Blog – Connestee Falls Realty http://www.connesteefallshomes.com Brevard, NC - Live Where You Play! Mon, 19 Feb 2018 16:13:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/cropped-CFR-Favicon-32x32.png Blog – Connestee Falls Realty http://www.connesteefallshomes.com 32 32 DIY RENOVATING DONT’S – LEARNED FROM EXPERIENCE http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/diy-renovating-donts-learned-experience/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/diy-renovating-donts-learned-experience/#respond Mon, 19 Feb 2018 16:13:25 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6380 SOURCE:  Excerpted from article by Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com “DIY always seems like such a good in the dream state.  Build in some equity with some elbow grease.  Get more for your money while learning some important skills.  Create pretty spaces without having to deal with contractors.  What could go wrong? Plenty, actually.  If you…

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SOURCE:  Excerpted from article by Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com

“DIY always seems like such a good in the dream state.  Build in some equity with some elbow grease.  Get more for your money while learning some important skills.  Create pretty spaces without having to deal with contractors.  What could go wrong?

Plenty, actually.  If you don’t already have a DIY  horror story, you’re probably overdue.  But you can avoid problems by learning from others’ mistakes.

  • Don’t start a  project without educating yourself...Putting up a backsplash, for instance.  It seems like an easy enough task.  Then you step back, look at your finished product and realize you should have consulted an expert.  Or at least watched a YouTube video or two.  Truth is, you can learn just about anything you want just by Googling it.  Tons of tutorials out there can teach you to lay wood flooring or replace a window – or do your own backsplash.  But in most cases, an abbreviated study isn’t going to compare to the work of someone who has been honing their craft for some time.  For the persistent DIYer, getting some good study time in before starting your project is essential to doing a good job.
  • Don’t paint your cabinets without prepping first.  Self-explanatory. At least, sanding beforehand is a must.
  • Commit to finishing a project.  Sometimes, the DIY brain is looking ahead to the next “fun” project without completely finishing the first.  Goal-set an actual deadline.  You abide with deadlines at work, right?  Make your project a priority by setting realistic deadlines you can follow, and commit to finishing before beginning something new.
  • Measure, measure, measure.  MEASURE TWICE – CUT ONCE.  We’ve all heard it.  But maybe, for some of us, measuring twice is not quite good enough.  Measuring incorrectly can cost you a lot of money and time.  Being off by an inch, a half-inch, or even smaller fraction of an inch can have dire consequences when it comes to your home renovation project.  (Note to self:  remember when you bought a big, new, shiny refrigerator?  Got it home, and realized you couldn’t fit it into the old space?  Sound familiar?  I did it this past year.  We had to “Dremel-Drill”  1/2 inch of wood out of the bottom trim of the raised cabinet above to fit it in.)
  • Don’t rush your paint choice.  What looks great in the store doesn’t always look great in  your home.  There is a reason paint stores have samples.  Do yourself a big, big favor and gather up a couple paper samples to take home and hold up against the wall.  Or pay for some actual small liquid paint samples.  Light and shadow in your room could make the color look completely different, turning what you thought was the perfect shade into something meh.  You’ll also want to make sure you try the paint in every room in which you plan to use it.  Another important factor to remember is what type of paint to use.  Flat paint does not have a shine, shows marks, and is not easy to clean.  Use it on ceilings and on walls in low-traffic areas.  Semi-gloss and gloss paints have a  nice shine and are a better option for walls in bathrooms, kitchens, and other high-traffic areas and rooms.
  • Make a realistic budget.  We always want more than we can pay for.  But low-balling your reno budget just to get a project going typically won’t work out so well in the end when the numbers start to add up and you don’t have enough $$$ to  comfortably finish it..  Planning out a project well and doing sufficient research to come up with good numbers is key.  To calculate how much remodel you can afford, follow these four steps:  ballpark the cost, establish a spending limit, get quotes from contractors, set  your priorities, and once you have arrived at that magic number, add more money to it….15%-20% contingency for unforeseen problems and changes that occur on every project.  If the total is still within your ability to pay, you’re ready to get started.  If not, it’s time to scale back your plans.
  • Make sure your contractor is qualified.  If you find yourself over-matched by your plans, and need someone to pick it up and finish it, be prepared.  Trying to save a buck can cost you big time in the end if you use the handyman down the street that you don’t really know, and sometimes it pays to go with a qualified contractor who may cost a bit more upfront but who you can be confident about.

SOURCE:  Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.  IMAGE:  Grieslightnin/Pixabay

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WILL THE STOCK MARKET AFFECT YOUR HOME PURCHASE? http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/will-stock-market-affect-home-purchase/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/will-stock-market-affect-home-purchase/#respond Mon, 12 Feb 2018 15:46:30 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6367 SOURCE:  Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com “The wild stock market of the past week has sent some into a panic and caused many others to take a closer look at their financial picture.  But what is the stock market’s impact on real estate, and should you worry if you’re getting ready to buy a new home? …

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SOURCE:  Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com

“The wild stock market of the past week has sent some into a panic and caused many others to take a closer look at their financial picture.  But what is the stock market’s impact on real estate, and should you worry if you’re getting ready to buy a new home?  Not much at this point, and not really, say financial experts.

So why isn’t a 1,175-point drop – the largest single-day dip in history – not a concern?  First, because most financial experts saw some sort of correction coming because of the robust market over the last two years (and, as many expected, the market bounced back with a 567-point gain on Tuesday, although there could be more volatility in the short term.)

“The stock market has been on a roller-coaster ride since late last week, with a historic one-day plunge in trading, and a ripple effect that struck the rest of the globe Tuesday.” said Inman.com. (https://www.inman.com).  But most economists will tell you the historic highs over the past two years were bound to result in a correction of sorts as investors reckon with the possibility of inflation and rising interest rates.”

Second, and most important to home buyers, is the fact that any potential impact on real estate is expected to be nominal.  “Real estate professionals, and potential home buyers and sellers aren’t immune to the fears that reverberated across trading floors on Friday and again on Monday, they said, “but analysts say the effect on home prices, sales volume and trading activity will be minimal and temporary.”

PLAY THE LONG GAME….Of course, the stock market isn’t one size fits all, and, depending on where your investments lie, you may, understandably, be worried.  Economists and fnancial planners have generally had similar advice to “average investors” wondering how to respond to the stock market’s volatility.  Think about your objectives and “Stay Put,” says CNN Money (http://money.cnn.com).  It’s all about playing the long game.

“Are you saving for retirement?  A future home purchase?  If those goals are more than 10 years away, you probably don’t have much to worry about.  While it’s hard to ignore the noise when the market experiences a dark day, It’s important to take the emotion out of trading.”

WHAT DOES ALL OF THIS MEAN FOR REAL ESTATE?   That depends on what aspect of real estate you’re talking about.  Publicly traded real estate-based companies including “Realogy, Zillow, Redfin, News Corp, and Re/Max “posted modest losses between end of trading on Thursday and Monday’s close,” said Inman.  Real estate investors also felt an immediate pinch.  “The plunge also resonated through real estate investment trust stocks, resulting in a 2.9% drop in the FTSE NAREIT All Equity REIT Index Monday” said BISNOW (http://www.bisnow.com).  But National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT) economist Brad Case said the 2.86% drop in the All Equity REIT index, though sizable, will be short-lived.”  The potential for dipping consumer confidence can have a far greater impact on the overall economy and, specifically, the real estate market.

“Consumer confidence is a major consideration when people purchase durable goods and real estate” said ZACKS (https://finance.zacks.com).  “Few people are likely to commit to a big mortgage payment if they feel that their economic future is uncertain.  When the stock market retreats and the value of portfolios declines, investors are impacted psychologically.  Even if the portfolios are in IRA’s which will not be touched for years, people’s confidence is shaken.  Loss of confidence can spread like a virus, affecting others who have not been financially hurt but have nevertheless become unnerved.”

Which leads us back to the overall economy.  U.S. Jobs data released last week showed that “wage growth is picking up,” said CNN Money.  Even small upticks in mortgage rates haven’t slowed down the real estate market, especially in light of consistent news about rising rents across the country that can make owning a home more affordable than paying someone else’s mortgage in many cities.

The stability of real estate as an asset should shield the industry – and those who are looking to be a part of it, even as stocks rise and fall.  “Back when the internet bubble burst in the year 2000, during that period, that’s when the housing market began to steadily rise.”  National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun told Inman.  “That means that as people felt their financial assets to be very volatile, people were looking for more stable assets, which they perceived that real estate could provide.”

SOURCE:  Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.      IMAGE:  Pixabay

All opinions are those of Jaymi Naciri/realtytimes.com and cited sources.

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DO YOU KNOW YOUR SOIL BY NAME? http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/know-soil-name/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/know-soil-name/#respond Wed, 07 Feb 2018 16:45:03 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6363 SOURCE:  Lee Reich for the Associated Press/Asheville Citizen Times Here are excerpts from an interesting article found in our local paper….of interest to gardeners, gardener-wannabes, geologists and nature lovers. “Soil don’t get no respect”, Rodney Dangerfield might have said (but didn’t).  Perhaps you know  your state bird or flower, but do you know your state…

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SOURCE:  Lee Reich for the Associated Press/Asheville Citizen Times

Here are excerpts from an interesting article found in our local paper….of interest to gardeners, gardener-wannabes, geologists and nature lovers.

“Soil don’t get no respect”, Rodney Dangerfield might have said (but didn’t).  Perhaps you know  your state bird or flower, but do you know your state soil?  No?

Well, in recent years, soil has begun to get more respect.  Since the celebration of the Soil Survey Centennial back in 1999, each state has been given its own official state soil.  (Cecil Soil, covering 1.6 million acres, is the official state soil of North Carolina.)  It was in 1899 that the US Dept of Agriculture started its survey of all the soils in the country.  You might wonder what a “soil survey” really is.  Isn’t it all just Dirt?  Some perhaps stickier, or redder, of deeper, that lies beneath forest, meadow, farm, home and garden?

In fact, soils are distinctive as different from each other as robins are from blue jays.  These differences are hard to appreciate because soil is mostly underground, hidden from view.  But if you were to dig some holes a few feet deep and then look carefully at their inside surfaces, you would find that soils are made up of layers of varying thickness, called “horizons“.  One soil might differ from the next not only in the thickness of its horizons, but also in their appearance and feel.

Horizons might be as white as chalk, as red as rust, or as dark brown as chocolate.  A horizon might be cement-hard, gritty with sand, or the stuff of sculpture.  If you were to tease the dirt along one edge of the hole so it falls away naturally – wow! –  each horizon would reveal its particles clumped together in arrangements like plates, blocks or prisms.  Such information, and more, has allowed soils to be classified, much as birds, flowers and other living things.

Modern soil classification goes back only a few decades, when all the world’s soils were grouped taxonomically into a dozen “orders.”  Differences among orders reflect the formative influence of a particular combination of climate, plants and animals, topography, time and original rock material.

Just as all vertebrate animals are huddled together by biologists into smaller groupings (mammals, say) and those groupings into still smaller ones, so each soil order is divided and subdivided to include more distinctly different soils.  At the end of the dividing and subdividing, you end up with a “soil series” identified with a proper name – like the Have series in my vegetable garden, for example.

A particular soil becomes an official state soil by being widespread within the state; being distinctive chemically or physically; having some degree of name recognition, and of course, getting a legislative stamp of approval.  Examples include soils like West Virginia’s Monongahela soil, Texas’ Houston Black, California’s San Joaquin, and New York’s Honeoye soil.  The job now of these “ambassadors” of the benevolent underworld is to rekindle awareness of soil’s value as a national resource that can only be renewed very slowly.  Soil provides food, shelter, clothing and more, yet is is being lost at alarming rates to everything from black-top to erosion.

Out in your garden this spring, dig a hole deep and wide enough that you can see and appreciate at least some of the various and distinctive horizons.  Then, if you want to name and detailed description of that world, look at the maps and descriptions in the Soil Survey Reports issued by the US Dept of Agriculture, Natural Resource Conservation Service (NCRS).  Search online for “soil survey nrcs” and you’ll find links to soil maps for counties throughout the US.  Or go to the link “web soil survey.”  At this site, you can type in a street address around which you draw” your area of interest (AOI).  The site will delineate the names and descriptions of soils within that AOI.”

(Using the above-cited link, I found “The Brevard Series”.  Here is the gist of the long, scientific description of our local soil by soil scientists.

“The Brevard Series consists of well-drained, gently– sloping to steep soils formed under forest vegetation in old colluvial or old alluvial deposits.  Depth to bedrock is more than 5 feet.  In a typical profile, those soils have a very dark brown and brown loam surface layer about 4″ thick.  The subsoil is yellowish red and red, friable fine sandy clay loam about 72 inches thick.  Below the subsoil, to a depth of more than 82 inches, is angular gravel soil….Brevard soils are low to medium in natural fertility and medium in organic matter content.  They have high available water capacity, moderate permeability, and low to moderate shrink-swell potential, and have a deep to very deep effective root zone.  About 1/3 of county acreage has been cleared and is used for general farming.  In the Pisgah National Forest, all of the areas are forested.  These soils are well suited to all locally grown crops.  Because of slope and runoff, a moderate to very severe erosion hazard is a limitation in using these soils….”) USDA Soil Conservation Service/NC Agricultural Experiment Station/January 1974

SOURCE:  Lee Reich/Associated Press/ Asheville Citizen Times IMAGE: Wikipedia

 

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SOME VINES WILL STAY GREEN ALL WINTER LONG… http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/vines-will-stay-green-winter-long/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/vines-will-stay-green-winter-long/#respond Mon, 05 Feb 2018 15:31:56 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6356 EXCERPTED FROM “NATURE JOURNAL”  by George Ellison/Asheville Citizen Times “Even in winter, vines are fascinating – especially those that retain their leaves through a long, hard winter of the kind we’re experiencing this year.  Instead of the showy flowering structures that appear in summer, in winter we can shift our attention to the less showing…

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EXCERPTED FROM “NATURE JOURNAL”  by George Ellison/Asheville Citizen Times

“Even in winter, vines are fascinating – especially those that retain their leaves through a long, hard winter of the kind we’re experiencing this year.  Instead of the showy flowering structures that appear in summer, in winter we can shift our attention to the less showing climbing strategies involving hard thorns and sticky pads as well as intricate leaf and stem patterns.

I’m not sure of the exact number of native and naturalized vines that occur in WNC…some that readily come to mind are wisteria, the various peas and vetches, poison ivy and Virginia Creeper, honeysuckle, virgin’s bower, the bittersweets and trumpet creeper.  The list of trees, shrubs and woody vines in the Great Smokies lists other less-frequently encountered species like peppervine, ampelopsis, leather flower, coral bean, climbing hydrangea, climbing euonymus and moonseed….ballpark figure somewhere around 50.  And of this 50, perhaps 20 are evergreen.

The climbing methods used by various vines are both complex and variable.  Accordingly, they have been categorized in a number of ways…

  1.  Hook Climbers – include certain roses and other ramblers that attach themselves to a host via prickles,  hooks and thorns.
  2. Root Climbers – include English ivy, poison ivy and trumpet vine that produce a profusion of bristly side growths (“adventitious roots”) that penetrate cracks and crevices of a host tree or building to hold the vine in place.
  3. Twining Climbers – include honeysuckle, kudzu, wisteria, bittersweet, morning glory, bindweed and Dutchman’s pipe, which wind their main stems about their hosts and spiral upward into the light.
  4. Tendril Climbers – include grapevines, greenbrier and everlasting pea, which send out sensitized vegetative organs from their main stems that “circumnutate” — that is, they sweep back and forth through the air in arcs as they elongate, their motion caused by unequal growth rates on either side of the stem.
  5. Tendril Variations – include Virginia creeper and Boston ivy that produce branching tendrils that form adhesive pads upon contact with the host surface.

One of my favorite tendril climbers is Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata), a close relative the the common trumpet or cow-itch vine (Campsis radicans).  Crossvine is uncommon in WNC, where it is found at altitudes below about 2,000 feet.  (Crossvine is common in upstate SC, and blooms in variations of the three basic colors:  red, orange and yellow.)  It grows along streams and roadsides in moist woods and in thickets.

The time of flowering is usually from mid-April to June.  The outsides of the blossoms are dull red, almost brown or nearly orange.  The inside of each blossom is an eye-catching yellow, making them one of our most attractive native vines.  Look for the two lanceolate leaflets that have a tendril arising from between them.  A cross-section of the stem reveals vascular bundles formed in the shape of a cross…hence the common name.

In winter light, the stems are almost a translucent redish-mauve in color.  If yuo’re look for a new vine fort a graden trellis or other structure that will hold interest year round, be sure to consider Crossvine.

SOURCE:  George Ellison for Asheville Citizen Times    IMAGE:  wildflower.org

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SEVEN LIGHTING TRENDS FOR 2018 TO UPDATE YOUR HOME http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/seven-lighting-trends-2018-update-home/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/seven-lighting-trends-2018-update-home/#respond Wed, 31 Jan 2018 15:00:46 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6352 SOURCE:  Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com “If there’s one thing that can make your home look dated lit’s lighting.  Old fixtures, out-of-style chandeliers and lighting that detracts from instead of highlighting key feature in your home can make it look drab or overdue for updates….The good news is that changing out or adding new fixtures can…

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SOURCE:  Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com

“If there’s one thing that can make your home look dated lit’s lighting.  Old fixtures, out-of-style chandeliers and lighting that detracts from instead of highlighting key feature in your home can make it look drab or overdue for updates….The good news is that changing out or adding new fixtures can be an easy fix that gives your home some new sparkle.   AND, there ARE affordable options!

Here are some big trends to keep in  mind:

1.  MIX AND MATCH.  For a stylish, eclectic look, give your pendant lighting some flair by mixing it up.  A row or cluster of pendants is a classic look, but you can mix things up.  Try hanging different colors or sizes of the same pendant light, or use a consistent color palette in an array of different shapes.

2.  LARGE FIXTURES.  Scale is always an important factor when designing a space, but modern lighting trends are veering toward larger fixtures that also make a larger impact.  Your aim may be to create a WOW impact and attract instant attention.  More than lighting, these fixtures act as centerpieces.  Some are ornate, and focus all the attention in a space on the fixture.  Large pendant lighting fixtures can be used over the kitchen island, over the dining table, at the foyer and along exterior footpaths, among other areas.

3.  HIGH IMPACT CHANDELIERS.  Beyond scale, chandeliers for 2018 are also focused on exciting shapes.  The starburst type, known as the “Sputnik”, has been trending for several years but has origins back to the 1950s, when the Sputnik space launch inspired an obsession with all things space-related….The classic setting for a Sputnik light is in a  mid-century modern room.  You will commonly see it with brass arms, paired with medium-toned woods and retro colors such as aqua….it’s a playful, punchy addition to a well-composed living area.  Today, this style is being embraced in all kinds of spaces and being created in all kinds of styles, materials, and prices.  As the retro look starts to make a comeback, it’s no surprise that the starburst is the hot item to have in your home this year.

4.  SMART LIGHTS.  There are several products you can buy today that go beyond your typical light bulb and that integrate smart technology into your lighting.  This trend will continue to grow as more variety is offered, but for now, the Philips Hue bulbs are the best ones you can buy because they are reliable, consistent, easy to use and work remotely.  You could go for color-changing bulbs, which are a little more expensive, but there’s also the option for the simple white bulbs, which are much cheaper and could offer a better option for those looking to set up their entire home.  They are dimmable and can be controlled remotely with the Hue app.

5.  GLASS BUBBLES.  Whether they cluster or cascade, glass bubbles bring a whimsy and wonderment to any space.  Expect to see both clear and iridescent colored versions this year.

6.  METALLICS.  We could have specified brass or gold to any number of other metallic finishes here because there are several that are trending individually.  And, the truth is that it’s hard to go wrong today with any of them.  Soft gold falls somewhere in the middle of brushed silver and brushed gold.  It borrows the soft matte finish of both while bring out the warmth and mellowness of gold.  This also means that it can blend in with almost any kind of decor from modern urban to farmhouse.  Can’t choose just one?  The rules of interior design are meant to be broken and when done right the results can be inspiring and stunning.  Mixing metallic design elements either within a single lighting fixture or within a larger design environment, is a great way to break the rules and create a harmonious visual plane at the same time.  In 2018, gold, silver, brass, rose gold, copper and other metal lighting fixture elements can all work together to create an intentional and thoughtful look within a designer space.

7.  VINTAGE LIGHTING.  Going vintage with your lighting is a great way to bring character to a space, and homeowners are gravitating toward vintage-style fixtures, such as aged copper pendant lights as an stunning focal point for their living spaces and kitchens.”

SOURCE:  Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.    IMAGES:  Pinterest

 

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COLD CLIMB – ICE CLIMBING IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/cold-climb-ice-climbing-western-north-carolina/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/cold-climb-ice-climbing-western-north-carolina/#respond Wed, 24 Jan 2018 15:49:41 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6346 SOURCE:  Karen Chavez/USAToday/Asheville Citizen-Times “OLD FORT, NC…The solid chunks of waterfalls are now starting to drip and flow again as WNC comes out of its recent icy death grip.  But for ice climbers, the past few weeks have been the cream of the ice, one in which records were set. On New Years’ Day a…

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SOURCE:  Karen Chavez/USAToday/Asheville Citizen-Times

“OLD FORT, NC…The solid chunks of waterfalls are now starting to drip and flow again as WNC comes out of its recent icy death grip.  But for ice climbers, the past few weeks have been the cream of the ice, one in which records were set.

On New Years’ Day a record was set with 21 F in Asheville.  That’s just the kind of (daytime) bitter cold that is so sweet to ice climbers.  Certified rock and ice climbing instructor Anthony D’Ercole of Brevard’s Fox Mountain Guides took advantage of the weather and possibly set a record for a first ascent on 160 feet of frozen Linville Falls.  D’Ercole also recently bit into Catawba Falls in Pisgah National Forest with ice picks and steel blade crampons, and climbed the cascade with friends in about 40 minutes.

His Linville climb caused a Facebook frenzy, with spectacular photos and video of D’Ercole climbing perilously close to rushing water.  He believes it is a “first ascent”, the first time a rock or waterfall has even been climbed.  Some Facebook followers said that Linville might have been scaled in t he 1980s.

Ice climbing on frozen waterfalls is a permitted activity on the Blue Ridge Parkway, said spokeswoman Leesa Brandon.  “That doesn’t mean we advise it’s not a hazardous activity,” she said. (As of this date, the Parkway is closed, except for the “commuter” portion around Asheville.)

It can look crazy to the passerby, but ice climbing is slow and deliberate, taking thought and concentration, and is calming and meditative, coming face to freezing face with nature and swinging up high above the noise below.  “Everybody has a different reason for why they would want to embark in the cold.  This is a sense of adventure.  It’s kind of really barbaric”, says D’Ecole, 28, who is also a paramedic with the Skyland Fire Department, ski patrol member at Wolf Ridge Ski Area and father of two.  “You’re dual wielding these sharp blades in your hands and daggers on your feet, going at it, ice is going everywhere; if you’re new, that’s pretty cool.  The reward is looking down and seeing what I did, self-seeking,  you’re not thinking about…the world.”

There is an element of danger for the uninitiated, making it imperative that chilly thrill seekers get training with expert ice climbers, and never go out alone.  Ice climbing takes skill and strength and a pact with nature that the sun won’t shine too bright to melt ice while you’re moving, and the air won’t get too cold to crack it beneath y our feet.  But when the ice is right, there’s nothing else like it, especially in the South, where deep freezes are so ephemeral, the sight of a waterfall frozen mid-flow makes an ice climber’s mouth water…

BUT, WARNING!  Stay away from icicles hanging from trees or rocks.  Do not walk on “frozen” lakes or rivers or streams…several people fell through ice on the Davidson River on a recent weekend.  Never climb around the running water of a waterfall.  

This article excerpt in no way condones or encourages anyone to go out and try this “extreme” sport.  The article appears here only to illustrate one of the many sports available in Western North Carolina.  Ice climbing is obviously very dangerous, and only for the experienced climber.

SOURCE:  Karen Chavez/USAToday/Asheville Citizen-Times  IMAGE:  PIXABAY – FREE

 

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CLEVER WAYS TO ZONE OFF SPACE IN OPEN FLOOR PLANS http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/clever-ways-zone-off-space-open-floor-plans/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/clever-ways-zone-off-space-open-floor-plans/#respond Mon, 22 Jan 2018 15:25:28 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6335 SOURCE:  Excerpted from an article by Sarah Warwick for Houzz. “We have fallen for open-floorplan living in recent years…not many of us have a formal room just for company anymore.  And with modern building materials, we don’t necessarily need every room to have four walls  to keep it at a comfortable temperature.  But although open…

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SOURCE:  Excerpted from an article by Sarah Warwick for Houzz.
“We have fallen for open-floorplan living in recent years…not many of us have a formal room just for company anymore.  And with modern building materials, we don’t necessarily need every room to have four walls  to keep it at a comfortable temperature.  But although open floor plans bring the space, light, flow and garden views we desire, it can also feel problematic to organize into zones, and prove distracting to share.

Enter the partition.  It makes room division simple yet doesn’t starve spaces of light or compromise the open feel.  Decorative, at half or full height, framed or barely visible, a glass (or door) partition can work in every environment.  Check out these designs.

CORDON OFF THE COOKING AREA.  A glass partition is a natural solution when a separation of cooking and relaxing spaces is essential.   It means that the TV volume doesn’t have to cranked up to drown out the sounds of the exhaust fan, dishwasher and running water when the space is being used for multiple activities, but the whole effect is still open.  The cabinetry, partition framing and furniture can be linked through color, while the floor finish is continuous.

MAKE A ROOM WITHIN A ROOM.  When true separation is required, glass partitioning can divide without losing openness or light.  Floor-to-ceiling shelving can form one wall, while glass doors and side panels ensure that these areas benefit from all the windows.  To maximize light, low furniture that sits at or below sill level is a must-have.  Opt for window treatments that don’t obscure any of the glass when they’re open or, if privacy isn’t an issue, go without.

GO HALFWAY.  A half-height glass divider is enough to split, for example, an office area from a dining room.  A height difference between the two areas and a change in floor finish also help separate the work zone from the social space.  Smaller partitions are best employed when noise between the areas of an open floor plan room isn’t an issue, whether that’s because the two activities are equally quiet or the two zones aren’t used simultaneously.

SET OFF THE STAIRCASE.   When a flight of stairs is part of an open floorplan, it can become a striking feature.  Surrounding it with glass that includes cross-struts adds to its sculptural value and draws the eye to the cantilevered steps.  (Or if a straight flight of stairs is walled in on the sides, it can function as a great divider.) Adding rugs can also help define large, open spaces, for instances, linking the seating area with a fireplace.

DIVIDE A RECTANGLE.  Opening a Victorian house from front to back can result in a long, narrow room, so glass partitions can help with the proportions of the resulting space without losing any of the benefits of an open plan.  It’s easier to  position furniture in rooms that are more square, especially if the fireplaces are still in place.

TRY A TRANSOM.  A glass room divider can work by creating an entrance to a new part of an open plan space.  A transom version can make the change from the kitchen to the seating area.  A high-ceilinged room is the best place for this approach.  In a less lofty space, a doorway works better than a transom for maximum head height.

LOOK INTO THE BATHROOM.  In some homes, a bedroom en suite opens the bedroom area to the bath by a glass divider.  The upside of using glass in this type of arrangement is that an en suite gets filled with natural light where it otherwise might be windowless and always artificially illuminate.  It also allows a beautiful bathtub to be a feature of the bedroom as well as the wash space.  Mosaic tiles that catch the light complement the reflective wallpaper of the sleep space.  If you’re inspired by this arrangement, bear in mind that it’s really for bathroom neatniks only, and for that reason a closed-off bath may be preferable.

Or screen the bath with translucent glass. When a little privacy is required, translucent glass can conceal a bathroom from a bedroom yet still allow light through.  It’s worth considering how obscure you want to make the partition.  Sandblasting allows control over the level of opacity.  Window film is an option for a DIY revamp of a partition from see-through to concealing.

COMBINING IT WITH DOORS.  The result of partitioning with windowed door dividers is a contemporary-looking home, which is often the case where lots of glass is part of the architecture.  Combine glass with a tongue-and-groove look, and the view of the living room from the hall looks characterful and also wonderfully light and bright.  Half-glass doors come in all sorts of styles and with roots in the Victorian era, are often a good shortcut to adding period style.

SOURCE:  Sarah Warwick/Houzz    IMAGE:  open stock

 

 

 

 

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NATURAL HISTORY OF THE SOUTHERN APPALACHIANS http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/natural-history-southern-appalachians/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/natural-history-southern-appalachians/#respond Mon, 15 Jan 2018 17:16:24 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6331 Excerpted from an article by local naturalist and columnist for the Asheville Citizen-Times, George Ellison….USA TODAY NETWORK. Our favorite local naturalist/author, George Ellison, used to teach Elderhostel courses, and his niche was Natural History of the Southern Appalachians.  He devised an introductory presentation titled “Where Are We?” for his students, and wrote a recent column…

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Excerpted from an article by local naturalist and columnist for the Asheville Citizen-Times, George Ellison….USA TODAY NETWORK.

Our favorite local naturalist/author, George Ellison, used to teach Elderhostel courses, and his niche was Natural History of the Southern Appalachians.  He devised an introductory presentation titled “Where Are We?” for his students, and wrote a recent column in the Asheville paper condensing some of this knowledge of our mountains.

“…The Appalachians (down here in NC, folks pronounce that AppleAtChuns, with a soft A) extend some 2,000 miles from Canada’s Gaspe Peninsula to Mt. Oglethorpe in north Georgia.  They are the result of periods of mountain building brought about when the North American continental plate collided with the plates forming the European and African continents.  Because of their maturity, they have been described as “The most elegant mountain range in the world.”

The Southern Appalachians can be defined as the mountain ranges south of the point in  northeastern PA to which glacial ice sheets extended at the height of the Wisconsin epoch 18,000 years ago.  That southern region consists of four geographic provinces (east to west):  Piedmont, Blue Ridge, Ridge and Valley, and Plateau.

The Blue Ridge Province is the most significant in regard to mountainous terrain, and extends from just south of Harrisburg, PA to Mt. Oglethorpe in North Georgia, encompassiong mountainous portions of southwestern VA, Western NC, east TN, northwest SC and north GA.

The Blue Ridge Province can be subdivided into its northern and southern provinces, with the Southern Blue Ridge Province (SBRP) consisting of the terrain south of Mt. Rogers in southwestern VA to Mt. Oglethorpe in north GA.  The eastern front or escarpment of the SBRP is clearly defined from VA into SC.  On it s western front, the SBRP consists of  the Unaka, Great Smoky, Unicoi and other massive ranges.  Connecting the eastern and western fronts are transverse  ranges:  the Blacks, Great Craggies, great Balsams, Nantahalas and many others.

The Appalachian system as a whole reaches its greatest elevation, largest mass and most rugged topography in the SBRP, where 125 or so peaks rise to 5,000 feet or  higher, with 50 or so surpassing 6,000 feet.  From Mt. Rogers in VA northward to the Gaspe Peninsula, only Mt. Washington in NH exceeds 6,000 feet.  (I have read that if we had a peak 8,000 feet in elevation, there would be a treeline.)

The topography profoundly influences the region’s average temperature and thereby its plant and animal life, which exhibit strong northern affinities.  The “Principle of Verticality” holds that for each 1,000 feet gained in elevation the mean temperature decreases about 4 degrees F, equivalent to a change of 250 miles in latitude.  This means that if you travel from the lowest elevations in the SBRP of about 1,000 feet to the higher elevations about 6,000 feet, it’s the equivalent of traveling more than 1,200 miles northward in regard to the habitats you will encounter.

The SBRP is situated where winds bringing saturated air masses from the Gulf of Mexico and the southern Coastal Plain are cooled, resulting in a significant degree of rainfall.  Air cools while rising to pass over the uplifted mountain ranges and can hold less moisture than warm air; therefore, heavy condensation occurs where large weather fronts first encounter uplifted terrain.  The heaviest annual rainfall occurs in places along the state lines between NC, GA and SC (that is, from the Nantahalas west of Franklin to Highlands east of Franklin).  Well over 110 inches of annual rainfall has been recorded with regularity since 1935 along the GA/NC line.  Some professional observers now refer to the area as a temperate rain forest.

The highest elevations of the SBRP can be thought of as a peninsula of  northern terrain extending into the southeastern US where typical flora and fauna of northeastern and southeastern North America flourish.  The region features approximately 1,500 vascular plants (many considered showy wildflowers), and 125 species of trees (in all of Europe there are only about 75 species.)

At 70 or so miles in length, 25 or so miles in width at its widest, and comprised of over a half-million acres, the Great Smokies (most of which was incorporated into the national park when it was founded in 1934) are the largest single mountain range in eastern North America.  Situated on the western front of the SBRP, the Smokies are just one of the virtually countless ranges that comprise the great chain that extends almost without end from Maine to Georgia.”

SOURCE:  George Ellison for the Asheville Citizen-Times/USA Today  IMAGE: Southern Appalachain CESU

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2018 KITCHEN TREND: BLUE AND GREEN CABINETS http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/2018-kitchen-trend-blue-green-cabinets/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/2018-kitchen-trend-blue-green-cabinets/#respond Wed, 10 Jan 2018 14:44:57 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6326 SOURCE:  Excerpts from an article by Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com “Feeling blue?  You’re about to!  Blue is one of the hottest colors for 2018 when it comes to the kitchen – and that goes for green as well.  After years of white everything, expect to see some deeper, moodier shades in your chef space.  …

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SOURCE:  Excerpts from an article by Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com

“Feeling blue?  You’re about to!  Blue is one of the hottest colors for 2018 when it comes to the kitchen – and that goes for green as well.  After years of white everything, expect to see some deeper, moodier shades in your chef space.

 

House Beautiful says that “blues and greens emerged as “go to” color choices for cabinetry in 2017.”  They are being mixed with other colors, complementing wood stains or even being used as the dominant color alone.  Blue cabinets manage to attract attention with their cool color and clean lines.

You can also leave the cabinets a more neutral color, and pick a rich blue for your range and hood for a show-stopping look.

Designers and homeowners started flirting with dark green cabinets last year, and 2018 is the year the color is expected to become more widely embraced.  If you’re afraid that a hue so deep will make your space feel dark of small, white walls and counters, plus mixed metals, keep it feeling chic and open.  Green cabinets also are the perfect foil for generous slabs of marble.  You can also get a modern look that weaves in the green without going full blast by using a two-tone approach.  Green bottom cabinets and islands ground the space, juxtaposed against white uppers and backsplash.”

SOURCE:  Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.  IMAGES:  pinterest.com, elledecor.com

 

 

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2018………PAY ATTENTION!!! http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/2018-pay-attention/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/2018-pay-attention/#respond Mon, 08 Jan 2018 17:26:29 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6321 SOURCE:  Excerpted from an article by PJ Wade for realtytimes.com We may have a tricky year ahead of us, so what’s the best and easiest strategy for consistent success in 2018?  PAY ATTENTION!  Start the year with or without New Year’s resolutions, but commit to success this year by paying attention…. To how well informed…

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SOURCE:  Excerpted from an article by PJ Wade for realtytimes.com

We may have a tricky year ahead of us, so what’s the best and easiest strategy for consistent success in 2018? 

PAY ATTENTION!  Start the year with or without New Year’s resolutions, but commit to success this year by paying attention….

  • To how well informed you and information sources you really on really are.
  • To what’s really going on around you — real and fake, and
  • To how you react to what’s going on around you —  online and off.

Whether you are a real estate owner or a wannabe, 0r whether you intend to buy or sell in 2018, so much is shifting in real estate, in the economy, and everywhere else that nothing should be taken for granted or assumed in 2018.  Concentrate on getting the facts, not just someone else’s biased view of where advantages lie for you.

  • A LOT CHANGED IN 2017 A ND THE FULL IMPLICATIONS OF THOSE CHANGES WILL CONTINUE TO EMERGE IN 2018.  Pay attention to ramifications and compromises, subtle and otherwise, attached to changes in everything from tax law and net neutrality to technology’s continued re-write and disruption of much we’ve taken for granted.  Real estate ownership will be impacted by changes to tax law, estate planning, resulting neighborhood development, and interactions between these and many more variables.  Where will advantages lie for you?  Changes in the business world may directly or indirectly influence job or retirement security for your family.  This in turn may impact qualification for financing, mortgage renewal, and real estate affordability.  Projected reductions in funding and donations for social and community support programs and organizations may have widespread impact in neighborhoods, community development and in education.  These shifts may reduce location benefits, which in turn can affect real estate value.  How will your location be affected in 2018?
  • WHOEVER OR WHATEVER YOU BLAMED FOR DISTRACTIONS IN 2017 WILL BE WITH YOU IN 2018 AND MIGHT EVEN BE WORSE.  There are only so many hours in the day, and only so many $$$ in your paycheck.  Distractions that erode concentration on your needs and goals, and distractions that feed impulse spending will be expensive in many ways.  Pay attention to what takes you off point, off track, and off goal to ensure you stay in control.  You may blame others for distracting you, but it’s your powers of concentration that should be continually honed and improved to keep you ahead of the pack.  Saving for a down payment, home renovation, or to pay down an existing mortgage requires a written budget strategy to guide you toward clearly defined results.  Paying monthly condominium fees, mortgage payments, or heating bills is exhausting when approached as mont-to-0month catch-up.  Shift your focus to cutting costs and increasing income long-term and you’ll move beyond a monthly survival perspective to establish a constructive, long-term frame of reference for success.  Steady, dramatic increases in online shopping over the 2017 holiday season mean many households may be combining the impulse spending facilitated by credit cards and click-here shopping carts to undermine their budgets even more dramatically than ever.  As the volume of online shoppers increases, convenience, cost saving, and product satisfaction may be compromised – so it’s only the novelty of online shopping that addicts.  What’s all this got to do with achieving your core real estate ownerhship goals?
  • SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF WHAT YOU BELIEVED YOU KNEW IN 2017  ABOUT REAL ESTATE. FINANCE, HOME SECURITY, MORTGAGES, WORK, AND THE INTERNET WILL BE OUT OF DATE IN 2018.  Pay attention to which laws, regulations, services, and real estate expenses have actually changed – not just been endlessly, sensationally rehashed in the media  and online.  Accurate information and clever strategies are gold……Tweets, posts, and other online content arrive in increasingly overwhelming rates and volumes, leaving less and less time to uncover facts and realities and to actually learn and think about relevance to you.  From shopping or applying for a mortgage to searching for a new home or viewing property, virtual video and online content bring these and other real estate activities onto your laptop and your mobile phone.  Is this distance learning leaving you better informed and smarter real estate-wise than face-to-face meetings with real estate experts and hands-on location and property investigations?  Searching out professionals who keep up with change within their profession is a challenge.  How do you make sure you receive the professional advice you need to interpret changes from your real estate point of view?…”

Connestee Falls Realty provides you with expertise on our area of greatest interest – the Brevard area in general, and Connestee Falls in particular.  IT’S OUR THING!  Let us help you make sense of all your real estate questions and needs  in 2018!

SOURCE:  PJ Wade for realtytimes.com    

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