Tubing the French Broad River

French Broad River tubing paddle boarding SUP - DixonPacifica

As recently as 10 years ago, you would have been hard pressed to find much recreational activity on the French Broad River in Asheville. City planning had not accounted for best and highest use of river front properties, leaving it less than scenic for river goers who may have wanted to canoe, paddle board, or tube.

Organizations such as River Link and River Keepers, as well as active community members, have worked hard to change that, and one of the results is hundreds of tubers enjoying a leisurely float down the river with the first signs of summer. Now, you can even stop along the way to grab some local beer or snack from a food truck.

There are many options for river “sports,” and I’ll use that term loosely as I’ll be focusing on tubing, which requires limited athletic ability or even energy. Rather, it’s a simple and relaxing way to enjoy a sunny day with family or friends.

Whether you choose a DIY option, go through an outfitter, or something in between, you’ll find you have many options.

There are multiple local outfitters offering a range or services from tube rental, shuttles, changing rooms and more. There are also numerous locations available for putting in and taking out your tube depending on how long you’d like to spend floating and where you’d like to end your trip.

Putting in at Hominy Creek and taking out at Amboy Road River Park typically lasts 2+ hours. For a longer float with a beer or food option, you’ll need to go a bit further to reach Wedge Brewing or The Bywater. Of course, the length of your float depends on the flow of the river at that time. For an accurate read on the current, visit American Whitewater and search for the French Broad. Don’t forget to check the water temperature while you’re there!

Some outfitters you may want to consider are French Broad Outfitters, Asheville Outdoor Center, and Zen Tubing. Prices range from $12 for a half day, walk, and tube to $20 which includes a shuttle and an extra raft for your cooler. For a thrifty but less convenient option, you can grab your own tube and either walk back to your starting point, grab a $5 shuttle, or leave a 2nd car at your final destination.

DixonPacifica - French Broad River - tubing

Some things you’ll want to have handy are river shoes, sun screen, a floating cooler with drinks (no glass), a sun visor or hat, a few bucks for beer or snacks, and towel and change of clothes at your stopping point. If you’re doing it on your own, don’t forget to account for your car key! I always bring a few ziplocks for keys and money and tuck them in a secure pocket.

However you choose to do it, just do it. There are few better ways to spend a hot summer day so get out and #movesmarter!

Written by Bethany Behrmann, Broker, REALTOR. Bethany had her first tubing adventure on the French Broad at age 10 and has logged dozens of trips since with family, friends, neighbors and countless exchange students. Whether you seek more recommendations for enjoying Asheville summers or information on riverfront property, Bethany can be reached by email at bethany@dixonpacifica.com.

 

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Market Report for May 2017

The hottest market segment continues to hold steady at $400-499k. This is due, in large part, to the significant (though less drastic than April) change in average price. Many potential sellers aren’t listing their $300-399k homes despite the increase in value because the homes in the $400-499k range have increased at the same percentage. As you can see, this short supply is also pushing down the months of inventory and days on the market quite significantly over last month and last year. We are regularly seeing homes go under contract on the first day with multiple offers over asking price. We expect similar buying conditions but a larger supply of homes next month as schools let out and summer moving season begins.

Buncombe County Market Report

Market Report May 2017

Asheville Market Report

Asheville Market Report May 2017

For more information about our local markets, feel free to reach out to our agents by email or call our office at (828) 232-3040. We aim to ensure you have all the information you need to Move SmarterTM and make the best buying and selling decisions.

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Market Report for April 2017

Buncombe County Market Report

Market Report April 2017

Asheville Market Report

Market Report April 20172

If you’d like additional information about this data or want a more in-depth look at a specific neighborhood, contact one of our agents or call us at (828) 232-3040. We’re always happy to equip you with the knowledge you need to make the best real estate decisions.

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Market Report for March 2017

Buncombe County Market Report

Buncombe County Market Report March 2017

Asheville Market Report

Asheville City Market Report March 20172

For a more in-depth look at our market or to see what this means for your home or neighborhood specifically, call a DixonPacifica agent. They are happy to help and provide insight into local market trends!

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Helpful Tips for a Successful Move

Text: Move. Noun. A Change of place, position, or state. Verb. Go in a specified direction or manner, change position. Superimposed over a photo of labeled moving boxes.

When we learned we’d be moving to Asheville, our daughter, Helen, received a book from her babysitter… who also happened to be her kindred spirit. The book was the Dr. Seuss classic “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” Like most of the Seuss reads, it’s just as relevant to adults as it is to kids. Although it’s not a book about moving per se, it does lay out all the thoughts that can come to mind when considering a move.

 

You’ll be on your way up!

You’ll be seeing great sights!

You’ll join the high fliers

who soar to great heights.

I’m sorry to say so

but, sadly, it’s true

that Bang-ups

and Hang-ups

can happen to you

So how do you move your family (including the four legged members), and all your belongings without having a bang-up or a hang-up… and maintaining your sense of calm through the process?

 

Preparation

Yes, that’s the ticket. Physical preparation – boxing everything up in a labeled box – is an obvious one, but getting mentally prepared is just as important. One great way to stay on track is making a Moving Checklist. As soon as you know that a move is on the horizon, start a folder of things that will need to be done. These list items can be everything from address changes for bills to acquiring boxes and packing supplies. Realsimple.com offers an interactive checklist for a two month timeline and a quick search yields several other great resources on the web.

 

Moving Companies

If you’ll be using a professional moving service, start researching now. We found out the hard way that many of the expenses and pricing aren’t so straightforward. For example, movers either charge by weight or cubic feet of space in a truck. There are pros and cons to both methods. We chose a company that charged by weight because that seemed to be what most companies in our area were doing. Two different companies quoted around 7 to 9 thousand pounds of ‘stuff’ in our house. Who knew we had so much junk!  And as it turned out, even that was grossly underestimated. We had closer to 14 thousand pounds of ‘stuff,’ which in turn almost doubled our quote. We learned several important lessons from this experience:

  1. Be prepared for additional costs
  2. Don’t have so much stuff – Now is the time to purge!

Fellow agent Jen Woodward gave a simple synopsis on how to choose a mover here, and at the time of our move, this breakdown was very helpful to me.

 

Boxes

Labeled moving boxesIf after going through your checklist, you’ve decided you’ll be doing all the packing, you’ll need lots and lots of boxes. Probably more than you’d imagine! Boxes can be expensive if you’re buying them new from a moving supply or retail company. Prices vary, but can range from $3 to $12 each. However, if you’re up for doing a little research, you can find plenty of boxes for free. Start by checking with neighbors and friends, neighborhood social groups like Nextdoor and Facebook, or grocery and retail stores. Some recycling centers also offer free boxes, or will sell them for pennies, and perhaps now might be the perfect time to meet the new neighbors that just moved in and take advantage of all their boxes. Just remember, no matter how you got the boxes, label it with the contents AND where that box may go in your new home!

 

Kids, Pets and Plants

We made our move with a toddler, two cats, two dogs and a dozen plants. It may not be apparent at first, but the stress of a move is tough on everyone on this list, too. So, don’t let moving day creep up without getting everyone ready.

Our daughter was almost two at the time of our move and was generally into everything, so we gave her jobs to do. We would make daily piles of things we wanted to donate or give away and let her pack (and repeatedly unpack) those items , complete with her own roll of tape and crayons for “labeling.” She really enjoyed being able to “help.”

A toddler sits in a box coloring and is approached by her pet cat. The toddler's face is joyous.

The four-legged family members need to be prepped for moving day, too. My wife is a veterinarian, and she’ll tell you that when pets’ routines are disturbed, they can become stressed just like us humans. If you plan on moving them in crates, make sure they are comfortable and used to them well before moving day. If they will be in your home when the movers arrive, move them to a room that is already cleaned out and has a way to be closed off. This will relieve some of their stress (and yours) and is a great way to make sure no one escapes out of an open door.

 

As for plants, ours were small enough to take in our cars without much preparation.  If you have large plants or too many to take in your own vehicle, make sure to check with your moving company ahead of time. Many times, movers are not allowed to have plants in the cargo area of the trucks, especially if the move is across state lines. If you do have a significant number of plants, Atlas Van Lines offers a more specific list of tips on how to move them that you can find here.

 

Seek Help When Needed

With all these many things to keep up with for a move, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Our move was an excellent opportunity for our parents to spend time with our daughter and help when and where they could. We also created opportunities for willing friends that could help. We treated them to dinner or offered to watch their children when we got settled into our new home, and if you have the luxury of help and the time, get any painting done while the slate is clean. You’ll be glad you did.

 

Moving Day

When the moving truck finally arrives try to stand at the doorway when the movers start bringing everything in. You’ll be glad you labeled which room the boxes will be going in. If you labeled them well enough, the movers can start taking them to the appropriate rooms, or at least you can direct them easily.

 

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Continuing on the preparedness theme, have a travel bag or suitcase with a few necessities that will go in your car. Think about what you might take on an overnight trip. I say this because our movers’ truck broke down on the way to our new home from another state, so our delivery was delayed until the next day. Luckily we had an air mattress and few items to get us through the night. Although it was a setback, it was sort of nice to sleep on the floor in our new, empty, home!

 

If I can leave you with any takeaways…

  • Get prepared with your check list
  • Label the contents of every box AND where it goes (kitchen, basement, etc.)
  • Research your moving company
  • Give your kids a chore to help
  • Label your boxes!
  • Get your pets prepped
  • Ask for help
  • Enjoy your new home! (And label your boxes!!)

 

Broker Jeff Farmer moved to Asheville from Tennessee with his wife, Sara, their daughter Helen, two cats and two dogs. Jeff offers the lessons he learned from this move and from assisting buyers and sellers to help you make the transition to a new home as seamless as possible. Jeff can be reached at jeff@dixonpacifica.com.

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Market Report for February 2017

The February numbers are in and much of what they have to say confirms our 2017 predictions. Median sales price is up significantly over last year and can be explained by the continued trend of low inventory.

Asheville Market Report

Asheville Real Estate Market Report February 2017

 

Buncombe County Market Report

Buncombe County Real Estate Market Report February 2017

To see what the numbers look like in your neighborhood, our agents are happy to provide a more in-depth analysis.

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3 Simple Steps to Hiring the Best Moving Company

Hiring a mover can be a daunting experience especially when simultaneously trying to organize the other aspects of moving to a new home. After more than a decade of experience coordinating cross-country relocations and helping folks with local moves, I’ve developed a list of tips and interview questions to help you find the most professional mover so you have the best moving experience.

Three Simple Steps to Hiring the Right Moving Company with an illustration of a moving truck

1. Decide what type of move you need.

Intrastate or Local

For intrastate moves (moves within the same state) visit your state’s website for a list of licensed and insured movers.  In North Carolina, you can find carriers who are in compliance with the state’s regulations here.

Interstate or International

For moves across state lines (interstate) or internationally you can search carriers using the federal motor carrier safety administration’s site.

 

2. Determine how much assistance you want with your move.

There are a few different levels of service and pros and cons to each depending on the specifics of your move.

Full Service Move

Choose this option when you want the moving company to safely pack every item in your home, supply all the boxes, bubble wrap and packing paper, pad and shrink-wrap all furniture, load, move, unload the truck and unpack as many of the boxes as you want, wherever you want.

Simple Move

This is the most commonly requested service.  You pack and box your belongings. They pad and shrink wrap your furniture, load, move and unload the truck at the desired location.

Load & Unload Only

Movers can help you to load or unload your rental truck, storage pod, ABF truck, storage unit or garage.  This option is most useful to people who are able to drive a rental truck or who want to use a freight service.  While you can save money using this option, you take on the responsibility for your belongings while they are being moved.  The moving company, truck rental or Freight Company will not be responsible for any damage while in transit.

Eco-Friendly Move

Some companies will recycle boxes and packing materials after use. They can help you to obtain free, clean, sturdy and inspected recycled boxes or plastic bins to help lessen your move’s impact on the environment and your wallet.  Some moving company’s trucks also run on bio-diesel to reduce emissions.

 

3. Interview Your Mover.

Once you have determined the type of move you need and the service level you desire, there are a few questions to ask each mover you interview to ensure everyone is on the same page.

“Do you work for the mover or are you a broker?”

Brokers play an important role in helping customers match up with moving companies. Keep in mind, however, that a broker cannot give you a binding estimate and a broker is not responsible for loss or damage.

“Do you give binding quotes?”

A mover or broker may give you a quote over the phone, but those are generally not binding. Upon reviewing your items in person, a mover might then give a binding or “not to exceed” quote. However, brokers don’t typically give binding quotes.

“Does the quote include extra charges?”

For example – flight charges, long carry charges, appliance charges, parking charges, storage charges, fuel charges, awkward objects, etc. If you have a piano, you should let them know up front. Ask them if they have equipment to help with heavy and awkward items.

“Will my items be transferred?”

Long distance moves can sometimes require your items be transferred to another truck. This extra handling increases the chance that damage may occur.

“What forms of payment do you accept and on what terms?”

I do not recommend you hire a mover if they only accept cash. Be sure you are clear about the amount that is due on delivery versus the deposit amount, and whether deposits are refundable. Most companies that have a merchant account will accept credit cards, so be sure to ask if credit cards are an option.

“What type of insurance is included in your quote? What else is available to me?”

Basic coverage is 60 cents per pound but your moving company may offer an upgrade at a reasonable price. You can also work with third party insurance providers to cover the move.

“What is the process if something were to break or is missing? Who’s responsible?”

This is a follow-up to the previous question that clearly breaks down who is responsible for what. If you’re discussing a self-service move, you may not get reimbursed for something that you packed poorly. Wherever the responsibility lies, it’s better to know in advance.

 

No matter which type of move you are facing, a little planning and preparation can go a long way to reducing stress. Whether you are planning a local move or a long-distance move, using an independent local moving company, a national carrier or going DIY, these tips can make your move a smarter, safer and smoother experience!

Written by Jen Woodward, Broker, REALTOR with special thanks to Sean Lallouz, owner of Dry Ridge Moving and Transportation LLC. With more than a decade working in real estate and relocation, Jen utilizes her personal and professional moving experience to assist buyers and sellers in the Asheville market and beyond.








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Holly Martin Named Top 100 REALTOR

2016 Top 100 REALTORS logo
Holly smallerBroker Holly Martin earned a distinguished spot as one of Asheville’s Top 100 REALTORS of 2016. PlumDog Financial, an Asheville area mortgage lender, releases this designation annually based on transaction volume data from the Asheville Board of REALTORS’ Market Share Report. They praised Holly and the other top REALTORS for their “hard work and dedication to our community development” and for providing  home ownership and satisfaction to thousands of Asheville area residents.

Holly was also DixonPacifica Real Estate’s Top Producer and Sales Leader for 2016. Says DixonPacifica owner, Tad Dixon, “We are so proud of all that Holly has accomplished this year,” which includes nearly doubling her 2015 sales volume, “and we look forward to supporting her as she continues to grow her business.”

 

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Market Report for January 2017

January saw predictably steady market growth with a slight increase in average list to sales price as well as a slight decrease in months of inventory. However, there was a significant uptick this month in change in average price. This reflects the greater volume of homes sold in a higher price bracket than in previous months more so than individual home prices drastically increasing. We believe the trend of greater sales in higher price brackets will continue this year as more people move into the Asheville-Buncombe market from other markets.

Asheville City Market Report

Market January Asheville2

Buncombe County Market Report

Market January Buncombe

Our agents would be glad to give you more information about our market as a whole or your individual neighborhood or area of interest. Send an email or give as a call at (828) 232-4030 and we’re happy to give you more insight into current trends.

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Market Report: 2016 Year in Review

Compared to last year, home prices in the NC Mountains MLS service area increased 9.1%. Buncombe County experienced a 10.2% increase and Asheville 13.7%. Buncombe County’s median price is currently $253,400 and Asheville’s is $270,000.

Median Price 2016
Buncombe County Median Price

The average person stays in their home for five years. If you purchased a $250,000 home in the Asheville area in 2011, the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s housing price calculator says your home would be worth $308,724 at the end of 2016, which is a gain of 23.5%.

Closed Sales Graph
Buncombe County Closed Sales

Closed sales increased 6% over the previous year. Buncombe County and Asheville accounted for a high percentage of sales increase in 2015, so while sales still increased they were lower as a percentage to other neighboring counties. Buncombe County experienced a 2.3% increase in sales during 2016.

Days on the Market Graph
Buncombe County Days on the Market

A good sign for our market is that sales may have been higher if not for the lack of inventory. We have plenty of buyers looking for homes, but they are struggling to find the right property. The availability of active listings was down year-over-year in 2016 by 1.6%. One thing we are watching carefully is if low home supply is a drag on the number of sales in 2017. Buncombe County and the city of Asheville have the lowest supply of inventory in the entire MLS. Currently Buncombe has 3.2 months supply and Asheville 2.6 compared to the WNC MLS average of 5.4 months. Four to five months is typically considered healthy.  The good news for sellers in this scenario is supply vs. demand will continue to push prices higher.

One word that’s almost vanished entirely from our real estate vocabulary is “distressed.” For the last few years distressed homes, foreclosures and short sales, were an everyday reality in our market. In 2016 the percentage of distressed sales fell 24.2% and made up only 1.4% of total sales.

Market Predictions Header

Looking towards the remainder of 2017, we believe several things will impact our community’s real estate. With the stock market hitting new highs, many investors could look for portfolio diversity in real estate. Since our market is a hot vacation destination, those dollars could find their way here. Experts believe Baby Boomers may take profits from the stock market and buy real estate they can rent and enjoy personally in their retirement. Boomers are expected to make up one-third of all buyers this year.

Another positive is our region’s economic strength. With Buncombe County’s unemployment rate the lowest in North Carolina and our tourism numbers consistently rising, our region’s economy should remain strong for the foreseeable future. Our economic fundamentals are strong so housing prices should remain stable even if geo-political situations arise or interest rate increases put pressure on the market.

All data sourced from North Carolina Mountains MLS (January 2017)

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