Category Archives: Haywood County

Lawmakers Addressing Future of Community Colleges in Highlands, NC Area in Western North Carolina

Recently, a joint state legislative committee recommended merging the leadership of community colleges in the state that have fewer than 3,000 fulltime students.

But local and state officials in Western North Carolina have recently taken a stand against this measure, saying that it would hurt the education system in the area.

Continue reading to learn more about this developing story in the Highlands, NC area – and how it might affect Highlands NC area residents.

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State Decided to Cut Landslide Hazard Map-Making in Highlands, NC Region

State lawmakers recently decided to cut the state’s landslide mapping unit, which was created to assess which mountain slopes are most likely to create a landslide.

The Smoky Mountain News reported that five state geologists who were working on the maps were laid off this week.

The state’s decision will save about $355,000 a year.

Continue reading to learn more about what this means for Highlands, NC area home owners and buyers.

Living in the Highlands, NC Area

Since the landslide mapping unit began working on the landslide hazard maps in 2005,  they have completed studying four counties:

The team was in the process of studying Jackson County’s mountain slopes when the state cut their funding.
The state’s landslide mapping unit has faced controversy since the beginning because many critics felt that mapping the landslide hazard zones would make it harder to sell property in those zones.

Critics of the mapping unit also questioned whether the unit’s conclusions were accurate.

But others thought that the landslide unit was a great public safety initiative – providing mountain residents with vital information about at-risk areas.

Since landslides typically follow predictable paths, proponents also said that the landslide maps wouldn’t hurt property values, but rather help people figure out on which side of a lot to build their home.

In fact, experts say that mapping where old landslides happen is the best way to predict where future slides will take place.

The geologists working on the landslide project relied heavily on old landslide sites to predict whether a slop was at a low, medium or high risk for a future landslide.

Macon County officials hope to use the findings by incorporating them into a new steep slope ordinance.  A handful of other Western North Carolina counties – including Jackson and Haywood – already have such an ordinance.

To view Macon County’s landslide map, visit

A partial map for Jackson is expected to be posted soon to

Highlands, NC Area Real Estate

What do you think of state lawmakers’ decision to cut funding to the landslide hazard map-making unit? Let me know!

And if you’re thinking about entering the Highlands, NC real estate market as a Highlands area home buyer or home seller, then contact me, Dorothy Swearingen.

As a Highlands, NC REALTOR, I strive to keep up-to-date on the news that affects Highlands area home buyers and Highlands area home sellers so I can help them make educated decisions on the Highlands area real estate market.

Until next time,



Update on Property Values in Highlands, NC and Neighboring Counties

Several Western North Carolina counties will be facing home revaluations in the next couple of years.

According to state statute, counties must reappraise their properties  every eight years at least. This is to ensure that home values are aligned with true market values and that there’s not runaway inflation or deflation.

Counties determine property values by looking at the property’s most recent selling price and the selling prices of surrounding properties.

Highlands, NC Area Real Estate Values

An increase in Highlands area home values can seem like a positive or negative thing, depending on whether you’re a Highlands, NC area real estate home seller or home buyer.

Here’s an update on property values in several Western North Carolina counties, including Macon, Jackson and Haywood counties.

  • Macon County – which includes Highlands – postponed its revaluation until 2013.
  • Jackson County – which includes Cashiers – postponed its revaluation until 2015
  • Rutherford County – which includes Chimney Rock -postponed its  revaluations until 2012.
  • In Haywood County – which includes the communities of Waynesville, Canton and Clyde – home values have held steady since the 2006 revaluation, according to the 2011 revaluation.
  • Haywood County saw new construction  increase by 13 percent.
  • Overall property value in Haywood county increased from $5.9 billion in 2006 to $6.7 billion.
  • Buncombe County postponed its revaluation, which it must complete by 2014.
  • Henderson County saw property values drop by 10 percent during its 2011 revaluation.
  • Property values in Asheville, NC have increased by about 7 percent on average since 2006.

Investing in Highlands, NC Real Estate

The Highlands area real estate market is a constantly evolving frontier.  That’s why you need an experienced Highland,s NC area REALTOR who understands the finer points on the housing market.

As your North Carolina mountain real estate expert, I have years of experiencing working in several Highlands, NC area real estate markets, including:

Contact me, Dorothy Swearingen, today to learn more about how I can help you and your family better navigate the Highlands area real estate market!

Until next time,