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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The wearing of the green...seems like a good day to begin a blog...spring is truly in the air here in Charlotte, NC...the pear trees are almost in full bloom running almost the whole length of Wendover Road...and the town itself is blooming. In many ways. Okay, especially in real estate. Charlotte used to be a sleepy Southern town. We had Mom and Pop shops, small towns as our neighbors. Cows and horses nearby. Charlotte was a peaceful town with a couple of good restaurants, a couple of movie theatres, a nearby river...and a vibrant energy. That was in the 50's...and times have changed. I sometimes smile when I tell the folks who are relocating that everything they are coming here really gone. And Charlotte is still vibrant and good and fun and growing like all get out! And that is what I love and that is what I will be writing about...real estate from my point of view. Charlotte, NC has been my home for well over 50 years and real estate has been my life support for over 20 years. I specialize in Condominiums. Condo CanDo, our registered servicemark along with The Real Estate Lady, also registered back in the late 80's...both saved my neck as a new agent in a highly competitive market. Now, I blend technology with intuition and experience with listening...observing the market for both buyers and sellers. I have three websites built over the last ten years. They are in the throes of being updated...the research has changed, the stats have changed, and our editor will change as we migrate to a new one. And I am one of the few remaining "Mom" shops...I open doors for folks, pour them a cup of coffee or green tea...sit on the floor and play with the children...and sometimes I give advice like, "Now is not the time to sell"... or "Wait a while". Let the green begin...and thanks for tuning in. The Real Estate Lady/ Condo CanDo Lynnsy Logue

Outside the Fence

We met a long time ago...when children were making paper airplanes...when we made a talking box telephone of small boxes and string..we would climb over the fence to the baseball game. Stan the Man was my favorite. I watched between the chain link fence. The guard wouldn't let me stay. He let the boys stay. I stood outside and really, I was afraid standing alone outside the fence. I put my hands deep in my corduroy pants pockets and scowled so I looked mean. I walked home in the dark alone. I was seven years old. I always practiced being unafraid.
Today, I am alone and like it. I am afraid and do not like it. I miss baseball. I still wear corduroy pants. Some things never change.

Now I am on a new journey. I may have some time left. I want to close this chapter and go to a quiet place like it is here in this space I love so well...I want to go to a small secluded space and gather the books I have started, the poems I just dashed off...I want to be with my dog and a warm cup of chai, some oatmeal and I want to write and write until all the memories are washed and all the tears are shed and all the love I ever held is allowed out there, out there, you know outside the fence.

Monday, March 21, 2016

March 21, 2016
The first day of Spring seems appropriate to be sending one of my most fun creations on to the archives of UNC-C. I was 39 or so when this concept came to me out of desperation of a TV station going black then and...oh, well, here is the story by Kays Gary of The Charlotte Observer who for many years before and well after he passed is the Father of all
story tellers in this region.
My Sonic Man library will go to the University and mark the near end of all my projects including dissolving my household down to basics will be completed. I have a crypt to sell, some paintings  and I am close.
My goal has been to be a good steward of both material things and time so no one would have to fret over the paint buckets in the basement, too many linens in a closet and shelves of books and CD's not to mention boxes of photos. I feel lighter and younger more in possession of my wits and ready to see what the next chapter brings.

Me with one opf the actors who portrayed Sonic Man. Roger Bost and Neil Elam carried the hospitals, parades, schools and public appearances and Larry Sprinkle on tv. It took the three of them to manage our busy schedule. Rod Rich my fabulous partner was in charge of Earthman 18 and TKP 911 and I often did not know what they were up to but trusted Rod and his impeccable sense of everything Sonic.

Monday, March 14, 2016

        " I am like YOU, I like ANSWERS"


Charlotte-Mecklenburg Multiple Family Housing

CondoCanDo's® beginning was only hard getting me to accept that I would tacklecondominiums, find out everything I could and that meant
                            going to the court house, making my own maps, plowing through microfiche files, hundreds of them, and walking the blocks and miles to see them in person, take pictures and determine the kind of heating in each one because that piece of information was not in the files as far as I could tell. The green meters told all. And I snapped  color pictures of every community and their amenities.(In the Mecklenburg history book are many black and white photos taken in the mid 80’s 
like those pictured here.))

Pictures snapped in the early 80's-Charlotte Condo History
Books, articles and pictures, drawings and blueprints kept showing up along the way, omens, or guides, condo spirits, and then a new client who had just purchased a loan assumption in Carmel Village for $1500 dollars brought me the just published book, Multi-Family Housing in Charlotte Mecklenburg. Wow! The drawings include housing types: townhouses, flats, one story attached for starters and a site plan portfolio. This with my tax maps put me in business. I began building my own condo database with Excel before anyone else and before digital cameras became affordable.
I loved it.

And still do.

Friday, March 11, 2016

 "I am like YOU.
  I like ANSWERS."

I am like you in many ways: curious, practical, logical, careful, determined, and thoughtful, yes, love dogs, energized by building: a home, a life, a career, a dream.

So, here, I will pose questions and answer them. This is about condominiums. If you can figure out a condominium, you can figure out just about anything else. Why? Because they are all different. And every part that is unique has equal different parts. That is why I think being a real estate broker specializing in condos can figure out just about any other property.And has and does: foreclosures, farms, mansions, millennials, baby boomers and everything in between. I am inquisitive and dogged. Also a good listener and great detective. WHO?

Besides Q/A, Condo CanDo® and I will show you some of the grand older condominiums, pictures and floorplans from Condo CanDo®'s Archives:Retro/spective.
In addition, again from the Archives, articles from the Observer and other sources  from years ago speaking to development, real estate and Charlotte planning and condos.Repeats.
Then there is the history of condominiums with hand drawn examples from applauded city planner, Warren Burgess.
You get our drift: fascination about a unique living abode that can be exciting and fun yet poses risks, unknowns, challenges and politics. Yes, condos and politics.

I went looking for answers to condo loans thirty years ago and to reserves, to the various condo insurances, to condo conversions and what that looks like, to new construction and condos , high-rise, gardens, conversions and historic condos.
Probably close to one thousand by now. Take note though no condo permits were issued in 2015;(

Yes, I am an active real estate broker, full-time, and I continue helping folks buy and sell property. Notice, property, because those same folks who bought the twenty and thirty thousand dollar condos thirty years ago went on to purchase their first homes, their McMansions, the horse farm, the patio home for Mom who moved from New Jersey and  a place at the lake.
We are off today to look at houses in Dilworth and to talk to a fellow in Union County about a new scanner for old newspaper articles.
Have a great day. Fly high.
Condo CanDo® and Lynnsy Logue, Broker

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A quick photo quiz:

One of our ancient trees in the heart of a burgeoning area,

second, a cemetery and have you been there? this is 1991, hint: close to one of our dearest 


and fourth, well, that's the clue. Enjoy!


Monday, March 7, 2016

Good evening,I have been working in the archives pulling together articles and pictures to share. It is more of an undertaking than I imagined and like a favorite photo album, letters from home or old school papers, it still fascinates me to go back to review the early, early 2000's here in Charlotte and before. As I began working with the web in the late 90's, so much was not available so everyday was mining for me.
And yes, I was working full-time then as now as a very active real estate broker.
And it was as much fun then as now. I learned the how's and why's of much of our city from City Within a City to all of the neighborhood statistical data. Both great tools for real estate professionals and citizens. Look up City Within A City Quality of Life Studies. You will immediately see where Zillow, Trulia and other aggregators mine their information.

Photos Brian Flicker

Early on 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

More Specifics on South End Condos
Lynx spurs housing boom in South EndThe Charlotte Observer, Nicole Bell

  Repeat-March 7, 2016

South End projects

Several residential projects are under way in South End along the light rail line. They include:
Silos at South End:
The first phase of the project at South Boulevard and Remount Road, is a $45 million investment including 113 residential units and 70,000 square feet of commercial space. The first phase is expected to open sometime in summer 2009.
This project located at South Boulevard and Ideal Way will feature 89 two-and three-level lofts. A revised plan also includes 56 condos with a skyline view. Developers hope the project will be completed by 2011.
Circle at South End: This 360-apartment building on South Boulevard at Bland Street is expected to be done in October 2009.
Ashton South End: Located at Camden Road and Tremont, Ashton South End will feature an 11-story residential building featuring about 300 upscale apartments. It's expected to open in February.
The number of people living in Historic South End is expected to triple in the next two years, reaching a population of about 7,000 residents, according to Charlotte Center City Partners.
The rush of residents comes as developers begin to complete several housing projects in the area.
Much of the growth, they say, is because of the light rail.
“It's very rare that you see an entire residential neighborhood established overnight,” said James Mathis III, director of Historic South End. “It'll be exciting to see all those people walking around in the area at 11 o'clock at night.”
Historic South End spans from Morehead Street on the north to Remount Road on the south. It's bordered by South Boulevard on the east and South Tryon Street on the west.
The area was a thriving manufacturing community in the 1850s. It declined when the textile industry faded in the '70s and '80s. Revitalization efforts in the '90s brought a crop of restaurants, shops and design-related industries. Many were interested in reusing the old mill buildings and warehouses.
The launch of light rail in November has also helped South End.
The projected growth would push South End close to Uptown's existing population of 10,800.

Friday, March 4, 2016

    Zoning and Density. More or less?                               
    Our Zoning requirements may be rewritten and given that can we see a tug between the Professional Planners aboard and the City Council.One wants less density, the other more.

    Digging in our archives, I found this written May 14,2008
     in The Charlotte Observer.Looks like a good place to start.                                          Behind the Scenes by Scott Dodd
"Republished with permission from The Charlotte Observer.
Copyright owned by The Charlotte Observer. 

Published May 14, 2008

Zoning has its very own language

If you've ever been involved in a fight over a new development in Charlotte or come across a City Council meeting on the government channel, you've probably heard something like this:
"Petition No. 2001-30 for a change in zoning from R-3 and R-5 to CC, MX-1 and BP."
Roughly translated, that means a developer wants to build a shopping center, homes, apartments and a business park on a spot currently zoned for homes.
So why don't they just say that? Because NASA can launch a space shuttle using fewer abbreviations and acronyms than you hear at your average zoning meeting.
Planners and developers have developed their own language, just like people in most industries do. The difference is, from time to time regular folks have to try to figure out what's going on, especially if someone wants to build an R-43MF or a BP (that's a large apartment complex and a business park, respectively) next door.
In the hopes of helping you decipher what those people on the government channel are talking about, here's a partial glossary of planning terms that I've picked up during my stint covering growth and development in Charlotte.
CWAC: Pronounced "sea whack," this is Charlotte's "city within a city" program, which deals with economic development and quality-of-life issues in older urban neighborhoods and business districts. If you live inside the Route 4 loop, you're part of the CWAC.
ETJ: Extraterritorial jurisdiction, which sounds like something you'd hear on "Law & Order." Basically, it's an area outside a city's borders in which the city can control land use, in anticipation of future annexation. It's designed so that a developer can't buy land right outside of a city's borders to avoid city zoning rules.
MX-2, UR-4, MUDD-O, and a bunch of other confusing letter/number combinations: These are some of the more colorfully named zoning categories. Zoning ranges from R-3 (the lowest residential category), meaning you can build three homes per acre there, to UMUD (uptown mixed-use district), which allows 60-story office towers. In between, you've got everything from R-22MF (22 apartments per acre) to I-1 (industrial) to CC (commercial shopping center). These are the categories in Charlotte, by the way. They vary in other places.
PED: This is a special zoning category known as a pedestrian-overlay district, designed to preserve walkable neighborhoods such as Dilworth and Plaza-Midwood. It requires developers to build stores closer together and closer to the sidewalk, making them more inviting to people on foot. Right now the "ped" is only a concept - it hasn't been applied anywhere yet.
MUMPO: Pronounced like it's spelled, this is the Mecklenburg-Union Municipal Planning Organization, an appointed board that makes recommendations to the state about transportation needs, including where new roads should go. Other regions have their own MPOs.
2010 plan: Shorthand for the Center City 2010 plan, which envisions how uptown Charlotte should develop over the next decade. There are a number of other plans identified by dates, including the 2015 transportation plan.
GDPs: Charlotte's general development policies give planners and developers an idea where things should be built.
ZBA: Say your business is in a commercial zoning district that calls for you to have 100 parking spaces. But you don't think that's necessary. You can appeal to the Zoning Board of Adjustment and ask for a variance on that or a number of other requirements.

They use jargon, too, so good luck.

Thursday, March 3, 2016


Photo:Brian Flicker. "After the storm". 

One of my teachers says, “If you want to know where you are going, look back at where you have been.”
In our archives there are newspaper articles back to the early 2000’s.I used to call the Charlotte Observer once a week and ask for permission to reprint several news stories. Stories about real estate and zoning and development. You know, the growth of Charlotte, the stretching of the country side in Union County. And I have to say, the writers were writing, the city was growing, the developers were doing just about whatever they wanted in their usual manner… capes, smoke and mirrors…and it seems nothing stopped the inevitable and nothing will stop what is going on now. I keep finding the stories and want to post them. Kind of like saying, it doesn’t stop. We go along. The cycle repeats and maybe we don’t see it because we, too, move on.
So I have to decide if I hold up the mirror and why. I love what I do. I feast on knowing where we are and where we might be going. What I want is to bring a different view without being negative or snarky.
Or blame or finger shaking. So know that I know and tell me what you want.
I am trying to figure out a way to post some of the actual paper news stories in our archives. Many I pulled off line and have them ready to go. I read and read and become intrigued all over again as I envision the large swaths of land being   prepped for building. This is this time.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

CondoCanDo's® Archives!
 Here is a screen shot of where we are working tonight! 

What am I doing? One of our web projects is trimming® for better viewing on phones and pads.
So we reduced the size, everything is in a very small book, called "The Book of Condos". And you can GET the info one of three ways depending on how much you want to
know and how fast.
There is "Hot Spots" and that gives you the bullet in 30 words or less. If you want MORE, click and you will go to the long version of each sublect, this is to the heart of CC's website. Then if you want hear the information, like loans, new construction, important notes for  condo buyers and sellers while you are walking the halls, click on PODCAST and there I am, broadcasting the best condo info going.
I snapped a picture of the monitor because I have a due date this evening and am wearing down. So enjoy this. We are digging deep and will have a better schedule for you soon. We just keep finding such interesting information in the condo library.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A Close In Primer of Historic Dilworth  

Our real estate columnist offers her run-down of key in-town neighborhoods,including new and coming attractionsBy Karen R. MartinReprinted by permission from the January 2003 issue of Charlotte magazine. for  our website

• Profile: Charlotte’s first suburb, Dilworth sprang up in the 1890s as the new electric streetcar stretched away from the center city. About seventy-five years later, homeowners departed the neighborhood, seeking newer construction and greater acreage in Charlotte’s expanding suburbs. The pendulum swung back in the late 1980s when buyers became interested in living close in. They brought their architects and contractors, and have renovated the houses into gracious homes and office spaces—and prices reflect the renaissance. • Style of home: Typically turn-of-the-century bungalow-style houses, each different from the next, and most expanded with historically appropriate additions, because Dilworth is one of Charlotte’s historic districts. • Shopping: Several shopping centers are along East Boulevard, with shops boasting everything from high-end consignment clothing to ski accessories to natural remedies to fine women’s lingerie. • Other highlights: Latta Park is a popular gathering place, thanks to its stately trees and kid-friendly playground. At the far east end of East Boulevard, Freedom Park is a destination for those who engage in soccer, tennis, in-line skating, and, on a small scale, fishing. • New or coming additions: The most visible is the brand new Latta Pavilion office/restaurant/condo project at the corner of Kenilworth Avenue and East Boulevard. People began taking residence late last year, in condos that range from $160,000 to $400,000. • Defining characteristic: Aside from the wonderful sidewalk system that encourages everyone to walk to stores and restaurants, Dilworth is known for its astounding home values. A home bought for $200,000 in 1994 now may be appraised for nearly twice that amount.

The Art of Real Estate: Listening and Experience

This is my view.

There must be as many perceptions as there are agents and brokers, licensees who made it and those who missed and tried again. It is not for everyone and given the clamor in the world, one might think that real estate as a moving piece, a puzzle, an end goal for either home or money or both is a string in our DNA and maybe it is. Because like the art itself, everything, every piece is subject to shift and change and disappear altogether. Yes, it is a people business and like a clock or a watch or a metronome or an hour glass the keepers and tellers of time are all different. Except the time they tell a different tale to the artist or the model, the paint or the brush, the canvas or the clay.
Like Alice in Wonderland or Dorothy in The Land of Oz or Kansas, Pinocchio  and Gepetto, each transaction is different even if they all or some seem alike, there will be pieces, even a minute, a second that are different. Each is unique.
The story starts with a person and a want or need. I am a broker in residential real estate. I am a broker in residential real estate and I work with people looking/needing/wanting to buy or sell residential property. The clock, of course, has started long before this joining of people, the one who should know the steps and the person who wants to travel that path. I like to think there is a ‘getting to know you’ part. I want to know “why”, what is important? Is it time or money? Why? And I listen. And listen more. And each time I learn more than what they are telling me. This person, this family who is entrusting me to be their captain. And I am knowing that they in fact are. My job is to guide, to listen, to observe, to make sure we move together and check, recheck every step. My job is to look for problems in every step we take or might take or have taken.
So we start with two or three people and then each layer, more come. I think of  the ensemble: the mortgage broker, the appraiser, the underwriter, the sellers of homes we might see, the other agents directly or indirectly, the inspectors, the surveyors, the repair people, the painters, the lawyers and para-legals, the showing service, our MLS staffers, the printers, the sign people, and more. And each has process. Each has documentation, sign and seal, read and absorb, act and wait, wait and listen, all step together. One. That this world moves and can move well or fall apart slowly or quickly depends largely on the broker. The broker has to know where the glitch might be and then know how to catch it or fix it, to attend a problem and with professionalism. It is not a gotcha’ moment.

What it is I believe is the moment we see that the whole story is about power and control on every level. And I believe that is where the experience begins for the broker. When to listen, how that feels, when to listen, and slowly move through the process mending and smoothing and yes, sometimes very quickly, to catch a falling plate. It is the experience that comes, the doing and undoing, the feeling, the catch as you walk across a floor, smell a familiar smell, see the angle of a crack. We are not experts in other fields but we are experienced in our world, with our paints or mallet or pen as the artist, the broker.

Lynnsy Logue, The Real Estate Lady ®