CREIA

PAYING FOR LAND

For most people, buying a house is a major undertaking. When it comes to buying land, the process can be even more overwhelming. There are numerous things to consider and additional inspections and processes that must occur during the buying process. It is imperative that you work with a Realtor who understands the ins-and-outs of the land-buying process.

The first consideration is the same as buying a house. How are you going to pay for your purchase? Most banks and lenders do not give loans on land. If they do, the down payment is usually large and the interest rate may be more. It is usually local lenders who understand the area that have land-lending programs. Be sure to ask you Realtor for recommendations. Occasionally, sellers may be willing to owner-finance provided the buyer can give a large down payment.

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PLANNED ECO VILLAGES

These types of communities are referred to by several different names. They may be Pocket Communities, Front Porch Communities, Cottage Communities, or ECO Villages. Regardless of the name, they all have a common goal. The intent is to create a community of houses with a shared space and a common intention. These planned villages differ from typical subdivisions centering around a golf course or swimming pool as they are designed to promote friendly interaction and shared responsibilities.

The more successful projects have a lower number of people and houses, which allow each other to get to know their neighbors. Many of these groupings share walking trails, gardens, as well as a community building that may or may not be a central area for everyone to meet on a regular basis. More than just passing each other while enjoying the amenities, the community works together to help with the upkeep, ensuring that they know and help their neighbors.

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QUESTIONS FOR A REALTOR WHO SPECIALIZES IN GREEN HOMES

BUYERS AND SELLERS

  • Do you have special training in Green Homes?
  • Do you have certifications? Are they up to date?
  • How long have you been specializing in Green Homes?
  • How many Green Homes have you sold or helped buyers with in the past year?
  • Do you have a list of preferred Green Builders?
  • What organizations are you a member of that relate to Green Building?
  • What types of Green Home Certification are available in this area?
  • How do you know if a house is certified?
  • Do you know any Raters?
  • What Green Communities are in the area?
  • Are all homes that have solar Green?
  • What does Energy Star certified mean?

SELLERS

  • What will you do differently than a standard Realtor to market the Green Features of my house?
  • Attachments—certifications, checklists, appraisal form, cost savings?
  • Information sheets on items around home?
  • Special websites?
  • Riders?
  • Tours?
  • Educate other Realtors?

QUESTIONS FOR A BUILDER

  • What’s your definition of Green building?
  • What rating systems (Green Built NC, LEED, etc.) have you used and how does building a certified home differ from your normal building methods?
  • Who are your sub-contractors and how long have you been working with them?
  • What makes your homes energy efficient?
  • What makes your homes durable?
  • What type of windows do you recommend?
  • What heating and cooling systems do you use?
  • Can you make provisions for future PV installation?
  • What decisions will I need to make and when?
  • Who will be my main point of contact?
  • How do you charge for your time - contract price? Allowances? Cost plus? Change orders?
  • Do you always check references and look at jobs in progress and their past work?

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WHAT IS BUILD GREEN REAL ESTATE?

Build Green Real Estate is an educational collaboration between the Asheville Home Builders Association, Land of the Sky Association of Realtors and Greenbuilt Alliance. By attending this class, you’ll be able to apply the knowledge and best practices directly to your business for building and selling green real estate. In an effort to educate industry professionals on construction-related material from codes, energy efficiency, green appraisals and lending to green homes - this course has been created by professionals for professionals! The course is offered several times throughout the year. Be sure to check back often for updates! 

WE UNDERSTAND REAL ESTATE INVESTING BECAUSE WE ARE INVESTORS

We have a unique understanding of real estate investing because we have personal experience with property management, flips, new construction, and renters at our personal home.

Throughout the years, we have created a TEAM of handypeople, contractors, subs, attorneys, tax accountants, and more. We are members of CREIA and Bigger Pockets, and yes, we have also taken those courses promoted by those TV personalities.

Our goal is to create a long-term relationship with you as an investor and provide you information and insights that become invaluable. When you think about investing in real estate, you will automatically call Love The Green.

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    ASK THE WIFE

    We like to talk, so for Deb and me it is often easier to create a video. Be sure to visit our YouTube channel!

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      WINTER TIPS AND REMINDERS

      At heart, I’m a good ole' country girl. I lived on a big farm growing up and was very familiar with the numerous tasks involved during the winter months. Later in adulthood, I moved to Long Beach, CA and the thought of freezing pipes and well pumps faded from my memory. 

      Now that I’m back home in the mountains, I sometimes laugh at the questions my warm weather friends and clients ask. However, I understand the uncertainty that the winter months can bring.

      There are some common sense practices that you can do at the beginning of the winter. So with that in mind, I offer these suggestions:

      • ONCE NIGHT-TIME TEMPERATURES ARE IN THE 30S OR BELOW, CLOSE YOUR CRAWLSPACE VENTS.
      • ONCE NIGHT-TIME TEMPERATURES ARE IN THE 30S OR BELOW, EMPTY YOUR RAIN BARRELS AND WATER HOSES, THEN STORE IN A DRY AREA.
      • COLLECT YOUR FLASHLIGHTS AND BATTERIES AND STORE THEM IN AN EASY TO FIND LOCATION.
      • HAVE AN ALTERNATE HEAT AND COOKING SOURCE OTHER THAN ELECTRIC.  If you have a fireplace, wood stove or corn pellet stove, be sure you have a good wood or corn supply located close to the house. If you have a kerosene or propane heater, make sure your fuel source will last at least 72 hours. It is a good idea to have a second propane tank for your gas grill.
      • WELL WATER REQUIRES AN ELECTRIC PUMP TO GET THE WATER TO YOUR HOUSE. IF THE ELECTRICITY IS OFF, THE WATER WILL BE TOO. If you see the lights start to flicker during a storm, it is a good idea to fill up jugs of water. Also, have several buckets of water to flush toilets. You can pour the bucket directly into the bowl, or pour it into the back tank and then flush. You can also fill buckets with snow, set them into your tub to melt, then use later for flushing toilets.
      • BE PREPARED BEFORE YOU GO OFF TO WORK. Every now and then, we will have a snow event, and depending on the location, there can be a great difference in the road conditions. What is at your house may not be the same as what is on the road, driveway, or parking lot elsewhere. Many times the snow is light and melts by mid-day and our main roads are usually in good driving condition. However, secondary roads and especially driveways may not be clear for several days. If you live up a big, winding road, think about parking your vehicle at the bottom and walking up.  When the police advise not to get out unless you absolutely have too, please listen. Remember, there are always people on the road who have never driven in snow. While you may be a great snow driver, you don’t know what is going to happening down the road.  If it is an ice storm, stay put. I don’t care who you are, no one does a good job of driving on ice.  Be sure to have water, food, flashlight, boots and extra coats or blankets in the vehicle. The winter is also a good time to practice keeping the gas tank full.  Sometimes the road can be blocked for hours, and it gets cold if you run out of gas.
      • DON’T LET YOUR PIPES FREEZE.  OK, first thing, if your neighbor or cousin Ed told you to put a heater in the crawl space, DON’T!!!!!  Now for the logical recommendations - if the night-time temperatures will go below freezing, it is a good idea to let all faucets drip slightly. Hopefully your water pipes already have insulation around them. If not, you will need to make sure that is done. If you are leaving town for a few days, go ahead and leave the water dripping and keep the temperature around 50. If you are gone for the entire winter, it is best to “winterize” the property, which includes draining the water heater, water line and toilet lines.
      • PETS Hopefully, you already know that pets are supposed to live indoors and I don’t have to ask you to bring them inside if the weather is freezing. What you may not think about is that the snow level may be higher than your dog, so keep a shovel close by to clear off an area that will allow them to do their "business".  If you have a dog like our Tyler, then he/she will need a coat because the underbelly is more skin than fur.  Also, if your bigger dogs like to romp through your yard, it is a good idea to use snow booties to prevent cuts from garden decorations and fencing they might not see in the snow.
      • WHEN THE WEATHERMAN SAYS IT IS GOING TO SNOW!!  Go to a local grocery store and enjoy watching people buy milk and bread. Personally, I recommend buying chocolate - lots of chocolate!

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        REAL ESTATE MARKET APRIL REPORT

        We have been looking week to week concerning our local real estate market. Now it is time for the more comprehensive update.  The data is collected from our local Canopy MLS.  Now that the Covid 19 crisis has had a full month run in real estate it is important to examine our Greater Asheville region, which includes Burke, Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania and Yancey.

        Canopy’s April report stated: “Year-over-year sales declined 14.5 percent in April 2020 across the 13 counties, with 737 homes sold. Compared to March 2020, sales were down 12.1 percent. Year-to-date figures for 2020 show the Asheville region with sales still positive and up 6.9 percent compared to sales during the first four months of 2019.

        Pending contracts, the metric that indicates buyer demand, declined 21.3 percent year over- year with 840 contracts written in April, while new listing activity had a deeper decline with listings down 43.9 percent year-over-year with 936 homes listed. There were 1,667 homes listed for sale during the same time last year. Prices across the region increased, with both the median sales price ($266,500) and the average sales price ($315,167) rising 4.5 percent and 6.7 percent, respectively.

        The Asheville Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had year-over-year sales decline 20.9 percent in April 2020 with 483 homes sold compared to 611 last year. However, sales during the first four months of the year compared to the same period last year rose 4.8 percent with 2,099 properties sold. Stay at home orders forced buyers to the sidelines as pending contract activity fell 27.3 percent year-over-year in April; while new listings had an even sharper decline of 41.3 percent year-over-year. As inventory continued to fall (down 24.7 percent year-over-year at report time), prices rose in April, responding to seller’s market conditions that have been prevalent for the past few years. Both the median sales price ($294,500) and the average sales price ($341,129) rose 6.7 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively. Homes averaged 69 days on market in April and the MSA has 3.3 months of supply of homes for sale at report time.

        Buncombe County

        Buncombe County, with its stronger stay at home order, saw sales decline 27.8 percent year-over-year as 236 homes were sold in April 2020 compared to 327 sold last April. Year-to-date sales show the county’s sales up 3.5 percent compared to sales during the first four months of last year. Both pending contract activity and new listings activity had sharp declines in activity year-over-year, with pending sales falling 30.2 percent and new listings down 39.5 percent. Prices continued to rise in response to seller’s market conditions. Both the median sales price ($309,000) and the average sales price ($373,598) increased slightly, up 1.3 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively. Inventory was down 23.8 percent year-over-year in April, leaving the county with 3.2 months supply of homes for sale. Homes sold quickly during the month, as days on market averaged 51 days in April 2020 compared to 61 days in April 2019.

        Haywood County

        Sales in Haywood County fell 9.8 percent year-over-year with 92 homes sold during the month compared to 102 homes sold last April. However, year-to-date figures show sales up 14.3 percent compared to the first four months of last year. Pending sales declined 18.4 percent year-over-year in April with 80 contracts written, while new listing activity was nearly half of what it was last year, falling 48.4 percent with 81 homes listed for sale compared to 157 last year. Prices increased modestly year-over-year with the median sales price ($225,000) and the average sales price ($268,807) rising 1.1 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively. Inventory was down 25.3 percent year-over-year with 348 homes on market or 3.6 months of supply. There was no change year-over-year in days on market, which averaged 95 days in April.

        Henderson County

        Henderson County’s sales were down 15.2 percent year-over-year in April 2020, with 140 homes sold compared to 165 homes sold during April 2019. Year-to-date figures show sales still positive and up 2.9 percent over sales during the first four months of last year. Pending contract activity declined 24.4 percent year-over-year with 146 contracts in the pipeline compared to 193 contracts written last year. New listings also declined 40.2 percent year-over-year, with only 174 listings added to the market compared to 291 that were listed last year. Prices rose sharply as inventory declined 27.4 percent yea over-year, leaving 515 homes for sale at report time. The median sales price of $316,950 increased 13.2 percent compared to last year, while the average sales price of $341,941 rose 14.7 percent over last year. Days on market averaged 67 days in April compared to 72 days on market a year ago, and the county had 3.0 months of supply of homes for sale at report time.

        Madison County

        In Madison County sales were down 11.8 percent year-over-year in April 2020 with 15 homes sold, while year-to-date figures show sales are up 1.8 percent with 57 homes 3 sold compared to 56 homes sold during the first four months of 2019. Pending sales, which only totaled 12 in April, fell 36.8 percent year-over-year, while new listing activity declined 47.7 percent year-over-year with just 23 homes newly listed compared to 44 last April. Both the median ($228,500) and the average ($266,293) sales prices rose 69.3 percent and 54.8 percent year-over-year in April, respectively. Madison County is a buyer’s market with 7.4 months of supply and 137 homes for sale compared to 171 homes for sales in April 2019. Properties averaged 212 days on market in April compared to 73 days this time last year.”

        The city of Asheville usually has the larger percentage of  price point and numbers in the region. New listings were down for the month of April and with that so is the inventory. Therefor the average list price continues to climb in Asheville city limits.

        The city of Hendersonville saw a 14.7% increase in the closed prices, in the month of April.

        If you would like the pdf reports  which includes charts and graphs for all of the great Asheville region, please email me.

        Please watch  this video for my interpretation and predictions of our local real estate market.