Articles Tagged "Outdoors"

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Buying a Home | 8 Posts
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HPW Foundation | 12 Posts
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August
10

Lakeside Adventures Near Raleigh

Raleigh Area Lakes

Whether you're looking for outdoor activities or just a chance to get back to nature, there's nothing like a day at the lake. Spend some time this summer at these wonderful lakes that are just minutes away from Raleigh homes for sale

  • Pullen Park - 520 Ashe Ave., Raleigh, NC 27606
    Is it an amusement park? Is it a green space? As the first public park in North Carolina and the fifth oldest amusement park in the country, pet-friendly Pullen Park is a delightful blend of both. As many as 10,000 people visit each day for activities such as traveling across beautiful Lake Howell in a pedal boat. Kids love riding the carousel and Pullen Park Caboose, an authentic train car. Get a workout at the aquatic center and tennis courts, or nurture your creative spirit with programs at the Pullen Art Center. Park hours are dawn to dusk, seven days a week.

  • William B. Umstead State Park - 8801 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, NC 27617
    When one lake just isn't enough, head to William B. Umstead State Park. With not one but three lakes, there are lots of opportunities for boating and fishing. An extensive network of hiking and biking trails circles the lakes, so you can enjoy the views from several vantage points. The Crabtree Creek and Reedy Creek sections include picnic tables and grills under a soothing canopy of trees. Crabtree also has two reservable picnic shelters that accommodate up to 100 people. Bring Fido along, as leashed dogs are welcome. Park hours are 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. daily, and admission is free.

  • Shelley Lake Park - 1400 W. Millbrook Rd., Raleigh, NC 27614
    If you're looking for a quiet spot to relax and reflect, head to Shelley Lake Park. Boats are not permitted on the water, creating a peaceful ambiance as you and your leashed dog hike the two miles of paved trails around the lake. Fishing is allowed, and there is a playground and a basketball court for the kids. Shelley Lake Park is home to the Sertoma Arts Center, which features exhibits and classes in a variety of media. Hours are 7 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. daily.

  • Durant Nature Preserve - 8305 Camp Durant Rd., Raleigh, NC 27614
    Before the city purchased Durant Nature Preserve in 1979, it served as the headquarters of the Occoneechee Council of the Boy Scouts. Summer camps are still held there, but the pet-friendly preserve is open to the public for all to enjoy. In addition to two lakes with hiking trails along the shores, the preserve has a bird garden, butterfly garden, and interpretive tree trail. Check out a Discovery Backpack at the visitor center to learn more about animal tracking and other topics. Durant Nature Preserve is open from 7 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. daily.

  • Lake Wheeler Park - 6404 Lake Wheeler Rd., Raleigh, NC 27603
    In 1956, the namesake body of water at Lake Wheeler Park was constructed for water supply. Today, it serves double duty as a site for boating and fishing. A playground and sand volleyball court provide lively dry-land fun. Leashed dogs are permitted in the park. Hours are 6 a.m. - 8 p.m. daily. Admission is free, but there is a boat launch fee of $5 for city residents and $7 for non-residents.

Raleigh is truly a city for all seasons. Contact us at Howard Perry and Walston for cheerful and experienced help from our real estate agents

August
3

Improve Your Home's Hardscaping With These Tips

Hardscaping Tips

A functional and beautiful outdoor space can help make your summers more enjoyable, and when it comes to creating the perfect outdoor oasis, hardscaping has a big role to play. Our real estate agents always make it a point to invest in new outdoor elements that enhance the outdoor experience. New hardscaping not only helps to improve your home value, but it can also be aesthetically pleasing.

Below, we'll discuss the importance of hardscaping and how you can use it to make the most out of your yard this summer.

What Is Hardscaping?
Hardscaping is a term that describes any man-made outdoor elements, such as sidewalks, stairs, patios, retaining walls, outdoor kitchens, and more. It's basically a term used to describe landscaping elements that are not plants. Hardscaping can be used to expand your living space, guide outdoor traffic, or increase the overall functionality of your yard. It's also very low maintenance!

Hardscaping Tip
Good hardscaping requires a lot of time and planning, but the end result is often well worth the investment. Here are some hardscaping tips to make your project a success:

  1. Always Evaluate The Space
    Before starting any hardscaping project, you'll want to make sure the space can support your vision. Therefore,  it's important to conduct a thorough analysis of the space. You'll want to consider the type of soil, the quality of the drainage, and the shape of the terrain before you begin building. Make sure you always measure the space.

  2. Supplement With Greenery
    It's easy to get carried away with hardscaping, but man-made elements shouldn't be the dominant theme of your outdoor space. Make sure you're keeping greenery in the picture. Whether it's flowers, shrubs, or potted plants, make sure there is plenty of plant life around.

  3. Stick To A Consistent Theme
    When hardscaping, you'll want to choose colors that match your home's exterior to create a seamless transition from indoors to the outdoors. Also, be sure not to go overboard. Try to keep it simple and stick to one or two textures across all your hardscape elements. For inspiration on beautiful hardscaping themes, take a look at a few of these Raleigh homes for sale.

  4. Keep Things Balanced
    Humans find real beauty in balance and symmetry, so keep this in mind when you're planning new outdoor elements. Use repetition when adding rocks, boulders, decor, or other elements. Make sure your items fit nicely within the natural space of your yard. Don't be afraid to add curves to your sidewalk or build a non-traditionally shaped patio.

  5. Consult A Professional
    Great hardscaping can be difficult to create. While it can make for a fun summer DIY project, you shouldn't be afraid to consult with a professional. If you're really looking to boost your home value, hiring a professional can really pay off.

Whether you're looking to create a new space for entertaining guests or your own private oasis, hardscaping is a great investment. Contact us today for more ideas about how to improve your outdoor space.

July
14

HPW Luxury | 6 Desirable Features Found in HPW Luxury Homes

In and around the Triangle area, there are several beautiful luxury listings available for sale. What exactly differentiates these properties from the standard market? Is it the square footage, the features, or the technology? Some would say it is all of the above. Ultimately, luxury buyers are not looking at the price tag in their search for their next dream home but the amazing amenities that come with the property. Here are the top 6 must-have features in luxury homes!

1. Indoor / Outdoor living

Indoor/outdoor living seamlessly extends your home's great room or dining quarters. This trend tends to keep cohesion in design from the interior to the exterior of your home. Typically indoor/ outdoor living has always been a primal commodity when searching for a new home. With the new normal consisting of being at your humble abode more these days, the amenity has become a necessity. What makes an outdoor living space luxurious is the ability to provide comfort through all seasons while also allotting multiple entertainment options. High-end features include retracting screened porches, outdoor kitchens, cabanas, and sometimes a type of water feature. This CBHPW luxury listing checks off each box on the list! With its large covered porch and a wood fireplace, the immaculate outdoor kitchen has a top-of-the-line grill station, jacuzzi, and extensive acreage for sporting events or games. One thing for sure is that you may yearn to host any occasion with this property as your next home. To view more of this listing, click here.  

2. Theatre Room 

Entertainment becomes the next level when a luxury property contains an in-home theater. The ability to bring the ultimate cinematic experience to your fingertips is a sought amenity many buyers search for when hunting for their next home. What makes an in-home theater top-notch is its ability to incorporate features similar to an actual movie theater. This includes a top-of-the-line av-system, projector, large screens, recessed lighting, and comfortable loungers. The goal of the theater room is to immerse yourself in what's on the screen, whether that be the newest megahit movie or the exciting rival sports game. The cinema room pictured above is from none other than one of our CBHPW luxury listings. This glorious in-home theater offers stadium seating, a high-tech projector, and even mimics the groovy movie theater carpet. To view more of this property, click here. 

3. Large Garages

The standard two-car garage does not cut it for luxury properties. Buyers are looking for substantial space when envisioning the housing of their precious automobiles. Typically, luxury properties have at least a 3-car garage! To any car buff, the garage is not just a space for storing your vehicle. This part of the property could be turned into a luxurious showroom, man cave, or workshop. This beautiful CBHPW luxury property comes with a three-car garage with gorgeous rustic wood garage doors. To view more of this property, click here.  

4. Intricate Ceiling Designs

Raised ceilings and other intricate ceiling styles are quite the fanbase for luxury homes. A room turns from basic to compelling when there is a ceiling feature that adds depth, sophistication, and style. In most luxury dwellings, at least one space must contain a styled ceiling. One of these rooms can be the living room, sitting room, primary bedrooms, and or dining rooms. What exactly are some styles of these ceilings? They are cathedral, tray, beamed, suspended, and coffered. One would love to have any of these exquisite designs in their home!  For example, in this CBHPW luxury listing above. The sitting room contains a beautiful coffered ceiling. The coffered ceiling consists of sunken panels accented by molding, creating a waffle-like appearance. What works well in this room is the brilliant addition of recessed lighting. For more on this property click here

5. Massive Walk-In Closets

Typically an owner of a luxury home tends to live a complete life of luxury. Meaning everything about them is high-end, like their fashion sense. Closets in a luxury home are an extension of the main room and need to boast space and means of organization. Closets these days are not just for hanging clothes. They can be an area to lounge in after using the spa bathroom or a place to put on that fashion show after shopping in the streets of London. For sure, luxury home buyers are looking for closets that encompass organization and can show off their beautiful wardrobe. In this CBHPW luxury home, the primary closet is genuinely massive. This closet incorporates different levels of custom built-in shelving and an island dresser to accommodate all buyers' attire needs. To view more of this property, click here.

6. Relaxing Spa baths

When buyers search for their next home, kitchens and bathrooms are the most focused rooms, which is why main bathrooms in luxury homes are genuinely upping the ante in their need to give that spa-like aura. Features include a jacuzzi bathtub fit for a king, a large walk-in shower that doubles as a steam room, neutral colors, beautiful stone or tile, and lots of space for minimal clutter. In this CBHPW luxury listing, this bathroom truly exuberates comfort and relaxation. The large window allows natural light to encase the room, making the white pop against the darker grays. The unity in neutral colors creates a calming sensation. One can relax in the free-standing tub or use the shower with multi-shower heads in this bathroom. To view more, click here

When buying or selling in the luxury market, we are sure you have seen one or more of these features within the properties. To view, all of Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walstons' luxury homes for sale, visit our website at https://www.hpwluxury.com













June
15

Gardens to Visit in the Triangle This Summer

Raleigh Gardens

If you're looking for a fun summertime activity, look no further than one of the many beautiful botanical gardens in the Triangle. Walking through a garden can help you relax and get some fresh air. Plus, it's a great educational activity to do with the kids. In fact, our real estate agents often visit local gardens to come up with new ideas for their own yards. Here are five botanical gardens you should visit in the Triangle this summer:

  1. JC Raulston Arboretum - 4415 Beryl Rd, Raleigh, NC 27606
    Explore 10 whole acres of florals and plants at the JC Raulston Arboretum at North Carolina State University. This nationally recognized Arboretum is comprised of 20 different themed gardens with a total of 5,000 plants on display. There are also several educational events, games, and food trucks around on the weekends. A weekend trip to this beautiful area is fun for the whole family. You also might like to check out some nearby Raleigh homes for sale

  2. North Carolina Botanical Garden - 100 Old Mason Farm Rd, Chapel Hill, NC 27517
    Learn all about North Carolina's native plants at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, a conservation area owned and operated by the University of North Carolina. Experience the restorative powers of this beautiful area, which consists of over 1,100 acres of gardens. You can also enjoy a vast array of programs and activities like gardening workshops, educational walks, and summer camps, all within a short distance of Chapel Hill homes for sale

  3. Juniper Level Botanic Garden - 9241 Sauls Rd, Raleigh, NC 27603
    Take a refreshing walk through the 28-acre Juniper Level Botanic Garden with a diverse display of beautiful flora. Want to take some plants home? Shop at the attached Plant Delights Nursery before you go home. Garden tours are by appointment only, or you can visit one of N.C. State's open garden days (usually one weekend each month).

  4. Sarah P. Dukes Gardens - 420 Anderson St, Durham, NC 27708
    Stroll through 5 miles and 55 acres of beautifully landscaped space at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens. This property, which is located on Duke University's campus, consists of well-maintained walkways and paths, making it easy to take in the gorgeous scenery. The park is open daily from 8 am to dusk and is located near several Durham homes for sale.
      
  5. The Raleigh Rose Garden - 301 Pogue St, Raleigh, NC 27607
    The Raleigh Rose Garden provides an excellent opportunity to take a nature walk or improve your photography skills. It's one of three accredited rose gardens in the state of North Carolina. You'll find serene landscaping and an extensive display of roses in all different colors. The park is free to the public, and it's open from dawn to dusk 365 days a year. 

Beautiful scenery is just one of the many great things about living in the Triangle. Thinking about moving here soon? Our team can help! Contact us today to check out some listings and learn more about the area.

April
6

About the Zebulon Historic District

Zebulon Historic District

Located less than 30 minutes from downtown Raleigh, the Zebulon Historic District is one of the largest in Wake County. In February, the NC National Register Advisory Committee nominated the district for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, making this a great time for our real estate agents to take a look at this fascinating area.

  • Carolina Mudcats - Five County Stadium, 1501 NC 39 Hwy., Zebulon, NC 27597
    What's summer without the sights and sounds of baseball? Enjoy a hot dog and beer as you watch the Carolina Mudcats take the field at Five County Stadium, right down the street from Zebulon homes for sale. This Low-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers has featured players such as reigning Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes on its roster. The 2022 season starts on Friday, April 8, against the Down East Wood Ducks. Visit the website for the full schedule and ticket prices.

  • Zebulon Artisan Market - Zebulon Municipal Complex, 1003 N. Arendell Ave., Zebulon, NC 27597
    Zebulon is a fertile community of artists and small business owners, producing goods from fresh produce to handmade jewelry. Support these industrious entrepreneurs by purchasing directly from the source at the Zebulon Artisan Market. This year's vendor lineup includes My Zen Acres, featuring bath and body care products, and Batten Acres, selling specialty poultry and pork. The market is held each Saturday from April 23 through June 5. Hours are 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

  • Zebulon Town Hall - 1003 N. Arendell Ave., Zebulon, NC 27597
    As Zebulon Town Hall majestically presides over the Municipal Complex, it serves as a microcosm of the district's storied past. The building opened in 1909 as Wakelon School, one of four high schools in the county. In later years, the school was converted to a training facility for GlaxoSmithKline before its current incarnation as the seat of local government. As a bonus, the halls are filled with the works of community artists. Zebulon Town Hall is open on weekdays from 8 a.m. - to 5 p.m.

  • Zebulon Community Park - 401 S. Arendell Ave., Zebulon, NC 27597
    Zebulon's history encompasses more than buildings and events. Mother Nature makes her presence known at Zebulon Community Park, 47 acres of fun for the whole family. Test your skills on the park's 18-hole disc golf course, considered one of the best in the state. Other features include two multi-use athletic fields, a toddler playground, two basketball courts, and walking trails. Leashed dogs are welcome, so bring Fido along, as well as a picnic lunch. The park is open seven days a week from dawn until dusk.

  • McLean's Ole Time Cafe - 418 W. Gannon Ave., Zebulon, NC 27597
    Family dinner is even better when another family does the cooking and cleaning. Since 1956, McLean's Ole Time Cafe has been serving comfort food favorites such as chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, and fried chicken with sawmill gravy. Want to eat around your own dining table? Call ahead for a carryout order. Breakfast and lunch specials are offered on weekdays. Hours are 7 a.m. - 8 p.m. daily.

Find out why Raleigh homes for sale are perfect for singles, couples, and families. Contact us at Howard Perry and Walston to learn more.

February
9

About First Friday Raleigh

First Friday Raleigh

Each month, our real estate agents join others heading to downtown Raleigh for First Friday. This beloved event involves galleries, shops, and restaurants celebrating the rich arts culture surrounding Raleigh homes for sale. Plus, each month offers something new with rotating exhibits and talks with local artists. Check out these vibrant downtown spots that can be seen on First Friday or any day of the year.

  • City Market Farmer's Market - 225 E. Davie St., Raleigh, NC 27601
    With numerous farms dotting the rural landscape, agriculture is one of North Carolina's defining industries. City Market Farmer's Market pays homage with a mural spotlighting the various fruits and vegetables grown around the state. There's also a vignette showing a farmer heading to market with his horse-drawn wagon. Have fun searching for the faces that are hidden within the various fruits and vegetables.

  • Pas de Chat - Duke Energy Center, 2 E. South St., Raleigh, NC 27601
    Can we quantify the source of art? Pas de Chat, a 25-foot sculpture that towers outside the Duke Energy Center, represents the unseen essence behind the creation of dance, music, theater, and visual arts. Its name refers to a ballet step, which literally translates to "cat's step," that mimics the movement of a jumping cat. The sculpture is designed to make it appear as though it's sitting in a pool of light. 

  • Downtown Adventures - 510 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, NC 27603
    In 2020, the Downtown Raleigh Alliance asked four local artists to create interactive murals promoting First Friday. One of these murals, Downtown Adventures, incorporates distinctive pop art features such as vivid colors and linear geometric shapes to depict iconic buildings in the Glenwood South district. Artist Sarahlaine Calva is self-taught, using acrylics and spray paint to create her eye-catching designs. As with the other three murals, Downtown Adventures includes a QR code that viewers can use to learn more about First Friday.

  • 8-bit to 5G - 429 S. Wilmington St., Raleigh, NC 27601
    Technology meets art in 8-bit to 5G, making Raleigh the first location in North America to host a permanent installation honoring the culture of gaming. The mural, which highlights the course of gaming history, was designed to incorporate an Augmented Reality (AR) feature that will ultimately bring the pieces of the artwork to life.

  • The Acorn - Duke Energy Center, 2 E. South St., Raleigh, NC 27601
    NYC has its Big Apple, Atlanta has its Peach, and downtown Raleigh has its Acorn. Local public relations agent John Watkins felt that Raleigh needed an iconic symbol for its 1992 bicentennial and commissioned artist David Benson to create the acorn sculpture. Like the Waterford crystal ball in Times Square, the 10-foot, 1,250-pound copper and steel Acorn is "dropped" to signify the arrival of the new year on First Night Raleigh.

Art plays an important role in Raleigh every day, but during First Fridays, it takes center stage. Immerse yourself in the creative spirit that lives throughout Raleigh. Contact us at Howard Perry and Walston to speak with one of our cheerful and experienced real estate agents.

September
8

5 Backyard Composting Tips

Composting Tips

Looking for an easy, affordable way to improve your garden and reduce your waste output? Create your own backyard compost pile!

Composting is the natural process of recycling garden, yard, and kitchen waste into fertile garden soil. When you add compost material to your soil, you improve its health, help it retain moisture, and provide protection against disease and pests. 

Our real estate agents know that a property with attractive landscaping appeals to prospective buyers. Here are some tips to follow for optimal backyard composting. 

  1. Select the Right Area for Your Compost Bin
    For the best results, your compost pile needs to be located in a suitable environment. Look for a spot that's dry and shady but has access to a water source. If your home is lacking in outside space, it's possible to set up a small compost bin inside your home. 
  1. Know What to Add to Your Compost Pile
    Every compost pile should have water, browns, and greens. These ingredients are all necessary to produce nutrient-rich compost. Browns include yard and garden waste, like twigs, dead leaves, and branches. Greens consist of grass clippings, fruit and vegetable waste, and old coffee grounds. Your compost pile needs an equal amount of browns and greens. Water keeps the compost pile moist so that it breaks down more rapidly. 
  1. Understand What NOT to Add to Your Compost Pile
    A few items should not be composted. These items may harm plants or produce an odor that attracts insects. When you put your home on the market, it's essential to confirm that your compost pile is odor-free so that it doesn't deter homebuyers. Never add plants with disease or pests to your compost pile, as both disease and pests can be transmitted to other plants when you add the compost to your garden. Avoid adding fats, meats, bones, and dairy products, as all these items will make your compost pile smell and attract rodents and insects. Any yard or garden waste that's been treated with chemical pesticides should stay out of your compost pile. Pesticides can kill the organisms necessary to break down organic material. 
  1. Cover Your Compost Pile
    It can take between a couple of months and a couple of years for organic materials to turn into compost. Hasten the process by covering your compost pile. Covering your compost helps it retain moisture that assists with the degradation of your food and yard waste. You can opt for a compost bin with a lid or use a tarp to cover your compost pile. 
  1. Be Picky with How You Layer Your Compost
    Always put a layer of browns as the top layer on your compost pile. This will minimize any odors associated with your compost, and it helps the materials retain moisture. A brown top layer also decreases the number of pests and insects attracted to your compost pile. When you add new waste to your compost pile, alternate brown and green layers, check that the brown layers are two to three times thicker than your green layers.

A compost pile is a great way to supply your garden with nutrients. Ready to add your home to the list of Raleigh homes for sale? Contact us today to get started!

June
23

About Minor League Baseball in North Carolina

North Carolina Minor League BaseballLooking for fun and excitement in Raleigh? Our real estate agents have a suggestion or two!

Many of our clients have been hankering for thrilling action out on the baseball diamond. If you're visiting to tour Raleigh homes for sale, you might have the perfect opportunity: North Carolina is home to ten Minor League Baseball teams. Here's who you might see during a fun day at the ballpark:

  1. Asheville Tourists
    The Tourists boast the most interesting home field: Historic McCornick Field was built right into the side of a mountain and features breathtaking views. The 42-foot right-center field wall is the highest in pro baseball. 

  2. Carolina Mudcats
    Conveniently located about 30 miles from downtown Raleigh, the Five County Stadium in Zebulon also operates the famous Cattails Restaurant – considered an ideal spot to catch the big game if you can't make it to the bleachers. 

  3. Charlotte Knights
    Found in Upper Charlotte's Truist Field – a modern sports venue that has grown to become one of the region's top since its opening in 2014 – the Charlotte Knights have inspired an energetic following. Fans love Friday Night Fireworks at the field, which is well-known for being family-friendly.

  4. Down East Wood Ducks
    The Wood Ducks are beloved in their native Kinston for bringing Minor League Baseball back to the area after a long five-year drought. Friday home games are made even more special with Food Truck Friday, where you can sample tasty fare from leading local restaurants.

  5. Durham Bulls
    Based out of Durham Bulls Athletic Park since 1995, with a history stretching to 1902, the Durham Bulls were launched to superstardom by the 1988 movie Bull Durham. The left-field wall is adorned with a 20-foot bull mascot. It's easy to take in a fast-paced game after exploring Durham homes for sale.

  6. Fayetteville Woodpeckers
    Rebranding in 2018 after a widely enjoyed "Name the Team" contest, the Fayetteville Woodpeckers play in one of Minor League Baseball's newest venues, 2019's Segra Field. 

  7. Greensboro Grasshoppers
    The Greensboro Grasshoppers have some of the most impressive stats in the region, but the player fans love most is actually a Labrador Retriever. This multi-talented pup is known to retrieve bats, carry balls over to the umpire, and even participate in fun skits during halftime. The Grasshoppers play from First National Bank Field.

  8. Hickory Crawdads
    Conrad and Candy the Crawdad are two beloved mascots who had a big part to play in the Hickory Crawdads' early success. They were married on-field in 2018. $1 Hot Dog Tuesdays, Fireworks Fridays, and Super Saturdays – known for live music after the game – help liven things up even more.

  9. Kannapolis Cannon Ballers
    Formerly known as the "Intimidators" after NASCAR racer and former part-owner Dale Earnhardt, the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers are affiliated with the Chicago White Sox. They play at the sparkling new Atrium Health Ballpark. More than a dozen major league sports stars have risen up through their ranks.

  10. Winston-Salem Dash
    Truist Stadium in downtown Winston-Salem is home to the Dash, which updated its look in 2020 with a feisty new logo. The venue is noted for its all-inclusive Flow Club and the Cheesy Pig Dog, a hot dog topped off with a heaping helping of cheese, macaroni, and barbecue.

Minor league baseball is one of the many things we love about life in North Carolina. Contact us to learn about real estate opportunities in the Triangle area.

June
9

5 Things to Consider Before Buying Patio Furniture

Raleigh Patio

What's so hard about buying patio furniture? Why not just go online or to a store and pick something pretty and buy it? You can do that, but you may not be happy with how that plays out in the patio area of the dream home you chose among homes for sale in the Triangle. A little planning will help you make the most of your outdoor living space. If you're not sure what questions to ask about a patio furniture purchase, follow the guidelines our real estate agents have put together. 

  1. Determine the Space
    This sounds so obvious, but you'll be surprised to learn that some folks just close their eyes, make a purchase, and hope it fits. Don't do that. Measure your space. Decide what you want. Bar stools? A dining table and chairs? Chairs for relaxing and lounging? You may get a good deal ordering online, but when buying furniture, it's always nice to look at it in person. Buying patio furniture in the brick-and-mortar store can show you how big it is, so you can calculate if it will nicely fill the space you have.

  2. How Comfortable is it?
    There's not much point in buying patio furniture just to look at. You'll want people to sit in it and enjoy it. It's important to sit on the furniture to see if it's comfortable. Do you intend to improve the experience by providing comfy cushions? That's helpful, but you also want to see if the chairs, table, or whatever, are the right dimensions.

  3. Are the Materials Weather Resistant?
    These days patio furniture is manufactured from many different materials: wicker, iron, resin, steel, plastic, wood, and others. If you're going to leave your furniture in an uncovered location during the warm season, you may want to choose something weather-resistant and resilient. Leaving the furniture in the heat and humidity will shorten its usefulness. If you're going to keep your furniture in a protected location, you might have better luck with patio furniture made of wood or wicker. Regardless of where you leave it, you may need to do a bit of maintenance every season: painting, replacing cushions, or with wood, even refinishing. 

    It's always a good idea to put the furniture up when the season for entertaining is over; at the very least, cover it up and protect it from the elements. Also, think about where you're going to place the furniture: on solid ground or on the patio. If it's going to make contact with the earth. you need to choose materials that can handle being on soggy ground, such as plastic or resin. 

  4. Invest in Quality
    Be aware that plastic, resin, wood, or wicker furniture may look good when you buy it, but if it's used extensively outdoors, UV rays and weather will make it fade so that it loses its looks. If you can afford it, invest in good quality furniture that will stand up to the elements and last a few years. If possible, set it in a protected location.

  5. Shop Colors
    You can have some fun when shopping for the right color of patio furniture. It doesn't have to be neutral, black, or brown. Match colors in your landscape or with your house, or go a little wild selecting pillows and cushions that pop.

Need more tips to improve your outdoor living space? Contact us today. 

April
29

Take the Family to these Mini Golf Courses Near Raleigh

Mini Golf Raleigh

As the saying goes, the family that plays together stays together. Our real estate agents love sharing quality time with their families in some good-natured competition at these entertaining mini golf courses around Raleigh.

  • Galaxy Fun Park - 14460 Falls of Neuse Rd., Raleigh, NC 27614
    Can you make your shot under the watchful gaze of an alien invader? That's the challenge of Moonwalk Mini Golf at Galaxy Fun Park. The 18-hole indoor course is surrounded by black-light art that takes you to a whole new universe. At $8 per round, it's a great value. The 65,000 square-foot facility allows plenty of room to enjoy the other attractions, such as go-karts, a ropes course, bumper cars, and a trampoline park. Hours are noon - 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, noon - 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Saturday, and noon - 7 p.m. Sunday. Visit the website for individual and package pricing.
  • Frankie's - 11190 Fun Park Dr., Raleigh, NC 27617
    At Frankie's, even their address says, "Fun." For only $10, you can play any one of their three different 18-hole mini golf courses. Play all three without breaking the bank! For more thrills, check out the Sky Trail, where you navigate an obstacle course four stories above the ground. Windstarz creates the soaring feeling of hang gliding, while bumper cars and bumper boats provide fun and laughs on land and water. Admission to Frankie's is free. Visit the website for individual attraction pricing. Park hours are noon - 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, noon-midnight Saturday, and 11 a.m. - midnight Sunday.
  • Adventure Landing - 3311 Capital Blvd., Raleigh, NC 27604
    Triple your fun at Adventure Landing, where they have not one but three mini golf courses. Each 18-hole course is beautifully landscaped and features a different theme for added variety. Other activities include laser tag, go-karts, batting cages, and an arcade with more than 75 games. Adventure Landing is open 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Visit the website for individual and package pricing.

  • ParTee Shack - 5300 Fayetteville Rd., Raleigh, NC 27603
    If the windmill obstacle just isn't challenging enough anymore, head over to ParTee Shack. Their three different 18-hole mini golf courses feature wacky and creative obstacles like zip lines, pinball machines, and foosball tables. Beginning this summer, everyone can play like a pro with their new TruGolf simulators, which replicate some of the world's most well-known courses. Take a break to refuel at the snack bar with a basket of meatballs and your choice of sauce. ParTee Shack is open 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 p.m. - 9 p.m. Sunday. 

When it comes to buying or selling a home in Raleigh, our cheerful and experienced real estate agents are your ace in the hole. Contact us at Howard Perry and Walston to learn more.

April
7

5 Benefits of Living Near Parks and Walking Trails

Raleigh Walking Trails

Living in the Triangle means that you have constant access to a network of connected trails and outstanding, multi-use parks that offer outdoor fun for residents of all ages. These outdoor hubs of activity bring many benefits to the communities where they're located, including some perks that you might not expect. Our real estate agents have the details on 5 key benefits of living near parks and walking trails.

  1. The Health Benefits of Living Near Trails

    When it comes to health benefits, trails and parks provide both a great place to exercise and added motivation to enjoy a workout. The ease of access when living near outdoor recreation areas makes it easy to work on fitness on your own schedule and having so many great outdoor spaces to explore provides motivation to go exploring. A brisk walk on a trail can help you stay in great shape physically, and spending quiet time in nature has many mental health benefits, too. Local parks provide even more motivation for physical activity, whether you join a sports league, enjoy a stroll in the park, or play with the kids/grandchildren on the playground.

  2. Recreation for Family Members of All Ages and Pets Too

    It's not always easy to find recreation activities that family members of all ages can enjoy together at the same time, so trails are also an asset for family fun and fitness. The Durant Trails neighborhood, located near Raleigh homes for sale, is one great example of how trails can help families stay active and enjoy the outdoors. The neighborhood is filled with connected trails, which you can follow directly to various outdoor attractions. Trails are also great for keeping your pets physically active close to home, and many trails in Raleigh are open to dogs as long as they're kept on a leash.

  3. Trails Connect Neighborhoods, Communities, and Parks

    Why jump in the car for a quick drive to a nearby destination when you can follow a local trail to reach your favorite outdoor attractions? Trails bring neighborhoods together by connecting local parks, nature preserves, and even popular shopping areas. The paved, easy-to-walk Abbots Creek Trail in North Raleigh, for example, travels through the Falls River and Bedford neighborhoods, connecting with a variety of local attractions along the way.

  4. Turning Abandoned Railroad Corridors Into Community Assets

    If you've ever searched for local trails online, then you may already be familiar with the concept of rail trials. These are trail systems that turn abandoned railroad corridors into hubs of outdoor community activity and often feature longer trails than you would find in other locations. The American Tobacco Trail is one of the most popular trail systems near Durham homes for sale, with more than 22 miles of connected trails built on old railroad corridors.

  5. Increasing the Appeal of Neighborhoods for Real Estate Buyers and Sellers

    While there is some debate over how much local trails and parks increase home values directly, there's no doubt that they add more appeal to neighborhoods for people who are shopping for homes. If you're buying a home, choosing one near local trails and parks might be a major attraction. 

Shopping for your next home near the connected trails and beautiful parks of the Triangle? The right real estate team makes all the difference. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Raleigh, NC area.

March
24

5 Helpful Tips for Introducing a Pet to Your Home

Raleigh New Pet

If you feel your home isn't complete without a four-legged friend, you're not alone. Many homeowners have at least one pet. Whether you're thinking about getting your first pet or adding yet another to your pack, introducing a new pet requires some planning and finesse. Here are a few tips from our real estate agents for bringing a new fur-buddy into your home.

  1. Get your home ready.
    Before your new four-legged friend comes home with you for the first time, make sure you have everything you need and that your home is ready for their arrival. Get all the pet supplies you need, such as food, bowls, a kennel or carrier for a larger pet or a cage if it's a small animal, and a collar and a leash if necessary. Also, be sure your home is ready to receive a new pet. Pet-proof and put anything away that could be hazardous for your new pet.

  2. Make new introductions slowly.
    Keep introductions stress-free for your pet by slowly introducing them to other household members. For a dog, meeting on a leash in a neutral area, such as outside instead of in the house, can take some of the pressure off. A new cat may need to be kept confined to a single room for a few days while getting used to the new home.

  3. Plan a quiet few days at home.
    The last thing you want is a lot of activity while you're letting a new pet adjust to unfamiliar surroundings, so keep introductions to just the immediate household for now. Remember, this is a new member of your household, so friends and family will have plenty of time to get to know them later on. For now, plan to spend a few days at home while they get to know you and their new home.

  4. Establish routines.
    These first few days at home are a good time to start establishing routines with your new pet: when mealtimes are when bedtime is, and if it's a dog, walk schedules and outdoor routines.

  5. Plan for the future.
    As you and your new pet settle in together, remember to plan for the future. For instance, if you plan to move soon, maybe you don't want to cut through that exterior wall to make a doggy door. House training is important at this point so that you keep your home in good shape, minimize repairs, and maintain the value for when you sell one day. Keep in mind things that you notice would be nice, such as a larger yard for your dog, so that you know what to look for when you start browsing Raleigh homes for sale.

Adding a pet to the family is exciting, but it may also remind you of the features you want in your next home, such as more space, a larger yard, and close proximity to parks or walking trails. If you're ready to start looking for a new home for you and your family, both two-legged and four-legged family members included, contact us today.

March
3

National Day of Unplugging: Nature Retreats Around Raleigh

Raleigh Outdoor Retreats

"Can you hear me now?" Electronics and social media often drown out the sounds of actual connections. Our real estate agents know that the Raleigh area has plenty of nature retreats perfect for a visit on Friday, March 5, for the National Day of Unplugging. Recharge your "batteries" by getting back to nature at one of these fabulous spots around Raleigh.

  1. Ann and Jim Goodnight Museum Park - 1800 Blue Ridge Rd., Raleigh, NC 27607
    Museums are usually indoor activities for a rainy day. Ann and Jim Goodnight Museum Park is a delightful outdoor "gallery" where works of art share the stage with beautiful natural surroundings. The 164-acre park includes miles of trails dotted with signs providing information about the artworks and the history of the adjacent North Carolina Museum of Art. Leashed dogs are welcome. Admission is free, and the park is open seven days a week from dawn to dusk. 

  2. TreeRunner Adventure Park - 12804 Norwood Rd., Raleigh, NC 27613
    When you're navigating obstacles 30 feet above the ground, cell phones are the last thing on your mind. TreeRunner Adventure Park features seven different obstacle courses to provide a challenge for any level of experience. Make your way across tightrope bridges, cargo nets, and zip lines as you enjoy the thrill of accomplishment. TreeRunner also has a Junior Park for ages 4-7, so the whole family can participate. Advance tickets are required. Admission is $42 for adults, $35 for kids 13 and under, and $20 for the Junior Park, with prices slightly higher on weekends. Visit the website for hours. 

  3. Historic Yates Mill County Park - 4620 Lake Wheeler Rd., Raleigh, NC 27603
    Prior to the 20th century, mills were the social and economic backbone of life around Raleigh. The last mill in operating condition is the foundation of Historic Yates Mill County Park. Pedestrian-only trails pass through forests and wetlands, while three onsite gardens provide a look at Native American farming methods and endangered ecosystems. Pack a lunch and take a break at one of several picnic tables located throughout the park. Hours are 8 a.m. until sunset daily.

  4. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Gardens - 1215 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Raleigh, NC 27610
    Opened in 1975, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Gardens has the distinction of being the first park in the United States exclusively dedicated to the renowned civil rights leader. Highlights of the 2.4-acre park include a life-size statue of Dr. King, which is part of Raleigh's public arts collection, as well as a stunning 12-ton granite water fountain honoring his fellow civil rights pioneers from the area around Raleigh homes for sale. The King Memorial Wall is made from 2,500 bricks, each bearing the name of one of the park's supporters. Park hours are sunrise to sunset, seven days a week.

  5. Raleigh Walking Tours - 400 N. Person St., Raleigh, NC 27601
    Just how well do you really know Raleigh? Have fun as you learn about ghosts, art, and other lively facets of the city's history during Raleigh Walking Tours. Each event lasts approximately one hour, and the company has a unique pay-what-you-want policy to accommodate all interested participants. Private tours at a fixed rate are available for individuals and groups of all sizes. Reservations are required. Visit the website for tour schedules and tickets.

Raleigh is a perfect blend of culture, entertainment, and outdoor activities. Whether you're buying or selling a home in the area, contact us

October
29

5 Ways to Improve Your Fall Landscaping

Fall Landscaping in Raleigh

Autumn is here, and Mother Nature is ready to put on a show with colorful leaves, crisp cool nights, and the bounty of the harvest. The vibrant fall season is the perfect time to make your home stand out and prepare for what lies ahead. Our REALTORS® know that a home with curb appeal is much more attractive to buyers, so it's important for those with Raleigh homes for sale to give their landscaping some extra love. These tips and fabulous fall landscaping ideas can help you make the most out of your outdoor spaces this autumn.

  1. Give Your Lawn Some TLC
    Taking proper care of your lawn in the fall can help your grass survive the cold winter weather to look lush and healthy in the spring. Use an aerator spike or pitchfork to create small holes in your lawn before fertilizing. These holes enable water, oxygen, and fertilizer to seep in, which is great for your grass. Fall is the perfect time to fertilize your lawn and plant new grass seed in any areas that need shoring up. 
  2. Clear Leaves from the Ground
    Speaking of raking, those pretty leaves will eventually fall to the ground. Raking the leaves on your property not only makes it look neat and tidy, but it's also good exercise and keeps your grass healthy. Mildew can easily grow under a blanket of leaves and damage your lawn. If you have a compost pile, put dead leaves in it, and you'll enjoy rich fertilizer for your yard in the spring. While you're at it, you might as well pull any weeds and throw them on the pile, too.
  3. Do Your Fall Planting
    Autumn is the perfect time to plan ahead and plant bulbs for vibrant flowers in the spring. Make sure to plant deep enough in the ground to prevent freezing.  If you're unsure of what types of bulbs thrive in your area and the best time to plant them, ask your local nursery for recommendations. When they pop up in the spring, you'll be in for a colorful surprise! It's also an excellent time to transplant any perennials you want to move. If you're planting any new bushes or trees, putting them in this time of year gives them months to get rooted before the hot North Carolina summer arrives.
  4. Decorate
    Letting the beauty of nature's bounty showcase your home and yard is super easy to do in the fall. Visit a local farmers market and pick up some pumpkins, gourds, hay, and any other outdoor fall décor you like. Colorful mums in planters or boxes on a porch or along walkways also add a nice touch of color. Putting an eye-catching fall wreath with red, orange, yellow, and brown hues on your front door can really make your house stand out from the crowd. 
  5. Keep Watering
    Unless it's a very rainy fall season, it's important to keep watering your lawn, trees, plants, and flowers. Even though the weather is starting to cool down, roots need to stay hydrated into the winter. An easy way to keep track of how much water you're getting is by using a rain gauge. Unless your lawn is getting more than an inch of water a week, keep sprinklers and irrigation systems going. When it's time to close up shop, make sure to disconnect hoses, shut off water sources to outdoor faucets, and flush sprinkler or irrigation systems.

Ready to buy or sell a home in Raleigh this fall? Our experienced real estate professionals can help. Contact us to get started.

August
19

Campgrounds Near Raleigh the Whole Family Will Love

The hot sun is quickly burning away our summer days but there's still time for you to enjoy the warm weather. With many vacations and road trips put on hold, now is the perfect time to social distance responsibly by camping in North Carolina's great outdoors. Our estate agents encourage you to check out these campgrounds around Raleigh.

  1. Popular Point Campground – 558 Beaver Creek Rd., Apex, NC 27502
    Spend only a second at Jordan Lake and you'll see why it's one of the most popular camping areas in the state. The aptly named Popular Point Campground has nearly 600 campsites with more than half of them outfitted with electric hookups. Regardless if you're camping with an RV or tent, your site will include a picnic table, grill, and waste receptacle. While you're there, feel free to fish, swim, or boat in Jordan Lake.

  2. Crosswinds Campground B26 – Apex, NC 27523
    Not unlike the Popular Point Campground, Crosswinds Campground is located on Jordan Lake just a few miles from Apex homes for sale. This is a great campground for those looking for a more intimate setting as there are less than 200 sites. While the majority have electric hookups, you can still pitch a tent and take advantage of the picnic table and grill at each site.

  3. The Matthews Campground – 7625 Lake Wheeler Rd., Raleigh, NC 27603
    Retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city and relax in the secluded Matthews Campground. This private, quiet space is close to Raleigh homes for sale, a short drive from Lake Wheeler Park, the State Farmer's Market, and the NC State Fairgrounds. While you cannot use the Matthews Campground for tent camping, you are welcome to park your travel trailer or motor home on the property and utilize power, water, sewer, and WiFi.

  4. Eno River State Park – 6101 Cole Mill Rd., Durham, NC 27705
    Within minutes of Durham homes for sale, Eno River State Park offers a beautiful space to hike, fish, and take in astounding natural views. Camping in Eno River State Park is fantastic, but unlike other areas, not all sites within the park are the same. For instance, some single or group sites may or may not have electric hookups, bathhouses, or wheelchair accessibility. Backpack campers should head to the Fanny's Ford Campground or Piper Creek Campground while groups can visit the Cox Mountain Group Camp or Buckquarter Creek Group Camp. 

  5. Falls Lake State Recreation Area – 13304 Creedmoor Rd., Wake Forest, NC 27587
    Explore the Falls Lake State Recreation Area and enjoy hours of on-and-off-water activities. This recreation area is a centerpiece for the network of hiking trails stretching the state, giving you access to outdoor adventure whether you're camping in the park or living nearby at one of our Wake Forest homes for sale. Similar to the Eno River State Park, not all campsites have the same amenities and you should book your stay in advance. Backpack campers should head to Shinleaf's site, groups can visit Shinleaf as well, Rolling View, or B.W. Wells and those with RVs or trailers can park in a shady spot at Holly Point.

Would you love a new home with a backyard big enough to camp in? We can help! Contact us today to browse homes for sale around The Triangle.

August
5

National Book Lovers Day - Outdoor Reading Spots Near Raleigh

Outdoor Reading Spots in Raleigh

There's nothing quite like getting cozy with a good book when the world starts to feel overwhelming. 

In honor of National Book Lovers Day—coming right up on August 9th—we asked our real estate agents to name some of their favorite outdoor reading spots. The list includes some of the most beautiful parks and green spaces in Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, NC.

  1. Lake Johnson Park - 4601 Avent Ferry Rd., Raleigh, NC 27606
    Lake Johnson Park has been a favorite place to enjoy the outdoors in Raleigh since it opened to the public in 1952. The centerpiece of the park is 150-acre Lake Johnson, which is a popular spot for fishing and kayaking, but also a great place to sit by the shoreline and catch up on your summer reading. Just minutes from these Raleigh homes for sale, the park can get a bit busy on the weekends, so we recommend visiting mid-week if possible. 
  2. Dorothea Dix Park - 2105 Umstead Dr., Raleigh, NC 27603
    With rolling meadows, shady groves of trees, and a great view of the Raleigh skyline, Dorothea Dix Park is a popular spot for picnics and dog walking. The park's most famous feature is its sunflower field (sadly not planted in 2020 due to COVID-19), but Dorothea Dix Park still offers one of the most serene, relaxing landscapes in Raleigh. It's a great place to sit under a shady tree and get lost in the pages of your favorite book. 
  3. Sandy Creek Park - 3510 Sandy Creek Dr., Durham, NC 27707
    Home to a wetlands restoration project and a series of reclaimed historic industrial sites, Sandy Creek Park, is one of Durham's most fascinating landscapes. The park abounds with quiet spots to read—park benches, picnic tables, shelters—and also offers some lovely hiking trails near these Durham homes for sale. Sandy Creek Park is a work in progress and a labor of love for the countless volunteers who have helped develop it over the past 20 years. 
  4. Cornwallis Road Park - 2830 Wade Rd., Durham, NC 27705
    Cornwallis Road Park is a bit off the beaten path compared to many Durham parks. Nestled among a series of quiet neighborhood streets, the park is sheltered by towering trees. Of the few people who frequent the park, most do so for its disc golf course, leaving much of the rest of this peaceful landscape undisturbed. That makes it a great place to wander along the shady hiking trails, and maybe stop under a tall tree to read a chapter or two. 
  5. Carolina North Forest - 122 Municipal Dr. Chapel Hill, NC 27599
    A woodland spanning 750 acres on the UNC North Campus, Carolina North Forest feels miles away from civilization despite being within walking distance of many Chapel Hill homes for sale. It's a wild and picturesque park, with vast stands of mature trees, tumbling streams, meandering hiking trails, and an abundance of native wildlife. 

Contact us today to learn more about life in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Our team is dedicated to helping you find the perfect home for you and your family!

July
1

Clean Beaches Week: Celebrate Beaches in North Carolina

Beaches in North Carolina

When our real estate agents get some precious downtime, they can't resist the stunning scenery and relaxing atmosphere of North Carolina's beaches. Since July 1-7 has been designated as Clean Beaches Week, celebrate with a trip to one of these delightful beaches within easy access of Raleigh homes for sale

  1. Wrightsville Beach - 23 E. Salisbury St., Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480
    Wrightsville Beach
    is the closest location to Raleigh, clocking in at a relatively quick two-hour drive. Once you arrive, the crystal blue waters and vast expanses of sand on this four-mile island will make you feel worlds away from everyday life. National Geographic named Wrightsville Beach one of the world's top surfing spots, and stand-up paddleboards are a frequent sight on the water. 

  2. Carolina Beach State Park - 1010 State Park Rd., Carolina Beach, NC 28428
    Spectacular views of Cape Fear River help make Carolina Beach State Park,  about two-and-a-half hours from Raleigh, one of the more popular sites in North Carolina. The park's limesink ponds are home to some unique plant life, including carnivorous forms such as the famous Venus flytrap. More than eight miles of easy hiking trails follow the river and loop through wetlands and forests. The boat ramp and marina are open, along with the wheelchair-accessible fishing pier. Park hours are 7 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily through September.

  3. Kure Beach - 117 Settlers Lane, Kure Beach, NC 28449
    At a distance of less than three miles away, Kure Beach is something of a "sister" site to Carolina Beach. But the two beaches offer different experiences, making it worth a visit to compare. Family-friendly Kure Beach is smaller, in a tranquil setting marked by stretches of white sand, which many people feel creates a more laid-back vibe. The beach's main attraction is the 711-foot fishing pier, oldest on the Atlantic Coast. If fishing isn't your thing, just enjoy a leisurely stroll with miles of coastline on display. Kure Beach Pier is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. - 11 p.m.

  4. Atlantic Beach - 177 New Bern St., Atlantic Beach, NC 28512
    When you set eyes on Atlantic Beach after the two-and-a-half hour drive from Raleigh, you'll understand why it's part of the "Crystal Coast." Dubbed the "Family Playground of the South," Atlantic Beach is situated on a barrier island between Bogue Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. Rent a jet ski, paddleboard or kayak to explore the waters or hike the AB Loop trails that range from one to three miles. Cast a line from the Oceanana, the only fishing pier on the beach, extending 1,000 feet into the Atlantic Ocean. 

  5. Topsail Beach - 820 S. Anderson Blvd., Topsail Beach, NC 28445 
    Legend has it that Topsail Beach was named for the pirate ships that hid behind the island, and to this day the community works to maintain an unspoiled, natural ambiance. High-rise developments are forbidden and the environment is a main priority, with initiatives such as the Topsail Turtle Project. Activities such as a recent craft market give Topsail Beach a pleasant small-town charm. If you head that way, plan on a two-and-a-half hour drive from Raleigh.

With its balance between urban amenities and outdoor activities, Raleigh accommodates nearly every lifestyle. Contact us at Howard Perry and Walston for experienced help with your real estate needs.

April
15

5 Tips for Starting a Garden in Raleigh

Raleigh Gardening

Scientific studies show that gardening burns calories lowers blood pressure, relieves stress, and elevates your mood. Our real estate agents love to unwind working on their gardens. Plus, it's a great way to enjoy the North Carolina sunshine while practicing social distancing.

Starting a garden of your own is super easy. Use these five tips to start a thriving vegetable garden in your own Raleigh backyard.

  1. Decide on a Location
    First, look for a spot where the garden will receive at least eight hours of daily sunlight. Plants also need plenty of moisture, so make sure the garden will be close to a ready source of water, such as a faucet or hose. Stick with areas away from trees, shrubs, and other large growth that may steal valuable resources from the plants.

  2. Select a Garden Type
    Planting seeds directly in the ground isn't the only way to create a garden. Depending on the type of soil and other factors, that method may not even be the best way. Container gardens and raised beds are two options that allow you to control the type of soil used. They're also good choices if you're dealing with limited space.

    According to The Old Farmer's Almanac, the biggest mistake made by beginning gardeners is being overenthusiastic. It's better to start small and expand later rather than bite off more than you can chew (no pun intended).

  3. Choose Your Crops
    Deciding what to plant is the fun part. Fortunately, the Raleigh area is well-suited for growing most fruits and vegetables, so the main factors are your taste and the appropriate growing seasons, which are either spring or fall. Some of the fruits and vegetables that do well in Raleigh include asparagus, broccoli, cantaloupe, kale, onions and peppers, spinach, tomatoes, and watermelon. If you have the space, include herbs such as basil, cilantro, dill, and parsley that add color and flavor to cooking.

  4. Plan and Design the Garden
    In the legend of Johnny Appleseed, he scattered seeds randomly wherever he went, but that technique doesn't work in real life. Elements to consider include when to plant when to harvest, which plants will go in which section and how the garden will be organized (for instance, will be using intensive planting where rows are spaced close together). Once you've answered these questions, you'll have a better idea of the quantities required of seeds and other supplies.

    It's a good idea to keep a gardening journal where you can document the entire process. With future gardens, you can refer back to the journal and see what worked and what didn't. Also, crops should be rotated regularly for best results, and a journal will help you keep track of what was planted when and where.

  5. Plant the Seeds
    Even if you're using intensive planting, be sure to allow enough room for the seeds to grow freely with sufficient airflow. Stagger planting dates in one- to two-week intervals, so you have a continual harvest. Keep the soil damp until plants are well-established, then water as needed. A layer of mulch improves water retention while reducing weeds and soil erosion. Fertilize based on recommendations for the type of soil, but be careful not to overdo it, which could inhibit production.

Raleigh homes for sale should look as good outside as they do inside. For more effective tips on buying or selling a home, contact us today.

October
10

HPW Open Houses | October 12-13

Open Houses

Where do you want to live? What type of home do you like? Stepping up or moving down? Whether you're a renter ready to take the homeownership plunge, a seasoned homeowner searching for new digs, or simply want to expand your investment property portfolio, HPW.com has the homes you seek.

The most comprehensive real estate website in the state, HPW.com is the perfect place to start your house hunt. Our local real estate agents know the market inside and out and are ready to show you the homes they've listed and answer the questions you may have. Visit them this weekend at their area open houses.

Also, don't forget the Triangle Parade of Homes is still underway, granting you access to a fantastic collection of newly built area homes.

 

Featured Open Houses 

 

521 Myrna Lane, Wake Forest, NC 27587

$725,000

Sq Ft: 4,289 | Beds: 5 | Baths: 5 (full)

Open House: Friday, October 11 from 12 to 5 p.m.,

Saturday, October 12 from 12 to 5 p.m. and

Sunday, October 13 from 12 to 5 p.m.

Myrna Ln


1621 Montvale Grant Way, Cary, NC 27519

$814,700

Sq Ft: 3,636 | Beds: 4 | Baths: 4 (full) 2 (1/2)

Open House: Friday, October 11 from 12 to 5 p.m.,

Saturday, October 12 from 12 to 5 p.m. and

Sunday, October 13 from 12 to 5 p.m.

  Montvale Grant Way


2607 Beaver Ridge Drive, New Hill, NC 27562

$800,000

Sq Ft: 4,100 | Beds: 5 | Baths: 4 (full) 1 (1/2)

Open House: Friday, October 11 from 12 to 5 p.m.,

Saturday, October 12 from 12 to 5 p.m. and

Sunday, October 13 from 12 to 5 p.m.

Beaver Ridge


305 Josiah Drive, Clayton, NC 27527 

$542,900

Sq Ft: 3,574 | Beds: 4 | Baths: 2 (full) 1 (1/2)

Open House: Saturday, October 12 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Josiah Dr


300 Valleyshire Road, Durham, NC 27707

$550,000

Sq Ft: 2,888 | Beds: 3 | Baths: 2 (full) 1 (1/2)

Open House: Saturday, October 12 from 12 to 2 p.m.

Valleyshire


12312 The Gates Drive, Raleigh, NC 27614

$909,900

Sq Ft: 5,437 | Beds: 4 | Baths: 4 (full) 2 (1/2)

Open House: Saturday, October 12 from 2 to 4 p.m.

The Gates


6709 Ebon Court, Raleigh, NC 27615

$325,000

Sq Ft: 1,739 | Beds: 3 | Baths: 2 (full) 1 (1/2)

Open House: Sunday, Sunday, October 13 from 1 to 3 p.m.

Ebon Court


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May
8

8 Best Bike Trails in the Triangle

Triangle Living Bike Trails
May is National Bike Month and the perfect time to enjoy the Triangle on two wheels. There are bike trails connecting many Triangle communities, and winding through the beautiful outdoor spaces that make North Carolina such a lovely place to call home. Our real estate agents have the inside scoop on eight bike trails where you can celebrate National Bike Month.

Bike Trails in Raleigh, Durham, Cary, and Apex

  1. Neuse River Trail – Raleigh
    Raleigh homes for sale make it easy to reach a variety of the trails on our list, including the 27.5 mile Neuse River Trail. This scenic, paved trail offers beautiful views of the river, while passing local historic sites and wetlands. The trail connects to other trails in Raleigh, and in nearby communities like Wake Forest.
  2. Duke Forest Trail – Durham
    Looking for a trail close to Durham homes for sale? The Duke Forest Trail offers 3.4 miles of trails around the Duke University Golf Course, along with extensive roads for longer rides. Experience the natural side of Duke University on this popular Triangle trail.
  3. Black Creek Greenway – Cary
    If you're shopping for Cary homes for sale, you won't have to travel far to find a great trail. The Black Creek Greenway runs just over 7 miles and takes you through some of the most beautiful natural scenery that Cary has to offer. It's an easy trail to travel, perfect for families with kids.
  4. Art to Heart Trail – Raleigh
    Set out from the North Carolina Museum of Art to explore the unique Art to Heart Trail, which travels from the museum to downtown Raleigh. The trail runs for just under 6 miles, passing the NC State University and Meredith College campuses.
  5. William B. Umstead State Park – Raleigh, Cary
    With more than 5,000 acres of natural beauty, William B. Umstead State Park has long been one of the Triangle's favorite places for outdoor adventures. Grab your bike, and set out to explore 13 miles of unpaved, multi-use trails, perfect for a brisk workout.
  6. Shelley Lake Park – North Raleigh
    Searching for a trail with waterfront views? Shelley Lake Park, located in North Raleigh, features a 2-mile loop around the lake, with ample waterfront scenery and plenty of wildlife to watch. This is a great spot for families, with beautiful views in every direction.
  7. American Tobacco Trail – Durham
    Experience the history of the Durham area as you explore the American Tobacco Trail, which runs for 22.5 miles and connects with Wake County. This trail will take you through forests, rural areas, and local wildlife hotspots, providing an opportunity to see first-hand some of the many species that call the Triangle home.
  8. Beaver Creek Greenway – Apex
    ​​​​​​​Apex homes for sale are located just a quick trip from the scenic Beaver Creek Greenway, a leisurely trail which connects with local parks and features extensive natural scenery. The trail is also located just a couple miles from the American Tobacco Trail, so you can keep the ride going.

Are you searching for the right home close to all of the outdoor activities in your favorite Triangle community? Our team is here to help. Contact us to buy and sell homes in Raleigh, Durham, and communities throughout the Triangle.

May
1

7 of the Best Hiking Trails Near Raleigh

Raleigh Hiking & Greenway Trails
Raleigh is a great city for anyone with a taste for outdoor adventure, and now that spring has fully sprung, our REALTORS® think now is a great time to get out there and explore! If you're looking for a place to reconnect with nature in the Raleigh area, these are our seven favorite places to head outside and take a hike. 

  1. Walnut Creek Trail
    A little over 15 miles in length, the Walnut Creek Trail is a greenway project that meanders across South Raleigh from Lake Johnson to the Neuse River. Mostly paved and ideal for hiking, biking, and jogging, the trail is easily accessible from numerous trailheads and offers landscapes ranging from natural to urban and residential. It's a great place to explore Raleigh's many environments and is also part of the East Coast Greenway Trail (ECG) system, which connects major cities all along the Eastern Seaboard. 

  2. Company Mill Trail (Umstead State Park)
    Umstead State Park offers no shortage of picturesque hiking trails, but the 7.4-mile Company Mill Trail has long been a favorite among local hikers. Visit on a weekday to avoid the crowds, and enjoy the scenery as this loop trail meanders along Crabtree Creek and through picturesque Piedmont hardwood forests. For anyone looking to explore further, Umstead State Park offers 22 miles of dedicated hiking trails, along with 13 miles of multi-use trails.

  3. Swift Creek Loop Trail (Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve)
    Just a few miles outside Raleigh in Cary, NC, the lovely Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve offers several short, easy hiking trails that traverse beautifully preserved upland forests and ravines. The 0.8-mile provides views of the preserve's bluffs, streams, and namesake hemlock trees. Continue on the 1.2-mile Chestnut Oak Look for an extended hike. 

  4. Art to Heart Trail
    A great option if you're looking for a leisurely hike without leaving the city, this trail stretches 5.9 miles from the North Carolina Museum of Art to downtown Raleigh. The Art to Heart Trail explores some of the most picturesque green spaces in the Raleigh, including the museum's beautiful 164-acre park, the campus of North Carolina State University, and Pullen Park. 

  5. Frances L. Liles Trail (Carl Alwin Schenck Memorial Forest)
    Just 10 minutes from the NC State Campus, Carl Alwin Schenck Memorial Forest spans 245 shady, secluded acres, including several well-maintained trails. The Frances L Liles Trail is the most popular route in the park. Just over a mile in length, it's an excellent trail for bird watching and offers a chance to see some of the area's unique plant life. 

  6. Cole Mill Trail (Eno River State Park)
    This Durham, NC trail offers a mile-long ramble along the banks of the Eno River in Eno River State Park. Keep an eye out for the scenic laurel-covered bluffs along the river (visit in mid to late April to see the laurel in full bloom) and check out the nearby remnants of the old Cabe Mill. Connections are available to several other trails, including the 1.65-mile Bobbitt Hole Loop. 

  7. Falls Lake Trail
    The crown jewel of Raleigh's urban hiking trails, the Falls Lake Trail stretches 60 miles. The path hugs the shore of Falls Lake throughout Raleigh, Durham, and surrounding communities, passing through mature upland forests, wide open meadows and a wide range of other habitats along the way. Dozens of trailheads make it easy to hike a section of any length. 

Contact us to learn more about making Raleigh your home. From hiking and outdoor adventure to great dining, culture, and nightlife, Raleigh is a great place to call home. Be sure to ask about the latest Raleigh homes for sale!

March
20

Parks & Outdoor Spaces in the Triangle

Parks & Outdoor Spaces in the Triangle
March 30 is National Take a Walk in the Park Day. After a long winter, it's a holiday that our real estate agents can get behind. We've got a lot of great outdoor spaces here in the Triangle area, and these are some of our favorite places to take a walk in the park in Raleigh, Durham and beyond.  

  1. Green Hills County Park - 9300 Deponie Drive, Raleigh
    This beautiful park in Northeast Raleigh is an excellent place for family fun, with an elementary school, middle school, and numerous Raleigh homes for sale nearby. With ample wide open spaces, Green Hills County Park offers picnic pavilions, playgrounds, walking trails and a challenging mountain bike skills course. The park's vast open fields are great for flying kites, playing Frisbee or stretching out on a picnic blanket.
  2. Apex Community Park - 2200 Laura Duncan Road, Apex
    Spanning 160 beautiful acres, Apex Community Park is just a few miles southwest of Raleigh and includes more than 3 miles of secluded nature and running trails. The park is just footsteps away from many Apex homes for sale, and also includes 50-acre lake that is great for fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. A wide range of sports facilities are located at the park as well, including basketball and tennis courts, soccer fields, sand volleyball courts, baseball fields, and batting cages. 
  3. Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve - 2616 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary
    The rugged Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve is one of the great places in the Triangle to get away from it all. Despite being just minutes away from these Cary homes for sale, the preserve feels wild and remote, with hiking trails that meander along ridges, ravines, creeks, and stands of mature hemlock trees. Be sure to stop in at the Stevens Nature Center while you're there to learn more about the preserve. 
  4. Durham Central Park - 501 Foster Street, Durham
    True to its name, Durham Central Park is at the beating heart of Durham, offering not only a great place to go for a walk, toss a Frisbee or have a picnic, but also hosting some of the cities biggest events. If you're visiting to check out Durham homes for sale, you might want to plan your trip to coincide with the Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo or the Pints for Paws Craft Beverage Festival. The park also hosts the weekly Durham Farmers' Market every Saturday year-round.
  5. Prairie Ridge Ecostation - 1671 Gold Star Drive, Raleigh
    Part of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, the Prairie Ridge Ecostation encompasses nearly 40 acres of reclaimed land – mostly former cow pastures – that has been allowed to return to its natural state. Today it's an incredible place for hiking, bird watching and nature photography, with prairie grasslands, bottomland forests, ponds and streams that harbor a rich diversity of plant and animal life.
  6. White Deer Park and Nature Center - 2400 Aversboro Road, Garner
    Nestled on the picturesque shores of Lake Benson, White Deer Park and Nature Center is a perfect place to enjoy some time in the great outdoors, and to introduce the next generation to the joys of exploring the natural world. With numerous Garner homes for sale in the area, the park is easily accessible, offering everything from nature trails and picnic facilities to nature exhibits and environmental gardens. 

Contact us to learn more about outdoor recreation opportunities in the Triangle area, and talk with our team of dedicated real estate agents about finding your home in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and the surrounding communities!

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