Blog :: 11-2015

Top 5 Things To Do To Save $$$ On Your Heating Bill This Winter

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Save $$$ On Your Heating Bill This WinterThere is a chill in the air in Asheville, and it has us all thinking about keeping warm this winter. Heating our homes cost efficiently is a concern for many, and Mosiac Community LIfestyle Realty exposes "Top 5" things to check in your home to save on your energy bill this winter.

 

  1. PREVENT COLD AIR FROM GETTING IN - By sealing the envelope of the house, you stop cold air from getting in and petetrating coolness inside. Weather-strip doors and windows, and fill any leaks or gaps in the attic floor, such as around pipes, chimneys, wiring, and recessed light fixtures in the ceiling. Small openings and cracks can drastically increase your heating and costs. 
  2. KEEP WARM WITH INSULATION: If you insulate only one thing, it should be the attic floor, since heat rises. It is advised to have at least 10 inches of insulation in this area.
  3. CHECK DUCTWORK: Most of us understand that doors and windows can leak air in, however the ducts in a typical house leak much of both heated and cooled air into the attic, basement, or crawlspace. If you find missing duct tape, holes, or openings in the duct work, this can dramatically alter your heating bill, as the a majority of the heat is going to areas in the house that are not livable. You will need a professional to take care of the duct work to fix the duct drafts, as this is a messy and time-consuming job. 
  4. HOW OLD IS YOUR FURNACE?: Heating systems that are more than about 20 years old and cooling systems that are more than about 10 years old are inefficient by today's standards. Installing even middle-of-the-road equipment sold today can yield 10 to 20 percent savings. 
  5. CHANGE THE THERMOSTAT: Cut energy costs by installing a  programmable thermostat. These devices are said to save about 10 percent on your heating bills, according to the Alliance to Save Energy

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What Is a Buyer's Agent and Why Do You Need One?

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Buyer's AgentIt’s no secret that the real estate industry has evolved in numerous ways over the last decade.   Smart phones, apps, and a variety of internet sites are taking the market by storm, and many looking to buy a home have unprecedented access to property information at their fingertips, without depending on a real estate agent.

There is one problem with this, many of these sites are outdated. Information that is said to be current is actually not, and misleading many homebuyers looking to buy in Ashevile. Our office receives many calls to ask about a certain properties found on Zillow or other sites, and more often than not, the property has already sold and is no longer available. 

The internet is a good resource to get familiar and get started, however have a good buyer’s agent is key to finding the right Asheville home. What is a buyer’s agent? A buyer’s agent is there to protect the home buyers interest — tasks that reach far beyond the property search function.  Here is a condensed list of the essential tasks that should be handled by a qualified buyer’s agent:

 

  • Walk you through the buying process, at no cost to you. They will be able to be the giver of advice, schedule appointments, explain to you about neighborhoods and properties. They will negotiate on your behalf and write up contracts for you.
  • Educate buyer’s on current market conditions
  • Research homes in the area and sort through active listings to make suggestions after cross-referencing buyer’s needs (i.e. Which homes are located in areas that have retained home values? Which homes are located inside good school districts? Lower taxed areas? Easy work commutes? etc.)
  • Help buyers achieve their lifestyle needs with a different set of features than originally anticipated (this is particularly useful when dealing with financial constraints)
  • Aid buyers in narrowing their search until they have identified their top choices
  • Handle the ins and outs of the negotiation process including the preparation of all necessary forms when making an offer and/or counteroffer
  • Provide oversight and follow up for any inspections deemed necessary
  • Counsel buyers on how to handle any repairs needed on the property
  • Be present at closing to ensure that all the buyer’s interests are protected

 

Buyer’s agents are no longer the gatekeepers of property information, but understanding, evaluating, and presenting that property information to home buyers remains an integral part of an agent’s job.  If done properly, everyone benefits; if ignored or executed inadequately, everyone suffers.

 

Search for an Asheville buyer’s agent now. 

Source: Realtor.com | Forbes | North Carolina Association of REALTORS®

Asheville Luxury Home Demand Increasing

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Asheville Luxury Home DemandAsheville has received many accolades, including one of the World's Best Cities by National Geographic in October of 2014. Asheville is considered "up-and-coming" and is an outdoor mecca with an established foodie scene. Home buyers from more expensive markets - such as New York, Florida, New Jersey, and California - are purchasing in and around Asheville. The draw to Asheville is real, and it is pushing pressure on middle-range to luxury home pricing, and creating demand.

 

Quarter ending housing reports September 30, 2015, establish the reduction in inventory of higher-priced homes. "When inventory levels are more than 6 months, it is a buyers' market and there is downward pressure on prices and when inventory levels are less than 6 months, it is a seller's market and there is upward pressure on prices," Mike Figura, owner of Mosaic Realty, wrote in his third-quarter report on the Asheville and Buncombe County housing markets.

 

"As of October 2015, inventory in Asheville was well under 6 months in the price ranges below $450,000 and for price ranges between $450,000 and $800,000, inventory levels were around 6 months. The market has really strengthened in the upper-price ranges. For a long time (since 2013) that strength lay at houses priced under $450,000," he said.

 

Figura cited a dynamic that many analysts have observed for more than a year: Buyers from more expensive markets -- such as New York, Florida, New Jersey and California - are purchasing houses in the local area.

 

Want a glimpse of Asheville luxury home inventory? View Asheville homes priced $450,000 and higher - click here