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!

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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.

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Year Round Long Range Views

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 carol@clayteamrealestate.com

 

September Market Update

Homes and land sales continue to be higher than the same time last year, especially homes. In 2013 280 properties sold compared to 313 this year and we attribute that to two things – great mortgage rates and price adjustments. In 2013, a look at homes listed year to date show a median price of $314,500. During the same time this year, the median price range had dropped to $279,000. (Note: any average or median price range can vary significantly due to very high end properties in our market) The greatest number of homes sales continue to fall where they have the last several years and that is under the $350,000 price range. Land sales are also slightly ahead of last year and prices continue to adjust. As we go into the fall months, if you are considering buying land, this is a good time of year to do it. The temperatures will be cooler and as the leaves start falling, it’s much easier to see the land and surrounding properties.

For a complete breakdown of the market and a more detailed looked at the various price ranges, sign up to receive our FREE e-newsletter. It’s chock full of information about the Brevard NC area as well as the most up to date information about our market. Sign up today!

 

 

 

Unlocking the Secret Code of Realtors

I’ve been working with a great young couple who have uncovered the secret code of Realtors.

They will be relocating to the Hendersonville, NC area and have taken a very active role in their search by doing a drive by on every home they want to see. Not only does this save me valuable time, it helps them understand the various communities so they can narrow in on exactly where they want to be. The fact that they are incredibly tech savvy and can find any location on their phone or Ipad…and get there… has been a bonus. When we go out to look at homes together, they have already scoped out the area and are ready to take a closer look.

Along the way they commented that they are learning to read between the lines and interpret the true meaning behind the words and phrases some Realtors employ when describing a property. Here are a few of the highlights that we’ve uncovered during several of their now famous drive bys:

“Serene pond” – Translation: Stagnant body of water. After one particular visit on their own, they described this “serene pond” to me in terms of the murky color, the strange smell, and the zombie fish moving slowing through the still water. We surmised that they were probably preserving their energy because of the lack of oxygen in the water which made us all kinda sad for the fish.ZombieFish

“Private wooded setting” – Translation: You better pack a lunch. If you live in an urban area, a “private wooded setting” may describe a property with some trees and something slightly more than a half an acre. Here in the mountains, it can mean something quite different and you better be prepared for anything. It could mean, just as it sounds, a nice home on a wooded lot surrounded by nature. Or, it might mean you better have 4WD and be able to navigate a steep gravel road deep into the woods where all the neighbors have four legs.

“Unique floor plan” – Translation: The opposite of open floor plan. I’m always leery of any description that includes the word “unique” unless it is accompanied by a picture to explain it. Otherwise, it leaves far too much to the imagination.

“Dine al dente” – Translation: ??. I actually saw this on a listing the other day.
If you are a fan of Italian food you probably already know that “al dente” describes the desired texture of cooked pasta. It literally means “to the tooth”. Perhaps this agent meant to say “al fresco” which means a casual form of dining outside. We may never know for certain, though.

“Creek on property” – Translation: There is some water on the property…somewhere. Finding land with a bold or even quietly babbling creek is a dream for many of our buyers…and I don’t blame them. It’s a very desirable feature. The question is “where” on the property. Is it by the building site or do you need repelling gear to get to it. If you are a buyer, this is where you really need an experienced agent who is willing to get their boots dirty helping you locate the creek.

My intention here is certainly not to disparage my fellow Realtors. When we list a property, it is our job to frame the home or land in the best possible light, highlighting the best features, minimizing the less desirable ones. You have to admit, though, that sometimes a property’s description and what it is in reality can vary drastically and that can set a buyer up for a heap of disappointment. It’s just one of the many reasons why you need the help of a knowledgeable, experienced agent who can translate the code for you and cut through the fluff.

Like this couple I’m working with, today’s buyers are more informed than ever and often know a lot about a property before we ever meet. But no third party web site like Zillow, Trulia, or Realtor.com can ever replace an agent who is experienced and knowledgable about the area where they do business.

If you are buying or selling a home or land and would like some help deciphering and navigating western North Carolina, give us a call. We are full time, professional Realtors proudly serving buyers and sellers in Brevard, Hendersonville, Pisgah Forest, Asheville, and all the great little mountain communities in between.let's go somewhere

 

Cranberry Memories

Note: These days, as we begin the Christmas preparations in earnest, I find myself wondering how yet another year could have passed so quickly. In the last year, we’ve lost parents and gained grandchildren. We saw our real estate business go through the roof during a most unlikely market and we watched as the world around us changed in ways we never could have imagined. But, the Christmas season is filled with traditions that bring us comfort no matter how crazy the year has been. This post was originally written about this time last year, but like the childhood ornament that is hung on the tree every year, or the traditionally reading of the Christmas story, some things just bear repeating. 

There are few things that conjure up memories of my childhood quite the way cooking does. The simplest things like the smell of bacon cooking in the morning or the perfect summer cantaloupe takes me back to my grandmother’s kitchen in Pine Island, Louisiana where I spent some of my summer vacations as a child. This time of year, though, I wait anxiously for fresh cranberries to show up in the grocery store so I can make my mother’s cranberry bread.  It has been a seasonal tradition in my family for as long as I can remember and now, every loaf I make reminds of those times spent in the kitchen with her, watching and learning, but most of all just being with her.

When I was little, it was my job to go through the bowl of fresh cranberries and discard any that were soft or bruised. Once my mother knew I could handle a knife without severing a finger, I graduated to cutting the cranberries in half and to this day, I remember asking her to help me whenever I had to decide if a particularly large one needed to be cut in half or in thirds.  There was no way I could have known then just how important her guidance and advice would be to me in later years when there was more at stake than a couple of cranberries gone bad.

As the years went by, the smell of cranberry bread baking in my mother’s kitchen came to mean it was time to put extra leaves in the dining room table where they would stay until after Christmas because my brother would be coming home from college. In later years he’d bring with him his new wife and I would bring my husband. Eventually our numbers grew some more as the children came along and the holiday season took on a whole new meaning. But just as it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without turkey, it wouldn’t have been Christmas morning without my mother’s cranberry bread.

So much has changed since then. Today we count calories and fuss over fat grams so the meals I grew up on like pot roast and mashed potatoes, the ones that can still bring back memories, are few and far between. And, like most families, parents pass on, children move away, and the world we live in bears little resemblance to what we knew as children. Perhaps that is the reason why certain things from our past ring with such resonance. They remind us of who we are and where we came from.

So today I made this year’s first batch of cranberry bread using the original recipe written in my mother’s handwriting on a card now yellowed with age. For me it’s the official start of the holiday season. I can’t begin to recall how many loaves of cranberry bread I’ve made over my life time, but every time I pour through a bowl of fresh cranberries, looking for the ones that won’t make the cut, I think of my mom and all the holiday seasons that have come before. And just like last year and the year before that, with every turn of my wooden spoon I will be reminded that this annual ritual is more than combining a few simple ingredients to create something delicious. It is a connection to my past that fills my kitchen with familiar smells and my heart with sweet memories.

2011 Market Report – Brevard, NC Real Estate

2011 is now just a vision in our rear view mirror but before we get too far down the road and into a new year, we wanted to give you a brief look back at the local real estate market here in the Brevard, NC area and the various ups and downs that happened during this past year.  There is so much on the news about real estate (and don’t we all wish for a speedy and full recovery!) but real estate is a regional, even local issue so here is what has happened here in our back yard.

So which way did the market go? The good news is the number of residential sales in our area was up for the second year in a row. There were 308 single family homes sold in the Brevard area during 2011, up by 20 over 2010 and up by 66 over 2009. The average list price was $281,000 which is about a 4.5% decrease compared to 2010 and the average selling price was $247,000 or roughly a 7% drop. The bulk of sales for the last two years has consistently been in the $100K-$300K price range.  We are still a long way off from the “rock and roll” days of 2006, and we may never get back to those days, but at least these are encouraging signs and hopefully indicative of good things to come.

When the housing industry began it’s decline, it took over a year for us to feel the real effect here. And when it did reach us, the adjustments needed have not been as great as they have been in other parts of our country, primarily because our market was not grossly overpriced and “bloated” like other markets.

The one area that has not shown signs of snapping back quickly is in land sales. That segment of the market is dramatically different than it was back in 2006. As such, it’s a difficult time for sellers, but a very good opportunity for buyers who are interested in buying land, even if it’s to hold onto for the future.

For a closer look at all the numbers, visit us at BrevardNCProperty.com, or give us a call at 828-551-6291.