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Information found at the Cherokee County

Court House in Murphy, North Carolina

If you are facing foreclosure, be assured that you are not alone. North Carolina has several resources to help you obtain foreclosure prevention counseling, mortgage payment assistance, and protection from fraud. You don't need to be behind on your mortgage payments to seek help. If you feel you are at risk, contact one of the state's free resources right away. We are here to help.

Free Counseling

Regardless of why you are in danger of foreclosure, you can access free counseling through the State Home Foreclosure Prevention Project (SHFPP), funded and led by the NC Office of the Commissioner of Banks. HUD-approved housing counseling agencies, state and federal agencies, legal assistance organizations, mortgage servicers and community organizations are working with the Office of the Commissioner of Banks to help you protect your home.

To get help, call 1-866-234-4857 or visit www.ncforeclosurehelp.org You will be referred to a HUD-approved foreclosure counselor and other services in your area.

Mortgage Payment Assistance

If you've lost your job or your income has been reduced, the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund can pay your mortgage while you seek or retrain for new employment. You also may be eligible if you are facing a temporary financial setback, such as a divorce, serious illness or death of a co-owner, and need help to pay your mortgage while you look for work.

The Fund is offered by the NC Housing Finance Agency, a self-supporting state agency, and funded through the US Department of the Treasury. Services are provided by participating HUD-approved counseling agencies statewide at no cost to you.

If you qualify, the Fund offers zero-interest, deferred loans of up to $24,000 to pay your mortgage for up to 24 months while you seek or retrain for a new jo. In the state's high unemployment counties, the maximum is $36,000 (36 months of assistance). The loan balance is reduced every year you remain in your home after the fifth year, and is fully forgiven after the tenth.

Fraud Prevention

If you have been contacted by a foreclosure prevention or "rescue" company offering help, keep the following tips from the NC Office of the Attorney General in mind.

  • Beware of companies that require payment before they "Help" you. Its illegal to charge an upfront fee for foreclosure assistance in North Carolina.
  • Steer clear of companies that want you to make your mortgage payment to them, or who tell you not to talk to your mortgage company or to an attorney.
  • Watch out for investors who promise to pay off your mortgage if you sign over the deed to your property, but not the mortgage. The investor then rents your home back to you or to a tenant but doesn't make mortgage payments and the bank forecloses.
  • Check out companies with the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division and your local Better Business Bureau, get all promises in writing, fill out your own paperwork and only sign it after reading it thoroughly.

To report a scam or check out a company, call the NC Attorney General's Office at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or file a complaint at ncdoj.gov

NC Office of the Commissioner of Banks, Joseph A Smith, Jr. Commissioner

NC Housing Finance Agency, Sam Ewell, Jr. Chairman, and A. Robert Kucab, Executive Director

NC Office of the Attorney General, Roy Cooper, Attorney General

To learn more, go to www.NCForeclosurePrevention.gov. or visit www.ncforeclosurehelp .org or call me toll-free at 1-877-837-3002 or send me an E-mail at: randy@randydockery.com 

Randy Dockery

Home Prices Have Already Hit Bottom

by Randy Dockery

From the DSNEWS.com

Article by: Carrie Bay on 10/12/2010

Economists Say Home Prices Have Already Hit Bottom

Home prices in the United States found their floor during the early part of 2010 and are expected to begin trending upward next year, according to a panel of elite economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) for its October 2010 Outlook.

“The housing recovery is intact, but tepid overall. Home prices have hit bottom,” NABE stated in its report outlining the survey results.

The panel anticipated a 1.5 percent drop in residential home values this year, and that decline has already been registered through the first half of 2010, NABE explained.

The group of economists is projecting gains in home prices of 1.2 percent over the course of 2011, but they warn that the modest increase will not keep up with the broader measures of inflation.

NABE panelists expect any evidence of price weakness post-tax incentive to be temporary. Their assessments of the importance of the government’s recent stimulus measures in the form of tax breaks for homebuyers vary widely. Nearly one-third feel that a persistent relapse will follow the incentives’ expiration, while the remaining two-thirds believe an underlying recovery is in place.

When it comes to the distressed side of the business, it’s become clear that the nation’s high level of unemployment is now one of the primary triggers of default among struggling homeowners. Getting more people back to work is key to a recovery in housing and getting a handle on still-rising delinquency numbers. But NABE’s panel warns that labor market conditions will be slow to improve.

The economists are forecasting monthly payroll gains to average 150,000 or less until the latter half of 2011, at which time gains will improve to a range of 170,000 to 175,000. The unemployment rate is expected to persist at over 9.5 percent through midyear 2011, before easing only slightly to 9.2 percent by the end of next year.

“This will mark the worst post-recession job recovery on record,” NABE said.

NABE panelists trimmed their projections on overall economic growth. Those projections now remain sub-par through year-end, the organization explained.

“This summer’s slowdown has exposed the economy’s sensitivity to wealth losses, the unwinding of debt, and the reductions in economic stimulus,” said Richard Wobbekind, NABE president-elect and associate dean of the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado-Boulder. “Confidence in the expansion’s durability is intact, but recent economic weakness has prompted many panelists to scale back expectations for the year ahead.”

The October 2010 NABE Outlook presents the consensus of macroeconomic forecasts from a panel of 46 professional analysts. The group included economists from such firms as Moody’s Analytics, the PMI Group, Fannie Mae, and Goldman Sachs.


Keep Close Tabs on Your Credit Score

by Randy Dockery

Daily Real Estate News

For Your Clients: Keep Close Tabs on Your Credit Score

Brought to you by RISMedia and sponsored by LOWE'S

By Dan Serra

RISMEDIA, August 3, 2010--(MCT)--With banks tightening their grip on loans, getting one is requiring more work and vigilance on the borrower's part. Even people with excellent credit are jumping through hoops to verify everything and avoiding nicks that could give the appearance of being a risky borrower. There are a few strategies to employ that could improve the chances of not only getting a loan but getting a better rate.

One of the obvious ones, beyond paying bills on time, is to not be overextended on credit. Lenders look at how credit is managed, so someone with $10,000 credit limit but owes $9,000 won't appear as good a borrower as someone who owes only $1,000 of the $10,000 limit. Therefore, it is important to pay down credit before applying for a loan. This can help raise your credit score and get a better rate.

When you do pay down the debt, such as on a credit card, keep the account open to show lenders you have a long credit history and you are responsible by not maxing out every loan you get. Be wary, however, of some creditors who have started reducing credit limits as amounts are paid off. You may need to ask for the limit to be raised, or switch to a new credit card.

Next, verify your credit score every year, or right before you apply for a large loan such as a mortgage, to make sure there is nothing on the report that is inaccurate. While other credit report requests could harm your score, because it indicates you are looking for help often, requesting your own report does no damage to your record. There are three credit bureaus that maintain reports. Request them all through www.annualcreditreport.com. Reports are free once a year. Nearly eight in 10 reports have an error, according to the U.S. Public Interest Research Groups. Be wary of firms that offer free credit reports only after you sign up for another service with a monthly fee.

If you do see a mistake, follow the instructions to dispute the charge. If the mistake was caused by a certain circumstance you feel was not common, also dispute it.

The importance of good credit in our changing economy cannot be overemphasized. Those neglecting their credit are positioning themselves to be shut out of the economy, and at risk of not having a lifeline when times are tough. In addition, those with poor credit also face higher expenses as interest rates, insurance premiums, and rental rates can be higher for those without excellent credit, not to mention employers may shun applicants that do not demonstrate responsible money management.

Make it a point to audit your credit at least once a year and make managing it a priority in your life. Doing so will eliminate chances of financial disasters.

(c) 2010, McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Time Management

by Randy Dockery

Daily Real Estate News

 brought to you by RISMEDIA and sponsored by LOWE'S

11 Tips to Help You with Time Management

RISMEDIA, August 3, 2010--Sometimes everything is a priority. From home to work, there's always more to do than time to do it in. So how do you fit it all in? Well, you start by evaluating how you're spending your time. You might find that once you start looking at your day, there are plenty of places where you can garner some much-needed additional time.

Here are 11 tips on achieiving time management:

1) Realize that time management is a myth.
No matter how organized we are, there are always only 24 hours in a day. Time doesn't change. All we can actually manage is ourselves and what we do with the time that we have.

2) Find out where you're wasting time.
Many of us are prey to time-wasters that steal time we could be using much more productively. What are your time-bandits? Do you spend too much time 'Net surfing, reading email, or making personal calls? Tracking Daily Activities explains how to track your activities so you can form a accurate picture of what you actually do, the first step to effective time management.

3) Create time management goals.
Remember, the focus of time management is actually changing your behaviors, not changing time. A good place to start is by eliminating your personal time-wasters. For one week, for example, set a goal that you're not going to take personal phone calls while you're working.

4) Implement a time management plan.
Think of this as an extension of time management tip # 3. The objective is to change your behaviors over time to achieve whatever general goal you've set for yourself, such as increasing your productivity or decreasing your stress. So you need to not only set your specific goals, but track them over time to see whether or not you're accomplishing them.

5) Use time management tools.
Whether it's a Day-Timer or a software program, the first step to physically managing your time is to know where it's going now and planning how you're going to spend your time in the future. A software program such as Outlook, for instance, lets you schedule events easily and can be set to remind you of events in advance, making your time management easier.

6) Prioritize ruthlessly.

You should start each day with a time management session prioritizing the tasks for that day and setting your performance benchmark. If you have 20 tasks for a given day, how many of them do you truly need to accomplish? For more on daily planning and prioritizing daily tasks, see Start The Day Right With Daily Planning.

7) Learn to delegate and/or outsource.
No matter how small your business is, there's no need for you to be a one-person show. For effective time management, you need to let other people carry some of the load. Determining Your Personal ROI explains two ways to pinpoint which tasks you'd be better off delegating or outsourcing, while Decide To Delegate provides tips for actually getting on with the job of delegating.

8) Establish routines and stick to them as much as possible.
While crises will arise, you'll be much more productive if you can follow routines most of the time.

9) Get in the habit of setting time limits for tasks.
For instance, reading and answering email can consume your whole day if you let it. Instead, set a limit of one hour a day for this task and stick to it.

10) Be sure your systems are organized.
Are you wasting a lot of time looking for files on your computer? Take the time to organize a file management system. Is your filing system slowing you down? Redo it, so it's organized to the point that you can quickly lay your hands on what you need.

11) Don't waste time waiting.

From client meetings to dentist appointments, it's impossible to avoid waiting for someone or something. But you don't need to just sit there and twiddle your thumbs. Always take something to do with you, such as a report you need to read, a checkbook that needs to be balanced, or just a blank pad of paper that you can use to plan your next marketing campaign. Technology makes it easy to work wherever you are.

Daily Real Estate News

by Randy Dockery

Found this article in the Daily Real Estate News -

Article written by Paige Tepping

 

Easy Ways to Make Your

Home More Eco-Friendly

By Paige Tepping

RISMEDIA, July 15, 2010--Homeowners across the country are continually striving toward a more eco-friendly lifestyle. While homeowners may not know where to start, there are small steps that can be taken that can add up to make a big difference.

The experts at OurGreenerLife.com offer the following tips to help you lessen your eco footprint.

1. Use less water
Saving water is all about small steps. Here are a few simple ways that will help you conserve water while saving money.
-Shut off the water while you brush your teeth
-Take showers that are a minute or two shorter
-Only run full loads of laundry and dishes
-Buy from sustainable producers. These are farmers, ranchers and other producers that use techniques that pollute less and use less water. You can do some research online or ask at your local organic market to find these products.

2. Use less energy
If you don’t have the money to buy a hybrid car or convert your house to solar power, you can make a big difference with the following small changes.
-Buy energy efficient appliances. They may be more expensive, but make up for the increased cost in lower energy bills.
-Unplug chargers when you’re not using them. Cell phone and other chargers use up power even if there’s nothing attached to them.
-Put devices with remotes, like TVs, VCRs and stereos on a power strip and turn the power strip off when you’re not using the devices. These gadgets use a lot of power to run the remote receiver even when the device is off.
-Walk or ride your bicycle for short trips.
-Buy local products. It takes energy to transport food and other products across the country. Buying local not only supports your local economy, it helps them use less energy.
-When it comes to saving energy and water, it’s a great idea to get the kids involved—you can even make it a game. Have them track how much water and electricity everyone is using and compete to see who uses the least.

3. Reuse
Most of us know the three R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle, but when we work on conserving, we often leave reuse out of the picture. While you can often find tips on how to reuse common products from other people, what you need most is creativity. With a little thought, there are many items around your home that can be reused—toilet paper holders can be used to sow seeds for the vegetable patch, old yogurt containers can be cut into strips to make plant labels and old food jars can be refilled with homemade foods or can make great impromptu vases.

4. Use environmentally friendly products
When you go to the grocery store, you probably see more and more ‘natural’ or ‘eco friendly’ products every time. There are generally two big problems with these products: Just because they’re more natural than regular products, doesn’t mean they’re entirely natural and they’re often expensive.

If you want inexpensive, natural, safe products, why not just make them yourself? Vinegar is a great way to clean and disinfect glass and other surfaces. Need to remove stubborn stains? Just add some baking soda to your vinegar cleaner. Some quick searching online will lead you to hundreds of other natural safe home-made cleaning products.

Call RE/MAX MOUNTAIN PROPERTIES AT 877-837-3002 to see homes and land in the beautiful mountains of Murphy, North Carolina.

Randy Dockery

Time

by Randy Dockery

A quote from Amy Jones

"The word TIME is composed of only four letters, but if you divide the word you will see that there are two extremely important words inside. They are 'I' and 'Me'... In order to make the best use of your time, in order to do twice as much in half the time, you must take TIME for 'I' and 'Me.' You must make time to recharge and be rejuvenated."

~Amy Jones

 And take the time to visit our beautiful mountains of Murphy, North Carolina. We will be happy to take time to show you - your dream home. If you would like to see our properties, send me an e-mail at: randy@randydockery.com

Remember take the TIME to be recharged!

Randy Dockery

 

7 Rules for Room Additions

by Randy Dockery

Taken from Tuesday Tactics by Scott Levitt For Your Clients: 7 Rules For Room Additions
Great tips when considering an addition to your home.

This recent article by Paul Bianchina offers seven great tips for people considering an addition to a home. With an eye on how "aesthetics, access, and open space affect resale," this is a great article to share with past and present clients. Who knows, for some it might just open the door to a conversation about trading up rather than adding on!

1. Know why you're adding on.
2. Good additions never look like additions.
3. Out, up, down or a combination.
4. Don't let the interior become an afterthought.
5. Create convenient access.
6. Don't overwhelm your lot.
7. Understand the legalities.

How aesthetics, access, open space affect resale

If you're happy with your home and your neighborhood but are craving a little more space, maybe adding on is a better alternative to moving out. Room additions can be a terrific alternative for many homes, adding space for a growing family and adding resale value at the same time.

But be forewarned. A good room addition involves a whole lot more than just slapping on some additional square footage. Here are some important rules to keep in mind as your planning gets under way:

1. Know why you're adding on: This is the first rule, and it happens before you lift a hammer. Why do you need to add on? And no fair cheating and saying, "I need more space!"

Do you need another bathroom? Bedroom space? A laundry room or mud room? An improved kitchen flow? More space to entertain? Better accessibility due to health issues? More storage? A larger garage or hobby area? The only way the addition will meet your needs is to know what those needs are in the first place.

2. Good additions never look like additions: This is the other top rule of room-addition planning. When you're done, the addition -- no matter what its size or where it's located -- should never look like an addition. The architectural styles of new and existing need to blend.

The exterior materials need to blend as well, or at least complement each other. To the extent possible, use the same type of windows, roofing, doors, siding and other materials. If the original home has wood windows, using new vinyl windows in the addition screams "add-on" and lowers the appeal and the value. Don't overlook the need to blend landscaping and hardscaping as well.

3. Out, up, down, or a combination: The how and the where of a room addition is always a fun and exciting challenge for everyone involved. Some homes are situated on larger lots and lend themselves very nicely to adding out. Others seem best suited to adding up by building on a second or even a partial third floor.

Some houses are even laid out in such a way that it's possible to excavate under them and add new living space in the form of a daylight basement. Or it could be that a combination of two or even all three of these options makes the most sense for your particular home.

Keep your mind open to the possibilities. Work with a good contractor and a good designer and you'll be amazed at what you can come up with.

4. Don't let the interior become an afterthought: I've seen a surprising number of additions that look great from the outside but seem to have no thought put into them on the inside. Flooring doesn't match. Trim doesn't match. Sometimes even the interior floor heights don't match. Remember that how the interior of your addition looks and flows on the inside is just as important as how it looks and flows on the outside.

Use the same materials or the same style of materials. Match up ceiling, floor, and wall levels. Here again, no matter how you view the addition, inside or out, it should never look like an addition.

5. Create convenient access: This is another afterthought in a lot of additions. Let's say you have a three-bedroom, one-bathroom house, and you want to add a second bathroom. Typically, that's an addition that's going to have a good payback.

But then you build the addition so that the only access to the second bathroom is through the kitchen. You now have a three-bedroom, two-bath house, but since the layout is lousy, you've actually gone backwards in terms of desirability and resale value.

Are you going to create a beautiful second-floor master suite that can be accessed only by a tiny spiral staircase from the family room? Is the only way into your great new kitchen via a convoluted hallway that leads through the laundry room?

When planning your addition, never lose sight of how you're going to access the new spaces, and make sure that access is both convenient and inviting.

6. Don't overwhelm your lot: Granted, room additions are expensive. So when you're doing one, and all those workers are onsite, there's a temptation to get as much square footage as you can. But don't cram your lot full of house. Remember that open space is important as well, both to you and your family, and, later on, to potential buyers.

This is a good time to go back to Rule No. 1 and reconsider the "why" part of your room addition. Don't add space just to add it -- stay focused on your overall goals.

7. Understand the legalities: There are lots of rules and regulations that come into play regarding room additions. These include property line setbacks, zoning restrictions, and restrictions imposed by homeowner associations and architectural review committees.

In some historic areas, your addition may have to comply with certain historic guidelines. In other areas, there may even be solar shading restrictions that limit the height or the orientation of your roof line. Be sure you check into all of this before you get too far along with your planning.

Let RE/MAX Mountain Properties - Be Like an Eagle for You

by Randy Dockery

This was taken from "The Real Estate Book" an article written by: Todd Walker on April 6, 2010

Ducks Quack - Eagles Soar

When I need a doctor or an attorney, I want the most highly skilled professional that I can find. . After I have checked off that box, my next requirement is great customer service. Life is too short to work with someone who doesn’t have a positive attitude or who makes me feel unimportant.

Real estate transactions are no different.  I believe that the top real estate professionals are highly skilled marketers and negotiators and experts at guiding buyers and sellers through the complex process of buying or selling a home. That’s why they are the top agents in the market.  However, in today’s competitive landscape, I not only want to work with a highly skilled professional, but someone me feel like a valued customer – even a prized customer.  I want to work with someone who realizes that no one can make you serve customers well.  Great service is a choice.

Harvey Mackay, tells a wonderful story about a cab driver to prove this point.

He was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing Harvey noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for Harvey .

The driver handed Harvey a laminated card and said: “Hi.  I’m Wally, your driver. While I’m loading your bags in the trunk I’d like you to read my mission statement.” Taken aback, Harvey read the card… It said: “Wally’s Mission Statement: To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment.”

This blew Harvey away. Especially when he noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean!

As he slid behind the wheel, Wally said, “Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf.”

My friend said jokingly, “No, I’d prefer a soft drink.”

Wally smiled and said, “No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, water and orange juice.”

Almost stuttering, Harvey said, “I’ll take a Diet Coke.”

Handing him his drink, Wally said, “If you’d like something to read, I have The Wall Street Journal, Time, Sports Illustrated and USA Today.”

As they were pulling away, Wally handed my friend another laminated card, “These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you’d like to listen to the radio.”

And as if that weren’t enough, Wally told Harvey that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for him. Then he advised Harvey of the best route to his destination for that time of day. He also let him know that he’d be happy to chat and tell him about some of the sights or, if Harvey preferred, to leave him with his own thoughts.

“Tell me, Wally,” my amazed friend asked the driver, “have you always served customers like this?”

Wally smiled into the rear view mirror. “No, not always.. In fact, it’s only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard the personal growth guru, Wayne Dyer, on the radio one day.

“He had just written a book called, ‘You’ll See It When You Believe It.’ Dyer said that if you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you’ll rarely disappoint yourself. He said, ‘Stop complaining! Differentiate yourself from your competition. Don’t be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.’

“That hit me right between the eyes,” said Wally. “Dyer was really talking about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty.  The drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more.”

“I take it that has paid off for you,” Harvey said.

“It sure has,” Wally replied. “My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I’ll probably quadruple it. You were lucky to get me today.. I don’t sit at cabstands anymore. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on my answering machine. If I can’t pick them up myself, I get a reliable cabbie friend to do it and I take a piece of the action.”

Wally was phenomenal. He was running a limo service out of a Yellow Cab. I’ve probably told that story to more than fifty cab drivers over the years, and only two took the idea and ran with it. Whenever I go to their cities, I give them a call. The rest of the drivers quacked like ducks and told me all the reasons they couldn’t do any of what I was suggesting.

Wally the Cab Driver made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like a duck and to start soaring like an eagle.

Do you know agents that go the extra mile to get every bit of business available?  Which ones are the top agents bringing in the commissions – even during a down market. Which are you?  A duck?  Or an eagle?

_____

Be wise and choose Randy Dockery and RE/MAX Mountain Properties to Soar like an Eagle for you and your family - for all your real estate needs.

Thank you,

Randy Dockery

 

Displaying blog entries 1-8 of 8