Asheville, NC Real Estate News

By Bill Westel, ECO
(Eco-Steward Realty)
Creston is, in my opinion, one of the best conservation subdivisions in Western North Carolina. It encompasses about 1,100 acres and only has 135 homesites. It is located only about 15 minutes south of Black Mountain on a beautiful mountain.  Over half of this property has been placed in a conservation easement with Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina. A large part of Creston also borders on a Pisagh National Forest.A preview of some of the other wonderful features that Creston offers include mountain vistas from all sites, hiking trails to creeks and waterfalls, a Community Center located at the top of the mountain with breathtaking views, underground utilities and services. Sites start at $150,000 and range up to over $500,000. I visited Creston a couple of weeks ago with clients ...
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By Bill Westel, ECO
(Eco-Steward Realty)
The small town of Black Mountain is located approximately 15 miles east of Asheville in Western North Carolina. The community name is due to its location,  being nestled in the front range of the Black Mountains, which are part of the Appalachian Mountain Range.  These are the highest mountains in the Eastern United States with Mount Mitchell topping out at 6,684 feet. The population of Black Mountain is approximately 12,000 with many of the community members living close to the quaint downtown area. There are a variety of  arts and crafts galleries, antique shops, bookstores and furniture stores along with a hiking and mountain supply shop. The town also features some great restaurants including vegetarian, a natural food store, and some great coffee shops.  There is a vibrant sense of...
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By Bill Westel, ECO
(Eco-Steward Realty)
Montreat,  North Carolina is a small little community of 630 located nesteled into the mountains about 14 miles east of Asheville. This is a quiet and serene community that was originally founded as a spiritual retreat. As the towns website indicates, there is no commercial development in the town and the streets are narrow and winding actually encouraging people to leave their cars behind and spend some time walking the trails and enjoying the beautiful environment and abundant nature that encapsulates this enchanting town. This is a highly desirable community to live in and homes rarely stay on the market a long time. As of March 21, 2007 there were only three homes listed, with one already asking for backups. If you take a tour of the area it is not hard to see and feel why so many p...
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By Bill Westel, ECO
(Eco-Steward Realty)
Dr. Lucius B. Morse, one of the brothers who bought Chimney Rock park had the idea to dam up the Broad River and create a Lake Lure as a resort destination for families.  The dam was completed in September 1926, forming the lake which was named Lake Lure by Dr. Morse's wife, Elizabeth Parkenson. Lake Lure is about 26 miles southeast of Asheville. The town of Lake Lure was soon incorporated after this in 1927. The 720 acre lake is an extremely popular tourist destination. There has been a great increase in sales for both vacation homes and full time residences over the past three years.   
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By Bill Westel, ECO
(Eco-Steward Realty)
There really is a bat cave in the small community of Bat Cave located in Western North Carolina. The cave is owned by The Nature Conservancy and a private landowner and is accessible only through a field trip program that operates from June through early August. In order to protect the bats of this cave and their fragile ecosystem, the cave is not open to the general public. The main chamber is 300 feet long and approximately 85 feet high. Fissure caves are formed by rock splits, boulder movements, and other motions of the earth, while most other caves are formed by water dissolving and abrading rock. Bat Cave lies within Hickory Nut Gorge, a beautiful gorge formed by the Broad River as it cascades it way down to Lake Lure over 1200 ft in less than three miles. This small community is l...
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By Bill Westel, ECO
(Eco-Steward Realty)
  The state of North Carolina agreed to by Chimney Rock Park or approximately 24 million dollars in February. The 1000 park has been operated by  the Morse family since the early 1930's. The history of ChimneyRock is colorful  and many community members were concerned about the parks future when the family put the park up for sale last year, listing it with Sotheby's. The park has wonderful trails ranging from a easy hike to Chimney Rock Falls to strenuous paths leading up to the top of the mountain. Real estate sales in this area have been strong with this most likely continuing now that the state has decided to purchase the park.   Chimney Rock is located about 25 miles southeast of Asheville at the end of the Hickory Nut Gorge where the Broad River empties into Lake Lure.
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By Bill Westel, ECO
(Eco-Steward Realty)
  I considered a number of topics to write about for this contest but finally decided to take a look at the history of the Green/ Environmental Movement and found some interesting historical facts and figures. So here we go on a journey down the Green Memory Lane .... I found the history of the Green/Environmental really dates back around 270 years ago when 363 members of the Bishnois, caste in India gave their lives in order to prevent trees being cut to provide timber for a kings fort.   The story basically goes that when the kings men came to cut the timber, one member of the group rushed out and hugged the tree and said cut me first if you are going to cut this tree. The kings men did just that. When the community saw what happened 362 other individuals stepped up and hugged the tre...
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I went to a Sustainable Communities workshop  last week and heard some folks talk from the Western North Carolina Green Building Council . There was a lot of good information presented but the one fact that really stood out the most was this: There is a lot of improper design, construction and installation that goes on in new homes that nobody ever really addresses. Just having the building contractor and subs installing everything correctly really goes a long way toward making your house green, at least in the sense of energy efficiency. Take the heating/air conditioning, insulation, and duct systems for example. They tend to be ignored during building design and it is the installing contractor who has to decide  where to put all the ducts and how to insulate them. The basic message i...
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By Tree Spaulding
(Green Tree Realty)
Strategic House HuntingBy Pat "Tree" SpauldingThinking about a move? That's so exciting! There are so many things to think about when you are considering a move - whether it's to another house in the same area or a new home somewhere else. Having a Realtor you like makes the challenge of finding a new house so much easier and more pleasant. Before you choose a Realtor, be sure to read the brochure Working with Real Estate Agents. I hope I'll have the opportunity to review this brochure with you. You can find a copy of it on my Web site under Seller or Buyer Resources.Do you already have a certain house in mind? That's great! Perhaps that is your motivation for the move. If you don't have a house in mind, maybe you at least have a specific area where you'd like to live. That narrows the ...
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By Tree Spaulding
(Green Tree Realty)
I sat myself down one day and considered all the various kinds of careers and jobs I had to choose from. If I didn't have to work to pay the bills, I would have plenty to keep me busy. I enjoy art projects, photography, writing, various outdoor activities, but that just isn't how it works. So, I considered what my personal gifts, talents, skills, experience, interests, and values were and what kind of work might suit me. I've always loved looking for property. I considered real estate before I decided to finish college. But then I got a BS degree in environmental design. That combined my interests in both art/design and the environment. Not long after that, however, I chose to get graduate education in linguistics and anthropology. I spent 16 years living and working in Papua New Guinea...
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By ASHEVILLE REALTY REFERRAL RESOURCE 828-776-0779, CONTACT janeAnne365@gmail.com
( REAL ESTATE REFERRAL NETWORK )
 The parade commenced. The cry went out.  It was heard in the neighborhood, It was heard on downtown streets. You could even see it plastered on local bulletin boards.  I am a REALTOR®. Housing as an investment is part of the decision-making process for my clients. But something new and colorful was on the horizon. .  "Green   homes and land for sale, GREEN  HOMES and LAND For Sale!" I should have been the first person to notice. After all, I am aware that families want to know that the money they invest, possibly the most significant  investment of a lifetime, is going to have a solid ROI. Possibly even more than that they want to know that they will have a healthy living environment . And investors in real property ?  They want to know that the risks they take are likely to pay off! W...
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By Sami Forrest
(Eco-Steward Realty)
janeAnne's article Real Estate Development, a Perspective where she talks about   "development, improvement, progress " from a whole different vantage point" got me thinking.  It's obvious that there are many of us who realize the relevancy of the information about good stewardship of the land. http://www.hat.bc.ca/stewardship.htmThe land provides us with our food as well as our shelter. There are many conversations happening and it is imperative that each of us speaks up when necessary. The saying "Think globally, act locally"  coined by David Brower, founder of Friends of the Earth, back in the late 1960s seems to me to be  especially relevant with the unprecedented surge in building across our country, perhaps driven by the Baby Boomers as an article in the October, 2006 Washington T...
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By ASHEVILLE REALTY REFERRAL RESOURCE 828-776-0779, CONTACT janeAnne365@gmail.com
( REAL ESTATE REFERRAL NETWORK )
 The Lakeview Park Neighborhood ~ Asheville, N.C. ~A Community Embracing a Sustainable Future. Beaver Lake and Asheville's walkable Lakeview Park Neighborhood.     Not more than five minutes from downtown Asheville, Beaver Lake shines like a diamond in the morning sun. (see photo)  Though private, the lake has been a popular public spot since its creation in the early 1920s. Beaver Lake was created by damming Beaver Creek and flooding what had been known as Baird Bottoms. In 1922, J.D. Murphy and Fred Sale began buying land along Beaver Creek for an exclusive housing development to be known as Lakeview Park. Centered around Beaver Lake,Asheville NC's Lakeview Park walkable neighborhood followed a plan made by city planner Dr. John Nolen. Source: The State of Buncombe    Almost 90 years ...
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By Bill Westel, ECO
(Eco-Steward Realty)
An investor recently had me looking over a gorgeous 84 acre piece property on the French Broad River with views of both the river and mountains in the background. The whole thing has already received permission for a 65 unit subdivision with sellers ready and eager to make a deal. One BIG problem though, the property is across the road from the county landfill. ( Don't even ask why the county chose to site this within spitting distance of the river!) So now I have to find out just how bad is this going to be. My first impression of the landfill is pretty good because the entrance looks like a park. But of course I have to dig a little deeper than this (pun intended).So I call the Western North Carolina Regional Air Quality Agency andtalk with a wonderful lady named Ashley who is more th...
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By ASHEVILLE REALTY REFERRAL RESOURCE 828-776-0779, CONTACT janeAnne365@gmail.com
( REAL ESTATE REFERRAL NETWORK )
Scenario: A Buyer's Broker looks at the dollar difference in a mortgage between a  $90,000 investment property, a doublewide, and a stick-built   $135,000 property.  Although the appearance of the properties is similar, (see photos)  she notes differences including an Energy Star Rating on the more expensive property.  The investor/client plans to keep the property for about five(5) years. Neighborhood appreciation rate over that period of time is of serious interest. The difference in mortgage payments between these two properties would be  around $300/month.       STICK-BUILT Discovery: How much and how fast could the properties of interest appreciate ?  Will this offset the difference? Which property could be a wise investment?Having explained to her clients that she is not a financi...
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By Bill Westel, ECO
(Eco-Steward Realty)
A GREEN TEAM of Environmental Designers in Asheville   One company in our network of Green Professionals in Asheville area is a company called Equinox Environmental Consultation and Design. The people at Equinox really are a dedicated group of professionals that are capable of handling a wide variety of developments from small residential conservation easement subdivisions in urban areas to 1000+ acre multi-family developments. They have a diverse team of skilled people including the president of Equinox Andy Brown, an Environmental Land Planner and the vice president David Tuch, a Landscape and Environmental designer. The rest of the team is rounded out with a Field Biologist, a Botanist, an Environmental Scientist, and a Land Planner/Landscape designer. Now this is what I call a Green...
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By ASHEVILLE REALTY REFERRAL RESOURCE 828-776-0779, CONTACT janeAnne365@gmail.com
( REAL ESTATE REFERRAL NETWORK )
Montford Neighborhood  (Asheville) North Carolina Real Estate Market Stats and Report, January,2007In general, North Carolina continues to see a rise in the number of homes sold in 2006. Sale prices continue to climb and the average number of days a house is on the market has decreased. All of these indicators show that the real estate market in  Western North Carolina is strong."                                 (page 6, Real Estate Weekly -October, 2006)            In the small Montford Neighborhood of Asheville a total of 41 homeslisted  by January 1, 2006 closed by December 31, 2006.  (In the Greater Asheville Area,  2820 homeswere sold from Jan. 1 through December 20, 2006.)  Selling prices in the Montford Neighborhood ranged from $172,500. to $1,200,00.  Currently...as of February ...
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By ASHEVILLE REALTY REFERRAL RESOURCE 828-776-0779, CONTACT janeAnne365@gmail.com
( REAL ESTATE REFERRAL NETWORK )
Asheville, North Carolina Real Estate Market, December, 2006 thru January, 2007Residential Sales Trends/ Existing Homes  Asheville, N.C. Asheville Board of REALTORS ® December, 2006 Real Estate Market Stats Buncombe County (Asheville area), North CarolinaResidential Properties on the Market: 2078                     Residential Properties Pending: 702Priced Over $1M: 117Priced Under $50K :   7Farms & Land on the Market in Combined Buncombe, Madison, Yancey Counties :  2107  Asheville, North Carolina Buncombe CountyPending: 242Priced Over $1M: 161Priced Under $50K : 2989Our market is moving toward: Lower operating costs- Lower utility bills for heating and cooling Increased comfort- Improved indoor air quality Creating lasting value- Third party review Building with health in mind- Lower...
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By ASHEVILLE REALTY REFERRAL RESOURCE 828-776-0779, CONTACT janeAnne365@gmail.com
( REAL ESTATE REFERRAL NETWORK )
The Montford Neighborhood ~ Asheville, N.C. ~A Community Embracing a Sustainable Future.      MONTFORD:  Where one picture tells the story.   The MONTFORD NEIGBORHOOD in Asheville, North Carolina: Historic and Happening! Here is a neighborhood of about 300 acres that expresses a rich diversity of architectural styles,   most constructed between 1890 and 1920. Montford, like its residents, is a place of complex overall character.. .Romance and history are in the air, so expect to " feel"  the artistic influences. Even residents of other neighborhoods in and around Asheville find themselves drawn to Montford. Maybe you will see them strolling down a tree-lined boulevard. Maybe you will notice how often they stop  to gaze at  the majestic homes that grace the streets There are wondrous arc...
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By ASHEVILLE REALTY REFERRAL RESOURCE 828-776-0779, CONTACT janeAnne365@gmail.com
( REAL ESTATE REFERRAL NETWORK )
Great Neighborhoods. Asheville, NC Real Estate InformationThe Neighborhood.      Sure-fire remedy for the "cookie cutter"  blues, the tedium of  crowded highways, long commutes, and weight-gain..   .. Neighborhoods with "...attractive housing designs and lots of interesting innovation in the use of land and space," can cure distress, according to one source.  My colleague, Sharon Simms  suggests, "Talk to the neighbors, walk around the area. Ask questions. There are lots of wonderful places to live...."   Yes indeed asserts Dan Burden  the  Director of Walkable Communities, Inc. And not just neighborhoods, but bikable, walkable communities.  "In my visits to over 1,000 communities," says  Burden, "  working with nearly 40,000 community leaders and concerned citizens, I have found a univ...
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