Real Estate Investing

Asheville Real Estate Market Features Commercial Property with Character

The Asheville real estate market has varied commercial property offerings, but it is rare to find such a charmingly preserved property as Greybeard Realty's 101 Black Mountain Avenue. Located in historical downtown Black Mountain, this 8,800 sq. ft. renovated factory building features exposed brick, extremely high ceilings, and old-time character with modern updates.

Charming Commercial Real Estate

Recently renovated, this property sports new hardwood floors, new HVAC, wiring and plumbing, and off-street parking.  The potential possibilities for this prime piece of real estate are limited only by the new owner's imagination.

If you're seeking a new property that will blend in with the delightful ambiance of Black Mountain, you have found your location.  The property is ready and updated...just bring your own business plan. For more information about this property or other Asheville commercial property, please contact Greybeard Realty.

Asheville Real Estate Market Welcomes Vacation Rental Ordinance Change

The Asheville real estate market received a potential boost October 4th when Buncombe County commissioners voted unanimously to change the current zoning ordinance for vacation rentals.  Since December 2009, residential rental restrictions have been in place, limiting new properties from entering the rental market. 

With the rental restrictions, many Realtors reported that homebuyers looking for second homes were often deterred by the rental restrictions.  It is not unusual for people planning to retire in Buncombe County to buy a home prior to retirement and put it into the rental market until they are ready to relocate to the area permanently.  The restrictions meant that was no longer a legal option.

Buncombe County rental restrictions eased

Rental Restrictions for Buncombe County revized.

With the commissioners' action which allows rentals countywide, homeowners will now have that option restored.  In addition, visitors to the Asheville area will have more rental properties from which to choose.  Many tourists prefer to stay in a home and have a more authentic mountain cabin experience than a hotel room may provide.

For more information about Asheville area homes and rental properties, please contact Greybeard Realty.

Asheville Real Estate Benefits From A Greenway Path

A recent article in the Asheville Citizens-Times discussed the plans for expanding the greenways throughout Black Mountain and talked about the inherent benefits of greenways, including recreation opportunities and attractiveness to new businesses.  In addition, it's important to note the real estate advantages to having greenways throughout a community, and the Asheville area real estate sales may see a positive effect from the greenway system.

Peaceful Greenways Benefit Asheville Real Estate Market

Greenways are trails of open space preserved for recreation and conservation.  In many instances, the paths connect common areas and provide safe passage through communities with limited exposure to vehicular traffic.  Greenways often offer protection for native plant life and can help in flood protection as well.

National studies indicate that greenways have a positive effect on real estate sales.  In several studies, days on the market (dom) are reduced when the property is adjacent to a greenway. One particular study indicates that houses adjacent to the greenway sold in just over half the time properties further away from the pathways stayed on the market.  In addition, home values increase on those cites adjacent to the pathways, and sales prices were significantly closer to asking price for those homes as well.

So while Asheville and Black Mountain residents can take advantage of safe, beautiful areas for recreation, the Asheville real estate market can also expect to see some benefits in terms of prices and fewer days on the market for homes in proximity to the greenways.  For more information, please contact Greybeard Realty.


Will National Home Sales Jump Extend to Asheville Real Estate Sales?

There are some new housing numbers that may indicate an improvement in the home sales market in the months to come.  Nationally, new home sales jumped 17.5% in December which increased sales of new homes to their highest levels in 8 months.  Economists had expected a 300,000 unit increase for the period.  Instead, there was a seasonally adjusted unit rate of 329,000. The numbers, provided by the Commerce Department, seem to indicate some signs of life in the housing market.

It's interesting to note, however, that these numbers were influenced by a spike in home sales in the West which economists feel have skewed the numbers toward the positive.  Also, it's important to note that while there was in increase, it was still down significantly from its peak of 1.283 million-units in 2005.

Real Estate Graphic

What do the numbers mean?

With the surge in the West leading the way, the supply of new homes declined to its lowest level since last April.  In addition, the median home price for the period of $241,500 showed an increased to the highest mark since April of 2008. 

Closer to home, Buncombe County Realtors sold $49 million worth of homes during December which was the highest sales volume for homes in the last five months. 

These numbers alone are not enough to indicate a increasing trend, but coupled with the recent stock market rise and the decision by the Federal Reserve to maintain the low interest rates available, it may be seen as a small sign of hope for the new home sales market. For assistance in the Asheville real estate market, please contact us.

Time to Purchase Your Own Asheville Rental Cabin?

If you have dreamed of owning an Asheville rental cabin of your own, you may be interested in the information presented recently in the Wall Street Journal. The article indicates that second home sales in some markets increased at dramatic levels last year. According to the article, the soaring sales levels can be attributed to deeply discounted prices on those homes, cash purchases by buyers not dependent on second home mortgages, and increasing stock portfolios of buyers.

 

Enjoy the NC Vistas

Mountain Views

 

If you have considered buying a second home, this may be the time to really start your search.  Before entering the buyers' market, however, there are some simple steps which can alleviate future issues during the buying process.  First of all, do your homework.  What purpose would the home serve?  Will you be renting it out when you aren't there?  Will you retire there in a few years? How much room do you need? Will you need a management company to keep the home in good condition and keep it rented regularly?

Another important step is to assess your own financial situation.  Will you need a second home mortgage which requires more stringent financials?  How much can you afford to spend?  It makes no sense searching through $1 million homes if you have a budget of $350,000.  Do you have a stellar credit rating?  If not, clean it up prior to applying for that second mortgage.

In the article, financial experts indicated that mortgage lenders were requiring as much as 25% down on second homes and clean credit reports.  Further, they indicated that the best prices on homes were found by buyers able to pay full cash for the home price.  The markets studied were Barnstable County, Cape Cod, MA, Mercer Island, WA, Hilton Head, SC, and Palm Beach, FL, and the increase of the number of homes sold ranged from 9% to 181%.

National numbers for 2010 second home sales will not be available until March 2011, but if these specific markets are any indication, it may be time to consider looking around for that second home. For more information, contact Greybeard Realty.

An Asheville Cabin with a Movie Star Neighbor, Please

Like other Asheville cabin owners, I have mixed feelings when I see that Asheville has made another top ten list.  While I am reassured by these lists that I have indeed chosen to live in one of the best places on Earth, I fear that more and more people will discover what those of us who live here already know.   The Asheville area is a very special place.

Andie MacDowell, Asheville Neighbor

The most recent top ten listing comes from Barron's, the weekly business publication, and highlights the top ten places for second homes in the U.S. The article cites one real estate expert as noting that in addition to a good R&R site, investors are now on the prowl for solid investments as well.  The article points out that the decline in prices of luxury homes, in these second home markets, seems to have bottomed out.

Asheville came in at #9 on the list, trailing Maui, Kiawah Island, SC, and The Hamptons which finished 1,2,3 respectively.   Barron used as its criteria "gorgeous homes, spectacular views, world-class fishing and skiing, fine dining and great shopping."  It also cautions that the rankings are somewhat subjective as are house styles, and that a return on investment in buying one of these homes may take a while. For Asheville, they list the median luxury home at $700,000, representing a 38% decline from peak pricing.   As a bonus, the article also notes the most famous movie star who could be your potential neighbor.  In the instance of Asheville, it is actress Andie MacDowell.  If you are a Barron's subscriber, you can read the full article.  If you want to look for your own luxury home in a top ten setting, please contact Greybeard Realty.




Black Mountain Real Estate Market Update - Fall 2009

From an early age, my father taught me that if you can't say something nice then don't say anything.  This is my first article in a while.  In the last 12 months there hasn't been much nice to say about the Black Mountain real estate market.  Statistics from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) indicate that the real estate market in our area may be ready to move forward. First of all, right now in Black Mountain there are 25 homes under contract.  That figure immediately indicates that there is strong interest in Black Mountain homes.

By studying the rate of homes sold in the past 15 months, it is apparent that while the number of homes sold has been decreasing, the last two months show a slight up tick in volume.

An analysis of the absorption rate indicates that the number of months a home is on the market has risen over the last year.  It's interesting to note, however, that there has been a very slight drop in that number of months in the last 60 days.

absorption

The amount of inventory available has increased as well, but that statistic is a difficult one to analyze because of the seasonal nature of our market.  In addition, it is quite possible that the increase in inventory is due to more people who were waiting for a positive market turn finally putting their homes on the market.

inventory

It is also encouraging to study the numbers of Black Mountain homes sales from January through September for the last three years.  Yes, there has been a dramatic drop in number of homes sold as well as an increase in the number of days those homes that sold were on the market.  But I find it very positive to look at the median price.  Despite that drop in sales volume, the home prices are staying solid.  There was only a 2% drop in median price for the time period from 2007 to 2009.  From 2008 to 2009, the median price dropped only 1%.  I find it very encouraging that home prices have remained so solid during this difficult stretch.

12monthhomesold

stats

In conclusion I would say that I am cautiously optimistic that the decline in the Black Mountain real estate market seems to have leveled off and might even be trending upward.  If you recall at the beginning of this article I noted that 25 homes are presently under contract.  Remember that homes sales lag about 45 days from contract date.  With these early signs of potential recovery, I expect to be writing more articles soon with even more good news to share.

Is this the Beginning of the Recovery?

While Black Mountain may have been one of the last markets hit by the economic downturn, we believe it is one of the first markets to begin recovering.  While sales in Black Mountain and Buncombe County are down from the previous year by an average of 30%, statistics from the Western North Carolina Regional MLS show that we have may have reached the bottom and are beginning to rebound.

For the first time since March 2008, home sales (# of units) in Black Mountain have exceeded the sales from the same month in the previous year, and currently, 22 homes are under contract. And while the average cost of homes significantly dropped from last year, we are finally seeing an upswing --- the median price of homes in Black Mountain has increased by 2% year-to-date.

stats-through-July09

The good news continues for August.  In August 2008, there were 3 homes sold in Black Mountain.  As of the date of this posting (August 29, 2009), there have been 7 closed sales this month.

Time is Running out on the First-time Homebuyer $8000 Tax Credit

If you are a first time homebuyer, now is the time to invest. Real estate prices are down, interest rates are low, and the $8,000 tax credit that can help you make a down payment or simply reduce home-buying expenses is still available until November 30th.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has helped many people-- this year-- purchase their first home, and The National Association of Realtors estimates that 350,000 first-time buyers will own homes thanks to the tax credit. Additionally, North Carolina homebuyers, who meet income requirements, may be eligible for a Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC). An MCC allows you to claim 20% of the interest you pay on your mortgage as a federal income tax credit and has the potential to save you up to $2,000 a year on your federal taxes. An MCC can be combined with the $8,000 federal tax credit, but qualified buyers need to move quickly to take advantage of this opportunity because the November 30th deadline quickly approaches.

The knowledgeable staff at GreyBeard Realty wants to help you take advantage of this first-time buyers' market. Let us help you find your new home. Buyers are advised to consult with a tax professional regarding tax credits and mortgage credit certificates.

If you are a first time homebuyer, now is the time to invest. Real estate prices are down, interests rates are low, and the $8,000 tax credit that can help you make a down payment or simply reduce home-buying expenses is still available until December 1st.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has helped many people-- this year-- purchase their first home, and The National Association of Realtors estimates that 350,000 first-time buyers will own homes thanks to the tax credit. Additionally, North Carolina homebuyers, who meet income requirements, may be eligible for a Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC). An MCC allows you to claim 20% of the interest you pay on your mortgage as a federal income tax credit and has the potential to save you up to $2,000 a year on your federal taxes. An MCC can be combined with the $8,000 federal tax credit, but qualified buyers need to move quickly to take advantage of this opportunity because the December 1st deadline quickly approaches.

The knowledgeable staff at GreyBeard Realty wants to help you take advantage of this first-time buyers' market. Let us help you find your new home.

$8,000 Tax Credit Offered to "First-Time" Home Buyers

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, signed into law on Feb. 17, 2009, provides many buyers with a tax credit of up to $8,000 if they purchase a home between January 1 and November 31, 2009.  Most news outlets have referred to this credit as available only to first-time homebuyers, but that is not entirely accurate.

The Act does specify that this incentive is for first-time buyers, but it is important to understand how the law defines first-time buyers.  In this case, a first-time homebuyer is someone who had no interest in a principal residence in the prior 3 years.  Clearly, this opens up the tax credit to more than just true first-timers.

The actual amount of the credit is based on the sales price, with the credit equal to 10% of the sales price up to $8,000.  That would mean a home over $80,000 would qualify for the full $8,000.  This new incentive is actually a modified version of the $7,500 tax credit offered as part of the Housing Assistance Tax Act of 2008.  That version required re-payment of the credit, in essence making it an interest-free loan.  However, the new version is not a loan, and it does not requirement re-payment as long as the buyer remains a principal residence for a minimum of 3 years.

For information about claiming the first-time homebuyer tax credit on your tax return, visit the IRS website.  Also, the National Association of Realtors has a good list of frequently asked questions.

This article is a brief summary of this exciting homebuying incentive, but anyone looking to take advantage of it should consult a tax adviser.