Blog :: 07-2017

Solar Eclipse Promises Out-of-This-World Experience in Asheville

Solar Eclipse Viewing Near Asheville

On Monday, Aug. 21, for the first time in 26 years, parts of the U.S. will experience one of nature’s most amazing celestial events: a total eclipse of the sun. If you’re lucky enough to be in the Asheville area that day, you’re in for a treat: the city will see a 99% eclipse, while Jackson, Swain and Graham counties – all located about 50 to 70 miles west of Asheville – will experience the extremely rare total eclipse. Towns in the direct path include Sylva, Dillsboro, Cashiers, Bryson City, Cherokee and Robbinsville.

Prepare to be Wowed

In a solar eclipse, the moon passes directly between the sun and the Earth, revealing the sun’s rarely seen corona. The moon casts a shadow that moves across the Earth's surface, creating a path of totality. For areas within this narrow, 70-mile-wide band, the experience will be otherworldly: temperatures will drop, birds will go silent, and stars will come out as complete darkness falls in the middle of the day for up to 2 minutes and 40 seconds. The total transition in Western N.C. will begin about 1 p.m. and end around 4 p.m. Asheville will experience a 99% eclipse at approximately 2:37 p.m.

Best Spots to Watch the Eclipse near Asheville

View the Solar Eclipse Near AshevilleThere are many places to witness the entire eclipse in Western N.C. With visitors coming from everywhere to experience the phenomenon, you’ll need to arrive early to avoid heavy traffic. Although many events will have viewing glasses on hand, secure yours in advance and you’ll be assured a safe eclipse experience. Following, some prime spots for soaking in the exciting event:

Downtown Asheville: The Asheville Museum of Science and UNC-Asheville will host a free Solar Eclipse Festival in Pack Square Park from 12-3 p.m., with music, food and hands-on eclipse activities. For those living outside the city who don’t want to travel far, Buncombe County Schools will be hosting three satellite viewing locations: Owen High School, North Buncombe High School and T.C. Roberson High School.

Sylva: Beginning Friday evening, and leading up to the main event on Monday, visitors to downtown Sylva can enjoy festivities to celebrate the eclipse. On Monday, live music, food trucks and eclipse experts will be at Bridge Park (76 Railroad Avenue) in downtown Sylva from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Time of total darkness will be 1 minute, 45 seconds.

Dillsboro: Park at Monteith Park for $2 and take a free shuttle from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. into Dillsboro to experience vendors, galleries, studios, shops and restaurants along the river. Time of total darkness will be 1 minute, 50 seconds.

Cashiers: From 12-4 p.m., the Village Green will host food trucks, live music and experts with equipment for viewing. Everyone receives viewing glasses. Totality of darkness will be 2 minutes, 25 seconds.

EclipseCherohala Skyway: This National Scenic Byway near Robbinsville, with many overlooks at which to park, will experience the longest period of darkness (about 2 minutes, 30 seconds).

Blue Ridge Parkway: The southern section of the parkway will be in the path of total darkness (about 20-60 seconds around 2:36 p.m.) - from around Looking Glass Rock overlook (Milepost 417) to the end at Cherokee. The numerous overlooks on the stretch will fill up quickly, so get there early.

Bryson City: Events downtown on Frye Street and at Swain County Event Park will feature food trucks and music from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Total darkness will be 1 minute, 57 seconds.

Gorges State Park: Visitors can enjoy a three-day celebration with free activities. Aug. 19 is Nature Day, with a series of guided hikes from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 20 is Fun Day, with programs, exhibits, food and music from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. On Eclipse Day, gates will open at 5 a.m. with free solar glasses, food and music from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. – but get there early, since they’ll close the gates when they reach full capacity (1,400 vehicles).

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.

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Creating a Home Office that Works

Home Office

Asheville draws people from all lines of work, but what makes the area especially attractive is the ease with which budding entrepreneurs can create and run a small business from home. Asheville’s supportive, nurturing environment for burgeoning business ideas means more and more people are striking out on their own, and first on their wishlist is an optimally functional home office. Whether running a business from home -- or working remotely for an employer --  setting up an office at home that really works takes a bit of forethought, but doing so promises a productive operation in the long run. Following, a few tips:

Home Office Space·        Separate work from home – Most people set up their home office in a separate room, but even a nook, a walk-in closet or corner of a larger living space can function as a small-business command station, with all your equipment, files and storage in one place. Erect a bookcase partition or high screen to set off your workspace, so you can physically AND mentally separate work from home.

·        Cut the clutter – Have only what you need, and keep it close at hand to help streamline operations, stay organized and remain focused. Having to hunt for files or supplies saps time from more pressing matters and breaks productive momentum.

·        Efficient storage – Things like floating shelves and double-duty filing cabinet “desks” (wood counters supported by two cabinets) make good, inexpensive use of tight spaces. Consider storage options that can double as bench seating or a coffee table.

·        Create a soothing space – Sure, functionality is important, but so is an inviting workspace: Add serenity with a soothing color scheme, position your desk so it faces outside and gets lots of light, place potted plants for a pop of green, or add a comfy couch for additional seating when you’re taking a call or working on your laptop. Such surroundings help to energize and inspire throughout the day.

·        Ergonomics matter – Working at a desk, even if it’s in the comfort of your home, can still take a toll on your body. Invest in a good, supportive chair; position a footrest to elevate your feet. Or consider a standing station. Take hourly breaks from the computer: focus on faraway objects to ease screen-weary eyes; stretch hands, wrists and shoulders; spend five minutes strolling around your neighborhood.

·        Go green when you’re making green – Activate power-saving features on your computer. Turn off your computer, printer and other electronic office equipment when not in use. When it’s time to trade in old equipment, don’t dump: There are many free, environmentally responsible recycling options around Asheville.

For a personally guided tour of residences featuring home-office potential, or for more information on all types of real estate in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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    JAG & Associates Construction Helps Pave Path for Asheville's Green Building Movement

    Brand New Gorgeous Energy Star Home

    There’s no doubt the green build trend has gained a strong foothold in Asheville. People choose to go green for a variety of reasons, from economic to environmental. And when they do, many choose to go with Asheville-based JAG & Associates Construction.

    As the effects of global climate change, foreign oil dependency and toxicity in standard building materials becomes more evident, a greater number of people are turning to the idea of sustainable, green housing. Spearheading the popular movement in green builds, JAG produces quality green homes in Asheville and Western North Carolina to fit a range of budgets. Home seekers can choose from a portfolio of “JAG Built” homes, or put their unique stamp on a dream residence by creating a custom build.

    “Our commitment has always been to build quality-crafted, turnkey-ready green homes as well as custom creations in neighborhoods all over Asheville,” says Jody Guokas, founder and president of JAG. “We pride ourselves in providing a building process that is both efficient and enjoyable.”

    JAG Construction Provides Green Details, Each Step of the Way

    Gourmet Granite and Stainless KitchenSince it was established in 2003, JAG has focused on building homes optimally positioned to promote indoor and outdoor environments, as well as the communities they’re in. Every home JAG has built is certified through Green Built North Carolina; everything from product selection to the construction process stresses green technologies and energy efficiency. JAG homes top the 15% efficiency upgrade required by Energy Star; most of them reach a 30% to 60% energy efficiency premium. Combine all of this with JAG’s keen sense of design, attention to detail and singular craftsmanship, and you can understand why JAG’s houses stand out as some of the most sought-after in Asheville.

    Lots of details go into making a new build green. Some of the things JAG takes into serious consideration are: site measures like infill construction, erosion control, native planting and groundcover and runoff control; building and structural details such as proper waterproofing and drainage, efficient framing, windows and insulation; high-efficiency heating and cooling; and options for solar power energy use.

    High-Impact Homes in West Asheville’s Low-Impact Development: Craggy Park

    Tanager Model at Craggy ParkAs part of the substantial headway JAG is making in the green-build arena, the construction company is working with Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty and East West Capital to develop the 8-acre Craggy Park in West Asheville, off Craggy and Tanglewood Avenues. It is Asheville’s only major subdivision of 45 green-built homes in an urban low-impact development. The property, a short walk to Haywood Road’s cafes, entertainment and shops, will feature clustered 3- and 4-bedroom JAG homes, many with finished walk-out basements.

    Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty is proud to be the exclusive listing agency for JAG. If you are interested in a spec or custom JAG Construction home, please contact Mosaic Realty broker Mike Figura at (828) 337-8190 or at mike@mymosaicrealty.com

    Asheville's Bent Creek Neighborhood: Kicking Adventure Into High Gear

    Bent Creek Community Park

                                                                                                                                                         photo credits: Evan Kafka

    A range of features attracts people to Asheville, but perhaps most popular is proximity to amazing outdoor activities and adventures. The neighborhood of Bent Creek is one of the most optimally positioned communities for outdoor adventurists, thanks to the fact that in its backyard stands the nationally renowned Bent Creek Experimental Forest. Add to that the fact that residents can also be at the North Carolina Arboretum, the Blue Ridge Parkway, or a plethora of commercial amenities in mere minutes, and you’ve got the perfect spot to set up in Asheville!

    The Bent Creek neighborhood boasts a range of single-family styles, from stately brick homes to rambling ranches to sweet bungalows. A warm, welcoming, tight-knit community, Bent Creek attracts couples, young families and retirees alike. A popular neighborhood gathering spot is the 20-acre Bent Creek Community Park, which features wide open areas and a covered pavilion for events, full basketball court, community garden, large playground, sandbox, paved roller area, bicycle pump track, trails, volleyball, playing fields and more.

    Take to the Trails from Bent Creek

    Lake Powhatan Near Bent CreekFor hikers and mountain biking enthusiasts alike, Bent Creek Experimental Forest stands out as one of the most popular in Western North Carolina. Located in the northern tip of the Pisgah Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest, Bent Creek's watershed contains a collection of trails for all kinds of hikes, from those suitable for beginners and families to those more amenable to advanced hiking groups. For mountain bikers, the area boasts nearly 30 miles of doubletrack and singletrack trails to suit a variety of levels, from beginner and intermediate bikers, to families, to larger groups; big climbs and technical sections keep more advanced riders happy. Because of its proximity to the Bent Creek neighborhood and other parts of Asheville, the watershed is a popular spot for after-dinner rides.

    Adjacent to Bent Creek Experimental Forest is Lake Powhatan Recreation Area and Campground, a heavily wooded area on the banks of a small lake. Camp, or just come for the day (day passes are $2/person) to picnic or enjoy an easy 1-mile hike around the lake. There's a beach for swimming and a pier for fishing in the trout-stocked lake.

    Also close to the Bent Creek neighborhood is the North Carolina Arboretum. The renowned destination offers 65 acres of cultivated gardens and groomed trails for both hiking and biking, featuring some of the most beautiful, botanically diverse plants in the region. In addition, the Arboretum is home to an expansive bonsai garden, rotating art exhibits, and a range of educational programs.

    Amenities galore

    Asheville OutletsResidents of Bent Creek have the enviable advantage of being completely enveloped in nature, while at the same time living mere minutes from a range of commercial amenities: Within a couple of miles are grocery stores and restaurants, as well as the recently opened Asheville Outlets, boasting more than 70 popular retailers.

    For a personally guided tour of the Bent Creek neighborhood, 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.

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