Blog :: 2013

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood in Asheville

A recent readers' choice survey in Conde Nast Traveler rated Asheville one of the friendliest towns in the United States. The survey asked readers to rate US cities on a number of qualities including "friendliest", and Asheville placed fourth in the survey.


Won't you be our Asheville neighbor?

Won't you be our Asheville neighbor?


Asheville visitors who participated in the survey not only ranked the cities but also provided comments as to their choices. Glancing over their observations, it is very difficult to disagree with their statements.  One reader observed the city has "hidden treasures around every corner." Another credited the high scoring with Asheville's great combination of "free thinkers and Southern hospitality." The magazine itself points to our remarkable local art scene and local microbreweries as another compelling reason to visit the city.

With our own experiences in the River Arts District and our research for our blogs on microbreweries in the area, we have to say we agree. The magazine goes on to talk about our "great locally sourced food and friendly people".  And while the survey respondents were Asheville visitors, the greatest attraction seems to be the city residents. According to Conde Nast, "above all, it's the "conscientious locals" who truly make this "welcoming" metropolis a "fun, quirky place to visit."

To that, we at Greybeard Realty say, "hear, hear!" We couldn't agree more that Asheville locals are what make this place so special. For those of us who already live in this area, give yourselves a pat on the back for making Asheville such a friendly place to be.  And for those of you who are considering Asheville as an option for relocation, what are you waiting for? Come on! Won't you be our neighbors?

Asheville Area Home Sales Make a July Jump

Ah, summer. Temperatures rise and so do home sales in the seasonal Asheville real estate market. That's why it is imperative that you consider equivalent months and year to date statistics when studying the area trends. Even a quick glance at the most recently released MLS numbers, however, indicates some very strong signs for 2013.


Checking the temperature of Asheville real estate.

Checking the temperature of Asheville real estate.


Black Mountain Real Estate Trends

Black Mountain home sales volume increased 13% over the same period last year. While still 19% below the peak market of 2007, the number still indicates substantial growth for real estate in the town. Also increasing was the total number of homes sold, up 29% in 2013. Interestingly, the largest change in observed statistics  is a decrease of 22%. That downward shift is considered a positive stat for sales, however, as it is the number of units on the market.  Compared to 2012 when 167 units were listed, there were only 131 homes on the market which points to the tightening supply in the area.

Buncombe County Real Estate Trends

Buncombe County also had a hefty decrease in inventory, down 19% from 2012 numbers, with 2144 homes on the market in July 2013 as compared with 2644 units in 2012. And county home sales volume outpaced those in Black Mountain, increasing 30% year to date in July 2013 with a 28% increase in number of homes sold. As with Black Mountain, these numbers are still off the peak numbers of 2006 but illustrate how solidly the real estate market is growing. Days on the market in both Buncombe County and Black Mountain decreased year to date in 2013 for the first time since before 2006. That statistic means that homeowners putting their houses on the market generally have to wait a shorter time to sell their homes than they have in the past few years.

Home Prices in the Asheville Area

The town numbers and the county numbers diverge when it comes to average and median price, with both categories showing a very modest increase in Buncombe County and a decrease in Black Mountain. It is possible that retirees, who make up a large portion of Black Mountain homebuyers, are considering smaller homes for their retirement. Also, it is possible that several smaller, lower priced homes in Black Mountain have sold, driving down the average price per home. It may take a few more months to see if this decrease is a downward trend or more likely some market blip that will reverse itself in the next couple of months.

There are a couple of things that can be known for sure. The summer months are warmer in our area than the winter months, and with the market inventory shrinking in our real estate area the prices should begin to rise. So, if I could suggest, it may be time to take advantage of our good weather and head on out to select that Asheville area home you've always wanted. And with sales inventory decreasing, it may also be a good time to put your home on the market. For information about how to get your home market ready, please check out our home staging tips. As the old song goes, "Summer time, and the living is easy." So perhaps is the selling and the buying in the Asheville home market right now.

Falcon Crest Home Offers Bird's Eye View of Buncombe County

If you've enjoyed your western NC vacation, perhaps it's time to consider taking that next step and purchasing your own piece of tranquility. Greybeard Realty has a new listing for a furnished, ready to move in mountain retreat. With its high-end furnishings and impeccable attention to detail, this mountain home is unmatched in its quality.


Keep the home fires burning in this buncombe County home for sale.

Keep the home fires burning in this buncombe County home for sale.


Located on 1.2 acres in Fairview, this 4-bedroom, 3 bath home has 3 gas fireplaces and a gourmet eat-in kitchen. Constructed in 2005, the home has wood floors throughout, a large master suite, and a bonus room with office or bedroom potential. As spectacular as the inside of the house is, the outside offers its own perks. From the porch, new homeowners will be rewarded with gorgeous long-range, year-round views. For more views of this home, click on 39 Falcon Crest on Greybeard's website.

To get an idea of what's happening in the Buncombe County real estate market, look at Greybeard's real estate market statistics. The market has shown steady growth over the last year and indicates a strengthening of the housing market. It's a great time to buy into an incredible place to live. Browse through Greybeard Realty's residential listings and find your piece of paradise.

Asheville Realtor and Photographer Sighting in Wall Street Journal


Black Mountain Camp Available

Black Mountain Camp Available


Greybeard Realty agent Scott Russell and Asheville professional photographer Gary Leive had their names in a Wall Street Journal story about camps for sale across the United States. Russell, the agent listing the Black Mountain camp property, mentions the tremendous potential for the property, and Leive gets credit for the photos that appear with the story.

The property, featured in a Greybeard blog earlier this year, was built in 2002 as a faith-based retreat but could easily be converted into a primary residence. Built on 83 acres, the main building with numerous cabins occupies only a small portion of the land. Because of that, the property has plenty of room for further development.

For more information about the featured campground, please see 66 Great Aspen Way. If you've always wanted to move to the Asheville area and start your own business, this may be just the property you've been looking for. And if you have something a little different in mind for your next career, check out Greybeard Realty's commercial real estate listings and see what else catches your eye.

Asheville Area Residential Building Permits Rise

In yet another sign of a recovering residential real estate market, residential building permits for Buncombe County are up 21.1% for year to date. The statistics, compiled by The Market Edge, indicate a continuation of the upward trend that began last year for the Asheville area.

Residential Building Permits on the Rise

Residential Building Permits on the Rise

The Asheville area, which consists of 10 counties, increased 20.4% year to date over 2012 numbers. Buncombe County, which has a 21.2% year to date increase, had 368 permits of the 879 permits for the Asheville area. For 2012, Buncombe County had 613 residential building permits issued out of the 1,478 permits pulled in the Asheville region. While those are healthy numbers, they are still below the market peak numbers of 914 annual permits in Buncombe County of the 2,860 permits for the Asheville region that were recorded in 2008.

Still, the latest numbers indicate that 2013 should again be a positive year. If so, it would be the second consecutive year of increases in Buncombe County and the Asheville area residential building permits after three consecutive years of decline in permits pulled beginning in 2009. It's yet another sign that interest is increasing Asheville and its environs. Please check out Greybeard Realty's land listings and find that prime property you've always wanted. Add your residential building permit to growing number of permits in the area.

Black Mountain Land Tract Treasure

Finding a large land parcel for sale in a gated mountain community near Asheville is unusual. Finding a large land parcel in a gorgeous mountain setting with cascading streams on the property is priceless. Greybeard's listing, Tract 7 Winding Poplar, has limitless potential uses as well, from private estate to residential development.


Land with streams in Black Mountain.

Laurel Ridge land tract includes streams.


This Black Mountain property, located within Laurel Ridge, provides easy access and has numerous flat sites for easy home construction. And with its convenient location to downtown Black Mountain and Asheville, owners of this prime property will have access to all the local amenities with ease as well.

Within the 67 acres are large boulders and streams that give the property a natural mountain setting. Elevation ranges from 2500-3500 feet with varying terrain. Combine the untouched nature of the land with the easy accessibility to the property, and this land tract really does present a rare opportunity for the right buyer.

To appreciate this property, you really need to take a walk through it and see the incredible potential within the natural beauty. Greybeard agent, Scott Russell, would welcome a chance to show you this natural gem. Contact Greybeard Realty now to see this remarkable land tract for yourself.

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.

Decided to Sell? Declutter Before Showing Your Home.

It may seem as if the biggest decision was whether to put your home on the market to sell it.  In fact some of your more difficult decisions may come as you prepare your home to sell.  What do you need to have on hand in your home and what can you put in storage until your present home sells? Realtors agree that overcoming clutter is one of the biggest obstacles to selling a home.


Don't take it with you.

Reduce and remove before relocating.


Greybeard has a whole page on how to prepare to sell your home which you can check out the seller's tips page here. Perhaps the most challenging for many people is de-cluttering your home. Everyone seems to understand that a home should be clean and well kept. Successfully preparing your home goes beyond sweeping the floor, however. You really need to pare down and remove most personal items so that potential buyers can imagine themselves in the home.  That's really hard to do if the house if full of personal photos, including the ones in magnet frames on the refrigerator door.

And while you're in the kitchen, be sure to remove everything from the counter tops.  Put the small appliances out of sight and be sure to take any old, unusable food out of the cupboards.  Even if you've found the kitchen storage space to be limited, you need to create the appearance that there's more than enough room for the new owner's canned goods! And please don't just put the toaster into the coat closet.  Potential owners open closet doors.  Closets should be neat and organized, again giving the appearance that there is room for everything in the home. Are there clothes out of season or out of favor in the closets? Box them up, label them, and put them into storage. Just think, it's one less thing you'll have to do once the home sells and you're ready for moving day.

If it all seems overwhelming, choose one room at a time and really be thorough with that room.  Consider removing furniture and putting it into storage as well.  Do you need his and her recliners right now? Having less furniture in a room makes it look larger. While you're taking the other boxes to storage, take some of your furniture as well. Box up the knick-knacks that are meaningful to your family but clutter for new home buyers. And think about the fact that whatever you pack up, you will have to unpack at the new house.  Can you part with some of the items and perhaps donate them somewhere?

With the tracking we do, we know that the real estate numbers are improving in the Asheville market, you need an edge to sell your home more quickly. When preparing your home to sell, just remember that less is better, especially when it comes to furniture, personal items and photos, and items on the kitchen counter. And again, doesn't it make sense to downsize on some possessions now and reduce what you have to pay the movers to transport? All of your hard work prior to showing your home will make your own transition to a new place that much easier. So go out and get those boxes. And don't forget the sharpie markers to label the boxes.

Cool Times at Black Mountain Square Concert

Greybeard Realty often tells potential buyers in Black Mountain and other local communities to spend some time in the towns they're considering purchasing real estate in, perhaps attend an event. Tomorrow's Rockin' Around the Square Concert in Black Mountain, June 1, is one of those community gatherings that will capture the essence of this small mountain town.


Greybeard Realtor Rocks!

Greybeard Realtor Rocks!


Playing at the free concert will be the local band, The Hackbirds. This free event, from 2-4 pm on the site of the future Black Mountain Town Square, will have food and drink; all you'll need to bring is a chair or blanket to sit back and enjoy the music. The planned Town Square will be a community gathering spot that will include public parking, a market area, and open space.

We at Greybeard are particularly excited about the concert as The Hackbirds include Adam Johnson, one of Greybeard Realty's Realtors. A resident of the Black Mountain area for more than 10 years, Adam epitomizes what makes Greybeard Realtors and Rentals agents so knowledgeable. Adam attended Montreat College and is passionate about fly fishing in the area. It's hard to find anyone in the area more familiar with the vast outdoor activities available in the NC mountains.

So if you are looking at the Black Mountain area as a possible new home location, or if you just enjoy some fantastic music on a beautiful afternoon, come on over to the future site of Black Mountain Town Square. And if you're too far away to join us to hear the Hackbirds, we are sorry to hear that.  Don't forget you can check out the Greybeard Black Mountain Webcam anytime to see what you're missing in town.

Log Cabin Living in Western NC Comes to Life

Imagine a log cabin, four acres of beautiful land including pasture, two creeks and a pond all within easy access of Asheville. Now view the listing on our website for MLS #53995 and see that image in your mind become reality.


Special log cabin can become home of your dreams.

Special log cabin can become home of your dreams.


This well-maintained cabin in Fairfield has come on the market and offers its buyer a chance to experience an authentic log cabin experience. The cabin logs, more than 200 years old, originally stood in McDowell County but were moved to Buncombe County in the 1950s. In addition to the main structure, the property includes two outbuildings. The present owners have included some of the personal property, with specific exclusions, in the sales price.

This secluded cabin has two bedrooms and a fireplace. Sit out on the covered porch and enjoy the pasture land wildlife. It's away from it all but close to everything. To get a sense of the experience this unique property offers, check out the virtual tour of this property. After watching it, see if you can imagine yourself walking through the spotted sunlight among the tall trees on the property. Can you see yourself heading out through the screen door to sit on the porch rocker with your morning coffee? Is this the Asheville area mountain escape you've been searching for?

This or another Western NC log cabin can be your own mountain escape or may make a great vacation rental property for you to have until you're ready to retire and move in full time. It's an exquisite mountain retreat that fills many of the prerequisites for NC mountain vacationers. Contact Greybeard Realty to tour it and see if it is the home of your dreams.