Cash for House Asheville NC · 828-216-5425
Buying: Homes. Land. Mobiles. Foreclosures.

Social Stream

Superfund site near N.C. homes causes uproar

Superfund site near N.C. homes causes uproar

new-housing-developmentvia Associated Press | ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Developer Richard Green had nearly everything in place to build upscale homes on the heavily polluted land next to an old electronic components plant in the mountains outside Asheville. All he needed was a permit.
So when the local board of adjustment asked whether the site had hazardous materials, Green said there was only a slight level of the cancer-causing industrial solvent trichloroethylene, or TCE, below the factory. He then said he had a letter from state environmental regulators saying they were OK with the construction plans. They say they weren’t.
Another developer, Stanley Greenberg, told the board that federal environmental regulators also had given a green light to build. They say they hadn’t.
By the time of that August 1997 meeting, Greenberg and the partners had known about the contamination at the plant for a decade and were preparing to sell much of the land to Green for development of a project called Southside Village, according to an Associated Press review of documents that reveal how a subdivision came to be built next door to what is now a Superfund site.
Two years ago, the EPA named the 9 acres beneath and immediately around the former CTS Corp. factory among the nation’s worst abandoned hazardous waste sites.
“Who’s going to buy property … next to a Superfund site?” said Judy Selz, who did purchase 3 acres in Southside Village in 2006 — six years before the Superfund designation — and is one of dozens of land and homeowners worried now about whether it’s safe to live there.

Read More:

Continue reading...

Real Estate People in Asheville NC 2014

Real Estate People in Asheville NC 2014

Century 21 Weaverville, 145 Garrison Branch Road, named their top agents for November.

Sales agent: Norval Hensley

List agent: D.J. Sours

Production agent: Norval Hensley and Carl Whitt.

Carney Place honored with award

Carney Place, a 22-home neighborhood in West Asheville, was honored with a 2014 Housing North Carolina Award, presented during the 25th annual Housing North Carolina Awards luncheon at the Raleigh Convention Center on Oct. 15.

The award recognizes the partnership between the Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity and the city of Asheville that created an affordable, energy-efficient community of single-family homes available to moderate-income buyers.

Keller Williams names top producers

Keller Williams Professionals, 86 Asheland Ave., named their top agents for October.

Group: Patton and Lee Group for closed, listing and written volume.

Team: Clevenger Bailey Team for written volume, Team Streppa for closed volume and WNC Realty Professionals for listing volume.

Individual: Vicki Dunkerley for written volume, Rory Heller for closed volume and Jason Brodsky for listing volume.

For listing volume: group

Second: Broker Asheville

Third: Asheville And Beyond Real Estate Group


Second: The Local Team

Third: Mountain Connect Team


Second: Vicki Dunkerley

Third: Mary Love

Lapointe named training coordinator with Exit

Wanda Marie Lapointe is Exit Realty Vistas new training coordinator.

Lapointe is a broker with Exit Realty Vistas, one of the fastest growing real estate firms in the Carolinas. A Realtor since 2012, she has been affiliated with Exit Realty Vistas for two years.

She is a member of the Asheville Board of Realtors, an Accredited Buyer Representative, a Preferred Agent with the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, has earned the OwnAmerica Investment Certification awarded by the OwnAmerica Network, a national affiliation of real estate investment specialists, and is a certified Peak Producer Mentor through Buffini and Company.

Lapointe comes with an extensive background of more than 15 years as a speaker, trainer and Certified Master Coach through the Behavioral Coaching Institute.

Exit Realty Vistas is at 4 Long Shoals Road. Visit for more information.

Continue reading...

Asheville walking group invites everyone to Lake Junaluska event

Asheville walking group invites everyone to Lake Junaluska event

After moving to Asheville years ago, Dennis and Judy Michele wanted to explore their new environs.

That is, by foot.

So the retired couple, after spending the first few years exploring popular hiking trails and driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway, joined a walking group in Asheville that schedules scenic walks year-round.

“You see so much more,” Judy said of walking.

The activity has remained a focal point for the 72-year-old couple.

Since their first walk with the group, the Asheville Amblers, at the North Carolina Arboretum, they have taken strolls together in every state and countries abroad. That includes all 100 counties in North Carolina.

The backdrop of their latest one is Lake Junaluska, this weekend.

Expected to draw more than 30 people, the walk will cover about 10 kilometers, or a little more than six miles, around the man-made lake. It is one of two dozen walks the group arranges each year around the region and throughout South Carolina.

The group is using the date of the walk — which starts at 10:11 a.m. on 12/13/14 — to promote walking as a healthy activity, offering both physical and mental benefits.

It’s one of many events under the national “Time to Walk” umbrella, organized for that day and time by the American Volkssport Association ( to promote the health benefits of regular walking.

Those, of course, are no secret.

“Everyone knows that walking is good for you,” said Perry Rawson, president of the Asheville group.

But for the Micheles, it is also a chance to socialize.

While they make it a point to walk as often as possible near their home in Fairview, they say they enjoy sharing walks with their peers. They joined the group within two years of moving to the area from Virginia Beach in the early 1990s, after Dennis took a job with an industrial real estate company after serving as a U.S. Navy officer.

Unlike a group focused on, say, power walking, this group has not the slightest competitive edge, with members free to stray from the trail or even stop altogether halfway through. (The trails overseen by the group, however, are required to stretch at least 10 kilometers.)

“It takes time,” Judy said of the group’s walks, which sometimes involve stops at garage sales and museums, or even just for lunch.

The group has about 150 members, many of them elderly. It was created nearly 35 years ago by the American Volkssport Association, a nationwide walking group part of an international one that started in Germany.

A friendly bunch, they expect to gather after the Dec. 13 walk for an annual Christmas party at a restaurant in nearby Waynesville.

The group holds particular significance for Dennis, who is president of the nationwide group and oversees walking trails for the Asheville one. Living with Type 2 diabetes, he finds the activity helps him lower his blood-sugar levels — without seeming too routine.

“It’s not a chore,” Dennis said, calling the activity “worthwhile.”


Join the Asheville Amblers for a free walk at 10:11 a.m. Dec. 13 — that is, at 10:11 on 12/13/14 — at the Bethea Welcome Center, 91 N. Lakeshore Drive, Lake Junaluska, with 5K and 10K routes around the lake at walkers’ own pace. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m.; membership is not required. The event is part of a national walking event organized by the American Volkssport Association. To learn more, visit

Continue reading...

Asheville North Carolina Sizzling Hot Job Market Today Provides Ample Opportunities to Relocating Boomers

Asheville North Carolina Sizzling Hot Job Market Today Provides Ample Opportunities to Relocating Boomers

2014-07-11 18.52.12-2Real Estate Scorecard is an industry leader of online real estate reviews, keeping buyers informed about what’s happening at the most popular gated communities and best cities to live in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

The job market always a significant factor when relocating to a new area of the United States. Folks living in the gated communities in Asheville can be rest assured in knowing that the Asheville job market is sizzling hot and burning up even more as new opportunities present themselves. Home loan lenders have been welcoming more homebuyers to the market over the past 5 years with low mortgage rates. The Asheville NC university and photography schools are booming seeing increased attendance rates. Even the tourist industry is growing as Asheville attracts more outdoor enthusiasts interested in family vacations in the mountains. The job market is sizzling this season and this is a perfect time to discover life on this side of North Carolina.

The Western North Carolina job market has announced some impressive statistics about its job market recently. Since its peak in 2007, the number of jobs have increased to more than 1,700. The economy is earning back the jobs lost from the recession in this four-county Asheville MSA, and this area currently has the lowest unemployment rate among all 14 metros of North Carolina. Since September 2013, the unemployment rate dropped from 5.5% to 4.6% according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Health Services, Private Education, Professional and Business Services industries are contributing numbers to these statistics, and more are expected to follow suit as time goes on.
These studies and the spectacular events and activities are piquing interests of retirees and their families interested in settling down in the gated communities in Asheville. The heart of Asheville is a perfect place to visit during family vacations or for potential students touring the Asheville NC university. The seasonal festivals, concerts and performances are popular draws to the area. Even the local photography schools offer classes for retirees seeking to try out new hobbies photographing scenic outlooks on the Blue Ridge Parkway and more. Home loan lenders continue to stand by with competitive mortgage rates for Baby Boomers interested in the popular neighborhoods in close proximity to downtown Asheville helping them make a permanent move into their dream home. Check out some gated communities in Asheville in the heated up home buying market:
1) Reynolds Mountain overlooks downtown Asheville and is perfect for those who want to hang on to the city life a little bit longer into the starlite sky. The dazzling mountaintop views of the city sweep anyone off their feet, along with the convenient amenities like its urban village at the base of the mountain with a YMCA health facility, outdoor cafes and more.
2) Biltmore Lake is a 62-acre scenic lake located in the center of Asheville. This luxury home community is also one of the top family-oriented neighborhoods in the area. Complete with multiple community parks, 4.2 miles of hiking and walking trails, children’s playground, ball courts a more, this place has something for everyone. The family vacations continue forever living at this gem of a mountain community in Asheville, North Carolina.
3) Southcliff is not just any mountaintop neighborhood. It is upscale community in close proximity to the city, Blue Ridge Parkway entrance and Asheville NC university. The convenient location, mountain setting with five community parks and six miles of walking trails is a picture of perfection for nature-lovers. The strategically placed rustic furniture and outdoor accents focus on the natural terrain and enhance the experience of the outdoors year round.
4) Village of Cheshire at Black Mountain is the quintessential town village framed by mountain homes which can be seen from miles around. Folks do not have to be artists to appreciate the beauty of this community. Retirees and families living here appreciate the convenient access to amenities like: The Village Center, six tennis courts, community parks, indoor swimming pool, racquet club and fitness center. Comfort and country meet in this village- inspired community!
5) The Ramble at Biltmore Forest continues to be the talk of the town with its 1,000 acres of curated forests and amazing perks. Everybody wants to live in The Ramble in close proximity to downtown Asheville and enjoy the saline swimming pool, explore the hiking and biking trail system and stroll through all four community parks.
These are just a few of the mountain communities in high demand thanks to the job market boom in Asheville, North Carolina. Folks have plenty of opportunities to find a full-time or part-time jobs in order to easily qualify with local home loan lenders or splurge on one of the photography classes at the Asheville NC university as they get to know the area.
Real Estate Scorecard recommends talking with Sean McLaughlin of Mountain Oak Properties to discover all the friendliest Asheville neighborhoods.
About Real Estate Scorecard:
Real Estate Scorecard writes unbiased real estate reviews providing in-depth information about popular gated communities in Florida,
Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, all in an effort to help people discover where to retire in the Southeast.

Asheville, North Carolina (PRWEB) November 27, 2014 | credit/more:

Continue reading...

Has Asheville’s $5M environmental effort been worth it?

This city has long been known for its “green” vibe, where recycling is seen as a moral imperative and bicycle racks are bursting on warm days.

It was in 2007, though, that a watershed moment emerged for Asheville environmentalism. The City Council voted 6-1 to join the fight against climate change, cutting atmosphere-warming carbon emissions from municipal operations. The goal is an 80 percent reduction in metric tons of carbon dioxide by 2030.

Asheville created a special sustainability office, hired an employee, and in 2008 started the work in earnest. In the next six years, city workers audited buildings for energy use, swapped out old streetlights and ramped up recycling.

Now, the city’s first sustainability officer, Maggie Ullman, has departed and some are taking stock of the program, which has cut emissions by almost 25 percent. They are looking at where to go next and whether the cost — $4.8 million so far — was worth it.

“My answer would be a very strong, ‘yes,'” said Duncan McPherson, a vice president of Samsel Architects and member of the city Sustainability Advisory Committee on Energy and the Environment. “A lot of the return on that investment is going to continue to be actualized for decades, particularly with the LED streetlights that were installed.”

Critics such as Mac Swicegood, though, say the city’s energies would be much better spent on things such as updating a transportation infrastructure that can make or break Western North Carolina’s economic future.

“We’ve got more important things to do in spending taxpayer dollars,” said Swicegood, a local real estate appraiser.

Even among backers of carbon-cutting initiatives, a period of soul searching and political wrangling lies ahead. Questions include where to focus and what is realistic, considering costs and voters’ sentiments. Composting, anti-flood control and charging for garbage by weight are all on the menu.


Continue reading...

Dear John: No banking on foreclosures

Buying Foreclosures & Distressed Homes in WNC / Asheville NC: 828.216.5425

Article courtesy of:

Dear John: I read an article in The Post headlined “Many New Yorkers living in foreclosure limbo” that said banks are dragging their feet on foreclosures in the NY metro area.

A few years ago, I settled numerous credit-card account debts, and in the process, without fail, every bank representative that I was in contact with harped repeatedly that it was important that I “get back on track.”

So it puzzles me as to why they are not taking their own advice to get back on track and are stalling eager homeowners who want to finally put this Great Recession in the rear-view mirror! What do you think? E.D.

Dear E.D.: Ah, banks are not taking their own advice! What a surprise.

I have no idea why banks won’t help homeowners out, but I can guess. One, banks are bureaucracies that don’t function swiftly. And the longer you have an issue with a bank, the more the paperwork piles up and the harder it is to get through that paperwork.

Or, two, banks don’t believe houses will retain the value that has built up over the past couple of years. So they are afraid that they will refinance — or even take control of a house — and be caught in the next down cycle.

I think both of those reasons are coming into play.

Dear John: We wanted to get your opinion on the mortgage interest rates next year.

We are looking to buy another house and move, but with two young kids, moving in the winter is difficult.

However, we are very worried about the mortgage interest rates rising next year, since quantitative easing is ending.

We live in New Jersey so, as you know, prices in decent neighborhoods are through the roof.

Would you advise to sell/buy as soon as possible (i.e., the rates might skyrocket 1 percent or more), or should we stop worrying and wait until spring? I & M

Dear I & M: I have no idea what you should do because there’s no telling where mortgage rates will be next year.

Last week, for instance, rates on a 30-year mortgage went from 3.92 percent to 4.15 percent overnight just because QE was ending. Then people gave more thought to the matter and rates dropped to 3.9 percent.

There is no question that interest rates are artificially low and the bond prices (which move in the opposite direction of rates) are in a bubble that could pop at any moment.

But will that moment come in December or in April or sometime in 2020? Who knows.

One key factor, of course, is what the Federal Reserve says and does. But with the economy still not performing well here or overseas, the Fed is likely to be frozen in place for a while.

But other factors influence interest rates more than the Fed does.

If the world economy, for instance, suddenly booms, all interest rates could rise rapidly. There’s probably little chance of that happening over the next year.

Or if foreign investors — meaning, the Chinese — decide they don’t want to buy US government bonds anymore, that, too, could cause rates to rise.

Here’s my personal experience: It’s better to let housing prices rather than interest rates influence your decision. You can never reduce the amount you paid for a house. But if you get a higher-than-necessary interest rate, you can always refinance when rates come down if you stay in the house long enough.

In other words, a bad purchase price is forever. A bad interest rate can be changed.

And when rates do go up, housing prices will come down.

Dear John: You have been saying the same crap since January 2009 — you know, since Obama’s decisions saved your butt, mine and the rest of this country from the depression the GOP policies had us heading for. If you have a hard time remembering, look at the mess Kansas Republicans made of their state. D.H.

Dear D.H.: Yep, I’ve been saying since 2009 that the economy wasn’t growing very much, that economic data were misleading (and in some cases, falsified) and I — most recently — predicted that this would all be important in the most recent election.

Yep, I was right.

As for 2009, if you want to credit anyone with saving the US financial system (which needed saving mainly because Republicans and Democrats in Washington panicked), you’d have to give credit to the Federal Reserve, especially to Ben Bernanke and his radical money-printing operation.

But Bernanke went wrong when he kept quantitative easing going much too long. He didn’t have an exit strategy, so like the guy on a roller coaster who can’t unbuckle his seat belt, Bernanke kept going round and round with QE.

And the country’s now dizzy — the rich are richer, middle-class savers have lost trillions in interest income and nobody, including the poor, can find an adequate number of good jobs.
Other good things happened, too. Borrowers got better deals, including the US Treasury, whose deficit and overall debt would be much worse if rates were at normal levels.

The trouble is, in this environment, people aren’t confident enough to borrow and build — no matter what the rate.

Oh, wait, I forgot to mention Obama. Was he President through all this? I remember he gave a few speeches so, yes, I guess he was.

Continue reading...

Why more homes are being sold at foreclosure auctions even though the foreclosure crisis is over

Buying Foreclosures Now: 828-216-5425

Why more homes are being sold at foreclosure auctions even though the foreclosure crisis is over

Six years after the housing bust, lenders are still offloading homes that have been in foreclosure limbo. And they’re stepping up their efforts.

In October alone, nearly 60,000 of those homes were scheduled to be auctioned off by banks, up 24 percent from the previous month and seven percent from a year ago, according to RealtyTrac, a housing data firm. That’s the highest level since May 2013.

These types of auctions do not typically attract traditional buyers. They appeal to investors with lots of cash who can stomach the idea of buying a home without stepping foot in it first. Many of the homes are occupied at auction time, which means potential buyers often can’t determine a home’s condition before purchasing it.

While lenders filed notices about these auctions in October, not all of the homes at issue were put up for sale immediately.

The reasons behind the uptick in auctions are slightly different in every state, said Daren Blomquist, a vice president at Realty Trac. But the underlying theme is that banks are finally getting around to clearing a backlog of foreclosures that have been delayed.

Some of the delays were in states that require a lengthy court approval process for every foreclosure, such as Maryland. In other cases, states passed laws to slow down the foreclosure process or lenders bungled their handling of foreclosure documents.   Some of the nation’s largest banks reached a settlement with state attorneys general to address those practices.

Separately, lenders also had an incentive to delay, said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at They were basically waiting for home prices to rise, as they have in the past two years. That way they could get a better return on those homes, McBride said.

While there is no longer a deluge of foreclosures hobbling the housing market, the auctions that are underway are a reminder of the residual effects of the crisis. “The rise in foreclosure auctions indicates that the banks and the courts are preparing for a spring cleaning,” Blomquist said.

Homes that don’t sell at auction are typically then offered for sale in the traditional way, so if  investors don’t spot the bargains they want, there may be more foreclosures available for the general public to purchase — also known as REOs.

Buyers in Maryland, for instance, may see more of them on the market. The state had the highest foreclosure rate in the nation last month, with one in every 400 homes in some stage of foreclosure.  The scheduled auctions in Maryland climbed 12 percent in October from a year ago. The number of REOs for sale shot up 190 percent.

Other states with the highest foreclosure rates were Florida, Nevada, Ohio and Illinois.

RealtyTrac also compiled data on foreclosure rates among the nation’s 20 largest metropolitan areas. Baltimore, where one in every 435 homes was in some stage of foreclosure, topped that list — just ahead of Miami and Tampa.

Overall, foreclosure activity increased from a year ago in 10 of the nation’s 20 largest metro areas. Among them was Washington, D.C., which does not require court approval of foreclosures.  The city has had its share of foreclosure delays due to a local law adopted in 2010 that required lenders to offer struggling homeowners a shot at mediation before foreclosure.  Now, lenders are moving forward with D.C. foreclosures.

Courtest of: Dina ElBoghdady covers housing policy for The Washington Post.

Continue reading...

Jim Hunt campaigning for NC Democratic candidates

Jim Hunt campaigning for NC Democratic candidates

Jim Hunt hasn’t campaigned for himself in 18 years, but North Carolina’s favorite Democrat is revving up the party faithful again while he stumps for legislative candidates and repeats his longtime clarion call to support the public schools.

Associates of the former governor say Hunt is heavily involved in this fall’s General Assembly elections, where Democrats hope to whittle down Republican veto-proof majorities in the House and Senate.

Hunt, who served four terms as governor from 1977 to 1985 and from 1993 to 2001, has been the featured guest at fundraising events for several individual Democratic candidates.

Hunt also was to headline a private joint fundraiser for the Senate and House Democratic caucus Thursday evening at a Raleigh home. Organizers hoped to draw about 100 people and collect $70,000 for get-out-the-vote efforts for their races.

Distress over Republican education policy, particularly on teacher pay, is what’s driving Hunt, now 77, to get more involved, according to fellow Democrats who’ve seen him on the campaign trail.

“He is really upset with what’s happening and he’s working as hard as I’ve ever seen him work — almost as hard as when he was on the ballot himself,” said Gary Pearce, a longtime Democratic consultant, former Hunt adviser and biographer.

Pearce hosted an event for House candidate Kim Hanchette. Having Hunt speak for her gave Hanchette credibility, Pearce said. Earlier this week, Hunt stumped for former Sen. Stan White, D-Dare, who is looking to regain his old seat in November.

Hunt lost an epic U.S. Senate race to Republican Jesse Helms in 1984, but he rebounded with two more gubernatorial terms and has attained elder-statesman status in state politics since leaving the Executive Mansion.

“You don’t want to call him an icon, but he is,” said House Minority Leader Larry Hall, D-Durham, who’s had Hunt in attendance for three events.

Attempts over the past two weeks to interview Hunt about his activities were unsuccessful. An email and other messages seeking comment went unanswered. A message left on a phone listed for Hunt wasn’t immediately returned Thursday.

Hunt told The Charlotte Observer in February he was involved in raising money for legislative candidates but declined to elaborate.

“There are business and civic leaders deeply concerned about education . and jobs,” Hunt said a state Democratic Party dinner. “They’re very concerned about what’s happened to our teachers.”

As he did in the late 1990s during his final term, Hunt earlier this year supported an effort to raise teacher pay. He advocates boosting it to the national average in the next four years.

Republican legislators and Gov. Pat McCrory took a different route, approving average pay raises of 7 percent, with early-career teachers receiving the largest races as a way to promote their retention. Some more experienced teachers, however, got increases of 3 percent and less.

That wasn’t good enough, Hunt wrote in a column printed in newspapers this month. Hunt put most of the blame for current education troubles upon Republicans, while acknowledging that both parties should take some responsibility for recent setbacks, and preaching for bipartisanship in 2015.

“The current state leadership continues to keep our public schools on a bare subsistence diet and makes education policies that are an affront to teachers, especially experienced ones,” he wrote.

Hunt, who’s lived most of his life in Wilson County, retired from the Womble Carlyle law firm at end of 2012. He remains involved the Institute for Emerging Issues at North Carolina State University and an education institute bearing his name.

read more: via Gary D. Robertson, Associated Press8:14 a.m. EDT September 27, 2014 

Continue reading...

SECU Plaza: Asheville Council sells naming rights to State Employee’s Credit Union

Asheville City Council voted unanimously Oct. 28 to sell the naming rights of an outdoor public space in the heart of downtown to the North Carolina State Employee’s Credit Union Foundation.

In exchange for signage designating the corner of Biltmore and Patton avenues as “SECU Plaza,” the financial institution will give the adjacent Asheville Art Museum $1.5 million.

In a letter to Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer requesting approval, the director of the museum, Pamela Myers, said the funding would be “critical” to completing planned renovations at the site. The city approved a controversial new leasing arrangement for the museum in July that allows it to sell naming rights only with Council’s approval.

However, the museum’s deal with the credit union had been in the works since 2013 without Council’s involvement. And although Council approved the final measure, several members said they were troubled that the museum entered into a contract naming the city-owned property before seeking approval from the city.

read more: Posted on

Continue reading...