11 Reasons to Retire in Asheville

Looking for a place to enjoy your retirement and get real value for your investment? Consider the vibrant culture and natural beauty of Asheville.

“Asheville is a great place for retirement,” says Susan Wilson, of the Council on Aging for Buncombe County (coabc.org). “You can swim in a warm pool, play tennis, enjoy the nice summers and great year-round climate. There are a lot of things to do here if you like being outdoors, such as boating, hiking, camping. And of course, this is a foodies’ dream with the restaurants!”

Susan adds that in addition to the wonderful 55+ communities for active adults, there are a number of services available as people prefer to age in place and are dealing with more significant needs. COABC offers a wide-ranging array of practical services and resources for all seniors, no matter their income level.

Cultural and educational enjoyments such as Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (olliasheville.com), magnificent views, lower property taxes, and a reasonable cost of living are some of the draws to this bustling, creative city in the mountains. Equally so are leaving behind hot, humid summers and heaps of snow that needs shoveling.

Here are 11 reasons:

1. Active population.

Find your peeps! Active adults find it easy to stay fit and healthy in Asheville and the surrounding towns. Countless hiking trails with scenic views are easily accessible. If you like boating, camping, or fishing, you will be delighted with the rivers and lakes in and around the region. There are quite a few championship golf courses and resort and municipal courses that offer a challenging mountain environment. Fitness, yoga, and dance studios nurture healthy activity as well as community.

2. Street festivals.

Year-round arts and craft fairs dazzle the senses, including juried art shows set up in downtown parks, where locals and visitors are entertained by music and dance performances at Vance Memorial Park and Pritchard Park. Bands play and craft beer abounds at Downtown After Five on select Friday nights in summer. Cars are re-routed from downtown streets and pedestrians rule.

3. Historical architecture.

Downtown Asheville has an eclectic mix of architecture with styles ranging from Neoclassical to Beaux Arts. Downtown Art Nouveau buildings second in number only to Miami, FL. Among the must-sees include the Basilica of St. Lawrence, the Grove Arcade, and Ellington’s Art Deco city hall.

The Grove Arcade, downtown Asheville, photo courtesy of thegrovearcade.com

4. Eating and Entertainment

Foodies and craft beer lovers rejoice! Asheville features countless restaurants and world class chefs. Natural food restaurants like the Laughing Seed and Rosetta’s Kitchen and The Buchi Bar serve up healthy dishes with a farm-to-table mindset. More into cooking at home? No problem because Asheville has plenty of farmer’s markets and co-ops around town to satisfy even the pickiest home chef. Asheville has the most craft breweries per capita in the US, and was first named Beer City USA in 2009.

Asheville has no shortage of entertainment and destination venues including the Moog Music Factory, Biltmore Estate, and the numerous museums and art galleries in the area.

Moog Music Factory, downtown Asheville, photo courtesy of tripadvisor.com

5. Volunteering.

“Help one another. There’s no time like the present, and no present like the time.” – James Durst

What makes for a happy retirement? Meaningful pursuits that enrich not only our own lives, but the lives of others. Volunteer opportunities here are plentiful, creating instant communities as people join forces to mobilize for a common cause. Not sure where you might like to lend a hand? Start by checking out the calendar of activities at Hands On Asheville Buncombe (www.handsonasheville.org).

 6. Indy scene.

Asheville is the place to be for all of the culture lovers out there! The area boasts a vibrant Indy art, music, and movie scene. Numerous galleries and many local artists make their living in the area. The River Arts District is a great place to check out over 100 artist studios and galleries. Plenty of music venues around town like The Orange Peel, The Mothlight, The Altamont Theater, Isis Music Hall, and Asheville Music Hall bring a variety of acts and musicians to the area. Be sure to take advantage of the wonderful theaters in the area including the Fine Arts Theatre and Grail Moviehouse.

7. Locally owned businesses.

Asheville supports a vibrant culture of independent businesses. Stroll through downtown Asheville or down Haywood Road in West Asheville to visit unique shops and boutiques. Pop into Malaprop’s independent book store downtown, enjoy a sip of wine at Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar, or stop in and try some small batch chocolate at the Chocolate Fetish. Each business adds its own quirky personality to the Asheville community.

8. Lakes, rivers, and waterfalls.

Launch your canoe, kayak, or paddle board into the Swannanoa or the French Broad Rivers, which bears the distinction of being the third oldest river on earth. There are many entry points to the river including Hominy Creek Park in West Asheville,  Carrier Park, and Jean Webb River Park. Many riverside businesses offer and encourage river access, including Asheville Outdoor Center, Asheville Adventure Rentals, and 12 Bones BBQ.

Asheville is bypassed by the unique Blue Ridge Parkway, with plenty of overlooks and turnouts that offer spectacular mountain views. Trailheads abound offering hikes of varying difficulty from the novice hiker to the most seasoned. Be sure to spend some time at one of the numerous waterfalls in the area including Looking Glass Falls and Moore Cove Falls.

Looking Glass Falls, photo courtesy of visit waterfalls.com

9. Eclectic activities.

Whether your thing is mountain biking, shooting the rapids, antique-collecting, volunteering, making art or music, taking classes to expand your understanding and your skill set, or sampling the wares from an impressive number of craft breweries, you can find kindred folks and a place to feel at home here. Oh, and don’t forget the chocolate. We’ve got some of the finest!

10. Natural beauty.

Asheville is situated amongst some of the most spectacular natural beauty our country has to offer. From the Pisgah National Forest, the proximity to other National Parks, and access to the Blue Ridge Parkway there is no shortage of natural wonder in the area. The North Carolina Arboretum is nestled into the eastern edge of the Pisgah Forest, as is the grand Biltmore Estate. Depending on the time of year, waterfalls and rushing rivers abound, we do live in a temperate rainforest after all!

11. Community.

Vibrant neighborhoods are made up of people who get to know one another, take an interest in each other and celebrate together, and give each other a hand when needed. Many of Asheville’s neighborhoods work toward creating that neighborliness and community feeling that makes up the heartbeat of a place, and makes a place a home. Some of Asheville’s medical facilities are considered topnotch throughout the state including Mission Hospital, health spas, and care facilities.

“Aging is not ‘lost youth’, but a new stage of opportunity and strength.” — Betty Friedan

 

Written by Suzanne Arthur, Broker, REALTOR. Connect with Suzanne at suzanne@dixonpacifica.com to see how she can make retiring in Asheville easier for you. To keep up with all of Asheville’s local happenings follow @suzannearthur_realtor on Instagram and check out her website suzannearthurrealtor.com.

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Market Report for June 2017

Days on the market shrunk significantly from May to June, as is traditional in our market, with the change in average price continuing to show double digit growth over last year. Despite a large number of sales, more inventory has come to the market, as we predicted, giving us a slightly larger supply of homes than last month. The hottest market segment in Buncombe County has dropped $5o,ooo, though the median sales price is up slightly since last month.

So, what’s in store for the rest of the summer? We saw a slow down during the July 4th holiday weekend and predict the market will continue to cool off as the summer gets hotter and school starts back. This should mean slightly lower list to sales price as demand is slightly less, and months supply of homes and days on the market should continue ticking up incrementally, which will indicate a healthier and more steady rate of growth in the Asheville and Buncombe County markets.

Buncombe County Market Report

Market Report June 2017 - Buncombe County

Asheville City Market Report

Market Report June 2017 - Asheville

If you found this data helpful and would like a more detailed look into a specific neighborhood or zip code, contact one of our agents or call the office at (828) 232-4030. We are happy to provide you the information you need to Move Smarter.

Move Smarter TM

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Tiny House, Big Idea

Hand to chin, Jennifer eyed the space where her silver SUV was parked.

“Could I build a tiny house right here?”

 

Last year, she fell in love with the house in Kenilworth and its view of the lake. After moving in she added an outdoor room — the perfect playroom for her two-year-old grandson.

Gazing from this room at the pines reflected in the water below, she smiled. “Blissful.”

But living here could be even better, she mused, if her daughter, son-in-law, and baby grandson were right next door.

 

She makes a good point.

 

Tiny House Asheville Kenilworth Lake

 

With scant rentals available, and costs prohibitive for many first-time homebuyers, a tiny house may be a smart option. Costs can be kept low, around $15,000, but quickly rise with the quality of materials used.  

Smaller homes are catching the imagination of many, including downsizing Boomers and Millenials just starting out.

Where did tiny houses start, and just how tiny are they?

 

Tiny House Floor Plan Example Asheville

 

‘Wee Houses’ began in 2003 as affordable alternative housing.

In North Carolina, a tiny house must be at least 120 square feet, but anything under 500 square feet is considered tiny. A typical storage shed is 100 square feet.

City of Asheville rules allow homeowners to build a small house next to the main one. However, zoning regulations, HOA bylaws, environmental, and other restrictions apply, so if you’re thinking about building a tiny home, do your homework and ask your real estate agent for more information.

Tiny houses can be site-built and made to be “grow-able,” to accommodate the homeowners’  changing needs.

 

For Jennifer, building a tiny house at the top of her driveway would mean a visit from her grandson could be only steps away, not a half-hour drive. And that could create a living arrangement to benefit the whole family.

 

Written by Suzanne Arthur, Broker, REALTOR, and Kenilworth neighbor. Connect with Suzanne at suzanne@dixonpacifica.com to see if a tiny house may be a good (and legal) choice for your property, and keep up with all of Asheville’s local happenings by following @suzannearthur_realtor on Instagram.

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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.

 

IMG_4418


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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