Blog :: 12-2019

Mosaic Agents Are Committed to Community Causes Around Asheville

Kathleen Cook Asheville Realtor

As long-time residents of Asheville, Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty’s team of agents is committed to building community through more than just real estate: They make it their mission to work with and support the outstanding area organizations that advocate for the vitality and health of the local and global community.

Mosaic is proud to have given over $115,000 to more than 70 nonprofit and community organizations in 2019 . The agency’s contributions go beyond fiscal aid: Mosaic also helps with hundreds of annual volunteer hours. As a group, Mosaic supports WNCAP’s Dining Out for Life fundraiser every year by sending nine volunteers to work three shifts at Sunny Point Café. The agency also gathers annually for volunteer efforts such as environmental clean-ups and Habitat for Humanity builds.

In addition, Mosaic agents regularly volunteer their time individually, organizing and assisting community initiatives. From serving on nonprofit boards to assisting in schools and churches to aiding conservation causes, Mosaic’s agents have an important hand in the Asheville community. Here are a few ways they help:

Megan Shook – Megan volunteers at her children’s school, part of the Asheville City School system. She also works with Room in the Inn, a Homeward Bound shelter-to-home initiative that helps women experiencing homelessness. In addition, Megan regularly assists with outreach for Asheville Buncombe Youth Soccer Association. Learn more about Megan here: https://mymosaicrealty.com/realestate/agent/megan-shook/

Anthony Thomas -- Anthony has a strong history of community service and his efforts can be seen in many area organizations. He currently serves on the boards of both the YMI Cultural Center and Mountain Housing Opportunities. Additionally, he volunteers as a coach for Asheville’s YMCA. Learn more about Anthony here: https://mymosaicrealty.com/realestate/agent/anthony-thomas/

Nancy Horowitz – Every Tuesday, Nancy collects leftover food from the UNCA dining hall and delivers it to Hall Fletcher Elementary School to feed children in the after-school program MusicWorks; occasionally, she will also deliver the food to Trinity Place. Nancy’s work helps to divert hundreds of pounds of food from landfills and redirects it to programs that could really use it. Learn more about Nancy here: https://mymosaicrealty.com/realestate/agent/nancy-horowitz/

Kathleen Cook – Kathleen serves as vice president of the WNC Children’s Fund, which helps improve children’s lives through wellness, education and poverty alleviation. As VP, Kathleen helps spearhead wristband fundraisers at Asheville Tourists games; she also helps with the group’s annual golf tournament fundraiser. In addition, this year she led an extensive rebranding of the organization.

Outside of the Children’s Fund, Kathleen is creating her own nonprofit, Asheville Art Supplies for Kids. The organization raises funds and collects art supplies for Asheville City and Buncombe County classrooms, city programs, and art groups in need of supplies/ materials. Learn more about Kathleen here: https://mymosaicrealty.com/realestate/agent/kathleen-cook/

Stephanie Cochran – Stephanie leads a program every week that works with MANNA Foodbank to provide food for families in need. MANNA supplies prepackaged bags of food that are picked up by a group from Stephanie’s team and delivered to Grace Church; from there, another group from her team takes them to Ira B. Jones Elementary School. The team also supplements Jones’s afterschool program with snacks that are either donated or purchased through Grace. Learn more about Stephanie here: https://mymosaicrealty.com/realestate/agent/stephanie-cochran/

Maggie Marshall – Maggie helps to lead the Flatiron Writers Room, a hub for the Asheville literary community, offering writers’ workshops, retreats, author events, co-working space and more. Funds raised from the completely volunteer-run organization go to supporting the organization in the form of teacher honoraria, need-based class scholarships, classroom equipment and supplies, marketing, and charitable contributions to other literary organizations. Learn more about Maggie here: https://mymosaicrealty.com/realestate/agent/maggie-marshall/

For information about Real Estate in Asheville, reach out to one of our agents directly, contact us at info@MyMosaicRealty.com or call us anytime at 828-337-8190.

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Educational Spots Reflect Asheville Region's Rich Past

North Carolina Arboretum

Western North Carolina is a region steeped in intriguing history, and the Asheville area offers many destinations in which to absorb that rich past. Spend an afternoon exploring one of these spots and you’re sure to deepen your knowledge and appreciation of the area.

North Carolina Arboretum

The North Carolina Arboretum, a 434-acre public garden located within the Bent Creek Experimental Forest of the Pisgah National Forest, is surrounded by the lush, botanically diverse Southern Appalachian Mountains, allowing visitors to connect personally with nature in ways that are as unique and rich as the land itself. The arboretum offers year-round educational programs and learning experiences for adults, families, youth, school groups, and trade professionals that focus on environmental sustainability, art, science and economic development. From classes, to self-guided programs, to lectures and symposia, the arboretum’s educational programs serve more than 18,000 children and 6,000 adults annually. https://www.ncarboretum.org/education-programs/

Educational Trips Near Asheville NCSmith-McDowell House

Ringed by picturesque mountains and overlooking the confluence of two rivers, Buck House was constructed around 1840, more than 20 years before the Civil War. During a time when most people lived in wood frame houses, the imposing structure was composed of brick, a rarity in early 19th century Asheville. Today it is known as the Smith-McDowell House, the oldest surviving house in Asheville and the finest surviving example of brick antebellum architecture in Western North Carolina. It serves as a timeline museum showing how families lived during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The house is open to the public Wednesdays through Sundays. A small entry fee covers the self-guided tour. https://www.wnchistory.org/smith-mcdowell-house/

Thomas Wolfe Memorial

Thomas Wolfe, considered by many to be one of the giants of 20th century American literature, immortalized his childhood Asheville home in his autobiographical novel, “Look Homeward, Angel.” Wolfe’s colorful portrayal of his family, his hometown of “Altamont” (Asheville), and “Dixieland” (the Old Kentucky Home boardinghouse situated in what is today downtown Asheville) earned the Victorian period house a place as one of American literature’s most famous landmarks. The Thomas Wolfe Memorial is a state historic site and museum offering daily tours; the museum also hosts events and book discussions throughout the year. https://wolfememorial.com

Cradle of Forestry WNCCradle of Forestry in America

Nestled in Pink Beds Valley is the Cradle of Forestry in America, the birthplace of science-based forest management. Jointly managed by the U.S. Forest Service and the Cradle of Forestry in America Interpretive Association, the site is open to visitors every day from mid-April to early November to explore the past, present and future of environmental sustainability and stewardship. These are brought to visitors through paved interpretive trails, interactive exhibits, a sustainably designed Forest Discovery Center, nature programs, craft demonstrations, and special events. Visitors can view Historic Biltmore Forest School buildings that represent traditional, forest-based Blue Ridge mountain culture with lessons for today. An onsite antique portable sawmill, 1914 narrow gauge locomotive, log loader and road graders illustrate the simple and practical technology of yesteryear. https://cradleofforestry.com

Zebulon B. Vance Birthplace

This historic site, birthplace to the N.C. governor and U.S. senator, offers an intimate view of daily life on an early 1800s plantation in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Visitors can see the historic structures, including a loom house, tool shed, spring house, smoke house, and corn crib. Guided tours show visitors a 1790 slave house and discuss the 18 enslaved people that lived and worked on the Vance farm. Tours conclude at the reconstructed 1790s Vance home. https://historicsites.nc.gov/all-sites/zebulon-b-vance-birthplace

For information 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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Downtown Asheville's 23 Rankin Avenue, Unit 302 is Home to Luxurious Living

23 Rankin Avenue Unit 302

Asheville is synonymous with lots of things – wide-ranging outdoor activities, a world-class craft beer scene, unparalleled mountain vistas – but urban oasis? Many would be surprised to learn that at the heart of Asheville’s natural beauty sits a compact, livable downtown district brimming with big-city amenities, arts, entertainment, eateries, markets, gyms … the list goes on. Living in downtown Asheville puts all of these conveniences within easy walking distance.

But how to achieve luxurious living in such an urban oasis? If your timing is right, you can uncover one of the residential gems that comes available periodically. One such rarity has entered Asheville’s real estate market, perched conveniently above Rankin Avenue in a beautiful 1916 building brimming with history.

Electrolux Gas Oven Hood23 Rankin Avenue, Unit 302: A Modern Industrial Penthouse in the Heart of Asheville

Located at 23 Rankin Ave., unit 302 is the peak of sumptuous living. Totally renovated in 2010, this stunning modern industrial penthouse affords dynamic vistas of the city as well as spectacular year-round mountain views from its spacious, 2,000-square-foot rooftop patio. Rustic industrial character is found throughout, including original brick interior walls, hemlock floors harvested from the Biltmore Estate, custom steel railings and dramatic use of original wood beams and truss. 

Eat Out, Eat In

There’s no shortage of drinking and dining options for meeting friends in downtown Asheville – everything from brunch hotspots Over Easy Café, Early Girl Eatery and Tupelo Honey to bustling brew pubs Wicked Weed Brewery and Bhramari Brewing Co. to dessert destinations French Broad Chocolates and Karen Donatelli, just to name a few. 

But if you’re feeling like dining or entertaining at home, unit 302 allows you to do so easily, with its open floor plan featuring a spacious living room, raised den with home theater, office and chef's kitchen. The luxurious kitchen features leathered granite counters, generous custom Wenge cabinets, a walk-in pantry and an Electrolux gas range. 

Theater in AshevilleA Welcoming Home After a Day Downtown

Look for culturally rich programs and entertainment in downtown Asheville, and you won’t be disappointed. Think dance and music performances at the Diana Wortham Theatre; a range of concerts and sporting events at the U.S. Cellular Center/Thomas Wolfe Auditorium; and all manner of outdoor music and arts fests in Pack Square. Pack Memorial Library also features performances and a range of organized activities for all ages. 

Itching for an enriching museum experience? Hit the Asheville Art Museum, the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, the Asheville Museum of Science or the Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center, or mix in a little play at the Asheville Pinball Museum. And after a day soaking in everything downtown Asheville has to offer, come home to unit 302 and soak in the master suite’s sumptuous tub and relaxing spa shower. 

Interested in learning more about 23 Rankin, unit 302? Please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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Holidays Herald Festive Events Across Western N.C.

Asheville WNC Holiday Events

Every year, the holiday season heralds a bevy of festive activities across Western North Carolina. From parades to light displays to stage performances, there’s something to enchant everyone; here are a few favorites.

A Winter’s Tail

The Western North Carolina Nature Center’s annual Winter’s Tail features festive crafts, games and animal programs, as well as photos with Santa. Standard admission rates apply. Visit www.wildwnc.org for program dates and times.

Holidays in WNCAnnual National Gingerbread House Competition Display

Visitors to the Omni Grove Park Hotel in Asheville can view this eagerly anticipated competition, which features breathtaking entries from all over the country, and in various age categories. Visit www.omnihotels.com/hotels/asheville-grove-park/things-to-do/upcoming-events/national-gingerbread-competition for schedule and more information.

Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland

Tryon International Equestrian Center is host to Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland, more than 2 miles of drive-through custom-made displays set to music you play over your car radio. On the weekends, visitors can also enjoy Winterfest Village, featuring photos with Santa and storytelling with Mrs. Claus, carousel rides, animal experiences and live music. Visit www.shadrackchristmas.com/tryon-nc  for tickets and more information.

Winter Lights at the Arboretum

Walk through the N.C. Arboretum’s gardens and enjoy unique displays and landscapes dressed in more than a half-million holiday lights. Winter Lights includes interactive games, a model train exhibit, free crafts, a nature-themed animatronic children’s program and more. Visit www.ncarboretum.org/winter-lights/ for dates, times and admission.

Carolina Christmas Show

Staged at the Colonial Theater in Canton, this dazzling production of live music, dance and comedy features performers from Western N.C. and special guest artists presenting sacred and secular Christmas favorites. Visit www.marlumor.com/christmas-show for schedule and tickets.

The Big Crafty

A favorite art event for the past decade, the weekend-long Big Crafty, held in downtown Asheville, features 150 artisans, crafters and makers from across the region, and boasts the perfect one-stop shop for unique holiday gifts. Visit  www.thebigcrafty.com for schedule and more information. 

Festival of Lights

Lake Julian Park in South Asheville comes to life for this popular Christmas light show. Some 50 animated and stationary light displays shine along the half-mile drive. Go to www.lakejulianfestivaloflights.simpletix.com for schedule and tickets.

Holidays in AshevilleCashiers Christmas Parade

Held annually on the second Saturday in December, the Cashiers Christmas Parade features local businesses, organizations and residents celebrating the holiday season. Chamber staff organizes parade theme, volunteers, participating lineup, awards and live broadcast of the event from the Cashiers Crossroads. Go to www.cashiers411.com/142-cashiers-christmas-parade for schedule and more information.

Santa on Chimney Rock

Visitors to this annual event can watch Santa rappel down Chimney Rock, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, and enjoy live holiday music, free hot cocoa, cookies and kids’ activities. Visit www.chimneyrockpark.com/event/santa-on-the-chimney-dec-7 for schedule and more information.

Old World Dickens in the Village Festival

Every year on the first weekend of December (Friday and Saturday), Historic Biltmore Village is transformed into a quaint Victorian town for the Old World Dickens in the Village Festival. Visitors to this immersive holiday experience – featuring performances by strolling carolers, actors and musicians dressed in Dickensian era costumes – can enjoy live music, the Mugs of Merriment Hot Chocolate Competition, jugglers, balloon animal makers, and the Montford Park Players performing vignettes from “A Christmas Carol.” Visit  www.historicbiltmorevillage.com for more information.

Montford Holiday Tour of Homes

This annual holiday tour features homes in Asheville’s Montford historic district, exquisitely decorated for the season. An expression of the rich architectural heritage and vitality of Asheville, Montford includes a variety of architectural styles, reflecting the cosmopolitan character of Asheville at the turn of the 20th century. Visit www.montfordtour.com for tickets and more information.

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

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Local Shopping Hotspots Abound in Asheville

Asheville Local Gifts

Locally sprung retail spots of all sorts abound in Asheville. From cutting-edge clothing boutiques to eclectic art enclaves to unique gift shops, there are plenty of interesting stores to find quality wares singular to Asheville. Stroll the streets of downtown Asheville, Biltmore Village and the River Arts District, and you’ll find plenty of shopping opportunities. Following are just a few to choose from:

Art Shopping, Asheville-Style

Capture the creative spirit of the region with a piece crafted by one of myriad artisans who live and work in Western N.C. From paintings and pottery to jewelry and apparel, there’s no shortage of art to perfectly encapsulate Asheville. Places to peruse local art include downtown’s Kress Emporium http://www.thekressemporium.com and Woolworth Walk http://www.woolworthwalk.com, and the Westside Artist Co-op http://westashevilleartists.comin West Asheville.

And of course there’s the River Arts District http://www.riverartsdistrict.com: This once-industrial neighborhood nestled next to the French Broad River is now home to the working studios and galleries of hundreds of artists. From painting and pottery to jewelry, glass, metal and wood, the pieces created and sold in Asheville’s River Arts District are a reflection of the thriving artistic talent Asheville nurtures.

Asheville Boutique ShoppingAsheville Clothing Stores

Boutiques offering men’s and women’s wear line the streets of downtown and Biltmore Village, making it easy to find the perfect outfit for any occasion. Shop spots like downtown’s Frock for contemporary and classic designer styles, plus handbags and jewelry https://www.befrocked.com; downtown’s Virtue for boho-chic fashions, plus vintage-inspired accessories and housewares https://www.shopvirtue.com; Old North in downtown for modern and classic men’s and women’s clothing from U.S., European and Japanese makers, created with a focus on timeless appeal https://oldnorthclothing.com; Scout in Biltmore Village for a finely curated assortment of stylish women’s apparel and accessories that fit a broad range of sizes, styles and budgets https://www.scoutavl.com; and Union His & Her in downtown for an ever-evolving inventory of everyday clothing and accessories for men and women https://www.unionasheville.com.

Unique Gifts

Asheville offers a number of gift ideas for that hard-to-impress friend. If you’re looking for a standout surprise this holiday, you won’t be disappointed: think Firecracker Hot Honey at downtown’s Asheville Bee Charmer https://ashevillebeecharmer.com, a custom-made bamboo/organic cotton nightgown from West Asheville’s On the Inside Lingerie http://www.ontheinsidelingerie.com, or Chocolate Sip! Dark Chocolate at downtown’s and River Arts District’s French Broad Chocolates https://www.frenchbroadchocolates.com. 

Asheville Local ShoppingFor the budding folk musician on your list, visit downtown’s Woodrow Instrument Co. for a handcrafted stringed Woodrow Rambler, with a mandolin-like tone, the perfect first instrument (complete with an instructional songbook) http://thewoodrow.com. Funny, cheeky handmade t-shirts for adults and kids – think standout stocking stuffers – are aplenty at downtown’s Moonlight Makers. http://www.moonlightmakers.com. Custom-made leather sandals (along with belts and other leather goods) created to perfectly suit the recipient can be had at Paul Taylor Sandals downtown http://www.paultaylorsandals.com.

Locally brewed beer, cider and kombucha are plentiful in Asheville, and most breweries have limited-edition holiday beers perfectly packaged for gift-giving. For a unique party gift, bestow a pack of locally crafted Holiday Kombucha from Buchi http://www.drinkbuchi.com. Or consider a growler of Appalachian Ginger beer from River Arts District’s Ginger’s Revenge http://www.gingersrevenge.com. For cider lovers, Noble Cider’s Friar Fig complements the season with flavors hinting of the holidays. https://www.noblecider.com

For information on 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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Vibrant Music Scene Makes Asheville a City of Note

Asheville NC Music City

Music, in its many forms and outlets, permeates the fabric of Asheville, making the city a mecca for performers and fans alike. From recording studios to world-class music venues to festivals featuring local, regional and nationally acclaimed artists, there’s never a shortage of ways to get your groove on; here are just a few.

The Moog Factory

Moog Music synthesizers are designed and handcrafted in the Moog Factory in downtown Asheville. Open to the public, the factory and store offer visitors the opportunity to try out all of the synthesizers, and to take a free factory tour to discover the engineering and artistry behind the famed Moog sound. https://www.moogmusic.com/visitmoog

The Grey Eagle AshevilleAsheville Music Venues

Asheville boasts a range of music venues with an equally impressive range of lineups throughout the year. Intimate and midsized spaces provide for a sound experience that envelops the audience and amps up the atmosphere: Favorites include the Mothlight https://www.themothlight.com, Isis Music Hall https://isisasheville.com, Asheville Music Hall https://ashevillemusichall.com, the Grey Eagle http://www.thegreyeagle.com, Jack of the Wood https://www.jackofthewood.com, Ambrose West https://ambrosewest.com/music/, Asheville Guitar Bar https://www.facebook.com/ashevilleguitarbar/ and Odditorium https://www.ashevilleodditorium.com, to name a few. Larger spaces, both indoor and outdoor, promise a vibrant experience: The Orange Peel https://theorangepeel.net, Salvage Station https://www.salvagestation.com, and the U.S. Cellular Center and Thomas Wolfe Auditorium https://www.uscellularcenterasheville.com fit this bill.

Recording Studios

With all of the area’s emerging and established artists comes the need for recording studios. There are many to choose from; among the offerings are the expansive Echo Mountain Recording (housed in a former church and Asheville’s original Salvation Army building, and offering clients myriad recording possibilities) https://www.echomountain.net; Sound Temple (boasting an intimate, “sacred” vibe within a full-service studio) http://soundtemplestudios.com; and Landslide Studios (known for its live room with 22-foot ceilings) https://www.landslidestudio.com.

Asheville Salvage StationFestivals

Asheville’s festivals and concert series showcase a range of genres appealing to all manner of musical tastes. Some popular fests, many held annually in the spring and summer, include: Biltmore’s Summer Evening Concerts www.biltmore.com, Downtown After 5 https://www.ashevilledowntown.org, LEAF and LEAF Downtown Asheville https://www.theleaf.org, Shindig on the Green https://folkheritage.org, Asheville Amadeus Festival https://ashevillesymphony.org/asheville-amadeus/, and RiverFest https://riverlink.org/get-involved/special-events/riverfest/.

Street music

A stroll through the streets of downtown Asheville is an auditory feast like no other. Most temperate evenings and weekends will bring out musicians of all types, drawing crowds on street corners and in squares. While buskers are independent performers, city regulations over them are fairly light: Rules like allowing room for pedestrians and keeping 40 feet from one another are as stringent as it gets. The result is a rich environment of (free) entertainment. While street performers can’t technically sell CDs or merchandise, they can give them away in exchange for a donation.

For information 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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