Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Honor Flight Honors Local Vets

I was a Guardian for the Honor Flight organization and I've included a video of my most recent trip so you can share in excitement and admiration for the 101 veterans we escorted to Washington, DC. 

In case you are not familiar with what Honor Flight is, here's a brief description I 'borrowed' from the website: 
A non-profit program operated entirely by volunteers, our Wilmington, NC headquarters is affiliated with the national Honor Flight Network and serves veterans of southeastern North Carolina and surrounding areas.  Honor Flights demonstrate respect and admiration for these elderly service members by flying them at no cost to Washington, DC to see the magnificent World War II Memorial, between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument, finally completed in their honor in 2004.  They will be accompanied by understanding guardians who will assist with any medical or mobility needs.

It's Confirmed - Major Motion Picture Filming in Wilmington!

The office of Governor Beverly Perdue announced Monday, "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island" will start production later this month in Wilmington. The movie stars Dwayne Johnson and Oscar-winner Michael Caine. New Line Cinema, a subsidiary of Warner Brothers, will spend five months in Wilmington.

The film is about a teenager who sets out on a mission with his mother’s boyfriend to find his grandfather, who is thought to be missing on a mythical island, according to Internet Movie Database. It’s slated to be released September 23, 2011. And even more exciting is that "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island" will use the water tank at Screen Gems for the first time ever along with five of the ten stages at Screen Gems. 

“Mysterious Island” is a sequel to “Journey to the Center of the Earth.” That movie, which was released in 2008, had a budget of $45 million and grossed $231 million worldwide. And like the first movie, “The Mysterious Island” will be shot in 3D! 

Monday, October 11, 2010

After Foreclosure: How Soon Can You Buy?

With the rash of foreclosures across the country many people wonder exactly how a foreclosure will affect their home-buying power in the future. Chris Hutchens of Alpha Mortgage provides the following information on the waiting period most lenders follow. In all cases, borrowers must re-establish their credit, meaning they must meet minimum credit score requirements and eligibility requirements.

For buyers who’ve had a foreclosure the typical waiting period is 7 years. There is a three year exception, however, but borrowers must be able to show documentation for an extenuating circumstance, must have at least 10% for the down payment and the purchase must be for a primary residence.

Even if you didn’t go through a full foreclosure Fannie Mae has set requirements for the waiting period for Deed-In-Lieu of Foreclosure, Pre-Foreclosure and Short Sale to the same limits of:
         2 Years – 80% Max LTV
         4 Years – 90% Max LTV
         7 Years – LTV Ratios Per Eligibility Matrix

And as with foreclosure, if you have a documented extenuating circumstance then you may be eligible to qualify for a two year waiting period if the Max LTV is 90%.

If you have experienced any one of these challenging financial events, please contact your mortgage lender to discuss exactly what your options are before trying to buy a home.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Morning Coffee for October 5th

Here's a brief article filled with tips from a leading writer and speaker to compliment this week's Morning Coffee.

Have a fantastic week!  

Monday, October 4, 2010

Secretary of the Navy Honors Wilmington

According to a press release from U.S. Representative Mike McIntyre, the Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, has accepted his invitation to come to Wilmington to celebrate the 235th birthday of the U.S. Navy aboard the USS North Carolina battleship on October 12th.

McIntyre stated, “This is a great honor that Secretary Mabus would come join us in Wilmington, not only to celebrate the Navy’s birthday, but also to honor veterans and our servicemen and women of all branches of our armed forces. Southeastern North Carolina has a great tradition of honoring those who serve and those who have served our country, and the Secretary’s visit will emphasize that service.”

The ceremony on the battleship is being hosted by the Navy League, a veterans organization that includes those engaged in maritime service, such as the Navy, Coast Guard, Marines, and Merchant Marines.

“The Secretary’s visit will also be an integral part of the ongoing celebration in anticipation of the upcoming commission of the U.S.S. Gravely as the Navy’s newest destroyer, which will be held on November 20th,” continued McIntyre, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee.

Monday, September 27, 2010

16th Annual Cucalorus Film Festival

What’s up with that name? What’s a Cucalorus?
cuc•a•lor•us n.,
[orig. Gk. kukaloris, the dance of the shadows.]
1. a film set apparatus placed in front of a light source to create a dappled lighting effect on a subject or background. also cookie, UK. gobo.
2. a film festival in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Cucalorus 16: November 11-14, 2010  promises to bring an outstanding lineup of features, documentaries, and shorts to the screen while connecting the brightest artists from around the world. The Brooks Institute recently selected Cucalorus as one of the Top 10 Film Festivals in the US! 

Screenings and events are centered mostly in the historic downtown area with Thalian Hall as the focus. Films are also being shown at City Stage Theatre, Jengo’s Playhouse and other venues around town. There will be screenings of over 110 independent and international films! If you’ve never been to the film fest don’t panic. There’s something for everyone. According to the event website, 

“Cucalorus screens a little bit of everything. Look for lots of shorts and docs scattered throughout the schedule. Each year, more than 100 films make it onto the lineup. There are roughly 50 narrative and documentary features and about 100 shorts. Short films range from super brief (30 seconds) to 39 minutes. Cucalorus attempts to represent the artform in all its diversity and contradiction.”

That’s a lot of variety and a ton of entertainment! The schedule is expected to be posted in October. Check the website for additional details!  Screenings and events sell out every year. Passes are available for purchase now and will be mailed to before October 17. Advance tickets for Thalian Hall screenings can be purchased at the Thalian Hall Box Office (910/343/3664) or online at thalianhall.com. Passes can also be picked up at Jengo's Playhouse anytime before the festival. 

If you slacked and waited till the last minute to get passes they can be purchased at each venue but you risk the chance of an event selling out!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Airlie's Oyster Roast Almost Oyster-Less

Airlie's Annual Low Country Oyster Roast was almost an oyster-less roast due to the Gulf Coast oil spill this year.  Many people might have noticed the sign just outside of the park advertising an oyster-less roast this year. That was the brainchild of event organizers who wanted to see what the public reaction would be if oysters were no longer available—ever.

In a letter on the Airlie Garden website Parks and Garden director, Jim McDaniel explains how the Gulf Coast environmental crisis almost ended our local tradition but further explains that our area has been in a coastal crisis for years.
Airlie Gardens always has been a great resource for providing guests excellent opportunities for hands-on, quality education. This year our Oyster Roast, or Oyster-less Roast as it were, will be no different. This is a chance to focus on our own environment, right here in New Hanover County.”
The Gulf Oil spill created a 'false economy' with Airlie’s normal supplier who began charging $2 per oyster. Fortunately, McDaniel was able to find a new supplier from the Chesapeake area so the roast is on with oysters as is tradition.

This year’s Oyster Roast is Friday, October 15th. For $75 per person you get steamed oysters, fried fish, and more to fill your belly. You can work off some of the delicious grub dancing to "The Imitations". This event ALWAYS sells out so get your tickets as they go on sale September 1. If you need more information call (910) 798-7700 or visit the park website. All parking is on-site and all proceeds benefit the Environmental Education Program.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Riverfest Returns to Downtown

The festival begins Saturday, October 2nd and runs through Sunday, October 3rd. There will be live entertainment  featured on two outdoor stages along with arts and crafts, exhibits, dance performances, contests, children's activities, food concessions and more! There's a fireworks show beginning at 9:05 PM on Saturday, October 2nd.

The Riverfest coincides with the 6th Annual Invasion of the Pirates. The Invasion hosts a Treasure Hunt for children Saturday, October 2nd from 1-4PM with area merchants. There will be swordsmen demonstrating their skills throughout the day. And in the evening a "pirate ship" flotilla begins at 7:20PM where boats and crews are costumed and decorated. The Flotilla will start at the Memorial Bridge and continue north along the river to Conlon Docks led by the Wilmington Fire Boat, Atlantic VI.

For more information on Riverfest click here or call 910.452.6862.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Tax Credit Extended

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) worked closely with Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle to enact the Homebuyer Tax Credit, the Homebuyer Assistance and Improvement Act (H.R. 5623). Extending the tax credit closing deadline will help provide additional stability to real estate markets across the nation. 
The extension applies only to transactions that have ratified contracts in place as of April 30, 2010, that have not yet closed. The legislation is designed to create a seamless extension; the new closing deadline for eligible transactions is now September 30, 2010. There will be no gap between June 30 and the date the President signs the bill into law. 
(Source: REALTOR® Action Center)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Wilmington Area Home Sales Up!

According the stats from the Wilmington Regional Association of Realtors (WRAR), area home sales are up for the 10th straight month in a row!

Home sales rose to 507 last month, compared with 416 in June 2009 according to the WRAR. And the Days on Market (DOM) time has dropped from 139 to 119 days in the same period.

The only cloudy bit of news is that there's still room for improvement in the price of homes sold. The average price of homes sold is down 7% to $238,610 from $256,616 in June 2009.

Overall, all our numbers are showing a strong market rebound compared to other areas of the country.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Tuna Salute

If you can read this message, thank a teacher. If you can read it in English, thank a veteran. - On the back of a T-shirt.

In case you've checked my posting dates, you can see that I have been dormant for a while. I guess I did not have too much to say. Now I do.

I have had the privilege to participate in the Honor Flight program. Honor Flight flies World War II veterans to Washington, DC to see the World War II Memorial and other memorials. This nationwide program is 100% volunteer driven. The purpose of the program is to demonstrate admiration and gratitude to the men and women who served our country with honor.

I had always assumed that WWII veterans came home to parades and much fanfare. In truth, most came home quietly, took off their uniforms, put on their civilian clothes and went out to find a job or go to college on the GI Bill. For most, there has never been a thank you.

The most recent Wilmington flight was May 26th. I had the honor of spending the day with the three gentlemen above - Richard Gough (seated), Anthony Pelliccio and Roscoe Turlington. None considered themselves to be heroes. THEY ALL ARE.

Find out more about Honor Flight at http://www.honorflightsenc.org/ If you have a friend or relative who served during World War II, you'll find a application to go on a flight. If you want to volunteer or make a donation, you'll find that information also. I'll tell you more about the trip next time, but I can assure you it was a wonderful day for each veteran and a memorable experience for every volunteer.

This Memorial Day, thank a veteran.

Make www.russmay.com your resource to search homes for sale in Landfall, the Historic District, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach . . . or any other Wilmington, NC neighborhood. Rely on me, Russ May, to make your home purchase a smooth and pleasant transaction. Your complete satisfaction is my goal. Call me now at (910) 619-1501 or 1-800-RUSS MAY.