Blog :: 02-2010

Biltmore Estate in Western North Carolina Announces Major Expansion

Just Another Great Reason to Make the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau Your Familys Vacation Destination

Located a short, scenic drive from all of the breathtaking mountain views, fine dining, and one-of-a-kind shopping adventures that the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau in North Carolina has to offer Ashevilles renowned Biltmore Estate is making headlines. Originally constructed as a country retreat for one of the wealthiest men in the country, George Vanderbilt Biltmore Estate took 6 years and a veritable army of craftsmen to build. It was opened up to friends and family for the first time on Christmas Eve 1895. Designed to reflect the style and grace of a French Chateau by world famous architect, Richard Morris Hunt, the home itself is an absolute architectural marvel and continues to draw more than one million visitors each year. Its celebrated gardens and surrounding grounds were masterfully created by the famed Fredrick Law Olmsted designer of Central Park in New York who is considered the father of modern landscape architecture.

As it prepares to celebrate its 25th anniversary of the popular Biltmore Winery and welcomes thousands of visitors to its Festival of Flowers event, Biltmore Estate will unveil an entirely new addition to its sprawling property. The 15-acre multi-venue Antler Hill Village and visitation site will include an ice-cream shop, tavern, retail shop, and new exhibit hall The Legacy Building. The Village will also consist of a new entrance to the estate Winery, Outdoor Adventure Center (rent segways, take a carriage ride, etc.), village green with bandstand for live entertainment and tours of Antler Hill Farm (including demonstrations and exhibits relating to blacksmithing and farming at the turn of the 20th century). Biltmore plans to open the new $18.6 million addition to guests in late March, with a special Grand Opening scheduled for May.

The Biltmore House in Asheville NC

The Biltmore House in Asheville NC

The Biltmore expansion represents one more reason you should make plans today to spend part of your Spring or Summer 2010 in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. George Vanderbilt was so inspired by a vacation to this place of unsurpassed beauty, that he chose to leave a legacy here that was not only enjoyed by his friends and family but by millions of families for years to come. The towns of Highlands, Sapphire Valley, Lake Glenville, and Lake Toxaway and the historic village of Cashiers offer the ideal blend of a peaceful mountain escape and amenity-rich family adventure all within a quick day trip to Ashevilles Biltmore Estate. Your familys Highlands-Cashiers Plateau vacation could include tranquil days on a mountain lake one day, hiking through an ancient wood to a mystic waterfall, shopping and dining in a quaint resort village, golfing some of the United States most beautiful courses, touring the home and grounds of the famed Biltmore Estate, and so much more. The only limit to your Western North Carolina vacation is your imagination.

Silver Creek Real Estate Group invites you to drop by our website for more helpful information about local accommodations, dining and shopping. Once youve visited this unique corner of the world and felt that same strong draw that George Vanderbilt felt over twelve decades ago, Silver Creek welcomes the opportunity to aid you in your quest for your familys mountain retreat. We can help you locate the perfect lot on which to build YOUR familys legacy estate, or assist you as you tour existing and new homes available for sale in the region. Getting started is easy! Simply call us TODAY at 828-743-1999 or e-mail any questions/requests you may have to info@ncliving.com. Please feel free to pop by our offices conveniently located in the heart of Cashiers, in the Shoppes at CreekSide. We look forward to meeting you and your family soon!

Increase Marketability of your house in the Greater Cashiers, Sapphire, and Highlands area

Make Your Home Spring Clean to Attract More Buyers 10 Easy Steps to Increasing the Marketability of Your WNC Property

With the official start of Spring just a few short weeks away, its time to start preparing for the steady return of potential buyers to the mountains of Western North Carolina. Like bumble bees to a flower garden, seasonal visitors will descend upon the distinctive communities of Highlands, Cashiers, Sapphire Valley, Lake Glenville and Lake Toxaway. Some will be discovering our unique corner of the world for the very first time, and some will be returning for their familys annual escape from the hustle and bustle of life off the mountain. This Spring and Summer will mark the occasion that many will make the decision to put down roots of their own, just as families have been doing here for nearly two centuries.

What will you do to make your home stand out from the crowd? Aside from partnering with the talented team of brokers at Silver Creek Real Estate Group and taking advantage of their comprehensive blend of targeted advertising and strategic marketing plans, we recommend the following Ten Easy Steps to Increasing the Marketability of Your WNC Property . They are designed to help you increase the appeal of your homes interior to potential buyers so that they view YOUR HOME as the prettiest flower in the flower garden this Spring:

1. Start your SPRING CLEAN a little early this year! Its an annual ritual we all dread to a certain extent, but it is absolutely essential to making your home more appealing to visitors. If that potential buyer found your homes exterior appealing enough to walk inside, this is your opportunity to really hook them. Make sure your wood floors are shining, your carpets are clean, your countertops are sparkling, and that the whole home smells clean and fresh. Dont overlook smudges on windows and mirrors, and dont forget to dust. It might be worth the expense of hiring a professional cleaning crew in order to get the home really spic and span.

2. Set a Mood Through Light In the daytime, open curtains and blinds to let the sun shine in! Closed and covered windows can make a room seem dark and depressing to some potential buyers. Keep in mind, youll want to make sure the view through your open windows is as lovely as possible by tackling any necessary outdoor projects. In the evenings, set dimmers on your lights to create ambience and if you wont be far from home for long during the showing light some candles to set a mood of romance and relaxation.

3. Open your Space in Order to Open Their Minds If your home is cozy, make sure to de-clutter as much as possible in order to make the space seem more open. Remove bulky furniture and unnecessary knick-knacks. Adding a large mirror here and there will help make smaller rooms seem more spacious. Get rid of clutter on countertops, desks and dressers, especially personal family photos. Remember, uncluttered countertops give the impression of a cleaner kitchen and bathrooms. Resign your mind to the idea that you ARE moving. So why not go ahead and start packing some of these items away for your next home?

4. Black is the new well, BLACK Black is timeless and chic. By adding a touch of black to every room, you add an air of sophistication. This is easily accomplished through throw pillows, picture frames, lampshades, wrought iron decorative pieces, etc.

5. Convey a Feeling Chances are, the people who are looking at your home are interested in the idea of a mountain retreat. Its simple to express through your d�cor that your home offers a place of quiet and relaxation through overstuffed pillows and luxurious looking throws, but tasteful touches like area rugs, use of fabrics and the occasional decorative item can add to the feel of a tranquil cottage in the woods, as well. Be careful not to over exaggerate a theme not everyone will appreciate bear-skinned rugs and moose heads over fireplaces.

6. Keep it REAL Rather than use silk flowers around your home, consider investing in fresh flowers and/ or fruit. Not only will they add natural beauty to your d�cor, they will add a lovely Spring Garden aroma.

7. Stay on Top of the Latest Trends Purchase a handful of current issues of home d�cor magazines and try to duplicate the trends that you feel will work best with your homes interior design. Its simple and relatively inexpensive to flow this seasons hottest colors into your kitchen or dining room by purchasing plates and table linens that reflect the trend and leaving the table set. Throw pillows, knick knacks, artwork and accent walls are other inexpensive ways to spice things up according to the latest fashions. According to Pantone, one of the hottest colors in fashion and interiors for 2010 is TURQUOISE. Use of natural materials is also all the rage.

Cedar Hill home listed by Silver Creek Real Estate Group in Cashiers NC

Cedar Hill home offered for sale by Silver Creek Real Estate Group in Cashiers NC

8. Sleep Tight! According to a recent U.S. Department of Labors American Time Use Survey, American adults spend an average of eight+ hours sleeping. You should pay special attention to your bedrooms, particularly the master suite. Make these rooms appear as luxurious and inviting as possible through the use of overstuffed bedding and uncluttered spaces. Cool colors or neutrals will add to the feeling of calm.

9. Use Creative Organization There will be times when youll have a moments notice that your home is about to be shown. If youre organized, its simple to make a quick sweep of the home to make certain its looking its best before you go into hiding. There are lots of neat tricks out there to storing items so that they are no longer an eyesore, but actually appealing. Pull out shelving under cabinets makes storage of your appliances and kitchen tools much easier and uncluttered countertops give the illusion of a cleaner kitchen. Use handsome dispensers for soap and pretty clear jars or hurricanes to store cotton balls and q-tips in the bathrooms theyre functional AND decorative. Become innovative in the ways you store your kids toys. Shoveling them into a closet doesnt really work if your visitor is peeking at all the closets to get an idea of space shoe organizers on the backs of doors become great impromptu storage containers for school supplies, dolls, cars and smaller toys they use regularly.

10. Make Sure Each Room Paints a Picture Walk room to room and decide what each spaces function should be. Make each room appear as though it were lifted from the page of a magazine. The tables can be set for guests, a book and throw can be draped across the arm of a comfortable chair, a board game can be set out in the family room awaiting players, etc. Again, the latest home d�cor magazines will come in very handy here. Be careful not to take this concept to the point that it doesnt appear homey and welcoming.

Spring is also a great time to check on any possible maintenance issues following the long, cold winter. Its wise to have your roof, deck and foundation inspected for possible leaks or water damage. Youll want to have those gutters cleaned out in time for those April showers. Schedule a professional air conditioning contractor to inspect your unit to make sure its functioning at an optimal level. By taking care of these issues now, you wont have any nasty surprises once the buyers inspector has their run-through. Silver Creek Real Estate Group welcomes the opportunity to become your listing agency. We would be happy to share more of our friendly advice and staging practices with you to aid in the swiftest possible sale of your Blue Ridge Mountain home. Our offices are located in the heart of Cashiers, North Carolina in the Shoppes at CreekSide we invite you to drop by anytime. You can also call to speak to any one of our talented brokers at 828-743-1999 or e-mail any questions you may have to info@ncliving.com. Whether or not you elect to list your home with us, we wish you the very best of luck in the sale of your home and in the future.

Calendar of Events for the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau in Western North Carolina

Plateau Pursuits March 2010 Calendar of Events for the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau in Western North Carolina

The Ides of March are nearly upon us! It wont be long before the dogwoods are in full bloom, and Western North Carolina visitors are treated to their fragrant aroma and beautiful flashes of white and green just outside their car windows as they ascend the scenic climb to the top of The Blue Ridge Mountains. As the vernal equinox approaches later this month and the snows begin to melt, the people of the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau prepare for the return of the busy season by celebrating our unique culture and talents through fine art, culinary skill and good old-fashioned fun. We invite our neighbors from near and far to experience this very special place we like to call the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau, and learn why families have chosen to put down roots here for nearly two centuries. For your convenience, Silver Creek Real Estate Group has compiled the following list of happenings for the month of March 2010. We also welcome you to visit our website to find local accommodations, dining options and the latest listings of available homes & land in Highlands, Cashiers, Sapphire Valley, Lake Glenville and Lake Toxaway, North Carolina. We look forward to seeing you and your family up on the mountain!

March 1 & 2:Greg Newington Photography Workshop at The Bascom Visual Arts Center in Highlands. Winter Light Using Light, Composition and Texture in Photography 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday and 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday. $150 Bascom members/$175 non-members. For more information, visit www.thebascom.org or call (828) 526-4949.

March 1-7:Photographic Works by Greg Newington Exhibition on the ground floor of the main building of The Bascom Visual Arts Center in Highlands. Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.thebascom.org or call (828) 526-4949.

March 1:Greg Newington Reception at The Bascom Center for the Visual Arts in Highlands from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Phone: 828-526-4949

March 2:Herbal Poultices Workshop at The Oakleaf Flower and Garden Shop on 4th Street in Highlands. For more information, call828-526-8000

March 3:Spa Herbal Poultice Massage at The Spa at Old Edwards Inn in Highlands. For more information, call 828-526-9887.

March 4:Rotary Bingo Night at the Community Building in Highlands. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. For more information please call 828-526-9938. Proceeds benefit the Literacy Council.

March 5-7:The Dixie Swim Club at the Martin-Lipscomb Performing Arts Center in Highlands. The Highlands-Cashiers Players are proud to present this funny and touching comedy that celebrates enduring friendships among five unforgettable women. Written by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten, Directed by Rick Siegal. Tickets are $20. Matinees at 2:30 p.m. Evenings at 7:30 p.m. For tickets, call 828-526-8084.

March 7:King of The Mountain Chefs Cookoff at Cyprus Restaurant in Highlands. 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Dinner begins at 7:30 with live music. Guests are welcomed with a champagne arrival before being treated to this friendly battle of four legendary local chefs which includes three delicious heats. $118/person for entire competition plus dinner and entertainment; $59/person for three heats of competition OR dinner and entertainment; $100 for front row seats during competition. Call 828-787-2625 for more information.

March 13:A Night in Monte Carlo at the Highlands Community Building to benefit Highlands Rotary Club - $40.00 per person (includes $15 play money). Evening begins at 6:30 p.m. and will include games, heavy hors doeuvres, wine and live auction. Tickets are available locally at Macon Bank, Highlands Recreation Park and Highlands Decorating Center. For more information please call 828-526-3571.

March 17:Happy St. Patricks Day from your friends at Silver Creek Real Estate Group!

March 17:St. Patrick's Day Irish Dinner Party at The Farm at Old Edwards Inn and Spa. Very special evening includes live music, whiskey tasting and more. $65/person for dinner two night accommodation packages are available. Voted Winner of the Travelers Choice for 2010! For more information, call 828-526-8008

March 18:Take Charge of Your Health Lecture Series at Tommy's Coffee Shop in Cashiers. Join Dr. Sue Aery for her FREE Mountain Air Wellness discussion. This weeks topic is How to Eat Healthy When Its Cold and lecture begins at 1 p.m. For More Information call 828-743-9070.

March 20:First Day of Spring 2010!!

Silver Creek Spotlight: Mountainworks of North Carolina

Silver Creek Real Estate Group is proud to shine a light on what is perhaps one of Western North Carolinas premierdesign firms, Mountainworks Custom Home Design LTD. Well-known throughout the region for their imaginative renderings and insistence on the use of some of the finest building materials available Mountainworks has been awarded the 2008 AND 2009 American Residential Design Award, the 2009 Pinnacle Award and The Best New Home Award 2009 by Southern Living Magazine. Their unique designs, unwavering attention to detail and steadfast dedication to excellence has earned them the covers of both Design Lines and Builder/Architect Magazines, as well as feature articles in Southern Living, Rustic Elegance, and Views Magazines. Their creative blend of both Adirondack and Craftsman styles equate to distinctive mountain homes that talented local builders line up to build in some of the finest communities throughout the Blue Ridge Mountain region. Each design is created from scratch to match both the needs and visions of Mountainworks clients, as well as the unique topography in which the home will be set. The one exception to this rule is in smaller exclusive developments where repetitiveness is appropriate, such as their new cottage collections found in Cow Rock and Rhodie Point in the Lonesome Valley community of Cashiers.

Mountainworks esteemed design team of Travis Mileti - AIBD, Marie Mileti - AIBD, and Valerie Chastain - AIBD has been envisioning and realizing truly inspired custom home designs for over two decades. They have also taken part in designing or in some cases redesigning local commercial buildings to give a true sense of character and flow with the surrounding beauty of the natural scenery that is synonymous to the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau. The teams use of antique lumber and native stone combined with enduring designs and old world styling ensure truly one-of-a-kind structures that will stand the test of time. Silver Creek Real Estate Group can begin searching TODAY for the perfect lot on which to build your dream home custom designed by our friends at Mountainworks. Simply call us at 828-743-1999 or e-mail us at info@ncliving.com. We are also happy to set an appointment for you to meet face-to-face with Mountainworks gifted designers. To learn more about Mountainworks Custom Home Design, visit their website at www.mtnworks.com.

This Silver Creek Spotlight represents the first in a series of articles dedicated to highlighting the brilliant group of architects, builders, and interior designers that make selling homes along the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau such a joy.

The Early Bird Catches the Worm

Western North CarolinaSellers Encouraged to Get a Jump on Spring Buyers by Taking Part in Silver Creek Real Estate Groups Upcoming Advertising Push

With a fresh blanket of snow on the ground throughout much of the Southeast, it might be difficult to think in terms of the return of Spring. However, this years Vernal Equinox will be upon us before we know it, and with its arrival will come a steady stream of cars up the mountains to discover that little slice of Heaven we like to call the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau. Before the leaves return to the trees and the dogwoods start to bloom, local and regional publications will begin releasing their annual Spring issues. Silver Creek Real Estate Group plans to be among many of their pages.

MagazinesWell-known for our aggressive marketing strategies, Silver Creek ads have appeared in such high-profile publications as DuPont Registry, Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Magazine, Charleston Magazine, Florida Estates Magazine and more. We also advertise in popular local publications like The Real Estate Guide, Laurel Magazine and Crossroads Chronicle. Sellers wont want to miss a valuable opportunity to have their ad viewed by hundreds of potential buyers who visit the mountains of Western North Carolina this Spring. If you are considering selling your home or are in need of a change, we encourage you to list with Silver Creek Real Estate TODAY in order to take part in our Spring advertising push. By signing on with us now, your ad could appear as early as the March and April 2010 issues. In addition to our print ads, Silver Creek always offers terrific online exposure through our website listings, social marketing sites and blog. We also extend a targeted, customized marketing plan to each and every one of our clients in order to aid in the quickest possible sale of their home or property. And lets not forget our signature brand of friendly customer service which comes complete with honesty, integrity and more decades worth of industry know-how.

Dont miss out on the opportunity to take part in these key, high visibility ads! Time and space are extremely limited. Call the talented team of brokers at Silver Creek TODAY to schedule an appointment at 828-743-1999. We also welcome you to e-mail any questions you may have to info@ncliving or drop by our offices located in the Shoppes at Creekside in the heart of Cashiers, North Carolina.