Buying A House

Making Sense of the Asheville 2018 Mid-Year Real Estate Market Numbers

The mid-year Asheville real estate numbers are in, and, on the surface, the statistics show a small decline in home sales for Buncombe County and continued growth in Black Mountain. After a closer analysis of the numbers, however, it appears that there may be some changes coming to the western NC real estate market. 

Buncombe County

For the first six months of 2018, the number of homes sold decreased 7% from the same period last year, declining to 1843 homes in 2018 down from 1991 homes the previous year. At the same time, the total sales volume declined 3%, to $639 million, while the average home price increased 5% to $347,051 for year-to-date 2018. In addition, the sales price/list price ratio (SP/LP) has stayed steady at 98% for the first half of this year. At face value, these numbers do not point to any strong trends, but a closer look reveals a few numbers that may raise some eyebrows.

At the same time as the home prices show some growth, the number of homes on the market has increased a moderate 3%, up to 1978 homes in 2018 from 1921 homes in 2017. That number, while an increase, is still dramatically below the 2011 number of 3089 homes on the market. What catches the attention here is the increase in the average home price at the same time the number of homes on the market has increased, albeit slightly. Also, the number of days on the market (DOM) has increased slightly as well, up to 74 days in 2018 year-to-date versus 71 days at the same time last year. Could it be just a small shift or are these numbers indicative of a new market trend?

Black Mountain

The Black Mountain real estate numbers indicate a bit different scenario, again at face value. And as always, it is important to remember that the Black Mountain market is very small. Drawing firm conclusions from this small a market can be tricky. The number of homes sold increased in mid-year 2018 to 93 homes, up 3% from 2017’s 89 units sold. Total sales volume increased a hefty 17% in 2018, up to $30.6 million from $26.2 million in 2017. Of course, that means that there was an increase in the average home price in 2018, up 12% to $329,443. And, the SP/LP ratio tightened slightly from 2017, up to 98% in 2018.

And again, just like in the Buncombe County stats, it is the more detailed figures that catch the eye. DOM has increased from 64 days in 2017 year-to-date to 85 days in 2018. Also, there has been an 8% increase in the number of homes on the market. At mid-year 2018 there were 115 homes on the market, 29 of which were under contract. For the same time in 2017, that figure was 106 homes with 30 homes under contract. So, it seems as if the market may be loosening up a bit. There definitely seems to be some support in both Buncombe County and Back Mountain figures that a shift may be occurring.

Conclusions

What’s interesting to see is the combination of statistics that present mixed information. At the same time that the DOM is increasing slightly, the supply is also increasing. But, the price in both realms represented here continue to increase. It appears that there may be reasons to be observant to the market over the next few quarters.

For example, these statistics represent only one snapshot of the market news. It is not possible to predict or see a trend in this one set of data. It could just be a slight correction with the market continuing its growth in the next quarter. It could be, however, that the market is beginning to slow. It could be the impact of the slight rise and predicted further increase in market interest rates is impacting the market. There’s also a possibility that buyers are getting somewhat concerned about the US economy  with tariffs imposed and investigations underway which may lead to a market slowdown. Also, if the prices continue to grow, that may make houses seem less affordable to folks which may in turn lead to a slowdown.

So, in short, numbers for the first half of 2018 present a very mixed message with price increases and small increases in demand with larger increases in average prices. At Greybeard Realty, real estate market numbers are tracked quarterly, and by the end of the third quarter, there should be a clearer picture of just what is going on in the western NC housing market. In the meantime, if you're interested in seeing Greybeard's exclusive real estate listing, please visit the Greybeard Realty listings page.

US News and World Report Asked Greybeard About Purchasing a Family Vacation Home

When US News and World Report wanted information about the best approach for families wanting to purchase a vacation home, they contacted Greybeard founder, Chip Craig, to get a few ideas from him. As the article indicates, the most important aspects of the buying process are consolidating, communication, and compromise. Havencrest Vacation Rental for Sale

Contacted by US News, Chip points out that setting up a limited liability company or LLC prior to the purchase can make the most sense. And he notes that an LLC can set out the transfer of the property through generations upfront, especially if parents are buying with the idea of passing the home down to children. And as most of these transactions tend to be cash, setting up an LLC generally does not delay closings.

When families enjoy gathering in the same spot each year, it becomes logical that they might want to invest in their own vacation home, maybe even an NC mountain home. Owning a vacation home in a spectacular location allows families to have one central gathering spot and takes the guesswork out of where to stay as well. But as the US News and World Report article points out, that seemingly simple purchase can present some particular issues.

As stated in the article, in 2016, 12% of home buyers purchased vacation homes in the US. With different generations involved, it can become complicated when making plans for the smooth transfer of the property. Again, consolidating the home into an LLC can take care of some of the issues. One area that can become dicey is how to manage the home, if it enters the renters’ market when not in use by family. Who’s going to get the proper insurance, who’s going to clean it, and who’s going to manage the reservations to make sure it isn’t double booked? One option is signing on with a rental management company, like Greybeard Rentals that can take over the detailed responsibility for that. And even that plan should be decided prior to a vacation home purchase. That’s where the communication piece comes into it. Sit down and really talk about what’s important, what works, and what everyone sees as the longer-term plan for a shared vacation home. And of course, that’s where the compromise comes in. Be willing to listen to each other and be willing to work together to get a great plan in place.

If you’re all ready to move forward, why not take a look at Greybeard Realty’s vacation home listings. We have a number of homes available, many with a proven rental history. If you’d like to talk more about purchasing a home as a family or even with friends, feel free to touch base directly with Greybeard Realty, and we would be happy to work with you through the process. Family vacations homes generates memories and traditions that will not be forgotten.

Why Own an Asheville Area Log Home

Owning a log home in western NC is the penultimate dream for many homebuyers. For some people, it’s a chance to live in a style of home that is most equated with mountain living. When it comes down to it, however, there are a number of very practical reasons that make a log home a very special place to live.

Asheville Log CabinIt can’t be denied that a log home is just a little different from other homes styles. There’s no comparing a traditional log-constructed house with a brick-front or wood-paneled siding house. The logs present a natural material in a very natural setting in the NC mountains. With a log cabin you can personalize the style and take an already unique structure even further toward your particular taste. It’s also a style that doesn’t lose its charm. Log cabins were one of the early home styles, and they continue to be a timeless choice for homebuilders and buyers.

Log homes present a very practical advantage as well. Logs have a tremendous insulation property. As a matter of fact, log homes generally require less energy for temperature maintenance than do other style homes. That efficiency can begin very early in the process as well. Some use the logs from the land they are building on, meaning less deforestation of other land.

And finally, log homes are the most requested type of rental cabin at Greybeard Rentals. Vacationers love the idea of heading up to western NC and staying in a log-constructed cabin for a truly authentic mountain experience. So, if you’re someone who wants a to invest in a second home in the Asheville area, you might want to consider getting a log cabin.

So where should you start? Take a look at the Greybeard Realty log homes for sale page for starters. If you’re considering building a log home, Greybeard also has Asheville area land listings. And if you want to use the home as a vacation rental, take a look at the Greybeard Rentals property management page. Still not sure where to start? Contact Greybeard Realty, and we can help you narrow down your options and find that special log home in the NC mountains.

Black Mountain Retreat Complete with Waterfall

Greybeard Realty’s new listing, 57 Gold Anchor Lane in Black Mountain, began life as a secluded fishing cabin, ideal for outdoor enthusiasts. While its audience hasn’t changed, this lovely home has been transformed from cabin into a contemporary private getaway.

Originally built in 1940, this renovated mountain retreat has a lovely stone-constructed, wood-burning fireplace as well as a gas-fired propane stove. The third bedroom is a bunkroom to accommodate the children or guest overflow. From the large covered deck, homeowners can enjoy the rushing waterfall in the creek or oversee the fire pit. And the low-maintenance landscaping means that time can be spent enjoying the outdoors and not manicuring it.

This three-bedroom, two-bath home has just come on the market, and we don’t anticipate it will stay there for long. For more information about this home or any of Greybeard’s residential listings, please contact Greybeard. If idyllic mountain solitude is your goal, you may have just found your dream home.

Enjoy GreyBeard Realty Buyers Video

If you are thinking of buying a home in western NC, Greybeard Realty encourages you to learn about the buying process before you start. Our office, located in Black Mountain, has Realtors who are local and very knowledgeable about the area. And we love where we live. It's why we are so invested in our work.

If you haven't already, please take a look at Greybeard's Buyers video:

And to get an idea of what's involved when you become a buyer in general, check out Greybeard's Buyers ABCs. On that page, you will find some simple steps that can make the buying process a little easier.

Greybeard Realty has great listings throughout western NC of available homes. And our Realtors are ready to help you with that process. Whether it's a luxury log home, a home in historic western Asheville, or a western NC vacation home, Greybeard can assist you when you're ready to buy. We hope you will take a moment to look through our website and then contact Greybeard. We would love to welcome you into our great neighborhood.

Front Porch Views of Black Mountain

It’s well known that Black Mountain is viewed as the “Front Porch of Western NC.” With its majestic mountain views, the town serves as the gateway to western NC amenities including hikes, arts and crafts, and historic sites including The Biltmore house.  And living in this idyllic small town gives you access to a welcoming community that treasures its arts, its culture, and its music.

Black Mountain Porch ViewsPerhaps lesser known is the tremendous growth in front porches in homes across America in the last 20-25 years. According to a recent Parade magazine article, in 2013 63% of single family homes in America had front porches. This figure is up from 42% in 1993. For many people, front porches serve as a window to the world, a place to sip a drink and enjoy the view or watch the world stroll by.

And truly what could be better than enjoying a NC mountain front porch.  Greybeard Realty has numerous Black Mountain homes listed, many with porches just waiting for rocking chairs. To get started on buying your own home, check out Greybeard Realty’s real estate buyers’ tips. Then take a look at our NC real estate market information. Get started now, and you can be watching the world from a Black Mountain front porch in no time.

Head Out to A Montreat Parade of Homes

Fourth of July is the time for fireworks and parades, so in keeping with that tradition, Greybeard Realty has scheduled a Montreat Parade of Homes. This open house of homes for sale, on Sunday June 30th from 2-4 pm, provides interested buyers with a chance to see 11 specially selected homes all on the same day.

Lake Susan is Central to Montreat

Lake Susan is a Montreat Focal Point

To find out what makes Montreat so special, visit our recent blog on Montreat that captures the essence this small, historic community.  For people who've grown up visiting Montreat on a regular basis, there's no other place that offers the same sense of community and sense of belonging as Montreat. And the homes listed for the open house provide buyers with a wide selection to choose from. In fact, this open house tour will take you from Mississippi to Virginia to Texas, road and avenues, that is.

To begin the open house tour, you can stop by at any of the houses or come by the Greybeard Realty office located at 204 East State St. in Black Mountain to get a copy of our flier and head out to the tour. Each home will have someone available to answer questions and direct you to the next home that best suits what you're looking for. Greybeard Realty hopes you'll take advantage of this special parade and come see what homes for sale in Montreat we offer. Come join enjoy our Parade of Homes.

Simple Steps for Real Estate Buyers in Asheville and Elsewhere

Real estate buyers in Asheville can benefit from a few simple steps to ensure that when they find the house of their dreams, it won't become a nightmare. For every handful of happily-ever-after buyer stories, there is one house-that-got-away tale.  To be sure a buyer is prepared for house hunting, Greybeard Realty has assembled The ABCs for Buyers, six simple steps to get ready for a home purchase.

Home Buyers: Simple Steps

Simple steps to assist buyers.

In short, buyers should know what they need and what they can afford.  Very often, house hunters set off without taking into account they need a first floor bedroom or can only afford a fixer-upper home. Doing a brief assessment of needs and assets can shorten the list of homes a prospective buyer needs to check out.

Also, home buyers in western NC should do their homework about where they want to live. Are they heart set on city life in a home in Asheville or do they crave a peaceful mountainside home in Montreat? Regardless of the home's location, buyers can benefit from having a Realtor they know and trust to show them the various options.

For more information about how to prepare to buy a home, check out our buyers' notes.  To meet Greybeard's Realtors and get more information about the Asheville real estate market, please contact Greybeard Realty.