- Fall Foliage Prediction Map September 15, 2017
The 2017 Fall Foliage Map is the ultimate visual planning guide to the annual progressive changing of the leaves. While no tool can be 100% accurate, this tool is meant to help travelers better time their trips to have the best opportunity of catching peak color each year.
Click on the map below and you will be redirected to the smokymountains.com interactive fall foliage prediction map.
- Downsizing and Estate Sales August 24, 2017
TRUST AND ETHICS
Are you or your parents not sure how to handle upcoming changes in your living situations? You aren’t alone. If you’re a baby boomer — an adult born between 1946 and 1964 — you may find yourself caring for aging parents or their estates after they pass. You may even consider reducing your own material footprint. After all, do you want your children to go through what you’re experiencing now?
Turn to a professional to help deal with all the material possessions. Perhaps holding an estate sale is a viable solution for you. Just be careful; you don’t need the added stress of dealing with disreputable providers for your estate sale. You deserve to work with someone who values and honors your feelings and your emotional ties to the belongings.
When You Need an Estate Sale
Holding an estate sale usually entails so much more than just appraising and liquidating material possessions. At the Art of Downsizing, we understand that emotions and memories are intricately linked to your treasures and collections. When you’re going through these stirring emotional times, you need trustworthy liquidators — professionals who operate with the utmost integrity.
The task of holding an estate sale can be daunting, especially when you’re hit with the process during a crisis:
• Your mother, who’d been happily living alone, suddenly needs to go into an assisted living facility.
• Your dad passes after a long illness, and it falls to you to clean out his condo.
• Your adult children are moving, and you want to follow to remain close to your grandkids.
In cases like these, your stress levels may be stretched tight. Anyone who comes to your rescue with the promise of helping you downsize and of holding an estate sale to sort out your things may seem like an angel. But don’t believe everything you hear.
Never is it more prudent to check out the credentials and trustworthiness of a professional as it is when the task ahead is rife with emotional baggage. According to the American Society of Estate Liquidators,® the estate sale industry is attracting more and more disreputable vendors than ever before. And these hustlers don’t care about you, but are “only in it for the income.”
With so many newcomers in the field, it’s more important than ever to look for reputable professionals when holding an estate sale — people who know the pitfalls associated with estate sales, who care about the outcomes and who’ve built a solid reputation for honesty and integrity. Look for an estate sales company that walks its talk, for whom ethics are not just a list of words on their website.
Tips for Finding an Ethical Team for Holding an Estate Sale
Before you fall victim to a quick, fly-by-night estate operation, consider these tips so that you can rest easy and find peace and closure with an ethical, trustworthy estate sale team:
• Ask for and call referrals from friends, family and church members. Ask trusted professionals such as attorneys, Realtors and financial advisors.
• Expect prompt responses to your inquiries, meaning timely returned phone calls and emails, as well as quick answers to your questions.
• Follow your intuition; if something doesn’t sit right with you, listen to your gut and call someone else.
• Watch how the estate sales professional speaks, dresses and carries herself.
• Find out if she’s really listening to you by asking for a follow-up report on your first meeting.
• Check out the estate sale company’s ability to price your items appropriately by asking for some on-the-spot estimates.
• Search online for reviews.
• Look for association memberships, which often require a commitment to high standards and industry-recognized ethics.
The Art of Downsizing
- East Asheville Is The New Place To Be July 6, 2017
East Asheville is quickly becoming the new cool place to be. A ton of other communities such as West Asheville and Kenilworth have sold so many in-fill lots that traffic is a nightmare and the prices are so high that new buyers can’t afford in. East Asheville is close to downtown, has large lots and groovy mid-century brick ranchers that are ripe for easy, modern remodels, and has coffee and restaurants that are walkable.
Haw Creek has a new community website and is marketing the domain as ilovehawcreek.com. They also have a great facebook page and they keep the community up to date on what is happening. Beverly Hills and Redwood Forest property values are increasing quickly and Sovereign Oaks is a new gated community with large lots, fiber optics, and chicken coops. We see the housing trends moving East. When that happens, the businesses start to follow. The Whole Foods has been a great addition. There is a new Panera Bread and Chipotle coming near the Asheville mall. The Best Western is expanding on Tunnel Road. The new Bouchon French restaurant is opening this summer in Haw Creek. Penny Cup Coffee just opened on Beverly road. Cornerstone restaurant is doing a major remodel and access to everything on the East side is just easy. Give us a call if you are interested in East Asheville. Here are the homes currently for sale in East Asheville.
- Is Staging a Home of Value in a Hot Market? June 7, 2017
Miller Shire, SpaceScapes Staging and Design
It’s no secret that the Asheville market favors the seller now. Prices are up and inventory is down. It only makes sense that some sellers are wondering if it’s necessary to stage your home when chances are strong that it will sell anyway.
The short answer is yes. If you want to maximize your return on investment, minimize the number of days on market, and have fewer requests from the buyer, staging is still an investment that will be recouped easily.
There is competition even in a seller’s market and staging is the marketing tool that gives sellers an edge over their competition. Staging makes a house look bigger, brighter, and more inviting. Here are some of the specific benefits:
- Rooms appear bigger with the right furniture that is arranged properly by a professional stager whether they are rearranging furniture in a home that a seller lives in or bringing furniture into a vacant home.
- Staging accentuates the best features of a house, so they aren’t missed by the buyers.
- Staging adds perceived value and buyers want to know they’re getting good value for their investment, especially when prices are higher. Taking care of repairs and deferred maintenance items helps them to feel confident that the home is in good condition.
- A staged home removes distractions, creates a calm mood, and presents a lifestyle that is attractive to buyers. They can see themselves living there and that desire helps them justify paying more.
- A staged home is considered move-in ready. With prices up, many buyers have fewer dollars left over to make modifications and updates. The more appealing your house is, the more likely it is to bring a higher price and reward you with a better return on your investment.
Time after time, the buyers I have worked with who followed our recommendations have been rewarded in just this way. The real estate brokers were able to justify pricing their houses to reflect their efforts which resulted in an additional 5-15% return. Buyers are willing to pay more for houses that are in good condition and move-in ready. Here are some simple ideas to freshen and update:
- Fresh paint in a neutral color works for everyone – remove any outdated wallpaper first!
- Change outdated light fixtures and replace bulbs so that all produce the same warm light
- Put new hardware on kitchen and bath cabinets.
- Install new door knobs, especially on the front door, if your current one isn’t shiny.
- Update linens in the bedroom and add new towels to the bathrooms – fluffy is good.
- Clean, clean, clean to make it sparkle inside and out.
- Weed, remove unattractive or overgrown plants, and add mulch.
A professional stager will prioritize what needs to be done, so the best approach is to start with a consultation. Stage your home and let it be the one that every buyer wants and is willing to pay more for.
Miller Shire is a professional Stager and Interior Decorator. You can contact Miller at 828-989-0404 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- May Is Selling Season! May 10, 2017
The month of May in Asheville is prime time selling season for homes. The blooms are out, the weather is great and everyone wants to find a home in Asheville and the surrounding areas. In Buncombe county the amount of homes on the market for sale is down 11.8% since this time last year. Statistics show that the home values are up Nationwide 6.8% in the past year and will rise another 2.8% by this time next year. Supply and demand is still the law. Check out the Real_Estate_Trend_Indicator for January thru May of this year. The hot price point is under $350,000, but it is climbing to under $500,000 quickly. If you are thinking of selling give us a call to discuss what your home is worth. Now is a great time. We are at the highest home values since 2008.