Tips For Hiking With Your Four Legged Friends.

Hiking is an extremely popular activity in the Brevard area. The Dupont State Forest, Pisgah National Forest, and Gorges State Park are all here in our backyard and they offer up great trails and spectacular scenery.

If you hike on a regular basis, you probably already know the basics….wear good shoes, take plenty of water, dress for the weather, pack a map, and always let someone know where you are going. In this part of western North Carolina there is the added advice to stay off of the waterfalls.  There are over 260 waterfalls in Transylvania County and they are all beautiful, but they are also dangerous and every year people die from venturing too far out. So when it comes to waterfalls, admire them from a distance, please.

What if you like hiking with your dog? What are some things to remember to make it a fun adventure for both of you?

Stay cool. Take plenty of breaks
It’s a lot easier for you to stay cool than it is for your dog. The only way dogs can stay cool is by panting. Give yourself and your pup plenty of opportunities to stop and sit in the shade, especially during the summer months. There are also vests that you can buy that help your best friend stay cool. You soak them in water and it cools your pet while he’s wearing it. While you’re out, watch your dog for signs of over heating like panting more than usual, lethargy, or vomiting.

HanesKeep the bugs off
Ticks can be a big problem for dogs, and they like to hang out in the tall grasses. Minimize the chances of getting ticks by staying on the trail.  Monthly flea and tick medicines will also help keep those little suckers off your dog. Don’t forget to check yourself and your dog for ticks when you get home.

Carry plenty of fresh water
That seems pretty logical doesn’t it. But there is another reason. Some pets may experience upset stomach from drinking water in rivers and ponds because of the naturally occurring bacteria.  If you live in an area like we do and you hike a lot or take your pets to rivers to swim, talk to your vet about a vaccination that combats any contamination found in the water. Let’s face it…wild animals also enjoy the rivers and animals will do what they do in the water and that can cause problems when the water is ingested by your dog. We have our three dogs vaccinated every year.

Consider a Bear Bell
If you hike with your dog off leash, consider outfitting him with a bear bell. It’s a bell with a small velcro band that you attach to your dog’s collar. That way, if they get out of your sight, you can still hear them.  The noise made by the bell is also a good warning to snakes and other wild animals.  Check your favorite pet store or outdoor stores like Cabela.

Bring the Benadryl
Bugs bite dogs as well as their humans and plants that can make you itch can also make your dog itch so pack some Benadryl for both of you. Check with your vet first so you know how much Benadryl you can give your dog and when to give it. Dogs metabolise the drug very differently than we do so it is important to know the right dosage for your dog.

The Brevard area is a terrific place for getting outside and enjoying all the great scenery and natural surroundings. So get out there with your best friend and have some fun!

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Ace, pictured here, is one of our three dogs that we have rescued over the last few years. He’s 97 pounds of pure love and the best real estate dog on the planet.

Above is our friend Hanes Hoffman and his best friend Hops. They spend a lot of time together on area trails. Hanes is also the owner  Bluewater Copper Works.

 

 

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Riverfront Cabin Near Brevard, NC

IMG_9648Bridge_peSMIt might be the feel of the smooth rocks under your feet and the cool mountain river water on a hot summer day.  Maybe it’s the peaceful view of the meadow and the mountains on the horizon.  Either way, spending time at this cabin makes you feel good about where you are. It’s as comfortable as your favorite pair of old jeans and has a great laid back way about it, making it the perfect place to create memories with your friends and family.

The cabin is located on the North Fork French Broad River in Pisgah National Forest in western North Carolina. It sits on 1.5 acres with over 120 feet of wide river frontage and it doesn’t take any imagination at all to visualize spending lots of time here.  Bring the whole gang when you come because there is plenty of room.  In addition to the master bedroom and bath on the main floor, the upstairs has an additional full bath and 19’x15′ bedroom that comfortably fits two queen size beds with room to spare.  A second space upstairs has bunk beds for an additional sleeping area.  Outside you’ll find plenty of room to stretch out and relax, plant a garden in the sunny front yard, sit a while on the wide front porch, or take a swim in the river. For even more fun on the river, you’re less than 15 minutes from one of the area’s best kayak and canoe rentals businesses.  Adventure out on your own, or ask them about their guided river tours.

This idyllic mountain cabin is being sold furnished. For more information, call us today at 828-551-6291, watch our video here, or visit us online at www.BrevardNCProperty.com.

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In Town Living in Brevard, NC

I wish I had a dime for every buyer who said “I want an in town home in Brevard”.  People just want to be a “townie” in Brevard and with good reason.  When you live in town you can either walk or drive a short distance to an amazing array of art galleries, cool shops, restaurants, fantastic bakeries, and of course all the essentials like grocery stores and health care. It’s a life style that is well suited for anyone who enjoys the feel of a small town like Brevard, North Carolina.

FrontCropThis home for sale is at 86 Southview Drive and it is a great choice for anyone who wants the experience of living in town but still wants to be near state and national forests including Pisgah National Forest, Dupont State Forest, and Gorges State Forest where they can enjoy the vast and varied outdoor activities that this part of western North Carolina has to offer.

The home is a 4 bedroom, 3 1/2 bath ranch with a split plan. The large master suite is located at the back of the home overlooking the back yard and features dual bathrooms. The are three additional bedrooms and baths, a spacious kitchen, and living room with a cozy fireplace adjacent to the dining room.  The lower level of the home is well suited as a play area, home office, or just extra sleeping space when unexpected company shows up. One of the most desirable features of this home is the large, flat back yard. It is fenced and includes a four season workshop. This heated and cooled space is perfect as an artist studio, a woodworking shop, work out area, play house, you name it!

Brevard, North Carolina is convenient to Asheville and Hendersonville and about an hours drive from the Greenville, SC area. In recent years, this part of western North Carolina has been recognized as one of the best small towns in America, one of the best places to raise outdoor kids, one of the best places to retire, and one of the best places for mountain biking and fly fishing.  For me, it’s just the best place to be and I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

Learn more about Brevard, North Carolina and this fantastic home with by visiting us today at BrevardNCProperty.com.  Or give us a call at 828-551-6290. We look forward to seeing you here in the mountains real soon.

Understanding Due Diligence

If you are buying or selling property in North Carolina you need to understand the ins and outs of Due Diligence.  It’s a wrinkle in the Offer to Purchase brought to us a couple of years ago by the good folks in Raleigh.

In the most general of terms, whether you are buying a home, a car, or a stock, “doing due diligence” is thought of as the time you do your research about whatever it is you are buying. But in real estate, it means a lot more and has real implications.
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Before the real estate commission changed our contract, an Offer to Purchase was usually contingent on a buyer getting financing and on inspections.  Typically a buyer and seller would agree that a buyer could bail on a contract if the buyer was unable to get financing with the terms they were looking for or if the repairs exceeded a certain dollar amount. The repair contingency was especially problematic. There was a list of things that a buyer could expect a seller to repair, but 99% of buyers ignored that list and asked for anything and everything. The seller wasn’t required to do the repairs…..but the buyer didn’t have to buy, either.

Today’s Due Diligence feature allows a buyer to bail out on a contact for any reason at all as long as they do it before a certain date, time being of the essence. 
Whereas the escrow amount is held in a trust fund and credited back to the buyer at closing, a due diligence fee is money that the buyer pays directly to the seller which they keep regardless of whether the property closes or not. But too many buyers agents don’t include any due diligence fee in the offer.  From a buyer’s perspective, this all means that if they wake up one morning and decide they don’t like the color of the house, they can decide not to buy it and they have nothing to lose. In today’s vernacular, they don’t have any skin in the game. Our Offer to Purchase was already a very buyer friendly contract and with this new due diligence feature it’s a love fest.  But for the seller…..not so much.

From the seller’s perspective, due diligence creates a number of challenges that favors the buyer and leaves a seller in a precarious position. It starts when the contract is signed.  The MLS status is changed to “In Due Diligence” and the home no longer shows up as active. Anyone doing a search would not see that the home is “technically” still on the market or that the seller would likely entertain back up offers so more than likely showings stop. Plus, the time frame for a buyer due diligence period is entirely negotiable. It could be two weeks for a cash deal….it could be 45 or 60 days. It’s whatever the two parties agree to. But here’s the catch for sellers.  They have no guarantee that their buyer will go through with the deal at the end of this due diligence period.  Meanwhile, their home is off the market, and their future is in limbo.

Recently an agent I know had her seller’s home under contract.  It was a 45 day due diligence period and as that deadline approached, the sellers moved all of their belongings out of the house in anticipation that they would be moving. The due diligence deadline came and went. A week before the closing, the buyers walked. Luckily this savvy agent had gotten a hefty due diligence fee written into the contract and the sellers received some compensation along with the escrow amount. It doesn’t always work out that way. In another case, involving a land purchase, the buyers wanted the seller to do a variety of things that cost the seller a good bit of money. The seller, moving forward in good faith did all those things. A few days before the end of due diligence, the buyers walked and in this case, there was no due diligence fee for the seller.

Some agents are also writing contracts where the due diligence period ends one day and the closing is the next.  Shame on any seller’s agent who allows their seller to accept this as part of the contract because it creates an impossible scenario. If you are a seller, how fast are you willing to move out, knowing that the deal may fall through. What if you do, and the deal falls through? Then there are the attorneys. There is title work to be done before a property can close and no attorney I know would be willing to do that before the due diligence period has run out and there is some reasonable expectation that the property will close.  Expecting a property to close the day after due diligence is simply ludicrous and no home seller should sign a contract like that.

For the most part, the NC Offer to Purchase does little to protect the seller and if asked, I would tell the real estate commission that they need to do more.  Why are sellers treated so differently than buyers?  If a buyer can bail out for any reason, then shouldn’t a seller have that same option? If the buyer can walk because they found a house they like better, shouldn’t a seller be able to walk if they find another buyer with a better offer? Frankly, I don’t think any party should have a carte blanche pass for walking out of a contract without a really good reason and without compensation to the other side.  I don’t know if a mandatory due diligence fee equal to some percentage of the offer price is the right idea, but it’s a place to start.  I’m sure the real estate commission thought they were making things simpler by eliminating the financing and repair contingency. In some respect they have, but at what cost to the seller.   In the meantime, if you are selling your property in North Carolina,  make sure you understand the implications of due diligence and how to protect your interests.