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      Blog :: 11-2010

      The Mortgage Loan Process

      Many new home buyers wait until after they find that perfect home to actually sit down and then explore the whole home mortgage process. The mortgage loan process should begin before you even start your new home search as it will be important to determine just how much home you can afford to buy. There are many great mortgage lenders in the Asheville North Carolina area that specialize in the financing of homes, land, condos and real estate.

      Loan pre-qualification

      Many home buyers are not certain of just how much home they can get qualified to purchase. Lenders will usually determine just how much debt you currently have and also how much income you are generating as these will be important in the analysis and evaluation of your loan. Past credit history and your current credit score will also be considered to determine your limit of your loan. The lender should be able to determine the price range of homes you will be able to purchase in the Asheville area.
      Asheville Home Mortgages

      Asheville Home Mortgages

      Finding the right home

      You are now ready to work with a real estate agent in your area to find that perfect home within your pre-qualification range. Once you find that perfect home you will submit an offer to purchase contract to the seller, and once it is approved you will then carry the signed contract by both parties back to your lender to start the loan application process. Filling out the complete loan application form is the first real step in obtaining that home mortgage. It is very important that the loan application is complete and accurate. Most loan officers will work with you on this step to minimize delays in your home loan process.

      Underwriting, closing and funding the loan

      Once all of the paperwork is completed at your lender it is then turned over to the underwriter. The underwriters job is, essentially, to check the work of the loan processor in the above step. As long as you meet all of the requirements and guidelines of the loan, your loan will then be approved. The loan documents now go to the closing attorney and the title company so that money can be made available for the loan. Everything is now ready for the closing and your lender should give you a good faith estimate of settlement costs. You should now review the good faith document and ask questions if you have any prior to the final closing/settlement at the closing attorneys office. Call Green Mountain Realty at 828.215.9064 for homes, land or real estate in Asheville.

      Asheville Luxury Homes at The Ramble

      The Ramble Biltmore Forest is one of Asheville North Carolinas premier, gated luxury home communities and is located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains here in Western North Carolina. When George Vanderbilt arrived in Asheville in the late 1800s, he brought a vision of quality and stewardship to this beautiful land that still continues with is descendants today. The Ramble at Biltmore Forest was developed around some very key principles of health, education, economic development, quality of life, and the arts. Those seeking real estate in Asheville that offers both splendor with a natural setting will be pleased by this luxury home community.

      The Community that offers a sense of community

      The residents of the Ramble are what give the Ramble the personality and sense of community that it has today. Chance encounters between neighbors on trails, sidewalks and parks are quite normal while many other residents feel at home gathering in the spots like the wellness center, Backspring Cabin, or the award winning Preview Center. The Rambles Summer Concert Series is especially popular with residents since many local and national performers have played this venue. Residents also share common interests such as horticultural tips or being a part of the Ramble Garden Club. Residents of the Ramble are often seen welcoming new residents by having neighborly dinner parties within the community.
      Asheville Luxury Homes at The Ramble

      The Ramble at Biltmore Forest

      The Ramble Living Well Center

      If you have just come home from a hard days work then you may want to relax in the wellness centers heated saline pool or enjoy a brisk daily workout in the well equipped gym space of the center. There is also a fireplace in the great room of the wellness center where neighbors relax and gather. The wellness center is at home in one of the most tranquil spots in the forest. The center has received awards from The American Institute of Architects and is the first of its type in the Asheville area. The Living Well Center offers regularly scheduled wellness classes and social events and features a yoga center, saline pool, fitness center, finely appointed locker rooms and luxury indoor/outdoor gathering areas. Contact Green Mountain Realty at 828.215.9064 luxury homes, land, or real estate in The Ramble

      What home buyers should know

      The slight housing slump has caused many new home buyers to emerge onto the home buying front and there are many things that potential buyers should know or understand. The larger the down payment a person has typically the easier it will be to secure a new home loan in todays market. You can still secure a home loan with smaller down payments; however, you will have to have a good credit score and verifiable income or assets. Mortgage rates for Asheville home buyers are at an all time low along with home prices here in the Asheville North Carolina area so this really is a buyers market if you need a new home.

      Get pre-approved for a mortgage

      In this somewhat volatile housing market it is even more important that a potential home buyer get pre-approved for a mortgage from a mortgage broker or lender, with a commitment to fund your mortgage in writing. Ask about frequent payment options and prepayment options as this could help knock years off of your loan. And finally, do not try to buy more house than you can afford. Try to settle for a home mortgage payment that you can live with and then start shopping for a home in your price range.
      Asheville Homes for Sale

      Asheville Homes for Sale

      Location, location and location

      You will want to carefully consider neighborhoods and developments when searching for that next home. Your broker or agent can perform a comparative market analysis for you to determine if home prices are falling in areas and how long homes stay on the market in certain areas. Many home buyers are thinking about resale values when and if they sell the home and move on. School districts can also be important as many families will choose homes in what they deem are better school district areas. Lenders will also be taking a close look at the area you are choosing as they want to protect their investment as you are paying off that new bank loan or mortgage.

      Your real estate agent is working for you

      Once your broker knows the price range that you have been approved for they can start searching for all properties that fit your criteria. Brokers can email you listings so that you can go through them and perform drive bys prior to setting up actual showings. Remember, the more your agent knows about the home type, style, area and size the more able they are to find you that perfect property. Call Green Mountain Realty at 828.215.9064 for homes, land and real estate here in Asheville.

      Asheville NC Luxury Home Communities

      There are many great luxury home communities to choose from here in the Asheville North Carolina area. The tranquility of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the peaceful lifestyle of this region is what bring many to the Asheville area. Luxury home developments here in Asheville offer different home styles, along with community amenities such as golf courses, clubhouses, walking trails and fitness centers. The arts and crafts style mountain architecture is very popular here and timber frame style homes are prevalent in many of the areas finest new home developments. The Asheville NC Luxury home real estate market has been rated as one of the top ten luxury home markets in this country.

      Here are some of Ashevilles Luxury Home Communities

      The Ramble Biltmore Forest The Ramble has taken George Vanderbilts vision for building a sustainable utopia a step further. This is a very exclusive development that boasts a 300 acre conservation easement for all of its residents to enjoy on a daily basis.
      Asheville NC Luxury Homes

      Asheville NC Luxury Home Communities

      Poplar Ridge You will enjoy natural beauty and privacy within the gates of Poplar Ridge. Poplar Ridge is one of South Ashevilles premier gated developments and is just minutes from shopping, dining, health care and schools. You can enjoy country living with close proximity to the city. The Cliffs at Walnut Cove The Cliffs at Walnut Cove is a luxury gated home community that is host to a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, a club village, walking trails and a world class wellness center. This pristine development exists in nature on more than 1300 acres of dense forest, Rolling Meadows and beautiful streams. Reynolds Mountain Reynolds Mountain offers magnificent views and luxury living just minutes from downtown Asheville. Reynolds Mountain is constantly expanding and will be home to a park and an urban village at the base of the development so that all can enjoy small town living in an urban setting. Biltmore Forest Biltmore Forest is a planned residential community with a rich cultural history. The Town of Biltmore Forest was incorporated in 1923, and was determined eligible as a Historic District in March of 1990. Biltmore Forest was planned, designed and built by many of the same team that built the Biltmore Estate in the late 1800s. Biltmore Forest is considered to be Asheville living at its best by many that choose to purchase homes in this luxury home community. Contact Green Mountain Realty today for homes, land or real estate in Asheville NCs Luxury Home Communities.

      Energy Star Homes in Asheville NC

      Homes that earn the Energy Star certification are at least 15% more energy efficient than that of a code built home. The Energy Star program is almost always required as a pre-requisite for green built homes and green building certification programs that exist here in the Asheville North Carolina area. There are many additional benefits that go along with an Energy Star home such as getting a lifelong discount from local utility company as well as upfront rebates and tax credits when building an Energy Star certified home.
      Asheville NC Energy Star Homes

      Asheville NC Energy Star Homes

      Energy Star builders achieve this high level of efficiency for your home by following the requirements outlined in the program, and then having a third party verifier certify that the home was built to the standards. Asheville North Carolina has many energy star homes available in the real estate market here. There are also dozens of Energy Star builders and certified green home builders in the area to choose from.

      Energy Star means tight construction

      Your energy star builder will use advanced techniques to seal holes and penetrations when building the home. Minimizing air infiltration is a key component in building any energy efficient home. Special attention will be paid to sealing the homes envelope so that it is as air tight as possible to minimize drafts, moisture, dust, pollen, pests and noise. Less air infiltration will also add to the overall, better indoor air quality of an Energy Star home while lowering your monthly utility bills and reducing maintenance costs of the home. Properly installed and verified insulation in walls, floors, ceilings and attics will also insure lower energy bills and a quieter, more comfortable home.

      High Performance Windows, Doors, and HVAC

      Energy Star rated, high efficiency doors, windows and appliances will be purchased and used in the construction of the home to assure a well built, and energy efficient home. Low E windows will make sure that the home keeps heat in during the winter months and that heat is kept out during the summer months. High efficiency heating and air units will be installed in the home and special attention will be paid to sealing of the ductwork for minimal energy losses.

      Energy Star lighting and appliances

      Compact fluorescent lighting or LED lighting will be used to minimize lighting loads, and once again minimize home energy use. All of the appliances in the home will be Energy Star rated when possible to once again assure maximum energy conservation. Your new energy star home will be at least 15% more energy efficient and may be as much as 30% more energy efficient than that of a code built home in the area. Call Green Mountain Realty at 828.215.9064 for homes, land and real estate in the Asheville area.

      Should You get a Home Inspection if buying in Asheville?

      Buying a home might be the single largest purchase you will ever make in your life. Buyers are often tempted to cut corners on things like home inspections in order to save money for other items they might need upon moving into that new home. Please do not make the mistake of many and avoid a home inspection as this may be one of the best investments you will ever make. Think of a home inspection as a fact finding mission. If you are in the process of buying a home or real estate here in the Asheville North Carolina area a home inspection is always a good idea to help save you money.

      Locating a qualified home inspector

      Most real estate agents can recommend at least one good home inspector in your area. Make sure that the home inspector is experienced, licensed and in good standing within the community in which he inspects homes. Having a high quality home inspector can help you to avoid buying a home that has too many hidden and costly items to fix. Having a home inspection performed will usually save you more money than it will cost since the seller will usually fix the problems or negotiate a new sales price on the home based upon the information you present.
      Home Inspections In Asheville NC

      Home Inspections In Asheville

      A Home Inspection should uncover structural issues

      Structural issues can be the most serious and also the hardest type of issues to repair on an existing home. Home inspectors will explore all parts of the foundation and home envelope for signs of structural problems that either already exist, or could exist in the future. Inspectors will go up into the attic, basement, crawl space, roof and all around the homes foundation to search for any indication of structural problems or defects. Home inspections for older homes are even more important as building codes were almost non existent during the early years of new home construction.

      Inspectors look at plumbing, electrical and air systems

      Good home inspectors will also take a hard look at all of the homes mechanical systems and give you an idea as to their condition. Once again, looking at the mechanical systems on an older home could clue you in on some major repair expenses that will be needed in the near future. This is also a very important tool when trying to negotiate that final sales price on the home you are buying. Call Green Mountain Realty at 828.215.9064 for homes, land or real estate here in Asheville

      Things to know when building

      Building a custom home can be the largest single investments of time, money and energy that you will ever experience in life. There are many great custom home builders here in the Asheville North Carolina area and with land being offered at below market value in some areas then perhaps building is an option for you. You will need thoughtful preparation, proper planning, and detailed project coordination for a successful home build project here in the Asheville or surrounding mountains of Western North Carolina.

      Understanding the contract

      You will be party to one of the largest money contracts in your lifetime, so it is very important that you understand the terms of the contract in regards to the build out of your dream home. Read your contract in great detail and understand what the builder is providing as part of the contract. Many items in the contract are merely budget type items such as kitchens, baths, lighting, plumbing and flooring. If your individual tastes are lavish then you will quickly go over budget on many items so please understand what is included in the base price of your new home. New home construction will typically be more expensive than buying an existing home, but you will always get the home you want.
      Asheville NC Home Building

      Asheville NC Home Building

      Trust your builder and be flexible

      You should do research before picking a builder. Check to make sure your builder is in good standing with the local home builders association and community. You will probably want to check out references and look at some of the homes he has built. Be ready and prepared to resolve situations as they come up during the build phase of that new home by compromise. The builder is fully capable of doing anything and making any kind of changes on the home design, but remember that these changes will all come at a cost to you the home buyer. Understand that errors can happen in construction and absolute perfection or your idea of perfection may not be able to be achieved. Building a home can be a great achievement and one of the biggest accomplishments you will ever know in life. Contact Green Mountain Realty at 828.215.9064 for homes, land and real estate in Asheville.

      Do Asheville homes have good indoor air quality?

      Indoor air quality can be a major concern in very tightly built, well insulated Asheville green homes. As Americans we spend 90% of time indoors and homes can be 10 times worse for air quality than a smog filled outdoor city. Common indoor pollutants can be mold, radon, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds that are used in building materials. The second most important reason that people buy green homes is for improved indoor air quality, especially if children are present in the home. Of course, the first reason people are usually attracted to green built homes is for the high quality of construction and the overall energy efficiency of the home.

      How does mold get into a home?

      There are many different ways that water can be introduced into a home and then cause mold. If the home has a grade that slopes toward the foundation or does not have an adequate footing drain and waterproofing then water can get under the home. Likewise, if a home does not have proper flashing of windows, doors, roofs, and eaves then it is likely for water to get in the attic and wall systems. High humidity in the home can also be a leading reason for mold and proper air balance or humidity control needs to be addressed in any healthy built home. Mold can cause a multitude of health issues and can make current health issues like asthma worse if there is mold, and fungi growing in the home.

      Radon is the #2 lung Cancer Killer

      Radon exposure is the #2 reason that people die of lung cancer in America. High radon levels are detected in one out of every fifteen homes nationwide. Radon is a radioactive gas that is released from the normal decay of uranium in rocks and soil. It is an invisible, odorless, and tasteless gas that seeps up through the ground and diffuses into the air. Radon can be more prevalent in the mountain areas of Western North Carolina and is rather easy to remediate in homes where high levels are detected. A simple radon system can be installed in homes where the gas levels are high. Radon test kits are readily available at hardware and big box stores for home owners to perform a quick home self test to determine if remediation is required. Most home inspection companies will also perform a radon test when a home inspection report is being performed.
      Indoor Air Quality is Important

      Indoor Air Quality is Important

      Formaldehyde and Volatile Organic Compounds Off-Gas in Homes

      Most building materials need binders to hold their particles together and formaldehyde is a popular binder in glues, adhesives and paints. Formaldehyde can be carcinogenic if breathed in at high levels of exposure in a home. Typically there is off-gassing of materials in a home, and of course new homes are worse than older ones in this scenario. It is recommended that a home be thoroughly aired out when new, and that proper ventilation is supplied so that indoor air gets a make up of fresh outside air on a daily basis to evacuate toxic fumes in the homes air. Contact Green Mountain Realty at 828.215.9064 for homes, land or real estate here in Asheville.

      What makes homes in Asheville so Great?

      Asheville North Carolina continues to get rated as of the best places to retire, live, work or play in America. Some of Ashevilles allure has to do with its natural beauty, the surrounding mountains of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the explosive arts community and the friendly atmosphere that is so noticeable here. Asheville is the largest city in Western North Carolina and has a nine county regional population of almost 600,000. The city itself is somewhat small but has the feel and style of a large metropolitan area that boasts dining, shopping, arts, music, theatre and plenty of culture. Many different types and styles of homes are readily available for purchase here in the Asheville area.
      Asheville North Carolina

      Asheville NC Is a Great Town

      Obviously Asheville NC has a lot of wonderful features that over the years have made it one of the number one places to retire or relocate to in North Carolina. Asheville is very special in that is strives to preserve the character and lifestyle of the area, while still allowing planned growth. Anyone that understands quality will immediately say that Asheville has the quality that people look for in a rural type mountain town with city flair.

      Asheville homes have location and location

      Access into and out of the Asheville area is great with many connectors, highways and interstates available. Ashevilles location is in the heart of the Blue Ridge Parkway and gives it many advantages over other towns and cities in Western North Carolina. The climate here is mild and the area enjoys a true four seasons with temperatures getting down to freezing in the winter months and only in the 80s mainly in the summer. High humidity levels and bugs are not that common here due to the milder temperatures of the area. Many move to the area to enjoy year round outdoor activities like golf, hiking, biking, rafting and fishing. If you still travel as part of your work life then once again, Asheville is great because it is home to a large regional airport conveniently located on the south side of the city.

      Asheville is a green and sustainable city

      Asheville is a loaded with certified green home builders and master craftsmen with the area being a center of knowledge for those seeking an eco friendly lifestyle. The Western North Carolina Green Building Council is located in Asheville NC and you will find many green certified homes on the market here at any given time. There are dozens of licensed and certified green home builders in this area making Asheville one of the greenest and most sustainable cities in North Carolina. You will have no problem finding organically grown food in the area along with many natural food stores. The active, healthy life is what many seek and enjoy while living in the beautiful mountains of this area. Contact Green Mountain Realty at 828.215.9064 for homes, land or real estate in Asheville

      Condo Choices in The Asheville Area

      There are many reasons why condo ownership is so attractive to many here in the Asheville NC area. Condo ownership means full ownership of the unit without the sole responsibility of owning the land. Also, the combined ownership makes facilities existent and free for all and such are the pool, fitness center, club houses, and the like. Some condominiums also take the liberty of housing small business establishments such as a mini grocery, a bookstore, and eateries so as to give even more convenience so that the tenants wouldnt have to leave the very building. Here is a brief look at some of the condos currently being offered in the Asheville North Carolina real estate market.
      Asheville NC Condos

      Asheville NC Has Many Condo Options

      Under $200K The Village on Haywood

      This is a new mixed use development in Asheville NC that is located on Haywood Road in West Asheville. The village is within walking distance to many businesses on Haywood like grocery stores, shopping, dining and more. There is commercial/retail space located on the first floor of the buildings with condos located upstairs, and parking behind the building. The units are green built and certified to the NC Healthy Built for homes program.

      $200K - $500K Condos in Asheville NC

      The Residences at Biltmore These condos set the precedent for luxury accommodations in the Asheville area. This is an all-suite hotel that is nestled on top of a hill in the Biltmore area, very near to the Biltmore Estate and adjacent to the Kenilworth area. Hospitality is one thing that makes The Residences special and they have an exclusive concierge service that is available 24 hours a day on the property. Biltmore Park Town Square Condos Life at Biltmore Park Town Square combines an urban setting with the conveniences of a bustling town city center that offers dining, shopping, bookstores, retail, health clubs, commercial, professional service type businesses and more. Live here and enjoy every amenity that the upscale town center has to offer like movies, dining, shopping and jogging. Scenic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains provide a backdrop for life here at Town Square. You are literally minutes away from golfing, hiking, biking and fishing with this superb Asheville location.

      Above $500K Condos in the Asheville area

      The Fitzgerald The Fitzgerald offers a rich history on the grounds upon which it was built. This mountain property caught the eye of E.W. Grove nearly a century ago when he erected the Asheville famed Grove Park Inn. The Fitzgerald is a one of a kind luxury condo project that is located at the Grove Park Inn location and is rich in tradition. There are a very limited number of these luxury home units being offered so please respond today. Contact Green Mountain Realty at 828.215.9064 for condos, homes or real estate here in Asheville

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