Category Archives: Asheville Real Estate

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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Enjoy Summertime to Its Fullest in the Highlands, NC Area

The North Carolina mountains are well known for their scenic vistas during the spring and fall.

However, visitors will find that there’s plenty of reasons to journey to the North Carolina Mountains during the summertime as well.

One of those reasons: white water rafting.

This exciting sport gives you one-of-a-kind views of the North Carolina Mountains while giving you quite a workout and adrenaline rush.

A recent article in the Asheville Citizen-Times gave some tips on how to plan a whitewater trip in the North Carolina Mountains.

Continue reading to learn more about these useful tips.

Living in the Highlands, NC Area

According to the article, one of the first things you should consider when charting a whitewater trip is the minimum age allowed on a river.

This minimum age will tell you how fast the river flows. For instance, while the Lower Pigeon allows individuals ages 4 and older,  the Cheoah requires rafters to be at least 16

Next step is to pick what paddle you’ll use.

After that, consider how much you want to spend on the trip.  While some places such as ones on the Nantahala charge just $19 to rent a raft, the Chattooga charges as much as $400 for a multi-day trip.

The paper notes that the average price for a half-day, guided trip is $45 a person.  That price includes a guide, transportation to the river entrance, gear and even lunch.

Here’s a brief list of some of the most popular rivers that whitewater rafters check out during the summer:

  • Nantahala – A Class II-III river that many families with children and first-time paddlers use.  This river is located in Swain and Graham counties
  • Lower Pigeon: A Class I-II river that is also good for families with children and first-time paddlers.  This river is located in Hartford, Tennessee.
  • French Broad: A Class III and IV river in some sections, which means this river is for more skilled paddlers.
  • Upper Pigeon: A dam-controlled river located in Hartford Tennessee.  This river is also good for families with children, as evident by the minimum age requirement of 8.
  • Chattooga: A rapidly moving river near Cashiers in Jackson County.  This river is well known for its scenic beauty and thrilling tours.

Investing in Highlands, NC Area Real Estate

If you’re the kind of person who has a great appreciation for natural beauty, I recommend that you consider living in the North Carolina Mountains.

This area is overflowing with natural beauty, which locals make use of everyday through whitewater rafting trips, hiking, biking and more.

If this sounds like the kind of lifestyle that complements your interests, then contact me, Dorothy Swearingen.

As your Highlands, NC area real estate expert, I’ll let you know about available listings in the area, as well as provide you with such helpful Highlands, NC relocation materials as:

Until next time,


Fun Things to Do in the Highlands, NC Area This Month

During the summertime, it seems like there’s always a fun and exciting festival going on in the mountains of North Carolina.

From music festivals to antique fairs – there seems to be a festival for every interest and walk of life in this area.

Continue reading to learn more about the various festivals going on this month in the Highlands, NC area.  

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Blue Ridge Parkway in the Cashiers, NC Area to Be Protected With Land Grant

The Asheville Citizen-Times recently had an interesting article about the area receiving a land grant from The Federal Highway Administration’s National Scenic Byways Program.

Evidently, North Carolina’s land trusts recently received federal funds to help protect about 20 of the state’s scenic byways, including the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Continue reading to learn more about this exciting development, and what it means for Cashiers area home buyers.

Cashiers, NC Area Real Estate

According to the recent article, this is the second time that North Carolina’s land trusts have received federal funding for land protection projects.

This time, the federal government gave $2.7 million to these area land trusts to help protect natural, cultural and historical resources along these scenic byways.

These land trusts will accomplish this noble goal by:

  • Educating landowners about conservation efforts
  • Acquiring property and conservation easements
  • Planning for conservation efforts on other area byways.

Some of the byways that will benefit from these efforts include:

  • Drovers Road Scenic Byway in Henderson County
  • 90 acres near the summit of Bearwallow Mountain
  • Six additional routes throughout Western North Carolina

Investing in Cashiers, NC Area Real Estate

I’m thrilled that the federal government is awarding our area more money to help keep out mountains beautiful.

After all, thousands of people all over the country flock to Western North Carolina each year because this area is known for its awe-inspiring natural beauty and breath-taking vistas.

If you’ve been thinking about making the Cashiers, NC area your permanent home, then contact me, Dorothy Swearingen.

As your Cashiers area real estate expert, I’ll answer any questions you might have about living in the area as well as let you know about available listings in our various communities, which include:

Until next time,


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,



Fun Things to do in Highlands NC Area This Month

When people think of the North Carolina mountains, perhaps one of the most vivid images that come to mind is the brilliant fall foliage and the beautiful blooms in springtime.

What many people might not be aware of, however, is all of the incredible events that go on all summer long in the Highlands, NC area.

From festivals to 5Ks, there’s always something fun and exciting going on.

Relocating to the Highlands, Lake Toxaway, and Cashiers Area

Here’s a sampling of some of the amazing activities that you and your family could be enjoying this month if you were living in the Highlands, NC area.

Group Hiking: The Nantahala Hiking Club regularly hosts group hikes.  Contact this Franklin-Highlands area club to find out when the next hiking excursion will be.

  • When: Various days throughout summer
  • Where: Throughout the Highlands, NC area
  • Admission: FREE
  • More Info: Call 369-6820 or visit

State Parks Visit: Some state parks, including the Gorges State Park, is free to the public.  This Transylvania County Park features trails, waterfalls, picnic areas and campsites.  It’s quite popular among the locals in the Highlands, NC area.

  • When: Anytime during park hours
  • Where: Transylvania County
  • Admission: FREE
  • More Info: Call 966-9099.

Highlands Area Triathlon: During this triathlon – which features individual and relay team options – you’ll participate in a 250-yard swim, 9 mile cycle and 5K run.  Those interested can register at

  • When: 8 a.m. on June 25
  • Where: Valdese Aquatic Center
  • Admission: Prices vary
  • More Info: Visit

Brevard Rotary Firecracker 5K/10K: The 16th annual 5K and 10K races will take place in downtown Brevard and is a great way to get to know your neighbors!

  • When: 8 a.m. on July 4
  • Where: Downtown Brevard, 299 S. Broad St.
  • Admission: Entry fee is $25 for the 5K and $30 for the 10K ($5 more after June 26), $20 for students 18 and younger and seniors age 65 and older.
  • More Info: Visit

Investing in Highlands, NC Area Real Estate

As you can see, there’s always something fun, new and exciting going on in the Highlands, NC area.

If you’ve been thinking about making the Highlands, NC area your permanent home, then contact me, Dorothy Swearingen, your Highlands, NC real estate expert.

I’ll answer any questions you might have about living here, let you know about available listings in the area, as well as provide you with a number of invaluable Highlands area home buyer resources.

These helpful tools include:

Until next time,



A Good Idea for Hendersonville and Why Highlands NC Area is an Amazing Place to Call Home

The city of Hendersonville is thinking about converting an old rail line into a multi-purpose  trail that can be used by bicyclists, walkers, joggers and even equestrians, according to a recent article.

The 18-mile Norfolk Southern Ecusta rail, which travels from Hendersonville to Brevard, was built in 1894.  At one point, the line ran all the way from Hendersonville to Lake Toxaway.

Over the years, however, the rail has become obsolete and is currently inactive.  While portions of the line in the Brevard area have already been converted into a multi-use trail, the Hendersonville side remains unused.

The city is using a grant from the Federal Highway Administration to pay for the majority of the study, which costs about $65,000.

The final report is expected to be released in January 2012.

Living in the Highlands NC Area

This new development in Hendersonville is a fantastic thing for all who live in the North Carolina mountains.

It also highlights the general philosophy in this area that celebrates outdoor recreation.

Here in the Highlands, N.C. area, residents constantly have an array of recreational amenities from which to choose, including:

Have a family member that doesn’t necessarily enjoy being outside too much but does enjoy the mountain environment? No worries! There are plenty of indoor recreational attractions that the N.C. Mountains offer as well!

Relocating to the Highlands, NC Area

If you’re considering moving to the North Carolina mountains, then contact me, Dorothy Swearingen!

When you call, I’ll tell you about all of our unique mountain communities, including:

As your N.C. Mountain Life expert, I’ll also provide you with a number of invaluable N.C. home buyer resources, such as:

Until next time,