Life is but a Dream on Lake Toxaway, North Carolina

Posted by Jochen | Posted in Living in WNC | Posted on Monday, October 26, 2009

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Row, Row, Row Your Boat…
Life is but a Dream on Lake Toxaway

Visitors to Lake Toxaway bear witness to the beauty and serenity that first drew visionary E.H. Jennings to the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau in Western North Carolina. The Pittsburg entrepreneur’s belief in the viability in this region as a resort destination led to the transformation of the rugged terrain associated with the area into a beautiful 614- acre mountain lake. Named by its creator, Lake Toxaway was the first man-made lake built in the Appalachians. Knowing visitors would become as enamored with the area as he was, Jennings built The Toxaway Inn along the lake’s shoreline. It quickly became a well-known retreat among the nation’s most affluent citizens, and early guests of the Inn included Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone.  

Lake Toxaway in the fall

Lake Toxaway in the fall

While on vacation at Lake Toxaway, socialite and Savannah native Lucy Camp Armstrong also fell in love with the area. She bought 40 acres around the lake and built an estate, lavish gardens and riding stables in 1915. Sadly, during heavy rains in the summer of 1916, the area experienced flooding and a dam gave way – emptying Lake Toxaway completely. Armstrong’s estate and the Inn held fast, but with no lake – the area lost its appeal for the vacationing jet set. This event eventually led to the demise of The Toxaway Inn, which stood empty for 30 years before being demolished in 1948. Ms. Armstrong continued to love the area, took up permanent residence at her estate and lived long enough to see her dream realized when the lake was restored to its original beauty in the 1960’s. After her death in 1970, Ms. Armstrong’s estate was transformed into The Greystone Inn – crown jewel of the Lake Toxaway Community.

Situated at 3,014 feet above sea level, Lake Toxaway offers 14 miles of shoreline, mild year round temperatures, beautiful natural settings and a wealth of opportunities for water-themed activities. Providing the best of both worlds by combining amazing views of the mountains and lakefront living, it is now home to some of the area’s most sought after and imaginative communities with resort-quality amenities. The lake and developments such as Bear Wallow Springs, Catatoga, Lake Toxaway Estates and Toxaway Views continue to draw visitors to this unique corner of the world year after year. Silver Creek Real Estate Group welcomes the opportunity to introduce you and your family to this very special spot along the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau. To view available homes or property for sale, click here. To schedule an appointment to view this unique lake community up close and personal, drop by our offices located in the heart of Cashiers at The Shoppes at CreekSide or call the talented team at Silver Creek at 828-743-1999. You could be in the mountain-lake home of your dreams in time for the holidays!

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Cashiers, Highlands, Lake Toxaway, Sapphire Valley real estate sales update

Posted by Jochen | Posted in Bank Owned Properties, Real Estate News, Silver Creek Real Estate Group, Weekly Real Estate Sales Update | Posted on Monday, June 22, 2009

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Here are this week’s real estate sales for the week of June 15, 2009 in the greater Cashiers, Highlands, Lake Toxaway and Sapphire Valley NC area. For additional information on any of these sales or assistance in purchasing or selling property, please call our office at (828) 743-1999 or email me at jlucke@ncliving.com.

3 bedroom/2 bath home on 10.8 acres off Buck Creek Road sold for $260,000.
2 bedroom/2 bath bank owned foreclosure home on Dendy Orchard Road in Highlands sold for $175,000.
2 bedroom/2 bath home in the John Gibson subdivision sold for $230,000.
2 bedroom/2 bath home in the Buck Creek area sold for $267,000.
3 bedroom/4.5 bath home in Lake Toxaway Estates sold for $575,000.
3 bedroom/3 bath home in Burlingame at Sapphire Lakes sold for $425,000.
2 bedroom/2 bath condominium at The Old Edwards Club at Highlands Cove sold for $405,000.
A lot in Holly Forest III sold for $8,500.
Two lots totaling 6.6 acres in Longleaf sold for $125,000.
A lot at The Old Edwards Club at Highlands Cove sold for $142,500.
0.76 acres sold in the Horse Cove area for $50,000.
0.58 acres sold in the Horse Cove area for $77,760.
The Library Restaurant property sold for $900,000.

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Lonesome Valley: “Where Life is Simplified, and Living is Embraced”

Posted by Jochen | Posted in Real Estate News, Silver Creek Real Estate Group | Posted on Saturday, June 20, 2009

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The rock face at Lonesome Valley

The rock face at Lonesome Valley

With a history dating back to 1895, Lonesome Valley has served as a bastion to “the great outdoors” ever since Pittsburg entrepreneur and visionary E.H. Jennings first acquired 35,000 acres near the sleepy village of Cashiers. While Mr. Jennings is responsible for developing one of Western North Carolina’s most popular resort destinations, he chose to preserve Lonesome Valley as a special place to share with his friends and family. Gracefully spanning the valley floor of the largest box canyon east of the Rockies, Lonesome Valley is said by many to be the place where Heaven and Earth meet. For more than a century, the Jennings family has continued to take great care to maintain the history and natural beauty of this unique mountain treasure.

Carefully developed in accordance with the Jennings family’s wishes, amenities and homes within this stunning community complement the natural beauty of the area. Lonesome Valley has quickly become one of Cashiers’ most sought after developments. Cottage and home designs pay homage to the Southern Appalachian farmhouses of a bygone era. Dining within the community highlights Southern cuisine made with fresh produce grown in the Valley. The Canyon Kitchen is currently open for the season on Thursdays through Sundays, and features the culinary talents of Chef John Fleer (formerly of the renowned Blackberry Farm in Tennessee). The Canyon Kitchen is located inside Jennings Barn at the heart of the Lonesome Valley community, and reservations are recommended.

Silver Creek Real Estate Group is proud to announce that we are now highlighting several incredible homes and amazing lots available for purchase in Lonesome Valley on our website. A handful of new-construction cabins, cottages and homes are available for immediate move-in, or select your own view from a series of incredible home sites currently being offered. For photo tours and more information on Lonesome Valley in Cashiers, North Carolina, click on the following two links: Lonesome Valley land or homes for sale. When you’re ready to buy or build the home of your dreams, contact one of the talented brokers at Silver Creek by calling us at (828) 742-1999, dropping by our offices located just west of the Cashiers Crossroads in The Shoppes at CreekSide, or by filling out our online contact form . We look forward to meeting you and introducing you to one of Cashier’s most visually stunning communities.

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Cashiers, Highlands, Lake Toxaway, Sapphire Valley real estate sales update

Posted by Jochen | Posted in Bank Owned Properties, Real Estate News, Weekly Real Estate Sales Update | Posted on Monday, June 15, 2009

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Here are this week’s real estate sales for the week of June 8, 2009 in the greater Cashiers, Highlands, Lake Toxaway and Sapphire Valley NC area. For additional information on any of these sales or assistance in purchasing or selling property, please call our office at (828) 743-1999 or email me at jlucke@ncliving.com.

3 bedroom/3.5 bath bank owned foreclosure home off Pine Creek Road sold for $198,500
4 bedroom/3.5 bath home in Highlander subdivision sold for $1,117,000.
A magnificent home in The Cotswold in Highlands sold for $1,800,000.
4 bedroom/3.5 bath home in the Clear Creek area sold for $446,000.
3 bedroom/2 bath home in in Rocky Mountain Estates sold for $455,000.
2 bedroom/1 bath home on Fifth Street in Highlands sold for $230,000.
A 1 bedroom/1 bath townhome at Toxaway Views sold for $18,500.
A 6.06 acre bank owned foreclosure lot in Bald Rock sold for $259,000.
A 0.36 acre lot in the Paul Cleveland subdivision of Highlands sold for $57,500.
Lot 7 in Highlands Falls Country Club sold for $85,000.

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The Shoppes at CreekSide now leasing

Posted by Jochen | Posted in Real Estate News, Silver Creek Real Estate Group | Posted on Wednesday, June 10, 2009

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The Shoppes at CreekSide

The Shoppes at CreekSide

Silver Creek Real Estate Group is now leasing commercial space in The Shoppes at CreekSide conveniently located just west of the crossroads (Highway 107 and 64) in Cashiers, NC. This premier center was designed by Summerour and Associates , which gave careful consideration to every aspect of design and craftsmanship.

The Shoppes at CreekSide is the premier retail and office location and will become a landmark in Cashiers with direct frontage on Highway 64 leading to Highlands.  The center attracts clients from Lake Toxaway, Sapphire Valley, the Lake Glenville area, as well as Highlands, by being located centrally among these great destinations in Western North Carolina. Anchored by the Wendy’s restaurant which is separated from the retail building by an open courtyard featuring outdoor seating and a magnificent stone fireplace. The ground floor bays are available from 1888 to 3960 square feet. Second floor retail/office space is accessed by two staircases and an elevator. Bays are available from 1362 to 7986 square feet.

For additional leasing information, please contact Jochen Lucke at 828-743-1999 or by email at jlucke@ncliving.com.

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Cashiers, Highlands, Lake Toxaway, Sapphire Valley real estate sales update

Posted by Jochen | Posted in Real Estate News, Silver Creek Real Estate Group, Weekly Real Estate Sales Update | Posted on Monday, June 8, 2009

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Here are this week’s real estate sales for the week of June 1, 2009 in the greater Cashiers, Highlands, Lake Toxaway and Sapphire Valley NC area. For additional information on any of these sales or assistance in purchasing or selling property, please call our office at (828) 743-1999 or email me at jlucke@ncliving.com.

4 bedroom/4.5 bath home in Sheepcliff Crossing sold for $1,029,000 by Elaine Zachary of Silver Creek Real Estate Group.
3 bedroom/3.5 bath home in Mirror Lake sold for $655,000.
3 bedroom/3.5 bath home in The Old Edwards Club at Highlands Cove sold for $891,500.
3 bedroom/3 bath home in Timber Ridge sold for $355,000.
A 5.0 acre lot in Caney Fork Road sold for $30,000.
A 7.72 acre lot in Lake Toxaway sold for $$126,000.
A 0.65 acre lot in Sapphire High sold for $14,000.
A 0.82 acre lot in Sapphire High sold for $14,000.
A 0.65 acre lot in Sapphire High sold for $14,000.

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Foreclosed Homes and Properties in Cashiers, Highlands, Sapphire and Lake Glenville, North Carolina

Posted by Jochen | Posted in Bank Owned Properties, Real Estate News, Silver Creek Real Estate Group | Posted on Sunday, May 31, 2009

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Silver Creek Can Help You Find the Silver Lining in Today’s Economic Cloud

From our mild climates, to our signature brand of Southern Hospitality – they say nothing much changes in Cashiers! For well over a century, families have been flocking to our mountaintop resort village and surrounding area to escape the day-to-day worries of life “off the mountain.” Year-round residents have lived in a virtual bubble from the tumultuous state of today’s national economy. It wasn’t until recently that we started to witness an occasional foreclosure hit the local market. Whatever the reason – from a summertime resident having to tighten their belt, to a builder or developer getting in over their head – the dedicated team at Silver Creek Real Estate Group can help you find the silver lining in what may have become someone else’s unexpected cloud.

The talented brokers at Silver Creek take great pride in staying on top of the local market, while always keeping an eye on national trends. All across the United States, wise investors have been able to take advantage of foreclosures and a beleaguered housing market – allowing them to purchase far more property than they may have been able to just a year or two before. Many pundits would argue that the downward trend in the housing market will soon come to an end, and it won’t be long before we hit the ground and prices bounce back to where they should be. Don’t wait until it’s too late! If you have the investment dollars to spend, this is an amazing time to purchase a foreclosed property along the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau.

Currently, we have foreclosed homes and lots available for purchase in such sought-after communities as Cullasaja Cove, Highlands Club, Mountaintop Golf Club, Big Sheepcliff and Trillium – many homes starting as low as $500,000. Our team is also tracking pending foreclosures and homes scheduled for auction to help our clients get a jump on some of the very best investments. For larger investors and developers, we have bulk lots and existing subdivisions for sale.

If you are seeking real estate in Cashiers, Highlands, Sapphire or the Glenville area of Western North Carolina – you may want to seriously consider a foreclosure property. For those interested in compiling more information or scheduling a tour of foreclosure properties in the area, I invite you to call the Silver Creek offices at 828.743.1999 or e-mail me, Jochen Lucke – Silver Creek owner and broker – at jlucke@ncliving.com. I look forward to hearing from you soon!

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Plateau Pursuits – June 2009 Edition

Posted by Jochen | Posted in Calendar of Events, Things to Do | Posted on Tuesday, May 26, 2009

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Community Event Calendar

Ever since early settlers and developers first arrived on the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau over a century ago – family and community have been at the heart of events and gatherings in the area. The same holds true today, and there’s always something happening in any one of our villages and communities! Aside from the incredible climate paired with the awe-inspiring beauty and majesty of our mountains, lakes, waterfalls and forests – below are some additional reasons you should join us on “The Plateau” in June:

June thru October …On the Verandah’s Dugout Spirits & Wine Bar presents “Movie Night” the 3rd Tuesday of the month beginning at 7:30 p.m. Test your trivia knowledge with classic cinema lines you know by heart, and compete for prizes. …On the Veranda – celebrating its 29th season – is one of Highlands most unique and scenic dining venues, overlooking beautiful Lake Sequoyah. For more information, call 828.526.2338 or visit their website at www.ontheveranda.com.

June thru October …On the Verandah’s Dugout Spirits & Wine Bar presents “Trivia Night” the 2nd Wednesday of the month beginning at 7:30 p.m. Compete for the championship and win prizes. …On the Veranda – celebrating its 29th season – is one of Highlands most unique and scenic dining venues, overlooking beautiful Lake Sequoyah. For more information, call 828.526.2338 or visit their website at www.ontheveranda.com.

June 2 Concert on the Slopes – “The Magic of Sinatra” performed by Paul Salos at the Sapphire Valley Resort. Show begins at 7 p.m. For more information, visit www.sapphirevalleyresort.com.

June 2 & June 16 Highlands-Cashiers Plateau Audubon Society’s “Field Trip Around Highlands” – Bird and nature lovers are welcome to explore the Highlands area for native breeding birds. There is no charge to participate in the field trip that begins near Highlands’ Town Hall in the public parking area at 7:30 a.m. For more information, contact Brock Hutchins at 828.787.1387.

June 4 “Darwin & Dixie” at The Nature Center at Highlands Biological Station – the first in the June Zahner Conservation Lecture Series. Executive Director of the Station and Professor of Biology at Western Carolina University – Jim Costa – presents a lecture on Southeastern Natural History and its influence on Charles Darwin. Begins at 7 p.m. For more information, visit the website at www.wcu.edu/hbs or call 828.526.2602.

June 4 “Birding with the Audubon Eco Tour” hosted by the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust – This moderate-level bird hike is free to HCLT members and just $25 donation for new friends. Reserve your spot by calling 828.526.1111.

June 5 & 6 New York’s Lynn Loosier performs at Highlands’ Martin-Lipscomb Performing Arts Center – Don’t miss this special two-night engagement of the artful performances of singer, Lynn Loosier. Described as a “Saloon Singer” by Backstage Magazine – the talented Ms. Loosier can sing any style of music – jazz, blues, R&B, country and rock. Show times begin at 7:30 p.m. For tickets, call 828.526.9047 or visit www.highlandsperformingartscenter.org.

June 6 “Celebrate Land Trust Day!” – Show your support for the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust by shopping and dining at some of your favorite local merchants. A portion of the proceeds benefits HCLT. For a list of participating businesses, visit www.hicashlt.org or call 828.526.1111.

June 6 Highlands Improvement Society Social hosted by the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust – Take a step back in time to learn what life was like on the Plateau in 1909 during this very special Centennial Event. Enjoy a picnic dinner, take part in a cakewalk, toss some horseshoes and dance to live music set against the backdrop of scenic Whiteside Cove Road. Terrific opportunity to learn more about the history of the land trust, its founding members and its first purchase of land – the summit of Satulah Mountain. Period costumes are optional, but encouraged. Festivities begin at 6 p.m. Contact HCLT for reservations and ticket prices by calling 828.526.1111 or emailing Julie.hitrust@earthlink.net.

June 6 Meet and Greet with the Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society – will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Cashiers Village Green. Consider taking one of these precious pets home with you! For more information, visit www.chhumanesociety.org.

June 7 “Where It All Began” hosted by the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust – Enjoy high tea on the summit of Satulah Mountain – the site of the Highlands Improvement Society’s first land purchase one hundred years ago. Afternoon includes a skit by Highlands Historical Society president, Elaine Whitehurst and the music of bag piper, David Landis. Period costumes and kilts are optional, but encouraged. Event begins at 4:00 p.m. Contact HCLT for reservations and ticket prices by calling 828.526.1111 or emailing Julie.hitrust@earthlink.net.

June 7 Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival at Wolfgang’s Restaurant & Wine Bar – This exciting kick-off fund-raising event for the 28th annual Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival features excellent Argentinean wines paired with Wolfgang’s fine food along with the delightful music of the Mozart String Trio. A portion of wine sales and all ticket sales benefit the HCCMF. For more information, call 828.526-9060.

June 8 7th Annual Special Operations Warrior Foundation Charity Golf Tournament at Burlingame Country Club – Cost to participate is $100/person and includes lunch, dinner and chance to win door prizes. Prizes will be awarded to top three teams. Proceeds from the event go to support SOWF – a very special organization created to provide college educations to the surviving children of fallen Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps special operations forces who lose their lives in combat or training, and to provide immediate financial assistance for special operations forces who are severely wounded in action. For more information, call Butch Waller at BCC at 828.966.9200 or Bill Horwitz at 828.526.0224.

June 8 Native Plant, Insect and Bird Connections presented by the Highlands Plateau Audubon Society – Featuring Jim Costa, Executive Director of The Highlands Biological Station, the program is free to attendees and begins at 7:30 p.m. at The Highlands Civic Center. For more information, visit www.highlandsaudubonsociety.org.

June 11 “Nance Dude” at the Highlands Performing Arts Center – The story of mountain grandmother Nance Dude is portrayed in this one-woman show starring Elizabeth Westall. Performance begins at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are just $15 – to purchase your tickets, call 828.526.9047.

June 11 7th Annual Special Operations Warrior Foundation Silent & Live Auction – Sponsored by Chef Nicholas Figel of The Cyprus Restaurant and hosted at The Highlands Community Center. Tickets with reservation are $25 – $30 at the door. Event includes catered buffet dinner featuring international fare, wine, beer, soda and great music, as well as silent and live auction to benefit SOWF – a very special organization created to provide college educations to the surviving children of fallen Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps special operations forces who lose their lives in combat or training, and to provide immediate financial assistance for special operations forces who are severely wounded in action. For more information, call 828.526.0224.

June 11 Book Signing at the Bascom – Author and master ceramic artist, Mark Hewitt, will be on hand to sign copies of his acclaimed book “The Potter’s Eye: Art and Tradition in North Carolina” from 5-7 p.m. For more information, call 828.526.4949 or visit www.thebascom.org/presentations.

June 13 “The Three Potters” at the Bascom – The works of artists Hewitt, Bringle and Stuempfle will be on exhibit through July 11. A public opening reception will be held June 13 from 5-7 p.m. – admission is free. An earlier demonstration from the artists themselves will be presented in the studio barn from 9 a.m. to noon – tickets are $30 for Bascom members and $45 for general admission. For more information or to reserve your spot, call 828.526.4949 or visit www.thebascom.org.

June 13 “World Wide Knit In” at the Bascom – Bring a lawn chair and your yarn, and join us on the terrace of the Bascom for this free event and beautiful mountain views from 2-4 p.m. For more information, call 828.526.4949 or visit www.thebascom.org.

June 13 7th Annual Special Operations Adventure Race (SOAR) – features 2 separate races including running, rappelling, orienteering, water event and mountain biking: the Sprint Race – 5-7 hours and the Elite Race – 10-12hours. The Elite Race begins at 7 a.m. and the Sprint Race begins at 8 a.m. Proceeds benefit the Special Operations Warrior Foundation – a very special organization created to provide college educations to the surviving children of fallen Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps special operations forces who lose their lives in combat or training, and to provide immediate financial assistance for special operations forces who are severely wounded in action. For more information or to register, call 828.526.0224 or visit www.soarhighlands.org.

June 13 John Collette Fine Art Benefit for Highlands-Cashier Chamber Music Festival – Located on Main Street in Highlands, John Collette Fine Art will host an evening of fine art, open bar, hors d’oeuvres and artist raffles to benefit HCCMF. Event runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. For more information, call 828.526.9060.

June 13-14 Cashiers Valley Rotary Spring Fling – Join us on Cashiers Village Green from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for arts, crafts, food and FUN! Pets from Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society will be on hand to love and adopt. For more information, visit www.cashiersrotary.org.

June 14 “Bare Boards Party” on Cashiers’ Village Green. This very special event is designed to celebrate the upcoming transformation of the former Summit Charter School location on Frank Allen Road into a multi-purpose open-air community facility,

June 18 & 24 “100 Years of Land Conservation” – Ran Shaffner, Dr. Gary Wein and Rosemary Clark share the history of the Highlands-Cashier Land Trust and its vision for the future in honor of the centennial celebration of this special organization. New logo will be unveiled. First presentation takes place at The Highlands Biological Station’s Nature Center on June 18 at 7 p.m. and the second presentation is scheduled for June 24 at 6:30 p.m. at Jennings Barn at Lonesome Valley. Free to all! For more information, call 828.526.1111.

June 18-July 5 “The Taffetas” at Highlands Playhouse – Delightful musical that pays homage to the girl groups of the 1950’s – tells the story of four singing sisters from Muncie, Indiana who are making their national television singing debut. Tickets are $30. For show times and information about ticket purchases, call 828.526.2695 or visit www.highlandsplayhouse.org.

June 20 Traditional Appalachian and Cherokee Legends at the Highlands Martin-Lipscomb Performing Arts Center – Storytellers Marilyn McMinn-McCredie and Lloyd Arneach weave tales in a style that is “humorous, informative and extremely moving”. Performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 and available for purchase at www.highlandsperformingartscenter.org.

June 25 Highlands Innkeepers Tour – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. – More details to follow!

June 26-28 “Walk in the Park” with the Highlands Historical Society – Features portrayals of past Highlands leaders, the formation of the Highlands Improvement Society and the founding of the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust. Tickets are $15 – students admitted free. June 26 and 27 – 6-7:30 p.m. – Highlands Memorial Cemetery (shuttle from Recreation Park); June 28 – 4 p.m. – Performing Arts Center on Chestnut Street. For more information, visit www.highlandshistory.com.

June 27-28 Sapphire Valley Master Association Arts & Crafts Festival – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Sapphire Valley Athletic Field. Contemporary crafts, folk art, jewelry and more. Animals from the Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society will be on hand to love and adopt. For more information, call 828.743.0321.

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May Flowers Bring June Buyers

Posted by Jochen | Posted in Living in WNC, Real Estate News, Silver Creek Real Estate Group | Posted on Monday, May 18, 2009

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Increasing The Curb Appeal of your Home

The rainy days of April have made the ground a perfect medium for a colorful palette of May flowers. As visitors descend upon the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau in the coming weeks, it’s a given that many either won’t want to leave at all or will choose to buy a vacation home here and return year-after-year. At Silver Creek Real Estate Group, it’s both our job and our passion to find a perfect match between buyer and seller, and help turn dreams into reality. In this article, we will focus on the exterior of the home – what the buyer will see when they first arrive at their potential new residence. Keep in mind, you never get a second chance to make a first impression! We’ve compiled a few easy, economical steps you can take to increase the “curb appeal” of your home – making it simpler for buyers to envision themselves living within the four walls behind that pretty picture you’ve created. Not planning to go anywhere anytime soon? The tips below are still great ways to beautify the exterior of your home.

1. According to the experts at HGTV, the first thing you should do is look at your home from the buyers’ perspective. Take a big step back so you can see the front of your home completely. Pay particular attention to what draws your eye – the good and the bad. Oftentimes, it’s your front door. Does it look appealing? Does it say “Come on in!”? If not, a tasteful wreath may do the trick, you may want to paint your door a new color – or it may be worth investing in a beautiful new door. At times, a bench and some pretty potted flowers might augment the front of your home giving the feel of an outdoor foyer. At the very least, consider putting out an attractive new doormat that says (figuratively or literally) “Welcome.”
2. Develop a landscape plan. If your thumb is not particularly green, you may want to consult with a landscape expert. You may be able to find one through friends or even through the phone book (or call Silver Creek, and we’ll point you in the right direction). Ask their price to develop a landscape concept for you BEFORE you have them come out to the house. Once you are happy with their estimate, invite them to create a plan for you. If you feel comfortable going it alone, the advice at your local nursery is FREE. Find out which plants and flowers will work best based on the amount of sun or shade your yard receives, and which will have the most impact. Be sure to check out the Tailgate Farmers Market at the Cashiers Community Center on Wednesdays (1 p.m. to 6 p.m.) and Saturdays (8 a.m. to 1 p.m.) throughout the summer and support local growers.
3. Pay attention to details. Beyond the front door and the landscaping, you should concentrate on even the minutest elements of the front of your home. Remember, the point is to get the buyer from the car to the interior of your home. Are your windows clean (would window boxes add a nice touch)? When was the last time you power washed your driveway (if you have one)? How’s the paint holding up – trim and siding? Does everything look neat and tidy? Sometimes, something as simple as a clean, crisp edge to your lawn and landscaping can speak volumes to a potential buyer.

Still not sure how to get started? As a full-service brokerage firm, we are more than happy to help you figure out the very best ways to position yourself in the market, as well as stage your home – from inside to outside – to expedite the sale of your property. To set an appointment for a walk-through by one of Silver Creek’s talented brokers, contact us at jlucke@ncliving.com or by phone at (828) 743-1999. Happy Planting!

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Gorges State Park Now Open

Posted by Jochen | Posted in Living in WNC, Things to Do | Posted on Thursday, May 14, 2009

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Some things are well worth the wait! After more than a year and a half – and an estimated $6 million in renovation costs – Gorges State Park reopens its gates to the North Carolina public. Situated on 7,520 pristine acres in the Sapphire/Lake Toxaway region of the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau, Gorges is the only state park found west of Asheville. The newest additions to the park include 350 new parking spaces in four parking lots; four miles of paved roads; new trailheads and trails; and improvements to the park’s infrastructure including water, electricity and phone lines. And that’s just the beginning! Construction of the next phase in the transformation of Gorges State Park is slated for the winter of 2010. Plans include a visitor center and two sheltered picnic areas, as well as new restroom facilities and a maintenance area.

Gorges State Park now features six hiking trails – anywhere from one to over 14 miles in length – for a total trail system of 28 moderate to strenuous miles. Horses and mountain bikes are allowed on the 14 ½ mile Auger Hole trail, and campers are welcome to pitch their tents on one of six campsites along the nearly 7 mile Foothills trail. Nature lovers will appreciate the fact that close to 125 rare plant and animal species native to the Western North Carolina mountain region can be found within the park, 12 of which are either threatened or endangered.

The park is currently open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Visitors should be mindful of the fact that the gates are secured at closing.  To access the park from Cashiers, travel east on Highway 64 to Highway 281. Travel approximately 7 miles south on 281 to the entrance of Gorges State Park. Upper Bearwallow Falls, the Bearwallow Falls Overlook and a new picnic area are scheduled to open on Monday, May 18. The Gorges Overlook is lined up to open on Monday, May 25.

Park Hours: 

March – May   8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
June – August   8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
September – October  8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
November – February 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

 Ranger Presentation/Education Series: 

“Talking Turkey”   May 16 at 2 p.m.
“Box Turtles and Timber Rattlers” May 17 at 2 p.m.
“Trailhead and Trailside Wildflowers” May 20 at 9 a.m.

For more information about these and future programs, call the Gorges office at (828) 966-9099.

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