Low Inventory: The Big Real Estate Story Of 2013?


Great Year at The Ridge Development, Congrats to the new buyer’s who decided to Call The Ridge, Home.

Homes sales at The Ridge are very strong, we are accepting Reservations for 2014 Only

We’ve heard it on the street, we’ve seen in on Facebook and Twitter, and we’ve seen it in our own neighborhoods: low inventory is a major story in the real estate market right now. While it is not a universal condition, a low inventory of homes on the market seems to be prevalent in many desirable areas. Inventory levels, the amount of time it would take to sell all existing homes on the market without any new homes being added, are dropping below normal (it varies by market but six months is often considered a good indicator).  The low inventory situation exists both major cities and in some suburban areas.

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Small Towns we Love

Posted: September 24, 2012 at 6:22 am

The advantages of small-town living are well known to Americans — and not just because of Norman Rockwellesque clichés about values, neighborliness and pace of life. These days, most prosperous small towns are bedroom communities with good public schools and easy commutes to large employment centers.
Read: Small Towns with Soaring Housing Markets

Have small-town housing markets bounced all the way back to prehousing crisis levels? Not just yet. But based on data provided by Zillow, a leading provider of real estate listings and market data, 24/7 Wall St. was able to identify small towns that have demonstrated strong signs of a healthy recovery in the past year.

Some of the large year-over-year increases are the result of a market correction, believes Louise Keely, senior vice president at Nielsen’s The Demand Institute, a leading provider of consumer behavior data. “Prices went down too much, and now the market is moving back to an equilibrium,” Keely told 24/7 Wall St. “I would expect a leveling out, and housing price growth nationally is going to be in the low single digits.”

Small towns will stay competitive with larger nearby communities, Keely says. “Small towns tend to have lower home prices than nearby urban areas, and that will make them more attractive for households with weaker household balance sheets than they were 7 to 10 years ago.”

As part of the greater Phoenix metro area, Florence suffered during the recent housing bust but is now staging a significant comeback. However, according to Prof. Mark Stapp, who runs the Masters of Real Estate Development program at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business, the recovery is a bit misleading.

“We lost so much value in housing that the increase in price is driven off of a very low base,” cautions Prof. Stapp. “What you’re seeing is increases in prices off of a historic low — so it’s a bit deceiving because it’s not a sustainable growth rate. But I don’t think you’re going to see prices fall.”

No doubt, small towns will see their fair share of the recovery. A study by the National Association of Home Builders indicates that builder confidence is the highest it has been since June 2006. NAHB projects increased demand for new homes, which not only addresses buyer demands, but also the additional housing stock helps slow the rate of home price increases.

24/7 Wall St. identified the 10 small towns with the fastest rising housing prices based on Zillow housing data. We defined small towns as having between 30,000 to 50,000 residents. To be considered, the small town had to have the highest year-over-year growth through August 2012. Because several metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) included more than one small town with the fastest growing housing market, we only considered the small town in each MSA with the fastest growth.

These are the small towns with booming housing markets.

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Information provided by 24/7

Worst Fixes for your Home


What will boost your home’s value? You want to add a sunroom but will that bring in the biggest bang for your buck? How about a new bathroom? It’s a common question that many homeowners ask. What will we get back when we sell? This can be a hard question to answer but luckilyBankrate.com and Remodeling Magazine has come up with a list of the worst home fixes for the money.

Here are the six improvements that ranked dead last nationally when it comes to getting those renovation dollars back at resale.

1. A Home Office-The standard home office renovation is this year’s biggest loser in the resale value sweepstakes. Nationally, homeowners spent an average of $28,888 and can expect to recoup about 45.8 percent at resale, according to the report. If you want to enjoy a home office opt for something that is easily converted back into a bedroom or den.

2. Backup Generators-This only usually brings about negative thoughts like does this home loose power often? On average, when homeowners have a heavy-duty backup power generator installed, they spend about $14,718, according to the report. The average amount of the price recovered at resale time: 48.5 percent.

3. A Sunroom-While the thought is sitting and enjoying a sunroom may sound lovely to you but the addition of a sunroom is often more than you can recoup. The national average for a sunroom addition is $75,224, according to the report. Homeowners can expect to recoup about 48.6 percent when they sell.

4. A Master Suite-It is the price tag of this addition that can also leave sellers in the red. For a super-deluxe master suite addition — which adds square footage and uses only top-dollar materials — the average cost is about $232,062, according to the report. Sellers can expect to recover about 52.7 percent at resale.

5. An Extra Bathroom-Wait kitchens and bathrooms sells houses or that’s what people say. Bathroom additions are very expensive. For a moderately outfitted addition with synthetic stone or plastic laminate surfaces, plan on the cost about $21,695, according to the Remodeling report. Go upscale, with finishes like premium marble or fine tile, and you can easily spend in the neighborhood of $40,710. You can plan on a return of about 53 cents on the dollar. Look for less-expensive way to get the same results. Try reconfiguring your existing space to add a bathroom for less.

6. A Dream Garage-The price tag for a top-of-the-line detached two-car with all the trimmings is about $90,053, according to the report. This is a garage that is completely top-of-the-line. You can expect to recover about 53.6 percent of that when you sell. Instead go for function over form and stick the basic garage if you plan on a garage project.

Body dysmorphic disorder changes lives in more ways than thought

June 07, 2012

Body dysmorphic disorder is a devastating brain disorder

Caption: Body dysmorphic disorder is a devastating brain disorder


Body dysmorphic disorder, a condition related to obsessive compulsive disorder, has resulted in both the loss of one young man and a tremendous journey to touch the lives of others by that young man’s father.

Body dysmorphic disorder is a common, severe, type of body image disorder in which the afflicted constantly imagines and perceives their body as flawed. Though those suffering from body dysmorphic disorder appear normal, they perceive something wrong with their appearance and typically cannot be convinced that their appearance is not flawed.

According to the article Body Dysmorphic Disorder Dieting Linked to More Suicide Attempts by Rick Nauert PHD, “More than 75 percent of people with BDD feel life is not worth living or think about suicide in their lifetime, and approximately 25 percent have a history of a suicide attempt.”

On April 15, 2011, Nathaniel Asselin, 24, committed suicide as the result of a 13-year battle with body dysmorphic disorder. Since the fifth grade, Nathaniel obsessed over his appearance, causing him to spiral deeper into depression.

Nathaniel’s mother, Judy Asselin, told ABC, “A shaving nick or a small blemish, or even just a bump under the skin would keep him in front of the mirror for hours, applying small pieces of Band aid to cover up the marks”

According to Nathaniel’s mother, her son would tell his parents, “I can’t do this anymore, I can’t wake up in my bed in the morning and do this all over again.”

Nathaniel gave up trying to fight the disorder and took his life in 2011. His act is now inspiring others across a wide path through northeast America and across the globe.

Denis Asselin, Nathaniel’s 64-year-old father, took it upon himself to trek, by foot, the 525 miles from his Cheyney, Pennsylvania home to Boston in an effort to educate, raise money and awareness for body dysmorphic disorder.

“It’s a conduit for some of the pain and sorrow deep inside. And you are moving, not sedentary. It’s like a cleansing that’s happening – and you are doing something,” Asselin told ABC.

Asselin added, “putting one foot in front of the other was a metaphorically powerful symbol for me – how to move forward after the most tragic experience.”

Denis Asselin wrote of his journey in a CNN article titled Dad walks 525 miles after son’s suicide.

“My primary goals are to tell Nathaniel’s story – so that awareness about brain disorders, especially OCD and BDD, can spread far and wide – and to raise much needed funds for the International OCD Foundation so research and programs can help other sufferers, their families and their friends,” said Asselin.

In Asselin’s article, he states what he has learned from his journey in ten succinct points.

“1. Not many people know about the cruel brain disorder, BDD. They have heard of OCD, but not much about the former. Therefore, I tell them Nathaniel’s story.

2. You can never fully know whose life you will touch by making yourself available to others and by speaking from the heart.

3. The first 10 seconds of my encounters with strangers are the most critical in gaining their attention and their willingness to hear more and to learn more. I usually vary by approach, but I must always choose my initial words carefully. They are portals through which connections occur.

4. When you mention brain disorders, you intentionally open the doors for your listeners to also share their stories about similar conditions in their own lives, in their own families and among their own friends. I’m learning to be a good listener.

5. If you put one foot in front of the other, you will eventually get somewhere.

6. Everyone seems to be rushing somewhere, mostly in cars, and don’t seem to be very happy about it. Apparently, increasing one’s speed doesn’t necessarily bring happiness.

7. Acts of kindness still happen in the world based on my direct experiences of the generosity of others during these past weeks.

8. Life doesn’t get any better than when you live it fully outside. Walking outdoors puts you directly in touch with nature but also with yourself.

9. I marvel at my own resilience, resolve, flexibility and spontaneity. I never knew I already had these skills in such huge quantities.

10. The best rule of thumb when walking is to be open, to be attentive, to be present and to let life unfold in [front] of you. I am ‘Walking with Nathaniel.’”

Asselin’s full CNN article can be found here.

Guitar legend Doc Watson dies at 89

Doc Watson, whose lightning-fast style of flatpicking influenced guitarists around the world for more than a half-century, died Tuesday…


The Associated Press

 Doc Watson performs in 2005.
Enlarge this photoLAUREN CARROLL / AP

Doc Watson performs in 2005.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. —You could hear the mountains of North Carolina in Doc Watson’s music. The rush of a mountain stream, the steady creak of a mule in leather harness plowing rows in topsoil and the echoes of ancient sounds made by a vanishing people were an intrinsic part of the folk musician’s powerful, homespun sound.It took Watson decades to make a name for himself outside the world of Deep Gap, N.C. Once he did, he ignited the imaginations of countless guitar players who learned the possibilities of the instrument from the humble picker who never quite went out of style. From the folk revival of the 1960s to the Americana movement of the 21st century, Watson remained a constant source of inspiration and a treasured touchstone before his death Tuesday at age 89.

Blind from the age of 1, Watson was left to listen to the world around him and it was as if he heard things differently from others. Though he knew how to play the banjo and harmonica from an early age, he came to favor the guitar. His flat-picking style helped translate the fiddle- and mandolin-dominated music of his forebears for an audience of younger listeners who were open to the tales that had echoed off the mountains for generations, and to the new lead role for the guitar.

“Overall, Doc will be remembered as one of America’s greatest folk musicians. I would say he’s one of America’s greatest musicians,” said David Holt, a longtime friend and collaborator who compared Watson to Lead Belly, Bill Monroe, Muddy Waters and Earl Scruggs.

Student With Flesh-Eating Disease Will Lose Fingers

PHOTO: Aimee Copeland
Aimee Copeland, who lost her leg to flesh-eating disease, may also lose her hands and right foot. (ABC News)


Aimee Copeland, the Georgia student who contracted a rare flesh-eating disease after a zip line injury will lose her fingers.

“Aimee will suffer the loss of her fingers, however physicians have hope of bringing life back to the palms of her hands, which could allow her the muscle control to use helpful prosthetics. They are awaiting a safe time before embarking on surgery for this,” said a post on the University of West Georgia Psychology website.

Copeland, a 24-year-old graduate student at the school, has already lost her left leg and may also lose her remaining foot, according to her family. Despite being hooked up to a ventilator and unable to speak, Copeland’s family said she’s showing signs of recovery.

“Aimee appears to have normal brain function at this time, which is something I’m celebrating because within Aimee we have a very compassionate heart and an incredible mind of intellect,” said Copeland’s father, Andy Copeland.

Aimee Copeland was riding a homemade zip line near the Little Tallapoosa River May 1 when the line snapped, causing a fall that cut open her left calf.

Doctors at a nearby hospital cleaned and closed the gash with 22 staples, but bacteria that burrowed deep into the wound caused necrotizing fasciitis, a rare but deadly infection that claimed her leg one week ago.

College Student Battles Flesh-Eating Bacteria Watch Video
Student With Flesh-Eating Bacteria ‘Critical’ Watch Video
Georgia Student Fights Flesh-Eating Bacteria Watch Video

Copeland’s family said she’s coherent and able to nod and shake her head, a gesture she used to pick the Grateful Dead over the Rolling Stones Thursday, according to her sister Paige.

“I just told her if she keeps improving like this, she’ll be out of here in no time,” said Paige Copeland.

It’s unclear how much of the ordeal Copeland remembers.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she has mouthed, “What happened?” and “Where am I?” Her family has started to give her answers, but has not told her she lost her leg, the AJC reported.

The bacteria that triggered the infection, Aeromonas hydrophila, thrives in warm climates and fresh water, such as the river where Copeland was zip lining with friends. But experts say the common germ rarely causes flesh-eating disease.

“This was a perfect storm,” said ABC News chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser. “She had an injury to her leg, she was exposed to water then had this germ, and she was one of those people where the germ just took off.”

Although the infection is rare, it’s extremely dangerous. Mortality rates for Aeromonas-related necrotizing fasciitis are upward of 60 percent, according to a 2010 reportpublished in the journal Clinical Microbiology Reviews.

After her leg was amputated, Copeland was flown to Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, Ga., where her recovery has been touch and go. Tuesday, one week after the accident, her heart stopped beating, forcing doctors to resuscitate her.

Students and faculty at the University of West Georgia, where Copeland was completing a masters degree in psychology, gathered for a vigil Thursday night.

“Despite the fact that medical evidence says she should be dead, she isn’t,” Chris Aanstoos, a professor of psychology, told WSB-TV. “I think that’s what makes it so precious to so many people to see how amazing she really is.”

Real-life Barbie’ heats up the Internet – but is she a hoax?

Valeria Lukyanovas Barbie-like features have earned her a Taiwanese Animation spoof video. >

Valeria Lukyanovas Barbie-like features have earned her a Taiwanese Animation…

Monday, April 23, 2012

Valeria Lukyanova is a Barbie girl, living in a Barbie world – but does she really exist?

A satirical animated video making the rounds this week purports to show how the 21-year-old Ukranian model went from a striking blond to full-fledged Barbie through a series of transformative plastic surgeries.

The video, posted on Jezebel.com on Sunday, says Lukyanova claims to be the “most famous woman on the Russian language internet,” and is also interested in making music and “astroplaning.”

Valeria Lukyanova/via Facebook Lukyanova seems to have achieved her doll-like look through a combination of heavy make-up, plastic surgery, and Photoshop.

Animated by Taiwanese production company Next Media Animation, the company behind viral spoofs of many other news events, the video is set to Aqua’s famous “Barbie Girl” song and shows a cartoon version of Lukyanova lying on an operating table and undergoing dramatic surgery, complete with sound effects including sawing noises.

The video intercuts the animation with photos of Lukyanova, asking viewers whether they find her too “artificial” to be attractive.

Despite some critics’ doubts over her authenticity, many Facebook profiles exist in Lukyanova’s name, dating back almost a year.

Valeria Lukyanova/via Facebook Lukyanova has posted countless pictures of herself online to show off her Barbie-esque body.

A Tumblr page in her name also features pages of pictures of the Ukranian waif, as does a website she seems to use professionally.

While many of Lukyanova’s pictures do appear to be photographs of a real person, her body and facial features are so surreal in other shots that it seems her appearance could not have been achieved without surgical enhancement – or a heavy dose of Photoshop.

Lukyanova’s big blue eyes are cartoonishly childlike, her eyebrows are pencil-thin and unnaturally high, her skin has a flawless plastic sheen, and she boasts long, silky blond Barbie hair.

Her body also mimics the proportions of the children’s doll, from her huge chest to her tiny waist, bright make-up and vacant stare.

The real-life Barbie hasn’t addressed the video, but if her online persona is to be believed, she is seemingly busy living by the words of her theme song: “Life in plastic, it’s fantastic.”

Valeria Lukyanova/via Facebook Valeria Lukyanova, a 21-year-old Ukranian model, is being dubbed the Human Barbie for her doll-like looks.