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The Blue Ridge Properties Group team

Aug. 26, 2022

7 Gorgeous Ways To Glam Up Your Kitchen for $1K or Less

Autumn is just around the corner, which means your kitchen is about to go into overdrive. We’re inching closer to the holiday season, and it’s about time you took a look at your cooking space and ask: Does it appear a little worse for wear? Maybe it isn’t set up for the demands of its busiest season of the year.

If you’re concerned about whether it’s worth it, keep in mind that minor kitchen remodels deliver about 80% return on investment, according to Remodeling Magazine. In other words, this room is one of the best to focus on to improve your quality of life and your home’s resale value.

A kitchen remodel doesn’t have to cost tons of money. There are a number of ways to quickly revamp this room’s form and functionality, all for $1,000 or less. Here are some ideas.

1. Upgrade your hardware
2. Adding a focal point light fixture
3. Update your paint
4. Consider installing an energy efficient fan
5. Upgrade with a new sink
6. Replace solid cabinet doors with glass doors
7. Add an Island 

 

to read the full article click this link: 7 Gorgeous Ways To Glam Up Your Kitchen for $1K or Less

Posted in Home Improvement
July 28, 2022

10 Things in your Living Room You Should Toss Now

Do you ever walk into your home after a day of being out and think "DANGGGGGG, this place is a mess"? I do, EVERY single day I come home from the office, primarily because we have SO MUCH junk. Or stuff, whatever you like to call it. I found this article (link at the bottom) and thought, I HAVE to share this. I don't about you, but, I am guilty of everything listed. From the gross and raged throw blankets, to the useless knick knacks that cover the house that I couldn't even get rid of at the yard sale - guilty of it all! I hope this article helps you just as much as it has helped me. Enjoy!

Click the link here to find out those 10 things: 10 Things in your Living Room You Should Toss Right Now

Posted in Home Improvement
June 14, 2022

How a Housing Market Curveball Has Completely Changed What Buyers Can Expect in 2022

The housing market, which received a turbo boost from the COVID-19 pandemic, has begun to shift. Surging mortgage interest rates are rippling through the housing market, threatening to upend real estate’s unprecedented tear. These changes led the Realtor.com® economic research team to revisit its 2022 housing forecast, issued in December, and make some adjustments. The updated midyear forcast factors in these higher rates—and the disruptions they’ve already begun to cause.

Realtor.com expects home prices and mortgage rates will continue to rise, home sales will drop as buyers are priced out of homeownership, and the housing market will continue to cool. However, in a bright spot for frustrated homebuyers, the number of homes on the market is expected to shoot up.

“The number of homes for sale right now is so low that it’s creating these ultracompetitive conditions for buyers, which are so challenging,” says Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale. “More homes for sale will help bring back more balance and sanity to the market.”

Mortgage rates are now anticipated to hit 5.5% by the end of the year—a rate expected to continue sidelining buyers already grappling with record-high home prices. Initially, the Realtor.com economists predicted they would hit only 3.6% for 30-year fixed-rate loans. However, rates hit a high of 5.3% last month before settling in at around 5.1%, according to Freddie Mac data.

The lower projection was made before persistent inflation became a thorn in the side of the U.S. Federal Reserve. The Fed is now hellbent on taming those runaway prices by hiking interest rates—causing historically low mortgage rates to soar.

“Rising interest rates have shifted the foundation of the economy as well as the housing market. So many homebuyers take out mortgages so that rising rates affect how expensive homeownership is,” says Hale. “It’s causing buyers to make tough trade-offs and disrupting the housing market.”

The nearly 2 percentage point difference between the initial low prediction and the actual mortgage rate increase is a game changer for the housing market

A median-priced home of $447,000 with a 3.6% mortgage rate would command a roughly $1,626 monthly mortgage payment. (This is for buyers who put down 20% and doesn’t include property taxes or home insurance.) Boosting the mortgage rate to 5.5% translates into buyers paying about $400 more a month—nearly $5,000 more a year, and roughly $45,000 over the 30-year life of their loans.

Buyers have descended onto the housing market, scrambling to win bidding wars before rates surge even higher. The Realtor.com economists believe prices will be 6.6% higher by year’s end. While that’s still a conservative estimate given the recent spike in home prices, which rose 17.6% year over year in May, the rise is more than double the 2.9% appreciation economists had foreseen in their original forecast.

“Our home price projection is going up as we’re seeing a lot of sticking power in prices and price growth,” says Hale. “We do still expect home prices to cool, but we’re starting at a higher price point.”

Those budget-busting rates and prices are expected to slow home sales. Instead of the number of home purchases ticking up, the Realtor.com economists now predict sales will drop 6.7% compared with last year. (These are for existing homes instead of newly constructed ones.)

However, no one should panic. Even if sales do fall, the real estate market is still on track for a historically good year. Last year was an anomaly with the highest number of closings since 2007. Plus, fewer sales could give inventory levels a boost in a win for buyers who aren’t finding many properties for sale.

“Were it not for last year’s extraordinary sales numbers, this would be a very good year,” says Hale. “We’re a long way from a crash.”

In some welcome news for buyers, all of these forces at play are expected to give the number of homes for sale a big boost. Inventory is expected to increase by 15% this year. That’s a game changer for the market and is a significant jump from an earlier estimate of just a 0.3% bump.

Construction of those badly needed new homes is expected to remain 5% higher than last year. That’s because builders have found ways to overcome a myriad of challenges, from supply chain woes making it difficult—and expensive—to source materials and appliances to construction worker shortages.

The Realtor.com economists now expect housing starts, which is construction that’s begun on new homes, to hit a 16-year high this year.

“We have a really big building deficit to climb out of. Over the last decade, we haven’t built enough homes,” says Hale. “So we’ve got a long way to go to catch up. That’s why we could still see construction increase even if home sales slow.”

Home sellers will also likely need to adjust their expectations as they may not receive the windfall they expected. The bidding wars they expected, offers of tens of thousands of dollars over their asking prices, and legions of buyers willing to waive just about every contingency might not materialize. While it’s expected to remain a seller’s market, buyers are now struggling with higher prices and mortgage rates. So they might have less money to put toward a home than they would have just a year earlier.

You can read the article here: No One Saw It Coming: How a Housing Market Curveball Has Completely Changed What Buyers Can Expect in 2022

 

Posted in Good to know info
May 24, 2022

When Clients are more than just Clients

It's true, I dont know about you but since I've been a Realtor I have remained pretty good friends with most of my clients. Its nice. Being a Realtor is rewarding on many different levels, my favorite one being the friendships formed. My very first clients I met at a local restaurant and they were wanting to move here from TN. Me, being as friendly as I am and an eager new Realtor, I jumped on the opportunity to help them and be their agent! They were an older couple and it was right when the pandemic happened so everything was already at a heightened level. But they trusted me and found their new home here in Weaverville. I was excited! I helped them move. I went over for morning coffee and porch talks. And then a couple years later when my husband and his business partners opened a new shop here in Weaverville, my clients were up there helping us getting the shop up and running! I mean, who would have ever guessed that as a Realtor these friendships would be born?! Others I have worked with got to watch me grow during my pregnancy and were just as eager to meet my little one as I was. Gifts were given, the coolest was a rocking chair for my little and I still send photo updates to them-Seriously, the best thing ever! 

Heres an atricle to futher read another agents ups and downs of being a Realtor and relationships formed!

You can read the full article here: The Weird Reason You Confide More in a Real Estate Agent Than Your Therapist—or Even Your Best Friend

 

Should I Work With a Realtor who is a Friend or Family Member? -

Posted in Example Category
May 16, 2022

What does the proposed budget of 2023 mean for your "like-exchange"?

A 1031 exchange is part of the IRS tax code, allowing real estate investors to defer taxes by exchanging “like-kind” properties. The term “like-kind” refers to the nature or character of the property. These properties must only be used for business purposes or held as investments.

The proposal would allow the deferral of gains up to an aggregate amount of $500,000 for each taxpayer ($1 million in the case of married individuals filing a joint return) each year for real property exchanges that are like-kind. Any gains from like-kind exchanges in excess of $500,000 (or $1 million in the case of married individuals filing a joint return) a year would be recognized by the taxpayer in the year the taxpayer transfers the real property subject to the exchange.

As an agent that has worked with clients making 1031 like-exchanges, I can see the impact that this could have moving forward if approved. President Biden’s proposal to limit 1031 exchanges would severely limit the property values investors can use and also adversely impact the overall U.S. economy. If the proposal is approved, savvy wealthy investors would likely just hold on to property in response — expecting that the tax code will change once again. 

You can read the full article here: Op-ed: What Biden’s proposed limits to 1031 exchanges mean for investors and the economy

Posted in Good to know info
May 10, 2022

Is May the Time to Sell?

Has the thought of selling your home cross your mind? Have you wondered when is the best time to sell? Well now just might be it! Over the last 10 years it has been shown that May is the best time to sell your house and get possibly the price for your home-who would have thought?!

Click the link to read the full article: Realtor Daily News

Chart showing seller profits in May 2022

Posted in Good to know info
April 28, 2022

Home Prices Have Begun Falling: Here Are the Cities Where They’re Down the Most

Home Prices Have Begun Falling: Here Are the Cities Where They’re Down the Most

We may not have made the list but it is a breath of fresh air to see that some areas are starting to see the home prices starting to come down. This is actually an interesting article to read and see what some areas home prices are currently. I mean, Tulido, Ohio has a median price of $115,000 - you can imagine what that will get you here in the Asheville area. One city I didn't expect to see on the list was Los Angeles, California but will the median home price being $985,000 I can understand why they are starting to see home prices fall there, granted its not much. Take a look at the article by clicking the link below. Cheers!

 

Home Prices Have Begun Falling

Posted in Home Affordability
April 26, 2022

Americans are fleeing climate change — here’s where they can go

Dreading those long winters? Or those too hot to handle summers? Thinking that it is time for a change? Well, Asheville has you covered! CNBC just released an article about climate havens and possible relocations for people that are trying to get out of the extreme. We welcome all here but I here Burlington, VT is pretty amazing too :) 

 

A few others named as possible climate havens are:

Buffalo, New York

Burlingotn, Vermont

Madison and Milwaukee Wisconsin

 

Climate Havens

 

View Full article here: Americans are fleeing climate change — here’s where they can go

Posted in Good to know info
April 20, 2022

A bit of 2008 déjà vu: The housing market hitting new levels

You’d be hard-pressed to find housing economists proclaiming that the ongoing housing boom is nearing a 2008-type bust. In fact, many say the opposite, based on the belief that the demographic wave of millennial first-time homebuyers, elevated wage growth, and limited supply will all continue pushing the market upwards. Every major real estate firm with a publicly available forecast, including CoreLogic and Fannie Mae, predicts that home prices will go even higher over the coming year.

 

Black Knight, a mortgage technology and data provider, showed Fortune an analysis on Friday that finds the typical American household would now have to spend 31% of their monthly income to make a mortgage payment on the average-priced U.S. home. That’s up from 29% just one week earlier, and up from 24% in December. Black Knight’s mortgage-payment-to-income ratio—which averaged 19.9% during the 2010s decade—hasn’t topped 31% since September 2007.

 

In March, a team of researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas got the attention of the real estate industry after publishing a paper titled Real-time market monitoring finds signs of brewing U.S. housing bubble. They found that recent U.S. home-price growth—which is up 19.2% over the past 12 months—is once again becoming “unhinged” from economic fundamentals.

However, the Dallas Fed researchers don’t see this as a 2008 repeat. Sure, many new homebuyers are getting stretched financially in a way that resembles buyers during the last bubble. But that’s just new homebuyers. If you look broadly at homeowners, they’re doing quite well.

As of the fourth quarter of 2021, only 3.8% of U.S. disposable personal income was going toward mortgage debt payments. At the height of the 2000s housing bubble, that figure was nearly double at 7.2%. This time around, households’ balance sheets look healthier, and more homeowners have paid off their mortgage altogether. In addition, the shady lending practices of the aughts were regulated out of the market by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. Simply put: If a storm does come, homeowners, in theory, should be better positioned to ride it out.

 

View full article here: A bit of 2008 déjà vu: The housing market hits a level not seen since the last bubble

Posted in Home Affordability
April 11, 2022

Asheville Hot Sauce Challenge

https://avltoday.6amcity.com/asheville-hot-sauce-challenge/

 

Try this: The Asheville Hot Sauce Challenge

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Photo via @wiebe_chefin

Do your taste buds ever get bored? Or maybe you just want to live másIf so, consider this your official invitation to complete the AVLtoday Hot Sauce Challenge

TL;DR: the AVLtoday team went on a mission to sample every hot sauce in Asheville (read: the 20+ that we were able to track down). Here’s what we tried + how we reacted to each of these potent, peppery little vials.

Wiebesaucin’ Hot Sauce 

We be so impressed by the sauces we sampled from local chef + UNC Asheville graduate Colin WiebeCity Editor Laura needed at least a minute to compose herself after trying the Carolina Reaper and Thai Chili-Garlic — and according to Colin’s website, those had heat levels of 7.8 and 8.7, respectively. If you really want to light up your taste buds, seek out the Tropical Reaper Sauce, which has a 8.8 heat level. 

Photo via Darby Communications

Nine Mile

Did you know that our beloved Caribbean fusion restaurant also slings hot sauce? All three bottles — Hempress Rising, Sun is Shining, and Red-i — dazzled us with their lively flavors + thick robust heat. We were particularly impressed by the Hempress, which layers green delight upon delight with its blend of tomatillo, jalapenos, habaneros, and faint hits of thyme. 

Photo via Firewalker

Firewalker 

This is the local hot sauce we received the most emails about, which we think is a pretty high endorsement. The spiciest batch available from this maker is the Running with the Reaper, which contains the Carolina Reaper pepper (known for holding the Guinness World Record for spiciest pepper in the world). 

The Mango Blaze — a smooth combo of spicy and tropical sweet which would pair nicely with fish tacos— was City Editor Laura’s favorite. There’s also Original, Green Glow, and Smokejumper available — whatever you pick, you really can’t go wrong. 

You can find these sweet bottles at most farmers markets. | Photo via @serotoninferments

Serotonin Ferments

While not the spiciest around, these fermented sauces make for a quintessential farmers market purchase: they’re alive with bubbly probiotics and all go down quite gently. City Editor Laura loves drizzling the Red or Habanero-flavored hot sauce over eggs, toast, and hash browns. You can also snag the sauce in Green or Chipotle. 

Good A#! Hot Sauce

This creative suite of sauces, crafted by local musician + comedian Larry Williams, exudes tropical + refreshing energy with flavors like Jalapeno Kiwi, Molten Strawberry, Lemon Pepper, and Original. Multi-City Editor Emily S. especially loves the Lemon Pepper and recommends using it as a marinade for vegetables, fish, or poultry. Pro tip: Larry also makes his own ranch, BBQ sauce, jerk seasoning, and specialty cookies.

Fun fact: Ghost Dog also pairs nicely with pho. | Photo via @ghostdoghotsauce

Ghost Dog Hot Sauce

If you’re a regular consumer of hot sauce and want something that will shock, go for Ghost Dog. The Scotch Bonnet Hot Sauce packs a punch with spritely citrus and the strong, vaguely sweet Scotch bonnet pepper. And if you’re a fan of ginger, go for the Ginger Fatali. Warning though: it brings a slow, menacing burn that may have you sweating (or crying) after a few seconds. 

Biscuit Head

Yeah, you’ve probably guzzled a few (or way more) of this iconic breakfast chain’s biscuits and gravy. But this local franchise offers more than just comfort foods. The biscuit house’s Grilled Jalapeño Hot Sauce tastes like a salsa verde kicked up a few notches. Other flavors include: Sweet Heat, Blueberry Jalapeño, and Cat Scratch. 

Slow Porch 

This artisan small batch hot sauce, made by Rhubarb Chef Davis Taylor, has a subtle, elegant flavor with fruity, almost sour, accents. It would be the ideal sauce to liven up a picnic — or to accompany home cooked Southern meal on a porch in the summertime. 

O’Yeah!

This 24-ingredient sauce is packed with a variety of sweet, salty + savoring notes, including sweet potato, peaches, garlic, and habanero peppers. This one is not overwhelmingly spicy, but certainly leaves a nice tingle on your tongue.

Flavor Sauce 

Starts off with a lovely charred, sweet flavor — but don’t be fooled, the ghost, habanero, and jalapeño flavors will come for you in a few moments. There’s no website for the sauce currently, but you can text 828-777-5022 to purchase a $6 bottle or a 12-pack case for $64.

Bonus bottles we didn’t get to sample

We didn’t get a chance to try The Grey Eagle’s Cheerwine Habanero sauce or the products from Smoking J’s, but we’ve heard great things. If we can get our hands on these ones, we’ll update this page accordingly. 

Know of any other fuego local hot sauces? Let us know who we’re missing.

And finally: if you scrolled all the way down here, congrats. Here’s special behind-the-scenes footage of myself and Multi-City Editor Emily S. losing our minds during the hot sauce tasting. 

Posted in Good to know info