The Hendersonville Fire Dept issued a warning to Hendersonville residents of a phone soliciation scam currently going on.ATTENTION: Hendersonville citizens.  Earlier this week, the fire department issued a scam warning.  Recently, the department was made aware that someone has been calling Hendersonville residents claiming they are with the Hendersonville Fire Department and soliciting money on their behalf.  The fire department wants area residents to know that they do not actively solicit money.  They receive their funding from the City of Hendersonville’s general fund.

If you do receive a phone call from someone claiming to be with the Hendersonville Fire Department and asking you for money, do not give them any of your financial information.  Instead, get their name and contact information.  Then, call the Hendersonville Fire Department at (828) 697-3024.  Don’t ever give your personal financial information to anyone asking for money over the phone.  It is too easy for identity thieves to use this information to ruin your credit.

Rich Cooke, your Western North Carolina real estate specialist

Originally posted on my Western North Carolina real estate blog here:

The City of Hendersonville is offering rebates for citizens upgrading to water efficiency models of toilets, clothes washers and irrigation systems.Water conservation is a subject many Hendersonville residents are well aware of. Luckily, the City of Hendersonville has initiated a water efficiency rebate program to help make water conservation even more profitable. When you upgrade your old toilet, clothes washer or irrigation system with a more energy efficient model (those with the WaterSense or EnergyStar labels), you may be entitled to a rebate from the city’s water rebate program.

The City of Hendersonville has allocated enough funds to offer a total of 240 rebates for clothes washers and irrigation systems. Qualifying purchases will receive $75-$150 for EnergyStar labeled clothes washers and up to $200 for WaterSense labeled irrigation systems. Replacing your old toilet with a WaterSense labeled high-efficiency one can get you a $25-$100 credit.

A lot of water is wasted every time you flush with a regular toilet. Low flow toilets can save up to 5 1/2 gallons a flush over a regular toilet. Using an EnergyStar washer can save users around $70 a year. With a smart irrigation system, your Hendersonville lawn is only watered as often and as much as is needed. You never have to worry about overwatering your lawn again. Also, keep in mind that these are excellent selling points when you decide to put your Hendersonville home on the market in the future.

Only property owners or those individuals who are legally responsible for paying the water bill through Hendersonville Water and Sewer are eligible for any rebates. Each household is limited to two toilet rebates and one clothes washer and smart irrigation system upgrade per household. You can either pick up a rebate form at the City of Hendersonville’s Operations Center (305 Williams St) during regular business hours or download it online by visiting the City of Hendersonvile’s website here.

In an effort to encourage its residents to conserve water whenever possible, the City of Hendersonville is offering water efficiency rebates. Now, you can get rid of the old water-guzzlers, save water using more water efficient varieties and even make a little pocket change in the process. It’s a win for you, a win for the city and a win for the environment. You just can’t go wrong!

Rich Cooke, your Western North Carolina real estate specialist

Originally posted on my Western North Carolina real estate blog here:

Volunteers Wanted for Hendersonville Board of AdjustmentThe Hendersonville City Council needs a citizen volunteer for its Hendersonville Board of Adjustment.  The City believes that the best way to make living in the community better for everyone is to have its residents be an integral part of its daily operations.  Volunteering for one of its boards and commissions is probably the best way you can do this.  As part of the Hendersonville Board of Adjustment, some of your duties will involve:

  • Listening to and deciding on appeals from administrative officials regarding enforcement of the Zoning or Subdivision Ordinances as well as reviewing orders, requirements, decisions and determinations brought to the Board by an administrative official.
  • Listening to and deciding on Zoning Ordinance variance requests.
  • Interpreting the Official Zoning map and passing along any questions regarding disputes of lot lines or district boundaries to Zoning Ordinance administrators.
  • Reviewing and issuing conditional use permits in regards to Zoning Ordinance rules and regulations.
  • Entering (at a reasonable time) and examining private property to survey said property as it pertains to the official duties of the Board.
  • Making requests for public hearings by the Board on any matter under the Board’s jurisdiction when needed.

Members of the Hendersonville Board of Adjustment meet at the Operations Center (305 Williams Street) at 1:30pm on the second Tuesday of the month to discuss matters brought before the Board.  Currently, the Board has one vacant alternate position available for a a Hendersonville resident.  If you’re interested in applying for the position, please fill out an application and hand it in to the Hendersonville City Hall.

Being a volunteer on a city board or commission enables you to help create a better living environment for the community.  Follow your passion and find a board that fits, whether it be the Hendersonville Board of Adjustment or another city commission.  The City always welcomes input from its residents to make living in Hendersonville even that much better.

Rich Cooke, your Western North Carolina real estate specialist

Originally published on my Western North Carolina real estate blog here:

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Come to Hendersonville NCOn Wednesday, February 8, 2012, the City of Hendersonville NC officially unveiled two new electric vehicle charging stations at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.  In an effort to reduce America’s reliance on foreign oil as well as maintaining the natural beauty that Western North Carolina offers, the City of Hendersonville has partnered with the Land of Sky Clean Vehicles Coalition’s Electric Vehicles Committee to make using alternative fuels a viable option for Hendersonville citizens.  These two charging stations are only the beginning.

Typically, owners of completely electrical vehicles (such as the Nissan Leaf and Smart ED) or hybrids (such as the Chevy Volt, Ford Escape Hybrid or Toyta Prius Hybrid) charge their vehicles at home because charging stations are hard to come by.  The installation of the two new electric vehicle charging stations at the Dogwood Parking lot in downtown Hendersonville extends the areas these electric vehicles can travel by eliminating the worry of not having enough of a charge to get back home.  It is the City of Hendersonville’s goal to bring clean fuel alternatives to areas where its citizens work, dine, shop, learn and play.

These electric vehicle charging stations in downtown Hendersonville are only one step in a larger plan to create an entire public charging station network in the Asheville area.  The LSCVC’s Electric Vehicle Committee is working with other communities in the area to determine which locations would benefit the most from charging station installation.  In addition to downtown Hendersonville, there are currently electric vehicle charging stations available in downtown Asheville, Black Mountain, Haywood Community College (in Clyde) and Montreat as well as the office of the Land of Sky Regional Council in Asheville.  Plug-in electrical vehicle (PEV) owners can benefit from Duke Energy’s incentive program for installing a charging station in their homes.

Bringing electric vehicle charging stations to Hendersonville NC is yet another step in bringing the city into the modern era while maintaining the natural beauty of the Western North Carolina lifestyle.  If you’re interested in buying a Hendersonville home, please contact me now.  I can help you find the Western North Carolina home of your dreams today.

Rich Cooke, your Western North Carolina real estate specialist

Originally posted on my Western North Carolina real estate blog here:

The City of Hendersonville NC released a fantastic video recently highlighting what makes Hendersonville so great.  I wanted to share it with you so that you can get a glimpse of our beautiful community as well as the wonderful people who inhabit it. 

City of Hendersonville, NC from City of Hendersonville on Vimeo.

Just let me know when you are interested in becoming a part of our Hendersonville family and I’ll be happy to help you put down roots here.

Rich Cooke, your Western North Carolina real estate specialist

Originally posted on my Western North Carolina real estate blog here:

Recycle Your Christmas Tree in HendersonvilleNow that the holidays are over, what do you do with your tree?  This kind of wood burns too hot for an indoor fireplace or wood burning stove and can create a dangerous buildup of creosote (black soot), increasing the chances of a house fire.  Therefore, chopping it up and using it for firewood is not a good idea.  Don’t worry, though.  The City of Hendersonville has the solution!

You can recycle your Christmas tree in Hendersonville this Saturday, January 7th at Jackson Park’s Field #6 parking lot (801 Glover St) from 9am to 2pm.  If you can’t make it to the event this Saturday, however, you can drop your tree off earlier in the day at Field #6.  All trees that are dropped off will be ground up into mulch which will then be given back to the public for free to use for your household landscaping needs.  Mulch helps aid in water retension and reduction of soil erosion.

Please dispose of your Christmas tree in a safe and eco-friendly way by attending the Henderson County Christmas tree recycling event this Saturday, January 7, 2012 at the Field #6 parking lot of Jackson Park from 9am to 2pm.  When it’s turned into mulch, you will be able to continue enjoying the benefits of your Christmas tree beyond the holiday season as part of your Hendersonville lawn or garden.

Rich Cooke, your Western North Carolina real estate specialist

Originally posted on my Western North Carolina real estate blog here:

Are You Paying Too Much for Your Property Taxes?Property taxes are one of the inevitable costs of owning your home in Hendersonville.  How much you pay in taxes is determined by the value the county places on your property.  However, since it is not possible for the county to go out and re-assess every property in its jurisdiction every single year, your property taxes may be based on the value your home was assessed at several years ago.  Because property values have declined so much in the last few years, this could mean that you are paying hundreds, if not thousands of dollars more than you should.  How do you determine whether you are paying too much for your property taxes?

While North Carolina law requires each county to reassess the property values in their area every eight years, Henderson County passed a law in 1995 to do so every four years instead.  The last reassessment was done in 2007.  Currently, the county is in the process of reassessing properties to current market value.  If you have recently received the reassessed value of your home, make sure to check over the paperwork to make sure that all the information is correct, including square footage, bathrooms, bedrooms, etc.  This can have an impact on the value your Hendersonville home is given.

If you feel that the appraised value of your home is incorrect (it’s much higher than what you think your home can realistically sell for or it’s not valued similarly to other homes in your area), you can file an appeal.  The first step is an informal appeal.  Included in your reappraisal notice will be a form that you can fill out to file your informal appeal.  Your area’s appraiser will then review the information you provide to determine whether it supports a change.  If the results of the informal appeal are unsatisfactory to you, you can file an appeal with the Board of Equalization and Review.  After that, you can appeal to the North Carolina Property Tax Commission and, finally, the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

When you decide to file an appeal, make sure you have proper evidence to support the reason for your disagreement with the assessed value.  Keep in mind that you can’t use the sales statistics of Hendersonville homes after January 1, 2011 for current property values.  Some good evidence to provide when appealing your property tax assessment include:

  1. Your own professional appraisal done based on values before January 1, 2011.
  2. Sales report of properties comparable to yours that were sold before January 1, 2011.
  3. Report of comparable listings on the market in your area existing on or before January 1, 2011.
  4. 2010 income and expense statements if the property in question if an income-producing property.
  5. Proof of data errors on the county’s reassessment, including amount of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, etc.

While the Henderson County Tax Assessors office does not have the authority to lower your taxes, getting a correct and up-to-date valuation of your Hendersonville property will give you the information you need to speak to your tax collector about it.  If you feel you are paying too much for your property taxes, follow these steps to get a reassessment of your Hendersonville home.  For more information on the appeal process in Henderson County, please call the Tax Assessor’s office at (828) 697-4870.

Rich Cooke, your Western North Carolina real estate specialist

Hendersonville Named Tree City USA CommunityFor the 20th year in a row, the Arbor Day Foundation has named Hendersonville a Tree City USA Community in honor of its continued commitment to urban forestry.  In order to be honored as a Tree City USA Community, Hendersonville has to maintain a tree board or department (which is legally responsible to care for and manage the city’s trees), a community forestry program (with a budget of at least $2 per capita for tree care funding), a tree care ordinance (to put policies in place for caring for community trees) and an official proclamation and observance of Arbor Day.  The love and care of trees is a normal way of life for a community that sits in the natural beauty of Western North Carolina’s mountainous region.

How does Hendersonville benefit from being a Tree City USA Community?  Energy consumption can be cut by up to 25% by planting just three trees around every building in the community.  This could translate to $2 billion in energy consumption reduction across the country if it were implemented everywhere.  Trees also reduce costs for erosion control, storm water management and energy by an average of $273 per tree.  Property values increase by approximately 7-21% in neighborhoods that encourage tree planting.  Research also shows that properties in wooded areas rent quicker and the tenants of these property stay longer. 

Hendersonville isn’t the only local Western North Carolina city that has been honored as a Tree City USA Community.  Nearby Asheville has been a Tree City USA Community for more than 30 years now.  This shows how important we believe nature is to the health and well-being of our residents.  Just one more reason why I love living in the Hendersonville area.

Rich Cooke, your Hendersonville real estate specialist

The Hendersonville Wastewater Treatment Plant is giving away free mulch until April 30, 2011 for your Hendersonville garden.Beginning today, March 17, 2011, the free mulch giveaway in Hendersonville has officially resumed.  To get ready for your spring gardening, come to the Hendersonville Wastewater Treatment Plant (80 Balfour Road) every Thursday, Friday or Saturday until April 30th while supply lasts.  Mulch will be available for pickup on Thursdays and Fridays from 3:30-7pm and on Saturdays from 8am-12pm.  Only Hendersonville residents are allowed to pick up their free mulch.

Hendersonville’s gardening season usually begins somewhere in early April, when the last of the winter frost wears off and continues through late October.  Here are a few gardening tips to help you get your Hendersonville garden in top shape for spring:

Plan Ahead – Decide what plants and/or flowers you wish to add to your garden this season.  Draw up plans to determine where to place each plant or flower for maximum benefit.  For example, many people like to group similarly colored flowers together while others like to “mix it up” a little.

Prepare the Soil – Check the pH levels of your soil to make sure it is in balance to grow lush plants.  Add compost or mulch (again, it’s free at the Hendersonville Wastewater Treatment Plant from now until the end of April) for a nutrient-rich foundation for your garden to thrive.

Clean Up and Maintain – Now is the time to prune your shrubbery, clean up your garden accessories (bird feeders, garden gnomes, etc) and take care of any repairs needed on your lawn care equipment.  If you decide to go with a Hendersonville professional for your landscaping needs, interview several different companies, get quotes and decide which one will work for you so they can get started as soon as the spring season begins.

Have Fun – Above all, enjoy the process.  Gardening can be a relaxing and beautiful way to unwind and enjoy nature.

Get your gardens ready for spring by following these helpful tips and don’t forget about the free mulch giveaway in Hendersonville taking place every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from now until April 30, 2011. 

Rich Cooke, your Hendersonville real estate specialist

Our fair city has jumped onto the social networking train. The City of Hendersonville has now joined Facebook to keep residents up-to-date with local news, events and other information about the City. If you have a Facebook account, all you need to do is login to your Facebook account and then go to the City of Hendersonville Facebook page. Once you click the “like” button on the city’s page, any updates made to the page can be viewed in your Facebook account’s live news feed. The city plans to use its Facebook page to release local announcements, press releases and official photos. This is just the next step in Hendersonville’s goal to become more available to its citizens in this every-increasing technological age.

The City of Hendersonville joins Facebook.  Click here to become a fan.

The City of Hendersonville also recently launched its revamped website, where website visitors can view City Council agendas and minutes from their meetings, job opportunities, access information on the different City departments, learn about the city and more.

The City of Hendersonville has joined Facebook in an effort to keep up with the same technology its citizens utilize. This is just the beginning of the “new” City of Hendersonville. Come back often to see what’s next for our fair city.

Don't get a lemon.  Use Rich Cooke for your Hendersonville real estate needs.