Shelley Hipps

May 19th-21st 2017 - Fun-filled Weekend in Asheville

Look no further for fun things to do in Asheville THIS WEEKEND May 19th - 21st, 2017!

Downtown After 5 - Friday May 19th, 2017

Head to North Lexington Avenue downtown for the very first free favorite of the season. Downtown After 5 kicks off summer with a pre-Memorial Day concert on May 19, featuring headliner High & Mighty Brass Band, which combines New Orleans funk and R&B with afro-beat and hip-hop influences. Opening up the evening at 5 p.m. is a local favorite, the Josh Phillips Big Band. The warm-weather concert series is held on a large stage set up near the I-240 overpass on North Lexington Avenue in downtown Asheville, and it runs on the third Friday of each month, from May to September, with a new band on stage. Lining the streets during the event are a variety of food and drink vendors, including local, regional and national beer as well as wine and soda. Food trucks at the event include DOGS, Kernal Mike's Kettle Corn, Gypsy Queen Cuisine, The Grubbery, Scott's Knots, Smoky Mountain Corn Roasters and Sunshine Sammies. For more information, head to ashevilledowntown.org

 

The 14th Annual Montford Music & Arts Festival - Saturday May 20th, 2017

Come, experience and enjoy Asheville’s largest, longest running, single day neighborhood street festival. See for yourself why so many visitors return each year to hear the music, dine on local cuisine, and shop from some of the finest artisans in the area.

Located on the main street of the Historic Montford neighborhood, the festival has a new look with entertainment stages, artist and vendor booths, and central food court all now on one street, Montford Avenue. While visiting the neighborhood, you will walk the tree lined street, where trolley’s used to travel, marvel at unique architecture, from turn of the century “Victorian” to Arts and Craft designs and observe the diversity mix of its proud neighbors, who yearly volunteer to be your hosts for the festival.

This same neighborhood boosts a connection to many great entertainers in the area which is where we draw the flavor of the festival. You will discover an extraordinary mix of music for all tastes, both young and old that begins at 10:00 AM and continues till 7:00 PM on both stages.

The Montford Music and Arts Festival is known for its many quality craft persons and artists who return every year to offer their wares. Our special Juried Artists section exemplifies the degree of excellence you will find at the festival as those artists vie for ranking.

Last but definitely not least is a taste of Asheville. Food trucks have become the rage as moving restaurants and we bring you an entire area devoted to them and every taste pallet. In addition, we have specialty foods perfect for snacking while enjoying the music or visiting the booths.

Put the 2017 Montford Music and Arts Festival on your list of To Do events and join us on Saturday, May 20 from 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM on the main street of Montford Avenue just down from the Asheville Visitor’s Center in Historic Montford Neighborhood.

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New Belgium Brewing Tour de Fat Festival Asheville - Saturday May 20th, 2017

Grab your tickets and start planning for the Asheville Tour de Fat on May 20, 2017. Expect to experience the unexpected. We're bringing the party with Third Eye Blind and the Tour de Fat ensemble cast of performers. Ready your eyes and ears for a mix of musicians, circus performers, vaudeville acts, magicians, comedians, and mind-blowing provocateurs. Costumes are highly encouraged (and a mindset to party is mandatory). Tour de Fat Asheville benefits *Asheville on Bikes, so be sure to grab your tix today.

*Asheville on Bikes

The mission of Asheville on Bikes is to cultivate the culture of urban and commuter cycling through advocacy & celebration. We believe that cycling has a direct impact on the health of our community. More information can be found at http://ashevilleonbikes.com/

Box Office will open at 12:00 pm on site the day of the show.

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River Arts District Spring Studio Stroll - May 20th and 21st from 10am to 5pm

The Artists of Asheville’s River Arts District open their doors for a full weekend in the Spring Studio Stroll, welcoming the public to see and collect amazing art in their studios and galleries. There is no better time to meet our artists and watch live demonstrations!

We are a diverse group of more than 220 working artists in studios and galleries housed in 22 former factories and historical buildings nestled along a mile-long stretch of the French Broad River. Many studios, showrooms, and galleries are open every day, all year round. You can discover works in paint, pencil, pottery, metal, fiber, paper, glass, wax, and more!

Getting to the River Arts District is easy (Here's a map!). Take advantage of ample parking and hop aboard one of our free trolleys running throughout the Studio Stroll Weekend.

Come for the opportunity to take home that special artistic treasure made and sold by the artists you meet here. Start your collection today!

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Spring Biltmore Blooms Until May 25th

Read more about the Grand Gardens at Biltmore House. Here's a bloom timeline for a typical spring at Biltmore (March 2017 Update: All blooms running about 3 weeks early due to very warm weather):
  • Early May: It's peak time in the massive 20-acre azalea garden of a millon blossoms, ablaze in shades of pink, purple, orange, red and white. Take a hike on the walking trails to discover blooms throughout the estate.
  • Late May: The rose garden smells as wonderful as it looks. Home to the Biltmore International Rose Trials, see more than 200 varieties. Summer perennials and annuals take over the Walled Garden.

Roses at Biltmore
May Roses

Antler Hill Village & Winery Events

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    Asheville Volunteers Rebuild Historic Cabin In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

    When Work Isn't Work - Asheville Volunteers Rebuild Historic Cabin In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

    From: BPR | Blue Ridge Public Radio

    By MATT BUSH • MAY 8, 2017

    From www.bpr.org

    View Slideshow

    Sometimes work doesn’t feel like work.  That was the case for an Asheville contractor and his employees last week as they rehabbed an historic cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

    It takes a while to find the Cook cabin in Little Cataloochee.  A long while. The roads go from asphalt to gravel and then finally dirt.  That last portion can only be accessed via a two-mile hike on foot along the Little Cataloochee Trail - or by vehicle but only if you have the key to the gate.  “My name is Sean Perry the president of the Hands of Sean Perry Company out of Asheville, North Carolina.”

    In addition to being a contractor, Perry also likes to bike and hike the Great Smokies.  During one of his excursions deep into the woods, Perry came across the historic Cook cabin. “I believe this was likely the first structure built in Little Cataloochee by Dan Cook in the 1850’s.  Dan and his wife came over from Big Cataloochee which was getting a little too populated at the time.”

    Essentially, this was that era’s equivalent of a two-level house in the suburbs.  It somehow survived when both Cataloochee’s disappeared as the area became part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the 1920’s and 30’s.  “That was part of the deal with the park taking over.  They ignited all of the structures in the Cataloochee’s just to destroy them.  Their goal was to turn this back to wilderness.”

    Trees have reclaimed the ground that was once farmland around the cabin, leaving it hard to imagine that this area was once entirely cleared of them.  Upon discovering the Cook cabin, Perry noticed a lot of rot, particularly in the wood that made up the expansive porch.  So, he volunteered his services to the Park.  “This is what I do for a living.  And I have such a passion for this place.  I so appreciate the people who had to leave this land.  And they left it for us.”

    Perry and his employees spent the week camping at the cabin, with the morning and early afternoon hours set aside to rehabbing it.  “We have gone around the three-sided porch and removed all the existing decking, removed all the rotten framing and one pretty significant locust beam.  And replaced all those elements.”

    Perry’s crew does have one advantage the Cook family did not. “They had to craft every one of these logs where we have to power tools to rip through everything.  I kept joking with the guys in the meeting leading up to this that we should hand saw all this.  And then I realized the Park was giving us three-by-six oak joists and I thought we would pass on that.”

    To keep the 1850’s appearance of the cabin, the Park Service provided Perry with period-looking nails.  His crew put 'character cuts' in each piece of wood to make them look like they were hewn with axes.  Work wrapped up each day in the early afternoon when lunch was served.  This day it was lamb stew prepared by Perry’s mother.  Asheville restaurants also donated food for the week, treating the workers to pork belly and noodles and beef brisket Bolognese and gnocchi – not your average camp food.  There was plenty of time after lunch to hike and explore the area, which includes the pristinely preserved Little Cataloochee Baptist Church, built in 1889.  Its bell still works.  Perry says it was rung for every birth in the town, and for every death too – once for each year the person lived.  For Dan Cook it was rung 73 times.  He’s buried in the cemetery in front of the church.

    It was a week where Sean Perry ‘worked’ rehabbing an historic cabin.  But he also got to camp outside, hike, eat well, bone up on the history of the Cataloochee’s, spend a lot of time with friends and family.  Doesn’t really sound like work. “For me it is 100% fun.  For me it’s all fun.”

    And hikers in America’s most visited national park can now reap the benefits of that fun.

    Read More: www.bpr.org

     

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      Asheville and WNC Dining Out for Life - Thursday April 27, 2017

      Thursday April 27th, 2017 - Western North Carolina AIDS Project’s largest fundraiser!!

      Click Here for a List of Participating Asheville and WNC Restaurants

       

       Join The Mike Miller Team at Table!

       

       

       

       

       Join Kim Lovoy, REALTOR® at Curate!

       

       

       

       

      You are cordially invited to join your friends, clients, family and co-workers on Thursday, April 27th 2017, for the 15th annual Dining Out For Life® benefit to support the mission of the Western North Carolina AIDS Project (WNCAP).

      This year’s event is well under way and we again look for your continued support. If the Affordable Care Act is repealed, tens of thousands of people living with HIV/AIDS across the United States would lose access to life-sustaining medications and funding for preventive services could disappear.  This year, more than ever, we need our allies in the community to be involved in Dining Out For Life®.  Over 100 of the finest restaurants in WNC have generously agreed to donate 20% of their gross sales on April 27th to enable us to meet the expanding needs of WNCAP. You can do your part by simply dining out for breakfast, lunch or dinner or all three.  We encourage you to visit our DOFL restaurants all year round and thank them for their kind support.  Please check back often for an updated list of restaurants for 2017.       

      A special thanks to all of our restaurants, sponsors and diners for making last year’s Dining Out For Life® benefit another success story. Over $160,000 was raised to support the mission of WNCAP and thanks to our generous sponsors, less than 7% of that total went to cover expenses. Because of your generosity we were able to add additional case managers to provide more services to rural areas of WNC, place more clients in housing & expand our Prevention and Education department.          

      Through the efforts of so many giving individuals much needed AIDS awareness and education has been sown throughout WNC, while providing case-managed care to those whose lives have already been affected by HIV/AIDS. Our sincere thanks to our 240 Ambassadors/volunteers for their incredible efforts.  We couldn’t have done it without you!

      If you would like to be a part of this year’s benefit as an Ambassador, please check the volunteer section of the menu. Volunteering has never been so much fun!

       

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        Asheville and WNC Community Appreciation Contest!

        Enter to WIN a $100 gift card to Gàn ShÄn Station!

        We are excited to announce we are having our first ever Community Appreciation Contest! Some of you probably already have some T&M swag (koozies, pint glasses, cups, bottle openers, key chains, etc.) from attending one of our parties or events. If you don’t, this is your chance to come check out our newly renovated office at 261 Asheland Ave. Suite 103 (on the South Slope) to pick some up for free!

        For Your Chance To WIN Follow the Steps Below:

        We challenge #Asheville & #WNC to get creative by posting a photo with our locally made (thanks Image 420 Screen Printing) Town and Mountain Realty swag! It doesn’t have to be swag – pose with ANYTHING that has a Town and Mountain Realty logo! Some ideas include: yard signs, print ads, t-shirts, hats, billboards, or even a Town and Mountain Realty agent (make sure to get the agent’s business card in the photo if you can)!

        GET CREATIVE!! Cool new restaurant in town? Pose with our swag and your lunch! New beer released? Snap a photo of the brew in a T&M koozie! Cool street art downtown? Get that in your swag shot! The possibilities are endless. MOST CREATIVE WINS!

        The Winner will be announced MAY 12th, 2017!

        *Be sure to tag Town and Mountain Realty and use #bestrealtorsintownandmtn

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          Relationships & Real Estate

          Bethany’s Buzz Issue 2

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

           

          By: Bethany Acker, REALTOR

          So You’re Buying a House. Bring On the Arguments.

          Home Buying. Breaking and Rebuilding Hearts Since Inception.

          You want the country. Your spouse wants the city. You want a decked out kitchen. Your kids want a decked out rec room.  All of you want a great deal on your dream home. But how do multiple people with different opinions of a dream home find that one great house to call home?

          Here are 3 common arguments that happen for home buyers. Be OK with them. Play nice. Listen well. And take note of the advice from folks who have been there, done that, and lived to tell about it.

          Argument #1

          Can we really afford to buy right now?

          Just because the pre-approving lender says that you CAN borrow the money, it doesn’t mean that you SHOULD.

          Do you try to qualify for 100% financing or can you start eating rice and beans for the next 6 months to save up 10-20% of a down payment? How much are each of you willing to sacrifice to have a lower monthly payment? How can the “free spenders” of the group make adjustments until a goal is met? Are they willing to do that yet?

          Then there’s your projected life plan. Are you thinking about changing jobs or going back to school or having a baby or adopting or becoming self-employed? If plans for a major life change involve large financial alterations, consider how this will affect your ability to pay your house payment and related expenses. What would you need to do in advance to prepare for the change?

          Seasoned Home Buyers Advice

          To know if you should proceed with buying a home discuss at length your financial situation. If you have differing opinions about buying now vs later, an argument may ensue. Remember-play nice. Listen well. Take a few days to consider the other person’s thoughts. Come together to talk about the issue again. Seek advice from a financial advisor. Talk some more. If neither person has budged on their opinion of whether or not you can really afford to buy at the moment-it is recommended that you wait to buy. If you have reached an agreement for home buying, congratulations! You’ve survived and are now ready for the next argument.

          Argument #2

          What type of house do we buy within our price range?  

          You may have unrealistic expectations.

          Disagreements come when you have different opinions about what are the most important features in a home. Your partner may want a “fixer upper” and you may want a new house. Your spouse may want to be in a specific suburb within a certain school district. But if you live there, the homeowners association won’t allow you to put your dwarf goats and free range chickens in the backyard.

          If you purchase a bigger home farther outside of town that is cheaper, how much extra driving time has to happen for everyone? Is it worth it? One of you may not think so.

          Unrealized and unverbalized opinions of the perfect house start coming up. You may be shocked to find out that the person who you thought you knew so well, suddenly becomes a stranger. It can leave you questioning whether or not you’ll ever come to an agreement.

           

          Seasoned Home Buyers Advice

          Get a pre-approval letter from a lender to determine how much you can spend on a house. Use this figure as one of your home features. Each person sit down alone and make a list of 5-7 home features that you want, numerically prioritized highest to lowest. Come together and compare. Find the 3 most similar features and start there in your home search. Talk with a Real Estate Agent to see what he or she can tell you about housing market trends for that price and those features. Avoid having all the features based on location, price, AND size. For example, if you have to buy in a specific location, consider being flexible on the size or amenities of the home. Or if you have to buy in a specific price range, be flexible on the location or age of the house. It’s ok to be picky. But the more picky you are, the longer it takes to get moved. If you start to see that your relationship is going sour and one of you has started sleeping on the couch with the cat, remember: Play nice. Listen well. If it’s getting too intense, take a break and be ok with waiting to buy.

          Argument #3

          How far should we go with negotiations?   

          So you finally found the house. You’ve made a reasonable offer but it was countered with something higher than what you were hoping to go. It’s your dream house in the perfect location with features everyone can agree on. You’ve been searching for several months and this is the first home in your price range that has suited your needs. But can you risk the larger payment? This is the highest level of intensity in the home buying process. A good real estate agent will help you work through this but it’s ultimately up to you in deciding how much you can negotiate. Grit your teeth and talk it out because a decision will have to be made.

          Seasoned Home Buyers Advice

          There’s nothing worse than losing a great house because you don’t know if you can afford a new washer and dryer since the seller is taking theirs. Know your financial range for negotiations. Don’t trade your financial security for a house that is outside of your budget. If you are house poor and will be unable to pay for repairs within the first few years (and they WILL happen), walk away from the deal. One rule of thumb is to keep your total house payment within â…“ to ½ of your monthly take home pay. It can be difficult to end up saying no to a great house. But staying within your financial means will keep you from having to choose between putting food on the table and paying your light bill. It can mean the difference between holding hands in the living room on the couch and heated discussions because you aren’t sure how you are going to be able to afford to sign your son up for baseball this season. Financial freedom breathes life.

           

          If you play fair and listen well, there’s no need to fear the inevitable disagreements that will come. If you choose to work through the disagreements and are patient, your relationship will stretch to a stronger level. If you do the next best right thing, the next best right thing will happen. And in home-buying, the next best right thing is finding a place where you and yours are unstressed, relaxed and happy!

          We would love to help you, sign up today or call us to be connected with an agent to help you in your search!

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            Asheville Home Garden and Green Living Show March 17 - 19, 2017!

            We are very excited to be in the Home Garden and Green Living Show this year! We will be at booth #306, so make sure to stop by! We will have a giveaway each day of the event! We will be giving away a gift card to Green Sage Cafe, another gift card to Homegrown, and a $100 gift card to Asheville Salt Cave! Make sure to sign up for our newsletter at our booth for 1 entry and earn another entry to win by snapping a photo of our booth, our agents, or anything with our logo on it; then share and tag us @townandmountainrealty on Facebook, Instagram, and/or tag us @townandmountain on Twitter. Winners will be announced Monday March 20th!

            We will have agents at our booth that specialize in our local Asheville & WNC area, green building, new construction, sustainable living, and so much more!

            Here are some recently SOLD Green Built NC homes listed by Amanda Boren, Robbie McLucas, & Jody Whitehurst!

             

            Check out the beautiful green homes still available!

            96 Bent Creek Preserve Road Asheville, NC 28806 Listed by Robbie McLucas

            14 Sulphur Springs Road Asheville, NC 28806 Listed by Amanda Boren

            From www.homegardenandgreenlivingshow.com

            Get ready for the 42nd Annual WNC Home & Garden and Green Living Show!

            March 17-19, 2017 @ the US Cellular Center, Downtown Asheville, NC

            We are back and our show is BIGGER and BETTER than ever! The premier green living event in Asheville will be held at the U.S. Cellular Center in downtown Asheville March 17-19, 2017. As the longest running and most attended WNC Home Show, we will feature products and services for the home and garden as well as dozens of new seminars and workshops with topics ranging electric vehicles, solar energy, sustainable gardening and everything in between!

            SHOW HOURS

            March 17, 2017 3pm-8pm

            March 18, 2017 10am-7pm

            March 19, 2017 11am -5pm


            Read More: https://homegardenandgreenlivingshow.com/

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              Bee City USA Asheville News March 2017

              Support Local Native Nurseries!

              Have you caught spring fever yet? Now is the time to make your plans for adding more native plants to your gardens to provide lots of delicious nectar and pollen for all kinds of bees and other pollinators, as well as host plants for butterflies and moths to lay their eggs on, especially milkweed for hungry monarch caterpillars.

              Check out our recommended species list for the Greater Asheville Area here. It's the first "resource" listed. You'll notice a list of local nurseries at the end who specialize in local native plants that are not treated with pesticides that may harm pollinators.

              Register Now--Organic Growers School March 11-12!

              Back by popular demand, Organic Growers School Spring Conference is back on the UNC Asheville campus with more than 150 workshops on topics ranging from cooking to mushrooms to pollinators.

              OGS Pollinator Track

              Bee City USA has partnered with Organic Growers School to offer the following workshops with outstanding presenters:

              Creating Monarch Habitats - Kim Bailey
              Invite monarchs to lunch by growing milkweed and providing

              a succession of nectar plants throughout the season! Take an in-depth look at monarch natural history, migration, and habitat needs. Discuss pollinator plant propagation,  techniques for rearing caterpillars indoors, and explore related citizen-science projects.

              Enhancing Farm Diversity to Support Pollinators - Nancy Lee Adamson
              Floral diversity on farms supports pollinators and many other insects that benefit our farms, gardens, and watersheds. Learn about some of our smaller farm heroes: the most common types of bees, wasps, flies, beetles, and other wildlife that help ensure healthy harvests.

              Growing Native Plants from Seed - Pat Sommers
              Discuss seed morphology, pollination and the importance of species plants in a highly hybridized world. You'll plant two six-packs with a variety of native seeds while learning germination requirements and the what, how and why of growing them.

              Integrating Pollinators into the Garden - Angie Lavezzo
              Learn the benefits of attracting pollinators to your vegetable gardens for boosting natural pest control, increased yields, and overall beauty.

              Meet the 'Other' Bees - Jill Sidebottom
              Native bees were the New World's pollinator work horses long before the honey bee was brought here from Europe. Discover the rich diversity of native bees in western NC, and learn how to recognize the most common groups and how to increase them in your garden or farm.

              Plant-Pollinator Interactions - Tim Spira
              Have you ever wondered why there is such an incredible diversity of flower shapes, sizes, colors, and fragrances in nature? Discover how plant-pollinator interactions have been a key force generating the diversity of flowers that we see in nature.

              Who Pollinates Your Food? - Phyllis Stiles
              Plants and their pollinators co-evolved over millions of years in mutually beneficial ways. Today three-quarters of the world's crops benefit from pollinators, either for producing seeds or improving the quality and/or quantity of yields. Get ready to be amazed at how crafty flowers can be!

              Half-Day Workshop: Beekeeping Basics - Sarah Eshan McKinney & Diane Almond
              Learn what's involved with the magic of honeybees: time, money, equipment, and management options and issues to enjoy and sustain healthy hives. Class will be taught through PowerPoint, beekeeping equipment, and handouts.

              Read More: http://www.beecityusa.org

              Read More: https://www.facebook.com/beecityasheville/

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                Major Home Selling Mistakes to Avoid in 2017

                Don't get in your own way when you try to sell your home this year.

                It’s a new year and it’s time for a fresh start. If you’re planning to sell your home in 2017, here are a few mistakes you should avoid to maximize your results and minimize your headache. Selling a home can be difficult. ( It doesn't have to be, we can make it a great experience! ) Side step these common mistakes to increase your chances for a smoother, faster, and more gainful transaction.

                Skipping the necessary preparation.

                Once the decision has been made to sell, it’s understandable that many sellers want to get their homes on the market as quickly as possible. However, taking the time to get your home ready for sale is one of the most important steps in the selling process.

                Skipping or skimping on this step is one of the biggest mistakes a home seller can make. You only get one chance to make a first impression and a great first impression can translate to actual dollar value – especially in a competitive market.

                Take the time to paint, make repairs, de-clutter, tidy landscaping and stage the home, if needed. An experienced real estate professional can help you to determine what work needs to be done and how it could affect the value of your home in the local market.

                Clean up and declutter. Potential buyers need to be able to picture themselves in your home – too much clutter, personal items or disorder can be distracting and turn buyers off.

                Repair and upgrade. Even small cosmetic issues can be a red flag for potential buyers. Chipping paint, water stains, cracks or stained carpets can be signs of neglect or larger problems with the property. Your home should look well cared for and maintained.

                Stage. Staging can range from simply refreshing and rearranging current furnishings, to editing and adding accessories, to complete professional staging.

                Take great photos. Proper preparation also translates to a well-executed marketing plan. Your home should show at its best in person as well as in the property photos and collateral materials. As more and more buyers are turning to the internet to begin their home search, we rely on excellent photography to make a great first impression. Ditch those iPhone or point-and-shoot images. Professionally shot and staged property photos are an absolutely essential sales tool.

                Pricing too high for the market.

                Pricing is the most important decision, and the one that will have the largest impact on your sales outcome. The biggest mistake sellers make is overpricing their property for the market.

                Overpricing typically leads to more days on market, which can negatively affect your final sale price. Whether you’re in a hurry to sell or not, time is a critical factor in selling your home. In general, the longer a property sits on the market, the less urgency buyers will feel, the more leverage they will feel they have and the less likely you will be to attract the attention for multiple offers.

                Pricing can be a sensitive topic of discussion, and it’s a good idea to work with an experienced professional who knows the market as well as your specific neighborhood. As a seller, it can be difficult to see your own home with unbiased eyes. Emotional attachments and financial obligations can cause sellers to reach for more value than the market will bear.

                Review comparable deals in the area, take a realistic look at your home and discuss the positives and negatives of different pricing strategies with your agent to determine what will work best for you.

                ( Contact us today for a FREE Comparative Market Analysis of your home and/or property! )

                Even with thoughtful pricing, it’s still possible to miss the mark. Sellers who are able to keep their emotions and expectations in check will be better able to reassess a situation and find a successful outcome.

                Being present for showings and open houses.

                As much as you may want to be completely hands-on in the sale of your home, it’s almost never a good idea to linger during showings or open houses. When the seller is present, it can create an awkward situation for potential buyers.

                Buyers may feel they’re intruding on your home, which can make it even more difficult for them to imagine themselves living there. They may feel rushed or inhibited by the seller’s presence and may not take the extra time they need to go through the home at their own pace. In addition, buyers may not feel comfortable expressing their true feelings about a property which can lead to frustration and inaccurate feedback.

                Not working with an experienced professional.

                Working with an experienced real estate professional can make all the difference in your home selling experience. A good agent can provide you with support, advice and resources to help you avoid many of these common pitfalls.

                From preparation and pricing to marketing and showing your property, a good agent can alleviate much of the stress, time and legwork necessary to get your home sold. Real estate transactions can get complicated and once a buyer makes an offer on your home or you enter escrow, a seasoned professional who is skilled in negotiation and familiar with the process can be invaluable.

                When you’re interviewing and hiring an agent to sell your home, it’s important to ask questions. Not all agents are created equal, so choosing the best person to represent you is key. Working with an under-qualified agent, or even someone who just doesn’t mesh with your personality and goals, can be just as detrimental as going it on your own.

                Consider experience, past and current deals, market knowledge and marketing know-how. Equally important is to hire someone you respect, trust and feel you can work well with.

                Find an experienced LOCAL Asheville & Western North Carolina agent today!

                Avoid these common home selling mistakes and set yourself up for a positive and prosperous 2017.

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                  What You Need to Know Before Buying Your Home in 2017

                  What You Need Know to Navigate the 2017 Real Estate Market

                  Searching for an Asheville or WNC home in 2017?

                  Let our experienced LOCAL REALTORS help you navigate our unique market!

                  Buying a Home in 2017? Here Are 6 Things You’ll Want to Know

                  Now that the panic, unrest, and general exhaustion caused by the presidential election is, for the most part, in our rear view mirror, people are starting to look ahead. For many, this means buying their first home in 2017. But, the first year after a presidential change is always tricky when it comes to buying a home, and this year is shaping up to be no different.

                  #1: Rates Are Already Rising

                  A change of presidents traditionally causes interest rates to rise slightly, but since Trump’s election win, the rates have already climbed by 0.5%, a rather quick hike. Because Trump’s election is having a negative effect on inflation, buyers should expect home prices to also start rising. If the recent upswing in loan applications tells us anything, it is that the threat of higher interest rates and home prices is creating a sense of urgency among buyers.

                  #2: City Properties Are Still Best for Investment Properties

                  If you want to buy a home that will provide you with the highest appreciation potential, then you’ll want to focus your search in metro areas. City properties have the best price appreciation rates and income potential from renters, especially when those properties are located in larger cities.

                  #3: You Need to be Able to Afford More Than Just the Down Payment

                  At one time, home buyers could get away with just the down payment coming out of pocket. All other associated fees and closing costs were able to be rolled into the mortgage. But these days, lenders want buyers to not only have the down payment amount, but also their closing costs available in cash. And with some closing costs as high as 2.5% of the loan amount, this can really have an impact on how much home you can actually afford.

                  #4: Get Pre-Qualified Before You Start Looking for Homes

                  Getting pre-qualified for a home loan doesn’t guarantee you will be approved, but it is a good place to start. This is because getting pre-qualified will give you an idea of how much home you can afford. Plus, because your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and down payment amount can have an impact on your interest rate, getting pre-qualified will give you the information you need early on in the process so you can improve your chances of getting your loan approved at the best rate possible.

                  #5: Do Your Due Diligence When Choosing an Agent and/or Lender

                  Buying a home requires a lot of research. But, your research shouldn’t be restricted to just comparing locations and properties. You also need to do your due diligence when shopping for a real estate agent as well as your lender.

                  When you’re buying your first home, trust in your agent and lender is paramount. So, ask those you trust for referrals to Realtors and lenders. Visit with each and speak to them before you agree to use their services.

                  In fact, try to choose your agent and lender very early in your buying process. This will enable your relationship with them to grow and in turn, they’ll become valuable resources of information and professional advice while you’re on your home buying journey.

                  Why Choose Us?

                  #6: Be Ready to Move

                  With interest rates starting to climb, competition is going to start getting very fierce, very quickly in 2017. So, if you find a home you love, put in an offer and get ready to move because odds are things will progress quickly. This is especially important if you’re looking at homes priced $200,000 or less. Buyers will be jumping on these properties because with home prices rising, they’re going to want to get in early, and so should you. Good luck! ( Why rely on luck when you can have an experienced REALTOR making sure you are taking all the right steps to get the home or property that is right for you. Contact us today! )
                   

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                    Asheville Restaurant Week 2017

                    From: www.exploreasheville.com

                    From Bon Appetit to National Geographic to USA Today, Asheville’s dining scene has won over the hearts (and taste buds) of many of America’s top culinary critics in the past year. Zagat even named Asheville one of the nation's hottest food cities.

                    For ten days this month, a "who's who" of Asheville's chefs and restaurants offer you a special opportunity to taste mouth-watering meals at special prices as part of Asheville Restaurant Week presented by the Asheville Chamber of Commerce. The celebration kicks off Jan. 17, 2017 and continues through Jan. 26. 

                    We're putting our insider knowledge on the table to help you savor each bite.

                    How it works

                    Asheville Restaurant WeekMake your choice(s)

                    Participating restaurants will be offering specifically-tailored prix fixe menus (multiple courses at a special fixed price). Options include:

                    • $15 two-course lunch
                    • $35 three-course meal
                    • $30 dinner for two

                    Make a reservation

                    Not every restaurant accepts reservations, but for those that do, it's strongly recommended to have one. Visit the Asheville Restaurant Week homepage and click the "make a reservation" link next to the icon for the restaurant of your choice.

                    Make it a getaway

                    Enjoy more incredible meals by staying overnight in Asheville during Restaurant Week or making an extended trip of it. From historic bed & breakfasts to cozy cabins to world-class hotels, Asheville offers many flavors of accommodations.

                    Participating Restaurants

                    To help you in choosing your dining adventure, we've created these handy categories. Please note that many of the participating restaurants could fit into multiple categories.

                    International/Global Cuisine - Taste the world's finest flavors at these ethnic restaurants.

                    Asheville, NC's long awaited Ethiopian Restaurant offers traditional dishes served family style on gluten-friendly injera, with a large selection of meat, vegetarian, and vegan foods.

                    Blue Dream Curry House is an international journey of flavor serving curries from around the world and local beers at an affordable price.

                    Bomba is located on a very important corner on Pack Square where Chef Hector first decided to open his own restaurant. Four successful restaurants later, Bomba is the perfect, central spot in downtown Asheville to meet a friend for breakfast, lunch or for one of their handcrafted espresso drinks. Serving a refreshing combination of creative lunches and tasty entrees, one cannot beat the value or the view. Positioned right on the corner of Pack Square, this is the best place in Asheville for people watching.

                    The Cantina offers handmade Southwestern favorites with a twist of Asheville. Located in the heart of Historic Biltmore Village, it is one of the jewels of the Village and Asheville. The Cantina uses only the freshest ingredients sourced locally when available. In addition to the traditional fare with a flair, The Cantina offers many vegetarian and gluten-free options. Housed in a 1940s bowling, dining and dancing complex, this casual yet attractive restaurant boasts an atmosphere from family-friendly to romantic.

                    Golden Fleece is a fairytale, born of a community rich in history and filled with a love of food & culture. Tucked away in the rolling mountains of Grovewood in Asheville North Carolina, Golden Fleece is a whimsical ode to the earth and the bounty of quality ingredients it provides. It is a celebration of slow cooked wild game, crackling fires, rustic recipes, and the beauty of naked produce.

                    A trattoria specializing in brick wood-fired oven pizza, salads, soups, desserts, espresso coffee, wine and beer.

                    This hot spot features a bright, modern interior and is known for its great food, excellent service, eclectic wine list and reasonable prices.

                    Authentic affordable Italian street food cuisine in Downtown Asheville.

                     

                    James Beard-worthy - These restaurants and their chefs have been recognized by the prestigious James Beard Foundation awards.

                    he best of Spain, conveniently located in downtown Asheville! Cúrate is pleased to bring the best Spain has to offer through our traditional cuisine, unrivaled hospitality and festive, energetic atmosphere.

                    Here you’ll enjoy Chef Katie Button’s masterful American food creations, served small-plate style, with a focus on local Appalachian ingredients. Enhance the meal with our playful and original craft cocktails, distinctive wines and spirits from all over the world, and local draft beers. Finish with a decadent dessert for a truly unique dining experience.

                    Rhubarb, at the heart of Asheville on Pack Square, is a comfortable place for friends, families and strangers to simply lean in and enjoy the company-a place where food and drink is at its uncomplicated best. Chef John Fleer, a three time James Beard nominee for Best Chef Southeast has created a menu inspired by seasonal, local ingredients and pays homage to the bounty of regional and American cooking.

                    Table: unfettered, moderately priced new-American cuisine for everyone. Offering a hip, urban comfortable, friendly environment with exceptional and welcoming service.

                     

                    Pair with a pint (or a cocktail) - Drink up at these places known not only for their food but for their refreshing adult-beverages.

                    A warm and inviting experience to top off your relaxing day in Downtown Asheville. Chestnut is located across the street from the new Aloft Hotel on Biltmore Avenue and just up the street from The Orange Peel.

                    Chestnut features local and seasonal flavors. Enjoy a signature Kale Salad, or a delectable Lobster Bisque.

                    STORM Rhum Bar & Bistro is a unique dining and bar experience offering an exceptional new-world approach to classic food and drink. At STORM, we believe that the most interesting places – whether in some exotic corner of the world or right in your own backyard – can inspire creativity, imagination and ideas.

                    Located inside of The Wedge Studios building in  the River Arts District of Asheville, The Bull and Beggar provides a modern take on rustic European inspired cuisine, filtered through the products and people that surround us.  

                    Located in downtown Asheville, the brewpub is the original home of Wicked Weed Brewing housing a full restaurant, tasting room, bottle shop, and original 15 barrel brewery.

                    The upstairs portion of the historic building hosts a full restaurant featuring elevated pub gastronomy, 16 of our beer offerings, and classic as well as creative cocktails. Complete with a dog friendly patio and cocktail area at street level guests are sure to find the brewery experience suited to them.

                     

                    Family Favorites - With a laid-back dining atmosphere, these eateries are perfect for a night out with a group featuring people of all ages.

                    Marco's Pizzeria continues the family business started in 1933 of cooking unparalleled New York-style pizza in two locations in Asheville, North Carolina. In addition to pizza, Marco's offers a full menu of Italian favorites including salads, pastas, sandwiches, calzones, and strombolis.

                    Comfort food, quickly and a trendy downtown location. Whether it's family dinner or a quick business lunch Twisted Laurel has the fresh Mediterranean menu you've been looking for. Within walking distance of Pack's Square, you don't have to go off the beaten path to discover consistently great food in an unbelievable atmosphere.

                    Their food is good and affordable, always, with no exceptions. Offering an outdoor patio overlooking the French Broad River and the train tracks. With an on-site parking lot right next to the restaurant.

                     

                    Farm-to-Table Flavors - While many participating restaurants offer farm-to-table fare, these stand out for their dedication to using ingredients from local farms.

                    Ambrozia Bar and Bistro is a neighborhood café located in North Asheville next to scenic Beaver Lake. It features modern American cuisine with a twist. The ever changing menu specializes in farm fresh local ingredients. The quaint atmosphere is modern and comfortable.

                    At Buffalo Nickel, we strive to provide you with a warm and inviting atmosphere, free of pretense. A place where you can feel comfortable and relaxed as you join us for dinner or drinks. We are a chef-driven restaurant providing familiar flavors from many different regions of this great country. We agree that great food begins with great ingredients. That is why we feel very passionate about forming not just professional, but also personal, bonds with each of our farmers and purveyors. We feel this ensures we will receive the very best product possible for all of you to enjoy. A dash of this belief, mixed with a pinch of advanced culinary technique, and a generous portion of exemplary service in a comfortable setting is Buffalo Nickel’s recipe for a truly enjoyable dining experience. Join us in embracing modern American cuisine and culture!

                    We aim to provide a little something for everyone, and offer lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch with menus focused on value as well as quality. All of our menus reflect both the diversity of our influences (American South, Italy, & New Orleans to name a few) as well as our support of many local farms.

                    Chef Joe Scully brings years of culinary experience to bear in his special North Carolina take on Pan-American cuisine, while host Kevin Westmoreland makes you feel as welcome as an old friend at breakfast, lunch and dinner.

                    Fresh, local, seasonal: Chef Duane Fernandes describes his menu as “ingredient driven new American with a Mediterranean influence”. Isa’s menus are printed daily in order to highlight the best local produce as well as outstanding product from around the world. Fernandes’ experience in some of America’s top kitchens has left him dedicated to and passionate about the authentic, memorable dining experience.

                    Posana is a contemporary American restaurant in the heart of downtown Asheville on Historic Pack Square. Enjoy imaginative seasonal menus, showcasing the best of the region’s produce and products in a warm and inviting atmosphere.  Posana sources premium ingredients from over 65 local purveyors and farmers and our own urban garden in West Asheville.

                    Located in the heart of downtown Asheville, The Market Place Restaurant specializes in handcrafted cuisine from seasonal and local ingredients, many of which come from within a 100 mile radius of Asheville. Bringing you the local harvest since 1979. An Asheville favorite on charming Wall Street in the heart of the city's cultural scene. Dining available in 3 settings: a more classic, butcher block table dining room for both casual and special meals, a relaxed bar and lounge for cocktails and live music, and a relaxed garden patio during fine weather.

                     

                    Delicious Date Nights - Intimate dining and great wine lists make these places perfect for an evening with your sweetheart.

                    Conveniently located in Biltmore Park, 131 Main redefines fresh with cuisine that bursts with flavor and an interior that seamlessly combines the modern with the elegant. 131 Main offers its patrons the freshest ingredients possible. In fact, all meat and fish are purchased daily by our expert staff. An open French-style cooking suite allows patrons to look on as our chefs prepare their culinary masterpieces.

                    The Red Stag Grill offers Asheville's finest gastronomic choices in a casual atmosphere where everyone feels warm, welcome and at ease. Emanating Old-World ambience with hand-hewn beams and tables, walnut wood flooring, and intimate lighting, the restaurant also includes a dramatic lounge for socializing while enjoying brilliantly prepared libations. The Red Stag Grill's menu includes a masterful blend of chops, game and traditional favorites - all with an emphasis on the freshest local ingredients complimented by an extensive wine list.

                    Discover Roux and you just may become addicted. Our patrons tell us they're mad about Roux. We knew when we opened we were creating something special, but our patron's love of Roux is our best affirmation. Our Executive Chef Randy Dunn has created an innovative menu incorporating small plates and comfort food finished with a creative twist. Roux fuses southern comfort with modern sophistication, dishes inspired by our Chef's grandmother's kitchen then spiced with locally farmed ingredients that are all Asheville.

                    Ruth’s Chris Steak House is a part of Ruth’s Hospitality Group Inc. Founded in New Orleans by Ruth Fertel in 1965, Ruth’s Chris specializes in USDA Prime grade steaks served in Ruth’s Chris signature fashion … “sizzling.” To experience fine dining at its prime …just follow the sizzle to Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

                    The Blackbird's goal is to delight it's guests with cooking grounded in the traditions and ingredients of the Carolinas creating an affordable and vibrant menu – Modern Southern with a “nod” to tradition. The Menu features the seasonal best from local farmers, fresh catches from the coast of the Carolinas, as well as the many incredible local micro-brews and great wines from the Americas.

                    Asheville Restaurant Week

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