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Barnardsville Boasts Beauty and Accessible Adventure in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Barnardsville NC

Barnardsville NCThe community of Barnardsville, N.C., 20 miles from Asheville, is a nature-lover’s dream, with close proximity to Pisgah National Forest and all the exhilarating fun for which the area is famed. Located on Ivy Creek, Barnardsville’s verdant landscape is ideal for farms, of which there is a range. 

Homes in Barnardsville perfectly encapsulate scenic mountain living, with a variety of sizes and designs available. Everything from compact cottages on easy-to-maintain lots, to stunning estates with mountain streams slicing through the grounds, dot the community. Barnardsville’s proximity to I-26 makes it easy to get to surrounding communities, outdoor destinations, and commercial conveniences.

Barnardsville, built on community

Anchoring Barnardsville is the Big Ivy Community Center, where residents and visitors alike can delight in a multi-faceted public space and facilities. The center boasts a library, basketball and volleyball courts, playground, horseshoe area and walking trails. A swimming pool, complete with concession stand and lifeguards, is open from May to August.

Many farms in the area are open to visitors year-round and feature an array of Western North Carolina bounty. Enjoy U-Pick flower farms, vegetable farms, and fruit orchards. Everything from specialty herb and spice farms to angora goat farms can be found in the Barnardsville area.

Outdoor adventure in Western North Carolina

Barnardsville is famed for plenty of outdoor adventure, offering everything from waterfall hikes to ziplining to camping. Nearby Walker Falls, a 45-foot roadside waterfall nestled in Big Ivy, can be enjoyed up close or from your car. Farther up the road, the 70-foot Douglas Falls drops from an overhanging cliff, offering the opportunity to walk behind the waterfall. The popular Navitat Canopy Adventures, located less than 2 miles from Barnardsville, features treetop and mountaintop tours.

For more information about properties in Barnardsville, or anywhere in Asheville or Western North Carolina, contact us at, or call us anytime at 828-707-9556.

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Mosaic's New Search Pinpoints Asheville Area Properties With Mountain Streams

Asheville Area Home with Mountain Stream

Asheville Area Home with Mountain StreamAs you begin your real-estate journey in the Asheville area, it pays to team with the top producers of Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty. Combining deep local roots with an expansive marketing reach, Asheville’s premier full-service real estate brokerage offers expertise and personalized service to solidly meet your needs, desires and criteria. 

That expertise enters into every facet of Mosaic’s operations, including in its award-winning website, where you can go beyond basic searches to dig deep and find precisely the property you’re looking for in Asheville and Western North Carolina. A popular online search option on is by “Interests & Lifestyles.” Mosaic is excited to unveil the newest subcategory within this search: “Properties with Mountain Streams.”

Flowing with beauty and fun

This part of the Blue Ridge Mountains boasts myriad clear, cascading streams, many of them winding their way through picturesque Western N.C. lots and homesteads. The streams in this part of the state are incredibly healthy and, at the upper elevations, support a range of trout, including brook, rainbow and brown trout, as well as brown/brook hybrids called tiger trout.

The sights and sounds of mountain waters flowing past a home provide a relaxing backdrop unlike any other. But they’re not just pretty to look at: Western N.C.’s waterways and tributaries are a major hub for outdoor recreation and adventure. In addition to fantastic fishing, the area’s mountain streams and rivers offer the ideal opportunity to experience a range of activities, from tubing to rafting to kayaking. They’re also perfect for simply cooling off on a warm summer afternoon. 

Having such a watercourse on your own Asheville-area property perfectly encapsulates idyllic mountain living. For more information about properties with mountain streams, or any type of real estate in Western North Carolina, contact us at, or call us anytime at 828-707-9556.

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Alexander, N.C., Offers a Peaceful Blue Ridge Setting With Access to Adventure

Alexander NC

Alexander NCSituated along the French Broad River against a beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain backdrop is the community of Alexander, N.C. The area’s proximity to outdoor adventure, cultural amenities – Asheville is only 20 minutes south, along NC-251 – and scenic settings makes Alexander the perfect spot for a relaxing homestead.

Exhilarating Western N.C. activities

Residents of this Buncombe County community can enjoy a range of exhilarating activities amid stunning surroundings. Kayaking, tubing and other water sports in the French Broad River are popular pastimes. Alexander’s easily accessible location makes day trips to Pisgah National Forest or the Great Smoky Mountains for nature walks, hiking, camping and mountain biking a breeze.

Homes in Alexander range from comfortable, single-level living to new, contemporary builds to established ranches with lots of acreage to spread out. Plenty of available lots means you can build a dream property to your exact specifications.  

Nearby eclectic mountain communities

Weaverville NCJust a quick drive from Alexander is the town of Weaverville, where visitors can enjoy two public parks within its jurisdiction: Lake Louise Park and the Main Street Nature Park. Well-maintained areas prized for passive recreation, the parks offer walking paths lined with flower beds and educational information celebrating Weaverville’s rich heritage. Weaverville also boasts an entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway, miles of local hiking trails, cycling routes, scenic drives, wildlife, and native plants. 

Another nearby community is Marshall, N.C., boasting a quaint Main Street as well as access to a range of outdoor adventures. This idyllic town in Madison County, with easy access to trails along the French Broad River, features a downtown lined with historic buildings, including a century-old courthouse. Main Street features artists’ studios, interesting shops, music and dance venues and galleries. Stroll to Blannahassett Island, just over the river, to enjoy more artists’ studios, as well as picnic areas and fishing.

For more information about real estate in Alexander, or anywhere in Western North Carolina, contact us at, or call us anytime at 828-707-9556.

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A Little Prep Goes a Long Way in Securing a Home Mortgage

How to Get a Loan in Asheville NC

How to Get a Loan in Asheville NCIf you’re ready to buy a home in the Asheville area, a little prep work ahead of securing a mortgage will go a long way in making the process smooth and enjoyable. Here are some tips to set you on the path to success.

Credit score check

First off, check your credit, since this is the first thing potential lenders will do when you apply for a loan. Make sure it’s accurate, and that the numbers haven’t been fraudulently tampered with by someone with access to your credit. If you see inaccuracies, accounts that you didn’t open, or other mistakes, now is the time to take immediate steps to stop what could be identity fraud. And if your credit score isn’t where you’d like it, by taking certain measures you can see improvement in six to 12 months. Most mortgage programs require a minimum credit score of between 580 and 620.

Improve debt-to-income ratio

Next, it’s time to improve your debt-to-income ratio, the percent of your monthly income that goes toward repaying debt. This ratio will dictate whether you can get a mortgage loan. To improve your ratio, it’s important to pay off as much debt before applying for a mortgage, including credit cards, car loans, and college loans. 

Get the loan lowdown

Home LoanBefore you jump into shopping for a home, determine how much you can afford (factoring in down payment and closing costs) and how much you will have to borrow, then research your loan program options. Decide how you want to approach your loan, whether it’s finding the plan with the lowest down payment, the lowest monthly mortgage payment, the shortest duration, a fixed rate, or an adjustable rate.

A key step ahead of home buying is getting a pre-approval letter from a lender. You will need to provide the lender with tax returns, paycheck stubs, financial statements and the like, which the lender will review before deciding how much you can afford. 

Find the perfect agent

To make the home-buying process less complicated and intimidating, it’s important to have a trusted, knowledgeable real-estate agent by your side. Mosaic Realty’s community-minded agents approach your individual needs with respect, honesty and integrity, and take great pride in their ability to deliver results for buyers in Western North Carolina. Mosaic’s client-centered approach is integral to finding the perfect home, neighborhood and lifestyle for your unique needs.

For more information about real estate anywhere in Asheville or the Western North Carolina area, contact us at, or call us anytime at 828-707-9556.

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Support – and Savor – Asheville's Farm-to-Table Movement

Asheville NC Farm to Table Movement

Asheville NC Farm to Table MovementThe farm-to-table movement has developed deep roots in Asheville, thanks to the many local farms in the area, as well as the growing number of local restaurants that have embraced the farm-to-table philosophy. Whether you’re fond of making meals in your own kitchen, or you’re a fan of dining out, there are many ways to savor and support the farm-to-table movement in Asheville.

Connecting Western N.C. communities to farms 

Asheville’s proximity to farm-rich regions in Western North Carolina means the freshest local produce and foods are readily available. Spreading that access to everyone is the goal of a number of food programs focused on edibles sourced from area farms and food makers. If you’d like a convenient way to bring fresh local produce directly from the farm to your kitchen, consider such programs as Mother Earth Produce Delivery, a year-round delivery service of local produce and edibles sourced from area farms and food crafters.  The program partners with local farms and food artisans to bring sustainable vegetables, meats, dairy, eggs, bread and pantry items to Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina.

Asheville Local Restaurants and FarmsASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project) is another program born from the farm-to-table movement, established to help local farms thrive and link farmers to markets and supporters. ASAP focuses on a number of areas to support its mission, including providing marketing support and training to area farmers; connecting regional chef and foodservice buyers with the farmers who match their needs; spearheading a Local Food Campaign, which includes publishing a local food guide; and running Growing Minds Farm to School Program, which focuses on reconnecting children with where their food comes from.

Farm-to-table at Asheville eateries

If you’d rather have someone else prepare your locally sourced meal, there are plenty of farm-to-table restaurants in the Asheville area to choose from. The neighborhoods of West Asheville, Biltmore Village, and downtown Asheville are brimming with eateries that get their ingredients from local farms. 

If you’d like to go straight to the source, many area farms offer CSA (community-supported agriculture) boxes, available for pickup at weekly farmers’ markets around Asheville. Or consider a drive to one of the many farms that sells their products onsite, either in stores or at stands, guaranteeing the freshest ingredients possible. Farms dot Fairview, Hendersonville and Madison, just to name a few surrounding areas and towns, making it easy and enjoyable to partake of and support the farm-to-table movement in the Asheville area.

For information on real estate in the Asheville area, connect with us at, or call anytime at 828-707-9556.

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Soak in the Sparkling Mountain Splendor of Lake Toxaway, North Carolina

Lake Toxaway

Lake ToxawayLake Toxaway, featuring the largest private lake in N.C., is a picturesque community 51 miles southwest of Asheville that boasts quick access to breathtaking waterfalls and miles of hiking trails. The Greystone Inn and the adjacent Lake Toxaway Country Club anchor Lake Toxaway, and offer a spa, gourmet dining, lake cruises, golfing, tennis and water activities. 

Since the early 1900s, people have flocked to Lake Toxaway, drawn to its stream-fed waters and 14 miles of shoreline. Situated between Brevard and Cashiers on U.S. Highway 64, Lake Toxaway is in the heart of the “Land of the Waterfalls,” replete with stunning cascades surrounded by miles of hiking trails. Among popular waterfalls in the area are Toxaway Falls, Upper Whitewater Falls, Rainbow Falls, and the many falls of Panthertown Valley.

An array of lake activities in Lake Toxaway

Water activities on the lake are a popular pastime for visitors and residents alike. Because it is a private lake, access is limited to vacation home renters, Greystone Inn guests, and private owners. Everything from kayaks, paddleboards, canoes and motorboats to tubes and lake toys can be rented for use on the lake. Swimmers can also enjoy the refreshing mountain waters of Lake Toxaway.

The Greystone Inn, built in 1915 as a private estate, became a luxury inn in the 1980s. Today, it features 30 well-appointed rooms, as well as a restaurant, bar and spa, and is a popular destination for visitors to the area. Lake Toxaway Country Club also provides inn guests with access to golf, tennis, croquet and a marina.

Residences in Lake Toxaway include everything from sprawling estates to rambling ranches and cozy cottages. Lots with long-range mountain and lake views provide the perfect location for building your dream home.

Mountain adventure, just minutes away

For a daytrip from Lake Toxaway, consider the Brevard area. Just a 20-minute drive away, this part of Western North Carolina boasts a unique mix of the eclectic and the enchanting: Distinctive boutiques dot downtown streets, while epic outdoor adventures make it one of the most visited natural attractions in the Southeast. Nestled between Pisgah National Forest, DuPont State Recreational Forest and Gorges State Park, the area is known as one of the top mountain biking destinations in the U.S.

For more information about real estate in Lake Toxaway, or anywhere in Asheville or the Western North Carolina area, contact us at, or call us anytime at 828-707-9556.

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Eco-Friendly Yard Care Takes Root With These Green Strategies

Green Yard Tools and Tips

Green Yard Tools and TipsAs the Asheville area settles into spring, it’s time to turn your yard green – in more ways than one. Eco-friendly tools and strategies for building up a beautiful outdoor space are easy to implement. Here are a few to consider:

Help nature naturally

Try mulching grass clippings back into your lawn as you mow, instead of bagging them for the landfill. Mulched clippings can also be used around flower beds, trees and plants to retain moisture and suppress weeds. Instead of bagging leaves, you can blow them directly into flower beds, where they will decompose into food for your plants and a natural layer of warmth and protection for new growth.

Skip chemical-laden fertilizer for your garden in favor of compost. You can create an at-home composting system to turn food scraps into free, nutrient-rich nourishment for your yard, or you can subscribe to Asheville-area services like CompostNow, which allows anyone to compost without the maintenance of a compost bin. Members receive bins that they can fill with compostable items; the bins are collected on a weekly basis and returned with earned compost, either to you or to a local community garden of your choosing. (

Eco Friendly Yard PracticesWater wisely

There are many ways to water smart and still keep your yard happy. Harvesting rainwater via a rain barrel – which connects to your roof gutter’s downspout – cistern or rain chain means you’ll be using much less household water. Another option is to install a smart irrigation system with a sensor, which only waters when needed and can save thousands of gallons a year.

Give gas the boot

Lawn mowers, hedge trimmers, leaf blowers and other yard equipment long depended on gas – but today’s market is filled with electric and battery-powered options that eliminate the noise and air pollution so damaging to our environment. And if you have a small parcel of grass to cut, consider a tried-and-true push mower.

The amazing shrinking lawn

To trim down the time, energy and resources needed to keep your lawn in check, consider replacing it. Ground cover – such as creeping perennials or clover lawns – requires little to no mowing, and can flourish with very little care. You can also replace grass with pavers, stones, pea gravel and the like. 

To learn about real estate in the Asheville area, connect with us at, or call anytime at 828-707-9556.

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Quaint, Picturesque Rutherfordton, Rich in History and Blue Ridge Beauty

Rutherfordton NC

Rutherfordton NCOne of the oldest towns in Western North Carolina, Rutherfordton is teeming with eclectic art and interesting shops, not to mention plenty of outdoor recreation. The Thermal Belt Rail Trail runs through the town, connecting it to Ruth, Spindale and Forest City via a 13.5-mile paved path perfect for biking, walking or jogging. A city rich in history, Rutherfordton is home to a number of sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Established in 1787, Rutherfordton (55 miles southeast of Asheville) features rolling vistas against a Blue Ridge backdrop. Homes in Rutherfordton range from historical structures to compact cottages to expansive lots for building your dream property.

image by: Brian Stansbury license

Rutherfordton Boasts Outdoor Recreation in Western N.C.

The Rutherfordton area is an outdoor adventurer’s dream. There are plenty of nearby trails, ranging from easy to strenuous. Among the many popular ones are Bearwallow Mountain Trail, Broad River Greenway, Catawba Falls Trail, Chimney Rock State Park and Green River Gamelands. Road cycling is big here, with plenty of country roads to traverse, as well as annual bike tours and the Lake Lure Olympiad bike race. Mountain bikers can enjoy trails at South Mountains State Park and Chimney Rock State Park. Even horseback riding enthusiasts can get in on the action, with several stables and venues for riding.

Downtown Rutherfordton is home to many points of interest: At the Bechtler House, you can learn about a private mint that produced the first gold coin in the nation; KidSenses Children’s Interactive Museum features 20 interactive exhibits as well as the Factory, a hands-on maker space; the Rutherford County Visual Arts Center is home to works by 200 local artists; the 1925 City Hall and Fire Station, which now houses the Firehouse Inn and the Blue Ridge Design studio, is another popular stop.

Day trips from Rutherfordton

Nearby areas to visit include Spindale, featuring an array of restaurants, live music, and performing arts; the popular summertime destination of Lake Lure; and the Tryon International Equestrian Center, with many competitions and free family-centric events.

For more information about real estate in Rutherfordton, or anywhere in Asheville or the Western North Carolina area, contact us at, or call us anytime at 828-707-9556.

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Soak in the Mountain Serenity of Scenic Lake Junaluska

Lake Junaluska NC

Lake Junaluska NCNestled in a picturesque valley just 27 miles west of Asheville, Lake Junaluska offers the perfect mix of pristine beauty and thrilling outdoor activities. The lake is anchored by a popular spiritual retreat center, and serves as the ideal spot for water sports. An array of homes dots the lush forests surrounding the lake, serving up stunning views and relaxing settings. 

Lake Junaluska was established as a mountain retreat for the United Methodist Church in the early 1900s. The lake town, part of Haywood County, has a population of around 2,700, but draws thousands of visitors every year to its serene locale. The spiritual retreat’s mission – to “renew the soul, mind, and body” – can also apply to the entire area, thanks to the plethora of scenic settings from which to enjoy all manner of activities, both peaceful and active. 

Enjoy Western N.C. living at its finest

Lake recreation includes canoeing, paddleboarding, kayaking and swimming. (You’ll find canoe, kayak and paddleboard rentals, as well as other recreation equipment, at Lake Junaluska Outfitters.) Boat tours of the lake are also available. The lake is stocked with everything from bass to catfish to crappie for fishing (no motorboats allowed). Circling the lake is a mostly flat, 3.5-mile paved trail, perfect for walking, running or biking. There is also an 18-hole golf course with a layout designed for all levels. A daily activity pass affords admission to the lakeside swimming pool, mini golf, tennis, pickleball and shuffleboard.

Waynesville NC Walkable TownThere are a number of gardens and parks in Lake Junaluska. And for mountain lovers, Lake Junaluska is perfectly positioned for easy access to both the Blue Ridge Parkway and Smoky Mountain National Park. Hiking, mountain biking, waterfall walks and camping are all popular activities that can be experienced just a short drive away.

Lake Junaluska homes against a Blue Ridge backdrop

Many homes in Lake Junaluska are optimally perched to drink in the stunning views. Everything from modern mountain designs to established cottages and condos to rambling ranches are sprinkled throughout the area. There are also many lots available to build your dream home from scratch. Schools in nearby Waynesville serve Lake Junaluska families.

For more information about real estate in Lake Junaluska, or anywhere in the Asheville area, contact us at, or call us anytime at 828-707-9556.

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Updates from Ukraine: A Log of Asheville Broker Joseph Ruiz's Humanitarian Aid Work

Ukraine Joseph Ruiz

Asheville, NC: In response to the war in Ukraine, Asheville resident and Mosaic Realty broker Joseph Ruiz has headed into the conflict zone with a humanitarian aid organization, where he is working in logistics to help facilitate medical supplies and personnel into Ukraine.

"The war in Ukraine is devastating children and families. I can't [...]