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Blog :: 09-2016

20 Green Home Maintenance Tips for a Fantastic Fall


Regular home maintenance is an essential part of being a home owner, and if you perform these duties regularly, they will reap long-term rewards for you as far as cost and satisfaction.  At Mosaic, we strive to bring you frequent green home maintenance tips as a handy reminder of how you can simultaneously preserve your home and help to conserve the environment.

Interior Green Home Maintenance

Ceiling Fan1.  Have a professional inspect your wood stove or fireplace to make sure it is in working order.

2.  Set ceiling fans to rotate clockwise to help bring warm air near the ceiling down.

3.  Check the insulation in your attic and add more if necessary.

4.  Wrap exposed water pipes and water heater with insulation.

5.  Install a programmable thermostat and learn how to use it.

6.  Replace your air filters to improve your indoor air quality.

7.  Make sure vents in all rooms are clear of dust and other obstructions.

8.  Install CFL or LED light bulbs as incandescent ones expire.

9.  Air seal your home.

10.  Replace worn weather stripping and caulk.

Exterior Green Home Maintenance

Raking11.  Clean your gutters and downspouts.

12.  Clean out garden beds so that they are ready for planting in the spring.

13.  Rake up leaves and compost them.

14.  Pressure wash decks, removing organic matter from the crevices.

15.  Clean and store any deck or patio furniture.

16.  Trim shrubs and trees within 3 inches of your home.

17.  Plant shade trees on the south and west sides of your home for summer shade.

18.  Plant evergreens on the north side to shield your home from winter winds.

19.  Drain and store hoses and winterize exterior water faucets.

20.  Have your lawnmower cleaned and serviced so it will be ready for spring.


For more information on real estate in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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Neighborhood Spotlight on Beautiful Black Mountain


Black Mountain, a town of about 8,000 residents, lies just to the east of Asheville.  It is nestled at the southern end of the Black Mountain Range, a part of the Southern Appalachians.  It is the first small town that you encounter coming West from the foothills of the Piedmont region of North Carolina.

There are so many reasons that Black Mountain is a special place to both visit and reside.  Despite its close proximity to Asheville (it is actually part of the Asheville metropolitan statistical area), it has a flavor entirely its own.  Locals cite its small town feel as a major draw.  With little traffic and lots of charm and friendly faces, it is easy to understand.  Here are some of the reasons that we find this neighborhood so appealing.

Natural Beauty in Black Mountain

MontreatThe town of Montreat lies just to the north of Black Mountain.  At the base of the mountains near the back of Montreat community are many trailheads that you may take for stunning mountain views such as the one at Lookout Mountain.  The Swannanoa River flows from East to West through the Swannanoa Valley and Black Mountain.  

Trails at Warren Wilson College meander along the river, and picnicking along rocky outcroppings is a popular year-round outing. Explore the stunning Point Lookout Greenway Bike Trail by starting in Old Fort and climbing 3.6 miles and 900 feet to Ridgecrest.

Black Mountain Cultural Highlights

Camp Rockmont LEAF FestivalA hub of the community is the Black Mountain Center for the Arts.  Located in the renovated Old City Hall, it hosts exhibits on music, visual and performing arts on a monthly basis.  The area’s dedication to fine art is exhibited by the Ben Long fresco gracing the walls of the Montreat Conference Center.  The Swannanoa Valley Museum in downtown Black Mountain interprets and preserves the cultural, natural and social history of the Swannanoa River Valley.

Each August, thousands of people fill the streets for the annual Sourwood Festival.  This free festival is in its 39th year and features music, dancing, arts and crafts in a family-friendly environment.  Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF) is held on the campus of Camp Rockmont and draws a sell-out, arts-loving crowd twice a year.

Black Mountain Public Spaces

Black Mountain’s city park is located just outside of the town center at the lovely Lake Tomahawk.  A half mile loop encircles the lake at the foot of the Seven Sisters Peaks and Greybeard Mountain.  

Montreat Park is a favorite area destination for families.  A wonderful playground sits on the banks of a babbling creek among the laurel thickets where families can all enjoy the lush mountain scenery.

Local Black Mountain Businesses

Pisgah BrewingBlack Mountain is renowned for its crafters and artists.  Check out the gorgeous Seven Sisters Gallery, Song of the Wood Musical Instruments, Black Mountain Ironworks or Black Mountain Quilts. 

Enjoy tea at local teahouse Dobra Tea or coffee at Dripolator Coffeehouse.  A long-standing casual restaurant is Our Father’s Pizza and Pasta or enjoy the country elegance of the Red Rocker Inn. 

For nightlife, you can always join a rowdy crowd at White Horse Black Mountain bar and music venue or journey east a few miles through the Swannanoa Valley to Pisgah Brewing which marries craft beer with nationally touring music in their gorgeous outdoor venue.    

For more information on real estate in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

Search: View all homes for sale in Asheville



Powerful Performing Arts in Asheville: A Look at What's Ahead

Diana Wortham Theatre Dance Asheville Parsons

Asheville is a city of art- both visual and performing.  From street corners full of buskers to community concerts to national and international performing artists, opportunity to soak it all in abounds.  At Mosaic, we believe in the power of art to keep a community thriving.  We support multiple performing arts opportunities in Asheville and the surrounding area.  Here, we would like to feature two fantastic series that we sponsor and whose seasons are on the brink of launch.  

Blue Ridge Orchestra in Western North Carolina

Blue Ridge Orchestra AshevilleBlue Ridge Orchestra is a group of talented musicians from around Western North Carolina.  These volunteers are a mix of professional, amateur and retired musicians.  The venues change throughout the season in attempt to bring wonderful music to many of the communities in the Western part of the state.

The season is beginning September 17 at Deerfield Chapel in South Asheville with Gaga for Vivaldi.  Some of the highlights of the 2016-2017 season include Homage to Haydn, BRO Revels, and a Wedding with Wolfgang.  The season closes in April at the Folk Art Center with Cantus Terrae (an Earth Day Celebration).

A full schedule of events can be found here.

Diana Wortham Theatre in Downtown Asheville

Diana Wortham Theatre Dance Asheville ShadowlandDiana Wortham Theatre is a beautiful and intimate theatre of only 500 seats and is located in the heart of downtown Asheville.  Parking is easy at an adjacent parking garage, and there are many top-notch restaurants and bars within easy walking distance to the theatre.  Their live performances feature dance, music, comedy, circus arts and theatre throughout the year.  This stellar nonprofit organization hosts regional vocational arts performances throughout the year as well as nationally and internationally touring artists in their Mainstage Series performances.  

This year’s Mainstage Series, running from September 2016 through May 2017, features a spectrum of performing art from the comic relief of The Capitol Steps to leading dance ensemble Parsons Dance to Grammy Award winning Ladysmith Black Mambazo.  Mosaic Realty is helping to sponsor the Dance Series this year, enabling Diana Wortham Theatre to continue in their tradition of being a top presenter of dance in the southeast.  

A full schedule of events can be found here.

At Mosaic, we strive to know our community and to be connected to it.  For information on real estate in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

Search: View all homes for sale in Asheville

7 Reasons Asheville is a Food Forward Heaven


It has been said by many visitors to Asheville that the food scene here is more progressive than anywhere else they have visited.  Here we offer 7 reasons that Asheville is a food forward heaven:

1.  Asheville Food is Fresh

Farmers Market AshevilleEveryone knows that fantastic chefs cook with the freshest ingredients.  In the Asheville area, there are over a dozen farmers markets that both home cooks and professional chefs frequent to find ingredients.  Menus all over town boast meat, cheese and produce from local farms.  The Hop Ice Cream Cafe is known to stop by the West Asheville Tailgate Market for farm fresh ingredients that then show up in their incredibly creative ice cream flavors.

2.  It’s Easy to Grab a Bite in Asheville

A new trend that we are seeing is the rise of the food truck, lending convenience to grabbing a bite on the go in every nook and cranny of Asheville.  You will find food trucks parked at breweries, festivals, private parties and even gas stations, making it incredibly easy to eat a delicious meal.  There is even a dedicated food truck park!

3.  Local Food Abounds

Asheville’s hospitable climate is conducive to many crops flourishing.  At farmers markets, co-ops and independent grocery stores you can find various local foods throughout the seasons.  Late spring brings scrumptious greens and summer yields countless root veggies, squashes, berries and more.  Crisp apples are a fall staple in Western North Carolina.

4.  There is a Focus on Sustainable Food

Asheville Fresh ApplesIn true Asheville form, there is a huge grassroots effort to make food sustainable in our area.  An organization called Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project provides support for farmers and education to the community so that we, as consumers, may have sustainable food choices and that farm businesses can continue to thrive.  Their efforts help to connect us to the farmers through markets and farm tours.

5.  Healthy Food is Everywhere

There is nowhere easier than Asheville to find healthy food that suits any diet.  Whether you are gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan or any other food sensitive designation, there is a delectable menu waiting for you here!  Plant is an entirely vegan fine-dining establishment.  Posana, in Pack Square, is entirely gluten-free.  Laughing Seed Cafe, an early Asheville restaurant located on Wall Street, pioneered the way for vegetarian food in the area in the 1990s.  The Hop Ice Cream Cafe serves soymilk, almond milk, coconut milk and banana ice cream in addition to dairy ice cream.

6.  Food is Art in Asheville

Art, both visual and performing, is a large part of Asheville’s culture, and it carries over into the food realm as well.  Gorgeous, colorful combinations of local ingredients grace plates city-wide.  Notable culinary displays can be witnessed at Bull and Beggar with their seafood tower.  The sushi at Heiwa Shokudo on Lexington Avenue is stunning.  Check out the Instagram account of The Junction in the River Arts District to see their food art.  French Broad Chocolate Lounge’s handmade truffles are individual masterpieces!

7.  Asheville food is Delicious

Asheville Fresh FoodThe bottom line here is that you can taste some of the most delectable dishes imaginable in Asheville’s restaurants.  The Admiral, an unexpected fine dining restaurant in a dive bar’s body, often has reservations booked for weeks in advance.  Chef Katie Button churns out amazing tapas at Curate Spanish tapas bar.  Some of our other favorites are Mela Indian Food, Salsa’s Mexican Caribbean and the Asian cuisine of Gan Shan Station.

Feasting for FEAST Event

For the last several years, Mosaic Realty has been a supporter of the annual Feasting for FEAST celebration.  FEAST, an Asheville nonprofit, seeks to educate youth and families to grow, prepare and enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables.  Their annual Feasting for FEAST celebration brings together many of Asheville’s finest restaurants for a tasting of this fantastic food culture. Funds raised go toward programming that serves over 1500 local children.  Get your tickets now for the September 29th event!

At Mosaic Realty, we know this small city inside and out.  We would love to help you decide where in Asheville to call home.  For information on real estate in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

Search: View all homes for sale in Asheville

Further Reading: This article by Collections, ETC. names Asheville as one of the coolest small towns to visit!

The Ultimate Guide to Asheville Area Cycling


Asheville has long been a destination for outdoor adventure.  In recent years it is gaining in popularity as a cycling destination, and the city and local businesses are responding!  From increased access to greenways and bike corrals to a plethora of cycling outfitters offering group rides, to growing advocacy efforts, cycling is on the rise in Asheville.

Mountain Biking in Western North Carolina

One of the many benefits of living in the Western North Carolina mountains is being able to take advantage of the outdoor adventure opportunities all around us. Just 10 minutes southwest of downtown is Bent Creek Experimental Forest, which has miles of gravel roads and single track.

Mountain Biking AshevilleThere are many other world class mountain biking opportunities within a 90 minute drive of Asheville at Tsali Recreational Area, Pisgah National Forest and Dupont State Forest

Get your mountain bike fix right in town at Kolo Bike Park, a mountain bike park with trails designed for progression of skills.  They also host bike camps at their location in West Asheville.  In 2016 they opened a new location for bike rentals near the greenway trails at the Smoky Park Adventure Center.

Bailey Mountain Bike Park, located near Mars Hill north of Asheville, is a gravity-specific bike park with over 1000 feet of vertical elevation for an incredible downhill experience.  This gorgeous piece of land is being developed as a downhill mountain biking destination.  Additionally, lots are available in this development and Mosaic Realty is the exclusive real estate partner of Bailey Mountain.  More information by emailing Justin at

Road Biking in Asheville/ Buncombe County

Blue Ridge ParkwayThe Blue Ridge Parkway is a nationally renowned scenic highway that cyclists voyage to for the beautiful mountain vistas from the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. 
Buncombe County roads in Swannanoa, Leicester, Hominy Valley and Mars Hill offer fantastic opportunities for road biking and gorgeous rural mountain scenery.  Many group rides from local bicyle shops explore these county roads.

Asheville Area Cycling Organizations

Blue Ridge Bicycle Club seeks to promote fun and healthy lifestyles through cycling in Western North Carolina.  They have a comprehensive cycling event calendar on their website.

Ring of Fire races are a 12 race training series on the safe and fast track at Carrier Park every other Wednesday from March until late July.  There are free kids races as well!

Asheville Cyclocross hosts free clinics at Bent Creek Community Park and has a strong presence at the annual Mountain Sports Festival at Carrier Park.  They also host rides at Oskar Blue’s REEB Ranch in Brevard.

Bicycle Stores in Asheville

There is an incredible array of options when it comes to getting outfitted for your cycling needs in this city!  We suggest trying out some of the group rides offered at shops such as Liberty Bikes, Motion Makers, and Beer City Bicycles to get acquainted with some of the fantastic service providers and their cycling wears.  

Cycling Advocacy in Asheville

Cycling AshevilleMosaic Realty is proud to support the 5th annual NC Bike Walk Summit held this year in Asheville.  At this event, cycling advocates and experts will gather to address issues surrounding economic benefits of cycling, funding strategies for bicycling and advancing bicycle advocacy in the area.  The event is September 16 and 17 this year.

Asheville on Bikes is a bicycle advocacy group that works tirelessly to make this a bikeable community.  They have successfully installed bicycle corals in various parts of town among other initiatives.  They also host a variety of fun-filled cycling events throughout the year such as the Bike of the Irish and Summer Cycle.

At Mosaic Realty, we aim to connect you with real estate that fits your lifestyle.  We have specific knowledge of the areas of Asheville that may appeal to your interests.

For more information on real estate in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

Search: View all homes for sale in Asheville