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Blog :: 2021

Protect Your Home With Smart Pre-Vacation Prep

Prepare Your Home Before a VacationPlanning a vacation puts the focus on the destination, but it’s important to also remember what you’re leaving behind: your home. Safely securing your property promises peace of mind so you can fully enjoy your time away. Here are some important pre-travel home-prep tips:

Give the illusion of occupancy – Break-ins are less likely to happen if it looks like someone is home. Leave a few lights on, put lamps or sound systems on timers, or invest in a smart-home system where you can program lights to turn on and off. (These systems can also do things like raise and lower window shades remotely for an added illusion of occupancy.) Motion sensor or programmed lighting on the exterior of your home and in the driveway is also a good idea.

If you can, leave a car in your driveway. Or better yet, ask a neighbor to park there: The activity in your driveway will likely prove a strong deterrent to would-be intruders. Just make sure any vehicles parked there are securely locked, with no valuables left inside.

Lock in your spare-key plan – While you’re away from your home, it might be helpful to have a trusted neighbor or friend at the ready to enter in case of emergency. However, it’s never a good idea to leave spare keys in obvious outdoor locations (under doormats or in potted plants). Rather, give the friend a spare key, or consider storing that key in an exterior lockbox with a security code.

Home Prep for VacationOn the topic of locks, it may seem obvious, but make sure all doors and windows are securely locked, even upstairs ones. And don’t forget garages and sheds that may hold valuables.

Deter damage – It’s important to ensure your home will be in the state you left it when you finally return from holiday. Prevent flooding from pipe bursts by insulating those located in vulnerable areas like attics and basements. In temperate climates like Asheville’s, where frozen pipes are less of an issue, it makes more sense to turn off your home’s main water supply valve while you’re away.

Power surges can strike at any time, frying your home’s pricey electronics. Before you leave, disconnect computers, televisions, stereos and other electronic items. Alternately, you can safely leave your electronics plugged into outlets or power strips equipped with surge protectors.

Keep up appearances – If you’ll be gone for an extended period, hire a landscaping service to keep the lawn mowed and trees and bushes trimmed. Avoid an overflowing mailbox by temporarily suspending your postal deliveries. Ask a neighbor to retrieve any packages left on your front porch.

It may be tempting to document your daily travel adventures on social media, but doing so also broadcasts the fact that no one’s home. Because you can never be sure who’ll end up seeing your status, wait until you get back home to post those vacation photos.

To learn more about real estate in the Asheville area, email us at Info@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call anytime at 828-707-9556

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Quaint Saluda, NC Entices With Exhilarating Adventures

Walkable Saluda North CarolinaSaluda, N.C., has been drawing visitors to its picturesque Main Street and accessible forests since the late 1800s. With established restaurants as well as shops and galleries set against a stunning backdrop, this tiny town – 35 miles southeast of Asheville – offers lots of picturesque quaintness coupled with exhilarating outdoor adventure.

Straddling Polk and Henderson counties, Saluda sits atop the Norfolk Southern Railway’s Saluda Grade, which was the steepest railroad grade in the country during its use. The city has a population just over 700, with Polk County Schools, as well as a handful of private and parochial educational institutions, serving the residents. Homes in Saluda encompass everything from snug log cabins to rustic ranches to sprawling mountainside estates.

Eclectic eateries and shops of Saluda

Saluda’s Main Street features an eclectic selection of established restaurants, shops and galleries. Most of the buildings that line downtown are part of the National Register of Historic Places. Among the popular spots to stop in are M.A. Pace General Store (founded in 1899), as well as restaurants such as The Purple Onion (famed for Mediterranean fare and live music), Azalea Bistro (featuring a French lowcountry menu), and Green River BBQ.

Saluda NC Walkable TownSandwiched between 18,000 acres of the Green River Game Lands and the Greenville Watershed, Saluda offers a variety of outdoor adventures, including whitewater kayaking, stand-up paddle-boarding, tubing, fishing, seasonal hunting, camping and waterfall rappelling. Saluda is also a premier destination for road biking. A quick drive from Saluda is the world-famous Tryon International Equestrian Center, as well as the Tryon Foothills Wine Country.

Saluda festivities: art, horse races and dog days

Several festive events add excitement to the area every year. The Tryon Block House Steeplechase, held every April, captures the thrill of horse racing, with the longest running steeplechase in North Carolina. The Saluda Arts Festival, held in May along Main Street, features hand-picked regional artists from a range of backgrounds, as well as Americana, blues and folk musicians. The Coon Dog Day Festival, held in July, is a street fair for pups and their fans, featuring live entertainment, food, street dancing, dog competitions, a parade and more. 

For more information about real estate in Saluda, or anywhere in Western N.C., contact us at Info@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call us anytime at 828-707-9556.

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Spread the Love with Locally Made Valentine's Day Gifts

Asheville Local Valentine's GiftsValentine’s Day inspires unique gift ideas, and Asheville is full of one-of-a-kind options for that perfect home-grown gift. Here are a few ways to make your honey happy and spread the (local) love.

Sweet sentiments

Chocolate is the quintessential go-to for that special someone, and Asheville’s chocolatiers offer some of the most delectable delights. Check out French Broad Chocolate Factory for a variety of gift sets that include items like bonbons, specialty chocolate bars, and chocolate-covered cherries. https://www.frenchbroadchocolates.com. Asheville Chocolate is big on truffles, made from farm-fresh local dairy cream and pure Belgian chocolate and involving a six-step process to combine creamy and crisp into one exquisite creation. Mix and match for the perfect variety box. www.avlchocolate.com.

For something uniquely sweet, try a heart-shaped ice cream cake. The Hop Ice Cream Café offers curbside pickup at The Creamery of heart-shaped creations. https://thehopicecreamcafe.com.

Exciting intimates

Looking for lingerie? Try VaVaVooom, a downtown Asheville boutique sure to spice the holiday with sexy lingerie and intimate wellness items www.vavavooom.com; or visit On the Inside Lingerie in West Asheville, which offers unique pieces, each individually designed, cut and sewn per order, including custom-made items. www.ontheinsidelingerie.com.

Asheville Local Takeout Valentine's DayLocal Asheville Gift-box bounty

Asheville Goods puts a modern spin on traditional gift baskets with its eco-friendly Valentine’s boxes, brimming with local small-batch products and simply tied together with red and white bakers twine. Contributing crafters include Hickory Nut Gap Farm, Celtic Sea Salt, Asheville Almond Company, Dobra Tea and many others. www.ashevillegoods.com/product-category/gift-boxes/

Sumptuous take-out specials

Dining restrictions don’t have to dampen your Valentine’s Day dinner: Many Asheville restaurants are offering take-out specials for two to enjoy in the comfort of your home. Vivian in the River Arts District has dessert/bubbly packages as well as a meal-for-two deal. www.vivianavl.com. Baba Nahm’s Valentine’s dinner for two features sumac-crusted beef tenderloin, shrimp scampi appetizer, sides, bread and dessert, or an equally inspired vegan feast (available to order and pick up Friday-Sunday Valentine’s Day weekend from 4-7 p.m.) www.babanahm.com. A prix fixe takeout menu tops RosaBees offerings, with its Hawaiian-inspired entrees spotlighting sea scallops, grilled pork chops or crispy-fried tofu. www.rosabees.com.

For information on real estate in the Asheville area, call Mosaic Realty at 828-707-9556, or email Info@MyMosaicRealty.com

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How to Find the Perfect Home in Asheville, NC

How to Find a Home in Asheville NCReady to start your home search in Asheville or the greater Asheville area? There are many factors to consider. Of course, the obvious – size and price – are likely to be driving forces in your search. But other features, like style, neighborhood and nearby amenities, are also key in finding the perfect Asheville abode. Here are some ways you can hone your home search, and land on just the right fit for you.

Consider size and budget

The greater Asheville area offers homes in a range of sizes and prices to fit a variety of needs and desires. Everything from small starter homes to expansive estates can be had. Typically, homes and condos close to hip commercial corridors (think Haywood Road in West Asheville, or downtown Asheville) will offer a more urban feel, subbing commercial conveniences for home and yard size. Looking for acreage and space to spread out? Widen your radius and consider tucked-away spots in places like Woodfin, Swannanoa and Arden, just a few miles from downtown Asheville. 

Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty boasts knowledgeable agents familiar with every part of Asheville and the surrounding area – just give them your home-search parameters. Or visit Mosaic’s award-winning website (www.mymosaicrealty.com), which makes it easy to search within your budget and size requirements to yield a comprehensive list of available properties in the region.

Consider design

While specific architectural designs are not limited to any one neighborhood, certain parts of Asheville offer a high concentration of singular styles that may appeal to you as you undertake your home search. Historic districts like Montford boast homes rich in historical detail; meanwhile, new builds populate many parts of West Asheville, which has gained in popularity in the last decade; and stately manors are a mainstay of the North Asheville, Beaver Lake and Biltmore Forest areas. 

New Green Home AshevilleDecide which neighborhood and home styles most appeal to you, and relay these to your broker. Mosaic’s website offers detailed lifestyle searches that include tabs for historic homes, luxury homes, green builds, new construction and the like, so you can see at the click of a button what the Asheville area has to offer within these categories.

Consider lifestyle

When you’re looking for the perfect home, it can be beneficial to consider how easily you can incorporate favorite activities and interests into your surroundings. An avid cyclist or mountain biker? The Asheville area has neighborhoods situated close to some of Western North Carolina’s most popular paths – trails, greenways, even the Blue Ridge Parkway – so convenient that you can bike directly from your home. If green living factors into your interests, finding a home with environmentally sound features will likely be foremost on your list. Green homes remain a popular choice around Asheville; focusing your search on such builds will produce plenty of options.

Mosaic’s website offers a unique lifestyle tab search, so that you can target a property that checks all the boxes, whether that includes things like park proximity, homestay potential, or 55+ communities. 

These are just a few of the many ways to refine your home search in the Asheville area. To secure a home in this competitive market, you will need to connect with one of Mosaic’s expert agents to ensure you are well represented and best positioned to win an offer. To get started on your search, or for more information about real estate anywhere in Asheville or Western N.C., contact us at Info@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call us anytime at 828-707-9556.

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Cook Up Kitchen Improvements on a Budget

Kitchen ImprovementsSometimes injecting new life into your home’s aesthetic requires a professional and a big budget, especially when it comes to kitchen overhauls. But there are many ways to give your kitchen a fresh makeover on a mini budget – all it takes is a little time and creativity. Following are a few relatively inexpensive ways to add some punch to this high-traffic space. 

Make a (back)splash with tile – Play with color and pattern to create a unique backsplash with tile. Consider taking the tile all the way up the walls to the cabinets, or extend even higher for added drama.

Switch out hardware – Often, dated drawer pulls, cabinet knobs and faucets can bring down your kitchen’s appeal. But it’s easy, and inexpensive, to change out such hardware; make sure to keep the style and finish consistent throughout the kitchen for a seamless, updated look.

Add paint or wallpaper – A change or pop of color can do wonders for your kitchen, whether you choose to upgrade all the walls or concentrate on accenting with a vibrant hue or unexpected wallpaper pattern.

Fresh flooring – Adding a durable rug or runner can be both practical and pleasing to the eye, especially when you choose a pattern or color that stands out. If you’ve got a little time and a slightly bigger budget, you can play with tile or other flooring to give your kitchen a fresh look.

Kitchen Upgrade on a BudgetShelf this idea – Hanging open shelving not only expands your storage options, but offers plenty of opportunities to display decorative elements. Use open shelves to park prized plates, special stemware, and other kitchen items too pretty to put away.

See the light – One easy fix for a dated kitchen is to change lighting. Whether hanging new fixtures over a bar, installing a focal-point chandelier, or simply switching out old bulbs for a brighter set, upgraded lighting adds lift to both small and large kitchens. 

Small appliances, big panache – Small appliances have gone from simply utilitarian to conversation piece. Amp up your small-appliance stock by incorporating items like toasters, blenders and coffee makers that boast modern features, cutting-edge design and unexpected colors.

Open doors for your cabinets – If your wood cabinets have seen better days, there’s no need to spend hundreds to replace them. Consider lightly sanding and repainting them in a classic white or soft gray.

For information about real estate in the Asheville area, contact us at Info@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call anytime at 828-707-9556.

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Cultural and Recreational Attractions Abound in Hendersonville

Hendersonville NCHendersonville, N.C., located 22 miles south of Asheville in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, boasts a gentle climate, breathtaking views, rich culture and history, and lots of outdoor recreational attractions. The Cheers! Trail showcases 16 craft beverage producers, including Sierra Nevada, plus wineries and cideries in the area.

Chartered in 1847 as the county seat of Henderson County, Hendersonville (pop. 14,150) is traditionally known as “The City of Four Seasons.” Filled with historic buildings and vibrant streetscapes, Hendersonville’s downtown – the largest in Western N.C. outside of Asheville’s – offers many outdoor dining options, as well as unique shops and galleries, along Main Street. Hendersonville’s downtown is part of the Main Street Program, aimed at revitalizing central business districts across the country through historic preservation, attention to design, and thoughtful recruitment of businesses. 

Hendersonville is optimally situated, with I-26 running through the east side of the city, and routes 25 and 74 running concurrently. The city is a 17-minute drive to the Asheville Regional Airport. High schools in the city and surrounding area include Hendersonville High School, West Henderson High School, North Henderson High School, and East Henderson High School.

Hendersonville Cultural and Outdoor Activities

Hendersonville NC Walkable TownThe culturally rich area offers many options for an afternoon of entertainment. The Mineral and Lapidary Museum of Henderson County features giant geodes, minerals and dinosaur eggs; Hands On! Children’s museum boasts a fun, safe environment for learning; the Henderson County Heritage Museum, in the 1905 county courthouse downtown, features a gallery of regional Carolina history. North of Main Street is the Historic (1878) Johnson Farm, a summer retreat for tourists as early as the 1920s. The Western North Carolina Air Museum, featuring vintage airplanes, is near the small Hendersonville Airport.

Outdoor adventures abound as well: Five miles west of downtown Hendersonville in the town of Laurel Park is Jump Off Rock atop Jump Off Mountain. This overlook provides a panorama of the Pisgah and Blue Ridge Mountains. Pisgah National Forest and DuPont State Forest, replete with hiking and biking trails, waterfalls and stunning scenery, sit less than 30 minutes away from Hendersonville.

Festival Fun in Hendersonville

The heart of apple country, Hendersonville hosts the extremely popular annual North Carolina Apple Festival, a four-day Labor Day weekend celebration that culminates in the Apple Parade. Main Street is home to other annual festivals and special activities throughout the year, including the Garden Jubilee Festival (Memorial Day weekend), the July 4th parade with free live music and fireworks, Fiesta Hendersonville (September) featuring the best of 20 Latin American countries’ music, art, food and culture; and Home for the Holidays, with many events from Thanksgiving through New Year's including ice skating, lights and carriage rides.

For more information about real estate in Hendersonville, or anywhere in Asheville or Western N.C., contact us at Info@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call us anytime at 828-707-9556.

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Natural Beauty Abounds in Scenic, Secluded Montreat NC

Montreat NCNestled amid the Blue Ridge Mountains in the valley of Flat Creek sits the compact, secluded town of Montreat. The town (population 700), which is part of Buncombe County, is 18 miles east of downtown Asheville and features natural beauty untouched by commercial development.

Montreat was incorporated as a North Carolina township in 1967. Much of the property in the area is still owned by the Mountain Retreat Association, formed in 1897 by John Collins. Lake Susan, at the center of Montreat, is surrounded by historic stone buildings and offers paddle-boating, canoeing and fishing. Homes in the area allow for plenty of room to spread out: Everything from modern mountain retreats to quaint cabins dot the landscape.

Popular Montreat landmarks

Among the spots Montreat is famed for is Montreat College, a four-year liberal arts institution founded in 1916. The college brings many special events to Montreat, including symphonies, plays, community arts festivals, adult learning programs, community trips abroad and sports programs.Montreat Conference Center, one of three national conference centers affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, draws 35,000 visitors every year, and includes a hotel, guest lodges, and a stone auditorium. The Rev. Billy Graham and his wife called Montreat home, and lent significant support to the town and the college during their lifetime.

Montreat North Carolina HikingMontreat offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoor beauty for which Western N.C. is famed. In addition to a greenway, Montreat has five tennis courts, a playground, and plenty of hiking. The five-mile Greybeard Trail Hike leads to the top of Greybeard Mountain (elevation 5,480 feet). The trail starts on the edge of Montreat, following Flat Creek for a mile or two over rocky technical terrain before reaching a section of the trail called the Trestle switchbacks. 

From there, the trail climbs more steeply to the summit of Greybeard through many short, technical sections. The summit offers stunning views of Black and Craggy Mountains as well as the foothills below.

Montreat's nearby destinations

Montreat is a quick drive to the charming town of Black Mountain, an arts and crafts, furniture and music mecca. Formerly home to the renowned Black Mountain College, Black Mountain offers an array of restaurants, specialty shops and breweries, as well as enviable access to lakes, waterfalls and hiking trails.

For more information about real estate in Montreat, or anywhere in Asheville or Western N.C., contact us at Info@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call us anytime at 828-707-9556.

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As It Grows, Mosaic Realty Builds Support for Asheville's Community Organizations

Mosaic Realty Gives 2020Giving back to the community that has supported its growth has always been Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty’s mission. Since the realty’s founding a decade ago, the number of non-profit and community organizations Mosaic supports has expanded to encompass a range of segments across Asheville’s population. 

In the past 10 years, Mosaic has given well over $500,000 to hundreds of non-profit and community organizations and events in the Asheville area. In addition, representatives of Mosaic regularly volunteer their time organizing and assisting these community initiatives.

Mosaic understands the importance of supporting area organizations that advocate for the vitality of our local and global community. To that end, the realty aims to assist groups that touch on all segments: everything from youth education to health and wellness to social justice and beyond.

Asheville area youth and schools

Aiding organizations that educate and nurture Asheville youth is important to Mosaic. Among recipients of Mosaic support are Jones Elementary School, Vance Elementary Parent Team, Asheville City Schools Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of WNC, and Buncombe Partnership for Children.

Health and wellness

A healthy population is a happy population: With a focus on helping to keep the community well, Mosaic supports Asheville on Bikes, Girls on the Run, Pisgah Rage Youth Mountain Bike Team, and the YMCA of Western N.C. And because mental and emotional health is just as important as physical well-being, Mosaic gives to All Souls Counseling Center.

Environment and green initiatives

Mosaic understands that as stewards of the Earth, it’s important to care for our environment through protective measures and green initiatives. Mosaic dollars go to support Western N.C. organizations like MountainTrue, Asheville GreenWorks and Green Built Alliance.

Housing and food security

Ashevillians in need have a number of resources at their disposal, but these organizations rely on countless volunteer hours and dollars to dole out that assistance. Mosaic helps by donating to groups like Homeward Bound, Mountain Housing Opportunities, Eblen Charities and Manna Food Bank.

Culture

Asheville is brimming with art and cultural events that enrich the community. By supporting such organizations as LEAF Community Arts, Blue Ridge Public Radio, Asheville Music School and Blue Ridge Orchestra, Mosaic helps to make dance, music, art and other cultural experiences available to a wider population.

Social justice

Aiding organizations that advocate for social justice is extremely important to Mosaic. Support from the realty goes to such groups as Our Voice and Pisgah Legal. 

These are just a few of the many Asheville area organizations and non-profits that receive Mosaic’s backing. For a complete list of groups that benefited from Mosaic’s support in 2020, visit our Donations and Volunteer page.

To learn more about real estate in the Asheville area, email us at info@mymosaicrealty.com, or call anytime at 828-707-9556.

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