Thirsty For Tranquility?



April 10, 2014

Keller Williams Realty is happy to announce the addition of Jan Branyon – a High Producing triad real estate agent since 2005 – to their team in the Greensboro Market Center on Highwoods Boulevard.  Keller Williams of Greensboro is experiencing tremendous growth with a 40 percent increase in listing volume sold last year, outpacing the overall market by nearly 34 percent.


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Prices of homes in Guilford County are on the rise, and the time they are on the market is going down.

The seasonally adjusted average home price in February 2014 was $168,423, a 6.3 percent increase over this time last year according to Jud & Associates and the Greensboro Regional Realtors Association (GRRA).  In February 2014, the time on the market was 93 days – 8.6 percent less than it was in February 2013.  Over the past 12 months the time on the market has also fallen, while the ratio of selling to listing prices, has risen slightly, indicating somewhat less discounting in the market.


However, sales of existing, single-family homes in Guilford County decreased slightly during the month of February compared to the previous month.  A total of 385 units were sold in Guilford County in February 2014.

The inventory/sales ratio, which indicates the number of months to clear the current inventory of homes on the market, was 6.5 months, up slightly from 6.2 months in January 2014 and 5.5 in February 2013.


“Overall, these figures indicate a continued reinforcement of steady gains and market stabilization,” said GRRA President Marian Stafford.  “As we head into the spring home-buying season, more homes are coming onto the market and the time homes are on the market is decreasing.”


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Congratulations to John Goad Jr. of the New Realty Group, who has recently received his e-Pro Certification.  Goad completed the National Association of Realtors program concerning the latest internet technologies and how to best reach consumers online.


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Make sure to mark your calendar for the Greensboro Builders Association 2014 Spring Parade of Homes.  More than 45 newly constructed homes will be on this free tour Saturday, April 26 and Sunday, April 27 as well as Saturday, May 3 and Sunday, May 4.  Rhino Real Estate will provide full coverage of the event in the April 24 and May 1 issues, including a photo preview and a map of all the tour home locations.


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Builder Services, Inc. (BSI), the new homes division of Allen Tate Company, is pleased to announce the addition of Tonya Gilbert as triad sales manager.  Tonya has 21 years of new homes sales experience in the triad and has been a part of communities such as Lake Jeanette and Mackintosh on the Lake.


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Water is the essence of life.  It is, of course, necessary for good physical health, but water also plays a role in our spiritual and mental health as well.  As we listen to the sound of moving water or gaze at the sun reflecting off a shimmering pond, we can feel the tension that our busy lives produce slowly being released from our bodies and our spirits are soothed.  This calming effect is one of the main reasons people are drawn to waterfalls, ponds and streams; and, it’s one of the main reasons more and more people are installing water features in their backyards, patios, homes and even offices.


Water features come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.  They can be as small as a ceramic pot for a patio or large enough to fill your backyard with multiple ponds linked by a creek.


Water gardens are created using various types of water plants – such as flowering leaf aquatics, grasses, lilies, and water hyacinths – in a pond setting.  Water hyacinths and water lettuce help reduce algae in the water garden, and grasses produce oxygen and help maintain the proper pH balance of a pond or pot.  Some plants do well in shallow water and some, like lilies, need at least a foot of water above their roots.  The selection of plants you use depends upon the size of your water feature as well of the amount of light it will receive.


Fish in a pond help maintain the balance of the a pond’s ecosystem and reduce maintenance chores when they are properly integrated with the right amount of water plus a combination of aeration, filtration, plants, rocks and gravel.  According to Pond Professors, all components must be present in order for a pond to be considered a complete ecosystem.  Plus fish such as koi, which come in a wide variety of colors, are fascinating to watch and often become pets, greeting those who feed them.  But beware, koi can live 50 years or more, so be prepared to take care of them for a long time.


Today, most water features are self-contained, utilizing a recycling system.  Water is contained in a reservoir that is within the water feature itself or buried underground in cistern-like reservoirs for larger ponds.  Rainwater can be collected in these underground reservoirs and used to keep the pond filled.

Rex McCaskill, owner and aquascape designer of Pond Professors, said he thinks everyone can benefit from a pond to help them relax and get close to nature.  He says, “If you want to get back to nature, put in a water feature.”


When asked how he comes up with the designs of the ponds his company installs, McCaskill said with a smile that the rocks talk to him; they tell him where they need to be.  It sounds a little crazy, but it must be true since the results are beautiful, natural looking ponds that need no chemicals and are low maintenance.


If you don’t have room for a large pond, McCaskill says you might consider a pondless waterfall or fountain.  Both will add the sights and sounds of water to your landscape without the investment or space needed for a larger water feature, and both use a system consisting of a re-circulating pump and plumbing.


Small water features can even be used inside the house.  They can be made from a variety of materials such as stone, granite, stainless steel, resin or glass and can be anything from a small tabletop fountain to a large stand alone or wall-mounted waterfall.  Wall mounted units need space and a means of connecting to an electric source, and large waterfalls are often noisy, so consideration has to be given to the amount of noise you can deal with.  Of course, the soft gurgling of a water feature in a living room or bedroom may be just the thing to soothe you after a busy day.


Most indoor units are electronically controlled, allowing them to be turned on and off by the use of a simple timer.  More elaborate computerized systems can not only turn the water on and off, but they can synchronize the water and lighting effects to provide both an audio and visual experience.


Roger Oakes of Nature’s Emporium in Burlington is another big advocate of water features.  His store has a beautiful ecosystem demonstration pond where you can see how the plants, fish and stone all work together to produce the relaxing atmosphere the pond creates.  Nature’s Emporium even grows its own water garden plants on site in their water garden greenhouse.


Oakes is an expert on ponds, and he delights in helping his do-it-yourself customers plan and install their own ponds.  Though he doesn’t install ponds himself, Nature’s Emporium does carry the liners, pumps, plants and fish needed to create an aquascape or water feature.  Right now they are gearing up for the spring water garden season, so they have a fully stocked selection of the items needed to create or maintain a water garden.


Along with the water garden supplies, Nature’s Emporium carries a unique assortment of decorative items for both garden and house, as well as pet supplies and a large selection of premium pet foods.  They even carry some of the pets.  You will find canaries, parakeets and guinea pigs at the store along with the cages and food to keep them healthy and happy.


Be sure and check out Nature Emporium’s beautiful birdbaths and wild bird feeders.  Some are hand-blown glass and quite unique.  And they have the largest selection of garden flags in the area.


Check out Pond Professors’ website at www.pondprofessors.com or call (336) 510-0884.  Pond Professors is in the process of building a showroom in the ABC building at the Triad Farmers’ Market on Sandy Ridge Road in Colfax.  Their pond display is scheduled to open the end of April.


Nature’s Emporium at 3580 S. Church St. in Burlington is open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.  They can be reached at (336) 538-2450.



Freedom and Amenities

February 20, 2014

Plan In Advance To Age Gracefully In Your Home

February 27, 2014


for Sunday, April 20, 2014


Photo courtesy of

Pond Professors

Stone Gables at Forest Oaks 2 model units open, see design options available for your dream home! 3 pre-sale units are under construction. Don’t miss the opportunity to pick your lot. 3/2 brick, 1 level loving w/option of bonus w/3rd bath. starting at $259,900. (336) 271-2727




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