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!****