traffic lights – who controls them in your city?

What’s the drive time like from Raleigh to work?

That’s a question we get asked often as many folks moving to our wonderful area have had some pretty rough commute times.  Of course it depends on where you live but here in Raleigh your commute time may be getting even shorter.

What does traffic signal synchronization mean?  Well if you commute to work in Raleigh NC the new proposed plan could mean your commute time is about to improve.  If all goes well about 10% better with the new $28 million overhaul aimed at cutting commute times here Raleigh.

Synchronizing traffic lights isn’t anything new ~ and as a matter of fact Raleigh has been working for several years on a program to reset her traffic signals.  Synchronizing lights just makes good sense and with the aid of computer software; timing lights to reflect current traffic patters or congestion levels sounds like a pretty effective way to reduce traffic issues, stress AND save commuters time and gas.  

It’s being done with a fiber-optic real-time system.  So just how is it controlled today?  According to Matt Garfield’s article in the Midtown Raleigh News today;

In the basement of city hall, four staffers monitor Raleigh’s major roads

on a bank of flat-screen TVs mounted on the wall.  Their job is to watch

for traffic jams and adjust stoplight timing patterns based on what they

see. The room might be small and windowless, but the work done in the

city’s traffic control center affects thousands every day.

Let’s give these four folks some better tools to work with don’t you say…  Ok, but patience please.  This will take a little longer than originally planned.  Right now the town is almost finished installing 210 miles of fiber optic cable, linking about 611 intersections with the traffic control center.  Plus with about 40 video cameras at new locations those traffic engineers will have a much better view “out there” as to how the traffic is moving – or not.  Here’s a real time traffic site to help  you plan your travels around the Triangle.

Way to plan for our continued growth Raleigh!  

P.S You’re gonna love living here!!

What’s happening on Holly Springs Road in Raleigh/Cary NC?

Holly Srpings Road work

If you have been driving up and down Holly Springs road for the past few weeks, you may have wondered what in the world are they doing to the road?  

Is it being widened to handle the traffic better? NO…  it’s the Town of Cary constructing nearly 20,000 feet of sanitary sewer pipeline to help carry waste water from the Swift Creek Pump Station to the South Cary Water Reclamation Facility.  

Well so much for a better traffic flow on Holly Springs Road – but with 17,000 feet of the pipeline being installed near the existing sewer line along Holly Springs Road, Ten Ten Road and Lawdraker Roads I guess we can say the ‘stuff’ in those pipes will move along better.

There will also be 3,000 feet of pipeline installed from Lawdraker Road to an existing interceptor near the Jamison Park subdivision.

Also included in the project are three ground mounted, landscaped odor control devices along the corridor.  Glad to hear someone was thinking on that one!

All in all the projects projected cost is about $8.5 million with a projected completion date of September 2012.

Tired of litter on the roadways? Wanna do something about a litter-bug? Here’s how you can help…

report a litterbug

North Carolinians it’s time to turn our attention once again to keeping North Carolina Beautiful….

What makes NC beautiful?  We do…  and twice a year the The N.C. Department of Transportation sponsors Litter Sweep.  This year the event is scheduled for Sept. 17 to Oct. 1.

Just what is it?  Litter Sweep are volunteers that go out and help to clean up North Carolina roadsides.  Here in North Carolina we are working hard towards becoming a litter-free state.  

What do they do?  In the spring of this year volunteers were report a litterbugresponsible for removing more than 1.6 million pounds of roadside litter ~ that’s a lot of soda cans and cigarette butts!!

Litter Sweep volunteers will help support the the NCDOT maintenance crews, Adopt-A-Highway groups, N.C. Department of Correction inmate crews and community service workers who all participate in cleaning up our roadways.

Don’t litter.  It’s not just a campaign slogan.  Littering in NC can cost you big time.  It’s an illegal offense that if you are found guilty you could be fined up to $2,000, receive a point on your drivers license, AND be sentenced to community service work.  Do it again and those fines double!  

If you or your organization would like to volunteer here in the Triangle contact;

   Office of Beautification Programs
    1540 Mail Service Center Raleigh, NC 27699-1540

Phone: (919) 715-3188 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (919) 715-3188      end_of_the_skype_highlighting Fax: (919) 715-2554

Do you ever see someone who has forgotten ‘NOT to litter’?  Ever wish there was something you can do?  Well there is.  In NC you can Swat-a-Litterbug.

Here’s what the Swat-a-Litterbug program asks us to do;

  * E-mail: On-line Swat-A-Litterbug form to report a litterbug (click here)
  * Call 800-331-5864 and ask for a Mail in the Swat-A-Litterbug card*
  * Call our Customer Service Office at 1-877-DOT-4YOU (1-877-368-4968)

The offender with receive notification of their littering offense.  They will be reminded of the penalties for littering, and urged to stop littering and encouraged to help keep NC beautiful.

We all can do something to keep America Beautiful.  Here’s how we do in the Carolinas…


Real Estate Recovery for Downtown Raleigh, NC Condos!

Real Estate Recovery for Downtown Raleigh, NC Condos!

One of the hardest hit real estate markets around the country was and is the condo market.  Jeremy Salemson, CEO of Corporate Investors Mortgage Group reported on WRAL’s Today in Real Estate that the sales for the downtown Raleigh condo market have recently “skyrocketed” year over year!  Indicating that “not only the real estate purchase appetite is returning, but an appetite for a niche portion of the market”. 

LOVE that the thriving niche is the downtown Raleigh, NC condo market!

Downtown Raleigh, NC


Downtown Raleigh itself is thriving, seems like every time Lee and I head to downtown Raleigh for dinner or entertainment we come across a new local Raleigh restaurant or shop!  Check out for a great list to get you started on things to do in Raleigh, NC.

Here’s the WRAL video report if your interested…


Raleigh home for sale - 3 bed, 2.5 baths tri-level townhome with cathedral ceilings!

If you’re thinking about moving to the Raleigh area or purchasing Wake County Real Estate there are tremendous opportunities available right now for home ownership in the Triangle. 

With interest rates at an all time low and the housing supply up… now is a great time to buy a home in Wake County.  Want a perfect example of a great deal on a Raleigh, NC home for sale?  Check out the townhome on the right, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths and over 1700 square feet available for only $119,900!

Real Estate Recovery? DEFINITELY! Labor Market Stats for Wake County

One of my favorite e-mails of the month came today… The Raleigh, NC Economic Development Monthly Recap from the Raleigh Chamber.

What did I learn?…

A new LEED Silver certified office building (LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is quickly becoming the new standard for green building and sustainable building practices) will be built in Cary, NC by LORD Corporation that will add 117 new high-paying jobs.

Due to growth, Raleigh based company, Longistics, is creating 52 new jobs.

According to the North Carolina Employment Security Commission, the number of employed people in Wake County in June 2011 compared with June 2010 rose by 2,470 jobs (from 419,830 to 422,300) and the number of people unemployed decreased by 1,543 (that’s terrific!).

You know what I LOVE about the above?  “Due to growth”, “new high-paying jobs”, “creating new jobs”, “LEED Silver certified” (investing in the health and well-being of occupants, the economy and the environment!), “unemployment decreased”, “employment rose by”… ahhhh, I love living in Wake County, NC!

5 Bed, 4 Bath Home for sale in Wakefield, Raleigh, NC

If you happen to be considering moving to Wake County, NC… there are terrific opportunities for home ownership! A perfect example of a fabulous Raleigh, NC home for sale is on the right. 

This gorgeous 5 bed, 4 bath home has 3665 stunning square feet and is located in desireable Wakefield Subdivision.  For more information, check out this home for sale in Raleigh, NC


Wake County & Surrounding Areas Map



Want to learn more about the areas in and around Wake County?  Click the map to the left for links to information on each town, as well as distances between towns in relation to Raleigh, NC.



All about Wake County, NC Schools

Q:  What do our kids need for their school supplies in Wake County? We touched a bit on school supply collecting recently but just what is it that’s on “the list“?

A:  Unfortunately we can’t list them here.  I wish School Supply Lists in Wake County, NCit was that easy really – our goal is to be helpful! 

School supply lists depend on what school your child is attending and what grade they’re going into.  Each school has a list posted on their prospective websites, and since the Wake County School System is the 2nd largest in the state… well, supplying that list might be something to shoot for in the future.  I can however suggest a quick way to find your child’s list!  I’ve tested it out many times for many different schools and grades:

  • Pull up your favorite internet browser
  • Type in the school name, grade, and “supply list”


Voila!  It should be within the top 3 search engine results.  If your childs school falls within the Wake County Public School System, “” will more often than not be included within the URL of the link.

Q:  What are the start dates for Wake County Schools?

A:  Here’s a quick recap of Wake County School start dates:

  • Multi-track year round schools started July 11
  • modified calendar schools started July 25th
  • Track 4 in year-round befan August 1
  • Traditional Calendar schools will begin Thursday August 25th

Q:  Do you have a list of resources where parents can get good information about all the schools in the Triangle area?

A:  We do!  We spent a lot of Wake County and Surrounding Areas School Resourcetime compiling resources that would give information about Wake County public schools and magnet schools, Chapel Hill and Orange County Public schools, Chatham, Durham and Johnson County public schools, as well as information on home schooling in NC, child day care, private academies and schools and even colleges and universities in the Triangle area ALL IN ONE LOCATION. 

You can find it on our education in Wake and surrounding counties page. 


Back to School in Wake County ~ a little bit about bus safety


Smart Guidelines to keep kids safe going to and from their Wake County Schools


Raleigh NC


Can you believe it’s ‘that time’ of the year already?  Ah yes ~ schools are starting!  And we’ve had such a great summer! 

Wake County Schools do a great job of helping to educate parents on the do’s and do not’s when it comes to school bus safety. 


With the 2011-2012 school year coming up the Transportation Department  kindly took the time to send letters to parents with school age children.  They included info about where children’s bus stops are located, arrival times, and a few good rules of thumb that everyone (inside Wake County and EVERYWHERE in the nation) should keep in mind regarding school bus safety.


Our kids are long grown up, but I love watching the little ones in various neighborhoods  getting on or getting off the bus and playing patty-cake (OK…. the new much more advanced version of patty-cake) those high-five/twirl around/slap hands/shake hands games that all kids seem to know and have perfectly coordinated. 


Wake County Schools

To keep our young ones safe the Transportation Department here recommends a parent be present both morning and afternoon.  I know, they don’t think it’s COOL to have you standing next to them while they’re with their friends (OUCH!), but within eye shot (or closer depending on age) is a worthy precaution. 



It was comforting to learn that here in Wake County, bus drivers will not discharge a kindergarten or 1st grade student at a bus stop UNLESS a responsible person is present at the stop.


Maybe take turns with the neighbors and work out a schedule to make sure everyone gets to and from school safely.



A quick recap of Wake County School Start Dates;

  • Multi-track year round schools started July 11
  • modified calendar schools started July 25th
  • Track 4 in year-round befan August 1
  • Traditional Calendar schools will begin Thursday August 25th

So please when you’re on the roads in the next few weeks ~ drive with caution especially as the school year gets started and everyone gets used to where/when they need to be at their bus stops…  It’s so important as by the end of August when all schools are in session, Wake County Public School System drivers will be behind the wheels of 935 buses transporting approximately 75,000 students safely each day.  That’s a lot of responsibility!




More on Fraud and REO’s in Raleigh NC – follow up post! It made the news…

Raleigh real estate fraud

Few weeks ago I wrote about a real estate scam that’s hit Raleigh real estate entitled

Fraud and REO’s ~ there’s a rash of it hitting Raleigh NC – public BEWARE

It really was an eye opener as Lee uncovered just what was going on with REO owned properties both his and others…  

This is a follow up to that post – apparently even though Lee didn’t want to go to the press another agent here in the Triangle did.  And it wasn’t just REO homes that were involved.  Wait till you hear how one homeowner was affected!

We have since received phone calls from the reporter, and the attorney generals office.  Hopefully since this broadcast hit the news last week there will be an effort to charge those responsible for this scam…  Hopefully putting a stop to their entrepreneurial efforts!

Take a closer look….  and be sure to watch your vacant properties…. very very closely!

Fraud and REO’s ~ there’s a rash of it hitting Raleigh NC – public BEWARE

Fraud and REO’s ~ there’s a rash of it hitting Raleigh NC – public BEWARE



This post is a heads up about a fraudulent scam hitting the REO business here in Wake county NC…  

As the old saying goes “if it sounds too good to be true” it probably is!


Last week an agent was scheduled to show one of our bank owned properties that Lee had listed up in Wake Forest.  But once he got there the agent was greeted at the door by a man claiming to have just purchased the property from the bank through an investment company.  The lock box was gone.

Surprised and no doubt a tad put out the agent called  wondering why we still had the property on the market if it has been sold.  WHOA – sold?  Nobody told us!  With calls/emails off to alert the assest managers, Lee headed to the property to see for himself what was going on…  house fraud

Sure enough our sign was gone, the locks had been re-keyed, the lockbox was gone, the AC was running, and all the notifications were off the windows.  But nobody was home.

Now we start to do some investigative work quickly on our end…  What do we find?  We discover the fraudulent documents the investment company filed at the Wake County Register of Deeds Office.

Looking closely at the fraudulent docs we find that the company called  “ONCE International Land Trust”; used an obscure address in Raleigh.  Looking up the address (thanks Google maps) we discover a picture of a modest dwelling at that address. (the AHA moment)

house fraud


But it gets worse; the culprits had filed erroneous and false documents with the county…  not just on this property but we discover on others too.  All high end vacant homes in Raleigh…  We alerted the other listing agents of the possible scam taking place. Today we are aware of 7 properties that have been hit.


So what’s happening?  This week we’ve got our properties back, re-keyed and on the market.  Meanwhile we learn of a plausible scam/scheme where some folks get possession of a vacant property, advertise an incredible deal for lease or purchase, find an unsuspecting party thinking it is too much of a good deal to pass up and are duped by the fake documents and they tender a juicy deposit to the investor who just disappears..

Think it can’t happen?  It can.  And has – in Charlotte, San Bernardino County CA, Hampton VA so BUYERS and REO agents BEWARE.  There’s a scam potentially coming near you.

Raleigh’s new Modern Toll Road Project is Making Progress…

We’re moving right along!!  With the new Triangle Expressway that is!  Construction is well underway and even leaps and bounds ahead of where it was even just a few months ago.  We’ve all been waiting for what I’ve called the #540 to make it’s way around.

Where is progress being made?  The NCDOT is doing a great job keeping us up to date via Town newsletters. So far there are 9 out of 34 bridges completed, 14 culverts to channel water and 700 acres of land cleared.

At the completion, how long will the toll road system be?  18.8 miles from N.C. 55 bypass to I-40 and N.C. 147.

What is the toll going to cost?  Well there’s a 2 part answer to this… the project in it’s entirety will cost over $1 billion.  The cost to individual users is said to be approximately 15 cents per mile using the NC quick Pass Transponder.

Is this toll going to slow my commute to work?  Of course not!! The whole idea is to get you where you need to go, more conveniently, quickly, and safely.  If you work or live along what will be the new Triangle Expressway your commute will improve!!  This project will reduce congestion and provides a more direct route to Western Wake County and Research Triangle Park (RTP).  Side roads, NC 55 and NC 54 travelers will benefit as well as more and more commuters utilize the new Triangle Expressway – less congestion for them!

Won’t having to stop for a toll slow me down?  Nope!!  The toll fee can be collected pretty much anyway you like.  There will be options for:

  • Transponders (those radio-frequency tags you put on your car for a no-hassle drive-through)
  • License plate photo (you have the option to set up a pre-paid account where the amount is auto-deducted, or you can simply get billed)
  • Paying cash

Outside of the cash option you won’t even need to slow down… no traditional toll booths with lines, or waiting for those big arms to go up so that you can get through.


Pretty simple?  YES!!!!   Pretty Exciting?  We think so!!

I guess I won’t need my change holder after all…