If you have walked down Main Street in Waynesville and window shopped you have seen a wide array of black bears from prints to life sized staues. Monday night you could have seen the real thing! A 150-200 pound black bear was seen bouncing off windows of the very shops that sell those bear prints and statues. The obviouly confused black bear did injure itself smashing through the glass of a few businesses although according to officers the injuries did not appear to be serious. The bear was seen sometime after midnight and the last that was seen of the bear was when it ran into a local cemetery. Next time you visit Waynesville keep your eyes open! You never know what you will see!
Blog :: 04-2008
Here is a comparison of market activity for January 1, 2008 through March 31, 2008 and the same period during 2007. The stats are for residential purchases only so land, commercial, and multifamily is not included.
Average Selling Price: $238,199/$228,087
Average Listing Price: $250,974/$243,578
List/Sell Ratio: 95%/94%
Units Sold: 195/129
2008 SEASON BEGINS AT GHOST TOWN IN THE SKY
Maggie Valley, NC - Ghost Town in the Sky, North Carolina's mountain top family theme park, will open for the 2008 season on Friday, May 2. Ghost Town is famous for its Wild-West theme, live-action shows and beautiful setting on top of Buck Mountain, which is elevated over 4000 feet. The park is nestled at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains and is 4 miles east of the Blue Ridge Parkway's Milepost 255 in Maggie Valley. Maggie Valley is 14 miles east of Cherokee and 34 miles west of Asheville.
A day at Ghost Town starts by taking a twenty-minute chairlift ride with 75-degree inclines up the side of a mountain. The multi-level, 90-acre park features live action shows, rides, crafts and live music. Musical guest performances, along with a series of cartoon and comic book characters, have been scheduled throughout the season. A complete entertainment and special events schedule can be found on http://ghosttowninthesky.com/Special/upcomingEvents.html.
Ghost Town originally opened on June 11, 1961 and remained opened until 2002. The landmark re-opened for the first time in five years under new ownership in 2007 and has been a vacation destination for decades.
Greater Variety of Entertainment for This Season
New in 2008 is American Music Hall which will hold live musical performances and daily entertainment shows. The new Hall is 7000 square feet and seats over 500 guests featuring country bands to legendary gospel singing groups.
Ghost Town gunfights are being created and staged by Robert Bradley, who has performed at Ghost Town for forty-five years. "We have added explosive new scenes and three different gunfight shows daily," said Bradley. "Our shows, gunfights and performances are being offered in such a way that all of our guests can wind their way around the park and enjoy all of it, and they can join us again on the very next day and be thrilled by a completely different series of shows and performances," states John Buccafusco, Ghost Town's Entertainment Director.
New for children this year is a gem-mining attraction where kids can find up to twelve different gem stones, and gold-panning attraction. Enjoyed by all ages will be the Scenic Train which circles Ghost Town's Wild West Main Street. Ghost Town will also host live wolf demonstrations five days a week. Local and Naturalist Robert Gudger will enlighten park guests about how man and wildlife in the mountains can co-exist. Sharing the spotlight with Gudger will be Rick Byrd and his Native American Dance Team presenting the pageantry and color of their authentic dances.
Ghost Town is re-vamping the existing food options and will also open two more food venues, the Timberwolf CafÃ© and the Iron Horse Grill. The Timberwolf CafÃ© is inside the American Music Hall. Guests can enjoy a full-service lunch while also enjoying the live entertainment.
The Cliffhanger Will Open In June
The highly anticipated re-opening of The Cliffhanger Rollercoaster, located literally on the side of Buck Mountain, is scheduled to open this June. Since originally built in 1985 there have been improvements in coaster equipment and materials as well as improved safety standards which have impacted the originally planned opening of the rollercoaster last year. he Cliffhanger has several qualities that set it apart and makes this a unique experience. It has a top speed of roughly 56 miles per hour. As a rider leaves the terminal, the illusion is given that you are going to fall off the mountain. An exciting loop generates three g-forces of pressure as riders travel 2,063 feet along a fun-filled ride. The cars alone are very uniquely engineered, creating an open atmosphere to enjoy the views. "There are only a handful of loop coasters in the world that exist without a shoulder harness restraint," states Larry Moyers of Rotational Motion. The cars have no side panels either. Aside from the cars on the train, the Cliffhanger is so unique because the station (where guests enter and exit the ride) is built higher than the loop. Riders experience the loop within 7 seconds of beginning the ride! With typical coasters, you experience the lift at the beginning to travel to the coaster's highest point; The Cliffhanger, the terminal is at the highest point, and the lift is at the end of the ride. Another example that sets the Cliffhanger apart is the distinctive and beautiful setting that surrounds the coaster.
In keeping with the tradition of the park, Ghost Town in the Sky's new ownership group had a daunting task to create a safe environment for the guests. The goal was to keep the uniqueness and tradition of the Red Devil while bringing the coaster to new safety standards by adding components. An outside company, Rotational Motion, had the difficult task of re-designing and updating the coaster. Moyers states that "over 10,000 man hours have been put into the manufacturing of the cars." Kevin Bailey, General Manager of Ghost Town states, "This is an engineering feat. We have had four different engineering companies and three outside contracted crews in addition to our own construction crew during such a tedious process." The Cliffhanger will boast a magnetic brake system to assist the existing air brakes and to improve rider comfort. The new seats will utilize ergonomic padded lap bars and retractable seatbelts which were specially engineered and manufactured for the coaster. "The seatbelts were created to have a triple back up system", Moyer states, "and the lap bar system has less than Â½ inch of travel for a secure and comfortable fit." Other new features include polyurethane wheels for a smoother ride and synthetic lubricants instead of petroleum based will be used for less friction and a better ride.
In addition to the improved safety standards at Ghost Town, the park offers an affordable vacation or getaway. Currently a season pass, which gives passholders unlimited access to Ghost Town each day that it's open to the public, is on sale for the same price as two admission tickets. Coupons for daily admission are being distributed throughout the season by third-party partners, such as Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell and Food Lion, throughout the Southeast as well as print advertising and direct mail distributed throughout the Eastern United States. "We want to be affordable and give a good value. With the rising cost of gas and a slow economy, coupons will help encourage folks to choose Ghost Town as their entertainment destination," says Hank Woodburn, founding partner of the new ownership group that took over the park in 2006.
The original owner, R.B. Coburn, passed away recently on April 1, and Ghost Town is celebrating his life and his accomplishments of making Maggie Valley a tourist destination by establishing Founders Day each year on June 11.
Daily admission tickets and season passes are available at www.ghosttowninthesky.com or at the ticket gate located at the entrance to Ghost Town.
Victorian Elegance and Distinction! This turn-of-the-century restored Victorian offers the relaxed living of yesteryear. Original hardwood floors, bead board ceilings, and original trim work throughout. Updates include new wiring/plumbing, granite/tile in the kitchen, and fresh paint. Carriage house offers an additional 800 sq ft of living area for guests, studio, etc. Covered Porch, walk to Main Street, and hot tub! Part of Pigeon St. Neighborhood District. Limited mixed use allowed including Bed and Breakfast. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Spring has arrived to Maggie Valley with the trees and flowers blooming, temperatures risings, and the traffic is picking up. Not that we like traffic, but it is good to see the summer time residents starting to move back into the area. This translates to more buyers and sellers for the real estate market. After a slow start to the year we are looking forward to a robust spring, summer, and fall selling season. Ghost Town will be opening next month and they have been busy all winter with renovations and the park is excited to show itself off.
Haywood Regional underwent a site visit this past week which is the first step towards reinstatment for medicare funding. According to the Mountaineer the hospital perfomed very well with this survey. The survey team will be returning in 30-120 days, but could return sooner. If the next survey is successful the hospital will be reinstated for medicare funding and the private insurance companies that pulled out of HRMC would also return. This is all great news for HRMC and Haywood County!
Our blog has taken on a new look and a new location!. Union Street Media our web designer has made our blog a part of www.realtyworldheritage.com. You will no longer be taken to a new window when you click on the blog or blog topic. The change streamlines our site and the ability to easily post to the blog. As always your comments are appreciated!
For more information, contact:
Walt Molony, 202-383-1177, email@example.com
WASHINGTON, April 08, 2008 -
Little change is expected in existing-home sales over the next few months, before improving notably during the second half of the year, according to the latest forecast by the National Association of RealtorsÂ®.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the market will come into clearer focus this summer. "Existing home sales could start to show a sustained increase within a few months, unless there are some additional economic problems or excessive inflationary pressure," he said. "We're looking for essentially stable sales in the near term, before higher mortgage loan limits translate into more sales in high-cost markets. The wider access to affordable credit should increase sales activity notably this summer as pent-up demand begins to be met."
The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in February, slipped 1.9 percent to 84.6 from an upwardly revised reading of 86.2 in January, and was 21.4 percent lower than the February 2007 index of 107.6. "The slip in pending home sales implies we're not out of the woods yet, though an era of successive deep sales declines appears to be over," Yun said.
The PHSI in the Northeast rose 3.2 percent in February to 71.8 but remains 25.4 percent below a year ago. In the Midwest, the index declined 3.7 percent to 82.7 and is 17.4 percent lower than February 2007. The index in the South fell 5.5 percent in February to 85.0 and is 30.3 percent below a year ago. In the West, the index rose 2.1 percent in February to 95.8 but is 6.1 percent below February 2007.
Existing-home sales are likely to rise from an annual pace of 4.9 million in the first quarter to 5.9 million in the fourth quarter. With relatively weak activity in the first part of the year, existing-home sales for all of 2008 are forecast at 5.39 million, increasing 6.6 percent to 5.74 million in 2009.
"Exceptionally weak home sales related to jumbo loans problems will depress home prices in the first half of the year, but steady liquidity improvements in the conforming jumbo-loan market will help prices recover in the second half of the year," Yun said. The aggregate existing-home price will probably ease by 1.4 percent to a median of $215,800 for all of 2008 before rising 3.7 percent to $223,800 next year.
Yun noted that there will continue to be wide variations in regional housing market conditions. "Some parts of the country that can expect improvement include the Northeastern region and the oil-patch states of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas," he said. With lower interest rates and flat home prices in many areas, NAR's housing affordability index is forecast to rise 14 percentage points to 127.0 in 2008.
New-home sales are projected to fall 25.7 percent to 576,000 in 2008 before rising 4.6 percent to 602,000 next year. Housing starts, including multifamily units, are estimated to drop 26.3 percent to 999,000 this year, and slip another 0.5 percent to 994,000 in 2009. The median new-home price will probably fall 3.6 percent to $238,400 in 2008, and then rise 4.0 percent next year to $247,800.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, which has fluctuated recently, should average 5.8 percent in the second and third quarters, but trend up to an average of 6.3 percent in 2009.
"The economy will not grow in first half of the year," Yun said. "However, the combination of recent fiscal stimulus enactment and the lagged impact of monetary policy will help jump start the economy in the second half." Growth in the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to be 1.4 percent in 2008 and 2.4 percent next year. The unemployment rate is forecast to average 5.4 percent this year and 5.6 percent in 2009.
Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, is projected at 3.4 percent in 2008 and 2.2 percent next year. Inflation-adjusted disposable personal income is likely to grow 1.2 percent this year and 3.0 percent in 2009.
The National Association of RealtorsÂ®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
# # #
(1) The Pending Home Sales Index is a leading indicator for the housing sector, based on pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed, though the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing.
The index is based on a large national sample, typically representing about 20 percent of transactions for existing-home sales. In developing the model for the index, it was demonstrated that the level of monthly sales-contract activity from 2001 through 2004 parallels the level of closed existing-home sales in the following two months. There is a closer relationship between annual index changes (from the same month a year earlier) and year-ago changes in sales performance than with month-to-month comparisons.
An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, which was the first year to be examined as well as the first of five consecutive record years for existing-home sales.
Existing-home sales for March will be released April 22; the next Forecast / Pending Home Sales Index will be released May 7.
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Quick update on our Spring weather. The trees and flowers are starting to bloom and it has been SNOWING all day. From light to moderate flurries the white stuff has been around since yesterday! As I type there is a light dusting on cars and rooftops, but no accumulation (at least at 3500 feet that is). We should be warming on Tuesday and more season temperatures the rest of the week. As the old saying goes; "If you do not like the weather in Haywood County, wait 5 minutes and it will change" Happy Spring!
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