Blog :: 2011

Asheville Real Estate Benefits from Protected Land

A 492-acre parcel of Laurel Ridge property, purchased by the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy (SAHC), preserves watershed headwaters located 19 miles outside of Asheville.  By protecting this land, the SAHC ensures that the majestic views from particular areas of the Blue Ridge Parkway will remain undisturbed and undeveloped.

Natural Beauty of Mountain Laurel

Carl Silverstein, Executive Director for SAHC summarized the importance of the purchase on his organization's website. "This acquisition is particularly exciting because the size and location of the property strengthens the protected landscape between the Asheville and Bee Tree watersheds. This provides a positive impact on water quality as well as keen advantage in protecting wildlife habitat, forest quality, and other conservation values."

SAHC, one of only 9 accredited lands trusts in N.C., has protected 49,846 acres since incorporating in 1974.

The land, situated within Laurel Ridge, contains about 4 miles of streams, rises 4800 feet in elevation, and harbors acres of hardwood forest. Laurel Ridge, a Black Mountain gated community, offers varied terrain with privacy and tranquility.  Greybeard Realty has several homes and land parcels for sale in this beautiful community. For more information about these properties, please contact Greybeard Realty.



Potential New Asheville Brewery Causing Buzz

Those of you who got a chance to sample a few of our locally brewed beers at this year's Asheville Oktoberfest will be excited to learn the new buzz about Asheville's craft brewing market.  Rumors within the Asheville business community are swirling around the possible news that a second major American craft brewery may be relocating to the Black Mountain area.  If true, business leaders predict that the new company could bring as many as 140 new jobs to the Asheville business market.


Beer Mug

More beer headed our way?


Rumored to be studying Black Mountain and Buncombe County very seriously, this brewery can only enhance Asheville's recognition as a premier beer community.  Buncombe County, home to 10 craft breweries already, has won the Beer City USA designation for the last three years.

Black Mountain already boasts of one major craft brewery, Pisgah Brewing Co.,  and that company's founder told a local journalist that adding another major craft brewery would increase local tourism. The new brewery, thought to be a West Coast business, would offer brewery tours and have a restaurant.

For more information or to check out local real estate offerings, please contact Greybeard Realty.

President Obama Praises Asheville

On day one of his three day bus tour, President Obama stopped by the Asheville airport and expressed optimism about job creation in Asheville and North Carolina. While promoting has job plan, he also expressed his love for Asheville.  Speaking before a primarily supportive crowd, he talked about the urgency for job creation not only in


President Obama Speaks

President Obama at the podium earlier


Asheville and North Carolina but across the nation.  In his remarks, however, he paid special tribute to Asheville.

"I love Asheville," he told the crowd.  "Every time I meet somebody I say have you guys gone down to Asheville?  Our family has great memories of staying here, and it's always nice to get out of Washington and breathe some of that mountain air."

The President and Mrs. Obama last visited Asheville in April 2010 and made several stops at local hangouts.  It's always nice when someone recognizes what those of us who live here have known all along.  Asheville is a special place.

For more information about Asheville Real Estate, 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.

View Asheville Real Estate on the Autumnal Equinox

If you're headed to visit your own Asheville real estate or want to know if it's a nice day to property hunt, be sure to check out the Greybeard Webcam and see Black Mountain in action.  Located atop My Father's Pizza, the webcam captures daily life as it's happening which enables viewers to see current weather conditions and observe traffic right on Cherry Street. 


View from Greybeard's Webcam

Check out real time weather at Greybeard's webcam


With the arrival of the autumnal equinox comes varying weather in the Asheville area.  Greybeard's webcam lets you see road conditions in real time.  As a property owner, do you need to know when the cold hits so you can winterize your home?  Are you worried about whether roads are passable? As a potential buyer are you eager to see what winter means in Black Mountain?  If so, tune in to our webcam and vicariously enjoy a beautiful mountain day.

For more information or to explore real estate offerings in the Asheville area, please contact Greybeard Realty.

Pristine Mountain Property on Asheville Real Estate Market

This Montreat retreat, one of the most pristine mountain properties on the Asheville area real estate market, abuts a preserved wilderness property bordered by streams and waterfalls. This impeccable log home, built in 1994, sits on a private 3 acre lot.  In 1999, the home site became the first Montreat home designated a National Wildlife Federation Backyard Wildlife Habitat site.  The rock walls featured throughout the property as well as the native plant landscaping around the home truly makes this a private mountain paradise.

Presently used as a five bedroom home, the home has a lower level that can be used as a self-contained apartment.  The first level features a master suite and an open floor plan with large gathering rooms and a deck. 


Secluded Montreat Haven

Pristine mountain home in Montreat on the market.


 With the intercom/alarm systems and top of the line appliances, this uniquely built, half-log-construction home offers mountain simplicity with modern amenities on a gently sloping site. 

In addition to the visible external eco-friendly elements, this home also has a geothermal heating/cooling system that utilizes the property's well water. In addition, the log-structure-enclosed generator provides power to selected appliances including the gas fireplace heater, ensuring that residents remain safe and secure in the event of a power loss.

To experience the special tranquility of this superior home, please contact Greybeard to arrange a showing. 

Asheville Real Estate Market Impacted By County Commissioners' Ordinance

At a June 6th meeting, the Buncombe County Commissioners agreed to revisit an ordinance implemented in December 2009 that restricts some areas of Buncombe County from having new rental homes.  The present ordinance has current and potential impacts on Buncombe County and Asheville's real estate market and economy.  In addition to limiting the options for renters who want an authentic mountain home stay rather than a hotel visit, the ordinance also limits options for Asheville home owners.  


Asheville Rental Cabins Offer Perks

Asheville rental cabins give an authentic mountain experience.


Home buyers in our area often buy homes with an eye for the future.  They purchase now with the intention of renting the home until they reach retirement age.  By limiting which homes can become rental properties, the current ordinance restricts the Asheville real estate market.  When potential buyers learn that they cannot rent a specific home within certain zones, they decide against purchasing in this area.  The present ordinance sends potential real estate buyers into other mountain communities that will allow renting.

In another economic blow, the restriction of rental properties also reduces occupancy and sales tax when renters go to other communities instead of renting here. In addition, the work force is reduced when home cleaners, maintenance and repair people, and landscapers, to name a few, are no longer needed for the upkeep of rental homes. And finally, tourism is reduced.  With the restriction of rental properties comes the limiting of renters which in turn limits the seasonal tourism dollars which our communities are so dependent on for a vibrant economy.

For more information about the Asheville real estate market and Greybeard's offerings in the area, 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.


Asheville Real Estate Market Analysis Update

Statistics and statistical analysis can be varied, depending on who is parsing the numbers.  While I consider one item to be a positive sign, someone else can come along and decide it's a negative.  Regardless of how one looks at the real estate numbers for Buncombe County for the last few years, the one observation that most people would agree on is that we are a seasonal market, and we are headed toward our positive season.

In considering the first two months of market numbers for Buncombe County and Black Mountain, there are some numbers that seem solid.  The number of homes sold for Jan/Feb this year, compared with last year's numbers, are steady. In addition, in Black Mountain, the 14 homes sold are only two less than the 16 units sold for this period during 2008 before the national real estate market decline.  The County comparison for homes sold this year to date compared with 2008 during the same period, however, represents a 32% decline.

Sales volume comparison for the same period for 2011 versus 2010 in the County shows a 10% decline.  Black Mountain sales volume for these first two months of 2011 shows a 12% increase over the same period in 2010.  Those numbers parallel the average price trend, which has Buncombe County declining 9% and Black Mountain increasing 4%.

One area of concern is Days on Market which has increased in both the County and Black Mountain.  The number of days, 187 for both markets, is about double what we would like to see in a growing real estate market.  It's also interesting to note the number of homes on the market which has remained steady in Black Mountain and decreased in Buncombe County.  While that would seem like a positive, there is no way without further study to determine if those numbers are that way because people are removing their homes from the market or holding off putting them on the market until the market picks up a bit.

Again, different people will consider these numbers and perhaps have a different slant to put on them.  But I look at these numbers and the market trends over the last few years, and I feel very comfortable noting that with spring here and summer around the corner, we are entering an active period for home sales.  And if buyers enter the market willing to offer fair price, they should be able to buy a home that will meet their needs now and provide them with a solid investment for the future.

For more information about the Asheville Real Estate market, please contact Greybeard Realty.

Tiger Woods Might Need A Mulligan in the Asheville Real Estate Market

While Tiger Woods tackles the Augusta National Golf Course this week, he faces an uphill struggle with his company, Tiger Woods Design.  In the five years since his company's founding, none of his three golf course projects has been completed.  And one course, located in Asheville, will not resume construction until at least this summer.



Tiger Woods Golf Course in Asheville

Tiger Woods might need a mulligan.



His Asheville project, the Cliffs at High Carolina, reportedly paid him $10 million, and the golfing star attended the November 2008 groundbreaking with high hopes. The Cliffs reported then having sold 40 lots starting at $500,000 each.   Since then, not much has happened.

For a more complete understanding of Tiger's designs, check out the NY Times article that discusses the apparent cancellation of his Dubai project, as well as problems with his other two planned courses.

While Tiger's off-course travails may have had some effect, the national economic issues appear have impacted the slow-down even more.

For information about golf property available in the area, we invite you to view current Asheville area golf course community listings on our site or contact Greybeard Realty.