Asheville Mountain Real Estate Blog

Asheville, NC real estate for sale. Information for buyers, sellers and mountain homeowners, without pressure. Rich content for those who are far away about what it is like to live here through the generous use of media. And some nostalgia with our, "Baby Boomers' Fun Stuff", Thanks for stopping by.

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A small, highly personalized real estate firm specializing in mountain homes and land in greater Asheville.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Uh Oh, It's September: Fall Home Maintenance Lists

08/31/07

Yup, It's going to turn to September tomorrow. The weather in the Asheville area will remain quite nice for awhile, even for suntans and swimming. Sooner than we think though, it will be mid October, and those Autumn, get ready for winter kinds of things could be behind schedule.

So, here will be a collection of resources and lists to replace that one you had last year for things to do for your home before winter.

From weather.com: This is a great web page. It is actually a kind of master list for home maintenance and well worth keeping. The categories are listed not only for fall, but year round. Most of the items are good quick reads, but with a wealth of thought.

The page is broken out by month, and also by area of the home. Use these links for their September projects, and October items for attention. It's nice to stagger these tasks.

Don't forget those chimneys and fireplaces which are so popular here in Asheville. On our blog as well did an article about fireplaces here, where we covered everything from efficiency to safety.

From do it yourself.com: A nice list of ten items or so, most of these are easy to do including the all important smoke/carbon monoxide detectors. Ah, those pesky batteries.

Servicemagic.com gives us "The Top 4 Fall Projects": All for less than $500.00. This could just as well be a set of projects for would be sellers on a budget. Personal favorite - Hire a Handyman.

From State Farm Insurance: It is fairly certain that their corporate self interest corresponds with the personal self interest of our readers.

From The National Association of Home Builders: This is not a list of maintenance items per se, but their archive of articles for home infrastructure issues in general. Personal favorite - with winter weather - Disaster Preparation.

In the coming days, we will look at some specifics for log home maintenance. These are exceedingly popular in Asheville and its environs, but have certain distinct considerations in terms of being winter ready.

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Baby Boomer Fun: Chris Montez 1966

08/30/07

Thursday is baby boomer fun day here, no real estate, so here we go ...

Chris Montez was a mover on the Billboard and Cashbox charts in 1966. It was a big year for him, and actually constituted a "comeback", as he had not charted since 1962's "Let's Dance".

The voice and great songs such as Call Me, Time After Time, and The More I See You are what I recall from those years. I believe the video below is from Shindig!, maybe from Hullabaloo, the tune is Call Me, which surprisingly only peaked at #22 in March, 1966.

Chris Montez on Wikipedia: Note the connection with Herb Alpert.

PLEASE NOTE: Videos do disappear from the web from time to time. If this video should become unavailable, then please find more Chris Montez performances at this location.

ENJOY! 2 mins and 46 seconds


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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Housing Statistics - July 2007: Only More So...

08/29/07

All of the various national housing statistics are out now. They are released at various times and collected here each month. Not much good news for sellers, it's the same old song, but with the bad mortgage news, only more so.

The Quick Summary
Production keeps falling, yet inventories do nothing but rise. In terms of the law of supply and demand, this can only mean one thing; no buyers.

If buyers were essentially out of the market in the past several months, then this continued downward pressure on prices and the new news about lending will certainly provide them with good reason to remain on the sidelines.

On The Supply Side
Rising Inventories: This key measure of the market rose yet again and currently stands at 4.592 million units which represents a supply of 9.6 months. This is more than 200% in excess of calendar years 2004 and 2005. There is wide opinion that a 6 months supply represents some kind of normalcy, so the market is something like 60% above that.

Declining Permits, Starts, and Completions: The most recent data, (PDF File): Production continues its drastic cutbacks, obviously without the desired effect of reducing inventory.

July Permits: 1.373 million annual rate, 2.8% below June 2007, and 22.6% below July 2006.
July Starts: 1.381 million, 6% below June and 20.9% below July 2006.
July Completions: 1.512 million 0.1% below June and 22.2% below July 2006.

Huh?
We are not economists, but intuitively one must ask, is there any economic segment that ever cut production by 20% and still had rising inventories for this long?

As context, The Wall Street Journal noted:
Home builders slowed groundbreakings during July, pulling construction to its lowest rate in 10 years as sales keep tumbling and credit tightens...

Business Week, checked in with an article entitled, "Bonfire of the Builders", and stated:
Sheer overbuilding, a symptom of every housing bubble, is the most obvious explanation for the new ghost towns sprinkled around the country.

David Berson, Economist at Fannie Mae:
The S&P 500 Homebuilding Index has fallen by almost 20 percent since the end of June, and lenders that accounted for roughly 40 percent of subprime orginations in 2006 have gone out of business, been sold or are in the process of being sold, or have filed for bankruptcy protection. (Emphasis added as it segues into demand):
No Surprises On The Demand Side:
Mortgage applications have declined in most of the last five weeks. The report for today, August 29, includes applications for new purchases, refinance, and current rates.

New Residential Sales Still Down: The annual rate of 870,000 units is a slight rise from the June estimate of 846,000. By contrast, the rates for 2005 and 2006 came in at 1.283 million and, 1.051 million respectively. For those who favor percentages, this represents a decline of 32% from 2005, and 17% from 2006.

Existing Home Sales Down: At 5.750 million units, June, 2007 is the lowest report in the last 12 months. For 2004, the average was 6.778 million, for 2005, 7.076 million, and for 2006, 6.478 million. We are running roughly 15% below the last three calendar years.

MSNBC's article on existing home sales for the quarter, reports the biggest drop in 16 years, while Money CNN checked in as well.

Is There a Forecast?
As one commenter who escapes our memory cogently noted, the July data on housing precedes the mortgage and foreclosure fiascoes of August, so it is logical to believe that things will get worse before they get better.

From Realty Trac - Foreclosures 93% Over 2006: This data was widely reported in the mainstream media as adding homes to existing inventories and tightening credit. More foreclosure analysis from Money CNN.

How much will future resets from ARM's, (adjustable rate mortgages), resulting in even more foreclosures impact us? The chart at the right shows the dollar value in billions of ARM resets.

It comes originally from Seeking Alpha.com, and as frequent television guest Jonathan Miller from Matrix stated: "Next March is going to get interesting..."

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Asheville: Two More "Best Of" Lists

08/27/07

It seems that Asheville and the region are named to so many of these "best places to live" listings that it is difficult to keep up. This time, we will cite two more recent nominations.

The first of these is the August, 2007 issue of Outside Magazine, Best Towns: 2007. Asheville is named alongside eight other American cities. The author cites its location in a "lush green bowl", surrounded by mountains, with great architecture, and the numerous dining, entertainment, and cultural venues.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal's Amy Hoak reports that Asheville has topped the list of America's 100 Best Places to Live, as compiled by Relocate-America.com. This is Asheville's second appearance on the list since 1998.

We have always referred to Asheville as the hip, artsy, eclectic hub of the region. Relocate-America opened their description with these words:
Asheville is the place to escape the daily grind to get out and play. This is the ideal active getaway, where you'll find delicious but healthy cuisine, a funky and thriving downtown and some of the world's best outdoor adventures.
Here is our last blog posting about Asheville and "best of" designations. The court of public opinion continues to favor, our fair city.

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Friday, August 24, 2007

Faking It In Asheville: Home Staging

08/24/07

It's nice to be ahead of the big blogs every now and then. For example, in this earlier posting, we discussed the idea of staging in general, specifically the aspect known as faux staging.

What is faux staging? Simply, it springs from the often recited premise that an empty home takes longer to sell, and ultimately sells at a lower price. Faux staging fills up an empty home for sale with fake furniture. The corollary here from professional stagers is that the a home actually looks larger when it has "furniture", and also appears more, umm..homey.

Zillow Blog did a story on faux staging in this posting, which also included some statistics:
The U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reports that staged homes sell an average of 17% higher than the listing price, which is why the home staging business is booming. But what if you don’t have a lot of cash....
If a home for sale is empty, either because the sellers have relocated, or the home is new construction, then enter, Fake Furniture.com, gotta love it. Cardboard furniture to take up space, make the home appear larger, and more personal.

It looks like the costs are significantly less than leasing furniture for a few months in order to prepare a home for sale. In one of those Barbara Corcoran videos, there is a figure mentioned of $3,800 for a 3 month furniture lease. The NY Times mentions a figure of $500/month in their market to lease a living room alone. The fake stuff sure looks like it costs less. Consider what is best for you.

Here is a collection of our blog postings on staging:
June 8, 2007: Many outbound links to basic questions.
July 15, 2007: Quick staging video, and 5 Things to Avoid.
July 29, 2007: Staging for $100.00, with video from The Today Show
August 5, 2007: Staging for $500.00, with video from The Today Show
August 12, 2007: Staging for $5,000.00, with video from The Today Show
Our Complete Sellers' Information Archive: With ROI, many other tips, and numerous outbound links.

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Baby Boomer Fun: The Beach Boys - 1964

08/23/07

Thursday is Baby Boomer Fun Day here, no real estate, so here we go ...

As noted, The Beach Boys will be in the Asheville area this coming Saturday at 7PM, so it is fitting that they be this week's featured piece of nostalgia.

The tune in the video is one of my all time favorite songs by any band, the beautiful ballad, Don't Worry Baby. This was actually the "B Side" to their first # 1 single in the USA, I Get Around, which was a huge record, and clocked in at # 5 on The Billboard Charts for 1964.

Further Beach Boys Info
Beach Boys on Wikipedia: A fairly deep assessment of the band, its trials and tribulations, as well as their 36 Top 40 hits, and 4 # 1 singles, quite a run indeed.

Beach Boys Website: Includes tour dates, and a detailed time line.

The video below is footage of The Boys doing this song, in a montage style with lots of vintage surf related visuals.

ENJOY! 2 mins 44 seconds


PLEASE NOTE: Videos do disappear from the web from time to time. If this video should become unavailable, then please find more Beach Boys performances at this location.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Asheville Events: 25th Annual Goombay Festival & The Beach Boys

08/22/07

The 25th Annual Goombay Festival will grace various streets and locations in downtown Asheville this weekend, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 08/24 through 08/26. Full schedule can be located here.

We will not attempt to define Goombay, other than to say it is an Afro-West Indies style of rhythm and dance which derives its name from a skin covered drum. What is important to note is its continued existence as a cultural celebration, which includes food, dance, music and crafts.

For flavor, a fairly extensive web page, including video and photos from past events is located here. Don't miss the men on stilts.

Beach Boys in Canton?
The Beach Boys will be playing Pisgah Memorial Stadium in Canton on Saturday, Aug. 25, 7 p.m. A big score for the town, regardless of how many of the original band still go on tour. Proceeds will equally benefit the Booster Clubs at Enka and Pisgah High Schools, and The Canton Cultural Committee.

Full List of Upcoming Western North Carolina Festivals, from The Asheville Citizen Times.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Asheville and Surroundings: Mountain Landscaping Ideas and Events

08/21/07

A few weeks ago, we wrote about the wisdom and benefits of landscaping in the mountains with native plants. Who could argue with the concepts of low upkeep, soil stabilization, and so forth? Let us look today, with an eye towards a home's value, and then, some added native plant resources.

Adding Value
From Money CNN: Seven landscaping tips to add, and even increase in value over time. A useful article because it applies to sellers with ideas to implement "if you are selling within a year", and applies also to buyers/homeowners with more long term suggestions for adding to a home's financial as well as aesthetic luster.

Landscaping That Sells: From Realtor.org, includes "6 Practical Project Ideas", and a reasonable amount of depth in a format that speaks to all sides of a real estate transaction.

From The Wall Street Journal: For those selling in a hurry, quick fixes in the yard that sell homes.

Local Landscaping Links & Events
Analyzing Your Mountain Homestead -- First Steps to Landscaping: From the Botanical Gardens of Asheville, and said to be their most popular recurring workshop. Tuesday, Sept 11 and 18, from 9 am-noon OR Saturday, Sept 22 and 29, from 9 am-noon. Contact Clare, Administrative Assistant at BGA, for additional information and/or to pre-register (828) 252-5190.

North Carolina Native Plant Society: A wealth of online resources from "Landscaping With Native Plants" to species that are best avoided.

USDA Plants Database: Vast number of tools and downloads for mountain landscapers.

Rare Editorial Comment
Do it right, the Southern Appalachians absolutely teem with natural year round colors. Let's not be like those people in Vegas a few years ago who have to be persuaded that having lush tropical yards is not quite consistent with a desert environment.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Visiting Asheville: Now is Best?

08/20/07

An acquaintance in the tourism industry once said about late August and the fall:
"Now is the best time of year to visit, and to work in tourism. June 15th to August 15th is just something you endure, and try and make your customers think you're in a great mood."
Why is that? More importantly, how significant is it?

The answer is simple enough. School is out in most areas of the country from mid June until mid August, and families with children have little choice on timing their vacation. Outside of this time frame however, there are less visitors. What may not be known is the nature and the extent of impact for this fact.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Asheville or Any Tourist Destinations After Mid August
1) Less Crowded, More Enjoyable
Tourism numbers follow a bell curve, and that curve is steep, far beyond intuition. Overnight, numbers will rise on June 15th, and drop on August 15th by 50%, or even more. The contrast is bliss for you and for staff.

2) Lower Prices and Discounts
Tourist attractions are filled to near capacity for the 60 days of mid summer. There is no reason to expect discounted rates at those times. Competition and lower rates kick in prior to June 15th and after August 15th. Who can argue with a bargain?

3) Staff is Better Rested: Means A Higher Quality Experience for You
This may be the biggest, though not often stated benefit. Attractions operate in mid summer in a mass production, stay on schedule, maximize revenue kind of mindset. Staff is raggedly tired.

This is a necessary part of being in the business, and to still provide a quality product for the huge number of visitors. The result however is less personal and more hurried by comparison.

In the off seasons, the result for you will likely be extra attention, more genuine enthusiasm and interest from your guide or staff, and an experience with greater depth, duration and enjoyment.

4) Everything is Open
With few exceptions, the full menu of summer activities and destinations remain in operation, just as when the peak of visitors is here in mid season.

5) The Weather is Still Great
The average daily temperature for the month of September in Asheville is 66degrees F, which means 70's and 80's in the daytime, still plenty of summer left.

A little insight, hopefully informative, from former tourism insiders.

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Housing Market: Review, Overview, and a Few Tea Leaves

08/19/07

Sunday video over coffee seems to be an evolving trend on this blog, so here we go with a few minutes of overview on the market.

First, from NBC's Today Show, a visit with Barbara Corcoran, and a decent survey of big picture factors. It's all about supply and demand, as we shall see.
4 mins and 43 seconds:

Contextual Background Needed: A bit less positive, but firmly grounded in the law of supply and demand. In spite of drastically falling production, inventories and number of months supply remain well above the 2006 highs.

It also needs to be pointed out that falling prices under this scenario should not be viewed as a positive sign, (this is spin), but rather, as the statistical anomaly that they are.

New numbers for July, 2007 will be out in the last week of August. This blog will address any changes in the national supply/demand picture at that point.

Next, from The Wall Street Journal, a visit with Doug Duncan of the Mortgage Bankers' Association, who delves into the realm of review, and forecasting.

Again however, he speaks the simple language of supply and demand, mostly without spin, and just a few "carefully chosen" words to our ears.

3 mins 43 seconds




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Saturday, August 18, 2007


Asheville & Wolf Laurel: Weekend Fling Things

08/18/07

Not quite the end of summer, even at 4,500 feet at Wolf Laurel, the temperatures still suggest short sleeves and t-shirts. So let's run down a few summery things to do for this weekend.

Bikes and Biking:
Wolf Laurel will host the North Carolina State Downhill Championships for mountain bikes on Saturday, at the ski slopes. From The Asheville Citizen Times:
Wolf Ridge Ski Resort hosts this mountain bike race Saturday morning, followed by the second Dual Slalom race of the season. At each event, racers from across the Southeast compete for a cash purse and a variety of awards. The resort is 25 miles north of Asheville, five miles off I-26 at the Wolf Laurel Exit 3. For more information, call 689-4111
More on the race here, from Mountain Express.

Not the spectator type? Here is our complete rundown on bikes and biking around Asheville.

White Water Rafting
North Carolina's first lady Mary Easley will be white water rafting on the Nantahala River to support cancer research as part of the Raft for the Cure effort.

More than 500,000 visitors raft rivers within 90 minutes of Asheville each year, but our state remains in a situation of extreme or severe drought. So, where to go?

We have covered the drought, and what it means for a good rafting trip here, and here. Best bets for the weekend: Skip The French Broad and Nolichucky Rivers, the water is disappointingly low. By all means head for dam controlled fun on The Big Pigeon, The Nantahala, or The Tuckaseegee.

Fishing anyone? Complete fishing resources, including etiquette.

The Complete WNC Outdoor Calendar, from The Citizen Times. Covers events and outings all week, everything from hiking, to climbing, clinics, seminars and more.

That Nightlife, It A'int No Good Life
Benefits, Festivals, Arts and Culture: From Mountain Express

Music, Theater, Movies: From The Citizen Times

Music by Genre
: Everything from acoustic to world.

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Second Homes in Asheville: Insurance Matters

08/17/07

Amy Gunderson, second home specialist at The NY Times, (Registration likely required), has an article up this week on insuring second homes. Her posting starts from the premise that "lining up coverage on a vacation home is not always a straightforward process", and then looks at a few of the nuances involved.

Her advice is that the time to begin thinking about insurance is before the closing, and that a good place to begin is with your current primary carrier. Factors impacting rates include, whether the home is in a gated community or proximity to local fire departments.

If a vacation home is to be rented, then a number of carriers may not offer coverage, in which case interviewing local providers is the suggested course of action, with the following parameters for liability:
a minimum of $1 million dollars in liability coverage and encourages owners to take out personal umbrella liability coverage reflecting an owner’s total net worth. Those policies typically start at $300 a year for the first million dollars and $150 a year for each additional million dollars worth of coverage.
Risk of wildfires, swimming pools, or likelihood of floods can all be new parts of the equation one has not encountered with a primary residence.

Here are some specific second home insurance ideas from Smart Money.

Insurance resources from previous postings on our blog:

Monitor Your Second Home Via The Internet: The power of the web can bring about reductions in premiums.

Collection of Resources on Insurance: Including 12 Tips to Save, 8 tests to see if you are under insured, and tips for empty nesters.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Baby Boomer Fun: The Mamas and the Papas, 1967, and The Summer of Love

08/16/07

Thursday is baby boomer day, no real estate, so here we go...

It was 40 years ago that America experienced "the summer of love", which was the media name for a cultural shift towards youth. The name has stayed with us.

One needs to look no farther than the famous cover to The Beatle's 1967 Sgt Pepper album to visually see that change. Viet Nam, free love, hippies, be-ins, Haight-Ashbury, Jimi Hendrix, Timothy Leary, LBJ....

This week's video clip is from The Monterey Pop Festival held in June of 1967. Monterey is sometimes called the world's first major rock festival, and the inaugural event was attended by more than 200,000 people.

Featured here are San Francisco icons, The Mamas and the Papas, with a live performance of Monday, Monday.

PLEASE NOTE: Videos do disappear from the web from time to time. If this video should become unavailable, then find more Mamas and Papas performances at this location.

ENJOY ! 4 mins 50 seconds.


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Asheville, Mars Hill and the Mountains: News Bits

08/15/07

For today, some local issues and flavor:

Storm Water Runoff in Asheville: From The Asheville Citizen Times:
In this article we see the issue of storm water runoff, and erosion from new subdivisions impacting their existing neighbors. Regulations in West NC have had to catch up with the pace of development in the mountains and steep slopes.

The current regulatory situation throughout the region is of course the result of, the basic political struggle over the role of government in the private sector. This dichotomy has been with us as Americans since the dawn of the nation, and, one would suspect is not likely to go away soon.

In our own County of Madison the same debate has been the framed in the same way, with the same opposing view points at work. What is the nature of responsible development, who properly decides this and how?

News From Mars Hill
Fall Colors Forecast: The News Record and Sentinel. School is back in session, Labor Day is near, and Autumn is sooner than we think. The report for fall colors seems to be favorable. By virtue of the fact that the last ice age deposited seeds from northern regions, Western North Carolina's fall colors equal those of New England and other vaunted foliage locales. A great place to spend some of your Autumn.

Alcohol Sales Coming to Mars Hill: One would suspect from this report, not anytime soon.

211 service: 211 service was inaugurated in our county recently. 211 is the portal that connects older Americans with essential services such as legal assistance, financial management, and so forth.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Staging a Home For Sale: From $100 to $5,000

08/12/07

Over the past two Sundays, we have looked at the results of staging a home for sale on a budget of $100.00, then for a cost of $500.00. This week let us see what kinds of things can be accomplished if one is willing to spend $5,000.00 on the process. A video from NBC's Today Show to this effect follows.

Regular readers here know that the current interest in staging is fueled by the very soft housing market. Staging is seen as a way to differentiate one's home from the many that are listed, to make your home stand out from the crowd.

Commonly mentioned statistics on home staging include:
--Reduces time on market by as much as 100 days.
--Results in a higher selling price of 7% on average.
--Return on Investment, (ROI), averages 100%, that is a 2 dollar increase in a home's value for every dollar spent on staging.

In our view, staging can overlap a good deal with home improvements or renovations. At this location, one will find a posting which contains links to most, if not all of our resources on staging, renovation, and the all important ROI, (Return on Investment).

The video below contains some decent insights about homes that are dark, the proper utilization of space, leasing furniture, and the typical judgments made by buyers within the first 12 seconds of seeing a home.

PLEASE NOTE: Videos do disappear from the web from time to time. If this video should become unavailable, then please find more Barbara Corcoran staging videos, at this location.

ENJOY ! 5 minutes 30 seconds: From The Today Show



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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Perseid Meteor Shower Graces Asheville This Saturday-Sunday

08/11/07

Want some Asheville and Wolf Laurel mountaintop living at its finest? Light pollution is not a factor in our area, so viewing the night stars is not like the city at all, but especially so for this weekend.

This Saturday and Sunday, August 11 and 12, The Perseid Meteor Shower, or Perseids, will make their annual appearance. With a rate of up to 100 meteors/hour, Block and Byrd from NPR's Earth and Sky tell us why this year's event will be especially vivid:
It’s expected to display the greatest number of meteors Sunday morning (August 12), late Sunday night and Monday morning (August 13) before dawn. But you’ll see some Perseids Saturday (August 11) before dawn, too.

The moon is new on Sunday, or between the Earth and sun. This new moon will leave the night sky dark all this weekend for the Perseid meteors.
The blog, Bad Astronomy gives us12 Things You Need to Watch the Perseids. This is a great collection of tips covering everything from the fact that our eyes will take 20 minutes to adjust to the dark, to an explanation of what meteor showers are.

From Space.com: Catch a color slide show of the 2006 Perseids, for those who need to be convinced to stay up late that night.

Lastly, a NASA/JPL video on The Perseids:

ENJOY ! 3 minutes


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Friday, August 10, 2007

Vacation Homes Asheville, Anywhere: Some of the Basics for Buyers

08/10/07

Buying a second home in the 21st century in Asheville or anywhere, is something that the majority of people will be doing for the first time. It is a process that has a slightly different set of considerations than purchasing a primary residence.

As such, we will provide in this posting, a series of basic information about the factors, the logic, and details involved, as perceived by experts in the field.

The Buying Process Outlined
That said, Zillow's Wiki Pages have a nice series of basics on the buying process in general. These include articles that provide good refreshers on such items as the inspection, essentials of any offer to purchase, some thoughts about negotiation strategies, and other areas. Good stuff to bear in mind, to keep your agent on his or her toes, and to be your own best advocate.

From the reputable NOLO.com: This article, entitled "7 Steps to Buying a Second Home" is one of the better primers on the web. On the surface, it is a rather short treatise and may seem overly simple, but the questions it asks are quite expansive. They could well be end of semester essay questions. Let's look at some of those questions.

What Can We Afford? Where Should It Be?
Most readers will probably not feel they need advice to determine if they can afford it, or deciding where to have that vacation home.

Sometimes though, just taking the time to answer such questions can yield insight. Determining your debt to equity ratio is no more than grade school arithmetic, but is a good fundamental measure used by most lenders to help focus on what you can afford.

Visiting the links about living here section of area websites can be invaluable, especially now that the web is no longer static. For example, check out this online walking tour of downtown Asheville. With motion and slide shows ubiquitous on the Internet, picking vacation spots has become a lot easier.

What About Value? When is the Best Time to Buy?
The Internet is not without its drawbacks, and determination of value is clearly one of them. This is especially true in a resort micro market such as our own, and arguably, most of them are.

We have addressed the questions around AVM's or auto valuation models in the past, at this location. Best bet is to find a local expert.

Resort markets do follow national trends in general, so buyers should have a sense of when is a good time to buy. If one is having trouble keeping track of housing stats and the spin, then find yourself a good aggregator such as this one.

There are however certain local rhythms and cycles which will influence the best time to buy in a resort market. These depend on the kinds of activities and seasons experienced in a particular location.

Buyers will want to act when supply is the highest. The law of supply and demand dictates that this will be the time of greatest leverage for them, while the law of common sense tells us that this is when the best variety of homes will be available. We have examined matters of resort market timing in the past at this location.

What About Taxes and Insurance?
Property taxes obviously vary by location. In our own market, resort properties straddle two counties.

Familiarity with any rate differences can save money when making your choice, whether your vacation home is purchased at sea level, or at a mile high.

For other tax matters, consult with your accountant, or do not be afraid to search the IRS for primary information as a starting point. Here are some IRS results for the keyword search, "vacation home". Issues such as the number of days one occupies their second home, or if it will be rented out have implications in the realm of taxes.

Insurance for second homes has certain nuances. Criteria for rural fire departments, and a number of other factors come into play here. One thing hardly mentioned, but worthy of a discount is the idea of monitoring your second home form home via the Internet. Smart Money recommends a number of avenues for second home insurance.

In the days ahead, we will look more closely at rental considerations, and selling considerations in resort/vacation markets.

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Black Bear Realty Website
828 689 2055
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