Something for nothing in a tough economy

    I was watching the World Series last night when Josh Bartlett of the Tampa Bay Rays stole second base and, immediately, the network announced that anyone could visit a Taco Bell next Tuesday between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. for a free taco.  
    In theory, Taco Bell could be out a couple hundred million tacos next week.  However, if my teenage daughter is any indication, the chain need not worry.  After Bartlett stole the base, I "congratulated" her.  "What for?" she asked, turning from her math book.  "You won a taco next week," and I explained the promotion.  "Big deal," she sniffed, rolling her eyes as teenage girls are wont to do, and turned back to her homework.
    Those of us who rely on income from sources other than our parents think free stuff is nothing to sniff at, although I can think of a million free

For some, this is a great real estate market.

things I would put in line before a taco.  One of them is qualified advice about how to spend my money, or not, during these dicey times.  What follows is my own personal free giveaway to you.
    Today, one of my agent contacts in the southeast wrote me that prices in coastal North Carolina have now reached 2003 levels.
     "A few years ago," he wrote, "the market was GREAT for sellers and HORRIBLE for buyers.  Now the market is GREAT for buyers.
    "Why don't people refer to this as a great real estate market?"  
    I am hearing the same thing from across the south.  If you are among the fortunate whose resources give you the wherewithal to look in this great
I've matched friends and readers with such excellent communities as The Landings, Ocean Ridge and Governor's Club.

buyers' market for a vacation or retirement home next to or near quality golf, I can help.  I have spent the last six years traveling throughout the south, visiting golf communities and meeting with real estate experts and developers to gain a deep understanding of what separates the best communities from the others.  I take great pride in having helped friends and readers find some great properties, including at The Landings, Ocean Ridge Plantation and Governor's Club.  I matched each of these customers with a real estate agent who worked hard to find them a property that matched their criteria exactly.
    My process is simple, free and comes with no obligation.  Contact me (click here or use the Contact Us button at the top of the page) and indicate that you are interested in property in the southern U.S.  I don't care about your time horizon; it could be next week or in 10 years, but it is smart to start preparing now.  I will get back in touch with you by email (or, if you prefer, by phone) and ask a few basic questions to best understand your criteria.  From there, I will do research and make some contacts with real estate agents and golf communities for the latest updates on prices and inventory in places that best match your criteria.  After that, I will report back to you with a suggested list of places you might consider.  
    You can choose to follow up with visits at your convenience.  I can help make arrangements for lodging and golf; in many cases, I will be able to secure discount lodging and golf and, in some cases, arrange for the fees to be waived (this varies from community to community, but developers are hungry at the moment and, therefore, accommodations -- pardon the pun -- can be made).
    All of this is without obligation or cost to you.  I guarantee that it will be worth a lot more than a taco...and healthier.  In this dynamic housing market, there are some significant opportunities, but no one should go it alone.          

    Thanks for considering my proposal.