Blog :: 02-2017

5 Advantages to Using a Boutique Real Estate Firm in Asheville

Boutique Asheville

Boutique real estate firms are analogous to a boutique clothing store: you get localized knowledge, great customer service, the teamwork of the whole organization, commitment to community and quality over quantity.  Think Minx Boutique in downtown Asheville versus a department store in the mall.  The experience is unparalleled!

Here we highlight how working with a boutique real estate firm such as Mosaic Realty makes for an efficient and pleasant real estate experience.

Localized Knowledge

AshevilleWhen you decide to buy or sell in a certain area, choosing a real estate firm that specializes in the area in which you are interested is of utmost importance.  Rather than work with a behemoth company that spreads it's agency over a multi-county area, choose a firm with specialized knowledge of the market and neighborhoods in which you are interested.  

Incredible Customer Service

When you walk into a department store, there is not a design specialist there to help you hand-select items that are a great fit for you.  In a boutique company however, the customer service is accessible, tailored, and responsive.  

From the moment that a client calls a boutique real estate firm, the staff and agents are listening to his or her needs.  The result of this listening is to pair you with an agent that will be the best fit for your real estate goals.  But it does not stop there.  From listing your home or touring neighborhoods all the way to the close of the deal, your agent and the staff will keep you top of mind.

Quality Over Quantity

Real EstateBoutique real estate agencies tend to select already successful agents rather than entry level brokers since they have a limited number of openings.  Their level of expertise, efficiency and professionalism is of the highest quality.  The measure of success that many boutique firms is looking for is productive, professional agents and happy customers as opposed to size of the firm.

The Teamwork of the Whole Office

In a large real estate company, there are many automated processes where you get put in the pipeline and passed through many hands. By contrast, your agent at a boutique real estate firm will be there to walk with you every step of the way.  The synergy and collaboration of the small but tightly knit team means that each listed property is given a team approach.

Commitment to Community

Asheville BoutiqueYour community is also the community of the boutique firm.  The agents and business owners live and work in this area, and their business only does well if the health of the community is strong.  They will be committed to fostering a community that is economically vital, welcoming and socially sound.   This often results in strong volunteer and donation programs within these boutique firms.  Supporting a business that gives back is always satisfactory!

For information on how we can help you with 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


 

4 Benefits of Buying or Building a Green Home in Asheville

New Green Built Energy Star House

If you are at a crossroads in life with home ownership, consider these incredible benefits of buying or building a LEED certified green home rather than opting for a traditionally built home.   LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a certification program for green building.  Here we examine some reasons to consider buying or building a LEED certified home.

Green Homes are Healthier and Safer

ERV Indoor Air QualityA major health concern with regard to homes is indoor air quality.  The Environmental Protection Agency has found that indoor air quality is 2-10 times more polluted than outdoor air quality due to things like mold, mildew and off-gassing from furniture and carpet.  LEED certified homes are designed to improve indoor air quality through features that minimize airborne toxins and pollutants through high-efficiency air filters and proper ventilation.  

LEED-certified homes undergo a rigorous process of inspections, performance testing and review of documentations related to green features to make sure that the homeowners are safe.

Green Homes Create Value

LEED certified homes are designed to use 30-60% less energy than a traditionally built home.  With an average energy expenditure of around $2,150 per year, this amounts to significant savings each year, and thousands of dollars in savings if you stay in the home for a number of years.  Additionally, there are state and federal tax credits for energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Importantly, green homes hold their value when you are ready to sell.  They tend to sell more quickly than other homes and yield a higher sales price.

Green Homes Help Our Environment Immensely

Energy SavingsGreen Homes are built with conservation of natural resources in mind.  With the tight envelope of green built homes, indoor air temperatures stay fairly consistent.  The energy that goes into heating or cooling these types of homes is greatly reduced due to high tech insulation, energy-efficient appliances, weather stripping and high quality materials.  Often these homes employ alternative energy sources as well.  Water is conserved through low flow fixtures.  Chemical off-gassing is reduced through low or no -VOC paints, and materials selection is often local.


Green Homes are a Growing Choice in Asheville

The United States Green Building Council states that it is estimated that green single family residences will represent about one third of the housing market and that almost 90% of all new residential construction will include green features.

According to our year-end 2016 market analysis, green homes are an increasingly popular choice in Asheville as well as other major markets.  Inventory of green homes in the city of Asheville was at only 2.88 months, and these homes were returning a median price per square foot of $223.

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

Search: View all Green Homes for Sale in Asheville

Search: View all Homes for Sale in Asheville

Sources and Further Reading: WNC Green Building Council

 

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The Best-Kept-Secret Neighborhood in West Asheville: Malvern Hills

Malvern Hills Neighborhood Asheville

Just west of the desirable historic West Asheville neighborhood lies the quiet community of Malvern Hills.  This hidden gem of Asheville has a rich history and a vibrant community.  Additionally, as a part of West Asheville, it is a highly walkable community.

The History of Malvern Hills Neighborhood in Asheville

Beginning in the 1820s, people voyaged from the surrounding countryside to this area to enjoy the health benefits of the sulphur springs discovered in these hills by Robert Henry.  By the mid 1800s, as word of the healing waters spread, people would travel here to reap the benefits of the healing waters. They would stay in the Hotel Belmont, and later the Sulphur Springs Hotel, both of which stood in the center of what is now the neighborhood until they burned and were ultimately abandoned in 1891.  Remnants of the spring house can still be seen at the bottom of School Road.

The Landscape of Malvern Hills

Malvern Hills ArchitectureMalvern Hills neighborhood, bordered by Bear Creek Road on the east, Wendover Road on the south, and on the north by School Road, has just over 200 houses within its boundaries.  Patton Avenue provides quick access to downtown Asheville and I-40 while the western end of the neighborhood is bordered by Canie Creek.  This small creek winds through a large wooded tract of land where residents frequently spot deer, bear, and wild turkeys.  A strong movement is currently underway to secure a greenway along this creek.

Infrastructure and Architecture of Malvern Hills

Malvern Hills Community ParkMalvern Hills boasts one of the few areas in west Asheville to have sidewalks lining all roads, thus making it a pedestrian-friendly area. There are three community-maintained landscaped islands, one with a rose garden, where residents  congregate during neighborhood gatherings. Mature trees grace the hilly slopes of this area, and you may glimpse mountain views from some of the hilltops.  

The architecture is a pleasant mix of larger, stately 1920s homes, small bungalows, brick tudor cottages, and mid-century ranch houses.  The lots are of a generous size and are well-maintained.

For more information on neighborhoods and 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 Malvern Hills

Further Reading:  A Brief History of Malvern Hills

Further Reading: A neighborhood Profile

 

 

Explore the Serene Swannanoa River Valley in Asheville

Swannanoa River Valley Asheville

To the east of Asheville, stretching out between the mountains of Asheville and Black Mountain, lies the gorgeous Swannanoa River Valley. Through it winds the Swannanoa River, flowing west from its headwaters in Black Mountain and the slopes of Mount Mitchell to eventually become a major tributary of the French Broad River in Biltmore Village.  Though it is just outside the small city of Asheville, this valley has a peaceful, rural feel and a growing hub in downtown Swannanoa.  

History of the Swannanoa River Valley

Warren Wilson CollegeFor nearly 12,000 years, the Swannanoa Valley has been inhabited.  The Cherokee Native Americans hunted along the banks of the river for thousands of years.  By the late 1700s, European settlers began to make permanent settlements.  Subsistence farmers scraped together a difficult mountain lifestyle throughout the next hundred years.  

Sweeping changes came to the valley in 1879 with the arrival of the railroad to Western North Carolina.  Logging and development of major religious retreats such as Montreat changed the landscape of the valley greatly.  In the 1920s, E.W. Grove, developer of the Grove Park Inn, built Lake Eden near Black Mountain which was to have a country club built around it.  He passed away before the project was completed, but it became the site of Black Mountain College in 1940, and many of Grove’s original buildings are still in use today.

Farmland and manufacturing played important roles in this area in the past century, but these are diminishing presences today, and many of the residents in the valley now commute to Asheville for work.

Hiking along the Swannanoa River

Warren Wilson Trails AshevilleWarren Wilson College, located in the heart of the valley, is a nationally renowned liberal arts college with an emphasis on work and service.  Many Warren Wilson graduates have become successful entrepreneurs in the Asheville area.  They also host several wonderful farmer's markets throughout the year.

The college has been kind enough to welcome the public to enjoy some of its many beautiful and well-maintained hiking trails.  They are a short 15 minute drive from Asheville and feature both easy hiking trails with entry points along the river and trails with significant elevation gain.  A map of the trail system may be found here.

On the Western end of the valley, the Blue Ridge Parkway crosses highway 70. The Mountains to Sea Trail runs along the Parkway here, providing another easily accessible hiking experience.  You can also check out the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitors Center and Folk Art Center after your hike.

Activities in the Swannanoa River Valley

Beer Tasting PisgahSwannanoa Valley Museum and History Center is a fantastic resource for Buncombe County history.  It is open seasonally but events continue year round.  The museum is located on West State Street in Black Mountain in a building built in 1921 by famous architect Richard Sharp Smith.  Find history tidbits there and join in their hiking programs with gorgeous vistas and invaluable historical information.

Pisgah Brewing Company is an organic microbrewery located in the heart of the valley.  It has a large outdoor stage and field, perfect for hearing music with children.  Music and beer appreciators bring blankets and chairs for a festival-style listening experience in warm weather.  Enjoy the indoor stage and tasting room in cooler weather.  This venue not only has some of the best microbrews in the region, they also draw nationally touring bands.

Just off of 70, near the old Beacon Mill Village homes of the 1920s, is a downtown area of Swannanoa that is ripe for revitalization.  The Native Kitchen and Social Club are two local businesses that have started to pick up steam in the area and become community hubs.  The Root Bar has become a favorite of locals as well.  With the smattering of mom and pops businesses along highway 70, easy access to I-40, and gorgeous natural surroundings, this area is becoming increasingly popular.

For more information on our community or 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: Swannanoa Valley Museum

Comments

  1. Adam Donkus on

    I had not been to Asheville since I was a teenager. It does seem to have a lot going on. I may have to schedule a vacation to Asheville.