Asheville's Recycling Program Receives AwardThe Carolina Recycling Association honored the City of Asheville with its “Best Local Government Recycling Program” award.  This award is only handed out to one city in North Carolina or South Carolina.  Asheville’s recycling program received the award because they have successfully provided a complete recycling program to its residents.  In fact, 80% of Asheville’s inhabitants utilize the Asheville residential curbside and city facilities regularly, the highest participation levels in the state.  The recipient of the Carolina Recycling Association’s award serves as a model for other government agencies within both North Carolina and South Carolina on how they can implement successful recycling programs in their respective cities.

The City of Asheville has set a goal of 80% carbon reduction within its city limits by the year 2050.  Their recycling program is just one step in that journey.  Since its implementation in 1997, the residential curbside recycling program in Asheville has taken in more than 90,000 tons of recycled material.  That is more than 90,000 tons of material that has been kept out of the landfills and re-used into the system, which also reduces the drain on our resources by using less materials initially in new products.

Asheville contracts with Curbside Management to provide their curbside recycling program to residents.  Two bins are provided to each Asheville household specifically for recyclable materials (one bin is for glass, plastic, newspapers, cardboard boxes and metal cans while the other bin can be used for junk mail, cereal boxes, magazines, catalogs, paper shopping bags, etc).  The bins are picked up by Curbside Management every other week.  If you have questions about how to participate in Asheville’s residential curbside recycling program, please contact Curbside Management at 828-252-2532 or visit their website.

You don’t have to wait for someone to pick up your recyclable materials, however.  Any Asheville resident can drop off their recyclable goods at any one of the following locations:

  • Asheville Pizza & Brewing Company (behind the business) – 675 Merrimon Avenue
  • Buncombe County Landfill – 85 Panther Branch Road
  • Buncombe County Transfer Station – 190 Hominy Creek Road
  • Curbside Management’s Materials Recycling Facility – 116 N Woodfin Avenue in Woodfin, NC

Congratulations to Asheville’s recycling program for receiving this fantastic award.  It’s a combined victory for both the city’s efforts as well as its people.  This is yet another reason why Asheville real estate is tops.  Our city is beautiful because we make an effort to keep it that way.  Let’s continue our efforts for generations to come.

Rich Cooke, your Western North Carolina real estate specialist

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Be Prepared When Buying a HomeCongratulations!  Whether you’re a first time homebuyer or someone who’s been around the block a few times, purchasing a Western North Carolina home is a big investment in both time and money.  It’s important to be prepared when buying a home.  Here are a few things you can do to make the home buying process smoother:

Make a List – Write down everything you absolutely cannot live without.  How many bedrooms does your Hendersonville home need?  Will a two-car garage work or do you need three spaces?  Does your home need to be close to work?  What size dwelling (in square feet) do you want to own?  By putting these needs down in writing, you will be able to better focus on the homes you really want without being distracted.

Hire a ProfessionalFinding the right Western North Carolina REALTOR® to help you with all your home buying needs is key.  You need someone who is experienced and can make you feel comfortable.  They also have access to listings that you can’t find anywhere else, including online real estate websites like Trulia or Zillow.  Since they are in the field everyday, they can use their extensive network to help you find the perfect Henderson County home.

Do Your Research – Once you’ve decided on which neighborhood you’re truly interested in settling down in, do research on the area.  Drive around the community on different days and at different times to get a feel for the place.  Find out what the local economy is like.  Research prices of homes in the area so you know what is reasonable and what isn’t.  Check out the school district.  Even if you don’t currently have children, the school system can be a big selling point when it comes time to sell your Henderson County home.

Get Pre-Approved – Unlike pre-qualifying, which only tells you how much you should be able to afford based on a quick analysis of your debt-to-income ratio and credit rating, being pre-approved for a Hendersonville home means that you have already gone through the loan qualifying process and a mortgage company has given you a letter of credit stating that you are approved for X amount of dollars.  When you find that perfect home you absolutely must have, this letter of credit will show the seller that you are both serious and ready to act now.  They won’t have to wait through the lengthy loan qualifying process to see if you even get approved.  You’ve done the work already.  You may even be able to negotiate a better price because of this (talk to your REALTOR® about this).

Whatever you can do to be prepared when buying a home will ultimately help your Western North Carolina real estate transaction happen as smoothly and successfully as possible.  Feel free to contact me with any questions.  I’m always happy to help.

Rich Cooke, your Western North Carolina real estate specialist