Blog :: 2013

There's No Place Like Home, Especially in Western North Carolina

There's no place like an Asheville home, unless it's a Montreat cottage, or a Black Mountain cabin.  At Greybeard Realty, we have come to realize that it isn't all in the name.  When it comes down to it, what people really want is a special house in western North Carolina.

When searching for real estate for sale in the area, people often choose "Asheville cabin" as their search words, even when they want an elegant, four-bedroom structure in the middle of the city.  In fact, "Asheville cabin" is among the most searched keyword phrases for real estate in western NC. The on-line Merriam-Webster defines cabin as: a small one-story dwelling usually of simple construction. That word choice, then, is often correct for Asheville log cabins for sale. But it doesn't quite capture the essence of some of our larger houses, for example our listings of homes with 5 or more bedrooms.


A five-bedroom Montreat listing on Assembly Drive.

A five-bedroom Montreat listing on Assembly Drive.


In second place for most searched is "cottage," as in Montreat cottage, which again conjures up the image of a small, cozy structure.  A quick glance at Greybeard's Montreat listings, however, indicates that some of these western NC homes for sale are hardly small. Again, Merriam-Webster defines cottage as: a usually small house for vacation use. The definition does match some of our Asheville vacation homes for sale.

And how about an Asheville home? Merriam-Webster defines home as: one's place of residence. Well, that may be true for some of our western NC listings, but what if someone is looking for a vacation home for sale to buy now for a later Asheville retirement? Does that still qualify as one's residence?

If all of this conversation about residential words has your head spinning, don't panic.  For the best results of houses, homes, cabins and cottages in western North Carolina for sale, simply go to our Asheville real estate advanced search option, enter the criteria you're seeking, and hit search. And as always, if you want the one-on-one contact with a Greybeard Realtor, please contact us. After all, to paraphrase a famous bard, "a home by any other name is still a home".

Black Mountain Arts are Rockin'

If you want to explore the flavor of a particular western North Carolina community prior to purchasing a home, there may be no better way than hitting a few arts and craft festivals to see what each NC mountain town has to offer.  Whether it's a Montreat cabin, a Black Mountain home or a mountain vacation rental for sale that you are looking for, you will have a better idea of how each town feels just by walking the streets and viewing the area culture.


Rock out to the fantastic culture of western NC

Rock out to the fantastic culture of western NC


The idea came to mind Friday night while strolling through Black Mountain at the Blue to Black Art Weekend.  This event, aptly named because it stretches from the Blue Ridge Parkway through Asheville all the way to Black Mountain and then Old Fort, runs all weekend.  It concludes on Sunday, May 6, with another gallery stroll from 11-5.

The Black Mountain gallery AnTHM is participating, and there isn't another spot that offers such a selection of eclectic art to let you see what is really happening in the culture of the area.  If you can't make it this weekend, consider checking out the next Black to Blue art Weekend October 10-13th, 2013.

So if you know you're ready to buy an Asheville area house, start looking in all the right places. Check out the Greybeard Calendar for upcoming arts and craft events such as LEAF and get the true feel. In the true spirit of "try before you buy", why not select a convenient weekend and rent an Asheville cottage. Greybeard Rentals has a complete listing of available homes. For more information about specific communities and the homes available in the area, contact Greybeard Realty.

Upbeat Living in Downtown Asheville

While much is made about the outdoor adventure activities in the area, there's also a lot to be said about the city life available to those people living in downtown Asheville. With its eclectic arts scene and its various and varied dining spots, Asheville city residents have the experience of city living in a very tranquil, mountainous setting.


City life in Asheville means eclectic arts and dining options.

City life in Asheville means eclectic arts and dining options.


One highlight of the Asheville arts scene is the River Arts District, a historically significant area along the French Broad River.  This unique area of Asheville with its turn-of-the-century industrial buildings is home to more than 165 artists. Asheville home owners in the area can enjoy the open studios and sample the local fare at restaurants including 12 Bones, a favorite of President Obama during his Asheville visits, and the Wedge Brewing Company whose website proclaims "Beer is Art".

In addition to the River Arts District offerings, Asheville boasts a fine collection of book stores including The Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar. This book collectors' dream store specializes in book about North Carolina.  And not only that, but the store welcomes well-behaved dogs to come in and have a look around with their owners as well.

Living in the heart of Asheville has its advantages.  For more information about homes for sale in the Asheville area or any of our houses for sale in Western North Carolina, please contact Greybeard Realty.

Buncombe County Home Sales Numbers Building


Homes Sales are Building

Homes Sales are Building


First quarter numbers for home sales in Buncombe County are in, and the real estate market momentum seems to be building. While the most recent numbers are not back to levels of the peak market times in 2007, the solid numbers seem to lay a firm foundation for continued real estate growth in the Asheville area.

Of particular interest is the 28% increase in the number of homes sold for the first quarter of 2013 as compared with the same period last year.  While the 2013 average price is down slightly (4%) from the similar period in 2012, total sales volume has increased county-wide by 22% this year over last year's volume.

Black Mountain had a smaller increase in number of homes sold for this quarter, an increase of 1 unit over 2012 first quarter homes sold. In addition, average price in Black Mountain has not held as steady as the average sales price has county wide. The combination of these two elements has led to a decrease in total sales volume in Black Mountain. Before anyone draws any significant conclusions about the small decline, however, one has to be careful as the amount of data available is fairly small.

These most recent statistics of the real estate market in the Asheville area indicate that interest in homes in Buncombe County and in Black Mountain is climbing.  A very close analysis points to an interesting trend in Black Mountain in particular.  In the last four years, first quarter home sales every other year have shown very strong growth with a slight slip the following year.  It's sort of the idea of one large step forward, one little step back. This year is slightly down from last year, which was a very large increase from the previous year.  That being the case, if that trend holds true, it is anticipated that next year's growth could be another big step.

Another interesting point is one that is supported by these numbers but also has been presented anecdotally by fellow Realtors in the last few months.  The housing supply in the Asheville area is shrinking.  In Black Mountain, the number of units on the market for the 2013 first quarter is 128, a decrease from 132 on the market for the same period in 2012. County-wide, the drop in homes listed is even more dramatic. The number of homes on the market has decreased in Buncombe County by 10% for the first quarter of this year, as compared with last year.  And area Realtors are beginning to notice.  While several years ago there seemed to be a limitless supply of homes to show potential buyers, now, area Realtors are commenting that there are fewer and fewer homes to show.  This tightening of the housing supply could lead to a price increase over the next year.

In addition to these positive signs for future market growth, it is always important to take into account the seasonal nature of the area real estate market.  As the weather warms, more people come out to find their dream home in the area.  Given the trend toward area real estate growth, it is probably a good idea for anyone ready to sell their home to take advantage of the warm weather as well.  This quarter could be a good time to take advantage of the good weather and get a house market-ready and listed. As Greybeard Realty heads toward the area's busy real estate season, the Asheville housing market could benefit from having a few more good houses listed.

Discover the Magic of Montreat Mountain Homes

Drive through the old stone gate, and you enter into Montreat magic. Founded as a mountain retreat, thus "Mon-treat", more than a century ago, Montreat has a simple, peaceful quality of life. It does not have a traffic light or a McDonalds.


Enter the gate and discover the magic of Montreat

Enter the gate and discover the magic of Montreat


Owning a Montreat mountain home means having access to multiple mountain trails, creeks and woodlands. Located in eastern Buncombe County, this secluded community features narrow winding roads that curve the contours of the mountainside. Pedestrians utilize neatly-kept paths that also follow the natural lay of the land. Roads and pathways converge at Lake Susan, home to the Montreat Conference Center and Montreat College.

Greybeard Realty's Montreat listings include a range of properties from a small home nestled near the mountain top to undeveloped land in a prime location.  Montreat, surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, makes a wonderful retirement community and is an ideal vacation rental property location.  And if you want to settle at the foot of Greybeard Mountain and raise your children, you can take advantage of the strength of the Buncombe County education system for schools.

Greybeard Realty has more information about this quiet mountain community and other Asheville area mountain communities, please contact one of our Greybeard Realtors. Or rent a Montreat rental cabin this summer and see what Montreat magic means.

Steadfast Realtor in a Changing Western North Carolina Real Estate Market


Greybeard Realtors understand western NC real estate.

Greybeard Realtors understand western NC real estate.


When Janet Randolph became a Realtor in the Asheville area nine years ago, she noticed that people wanted large homes perched on the North Carolina mountainside.  Nowadays, she's noticed a shift.  People still want homes in western North Carolina, but now they want smaller homes located right in smaller towns like Black Mountain.

Janet, who brought her NC real estate expertise to Greybeard Realty almost three years ago, epitomizes the type of Realtor Greybeard has.  She is focused, knowledgeable about real estate trends in western North Carolina, and very committed to the area.  Originally from Texas, Janet fell in love with the area.  "The friendly people and the beautiful mountains stole my heart," she notes.

At present, Janet has two particular listings of interest.  Swannanoa NC 80 Green Forest, with its southern exposure, has a nice flat driveway yet offers incredible valley views.  Located on more than 14 acres, this property was once part of the Davidson family post Revolutionary War land grant.

Black Mountain NC  1585 High Rock Acres is a cozy mountain home that provides views of Mount Mitchell and the NC Parkway.  With an artist studio located above its two-car garage, this ideally-located property has a recent home inspection available already.

To check out these properties or any of Greybeard's other Western North Carolina homes for sale, please contact Janet or any of Greybeard's Realtors.  Like Janet, our other real estate agents all have a commitment to western North Carolina and have a special place in their hearts for the area.  Come see what Greybeard can do to help you find the NC mountain home of your dreams.

Greybeard Reaches A Milestone; Is it Time For Your Asheville Retirement?

If buying an vacation cabin now for a later Asheville retirement is on your to-do list, you may appreciate knowing that Greybeard Rentals, the rental arm of Greybeard Realty, just passed a major milestone.  Greybeard, a home-grown company that only lists homes they would like to rent themselves, just surpassed the 30,000th reservation mark.


Retire or retreat, Asheville can't be beat.

Retire or retreat, Asheville can't be beat.


Greybeard Rentals has received recognition for its fine quality property management and strives to prepare each Asheville rental cabin with meticulous care for its guests.  Prior to each new guest arrival, each rental home is given a personal inspection to ensure it is in pristine condition.  To welcome each guest, Greybeard Rentals leaves a loaf of freshly-made pumpkin bread. Their commitment and attention to detail are only one aspect of Greybeard's property management plan.

So, why would a real estate buyer want to know this information?  First of all, as noted before, renting an Asheville home is a great idea if you are considering buying a home to help you assess each community's assets.  In addition, if you have been thinking about buying a home in Asheville for retirement later, now could be a great time to do so.  As these Asheville real estate market statistics indicate, the market is solid and headed upward. It's a great time to consider buying an Asheville home.

So why does it matter that Greybeard Rentals has reached this milestone? It shows that Asheville renters appreciate Greybeard's quality rental homes. And it may just be the impetus you've been looking for to head on up this way and buy a piece of property in the happiest city east of the Mississippi.  Come see what 30,000 other renters have already come to learn:  Asheville and its environs are a great place to be.

For more information on renting an Asheville home or to speak with a member of our property management team, please contact Greybeard Rentals.  And if you're ready to invest in your own Asheville home, then contact Greybeard Realty.


Create Your Dream Business with One of Two Asheville Commercial Properties

If you've been scheming about finally opening the business of your dreams, one of these commercial properties in Asheville could just fit the bill. Perhaps you already have a successful business but need to expand your office space.  Or maybe you want to start a second, auxiliary business of a more seasonal nature.  You will want to check these properties out.


Asheville Commercial Properties Like This One Can Fulfill Dreams

Asheville Commercial Properties Like This One Can Fulfill Dreams


The first, 101 Black Mountain Ave., is an historical gem with incredible possibilities.  Think office space, retail property, condominiums or dining establishment.  This historic brick building that still has the original hardwood floors from its 1902 construction could satisfy any of those business plans.  With new HVAC and plumbing systems and off-street parking, this building will appeal to anyone with a discriminating eye for architectural excellence.

Greybeard's 66 Great Aspen Way has potential as well, just of a more seasonal nature.  This summer camp facility, built in 2002, has a large main activity building including storage, office and a kitchen as well as a large area of covered deck. The 12 independent cabins with covered porches are all in proximity meaning that much of the 83-acre property site is available for expansion.  And best of all, the property adjoins more than 4,000 acres of watershed/conservation land.  With its recent price reduction, this property is ideal for someone thinking of starting a seasonal business.

So if you're firmly established in the Asheville business community and looking to expand, come look into these properties.  Or if you've vacationed in Asheville and dream of relocating to the area and opening your own business, then contact Greybeard Realty and find the commercial property to make that dream a reality.  These could be the properties you've been looking for all this time!

Get the Asheville Area's Flavor by Renting a Cabin Before Buying

Buying a home in Asheville requires understanding the area and appreciating the various communities that make up our real estate market.  One great way to experience the Asheville area is to rent a home within one of the communities and venture out from there to explore what the area has to offer.


Follow your own path to an Asheville real estate purchase.

Follow your own path to an Asheville real estate purchase.


At Greybeard Rentals, we have listings for numerous rental cabins in western North Carolina, including Asheville and Black Mountain.  In addition, you could opt for a rental cabin in the village of Cheshire or  Laurel Ridge to see if one of these communities feels like the place for you.  Our home-grown realty firm is comprised of agents and staff with North Carolina connections, and you can contact any of one of us to gain our perspective on the value that each community offers.

Another way to get a flavor of the area is to explore Asheville dining options and to investigate Greybeard's Calendar of Events which will let you see what life in the greater Asheville area is all about.  On Greybeard Rentals' blog, we strive to cover aspects of Asheville adventuring that may help you make a decision on where to settle in the area.

Some recent posts include picnic spots and hikes as well as great craft spots to visit. Included, also, is the strong microbrewery market which can be a draw for some folks. Also, Greybeard's Guest Services Division offers many vacation packages, including an Asheville Outdoor Adventure Package, which lets you experience the outdoors of the town.

If you aren't sure a one week stay will do they area justice, then consider a long-term rental cabin which will let you really settle in and explore.  And if retirement is your ultimate goal, then rent a home and take advantage of one of the retirement workshops offered locally.  And we have numerous Asheville vacation rental cabins for sale  if you want to buy now and settle later.  Contact Greybeard now and come give Asheville a try.

The Research is in on Asheville: Come on; Get Happy

If you need one more reason to invest in Asheville real estate, a recent study may just provide you with that extra incentive.  A recent study by a University of Vermont mathematician ranked US locales by using  a happy meter, and Asheville landed in the top 10.  Not only was Asheville in the top ten, but it was the only city east of the Mississippi to make the top 10.


Study proves Asheville is happy place!

Study proves Asheville is happy place!


By using a device called a "hedonmeter", analysts considered national tweets and noted the number of happy words used by residents of different areas.  In fact, all they needed was to take a trip to Asheville, and they could have experienced the goodness of the town firsthand. In fact, the recent study was only the latest recognition of Asheville as a great place to live.  Even President Obama got into the conversation recently when he noted he and Michelle would like to consider living here after the White House.

One option to discover Asheville's charms firsthand is to take advantage of one of Greybeard Rentals' long term rentals which lets you sample retirement before you settle in.  If you want, you can look into Asheville vacation homes and invest now for your future retirement.  If you're thinking about moving here while still raising children, you will want to check out our school report blog.

Regardless of your level of readiness, it's always a good time to check out the Asheville real estate market.  As our economic statistics indicate, the Asheville real estate market is on the upward track. For more information about buying a home in Asheville contact Greybeard Realty.  And head on up here and check out Asheville; Come on, get happy!