone smiles and says hello, its okay to start up a quick conversation and then part ways.

Tip #5: Not every home has a basement. If you are moving from a cold weather climate, you probably didn't know homes were built without basements. They are! You will find that space is replaced by "Bonus Rooms," "FROGS- Family Room Over Garage," or "Southern Basements- finished third floor space for entertaining or guests."

Bonus Tip: We have a County-wide public school system, one of the largest in the country. Go to for answers to all your questions. Some things won't make sense, but living in an area that adds thousands of children to its school system every year presents a TON of challenges.

Stay tuned for more tips to Living in the Triangle!



There is something weird going on and I have to share it. People mistakenly call me by the wrong name quite often, its happened for years. (okay, so what?) Well the weird part is that it's always the SAME wrong name. Why is that? Who is Josh? Do I look like a Josh? Should I just go ahead and change my name?

Personally, I like the name Zach so I think I'll keep it.

Maybe Josh can be my alter ego? That would be kind of cool.


New lending laws will affect closing dates!

We all know there have been major changes in the mortgage industry in order to provide homebuyers better information when it comes to financing a home. New regulations and investor requirements are taking effect-especially those that impact timelines.

Effective July 30, 2009 the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) amends the Truth in Lending Act (TIL), implemented through Regulation Z. It has a number of provisions including the Mortgage Disclosure Improvement Act, which changes the TIL requirements surrounding early and final disclosures to home buyers and addresses the timing of when fees can be charged by a lender.

An increase of more than .125% in the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) from the initial TIL statement requires TIL disclosure to be revised and reissued to the homebuyer. The buyer MUST receive a revised TIL disclosure at least 3 BUSINESS DAYS before closing, providing the homebuyer with the time required to determine if they are comfortable with their loan choice.

The new rules could automatically push closing dates back 7 DAYS- so please be cautious in planning and scheduling.

If you would like to know more, give me a call!

***All the information listed here was provided by Brian Morris of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage! Thanks B!****


Give it Back- Recession Style

We are trying to raise $100,000 in the next 30 days to support Habitat for Humanity of Durham! And we are doing it "Obama-style" (if you are so inclined)- $25, $50, or $100 at a time. Please give what you can and tell your friends, your network, your hair stylist, your dog walker, your rich uncle who tries to buy his way into your life...anyone who will listen. To quote Jim Garman of Garman Homes "In our own quiet way, we are going to show the Triangle how powerful a good attitude and collective belief can be. Please donate a little. Please e-mail a few people if you are inspired."

Welcome to the revolution.


Night time paintball wars!

Night Ops Paintball at Xtreme Kombat!

NAHB Answers How to Pay Upfront Costs With Tax Credit

From a recent article published in Nations Building News- The Official Online Weely Newspaper of NAHB. If you have questions about your individual situation contact Zach Schabot at

NAHB is providing answers to frequently asked questions from prospective first-time home buyers who qualify for the $8,000 tax credit and are seeking information on how they can get a loan to help cover downpayment or closing costs.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced on May 29 that the Federal Housing Administration will allow state housing finance agencies to provide second mortgages "monetizing" the tax credit so that borrowers can use the funds for upfront costs for the purchase of homes with FHA-insured mortgage loans.

"This is great news for thousands of families who want to take advantage of today's low interest rates, competitive prices, great selection and the federal tax credit that is only available until Nov. 30, but could not save enough money for a downpayment and closing costs," said NAHB Chairman Joe Robson.

HUD announced that FHA-approved lenders can purchase the tax credit from the home buyer in advance, so that the home buyer can use the funds for closing costs or make a downpayment in addition to the 3.5% minimum. Home buyers who go directly to FHA-approved lenders still need to come up with the 3.5% minimum downpayment that is required for an FHA-insured loan.

Home builders in recent weeks and months have reported that the tax credit has helped bring more prospective first-time buyers into the marketplace. To spread the word, builders and home builders associations around the country have been providing consumers with information on the availability of the credit.

The new FHA monetization program is expected to result in an additional 40,000 home sales, many of which will be made to trade-up buyers who have been able to sell their existing home to a first-timer.

For NAHB's FAQ PDF on monetization, click here. Builders can direct consumers to this information by sending them to The new PDF can be found by going to the "Frequently Asked Questions" section of this site and scrolling down to question 20.


Social Media in Real Estate?

Social media is exploding! It would be tough to argue with that statement, right? How about social media being used in real estate? Over the past few months, I have had numerous builders and realtors approach me to ask "do I need to be doing this social media stuff?" And the answer is YES! Learn it now, learn it quickly and put it to good use (or pay someone to do it for you). Create a network of people. Of followers. Raving fans. They will bring referrals to you because you are someone they know and trust (even if they only know about you from your funny facebook photos and comments-probably makes them like you more because you seem "real"). It is similar to the way things have been done before at networking meetings, golf outings and fishing trips, except it happens at lighting speed and reaches exponentially more people.

HOWEVER, I would like to add one very big asterisk...facebook, blogger, twitter, active rain, etc etc are wonderful tools to promote your community or enhance the exposure of your homes online. But they are ABSOLUTELY NOT the only piece of the puzzle. These programs make it easier for people to find information about homes and communities but they cannot and will not replace good research, proper pricing, and excellent maintenance (and specifically for builders: updated floorplans and top quality workmanship).

So, befriend me on facebook, follow me on twitter, and link to me on LinkedIn...but be careful about spending too much time on one site... the latest and greatest is already being developed and will be here before you know it.


Price Reduced!

After reviewing our research we felt the initial price of this home was premature. The Hall's have decided to make their home more affordable by lowering the price to $234,900. Check out and call today to schedule a showing. Don't forget- this home could also be a unique opportunity for an investor or long range buyer!


Tiffany Elaine Jewelry

Check out this site and buy something cool. It would help out a friend! Sorry if you came here looking for profound real estate information...sometimes I just post things I like. Check back for more "professional" content in a few days. And enjoy tiffany's creations!


Who? Lou?

WATCH out for It is quickly becoming a viable alternative to cable and satelitte.... no pun intended, but STAY TUNED....

If these walls could talk...

At Garman Realty, we believe every home has a story to tell. That's why you will see individual blogs for each of our listings. You can only learn so much about a house from the information on "traditional" websites. By allowing the individual owners to tell their story, we get a true sense of what makes the home unique. Whether the owners words are happy or sad, funny or serious...its our way of allowing the walls to talk. Enjoy.


Tax Credit Guidance for FHA Loans Announced by HUD


In his speech at the National Association of REALTORS® Housing Summit on May 12, 2009, US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced a program that allows borrowers to use the first-time homebuyer tax credit for a down payment or closing costs on a FHA-insured mortgage. The Secretary said “We think the policy is a real win for everyone, ensuring that borrowers can tap into the numerous organizations that are already part of the FHA network to receive this additional benefit.”

The details of the program were announced today in Mortgagee Letter 2009-15. A government entity and instrumentalities of government may provide a second mortgage. Currently, 10 state housing finance agencies offer a product buyers can use that will effectively monetize the tax credit for down payment purposes. These states are Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Kentucky, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. State Associations are encouraged to work with their respective housing finance agency to implement similar programs. The 3.5 percent down payment may also be a gift from a family member, employer or nonprofit, charitable organization.

The original guidance permitted lenders and HUD-approved nonprofits and lenders to offer bridge loans via second lien financing or short term loans. Guidance released today allows lenders to offer the monetized tax credit for down payments in excess of 3.5 percent, closing costs and interest rate buy downs. Mortgage industry leaders have indicated that this type of product may not be immediately available to consumers. Lenders will need some time to develop documentation for what will effectively be personal loans to the home buyer.

Read the HUD Mortgagee Letter


Balanced Solutions to Workforce Housing

The Triangle Community Coalition recently hosted a forum on Affordable Housing for the Triangle’s Workforce. The luncheon was held on May 19. The program, “Balanced Solutions for Workforce Housing”, explored creative and functional affordable housing solutions for the Triangle’s workforce, particularly during the economic downturn.

Featured Speakers included ... and Zach Schabot, a broker with Garman Realty and member of the City of Raleigh's Fair Housing Hearing Board."

-Podcast (audio)


One for One.

I am so often inspired by other people. The story of TOMS shoes is definitely an inspriring one. I have no real connection to this company, other than an absolute belief in giving back. At Garman Realty, we believe in giving back too. It is one of the core values of our company.

Our tagline is "Give it Back." Their tagline is "One for One." Welcome to the revolution.


My New House

I have said it time and time again...I truly believe now is a GREAT time to buy a home. So guess what? We did! We just bought a new home in Renaissance Park, a Wakefield Development community just south of Downtown Raleigh. The home was built by Standard Pacific Homes and the whole experience was great...from the sales agent Scott, to the construction manager Frank, to the lender Michelle. Top notch!


What's the deal with the $8000 tax credit?

Disclaimer: While this post should, in no way, replace the sound advice of a tax advisor or should answer some of your initial questions about the $8000 first time home buyer tax credit. Enjoy!

1. What’s this new homebuyer tax incentive for 2009?
The $7,500 repayable credit introduced in 2008 is increased to $8,000 and the repayment feature is eliminated for 2009 purchasers. Any home that is purchased for $80,000 or more qualifies for the full $8,000 amount. If the house costs less than $80,000, the credit will be 10 percent of the cost.

2. Who is eligible?
Only first-time homebuyers are eligible. A person is considered a first-time buyer if he/she has not had any ownership interest in a home in the three years previous to the day of the 2009 purchase.

3. Is there an income restriction?
Yes. The income restriction is based on the tax filing status the purchaser claims when filing his/her income tax return. Individuals filing Form 1040 as single (or head of household) are eligible for the credit if their income is no more than $75,000. Married couples who file a Joint return may have income of no more than $150,000.

4. Do individuals with incomes higher than the $75,000 or $150,000 limits lose all the benefit of the credit?
Not always. The credit phases out between $75,000-$95,000 for singles and $150,000- $170,000 for those married and filing jointly. The closer a buyer comes to the maximum phase-out amount, the smaller the credit will be. The law provides a formula to gradually withdraw the credit. Thus, the credit will disappear after an individual’s income reaches $95,000 (single return) or $170,000 (joint return).

5. Are there restrictions on the location of the property?
Yes. The home must be located in the United States. Property located outside the U.S. is not eligible for the credit.

6. Are there restrictions related to the financing for the mortgage on the property? In 2009, most financing arrangements are acceptable and will not affect eligibility for the credit. Congress eliminated the financing restriction that applied in 2008.

7. How do I apply for the credit?
There is no pre-purchase authorization, application or similar approval process. All eligible purchasers simply claim the credit on their IRS Form 1040 tax return. The credit will be reflected on a new Form 5405 that will be attached to the 1040. Form 5405 can be found at

8. So I can’t use the credit amount as part of my downpayment?
No. Congress tried hard to devise a mechanism that would make the funds available for closing costs, but found that pre-funding would require cumbersome processes that would, in effect, bring the IRS into the purchase and settlement phase of the transaction.

9. What if I purchase later this year but can’t get to settlement before Dec. 1?
The credit is available for purchases before Dec. 1, 2009. A home is considered as “purchased” when all events have occurred that transfer the title from the seller to the new purchaser. Thus, closings must occur before Dec. 1, 2009, for purchases to be eligible for the credit.

10. I know there is no repayment requirement for the $8,000 credit. Will I ever have to repay any of the credit back to the government?
One situation does require a recapture payment back to the government. If you claim the credit but then sell the property within 3 years of the date of purchase, you are required to pay back the full amount of any credit, including any refund you received from it. A few exceptions apply. Note that this same 3-year recapture rule applies, as well, to the $7,500 credit available for 2008. This provision is designed as an anti-flipping rule.

11. What if I die or get divorced or my property is ruined in a natural disaster within the 3 years?
The repayment rules are eased for many circumstances. If the homeowner who used the credit dies within the first three years of ownership, there is no recapture. Special rules make adjustments for people who sell homes as part of a divorce settlement, as well. Similarly, adjustments are made in the case of a home that is part of an involuntary conversion.

Have a question of your own? Email me at!

Little Moments...BIG magic!

Zach, I am so glad to hear of your continued passion for the mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Andie and I conferred this morning after your email and she spoke very highly of you. I am sending this response as her regards as well. If you have taken a good walk through our website (as it appears you have) you will notice a lot has changed over the recent years.

Just six years ago we were serving less than 100 children such as Torian. Today we serve over 1,100 each year and are on target to serve approximately 2,000 annually in the next 3-5yrs. We currently see more and more of our community’s vulnerable children and their families reaching out to us for help – guidance – and the caring support of a mentor. Today we have over 200 children on our waiting lists and in challenging economic times more single moms and struggling families are reaching out to us for support. Your continued support and pledge of $100 for every transaction this year will go a long way to help our efforts to reach these children and provide a variety of activities for them through out the year. If we could help you further your efforts in anyway please do not hesitate to ask. I would love to talk to you further to explore if there are any opportunities to encourage similar efforts throughout Garman Realty and partner with Garman on a larger level.

Again thank you very much for your role as a Big in Torian’s life, and for your support of our on-going efforts to reach more children in need.

- John Tedesco, VP of Development

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Triangle

Garman Difference #3: Give it Back

One of the most imortant Garman Differences is what we call "Give it Back." Here is a story about how I would like to give it back.

I first became involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Triangle in 2001. I was a "Big" for my "Little" Torian. When I first met Torian, he seemed very shy and very quiet. He and his mom had recently moved to NC from NY so he didn't know many people. I had a similar situation when I moved here from NY so I could relate.

The first few meetings were tough. I had to painfully pull conversations out of him as we got to know each other. BUT all it took was one mention of NBA basketball or WWE wrestling...and the kid came out of his shell! He was like a new person. I saw excitement and confidence, and he knew every thing about every one. It was tough to keep up! We spent a couple hours together each week and became great friends.

Unfortunately, we have not kept in touch as much as I'd like. Torian's mom got remarried and he has a wonderful new support group. I also have two children of my own so our time together has been limited. I miss him very much but I will never forget one event that will stay in my mind forever. When Kate and I got married in 2003 we had a very "interactive" wedding that involved lots of friends and family. We asked Torian to be a part of the procession and carry the bible into the church in front of our priest. He happily accepted our inivtation. He went from being a shy child to a young man who was confident enough to be the center of attention in a room full of adults. It was inspiring.

That inspiration has led me to choose Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Triangle as my "give it back." I have pledged to donate $100 of every transaction in 2009 to the local chapter- so more kids like Torian can inspire grown-ups like me.

Garman Difference 3#: Give it Back


Garman Difference #2

About 8 years ago I took my first trip to Las Vegas with my wife Kate. She was working for Jack Daniels and was there on a business trip during the NFR (National Finals Rodeo). This was my first taste of being treated like a rocktar! Our good friend Jenn Smith was the marketing manager for Jack Daniels in Las Vegas. Thanks to Jenn, every place we went treated us like rockstars. No waiting in line, free drinks, private tables, exclusive clubs...the works. I felt like I was being treated just a little bit better than everyone else.

This exemplifies Garman Difference #2: Rockstars Wanted.

This is probably the most complex of the 4 differences. First, if you work for a Garman company, you are a rockstar. You have a great attitude, you make people feel great, and you work hard. (the trashing of hotel rooms and bowls of m & m's with no green ones is just a myth). BUT, the attitude is contagious because all of our partners are also rockstars (lenders, attorneys, inspectors, appraisers). We will not tolerate negative attitudes or poor work. However, the most important part of the equation is our clients. We want them to feel like they get the royal treatment every step of the way. Whether they are buying a home or selling a home, they get the rockstar treatment.

Garman difference number 2: Rockstars Wanted. It's the blue square.


Garman Difference #1

In only my second day with Garman Realty I am learning that one question is on everyone’s mind…even if they don’t ask me. So here is the answer.

I joined the team as a member of Garman REALTY. I will be helping people buy and sell homes just like I did when I was at RE/MAX. However, Garman HOMES is a building company and focuses on new homes. BUT- one of the huge benefits of being associated with Garman HOMES (the building company) is the G-Team! I have access to one of the finest group of trades people in the Triangle. They pride themselves on doing great work and treating people like Rockstars! The G-Team can help get your house ready to list or help make repairs after inspections. Listing your home can be stressful but our goal is to make life as easy as possible while your home is on the market.
Having the G-Team is awesome…and it is known as Garman Difference # 1. For those of you keeping score at home- that’s the green box in the logo. Check it out.


Oh What a feeling!

I recently took a trip to Marbles kids museum with my son Tyler for his 2nd birthday. And how cool was it to jump in the ball pit...(excuse me-the peas and carrots) was like I was a kid again! What a great feeling!

Well today I joined the Rockstars at Garman Realty...and I am filled with the same awesome feeling! I am so excited about working with such a great group of people who are truly devoted to offering a unique experience. Stay tuned to learn more about the 4 Garman differences...

I love the rockstar treatment...and so will you!