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Winning the Dream Home Race

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Chapel Hill, NC




If you think of building a custom home or renovating an existing home as a race, most people who leave the starting gate do finish. However, very few are WINNERS. Winning means creating a home that relaxes us and strengthens our bonds, in which waking is a joy and coming home a reward. Winning is a home that speaks to our inner soul. Winning is creating an investment that returns at better than the norm, no matter the market conditions. My goal is to impart the knowledge that makes this possible.




22 Kendall Drive Chapel Hill, NC 27517 919-929-7838


Making Your Dream Home a Great Investment

The rules of investing are the same whether you are buying IBM or your Dream Home. Understand supply and demand, look for quality, and buy low / sell high. However home ownership has 5 unique advantages that make it a superior investment and make it the basis for most family’s wealth.

Duration: 00:57:24

A Joyful Home

I write that my homes are crafted to find peace, elicit joy and bring families together. How can you create joy in your home and how can you make every day better because of the space you inhabit.

Duration: 00:22:28

Siteplanning For Success, A To-Do and Not To-Do List

Your very first decisions, where to position your home on the lot and how to approach it, can cost or make you $100K! The best homes have indoor rooms, outdoor rooms and grand vistas. Does yours?

Duration: 00:23:08

Fireplaces, Rock Stars and Massively Stoned

How would you describe an incredible fireplace? And how do you create one for yourself? The fireplace is the heart and soul of a home. I talk about what makes for a great fireplace and the eight places in a home I would put them.

Duration: 00:23:27

My Dream Home – The Architect’s Wish List

I design dream homes all the time, it is my work and hobby. But what if the dreams are for me? What does my heart and soul cry out for? Plus, what happens when you get married and combine households latter in life? Can you find happiness sharing his space or do you need to start anew?

Duration: 00:22:51

Optimizing Construction Cost Through Competitive Pricing

Of course you want your dream home to be built by the best possible Contractor at the lowest possible price. It sounds ideal, but impossible. It can be done with a program of Competitive Pricing and clear budgetary messages. I have achieved this goal many times and so can you.

Duration: 00:22:38

Are There Any Deals Still To Be Had: Can I Tell A Diamond From A Lump Of Co

It is January 3013. The real estate recession that started in 2007 is now five years old and a coming boom is predicted – soon. Can I still find a deal or is the opportunity gone. How can I tell if a house is gem just waiting for my special touch, or a disaster no one could turn around?

Duration: 00:22:40

Oh The Optimism And Energy Of Youth, A Conversation With My Daughter

My daughter Elizabeth graduated from college, moved to Washington DC and searched for a good rowhouse buy. She bought it, gutted it and rebuilt it – with lots of sweat, grime and perseverance. Now she has a home and a major asset, at 24. Would she do it again? I get her thoughts on the experience

Duration: 00:23:00

How To Hire An Architect

How do you select an Architect? How do you find one whose work you like? What questions should you ask, what answers are important? When do you hire him, or her? And how easy is it to fire them if you clash over the drapes?

Duration: 00:22:36

To Buy Or To Build; Stick-Built Or ICF

A long time listener has sent me a long email filled with questions – just the questions many couples ask when they decide to get started on this journey: Is it more cost effective to build or buy? How do we tell a good contractor from a not-so-good one? Should the home be wood framed or is ICF, insulated concrete forms a better choice? Can we do this on our budget?

Duration: 00:22:55

Modern Homes For A Modern World


Duration: 00:23:02

The Old House: Restoration, Renovation and Reality

I think of old houses as those built before World War II, and especially those built before the Twentieth Century. It requires a special commitment to take on the Old House; the tasks can be more daunting, the extent of remedial work much greater and the monetary outlay more painful. But first you must decide- are you restoring a historic structure to its former glory or are you reinventing it for today’s greater glory? And is the benefit worth the cost?

Duration: 00:23:09

Special Encore Presentation: 10 Questions You Must Answer Before Renovating

Renovating your existing home is more costly and more disruptive than you can believe. Hopefully it is also tremendously rewarding. If the criteria is your home being worth when you finish, at least what it was worth before starting, plus what was spent on the renovation - then the majority of all renovation / addition projects are failures. Answering these 10 questions first will greatly increase your chances for success.

Duration: 00:22:46

You, Flippers And The DC Rowhouse

If there is a hot real estate market it is Washington DC . Because I have a daughter there I have spent many Sundays visiting Open Houses in the downtown Rowhouse neighborhoods. Does it make sense to buy and renovate a 100 year old home yourself? Or should you buy the efforts of a Flipper? Many of the Flipper projects are unimaginative, poorly executed, and will bite the Buyer on resale. I will help you spot the good ones.

Duration: 00:22:00

What’s In A Name? Georgian, Modern or French Country

We each have an image in our mind of our dream home but we don’t have the words to convey that image to others. What does style mean, how do we recognize it? What is Georgian, French Country or Prairie Style? What really is Modern verses Mid-Century Modern and what is the implication on your investment if you choose this style. How can you use pictures to convey your image of your dream home.

Duration: 00:23:42

It’s Now Or Never: How To Get Started

Mortgage money is incredibly cheap. Many housing markets, including my home market, are in recovery. But some material costs have increased 20% in the past year and are expected to increase 20% more in 2013. The skilled labor pool has shrunk and supply will soon outpace demand. If you plan to build at a reasonable price – it is now or never. I will talk about how to get started.

Duration: 00:22:51

Renovation / Addition Questions You Must Ask

If you want to Win with your home renovation: Can I make my existing home super energy efficient – and is it worth it? Should I renovate before I sell? Are there any renovation /addition projects that are worth more than they cost? Can I go wild and crazy or should I repress my inner dreamer? Can we live in the home during renovation and have our marriage survive?

Duration: 00:37:06

The Bottom Line On Energy

There is so much information out there on saving energy in the home, we can’t see the forest for the trees. Solar energy, geothermal, Energy Star, LEED, even windmills – what should I do? The bottom lines are really pretty simple – in one short hour I will give them to you, and you will never have to worry about it again.

Duration: 00:21:04