Blog :: 07-2008

North Carolina Mountains Real Estate

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Like much of the country real estate in the North Carolina Mountains has cooled over the last few years. Our areas are not "dead" like some other markets across the country. We still serve the country as a resort destination and attract people from all over because of the many lifestyle activities that the area offers.

Many national studies have named the Carolina's and North Carolina in general as destination places for the baby boomer generation. There are about 75-77 million baby boomers in the USA (born between 1946 and 1964). As these folks continue to retire they will be looking for their retirement spot. As real estate professionals in the North Carolina Mountains we are excited that a large number of these folks will choose to settle in our area.

Temperant climates, low taxes, clean air, low crime, etc will continue to draw this and other generations to our area. For additional information about the mountains of North Carolina please feel free to contact us at .

Maggie Valley Real Estate

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Well, the summer is rolling along and I am happy to report that business has picked up in Maggie Valley and Haywood County. There is not a gold rush atmosphere by any stretch of the imagination, but the phone is ringing, folks are walking in, and other agents are showing our listings. All good news, but you cannot help to be on pins and needles that it will all end tomorrow. As a company we continue to build our listing inventory both residential and land listings. Below is a look at the July numbers for this year compared to last year for Haywood County NC for residential sales.

7/1/08 - 7/31/08 7/1/07 - 7/31/07

Total Closing: 53 68
Average Listing Price: $226,762 $260,109
Average Sales Price: $211,163 $248,423
List/Sale Ratio: 93.1% 95.5%
Average Days on Market: 121 119
The big change from this year to last year is the prices. Yes, the sales volume is down, but the prices are also way down. Hate to beat a dead horse, but good rates, good prices, HUGE inventory! It may be the best time in our history to buy. If you are a first time buyer contact us for more information about the tax credit being offered for downpayment assistance.

Real Estate In Maggie Valley

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Well here we are nearing the end of July 2008 which historically is the "busy" season for real estate in Maggie Valley and Haywood County North Carolina. I must point out our season extends from spring through the fall and the "color" season, but typically mid summer is our rush period.

We have been informed by our in-house mortgage broker that Fannie Mae is now classifying Haywood County, NC a "declining market". We are not alone. The majority of the country fits this classification. We have held onto the fact that we are a resort market and a destination place in the southeast and our market has not been affected like other markets across the country. I do believe that is what has kept the sales that we have had this year. If you have kept up with this blog you will know we try to keep you informed, but also try to keep the topics positive during such a rough time in our country's history. With any negative news we can always find a positive or golden lining. It seems to be getting tougher to do that. I will say that this is the first time that we have publicly discussed our frustration with this market.

There has been some good news in the last few days; oil prices continue to plummet although it is funny how when they go up, gas shoots up immediately, but when oil comes down gas tends to hang out at the higher levels for a while. If you did not see the news today congress has passed the Mortgage Reform Bill and have passed it on to the senate. President Bush had threatened a veto, but he has backed off and says he will sign the bill if it makes it to his desk. Maybe Washington is starting to figure it out that a lot of Americans need help. I will not go into the benefits of the bill in this post because I have not found time to read all 700! pages of the bill. You have to be kidding me! You have to wonder how much fluff is built into the bill for specific representatives personal gain. I am sorry, but I do not trust any of them. (see the great email that I received today at the bottom of the post. It will make you think)

Bottom line our market here is not good. We have historically high inventories of listings, dropping prices, and a general lack of buyers. We have homes that we have offered a bonus to the seller, a bonus to the buyers agent, pay the mortgage for a year, etc, etc and nothing! Not even a bite. It gets difficult to explain to sellers why they are not getting showings. We have great tools at our disposal and we like to think more than most we use them. I had a client in the office yesterday wondering what we have to do to get their property sold. A quick review of showing statistics from Centralized Showing Service who schedules our showing revealed that in the price range that the home was listed there have been ZERO showings in that price range in the last 2.5 months. These tells us that it is not a marketing issue, but a lack of buyers issue.

Where do we go from here at Realty World Heritage? We continue taking one step at a time day by day. When other agents and companies are heading in one direction we go in the other. When others complain about the market we praise it (with the exception of a few vent lines in this post :)) You can use 100 cliches'; "When the going gets tough the tough get going" comes straight to mind. We at Realty World Heritage continue to look at ways at growing the company in a down market. We are trying to think outside the box and stay ahead of the trend and the down market. We continue to add to the website to attract the potential buyers that are out there (the National Association of Realtors' tells us that 82% of homebuyers start their search online). We are moving towards much more video in the near future. I would like to be speaking to you via video clips in the next month and make this whole blog a bit more interactive. We have to grow to survive and we are very focused on the future. Our agents, god bless them show up and work! We have and are committed to a small agent force that works! We are not about the numbers, we are about quality. We thank them for their hard work and we feel that all of them will survive this market. I do not believe all other firms can say all of their agents will make it through. We strive to be different and that difference may be the strength to pull even the weakest agent out of this.

This was a long one, but I hope you have a better understanding of the private thoughts of a real estate company in a tough market. We stay excited for the future and know this thing is going to turn and we work, work, work everyday. It is all we know how to do!

Email of the day:

How many zeros in a billion? This is too true to be funny.

The next time you hear a politician use the word 'billion' in a casual manner, think about whether you want the 'politicians' spending

YOUR tax money.

A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of it's releases.

A. A billion seconds ago it was 1959.

B. A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.

C. A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.

D. A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth.

E. A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes, at the rate our government is spending it.

While this thought is still fresh in our brain... let's take a look at New Orleans ... It's amazing what you can learn with some simple division.

Louisiana Senator, Mary Landrieu (D) is presently asking Congress for 250 BILLION DOLLARS to rebuild New Orleans . Interesting number... what does it mean?

A. Well... if you are one of the 484,674 residents of New Orleans (every man, woman, and child) you

each get $516,528.

B. Or... if you have one of the 188,251 homes in New Orleans , your home gets $1,329,787.

C. Or... if you are a family of four... your family gets $2,066,012.

Washington , D. C

< HELLO! > Are all your calculators broken??

Accounts Receivable Tax Building Permit Tax CDL License Tax Cigarette Tax Corporate Income Tax Dog License Tax Federal Income Tax < BR>Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA) Fishing License Tax Food License Tax Fuel Permit Tax Gasoline Tax Hunting License Tax Inheritance Tax Inventory Tax IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax) IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax) Liquor Tax Luxury Tax Marriage License Tax Medicare Tax Property Tax Real Estate Tax Service charge taxes Social Security Tax Road Usage Tax (Truckers) Sales Taxes Recreational Vehicle Tax School Tax State Income Tax State Unemployment Tax (SUTA) Telephone Federal Excise Tax Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax Telephone Fe dermal, State and Local Surcharge Tax Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax Telephone State and Local Tax Telephone Usage Charge

Tax Utility Tax Vehicle License Registration Tax Vehicle Sales Tax Watercraft Registration Tax Well Permit Tax Workers Compensation Tax


Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago... and our nation was the most prosperous in the world.

We had absolutely no national debt... We had the largest middle class in the world... and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.

What happened? Can you spell 'politicians!'

And I still have to press '1' for English.

I hope this goes around the USA at least 100 times

What the heck happened?????


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    Maggie Valley Homes For Sale

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    If you wondering how our market is performing in Maggie Valley: As of today July 17, 2008 there are 248 homes for sale in Maggie Valley. This includes single family, condo, and town-homes. Through today we have had 45 homes sold in Maggie Valley again including all of the above types. Through the same period last year we had 70 sales in Maggie Valley. This correlates to over 20% reduction in our sales. Although, it sounds a lot other markets are experiencing much higher reductions.

    Maggie Valley Real Estate: Huge Price Reductions on Bank Owned Properties!

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    There is considerable interest in Bank Owned properties at this time across the country and our market is no diffirent. Six new log cabins have just entered the market, plus one track of land. These are located in Wolf Creek Resort, Maggie Valley, NC. The Bank owned prices start at $273,000 and top out at $353,000. This accounts for up to a $192,000 reduction in price. This is a summary of the price changes:

    · 191 Driftwood Loop (Casa Lizzie)New MLS# 417636 - $273,000 -Old MLS #393762 $296,750

    · 193 Driftwood Loop (Lazy Willow)New MLS# 417774 - $347,000-Old MLS #393858 $539,000

    · 209 Driftwood Loop (Andre's)New MLS# 417806 - $309,900-Old MLS #393860 $429,000

    · 266 Driftwood Loop (Allen's T.P) New MLS# 417828 - $273,000-Old MLS #393904 $429,000

    · 282 Driftwood (Linen House) New MLS# 417878 -$353,900 - Old MLS #393905 $539,000

    · 7 Acorn Way (Casa Abby) New MLS# 417903 - $275,000 - Old MLS #393903 $299,750

    · 3.29 acres Acorn Way (Vacant Land) *New MLS#417919 - $170,000 *(All remaining vacant land in Wolf Creek Resort is now included in this listing)

    Contact us at for more information!

    Maggie Valley Homes For Sale: Will This Happen Here?

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    Vulture real estate investors swoop in Let the bargain hunting begin. Prices may still be falling, but they're low enough for some investors to buy, sell, and pocket a tidy profit.

    NEW YORK ( -- Rock-bottom home prices have finally begun to lure vulture real estate investors into the fray. Sharon Restrepo, a broker in South Florida, where home prices have dropped nearly 27% over the past 12 months, recently bought a three-family home in Cape Coral from a very motivated seller for a mere $65,000. It listed for $195,000. She can rent the three apartments out for about $1,500 and turn a profit, while she holds on to the property until the market recovers. "The savvy investors here," she said, "are buying up everything they can." Quick flips Even in the Seattle area, where prices are down just 5% year-over-year, small investors like Liberty Capital, a three-man operation, are snapping up cheap properties. Liberty's portfolio manager Davis Hsu has purchased four homes this year, including a "very clean" 2,700 square foot four bedroom in suburban Federal Way, for about $330,000. He estimated that he bought it at 70 cents on the dollar. He quickly flipped it for a modest profit. He bought another house for only $80,000, a 55% discount from the market, he figured, and made $60,000 profit when it sold. The other two properties he plans to hold onto for a while, renting them out until the market rebounds. "You can get good deals on distressed properties," Hsu said, "if you're willing to wait two or three years before you sell them." Peter Zalewski, founder of Florida-based Condo Vultures, LLC, which specializes in bulk purchases of condo properties, is finding very deep discounts for his clients. In one deal he recently negotiated in Tampa, a developer's lender agreed to sell 149 units for $12 million - a 43% discount to the outstanding $21 million loan. Buying in bulk

    Prices are even cheaper in the Midwest. There, buyers like Jeff Ball, president of Austin, Texas-base Econohomes, purchase packages of bank-owned homes from lenders and resell them after little if any rehab. He buys five to 50 houses at a time, sight unseen. Often, the homes come with encumbrances, like back taxes, water bills or other liens that can add up to tens of thousands. Still, he comes out ahead. Econohomes has purchased about 500 of these homes - located primarily in Ohio and Michigan - over the past two years, at an average price of less than $5,000. Ball said he's bought homes in Cleveland and Detroit for as little as $3,000. They sell for an average of $25,000. His business has been criticized; usually city officials would prefer the homes be renovated before they're resold. But Ball said the money spent doing that would make the business unprofitable; nobody would buy at the prices he would have to charge. They would sit vacant and become havens for squatters, looters and drug dealers. "The most significant thing is to stabilize the situation," Ball said. "Get people back in the house." The new owners move in and start taking care of the properties, according to Ball. If that starts to happen in large numbers, these communities may spring back to life.

    On the sidelines

    Despite these bargains, many big investors who buy in bulk have been slow to start shopping, according to Jack McCabe, a Florida real estate consultant. They're after even deeper discounts, and prices are indeed projected to keep falling in the next year - by double digits in parts of California and Florida. While Sharon Restrepo, the Florida broker, is doing individual deals, she's sitting out the bulk purchases for now. She was recently given the chance to broker a liquidation sale of 32 new homes in North Cape Coral, priced from $122,000 to $127,000, down from $195,000. But she's not interested. "They're not cheap enough for my guys - or me," she said. Jack McCabe says he still sees "a large disconnect between what buyers are willing to pay and what lenders are willing to sell for." That's even more true in California, according to David Michelson, a partner in California-based developer Three Arch Investors - despite the fact that home prices there are already down 35% in the last 12 months. The company is putting together a $250 million vulture investing fund in anticipation of even further declines, and will buy foreclosed homes in California, Nevada and Arizona. "The transactions are not happening yet," he said. "There are plenty of people looking, but the lenders are carrying the cash value [of these distressed homes] at two or three times the actual value," said Michelson. Until banks reduce these prices - and take the write downs that will come with them - buyers like Michelson won't budge. He figures that the banks will have to start liquidating these properties by the end of the year to get them off their books. And then, he says, the floodgates will open. First Published: July 2, 2008: 12:26 PM EDT


    1. bryan on

      i am not sure i like this article it could potentially encourage buyers to wait longer to buy here in maggie. hoping to cash in on lower cost propertys.....------------ since im selling and not buying thats a concern. however i guess it could encourage buyers to buy know however our pricing has not fallen that drastically yet something to think about..... jh befo

      Maggie Valley Real Estate: Katua Falls

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      Committed to Preserving Green Space in Katua Falls

      The trend towards the protection of green space in residential development is relatively new, but growing in popularity with home owners. Katua Falls is committed to creating a mountain experience; that lends itself to appreciation of the natural wonders which attracts us all to the mountains in the first place.

      The preservation of 18% of the land mass reflects a strong commitment to a green community commons concept. The commons comprises the heart of Katua Falls, a quiet cove of towering ancient trees, two spring heads and native under story.

      The curving main drive through Katua Falls circles around the green community commons. Since it is at the center, many of the home sites will back up to the quiet natural area, creating the impression of much larger properties, with an added benefit of undisturbed natural beauty out the back door. The land plan follows the contours of the land, not some cookie cutter format.

      The walking trail, along the creek inside the green space, provides a destination for all owners and guests. The quiet cove provides a home to native flowers and local wildlife. Katua Falls will remain a refuge.

      In addition, over 250 trees have been planted in the 15 acres of Katua Falls. The road sides have been hydro-seeded. Many of the native hardwoods were protected during development.

      This community commons area could have provided many more home sites. Katua Falls choose to preserve the green space for the benefit of all, including the natural inhabitants. It is our hope that you will appreciate it as well.


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      BY: Lynda Bennett

      The answers are easy to find. Since the days then the locomotives first chugged up the

      Saluda grade to destinations such as Flat Rock, Lake Lure, Black Mountain, Dillsboro and Asheville, "summer people" have been visiting the mountains. They may have come for different reasons such as the lack of air conditioning or the fear of mosquitoes laden

      with disease in the sultry southern lowlands, or a family connection brought them home. The original reasons varied from person to person.

      The reasons they found to return year after year - and to love these mountains - can still be found here today.

      All age groups will find a reason to come to the mountains "¦ and to come back year after year. Each visit brings new discoveries and a return to many places that have become favorites over a lifetime.

      One reason that the connection is so special is that people begin to develop "Roots" in the mountains that last through the generations. The connection brings people back and they in turn bring family and friends with them to share this special place. In time, many folks come to call these mountains "home" (or second home).

      So what have all these summer people been doing with themselves?

      What makes these mountains so special?

      The Scenic Beauty:

      Shining Rock Wilderness area

      Water Rock Knob - a short climb

      Blue Ridge Parkway - drive the top of the mountains

      The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

      Maggie Valley - view from Hwy. 19 past Ghost Town

      The Cultural Attractions:

      Cherokee Indians - museum, basket making tradition, Unto These Hills

      Handicrafts - local potters, quilt makers, wood working, and more

      Mountain Music and Dancing

      Local HART Theatre

      Local Craft Shows

      The Historical Aspects:

      Cataloochie Valley - Elk preserve and old Mountain Heritage community

      Historic Downtown Waynesville - for food, shopping and fun

      Shelton House Museum

      Canton Paper Museum and Opera House

      The Great Outdoors:

      White Water rafting, kayaking, and floating

      The Southernmost Ski Slope on the East Coast

      Waterfalls and Sliding Rock


      Mountain Biking - see Tsali Trails

      Horseback Riding

      Trout fishing in Jonathan creek, Maggie Valley

      Is it too much to say - "˜perfect weather' in Four Seasons.

      The Quiet Culture:

      We call ourselves the "˜Quiet Side of the Mountains"

      Read a good book about the region

      Sip on a mug of tea

      Play games

      Chase butterflies

      Identify song birds and raptors, wild flowers and trees

      Build a fire and sit around it

      Play in a creek

      It will not take long before you will be planning to move here or at least to come back for your next visit.


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        Maggie Valley 4th of July!

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        Coming to Maggie Valley this weekend for the 4th? Activities start at the Maggie Valley Fairgrounds at 2pm! There is no admission fee to enter so bring the family. Realty World Heritage Realty is sponsoring a catch and release fishing booth. We will have a large pool with 300 catfish stocked and for a $2 fee for 5 minutes you can try to catch as many fish as you can. Some of the fish will be tagged and local businesses have jumped in with prizes if those fish are caught. We will also have a full booth set up with real estate information, MLS searches, and a chance to win The Realty World $10,000 Sweepstakes. Entry forms will be available! It will be a great time and capped off by an always great fireworks show. You have not seen or heard a fireworks show until you have seen it in Maggie Valley. The bright lights reflecting off the mountains and the big booms echoing through the Valley is incredible. We hope to see you there!