November 21, 2023 As the CEO of the High Country Association of Realtors® and Multiple Listing Service (MLS), representing more than 800 members and 1,100 MLS subscribers, I felt it imperative to address the current legal landscape in our industry. While there are a number of cases being litigated across the country, none of which are in North Carolina or South Carolina, the outcome of these cases will negatively impact the consumer. By Cheryl Smith, Chief Executive Officer
November 14, 2023 On Saturday, December 2, 2023, at 3 PM, join a festive sing-along of familiar Christmas carols in the sanctuary of the historic Banner Elk Presbyterian Church. The third annual Community Carol Sing is a 45-minute casual service that includes a dozen favorite songs, ranging from White Christmas to Joy to the World, that all ages will enjoy. Last year, a capacity crowd joined in enthusiastic singing.To allow the audience to rest their voices occasionally, the Lees-McRae Highlanders, church choir and soloists will sing beloved classics including O Holy Night and Jingle Bell Rock. The singing is led by the church Choral Director Nina Allbert and Pianist/Organist David Soyars.
October 11, 2023 BANNER ELK, N.C. – Lots of things have changed since 1978, but one thing remains the same: People still gather by the thousands the third weekend of October to watch woolly worms race at the Woolly Worm Festival in downtown Banner Elk. This year’s event – the 46th annual – takes place Oct. 21-22 on the field of the Historic Banner Elk School.
October 5, 2023 Welcome to October in the High Country, also known as the closest thing to heaven known to humans. It’s not just about pumpkin spice and sweater weather that accompany the dropping temperatures. With the leaves changing daily, every ride in sight of trees is a burst of glorious color that is different with every single trip. There is a golden quality to the light that kisses these slightly shorter days but it only lasts such a short time. By Karen Cleghorn, REALTOR
September 7, 2023 The official, astronomical end of summer isn’t until Saturday, September 23, though the meteorlogical summer ended August 31. While the mercury is still spending a lot of its time in the upper range of the thermometer, pumpkin spice has hit the coffee shops and if you look you will notice the leaves are beginning to change. We are 2/3 of the way through 2023 and it won’t be long before the temperature is dropping and the leaves are displaying their most glorious season of splendor. By Sandi Dascoulias, REALTOR
August 31, 2023 When most people think about “The American Dream,” homeownership is always a major component of that dream. But purchasing a home is just the first step of homeownership. Homeownership is a living investment, not a static one. It’s more than just making your mortgage payment. Well, theoretically, a homeowner could simply make their mortgage payment (along with taxes, insurance and utilities) and still maintain their investment. Theoretically. By Breanna McKay, REALTOR
August 24, 2023 While we look at statistics at least once a month, occasionally we like to take a look at what we call a “snapshot” of the market. Looking at three different homes in different areas in similar price ranges and compare their characteristics. By Stephen Holland, REALTOR
August 16, 2023 During July High Country Realtors® have been busy. There were 187 closed sales on residential properties for a combined worth of just over $103 million in the four county High Country Association of Realtors® area of Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, and Watauga Counties.
July 31, 2023 A yard sale to benefit the Community Clothing Closet for students in need who attend Avery County Schools will be held at Banner Elk Elementary School on Saturday, August 5 from 7:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon. By Tim Gardner
July 27, 2023 The Sugar Mountain Golf Club will host their annual tournament, the Sugar Mountain Golf Classic, on August 26-27. The two days of individual medal, stroke play is open to amateur men and women 18 years of age and up. Voted the #2 executive course in the USA, this public course owned and operated by the Village is one of the most popular in the High Country.
July 6, 2023 Lead is a naturally occurring element in the earth. It’s symbol is Pb on the Periodic Table of Elements and it’s atomic number is 82. It is a soft metal, dense, yet malleable, ductile but corrosion resistant. Lead has a relatively low melting point making it an ideal metal for industrial and manufacturing uses. By John Thomas, REALTOR
June 29, 2023 (Banner Elk) Banner Elk Presbyterian Church invites the community to help celebrate its 130th Anniversary during the month of July. With the theme of “Celebrate our Past, Cultivate our Future”, the series of events will include special worship services. Each of the five July Sundays will feature a different history focus at the 9 AM & 11 AM worship services with the themes of Believe, Heal, Care, Teach and Rejoice. The last Sunday, July 30, will be their second annual Old Time Favorites Hymn Sing.
June 26, 2023 Find women doing outstanding work in their field via Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture, a female-led organization dedicated to fostering a sustainable and fair food scene in the High Country. To do this, the organization bolsters local producers and creates connections among the community that contribute to knowledge and excitement of eating farm-grown food—ultimately upping the local demand and desire for local fare. By Anna Beth Adcock
June 15, 2023 BANNER ELK, N.C. – Banner Elk’s popular Art on the Greene series continues with shows the first weekends of July, August and September. The dates are July 1-2, Aug. 5-6 and Sept. 2-3.The shows fill the area in front of the Historic Banner Elk School with fine art from local and regional artists representing a variety of media, such as ceramics, glass, metal, wood, watercolor, acrylics and oil. Between 50-75 juried artists display their work at each event.
June 8, 2023 Was May 2023 a good month for real estate in the High Country? May-be! According to the High Country Association of REALTORS, there were 183 residential sales in May of 2023. The lowest listing price was $68,000, the lowest sales price was $55,000. The highest listing price was $3,2000,000, the lowest sales price was $3,100,000. The average listing price was $576,286 and the average sales price was $559,489. The median listing price was $450,000 and the median sales price was also $450,000. By Kaitlin Crawford, REALTOR
May 11, 2023 Quoting Ed Gianos, Founder of Domus Analytics, he says concerning statistics across the country: “In short: it’s still a market that’s changing rapidly and can’t decide what direction it’s going. Inventory is increasing until it’s not. Prices are falling until they don’t. DOM is increasing until it isn’t. The increasing mortgage rate environment seemed to put a damper on things over the winter, but rates wiggled, prices are still increasing in some markets, and sales and closings are still happening. A good listing priced fairly will still sell. As we head into the traditionally busy summer selling season, it will be interesting to watch where the market moves.”
May 10, 2023 We’ve all heard the old adage, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” But we’ve also been told “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” In a recent article from RIS Media entitled: Mulch Matters! How Curb Appeal Can Spark (or Sink) A Sale REALTOR® Alex Chingas relayed the following: “We recently had an appointment with a home stager to come look at a house that we would be listing,” he says. “The stager remarked to the client right at the front door that ‘Before I even come inside, I have to tell you that you have the wrong color mulch.’ She said that red mulch was a hindrance, and, while she happened to like it personally, that sellers don’t get big money with that color.” By Becky Morgan, Realtor
May 4, 2023 If the old saying about April showers bringing May flowers is true, May should be one blossom after another this year! With April done and dusted, let’s talk about the real estate numbers… There were 139 residential sales in the High Country in April with a volume of $74,714,772. List prices ranged from $59,950 to $3,750,000 with an average list price of $560,126 and median list price of $424,500. By Karen Cleghorn, Realtor
May 4, 2023 Banner Elk, NC – After months of planning and fabrication, Banner Elk Fire Rescue received the new mountain rescue equipment that was funded by the community fundraiser at Banner Elk Presbyterian Church in August 2022. During the three performances of the musical “Always Nina”, the audiences donated more than $8,000. The much-needed tools for the volunteer firefighters include a rescue basket and an extensive twin tension rope system kit.
May 3, 2023 BANNER ELK, N.C.─ The 2023 season of Lees-McRae Summer Theatre is right around the corner and tickets for this season are available online now. The in-person box office will be open Wednesday, June 14−Saturday, July 29 and will be reachable by phone at 828.898.8709. This year every Summer Theatre production will celebrate the history, diversity, and natural beauty of North Carolina. Kicking off the celebration of this wonderful state will be the “Red, White, and Blue Ridge Variety Show.” With productions at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 30 and 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 2, the variety show, directed by Janet Barton Speer, will be fun for the whole family.
April 13, 2023 Last time, Real Estate in the High Country looked at the sales numbers for the first quarter of 2023. This time, as promised, we’re going to be looking at more than just pricing statistics for the same time period. All data is courtesy of the High Country Association of REALTORS and the High Country Multiple Listing Service. By Bill Aceto
April 4, 2023 It’s hard to believe, but the first quarter of 2023 is already in the history books. Despite the rise in interest rates and general concern over the economy, real estate closings in the High Country from January to March were still fairly healthy, with a total volume of $274,145,344 reported to the High Country Association of REALTORSⓇ. By Tracy Simms
April 6, 2023 In the High Country of Western North Carolina, it seems as if veterinary clinics are everywhere, on main throughfares, side streets and throughout the three-county region of Watauga, Ashe, and Avery. However, these statistics aren’t quite what they appear. With the exception on one veterinary clinic, Dr. John Lang’s Linville Animal Hospital, in Banner Elk, all other such services cater only to small animals ranging from Dachshunds and Pomeranians to the larger breeds of Labradors and English Mastiffs, to many of the 42-71 recognized breeds of cats that inhabit homes from Vilas to Deep Gap to Meat Camp. By Peter Morris
April 5, 2023 The flowers are starting to blossom and frigid-cold days seem behind us in the High Country. At the Art Cellar, that means we’re all anticipating what we expect to be, one of our most exciting summers to date. View our Summer Show Schedule and more here!
March 29, 2023 Sometimes words (and their meaning/concepts) are so closely related, it is difficult to discern the difference. A great quote to demonstrate this is from the humor writer, Cynthia Heimel, when she wrote, “We must eschew anything trivial. We must embrace all that is frivolous.” At first glance, this might seem like a contradictory statement; at least until you truly think about the difference between the trivial and the frivolous. By Bill Aceto