Cradled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, in the “land of a thousand waterfalls”, rests the unassuming town of Brevard.  Unassuming because, even though its a small town with less than 7,000 residents, Brevard has become a a noted tourism, retirement, and cultural center in Western North Carolina. A moderate climate, environmental beauty and cultural activities attract locals and re-locators alike.

What is it known for?

Many things. Brevard is home to Brevard College, a 4-year liberal arts college as well as the Brevard Music Center, one of the nation’s preeminent summer music teaching and performance institutions. But Brevard has a few other “claims to fame”.

Sciurus carolinensis – the Eastern Gray Squirrel. Except in Brevard, it’s actually white. Wait. What? A white squirrel? Is it a distinct species? Some sort of genetic mutation? Well, the answer you’ll get depends on who you ask…
The white squirrel has become sort of a living mascot for Brevard; so much so that the town has built an entire art & music festival around. The festival, aptly named “
The White Squirrel Festival” draws in over 9,000 visitors over it the two-day event.

Where do you want to live?

Just six miles from downtown Brevard lies Connestee Falls – a country club community featuring a golf course, tennis courts, swimming pools, lakes, club house, and hiking trails.
For those looking for something without all the amenities, The Reserve, an 1,100 acre, low-density gated community ideal for nature lovers. Divided into parcels averaging twenty plus acres each, The Reserve is a gated community of estates with a distinct wilderness feel.

Side Trips

Brevard’s close proximity and easy access to major metropolitan areas like AshevilleHendersonville, Charlotte, Greenville and Atlanta make it an ideal place to live or visit.
Asheville Regional Airport is closest though Charlotte-Douglas Airport is one hour away and Greenville-Spartanburg Airport is only a 45 minute drive.

Practical info

As with the rest of Western North Carolina, both asking and selling prices are on the rise.  Unlike some other smaller communities however, inventory is declining which is good for both buyers and sellers since lower inventory and higher demand keep the average listing price around $338,000.
An entry level 3/2 around Brevard starts around the $160k mark. Expect to start in the low $300′s for homes closer to downtown. If golf is your hobby and you want to live in a country club community like Connestee Falls, homes on the fairways start in the mid $200′s and climb from there.

Known as “The City of Four Seasons” and self-proclaimed as “The Friendliest City for Retirees”, Hendersonville and Henderson countyare part of the four-county Asheville Metropolitan Statistical Area – the fifth largest MSA in North Carolina.
It’s well-preserved Main Street and Downtown area is filled with r
estaurants, antique shops and numerous boutiques – especially since its revitilization in the early 1990′s. More recently, the town’s historic “7th Avenue Commercial District” has seen redevelopment efforts.  With it’s 19th and 20th century architecture, funky boutiques, brewhouses, and restaurants, Hendersonville is quickly becoming a lower-priced alternative to Asheville.

What is it known for?

Hendersonville is probably most well-known as the host city for the “North Carolina Apple Festival“.  This annual event, now in it’s 66th year, draws up to 50,000 spectators, capping it’s four-day run with the King Apple Parade!
Besides it’s historic and appealing downtown area, Hendersonville also offers plenty of natural beauty. It’s largest draw for outdoor lovers is 
Dupont State Forest.  With over 10,000 acres and no less then 6 waterfalls, Dupont attracts visitors from all over the country – Hollywood too! The Last of the Mohicans and more recently, The Hunger Games have both filmed inside the Forest.
Just outside of 
Hendersonville lies Flat Rock, a small town with two big draws – The Flat Rock Playhouse and the Carl Sandburg home, Connemara.

Where do you want to live?

Hendersonville offers plenty of choices for any lifestyle.  For the urban set, you can choose a condo or an apartment smack in the center of downtown or in one of the many surrounding neighborhoods such as Five Points, Druid Hills and Hyman Avenue.
For those looking for something a bit more rural, you can choose from several small communities like 
Dana which is close to downtown orEdneyville where the majority of the counties apple farms reside.
For the golfer, Hendersonville is home to 
Champion Hills Country Club and Kenmure in Flat Rock. The par-71 course inside of Champion Hills was designed by Tom Fazio and is consistantly ranked as one of “North Carolina’s 10 Best Golf Course” by Golf Digest while the par-72, Joe Lee-designed course of Kenmure was voted as one of the “Top 50″ by Golfweek.

Side Trips

As part of the Asheville MSA, Downtown Asheville is only a short drive from Hendersonville.  Even shorter is the mountain lake town ofLake Lure and the quaint city of Brevard. 

Asheville Regional Airport serves Asheville and the surrounding areas and has direct flights to many major US cities such as Chicago and New York City, which are an hour and and hour and a half flight respectively.
Public transportation comes in the form of the 
Apple Country Public Transit, a “dial-a-ride” service for Henderson County residents.

Practical Info

As mentioned previously, Hendersonville has become a lower-priced alternative to Asheville.  Once known as a “retiree-only” destination,Hendersonville has begun to attract a younger crowd.
Like most places, the prices vary depending on where you are looking and what you are looking for. The median sale price in August for a modest home in Hendersonville was $117,000 according to Trulia. However, expect to pay ”Asheville-like” prices for homes in more affluent areas such as 
Champion Hills and Hyman Avenue where prices start in the low $400k’s and climb to over $3,000,000.
1-2 bedroom apartments close to downtown start at around $700/month while a townhome or condo will start around $900.

In 1902, Dr. Lucius B. Morse and his brothers purchased 64 acres around Chimney Rock for $5,000.  They later acquired enough land to bring the total to 8,000 acres.
in 1925, the family created Carolina Mountain Power Company and began construction of a dam on the Broad River.  What was born from this ambitious project was the town of Lake Lure.

Encompassing 720 acres and 27 miles of shoreline, Lake Lure enjoys its proximity to larger towns like Asheville and Charlotte.  Within 100 miles of four states, it’s a wonderful destination for water skiing, boating, fishing, golfing, and hiking.

What is it known for?

Always intended to be a resort town, Lake Lure has played host to US Presidents, foreign dignitaries, authors, celebrities and the like.

Lake Lure has been used numerous times as a filming location for major motion pictures including My Fellow AmericansThe Last of the Mohicans, and most famously, Dirty Dancing.

In 2006, Lake Lure was chosen as the location for the HGTV Dream Home where a lucky winner was given an incredible custom home and an SUV.

Recently, in July 2012, National Geographic Traveler chose Lake Lure as one of “7 American Classic Lake Escapes”,  citing “Lake Lure retains the unpretentious character and natural splendor that has attracted vacationers for more than 80 years”.

Where do you want to live?

Why, the lakefront of course! The location of the lake allows for both “big water” views and expansive vistas of Hickory Nut Gorge, Chimney Rock, and the surrounding mountains.
While Lake Lure has several small subdivisions and plenty of rural housing, the largest community is 
Rumbling Bald Resort on Lake Lure.  Inside the 3,600 acre resort lies Fairfield Mountains-a gated, mixed-use community with two championship golf courses, a private beach and marina, restaurants, tennis courts, a pro shop, an spa and fitness center, and both an indoor and outdoor swimming pool.  Prepare to pay a one-time initiation fee of $5,000 and $2,129 yearly POA dues.
Firefly Cove is another option for those looking to have lower association dues though the amenities are not quite as expansive. However, Firefly Cove does offer a community lodge with a fitness room, billiard room, and a large gathering room as well as an outdoor pool and a small marina.  Perhaps Firefly Cove’s biggest “claim to fame” is that it was built on the same cove made famous by the film “Dirty Dancing”. You know; the cove where Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey are practicing lifts…

Side Trips

As we mentioned earlier, Lake Lure is in wonderful proximity to larger towns.  Asheville is only a 45 minute drive.  Charlotte is about an hour and fifteen minutes.  Hendersonville is only 25 minutes and Greenville, South Carolina is around 45 minutes.
Much closer however is the small village of 
Chimney Rock, which is of course famous for its 315-foot monolith of the same name. The natural formation now resides in the newly-formed 4,531 acre Chimney Rock State Park.  Below “the Rock”, you’ll find a charming village filled with shopping and restaurants.
Asheville Regional Airport is closest though Charlotte-Douglas Airport is one hour away and Greenville-Spartanburg Airport is only a 45 minute drive.
While both Lake Lure and Chimney Rock offer modest accommodations, we’d recommend renting a lakefront home from a property management company like 
Lake Country Vacation Rentals.

Practical Info

Lake Lure has around 1,200 full-time residents. In the summer though, the population can balloon up to around 10,000.  That’s because many of the homes in the area are second or even third vacation homes.  Because of the provenance of Lake Lure has always been a playground for the slightly more affluent, the real estate market was slower to be affected by the downtown.  2009 proved that no market was immune however, and sales began to drop sharply. Flash forward to 2012 – Lake Lure has now “market-corrected” and though prices have dropped considerably, sales are now returning to the area.

Non-waterfront single family homes start in the $170′s while non-waterfront condos start around the $140 mark.  For those that want to be on the water (and let’s face it, who wouldn’t?), lakefront homes start in the $220′s and go all the way up to $2,650,000.

For information regarding Lake Lure Real Estate and to view all listings available, visit pinnaclesir.com

Steadfast in its place as one of the most atmospheric cities in the southeast, the “land of the sky”, the eclectic jewel in the crown of western North Carolina.  With its stunning art deco architecture, its vibrant arts scene, its eclectic mix of culture, and its iconic natural setting in the Blue Ridge Mountains, there is a sense of permanence that helps root all who live here.  Where else could a mountain hike in the morning, a tour of one of the largest private residences in the US in the afternoon, enjoying a locally crafted brew while you enjoy music at dusk, and then retiring to a 5-star luxury hotel at night seem so perfectly and incredibly expected?

What is it known for?

What seemed like one of the darkest periods in US history has now proved to be one of Asheville’s most fortunate.
No, it wasn’t New York, or Chicago, or St. Louis.  The city that suffered most from the economic collapse was Asheville-a municipality so poor for so long that the “ancient” buildings never faced the bulldozers or urban renewal.  While many cities chose to default on their Depression-era liabilities and start over with a “clean slate”, the Asheville city fathers chose to pay back every dollar.  It was a burden several generations would endure, until 1976 when the last obligation was paid. During those years, the city stayed much as it was before that black day in 1929.

Asheville today is more than a city where architecture stood still.  It is distinctive because in the year that time stopped, 1929, Ashevillewas a boom town.  A home for the Vanderbilts, a resort for Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and many other historic luminaries, and a Mecca for rising young architects.  Those young minds would follow in the footsteps of master architect Richard Morris Hunt, who built the lavish Biltmore House in 1895.

Asheville is now one of the most visited cities in the United States, with tourists thronging the French chateau-inspired Biltmore House, the Art Deco-infused downtown area, the native granite-founded Grove Park Inn, and the winding roads of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

But Asheville is so much more than just the architecture.  It’s host to Bele Chere; the largest street festival in the southeast.  It was named BeerCity USA 2012. It features numerous 5-star luxury hotels such as The Grove Park InnThe Grand BohemianHotel Indigo, and the Biltmore Inn.  It boasts hundreds of attractions including the Blue Ridge Parkway, hot air balloon rides, historic trolley tours, numerous art galleries including the Kress Emporium and Woolworth Walk. It even has the Asheville Tourists; a minor league baseball team!

Where do you want to live?

Asheville is surrounded by mountains and suburbs are attractive for families looking for homes with more space and greenery.  Popular areas include historic Biltmore Forest, and Biltmore Lake.
For those looking to be closer to the urban action, consider 
The Fitzgerald; luxury condos located on Macon Avenue in the Grove Park area, the historic Montford area, or the Lexington Condominiums in the heart of Downtown.
Biltmore Park embodies both the urban setting with a suburban feel.  While 10 minutes from downtown Asheville, this mixed-used community features single family homes, condos, townhomes, and apartments – all within walking distance of lively restaurants and cafes, spa and health clubs, as well as a range of dynamic shops, businesses and entertainment.

Side Trips

As the largest city in Western North Carolina, it’s easy to get to several charming towns such as Hendersonville, Brevard, and Lake Lure.  In the winter, many head for the higher elevations for skiing in towns such as Wolf Laurel.

Asheville Regional Airport serves Asheville and the surrounding areas and has direct flights to many major US cities such as Chicago and New York City, which are an hour and and hour and a half flight respectively.
Public transportation comes in the form of the 
Asheville City Bus System (ART). However, should you wish to go anywhere outside the Downtown area, you will need your own car.

Practical Info

Asheville continues to be a thriving mecca here in the southeast.  In 2007, the median sale price of a single family home in Asheville was $232,000. Like most markets, Asheville real estate was not immune to the market downturn.  However, the latest reports from June-August of 2012 show a median sale price at $215,000.
Entry-level homes in the eastern suburbs of Asheville start in the high $160′s while luxury homes North and South of downtown Asheville start in the high $900′s and climb to as much as $5,000,000.
Rentals in the downtown area are in demand from students and professionals.  A two-bedroom apartment near the city center rents for $1,100 a month.

For information regarding Asheville Real Estate and to view all listings available, visit pinnaclesir.com