How Will The New Tax Bill Affect Homeowners?

The Affects Of The New Tax Bill

Unless you have stayed offline and haven’t spoken to a single person over the last month, then you know about the proposed tax bills that we are all concerned about. Many have started calling their congresspersons to encourage a vote against the proposed bills out of fear of losing key deductions on their tax returns. We encourage folks to speak their minds to their congresspersons, regardless of how you feel about it. What we want to do today is to simplify the language and explain how these changes affect you so that you can make a more informed decision.


When Will It Go Into Effect?

If passed, the tax bill will go into effect on January 1 of next year. That’s just a couple of weeks away! Despite it being so close, you won’t feel the affect until April of 2019 when you are filing your tax returns. Your tax returns that you file in the coming April will reflect current tax deductions. Fortunately, it gives us a bit of time to dive into whether or not this bill will be good for American citizens. Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean that we can change it soon enough. The House is supposed to vote on the bill the week of Dec 18th but it is not clear if that will truly be when they vote. It’s been rumored that Dec 22nd is the deadline for the vote. We suspect they will put it off as long as possible as they listen to constituents who have been hitting the telephone and fax lines in droves.


What Happens To The Homeowner?

Since nothing has been passed by the House yet, this is where things can get a bit muddy. Under the House bill you would be capped on new mortgages up to $500,000 and the deduction can only be on your primary residence. You would also still be able to deduct state and local property taxes but you would be capped at $10,000. Under the Senate bill, the mortgage deduction would still be in place and capped at one million but the equity debt (re-financing not related to home repairs) would not be deductible and all property tax deductions would be eliminated. The argument is that with a higher mortgage deduction, the property tax deductions would not be needed.

So there are a few issues with the above. If you can only take deductions on your primary residence, this will hurt those individuals who have more than one home (such as a vacation home). A cap on property taxes at $10,000 can certainly be a struggle for people who live in a high percentage area that have to pay multiple property taxes on the primary residence. The Senate bill isn’t much better with a removal of the equity debt deduction. Their removal of property tax deductions sound good on paper, it has a profound effect on the real estate market.

If you are planning on selling your home, both bills will also effect your ability to exclude the capital gains. Currently, you can exclude $250,000 of capital gains provided that you have lived in the home two out of the past five years. Under House and Senate bills, you will only be able to exclude the same amount if you have lived in the home one year out of the past eight years. This is a big hit to folks who may find a real need to move before eight years has passed and not get hit with taxes on capital gains.


What Happens To The Market?

Many people associate their capital gains exclusions when selling and their property and mortgage deductions when buying. With the possible passing of one of these new bills, people are going to be hesitant to buy or sell. The National Association of Realtors is predicting that if either bill goes into effect, housing prices will drop. Sounds good if you are buying, right? Sure, until you see that you have less deductions on your tax return. Don’t forget that some people will be selling a home while buying and if they don’t fall into that eight year time span, they could find themselves with a very large capital gain tax.

We hope that we see improvements in the discussion of any changes to the tax bill, or come to the conclusion that there should not be any changes at all. When you are looking to buying or selling your home, freely speak with your realtor and tax accountant about how to handle potential changes so that you can be most prepared!


What to do in Asheville over the Holidays

Holidays In WNC Are Magical

One of the best things about the mountains of WNC are the holidays.. Whether you love the outdoors or prefer to be warm and cozy, there is plenty for you to do and add to your favorite holiday. Here are some favorite things to do in the area.


Biltmore Estate Is A Favorite

The Biltmore Estate is one of the oldest manors in the country and they certainly know how to bring out the fabulousness to the holiday glitz and glamour. Festivities are already in full swing at the estate and will no doubt put you in the holiday mood. Starting in early November, they provide a Christmas tree raising that includes plenty of fanfare as the 35 foot Frasier tree arrives in a carriage and is erected in the Banquet Hall. The theme for 2017 is A Vanderbilt Christmas and harkens back to the Gilded Age. Each evening from November 3 to January 6 there are Candlelight tours offered in addition to their usual daytime tours. The home and several of the other annexes, such as the Winery and Antler Hill, will be decked out in holiday décor as well. Tickets range from $40-$75 each for the daytime tours and $70 to $85 for the Candlelight Evenings. We recommend pre-purchasing the tickets a week or more in advance to take advantage of any discounts available. Due to the popularity of the event, many tickets sell out quickly so buy now!


Ride The Polar Express

Each year Great Smoky Mountains Railroad brings the popular movie, The Polar Express, to life with their holiday themed ride through the mountains. Rides begin November 10 and end on December 31 with some days closed so employees can enjoy the holidays with their families. An easy hour and a half trip begins and ends at the Bryson City Depot. Featuring music from the movie soundtrack and picking up Santa along the way will sure to excite children of all ages. Hot chocolate and caroling are sure to make your holidays extra special. In 2016 over 84,000 people rode The Polar Express and has certainly become a favorite tradition for many. Tickets sell out fast so rush to get them now while you can. A wide variety of options are available to fit any budget and experience you want to enjoy.


See The Lights At The Arboretum

The North Carolina Arboretum is a favorite amongst the residents due to beautiful views, fantastic learning experience, and amazing hiking trails. From November 17 to December 31 the Arboretum opens up at night for a special viewing of holiday lights. If you enjoyed cruising neighborhoods at the light displays as a child, you will love the impressive light displays in the gardens. Since the event is held outdoors, dress warmly for the walk through the grounds. All tickets much be purchased in advance to ensure admittance at the gate, no ticket sales at the gate. Don’t forget to take pictures of these memorable light displays.

Run The Holidays In

Asheville and WNC locals love to run and there is no shortage of 5K’s to enjoy during the holiday. Work up an appetite for Thanksgiving with the Turkey Trot in downtown Asheville on Thanksgiving Day. If you aren’t a serious runner, or looking for a fun new tradition, join the one mile Gobble Fun Run that precedes the 5K.

On December 10, the Asheville Jewish Community Center is hosting a Hanukkah 8K. All proceeds to the fabulous run will benefit the Shalom Children’s Center, a pre-kindergarten program for area children. Bring the kids out for a fun, free 8 lap race to see how well they can do.

In Fletcher, Trinity of Fairview is hosting a Joy To The World 5K that benefits a mission trip to Nicaragua next summer. Deck out in your favorite holiday race gear for the fun on December 16th.






Finding Work In Asheville

Earlier in the year, it was reported that Asheville saw a drop in unemployment at an impressive rate of 3.2%. Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, employers have been struggling to find employees to fill their needs. This was especially true for part-time positions! This means that now it’s a lot easier to get work than it has in previous years. Let’s take a deeper look at what it means to work in Asheville.


Home Of The Local Biz

Asheville locals love to support local businesses. Even with the rise of chain stores and restaurants, many prefer quaint shops, small service shop, and local artists to purchase their goods and services from. If you are someone looking to boost your own small business, Asheville is a great place to do that sort of thing. Creating pottery, painting masterpieces, beading fabulous jewelry, and metalsmithing or those things that really do well here. If you provide home care services such as personal assisting, pet sitting, and nannying you will also find a slew of work. Want to do office work from home? Join the local Chamber of Commerce to connect with other businesses and see who is the right fit for you.


Be The Professional

Professional positions in health care and office work are on the rise as the city grows. If you are a highly skilled nurse, doctor, administrative assistant, or accountant you will find lots of opportunities, both part-time and full-time depending on your needs. However, this is the one sector that is still highly competitive so bring you’re a-game!


Home Of The Tourists

We aren’t just talking about the minor league baseball team, The Asheville Tourists. Asheville has always been a tourist town and the boom in tourism in recent years means more jobs. Right now we are seeing an incredible high rate of hotels being built all over the city and many need workers to cover everything from housekeeping to front desk to valet services. Restaurants are also plentiful in our food haven and staff is often needed. If you can cook amazing food or wait tables with efficiency, you will have no trouble finding work. Have that entrepreneurial spirit? Food trucks are the “it” thing and the locals love supporting the food truck scene. For a small investment and unique food it can be an easier endeavor to give a little bit of local love. One thing is for sure, we love ethnic foods and if you can offer ethnic yummies you will become popular in a heartbeat.


Spend The Day Driving

While Asheville has plenty of cabs and mass transit options, many locals are finding driving services to be a great way to make cash on their time. Uber and Lyft are incredibly popular and many locals prefer to use those services over taxis due to the price differences. Locals that have chosen to drive with these companies prefer the flexibility it offers and the chance to meet new people. If you have bus driving skills, and a license, check into our mass transit. It is growing each year and there is discussion of adding more lines to the already incredible service they offer. Drivers are currently needed and will be needed in the future. If you have skills in maintenance and office work, positions occasionally pop up.


Educate Your Peers

If you have a skill that you can teach, consider starting your own courses in the area. If you have a degree to teach a specific area of knowledge, check in with University of North Carolina – Asheville (UNCA) or Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College (AB-Tech) to see if they need any positions filled. Several local elementary and secondary schools may be hiring within the city or the county of Buncombe.


Asheville is well-known for being a hotbed of tourism and hosts a unique flavor of artistry. Any service you can provide or any position you can fill will certainly improve the area and help us flourish.



Finding The Right Mortgage In Asheville

While many people look to their home bank as the source of home financing, there are other options that could save you money in the long run. Before settling with any bank, comparison shopping is the best thing that any future homeowner could do. If you are looking to settle in Asheville, NC, there are a few local bank options as well as some online options you can look into. Here are a few suggestions of our own to research before you buy your home.


Asheville Savings Bank

Asheville Savings Bank was recently purchased and is now known as First Bank. Despite the change, their mortgage experts have been processing loans for 150 years and are very knowledgeable at getting you the best loan possible. They have a variety of options including:

  • Long term fixed rate home loans
  • Adjustable rate home loans with a variety of terms
  • Construction loans
  • First time buyer home loans
  • Government sponsored home loans like USDA/FHA/VA
  • Reverse mortgages

At the time of this article, rates varied from 2.875% to 3.875& and APR ranged from 3.061% to 4.096%.  First Bank now offers online applications as well so anyone across the country could easily apply without having to be present for the initial start of the loan process.


Credit Unions

If you have already relocated to the area and are looking to buy a home, consider joining one of our many credit unions. Asheville loves locally grown businesses and the same is true when it comes to our banking. A few of our credit unions are:

  • State Employees Credit Union
  • Mountain Credit Union
  • Telco Credit Union
  • Self-Help Credit Union

Some of the requirements for joining a credit union will vary. State Employees is open to state employees, their own employees, and certain companies contracted with them. Family members can also join. Other credit unions, such as Mountain Credit, only require that you work in the area.

Why a credit union? Well they function like banks but are not-for-profit. This means that any home loan they offer, they keep in house rather than sell it to a 3rd party, a trend popular amongst traditional mortgage lenders. This also means lower fees since they are not in the business to make a profit. Additionally, they can offer loans to those who have slightly higher debt-to-income ratios and trickier sources of income.

Are the rates lower? Not always! While origination fees tend to be lower, most rates and APR’s are comparable to your traditional bank. It’s a great option to look into if your traditional bank has already denied you because of your debt-to-income or because of the sources of your income.


Online Mortgage Lenders

Have you noticed the commercials for Quicken Loans as of lately? Don’t look away, check them out. They have competitive rates that currently start at 3.255% and it is almost as quick as it appears on their ads. The greatest thing about Quicken is that you can truly apply through the app at any given time. However, we recommend checking out their website and looking at their options and mortgage calculator to be sure that it will fit your budget. One of the most attractive options they offer is the Jumbo Loan. If you need a mortgage that is over the traditional loan limit ($424,100), this is for you. Are you a veteran? They also have VA Jumbo Loans that feature a no money down option for those that qualify. A word to the wise: some loans require a minimum credit score of 700 so inquire carefully and check your credit score before you apply.


Between local banks and credit unions, your traditional bank, and online options, you are sure to find the right mortgage and lender to fit your budget and help you buy the house of your dreams. Taking the time to comparison shop will truly empower you to making the best decision possible.

If you have questions, contact Hi-Alta today to speak with an experienced Asheville realtor.

What a Real Estate Agent or Broker Can Do For You

When it comes to buying a home, you learn a lot of lingo. Same can be said for who you choose to help you make your big purchase. There are real estate agents or salespersons and there are real estate brokers. What is the difference? Well let’s just dive in and learn what each of their roles are and what they do for you!


Real Estate Agent Vs Real Estate Broker

A real estate agent acts as a liaison between the seller of a home and the buyer. They have the access to homes that are on the market and can take on the task of making negotiations on your behalf. They understand the tricky business of contracts and understand the legalities of a home purchase. In North Carolina, real estate agents must follow the following criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • US Citizen
  • Complete 75 hours of state approved courses in a live classroom
  • Pass the state licensing exam with at least a score of 75%

North Carolina considers their real estate agents as real estate brokers however, they are not a broker-in-charge and cannot work independently as a broker. They must report to a broker-in-charge.

A real estate broker-in-charge typically does all the same as a real estate agent but they can establish escrow accounts and manages the earnest money deposit. A broker-in-charge typically will work on their own or open their own office and hire brokers underneath them. In order to become a broker-in-charge there is post licensing education required within 3 years of your initial licensing as a real estate agent. There are 3 90-minute classes to complete and a form of intention that must be filed in order to be granted the new status.


Really, What Do They Do For Me?

With all the homes on the market, and several folks trying to sell their home without an agent, why should you truly hire someone to help you buy your home? Let’s first consider the legal ramifications of home buying. There are contracts and negotiations. You will need an inspection done on the home. All of these things are not easy to navigate and the average person has no idea how to navigate them. Real estate agents have the education and experience to know exactly how things should be worded in a contract, how to negotiate effectively, who to contact for inspections, and lead you into the foray without fear.

Your agent is also a buffer. Once you lay out what kind of home you want and the ideal location, they are going to do the searching for you to find the best prospects. Try doing that on your own and you could find yourself spending hours looking at all the wrong properties. What happens if you aren’t 100% sure what you want but you know what your budget is? That agent can at least inform you of what is in your price range and help you navigate your likes and dislikes to whittle away at the options.

Your agent also has the connections. The longer they have been in the business, the more connections they have. Not only to fantastic properties but to reputable contractors, inspectors, and home repair businesses in the area. They can also tell you about the best things the neighborhood has to offer and highlight some of the best things to do in town. That’s an added perk when you are moving into a completely new area or state.

Of course, we don’t recommend you buy or sell your house on your own. Let us help you find the home of your dreams. Real estate agents work hard to make the process as painless as possible so that you can truly be excited for your new home. Isn’t that the point of buying or selling a home?


Hot Topics in Asheville – Hotel Tax and Housing

Taxes and housing are on the tip of everyone’s tongue, whether they are visiting or living here. Asheville is seeing significant growth that is impacting both the occupancy tax rate and the housing situation. Let’s investigate both just a little further so that we can understand the financial makeup of Asheville.


Occupancy Tax is Still Affordable

Occupancy tax belongs to Buncombe County, the home of Asheville. This tax covers all hotels, motels, inns, and short term rentals (cabins, AirBnB, etc). The last increase took place in 2015 when it increased to 6% from 4%. Currently that is exactly the tax rate one pays when they stay here. It may seem a bit higher once you factor in our 7% sales tax, but for the sake of discussion we are solely focusing in on the occupancy tax. As of now, there are no plans for the county government to raise taxes. We are certainly hearing the rumors, but to date there is no reliable source that would back those rumors up. However, we must factor in the incredible boom Asheville is seeing right now in tourism. It wouldn’t be of any surprise if the county government took measures to increase in order to make the most out of the financial benefit of a tourism boom. Despite the consideration, the occupancy tax is relatively low when compared to other counties in the state of North Carolina and the majority of the country.

Many people often wonder if Asheville will impose a city wide occupancy tax for the hotels and AirBnB’s situated in the city limits. The short answer is “No”.  The longer answer is that they are simply not allowed to by the state of North Carolina. It isn’t technically a law but in order for any local government to impose a special tax within city limits, they must make a request to the state and receive approval. So far, no one on City Council has discussed that as their focus has been strongly on housing issues.


Bond Referendum Focuses on Affordable Housing

The bond referendum was approved in August 2016 and was most recently amended for the City Council’s approval. The bond itself is worth $74 million and means that there is a 4.15 cent increase on property taxes in order to pay off the debt. While the bond covers several key issues in the area, affordable housing is the one that everyone is watching closely. It is proposed that there will be 2,800 new units of affordable housing made available by June, 2021. It also includes the expansion of permanent place-based affordable housing, so that many can have a home that they can reside in for much longer than a rental. Additionally, there is a focus on location and energy efficiency considered as key factors for the affordable housing. Lastly, the bond has ambitious plans to eliminate the homeless crisis that Asheville is currently facing. Location is probably one of Asheville’s largest challenges when it comes to affordable housing. The city has three properties that are referenced in the bond as key places to transform into usable and affordable space. Two of them are in the heart of downtown and all three are on the bus lines, making it attractive for folks who rely on mass transit for work and errands. Those three properties contribute a total of approximately 14 acres to develop, which is why it will take about 4 years to complete those developments.


What does this mean for the visitor or potential new resident? For the visitor, there is still a relatively low tax in place that won’t break your travel budget and allows you to spend more on meals and entertainment. For the potential new resident, you will see more growth in the city and new opportunities arise. Growth in the city will be a huge benefit as we support local businesses and add to our eclectic lifestyle!


The Face of Asheville’s Rental Market

When most folks move here, they look for rental property to live in to get a feel for the area before they invest in a home. It’s important to know whether or not your career, home life, and social life will flourish before setting permanent roots here. However, we have seen that getting rental property can be much harder than assumed at first glance. Here is the real truth on what the rental market looks like in Asheville and all of Buncombe county.

Reports have focused on multi-family units, meaning apartment buildings and duplexes and show that there is a 96% occupation rate as of 2016. This has actually dropped from 98% in 2014. Vacancies in 2014 were at 99 units and in 2016, that number rose to 336. However, we also have seen growth in the number of available units with new complexes built all over the county within those 2 years. When it comes to affordable housing, government subsidized and income based rentals, have seen 100% occupation rate and a growing waiting list of well over 500 families. The new complexes that have come into the area have been high-end market units with very little growth in the affordable housing sector. That growth involved 2 complexes that were filled immediately and the waiting list added to as families are increasingly needing assistance.

Rental increases were above national average as well over the past two years. National average hovered around 3% and in Asheville, average rents were raised 4.4%. Interestingly enough, the rise for 2 bedroom units rose the most at 5.2%, 3 bedrooms averaged at 4.3%, and 1 bedrooms rose at 4.2%. 2 bedroom units appear to be the most sought after rental and accounts for the higher increase in rent.

In the entirety of Buncombe County there are 36 high-end market rentals. That doesn’t sound like much but we are only referring to multi-family units. As of 2016, there are1,970 units under construction and an additional 2,600 units planned or proposed. Less than 1,000 of those units are earmarked as subsidized and/or affordable housing units with the rest being high-end market rate. With the rise of the units that are coming, we are hoping this means a lower occupation rate that is desirable for a healthy housing market.

Unfortunately, the reports don’t include single family rental units and Buncombe county certainly has a large market of those properties as well. Rents are comparable for those units as the multi-family units and also see about the same occupancy rate. However, a quick look with a real estate agent or google search will show that there are units available. They just happen to fill very quickly!

So what does this mean for you, the potential new resident of Asheville North Carolina? It means being financially smart about your move. Average rents in Asheville are hovering around $1500 a month and surrounding areas in the county are roughly around $1000 a month. This means your monthly income must be $4500 or more per month to comfortably afford the rental market. More income will be desirable in order to save for a home purchase, of course! While you are number crunching, doing some research on the cost of living will equally be important so that you can save appropriately and enjoy all that Asheville has to offer. Don’t forget to research your moving expenses as well. Most importantly, make sure you have a rental unit ready for you when you come here. We have heard too many horror stories of families moving here, assuming they can get into a rental within a week and end up living in hotels until a unit becomes available. The same can also be said for the job market, have a job lined up first before you get here. Don’t shy away from checking out those single family units as well in order to broaden your options!

Brews & Tunes – What Asheville Offers at Night

asheville realtor

Two of Asheville’s favorite things are a well-crafted beer and some local music to bring delight to the ears. We have successfully been dubbed Beer City USA at least 3 years in a row. Governor Roy Cooper proclaimed May 26-June 3 as Asheville Beer Week and we celebrated our first Beer City Festival at the end of May. With just over 30 breweries in the city, it would be an understatement to say that we love our beer. Here are a few of our favorite breweries!


Asheville Brewing CompanyOne of Asheville’s oldest breweries, it has been a staple in Asheville since 1998. Offering over 30 locally brewed ales and IPA’s, it will be easy to find the right beer for you. Of course they don’t just offer beer, they offer some of the best local pizza and wings that will please the palate. If you are on the north end of town, their Merrimon location offers movie viewing at incredibly affordable prices, full menu available, and unique seating that feels more like sitting in your living room then a movie theater.


Catawba BrewingCatawba Brewing isn’t officially in Asheville, they are comfortably residing in gorgeous Morganton, just east of Asheville. However, their brews have been in our local beer scene since 1999. Mellow Mushroom, Barley’s, The Bier Garden, and the Biltmore House were amongst the first to give these WNC brewers a chance and they have certainly made a home in our hearts and our gullets. In 2014, they opened a tasting room and small brewery on the South Slope so they could cater to us a little bit easier. All of their brews are now offered in 4 different states and earning them plenty of well-deserved business for their efforts and delicious brews.


Ginger’s RevengeGinger’s Revenge is a new brewery making a big splash over off Riverside Drive, not too far from the UNCA Campus. What makes Ginger’s Revenge so special? Not only do they offer similar grain-based beers, they also create ginger beers that are naturally gluten-free. For those who are health conscious, and the few who suffer from Celiac’s disease, this is a dream come true! We are sure that we will see some impressive things from this brewer over the coming years.

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While you are enjoying all the wonderful beers that Asheville has to offer, don’t forget about the impressive music you can catch any night of the week.  Here are a few of our favorites!


Leeda Lyric JonesLyric is one of Asheville’s favorite because she was born here, raised here, and ready to entice your ears with her musical stylings. Touting inspiration from the likes of Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, and Tracy Chapman, you will be mesmerized by her soulful autheticness.


Secret Agent 23 Skidoo – Name sounds weird, but it’s Asheville! This is a band that touts themselves as “family hip hop with solid gold soul”. No, this is not a Kidz Bop cd reject, these folks mix the right blend of fun and family friendly sound to bring you up out of your seat and want to dance. Did we also mention they are Grammy Award Winners?  Yes! Earlier in 2017, they won a Grammy for Best Children’s Album.


The music scene isn’t just limited to fantastic bands either, we have some really great places to listen to music. The Orange Peel brings in a blend of modern and local music to the downtown area. Isis Theater brings the local music scene to West Asheville in style and class. The Grey Eagle has been a staple for the local music scene long before the tourism explosion. All of these great places have made sure to include local brews on their menu so that you can get the very best that Asheville has to offer. If there is anything that Asheville loves the most, it’s supporting the locals and their hard work.


Should You Rent or Buy in Asheville?

People are flocking to Asheville and it’s no surprise! The gorgeous mountains offering plenty of outdoor excursions of all types, eclectic lifestyle, and a slew of fabulous restaurants and breweries make it easy to want to be here. When you factor in the low cost of housing, and overall lower cost of living, Asheville becomes even more attractive. Before you jump into a moving van, let’s consider whether you should buy or rent.


Rent Is a Fantastic Intro

Renting a place is simply a wonderful way to settle into the area and immerse yourself into Asheville culture. Each part of the town has its own sense of self. Downtown is typically where the tourists hit for a fun time and is chock full of boutiques and restaurants. Over on the westside, you will find lots of events and plenty of locally run businesses. The southside has become the place for young and upcoming people who want to experience a bit of Asheville luxury. The North and East sides have traditionally appealed to families. Renting allows you to choose an area and get to know it before committing to a home purchase. A two-bedroom apartment will easily run you $1200 per month in Asheville so be sure you are not eating into any money you are saving for a home purchase. Availability is impressive considering that apartment complexes are opening at breakneck speed.

If you aren’t in the position to purchase a home at the moment, renting is also a great way to make the move and save up for your own home in the future. Be sure that your income will allow for you to grow into the position of purchasing a home in the future. While Asheville has an abundance of employment, most of those jobs are in the tourism sector and do not pay well enough for a single person to save for a home. However, Asheville is a great place to start your own business. People here love to support the small and local businesses! Due to the high cost of renting, it’s wise to make renting a temporary endeavor when you move to the area.


Home is Where Your Heart Is

The ultimate recommendation is to purchase your home now before prices rise. Currently the median cost of a home in Asheville is approximately $250,000- $350,000 for a 2-bedroom home, depending on the area you are looking to move into. Those prices are rising making buying now more attractive than waiting it out. However, Asheville is also growing with plenty of new homes being built by developers to answer to demand. With a growing housing market, it gives you a little more buying power in negotiations over property.

It’s also important to consider property taxes into your housing budget. All Asheville City residents pay the city property tax and property taxes to Buncombe County. It is one of the issues some lifelong residents have had with the taxation, however, it’s considerably less expensive than other parts of the country.  Our homeowner’s insurance is typically lower as well. We don’t experience hurricanes, tropical storms, or tornadoes in the area which lend to a lower premium. Some areas near rivers and creek may be prone to be flooding and could raise your rates but even that is lower in cost in comparison to some of the bigger storms and weather epidemics seen in various portions of the country.

Given that current rental fees are comparable to mortgages in the Asheville area, it would just make sense to purchase and pay the same for a mortgage rather than lose the equity by renting. According to the Asheville Chamber of Commerce, the cost of living in Asheville is below the national average. Their cost of living calculator is especially helpful for you to use to consider how a move to Asheville can affect your finances.

Call now to an experienced Asheville real estate expert at Hi Alta Real estate today.




Baby Boomers Find What They Want in Asheville

In 2013, the average age of citizen in Asheville was 38 years old. In the last four years, Asheville has seen significant population growth. While we attract all walks of life and ages, baby boomers have found their home here easier than any other age group. We have curated a top five list on why that is!


  1. Freedom to Work – Our typical vision of retirement is one in which we don’t work at all and we spend our days doing the things that we desire. Perhaps that is learning the woodworking or growing a garden, those things that we put off during our working years because it was so time consuming. However, baby boomer have been changing how we live retirement and one thing many baby boomers want is the freedom to work if they choose to. This does not translate into a 40-hour a week, 9 to 5 position either. Baby boomers want work that fills their souls and one in which they can control. Given Asheville’s love for local business, many baby boomers are able to work out of their home crafting an art or doing a side job of some kind that gives them a sense of purpose and allows them to meet new folks during retirement. Many are able to make extra funds to pay for extra curriculars and save their retirement funds for the bills to sustain their life.
  2. Diverse Dating Scene – If Asheville is known for anything, it’s the diverse and eclectic lifestyle we so readily accept here. This also extends into the dating scene and with divorce rates over 50% these days, this means plenty of dating opportunities for the single baby boomer. Not only are their dating opportunities, there are a plethora of exciting and interesting things to do with your date! So even if you are a partnered baby boomer, there is still some great things to do in the area for you and your loved one.
  3. We are Health Conscious – Many baby boomers are starting to feel the effects of aging and this is the perfect area to find what you need for taking care of your body. We have gyms in each sector of the city and the environment lends its own natural ways to work your body. Hiking, biking, and walking groups are plentiful here. Additionally, if you are looking for mindful grocery stores that carry healthier food options, we service your needs through Co-Ops and local grocers who go out of their way to bring the best in organic and lower processed foods. Lastly, Mission Hospitals offers some of the best medical care in the area. Many of our Western medicine doctors will also work in conjunction with holistic health options to give you the best in medical care.
  4. Volunteering Opportunities Everywhere – A large portion of baby boomers are looking to volunteer more and give back to community, something they largely could not do during their working years. Combined with the fact that they have seen more political strife and rebellion than any other generation, baby boomers are simply more likely to vocalize their concerns for community and join forces to make big change in the world. Asheville is a hotbed for causes of all kinds. Whether you are working to help the homeless, domestic violence and rape survivors, or advocate for political change, there is always someone here in need of a volunteer to care for the community.
  5. School Isn’t For the Young – While the baby boomer was working, and possibly raising a family, there just wasn’t much time to learn a new language or a skill that they would’ve liked. Asheville fulfills that need through several businesses and the local community college. Whether it’s learning a musical instrument, or writing your memoirs, it’s easy to fill your time with some classes to keep the mind learning.

Baby boomers are living longer than their parents did and have more energy to live the retirement they want. We simply cater to their needs and empower our baby boomers to live a life they want!