Real Estate Trends per July 31, 2015

I've added July sales data from the Brunswick County Tax Assessor's database to the Real Estate Trends pages. Sales data for Waterford, Magnolia Greens and Brunswick Forest can be viewed here, or via the link in the sidebar.

If you have comments or questions about this information - or about anything else on this blog, please let me hear about it. You can either leave a comment below, or send me an Email.

Special Leland Police Services for Residents

Did you know that the Leland police will keep an eye on your home when you are away?  I didn't, until I  landed, quite by chance, on the Resources page on the town's website. We live in relatively safe communities here along US-17, but bad or unexpected things can happen, and it's comforting to know that a police officer will check our house daily when we're gone. All a resident needs to do is go to the "While You're Away" page and fill-out and submit the form there.

There's another valuable service offered on the Resources page. A senior who is residing alone can complete a form on the "Are You OK?" page and a police officer will check-in with them every day.

(In my opinion, the "Are You OK?" service is a good solution for someone who is alone temporarily. If an elderly or handicapped person always lives alone, Life Alert and similar services are preferable because the subscriber can call for help immediately with the touch of a button.)

The Big Pharma Rip-Off

Last week, 115 cancer experts published a scathing petition addressed to the major pharmaceutical companies; accusing them of heartless profiteering with their "wonder" drugs. Some cancer patients are forced to sell their homes to raise the money for their medicines. People are paying as much as $150,000 per year to stay alive, and that's a damn shame. It's also par for the course. Big Pharma has been ripping-off Americans for years.

Do Waterford Property Owners Need Flood Insurance?

Every year about this time we receive the bill for our flood insurance premium and The Lady* and I have a discussion about the need for the policy. I think we would be safe without it. She, on the other hand, believes it would be unnecessarily risky if we drop out of the program. To date, she has always remained unconvinced and each year we’ve mailed-in yet another fat check.

This year I decided to be better prepared for our annual debate by doing some research. Let me share with you what I’ve learned and how it applies to our homes in Waterford.

El Galeón is Coming to Wilmington

A really tall, tall ship is coming to town in August.

The El Galeón Andalucia, a full-scale replica of a Spanish tall ship will be docked at the Port City Marina, near the Wilmington Convention Center, from August 13th to the 23rd.

According to, the Wilmington Harbor Enhancement Trust (WHET), is showcasing the five deck, two-master as part of their ongoing efforts to promote the orderly development of property and recreational activities along the Cape Fear River. 

You can read the PortCityDaily article, here.

El Galeón also has an interesting website. Here’s a link. 


Our board of education recently decided that kids in this part of Brunswick County will no longer be required to wear uniforms. The vote was 4-1 to abolish the uniform requirement which had been in place at four schools since 2009. Sixty-one percent of parents responding to a survey last month did not support continuing the uniform policy.

That got me to thinking about uniforms, and why we seem to have mixed feelings about them.

Check it at Snopes

A while back I received an eMail, kindly relayed by a concerned friend, warning me to quickly add our cell phone numbers to the National Do Not Call Registry.  According to the message, all cell phone numbers are to be released to telemarketers in the near future and we will be charged every time they call us.

Food for Thought

As it does every year on July 4th, Nathan's International Hot Dog Eating Contest disgusted me. It's not that I'm a nutrition fanatic. I celebrated our independence yesterday by consuming a couple brats, and a bunch of other stuff I shouldn't have. 

I enjoyed it too!

Real Estate Trends - Update

June sales data from the Brunswick County Tax Assessor's database has been added to the Real Estate Trends page and can be viewed here, or via the link in the sidebar.

There's been so much interest in this information that I modified the page to include the Brunswick Forest neighborhoods. Unlike Waterford and Magnolia Greens, the neighborhoods in Brunswick Forest are listed as separate entities on the tax database. I analyze them individually as well.

If you have comments or questions about this information - or about anything else on this blog, please let me hear about it. You can either leave a comment below, or send me an Email.

Senior Discounts - Where to Find Them

I receive a newsletter every week from personal finance guru, Clark Howard. The one that landed in my email today linked to an article on his website. It, in turn, linked to an article on another website, Mogul. The Mogul article sent me on to a blog piece authored by Steve Herman (whom I’d never heard of in my life). The journey was long, but worth the effort. 

Wilmington Health Convenient Care - Recommended

The Wilmington Health Walk-in Convenient Care clinic in Brunswick Forest is where I go if I don’t want to (or can't) wait for an appointment with my primary care physician. It truly is very convenient, and the two care-givers who see patients there, Bill Malivuk (Physician Assistant) and Kristin Nomides (Nurse Practitioner), are competent and friendly, as are their support staff.

Litfaßsäule (Lit-fass-soil-eh)

In Germany, and across most of Europe actually, you will find Litfaßsäulen (that's the plural form) on street corners, in public squares, and anywhere else where people walking by are apt to stop and take notice.

A Litfaßsäule is a fat pillar, usually three or four feet in diameter, on which advertising and other public notices are posted. Periodically, workers glue new posters over expired ads using a technique similar to hanging wallpaper. The pillars are colorful and informative, and, when I lived in Germany, I often stopped for a minute or two to look at whatever was on display.

Computerized Medical Records are Good for Your Health

The other day I asked someone at Wilmington Health how he likes the new, computerized medical records system that WH is putting in place. He kind of shrugged and gave me that, “If I can’t say something nice, I won’t say anything” look. I pressed him a bit and found out that there are still some hitches in the system but it is improving all the time.

Waterford Special Assessments - Good Decision

Last week we received our bill for the first of two special assessments that will be used to help finance an addition to the Waterford clubhouse. The new space will accommodate a larger fitness center. The old fitness room will be freed-up for other use. The second $100 assessment will be issued in early 2016.

Please, Just Say, "No."

Over the nine years since we moved to North Carolina, it's happened at least a half-dozen times. Someone comes out to look at a job we want done, and promises either to send us an estimate, or actually sets a date to start the work, then disappears.