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Southport NC - Gettin' Back into the Swing

Yacht Basin 4x3 I think blogging is a lot like exercising. It's pretty easy when you're in the routine. But if that routine gets interrupted, as was the case over the Holidays, boy it sure is hard to get back in it! I haven't posted in a month and it's not like I don't have a gazillion things to write about. I'm swimming with thoughts and ideas for the New Year. I am battling with my firm commitment to get in shape in '08. I turn 50 in November and there's a lot of incentive to get into a serious exercise regime. I quit smoking a little over a year ago, not long after leaving my 25 year landscaping business to give real estate a try. My market timing was way off but it was the right time for me. My aching body was showing signs of wear and tear and I could never be happy supervising a job. I've always done physical labor. I cropped tobacco in the summers and planted thousands of pines for a paper company while in high school. I interned with a landscaping company while finishing up my Horticulture degree and worked with them a couple more years after graduation, before moving to Southport. I led a landscaping and maintenance crew for the early developer of Bald Head Island.

Seeking flexibility and independence, starting my own landscaping business seemed like a no brainer. I'd been able to stay home for a year with my first-born, but our finances demanded I get back at it. What started as a part time business, turned into a small but sustaining enterprise for me, and later my husband too. Our girls, eventually all four of them, contributed many days of contested labor, that is until they were old enough to get a real job. They all came to the conclusion very early on that they knew for sure what they didn't want to be when they grew up!

I have always had a fascination with real estate. Back in the days when directional signs weren't on every corner, I could never manage to pass one without a quick u-turn, just to see what was for sale. We were never in position to actually buy anything but I just loved looking. For years, without fail, I read every real estate ad in the Sunday paper. Finally there was an ad in the paper that real estate licensing classes would be taught in Southport for the first time. Not having to drive to Wilmington was just enough motivation to get me to sign up. This was 1990 and I was thinking ahead for a possible second career.... way off in the distant future somewhere. I became an inactive Broker in 1991 and kept it on the back burner until the summer of '06. The real estate market in Brunswick County was already showing serious signs of correction after two years of unprecedented growth, along with a huge surge in property values. My timing... well I admit it... sucks. In truth, though, I'm happy as a clam with my new career, although the side effects are obvious. A year and a half and 20 lbs. later, glued to a computer screen instead of a shovel, I find that I can now search out real estate deals in earnest...with a purpose....with potential positive results....and with all the FUN tools at the fingertips of todays' Realtor! Working as a Buyer's Agent kind of brings to fruition all the elements of exploration, discovery, and fact-finding I think I was born to do. I'm optimistic for the start of a market recovery later this year. We have personally invested in this "buyer's market," and would go so far as to say, that anyone waiting for an illusive bottom signal may miss a great opportunity to buy at wholesale prices. Much has been written about the investment strategies of Warren Buffet and his unparalleled long-term success rate. The one that seems to apply the most to both the financial and real estate markets right now is the one about, "when fear is at it's highest level, the buying opportunity is the greatest." I think everyone is fearful right now, and in many cases for good reason. But even with our negative Media, that never seems to sleep, or get tired of its own dismal voice, spamming our consciousness with doubts and wariness about the future, I am hopeful and excited for what the New Year will bring.weddingparty3x2

Sure to bring the most excitement will be the highly anticipated arrival of our first grandchild. Our oldest was married last year and wasted no time in stepping up production. So once again we find ourselves in uncharted territory, and welcoming what it will bring.

I swear, I had no idea I was headed for this long-winded foray into a self-indulgent confessional when I started. I got up this morning, poured a cup of coffee, checked my email, and got inspired by my brother's new post. "Just stop procrastinating and sit down and write something, for Pete's sake. How hard can it be?" says me. So here it is. I vow that my next blog will be more informative, useful, and on point ........ maybe. And Tuesday..... I'm saying it right here in public..... I'm starting my gym membership.


A little slice of heaven we call Turkey Knob Farm

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