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Exemplary Service Places Mosaic Agents Among Top 100 Asheville Realtors

Asheville’s Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty proves time and again to be a team of top producers, with the latest recognition coming from Movement Mortgage’s annual Top 100 Realtors. While only 5% of agents in Buncombe County earned the distinction of Top 100 Realtors in 2020, 33% of Mosaic Realty’s agents were recently recognized with this honor.

Born and built in the heart of Asheville, Mosaic is a small firm with exemplary service, and we get big results. Mosaic’s intimate size and deep local roots offer the ideal mix of knowledge and personalized service that consistently places us among the top firms for sales per agent in the area. The firm’s team of 32 full-time agents is singularly equipped to meet clients’ needs, desires and criteria as they enter on their real estate journey.

Mosaic agents honored as 2020 Top 100 Asheville Realtors

Asheville Top 100 Real Estate Agents MosaicCongratulations to the following Mosaic Realty agents for earning the distinction of Top 100 Realtors from Movement Mortgage: 

Mike Figura

Alyssa Augustine

Eric Albee

Vanessa Byrd

Elizabeth Putnam

Megan Shook

Laura Moye

Bill Anderson

Trip Howell

Stacey Enos

Caley Bowman

A dedication to clients

Mosaic’s goal is to understand our clients and their needs; doing this means our agents can provide spot-on guidance to make informed decisions when buying or selling a home. Of course, besides handling the important real estate basics, Mosaic agents go above and beyond to make sure the homes and neighborhoods they match buyers with best meet their lifestyle needs and desires. 

Mosaic agents are trained communicators, and their first job is to listen to clients’ needs. They’re also skilled at keeping you informed during every step of the Asheville real estate buying or selling process. They’re adept at navigating real estate transactions with techniques that emphasize authentic communication and strong understanding of the process in a way that leaves all parties satisfied. They have gained a reputation in the Asheville market for facilitating positive results for their clients.

For information about how our knowledgeable agents can help you with real estate in Asheville, contact us at, or call us anytime at 828-707-9556.

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Solarize Asheville-Buncombe Initiative Eases Access to Solar Energy for All Homeowners

Solar Power Asheville BuncombeIf you’re a homeowner in Asheville, it’s becoming a little easier to equip your residence with solar energy, thanks to a brand-new community-based initiative. A coalition of local organizations is launching Solarize Asheville-Buncombe, a group-purchasing solar campaign that makes solar energy and battery storage more affordable to both homeowners and businesses. 

The City of Asheville and Buncombe County have adopted a community-wide goal to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy by 2042. The Solarize coalition – consisting of partners such as Green Built Alliance, Sierra Club WENOCA, Green Opportunities and Hood Huggers International – aims to assist in that goal by reducing barriers and cutting prohibitive costs to solar energy, thus helping both homeowners and businesses to more easily go solar and reduce the carbon footprint of our community. 

The Solarize initiative comes at a time when the Asheville green movement continues to gain traction among area residents and businesses, including early-adopter Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty. Mosaic’s commitment to green development and environmental stewardship is a pillar of the company’s philosophy. By calculating the company’s net carbon output and offsetting it by paying into local green energy projects, Mosaic proactively takes steps to address climate change and has become North Carolina’s first carbon-neutral real estate firm.

Solar benefits for all in Asheville-Buncombe

Going solar decreases energy and economic costs for homeowners, which particularly benefits low- and moderate-income community members. The Solarize initiative aims to create deeper cost reductions for solar energy for these community members via fundraising and financing; Solarize will also assess city data to prioritize community outreach. 

Solarize Asheville-BuncombeAnyone who owns property in Buncombe County can take part in Solarize Asheville-Buncombe. Its campaign model – based on a tiered “bulk”-purchasing platform – has found success in more than 300 communities across the country. The more people contract for their solar installations through the campaign, the more everyone saves. 

Unique contribution to equitable workforce

Solarize Asheville-Buncombe is the only program of its kind in the country that goes beyond solar accessibility to focus on equitable workforce development in the green energy industry and affordability initiatives. The group has established a partnership with Green Opportunities, an Asheville-based nonprofit committed to empowering marginalized communities toward sustainable employment. This partnership will help to open up jobs in Buncombe County’s green-energy sector.

Details on tiered pricing, equipment and energy tax credits are still being formulated. If you’re interested in learning more, or to sign up for a free solar evaluation of your property, visit

First image caption and credit: Green Built Alliance member SolFarm installs a 7.29 kW hybrid system on the Portwood residence, a modern solar-passive home in Weaverville. MARGARET HESTER PHOTO



Real Estate Agent Megan Shook Puts Passions to Work, and Advocacy, in Asheville

Megan Shook Asheville RealtorMosaic broker and North Asheville resident Megan Shook has many passions, which propel her both professionally and personally. While she works throughout the greater Asheville area, she’s particularly passionate about how the Beaverdam area of North Asheville offers the optimal balance of “city” and “country.” And as an ardent philanthropist, Shook spearheads AED advocacy and awareness, distributing life-saving defibrillators around Asheville, along with other philanthropic work in the area. Here, Shook talks about how she blends her passions and her career into one – and how Asheville provides the perfect setting for doing so.

Give a little background on your life, both personal and professional. What drew you into real estate? 

I was born and raised in Austin, Texas, and moved here in December 2006. Climate was a big draw, as was the fact that we have family in Asheville and in Knoxville, Tenn. So it was a nice area to be in for proximity to family and also to not force my husband, who’s from Ohio, to live in the Texas heat forever!

I had an opportunity to work with my uncle here in commercial real estate selling restaurant businesses and properties. I jumped at the opportunity as we really wanted to move to Asheville. I got my real estate license immediately when I moved here, just after completing my graduate degree in public relations in Texas, and truly enjoyed working with him for several years. When my second child was born and I was ready to start working again, I chose to go into residential real estate and have not looked back. I love the pace of residential and the camaraderie at Mosaic. 

Megan Shook Top 100 Asheville RealtorSmall-city living, philanthropy, and music: Megan Shook delights in Asheville

What do you love about Asheville? What are some of your passions, especially as they relate to life in Asheville?

We absolutely love raising our kids here. It’s been a welcoming community, and we’ve gotten to know a lot of families here through our kids’ sports and school. As someone who grew up in 1.5 seasons, you cannot beat the weather here. We love that we’re 2 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway. We live in a private wooded setting minutes to fun, bigger-city opportunities. Asheville is a very nice compromise for my husband and me. Where he would live in a tiny town and I would live in a big city, it provides the best of both worlds. 

One of my passions is music, and I’ve seen some amazing live concerts here over the years and look forward to many more. The music scene, the outdoors, the climate, the people, that’s why we’re drawn to Asheville and will continue to raise our kids here. 

Elaborate a bit on your AED advocacy: How was it born, and how have you advanced the cause in Asheville?

Megan Shook AED Donations AshevilleI joined Mosaic both for its marketing, and for its philanthropy. I could not be more proud of the work that we do annually as a company. Philanthropy has always been a big passion of mine with my family’s foundation, and one of the avenues I’ve taken is donating defibrillators around the Asheville area and in Texas in honor of my dad, who I lost to cardiac arrest in 2003 at 55 years old. I try to get at least one defibrillator into the Asheville community each year; past locations include the YWCA, the Chamber building, Haywood Street Church for their respite program for the homeless, the JBL soccer fields, Homeward Bound facilities, and a local gym because my dad died at a gym. That is something that I do every year in honor of him, and to spread awareness about their importance. 

Real Estate Agent Megan Shook knows North Asheville

What makes you a North Asheville-Beaverdam-area real estate expert? 

I’ve lived in Beaverdam since 2011 with my family. I also lived on the north side of downtown from 2007 to 2011, so I’ve always lived on this side of town. The majority of my business over the years has been on the north side and the east side of town, though I tend to work all over within 45 minutes of Asheville. My kids go to school in North Asheville, my community is North Asheville, and we absolutely love the convenience of where we live in Beaverdam, yet feeling like we’re out in the country.

The north side of town offers extreme convenience, where everything you would need in your everyday life is north of I-240. We have an abundance of grocery stores and awesome local restaurants. We have many parks and golf courses, and it feels very outdoorsy yet you are very close to downtown and to whatever you would need along Merrimon Avenue and Charlotte Street.

Megan Shook Asheville Real EstateI can definitely talk to clients about anything from schools in the area to retirement communities in the area. Our roots are in North Asheville – we’ve been here for almost 15 years, and we intend to be here for many more.

How do you stand out as a broker in the Asheville real estate market?

I’m very lucky that the vast majority of my business is repeat clients or referrals from past clients, something I’m very proud of. I have been a top 100 agent in this area for the last five years. My clients will hopefully tell you that I am a great communicator and am available for them throughout the day, every day.

I have a lot of experience in remodeling, so I have many great contacts that I’ve gathered over the years with different contractors in our area. As a family, we have remodeled many kitchens and homes and bathrooms. I’ve also worked to find the best inspectors, surveyors and attorneys to help the buying and selling process be as stress-free as possible. I think of myself as the assistant to my clients, just trying to help the process run as smoothly as possible.

Connect with Megan here! or 828-450-6797

Canton, N.C., Boasts Small-Town Feel Coupled With Close Proximity to Asheville

Canton NC Homes for SaleLocated in the Smoky Mountains about 20 minutes west of Asheville sits the picturesque town of Canton, N.C. This Haywood County town offers dining, shopping and sightseeing along its historic Main Street, as well as iconic local hikes and other outdoor adventures. An idyllic, small-town feel coupled with close proximity to the amenities of Asheville is the hallmark of Canton.

Historic mill town: Canton, NC

The Pigeon River flows through the middle of the town, fueling much of its history and growth. Canton’s river location enabled the early development of a paper mill, which used the river’s water power. It processed some of the timber harvested from the surrounding woods. Today, the paper mill is owned by Evergreen Packaging, and the Blue Ridge Southern Railroad serves it. The mill employs 1,200 workers and boasts 600 union jobs. With a $90 million payroll, the mill is a major economic driver in the region. 

U.S. routes 19 and 23 pass through the center of town as Park Street and Main Street; the highways lead east 17 miles to Asheville and west 7 miles to Lake Junaluska. I-40 passes through the north part of Canton, leading east to Asheville and northwest through the Pigeon River Gorge into Tennessee. The population of Canton was 4,227 at the 2010 census. 

Properties for sale in the Canton area range from grand, historic homes to new, to modern developments, to mixed-use buildings along Main Street. Schools that serve the town include Pisgah High School, Canton Middle School, Bethel Middle School, North Canton Elementary, Bethel Elementary, Meadowbrook Elementary and Bethel Christian Academy.

Canton NC Real EstateCanton: a nature lover’s paradise

The Pigeon River offers a wide range of fun outdoor adventures, including fishing, kayaking, canoeing and tubing. Canton is also home to some of the most popular hikes in Western N.C., including Shining Rock and Graveyard Fields. Lake Logan and its 260-acre Smoky Mountain sanctuary are a short drive from Canton. The town’s mile-and-a-half Pigeon River Scenic Walking Trail offers a beautiful, bench-lined path, boat access for canoes and fishing, and plentiful nature.

The Canton Area Historical Museum is located on Park Street in the former Canton Branch Library. The nonprofit educational institution contains artifacts and photographs that depict the history of the towns of Canton, Bethel and Cruso. It houses agricultural and domestic artifacts from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as well as a large collection of photographs and memorabilia of the town and its paper mill industry.

Canton’s Labor Day festival, the longest running Labor Day festival in the South, began in 1906 as a celebration of the grit and determination that led to the construction of a paper mill that would persevere through a great depression, two world wars, and two buyouts. Today’s festival features musical performances, a crafts expo, food vendors, a parade and a vintage car show.

For more information about real estate in Canton, contact us at, or call us anytime at 828-707-9556.

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Pedaling Properties: Mosaic's Justin Mitchell Brings Biking Savvy and Visual Acumen to Asheville Real Estate Deals

Justin Mitchell Mountain Biking Asheville RealtorA second-generation real estate agent with 22 years of experience, Mosaic broker Justin Mitchell knows how to make the most of life in Western North Carolina as an avid cyclist and outdoor enthusiast. Drawing from his adventure-seeking savvy, along with his skill as a seasoned videographer, Mitchell can be trusted to give both buyers and sellers a thorough picture – quite literally – of the perfect Asheville home.

What brought you to Asheville, and what drew you into real estate?

I grew up with a highly successful mother and father in the real-estate business in Nashville. While on summer breaks in college, I worked on a framing crew and learned about construction first-hand. I moved to Asheville in 2007, for the most part drawn to the quality of life that this city has to offer – the mountains and great music scene. I wanted a cool smaller town, but it also needed to have a vibrant live-music scene. Mountain biking and river sports were also at the top of my list.

Justin Mitchell blends biking into Asheville life

Elaborate on your biking life, its inception and how your biking interests have evolved over the years.

I was raised around bikes, and spent a lot of my youth competitively racing BMX. I had backyard BMX tracks, half pipes, and it definitely was a huge part of my life. When I went off to college in Knoxville, I got a mountain bike, and that’s when I started the sport. I was coming up to Pisgah [National Forest] in the early ’90s to hit the popular mountain biking trails here, so I have a long history of riding the “classics.”

Justin Mitchell Asheville RealtorWhat makes Asheville such a great city for the biking enthusiast?  

The thing that appeals most to me as a mountain biker is the diversity you find here, everything from beginner-friendly trails at Bent Creek [Experiential Forest] to really advanced bike parks and challenging trails in Pisgah and the surrounding communities. Bike parks like The Riveter [in Fletcher], Bailey Mountain downhill bike park [in Marshall], and Ride Kanuga [in Hendersonville] will pretty much allow you to go as big as you want to go – in fact, Kanuga was built by a pro World Cup downhill champion. The parks certainly give me my BMX-background fix for big jumps and more progressive riding.

Although Asheville is limited by its layout and historic nature of the roads to be conducive to riding bikes around town for transportation, there have been a lot of gains on that front in the 12 years I’ve lived here.

Elaborate on how you’ve found ways to weave your love of biking, your love of Asheville, and your career in real estate into one.

Being a part of the Asheville mountain bike culture since the ’90s, there’s a thread that makes it easy to connect with other people who are into the sport. I’m able to impart my knowledge of the mountain biking community in Western North Carolina, the various resources, the different trail systems, everything. When biking is such a huge part of a person’s lifestyle, and they want their new home in Asheville to help facilitate that lifestyle, it helps to work with someone who can see the area through that same lens.

Justin Mitchell on green homes in Asheville

Justin Mitchell Asheville Real Estate VideoTalk a little about the Green Home Bike Tour, and how it combines two of your passions.

I’ve been involved in new construction since the beginning of my real estate career. Green homes and the desire to learn more about them was another thing that brought me to Asheville. When I moved here and realized there were so many green homes within a short distance of each other, I had an idea to organize a green home bike tour that centered on educating others about the benefits of green homes, and I used the opportunity to put together a ride that toured North Asheville, West Asheville, and the town center. It was definitely a good way to blend two of my top interests, and it was a great experience.

Your videography savvy stands out in the industry. How do you weave such skills and knowledge into your work as an agent?

My love for travel and documenting my outdoor experiences via GoPro [action cameras] and photography is a passion that’s turned into a very beneficial skill set to help my clients market their homes. It’s also helped buyers in situations where they can’t be physically present to tour homes. My videography skills definitely take it up a notch: This isn’t simply using an iPhone to snap shots of a home – I use highly specialized gear to capture aerial images and create visually rich virtual home tours.

My technological knowledge and gear have enabled me to broker several “long-distance” real estate deals in Asheville in the past year where I didn’t even meet the buyers in person; their first tour of their new homes didn’t occur until the walkthrough, or after closing. My goal as an agent is to use technology to make purchasing properties from afar as easy and informative as possible. 

Learn More: About Justin Mitchell

Connect with Justin: or 828-713-9400


The Height of Natural Beauty and Outdoor Fun in Mars Hill, NC

Mars Hill, NC Homes for SaleNestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, the town of Mars Hill (pop. 2,000) in Madison County wows with its beauty and ease of living. Residents and visitors alike enjoy quick access to all manner of mountain sports and family activities. In addition, Mars Hill is only about 15 miles north of Asheville via I-26, which means residents can make an easy trip into the city for all its cosmopolitan offerings.

Nature abounds around Mars Hill

Skiing, hiking, cycling, horseback riding and whitewater rafting are just a taste of the outdoor activities available in and around Mars Hill. The town is near the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Appalachian Trail, and many national and state parks. The popular Bailey Mountain Bike Park is mere minutes away.

Mars Hill is also home to Mars Hill University, a private, co-ed, liberal-arts college. Founded in 1856, it is the oldest college or university in Western N.C. Thanks to the university’s presence, Mars Hill residents enjoy a great variety of cultural, intellectual and entertainment offerings for a town its size. The university's enrollment typically runs from 1,300 to 1,600 students (which is not included in the census population numbers).

A variety of Mars Hill properties

Mars Hill NC Real EstateMars Hill is replete with a range of homes and property for sale. Everything from established ranches to quintessential log cabins to new green builds is available; you can also choose from many lots situated on multiple acres to build your dream home.

Mars Hill supports diverse businesses, professional offices and services. The town is home to a medical center, retirement center, public library, and recreation facilities. Mars Hill school options include Mars Hill Elementary School, as well as a consolidated middle school in Brush Creek, and a high school in Marshall. There are two preschool centers in Mars Hill.

Mars Hill cultural offerings and events occur year-round and include:

·     Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre performances at Mars Hill University’s Owen Theatre (June-August)

·     July 4thCelebration at Mars Hill Park, with daytime activities and fireworks after dark

·     The Hot Doggett 100 Cycling Tour annual bike ride (July)

·     The Shriners’ Fundraiser at Mars Hill Park (September)

For information about real estate in Mars Hill, contact us at, or call us anytime at 828-707-9556.

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Meet Real Estate Agent Alyssa Augustine: Asheville's Luxury-Home Specialist

Alyssa Augustine Asheville Luxury Real EstateMosaic broker Alyssa Augustine landed in Asheville’s luxury home sector five years ago, growing a reputation as a highly skilled adviser to her clients, and it’s no surprise. With a 20-year background in corporate marketing, communications and IT for a Fortune 500 company, coupled with a deep understanding of high-quality home construction (her husband is an Asheville-area contractor), Augustine offers what few brokers can: savvy, strategic guidance in a highly specialized housing niche.  

What drew you to the luxury-home sector? 

I grew up in an affluent area of the country, Connecticut, and spent 20 years in corporate America working with c-suite executives, so these are people that I know well and feel very comfortable supporting. I understand what these clients are looking for in a strategic adviser and this translates well to the luxury home market.

Alyssa Augustine on her Asheville luxury home market knowhow

What about your background contributes to your strengths as an agent in the Asheville luxury-home market?

I believe that high-net-worth buyers often expect more of a “concierge” service – they have limited time and want to work with a professional who is not only a well-qualified strategic adviser, but who has strong communication skills, solid business skills, and can also handle all the little details for them. Typically an affluent buyer is busy and needs information communicated to them quickly and in a succinct manner. They also expect a strong strategic adviser to help them understand if they’re making a good, solid financial investment. So while I have personally bought, sold and owned a number of homes, both as primary residences and investments, I honed my financial and communication skills prior to getting into real estate, which sets me apart from a lot of the other agents in our area, specifically when working with more affluent buyers.

Alyssa Augustine Luxury Real Estate AshevilleIt’s also critical to understand that luxury isn’t just about price: Often it has a lot to do with the features the property offers, the quality of the finishes, the amenities the home and community offer, and the location. That also ties in to my personal experiences because I’m married to a contractor who spent most of his career renovating high-end historic homes in New England, so I have a deep understanding of construction and high-quality finishes and materials. This is something that adds a lot of value when dealing with more luxury properties. 

What kind of growth have you seen in the Asheville luxury home market in the last few years? 

I’ve been with Mosaic nine years and during that period I’ve spent more and more time in the luxury market as we continue to see more affluent  buyers enter our market and move to Western North Carolina. In Buncombe County specifically, anything $600,000 and up is considered a luxury property. That price point had generally accounted for around 5-7% of the homes sold, but in 2020, it increased to 10% of the market, as we’ve continued to see prices in our area increase over time.

The million-dollar-and-up range has been, in the past years, 1.5 to 2% of the market, but this last year it increased to 2.5%. That’s a pretty significant increase in such a short period of time.

A growing demand for luxury homes across Buncombe County

Speak to the new high-end neighborhoods that have been borne out of the growing demand in the Asheville market. Any unexpected or nontraditional areas that have come into play within the luxury sector?

Asheville and Buncombe County have always had a handful of high-end subdivisions and neighborhoods, but I would say the biggest growth within the sector in the past year is not necessarily in those traditional luxury communities; it has been among properties outside of the city proper where buyers can secure bigger plots of land. As the pandemic has had more people spending time at home, we’re seeing more luxury clients having a desire not only for larger homes, but homes with more space around them for both privacy and to allow them to spend more time outside.

Alyssa Augustine Asheville Luxury HomesTalk a little about how luxury can intersect with other traits specific to an Asheville home. In other words, what sets the Asheville luxury market apart?

Affluent buyers are often looking for a home with some kind of “wow” factor.  Oftentimes that’s a property that makes you feel like you’re on vacation, that’s a getaway to nature, and the Asheville area is renowned for that. So while you may be able to find a high-end luxury penthouse in New York, it doesn’t offer the same relaxing, on-vacation feel that our area has, which I think is one of the things that’s driving so many buyers to Asheville and Western North Carolina over the past 10 years. If people don’t have a commute, and as they have the option to live wherever they want more and more these days, they want places where they can seamlessly blend work, fun and relaxation, and the Buncombe County area offers that.

What do you love about Asheville?

Before moving to Asheville, I lived in the Northeast – the Tri-state, New York City rat-race area – so when I had the opportunity to not have to work in an office anymore, we came to Asheville and it really appealed to me. Not only is it a beautiful location with its mountains, hiking trails, and waterfalls to make you feel like you’re on vacation everyday, it also has fantastic restaurants, music venues, and an incredible art scene. To me, it’s the perfect combination of natural beauty and big-city style amenities, but in a place that feels more like a small town.

Learn more about/ connect with Alyssa here


Planting Native Trees Grows Asheville's Urban Canopy

Landscaping Curb AppealFor most Asheville homeowners, curb appeal begins with beautiful landscaping. But just as important as beautification is the preservation of the natural Western North Carolina ecosystem that surrounds us. With the use of native tree species in yards and gardens, Asheville homeowners can integrate the two goals, to great success.

Native species of trees and plants occur naturally, without human introduction or intervention. Over time, they have built up physical and biological characteristics specific to regional elements – things like climate, soil type, moisture, and other local plants, animals and insects. They are hardy and environmentally friendly, and help to restore regional landscapes that may be compromised in rapidly developing areas. In short, they are perfectly adapted to their home.

Asheville’s urban canopy

The trees that blanket Asheville are a characteristic that defines the city’s natural beauty. Asheville’s trees along city streets, in parks and natural areas, in backyards, and in landscaped open spaces are collectively known as the city’s “urban forest.” 

Planting native trees in your yard contributes to Asheville’s urban canopy, beautifying neighborhoods and cityscapes, and offering privacy screens as they provide shade and absorb harmful gases and other pollutants. The urban canopy is a natural habitat for birds and wildlife, protects soils from erosion, cool streets and homes in the summer, and protects us from winds in the winter.

Native Plants Landscaping Curb AppealThe City of Asheville has an Urban Forestry Commission made up of nine citizen volunteers appointed by Asheville City Council. The goal of the commission is to protect and preserve Asheville’s tree canopy. The commission co-sponsors with Asheville Green Works for the Treasured Trees program of Buncombe County, which recognizes unusual specimen trees on both public and private property. The panel also assists Asheville’s commercial and residential properties with tree and shrub selection.

Native know-how in your yard

When landscaping with native trees to contribute to Asheville’s urban canopy, there are many resources to teach which will work with your property ( just one of them). You can also simply study the land around you to get an idea of what grows near your home naturally and beautifully. 

In the Asheville area, it’s easy to maximize your native-planting success by matching the right trees with the right site conditions. To do this, assess the type of light and amount of moisture your planting site receives throughout the day, as well as throughout each growing season. The direction your garden faces, the amount of horizontal and vertical working space you have, and your altitude also figure prominently in native landscaping success. Having your soil pH tested is helpful, and will indicate whether the soil needs to be amended.

If you’re looking for the perfect Asheville-area house to go with that perfect native-tree-populated yard, contact us at, or call us anytime at 828-707-9556.

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An interview with Real Estate Agent Stephanie Cochran: Asheville's Neighborhood Specialist

Stephanie Cochran Asheville NeighborhoodsMosaic Realty broker Stephanie Cochran is that Asheville rarity: a native who has spent her entire life (save a brief stint in Chicago) in the Asheville area. Her years of experience with all things Asheville – first growing up here, then as an investor spearheading several house building and renovation projects, and finally as a real estate agent – has produced an insider’s perspective few can match. It’s this insight that helps her counsel clients on the areas of Asheville best suited to their lifestyle goals.

Stephanie Cochran on her early Asheville years

Elaborate a bit on your life growing up in Asheville, the neighborhoods you’ve lived in and the changes you’ve witnessed over the years. What clues were there back then that Asheville was headed toward the explosive growth we’ve seen in the last decade? 

During my childhood and adult life, I have lived in multiple areas in and outside of Asheville.  I was raised in Black Mountain and Haw Creek in East Asheville.  Both sets of my grandparents lived in the area, so I also spent time at their homes in Black Mountain and Marshall. 

I purchased my first house in West Asheville in 2002, found a love of renovating older homes, and from there renovated and lived in multiple neighborhoods on the West side of town. I then moved north to Barnardsville for six years, returning to the city in 2009.  Since then, I’ve lived in multiple neighborhoods in North Asheville, continuing to purchase and remodel homes on the north side. Really the only section of town I’ve not lived in is South Asheville. I’ve lived West (five neighborhoods), North (four neighborhoods), East (one), and Barnardsville (one).  I feel as though I know many of the area neighborhoods well, not only as a real estate broker, but also as a resident.

When I bought my first West Asheville home in 2002, I gutted and renovated it. Back then, it was one of the more affordable areas.  I purchased a 1920s bungalow on a large lot for $125,000.  After living there for several years, I held it as a rental property, then parceled off the flag lot, selling the main home.  In 2018 I partnered with another investor and built a spec house on the flag lot, which we sold the following year. 

Stephanie Cochran Asheville Real EstateUltimately, before I became a real estate broker, I was doing quite a bit of purchasing and trading real estate; it was apparent Asheville was becoming a hot market as prices continued to increase. Our year-round tourism industry was really starting to pick up, our downtown was becoming more vibrant, we were starting to see more development take place, so that early 2000s period was the start of consistent growth in the city of Asheville.

Five years ago I decided to leave my 12-year career in medical sales to move into real estate full time.  I wanted to turn my love of real estate and the Asheville area into a career.  It’s also been one of the best choices I’ve made for balancing my home life and work life.  

I feel like I offer a unique angle in the sense that I know the Asheville area inside and out … I’m a native, my medical sales job allowed me to cover all of WNC, and I’ve lived and owned properties on almost every side of town in multiple neighborhoods. And now as a broker, I’ve gotten to see Asheville through the lens of a selling and a listing agent.

You mentioned you lived briefly in Chicago. What brought you back to Asheville?

Although it was friendly and had a great art and music scene, the size and quite frankly the cold winters brought me back. It’s no comparison to Asheville’s temperate climate, which is a huge draw to the area. 

Asheville neighborhood specialist: Stephanie Cochran

What makes you an Asheville neighborhood specialist?

Between living in multiple locations around Asheville, and my Realtor experience the last five years taking me in and out of different Asheville  neighborhoods, I have the tools to assess what people are looking for. I let clients know up front, the unique thing about the Asheville area is there is no definitive spot to land – when people come here, they are usually drawn by some part of the cultural or outdoor aspect, so they’re not exactly sure which neighborhood they want to put down roots. From my lens, I’m able to ask them questions around what their lifestyle is like, what their goals are, what they want to feel like in their homes. Do they want to be in a neighborhood where they’re close to their neighbors and everything’s tight as far as community, or do they want more privacy?

Through a list of clarifying questions, I can help them narrow down which neighborhood would be the best fit. And Asheville has so many! Not only new development pocket neighborhoods like Craggy Park or Malvern Walk in West Asheville, but old historic neighborhoods like Lakeview Park [in North Asheville] or Kenilworth or Haw Creek. As I get to know my clients, I automatically start thinking about which specific neighborhoods might be a good fit for them.

I also think every part of town tells its own story of how Asheville developed: central and west first, then north, then east, then south, so you have different styles of homes and access to different infrastructure, whether it’s to get to the grocery store in five minutes, or easily hop on to a bike trail or greenway. So after I talk to them about their lifestyle and what they envision it being, we can spend more time in the areas I identify. Once we’re in it and driving through, it really gives them a feel for where they might want to start looking.

Stephanie Cochran Mountain Biking RealtorBlending Asheville real estate with yoga, mountain biking and volunteerism

What are your passions, and how do they tie into life in Asheville? 

I’m a mom of two young kids, so they’re a big part of what I do. For families with kids who are looking for a better understanding of the school system options in the Asheville area, I can give them an idea of what it looks like from a personal level – I went through the county school system, and my kids are in the city, so I can give them both perspectives.

I love yoga and mountain biking, so I spend quite a bit of time on my mat or on the trails. For clients who are outdoor enthusiasts who want to be close to trails they can hop on, I can guide them to the best neighborhoods for doing that. If they’re a yogi, they’re in the right place: Asheville has multiple yoga centers on all sides of town. Usually, those clients are also really drawn to being a part of a community, and Asheville really lends itself to that. 

I also enjoy volunteering.  I spent 15 years volunteering with the Asheville Downtown Association on their Downtown After 5 event as a volunteer and then as the volunteer coordinator. Currently, I work with a food distribution program that brings food packs to children in the Asheville City School system who are food insecure. 

That sense of giving back to the community, and meeting others who want to do the same, is something that I encounter as a broker. For instance, I just spoke with a client who is retiring in Asheville and wanted to learn of ways to give back to the community, organizations where they could land, and where they could get immersed in that community and really start to contribute. I suggested different neighborhoods/communities for them, and where they might best serve and be served as far as what they’re looking to accomplish.

How do your life experiences translate into strengths as an Asheville-area broker?

Even though I’m relatively new as a broker in the real estate market, my living here so long and being a homeowner in multiple areas lends itself to success in the field. I’ve also been an investor in multiple areas around Asheville, so that has translated well with my investor clients; I’ve built a home, and I’ve renovated and been a general contractor on my own projects, so I can lend perspective to clients who are looking at an older home they want to rehab, but don’t know where to get started. And of course as a Realtor, spending time in the Asheville area market as a listing and buyer’s agent puts me in a unique position of helping clients who know they love and want to live in Asheville, but have no idea where to begin making that dream happen.

Connect with Stephanie here


Mosaic Eases the Process of Selling Your Home, and Buying Your Next

Mosaic Realty Asheville Listing AgentWith so few homes on the market in Asheville, it can be intimidating to plan a move if you need to sell your current home first. Working with Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty’s experienced real estate agents can help ease the transition, ensuring consistent communication and minimal setbacks during the entire process.

If you want to sell your Asheville home and buy another, it’s important to research the housing market ahead of time to simplify things when the time comes to make your move. Mosaic’s experienced agents can give you a realistic estimate of home prices in the Asheville area and how to price your current home. Using that figure, you can calculate how much equity you have and what your net proceeds will be so you can apply that money toward the down payment and closing costs of your new home.

An agent for all your needs

Given all the steps involved in buying and selling at the same time, using the same real estate agent and real estate attorney (where required) for both transactions can make the entire process go more smoothly. Mosaic’s agents have extensive experience on both the selling and buying side, adeptly addressing your needs in the two arenas.

If you’re ready to list your home, Asheville’s seller’s market requires your home be staged and market-ready; this will ensure it sells quickly. And while a seller’s market means you can be more selective about which offers to consider and limit your options to those with fewer contingencies, it also means you’ll have less flexibility to include contingencies or delay the closing date when the time comes for you to buy, particularly if a seller needs to move quickly. 

Mosaic Realty Asheville Home Buyers AgentA bridge between selling and buying your Asheville home

Here are some other ways to bridge the gap during a purchase and sale:

If you sell your current home but haven’t found your next place, you can find a residence to rent in the short term. Remember to factor in the expense of off-site storage if you have more possessions than will fit in your rental.

You can ask the buyers of your home to do a rent-back agreement, which allows you to pay rent to them after closing to remain in your current home for a short while until you can find a new home.

If you buy a new home while still trying to sell your old one, cover the costs of the new property with savings, a home equity line of credit or a bridge loan over the short-term.

You can rent out your current home while shopping for a new one, and use the income to help offset the expense of owning two homes until you can sell it.

If you’re ready to sell your current home and buy another in Asheville, contact us at, or call us anytime at 828-707-9556.

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