The Henderson County real estate market is seeing steady improvement in their median home prices, days on market and list price vs final sales price.Overall, the Henderson County real estate market is seeing improvements from previous years. Total homes sold in 2012 were up a whopping 31% over 2011’s figures (989 in 2011 vs 1355 in 2012). The amount of days a home was on the market before it sold went down 23% (from 226 in 2011 to 179 in 2012).

Search the MLS to find your next Henderson County home for saleMedian home prices closed out the year at $160,000, down from the $173,000 we saw in December 2011. However, the average median home price for the entire year was exactly the same as the previous year ($168,000). January 2013 closed out the month with a median sales price of $170,000.

The ratio of initial asking price to final sales price for a Henderson County home has been steadily increasing over the last few years. In 2011, sellers were getting 92% of list price. In 2012, they were getting 93%. Last month, the average final sale price was 94% of the initial listing price. Experts predict that prices will start to increase even more throughout 2013 as demand for housing increases. So, we expect these numbers to get even better. That’s great news if you’re planning on selling your Henderson County home soon.

The Henderson County real estate market is experiencing a steady increase. We may not be seeing the astronomical rise we saw in the mid-2000’s, but it is definitely headed in a positive direction. It’s a great time to purchase a home because interest rates remain amazingly low. It’s also a great time to sell your Henderson County home. Sellers are finalizing sales closer to the initial list price than they have in several years and the median prices are going up. When you’re ready to either buy or sell your Henderson County home, please contact me.

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Rich Cooke, your Western North Carolina real estate specialist

Originally posted on my Western North Carolina real estate blog here: http://rich-cooke.com/2013/02/21/henderson-county-real-estate-market-feb-2013/.

Western North Carolina Real Estate - Whether you're interested in buying or selling your Hendersonville/Asheville area home, consider using the services of Rich Cooke, John Knapp and Jan Knapp for your Western North Carolina real estate needs.

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: http://rich-cooke.com/2013/02/13/hendersonville-fire-dept-scam-warning/.

On Jan 5, 2013, the City of Hendersonville will be accepting Christmas trees and recycling them into mulch for Hendersonville and Henderson County residents.I certainly hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas with their loved ones. I certainly did! It’s sad to see the decorations coming down. You spent so much time decorating your tree that you are probably going to want to keep it up at least until after the new year. But, what do you do with it after that? The City of Hendersonville has the answer to your Christmas tree disposal question. Recycle!

The first Saturday of the new year (January 5, 2013), the City will be accepting Christmas trees from Hendersonville and Henderson County residents for recycling. Just bring your tree to Jackson Park’s Ballfield #6 (801 Glover Street) between 8:30am and 2pm. They will turn all recycled trees into mulch, which works great for your spring garden. If you bring a bucket, you can take some mulch home with you. Just make sure all decorations and tinsel are completely discarded before you take your tree to the park. This service is provided absolutely free of charge.

Don’t just set your tree out on the curb for pickup. Recycle it into healthy, nutrient-rich mulch to nourish Hendersonville gardens in the future. Bring it to Jackson Park on January 5th for the Hendersonville Christmas tree disposal event. Have a Happy New Year, everyone!

Rich Cooke, your Western North Carolina real estate specialist

Originally posted on my Western North Carolina real estate blog here: http://rich-cooke.com/2012/12/27/hendersonville-christmas-tree-disposal/.

Western North Carolina Real Estate - Whether you're interested in buying or selling your Hendersonville/Asheville area home, consider using the services of Rich Cooke, John Knapp and Jan Knapp for your Western North Carolina real estate needs.

Enjoy an Ole Timey Christmas at Hendersonville's The Curb Market this Sat, Nov 24, 2012. Christmas wreaths, holiday decorations and other homemade goodies are available along wih their regular fresh produce.The Curb Market in Hendersonville has been in operation for 88 years.  From their humble beginnings as a place for the extra produce farmers in the outlying areas brought to the local “city folk”, the market has become a local tradition with Hendersonville residents for the freshest in produce as well as handmade crafts.  This Saturday, November 24th, the Curb Market will get into the spirit of the holidays with their annual Hendersonville Ole Timey Christmas.

From 8am to 2pm, vendors will be offering up their usual fruits, vegetables, fresh cut flowers, plants, jams, jellies and baked goods.  In addition to the regular fare, however, holiday items such as Christmas wreaths and decorations will also be available for purchase.  Get a start on your Christmas list by picking up a unique, handmade gift for that someone special.  You can also bring home some great freshly baked items to share with family around the dinner table.

If you’re looking for something special for the holidays, come to the Hendersonville Ole Timey Christmas at The Curb Market this Saturday, November 24th from 8am to 2pm.  The market’s normal hours of operation are 8am to 2pm every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.  Support local artisans and farmers by purchasing your produce and other items at The Curb Market.

Rich Cooke, your Western North Carolina real estate specialist

Originally posted on my Hendersonville real estate blog here: http://rich-cooke.com/2012/11/23/hendersonville-ole-timey-christmas/.

Curbside fall leaf collection will begin for Hendersonville residents on Monday, October 15, 2012 and continue through til December.The seasons are a’changin’ here in Hendersonville. The leaves have begun to change color and will soon be parting ways with the trees they’ve resided on since Spring. Let the raking begin!

Fall leaf collection begins in Hendersonville on Monday, October 15, 2012. This is a separate service from the regular brush and lawn clippings pickup that normally takes place. Beginning on October 15th, Hendersonville residents can rake their leaves into piles curbside and the City will pick them up for proper disposal. They don’t need to be placed in bags either. The only request from the City is that the piles of leaves are not placed either in the street or on the sidewalk.

Leaf collection services will continue every 10-14 days (more or less depending on volume) through December. Hendersonville residents don’t need to call to take advantage of this service. It will be done automatically. Remember, if you have brush and leaves to be picked up, please make sure they are in separate piles. If you have any questions, please feel free to call Tom Wooten with the City at (828) 697-3084.

Fall leaf collection begins in Hendersonville on Monday, October 15, 2012. Rake ’em up and put ’em to the curb. The City will take care of the rest.

Rich Cooke, your Western North Carolina real estate specialist

Originally posted on my Western North Carolina real estate blog here: http://rich-cooke.com/2012/10/04/fall-leaf-collection-begins-in-hendersonville/.

Western North Carolina Real Estate - Whether you're interested in buying or selling your Hendersonville/Asheville area home, consider using the services of Rich Cooke, John Knapp and Jan Knapp for your Western North Carolina real estate needs.

Hendersonville's Fabulous 4th CelebrationsHendersonville knows how to celebrate and the 4th of July is no exception.  From parades and music to ice cream socials and pyrotechnic splendor, the fun lasts all day long.  Feel free to join in on any and all of Hendersonville’s fabulous 4th celebrations.

The annual Independence Day Parade will make its way around Downtown Hendersonville at 11am.  You may want to head out a little early, though, to find a good seat.  Of course, bringing your own chair can make parade viewing a lot more comfortable.  Anyone interested in joining in the parade itself should visit the Hendersonville Merchants & Business Association website to download an application.  Whether you have a group of people or just you and your family, the cost is just $10 for up to five vehicles.  Decorate your bike, trike, wagon or car in patriotic red, white and blue and be part of the action yourself.  Money raised from entrants in the parade will go towards a local Hendersonville charity.

The Historic Courthouse on Main will be hosting an ice cream social. In addition to ice cream, there will be other food and plenty of entertainment.  Then, as a special part Hendersonville’s Music on Main event (a free music concert held every Friday at the Visitors Information Center in Downtown Hendersonville), Tom Brown and his One Man Band will be performing especially for the 4th of July from 7pm to 9pm.  Seating will be open at 5:30pm (no earlier seating allowed).

After Tom Brown’s musical performance, the grand finale of the day’s events will be the 4th of July fireworks over Hendersonville.  The City will be tethering a large balloon over the launch site of the fireworks.  If you can see the balloon, you will be able to see the fireworks display.  For a map of optimal viewing locations, please visit the Henderson County Parks & Recreation Department’s website.

Spend all of Independence Day at any or all of Hendersonville’s fabulous 4th celebrations.  Parades, music, activities, ice cream AND fireworks.  Hendersonville knows how to celebrate our nation’s birth right!

Rich Cooke, your Western North Carolina real estate specialist

Originally posted on my Western North Carolina real estate blog here: http://rich-cooke.com/2012/06/21/hendersonvilles-fabulous-4th-celebrations/.

Debt Forgiveness and Its Impact on YouIf you sold your Hendersonville home via a short sale, you are probably aware of the term “debt forgiveness”.  This is when a lender “forgives” a portion of what you owe on your home so you can sell it for less.  While the lender may “forgive” this debt, Uncle Sam does not.  In terms of taxes, any amount you would have owed but the bank decided not to collect on may be considered taxable income.  Since taxes are due soon (this year’s deadline is Tuesday, April 17, 2012), I thought it would be important to discuss debt forgiveness and its impact on you, the taxpayer.

As I said before, in general, forgiven debt is considered taxable income by the government.  In essence, you were given a certain amount of money when you signed your loan to begin with.  So, when the bank decides to forgive a portion of the debt, it is like they gave you a credit.  This is considered income and must, therefore, be taxed.  However, until the end of this year (December 31, 2012), a homeowner doesn’t have to pay taxes on the forgiven mortgage debt as long as the debt was from a principal residence and the amount forgiven didn’t exceed the original loan amount plus improvements.

This law also applies to foreclosures as well as a loan modification that includes a reduction in your Hendersonville home’s principal balance. The loan modification provision only applies if you are currently using the home in question as your permanent residence.  The non-taxable mortgage debt relief also only applies to the original loan amount.  It does not typically apply to second mortgages or home equity lines of credit that are not used for improvements on your home.

When a portion of a mortgage debt is forgiven, the bank will send out a 1099 to both the Hendersonville homeowner and the IRS that shows the amount forgiven.  You must then file a Form 982 to explain what the debt was forgiven for and why you shouldn’t have to pay taxes on it.  Whatever is taxable should then be filed on your 1040.  Talk to your tax adviser/preparer about this.  They should be able to answer any questions you have.

Rich Cooke, your Western North Carolina real estate specialist

Originally posted on my Hendersonville real estate blog here: http://rich-cooke.com/2012/03/22/debt-forgiveness-and-its-impact-on-you/.

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: http://rich-cooke.com/2012/03/08/volunteers-wanted-for-hendersonville-board-of-adjustment/.

Free Motorcycle Safety Classes in HendersonvilleOne of the things I love most about living in Western North Carolina is the amazingly beautiful scenery we get to enjoy every day.  A nice drive on a Saturday afternoon lets you see this natural beauty up close.  This is especially true if you’re a motorcycle enthusiast.  That’s why the police and sheriff’s departments are offering free motorcycle safety classes in Hendersonville.

On March 10, 2012 and March 16, 2012, the Henderson County Sheriff’s Department and the Hendersonville Police Department will be offering motorcyclists an education in cycle safety, rules of the road and techniques to improve your skills on your bike.  Whether your “hog” is a heavy duty Harley Davidson or a sweet little moped that helps you tool around town, you’re sure to learn something at the class.  The Sheriff’s Department will be conducting the March 10th class while the Hendersonville Police Department will conduct the March 16th class.

Included in your free training will be:

  • Motorcycle Control – accelerating, braking and clutch as well as how to make your ride smoother.
  • Hazard Management – recognizing, avoiding and reacting to hazards you may encounter.
  • Cornering – assessing the angle of a curve and how to approach and complete in a safe manner.
  • Overtaking
  • Roadcraft – using your mirrors and turn signals effectively as well as your attitude on the road.

In the morning, Hendersonville drivers will be inside the classroom going over basic information.  Then, students will be paired up with instructors when they head out for a short ride around a special course to assess their skills and see what they’ve learned.  After lunch, students will head back into the classroom for feedback from their instructors.  Drivers will then be paired up again with their instructors to drive around a larger course (approximately 75 minutes).  All students will then head back into the classroom to again receive feedback on their ride from their instructors as well as answer any final questions.

While the class is absolutely free, you will be required to have the following before you will be allowed to participate:

  • Legal Motorcycle Endorsement
  • Motorcycle Registration
  • Motorcycle Insurance
  • Proper DOT-Approved Helmet
  • Proper Footwear (rises above the ankle for protection)
  • Long Sleeve Shirt and Pants (no shorts or T-shirts allowed)
  • Full Fingered Gloves
  • Eye Protection

If you’re interested in attending one of the free motorcycle safety classes in Hendersonville next month, please contact Lt. Mike Vesely either via phone at 828-697-3025 or via email at mvesely@cityofhendersonville.org.  Again, these classes are absolutely free.  What better way to learn about motorcycle safety than from a Henderson County police officer?  They know what they’re talking about!

Rich Cooke, your Western North Carolina real estate specialist

Originally posted on my Western North Carolina real estate blog here: http://rich-cooke.com/2012/02/16/free-motorcycle-safety-classes-in-hendersonville/.

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: http://rich-cooke.com/2012/02/09/electric-vehicle-charging-stations-come-to-hendersonville-nc/.