Asheville conference Oct. 7 focuses on economic equality

ASHEVILLE – Self-Help Credit Union will host the third annual “Bringing it Home:  Building a Local Economy for Everyone” conference from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Oct. 7.

The conference’s main venue will be the YMI Cultural Center, 39 S. Market St., with some workshops next door at the Block off Biltmore and at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Connecting the Dots: Working Together Toward a Stronger, More Equitable Local Economy.” The keynote speaker will be Deena Hayes-Greene, managing director of the Racial Equity Institute in Greensboro.

Hayes-Greene specializes in trainings that include, according to a press release, “an in-depth analysis of systemic and historically constructed racism and its impact on contemporary systems and institutions across the U.S.”

She was elected to the Guilford County Board of Education in 2002 and re-elected in 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2016 and also serves on the Ole Asheboro Street Neighborhood Association and the Guilford County Gang Commission, and as board chair at the International Civil Rights Center and Museum. She is a former human relations commissioner for the City of Greensboro.

Other workshops include:

• “Money, Money, Money,” with Dr. Joseph Fox, on finding grant money and other sources of revenue for your organization or business.

• “Developing a Successful Built Environment Project,” with a panel of experts in the field discussion how to carry out a large project involving real estate.

• “Our Youth, Our Future,” a panel of people working in organizations working with youth

• Two panels of local business owners who are people of color, one of African-American entrepreneurs, the other of Latino and Latina entrepreneurs.

Marisol Jimenez will open the conference with an interactive activity on “Establishing Group Norms, Common Language.”

Some of the other features will be performances by Word on the Street youth, a travelling exhibit from Duke University on “Trying to Get By. [Not] Making Ends Meet in NC” and networking sessions in which folks will be able to meet and interact with people who are engaged in both similar and different work.

The exhibit “Courage, Truth, Change: Inspiring and Engaging Youth Through Art and Story,” which features portraits of several local youth leaders, will also be on exhibit at the YMI during the conference.

Child care and transportation within the city limits are available, if requested in advance with registration. The event is free and open to the public, with registration available on a first-come, first-served basis at Breakfast and lunch will be served by a “Cornucopia of Caterers,” featuring several local businesses owned by people of color.

Free parking will be available at the corners of Spruce and Marjorie streets or at the bottom of the hill, at the corner of Market and S. Charlotte streets. To learn more, contact Jane Hatley at 828-239-9231, ext. 3473.

Continue reading...

Asheville candidate forum: Dozen give stances as early voting nears

, Published 4:07 p.m. ET Sept. 19, 2017 | Updated 12:47 p.m. ET Sept. 20, 2017

A quick primer on Asheville’s government and which council members are and aren’t running this fall.

ASHEVILLE — City Council candidates looking to survive the Oct. 10 primary and win a slot the general election met for one of their last times together Monday.

At a forum put on by UNC Asheville’s Student Government Association, the 12 staked out positions on housing, the meaning of Confederate monuments, tourism and other issues.

Among the candidates are two incumbents as well as seven who are running for the first time. Five of the dozen are women. There are also two African-American candidates, Dee Williams and Sheneika Smith; two Asian-American candidates Pratik Bhakta and Vijay Kapoor; and a Jewish candidate, Jeremy Goldstein.

Early primary voting starts Thursday. Voters get to choose three, plus a mayoral candidate. The top six council candidates move on to the Nov. 7 general election along with the top two mayoral candidates. The ultimate winners fill three council seats along with the mayor’s position. Here’s a forum synopsis:

Personal statements and priorities

Kim Roney: A “piano teacher, service industry worker and activist.”

“I’m running because Asheville is at a critical turning point. And We need courageous leaders as brave as the people of Asheville.”

Priorities include affordability and “putting the peoples’ voice in front of decision making” on development, childcare, education, environmental and race and equity issues.

Andrew Fletcher: A musician whose “feet are in the trenches of the tourism industry” and sees the “good and the bad” there.

Says Asheville could lose its culture while it invests in the “tourism-based economy.”

“We’re turning the short buck and losing the long dollar.”

Gwen Wisler (incumbent): City’s vice mayor who said in her first term she’s “been working for a safe, vibrant, healthy and accessible Asheville.”

“I’m proud of the work that we’ve done for the last four years and I hope to continue that…We still have a lot of work to do, but I think we’re making some great progress.”

Dee Williams: “There is a tale of two cities. We’ve got people who live really well. Then we have a divide. People of color and poor people who do not live so well.”

A former concrete and road construction contractor, said she’s the only candidate setting up a land trust for permanent affordable housing.

Said she convinced Mission Health to pay living wages for its thousands of employees and to remove “the box” about criminal history on applications.

An Asheville native, she grew up as an orphan and now wants to spend her time helping others.

Pratik Bhakta: A hotelier who said “the hotel industry has gotten a bad rap in the media — but I am part of that hotel industry.”

As a business owner, said he would push for fiscal responsibility in city budgets. Affordability depends on it, he said.

“We have to look at the revenues coming in and the expenses going out and if one exceeds the other then we’re doing something wrong.

Jeremy Goldstein: 19-years resident, lives in Haw Creek with four sons in Asheville City Schools and a wife, an attorney at Van Winkle Law Firm.

“Quite simply I’m running to help preserve and protect our quality of life, the very reason we moved here.”

Small business owner (real estate investment company) who created his job and has experience helping businesses and developers navigate rules and open businesses and build projects. Has been on the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission six years and the chairman for four and is “intimately” familiar with important development rules. No council members have been on the commission, he said.

Cecil Bothwell (incumbent): “The thing that drives me the most in my life broadly is climate change. We really need to address that at every turn.”

Two-term councilman said he went off the grid with solar power in 1979. His efforts led to the city having the nation’s second electric police car, he said, along with single-stream recycling and new LED street lights to save $365,000 a year and cut coal use. He is now pushing for more fuel-efficient police vehicles.

Despite Asheville’s highly recognized efforts to encourage lower-cost housing, a free bus system expanded beyond city limits would better boost affordability, he said.

Vijay Kapoor: Former attorney, now economic consultant for cities. A father of two, ages, 3 and 6.

“I want to make sure that each resident goes to sleep each night feeling safe, fed, healthy and valued.”

The council should be “laser focused” on needs of residents and neighborhoods, deal better with development and growth and diversify the local economy to reduce dependence on “real estate and tourism.”

Said he’s concerned about lack of good pay for young people. Green jobs and those addressing climate change should be a priority.

Adrian Vassallo: Moved to Asheville 12 years ago to work as accountant for locally founded Dixon Hughes Goodman.

Held leadership positions with Asheville Downtown Association, Downtown Commission, WCQS (now BPR). Now board treasurer for LEAF. Has run United Way campaigns and volunteered with Eblen, Elida and MANNA and is involved with his church Trinity Episcopal downtown.

“So, I’ve always been involved in the community working on projects.”

One of the first was a partnership between Jackson Park Neighborhood Association, the city and UNC Asheville, he said, to put a sidewalk on Edgewood Road. Wants to continue that kind of “back to basics” work on safety, infrastructure maintenance and planning.

Sheneika Smith: Fourth-generation Asheville native, graduated in 1996 from Asheville High and “like most young people” left to pursue education, career and family.

Returned in 2011 and saw how city had become a high-profile regional economic leader.

“One of the richest cities in Western North Carolina but our community development had been misdirected.”

Works for Green Opportunities with job training for unemployed and under-employed people, and is “in the community daily.”

Said she would focus on job creation, neighborhood revitalization, living wages and home ownership.

Rich Lee: A 20-year resident, Western Carolina “Catamount,” parent and “advocate for healthy neighborhoods.” Also a financial advisor with a socially-responsible investment practice, he said.

Running to advance issues “I’ve been working on for years: Making Asheville a safe and easy place to get around, keeping the feel of a genuine, authentic, artistic, working small town full of unique, eclectic neighborhoods and people; and protecting the diversity of Asheville’s population from gentrification and from the problems of being a tourism-based economy.”

A member of city’s multi-model transportation commission and greenway committee. Past board member of Bountiful Cities Project and member of Just Economics’ policy advocacy committee.

Jan (Howard) Kubiniec: 30-year resident of Kenilworth community. Past president and board member of Kenilworth Residents Association and “formative member” of Coalition of Asheville Neighborhoods.

Retired school teacher who said she did some work with city schools and volunteered as a court guardian ad litem for abused and neglected children.

Said from her home on Beaucatcher Mountain she sees problems with sustainable growth and disparity between rich and poor.

“I would like to look and see if all of our children are getting a free and appropriate education out of the public schools. I see that as the way out of the embedded poverty.”

(Note: The council doesn’t fund schools, but appoints the board for Asheville City Schools)


Kubiniec: Moderate tourism advertising. (Note: The council doesn’t control the $17.5 million in hotel taxes used to boost tourism.)

Lee: Require new large commercial buildings on main corridors to have housing on top. Give low-interest loans for basement apartment construction, tax breaks to small landlords.

Smith: Better education, look to other cities for ideas. Consider rent controls.

Vassallo: Density bonuses for developers. Come up with a plan for using city-owned land. No need for “land banking” more without a plan.

Kapoor: No need to incentivize development, use city’s desirability as leverage with developers, focus on density and good-paying jobs.

Bothwell: City shouldn’t focus on building below-market-rate housing. Instead extend bus lines outside city where housing is cheaper.

Goldstein: Depoliticize building rules and make it easier to build in “urban core.” Don’t promote growth outside city.

Bhakta: Maintain ban on short-term rentals for tourists in residentially-zoned areas.

Williams: Focus on poorest neighborhoods. Use zoning for community benefits, such as guarantees by businesses to pay living wages.

Wisler: Don’t push lower-income residents outside city. Use zoning to leverage living wages and other community benefits.

Fletcher: Partially lift ban on short-term rentals. Regulate the tourist rentals with neighborhood input.

Roney: Create zoning rule that developers include below-market-rate housing along with regular units. (Note: Such “inclusionary” zoning has faced legal challenges in the state.)

Vance Monument and race issues

Roney: Remove all monuments, engage with minority leaders and look to the city-county African-American Heritage Commission for guidance.

Fletcher: Remove Vance Monument and put it at Vance Birthplace. Replace it with something more reflective of city. Listen to groups, such as Black Lives Matter on policy recommendations.

Wisler: City is forming a Human Relations Commission to help advise on racial issues. Encourage and promote that group.

Williams: Don’t focus on symbols, such as monuments. Try to fix things such as educational achievement gap.

Bhakta: Don’t remove the monument, but use for education, as reminder of past wrongs.

Goldstein: Repurpose or rededicate the monument. We need to be reminded of past hatred and atrocities.

Bothwell: Take down Confederate monuments, which are monuments to traitors and symbols used by white supremacists. Vote for new legislators in charge of General Assembly.

Kapoor: Remove smaller monuments and rededicate Vance Monument. Focus on police relations with black residents, getting officers to interact more with communities.

Vassallo: Support the human relations council when it is formed and makes decisions on issues such as monument. Focus on economic issues, helping feed children, for example.

Smith: Symbols are important. Remove monument and put at Vance Birthplace.

Lee: Remove the monument. Push for bigger equity issues, looking at minority representation on city boards and business ownership.

Kubiniec: Don’t focus on monument. Look to government and social institutions, such as black churches, to help with economic issues and fight institutional racism.

Continue reading...

Asheville City Council to look at Shiloh subdivision

With a relatively light agenda for its Sept. 12 meeting, Asheville City Council will dive back into discussion of a proposed single-family subdivision in the Shiloh community and will tackle a proposal to ease the parking crunch downtown by allowing temporary gravel lots.

Council will also consider a proclamation declaring Sept. 15 – Oct. 15 as Hispanic Heritage Month.

Consent agenda

Items Council will consider as part of its consent agenda include:

  • A resolution authorizing the city manager to enter into a contract with Sam Schwartz Consulting LLC to provide consulting and engineering services on the design of the Interstate 26 Connector project as well as a budget amendment to use $200,000 from the city’s capital improvement program to fund the contract.
  • A resolution authorizing the city manager to enter into an agreement with Tindale Oliver for development of a transit master plan. The city will pay $24,000 for the plan development, its required matching portion of a $120,000 federal grant for the project.
  • The adoption of a Section 3 policy within the city’s Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnerships programs. Section 3 is a provision of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 that helps foster local economic development, neighborhood improvement and individual self-sufficiency by providing job training, employment and contracting opportunities for low- and very low-income residents in their neighborhoods.
  • Authorization for the Asheville Police Department to apply for a $54,574 grant through the Department of Justice. The funds would be used to create a task force of police officers to deter and interrupt violent crimes.
  • An ordinance to change the speed limit on several roads to 25 miles per hour.

Public hearings

A public hearing will be held to discuss conditional zoning for a proposed 20-home development in the Shiloh community, which lies between Hendersonville and Sweeten Creek roads just south of Interstate 40. Mountain Housing Opportunities is requesting conditional zoning to reduce the minimum lot size from 5,000 square feet to 4,000 square feet and minimum lot width from 50 feet to 40 feet.

The hearing is a continuation from the Aug. 22 meeting. At that time, discussion centered on a strip of open space that would be created through an easement across privately owned parcels. Council members asked the applicant who would be responsible for maintaining that property and managing its stormwater system. Norma Baynes of the Shiloh Community Association indicated that the group needed to more closely consider whether it would be willing to take on that role.

For its second public hearing of the evening, City Council will discuss whether to allow temporary gravel parking lots in the Central Business District. Currently, parking lots in the CBD must be paved, and temporary parking lots are only allowed for construction staging and when in connection with an active building permit. The proposal would allow temporary gravel lots to help ease parking congestion and to provide a path to compliance for lots that have already been put in place without approval.

“The lack of monthly parking for downtown residents and workers has reached a critical level of concern,” states a staff memo on the amendment to the Unified Development Ordinance. The Downtown Commission reviewed the idea at its April, May and June meetings, when members expressed the view that the plan doesn’t encourage the use of property for surface parking beyond a limited time period; they urged the city to continue to explore a more permanent solution. In August, the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the proposal while pointing out that loose gravel could affect stormwater drainage and that allowing temporary lots might interfere with the creation of a more robust and long-term parking plan.

A public hearing is also planned to receive public comments on the proposed limited obligation bond financing for capital projects and acquisitions. In August, Council passed a resolution authorizing the city to refinance a portion of the 2016 limited obligation bond ($18 million), refinance all or a portion of the currently outstanding 2012 LOBs ($11.7 million), and make application to the Local Government Commission of up to $31.2 million limited obligation refunding bonds. Council will also allow the public to give feedback on a plan to apply to the commission for up to $20 million in special obligation bonds.

Limited and special obligation bonds are forms of municipal borrowing that do not require voter approval through a referendum but must be the subject of a public hearing. Unlike general obligation bonds, which are secured by the municipality’s future tax revenue, limited obligation bonds use real estate as collateral for the loan; special obligation bonds use anticipated municipal revenues from sources other than taxes (for example, license and permitting fees).

Council will also consider assigning a zoning designation of highway business district to a 1.26-acre property at 421 Airport Road that the city annexed in June and on which a commercial building is currently under construction.

Unfinished business

Council will decide which candidates it will interview for the Planning and Zoning Commission.

New business

Council will consider which candidates to interview for spots on the Affordable Housing Committee, Recreation Board and Tourism Development Authority.

Public comment

Council will hear comment from members of the public on items not previously discussed on Council’s agenda.

Asheville City Council meets at 5 p.m. in Council chambers on the second floor of City Hall at 70 Court Plaza, Asheville. The full meeting agenda and supporting documents can be found here.

For more of the latest city and county news, check out Xpress’ Buncombe Beat.

via Posted on  

Continue reading...

As housing inventory gets even tighter, prices spike

In the red hot local real estate business, it’s a little taboo to use “the B-word.”

That’s mainly because everyone has painfully fresh memories of the last housing bubble, which burst with a near-nuclear detonation in 2008, leading to a worldwide recession with impacts that lingered for years.

So pardon professionals like Mike Figura, founder of Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty and a local market analyst, who is dancing around the B-word in light of the first quarter real estate report. It shows record sales in the city of Asheville and housing inventory levels that are so tight that everything priced under $1 million fits in the “less than six months”

The real estate market remains super hot in the Asheville area, according to two reports out that track real estate sales.The Citizen-Times

Inventory refers to the number of months it would take for all homes currently for sale to sell, based on monthly sales volume. When inventory is tight, prices just keep climbing, and that can lead to, well, let’s not say the word out loud.

“It’s getting a little frothy out there,” Figura said, noting that he opened his company in 2005. “When I started, it did feel similar to what’s going on now, in terms of bidding wars and setting new records each quarter.”

In short, the first quarter of 2017 indicates a fantastic seller’s market, with 327 homes sold in Asheville and 510 in Buncombe County. In Asheville, the median home sales price also set a record, at $275,000, and the county was close to one set last year, at $243,450.

Getting outbid is common

Asheville native Janis Turner, 40, knows exactly what that hot market means for buyers. A mental health clinician, Turner sold her West Asheville home three years ago and moved away, but she recently returned.

After living in an apartment “for the first time in forever,” she started looking for a house about a month ago.

“In that month, I put in three offers on three different homes,” Turner said. “Within 24 hours of my offer, I would get a call from my real estate agent saying they had numerous offers and they were calling for ‘first and best.’ Two times I got outbid, in less than a month.”

The third time was the charm, and Turner is closing on a three-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath home in Candler. She’ll pay about $200,000 for the 1,800-square-foot home, which dates to 1920 but has been completely renovated, and she feels like she’s getting a good deal.

“The housing prices are significantly higher than when I moved from the area three years ago,” Turner said. “I sold my home in West Asheville right off Haywood Road three years ago for $155,000. It was a two-bedroom, two bath. I kick myself.”

Kent Wolff, senior loan officer at Mountain Lifestyles Mortgage, is handling the mortgage for Turner. Her story has become commonplace.

“We consistently have clients who make full-price or over full-price offers on one, two or in some examples, even a third home, only to lose to people bidding even higher,” Wolff said. “Many home buyers are understandably becoming more frustrated or increasingly discouraged with the limited level of inventory available in the Asheville. It’s really a challenge for everyone, minus the sellers.”

Don Davies, whose firm RealSearch conducts market studies, traced several records in the first quarter for Buncombe County, all related to that seller’s market:

  • Median asking price of all homes for sale, at $399,995.
  • Average selling price of all homes (including single-family, condos, town homes and mobile homes), at $314,172.
  • Average selling price of all homes in the last 12 months, at $315,163.

“The inventory is low, and that drives prices up, and the number of sales is very strong,” Davies said. “They have not slowed — they’re actually about 1 percent higher for this time of year, and last year was a record-setting year.”

So, dare he utter the B-word?

“I don’t know if we’re in a situation where we’re creating bubbles, but we are seeing appreciation in selling prices of about 10-12 percent (a year), and I’m not sure if that’s sustainable,” Davies said.

Lack of speculation

He and Figura temper their comments by noting that one key element of the previous bubble is absent today: speculative buying, in which investors were snapping up properties strictly to flip them for a profit.

“What’s different in this case is there is real demand,” Figura said. “People are actually buying homes for themselves.”

For homebuilders, times are good, but they too are treading lightly, the specter of 2008 always hovering over the job site.

“Growth wise, our business has just exploded since the downturn,” said Jody Guokos, founder and president of JAG Construction, a green home building company. “Last year, we grew more than we had grown in any of our previous years. We’re seeing year over year growth that continues to beat the previous year — 40 percent in the case of last year.”

So, he should be happy, right? The B-word should not be a factor in his life.

And yet, he thinks about the painful image of a market bubble bursting “every day of my life.”

“When every story you see is about the inventory is even lower and the median home price is up, you just start to get nervous,” Guokos said. “Just when you think things can’t get worse again, they can. I’m starting to feel like we’re at the point. The bottom is going to drop one of these days.”

He quickly walks that back a bit, though, noting that if a correction comes, he suspects it will be nothing like the last one, mainly because the speculation element is missing. For the most part, he’s building homes in the $400,000-$500,000 range, whereas three or four years ago that figure was about $100,000 lower.

“It’s not so much people building bigger homes, it’s that they want more bells and whistles,” Guokos said. “What we’re seeing is people are feeling the last eight years they had decent income, and they’ve started to look at their mortgage payments, saying, ‘I can afford a little more, I can afford an extra $600 a month to add that $80,000 to the value.'”

Another issue driving the tightness of the market inventory and ensuing rising prices is the lack of spec homes on the market. During the previous boom, builders and investors would build subdivisions or homes before they had a seller locked in, or on speculation.

And they were selling the homes pretty quickly. But after the bust, banks tightened lending on such projects, and wary home builders stopped building unless they had a buyer locked in.

Davies said one developer he knows who’s building a small subdivision told him point blank, “I’m going to build one at a time, instead of 10 at a time, so I can make sure it sells.”

Figura and his business partners are building a 45-home development in West Asheville called Craggy Park, and they are building all spec homes, in part because of the high demand for homes in that area and the shortage of buildable land. The homes will range from 1,600-2,400-square feet and likely sell in the mid-$300,000 range to the high $400,000’s, Figura said.

He’s seen personally how tight the market is for buyers.

“It takes a lot of planning and patience, depending on the price range your’e in, especially homes in the lower price ranges and on up to $600,000,” Figura said. “You’ve got inventory of less than three months in some of those case, so you’re competing with a lot of other buyers.”

A little relief may be coming, as Figura points out in his report that the average “days on market” for homes in Asheville increased from 55 days in 2016 to 68 in the first quarter. In Buncombe it rose from 77 to 82 days.

That, Figura says in his report, “is likely due to more sellers pricing their homes higher than market value, causing the homes to take longer to sell.”

In-migration a driver

But, the buyers keep coming, drawn by what has brought them here for decades — beautiful scenery, a vibrant city and prices that may seem high to locals but are way cheaper than northern states, Florida, Texas or California.

Tom Tveidt, founder of Syneva Economics in Asheville, looked at Census data covering 2010-2016, and it shows that for the four metro counties — Buncombe, Henderson, Haywood and Madison — “essentially all of the net population change is due to new people moving in.” Of that influx, 95 percent of the newcomers are from the U.S., the rest international.

Buncombe did have a gain of 884 people from births outpacing deaths, but the other three counties had negative numbers in the “natural gain” department.

“So only about 3 percent of the net population growth in the metro was due to the local population increasing; the remaining 97 percent are newcomers,” Tveidt said. “This has been the case for at least the last decade.”

That comes as no surprise to Turner.

“I think my fear is that people with money are moving in and pushing out local people who may not have the money,” Turner said. “I feel like it’s definitely going to change the culture in the area.”

By the numbers:

Total number of residential homes, condos, townhouses, mobile homes available as of April 5: 1,134.

Number of homes put on the market since Jan. 1: 1,260.

Median asking price: $399,995 (new record high).

Number of homes sold Jan. 1-March 31, 2017: 837.

Median selling price: $255,000 (new record).

Average selling price of all homes sold in the last 12 months: $315,163 (new record).

Source: RealSearch, Don Davies. Number derived from MLS data and may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.


Continue reading...

Property Recommendation for Cash

Cash Reward for recommending a distressed property to us. 

Just fill out the form below, or call us at 828.216.5425

We buy homes and land in Buncombe and parts of some neighboring counties. Recommend a property that’s in distress, empty, or in disrepair. We flip the house into a home to raise property values!

Just fill out the form below, or call us at 828.216.5425

Please prove you are human by selecting the Tree.

Continue reading...

Asheville, Buncombe property transfers for Feb. 20-24

The following transfers were filed in the Register of Deeds office Feb. 20-24:


•    3 Glenview Road (Lot 1), $135,500, James D. and Bobbie Lynn Wooten to Eugene L. Phillips


•    20 Plemmons St. (Lot 52), $32,500, Real Trust IRA Alternatives LLC FBO James Bash IRA #20711-TR07 & FBO Kathryn Bash IRA #20709-TR07 to Blue Horizon Inc.
•    Lot 1 West Chapel Road (0.499), $48,000, Bruce B. and Laynene T. Gaskins to JCS III LLC
•    Lot 28 Thoms Estate, $305,000, Gated Communities of Asheville LLC to Bruce A. and Marjorie A. Newman
•    Lot 13 section 5 Woodland Hills, $275,000, The Michael J. and Martin and Marcelle L. Martin Living Trust to Robert A. Pligge, Sarah Heiden
•    7 Alta Ave., $169,000, The Smith Family Trust to Tyra L. Goodman, Robert M. Jackson
•    26 N. Liberty St., $530,000, Blossman Real Estate Holdings LLC to 26 Liberty LLC
•    Lot 26B of the Wildes At Chunns Cove, $385,000, Robert and Rosina Bremner (Trading as 2 Farley 2 Partners) to Ion and Olesea Ermurache

Biltmore Lake

•    Unit E-6 Woodfield Condominiums section 3, $178,000, Theresa N. Wilmerding to Kitty Marston Hoover

Black Mountain

•    Lot 3 Morgan Hill Road, $110,000, Linda and Ernest Russell to Michael A. and Regina Gilliam Knipp
•    22 Moore Circle (Lot 22 Buckners Knob), $65,000, Water’s Edge Properties LLC to Hultman Properties LLC
•    128 Broadway St., $483,000, Ice House Creations LLC to Joseph E. Cordell

Broad River

•    Lot 21 Living Waters, $350,000, John V. and Linda D. Burris to Rebecca Meredith, Janet L. Conrad

Buncombe County

•    1502 Hyde Park Drive (Biltmore Commons phase V) $145,000, the Jan Walter Bordewick Revocable Trust (a. k. a. Polynesia Island Resorts Trust) to Marsha M. Henson
•    Lot 56 section 1-A of High Meadows, $225,000, Ann G. Touzinsky to Mark and Betty-Sue Crossley
•    41 Hamilton St. (Lot 19), $70,000, Julia G. Ray Revocable Living Trust to Palas/Paly LLC
•    26 Canterbury Road (Lot D block F Beverly Hills), $300,000, PGD Real Estate LLC to Jason and Laura Gulley
•    LUnit BBB-2 Beaverdam Run Condominiums, $538,000, John William and Valerie L. Thomas to The Sarah Reaney Bevington Revocable Living Trust
•    Lot 8 High Valley Forest section 1, $264,000, McMaster Real Estate Group LLC to David Eshan
•    Lot 12 and a portion of lot 13 at Beaver Point Park, $502,500, John C. and Terri C. Frue to Gretchen Ian and Matthew Thomas Charles Brown
•    Lot 6 Anna Glenn, $125,000, Gregory Lawrence and Angela Anders Mace to Russell G. and Meghan L. Cooper
•    Lot 4 Woodridge Place, $52,000, Susan C. and Gorden F. Duckett Jr., Pamela D. and Spergion Lee Henry to James Michael and Holly Ann Jordan
•    98 Stewart St. (0.16 acre), $225,000, Joseph Chennault to Ella Pavlyuk
•    Lot 27 Reynolds Mountain phase 1, $850,000, Kevin and Nancy Leaderer to Bradley W. and Laurie K. O’Halla
•    Lot 12 Clovernook, $185,000, Lynda G. Carroll to Anita Beth Westmoreland, Mary Elizabeth Hickling-Suggs (a. k. a. Hickling Suggs)
•    Lot 4 Serenity phase 1A, $158,000, Michael Lloyd Parrish (a. k. a. Parish) to Melissa Leigh and Frithjof Hoegener


•    672 Monta Vista Road, $94,000, New Residential Mortgage Loan Trust to KT Enterprises Inc.


•    Lot 8 Ledgstone (Lot 8), $25,000, WETA LLC to Anne Marie and Gregory R. Costanzo Sr.


•    Lot 24 Moores Valley phase II, $6,000, Bayview Loan Servicing LLC to Vladimir Grebenyuk
•    Lot 20 Farmstead Subdivision, $97,000, Paul Thomas Salos to James J. and Mary Craig Goure
•    Lot 22 Meadow View Estates, $6,000, Rodney M. and Betty H. Sparkman to Judith M. Baker, Anne Dumont Cooke


•    Lot 40 section I St. Andrews Brookwood Community, $221,000, Jennifer Brooks and Thomas Dalton to Alison Ann and John Brennan Norvell II


•    Lots 184 & 184 A of Beacon Manufacturing, $80,000, Michael D. and Melissa K. Harrin to Henry C. McGuire

Upper Hominy

•    6 Wise Road, $26,000, Kevin Brooks to Joffrey W. and Della J. Brooks


•    Lot 13 Reems Creek Town Homes phase 2A, $210,000, Erin M. and Paul J. Lusignan to Frederick M. and Elizabeth H. Bracklein

Compiled by Citizen-Times News Correspondent Bonnie Black

Continue reading...

Asheville realtor seeks franchisees for second-home property management company

Press release from media representative on behalf of Eye On Your Home:

ASHEVILLE, NC, FEBRUARY 2017 – A chance to turn adversity into opportunity inspired realtor Melissa Rulli to create the innovative franchise opportunity, Eye On Your Home.

Eye On Your Home is a leader in the second home property management business, specializing in watching over and caring for second homes for absentee owners. With thousands of second homes across the nation, Eye On Your Home offers a unique opportunity to tap into and profit from this huge industry.

Melissa Rulli, founder and owner, has more than seven years experience in this niche business, operating Eye On Your Home since 2010. Prior to starting the business, she worked as a North Carolina real estate broker. When the real estate market took a tumble during the later years of the last decade, Melissa created this opportunity for success, first for herself, and now for others with the Eye On Your Home franchise opportunity.

“This is a Blue Ocean opportunity not filled,” Melissa said. “There are thousands of second homes across the nation that do not have any support when their owners are not present. Owners are looking for a company with consistent service, systems, and core values that support their valuable investment. Now with Eye On Your Home territories available nationally, absentee owners can have that kind of support.”

Eye On Your Home is the FIRST second home property management company that is a trademarked brand for the industry. Western North Carolina, where Eye On Your Home was born and currently operates in Fletcher, has at least 15 territories available in the mountains alone. These include Boone, Banner Elk, Linville, Wolf Laurel, Weaverville, Black Mountain, Asheville, Arden/Fletcher, Highlands, Cashiers, Hendersonville, Flat Rock, Brevard, Lake Lure, Saluda, and Waynesville/Sylva. Other territories will be opening soon.

Eye On Your Home franchises are sold by territory, based on miles or demographics, which are evaluated and determined.

“This niche market has very little support,” Melissa said. “The few mom and pop operations that try to serve the market do not have the same broad support for emergencies, maintenance, concierge and even remodels. There is nothing that Eye On Your Home cannot facilitate for a client. Our Motto is ‘What can we do to make your life easier?’ We take the stress and burden of owning a second home off the owners’ shoulders, so they can show up, turn the key, and enjoy.”

Eye On Your Home has expanded operations to support all home ownership, from vacant for sale, homes in trust, local owners, builders and VRBOs. For franchisees, Eye On Your Home is a proven, successful company that will train, mentor, and support a franchisee with knowledge, systems, training and experience.

“A mentor/protégé relationship is what buying an Eye On Your Home franchise all is about.” Melissa said. “We’ll get your business up and running faster, smoother and more efficiently than starting from scratch. You will always have a mentor who cares and is invested in your success.”

Melissa’s goal is for each and every franchisee to feel like family and for them to know she is 100% invested in her vision to provide a consistent, trained and supported model to the clients out there that need an “Eye.”

“An Eye On Your Home franchise is a modest investment, home based, flexible, community integrated business that has grateful clients, untapped income potential, and little or no overhead,” Melissa said.

A great fit for an Eye On Your Home franchisee is someone who has the following skillsets: task management abilities, macro vision, networking strengths, business know-how, strong communication skills, creativity, tenacity, innovation and a can-do mentality. You do not need a real estate license to do this work, since it does not handle sales or tenancy.

To learn more about this exciting opportunity to be a part of the FIRST Second home property management company available, getting in on the ground floor please contact Melissa Rulli at or visit the website at

Continue reading...

Feb 2017: Buncombe County breaking homes sales, price records

The real estate market in Asheville and Buncombe County is setting records with home prices and sales.

RealSearch, a market analysis firm run by Don Davies, closely tracks area real estate. Data shows 2016 was a record-breaking year for real estate in Asheville. The average asking price for a home was $591,207. The old record high was in 2015 with $524,015. And 2016 also saw a record high for the number of homes sold with 4,234. The previous record was set was in 2006 with 4,120 homes sold.

Davies also reports 2016 saw a record for average home sale price at $309,443. The old record, set in 2007, was $293,508.

Beverly Hanks agent Tara Irby sold a Haw Creek home in two days after listing it for $299,000. The price for the four-bed three-bath home resonated with a market that has a tight inventory for homes that size and in that price range. Last Thursday, calls immediately came in to see the home.

“Between 4 and 5 p.m., the house hit the Multiple Listing Service. And immediately I started receiving calls to show it the next day,” Irby said. “On Friday, this house showed six times, and out of those six showings we received two offers.”

“The market’s incredibly hot,” Laura Dyer, with Dwell Realty/Keller Williams, said.

Dyer said she has been extremely busy for months, and showings did not slow down during the holidays.

“We’re thrilled in the real estate market to see prices rise. People are having to compromise where they’re looking just to get into the area because they know they want to be here.”

via by Kimberly King

Continue reading...

Home values up 35% from 2013 (AVL); taxes could increase

The last countywide appraisal was done in 2013, when the market had bottomed out but stabilized, according to Keith Miller, real estate manager at the Buncombe County Real Estate Assessment Office. Miller said actual property taxes and the bills don’t go out until June and are not calculated yet. But he said Asheville homeowners will likely see their property taxes go up, although it’s not clear by how much.

Miller said the county tax rate is being adjusted, which will prevent drastic increases.

“I think some will have sticker shock,” Miller said. “I think many of our citizens don’t keep up with the real estate market.”

The office has released maps that indicate specific neighborhoods have seen significant increases in home values from 2013. Montford home values on average have risen 38 percent, while home values in North and West Asheville have had an average increase of 40 percent.

Oakley has posted increases of 31 percent. And a pocket of downtown Asheville has seen condo sale prices rise by 40 percent.

Alternatively, some areas in the county could see property taxes go down because the overall tax rate will be adjusted countywide for property owners. Fairview homeowners have seen home prices rise by 15 percent, but Sandy Mush homes have increased overall by 3 percent.

Jeff Greiner has owned a home in South Asheville for more than 15 years. He’s using equity in his home for his business.

“I certainly have seen our property value go up in a recent appraisal that we had on our property,” Greiner said.

“It’s inevitable that our taxes our going to go up,” said Terry Tincher, real estate manager at Sotheby’s in Biltmore Village. But Tincher hopes property taxes won’t increase so much that it discourages buyers.

“A lot of people coming into this area, say ‘I’m coming from New Jersey and I want to come into the Asheville market because I don’t want to pay those rates,’” Tincher said.

Miller said the new interactive map goes live online on Thursday. The site will show parcels and recent sales of homes and lots and commercial properties. Home appraisals will go out next week in the mail. Tax bills will go out this June. Homeowners are welcome to appeal tax bills but must present convincing evidence to show the value is incorrect. The website will also have information on the appraisal process.

Property Appraisal Information:

  • Home Appraisal website (goes live Thursday 1/26/17)
  • Buncombe County Real Estate Office: 828-250-4940
  • Address: 94 Cox Avenue Downtown walk-in customers welcome (park in lot across the street)

via by Kimberly King Wednesday, January 25th 2017

Continue reading...

Current Tax Foreclosures – Asheville NC

A list of the tax foreclosures in Asheville NC:

Name, PIN and Case # Location & Bid Information Date and Time

______________________ ___________________________ _____________________

KENNETH RAY DUKES, LEICESTER Beck Drive PIN#: 9710-73-2178-0000 2.16 acres, more or less Case#: 16 CVD 3372 (JE) REDEEMED RALPH SMITH, individually and as FRENCH BROAD Executor and Trustee under the 2292 Old Marshall Hwy Will of CARL F. FELTS, JR., PIN#: 9722-69-6659-0000 .15 acres, more or less Current Bid: $21,051.57 185 Old Marshall Hwy PIN#: 9722-69-5882-0000 .34 acres, more or less Current Bid: $24,370.63 2312 Old Marshall Hwy PIN#: 9722-69-5947-0000 .24 acres, more or less Case#: 15 CVD 2678 (SC) EXPIRED ______________________________________________________________________________

LORI S. EMORY, IVY Charcoal Road PIN#: 9765-28-1977-00000 9.89 acres, more or less Case#: 16 CVD 2294 (JE) Current Bid: $48,636.00 Bid Expires: 1/30/17 @ 5:00pm ______________________________________________________________________________

PETER GOULART, FAIRVIEW 17 Laurel Brook Drive PIN#: 9696-89-9899-0000 1.01 acres, more or less Case#: 16 CVD 3025 (SC) Current Bid: $47,825.00 Bid Expires: 1/23/17 @ 5:00pm ______________________________________________________________________________

CHARIS & COMPANY, LLC, FAIRVIEW Mission Lane PIN#: 9685-86-6165-0000 4.13 acres, more or less Mission Lane PIN#: 9685-85-5779-0000 .06 acres, more or less Case#: 16 CVD 1511 (JF) Current Bid: $30,000.00 Bid Expires: 1/23/17 @ 5:00pm ______________________________________________________________________________

THE HEIRS OF J.B. DAVIS, FAIRVIEW 169 Laurel Haven Road PIN#: 9696-85-8965-0000 2.91 acres, more or less Case#: 16 CVD 3370 (JE) Current Bid: $23,517.89 Bid Expires: 1/23/17 @ 5:00pm ______________________________________________________________________________

THE HEIRS OF ELEANOR SUE BROWN, SWANNANOA 17 New Salem Road PIN#: 9678-89-8295-0000 .45 acres, more or less Case#: 16 CVD 3787 (JE) Current Bid: $50,000.00 Bid Expires: 1/30/17 @ 5:00pm ______________________________________________________________________________

ALAN BRYAN EDMONDS, FLAT CREEK Edmonds Road PIN#: 9744-12-0703-0000 1.12 acres, more or less Case#: 16 CVD 3714 (JE) Current Bid: $8,475.72 Bid Expires: 1/27/17 @ 5:00pm ______________________________________________________________________________

MARIE ANTONIENTTE FREEMAN CANDLER, LEICESTER AND CHARLES M. CANDLER 33 Wesley Drive PIN#: 8792-79-3598-0000 3.05 acres, more or less Case#: 16 CVD 4742 (MB) Opening Bid: $3,980.46 January 24, 2017 @ 11:30am ______________________________________________________________________________

JOSEPH PINNER, JR., LIMESTONE Surrey Run PIN#: 9655-71-4017-0000 .64 acres, more or less Case#: 16 CVD 2587 (SC) Opening Bid: 3,750.00 January 26, 2017 @ 11:45am

Continue reading...