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.

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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/.