Real Estate Resources

Asheville's 2018 Parade of Homes to Feature Malvern Walk Stunner

Malvern Walk Asheville New Homes

Asheville’s 2018 Parade of Homes to Feature Malvern Walk Stunner

For two weekends in October, the Asheville area’s world-class custom-home market will be on display, with more than 35 newly constructed projects open to the public.  Free self-guided tours will be available during the Asheville Home Builders Association Parade of Homes held Oct. 13-14 and 20-21, 2018, from 1-5 p.m. each day.  The event showcases a variety of craftsmanship styles available for your next building or remodeling project, from modern to rustic to farmhouse.

Malvern Walk Parade of Homes AshevilleAmong the homes featured will be JAG & Associates Construction’s meticulously crafted custom green build in West Asheville’s “newest old neighborhood,” Malvern Walk. High-quality features woven throughout the 4-bed, 4-bath, 2,752 sq. ft. home, coupled with thoughtful design, make this build a must-see. Highlights include high-efficiency HVAC, water heating and lighting; Photovoltaic Solar System; unique garage plan featuring bike-centric space; open concept floor plan for kitchen, living and dining rooms; and large doors to connect indoor and outdoor spaces.

Where History and Modern Meet

And of course, a major allure of the home comes in its surroundings. Situated within one of the city's original historic neighborhoods, the new community of Malvern Walk is adjacent to the site of the historic Sulphur Springs Hotel, and home to what was once the last stop on Asheville’s first electric trolley. The neighborhood is steeped in the past, yet thoroughly modern, an area enveloped in natural beauty and mountain vistas, with amazing proximity to a wide range of amenities. Boasting broad sky views and an accessible community to delight walkers, cyclists and gardeners alike, Malvern Walk provides the rare opportunity to build a new home in a historic large-lot subdivision.

JAG Construction Malvern Walk AshevilleWhether you find building inspiration in this year’s Parade of Homes, or already have your dream home plans in hand, Malvern Walk offers the perfect starting point. Act fast to choose from one of the only 17 remaining lots, all approximately a quarter acre or larger.  With all of the groundwork for building already in place- including underground utilities, graded building sites and thoughtful design guidelines- you can start your new construction home quickly by bringing your own builder or choosing from one of Malvern Walk’s preferred green builders.

For more information on Malvern Walk, visit https://www.malvernwalk.com, email Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call him anytime at 828-337-8190

For more information on JAG’s building options, visit http://jaggreenbuilders.com.

And to learn more about the Parade of Homes, visit https://paradeofhomesasheville.com.

 

Using a Buyer's Agent Can Open Doors to a Smooth, Successful Home Purchase

Buyers Agent Asheville

As you begin your home search in Asheville, the benefits of using a buyer’s agent cannot be understated. A buyer's agent works exclusively for you to protect your interests and ensure you have all the information you need to make the best possible decisions when buying a home. The key is finding an agent thoroughly versed in every aspect of Asheville real estate. The agents at Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty bring with them extensive knowledge of all of Asheville’s neighborhoods and available properties, and how to navigate the process smoothly. Following, some key ways a buyer’s agent can make your Asheville real estate search a successful one:

Find a Home in Asheville

A good buyer’s agent will start with a personal guided tour of the Asheville area and homes for sale, then research the properties you're considering, including culling information about the lot, deed, permit, previously sold pricing, and other details the seller's agent won't provide. With inventory low in Asheville, and good homes going quickly, it’s important to have someone tapped into the most up-to-date information available, so when the perfect house comes along, you’ll be ready.

Negotiate the Offer

Asheville Real EstateA seasoned buyer’s agent can set a price on a home the minute they walk through the door. Ample experience in the Asheville market, and knowledge of how well a neighborhood holds its value, are key to the computation. Before making an offer, the agents at Mosaic will check selling prices of comparable homes in the neighborhood, and review all disclosures about the home with you. They’ll work with you to write the offer with terms that are favorable to you as well as attractive to the seller, allowing you to get the home you want at the price you want.

Code Expertise

Say you want to buy a home near a business district and turn the main floor into a storefront, or you want to know that the small home next door won’t eventually be replaced with a multistory complex: An experienced buyer’s agent should be familiar enough with local zoning ordinances to know exactly what can, or could, be done to your home or in the neighborhood, saving you any surprises down the road.

Request Repairs

A good buyer’s agent will be able to identify trouble that you may not see, as well as recommend a good independent home inspector who will provide a detailed report on problems with the house. Once that report is in hand, the buyer’s agent can comb through it, picking out which problems are important and which aren’t. A good agent will know which repair requests are reasonable, and which may (unnecessarily) break the deal.

Coordinate the Purchase

Energy Efficient AshevilleOnce your offer is accepted, a buyer’s agent will help with all aspects of your home purchase. From scheduling and reviewing the appropriate home inspections to coordinating with your mortgage broker and settlement agent, the agent works with you every step of the way to make sure everything gets done correctly and in a timely manner.

Evaluate Energy-Efficiency Improvements

A buyer’s agent can assist you in obtaining a property energy assessment, helping you to understand what, if any, improvements should be made. The agents at Mosaic can connect you with the Green Built Alliance's Green Gauge program, which uses a simple tool for assessing home efficiency and sustainability.

Avoid Closing Problems

When a sale nears closing, all kinds of pitfalls – whether a title issue, last-minute inspection revelation, or financing glitch – can kill the deal in the final hours. A seasoned buyer’s agent knows to watch for trouble before it's too late.

If you’re ready to begin your home search in Asheville with one of Mosaic’s knowledgeable buyer’s agents at the helm, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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The Latest Technology Makes Smart Homes a No-Brainer

Smart Home Technology

With ever-advancing technology, smart homes are only getting smarter. From security cameras that send motion notifications to your smartphone, to doorbells that let you see who’s at the door before you even answer it, the latest additions to the smart-home roster promise easier, less stressful, streamlined living. How can you make your home smarter? Read on.

Doorbells

With built-in video cameras, smart doorbells can send images to your phone so you can see who’s knocking without going to the door. Some even come with built-in microphones for communicating with your visitor even if you’re not home.

Speakers

Smart Homes AshevilleThese hands-free devices allow you to do a range of things, from checking the morning traffic to sending a text to streaming a podcast, all via voice activation. In addition, such smart speakers can allow you to do things like dim lights and lower the shades, using compatible smart-home kits.

Security Cameras

Gone are the days of third-party security services: With the latest smart security devices, a camera can send emails, pictures and alerts to your smart phone whenever it detects motion or activity outside. Built-in speakers allow you to also listen or speak through the device.

Ovens

Even cooking is getting tech-y: Some of the newest ovens on the market offer built-in Wi-Fi, so you can use a smartphone app to preheat, adjust temperatures, or even turn off the appliance (especially helpful if you often leave home wondering if the oven is still on). The ovens will also alert you if you’ve left a burner on, which you can turn off via your phone.

Robotic Mowers and Vacuums

Smart Home Technology AshevilleThe newest models have perfected their sensors to more easily detect obstacles and work around them. Some mowers can return to their base if they sense rain, or need to recharge. Vacuums have improved on multi-surfacing and cornering, and many allow you to schedule tasks or set virtual mapping for a truly hands-free clean-up.

Thermostats

Manually changing temperature settings is a thing of the past, thanks to the latest smart thermostats, which respond to your comfort and energy-saving needs using algorithms and smart senses. With responsive touchscreen displays, remote temperature sensors, and integrations with smart-home kits, these devices make it simple to reduce consumption, and thus save money.

For information about Asheville or Real Estate in Asheville, email Mosaic Realty owner Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com or call him anytime at 828-777-3955.

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Navigating Asheville's Real Estate Zoning Laws Requires the Right Research

Asheville Zoning

As you begin your real estate search in the Asheville area, it’s important to learn the zoning rules and regulations specific to the neighborhoods you’re interested in. The laws can be complicated and circuitous depending on the type of home or business you plan to establish; extremely helpful to the process is securing a real estate agent that knows the zoning ins and outs, and can successfully and smoothly guide you.

The agents at Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty can help you every step of the way, fully educating you on all the zoning regulations that can affect your purchase so you’re not left with any surprises once you’ve moved in. So whether you’re thinking of a future remodel, starting a home business, or even keeping farm animals, here are some tips as you begin your search:

Asheville Zoning Rules·      If you are within a city or town that is incorporated, they will have their own planning code that trumps the county’s planning code. It is essential to figure out which you are under; the best way to do this is to ask the listing agent.

·      If you’re planning to buy land to build on, or property to renovate or add onto, you will have to run it by the city. A Mosaic agent can help you craft a description of the project to submit to the city planning department.

·      Did you know that both residential and commercial properties can carry parking regulations and requirements? Everything from the size of parking to curb cuts can come into play. It’s important to know what’s required before you set out.

·      If you’ve decided on a neighborhood you like, find out what zoning category it falls under: single-family, multifamily residential, mixed use? These categories can affect whether or not a home business is lawful, and they can also prepare you for the possibility that the house next door could eventually be torn down and replaced with an apartment building.

·      If remodeling is in your future, make sure you get the lowdown on things like how much square footage you can add on, or whether a garage addition is allowed. Even exterior paint color and landscaping can fall under zoning ordinances. Enlist a Mosaic agent to do the research for you, and you’ll be fully prepared for the rules.

·      Raising farm animals such as chickens, roosters, even goats is a popular pastime for many in the Asheville area. But zoning regulations can prohibit keeping such animals in your yard. Best to find out early, so your urban farming dreams aren’t dashed!

·      When in doubt, visit Asheville’s city planning department in person and get your questions answered directly, and in writing. That way, if there’s any uncertainty down the road, you can produce documentation of permissible parameters.

If you’re ready to start your search, and would like more tips like these, and guidance maneuvering Asheville’s zoning regulations, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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Tips for Finding a Home in Asheville

Finding an Asheville Home

Shopping for a home can be a complicated, confusing undertaking. As rewarding as the end result is, the process of attaining your dream requires time, patience and, most importantly, organization. Before you set out on the journey, it helps to map out your wants and needs. While you may not meet every one of your desires, detailing them at the outset will help you streamline the shopping process and make it more enjoyable. Following, a few tips to set you on the right path for finding your dream home in the hot Asheville, NC Real Estate market.

Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

This is an important first step toward a home purchase. Obtaining mortgage pre-approval means you can pinpoint your price range and narrow down your options. In addition, it shows you to be a serious buyer when it comes time to make an offer and you can be prepared to act quickly when that perfect property hits the market.

Zero in on Neighborhood Amenities

How to Find an Asheville HomeWhat are you looking for in a neighborhood? Is it homes with mountain views? Are you all about walkability? Do you desire a larger lot? Knowing what the options are, and then honing in on the neighborhoods that boast your favorites, will give you a good start in your search. Mosaic Realty's Search by Interest and Lifestyle page can assist you with dialing in your search.

Find a Knowledgeable Agent

When you’re looking for a home in Asheville, and especially if you’re planning to relocate to the area from a different part of the country, it helps to have a knowledgeable agent well-versed in Asheville’s neighborhoods and all they have to offer. The agents at Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty know the ins and outs of this city they call home; they will listen to what you’re after in a home and neighborhood, and focus the search accordingly, saving you time and energy.

Prioritize Home Amenities

Asheville Homes for SaleThere are as many home styles and amenities to choose from as there are buyers. If you know you want an older home replete with claw-foot bathtub and antique fixtures, it makes little sense to spend time viewing modern green-builds. Homes may not house every detail you desire, but it is possible to find one that boasts a number of your top requirements.

Get to Know Your Potential ’Hood

The perfect home is only as perfect for you as the neighborhood it’s in. The best way to learn about a specific Asheville neighborhood is to visit it a few times, and during different times of the day and evening. Are there lots of kids playing in the neighborhood for yours to befriend? Do the barking dogs delight or dismay? Maybe even take a walk through the area and chat with residents you run into – most will be happy to talk to you about their neighborhood. If noise is a concern, it’s important to gauge things like area traffic and the resulting ambient noise. Details like this can’t be learned through a listing.

So, if you’re ready to begin your home search in Asheville, or want more tips to make the most of your house hunt, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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In Asheville, GreenWorks' Hard 2 Recycle Events Make for a More Eco-Friendly Move

Asheville Greenworks Hard to Recycle

Moving is never an easy task. The to-do list in preparation for the undertaking can be long and laborious. Keeping the environment in mind when planning a move may be the last thing you want to worry about, but it’s easier than you think. Doing little things like opting for eco-friendly moving containers and supplies can cut back on excessive cardboard uses, and greatly reduce the amount of unfriendly packing materials you might use, like plastic bubble wrap and Styrofoam. Additionally, finding ways to soundly dispose of hard-to-recycle items you might not want to move – think that old television, dusty, unused books, or a dilapidated table – can help reduce moving costs AND stay kind to the environment.

Recycling AshevilleAsheville GreenWorks offers an easy solution with its Hard 2 Recycle events. Founded in 2011 by Rainbow Recycling, the free events bring to the public an awareness of alternate modes of recycling in Buncombe County. Held five times throughout the year (four events around the county and one central event in downtown Asheville), Hard 2 Recycle aims to collect and divert items that would otherwise end up crowding a landfill.

Working with various community businesses to recycle or repurpose discarded items, Hard 2 Recycle will accept everything from electronics, appliances, Styrofoam and packing peanuts to furniture, hardware, plumbing, rolls of chain link, even cooking oil. Finding the next Hard 2 Recycle event is simple; just visit http://www.ashevillegreenworks.org/hard-2-recycle.html for a schedule, along with which items will be accepted at the upcoming event.

If you’re planning to move, taking advantage of the next Hard 2 Recycle event – either to avoid moving unnecessary items, or to properly dispose of any hard-to-recycle packing materials you may use in the move – is just one way of applying an eco-friendly approach to the task. Here are some other ways to do so:

·     Asheville Greenworks Hard to Recycle  Instead of buying a bunch of brand-new moving boxes – which usually last for a handful of uses before they need to be recycled – ask friends or local businesses if they have any you can take off their hands. You can get creative with moving containers as well. Suitcases, laundry baskets, clean garbage bins, furniture drawers and trash bags can all pull double duty when transporting possessions.

·       Substitute packing materials like plastic bubble wrap and Styrofoam packing peanuts with more eco-friendly options. You can wrap and cushion delicate items with blankets, towels, sheets or clothing.

·       Moving your belongings yourself, in piecemeal, may seem like a good idea, but the back-and-forth car trips can tax the environment. Instead, leave the job to the movers on your designated moving day, and concentrate on packing efficiently so as to minimize the number of boxes they’ll need to transport.

For more information about Asheville or about real estate in Asheville, contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call him anytime at 828-337-8190. 

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Building a New Home Requires the Right Tools

New Construction Green Home Asheville

Asheville has seen a new-construction boom in recent years, thanks to an influx of buyers looking for fresh, modern, green or more centrally located homes in popular neighborhoods. While it’s easy to believe that a newly built home translates to a headache-free real estate transaction, new construction carries its own set of cautionary guidelines. Finding an agent who can navigate the ins and outs of a new-construction purchase is key to getting the best out of your experience. The agents at Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty have the knowhow to guide you through the process smoothly, eliminating the headaches that can come with venturing into unfamiliar territory. Below, a few pointers to get you started:

  • New Construction Asheville HomeIf you’re purchasing a home before or during construction, make sure the building specifics are adequately defined so there is no question about finishes. A Mosaic agent can clue you in to which details you need to know – floor plans and spec sheets are but two of the specifics – and from whom to secure the information.
  • If the seller or builder is perhaps just starting out and lacks some experience, you will want the due diligence period to run beyond completion of construction. That way, you have time to terminate the deal if the house is not completed to spec.
  • Did you know that even if you’re building a new home, you should still be ready to perform a regular home inspection and radon test? While green-built homes already come radon-tested, other types of new-home construction may not.
  • Newly constructed homes don’t generally come with things like mailboxes or bathroom hardware – think towel rods and toilet paper holders. An adept agent will know what to look for on spec sheets, and can help you determine which missing pieces you’ll need to supply yourself.
  • Always make sure you have a one-year warranty as part of new construction. A Mosaic agent can help you nail down the right contract or addendum to protect your new investment.
  • Did you know you can pay for blinds or window treatments but have the builder install them? A knowledgeable agent can help you think through ancillary items like these that you may want to add on during construction of your new home.

Tips like these are only a start; if you’re ready to build or buy a new-construction home in Asheville, and want a thorough plan and expert direction that thoughtfully encompasses all of your needs, contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190, or get in touch with any of Mosaic’s selling agents at info@mymosaicrealty.com.

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Mills River Offers Ample Space Amid Abundant Natural Beauty

Mills River Neighborhood

Within minutes of some of the country’s most popular and picturesque state and national forests sits Mills River, a town in the northwestern part of Henderson County stretching northeast to the Buncombe County border and southwest to the Transylvania County line. Sitting 17 miles to the southwest of Asheville, Mills River offers expansive living against breathtaking backdrops, with close proximity to all manner of amenities.

Mills River was incorporated as a town in 2003, and has a population of around 7,000. Featuring rolling hills dotted with everything from rambling ranches to newly constructed homes, as well as lots ready for custom creations, the town is a draw for those seeking room to stretch out, but still be within arm’s reach of conveniences. The Asheville Regional Airport and I-26 are mere minutes away. The towns of Hendersonville (8 miles away) and Brevard (14 miles away) are also easily accessible.

Outdoor Adventures Abound

Du Pont State ForestWhen it comes to outdoor adventures, Mills River can’t be beat. For water activities, the French Broad River flows through the northeastern part of town, while one of its tributaries, the Mills River, flows through the center of town. Both Pisgah National Forest and DuPont State Forest are a short drive away, offering daytrips overflowing with waterfalls, hiking paths and mountain biking trails – you can even take a horseback trail ride. The area also boasts renowned destinations like Sliding Rock and the Cradle of Forestry.

For world-class music performances, Mills River is just a short drive from the Brevard Music Center’s Summer Festival, which features everything from bluegrass to classical to operatic productions.

Excitement is Brewing in Mills River

Sierra Nevada Brewery Mills RiverA major boon to the town came in 2014, when Sierra Nevada opened a brewery – its second in the U.S. – in Mills River. The sprawling, state-of-the-art facility and Taproom and Restaurant draw thousands of visitors from all over the region and the world to enjoy tours, tastings and special events, as well as live music indoors and outdoors, in a relaxed family atmosphere. 

Other popular spots to visit in Mills River include the Mills River Creamery, offering a range of locally made milk, cheeses, ice cream, as well as the Bold Rock Hard Cidery, which has daily tours, tastings, flights and food.

For a personally guided tour of Mills River, or for more information on real estate here or anywhere in the Asheville area, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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In Asheville, Residential Solar Systems Brighten the Bottom Line

Solar Panels Home Asheville

As the movement toward alternative energy sources continues, residential solar energy incentives are gaining a growing audience. In Asheville, homeowners can take advantage of many rebates and incentives at the state and federal levels, meaning that both up-front and long-term costs can be reduced. Following, a few financial benefits to installing solar systems in your home:

Federal Tax Credits

The installation of both solar water heaters and solar panels can qualify for a tax credit. As of 2018, that means a credit of 30% of the cost, including installation costs, with no upper limit. (The credit decreases to 26% in 2020). The systems must be installed in a home you own and use as a primary residence, between Jan. 1, 2006, and Dec. 31, 2021. For solar water heaters, at least half of the energy generated must come from the sun, and the system must be certified by the Solar Rating and Certification Corp. For solar panels, the photovoltaic systems must provide electricity for the residence.

State Incentives

Solar Power HomeDuke Energy provides its N.C. customers with rebates if they install solar panel systems. Homeowners can receive a $0.60/watt rebate for systems up to 10 kilowatts. That means an average 6-kilowatt system would be eligible for a rebate of $3,600.

Revolving loan options are another perk for North Carolina residents. Legislation enacted in the state allows for cities and counties to offer low-interest loans for solar panels. The legislation limits loan terms to 20 years, with an interest rate cap of 8 percent.

Property Tax Exemption

Solar PowerSolar systems are lauded for increasing the value of your home, but that can also mean higher property taxes. However, in North Carolina, for homeowners who are using their systems for residential purposes (and not for business or profit), an N.C. property tax exemption means that the value their system adds to the property isn’t included in property tax assessments.

Another incentive for N.C. residents who install solar panels is net metering. The state’s net metering policy credits homeowners for the extra power the solar panels produce, and allows them to apply that credit during times when the system doesn’t generate enough electricity.

At the local level, installing solar panels will net a bonus incentive. If you live in the city of Asheville, you can receive a rebate on your building permit when installing a solar system on either residential or commercial construction.

If you’re in the market for a home in Asheville that is equipped with a solar system, or one that can accommodate such a system, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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Multilingual Site Makes Mosaic an Asheville Real Estate Resource for All

Mosaic Realty Website Asheville Homepage Spanish

As Asheville’s appeal widens, so grows its attractiveness as a place to purchase a home, whether it be a primary residence or a vacation property. International interest in the city means more non-English-speaking buyers are exploring real estate options in Asheville – and thus the need for multilingual assistance.

Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty is at the forefront of accommodating this new population of potential clients, becoming an inclusive resource for non-English speakers searching for Asheville-area properties. One way Mosaic is doing this is through its website. Mymosaicrealty.com now offers Google Translate, which instantly translates the site from English into more than 100 other world languages.

Easy-to-Use System

Mosaic Realty Website Asheville SpanishThe system is simple: When a user goes to Mosaic’s homepage, or any other page, he or she can click on the tab appearing in the upper left corner that says “Select Language.” From there, a drop-down menu reveals the language options available. A quick click on one of the myriad language options will translate that page, and every page to which the user navigates.

In addition, there is also a notification on most browsers that will pop up to recommend visitors translate the language of the page. The notification might read: "We have detected that this website is in English. Do you want to translate to Spanish now?"

Spanish-Speaking Agents

Mosaic Realty AgentsBeyond its website, Mosaic is specifically reaching out to Spanish-speaking clients in a more direct fashion. Three Mosaic agents – Joseph Ruiz, Hart Dalhauser and Gus Mujica – are fluent in Spanish, which means they can adeptly assist Spanish speakers, providing them with a more comfortable environment in which to buy or sell a home.

Mosaic approaches each client’s individual needs with respect, honesty and integrity. Now, that approach can be extended across a multilingual platform. Thanks to Google Translate, navigating Mosaic’s listings and its other helpful real estate and regional information has never been easier – in any language.

For more information on real estate in the Asheville area, or if you know of a non-native-English speaker seeking to buy or sell a home in Asheville, contact Mosaic owner Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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