Blog :: 07-2016

A Look at Home Flaws: Cut-Rate Deal or Catastrophe?

Home for Sale

photo credit: publicdomainpictures.net

In the market for a residential property?  Whether you are searching for a primary residence, a second home or an investment, an essential component of home hunting is taking a close look at the flaws of properties.  The flaws that you choose to live with can result in vast differences in the return on your investment.

 

Here are our expert answers on analyzing home flaws, provided by Mosaic agent John Tyson:

 

What flaws are acceptable to overlook if you want a good deal on a home?

When shopping for a new or used home, there are many features that might be considered unappealing to many homebuyers, but can often be disguised as a good deal to the savvy buyer.  Don’t be too concerned over funky wall colors, wallpaper, or worn or outdated carpeting.  These are easy fixes and often provide some deep discounts off of list prices. Unappealing or outdated kitchen cabinets can be refinished or repainted. The same goes for outdated light fixtures and window treatments – and anything cosmetically not to your taste. They can be replaced for minimal amounts.

Other features that can be easily remedied would include bathroom grouting, closet doors, and dated/odd color appliances – again not a big expense for replacement or repair. Curb appeal can often be remedied by trimming an overgrown yard or planting an under-planted landscape.

The furnace is sometimes a deal breaker for buyers, but depending on the age of the system and issue at hand, a reputable furnace inspection might reveal a minor repair and not a major replacement cost. It is always suggested to have a home inspection and hire other necessary inspectors when buying a house.

Home Expenses

 

Which flaws spell disaster and should never be overlooked?

A home search usually depends on priorities such as budget, lifestyle preferences and functionality. If a home meets your criteria, there are some issues with any home that should never be taken lightly when shopping the market, even when looking for a deal.

Take a look at the location and the neighborhood – consider major traffic arteries, schools, neighboring homes, parks, and railroad tracks.  Are they to your liking? Consider the functional use of space and the layout. If the flow is not good, it could become a major task to correct it.

Outdated wiring often requires tearing down walls and can become a major expense. Always be aware of the structural integrity of the house you are looking at. Look for sagging floors, cracked foundations, cracks in the walls, water stains in the basement, mold or mildew odors or a damaged or sagging roof. These items all can be costly to repair. A twenty-year-old furnace may be ready for replacement, which can cost thousands of dollars for replacement and making it fit the existing space and ductwork in the house. It is always suggested to have a home inspection and hire other necessary inspectors when buying a house.

 

John Tyson's Bio

John has been a real estate investor and landlord for nearly 20 years and a licensed REALTOR® in Florida, Indiana and North Carolina.  His knowledge, expertise and many years of experience in real estate with residential and multi-family homes, condominiums and townhouses give him the skills to help clients reach their goals.  Communication, organization and an eye for details are among his many strengths.

John Tyson

 

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


 

Rowdy to Relaxing: River Culture in Asheville

Tubing on the French Broad River

photo by JustinAsheville.com

The French Broad River flows through 25 municipalities in Western North Carolina, but it gets the most love in Asheville.  Over the past decade, a burgeoning river culture has emerged around the River Arts District in the center of town.  Passers-by can glimpse that love from the I-240 Smoky Park Bridge headed into downtown Asheville.  The river there is often teeming with river-lovers on a summer day.

Changes

What was once the distinctly industrial area of Asheville is now undergoing a sort of renaissance, spearheaded by artists a decade or more ago and carried along by restaurateurs, brewers and outdoor sports entrepreneurs.  The River Arts District is experiencing rapid changes to infrastructure amenities that will bring more access by road, bike and foot.

Food

Several stalwart eateries forged the way to a growing foodie scene along the river.  Clingman Cafe, overlooking the railroad tracks is a great spot to grab a coffee drink and pastry.  All Souls Pizza, known for their artisan crusts and farm fresh ingredients, was even featured in the New York Times.  

Fine dining establishments such as The Junction, Bull and Beggar and Smoky Park Supper Club are emerging from the rubble via reclaimed buildings and even reused shipping containers.

Asheville Food Park at the River is a shabby chic food truck heaven with new local and regional culinary artists rolling into town daily.  Visitors can sit by a creek, have a microbrew and throw cornhole while eating a delicious affordable meal.

Drink

The River district of Asheville does not lack for an opportunity to savor a craft cocktail or a microbrew.  The Wedge Brewery, long a staple of the area, sits at the epicenter of the river district, with its biergarten style tables overlooking the railroad tracks.  The Burger Bar, Bywater and the Salvation Station all provide riverside or riverview opportunities to get a great cocktail on a budget.  Some of the most delectable craft cocktails in the city can be found at the higher end restaurants mentioned above.

River Arts District train tracks

Adventure

Relaxing or rowdy, whatever your style of adventure can be accomplished along the French Broad through Asheville.  For those choosing not to voyage by vessel, the French Broad River Park now boasts about 5 miles of paved trails for bicyclists and pedestrians. A dog park is situated at one end of the long park and a sports complex rests at the other.   Across from the center of the park, you can find the Smoky Park Adventure Center, a hub for rock climbing, yoga, tai chi and more.  

Zen Tubing is the go-to company for renting tubes and running shuttles.  French Broad Outfitters can equip you for kayaking and paddle boarding.  Many anglers float the river for a day of fishing for smallmouth bass.

Entertainment

Asheville non-profit RiverLink sponsors a free community concert series called River Music on the banks of the French Broad River once a month during the warmer seasons.  Local and regional acts draw thousands of people to these shows.  They also spearhead River Festival and the Anything That Floats Parade in August.

Twice a year, the River Arts District holds an artist’s studio stroll where visitors can see almost 200 artists showcasing their art throughout historically industrial studios along the river.

River Living

The River Arts District is an increasingly popular place to live due to its convenience to downtown and its accessibility to Asheville’s greatest natural and designed outdoor play spaces.  Much of the housing in this area is either bungalow style homes, condos or studio apartments.  

Mosaic Realty would love to help you find your home 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

Search:  View all homes for sale in the River Arts District

 

Continued Climb in the 2nd Quarter Asheville/Buncombe Housing Market

Asheville’s residential real estate market is closely watched by both out-of-towners looking to purchase in Asheville or Buncombe County and by current residents wanting to know how to get the most out of their investment.  We do the legwork for you and bring you a detailed market analysis every quarter so that you can stay abreast of the housing market in the area.

Real Estate Market Summary

The housing market in Asheville and Buncombe County continued to climb in the second quarter of 2016 with 436 homes sold in Asheville and 472 homes sold in Buncombe County during the last quarter.

 

Chart Q2 2016 Market Analysis

The median home sale price in Asheville climbed 7.2% from last year at the same time to $260,000.  In Buncombe County the median home sale price is 8% higher than the same time period last year at $243,000.

Asheville/Buncombe Housing Inventory

Inventory levels, or number of houses on the market, is one of the best indicators of the health of the housing market.  When inventory levels are more than 6 months, it is a buyer’s market.  When they are less than 6 months, it is a seller’s market.  

As of July 2016, inventory in Asheville was under six months in the price range below $700,000.  This represents lower inventory levels in Asheville in the middle/upper price ranges compared to previous years.

Table 3 Q2 2016 Market Analysis

In Buncombe County, inventory was under six months in the price range under $350,000.  Additionally, inventory in every price range was lower in the 2nd quarter of 2016 compared to the 2nd quarter of 2015.  

Table 2 Q2 2016 Market Analysis

Table 4 Q2 2016 Market Analysis

The average days on the market in Asheville decreased to 56 Days on Market in the 2nd quarter of 2016, the lowest on record since 2003.  The average days on the market in Buncombe County decreased to 84 Days on Market, the lowest since 2007.  The peak in Days on Market in the years 2009 to 2015 was artificially inflated by an estimated 30 days because during those years, the MLS software counted days when a property was under contract but had not closed.

Chart 5 Q2 2016 Market Analysis

Mosaic Realty specializes in having a deep understanding of the housing market in Asheville and Buncombe County.  We carefully analyze the residential real estate market each quarter and compare it to previous years so that we are best positioned to help you make an informed decision about your sale or purchase of real estate.

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


 

You Will Love These 5 Amazing Walkable Neighborhoods in Asheville

walkable neighborhoods

photo credit: gratisography

Considering a move to or within Asheville?  Here in the world of Asheville real estate, we are noticing a few trends that may seem familiar to you.  The first is the desire to live an eco-friendly lifestyle.  Another is a premium placed on convenience to alleviate the pressures of today’s busy schedules.  Enter the demand for walkable neighborhoods.

Aside from the obvious walkability of downtown Asheville’s historic and luxury condos, we would like to explore with you 5 other diverse walkable neighborhoods.

  1. Montford-Central

Montford homeMontford is an historic district just Northwest of downtown Asheville.  The main commercial corridor, Montford Avenue, is lined with enormous hardwoods and gorgeous homes, mostly from the early 1900s, in a vast array of architectural styles.  A handful of establishments such as Nine Mile Caribbean cuisine and Chiesa Italian restaurant make this neighborhood have a sense of community.  Additionally, there is a small park and a community center with tennis courts and wooded amphitheater, perfect for a stroll to entertainment.

  1. Grove Park-North

One of Asheville’s oldest and most distinguished planned neighborhoods, the Grove Park neighborhood, lies just North of downtown.  Charlotte Street serves as the vital avenue for this part of town.  Though this neighborhood is more elongated, stretching all the way to the Grove Park Inn, many residents can be seen taking the tree-lined sidewalks to the dining on Charlotte Street.  You can get the flavor of this neighborhood by checking out restaurants like the Asian cuisine of Ghanshan Station and pastries at City Bakery.

  1. West Asheville-West

Of all of these walkable neighborhoods, West Asheville has perhaps the most robust and distinctive mini-downtown area of its own.  Haywood Road is a revitalized thoroughfare lined with pubs, restaurants, and boutiques.  Bike corrals and pedestrian crossings encourage green forms of transportation.  Architectural styles range from smaller historic bungalows to mid century ranchers to newer green homes.  There are several parks, a public library, bookstore, yoga studio and more to walk to!

West Asheville Historic Home

  1. Biltmore Park-South

The newer south Asheville community of Biltmore Park neighborhood is a planned town center surrounded by a suburban neighborhood of larger homes built around 1990-2010.  The concept of this neighborhood was designed to promote smart growth and walkability.  Sidewalks are the norm and you can walk to many stores, restaurants and even a YMCA.  The mountains to sea trail even passes close by the edge of the neighborhood.

  1. River Arts District-Central

The River Arts District is one of Asheville’s newest revitalized areas.  Sitting along the banks of the French Broad River and criss-crossed with railroad tracks, it has long been an industrial area.  Manufacturing warehouses are slowly making way for artist’s studios and historic buildings are being rehabbed into breweries, restaurants and bars.  Sidewalks and bike lanes help pedestrians access downtown and the nearby river park.  Much of the housing in this area is either bungalow style homes, condos or studio apartments.

Mosaic Realty would love to help you find your place among Asheville’s walkable neighborhoods.

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


 

Spotlight on South Asheville: Biltmore Park Neighborhood

Dog on Sidewalkphoto credit: http://gratisography.com/

 

Biltmore Park is a neighborhood unlike any other in Asheville.  It was intentionally designed as a walkable 21st century community where you can live, work, shop and play all in the same area.  You can really find much of what you need via foot or bike. However, the community is convenient to interstate, the Asheville airport, and many major grocery stores and shopping retailers.

Biltmore Park Town Square

This vibrant mixed-use development in South Asheville was planned to look like a city-center.  The mostly brick structures house commercial businesses on the street level and residences above.

Some of the locals’ favorite establishments for dining include Neo Burrito and Brixx Pizza for casual dining and P.F. Chang’s for more upscale dining.  Stroll on over to Ya Ya’s Frozen Yogurt after dinner.

You can also do much of your shopping in the town center.  REI has a major store there for equipping all of your outdoor adventures.  The kids will be delighted by the offerings of local toy supplies O.P. Taylor’s.

There are plenty of opportunities for entertainment in the town center.  There is a branch of the YMCA, a movie theatre, and even a brew pub, Thirsty Monk, boasting all of the area’s best microbrews on tap.

Styles of Homes in Biltmore Park

You will find a variety of homes in Biltmore Park.  For the urbanite, you can live in a town home style condo above one of the many businesses in town center.  Just outside of town center, there are mid-size single family homes on modest lots.  As you move farther away from town center, the homes and lots increase in size until you reach the palatial homes tucked away on the wooded mountainside overlooking the neighborhood.

Walkable Neighborhood

This planned community was designed with walkability and green living in mind.  Estes elementary school, Koontz Intermediate school, Valley Springs Middle School and TC Roberson High School are all walkable or bikeable from most of the neighborhood.  This is one of the highest-performing school districts in the area.

Take the well-maintained and shady paved path that winds throughout the area to a neighbor’s house or to the town center.  You can walk to the community pool, a benefit included in community dues.  The public library, located next to the high school, is also an easy walk from Biltmore Park homes.

Community in Biltmore Park

This south Asheville neighborhood thrives on community connectivity.  Twice a year, there is a huge garage sale that draws people from all over the area.  There is also a Fourth of July parade for the children.  You can always make new friends at the community pool and park.

Proximity to Green Spaces

Biltmore Park is a wonderful neighborhood if you value proximity to green spaces and outdoor adventure.  The Mountain to Sea Trail, a trail that runs from the Great Smoky Mountains to North Carolina’s outer banks, runs right along the border of Biltmore Park.  Furthermore, it is approximately a ten minute drive to both the  North Carolina Arboretum and Bent Creek Trails and Experimental Forest.  Zen Tubing has a launch point on the French Broad River just across from the Arboretum’s entrance.

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

View homes for sale in Biltmore Park


Sources and Further Reading: Biltmore Park Homeowners

Biltmore Park Planned Community