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There are a significant  coming down the pike in short order that will surely affect the housing market & the ability of some buyers to purchase a home.  The one-two-three punch includes the expiration of the Home Buyer Tax Credit on April 30th & the scheduled termination  on March 15th of the Federal Reserve’s program of purchasing of Mortgage Backed Securities.  This is a program was begun in 2009 to help keep a lid on rising mortgage rates and make more money available for loans.

 These upcoming game changers, along with stricter guidelines for FHA Mortages taking effect on April 15th, are expected to raise interest rates & de-incentivize and/or eliminate some of the home buyer pool.

These three strikes looming against the housing market may mean a volatile spring ahead.  The spring bounce we look forward to just might become instead a 9th inning cliffhanger.   As the Washington Post  reported on Friday there has been some buzz re: A Possible Extension of The Feds Mortage Backed Securities Buying Program. 

 I think the Feds would be wise, at least for the short term  to maintain the status-quo.   The termination of this program is expected to have a major impact on mortgage rates/interest rates to the upside, and  since whatever housing recovery we see is currently being sustained by low price tags, mega inventory, tax credit incentives & historically low rates, the impact of losing two of these market “prop ups”  & safety nets (the Buyer Tax credit & Feds Mortgage buying) IMHO will lead to a dramatic downside for Housing Market & the economy overall.

Let’s hope, as reported in the Washington Post, the FED will not only seriously consider, but implement a last minute pinch-hit to save the game!  Of course the Feds weighty decision hinges on a lot of economic variables, ( & surely some political consideration and/or pressure), so toss a coin & take a guess at what their decision will be.  You’ll have 50% chance of getting it right!

 The Wall Street Journal Weighs in:

“So far, the Fed’s net buying of mortgage-backed securities totals nearly $850 billion, or about 80% of securities issued this year by entities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Since these agencies bought nearly all new mortgages made this year, the central bank has effectively acquired most of the home loans made in the U.S. That has helped soften the decline in house prices and sparked a refinancing boom that has boosted spending power for many households.” Read Full Article

  • Mortgage Guru Dan Green has some insightful views on the future of the mortgage/housing market.

Check out his 5 minute video! The Crystal Ball : Housing Market, Mortgage Rates, FHA Guidelines, And Investor Overlays

NOTE: There is still time to find your Wilmington NC area home & take advantage of the Home Buyer tax credit.  As long as the Contract is signed before April 30th, we’re good to go!

The story is spreading across the blogosphere! Bloggers and readers are enraged that Freedom of Speech in cyberspace is being challenged by a company called ePerks, who claims to have lost business and suffered a damaged reputation. The alleged culprit? …the cybervoices of critical comments shouting out their dissent against the company’s claims of lead generation Nirvana.

A little backstory, ePerks is a lead generation company that mainly focuses on gaining the business of Realtors. Their current troubles started when they hired a respected blogger, Vlad Zablotskyy, to promote their services on his well read blog.

The relationship turned sour when Vlad’ s positive posts caught the attention of numerous disgruntled and angry real estate agent customers of the EPerks, who in response posted negative and critical comments re: ePerks business practices.

Along the way  ePerks legal team sent a Cease and Desist letter to Vlad which demanded he take his blog down. Fearful of repercussions and feeling alone in this struggle, he complied. Later he regretted this decision, and put up blogs asking for more feedback on the company. Negative comments and horror stories about ePerks flowed in. The story then evolves into is a mini soap blog opera that involves numerous responses to the negative comments with over the top glowing testimonials in defense of ePerks and its business model.

Mr. Zablotskyy’s suspicions were aroused by the pattern and tone of the positive comments. Further investigation revealed that these positive comments were all initiated from the from the same IP address, although different names were used for each comment.

Around this time a slanderous post questioning Vlad’s moral character and making horrific accusations about him surfaced on another web-site. The source of these malicious and libelous statements are currently under investigation.

ePerks meanwhile also strongarmingly encouraged him to control even what other bloggers were posting. They actually wanted him to get other bloggers to take down their related blogs.

Vlad, of Ukrainian descent, a child of the Soviet Union System, has since been standing strong under pressure. The threats by ePerks have persisted and last week a lawsuit was filed in California.

As the heat on ePerks has turned up, ePerks has extended it’s threats to other bloggers as well.

There is outrage and shock in the blogosphere for sure. Bloggers are standing strong behind the First Amendment rights of Vlad Zablotskky. and others who participated in an open and free exchange of opinions.

Since when, in America, does criticizing a company’s business practices online become a case for legal action? Wow, what might this come to!

Will political action blogs be forced to scrub their comments? Will ePinions, a web-site for product reviews have to shut it’s cyber doors? We think not!

Freedom has always comes with a price. Blood Sweat and Tears, Sacrifice, Courage and Standing for what’s right and just.

We are confident Justice will prevail. Meanwhile, Vlad can use our help in mounting his defense. Legal costs are mounting. if you can help, Greg Swann has set up the vehicle for contributions.

Support Vlad Zablotskyy’s Defense Fund

if you can’t give to the fund, please give of your prayers and good wishes, for Vlad and for the perseverance of the precious liberties we hold dear.

Read More:

Vlad’s blog.

ePerks To Sue Blogger – Freedom Of Speech Threatened

Blogger Get “Cease and Desist” from ePerks

Coastal North Carolina Fun Festivals this Easter Week! (edit/delete)

The first wee k of spring in Wilmington NC was ushered in with bright and beautiful Carolina Blue Skies with perfect weather and a trio of Festivals on board this week for fun lovers of all ages.

From Gardeners, Film Enthusiasts, Crafters, Shoppers, Art lovers, there is something for all to enjoy on this awesome Easter week!

Hope you have a chance to get out and enjoy some Carolina Blue sunshine and Have a Blessed Easter!

CUCALORUS KIDS! Film Festival

Four days of workshops, screenings and movie-themed activities for aspiring young filmmakers Kicks off with Thursday & Friday nights with a special presentation of locally produced Muppet films: Elmo in Grouchland and Muppets in Space. The Cast and crew will be available for discussion about the making of the films. Cucalorus Kids! Filmmakers Day Camp tours Screen Gems Studios on Friday and Saturday, where hands-on instruction will be offered by local filmmakers. Registration is limited, contact Cucalorus headquarters to reserve your spot today. 910.343.5995 or email dan@cucalorus.org

  • Where: Jengo’s Playhouse 815 Princess Street
  • When: March 19th-22nd

SOUTHPORT SPRING FESTIVAL & CRAFTS SHOW

Franklin Square Park in Southport will host over 100 crafters and their homemade treasures. Southern fare will be available as 10 food vendors offer their delectable treats. The Southport-Oak Island Kiwanis Club will be selling a wide variety of bedding plants for yard and garden including numerous shades of beautiful Encore Azaleas. Local bands will provide live entertainment throughout the festival.

Saturday will feature the return of the Robert Ruark Chili Cook-Off Contest. Contact: Peggy McDonald 910/279-4616

  • Where: Franklin Square Park Southport
  • When: March 21st – 22nd 10AM – 5PM

4th ANNUAL CAPE FEAR ARTS & CRAFTS SHOW

10,000 visitors attended last years show in historic downtown Wilmington NC. Live Music will entertain the crowds and show will feature original arts and crafts, paintings, sculptures, photography, glass, pottery, mixed media, jewelry and fiber/textiles. Call 239.530.8072 for more information

  • Where: Downtown Wilmington, Water Street Wilmington, NC on the Cape Fear River
  • When: March 22-23 7AM – 7PM


More Blogs Posted about Fun things to Do in Wilmington NC

Have a great time!

           

 

New Hanover County NC residents have a great opportunity to visit some of our Wilmington NC area’s most popular attractions for Free this weekend as once again the Cultural Community of Wilmington NC gives back to its residents. For the 13th Year in a row “Be A Tourist in Your Own Hometown” Residents’ Appreciation Day will be celebrated this weekend on Sunday March 2nd!

 Wilmington NC Cape Fear Memorial Bridge

The weatherman is promising bright sunny “Carolina Blue” skies and temperatures in the 60’s. What a perfect time to get out and enjoy some of the many venues open in the Wilmington NC, New Hanover County Area for Free Admission!

 

From Gardens to Battleships, from Museums to Mansions, there is surely something for all tastes,ages  and interests to explore for free this Sunday in Wilmington NC

 

Some of the Wilmington NC area attractions opening their doors to residents free of charge on Sunday include:

Bellamy Mansion Wilmington NC

 

Airlie Gardens

Battleship North Carolina

Bellamy Mansion

Cape Fear Museum

Cameron Art Museum

 

Screen Gems Studio

Wrightsville Beach Museum

 

Check out the the full list of free attractions and hours are available at:  Cape Fear Coast


Other Blogs Posted about Things to Do in Wilmington NC

 

Have a Fun Time!

 

              

If you are new to the area or thinking of relocating to Wilmington NC, and have an interest in gardening, you will most likely want to spend some time getting acquainted with the beautiful flora and fauna that grace our Coastal Carolina region.

 

When we moved to Wilmington NC from the northeast one of the many charms of the area that delighted us and that we still enjoy every day is the wide variety of beautiful plants, flowering shrubs and trees adaptable to our Coastal Wilmington NC Environment.

 

There are so many exquisite species of flora and fauna that I never had seen up close and personal before. What fun to visit garden centers and explore the possibilities!

 

With the 60 degree temperatures gracing our Wilmington NC area, buds appearing on many of our trees and shrubs and the Garden Show in town this weekend thoughts of spring gardening are dancing in my head! It’s a great time to take a look at some gardening catalogs and plan out some new additions to our garden for the spring.

 

So let’s think spring and spring into a gardening state of mind! If you are just starting your landscaping and garden beds in NC it’s always a good idea to have a soil test done. To do this scoop out about a cup of soil from 3 different areas of your garden, the take a drive to the New Hanover County Arboretum and they will send it out for to be analysis free of charge. While there visit their gift shop or chat with one of the the Master Gardener volunteers who will be happy to answer any  questions you have.

 

Perhaps you have a tree or shrub that is not doing well or has some leaf spot or just looks sick; cut a sample and bring it by for advice on how to treat it or not treat it. They are also available to take questions by phone on their hotline 798-7670

 

Popular shrubs along the Cape Fear Coast are Yaupon Holly, Oleander, Nandina, Eunonymus, Indian Hawthorne & Wax Myrtle and Azalea. Colorful perennials such as Lady’s Mantle, and Rudebekia, Veronica Speedwell and Lantana should fare well. Ornamental Grasses form all sizes such as the giant Pampas Grass to the smaller varieties such as Blue Fescue are a delightful sight in our local landscape designs.

 

When Choosing plant this year keep in mind though that drought tolerant plants Chinese Hollies, are a smart choice because of our water restrictions. Some drought tolerant plants and trees recommended for our area include Juniper, Lantana, Pineapple Guava, Rosemary, Lacebark Elm & Crape Myrtle.

 

You can find most of the shrubs and trees perfect for our zone 8 climate, and a wealth of good advice at local Nurseries such as , Pender Pines, Country Garden, Pierce’s Nursery, Pendercrest & Zone 8, Pender Pines, (Hampstead). Perennials, if not available locally can be ordered from catalogs and usually come with a guarantee.

I have been successful growing annuals from seed such as Zinnias and Cleome. So now is a good time to buy some seed packets. You can start them in trays in a few weeks.

 

More Resources information for Gardening in NC and the Coastal Areas is available at

Gardening In NC

New Hanover County Arboretum

Good Books On Coastal Gardening

The Southern Living Garden Book

Best Garden Plants for North Carolina

Garden Perennials for the Coastal South

 

My favorite Plant Catalogs order early favorites sell out quickly

White Flower Farm

Wayside Gardens

Happy Gardening!

 

Posted by Ginger Sala

Wilmington NC Relocation Specialist & Garden Enthusiast

purpla flower

Spring is is the air in Wilmington, NC as the The 15th annual Wilmington Garden Show comes to town this weekend at will at Cape Fear Community College Swartz Center in downtown Wilmington.

40 plus booths will feature the latest in gardening products and services for gardening and landscaping. A variety of Lectures will be available on gardening topics, landscaping and plant selection for our climate and soil conditions.

The Garden Show Poster was designed from an original painting by local artist Bates Toone. Posters will be on sale and the original painting will be auctioned.

daisy

Where: Swartz Center Cape Fear Community College

When: Saturday, Feb 2nd 9-5PM Sunday, Feb 3rd from 9-4PM

Admission is $7, under 12 free

click here for directions

The Garden Show weekend will kick off with a Preview Party Friday evening to benefit the Ability Garden. Specialty hors d’oeuvres, cheeses, and fruit, desserts, fine wines, and coffee will be served. The Vince Stout Jazz Trio will provide the musical entertainment. Exhibitors will be available for all your shopping needs.

Where: Swartz Center Cape Fear Community College

When: February 1-7-9pm

Tickets are $30 in advance/$35 at the door and at the Arboretum calling 798-7670.

Posted by Ginger Sala Wilmington NC Realtor/Relocation Specialist

www.CoastHomeNorthCarolina.com

Wrightsboro United Methodist Church Wilmington NC is hosting Christian Comedy Night, a fundraising event this Saturday evening. The Special Guest is Gale Mayes comedienne and singer from Nashville, TN

Gale, one of Nashville’s top background vocalist who has worked such artists as CeCe Winans Donnie McClurkin, Gaither Homecoming, Quincy Jones and many others.

She also travels with Gaither Homecoming Artist Lynda Randle all across the country singing and making people laugh. Her Character Ms. Puddin’ is a senior citizen “church lady” who thinks she “is” gospel music!!!! You will be in stitches for sure beginning until the end.

The Wilmington Celebration Choir and WUMC Choir will also be appearing!

Wilmington Celebration Choir

Admission: $15.00 call: 910-762-2583 All proceeds from the evening will be used for Church Building Fund. Tickets are also available at Cox Christian Books & The Salt Shaker Bookstore

When: Saturday Feb 2, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Wrightsboro United Methodist Church

3300 N. Kerr Ave. Directions Click Here:

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