Real Estate Resources

Staging Your Home? Focus on Key Rooms for Maximum Appeal

Living Room Staged for Sale

If you’re in the market to sell your house, you’ve probably heard that home staging can help your property stand out when prospective buyers come calling. But what you may not know is that there are key rooms in your house that will benefit most from staging. Of course, prepping the entire house is important, but learning where to focus your staging efforts will streamline the process, saving you time and money and adding buyer appeal where it matters most.

Staged KitchenKitchen

Prospective buyers will be closely examining the kitchen, so this room requires detailed staging. To start, clean and de-clutter: Obviously, the countertops should be cleared, so remove that toaster oven, the dish drying rack, and the stove-side cooking supplies. Replace with a bowl of fresh fruit, a vase of flowers, perhaps a cookbook on a display holder. But de-cluttering goes beyond the surface: Clean out cutlery drawers, organize the pantry, clean the refrigerator and oven. These are all things that may be opened during a showing, and disorganization will make the spaces look smaller. If appliances are broken or old, they will need replacing. Outdated cabinets will also require attention; if you don’t want to put money into a completely new set, look into replacing just the cabinet doors. Swapping out old faucets, cabinet handles and fixtures is another way to modernize a kitchen without breaking the bank.

Living Room

The living room is the hub of the home, the place where families relax, guests gather, and entertaining takes place. It is often the focal point for buyers, and creating a space where they can see themselves enjoying their surroundings is important. As with most rooms, de-cluttering is the easiest, most inexpensive place to start. Remove personal photographs, knick-knacks, stacks of toys – anything that can detract from the room’s overall ambiance. Replace vibrant wall colors with more universally appealing, muted tones; if furniture and textiles are worn or threadbare, replace those as well. New, inexpensive throws and accent pillows, area rugs, and neutral wall art help to define the space. Sub out harsh lighting with warmer fixtures; add greenery or flowers for a cozier, more relaxed feel.

Bathroom Staging Real Estate SaleMaster Bath

The master bath is a room that should feel inviting, relaxing and spa-like. Start with a deep clean, including scrubbing tile grout and polishing fixtures. Wipe down and organize medicine cabinets and drawers. De-clutter the counters and put toothbrushes, hair products and razors out of sight. If fixtures are old or dated, replace them. Adding towel racks, new lighting and extra storage can be an inexpensive way to freshen up the space. Crisp white towels and bath mats will give the space a clean feel. If the bathtub is old and dingy, a replacement may be in order; if you must gut the bathroom, try to retain as much of the existing shell as you can. Even if you can’t replace the entire toilet, you can easily and inexpensively replace an old toilet seat with a new one.

If you’re ready to stage and sell your home, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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Looking for a Job in Asheville? Here are 5 Top Tips

Networking Asheville JobsGuest post by Mosaic Realty Agent Nancy Horowitz

Whether you’re looking for a job ahead of your relocation to Asheville, or you already live in the area and want to further your career, there are strategic steps that can make for a smoother job search. As a real estate broker for Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty, and a former recruiter, I am often asked for career advice. That said, below are my Top 5 Job Search Tips 

1- Do Your Homework.

With something as simple as buying a new yoga mat, you do research. You might look for best sellers, read reviews, compare prices -- it’s a similar process when looking for a job, yet obviously more intense as you’re building your career! When I decided to leave recruiting, before becoming a real estate agent, I needed stability as a 9-5er. I hit the job boards, but I also thought about my interests. I made a list and began the hunt for companies that involved my passions. That’s how I ended up at a local software company that connects volunteers with volunteer opportunities. You never know what’s out there until you start looking for it.

2- Get Social.

Whether it’s online, via LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram, or in person, start noticing or asking what your various networks are doing and where they are doing it. Look into your different circles, alumni groups, interest/hobby groups, or parent groups; for those already living in Asheville, start attending functions or activities.These interactions provide solid insight into an organization, can get your foot in the door, or just plain give you ideas on different directions to take your career.

3- Work Your Resume.

As my dad told me years ago, “a resume is a work in progress.” Accept and instill that attitude as you will always be adding to, editing, and tweaking it for that one company, that one job, that one career move. Have a basic outline, starting with what your employer might write in your job description, but upgrade and personalize it to include your specific accomplishments. Provide details of your contributions, over and above what the basic role entailed.

4- Find Your Angle and Stand Out.

What is unique about you and how can you incorporate that in applying for the job? This is where you get to be creative, not just a typical cover letter but something that demonstrates who you are and how that might benefit the role and/or company. After I applied online for the software company job, I did not hear back. After a few days, I walked my resume in. I met the CEO, who passed my resume along to the director of sales, who emailed me the next day to schedule an interview.

Nancy Horowitz Asheville Realtor5- Follow Up After the Interview.

Gently poke with a friendly reminder. Of course send a thank you note, but do not be afraid to periodically reach out again. This is a great way for a potential employer to see how you would interact if you were an employee. Find a common ground and once again be creative: Share an article you read about the industry, discuss a favorite Asheville activity, or just ask about their weekend. This continued communication can make a big difference. 

Prior to joining Mosaic, Nancy Horowitz spent more than 15 years as an executive search consultant. Connecting an employer with an employee involves a thorough understanding of both parties’ demands, strengths and goals; Nancy draws upon this foundation to determine her real estate clients’ needs and successfully walk them through the home-buying or -selling process. 

Click here to read Nancy’s full bio, email her at Nancy@MyMosaicRealty.com, and follow @whyasheville on Instagram to see what Nancy is up to. 

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Mosaic Agents Are Committed to Community Causes Around Asheville

Kathleen Cook Asheville Realtor

As long-time residents of Asheville, Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty’s team of agents is committed to building community through more than just real estate: They make it their mission to work with and support the outstanding area organizations that advocate for the vitality and health of the local and global community.

Mosaic is proud to have given over $115,000 to more than 70 nonprofit and community organizations in 2019 . The agency’s contributions go beyond fiscal aid: Mosaic also helps with hundreds of annual volunteer hours. As a group, Mosaic supports WNCAP’s Dining Out for Life fundraiser every year by sending nine volunteers to work three shifts at Sunny Point Café. The agency also gathers annually for volunteer efforts such as environmental clean-ups and Habitat for Humanity builds.

In addition, Mosaic agents regularly volunteer their time individually, organizing and assisting community initiatives. From serving on nonprofit boards to assisting in schools and churches to aiding conservation causes, Mosaic’s agents have an important hand in the Asheville community. Here are a few ways they help:

Megan Shook – Megan volunteers at her children’s school, part of the Asheville City School system. She also works with Room in the Inn, a Homeward Bound shelter-to-home initiative that helps women experiencing homelessness. In addition, Megan regularly assists with outreach for Asheville Buncombe Youth Soccer Association. Learn more about Megan here: https://mymosaicrealty.com/realestate/agent/megan-shook/

Anthony Thomas -- Anthony has a strong history of community service and his efforts can be seen in many area organizations. He currently serves on the boards of both the YMI Cultural Center and Mountain Housing Opportunities. Additionally, he volunteers as a coach for Asheville’s YMCA. Learn more about Anthony here: https://mymosaicrealty.com/realestate/agent/anthony-thomas/

Nancy Horowitz – Every Tuesday, Nancy collects leftover food from the UNCA dining hall and delivers it to Hall Fletcher Elementary School to feed children in the after-school program MusicWorks; occasionally, she will also deliver the food to Trinity Place. Nancy’s work helps to divert hundreds of pounds of food from landfills and redirects it to programs that could really use it. Learn more about Nancy here: https://mymosaicrealty.com/realestate/agent/nancy-horowitz/

Kathleen Cook – Kathleen serves as vice president of the WNC Children’s Fund, which helps improve children’s lives through wellness, education and poverty alleviation. As VP, Kathleen helps spearhead wristband fundraisers at Asheville Tourists games; she also helps with the group’s annual golf tournament fundraiser. In addition, this year she led an extensive rebranding of the organization.

Outside of the Children’s Fund, Kathleen is creating her own nonprofit, Asheville Art Supplies for Kids. The organization raises funds and collects art supplies for Asheville City and Buncombe County classrooms, city programs, and art groups in need of supplies/ materials. Learn more about Kathleen here: https://mymosaicrealty.com/realestate/agent/kathleen-cook/

Stephanie Cochran – Stephanie leads a program every week that works with MANNA Foodbank to provide food for families in need. MANNA supplies prepackaged bags of food that are picked up by a group from Stephanie’s team and delivered to Grace Church; from there, another group from her team takes them to Ira B. Jones Elementary School. The team also supplements Jones’s afterschool program with snacks that are either donated or purchased through Grace. Learn more about Stephanie here: https://mymosaicrealty.com/realestate/agent/stephanie-cochran/

Maggie Marshall – Maggie helps to lead the Flatiron Writers Room, a hub for the Asheville literary community, offering writers’ workshops, retreats, author events, co-working space and more. Funds raised from the completely volunteer-run organization go to supporting the organization in the form of teacher honoraria, need-based class scholarships, classroom equipment and supplies, marketing, and charitable contributions to other literary organizations. Learn more about Maggie here: https://mymosaicrealty.com/realestate/agent/maggie-marshall/

For information about Real Estate in Asheville, reach out to one of our agents directly, contact us at info@MyMosaicRealty.com or call us anytime at 828-337-8190.

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Downtown Asheville's 23 Rankin Avenue, Unit 302 is Home to Luxurious Living

23 Rankin Avenue Unit 302

Asheville is synonymous with lots of things – wide-ranging outdoor activities, a world-class craft beer scene, unparalleled mountain vistas – but urban oasis? Many would be surprised to learn that at the heart of Asheville’s natural beauty sits a compact, livable downtown district brimming with big-city amenities, arts, entertainment, eateries, markets, gyms … the list goes on. Living in downtown Asheville puts all of these conveniences within easy walking distance.

But how to achieve luxurious living in such an urban oasis? If your timing is right, you can uncover one of the residential gems that comes available periodically. One such rarity has entered Asheville’s real estate market, perched conveniently above Rankin Avenue in a beautiful 1916 building brimming with history.

Electrolux Gas Oven Hood23 Rankin Avenue, Unit 302: A Modern Industrial Penthouse in the Heart of Asheville

Located at 23 Rankin Ave., unit 302 is the peak of sumptuous living. Totally renovated in 2010, this stunning modern industrial penthouse affords dynamic vistas of the city as well as spectacular year-round mountain views from its spacious, 2,000-square-foot rooftop patio. Rustic industrial character is found throughout, including original brick interior walls, hemlock floors harvested from the Biltmore Estate, custom steel railings and dramatic use of original wood beams and truss. 

Eat Out, Eat In

There’s no shortage of drinking and dining options for meeting friends in downtown Asheville – everything from brunch hotspots Over Easy Café, Early Girl Eatery and Tupelo Honey to bustling brew pubs Wicked Weed Brewery and Bhramari Brewing Co. to dessert destinations French Broad Chocolates and Karen Donatelli, just to name a few. 

But if you’re feeling like dining or entertaining at home, unit 302 allows you to do so easily, with its open floor plan featuring a spacious living room, raised den with home theater, office and chef's kitchen. The luxurious kitchen features leathered granite counters, generous custom Wenge cabinets, a walk-in pantry and an Electrolux gas range. 

Theater in AshevilleA Welcoming Home After a Day Downtown

Look for culturally rich programs and entertainment in downtown Asheville, and you won’t be disappointed. Think dance and music performances at the Diana Wortham Theatre; a range of concerts and sporting events at the U.S. Cellular Center/Thomas Wolfe Auditorium; and all manner of outdoor music and arts fests in Pack Square. Pack Memorial Library also features performances and a range of organized activities for all ages. 

Itching for an enriching museum experience? Hit the Asheville Art Museum, the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, the Asheville Museum of Science or the Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center, or mix in a little play at the Asheville Pinball Museum. And after a day soaking in everything downtown Asheville has to offer, come home to unit 302 and soak in the master suite’s sumptuous tub and relaxing spa shower. 

Interested in learning more about 23 Rankin, unit 302? Please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

View Video: 23 Rankin Avenue, Unit 302

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Affording a Home in the Asheville Area Is Easier With These Helpful Resources

Picture of Green Craftsman Style Home

Housing in Asheville is expensive and can be out of reach for many people. At Mosaic Realty, we believe that you should have access to housing in our great city regardless of budget. Asheville has a number of programs to help facilitate homeownership for a range of budgets. These programs include OnTrack WNCMountain Housing Opportunities, and the City of Asheville Housing Trust. You can learn more about these helpful resources on our Affordable Housing Resource Page. Additionally, we have created this Affordable Homes Quick Search feature for you to begin to explore homes. We also encourage you to contact us so that we can help you navigate your options and assist in your search for housing. Mosaic Realty has agents trained in affordable housing who are ready to help you.

For information about Real Estate in Asheville, contact Mosaic Realty owner Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call him anytime at 828-337-8190.

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All About the Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty YouTube Channel

YouTube LogoDid you know that we have a YouTube channel?! Our YouTube channel is chock-full of useful videos from Tours of Asheville Neighborhoods to Testimonials from people we’ve worked within the past. YouTube is the second largest search engine, just behind Google. We are using that to our advantage to help sell homes. Real estate is visual, so what better way to show off homes than with high-quality videos?! By posting listing videos for properties we are getting in front of thousands of people - which is good news for our sellers. We update our YouTube regularly, so make sure you subscribe to stay in the loop!

A Multitude of Benefits Are Built Into Asheville's New Construction Homes

New Construction Homes in Asheville

There are many benefits to buying a newly constructed home in Asheville. From energy efficiency to low-cost maintenance to modern design and floor plans, new builds allow you a move-in-ready option so you can settle quickly and start enjoying your life in the mountains!

Minimal maintenance

One obvious benefit to owning a brand-new build is little need for maintenance. Everything – plumbing, appliances, HVAC – is modern and should require little of your attention in the first few years. And if they do, warranties will be in effect for a year or two (depending on the coverage) to handle any initial repair costs.

New homes are also built to require less maintenance in the long run. Long-lasting, engineered countertops can withstand much more than the laminated material of yesteryear; hardwood floors popular in most new builds are more durable, and there’s no carpet to replace; and modern exterior finishes utilize materials that can weather the elements for years longer.

Search for New Asheville NC HomesEnergy efficient

With modern construction and advanced appliances and other technologies, new builds easily integrate the kind of energy efficiency that will protect the environment and save you money on monthly utility bills.

Many builders in Asheville participate in Green Built Homes, a voluntary green building certification program administered by the Green Built Alliance. This program offers a certificate for meeting green-building guidelines, with multiple levels of certification available for a range of price points. With such certification, you can be assured of owning an energy-efficient, environmentally sound home.

Modern design

Most new homes embrace the open-floor design popular with modern lifestyles; think kitchens that blend seamlessly into dining and living spaces, large windows that allow for plenty of natural light, master-on-main designs, and the like.

With a new build, you will be assured that space is used efficiently, and aesthetically pleasing designs dominate. Modern floor-plan flow can be much improved over older homes, allowing for flexibility in furnishings, and supplying a more open, airy feel.

Asheville New Construction Home SearchMosaic’s “New Construction” search

Ready to begin your hunt for a newly constructed home in Asheville? Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty has made the process easy with its “New Construction” Web site search. Simply go to mymosaicrealty.com, click on the “Interests & Lifestyles” tab, then scroll down to “New Construction.” Here, you will find homes in Asheville and the surrounding areas that have been built in the last three years. 

For more information on new construction homes or any other homes or properties in the Asheville area, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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Moving to Asheville? Here's How to Set Up Utilities

Asheville NC Utilities

As a new resident of Asheville, one of the first matters of business is getting your utilities set up. From gas to water to cable to green resources, here’s what you need to know to get started.

Natural Gas

Dominion Energy – Servicing residential, commercial and industrial customers in the north central, piedmont and western parts of North Carolina. https://www.psncenergy.com

Asheville NC Utilities ElectricElectricity

Duke Energy Progress – Providing power to 7.7 million retail customers in six states, including customers in Western N.C. https://www.duke-energy.com/home

Internet, Cable and Telephone

Spectrum – Provides television, Internet and telephone set-up and service. https://www.spectrum.com/services/north-carolina/asheville

AT&T – Provides telephone, Internet and television services. https://www.att.com/local/north-carolina/asheville

DIRECTV – Provides satellite television, as well as Internet and telephone bundles. https://www.directv.com/city/asheville-nc/index.html

DISH Network – Provides satellite television. https://www.dish.com/availability/nc/asheville

Water, Sewer and Sanitation

One account with the City of Asheville will supply you with water, sewer and sanitation services. The city will provide you with a trash bin and a recycling bin when you open an account.

Asheville Water Resource Department – Maintains Asheville’s three water treatment plants, 30 pumping stations and 27 storage reservoirs. https://www.ashevillenc.gov/services/water-utilities/

The Metropolitan Sewerage District – Provides sewer services to Asheville city residents as well as other subdivisions within Buncombe County. https://www.ashevillenc.gov/services/water-utilities/

Asheville Water UtilitiesMunicipal Waste Services – Asheville City manages trash, recycling and brush collection, including bulky items and white goods. It provides special services for residents unable to manage their trash and recycling carts, and provides sanitation-related code enforcement. Garbage pickup is weekly, and recycling pickup is bi-weekly. https://www.ashevillenc.gov/department/sanitation/

Landfill – The Buncombe County landfill is located at 85 Panther Branch Road. The Transfer Station, which accepts residential trash only, is at 490 Brevard Road. Both facilities are open from 8 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday and from 8 am to 1 pm on Saturdays. Both facilities also handle recycling. https://www.buncombecounty.org/governing/depts/solid-waste/landfill.aspx, https://www.buncombecounty.org/governing/depts/solid-waste/transfer-station.aspx

Green Resources

Danny's Dumpster – This waste disposal alternative specializes in waste reduction while striving to make environmentally responsible decisions both affordable and convenient. From set-up to pick-up for both commercial and residential customers, the service encourages responsible disposal through composting and recycling. It includes washing containers and using compostable bags, streamlining pick-ups, educating customers and brainstorming solutions to unique waste problems. http://www.dannysdumpster.com

Blue Ridge Biofuels – This company provides Bioheat, made with biodiesel as a sustainable alternative to standard home heating oil. Bioheat provides cleaner air and a healthier home environment and is made from local, renewable resources. http://blueridgebiofuels.com/bioheat/

Solar and other renewable energy – Using renewable energy saves money on heating and cooling bills, reduces dependence on fossil fuels, and is better for the environment. If you’d like to look into local solar or other renewable energy resources for powering your new home in Asheville, a good place to start is with the GreenBuilt Alliance’s Directory of Renewable Energy.  All businesses listed must meet minimum criteria to be included in the directory. https://www.greenbuilt.org/directory/renewable-energy/ 

For more information about moving to Asheville and Real Estate in Asheville, contact Mosaic Realty owner Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call him anytime at 828-337-8190.

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Seasonal Maintenance Helps Prep Your Asheville Home for Fall

Home Maintenance Fall Asheville

Cooler evenings in the Asheville area signal a seasonal shift is on the horizon, and while you may be ready for autumn and everything it brings, your home may not be. Here are some key ways to prep your home for fall so you’re not left out in the cold. 

Exterior

With the approach of cool weather, it’s a good idea to seal any spots where heat can escape your home. Caulk and seal openings around your home’s foundation, windows and doorframes. If you have storm windows and doors, now is the time to install them. Remove window screens where necessary, and clean and repair them before storing. Replace old or damaged gutters, considering ones that have leaf guards to prevent a pile-up of falling foliage. Make sure steps and handrails are in good condition.

Home Maintenance in AutumnInsulation

With Western N.C. temperatures dipping lower, especially in the evenings, now’s the time to inspect and upgrade insulation, and consider weather stripping for added protection against the coming colder days. Doors and windows that are weather-stripped will prevent drafts and heat loss. 

Water pipes

When water inside pipes freezes, the expansion can cause pipes to crack or, worse, burst. Check your pipes in the fall, before winter’s cold sets in. Don’t forget about exterior faucets and sprinkler systems: Drain water from them, disconnect outdoor hoses, and cover outdoor faucets with foam insulators. Pay particular attention to piping in garages, crawl spaces and attics, where it could get colder, and consider extra insulation for these areas. 

Fall Home MaintenanceHVAC

Vacuum internal parts of air conditioners, and remove or wrap any window units. While it’s still temperate, have your furnace or boiler checked; clean or replace the furnace filter if you have a forced hot air system; if you have a working fireplace, make sure to have your chimney checked and serviced before use. As you settle into fall, have fuel tanks filled, and monitor levels throughout the season and into winter; never set your heat lower than 55 degrees, as the walls where water pipes live are colder than your home’s interior. 

For information about Real Estate in Asheville, contact Mosaic Realty owner Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call him anytime at 828-337-8190.

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Mosaic Makes Finding an Asheville Property With Homestay Potential Easy

Asheville NC Short Term Rental Properties

Photo credit: Justin Mitchell

Looking for an Asheville property with added homestay potential? Homestay – renting a room or rooms out within a private home – is a great way for a homeowner to make some extra cash or to offset mortgage costs. In Asheville, homestays are permitted in residentially zoned areas if you meet the regulatory requirements for homestays and obtain a homestay permit. 

Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty has made it easy to pinpoint properties with homestay or vacation rental potential. By visiting https://mymosaicrealty.com, clicking on the “Interests & Lifestyles” tab, then going to the “Homes with Homestay Potential” section, you can see which available properties offer a potential homestay option.

Asheville Homestay PropertiesWhat city law permits

The City of Asheville allows two types of paid overnight lodging accommodations within a home or apartment for less than one month.

A homestay is the rental of a room or rooms in a private home. A permanent resident must reside at the property and be present in the home during the time of the homestay. Homestays can be permitted in residentially zoned areas if they meet the regulatory requirements for homestays and the homeowner obtains a homestay permit. You can apply with the city for a new homestay permit, or apply to renew your existing permit, all online. 

Rental of an entire dwelling unit for less than a month is called a short-term vacation rental (STVR). STVRs are only permitted in the resort zoning district.

Real Estate Homestay Asheville NCSearch with ease

Mosaic’s homestay search feature displays listings for a variety of Asheville-area real estate based on properties with “vacation rental” and similar terms in the property description. However, note that while these search results may offer homestay potential, the listing details may not be precise or accurate. To confirm if a property has legal homestay potential, it’s best to contact one of Mosaic’s knowledgeable agents.

You can also create an account with Mosaic to save your favorite searches and homestay listings, and to receive prompt email notifications when similar properties become available. This option will cut down on search time by keeping details of your most common key words and favorite homestay properties, and automatically alerting you to any changes to saved listings.

If you have any questions about potential homestay properties, or for more information on any other Asheville-area real estate, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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