Blog :: 06-2016

Plan to Make Your New Asheville Home Green with an Energy Audit

 

Home Energy Audit

photo credit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4At7maRE09E

 

Many individuals moving to or within Asheville have a strong sense of environmental stewardship.  New, green homes have their advantages, but we recognize that many people prefer the unique charm or affordability of an older or historic home.  You can have both the charm and the energy efficiency with our help!

As a service to our clients who work with us on purchasing a home, we offer a free energy audit through our Energy Retrofit program.

Our Energy Retrofit Program

Here is how it works:

  1. We help you identify a home that you love and want to buy.

  2. We negotiate on your behalf to help you get the best contract that you can with the least amount of stress.

  3. During the examination period, we pay for an energy audit and energy efficiency inspection.  We will provide you with a Suggested Improvements report that will explain the recommendations, itemize the costs, and have an estimate for the time it will take to recoup the investment.

  4. You choose whether you want to make some, all or none of the suggested improvements.

  5. We can be a resource for you for finding tax credit, financing and service providers should you decide to make any suggested improvements.

Our Partners in the Energy Retrofit Program: Conservation Pros, Inc.

Conservation Pros, Inc. is a local company consisting of a team of BPI certified building performance professionals.  They take a localized and modern approach to efficiency, safety, health and comfort.  

We have partnered with them to offer our homebuyers their Home Performance Checkup.  This includes:

  • A visual inspection of the attic, interior, crawlspace, basement and exterior

  • A Blower Door Analysis that measures air leakage

  • Infrared Imaging that reveals sources of energy loss

  • A list of recommendations and a quote

Conservation

photo: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservation_finance

 

The Benefits to Making Energy Efficiency Improvements in an Older Home

Older and historic homes were built with different technologies and materials than today’s green homes.  However, they do have features that can make them inherently energy efficient such as thick walls, awnings and porches that provide shade, operable windows, and locally-sourced materials.

There are many environmental benefits to maximizing an older home’s original energy-saving features.  Your current systems will run more efficiently, thus saving them wear and tear.  Improved energy efficiency will enhance your comfort level in your home since temperatures will be more stabilized due to sealed air leaks.  Energy efficiency improvements are usually a wise investment as you recoup money from energy savings over time.  Finally, your conscience will benefit from knowing that you are consuming fewer fossil fuels.

Find Your Asheville Home with Mosaic Realty

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

Search: View all homes for sale in Asheville

Sources and Further Reading:  Energy Advice for Owners of Older and Historic Homes

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Lakeside Living in Asheville: Lakeview Park


Lake View Park Neighborhood from Mosaic Realty on Vimeo.

 

A Brief History of Lakeview Park

 

In the early 1900s, the area that is now Beaver Lake was a quiet meadow known as Baird Bottom where livestock grazed.  During this time, a trolley system ferried vacationers back and forth between Asheville and Weaverville.

 

In 1923, esteemed urban planner and landscape architect John Nolen designed the neighborhood and recreational lake.  According to local legend, famous Asheville-born author Thomas Wolfe would occasionally go skinny dipping in the lake when darkness fell.

 

Beaver Lake and Park

 

Today, the lake and surrounding park and trail system are privately owned and maintained by residents of Lakeview Park.  On any given day, you will see both residents and guests enjoying the park.  A walking trail was recently extended to the full circumference of the lake.  Residents can store canoes and kayaks at the lake for a fee.

 

Just south of Beaver Lake you will find the Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary.  This is a 3/8th mile long boardwalk that winds through the wetlands of Beaver Lake.  There are benches to stop and observe the various species of native and migratory birds that come to feed and rest near the lake.

Beaver Lake Asheville

 

Beaver Lake, North Asheville

 

The Community

 

Only 4 miles from downtown Asheville, this neighborhood offers the convenience of being close to town with the serenity of lakeside living.  The water and ample green space of this size is rare to find so close to the city center.  Many architectural styles, from historic to contemporary, grace the gentle topography of the neighborhood.

 

Merrimon Avenue, the main road leading into the city from Lakeview Park, has all of the conveniences you would need.  There are 5 or more grocery stores to choose from.  Many favorite local eateries also line this road, including Zen Sushi, Marco’s Pizzeria, and Homegrown restaurant.  You can watch a movie and grab a beer at Asheville Pizza and Brewing then cross Merrimon for some locally made ice cream at The Hop.

 

Living in Asheville

 

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

 

Search: View all homes for sale in Asheville

 

Suggested Reading and Sources:

 

Lakeview Park

 

Video:

 

By Just in Asheville

 

9 Cool Green Living Tips for a Sizzling Summer

 

Summer Green Home Maintenance

photo from Shutterstock

Though running a household using green practices is not a seasonal affair, there are some green home maintenance tips which are easier to accomplish in warm weather.  Take advantage of the sunshine and fresh air while checking a few of these green home maintenance items off the list.

 

  1. Install a Rain Barrel

 

The ebb and flow of natural rainfall is not always ideally timed to nurture our new spring plantings.  However, you can harness that rainfall when it does show up by collecting it in cisterns known as rain barrels.  These are attached to the bottom of one of your gutter downspouts and released through a nozzle-controlled hose as you need it. Voila!

 

  1. Have an Energy Audit Performed

 

Warm weather is a great time to get a jump start on assessing your home’s energy conservation abilities.  Having an energy audit performed by certified professionals can both reduce your energy bills and increase your comfort in your home.  By doing this in the summer, you will have time to make suggested improvements ahead of the cold winter months.  

 

  1. Mulch Garden Beds and Use Compost

 

Garden beds will require less water if you keep a thick layer of mulch on them, and of course, they also look great well-mulched.  By choosing to feed your plants with composted kitchen and yard scraps, you are choosing a natural option that does not require harsh chemicals.

 

  1. Change Your Air Conditioning Filter

 

Having a dirty filter can greatly reduce your air conditioner’s efficiency.  These filters should be changed once a month during the cooling season.  A higher Minimum Energy Reporting Value, or MERV, means a greater level of filtration but an increase in the amount of energy needed to pull the air through the filter.  Balance your clean air needs with energy concerns.

 

  1. Wash Your Windows

 

If you have to be doing a chore, doing one outside in the sunshine with a hose involved is the best scenario.  Mix your own green solution of water, vinegar and essential oils.  Use a squeegee and a microfiber cloth to wick away moisture and buff streaks.

 

Rain Barrels

 

6. Plant a Vegetable Garden

As far as green living goes, it is hard to beat the benefits of growing some of your own produce.  Aside from the fact that planting anything green has great air-cleansing qualities, you are eliminating a lot of energy costs from food delivery that goes into store-bought food.

 

  1. Line Dry Your Clothing

 

This one is not for everyone, but if there is a season to do it, it is summer!  Having a retractable clothesline going from a sunny side of your house to a pole or tree makes for a convenient way to dry clothes without the energy consumption of using a dryer.  Added benefit of fresh air scents!

 

  1. Use an Electric Mower or Push Mower

 

Eliminate the hassle of realizing that you are out of gas just as you have a spare hour to mow the lawn.  Invest in an electric mower to reduce or push mower to eliminate fossil fuel consumption while mowing your lawn.  Think of human-powered mowing as your daily exercise and you can eliminate the gym trip too!

 

  1. Install Solar Lights for Ambiance

 

Green living can be not just about maintaining, but about improving your home experience as well.  Treat yourself to some ambient solar lighting.  There are plenty of models to choose from ranging from walkway lights to overhead string party lights.

 

Remember, green living is best accomplished slowly and steadily, with a conscious decision  to make lasting change.  Choose a few of these options and take a step toward greener living this summer!

 

Mosaic Realty offers a free home energy audit to our homebuyer clients during the examination period.

 

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

 

Search: View all homes for sale in Asheville


 

Sources and Further Reading: http://greenlivingideas.com/2015/05/12/how-to-make-your-home-more-energy-efficient/

 

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3 Must-Hear Free Music Events in Asheville This Spring

 

River Music Festival Asheville

Asheville has a long and storied tradition of having a deep connection to music.  Early settlers of the area brought with them musical instruments from their native countries: the fiddle from Ireland, the mandolin from Italy and the banjo from Africa among them.  The resulting collaboration of these musicians was Appalachian music, the forebear of the more modern string band sound of today.

 

Today's Asheville music tradition is not limited to the roots music of Appalachia.  Multiple genres of music are represented in Asheville's world class music venues, recording studios, and on the streets.  

 

Festivals and outdoor concerts have become a staple in Asheville area entertainment.  Here, we feature 3 free outdoor music events that you should not miss this spring!

 

River Music by RiverLink

 

River Link, an Asheville nonprofit largely responsible for improving the health of the French Broad River and the vitality of the River Arts District, hosts 5 nights of free music by the French Broad.  The events are usually held the second Friday of each month from May until October.  

 

This is not only a great opportunity to hear free local music by our gorgeous river, but you will be directly helping the community by attending!  The concert series raises funds for the non-profit's programming.

 

Asheville Downtown Association Presents Steep Canyon Rangers

 

On Saturday, June 11th, the Asheville Downtown Association will be throwing a free community concert on the lawn of the park at Pack Place.  At 6pm the concert will begin with an opening band and by 7pm, Grammy-award winning band Steep Canyon Rangers will take the stage.  

 

Asheville Downtown Association strives to advocate for the vitality of downtown.  This event marks one of the first times that this newly enhanced park has been used for a community concert.  Mosaic Realty is a  proud sponsor of this event, along with other Asheville and Western North Carolina businesses such as Oskar Blues Brewery, Alchemy Design Studio, and Platt Architecture.  

 

 

Asheville Flat Iron Musicians

West Asheville's Own: All Go West Music Festival

 

On Saturday, June 25th of 2016, the streets of one of Asheville's most hip neighborhoods will be filled with festifarians.  West Asheville's main corridor, Haywood Road, will be home to a one day community music and art celebration called All Go West Music Festival.  The festival kicks off at 11am and will be going strong until 2am.

 

The Lineup

 

This free festival features four stages and diverse genres of music.  The festival has attracted some national acts such as headliners Kool Keith, the Digs, Marcus King Band, and Floating Action.  Local favorites include the Laura Blackley and the Wildflowers and Andrew Scotchie and the River Rats.  Spanning genres from world music to rop to folk to hip hop, there are at least 35 acts on the roster to appear over the course of the day.  Approximately half of them are local bands with a connection to West Asheville.  

 

Venues

 

Venues include the main stage, sponsored by Hi-Wire Brewing, and stages at the Isis Music Hall, The Mothlight, and West Asheville's most popular gas station, the Brew Pump.

 

Festival organizer Arieh Samson aims to “get music lovers in front of new artists, build community, and encourage people to push their boundaries."  It is my prediction that this event will be a stellar success.  No community is more ready to build their musical vision and push their boundaries than that of Asheville.

 

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


Search: View all homes for sale in Asheville