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.