You aren’t dreaming….this property exists here in Brevard, North Carolina. The home and guest cottage are situated on 21 acres of mountain privacy with hiking trails and waterfalls that are only 15 minutes to town…or to some of the best fly fishing rivers in the southeast.
Author: Clay Team - Looking Glass Realty
February Market Update
The year is off to a stable start with residential sales. February sales were only one more than last year, but land sales actually exceeded this time last year. In February, 10 homes sold in the under $150,000 range, 7 were sold in the $150,000-$250,000 range, and 9 sold in $250,000-$350,000. The average days on market is still hovering around 255 days and properties are still selling for roughly 97.5% of the list price.
For a free monthly e-newsletter with more details about the market here in western North Carolina, drop us an email at email@example.com.
Lace up those hiking boots
With winter coming to an end, thoughts of getting outside are filling our heads. Native laurels will be in bloom soon and with the day time temperatures hovering comfortably around the 70 degree mark, staying inside just isn’t an option for lots of us.
For hikers and mountain bike enthusiasts this area of western North Carolina is ideal. DuPont State Forest, Gorges State Forest, and Pisgah National Forest are all right here, filled with hiking and biking trails, stunning views, and waterfalls. Transylvania County is known as the “Land of Waterfalls” for a good reason. With more than 300 waterfalls dotting the landscape there is no shortage of spectacular sights and hiking trails to get you there.
So how do you start? You could grab a bottle of water and a power bar and head out on your own, but it’s really better (and safer) to plan ahead. It’s important to have the right gear, of course, but it’s also important to understand where you are going and what you can anticipate on your hike. How long is the hike? How difficult is it? What is the terrain like? These are important questions to ask ahead of time.
To start your planning, I suggest you visit a website created by a friend of mine, Brenda Wiley. I doubt there is a trail she hasn’t hiked in this area and her website is chock full of great information. Another good resource is this website about the top 10 hikes around the Asheville area.
If you have considered relocating or buying a vacation home in Transylvania county or the surrounding area we’d love to hear from you! Call us at 828-551-6290 or visit us online at www.BrevardNCProperty.com.
What you need to know about radon.
Once a home is under contract, the inspection process begins. A typical set of inspections include the home inspection, septic, water, termite, and radon. Over the years I have found that most people get a blank look on their face when we start talking about radon. They’ve never heard of it, they don’t know what it is or where it comes from, and they don’t understand the health risks. So let’s go over the basics.
Radon is an invisible, odorless, tasteless gas that comes from igneous rock and it is considered the second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon levels can vary greatly depending on where you live, but in North Carolina we recognize the Surgeon General’s recommendation that a test reading should not exceed 4 pCi/l. In most cases, if the reading is over 4 pCi/l buyers will go back to the seller to request a mitigation system. Depending on the size of the home, access to a crawlspace, and other factors, a mitigation system runs about $2,000. While a reading of 4 pCi/l or less is the accepted level, it’s not uncommon to see readings much higher than that but those readings can be affected by several factors, including the weather. If a radon test result comes back unusually high, we recommend a second test. The tests are inexpensive and worth your peace of mind.
When a radon test kit is placed in your home, it’s extremely important that windows and doors remain closed during the testing period, which is usually 48-72 hours. If you are living in the home, it’s perfectly fine to come and go as you normally would but leaving windows and doors open will compromise the test results.
Radon mitigation is something any buyer should consider whether you are buying an existing home or building a new one. In our area most new home builders automatically include one in the building process, but not always, so be sure to ask.
Even if you aren’t in the market to buy or sell a home, it’s a good idea to understand radon and the risks associated with it. There are a number of good resources for in-depth information about radon, but this article from the Transylvania Times here in Brevard, North Carolina sums it up nicely.
(source: Transylvania Times, Brevard, NC)
January is National Radon Action Month and the U.S. Environmental Agency (EPA) encourages Americans around the country to test their homes for radon, the second leading cause of lung cancer.
Each year about 21,000 Americans die from lung cancer caused by exposure to radon. Testing is the only way to know if your home has an elevated level of radon. The U.S. Surgeon General and EPA recommend taking action to fix your home if the radon level is 4 picocuries per Liter of air or more. “Testing your home for radon is one of the easiest ways to help keep your family safe and healthy,” said Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “Radon exposure is preventable. Test kits are inexpensive and readily available. Reducing exposure protects families, saves lives and avoids the health care costs of radon-caused lung cancer. Everyone who takes action helps to make America’s homes and schools safer for future generations.”
Affordable do-it-yourself radon test kits are available online, at many home improvement and hardware stores and are easy to use. You can also hire a qualified radon professional. If your home is found to have a high radon level, a professionally installed radon reduction system, using a vent pipe and exhaust fan, will remove the radon from beneath your home and discharge it outside. These systems are affordable, especially compared to the risk of lung cancer.
Taking action to reduce your exposure to radon is a long-term investment in your health and your home.
A working mitigation system is a positive selling point for homes on the market ; in many areas a radon test is a standard part of real estate transactions. If you’re building a new home, work with your builder to include radon-resistant construction techniques.
Radon reduction strategies are included in the National Radon Action Plan, which was launched in November 2015 by EPA, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Health and Human Services and nine national non-governmental organizations. This partnership will help coordinate radon reduction efforts and resources with the goal of preventing 3,200 lung cancer deaths annually by 2020, through increased collaboration and consumer awareness strategies.
For more information on testing and obtaining a radon test kit, contact the state radon office at 1-800-SOS-RADON.
If you are buying or selling a home in western North Carolina, call the Clay Team today at 828-551-6290 or visit us online at BrevardNCProperty.com.
December 2105 Market Update
Welcome to the new year! What are your plans for the next 12 months? If they include buying or selling a home or a parcel of land, we would welcome the opportunity to help. We are actively seeking new sellers to meet the ever-growing buyer demand so if you, or someone you know, has a home they’d like to sell, please pass our name along or let us know and we’ll follow up.
The year 2015 ended on a high note for us, for our firm, and for the market. The market did well in 2015 with residential sales up 15% over 2014. Land sales are still slow, but that means there are a lot of good deals out there. In fact, if you are thinking about investing in some land, this is the time of year to do it…when the leaves are down and you can see the surrounding area better.
March Market Update
Along with blooming daffodils and tulips, spring signals the start of the real estate season here in western North Carolina. Memorial Day is when the starting gun fires, but in the month or so leading up to that is when we start seeing the activity starting to shift. Based on what I’m reading and the drum beat I hear among my fellow Realtors, 2015 is going to be a good year. Prices have stablilized, inventory is good, and mortgage rates are predicted to stay low.
This part of western North Carolina has seen a steady uptick for the last several years and it is still pretty much a buyer’s market. We have also seen more and more multiple offers on homes that are priced right and are good values which tells us that there is more competition among buyers.
So how did last month shape up? For home sales, March was a great month. Sales were almost double what they were in March of 2014. The bulk of sales occurred at $350,000 and under which is a trend that has not really changed in the last 3-5 years. Here are some more fun facts for you. In 2014 the average residential selling price was $229,240 at an average of 94.2% of the asking price. This year, the average selling price was $227,494 and 95.7% of the asking price. What this all means for buyers is that you may expect to be paying a little bit more as our recovery continues and you’ll likely pay closer to the asking price. It’s always difficult to explain to some buyers that the Transylvania County market isn’t languishing and this is no longer 2008 but we let the numbers speak for themselves.
While this sounds like a lot of good news for sellers, it’s important to remember that there is still ample inventory and that the competition is still strong. It’s just as important as ever that a home be priced for today’s market and that it be in the best repair for the price.
Land sales are still lagging behind. March was no different. There were only five sales last month and with the exception of one property, all sold for under $75,000. For buyers who are looking for good deals…you are in luck!
If you would like the complete Transylvania County Market Update, sign up for our FREE monthly e-newsletter here….or contact me at Carol@ClayTeamRealEstate.com.
It’s All About The View
When we first started talking about moving to North Carolina, I would have been happy with a little house tucked deep into the woods. But once we got here and I became more embedded into the area, I gained a better understanding of why homes with a view are so prized.
There is a lot to be said for a cabin in the woods and I’m not knocking it at all but there is just something about looking out the windows and seeing the mountains, the valleys, or the string of mountain tops strung together in a long range view. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you can find the trifecta and enjoy all three. Even with close in views, it’s mesmerizing watching the clouds rise up, seeing weather systems as they roll in, and it’s especially great to be able to watch the seasons unfold before your eyes.
That’s why I wanted to share two homes with you today. Both of these homes have spectacular views.
The first home is at 100 Sunflower Lane in Pisgah Forest Estates. It’s all one level living, has two workshops, and is perched on a point that gives you a wide view all the way to parts of South Asheville. And…it happens to include the jacuzzi!
The second property is 1037 Glen Cannon Drive, also in Pisgah Forest. This is an estate size home with over 4,200 square feet of living space. It has been recently updated with hard wood floors, a new master suite, and it has countless features that make it an energy efficient home to live in year round.
These homes are located just minutes from the beautiful mountain town of Brevard, North Carolina. If you’d like more information call me at 828-551-6290 or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Five Things You Can Do To Help Sell Your Home This Year.
Winter is just about over and most people I know are looking forward to the color and warmer temperatures of spring. It’s also about the time of year that people start thinking about putting their homes on the market. Typically, our peak season runs from Memorial Day through Thanksgiving. So, for anyone thinking about selling a home this year, now is the time to get serious about it. There are things that you can be doing now to maximize your chances of selling so when the season starts, you’ll be at the head of the class.
So where do you start?
What needs repair? Fix anything that drips, squeaks, or doesn’t work the way it should. It could be something simple like tightening up a loose door knob, repairing some screening, or figuring out why that one door always sticks. Other things like electrical and plumbing may require a professional. If you don’t think you can be objective enough, ask a friend to go around your home with you to help you see things as a potential buyer would. Take a walk around the outside of your home as well to see what may have been damaged during the winter months. Look for things like damaged siding, cracks in the driveway, loose or missing shingles on the roof, and peeling paint.
Are all systems a go? Make certain that your HVAC system has been serviced and in good working order. Check your water heater to make sure there are no leaks. Replace all filters.
Freshen up a bit. In most areas it may be too cold to paint outside, but if the inside of your home needs freshening up, this is a good time of year to do it. If you decide you want to repaint, keep it neutral. You may be mad for magenta, but your potential buyer probably isn’t. Clean your carpets and give your hardwood floors some love. Don’t forget the outside of your home. When temperatures are right, take a hard look at your decks and see if they could use a fresh stain or a coat of paint. Give your front door some extra attention too. A great many of us enter our homes through our garage and rarely do we enter through the front door so it’s an area that be easily overlooked. If it’s been a while, give it a fresh coat of paint or stain. Consider adding a seasonal wreath or fun door knocker for some interest. Replace that worn out door mat while you’re at it. Then when all those gorgeous spring flowers start showing up in your favorite garden center, create a pot or two to put by your freshly painted front door.
One thing I can’t say enough about is how important it is to have clean windows. I know. Cleaning windows isn’t my favorite thing to do either. But trust me when I tell you that cleaning your windows will make an enormous difference. While you’re at it, be sure to get rid of cob webs, dead bugs, leaves or anything else that has found a home on your sills, and don’t forget the screens. If you can’t reach your windows or simply don’t have the time, hire someone to do it for you. It will be money well spent.
Clear out the clutter. Face it, most of us just have too much stuff. As winter winds down, take stock of your closets and storage areas. Consider donating or disposing of anything you no longer need or haven’t used in the last year. Clutter is something that can stop a buyer in their tracks because they struggle to see the unique character of your home when there is “stuff” everywhere. Clutter is also a signal that there may not be sufficient storage….something most buyers covet.
Consider a pre-emptive approach. In North Carolina, once you enter into a contract with a buyer, they are given a period of time to do their “due diligence”. This is when they perform any and all inspections on your home. If there are lots of things that need repair it’s likely they will come back and ask you to make those repairs or provide them with a credit. One approach that some sellers take is to have a home inspection done prior to putting their home on the market so that any issues can be identified and taken care of ahead of time. The cost is typically $350-$500 or more depending on the size of your home. A licensed home inspector will identify issues with plumbing, electrical, HVAC, water leaks, termite damage, faulty construction and a whole lot more.
For more helpful tips on getting your home ready to sell this year, call the Clay Team at Looking Glass Realty in beautiful Brevard, North Carolina. Visit us online at BrevardNCProperty.com, or give us a call at 828-551-6290 or 828-551-6291.
February Market Report
By the time March rolls around, I’m ready for spring. I love winter and this year it was milder than expected even though we managed to have enough snow for a week or two to make it interesting and feel like winter. But now, I’m ready to see some daffodils and budding trees. I’m also ready to gear up for the buying and selling season.
The February real estate report brings us a good uptick in residential sales over the same time last year. In February 2015 there were 27 homes sold in Transylvania County compared to 19 the year before. That puts us only 2 homes ahead for the year, but we’re just beginning the traditional season for buying and selling so all indications are that we will have a great year.
While it may sound like a broken record, our “sweet spot” continues to be in the under $300,000 price range. Last month the lions share of homes sold in the $150,000 to $250,000 range. During that same time last year, the majority of homes sold in the $150,000 and under range.
As a general rule, we are seeing a settling out in prices. Sellers have adjusted to the fact that they may not be able to sell their homes for as much as they would like and buyers are beginning to realize that most sellers are not desperate and homes are priced fairly. For buyers, homes are selling somewhere in the range of 95-97% of the listing. To further reinforce the strength of our market, homes that are priced properly as selling more quickly and multiple offers have once again become part of the landscape.
Land continues to lag behind home sales. There were only 12 properties sold in February compared to 15 in 2014. There are plenty of fantastic opportunities for anyone wanting to buy land. The catch is the cost of building and the holding costs for the land.
If you would like more information about the Transylvania County market, sign up for our monthly e-newsletter. For more information about the neighboring markets of Henderson and Buncombe, just give us a call.
January 2015 Market Report
If you have been on the fence about selling your home, contact us for a FREE market analysis. We can show you how to price your home and what you need to do to attract today’s buyers. Buyers, ask us about how to receive regular updates on listings that fit your personalized criteria.
If you’d like to receive our monthly e-newsletter with the latest market information and things going on in the Transylvania area, just drop me a line at Carol@ClayTeamRealEstate.com.