Blog :: 02-2009

Greybeard Realty Thanks our Clients for a Successful 2008

Despite the downturn in real estate markets across the nation, Greybeard Realty experienced growth in 2008. Our market share within the Asheville Board of Realtors has increased, as our firm climbed from 19th overall to 11th. In 2008, we represented buyers or sellers in 49 home sales transactions. By comparison, we represented clients in 50 home sales in 2007.

Click to see our 2007 and 2008 home sales (*large PDF files).

We are very grateful to all of our clients, and we look forward to the opportunity to continue to serve our community!

Modular Construction Gains Popularity in Western North Carolina

With buyers focusing more and more on energy-efficient home designs, modular home construction has become increasingly popular in the Black Mountain and Asheville area.

Modular constructions provides other advantages, including a more environmentally-friendly building process that helps minimizes construction waste.

Some modular companies are North Carolina-based, like the Discovery Custom Homes plant in Albemarle, NC. Building homes indoors protects the home from inclement weather during construction and reduces construction time at the site. David Rand of DRA Living in Asheville, a modular home specialist, estimates 3-4 months to complete a new home. "We have two new subdivisions in Black Mountain that feature modular construction, and we can usually have someone in their new home with 3-4 months," says Rand. "But we can also build homes for customers on their land, what we call 'scattered site' builds."

One of Rand's developments, The Hamlets at Rustling Pine Trail in Black Mountain, features Energy Star-ready homes with 2x6 walls and Superior poured-concrete basement walls.  "The thicker walls make the home much more efficient in terms of heating and cooling, and the Superior walls are excellent at sealing a basement," according to Clint Farish, Business Development Manager for DRA Living.

Modular construction also lends itself to "systems building," according to Charlie Sparks, owner of Black Mountain Bungalow Company. Sparks has several decades' experience as a "stick-built" home-builder in Florida and Black Mountain, and is now offering this modular spec home on West Cotton Avenue in Black Mountain.

"Modular construction allows the manufacturer to perform more rigid quality-control inspections before the home even reaches the customer's lot. Modular homes always meet and many times exceed local and state building codes," says Sparks.

Laurel Ridge Opens Fire Substation

Laurel Ridge has a Black Mountain fire substation that acts as first responders for the North Fork Valley area.  This area includes the Asheville Water Shed, Grove Stone Quarry, the residents who live in the area, as well as the north side of Montreat.  Laurel Ridge has nine volunteers that respond to the first alert and 911 calls, which means that in case of an emergency, a Laurel Ridge neighbor will be showing up at your home first.  Our community also has it's own water supply, with four 40,000 gallon water towers and many hydrants through the nine miles of roads.


Above the fire station we have a new community room called "The Lodge."  This is where we have the new First Friday community potlucks, the annual "Gathering" in October, and holiday parties.  This facility can also be rented out by Laurel Ridge residents for family functions. 

Under the leadership of our new POA President, Lyons Williams, the residents have instituted an emergency response team that is putting together plans for natural emergencies and interruption of food supply and utilities.  This is just one of the twelve committees of volunteers who work to make Laurel Ridge such a well-running community.

-Sharon Came (Greybeard Realty agent and Laurel Ridge resident)

Waterfalls of Western North Carolina

If you are a real estate owner or renting an Asheville cabin, you probably already know about the popular, well-publicized attractions such as The Biltmore Estate and the Thomas Wolfe House. Directions, descriptions and costs for these and other areas of interest are all listed by the Asheville Chamber of Commerce. You may not know as much about the beautiful natural wonders Asheville offers. My family has enjoyed many hours exploring the beautiful waterfalls in the area that are featured in Kevin Adams' book, North Carolina Waterfalls: A Hiking and Photography Guide. The book gives accurate estimates of time and difficulty of each hike as well as details on how to photograph the waterfalls and in most cases the best time of day to go for proper lighting, etc. And best of all, after the initial book purchase price, all of the waterfalls can be seen without a fee. The book is available on line through or better yet take a trip into Asheville to Malaprops Bookstore and Café at 55 Haywood Street to pick out this book or many other area related travel books. The bookstore is a perfect destination for exploration when foul weather might preclude a waterfall hike.