Monday, December 27, 2004
Western North Carolina
The U.S. Green Building Council http://www.usgbc.org/ is the nation's leading coalition of corporations, builders, universities, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations working together to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work.
Since its founding in 1993, the Council has grown to more than 5,300 member companies and organizations, a 50-person professional staff, a broad portfolio of LEED(r) products and services, the industry's popular Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, and a network of 67 local chapters, affiliates, and organizing groups.
The LEED(r) (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System is a feature-oriented rating system where credits are earned for satisfying specified green building criteria.
Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels of green building certification are awarded based on the total credits earned. The LEED standard has been adopted nationwide by federal agencies, state and local governments, and interested private companies as the guideline for sustainable building.
CHECK BACK for more "info bits" of interest to real estate investors!
Have a GREAT GREEN 2005!
Thursday, December 23, 2004
You can actually see a real-time view of what is happening
in the Greater Asheville area.
Go to: Mount Mitchell Webcam
This live web cam is funded by The Carolina Mountain Club.
Hope to see ya'll next year as you invest in real properties
in the spirit of STEWARDSHIP in the Appalachians of Western North Carolina.
Sunday, December 19, 2004
~Real Estate Investors' OPPS
Opportunities for change-- in your routine, in where you live, and possibly even in the way you live are a "for sure" thing. Change is one process in life we all share that actually brings with it a strong sense of belonging (both individually and collectively.) No where is this clearer than in Real Estate investment.
Whether you are involved in 1031 Like Kind Exchanges, IRA investments or personal transactions, you, my clients, have so much at stake. Your future is in the balance. There are the Great Unknowns, the Possible Gains, the Questions of Losses, the Significance Factors, and even the Risk of NOT Risking to consider. And all of these immerse you in CHANGE.
As you move from your family farm into the city, or relocate from another state to the Appalachians and the Greater Asheville area, you voluntarily initiate the four all-important phases of change— sweet optimism, informed pessimism, plain realism, and integration/evaluation along the way.
As your REALTOR, I am with you from start to finish, part of that process. And I know that even when you make a change that you plan for and look forward to, even one like moving to the “Happiest City in the USA” (Asheville) there are rocky times when you may feel deep unrest over your decision. As I reflect on my own real estate investment strategy and my own relocations over the years, I find that some of those changes that at the time seemed negative and difficult, turned out to be blessings in disguise.
One of the blessings I have found is a renewed awareness of the sense of belonging, or how we "fit" within the whole “web of life” with all of our (individual and collective) “life tattoos”. You have shown me how coming to grips with change not only lays the foundation of belonging, but can be a framework for leadership in the days and years to come. You who invest in mountain homes and land legacies are the architects of the Future. You are planning (and hopefully) finding ways to meet the ordinary and nonordinary challenges that are before us.
I sure appreciate you!
Thursday, December 16, 2004
The 3rd Southeastern Foot Trails Conference April 28 thru May 1, 2005
Registration and accommodation information will be posted here at my BLOG
in early January 2005.
YOU are invited to be part of the Third Southeastern Foot Trails Conference at beautiful Table Rock State Park in Pickens, South Carolina ! This conference will gather the leadership of the hiking community in the southeast, along with representatives for a variety of government agencies for a weekend of learning, networking, and fun! The conference will open Friday April 29, 2005 with several full day pre-conference workshops on the following topics:
Trail Construction & Maintenance
Organizational Development — Board University
Of special interest to INVESTORS IN REAL ESTATE and Conservation Real Estate may be Saturday's agenda where a variety of concurrent 90-minute educational sessions will provide vision and learning opps. These sessions will focus on the following topics:
Developing and Maintaining Effective Partnerships
Trail related Conservation Issues
Land Acquisition and Conservation Easements
Monday, December 13, 2004
Can Work for You and Others
A dangerous attitude, based on the faulty belief that everything on Earth is here exclusively for our use and pleasure, is as thick as molasses in the world today. I say “dangerous” because when use and/or pleasure is the ultimate goal, a sense of meaning in life suffers, and alienation results. Feeling that disconnect is painful. Maybe that’s a “good thing” as pain gets our attention, and we DO have to recognize a problem before we can solve a problem.
As an Eco-Sensitive REALTOR, I am aware of the pitfalls and positive steps we are making in the arena of environmentally sensitive development and how that is affecting all of us. I was happy to read an article in REALTY TIMES recently, noting a shift in attitude toward solving the “Me First and Forget Thee” problem. Lew Sichelman reported:
"Audubon International, the not-for-profit environmental organization, has entered into a first-of-its-kind agreement with a major Florida developer that it hopes will lead to a new breed of environmentally-friendly, sustainable residential communities throughout the country…[Audubon will] guide planning and development decisions relating to natural resource conservation and protection, water quality and conservation, habitat protection and energy conservation.
The master plan for each community will have to pass an environmental audit before being certified as a "sustainable development" by Audubon International.
Audubon believes that "focusing on sustainable development at the regional ecology level is the only way to provide for economic growth and environmental protection," said its president and chief executive officer, Donald Dodson. And WCI President Jerry Starkey concurred. "The future of the building and development industry rests on our ability to treat the environment with respect and create communities that exist in harmony with their natural setting," Starkey said.
AI's principles of resource management call on developers to conserve and protect unique features of their sites and protect food, water shelter and ecologically sensitive areas for wildlife. Among other things, the environmental group says corridors and green space should be provided to allow for the movement of both plants and animals. Builders also are asked to adopt a water conservation program that collects, recaptures and re-uses water resources, and to use plant materials and resources native to the particular area so as to reduce the need for special watering and ground preparation. Using native fauna also protects against changing the site's basic ecology.
In addition, Audubon's guidelines call on builders and developers to avoid generating unnecessary solid waste, handle and dispose of non-recyclable and hazardous waste in a sensitive manner and compost organic waster. The also ask builders to explore the use of alternative sources of energy; incorporate energy efficient design in their houses, and encourage the use of public and low-impact transportation.
WCI's agreement with AI isn't its first with the environmental group. The Bonita Springs-based firm also has committed to certify and operate all the golf courses it manages in accordance with Audubon's guidelines. Golf is the centerpiece of most WCI communities, as it is of many master planned projects throughout the country.
Only about 2,500 of the nation's 17,000 courses are enrolled in AI's cooperative sanctuary program for environmental stewardship. But those that are report a 40-50 percent annual reduction in chemical use, up to an 85 percent reduction in electric use and a 35-85 percent reduction in water volume.
An environmentally sensitive course applies pesticides to less than 3 percent of its total acreage, mostly on the tees and greens; neutralizes acid rainfall, and supports a healthy community of more than 100 non-pest invertebrates.
Golf courses use just 1.9 percent of the nation's water resources, including recycled wastewater (vs. 43 percent for industry and 47 percent for agriculture. And of the total rainwater and irrigation water landing on a well-designed golf course, 40 percent returns to the atmosphere through plant transpiration and evaporation and the other 60 percent filters through a cleansing filter or natural soil microbes before flowing to underground reservoirs and surface waters. "
It takes only an “AHA!” moment to inspire change. You don’t have to be a scholar, read a thousand books, learn all the latest esoteric angles. Your “light bulb” can turn on without any words at all. I know a teacher who simply asked her students to imagine a spider web shining silver with dew in the early morning sunlight. “Notice how intricate and yet how simple the weave is, how strong and yet how fragile, and how each silky strand is connected to the others, “ she told them. “One tug on that strand by the passing dog’s tail affects the entire creation. And that is how it works in the whole web of life!” she exclaimed.
Whether we realize it or not, we are powerful. What one Florida developer is putting into practice near Sarasota can have a positive impact on Asheville, North Carolina’s approach to building. As Alice Walker wrote: "The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for whites or women for men."
To be sensitive in the whole scheme of things might require a bit of “monitoring” of how we weave ourselves into tapestry of life. Your touchstone might be a song in the morning, a prayer as the sun goes down, meditation by the stream, or a mindful walk in the park with Rover. Whatever you choose, there is room enough to both celebrate a personal dream (--you can exercise your talents, get what you want, not give it away,) and share that dream. In this way, everybody wins. That’s what I call getting the real goodies!
A cultural anthropologist, JaneAnne Narrin, M.A., C.S.W. is the author of several books of poetry and nonfiction. natureWalker@janeAnne.com
Saturday, December 11, 2004
When you invest in real estate as a 1031 Like Kind Exchange or with your IRA, it is important to know your territory. Knowing your territory includes knowing about “pests” in your area of choice. Recently, while touring properties with clients, we noticed that several vacation homes, not now occupied, had at one time been occupied with more than their occasional residents. We could see the remains of a form of wood-devouring bee.
Many second/vacation home seekers in the mountains near Greater Asheville seek log homes and contemporary homes with lots of glass and wood. In this case, the log and cedar-sided homes we were considering DID attract carpenter bees. That’s why I say that it’s important for you to be vigilant when you are making investment decisions and those decisions include vacation or second homes that fit so well with our landscape.
Carpenter bees are prevalent throughout the United States, so you may already be familiar with them. Here in Western North Carolina, you may find them foraging around flowers, shrubs and under the eaves of buildings. This bee even will bore into wood to make its home causing damage to any wood part of your property. And unlike bumble bees, they are known to aggressively go after two legged creatures. We had an encounter of this kind last summer. While visiting friends who have a vacation property in a golfing community, we discovered another party of “visitors”.
No doubt, there is plenty of room at our friend’s vacation place. Everything is BIG there. There are 9 foot cathedral ceilings and loft, an enormous granite and stainless equipped kitchen ready for friendly gatherings, two master suites on the main floor, three fireplaces (one on the sheltered deck for autumn-time enjoyment) and to our hosts’ dismay, also a giant carpenter bee nest! And it’s true, those bees can be hostile. One of the suites has a large sunken tub and solarium where our host couple was enjoying a “good soak” early Sunday morning. Suddenly, a high-pitched howl, followed by a Whoooooosh erupted from their quarters. Out from the tub dashed the two bubble-lovers—au naturel— right out of the tub and into the great room, in full view of all their concerned guests! A small swarm of angry female carpenter bees sped after them in hot pursuit. Luckily, they evaded the attack and the bees flew out the open door, but what might have happened if they had stung and the couple had been allergic to bee sting? The display of flying bubbles might NOT have been such a comical sight.
So it is important to consider the little things when you are investing in real estate. (THAT’S a good reason to utilize the services of a REALTOR.)
Here is some information you may not know:
Carpenter bees bore holes into wood overhangs, fence posts, and trees. They like to crawl between cracks of siding and roofing. Boring into wood, they drill a hole about 1/2" wide, but guess what? That hole only will go straight for an inch or two! Then it will turn 90 degrees where a nest is situated along with its egg chamber. Carpenter bees lay their eggs at the very end of the chamber, place food alongside the egg, and then seal it all up tight.
I have talked with specialists in carpenter bee control. They tell me that it is NOT uncommon for an egg chamber to be two(2) or more feet long and have numerous egg chambers branching out from the main chamber.
What does this mean to you if you are in the market for a second or vacation log or wood –sided home? It means be ready to keep a good eye out while you are on the search. If you have any questions about carpenter bees please email me naturewalker@janeAnne.com. If I can’t answer your questions, and I am NOT an expert in the matter, I can refer you to someone who can!
Thursday, December 09, 2004
A 1031 Like Kind Exchange features “clocks” that you must keep in mind. There’s the 45-Day Clock and there’s the 180-Day Clock. Since a good portion of my business is with clients who are keeping track of time according to their 1031 Exchange “clocks” I have become more aware of clocks and have been thinking about timing, and TIME in general.
Of Clocks: Big Ben, possibly London's most famous landmark was my Dad’s favorite “Modern Wonder of the World”.. "Big Ben" refers to the huge thirteenth bell that strikes the hour, and Dad found the sound to be amazing. On his advice, when last I was in London, I made a point of getting a close experience of this wonder. As I stood beneath a striking of the tenth hour, this marking of time, I was reminded of our need as human beings to “ring forth” order from chaos.
After all, Time is what keeps everything from happening at once, isn’t it? (I’m smiling)
Of Time: Time is a convenient invention of the human consciousness. Our assumptions, starting with those concerning the physical universe –that it is available to direct touch, and that it is governed by laws that we all can count on –prompt us. Time is our tool for making meetings when almost everyone else does, and “getting organized” within the framework of our sensory system. Time is an essential element for a 1031 Like Kind Exchange, as noted earlier.
Time is as old as the hills. We invented it based on our observations of the way things seem to work. We invented it long before Professor Heisenberg formulated his Uncertainty Principle*. We invented it long before we began to question the constructs of the so-called objective world –and long, long before we began to wonder if our concepts might be based on an illusion. I started wondering about all this when the first Star Wars movie came out. There was The Force, and there was Princess Leah in a hologram – starting there, you could begin to wonder if our present slice of the "Reality Pie" simply gives us a tidbit of the "Full Pie".
And, the physics of quantum theory is quite plain in this matter.Nothing even resembling causality— where anything is possible and conscious intent influences space and time—
exists in our tiny, tiny model of matter and space.
I am still wondering how conscious intent relates to your Real Estate transactions, while I am reminded often of the very tangible elements related to time and the Real Estate business.
If you are coming to invest some time or you are watching your 1031 Exchange Clock and on your way to Asheville, North Carolina, please contact me. I am "time-conscious" REALTOR attuned to the elements of Time, and to stewardship through 1031 Like Kind Exchange and IRA investments… naturewalker@janeAnne.com
Sunday, December 05, 2004
1031 BUYERS: Be Aware of the Pros and Cons of Conservation Easements
BUILDING BRIDGES TO THE FUTURE
~News~ You CAN Use Your IRA to Invest in Real Estate in North Carolina
4 BASIC RULES of 1031 Exchanges
Asheville's GREEN BUILDING Council
1031 Tax-Deferred Exchanges and the SPECIAL QI
Save the Gray-Haired Agents, a 1031 Specialist's Lament
~News~ MORTGAGE RATES EASE
1031 Exchanges and NEW Ways to Build
1031 Exchanges & The Role of The Qualified Intermediary
1031 Exchange FAST FACTS links!
WHAT is Section 1031 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code All About?
The 1031 Exchange: An Intriguing Perspective and Examples
~ News~ ASHEVILLE: #1 for Investing in a Second Homes
Attention Condo Buyers/Investors
B&B FOR SALE ~Asheville
WHAT TYPE OF B&B IS FOR YOU?
THE B&B BUSINESS PLAN
ECO-VILLAGES in the Greater Asheville Area
Who Represents YOU in a Real Estate Transaction?
FAMILY DESTINATIONS in the Greater Asheville Area
HORSE FARMS and EQUINE PROPERTIES
WANT TO OWN A B&B? Is inn-keeping for YOU?
QUALIFYING FOR A 1031 EXCHANGE (1031 Like-Kind Exchange)
1031 LIKE-KIND EXCHANGE and the QI
BENEFITS OF THE 1031 LIKE-KIND EXCHANGE
INTERVIEWING A REALTOR
FROM A HILLTOP OVERLOOKING THE RIVER
ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE DEVELOPMENT
e-FRIENDLY: HOME ENERGY RATING
Interesting information on this form of development
Residential, farm and estates, vacant land, mountain getaways, 1031 LikeKind Exchange1031
an Overview for You
~News 1031 ~ LOOKING FOR 1031 LAND FOR INVESTMENT?
FYI: MADISON COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA
For those of you who have discovered the lands I love,(and where I am a "Green REALTOR, )
here is some info...
LAND BUYS THAT LOOK TO THE FUTURE
in which YOU can participate.
About the protected beautiful sites across N.C. including one within hours of Asheville
THE CONTINUING SAGA OF THE LITTLE HORSE FARM
HORSE FARMS FOR SALE, HORSE FARMS FOR SALE,
THE NATURE CONSERVANCY'S "CONSERVATION BUYER" PROGRAM”
TO BE RATHER THAN SEEM....."The North Carolina state motto is” Esse Quam Videre”
Saturday, December 04, 2004
Even more shoppers soon will be replacing your company's crackers,soups, cereals, and tortilla chips with different brands from their local natural foods market. That's right, the simple switch away fromyour top-selling foods - those lucrative favorites containinghydrogenated oil, high fructose corn syrup, and BHT - is happening every day in markets across America.
The time is now to sell off yourshares and get behind the next generation of food pioneers, Kashi,Amy's Kitchen, Barbara's Bakery, Kettle Foods and others committed tomaking foods that are delicious and healthy.A word to everyone else:The natural foods industry has grown almost 20% every year since 1990.With this growth, you'd think that most Americans regularly shop at anatural foods store. Well, surprisingly only 2% have made wholesomefood a top priority. Are you on board?
Imagine what will happen whenthe next 10% of us decide that organic milk, eggs rich in omega-3 fatsand organic juices are worth the extra money. For starters, healthierfoods will become available in restaurants, convenience stores,hospitals, and yes, even in the cafeteria at work. Would you like to improve the quality of your own diet?
Isn't it time that you put more thought into what you're eating?
MY PAL, Nutritionist GregHottinger has written The Best Natural Foods on the Market Today to help you make simple changes that matter.
Why spend the extra money onhealthier staple foods? What are the real nutritional benefits of wholefoods? Why (and how) should you add almond butter, quinoa, tahini, spelt and miso into your diet?
The Best Natural Foods on the Market Today is a great book written in an easy, conversational style. G.S. of Asheville says, "My wife and Iare both started reading The Best Natural Foods and it is EXCELLENT!"Michael T. Murray, N.D., best-selling author of the Encyclopedia ofNatural Medicine says, "The Best Natural Foods is a terrific wayto learn about the tremendous healing power of foods."
Find out for yourself with this special coupon offer: Order The BestNatural Foods as a gift today and receive $3.00 off each book(http://www.hippiefood.com - coupon code: 1894662)
Oh, by the way, The Best Natural Foods contains over $13.00 worth ofcoupons for Organic Valley milk, Stonyfield Farm yogurt, R.W. Knudsenjuices, Kashi TLC crackers, Frontera salsa, Kettle Foods tortillachips, EdenSoy soy milk, Barbara's Bakery cereal, Gold Circle Farmseggs, WholeSoy yogurt, Blue Diamond Almond Breeze, LightLife tempeh,Bob's Red Mill spelt and quinoa, Maine Coast Sea Vegetables dulseflakes, Horizon Organic cottage cheese, Woodstock Farms almond butterand tahini, SoyCo Rice Mozzarella, Alvarado Street Bakery tortillas,Eden Foods beans, and Reeds, Inc. ginger products.
Are you concerned about pesticides in produce? With each book purchase,receive a free Pocket Guide to Pesticides in Produce that will show youhow you can easily cut your pesticide exposure by an amazing 90%! Allyou need to do is replace the twelve most contaminated fruits andvegetables with organic versions (peaches are the crop with the highestresidue levels). Learn more at http://www.bestnaturalfoods.com
I see beauty even where there are scars on the Appalachian ridges near my home in Asheville.. Some folks may have created eye sores where their "castles" erupt from the mountaintops, and for many outdoor enthusiasts, the vistas are diminished. Still, when I look around, I am in awe of what we have here!
A jewel set amongst some of the highest and steepest mountains in the East, Asheville, North Carolina (population 70,000 and growing), Asheville is home to an unusual blend of residents, and some of the most beautiful land on Earth. I think the land and the communities that have grown up around here as a result of its attractiveness attract naturalists, educators, racing fans, old-hippies, all varieties of artists, bible-belters, opera fans, Blue Grass lovers and outdoorsy folks.
Asheville is a center of commerce, culture, collaboration and recreation in Western North Carolina. I won't guarantee it, but it's a good bet that you can find what you're looking for here.For ecxample, if you long for a really good meal that is also good for ya'll, we have some of the most delicious ORGANIC and locally grown foods you can imagine.
My friend, Greg Hottinger, author of THE BEST NATURAL FOODS ON THE MARKET TODAY: A YUPPIE'S GUIDE TO HIPPIE FOODS http://www.hippiefood.com/ lives here. He will tell you(and he should know!) that the food options are outstanding. Tasty meals are easily found, and so is music and a smile . You can understand why Asheville, once a place where "old-wealth" summered, isn't a secret anymore.
That brings up a challenge.
How do we keep the Greater Asheville area as GREEN as it was in the past? If you have ideas, let me know. As a REALTOR, I and my group of cronies work hard to educate those who ride with us about air quality, about water quality, about our need to be involved in stewardship of this land and the historic homes and old Appalachian farms in our area.
TRAIL FOLK understand what I am suggesting.When you devote time and energy to hiking, running, distance running, you are VERY aware of the situation.Here's a quick tour of the Trail System.
1. Mount Pisgah and the 17.8-mile Shut-In Ridge Trail. This is a mighty challenge to Trail Runners. The first mile or so of this infamous trail follows an old road grade. The rest is a rigorous single-track, an up-and-down struggle with an ascent of 5000 feet to the summit. (The Shut-In Trail begins upstream of downtown Asheville.) "The Shut-In Trail was originally a part of the estate of George Washington Vanderbilt. The trail provided a route across the wild and rugged mountains, primarily unpopulated in that day (as they are today), from his mansion outside Asheville to his hunting lodge near Mount Pisgah," writes an online source.The original grade is disappearing now. The original has become a section of the Mountains to Sea Trail (MST). The Shut-In section follows narrow ridge-lines over several rockyknobs (mountain ridge-tops), that contour the land.
AN ASIDE: Latest MST News For the latest trail conditions along the MST due to the recent storms please visit the MST trail log, click here.
You can also contact the Task Force leaders throughout the state for trail status.The FMST will host its annual meeting in Greensboro's Bur-Mil Park on February 5, 2005. This all day meeting takes a look back at the years accomplishments and sets the groundwork for 2005!
Click here to RSVP for this event.
2. The Mountains to Sea Trail has a less demanding terrain but there is plenty of it. Actually, right within the Greater Asheville area a 14-mile section of rolling hills on the MST is quite welcoming. Also known as the white dot trail, the entire route links the North Carolina beach with its mountains.
3. The Bent Creek Experimental Forest lies within the Pisgah National Forest just beyond Asheville. It has a maze of trails and gravel roads. A very gentle grade goes along the creek and connects with switchbacks that climb up steep mountainsides.
FOR MORE ON TRAILS AND THE OUTDOORS...and preserving the land ...PLEASE CONTACT me.
Thank you. natureWALKER@janeAnne.com