Monday, November 7, 2011

Anyone for Tennis?

When you think of tennis, you might immediately think of NY.  After all, the US Open is played right there at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Queens. That relationship spawned numerous pro-training centers as well. John McEnroe had his own private facility just down the street from his family's estate in Oyster Bay Cove on Long Island.

I would have never thought a jaded New Yorker like myself could be blown away by some tennis facility in North Carolina.......

I was wrong...

Right here in Cary we have one of the finest year-round outdoor Tennis Parks in the country
boasting 29 Championship courts including a stadium tournament court,

as well as practice walls and 4 junior sized quick start courts for kids.

The facility, which is situated on a gorgeous park like setting surrounded by picturesque walkways and bridges, has been selected as one of only 2
Development Training Centers by the U S Tennis Association.

The town of Cary consistently exceeds at developing recreational "Quality of Life" areas, which is clearly yet another reason why so many people are drawn to the area.  People who desire an active lifestyle feel right at home on the walking trails, the designated bike roads, and at the Tennis Park where, even now in mid-November, the courts full swing!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Parade of Homes...and amazing mansions

We New Yorkers, with our resident Rockafellers, Morgans, Vanderbuilts, Roosevelts and the historic homes on the 'Gold Coast' of Long Island, think we've cornered the market on mansions, but I have found many rivals here in North Carolina. Our most famous mansion is the spectacular Biltmore Estate in Ashville, but this year's Parade of homes boasts one development just 20 minutes outdise of Raleigh that has 15 executive mansions open for viewing, many of which are listed between $1 and $2 million.

The Parade of Homes is an annual event that pits the triangle area's new home builders against each other in a friendly compitition. They open up their very best model homes to the public for three weekends in October.  Some people go to buy, some to get decorating ideas and see how the other half lives. To get information on all of the beautiful homes on tour folow this link:

It is impossible to see all 200 houses that are entered in the parade (especially since Oct 14,15 & 16 are the final days) so in the interest of time I will tell you that in my opinion, this year the best of the best clearly resides in one particular new home community in Wake Forest.

From the moment you pull up to the security guard at the Hasentree golf community it's clear you've entered a world most of us can only dream of.  Then you pass a curious sign engraved with an Audubon International Signuiture Santuary Gold Certification, which means that the entire development was designed with environmental sustainability at the forefront. Then... there on your left, is the stunning Welcome Center/ Model Home.

The homes are built by TOLL BROTHERS who are kind of like the Rolls Royce of home builders. Their list of awards is endless including "World's Most Admired Home Builder of 2010" in Forbes Magazine. Once you step inside any Toll Brothers Model it is easy to see why.

The grandure and attention to detail, the professional decor and clever ideas are well worth the trip, and if you happen to be fortunate enough to be able to afford one of these gems, there are some great deals I can get for you.   If not, well at least you can feel like a Rockafeller for a day!!!                                                  

So, get the family together, fill up the car and head up to
7328 Hasentree Way
Wake Forest, NC

Friday, September 9, 2011

Come Meet Myrtle!

Sure, the east coast is always beautiful in the spring. Backyards are radiant with color, but the lacy pastel party wear of the apple, cherry & pear tress are quickly changed to their more formal green uniform for summer.

Here in the Carolinas we have one delightful hold out. The 'Crepe Myrtle', who wears her bright floral dress for most of the year. She may be dressed in lavender, white lace, fuschia, pale pink or red. No matter the color, she will turn your head every time.

                                                                                                                                                                                This "Flower of the South" can be seen beautifying the Raleigh area at every turn.
I was bowled over by their breathtaking bouquets when I first moved here, as I drove down Cary Parkway, where they decorate the median for more than 10 miles.   
They can be seen greeting you at the entrances to subdivisions, shopping areas, in front of fire houses, hospitals & schools.  They can be seen peaking over fences from professionally landscaped back yards.

You will find them shading moms and dads while they watch their children play at the many area parks. Everywhere you go, the Raleigh Triangle is decorated with their perennial splendor.
 A refreshing change from the browns and greens of the north eastern landscape,
 Myrtle welcomes you to the south!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Stellar Endorsement

If you work in the software business, an endorsement from Bill Gates might be your goal.  As a chef it might be a pat on the back from Emeril Lagasse.  When it comes to homes and living the good life, the ultimate endorsement would be from the ‘Goddess of home and garden’, Martha Stewart. 
                                                                                                       photo source:

She might not be everyone’s cup of tea but, as a brand, she has gained respect for her nit-picky attention to detail and business savvy as much as her ability to bake cookies. It was that business savvy that led her to partner with a nationally known home builder KB Homes and find the perfect town to launch her first Martha Stewart neighborhood.
That perfect town was…Cary North Carolina.

The home designs are inspired by Stewart’s  own homes in New York, Connecticut and Maine. Stone work on some like homes in costal Maine, and some have cedar shingles like the beach houses in The Hamptons.

Photos: BJ Barratt

Models were wainscoted and accented with Stewart’s signature greens and creams, but they are not as grand as Stewart’s personal houses.  They are designed, sized and priced to appeal to the tide of middle and upper middle class North Easterners flooding into this area to escape high taxes, bad winters and traffic jams.

...and to top it off, a beautiful community pool/clubhouse/tennis area was designed into the community.  Most communities here in the Raleigh area have pools... but this one is particularly nice:

photos: BJ Barratt

Once again that business savvy paid off. During its opening week in May 2006 Martha’s Twin Lakes subdivision sold out its first 100-home phase in Cary.  Now in it’s final phases, Twin lakes has just 11 home sites left to be built, however a constantly flowing market keeps several of the detached as well as the newly added townhomes on the resale market. 
This lovely home was recently on our weekly broker tour. It is one of those homes that should be listed as "COME SEE ME, I AM SO BEAUTIFUL INSIDE!" Most of these homes are quite modest on the outside, but open into a well laid out and beautifully detailed interior, like this: 

Bonus/loft with great built in computer worksspace

TMLS photos courtsey of listing agent, Pam Marshall - Fonville Morisey
So whether you want to live in the Martha Stewart community or, like Martha, you just want to find the perfect town to call your own - CARY North Carolina is the place for you!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Park it in Cary

The town of Cary North Carolina is a rapidly growing suburb of the capital city of Raleigh.  It is edged on the north and east by Raleigh, on the north and west by Research Triangle Park and Morrisville, on the south by Apex and Holly Springs, and on the west by the Jordan Lake area.

It is a little over 40 square miles of heaven on earth.  Back in the suburbs of NY there is precious little park area, and what there is of it is surrounded by strip malls and aging infrastructure, and there is a good chance you have to pay to get in. In Cary, there are more than 25 free town parks.  We’re talking BIG parks, many with large boating/fishing lakes!

 In addition to the multitude of beautiful parks, they have these things here called ‘greenways’.  As a Yankee, I had only ever heard of greenways on golf courses – but here they are miles and miles of paved trails that run behind residential areas and through parks.

They are EVERYWHERE, they are lovely and they are making it very difficult for me to come up with excuses not to take up jogging