Blog :: 04-2017

IN ASHEVILLE, BEAUTY BLOOMS WHEN YOU LANDSCAPE WITH NATIVE PLANTS

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For most homeowners, curb appeal begins with beautiful landscaping. But just as important is the preservation of the natural ecosystem around us. With the use of native plant species in yards and gardens, homeowners can integrate the two goals, to great success.

NATIVE PLANT KNOW-HOW

Shasta DaisyNative species of plants occur naturally, without human introduction or intervention. Over time, they have built up physical and biological characteristics specific to regional elements – things like climate, soil type, moisture, and other local plants, animals and insects. They are hardy, environmentally friendly, and help to restore regional landscapes that may be compromised in rapidly developing areas. In short, they are perfectly adapted to their home.

When landscaping with native plants, the best research is simply looking around to get an idea of what grows near your home naturally and beautifully. In the Asheville area, it’s easy to maximize your success by matching the right plants with the right site conditions. To do this, assess the type of light and amount of moisture your planting site receives throughout the day, as well as throughout each growing season. The direction your garden faces, the amount of horizontal and vertical working space you have, and your altitude also figure prominently in native landscaping success. Having your soil pH tested is helpful, and will indicate whether the soil needs to be amended.

A RANGE OF CHOICES FOR LANDSCAPING WITH NATIVES

Butterfly bushFrom wispy wildflowers to low-growing groundcovers, native options in the Asheville area are diverse enough to suit any weekend landscaper’s tastes.

A lot of native planting depends on your landscaping goals:

·      Looking to provide a lush wildlife habitat? Start by creating layers: Plant low-growing plants and shrubs under taller ones, and create an environment where birds can nest and feed.

·      For a punch of color that attracts an array of pollinators, nothing beats wildflowers. Popular in the Asheville area and surrounding region, and targeted to specific seasons, are eastern bluestar, butterfly weed and cardinal flower.

·      For a natural way to stem erosion and minimize maintenance, groundcovers are the way to go. Some popular Western N.C. natives include the multi-season showstopper partridgeberry (white flowers in the spring, red berries in the fall); and green and gold, perfect for populating a rock garden.

·      Ferns and tall grasses provide the ideal habitat for a range of songbirds, butterflies and small animals. Shade garden favorites include cinnamon and Christmas ferns. Grasses are a low-maintenance option, with cloud-like switchgrass and year-round little bluestem popular picks.

AzaleaAsheville is replete with local nurseries well-versed in all aspects of native landscaping. In addition, there are local educational resources galore to get you started on your way to an ecosystem-supporting yard. For more information and guidance on regional native landscaping, visit the following:

Asheville Botanical Gardens

N.C. State University’s “Urban Landscaping With Native Plants” 

N.C. Native Plant Society 

Bee City USA 

And if you’re looking for the perfect house to go with that native-populated yard, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

 

Asheville City Schools Foundation to Host Celebration of Champions

Asheville City Schools Celebration

Asheville boasts many exceptional leaders who work to champion children in the community by addressing and enhancing equity in the city’s public schools. On Saturday, May 6, the Asheville City Schools Foundation will honor a group of these community leaders, parents and organizations at its annual Celebration of Champions.

The 2017 Celebration of Champions event will feature honorees’ stories and celebrate the impact they are making on the students and teachers of Asheville City Schools. Additionally, a group of Parent Champions, one from each of the nine Asheville City Schools, will also be honored, reflecting the diversity, assets and support parents can provide.

MAKING ASHEVILLE SCHOOLS STRONGER

Mosaic Realty Asheville Public SchoolsFounded in 1988, ACSF champions strong public schools in Asheville through advocacy, grant-making, after-school programming and parent and community engagement. Since 2000, it has provided over $800,000 to projects that directly support the students and teachers in city schools and over $1 million to students through scholarships. Celebration of Champions is ACSF’s signature event to raise funds for key programs including: professional development opportunities for teachers, IRL (In Real Life) after-school program, TAPAS (Teaching Artists Presenting in Asheville Schools), and the Equity Fund.

The Celebration of Champions 2017 honorees are:

Lifetime Achievement Champion Alfred Whitesides, who has fought for decades to ensure educational opportunity for the children of Asheville through its city schools and for the young people of North Carolina through the state university system;

Asheville Supports TeachersCommunity Champion Asheville Writers in the Schools and Community, formed by Janet Hurley and Tamiko Ambrose Murray along with Meggen Lyon and Asheville City Schools Foundation to provide innovative arts and creative writing opportunities to children, teens and families in Asheville’s schools and communities;

Individual Champion Sarah Reincke of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, who coordinates OLLI’s Civic Engagement Committee, spreading the joy of volunteering to the more than 40 OLLI members she helps match with city school placements;

Parent Champions in ACS Luz Velazquez from Asheville City Preschool; Pat Hall from Claxton Elementary; Angelica Wind from Hall Fletcher Elementary; Joan Pinegar from Isaac Dickson Elementary; Gene Peyroux from Ira B. Jones Elementary; Allison Reece from Vance Elementary; Jessica Merchant from Asheville Middle; Alec Fehl from SILSA; and Nancy Hutchins from Asheville High.

MOSAIC REALTY’S INVALUABLE SUPPORT

ACSF Celebration of ChampionsAmong the premier sponsors of the Celebration of Champions 2017 is Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty. A longtime advocate for the health and vitality of the local community as a whole, and Asheville City’s public schools in particular, Mosaic has sponsored ACSF and the Celebration of Champions for four years. Mosaic’s sponsorship attests to the conviction that strong schools start with strong community support.

Celebration of Champions 2017 takes place May 6 at Crowne Plaza Expo Center (1 Resort Drive, Asheville). Buy tickets here. Ticket holders will enjoy appetizers and a cash bar while participating in a silent auction, followed by a seated dinner and program including short films honoring the 2017 Champions.

For more information about our area or about 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

 

Asheville Company is First Carbon Neutral Real Estate Firm in NC

Mosaic Realty Partners with WNCGBC in a Local Solution to Global Pollution

Mosaic Realty AshevilleAsheville, NC: Local Real Estate firm Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty is now officially the first real estate agency in North Carolina to obtain the status of carbon neutral. Longtime supporters of Western North Carolina Building Council (WNCGBC), Mosaic Realty has recently strengthened their partnership by participating in Appalachian Offsets, a program of WNCGBC. By calculating the company’s net carbon output and offsetting it by paying into local green energy projects, they ensure that they are proactively taking steps to address climate change.

According to Dictionary.com, carbon neutrality is having achieved a state in which the net amount of carbon dioxide is reduced to zero because it is balanced by action to reduce or offset these emissions.  In order to participate in Appalachian Offsets, all 21 Mosaic agents have committed to paying a yearly sum reflective of their part of carbon emissions for the company. The funds collected benefit a local nonprofit, school or affordable-housing provider needing an energy-efficiency upgrade.

Appalachian Offsets AshevilleSam Ruark-Eastes, Executive Director of the WNCGBC, explains, “Appalachian Offsets is the bridge that matches companies and individuals looking to offset their emissions with organizations who need support cutting energy cost and upgrading their facilities.” Mike Figura, owner of Mosaic Realty, sees the value of this service to his business. “Mosaic Realty operates on a triple bottom line principle of People, Planet and Profit. We measure our success based on those three categories. Climate change is one of the greatest threats to our environment and species, and Appalachian Offsets offers us a way to take action on a local level to help make a positive impact”, states Figura.

Asheville Appalachian OffsetsBut the partnership between Mosaic and WNCGBC does not stop here. In order to help Asheville  become a carbon neutral community, Mosaic realtors working with buyers connect their clients to WNCGBC’s Green Gauge program. Green Gauge is an innovative home assessment tool that helps residents save money, reduce energy usage and live in homes that are healthier for themselves and the environment. Connecting new residents to some of Asheville’s invaluable resources and programs is a great entrance into this environmentally aware community.

About Mosaic Realty: Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty is a boutique real estate firm made up of 21 professional, full-time brokers who live in Asheville. We specialize in green, historic and in-town properties. Commitment to supporting our local and global community has been at the heart of this downtown Asheville real estate firm since its formation in 2010. In 2016, Mosaic donated over $77,000 to 48 non-profits, including the WNCGBC.

For more information about living in Asheville, 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 Green Homes for Sale in Asheville

 

Discover Green Built NC Homes in Asheville

Green Home AshevilleGreen-built homes are transforming the residential market and people’s lives everywhere – a fact that is especially true in the Asheville area.

Green homes are built to be healthier and safer by providing cleaner indoor air. They use less energy and water, leading to monthly savings on utilities. This all means the average upfront costs of building green are quickly recouped, as a homeowner will save money for the duration of the home’s lifespan.

Additionally, green-home owners in Asheville and around the country experience increased market value, heralding a higher resale value when the time comes. They also enjoy state and federal tax credits for their home’s renewable energy use and energy-efficiency.

THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A GREEN HOME

Green Homes Save EnergyThe green-built movement in Asheville has the added bonus of support from the Green Built NC Program, a voluntary, statewide green-building program encompassing all aspects of environmental design and construction including:

  • Healthy Site/Landscape: erosion control and preservation of existing trees
  • Water Efficiency: use of high-efficiency irrigation and plumbing fixtures to reduce water bills
  • Building Envelope: use of high-efficiency windows and insulation to reduce energy bills
  • Heating/Cooling Systems: use of high-efficiency equipment and sealed air ducts to increase comfort
  • Appliances/Lighting: use of Energy Star appliances and lighting to reduce utility bills
  • Healthy Indoor Air Quality: use of non-toxic finishes and methods to minimize moisture
  • Materials: use of durable local and recycled content materials for minimal maintenance

 

Tools for Finding a Green Home in Asheville

Green homes are a specialization of Mosaic Realty. So much so that we designed our website with quick search features to locate all green homes on the market in Asheville.  Additionally, we have a quick search for JAG Construction homes, a leader of green built homes in the Asheville area.

Tools for Assessing the Energy Usage of a Home in Asheville

Green Homes Save MoneyA great service available to Asheville homeowners, or those in the market for an Asheville home, is Green Gauge , an innovative home assessment tool to help residents across North Carolina save money, reduce energy usage and live in homes that are healthier for themselves and the environment. Created by the WNC Green Building Council, this program is the first of its kind in the state.

Green Gauge uses a variety of criteria such as energy and water usage, building material sustainability, indoor air quality, site walkability, and landscape ecology in order to determine the green rating of a home. This rating is a perfect tool for buyers looking to compare homes for energy and water efficiency, and can help them understand the true price of home ownership.

The energy efficiency portion of a Green Gauge Assessment is completed using the U.S. Department of Energy's Home Energy Score (HES). HES uses a systematic approach to provide a reliable, scientifically based analysis of a home’s energy characteristics and overall energy efficiency, which is rated on a scale of 1-10. As of this writing, more 42,000 HES assessments have been completed so far across the country, according to the WNC Green Building Council.

For those interested in green-home ownership, aligning with a real estate agent well-versed in the green-built market is key. Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty’s agents can guide you through the intricacies and supply you with all of the information you need to go green.

To learn more about green homes in the Asheville area, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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Spotlight on Asheville Neighborhoods: Five Points and UNC-Asheville

UNC Asheville Campus

In a triangle tucked between the Merrimon and Broadway Avenue corridors, just north of downtown Asheville, is the neighborhood known collectively as Five Points and UNC-Asheville. Lining the cluster of prime residential homes that makes up Five Points are an array of businesses – groceries, spas, coffee shops, bed and breakfast inns – all easily accessible by foot. The Five Points and UNC-Asheville area features a range of 1920s and ’30s bungalows mixed with a growing number of modern-style residences, making a stroll through the streets a feast for the eyes.

Five Points Neighborhood AshevilleBordering the north end of Five Points is the University of North Carolina at Asheville (the only dedicated liberal arts institution in the UNC system and home to an array of events open to the public), the regionally renowned North Asheville Tailgate Market, and the beautiful Botanical Gardens at Asheville. The USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station Headquarters is also located in the neighborhood.

A Walkable Asheville Neighborhood

High Five Coffee Shop AshevilleResidents of Five Points have the distinct privilege of being within walking distance of a collection of popular specialty grocery stores – Greenlife (Whole Foods), Trader Joe’s and Harris Teeter – along with favorite meeting spots Five Points Restaurant and High Five Coffee. Try the Diablo at High Coffee, pictured at left. At the tip of the triangle sits the Moog Music Factory, where the world-famous Moog Music synthesizers and other electronic musical instruments are designed and handcrafted, and where visitors can play the gear, or take a free factory tour to see employees at work building some of the most innovative instruments in the world. This walkable neighborhood boasts sidewalks lining many streets.

UNC-Asheville: An Asheville Community Gem

UNC-Asheville offers amazing resources not only for its students, but for the general public as well. The university sponsors a wide range of cultural and academic events, concerts, lectures, movie screenings and the like, both on campus and off, year-round. In addition, programs like the Family Business Forum and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute are specifically designed to educate and support the Asheville community.

Botanical Gardens of Asheville and Tailgate Market

Botanical Gardens AshevilleBordering the UNCA campus is the Botanical Gardens of Asheville, a 10-acre independent, non-profit botanical gardens dedicated to the study and promotion of the native plants and habitats of the Southern Appalachians. Admission is free, and the gardens boast trails lined with meandering creeks and stunning scenery perfect for spending a sunny afternoon.

The North Asheville Tailgate Market (whose 2017 season runs from April 1-Nov. 18) sets up shop on the UNCA campus every Saturday from 8 a.m. til noon. Since 1980, the market has provided visitors with a full range of local, sustainably produced produce, meats, eggs, cheeses, breads, plants, prepared foods and crafts. With more than 40 vendors and over 40,000 annual customers, the market’s energetic and warm environment exemplifies the celebrated diversity of Asheville’s community.

For a personally guided tour of the Five Points and UNCA area, or for more information on real estate here or anywhere in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.