Blog :: 01-2019

Easy-to-Install Green Features for Your Home

Solar Panels Green Homes

Even if your home isn’t green built, you and your family can still find ways to live a more environmentally friendly life at home. From installing low-flow showerheads to buying more energy-efficient appliances, even small adjustments can pay off big time for the environment – and for your wallet.

Get a Compost Bin

Compost Green HomesComposting kitchen scraps – coffee grounds, fruit, vegetable peels, even napkins – is a great way to keep food waste out of landfills, where it generates the greenhouse gas methane. And the resulting compost is a free, easy way to fertilize your garden. Invest in a compost bin, which is designed to hasten the decomposition of organic matter through proper aeration and moisture retention. Another option is worm composting, where worms eat food scraps, which becomes compost as they pass through the worm's body.

Save Water

According to the EPA, the average American household can waste 180 gallons of water per week through faucet leaks alone. Check and replace any leaky fixtures. In addition, installing low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators can curb unnecessary water usage. Outside your home, choose native vegetation for your landscaping, since they generally require less water. Install a rain barrel to collect water for outdoor use.

Replace Old Light Bulbs with LEDs

Swapping out old bulbs for LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs is an easy way to go green in your home. Old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs waste up to 90% of their energy as heat. LED lights use 80% less energy, and light about 25 times longer, than incandescent bulbs. LED lights don’t produce as much heat, which can save on energy and maintenance costs.

Become a Fan of Fans

Air conditioning accounts for a huge portion of a home’s electricity use. To save money and energy while still keeping cool in the summer, install ceiling fans or place inexpensive oscillating fans throughout your house.

Get Smart about Thermostats

Smart Thermostate Green HomesProgrammable thermostats, one of many types of new smart home features, regulate your home’s temperature according to settings you create for certain times of the day. That means your thermostat can turn the air or heat off when you’re not home, or lower it when you’re asleep. A smart thermostat will save on energy costs, and prevent energy waste.

Seek Solar

Photovoltaic devices and materials, which can convert sunlight into electricity, are becoming increasingly popular for residential use. Solar power can be harnessed to create electricity for your home, to heat water and to improve indoor lighting. Though this feature is not necessarily easy for you to install, there are many local solar companies who walk you through the process and will help you navigate the existing rebates and tax incentives.

Plug Air Leaks

Apply weather stripping around your doors and caulk around your windows to prevent air leaks into and out of your house. Doing so will keep your HVAC system from having to overwork to maintain a desirable indoor temperature.

Upgrade Appliances

Got an old agitator washer in your laundry room? That machine uses about 70% more water than many models available today. Thanks to tighter restrictions on energy use, washers, along with other major appliances like dryers, refrigerators and dishwasher, are much more efficient and environmentally friendly. Swapping out your old, energy-hogging appliances for new, greener ones may seem pricey initially, but doing so will pay off in the long run.

For more information about green homes or about Asheville Real Estate, contact Mosaic Realty owner Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call him anytime at 828-337-8190.

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In Candler, Pastoral Living Pairs with Enviable Amenities

Candler NC Real Estate

Collaborative Post by Mosaic Realty agent Carol Marin and Mosaic blog writer Christie Kafka

Conveniently located just west of Asheville and surrounded by stunning mountain views sits the pastoral community of Candler. This Buncombe County region in Hominy Valley offers all the advantages of country life – more acreage on average than city properties, in a wider price range – coupled with easy access to downtown Asheville and a multitude of retail amenities.

Originally settled by the native Cherokee, Candler was claimed by German, Scottish and English settlers in the early to mid-1700s. In 1885, Civil War Capt. John K. Hoyt resided in a Queen Anne style house in Candler, which today operates as a historic bed and breakfast, the Engadine Inn.

Enka Candler NC Homes for SaleFrom Farms to Townhomes in Candler, NC

Candler properties for purchase run the gamut: Everything from working farms to low-maintenance townhomes is available. Tucked-away estates, rambling ranches in subdivisions, compact cottages and vacant land for building a custom home are all available in Candler.

The Farm at Bradshaw Lane, Lindon Cove Crossing and Justice Ridge Estates are just a few of the communities that offer quality-built homes in a beautiful mountain setting with minimal HOA restrictions. High Meadows, Challedon and Morgan Branch Estates feature older homes in established neighborhoods. For newer homes in a range of sizes, Holcombe Meadows, Holcombe Woods and Village at Knotty Alder are possibilities. Cross Creek is a community of newer one-level homes with half-acre lots. Woodside Hills is a neighborhood of mainly 1970s brick ranches boasting picturesque yards and city services.

Don’t want the upkeep of a large house and yard? The Vistas of Westfield and Brigadoon presents low-maintenance townhome living, with pools and clubhouses.

For luxurious amenities, Biltmore Lake boasts a large variety of homes and townhomes with access to a 62-acre lake, beach, clubhouse, tennis courts and walking trails.

Enka Candler NC Near AshevilleCandler has Perfect Proximity to Retail and Outdoor Amenities

Candler has easy access to I-26 and I-40; Smokey Park Highway (19-23) is the main route through town. Monte Vista, Liberty Road, Pisgah Highway (NC 151), Dogwood Road, Justice Ridge and Sand Hill Road are major secondary roads that branch off to a variety of neighborhoods.

Candler boasts a local YMCA, a number of large grocery stores, and a handful of popular homestyle eateries: The Miami, Sand Hill Kitchen and Highway 151 are some local favorites. The community is served by three public elementary schools and one middle school; most of Candler lies within the district of Enka High School. Outdoor activities like hiking, biking and camping abound around Candler, with the N.C. Arboretum, Bent Creek Experimental Forest and Blue Ridge Parkway all a short drive away. On a clear day in Candler, you can catch the delightful sight of hot air balloons flying across Hominy Valley; one might even land in your backyard!

Carol Marin Candler NC Real Estate AgentAmong other areas and property types, Mosaic Realty agent Carol Marin specializes in property in the Candler area. For a personally guided tour of Candler or to list your Candler property, please contact Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty broker Carol Marin at (828) 545-2712, or email her at Carol@MyMosaicRealty.com

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Expert Marketing Is Key to Selling Your Asheville Home

Best Real Estate Agents Asheville

When it comes time to sell your Asheville area home, having an agent well-versed in every facet of marketing your property is crucial. From properly positioning your listing in the market to implementing grassroots exposure that engages potential buyers, promoting your home in ways that are responsive to changing markets and homebuyer trends will generate greater interest and get you the sale price you want, in a timely manner. What are some key ways an effective, experienced agent draws the most attention to your listing? Read on.

Asheville NC Listing AgentsDigital Marketing

In this digital age, it’s important to find a realty that understands the importance of the online marketplace. At Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty, a team of Internet and marketing specialists maximizes digital listings by implementing professional, wide-angle digital photography and full-color marketing brochures. This visually engaging virtual approach draws in those who may not be local to Asheville, and who may have to do most of their initial shopping online – a significant portion of potential home buyers to the area.

Online Marketplace

Online marketing should extend well beyond your real estate agency’s website. Mosaic advertises your property in the most prominent online marketplaces, including Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, Homefinder.com and Homes.com. Additionally, it’s important that your property is optimally positioned in social media channels where buyers spend time – something Mosaic makes sure to do.

Maximum Exposure

List with Mosaic, and your home will receive its own gallery on the website and priority placement on other highly trafficked sites. Powerful tracking tools will be implemented to show how many people view your property online, giving you valuable selling data. Mosaic will also make sure all area real estate agencies receive your listing, so they may present the property to their buyers.

Listing Agent Asheville Real EstateStaging Advice

Mosaic is equipped to guide you through one particularly important, yet sometimes overlooked, facet of the selling process: staging your home. Giving your home an aesthetic overhaul – whether large or small – can offer a clean slate, free of distractions so potential buyers can truly see themselves living in your home.

Connection to Community

Community relationships should be a core value. Mosaic’s agents are deeply engaged in the unique culture of Asheville, volunteering, attending festivals and building relationships. That connection to community benefits everyone, and will prove a boon when you’re ready to introduce your property to the Asheville marketplace.

If you are ready to list your home and want an agent adept at navigating the Asheville market, contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190, or get in touch with any of Mosaic’s selling agents at info@MyMosaicRealty.com.

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Keep Cold-Weather Woes at Bay With a Winterized Home

Shoveling Snow Asheville

As winter kicks into high gear in Asheville, making sure your home is equipped to handle the elements should take top priority. While warm bursts can interrupt winter’s march in this part of the Appalachians, there are still enough sustained cold snaps to warrant a thorough home prep. From heating to insulation to weather safety measures, having everything in and around your house readied can prevent cold-triggered dilemmas down the line.

Winterize Your Home FurnaceHeating System

Preventive maintenance can help extend the life of your heating system and identify potential problems that can turn into major headaches in the dead of winter. Before the cold settles in, have your furnace or boiler checked; clean or replace the furnace filter if you have a forced hot air system; if you have a working fireplace, make sure to have your chimney checked and serviced annually. As you settle into winter, have fuel tanks filled, and monitor levels throughout the season; never set your heat lower than 55 degrees, as the walls where water pipes live are colder than your home’s interior. Which brings us to …

Water Pipes

When water inside pipes freezes, the expansion can cause pipes to crack or, worse, burst. Pipes can also burst when water builds behind a chunk of ice, so leaving faucets dripping in very cold weather, especially in colder parts of your house (basements and utility rooms), is a good idea. Don’t forget about exterior faucets and sprinkler systems: Drain water from them to keep those pipes from freezing, disconnect outdoor hoses, and cover outdoor faucets with foam insulators. Pay particular attention to piping in garages, crawl spaces and attics, where it could be colder, and consider extra insulation for these areas. Know where the water shutoff for your home is, in case your pipes do freeze; closing off the supply can prevent a water disaster.

Winter Home Maintenance TipsInsulation

Inspect and upgrade insulation regularly, and consider weather stripping for added protection against cold, blustery days. Extra insulation in attics can avoid ice dams: When too much heat escapes into the attic, it can warm icy roofs that can eventually refreeze and cause an ice dam. Such situations can lead to water damage inside your home. Doors and windows that are weather stripped will prevent drafts and heat loss. If you have storm windows, install them.

Safety and Supplies

Ice and snow can pose safety concerns, even if you’re not on the road. Maintain trees in your yard to avoid ice-laden branch breaks that can lead to injury, damage to your home, or downed power lines. Make sure steps and handrails are in good condition; check that you have snow shovels and rakes, as well as ice-melting compounds, on hand. Be prepared for possible power outages with bottled water, nonperishable foods, first-aid supplies, and smartphone chargers.

All-season pleasures abound in Asheville. Knowing that your home is ready for the elements means you can stop worrying about the cold weather – and start enjoying everything winter in Western North Carolina has to offer.

For information on Asheville, NC or Real Estate in Asheville, contact Mosaic Realty owner Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call him anytime at 828-337-8190.

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Tea Takes Hold in Asheville

Asheville NC Teahouses

Craft beer may be the beverage that’s put Asheville on the map, but a different brew has found a foothold in the region: tea. From traditional tea houses to regional blends to tea-centric events, here are all the ways to enjoy the leaf-based brew in Asheville.

Asheville Tea Company

This operation, started in 2015, sells a range of locally sourced brews online, at local tailgate markets, and in Asheville shops and cafes such as. Among the offerings are herbal, black, green, seasonal and yaupon (see below) blends. Flavors include such varied blends as Echinacea Elderflower, Hibiscus Mojito and Chocolate Habanero Chai. In addition, the company offers Tea CSA boxes, which include three monthly select loose leaf teas from its main or seasonal tea line and a tea infuser with the first box. http://www.ashevilleteacompany.com

Asheville Tea and CoffeeAfternoon Tea at the Biltmore

Offered daily from 1-2:30 p.m., afternoon tea at The Inn on Biltmore Estate is inspired by the Vanderbilt tradition of sharing afternoon tea with guests. Along with a sampling of fine cheeses, artfully prepared sweet and savory canapés, a selection of Newby Teas is offered in an opulent setting. https://www.biltmore.com/events/detail/afternoon-tea

Tea Events at Ivory Café & Kitchen

This Arden café, housed in a 1930s stone cottage, offers a number of tea-centric events and tastings. Every Saturday at 2 p.m., there’s an afternoon tea, a laid-back approach to the traditional English-style service. One Sunday a month, the café holds a Sunday Afternoon Tea Tasting in partnership with Asheville Tea Company.  The Sunday Tea includes live classical guitar music, as well as a seasonal tea tasting flight and a brief informative talk by Jessie Dean, owner of Asheville Tea Company. https://ivoryroadavl.com

Dobra Tea - Two Asheville Locations

This tea house, with locations in West Asheville and Downtown, goes to great distances to source all of its teas directly from their regions of origin. Dobra features an incredibly extensive tea menu, with teas arranged by country, and complements its teas with desserts, tea snacks and savory spreads (Downtown), as well as raw and macrobiotic dishes, salads and pho (West Asheville). The tea house also holds events throughout the year: Everything from The History of Tea to Oolong Tea Class and to Pu’er Tea Tasting are offered. http://dobrateanc.com

Teahouses in AshevilleAlchemy

This tearoom, apothecary and acupuncture practice is committed to nourishing the individual and the community while supporting environmental well-being. It honors the practice of Chinese medicine by offering classical formulas and seasonal specialties. Flavors as varied as White Peony, Nettles, Holy Basil and Roasted Barley fill the menu, alongside mainstays like Earl Grey, Oolong and Chamomile. http://www.alchemyasheville.com

Yaupon

This wild, regional evergreen shrub – believed to be the only native North American plant to contain caffeine – is experiencing a resurgence in popularity. The dried leaves were once used by Native Americans to make a ceremonial tea; today, yaupon – a close cousin to the more popular yerba mate – is gaining a new generation of fans with its mellow flavor, energizing buzz, and high concentration of antioxidants and theobromine. Yaupon is on the menu at Green Sage Café and Asheville Tea Company.

To learn more about Asheville or about Real Estate in Asheville, contact Mosaic Realty owner Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call him anytime at 828-337-8190.

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Asheville's Unique Indoor Activities Take the Edge Off Winter

Asheville NC Indoor Activities

The Asheville area is blessed with weather that can be mild even in the dead of winter. But when those inevitable cold, wet days do hit, warm up to these unique indoor activities.

Retrocade

Scores of video games, pinball machines, billiards, Skee-Ball and Foosball populate this two-level arcade in West Asheville. A flat fee of $10 gains you all-day unlimited play, and a bar offers local craft beers, wine and soda to sip while you enjoy the retro atmosphere. https://www.ashevilleretrocade.com

Better Than Unicorns

This virtual reality arena and immersive studio gives you the opportunity to experience computer-generated games that simulate realistic experiences. On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evenings, the public is invited to open play, where for a flat fee of $15 ($10 for students), players can participate in studio-selected games. https://www.betterthanunicorns.com

Indoor Winter Activities AshevilleRAD Skatepark

This skater-owned and -operated indoor park offers open skate every day of the week. Private lessons by the hour and holiday skate camp for kids are also available. Combine a visit to the River Arts District park with a pre- or post-skate stop at neighbors 12 Bones Smokehouse or Wedge Brewing at Foundation. http://www.radskateparkavl.com

Thomas Wolfe Memorial

This state historic site, boardinghouse and museum in downtown Asheville was the boyhood home of renowned American novelist Thomas Wolfe, and is immortalized as “Dixieland” in Wolfe’s 1929 novel “Look Homeward, Angel.” A visitor center features exhibits about Wolfe and his family, as well as an audio-visual presentation about the writer’s life and works. The house also holds special seasonal activities and exhibitions. Guided house tours are offered at half past each hour, Tuesday through Saturday. http://wolfememorial.com

Asheville’s Fun Depot

This family entertainment center features over 65,000 square feet of indoor activities, including go-carts, mini-golf, laser tag, bumper cars, a climbing wall, playgrounds and inflatables, mini-bowling, arcade games and more. Burgers, pizza, chicken sandwiches and salads are available in the on-site restaurant. http://ashevillesfundepot.com/home/

Asheville Indoor ActivitiesAsheville Pinball Museum

This all-you-can-play arcade ($15 for adults, $12 for kids 10 and under) features more than 80 pinball machines – some dating back decades and boasting fascinating histories – as well as classic video games. Beer and soda are available at the bar. Cold, rainy days can mean a waitlist, but the museum’s close proximity to the Grove Arcade means you can enjoy the indoor shopping corridor while you wait.http://ashevillepinball.com

Folk Art Center

Home to the Southern Highland Craft Guild, the Folk Art Center showcases traditional and contemporary crafts of the Southern Appalachians. In addition to an Eastern National bookstore and Blue Ridge Parkway information desk, the center houses three galleries, a library, and the Guild’s oldest craft shop. From March through December, visitors can see live craft demonstrations daily in the center’s lobby. https://www.southernhighlandguild.org/folk-art-center/

For more information about Asheville or about Real Estate in Asheville, contact Mosaic Realty owner Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call him anytime at 828-337-8190.

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For Locals Looking to Buy a Home in Asheville, Winter's a Hot Time

Buying a Home in Winter Asheville

Asheville’s real estate frenzy typically cools during the winter – and that makes it an ideal season for locals to buy a home. What are the benefits of a wintertime real estate search? Read on to find out.

Less Competition for Home Buying in Asheville

Asheville Winter Home BuyingWhile Asheville gets plenty of visitors in the winter months, the cold can still curtail tourism. That means the Asheville real-estate market experiences a brief respite from the competitive pressure generated by tourists looking for homes in the area. Without the influx of out-of-town interest, local buyers have less competition. Add to that the traditional thinking that it’s better to shop for a home in the spring, and you have the ideal buyer’s market, minus the masses. As an added bonus, since there’s less competition, you’re less likely to encounter a stressful multiple-bid situation when you find the home of your dreams.

More Motivated Sellers

During the winter months, holidays, social events and travel take top priority, so it stands to reason that sellers who choose this busy time to list their homes are doing so because they need to move for a reason – whether a job transfer, family emergency, or other urgent need. With a motivated seller, the process of purchasing a home becomes more streamlined, and negotiations can be expedited, all to the benefit of the buyer.

Prices Are Lower, and Deals Abound

Real Estate Winter Buying Asheville NCInventory in the winter is typically low, but the number of buyers usually is even lower. With supply exceeding demand, sellers must often take aggressive measures to attract buyers. This means the obvious: lower home prices. But it also means buyers have the upper hand in negotiating things like closing costs and timing, which appliances and other items are included in the purchase, and even terms of sale.

While there are fewer listings in the winter, there are still plenty of homes to choose from in the Asheville area. At Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty, our experienced agents can help you find the perfect home, typically at no cost to you.

So if you’re ready to buy a home in Asheville, contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190, or get in touch with any of Mosaic’s selling agents at info@mymosaicrealty.com.

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