Category Archives: Hendersonville Real Estate

More Tips on How to Successfully Stage Your Cashiers Area Home

As I mentioned in a previous blog, wintertime may be an ideal time to sell your Western NC home since home buyers during this time of year are typically more eager to buy a home than any other time of the year.

But since it’s also true that there are fewer home buyers are the market, it’s important to stage your home in a way that leaves a lasting impression.

One thing that many home sellers do is create curb appeal.  This includes trimming the bushes, sweeping the front porch and cleaning the shutters.

After all, many home buyers will first judge a home by its exterior.  Thus, it’s critical that your Western NC home has plenty of curb appeal.

Continue reading to learn more tips on what you can do to increase your chances of selling your home in a reasonable amount of time.

Homes for Sale in Cashiers, Highlands, Sapphire and More

Here are some suggestions for preparing your home for upcoming showings:

  • Mentally Let Go of Your Attachment to Your Home: This is something that’s easier said than done for many home sellers.  After all, your current home may very well be where you started your family, and certainly where you made many precious memories.  But trust me, mentally preparing yourself now for the day when you hand over your house keys to another family will save you a lot of heart ache and stress in the long run.  Because that day will come and you don’t want to be blindsided when it does.
  • De-personalize Your Home: As I’ve said in a previous blog, you want home buyers to be able to see THEIR family in your home, not your family.  Thus, remove distracting details like the dozens of family portraits on the walls and tables.  While a few accents will create a warm ambiance in your home, too many can prove to be overwhelming and off-putting for interested home buyers.
  • De-Clutterize: Remember, you’re not selling the items in your home, you’re selling the home itself.  So remove excess clutter that distracts from your home’s rooms and layout.  A good rule of thumb is to get rid of anything you haven’t used in more than a year. You may also consider reorganizing furniture in a way that maximizes a room’s space and makes it look bigger.
  • Organize Your Closets and Cabinets: Home buyers are often judging every little detail of your home, maybe without even realizing it! And disorganized storage areas suggest to potential home buyers that you may have not taken the best care of the rest of the house.  Avoid sending that message by cleaning and organizing closet and cabinet space.  One way to start is to make sure all your closets are hanging the same way in your closet.
  • Store Irreplaceable Items: Buyers and sellers will often negotiate throwing in certain items and appliance with the home sale. So if there’s something in your home that you would never want to see end up on the negotiation table, then put it away so the home buyer doesn’t even know about it.  Otherwise, you risk giving the home buyer a reason to pull out on a deal just because you won’t throw in the item they want.
  • Address Minor Repairs:  Remember, home showings are all about leaving a lasting first impression on home buyers.  So you want to make sure your home is in the best shape possible.  Help get it in tip-top condition by addressing minor repair issues, such as a leaky faucet or a cracked bathroom tile.  While making these repairs may not cost much money, it can mean a world of difference on how a home buyer sees your home.

Selling Your Home on the Western NC Real Estate Market

I hope these home staging tips help you to sell your home in less time and for a better price.  These tips have certainly helped plenty of other home sellers in the past!

To learn more about how you can improve your outcome on the Cashiers area real estate market as a home seller,  contact me, Dorothy Swearingen, today.

As your NC Mountain REALTOR, I’ll be happy to walk you through my comprehensive marketing plan for sellers as well as give you a number of home selling tools, such as:

Until next time,


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.

Continue reading

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,


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,



Cashiers Area Scholars to Address Growth and Development in the Cashiers, NC Area

The Smoky Mountain News recently reported on an upcoming discussion that will be held at the Highlands Biological Station on growth in the mountains of North Carolina and how that growth will affect farm and forestland in the area.

The discussion, which is part of the Highlands Biological Foundation’s “Think About Thursdays” speaker series, will be led by Paul Carlson.

Mr. Carlson will address such pressing topic in the N.C. Mountain region as:

  • Steep-slope land values
  • How local officials plan to keep up with road systems as the area develops
  • How future development will affect the native flora and fauna in the area

For those interested in going to this event, here are the details:

  • When: 6 p.m. on July 7
  • Where: Highlands Biological Station, 265 N 6th St in Highlands, North Carolina
  • Admission: FREE
  • More Info: Call (828) 526-2602

Development in the Highlands, NC Area

One of the things that’s always impressed me about the Highlands, NC region is how the residents continually strive to strike a balance between development and natural beauty.

Thus far,  the region has  done a  great job of preserving that natural beauty, as evident by the numerous recreational amenities available to Highlands area residents.  These include:

With discussions like the one that will be held on July 7, Highlands area residents – as well as interested Highlands area home buyers – can be confident that that natural beauty will continue to be cherished and preserved for years to come.

Investing in Highlands, NC Area Real Estate

Have you been thinking about relocating to the Highlands, NC area? Then contact me, Dorothy Swearingen.

As your North Carolina Mountains real estate expert, I have years of experience working in various area real estate markets, including:

Contact me today to learn more about how I can help make navigating the Cashiers, NC area real estate market easier for you and your family.

Until next time,



Celebrate the Fourth of July in the Cashiers, NC Area

Are you still searching for that perfect Fourth of July event to take your family to this year?

Consider celebrating your independence with us here in the North Carolina mountains!

As evident by all of the events going on this Fourth of July, our residents are certainly full of pride for our country!

Here’s a look at some of the fun events going on this holiday weekend:

Live Concert: Come enjoy Hendersonville’s Music on Main series this Friday, July 1 at the Visitors Information Center.  The four-piece band Sound Investment will be playing your favorite 1960s and 1970s tunes.

  • When: 7 to 9 p.m.
  • Where: Visitors Information Center, 201 S. Main Street
  • Admission: FREE
  • More Info: Visit

Cashiers Mountain Music Festival: Now in its third year, this annual music  festival has grown quite a following!  Come enjoy such  acts as The Steep Canyon Rangers and Earl Scruggs.  Balsam Range will headline on Saturday and Doc Watson will perform on Sunday.

  • When: July 2 through 3
  • Where: The Village Common Areas in Cashiers, NC
  • Admission: $25 online and $30 the day of; Children under 12 get in free
  • More Info: Visit

Pops Concert: The Transylvania Symphonic Band will perform during the Pendergast Family Patriot Pots event in Brevard this Independence Day. The Brevard Community Band will also be featured at this family-friendly event.

  • When: 2 p.m. on  July 3
  • Where: Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium
  • Admission: $15 to $35
  • More Info: Visit

In addition, the following communities are expected to have fireworks shows on either July 3 or 4.  Visit individual community websites for more details:

Entering the Cashiers, NC Area Real Estate Market

As you can see, we here in the Cashiers, NC area enjoy community events and a family-oriented atmosphere year-round.

If the Cashiers, NC area sounds like the kind of place you would like to call home, then contact me, Dorothy Swearingen.

As your Cashiers, NC area real estate expert, I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have about living in the North Carolina mountains.

I’d also be happy to provide you with all of my helpful Cashiers NC area home buying resources. These include:

Until next time,





Highlands, NC Area Real Estate Attracting Those Seeking a Cooler Summer

More and more interested Highland home buyers are purchasing homes in the N.C. Mountains because of their summer getaway appeal, according to a recent news article.

Many Lowcountry residents are attracted to the North Carolina mountains because they offer an escape from the oppressive humidity in the Piedmont.
Interested Highlands home buyers are also attracted to the low prices on Highlands area homes for sale, the article noted.
Other reasons that are often cited for relocating to the Highlands, NC area as mentioned in the recent article include:
  • Breath-taking vistas during the fall and spring
  • Plenty of recreational amenities, including hiking and fly-fishing
  • A small-town atmosphere with close proximity to major cities, including Charlotte and Atlanta
  • A variety of home style options, including the traditional log cabin and more contemporary styles

Entering the Highlands NC Real Estate Market

As illustrated by the recent news article, there are plenty of great reasons to invest in Highlands, NC real estate – and not just for the summer, but year-round. This beautiful area includes such charming and unique communities as:

Have you recently been thinking about entering the Highlands NC real estate market as a Highlands NC area home buyer?

Then contact me, Dorothy Swearingen, your Highlands, NC area real estate expert!

When you do, I’ll be happy to  answer any questions you might have about living in the NC Mountains.

To get the relocation process started, feel free to check out some of my helpful Highlands NC area home buying resources, including:

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,