Category Archives: Personal

Our Own Little Rockefeller Plaza Right Here In Raleigh – First Annual Winterfest!

Our Own Little Rockefeller Plaza Right Here In Raleigh

I will never forget when my husband took me to New York City one holiday season and we went to Rockefeller Plaza and watched the skaters skate around under the world famous Christmas tree. It was such a fun and memorable scene that I will never forget. Well when I read the below story I was so excited that I had to share it!

Our Own Little Rockefeller Plaza Right Here In Raleigh

Our Own Little Rockefeller Plaza Right Here In Raleigh

What Raleigh has done with Downtown and Fayetteville Street is very exciting. They have done a great job making a fun destination for the entire family and that will definitly be the case this holiday season. Below is information from the article that gives more details about the Raleigh Winterfest and of course the most exciting part – the outdoor ice rink! Our own little piece of New York City right here in Raleigh. I can’t wait to take the family down there. I probably won’t be skating but I sure will take it all in and enjoy the atmosphere. I hope to see you down there. Feel free to contact me with any more needed information about this event or Downtown Raleigh or visit the Winterfest website for more details.


The start of a new holiday tradition in Raleigh

The kickoff for the First Annual AT&T Raleigh Winterfest, a two-month long holiday event, will be combined with Mayor Meeker’s Tree Lighting on the evening of Friday, December 4, 2009 in City Plaza located in the 400 block of Fayetteville Street. Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker announces, Winterfest is sure to be a treasured Raleigh tradition.  Opening night will run from 5 p.m. until 11 p.m. on Friday, December 4 and will feature an outdoor ice rink, performances by local choirs and bands, talented figure skaters and a multitude of other entertainers, a visit by Santa Claus, a reading by Ira David Wood III (star of Theatre in the Park’s A Christmas Carol), delicious food and drinks, a dazzling holiday tree lighting and a country music headliner that will soon be announced. This FREE community-wide kickoff event will be followed by two months of additional programming at the AT&T Raleigh Winterfest Ice Rink.

President and CEO of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, David Diaz, says, “We are thrilled to be producing the AT&T Raleigh Winterfest. This will be an event like no other in our region because of the variety of entertainment, the scenic location of the ice rink that uses natural ice, and the duration of the event. For the kickoff event on Friday, December 4 we are bringing a national headliner and an impressive and diverse collection of local and regional talent.”  The location City Plaza is situated in the center of downtown Raleigh. Though the City Plaza was not modeled after Rockefeller Plaza, the AT&T Raleigh Winterfest will bear a strong resemblance to it not only because of the outdoor ice rink but also because it is located in the heart of our central business district. AT&T Raleigh Winterfest consists of the kickoff event on Friday, December 4 as well as activities and performances scheduled throughout the two months to follow a major milestone for the Triangle.

So Much To Do At The NC Museum of Art

Take In A Movie Under The Stars At The NC Museum of Art

Yes I know that summer is almost over but with cooler weather approaching now may be the perfect time to take the entire family to enjoy a movie at the NC Museum of Art For $3 per person you can sit on the lawn and take in a hit movie under the stars.  This truly is a fun family event.  Here is more info directly from the NC ART Museum website:

“For over a dozen years, the Joseph M. Bryan, Jr., Theater in the Museum Park, a 2,700-capacity open-air theater (and a work of art in itself!), has made the North Carolina Museum of Art a favorite destination for lovers of great music and movies as well as fine art and sculpture. Experience the best in the arts—indoors and out—at the North Carolina Museum of Art.


Tickets for all concerts can be purchased on-line or by calling the Museum Box Office at (919) 715-5923. Movie tickets must be purchased in person or by calling the Museum Box Office.  The Box Office opens two hours prior to all outdoor performances and movies. No refunds or exchanges, unless event is canceled due to adverse weather conditions and headlining performer completes fewer than 30 minutes of the scheduled performance.  $3 General Admission (unless otherwise noted).  Free to Museum members and children 6 and under.  Members must show current membership card and photo ID at the Museum Box Office.

Here is the upcoming movie schedule:

  • Aug 22 – The Sting
  • Aug 28 – Gone with the wind
  • Sep 4 – Iron Man
  • Sep 25 – Australia

Besides just movies the NC Museum of Art offers lots of great activities including popular exhibits, concerts, workshops, tours, festivals, lectures and art day’s. Weather you are new to the Triangle or a native we are lucky to have the NC Museum of Art located here in Raleigh for all of us to enjoy.

I know I say it all the time but I just LOVE living in the Triangle!  To learn more about the many great events, activities and things to do here in the Triangle please visit my Live In Raleigh website anytime day or night!

– Walking With You Every Step Of The Way!

Jenn Nowalk Raleigh REALTOR/Broker

Location, Location, Location – For Weekend Getaways!

The local location of your actual house is very important but the location of your city regards to weekend travel is also very important.  It was one of the major draws when I came down here for college and it continues to be a major positive for my family today!  Well lets put yet another feather in Raleigh’s cap because anywhere from 2 to 5 hours driving time away are amazing weekend getaway spots!

How about a trip to the great North Carolina beaches in the summer?  2-3 hours  away!  Maybe you and the family want to catch a Panthers game in the fall?  2.5 hours away!  Or you love to ski and have to hit the slopes in the winter?  3-4 hours away!  Lastly you decide that the Spring would be the perfect time to visit the nation’s capital and check out all the monuments?  4 hours away!  Whatever activity you desire in all seasons, Raleigh and the Triangle has so many fun weekend getaway spots that you need to make sure you leave time to still enjoy all the local events as well!

To see a list of some popular driving distances from Raleigh click here.  You can also visit my website to see some specific recommendations on places you should put on your list of must places to visit!

Add great location for fun weekend getaways as another reason to Live in Raleigh and the Triangle!

Walking With You Every Step Of The Way!

– Jenn Nowalk Raleigh REALTOR/Broker

Love Those Carolina Blue Skies at Avalon Springs!

There are so many things I love about North Carolina.  No disrespect to my birth state of Maryland or my husbands birth state of New Jersey but no state for us beats North Carolina.  Many of the things we love are the obvious things like the people, climate, beaches, mountains, cost of living, Colleges and Universities, etc but then other things are the little things!  Well yesterday I was reminded of one of the little things I love about living in North Carolina – The beautiful Carolina Blue Skies!

Yesterday I was working in my new home community of Avalon Springs in Fuquay Varina and the sky looked even more amazing, more vivid and more Carolina Blue then normal.  And the few clouds that did float by looked to be the biggest, puffiest, most comfortable clouds I had ever seen.  Okay so call me cheesy but I literally stopped in my tracks, got my camera out and took a bunch of photos – lucky for you I quickly put them into a iMovie (love my Mac) so that I could share with you.  The movie probably won’t do the sky and clouds justice but you will get the “picture”.

The whole scene and day just reminded me of how much I love North Carolina and those perfect Carolina Blue Sky days!  I really enjoy sharing these type of moments and North Carolina tidbits.  If you have something you love about North Carolina – big or small – then please share it with me as I would love to hear it and I bet so would the folks who live in other parts of the country and are thinking about relocating to North Carolina!

Walking (and sharing) With You Every Step Of The Way!

Jenn Nowalk – Raleigh REALTOR/Broker

Twitter Is My Raleigh Real Estate Friend and Here Is Why!

Twitter Is Everywhere It Seams

Unless you live under a rock you are already using it, have spoken to someone using it, seen it on your local news telecast or heard it on a sports radio show – I am talking about Twitter.  I too am on Twitter or are Tweeting as who knows what the right terminology is but I think it is great and have totally embraced it.  Yes it consists of a whole lot of talking and not a lot of listening but if you go Tweeting with a plan then it should be and can be a productive tool for you and your business!

Follow Live In Raleigh On Twitter

Check out my Twitter page at as feel free to follow me as I look forward to following you as well.

Why Did I Get Into Twitter

  • Great learning tool – it is amazing how much you can learn, how many good links & resources can be recommended and how much local information you can absorb in 140 characters or less.  If you follow the right people then Twitter can be a great source of quick but useful information.
  • Great networking tool – Whether it be with local Raleigh and the Triangle REALTORS or with REALTORS in other parts of the country, Twitter is a great way to network.  REALTORS rely on each other in almost every deal so having as many trusted sources in your network is never a bad thing!
  • Local Knowledge is Power – Real Estate is local and when you follow fellow Raleigh and Triangle Tweeters you will be in the know on so many local happenings – from events to sports, to business to even police reports (yes even the Raleigh police are on Twitter!) as the updates are fast, furious and many times local.
  • Technology Queen – In a place like Research Triangle Park technology is everywhere so I want to be in the know on the latest in technology, web services and social online networking and Twitter is the tool to do it.  Twitter not only helps me look savvy but helps me be savvy!
  • Promote – Twitter is another great way to promote my listingsmy neighborhoods and my services to Raleigh and the Triangle buyers, sellers and fellow REALTORS.  If 87% of real estate searches are done on the web these days then the web is where I want to be promoting!
  • Tweet Ups – Twitter has now brought the online networking offline in local networking events called Tweet Ups.  I have been to 1 local Triangle Tweet Up so far and it was great to meet how other people in a variety of industries are using Twitter.  I am looking forward to many more Tweet Ups and “in person” introductions!
  • Still learning – Okay Twitter is still pretty new and I don’t claim to be the expert.  I have learned a lot but I know I have a lot more to learn.  But that is the fun part as I am excited to be learning something new everyday – whether it be about Twitter or something I learned thanks to Twitter.  Remember I said knowledge is power and Twitter offers plenty of information!

Twitter may not be for everyone but if you have a plan and use it to your advantage it can be a great tool for your business – whatever business you may be in.  I for one love Twittering, Tweeting or whatever you call it!

Walking and Tweeting With You Every Step Of The Way!

– Jenn Nowalk Raleigh REALTOR/Broker

A Great Place To Hike and Camp – Right Down The Street In Raleigh!

I love the outdoors and especially the outdoors close to water – lakes, river, ocean, you name it!  Some of my greatest childhood memories are when my entire family would load up the family roadster and go camping for the weekend.  When I look back on it now I realize how great the bonding time was with my brother and sister as we would play for hours and not complain once – okay well maybe when the bugs would attack but that was about it.

With all that said I want to make sure that when my girls are old enough we take them camping so they get to experience the great outdoors, camping and that all important bonding time.  All this leads me to a great “find” I made Monday afternoon.  I was driving from Durham to Wake Forest on HWY 98 (a drive I do numerous times on my neighborhood research stops) and it was a perfect spring day.  I had passed a sign on the side of the road about 100 times that says fishing access area turn right and I always wondered what that was….so today I decided to stop and I was sure glad I did.

What I stumbled across only 15 minutes from my house in Bedford at Falls River was the Hollypoint camp site along Falls Lake.  It was awesome as I am only sorry I did not have my flip camera (I learned my lesson but never again) with me so that I could of shared the views with you but I will be sure to go back, snap some pictures, take some video and share it with all of you outdoor enthusiasts.  Hollypoint on Falls Lake features over 80 campsites with many of them overlooking Falls Lake through the tree line.  When I got out to roam about I found many great hiking trails, campsites, play areas, bathroom facilities and of course awesome views and access to Falls Lake.  I could not believe that 15 minutes from my house was this beautiful spot and camping area.  I immediately thought of how much fun it will be to pack up the entire family, call the cousins to join us and go camping along Falls Lake.  It will be a great time to bond not only with the outdoors but with each other without the interruption of cell phones, lap tops, television and video games.  I know my girls will love it and I hope someday they look back and remember the family camping trips much like I did.  The best part about the entire thing – we literally would make a 15 minute drive from our house and instantly be lost in the wilderness!

I wanted to share this experience because it is another reason I love living where I do.  The Triangle is so lucky to have great culture, shopping, dining 15 minutes in 1 direction but then 15 minutes in the other direction and you can be hiking and camping the many trails and areas of Falls Lake.  If you love the outdoors then there are many many great spots for you to explore right down the street from where you live here in the Triangle.

Stay tuned as I can’t wait to report back on my camping adventures – who knew…15 minutes down the street….well now I know and you do too!

“Walking (or hiking) With You Every Step Of The Way”

– Jenn Nowalk Raleigh Realtor/Broker

Congratulations To The UNC Tarheels – 2009 College Basketball National Champions!

Okay so I have to admit that this post is dedicated to my husband who is a very passionate (sometimes crazy) UNC Tarheel college basketball fan.  I being a good wife help support the Tarheels but at the end of the day I don’t lose sleep like he does on who wins and loses in college basketball.  What I do love is living here along Tobacco Raod and in the mecca of college basketball.  For those of us who already live here then you know what I mean as nothing I write will give justice to the passion, dedication and craziness of the fanbase of the Tarheels, Wolfpack or Blue Devils.

For those of you who are thinking about relocating all I can say is – What the heck are you waiting for?  Along with the hundreds of other reasons why the Triangle is one of the countries best places to live college basketball here may be the icing on the cake.  The list could go on and on why but it includes intense rivalries, college and NBA superstars, bombfires, Hall of Fame coaches, crazy fans, numerous National Championships, ACC Tournament Friday, March Madness, historic gyms and lots of amazing history.  Just be sure to do your research as when you move here you will need to pick one of the three teams wisely and then get ready to battle!  Don’t worry though as for 90% of us it is a lot of fun as at the end of the day we all enjoy cheering on our team all while enjoying each others company.  The other 10%…well that is another story!

So the bragging rights currently lie with the 2009 Carolina Tarheels so in honor of them and in hopes of making my husband very happy here is their own One Shining Moment:

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Walking With You Every Step Of The Way

– Jenn Nowalk Raleigh REALTOR/Broker

PS – When we look for houses I would be happy to give you the inside scoop on the 3 different fan bases as it will be fun to see where you fit in!

Hot Off The Press – My First Quarter Newsletter!

I am excited to announce that my first quarter newsletter is hot off the press and in the mail!  The goal of the newsletter is to offer my clients, family and friends a fun and informative way to stay up to date on subjects like the local real estate market, home decorating trends, home buying and selling tips, crafting ideas, local news and events, as well as my quarterly trivia question where one lucky winner each quarter will win a prize for providing the correct answer.  This quarter’s winner will receive a pizza dinner for the entire family!

If you are not currently receiving my newsletter but would like to then email me your contact information and I will be sure to add you to my mailing list.

I hope you enjoy my newsletter as much as I enjoy putting it together each quarter!

Walking With You Every Step Of The Way!

Jenn Nowalk – Raleigh Realtor/Broker

Contact me to sign up for my quarterly newsletter!

Contact me to sign up for my quarterly newsletter!

Heritage Wake Forest Sales Team – 2008 National Sales Team of the Year

I always believed that every experience and road traveled during your professional life will help lead you to your ultimate destination.  I know that my professional road still has many miles to travel but I am very thankful of my most recent experience and how that experience made it possible to go out on my own in real estate.  My 2 years at Heritage Wake Forest was spent working with many of the Triangle’s best builders, amazing home buyers in search of their dream homes, supportive co-workers and managers, great opportunities and I would not of traded for any other neighborhood even though it meant a lot of hard work and many weekends away from family and the associated activities and events.

The 2008 National Sales Team of the Year!

The 2008 National Sales Team of the Year!

Working at the Triangle’s #1 new home neighborhood also allowed our sales team to win many local and national awards and recently we won the most coveted award of all – The 2008 Gold Award for Best Sales Team in the entire United States! It was truly a team effort and I am very proud and honored to have been a part of that award winning team.  Even though I am now on the other side of the table I am looking forward to helping buyers and sellers in a place I know well and love – Heritage Wake Forest!

Read the recent press release about the national award and if you are a buyer or seller needing help in Heritage Wake Forest then I am here to help!

Walking With You Every Step Of The Way!

Jenn Nowalk – Raleigh Realtor/Broker

Press Release:

Heritage Wake Forest won the 2008 Gold Award for Best Sales Team in the United States from the National Home Builders Association. The Heritage team, which consists of Ann Gowarty, Ashley Wilson, Brenda Simpson and Jenn Nowalk, received the prestigious award during the National Home Builders Convention held in Las Vegas, Nevada in mid-January.

“We are pleased and honored that Heritage Wake Forest has been recognized for its achievements on a national level by the National Home Builder’s Association,” said Andy Ammons, President of Heritage Wake Forest developer Ammons Development Group. “Earning the Gold award confirms that by combining a strong sales team with a highly desirable community that offers enduring value is a winning formula for success.”

Heritage Wake Forest was the 2008 Regional and Silver Award winner in the ‘Sales Team of the Year’ category, qualifying the team as a finalist for the Gold Sales Team Award.

Heritage Wake Forest offers a wide variety of recreational amenities including an award-winning golf course, expansive tennis and swim club, walking and biking trails, greenways, playgrounds and a fully stocked fishing pond. The community was named as one of the Top 100 Amenity Communities by Ideal Living Magazine, and the golf course was awarded an enviable 4.5 rating by Golf Digest Magazine.

To Snow or Not to Snow? That is the question!

When it comes to snow I find that people either love it or hate it.  Maybe you get all excited the night before a snow storm thinking about the fun of sledding, snow ball fights, snow angels, building a snow man and hot chocolate.  Or maybe you dread the oncoming snow storm thinking about shoveling your driveway, wet clothes, cold kids, school closings, icy streets and melting wet snow for weeks after.

I personally fall in the middle as I enjoy the occasional snowstorm but could not handle living in a city where snow is present all winter long.  During my State Farm Insurance days I once spent about 4 months in Buffalo working catastrophe claims and remember not seeing the grass for 4 whole months!  I was amazed that there were snow drifts piled 20 feet high in some spots.  I remember being very thankful that I called the warmer climate of North Carolina home!

Our dogs Jeter and Brady love the snow at Bedford Falls River!

Our dogs Jeter and Brady love the snow at Bedford Falls River!

So with that said Raleigh had its first significant snow (4 inches down here is what we call significant) fall last week and it was enjoyable.  Our Bedford at Falls River neighborhood never looked so pretty as here are some pictures to prove it!  It made for a great day of fun and excitement for both the kids and the dogs but I was also glad that we warmed up to 60 degrees later that week helping all the snow quickly disappear.


The NC flag stands tall in the Raleigh Snow!

The NC flag stands tall in the Raleigh Snow!

So what does this mean for you?  Well if you are thinking about relocating to Raleigh and the Triangle area then we think we have the best of all weather worlds – If you love snow then you still get to enjoy those fun snow days and all the fun that goes with it!  If you dislike the snow then don’t worry as we do not get a lot of it as this was the first real snow fall in 2 years!  The North Carolina climate is great as we get to enjoy a beautiful fall and spring, get a minor taste of winter and then hopefully you get to enjoy the beach a couple times each hot summer!  One of the many reasons people tell me they do move to North Carolina is because of the weather as they get to enjoy each season but no season is too harsh in anyway!  If you already live here then you probably count weather as one of the many positives of living here.  If you are thinking about relocating here then I am confident you will find the weather the perfect combination of all seasons!

Enjoy the weather….

Walking With You Every Step Of The Way!

Jenn Nowalk – Raleigh Realtor