Blog :: 03-2017

Your Ultimate Guide to Asheville and Buncombe County Schools

STEM School Asheville

For families with school-aged children, proximity to strong schools is often a major factor in determining the neighborhood in which to live. Fortunately, in Asheville, we have a wide and diverse selection of fantastic public, private and charter schools. This guide, organized by age of children, provides an overview of the area’s educational institutions.

Public Elementary Schools in the Asheville Buncombe Area

Vance Elementary School AshevilleThe Asheville/ Buncombe area is unique in that it operates separate city and county school districts.  

Asheville City Schools system serves the most centrally-located neighborhoods. Their elementary school model is based on a magnet system where families can select their top 3 choices from the 5 differently-themed magnet schools. If there is more demand than availability, a lottery is used for placement. The city school system has a strong partnership with the Asheville City Schools Foundation.

Buncombe County School system operates neighborhood-based elementary schools where children attend the school based upon the district in which they live. Students in South Asheville feed into the TC Roberson School district. East Asheville and Fairview students attend A.C. Reynolds district elementary schools. Swannanoa and Black Mountain students attend Owen district schools. West Asheville students attend Enka or Erwin districts. North Asheville and Weaverville students attend North Buncombe School District.  

We recommend that you check the public school district indicated under the Location section of property listings.

Public Middle Schools in the Asheville Buncombe Area

Bike Walk to School AshevilleAsheville Middle School has been the long-standing public middle school for students within the Asheville City Schools district.  New in the 2017-2018 school year is a STEAM-focused alternative middle school option called the Montford North Star Academy.  Both of these middle schools have excellent community partnerships in place.

Each of the separate Buncombe County school districts has one middle school, and some have intermediate schools that also serve their district's middle school age children.

Public High Schools in the Asheville Buncombe Area

Asheville High SchoolAsheville High School is the sole high school within the Asheville City Schools district. It is located on a gorgeous historic campus near Mission Hospital.  SILSA operates as a school within a school and has a focus on inquiry and life sciences.  These schools have a long tradition of academic excellence and partner with Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College on college credit coursework.

Each of the separate Buncombe County school districts has one high school to serve young adults in that district. Additionally, there is the Martin L. Nesbitt, Jr. Discovery Academy - a STEM school with a focus on college and career readiness.

 

Charter Schools in the Asheville Buncombe Area

Students Outdoor School AshevilleThere are a handful of long-standing charter schools in Buncombe County.  Evergreen Community Charter School is in East Asheville and utilizes an Outward Bound expeditionary learning model to teach Kindergarten through eighth grade students. A newer charter school in West Buncombe, Franklin School of Innovation, offers the same model to fifth through twelfth grade students.

Francine Delany New School for Children, in the heart of West Asheville, serves children Kindergarten through eighth grade with a focus on social justice. ArtSpace Charter school in Swannanoa offers an arts-integrated curriculum to 400 elementary and middle school students.

Private Schools in the Asheville Buncombe Area

Asheville SchoolRainbow Community School is a private, independent alternative education program for preschool through middle aged children. Located in West Asheville, if focuses on whole child education through seven domains.

Carolina Day School is a private school that serves children in grades Kindergarten through 12th grade.  It is located in south Asheville near Biltmore Forest and is focused on college preparation.

Asheville School is a nationally renowned day and boarding school serving college-bound high school students with a rigorous curriculum. It is located on a gorgeous historic campus in West Asheville.

Several private single-sex middle schools are available in our area. For girls, there is the new French Broad River Academy for Girls and Hanger Hall.  For boys, there is the adventurous French Broad River Academy for Boys.

Emmanuel Lutheran, Asheville Catholic School, Christ School and Asheville Christian Academy are all religious schools in this area serving a wide range of ages.

Post Secondary Schools in the Asheville Buncombe Area

UNC AshevilleAsheville Buncombe Technical Community College, located near downtown Asheville, serves our county for career and technical readiness courses.  

Part of the state university system, University of North Carolina at Asheville offers undergraduate and limited graduate level coursework and is the only dedicated liberal arts institution in the system.

Warren Wilson College is a private four year liberal arts college located in the beautiful Swannanoa River Valley.  It is known for its strong service learning components, creative writing and environmental studies programs.

Montreat College, in the stunning Montreat community just outside of Black Mountain, is a private Christian liberal arts college.  Mars Hill University, 15 miles north of Asheville in Marshall also offers a liberal arts course of study in a private setting.

Pairing a school with a neighborhood can be a difficult balance. We would love to help you make that choice by guiding you on our Neighborhood Familiarization Tour.

Please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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Your Guide to the Past, Present and Future of Greenways in Asheville

Bikes ParkFor many people, the image of friends, couples, children and retirees gathering together at a city’s parks, and arriving there in multifaceted ways, brings about a feeling of community well-being.  In an increasingly busy and crowded world, we often make choices about our homes based upon access and proximity to public parks and alternative transportation.  

Asheville, North Carolina is no exception to this. The housing market within the city of Asheville is booming, and homes with proximity to greenways are not staying on the market for long.  Check out the history of Asheville’s greenways, the current state, and where the greenways are headed here.

The History of Greenways in Asheville

In the three decades prior to 2015, Asheville claimed only 5 miles of greenway with little connectivity between them.  This allowed for isolated pockets of greenway enjoyment but major obstacles to promoting alternative and green methods of transportation.  Greenways that are long-standing in Asheville include the French Broad River Park Greenway and Reed Creek Greenway near UNCA and the city center.

The Current State of Greenways in Asheville

Asheville ParkThe City of Asheville helps to maintain 4 greenways currently, the largest being the French Broad River Greenway at 2.83 miles in length.  It is mostly an 8 foot wide asphalt path that meanders from the Hominy Creek trailhead, through Carrier Park, along Amboy Road and to the French Broad River Park and dog park.  It provides connectivity for Asheville’s largest and most frequented park system.

Glen’s Creek Greenway connects Weaver Park in North Asheville to UNCA and and the Botanical Gardens; it is nearly a mile in length. Nearby, Reed Creek Greenway (.7 miles long) connects the historic Montford neighborhood to the UNCA area and Glen Creek Greenway. Finally, the Riverbend Park Greenway (nearly .5 miles long) hugs the Swannanoa River in east Asheville.

The Future of Greenways in Asheville

Asheville GreenwayThe master plan for greenways in Asheville has a goal of creating a 15 mile system composed of 12 interconnected corridors.  This River to Ridge Greenway and Trail network would encircle downtown Asheville.  It would reach into the River Arts District, French Broad River Greenways, Southslope Greenway Connector, Beaucatcher Greenway and Urban Trail.  

The use of multi-paths for both transportation and recreation has consistently ranked high on the public’s list of infrastructure projects that it values. Additionally, governments outside of the city of Asheville are beginning to catch the greenway bug.  Both the town of Woodfin and Buncombe County governments are advocating for connectivity with the Asheville greenway system.

A major goal of the project is to connect people to some of the beautiful assets of our area: the mountains and the rivers.

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

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Sources: Asheville Citizen Times article, February 2017

The City of Asheville

 

 

3 Reasons to Spring into Action and List Your House Now

Spring Home Sales

If you have been considering selling your home in the near future, there are many benefits to acting now to list this spring.  Discover 3 reasons here.

1.  Great Marketing Photos Sell Homes

Marketing Photos Sell HomesRemember that old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words?  Home shoppers make initial decisions on whether to schedule an appointment to see a home based largely on the visual presentation of the home in marketing photos and video.

Undoubtedly, homes show better in the warmer months.  Trees and grass are a vibrant green, flowers splash the landscape with color and blue skies are more frequent. Additionally, outdoor living spaces are more easily highlighted in the professional photography.

2.  Timing Your Listing to Get the Most Potential Buyers

Downtown AshevilleBy early March, home shoppers with families are starting to think ahead to being settled before the fall school season begins, and they know that the lengthy process requires getting a jump start on the process.  Inevitably, with the warm weather, they begin to emerge onto the home hunting scene.  The season has a back end time limit as well.  When the holiday season begins in November, buyers tend to turn their attention away from house hunting to the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

Another reason to consider putting your home on the market in the spring is to take advantage of the busy tourist season.  People often take vacations in the warmer months and may travel to your location.  Tourists frequently fall in love with their vacation destination and may reach out to real estate agents to begin the home search process while in town.

3.  Get a Higher Selling Price

InvestmentBecause the real estate world is very seasonal in terms of when people are out searching for properties, homes that sell in the warm weather months often fetch higher prices than homes that sell in the cooler months.  This may seem counter-intuitive, since more homes hit the market in warmer months and there should be more supply. However, with the influx of buyers in spring and summer, the supply of homes on the market actually gets tighter, driving prices up.

Who doesn’t love the prospect of getting more return on investment for their home?  So, don't wait to list, contact us today!

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

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A Look Inside the Downtown Asheville Condo Life

Downtown Asheville Condo

The Downtown Asheville Lifestyle

Asheville Condo BalconyLiving in downtown Asheville is an exciting and convenient way of life, and given the growing number of refurbished and new condo buildings, it is an increasingly popular lifestyle as well. With dozens of incredible restaurants, bars, art galleries and entertainment merely steps away, there is never a dull moment.

Many of the amenities provided by these downtown condominiums are designed to accommodate a walkable lifestyle with easy access to all that you would need.  Features such as in-house gyms, storage closets, common areas and on-site parking help to make that lifestyle possible.

Newer Downtown Asheville Condos

Downtown Asheville CondoA number of new condominium buildings have cropped up in downtown Asheville in recent years, with many of them adopting a mixed-use model.  For example, 12 South Lexington and Lexington Station have commercial spaces on the ground level and multiple housing units in varying sizes above.

A hallmark of many of the newer condos is the use of balconies and terraces in most units. The luxury condos at both 60 North Market and 21 Battery Park feature terraces with sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  They also both feature rooftop club houses for entertaining guests.

Refurbished Downtown Asheville Condos

Downtown Asheville CondoDowntown Asheville is known for its well-preserved historic district.  Many small independent businesses have moved into the ground floor units of these stunning buildings while the upper floors have turned into mixed use developments with offices as well as residences.

Buildings as old as the 1891 Oxford Place Condos have been refurbished and modernized, providing residences with tons of character and historic charm.  The Broadway Arts Building condos and Sawyer Motor Building Condos feature original hardwood floors and exposed brick walls alongside modern conveniences such as updated electric, plumbing and windows.

Many of these vintage condos have been carefully renovated to provide many of the community features desirable in newer condos as well. For example, 37 Hiawassee and the Kress Building condos have incorporated rooftop terraces for residents to take in the city views, and Ardmion Park, once known as the Sky Club, provides its residents with a community swimming pool and gardens overlooking the city.

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

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4 Benefits of Buying a Historic Home in Asheville

Historic Home Kenilworth Asheville

Part of the wide appeal of Asheville is its aesthetic.  Though it is a small city, nestled among the ancient Blue Ridge Mountains, it draws in flocks of tourists.  Many of these tourists eventually make their way into the charming historic neighborhoods of Asheville and are drawn in by the architectural beauty of these well-preserved homes. This is evidenced by the quickly growing population and popularity of Asheville.

The Craftsmanship and Strength of Historic Homes is Unmatched

Unique Coffered Ceiling DesignOlder homes, particularly those that were built before World War 1, are typically built of much higher quality materials than newer homes.  You will often find rare hardwoods such as heart pine and wood from old-growth forests.  Rare gems such as copper adornments and opalescent glass exemplify the handmade nature of these buildings.

America is currently undergoing a type of downtown revival.  Residents and tourists alike are enjoying the cultural hub provided by historic centers.  Start-up businesses such as bookstores and restaurants are thriving in these historic locations.  Historic neighborhoods close to these city centers are increasingly appealing for their vibrancy and walkability.

Possible Tax Incentives

As of January of 2016, the North Carolina legislature has put into effect a historic rehabilitation tax credit program.  This program provides a great incentive to taxpayers who rehabilitate their homes or income-producing properties.  These incentives for improving historic structures are an important tool for historic preservation in North Carolina.  Additionally, a federal tax credit for the rehabilitation of historic homes consists of a 20% credit for qualifying income-producing historic properties that have been rehabilitated.

Adaptive Reuse is Environmentally Friendly

Far superior to demolition, the concept of adaptive reuse encourages people to preserve the structural assets in place.  This saves a lot of energy that goes into the manufacture, transportation and assembly of new building materials.  Historical buildings’ energy efficiency can always be improved upon, and the latest building technologies are making that increasingly easy.

You Are Preserving History

Ideal Yard for Pets and PlayAsheville is a place of deep-rooted history.  A small group of big-dreaming activists played a large role in helping to stop the demolition of many of downtown Asheville’s historic buildings to put in a strip mall.  Fortunately, they were able to stop the destruction, and preservationists stepped in with a Public Works program that encouraged business owners to preserve the historic buildings and create businesses within their walls.  Today, Asheville has a vibrant downtown and many of the businesses are housed in architecturally astounding structures.

Similarly, many devoted homeowners have moved into the many historic neighborhoods around Asheville, and with a little TLC, have preserved these stately homes.  Examples of this can bee seen in the Victorian and Queen Anne homes in Montford, pebble dash cottages in Biltmore Village, charming bungalows in West Asheville and Colonial Revival and Tudor homes of Grove Park, among many others.

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: National Trust for Historic Preservation 

Preservation North Carolina