Television networks devoted to all things real estate and home improvement are pumping out new shows in less time than it takes to drive to the neighborhood Lowe’s or Home Depot. But what’s in it for all the businesses that volunteer their time and materials to make this peculiar brand of TV work? At least four business people in Charlotte can provide varied answers to that question. Their experiences ranged from not-so-good to stellar, with stops in between. But, as a testament to the powerful allure of showbiz, all said they would do it again.
While an improving economy has given Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools the confidence to restart construction projects that stalled during the recession, its board members foresee hardships caused by the ranking system that gives county government control over the scheduling of school projects. After voters approved a $516 million bond package in 2007, the district ramped up construction and spent more than $200 million annually until late 2009, when the economy soured and the county shut its wallet.
The housing market crash was so tough on Central Piedmont Community College’s real estate department, it took on a new identity. Before the downturn, CPCC in Charlotte was offering up to 20 real estate broker pre-licensing courses per semester. That plunged to three a semester at the nadir of the recession, said Cindy Savage, who heads the department now known as the financial services institute.
A former Charlotte mortgage broker implicated in a $5 million kickback scheme and stripped of his license is awaiting sentencing under a plea agreement that could send him to a federal prison for more than four years.
The North Carolina House Select Committee on Homeowners Associations is considering new legislation that would require HOA managers to be licensed as real estate agents, a move that some industry insiders oppose.
As director and general counsel of the North Carolina Real Estate Commission’s legal department, Thomas Miller spent 30 years going after unscrupulous agents and was the man behind controversial laws and rules that have shaped the state’s real-estate industry.