Blog :: 08-2016

Creativity and Culture Nestled Among Natural Wonders

In recent years, Asheville North Carolina’s cultural draws have the town ranking in many national lists.  Known as a visual and performing arts hub as well as a foodie and microbrew destination, Asheville has much appeal for the cultured visitor.  

However, long before it’s popularity as a refined destination, outdoor enthusiasts have ventured to this area.  Historically, Asheville has been a tourist destination for a century and a half due to its refreshing air, mountain vistas and healing mineral springs.

With loads of state and national park destinations within an hour’s drive, Asheville is the perfect jumping off point for numerous outdoor adventures with a welcoming return to the finest comforts of civilization.  

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge ParkwayThe Blue Ridge Parkway, a stunning winding mountain road, stretches 469 miles along the ridge of the Blue Ridge Mountains and passes straight through Asheville.  Breathtaking vistas, highland blueberry fields, waterfall hikes and elevation hikes are some of the attractions.  Just a few miles off of the Parkway in south Asheville you can stop by some of the town’s finest restaurants for rejuvenation: Tupelo Honey Cafe, Farm Burger and Twelve Bones Smokehouse.  

Pisgah National Forest

Pisgah National ForestThough Pisgah National Forest is over 500,000 acres of hardwood forests crisscrossed with white water, some of its most impressive natural wonders are within an easy hour drive of Asheville.  Swim in Looking Glass Falls swimming hole, race down the famous and frigid Sliding Rock or ascend Looking Glass Rock for one of the most spectacular views in the southeast.

Chimney Rock State Park

The pinnacle of Chimney Rock State Park is the 315 foot tower of stone known as the Chimney Rock itself.  It overlooks Lake Lure, the Rocky Broad River and Hickory Nut Gorge.  The river there is a destination for trout anglers and the amazing rock formations draw climbers from across the region.

Mount Mitchell State Park

Mount MitchellJust 35 miles northeast of downtown Asheville, explore Mount Mitchell State Park, the highest point east of the Mississippi River.  Bundle up for the mile high hikes and breezy picnic!  This peak is a popular ascent for road bikers who take the Blue Ridge Parkway from Asheville and distance trail runners who are up for the challenge of the rocky and technical climbing trails.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The gorgeous Great Smoky Mountains National Park just West of Asheville features camping, horseback riding, fishing and hiking on more than 800 miles of trails.  There are 6 visitor centers and over a dozen waterfalls.  For a stunning geographical wonder, check out Clingman’s Dome at an elevation of 6,643 feet!

Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail, a national scenic trail, winds from Georgia to Maine but comes within an hour’s drive to Asheville in several special points.  Climb up to the highland bald at Max Patch for nearly 360 degree views as the Appalachian trail traverses it.  Or, head north of Asheville to Hot Springs where you can catch a short section of the trail after soaking in the natural mineral springs, having a microbrew at a local pub or kayaking the French Broad River.

If you appreciate both the creature comforts of a small city brimming with culture and proximity to spectacular natural beauty and outdoor adventure, then Asheville may have a home for you.

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

Thirty Tips for Staging Your Home for Sale

Planning on selling your home soon?  Staging a home is the preparation of your home prior to selling so that it will be appealing to buyers.  There are a number of things that you can do on a shoestring budget that will greatly improve the presentation of your house to potential buyers.  Accomplishing these tasks will leave you with a great start to packing, a clutter-free abode in anticipation of the move, and a significant return on your investment of time and elbow grease.  Here are 30 tips for staging your home.

 

Kitchen Home Staging Tips

Kitchen Flowers Staging1. For open shelving and glass shelves, display only a minimal amount of dishware.

2.  Take the time to clean out your pantry. Home buyers will look in there. It is probably a long-overdue chore anyway and will look much neater without old bags of flour.  Food storage containers, neatly stacked, can tidy up the appearance of the pantry.

3.  Make the counters as clutter-free as possible.  If you do not use the espresso maker and coffee grinder daily, go ahead and pack it away in a lower cabinet or storage box.

 4.  Wipe out the inside and outside of appliances.  Appliances are a major selling point and buyers are likely to peek inside of them to check out the condition.

5.  Place a bouquet of flowers on the counter or any dining surface.  Choose ones that do not have too strong of a smell and that add bright color to the room.

Living Room Home Staging Ideas

Living Room Staging6.  Make sure that window treatments are arranged to allow the most possible daylighting in.

7.  Remove personal photos so that a potential buyer can envision him or herself in this home rather than your family.

8.  A few colorful throw pillows and blankets can spruce up worn furniture.

9.  House plants bring the feeling of the outdoors in and add a boost of vibrancy to living areas.

10. Store away magazines, books, notepads and the clutter of everyday life in lidded natural grass baskets on lower shelves of coffee tables or in drawers.

Bathroom Staging Ideas

Bathroom Staging11.  Store away any kind of personal care items (toothbrushes, hairbrushes, etc.) out of view.

12.  Tidy up bathroom storage in linen closets, medicine chests and vanities by folding linens neatly and storing bathroom supplies in lidded stackable containers or baskets.

13.  Hang fresh towels and place fresh bath mats near the shower.

14.  Have a fresh bar/ container of hand soap available for guest use.

15.  Place a tropical, moisture-loving plant on the vanity or bathroom shelf to add a spa-like feel.

Bedroom Staging Ideas

Bedroom Staging16.  Make sure there is adequate lighting in the bedroom.  Turn on bedside lamps and open window treatments to let in sunlight.

17.  Ample closet storage is a huge selling point. Remove half of your clothes and shoes, packing them away into storage for your impending move.  This will give the feeling of plentiful storage space in your closets.

18.  Place mirrors across from windows to give the illusion of a larger room and to reflect daylight.

19.  Make the sleeping space look very restful with peaceful design elements. A few extra pillows, neatly folded blanket and small bouquet of flowers bedside give a sense of tranquility.

20.  Add a headboard.  This can bring a focal point to the room and make it feel like a fancy hotel.

Basement Staging Ideas

Basement Staging21.  Make sure there is adequate lighting.  Basements are typically dark.  Having a powerful warm light overhead light will give a good first impression when buyers enter.  

22.  Declutter! Anything that you can move into storage in preparation for your move is preferable, especially things you know you won’t need for a few months.  

23.  Create organized storage.  Put your remaining basement items into labeled, stackable bins or in storage containers on shelving.

24.  Highlight potential uses.  If you have a corner of your basement that is used as a workshop, highlight that usage by installing a cork board.  If an area is finished and used as a game room, leave one or two large game features such as a foosball table, but make sure that all else is cleaned up and stored away.

25.  If there are areas that are more livable and less utilitarian, play up that livability by adding some design elements such as area rugs, lamps and a cozy seat.

Yard / Porch Staging Ideas

Front Porch Staging26.  Whether it is through paint or nature, adding color to your yard can make a world of difference.  Here is our blog post about curb appeal through color. 

27.  Add a fresh layer of mulch to all garden beds to make them create a strong contrast with the yard.

28.  Spruce up your mailbox area and make sure that your street numbers are well-displayed since it is literally the first thing potential buyers will see.

29.  Make sure that your porch is clutter-free and clear of debris.

30.  Make sure that your door handle and keyed entry are clean and very functional.  Things that buyers touch make lasting impressions.

A staging consultation is part of our seller services at Mosaic Realty.  We would love to help you determine how to get the most from the sale of your home!

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

6 Ways You can Build Community in Your Neighborhood | Asheville NC

Community Gathering

Of all of the facets that a buyer analyzes when considering a neighborhood, the quality of community relations is often overlooked.  Details such as heated square footage, lot size, updates and layout often predominate searches.  However, the nature of the community has a tremendous impact on many people’s enjoyment of their neighborhood.  Fortunately, community can be fostered!  Here are 6 tips for creating community-with an Asheville spin:

1. Create Common Spaces

With all of the emphasis in Western culture on drawing lines in the sand, if a few neighbors share a little space, it can create a world of difference in neighbor relations.  Creating a community garden with shared work and shared bounty provides continued opportunities for connecting.  Asheville has several stellar examples of community gardens.  Montford Community Garden in Montford Historic District and Falconhurst Community Garden in West Asheville are among these.  

Another trend in Asheville neighborhoods is the emergence of the Little Free Library movement.  There are over 20 registered free libraries within Asheville.  Stewards of neighborhood libraries place a small library somewhere on their property near the street.  It is the community’s responsibility and privilege to both keep the library stocked and enjoy its treasures.

Community GardenIndividuals can create common recreational areas in their yards and invite the community to enjoy it.  For example, put up a basketball goal in your cul de sac or driveway.  If you own a pool, create a flag system where you put up a green flag if you are willing to host open pool hours and a red flag if you want private pool time.

    2. Hold Regular Community Gatherings

Planned community gatherings, where there is an attempt made to include every neighbor, is a fantastic way to meet all of the individuals living near you.  Even if no one is willing to host a large group of people, park spaces and community centers make great gathering places.  Some churches and businesses are even willing to allow the use of their parking lot.  Several neighborhoods in Asheville have been known to host block parties by officially closing off their street for a few hours.

Some ideas for community gatherings are yearly yard sales like the ones held in Biltmore Park and Malvern Hills or community potlucks.  On Halloween, the neighborhood surrounding Vermont Avenue in Historic West Asheville goes to great lengths to decorate their homes and hand out tons of candy.  People come from far away to attend this community-hosted gathering.

     3.  Organize a Community Fundraiser

There is no greater way to really get to know your neighbors than to put your heads together and raise money for a cause.  The Montford neighborhood hosts an annual music and art festival where all proceeds go to fund community projects and activities of the Montford Neighborhood Association.  Malvern Hills neighborhood hosts an annual food drive, bringing hundreds of pounds of non-perishable items to MANNA food bank yearly.  

     4.  Volunteer together as a neighborhood

Stream Clean UpWith as many nonprofits as there are in Asheville, there are so many ways to rally your neighbors together in a group volunteer effort.  One of our favorite nonprofits, Asheville GreenWorks, is happy to outfit your group with all that you need to do a litter pick-up in your neighborhood.  River-Link is your go-to resource for adopting a stream in your neighborhood.

      5.  Create a Community-Friendly Front Yard

Instead of installing tall fences in your front yard, consider installing benches and half-walls good for sitting on.  Plant blueberry bushes and raspberry bushes near the front of the yard and encourage neighbors to help themselves.  Plant beautiful perennial borders both on the inside of your fence and on the outside for your neighbors to enjoy.  

      6.  Go Out on a Walk to Know Your Community

The easiest thing that you can do in your neighborhood to create community is to simply get out and stroll.  Stopping and talking with neighbors, delivering a newspaper to an elderly person’s door, and frequenting lemonade stands of neighborhood kids will let you make those invaluable connections.

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


 

 

 

3 Powerful and Green Asheville Home Renovation Resources

Asheville Tool Library

There are so many incredible joys of home ownership: the personalization, the stability, the financial benefits of forced savings…. But inevitably, there will come a time as a homeowner that you need to make some fixes, updates or improvements.  Here at Mosaic, we value environmental stewardship and strive to be a resource for you to not only find green homes but also to make green improvements to your existing home.

We would like to feature 3 unique Asheville resources that can help you along your green home improvement quest.

    1.  Western North Carolina Green Building Council (WNCGBC)

WNCGBC is an Asheville-based nonprofit whose mission is to educate the community about green building resources.  They have a new Fan Test Home Energy Scoreprogram called Green Gauge which is a simple assessment that results in a Home Energy Score.  This is a way for you to learn about your home’s energy performance and to receive some specific recommendations for improvement.  Find out more here

   

2.  Asheville Tool Library

Asheville Tool Library, located on the South Slope of downtown, provides a method for people to share some of the many tools that are often necessary for a DIY home improvement project.  An annual membership fee of $50-$100 allows people within an hour of Asheville to check out tools for a few days at a time.  Scholarships are also available for those needing financial assistance.  This fantastic resource embraces the conservationist concept of reuse through sharing.  More information here.

    3.  Habitat for Humanity Restore

The Habitat for Humanity Restore, operated by the Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity, has been selling donated items to the public since 1990.  As other Western North Carolina residents remodel their homes, many of their unwanted appliances, cabinets and other home goods are collected by the Restore.  

Habitat for Humanity Restore AshevilleWith a little time spent at the store, you may find just what you are looking for for your home improvement project.  The Restore even holds annual competitions to see who can find the most innovative way to reuse an item from the store.  As an added bonus, proceeds from the Restore sales go to fund the Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity building programs.  Finding what you need + helping the environment by reusing + helping fund local building programs = Win! Win! Win!  More information can be found here.  

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