Sunday, June 27, 2004



This is the time of year that folks from down south of us head for the mountains and the fresh COOL air! For those of you who have discovered the lands I love and where I am active in equine property transactions, this information may be of interest.

Madison County, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, is a rural county with steep terrain and large rolling pasturelands. Only half an hour or so from Asheville, it is home to approximately 3,500 small family farms. Agriculture is the largest industry in the county. In fact, agriculture accounts for half of the gross income in the county. Here in Madison County, where streams and pastures and hollers and coves abound, you may look out your window as you drive the scenic (excellently maintained) country roads and notice, out one window, horses grazing happily on the best grass you can imagine, and out another window, the neat rows of tobacco crops. (Madison County is the largest burley tobacco producing county in North Carolina.) There are approximately 2,350 farms with burley tobacco quotas. A decade ago, burley tobacco accounted for $10 to $12 million for agriculture income annually. But recently, the demand for tobacco has been on the decline, and so our local crops are changing.

Farmers are diversifying! If you are a nonsmoker or a smoker, you still will be able to enjoy the new crops, because with the recent decline in burley tobacco, farmers have been cultivating the most amazing ORGANIC crops. Vegetable, organic and nursery crops have increased dramatically since 1998. Stop by the family-run vegetable, fruit and flower market just as you come in to Mars Hill, and you will see what I mean.

The small family horse farm with riding ring and stables is popular here. In fact, Western North Carolina horse farms in the greater Asheville area offer equestrian living at its best. All across the rolling land here you will discover wonderful horse property, equestrian communities, and exceptional estate properties such as THIS one:

Horse Farms and Equine Properties For Sale Around Asheville Are Magnetic!

Here in the Asheville area there are many excellent properties for horses that are on the market, and if you start looking, you will not be able to stop until you find the one for you. These beauties have rolling pastures and bubbling streams and barns with electricity and water. In case you haven't guessed it already, I have such a property for sale about half an hour north of Asheville myself right now. The owners of this small horse farm live in Florida. They really didn’t want to leave Western North Carolina, but their business carried them south and now they are homesick for their farm and looking for the “right” folks to buy it. They love their farm…the remodeled farm house that they put so much effort into, the water feature that they built, the 20+ acres with PRISTINE views where they thought they would build their retirement home on one of the three building sites near the springs …

Their caring for the land and their love of their horse farm has inspired me.
I have been thinking about horses a lot lately. I have been wondering what happens to old horses.I started doing some research online and I found this:

“ When you have a horse that you want to have a good life and you can't guarantee that you can provide it for the horse's entire life, train it well! Give it an all-purpose base of knowledge, not just training in a certain field. Teach it to calmly accept screaming children and barking dogs and fluttering plastic and all other manner of scary things so that it will not hurt people by accident and get a bad reputation.
Teach it to lead with respect, not pulling you around and eating what and when it wants because somebody else's solution might be to beat it or use a harsher leading technique that could get the horse hurt. Teach the horse to accept you throwing the saddle on and jumping on and going riding, killer buyers that are testing out whether or not horses are broke do not take the time to longe the horses first. Teach your horse to tolerate even the most beginner rider and that horse will be valuable to someone as a first horse for their 8 year old child, even when the horse is 25 or 30.”

As I read the above, I could see my grandkids riding at the riding ring at the little horse farm I have for sale just north of Asheville. If someone doesn’t come along pretty soon to buy it, I am getting more and more inclined to do so myself! Here are a few details:

Updated country horse farm home. 21 acres .w/riding ring, round pen, barn, trails, fruit trees, stream BUILDING SITES, mountain views. Daylight basement SPA with whirlpool, 2 bonus rooms. 20-25 min to Asheville


I came to love organic gardening decades ago. When I was a small child, my grandparents, parents, the neighbors and kids from blocks around, had a joint project-- our HOME GROWN organic community garden. It was just a few blocks away and each night after supper, we all seemed to meet there, exchange the good news of the day, laugh and share the fruits of our labor.

We were city-dwellers, with a scaled-down version of the farms out in the country, but we used the same methods as they used very far from cities. And even though these systems needed less space and less work, and were inexpensive, they produced high yields of top-quality food. Grandpa explained that one square foot garden unit measuring only 16 sq ft holds an average of 130 plants and produces enough high-quality vegetables for one person, and that gardeners of all ages, sizes, and levels of experience can have a great time in such a garden.

The Community Organic Garden at a certain (please ask me about it) PRIVATE COMMUNITY near Asheville, is one of my current favorites. This mountaintop village with amazing amenities for the whole family, reminds me of my girlhood experience.

It sits comfortably at the foot of the mountain. I feel that surely must encourage an appreciation of gardening, just as our HOME GROWN garden from many years ago did for me. The garden simply invites members of the Unamed Country Club to come and be a part of the community. Here you can work with your hands, interact with others from the community, and to contribute your ideas and thoughts.

Organic gardening also is "one way to make a difference and educate people on the harmful effects on the earth of chemicals and pesticides," my friend, herself a master gardener explained. "Using chemical fertilizers actually kills the soil… turns it into something that's like poor quality concrete."

The collective handiwork of its participants inspires all who have contact with the garden. The resident master gardeneroversees the garden, but residents enjoy working their own plots. Herbs, vegetables, and flowers that happily grow here may well make their way up the mountainside to be used by the PRIVATE COMMUNITY'S culinary team.


When you visit the mountaintop villages at a certain PRIVATE COMMUNITY not too far from Asheville with me, you will be amazed at the old growth forest the developer of that land has set aside to preserve in perpetuity.

This old growth forest looks largely as it would have 200+ years ago before Europeans settled North America. You can almost feel it breathe! Old growth forests are 'originals'. They are our immediate connection to ancient history and the lessons available to us there that we can use today. These living systems with their ongoing cycles of birth and death and growth and decay can be deceiving to the human eye. It may appear to us as if nothing is changing. Yet nature’s countless cycles are at work from sunrise to sunset and into the night.

What is unique about old growth forests is that those cycles have continued uninterrupted over a very, very, very long time!

The great old growth forests such as the one at this particular Private Community, still have experienced little or no direct disruption. Each forest seems to have a particular character. Of course, the old growth forests vary in appearance from forest type to forest type. An old-growth oak forest on a dry ridge will differ greatly from an old-growth bottomland hardwood forest. But there are still forests to be found all around the USA even though less than 0.6% of the forest that remains in the East today has not been heavily logged or grazed, and forest types attractive to loggers may now be numbered only in the hundreds of acres.

Many clients are interested in setting aside preserves, something I specialize in and encourage(--my clients have set aside in preserves or private family holdings hundreds of acres and numerous waterfalls!--- click here to see a couple now available for you to preserve as land legacies:

Clients ask me if the remaining old-growth forests are protected. My answer is that at least 50% of the remaining old growth is still in private hands or controlled by agencies that may log them. Logging of old growth buffer zones can create the incursion of non-native species and damage the old growth forest.

Old-growth forests have been characterized as "the key" to biodiversity. The invaluable roles they play include making unique contributions to the gene pool; harboring native species; demonstrating natural processes; and serving as cores for future large wilderness areas and as nodes of biodiversity. 

The developer of this private mountaintop community in the Greater Asheville area near  Burnsville, North Carolina has set aside a 100-acre, old-growth forest in perpetuity, and maintains a forest interpretive center with a resident naturalist.


A unique, GOLD MEDAL AWARD winning Privae Community/Country Club encompassing 1,000-acres, where several of my clients hold real properties, is a master-planned community of diverse neighborhoods connected by a network of hiking trails and parks. Master-Planned Communities have a unique history in the housing market here in the USA, and each year, designers of these communities gain new insights on higher-density, mixed-use transit villages; pedestrian-oriented and sustainable development.

Master-planned communities can play a key role in increased conservation of open space, preservation of environmental attributes, emphasis on and preservation of the community’s character and heritage, and a greater overall sense of community.

Master planned communities thrive because they offer my clients both a pleasant community and special amenities for the value. As well as diversity, selection, and investment appreciation potential, my clients feel a sense of “belonging” that is sometimes missing elsewhere.

For retirement, second and vacation, investment and/or  primary homes, I cannot imagine a more attractive location than this particular Private Community (which must remain unamed until we meet .) It is not too far from Asheville, just about a half an hour or so drive. Although there are quite a few full-time residents here, the community primarily is designed as an extended-stay, second-home summer destination. Here you will find more than 300 acres of parkland, greenways and open space and an 18-hole golf course, with 9 more holes soon to be added. There are swim and tennis facilities, a performance pavilion, an amphitheater, campfire pits, the neighborhood recreation parks.

One look at inside THIS HOME http://www.wncrmls.com/wnc/maildoc/CAA0006ej.html
and you will want to visit this amazing home with me.

GE Stainless Steel appliances in the kitchen, custom quality oak accented cabinetry, engineered stone countertops, fully designed landscape and award-winning designs, including extensive use of raised ceilings, arches, niches, porch fireplaces, and spas are only a few of the features.

PRIVATE PILOTS take note! There is also an airplane runway, and a pilots' room.

Guests visiting this Private Community can stay in one of the luxury guest suites. Handy on the mountain are both formal and informal dining facilities. There is a well-appointed conference room, a 20-seat movie theater, a game room, a business center, a fitness center, saunas, massage rooms, and a Kid's Club with an especially attractive children's playroom.

One very special feature is that the developer has set aside a 100-acre, old-growth forest in perpetuity. Another feature is the forest interpretive center. Here a resident naturalist offers a program for adults and children that focuses on the local ecosystem.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004


I found this article to be of interest, and thought that sharing it might be of service to readers...SO here it is! From the editors of E/The Environmental Magazine


Several state and municipal governments are trying to stimulate demand for alternative energy by offering cash incentives to companies and homeowners that install solar electric (photovoltaic) systems, fuel cells, small wind turbines, solar thermal systems for heat and hot water, and other renewable energy technologies.

The Web site of the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE), a project of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, contains comprehensive information on state and federal incentives — tax credits, grants, rebates, and special utility rates — for renewable energy technologies.

For example, according to DSIRE, Anaheim, California's public utility is encouraging residential and business customers to install photovoltaic systems by offering rebates of $4 per watt up to $7,000 total for residential systems and $50,000 for industrial installations.

The state of Indiana's Alternative Power and Energy Grant Program will help businesses, nonprofit organizations, and units of local government (such as schools) with the costs of installing solar, wind, fuel cell, geothermal, hydropower, alcohol fuel, waste-to-energym and biomass energy technologies. They'll pay up to 30 percent of the project cost, or $30,000, whichever is less.

And New Jersey's Clean Energy Rebate Program pays between $.30 and $5.50 rebates per watt for commercial or residential solar electric systems, depending upon size.

These are just a few examples. The DSIRE website features a United States map on which site visitors can click on their state to access detailed information on what grants, rebates, or tax incentives are available through their local governments and utilities. The site is updated each week and features new programs as well as changes to existing ones.

Homeowners can also finance the purchase and installation of renewable energy systems through home-equity loans. This strategy can help bring down costs through tax savings, since interest payments on mortgage loans are tax-deductible.



There is Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE) is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and selected federal incentives that promote renewable energy. You can find it here:

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Building Bridges from Today to Tomorrow 

From mountain communities and family lodges, to pastures, horse farms, or private retreats your choices are splendid in welcoming Western North Carolina. The Greater Asheville area is visually compelling, vibrant, and culturally diverse. So whether you choose the charms of a small college town or the metropolitan offerings of Asheville, you are WELCOME HOME!

WANT TO OWN A B&B? Is innkeeping for YOU? 

Here in Western North Carolina where we have some of the most GORGEOUS scenery in the world. We also have many charming small nests for travelers so they can "light for awhile"and enjoy the beauty.Otherwise known as B&Bs, Retreats and Inns, these nests are cozy and welcoming. Many folks who stay here with us delighting in the mountains, color, cultural attractions, streams and waterfalls just want to STAY!

After enjoying the amenities of the small lodging facilities at which they have perched, our visitors often begin to imagine themselves running their own B&B. For some, this dream becomes a reality. Here is a list of “Pluses” if YOU are considering investing your time and energy in a B&B:

• FREEDOM to choose which 20 hours a day you'd like to work. (I’m smiling)
• Living in a beautiful home in an incredible town or mountain country setting
• Meeting amazing people from all over the world
• Renovating and/or decorating the house of your dreams
• Creating delectable breakfast treats, and seeing the smiling faces that result.

For many families, couples, and “Creative Retirement” enthusiasts, the small lodging business is an attractive formula for providing income, interest, and innovation. However, as a REALTOR and former owner of a small private retreat business, I always recommend that you find out as much as you can about this demanding business. And do this BEFORE you buy!

If you are serious about prospecting, I will be happy to recommend wonderful B&Bs in the greater Asheville area—in Madison, Yancey and Buncombe counties. Then you can note the pros and cons of different locations, architectural and decorating styles, and choice of interaction between host and guests. Check out the ambiance that attracts YOU.

If it feels to you that this is "the way to go”, I will also be happy to keep you abreast of what inns, B&Bs, and POTENTIAL B&Bs are available FOR SALE in our area. Here’s an idea…try a sneak peek at one such small lodging facility by clicking on this link (SMALL B&B FOR SALE):


and be sure to see the photos at the GALLERY there.

QUALIFYING FOR A 1031 EXCHANGE (1031 Like-Kind Exchange)  

If you are interested in "RAW" land in the Greater Ashevillel area dn you are concerned that it will not qualify as "like-kind" under the 1-31 Exchange rules, don't worry! So long as you are NOT going to live on it, property is available for exchange whether it is improved or unimproved.

Now and then an investors will say to me, " I must acquire property just like my
relinquished property." She or he is surprised to learn a wide variety of
properties can be considered “like-kind”.

“Like-kind” does not refer to the nature, character or type of property.
Instead, it addresses the intended use of the property. Provided the
property is initially acquired and held for either business or investment
purposes, it can qualify as a suitable replacement property under Section 1031.

Please feel free to contact me if you would like to know more about LARGE land tracts
possibly able to qualify for Preserves here in the mountains not too far from Asheville.


Sunday, June 13, 2004



BACK IN THE 1990s the I.R.S. implemented rules on Deferred Exchanges.

Section 1.1031 of the Internal Revenue Code laid out in detail the procedure for turning a sale and purchase type transaction into an “EXCHANGE”…and these new rules let owners of certain types of “like kind” Real property to sell that property and buy other “like kind” property without paying the Capital Gains Tax. And the “like kind” provision was (and IS) quite broad in that it includes Land, Rental, and Business property, any of which, can be exchanged for the other.

ONE IMPORTANT DETAIL OF THE IRS RULE is that those who are exchanging “like kind” properties (called the “Exchangers") MUST use a safe harbor to hold the proceeds while the exchange is in progress. The same rule spelled out what those safe harbors were.

The only practical safe harbor for most "Exchangers" is a "Qualified Intermediary."

A QUALIFIED INTERMEDIARY holds the proceeds from the sale of the Relinquished (sold) Property and cannot be related to the Taxpayer. Intermediary must be registered with Nevada Real Estate Division for transactions in Nevada. Taxpayer must enter into Exchange Agreement prior to the closing of the Relinquished Property. S/he is the "middle person" who facilitates the exchange while protecting the proceeds from the sale of the relinquished property and transfers the proceeds to the appropriate recipient of the transaction.


• For Real Estate Investors, the LIKE-KIND EXCHANGE can be a real boon.

Therefore, it is important to find a QI with whom to establish a relationship who can give you a complete explanation of what 1031 Exchange is and how you can use one to save BIG on Capital Gains Taxes.

• You will discover just how much a 1031 Exchange can save you in capital gains tax over the years. I am happy to send you a link to a Capital Gains tax estimator for this purpose…just email me right from this page.

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