asheville: Asheville Eco Drama Part I - 02/12/08 07:17 AM

It all started out innocently enough. I had some clients that were looking to build  a green conservation development that would also be very dog friendly. These buyers were interested in obtaining a piece of property of at least 20+ acres fairly close to downtown Asheville owned by a seller willing to do some owner financing.  
I found a very nice 29+ acres in the town of Weaverville located only 15 minutes from downtown that bordered an existing 52 acre, 50 lot green subdivision, meaning all homes there would be built to Healthy Built Home standards( not crazy about the density … (3 comments)

asheville: Asheville Green Dream Home - 12/17/07 05:54 AM
Picture from Cover of book " Your Green Home: A Guide to Planning a Healthy, Environmentally Friendly New Home (Mother Earth News Wiser Living Series) (Paperback)
This blog is in response to the Pink Challenge Contest   going on at the Eco-All Stars groups. The basic premise is this: If money were no object what 5 Green Home features would you include in the design of your new or existing home. I only read a couple of entries before writing this because I did not want to be unduly influenced by what others were putting in the green homes.  This 1800 square foot home would … (13 comments)

asheville: Asheville Becoming Synonymous with Green and Sustainable Development. - 12/04/07 09:26 AM
 
Advantage West ,an economic development group  will be hosting a conference Thursday, December 6th that focuses on the recruitment and expansion of jobs and investment associated with environmental-related enterprises in the Asheville and surrounding region. Workshop topics will include investment and job-creation in: Environmental Reclamation, Green Construction, Environmental Sciences, Alternative/Renewable energy, and Environmental Conservation. There will be two workshop tracks for the conference one on Green Building and the other on Renewable Energy. Click here for a complete conference agenda.  
This looks like a great conference. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend. But this is the type of forward thinking … (2 comments)

asheville: How to Kill a 2 Million Dollar Deal - 12/03/07 04:46 AM
 
I recently had a couple in town, Sam and Karen who were looking for some eco-investment real estate in Asheville. Karen, however, had also seen a home she wanted to check out which was listed at 2.3 million. The home was situated on 5 acres surrounded by 75 acres already in a conservation easement. about 30 minutes from downtown Asheville. It was a truly gorgeous home, 6000 square ft, custom designed  with high quality craftsmanship, views of 7 mountain ridges from a wrap around deck and wonderful solarium. There was a fantastic gourmet kitchen, double fireplaces between the dining and living rooms, radiant … (15 comments)

asheville: Asheville has 9th highest Home Appreciation Nationwide - 11/30/07 09:02 AM
 
Home price figures just released from the federal government show what many of us at EcoSteward Realty had suspected, namely that while sales volume of residential homes is down compared to last year, home prices in the Asheville area have kept appreciating.  
Asheville area homes had the ninth-highest appreciation rate in the country over the past year, according to federal figures released Thursday. The rise in values comes despite a sharp drop in the number of homes sold. Single-family homes in the Asheville metropolitan statistical area - Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson and Madison counties - increased 9.4 percent in value over the … (3 comments)

asheville: Asheville Dowsers Help Support Sustainable Development - 11/25/07 11:41 PM
I was invited to give a talk a couple of weekends ago  to the Appalachian Chapter of the American Society of Dowsers . about sustainable development in the Western North Carolina mountain region. Dowsers are folks who among other things find places on land where wells can be dug to access water. There are way too many links to pick from so just Google dowsing and see what comes up. Many well drillers use dowsers to help them find sites before they start drilling. If fact the first speaker of the day was Lee Barnes, a real estate agent in Waynesville … (9 comments)

asheville: Flat Rock Music Festival – A Laid Back Musical Happening - 11/08/07 04:10 AM
 
We went to the Flat Rock Music Festival at the end of September and were pleasantly surprised to find this one of the relaxing music festivals we have attended in the Asheville area. While other festivals like Lake Eden Arts Festival attract more crowds and have more stages of ongoing musical performances, Flat Rock offered a beautiful setting at Camp Ton-A-Wandha with only two stages an indoor one( for solo and smaller acts) and outdoor( for larger acts) both located right off a beautiful lake. Our favorite artists were the Near Misses  Steve Simpson, and Mieka Pauley,
It was an easy walk or shuttle ride from parking … (6 comments)

asheville: Green Well Casings - Are they out there? - 10/04/07 04:52 AM
I have a client that found a lot near Asheville in the Creston Eco-Development. They are going to be drilling a well, depth unknown at this point, and they are skeptical about using PVC for the well casing. Aside from steel (stainless or galvanized) are there any other options that anyone has heard about? A quick google check does not really bring anything up.   Thanks! … (6 comments)

asheville: More Outstanding Active Rain Green Connections - 09/13/07 06:24 AM
 
I know I have not posted much over the past several months as life lessons have taken center stage for a while. But I did want to comment on the fantastic network of connections that Active Rain has continued to provide over the past six months. I did an interview for Realtor Magazine back in the Spring on different green home features I saw being used in the Asheville area. The article just came out in their September Issue. The magazine found me and our agency EcoSteward Reality through Active Rain.  It never ceases to amaze me just how productive and wide … (21 comments)

asheville: Green Bathroom Inserts - Any Ideas? - 08/29/07 01:58 PM
I am working with my buyers who are doing the green retrofitting of the Asheville home they boughta while back. They have run into a bit of a brick wall when dealing with bath/shower inserts for the bathroom they are redoing. They have been told when it comes to picking a green insert their only choices are ones made out of acrylic or fiberglass, both which will apparently off gas to some degree. Does anyone know of any other green alternatives in regards to these types of inserts.  They are really do a bang up job of getting this to be … (11 comments)

asheville: City of Asheville Bans Gated Communities - 06/20/07 06:13 AM
 
The Asheville City Council voted last Tuesday, June 12th to forbid new gated communities, following through on concerns that these developments make the city less of a community. The ban passed by the council on a 5-2 vote applies to future developments, which would no longer be allowed to restrict access to only residents and their guests, done usually with gates or security workers. The council action also forbids new gated developments just outside municipal borders where Asheville exercises zoning control. It does not affect existing gated developments or those already approved by the city.
This has been a much debated issue … (4 comments)

asheville: Lake Eden Arts Festival, Asheville, North Carolina - 05/14/07 04:06 AM
 
 
Often times when people are looking real estate for sale in the Asheville, North Carolina events that the area has to offer. Asheville and Western North Carolina do have a tremendous variety of gatherings, festivals, and events occurring  throughout the spring, summer and fall. One of the most popular spring gatherings is the LEAF Festival. .  It is a three day events that offers an incredible variety of musical performers, many local talented artists and healers, and wonderful culinary delights all taking place in a gorgeous mountain lake setting,. LEAF is also extremely child and family friendly with one of its … (11 comments)

asheville: Active RainPower - 05/09/07 12:50 AM
 
 
You know sometimes I am amazed at the power of this network. The Asheville City Council  is meeting today to discuss potential revisions to the steep slope ordinance that the city is planning implementing. The main sticking point is that whether to have the ordinance cover property beginning at 2200 feet elevation ( backed by many environmental and citizens groups) or go up and begin covering property at 2500 feet elevation(backed by many developers, builders, and an affordable housing coalition). There is a concern that by going to 2500 feet that little of the property in City of Asheville will be … (30 comments)

asheville: Solar Power Bill Makes Way Through Congress - 05/07/07 04:10 AM
 
 
 
During the late 1970's  the Carter administration began the first full fledged governmental effort to support solar powered energy by extending tax credits to homeowners who installed solar systems in their home. The solar industry started to take off then as more people began to explore and use this new technology.  During the Reagan years, however, the tax credits were abolished and the solar industry went bust. Today there are only some limited tax credits for homes ( $2000 per system for residential homes) and commercial properties that are set to expire 12/31/07.  
But now Congress is attempting to re-institute robust … (18 comments)

asheville: Asheville Mountain Sports Festival May 4th, 5th , and 6th - 05/02/07 12:12 PM
 
The Asheville Mountain Sports Festival is just what it sound like, a rousing and rollicking combination of a variety of different sports competitions, along with music and  demonstrations designed for the whole family to have some fun. The premier events include:
The Sunset Stampede 10 mile run  consists of three running races in downtown Asheville. The Stampede includes a ten-mile race, five-kilometer race, and kid's one mile stampede. The race course leads runners through downtown Asheville with beautiful views of the mountains and Asheville at sunset.
The Town Mountain Hill Bike Climb with the race starting from downtown Asheville for a five-mile climb … (4 comments)

asheville: Is The Green Movement Anti-Growth? - 05/01/07 03:06 PM
 
I read a comment on a Dena Stevens blog a couple of days ago by Michael Rossregarding his opinion that the Green Movement(my definition below)was anti-growth, anti housing, anti builder, anti developer, anti business, anti property owner's rights. Dena responded by saying  the editor of the local newspaper also shared his opinion that being Green meant opposing growth and new developments.  While I know most members of the Eco-All Stars Green Scene would not agree with this idea I believe that there may be more than a few out there in the Active Rain community and the general public who might … (25 comments)

asheville: Different Perspectives on Buying A Green Home - The Mountains or The City - 04/22/07 01:01 PM
I have an out of town couple who are thinking about buying as much acreage as they can and putting a simple green home up with a small footprint. They will be stewards for the property as long as they live there and are considering utilizing a conservation easement to preserve the property in perpetuity. The other day though Terri (the wife) told me she had been talking with a green architect and that he told her that if she were in sync with being Green she would buy or build something close to town like green condo with easy access … (3 comments)

asheville: Alternative Green Developments – Any ideas? - 04/15/07 11:30 PM
 
I am currently involved in working with an investor who is looking to develop some property close to Asheville, North Carolina. The property can range anywhere from 3 -30 acres with frontage on a major highway, three quarters a mile away from Interstate 40, and a half mile away from the Blue Ridge Parkway. Downtown Asheville  is about 10 minutes away with the Biltmore Estates  approximately the same distance. The state raod that it is on has also ben designated a scenic byway by the state of North Carolina. The property is somewhat rolling close to the state road, getting steeper … (11 comments)

asheville: Come and Experience The Lake Eden Arts Festival - 04/06/07 06:14 AM
 
This May 11th -13th will be the semi-annual LEAF (Lake Eden Arts Festival) Festival in Black Mountain. This event blends art, music and dance with a multi-cultural flavor that makes it one of the most popular festivals in the Asheville area. There is also a strong focus on engaging youth in the creative process so many events and demonstrations are planned with them in mind. There is an unbelievable variety of  performers and musicians scheduled to play at LEAF this year. And along with music there are handcraft and folk art displays, healing arts presentations, dancing, and poetry readings. If you … (2 comments)

asheville: Almost in the Doghouse on This One - 04/06/07 05:00 AM
 
One of my recent closings had an unusual twist right at the end. I should have suspected that this deal would take some twists and turns when our home inspector found a code violation that was three owners old (but that's for another blog). Anyway, the seller of this Asheville multi-family property had moved to Florida and was going to leave just about everything in and outside the dwelling, including a nice stone patio set. As my buyers walled through the property I told them to examine any personal property items they wished to be included in the offer to purchase. … (6 comments)

 

Bill Westel

ECO

Asheville, NC

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Eco-Steward Realty

Address: One Tampa Ave. , Asheville, NC, 28806

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