Poll Names Cary Among Best US Cities for First Time Homebuyers

Taking a look at almost 450 municipalities across the entire country, the real estate experts at Nerd Wallet have released their final 2017 rankings for the Best US Cities for First Time Homebuyers, and in what would come as no surprise to you and your family given your recent decision to move into the most sought after luxury home neighborhood in the Triangle area, Preston Retreat, Cary was listed among the top 25 nationally and was highest ranked among any towns and cities in NC.

The rankings and final listing of Best US Cities for First Time Homebuyers is determined annually at the end of each calendar year by Nerd Wallet using the most recent data that is available from the United States’ Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, with some assistance from both the online data provider Neighborhood Scout, and Down Payment Resource and as noted by the website’s blog writers, Emily Starbuck and Daniel Tonkovich, the information these sources provide allows the site to assess the availability of homeownership assistance programs that are able to help first time buyers in each of the 448 markets studied.

In addition to those statistics, it was also noted that as a side note, each of the towns and cities in the top 25 of the Best US Cities for First Time Homebuyers poll also were among the top in other important categories which a young family may look for including crime rate and schools and education. The three major numbers that were calculated, putting Cary at number 221 among the 448 municipalities across the country ere affordability, livability, and stability.

For affordability, which accounted for 40 percent of the overall scoring to decide the final listing, the final numbers were calculated using the ratio of average household income compared to home price ratio with the access residents would have to some type of assistance program also considered. Cary’s highest scoring area was its “Livability index”, which saw the town in the 82nd percentile, and was based on the aforementioned crime rankings and the overall rankings of the educational systems and public schools. The stability factor was based on employment data and year-over-year housing prices and also accounted for 30 percent of the overall rankings.

To read the entire article on the Best US Cities for First Time Home Buyers, including the entire statistical chart on all 448 municipalities analyzed, visit nerdwallet.com.

Showing the Love at Preston Retreat for Valentine’s Day

Our resident “cupid,” (a.k.a. Builder Sales Representative, Jay Upchurch) is once again sharing in his spirit of the holiday, which in this case would be Valentine’s Day. As a small token of thanks from Jay and the entire team at the neighborhood that has set the new standard for luxury new home communities in the Triangle area, Preston Retreat, the sweet treats pictured below will be handed out to our favorite Cary realtors, whose hard work and dedication to their craft has helped make prospective home buyers “fall in love” with the spectacular new homes at Preston Retreat.


We thank all of our Cary realtor friends for their support of Preston Retreat and wish them a Happy Valentine’s Day.

Cary-Raleigh-Morrisville As Top-Ranking Region in New Milken Institute Report

Cary, NC – With low unemployment and wage growth that outpaces most cities, the Cary-Raleigh-Morrisville economy stands out in North Carolina. But a recent study shows the region is even more exceptional, ranking second out of all American metropolitan areas for performance in 2017.

Second in the Nation

In a new report by the Milken Institute, the Raleigh Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which includes Cary and Morrisville as well as other surrounding towns and smaller cities, ranked second in a nationwide study of best-performing large cities. The Raleigh MSA beat out significant cities and regions such as Dallas, Austin and San Francisco.

The study showed a number of areas where the Raleigh MSA stood out in wage growth, concentration of high-tech industries and job growth. In particular, the region ranked fourth in the nation when it came to short-term job growth.


Read More at Cary Citizen


Cary Family Event to Give Residents a Winter Wonderland


A thrilling, fast paced day of sledding and tubing action awaits at this unique Cary Family Event, as the hill across from the Bond Park Community Center will be covered in snow that is made from ground ice by the “Snow My Yard” company on January 26 and 27 as part of the town’s “Winter Wonderland.”

This all ages fun filled day of sledding is described at the Town of Cary website, and making sure all will be able to enjoy the event, the article on townofcary.org explains,” Snow tubing areas are available for varied skill levels- one from the top of the hill all the way to the bottom for the more confident tubers and another that starts midway down for the little ones. Registered parents are welcome to assist their children as needed. Snow tubing is for single riders only and for children ages 5 and up. New this year, a special parent-child session is available for those younger than 5 who would like to tube with a parent (no older siblings).”

Tips given by the Town of Cary on their website to “keep the whole bunch happy” at this Cary Family Event are listed as follows:

  • Dress accordingly — you may get a little wet (or muddy) as the snow melts.
  • Do not bring a personal sled or tube; snow tubes are provided.
  • Bring a chair to watch from the spectator zone if you are not planning on tubing.
  • For the safety of the participants and spectators alike, only registered participants will be permitted in the tubing zone.
  • Parking will be available at the Boathouse.
  • Bring your camera to capture all the smiles of a fun-filled day.

The Cary Family Event, Winter Wonderland is at Fred G. Bond Metro Park, located at 801 High House Road in Cary. For more info on this Cary Family Event and all the other great things going on in the Town of Cary, visit their website at townofcary.org.

Chinese Lantern Festival Brings Culture and Fun to Cary

The North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival has become one of the most anticipated winter traditions statewide, running from November 24 – January 14 and bringing a host of exciting and fun traditions of the Far East to Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre.

With over 20 all new displays, the Chinese Lantern Festival hosts over 25 Chinese artisians and performers that build their incredible hand made lanterns that are on display for this one of a kind event. There are only four of these type events annually across the country, with Cary joining Columbus, OH, Little Rock, AK, and Indianapolis, IN in hosting the Chinese Lantern Festival.

On the Koka Booth Amphitheatre website, they list the following fun facts about the North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival:

  • Lanterns on display are lit with more than 15,000 LED.
  • The spectacular Chinese Dragon lantern is longer than three school buses and weighs 18,000 pounds. Standing 200 feet long and 21 feet high, the dragon floats on Symphony Lake in Cary. Fun fact: its head was installed by crane with a 15-person crew!
  • Visitors enter the festival through huge scarlet lantern gates, in the form of a four-story pagoda with spinning upper floors.
  • Each lantern is created by hand on silk fabric stretched over steel frames and then lit with upwards of hundreds of LED.
  • Lanterns are made exclusively for this event and shipped from China into the North Carolina Ports.
  • It took 19 tractor-trailers to deliver this year’s lanterns. That’s up from 13 in the first year, and 15 last year.
  • Lanterns are mainly made in only one city in China: Zigong, Sichuan, the lantern capital of China for thousands of years.
  • Many of our visiting artisans’ lantern-crafting skills are passed down from one generation to the next.
  • Most traditional Chinese lantern festivals are celebrated on the 15th day of the first month in the lunar calendar, marking the last day of the lunar New Year. This tradition dates back 2000 years!
  • In ancient times, lanterns were fairly simple and only the emperor and noblemen had large, ornate ones. In modern times, lanterns have been embellished with complex designs such as the ones on view here in Cary.
  • The prominence of red in the designs symbolizes good fortune

For more information on this years North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival, visit Koka Booth Amphitheatre’s official site at boothamphitheatre.com.

May the Holiday Season Be Filled with Warm Memories You’ll Take into the New Year.

Jay Upchurch of Upchurch Land & Home made his rounds this week showing appreciation for all of our Realtor friends for making Preston Retreat such a fantastic success! Jay delivered warm Christmas wishes and a small gift to agents and friends.


Cary Halloween Events: So Fun its Scary

The holiday events in the Town of Cary are always plentiful, with many great choices for you and your family to enjoy all just a few minutes from your new home in the Sedgefield neighborhood. One of the more popular holiday’s amongst the kids especially, this trend certainly holds true with such a variety of Cary Halloween Events for you to check out upcoming in the next few weeks some might say “it’s scary.”

The array of Cary Halloween Events begins on Friday, October 27, followed up by several “spookatcular” stops to choose from on the weekend starting Friday, October 27- Tuesday, October 31. The listing of Cary Halloween Events by date goes as follows:

Pumpkin Flotilla
Friday, October 27 | 4-7 p.m. | Free

Fred G. Bond Metro Park, Boathouse
Bring your carved pumpkin and watch it set sail across Bond Lake at twilight! Enjoy discounted boat rentals. Cousins Maine Lobster and Stuft food trucks will be on site, and Justin Runyon will perform!

Herbert’s Haunted House
Friday, October 27-Saturday, October 28 | 7-9 p.m. | $2 per person
Herbert C. Young Community Center
The Cary Teen Council will take you on a spooky walk through their house of horrors. Those who dare will navigate through the building to experience all of the thrills that Cary’s teens have dreamed up to get your adrenaline rushing! All ages welcome but parental discretion is advised. For more, call (919) 460-4965.

The Cary Theater’s ZOMBIEPALOOZA!
Friday, October 27 | 7 p.m.

The Cary Theater
We’re excited to bring you the 2nd annual Zombiepalooza, featuring local filmmakers’ own zombie films, cosplay zombies, and classic films to scare the pants right off of you!  For more, visit The Cary Theater or call (919) 462-2051.

Costume Dance Party
Saturday, October 28 | 1-2:30 p.m. | Age 3-10 with Caregiver| $1 per person
Cary Arts Center
Dress up in your favorite costume creation for our Costume Dance Party! Party includes light refreshments, an art activity, dancing and costume awards. For more, call (919) 469-4069.

Cary’s Great Pumpkin Carve
Saturday, October 28 | 2-8 p.m. | All ages | Free

Downtown Park
Stop by the Pumpkin Patch to pick out the perfect pumpkin to carve at one of the carving stations (or bring your own). Pumpkins will be lit for display and judged in a variety of categories. Stay for family friendly Halloween specials shown outdoors, including “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”! Pumpkins are for sale at low cost; all other activities are free. For more, call (919) 469-4061.
Pumpkin Patch and Carving Stations | 2-5:30 p.m.
3-D Pumpkin Carving Instructional | 2:30 & 4:30 p.m.
Pumpkin Lighting & Judging | 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Family Friendly Halloween TV Specials | 6:45-7:45 p.m.
*To sign up for the 3D Carving Instructional, please email Ryan.O’Quinn@townofcary.org. Instruction is appropriate for ages 13+ and is free with the purchase of a $5 pumpkin.

Ghost Walk in Downtown Cary
Saturday, October 28 | 6:30, 7, & 7:30 p.m. | Age 10 & up | $15
Page Walker Arts & History Center
Spooky stories and ghostly legends sure to send chills up your spine are dramatized by Cary Players. These macabre walking tours of historic Downtown Cary are offered at three different times for your convenience. For more, call (919) 460-4963.

Halloween Mall Crawl
Saturday, October 28 | 4-5:30 p.m. |  All ages | Free  

Cary Towne Center
Calling all goblins, ghosts, princesses, superheroes, and everything in between!  Dress in your best Halloween costume and join us for an afternoon of trick-or-treating, storytelling, and a magic show.

Witches Tea
Tuesday, October 31 | 2-4 p.m. | Age 55 & up | $10

Cary Senior Center
“Eye of newt, and toe of frog, wool of bat, and tongue of dog!” What possible surprises will we brew? Definitely tasty treats and hot teas, or maybe some lizard legs and spider knees. Costumes are welcome but not required! To reserve your spot, register by October 24 using course code 102577. For more, call (919) 469-4081.

With so many Cary Halloween Events to choose from in the upcoming weeks for both the kids and the adults in the community, the hardest part it seems is choosing which ones to attend. To see more details on each of these great Cary Halloween Events in addition to a few more that will be going on, visit townofcary.org.

3 Reasons to Pay a Professional to Landscape Your Yard before You Sell

If your yard is a mess, trying to sell your home could be a problem. After all, the curb appeal of your property is often a deciding factor when trying to attract prospective buyers to the settlement table. Whether you want a quick sale, a profitable transaction, or both, hiring a professional landscaper can make all the difference in how long your property languishes on the market. Here are three excellent reasons to bring in an experienced landscaper before you list your home for sale.

Looking for adventure, but don’t want to stray far from home? Look no further than the Challenge Course at Bond Park in Cary.

The Challenge Course, dedicated in 1994, is an outdoor learning facility that focuses on teamwork and team development that is utilized by various groups including corporate, camps, Scouts, youth groups, churches, sports teams, families and friends, birthday parties, government agencies, public service groups and more. Reservations are required and need to be made at least three weeks in advance. Popular days of the week are Tuesday-Thursday with spring and fall requests filling up quickly because of the more pleasant weather. Feedback on the program: “Great Team building event, very fun and productive.”

Trained facilitators guide groups of eight or more participants age 10 and older through activities that focus on building cooperation, trust, leadership, communication and more while taking participants through a variety of challenging activities on the Low Course, the High course or a combination depending on whether groups choose a full-day or half-day program. Most programs average about 25 people, but larger groups are accommodated on the Low Team building Course.

The Low Course features more than 100 team-building options that are on or near the ground, usually not exceeding 18 inches. Activities are based on goals, objectives and abilities of each group. Sample activities include All Aboard: Getting the whole team ‘on board’ the small platform for success, Multi-Vine: Getting the whole team across the gap using cable and ropes, Pipeline: Designing a pipeline to transport ‘hazardous waste’ and put it in a decontamination container, Zig Zag: Building a walkway to get the whole team across the ‘molten lava’ to escape and The Wall.

The High Course provides a more individual experience taking participants 35 feet into the treetops of Bond Park using harnesses, helmets and other safety equipment to maintain safety. Participants climb, balance, swing, zip and challenge themselves through an obstacle course in the trees. After finishing Ground School which gives a sample of what the high course will be like while closer to the ground, participants head up the Log Ladder and make their way onto the high course. Then there is Earthquake Bridge a bridge of swinging boards. The High Course culminates with a 275-feet long Zip Line.

With a combo program, teams can experience the low course and highlight it with a high adventure activity by adding the Giant Swing or Leap of Faith. The Giant Swing, one of the more challenging elements on the course, is a giant “playground” swing where participants wear a harness and are attached to the swing. Team members pull the swinger to a height of his/her choosing, not to exceed 25 feet. The Swinger pull the release cord and swings back and forth until they slow down. With the Leap of Faith participants climb a tree using pegs to a 40-feet high platform and jump off. The rest of the team is responsible for catching the climber and lowering him/her to the ground using safety equipment and training provided.

Not part of a group or you just want to tackle the course on your own? Cary also schedules programs throughout the year for individuals to participate on the course. Sample programs include knot tying, zip line, and more are included in the Outdoor Recreation section in the town’s Seasonal Brochure. The next available date for individuals to register for our High Course is on August 12. There are three sessions to choose from: 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Registrants can expect to spend two to three hours completing the course.

Don’t want to schedule activities in advance? At 310 acres, Bond Park is one of the largest municipal parks in Wake County and features a boathouse as well as more than four miles of paved and unpaved hiking trails that provide opportunities for fitness and nature exploration.

A cool treat from Preston Retreat

Jay Upchurch played “Ice cream man” for his favorite Realtors, handing out DQ Dilly Bars. Jay visited offices in Cary and Raleigh delivering a cool treat in this summer heat. As a thank you for all of the support in making Preston Retreat such a great success!