It’s Apple Season

It’s Labor Day weekend and that means one thing here western North Carolina. It’s apple season! And what better way to kick off the season than an Apple Festival.

The North Carolina Apple Festival is held in downtown Hendersonville, NC.  It starts today and runs through September 1. The festival has been celebrating all things apples for more than 60 years for a reason.  Apple growing has been a part of the agricultural make up of the area since the 1700s. Today there are over 200 growers in the area and the crops bring in an average of $22 million dollars a year. North Carolina is the 7th largest producer of apples in the US and 65% of the apples are grown in Henderson County.

Here are a few fun facts about apples that you can ponder while you’re pie is in the oven:

  • It takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider.
  • Apples account for 50 percent of the world’s deciduous fruit tree production.
  • The old saying, “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away.” This saying comes from an old English adage, “To eat an apple before going to bed, will make the doctor beg his bread.”
  • Don’t peel your apple. Two-thirds of the fiber and lots of antioxidants are found in the peel. Antioxidants help to reduce damage to cells, which can trigger some diseases.
  • The science of apple growing is called pomology.
  • Apples have five seed pockets or carpels. Each pocket contains seeds. The number of seeds per carpel is determined by the vigor and health of the plant. Different varieties of apples will have different number of seeds.


Hendersonville is located in western North Carolina, just south of Asheville and east of Brevard.  With a population of approximately 110,000, it’s small enough to have that small town feel, but large enough to have all the conveniences you’re looking for.

If you like more information about the real estate market in Hendersonville or the surrounding areas, drop a line at! We’d love to hear from you.


July 2016 Market Report


3400 East Fork Road – Home, guest apartment, and 21 acres. Click here for details.


We saw a significant jump in residential home sales in Transylvania County during the month of July.  A total of 63 single family homes/condos sold this month compared to 55 this same time last year.

The “sweet spot” of our market continues to be the $150,000-$250,000 price range. Last month, 24 of the total sales were found in that range, followed by 13 sales under $150,000 and 12 over $250,000.  The market continues to be on track for record breaking numbers. So far, we are already roughly 10% ahead of the sales in the prior year.

Land sales were up by only one sale, but year-to-date, sales are still lagging behind last year.

For more information about the real estate market in our area, give us a call at 828-551-6290 or 828-551-6291.

$10.00 Holes and Other Thoughts on Gardening

My dad used to say you could grow anything. All you needed was a $1.00 plant and a $10.00 hole.  Translated, that means you don’t need to spend a lot of money on the plant; you just need to make sure the hole you dig for it is filled with quality soil. Both of my parents just knew how to grow things – there were always flowers in our yard and we always had a vegetable garden.
FamersMarketApparently the instincts and knowledge of how to grow things wasn’t passed down in my DNA.  Just this week I bought a basil plant, put it in a pretty pot with good soil and began dreaming about all the ways I’d cook with it. In only two days, my basil plant is wilted along with my optimism.

Thankfully, our area is chock full of people who DO know how to grow things and I can reap the benefit every Saturday morning at the Transylvania Farmers Market.  It opened for the season a couple of weeks ago and is open every Saturday from 8:00 am – noon.  A wide range of local farms are represented, including Pitch Pine Farm pictured here.  You’ll find all sorts of vegetables and herbs; dairy farmers with artisan goat cheese; and several booths sell farm fresh eggs. Then there are the artisan bakers, crafts people, and of course gardeners selling all kinds of plants that call out to me.  This year there are a couple of caterers with great food and most weekends there is music courtesy of local musicians.  Aside from the envy I feel as I go from table to table marveling at the gorgeous plants and vegetables, I know that what I’m buying is locally sourced, supports small farming businesses in our community, and that I can find a wonderful assortment of organic food that our local grocery stores don’t have (and probably never heard of!)

If you are in the Brevard, North Carolina area some Saturday, I encourage you to head down to the corner of Johnson Street and Jordan Street.  Be sure to bring your appetite and a big basket so you can carry home all the amazing goodies you’ll find.

Maybe I’ll see you there. It’s very likely I’ll be looking for a new victim basil plant.


March Market Report

2006 was, by any standard, a booming year for real estate here in the Brevard, NC area. Based on the first quarter sales this year, the market could meet or even surpass those 2006 figures.

Residential sales continue to be the strongest in the under $300,000 price range, but specifically, in the $150,000-$200,000 range. In this first quarter we have seen homes sell for asking the day the go on the market, multiple offers, and bidding wars that result in homes selling above asking. We have moved past the dark days of 2009 when our market bottomed out, so it’s exciting to see things moving from a buyers market to a sellers market.

What does this mean for buyers in that price range? Be ready! Be ready to go see a home the day it hits the market. Get pre-approved ahead of time. And be ready to pay closer to the asking price.

For sellers, it doesn’t mean you can relax and wait for buyers to come streaming through the door.

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.

Looking Glass Realty finished the year in the number 2 position for total sales in our Brevard market. Only one other firm sold more than than we did, but our small, seasoned group of brokers had more sales per agent than any of the other firm.  As brokers, the Clay Team took the 6th position out of 109 agents in the Brevard area.
We are excited about 2016 and look forward to helping more sellers get their homes sold….and to helping more buyers find their new home in the mountains.

January 2015 Market Report

It’s a new year and by all indications, it’s going to be a good one.  In the last few months we’ve found ourselves in several multiple offer situations and we’ve seen more and more properties closing at a higher percentage of the listing price which we believe is a direct result of sellers adjusting their prices to attract more buyers. The greatest challenge is for sellers in the $500,000- $750,000 price range. That price range has 64 months worth of inventory compared to 12 months for sellers in the $200,000-$300,000 price range. This is entirely consistent with the trend here over the last few years with the lion’s share of sales occurring in the $150,000 to $350,000 range. For buyers, this is important information because if you’re considering buying a home in that “sweet spot”, there is less inventory, more demand, and they typically sell around 95% of the asking price compared to 90% or less just a year ago.  It’s still a buyers market but that doesn’t mean it isn’t competitive and buyers with the best offers and best terms win out in multiple offer situations.  For sellers the best strategy is to price a home accordingly based on the condition, the location, and the overall market.

Land sales continue to limp along. Last month there were 7 land transactions compared to 8 that same time period last year.

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

2014 Year End Report

It’s the first week of January 2015.  For the most part, holiday decorations have been stored until next year and people are moving on and into the new year.  Before we get too far into this new year though, I’d like to take a look back at 2014 and what happened in our area this past year in the way of real estate.

For_Sale_StampResidential sales ended the year on a high note, showing a 19.4% increase in sales over 2013.  A total 486 homes sold in 2014 over 407 in 2013.  December itself was very active all on its own. In 2014, there were 51 homes sold compared to only 26 homes in 2013.

Look a little closer at the data and we find that the average list price in 2014 was $298,916 and the average selling price was $264,325. That tells us that homes sold for about 88% of the asking price. They were also on the market for an average of 253 days.  Unlike previous years, we saw more cases of homes selling quickly when they were priced appropriately and we also found ourselves in several situations where there were multiple offers.  In 2013, the numbers were a little different. That year, the average list price was $255,556 and the average selling price was $234,011 which calculates to about 91% of the asking price. But homes last year were also on the market 10 days longer than this year.  Are prices going up? It’s hard to say because our MLS includes the Lake Toxaway area where it is common to see million dollar or more price tags.  When those homes sell, and there have been a number that sold this year, it drives the overall average up.  Even so, the lions share of the homes that sold in Transylvania County this year continue to be $350,000 and less.

Land sales also saw a nice uptick this year. In 2014, 121 parcels sold compared to 112 the year before. The average list price this year was $117,072 with a selling price of $97,316 or 83% of asking. In 2013 the average list price was $145,947 and the selling price was $120,551 for about the same 83%.  Land listings are staying on the market longer which I believe is reflected in the lower average listing prices as sellers get more and more motivated.  In 2014 a listing was on the market an average of 480 days compared to 423 days in 2013.

So what’s ahead for us in lending?  According to Gina Breedlove, Mortgage Specialist at United Community Bank in Brevard, interest rates are predicted to stay low until the 4th quarter of this year and then predicted to go into the 5% range. At the moment, a 30-year fixed rate loan with no origination fee is only 3.875% at UCBI.

If you would like more information about the Transylvania County market, or details about the Henderson or Buncombe county markets, just drop us a line at or visit us online at