Blog :: 2014

Asheville Receives Accolades as one of the Happiest Cities in US

Admit it. Being in Asheville just brings a smile to your face. Apparently, you aren't alone. Results of Conde Nast's Annual Readers' Choice survey announced this month indicates that Asheville is a top ten choice as the happiest city in the US.

Asheville recognized as special happy place.

Asheville recognized as special happy place.

In addition to citing the friendly people and incredible beauty of the city, the blurb announcing the award also notes the arts, farm-to-table fare and the local beer scene. In receiving the recognition, Asheville joins some other great cities including New Orleans, Telluride, and Charleston. This survey only confirms the data collected in a research study reported in Greybeard's blog that Asheville is a happy place. For those of us who call the Asheville area home, it brings great pride to get some national attention for the special small-town feel that exists here.

For anyone considering Asheville as a relocation spot, we encourage you to come have a look around. See our recent blog on the Asheville spirit and view the video link. For an additional overview, we have a brief description of Asheville on our website. But probably the best way to truly experience the happy phenomenon that is Asheville is to plan an Asheville vacation to see for yourself. Visit Greybeard Rentals to choose an Asheville area rental cabin. If you're ready to consider a move, browse through Greybeard Realty's Asheville listings. We're willing to be that just seeing the possibilities will bring a smile to your face.

See Asheville's Spirit for Yourself

Greybeard Realty tries to convey the special qualities of Asheville and its environs. In our blogs we talk about art, food, and outdoor activities. If you want to hear more of the same message from a variety of people, check out this YouTube video we ran across.

 

Asheville Drum Circle

Asheville Drum Circle

 

The video, first aired in 2009, shows the drum circle, a few local galleries and the gorgeous scenery around town. More than that, however, it also has the people of Asheville speaking for themselves about what makes this city so great. We can talk about Asheville's unique flavors, but there's nothing like hearing it from the people who live here.

If you've been thinking about making Asheville home, this video might just be what cinches it for you. And if you're not that familiar with Asheville and want to know more, consider renting an Asheville area rental to try out living here. Or perhaps you've been vacationing here and know it's where you want to settle. Please see our listings for western NC homes for sale. Isn't it time to get into the Asheville spirit?

Charming Black Mountain Cottage Comes to Market

If you've just spent an incredible week in a Black Mountain rental cabin and can't fathom the idea of leaving, why not buy? A charming mountain cottage has just come onto the Black Mountain sales market. With its convenient location and quality construction, 29 Rhododendron easily could become the home of your dreams.

 

Whimsical features give Black Mountain home charm.

Whimsical features give Black Mountain home charm.

 

While the 2 bedroom home is less than five minutes from town, it sits on a 1.03 acre lot in a quiet, private setting. It has an apartment/in-law suite downstairs and the potential for expansion by finishing the large second story area. Built in 2010, this beautiful house has special details that add whimsical charm, making it a unique home with high-end finishes. From the special railings on the entryway to the arched front doorway, this mountain cottage has character and charm.

As anyone who's visited knows, Black Mountain offers arts, culture, and a small-town community feel. Long known as the Front Porch of Western North Carolina, Black Mountain provides access to mountain hiking and numerous outdoor activities. To see more of Greybeard's Black Mountain listings or to learn more about 29 Rhododendron, please contact Greybeard Realty. Isn't it time to find a Black Mountain cottage where you have your own front porch?

Counting on Mid-Year Asheville Area Real Estate Numbers

The mid-year real estate sales numbers for Buncombe County are in and reflect solid growth for 2014. The housing market in the Asheville area continues to show steady gains with healthy increases across the board, and indications are that this positive trend should follow through the rest of the year.

Buncombe County

In Buncombe County, the number of homes sold increased modestly with 1616 units sold year to date in 2014, compared with 1597 units for the same period in 2013. Total sales volume increased 9% for this same period with the average price per home increasing 8% to $267,839. While these numbers are still substantially below the peak levels of 2006 and 2007, they represent a very steady trend that has been underway in the County for several quarters now. And at this rate, the market should be able to maintain this level of growth.

 

Rosy Swannanoa skies match area real estate numbers.

Rosy Swannanoa skies match area real estate numbers.

 

In addition to the sales numbers themselves, there are two other statistics that foretell future growth as well. First of all, the days on market (DOM) numbers are down since peaking in 2012. That number indicates that houses are selling a bit faster than they have. And the second number, the number of units on the market is down 4% in 2014 from the same period in 2013 which means supply continues to decline as it has for the last few quarters. That number has decreased each year since the peak in 2010. With that tightening supply, it is reasonable to assume that demand will be increasing for homes on the market as fewer homes are available.

Black Mountain

The Black Mountain market is a little more difficult to read. Because the number of units sold is smaller, it makes it more difficult to draw conclusions about trends. For example, the number of units sold year-to-date in 2014 is down only 1 unit from 2013 while total sales volume is down 5% year-to-date in 2014. The average price per unit also declined, a modest 4% to $207,336. And while supply tightened county-wide, the number of units on the market actually increased in Black Mountain, up 25% from last year to 146 units in June. These numbers will bear watching over the next quarter to understand more fully what is happening in the Black Mountain market. It is reasonable to conclude that the supply is increasing as homeowners have been waiting for signs that the market has improved which it has over the last few quarters.

Conclusion

Again, the solid numbers in Buncombe County should continue with the limited supply of homes on the market and the small but solid level of growth which should be sustainable for the foreseeable future. If you want to track the Asheville real estate market, check out our up-to-date market trends webpage. And for Black Mountain, it seems that patient homeowners who wanted to be sure the real estate market was on solid footing may have finally taken that step toward listing their homes for sale. It is anticipated that the Asheville area housing market should continue its solid march toward higher numbers over the next few quarters, at least. For more information about the Asheville area real estate market, please contact Greybeard Realty. For current sales listings, visit our western NC real estate listings.

 

Time to Step Out For Greybeard's Montreat Parade of Homes

Fourth of July means fireworks, cookouts, and parades. In keeping with our tradition of celebrating the occasion, Greybeard Realty again will host a parade of Montreat homes for sale. On Sunday July 6, a listing of varied homes will be open for touring, providing potential buyers with a chance to check out a great selection of what's available in the community.

 

Enter the Montreat Gate and discover the magic.

Enter the Montreat Gate and discover the magic.

 

For the uninitiated, Montreat is a small, historic town with walking paths, mountainous terrain, and a genuine sense of community. When you drive through the stone entry gates, you immediately see the special qualities living here offers. Whether it's the natural beauty of the rhododendron and Lake Susan or the sense of community visible at the creekside playground and the ice cream shop, the character of Montreat will draw you in. Perhaps you are ready to relocate your family to a small, safe community. Perhaps you grew up summering in Montreat and now you are ready to retire there. Or maybe it's time for a vacation home of your own after renting for years. Regardless, the Greybeard Parade of homes in Montreat allows you to see a large number of homes at once and really understand what's on the market now. Click on the link for a preview of all of Greybeard's Montreat homes for sale.

To begin the open house tour, you can stop by any of the houses featured in the parades, marked by Greybeard signs, 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. Step out and take advantage of this special celebratory parade.

Rumors Swirl Around an Obama Asheville Home Purchase

Rumors have begun to surface that the Obama Family have purchased an Asheville home for use after the President's second term ends. While the White House has not confirmed the news, it wouldn't be a complete surprise to those people who have followed the President's recent visits to Asheville.

 

Obama speaking during one of his Asheville visits.

Obama speaking during one of his Asheville visits.

 

When Obama visited Asheville in 2013, he hinted then that he and Michelle thought Asheville might be their next stop. As noted in Greybeard's blog post about that visit, he was partial to the people and the food in the area. And that wasn't his only trip to the NC mountains. In his 2011 campaign visit to Asheville, he spoke fondly of Asheville, as noted in another Greybeard blog. The most recent talk about the Obamas relocating to the area indicates a home already has been purchased, though again this hasn't been confirmed. Another point of discussion is whether the home would be a permanent home or a getaway vacation home. While some pundits favor a larger city like Chicago or New York for their permanent home, others point out the peace and solitude the whole family would find in the area.

Regardless of whether it's true, it's great to see the fine words about Asheville. While it's news that Obama might be becoming our neighbor, it isn't news that the western NC mountains make a great retirement location. Greybeard Realty has known about the good value of an Asheville retirement for a long time. As to the veracity of the latest rumors, we will keep an ear to the news and keep you posted when it's confirmed as true. And if you've been considering retiring up this way, it may be time to follow through. After all, chances are that an Asheville retirement has just received a Presidential endorsement.

Rent Then Own Your Own Montreat Rental Home

If you'd like to tryout a Montreat home before you buy it, Greybeard Realty has just the home for you. Sabbath Rest, recently highlighted in a Greybeard Rental blog, sleeps eight. And its convenient location an easy walking distance from Lake Susan allows its guests to really get a feel for Montreat and what's it's like to be a part of this small mountain community.

 

Special Montreat rental home for sale.

Special Montreat rental home for sale.

 

Sabbath Rest, recently listed for sale at Greybeard Realty, offers a unique opportunity for potential buyers. In this case, you really can try and then buy this home. With several outdoor spaces, a nearby creek, and a fully-equipped kitchen, this home is move-in ready. As mentioned in a Greybeard sales blog, trying out a town by renting a home there is a great way to get to know the character and feel of the community. And in this case, not only can you get to know the community, you can get to know the actual home!

The town of Montreat, just east of Asheville, is centrally located in the western NC mountains. Known by some as the front porch of the NC mountain area, Montreat has bike/walking paths, no traffic lights, and some of the finest walking trails in the area. With its proximity to Asheville, Montreat provides quiet, peaceful living with easy access to larger city life just 15 miles away.

If you want a chance to stay at Sabbath Rest for a week or so to see what it would feel like to be a Montreat homeowner, why not try this rental. If you've already been to Montreat and want a home that is ready to move into and has a rental history already, then contact Greybeard Realty. How often do you get a chance to try and then buy a Montreat home?

Western NC Real Estate Numbers Foretell Future Growth

2014 First Quarter Statistics

 

Housing prices building in western NC real estate market.

Housing prices building in western NC real estate market.

 

For the past few quarters, western NC real estate numbers generally have been positive. The first quarter numbers of 2014 continue to show that positive trend. As a matter of fact, for the first time, average home prices in both markets have ticked upward, a further indication that the real estate markets in Buncombe County and Black Mountain are on solid footing.

Buncombe County

Buncombe County total sales volume increased 4% from January to March in 2014 compared with numbers from the same time in 2013. At $169 million that number is still down 27% from the peak sales volume of 2007. The number of units sold decreased a bit, 4%, from 683 units to 658 units. At the same time, however, the average price increased 7% year to date over last year's numbers. It bears noting that the market supply continues to shrink. The number of units on the market, compared with the same time last year, are down a hefty 18%.

Black Mountain

Total sales volume in Black Mountain increased 9% compared with last year at the same time, more than double the increase seen in Buncombe County. And in contrast to county numbers, the number of units sold increased 7%, from 28 to 30 units. And for the first time in quite a while, the average price has increased, up 2% from last year at the same time. For some time, while other statistics have shown an increase, the average price has lagged behind a bit. This recent increase, though a small one, indicates that the solid market numbers appear to show an upward trend. Indeed, with the number of units on the market decreasing 12% in Black Mountain, this tightening of supply would tend to foretell a further increase in average sales price as our summer demand increases. To see what's available in Black Mountain, please see Greybeard's Black Mountain home listings page.

Conclusion

With the western NC real estate market numbers continuing to show positive signs of growth, it seems the overall market is on very solid ground. Perhaps the most significant numbers in both Black Mountain and Buncombe County statistics are the small growth in average price and the larger decline in units on the market. With the diminished supply, Greybeard Realty expects to see those average prices continue that upward tick. And in another sign of market strength, it seems important to note the sustainable level at which the markets are growing. With this slow, steady strength of market, the statistics indicate that western NC real estate has gained a very solid footing. To continue tracking western NC real estate statistics, sign up to receive our market news which is updated regularly.

Charming Black Mountain Bungalow

Greybeard has just listed a charming 3-bedroom bungalow in the community of Ridgecrest. Situated on a landscaped corner lot, this well-maintained home has a covered front porch and a back patio, enabling homeowners to sit outside and enjoy the quiet community.

 

A Ridgecrest beauty on a corner lot.

A Ridgecrest beauty on a corner lot.

 

101 Memorial Park Dr. has an open kitchen/living room plan with a hearthstone wood stove. With the master bedroom located on the main floor, this floor offers compact convenience. In addition to living space, the bungalow also features a separate 400 sq. ft. studio/office space as well as a storage shed.

Living in the Ridgecrest community enables homeowners to enjoy solitude and also have easy access to downtown Asheville and Black Mountain. And this well-maintained home with multiple upgrades means you can move right in. Come take a look at the property and its quiet outdoor living spaces. To make an appointment or for more information, please contact Greybeard Realty. For information about buying a home with us, please see our Greybeard Buyers webpage.

Sweet Swannanoa Home for Sale

Greybeard Realty's new listing, 15 Harrison Hill in Swannanoa, is a wonderful option for anyone wanting a bright, sunny home in a small mountain community. This 3-bedroom, 3 bath home has easy access to Asheville and Black Mountain. And as an added bonus, the home features a lower-level 1 bedroom apartment with a separate entrance.

 

Enjoy the quiet backyard of this Swannanoa home.

Enjoy the quiet backyard of this Swannanoa home.

 

Built in 1996, the spacious home has main-level living and plenty of natural lighting. With front and back porches and a 2-car garage, this home also has mature landscaping and a secluded backyard. The lower-level apartment is also bright and has a kitchen/dining/living area with a private laundry. In addition, the apartment has rental income potential.

Swannanoa, located in eastern Buncombe County between Asheville and Black Mountain, provides residents with easy accessibility to I-40. Nearby Warren Wilson College offers numerous arts and music programs as well. Check out Greybeard's Swannanoa listings for other local options. If you're getting ready to enter the buyer's market, you might want to look at Greybeard's Homebuyers' ABC webpage as well as the Market Trends which tracks local real estate statistics. For more information on this home or any other listings, please contact Greybeard Realty.