Friday, December 12, 2008

House of the week

Building is underway on the new urban green built homes in Chicken Hill. Get in on the ground floor on this great 6 unit green development in the middle of Chicken Hill. The homes will have a 'tree house' style and they are walking distance from downtown Asheville and the River Arts District. You can't beat the location, style, or price on these!

Call Haven for more information!

See the project packet here

A-B Tech BioBusiness Center ...

... has some great classes going on this Spring. Just to mention a few ...
  • Natural Products Business: Herbs for Winter Wellness
  • Natural Products Business: Medicinal Mushrooms
  • Natural Products Business: A Practical Guide to Starting a Natural Products Business
  • Nurses: Herbs for Winter Wellness
See a complete schedule here:

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Google street view for Asheville is up today

Here is the EcoHouse Realty office with Mosrie's rig sitting out front...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A bunch of Asheville Listings

Slide the bar at the bottom to view Asheville listings from most expensive to least expensive. It's a cool widget from Trulia but it needs more space on the page than the blog allows...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Green Builders in Asheville

Asheville is started to become the green building epicenter of the southeast and I must say we have some outstanding green builders in Asheville.  Some people ask the advantage of green building, because it has become such a catch phrase that it's difficult to say what is green building. I like to use the term smart building. It reduces monthly utility bills by 40%, energy efficient mortgage, quality and conscious building not to mention THEY SELL FASTER.  Data from WNC Regional MLS shows that green construction averages 63 days on the market where conventional construction averages 157.  So without further a do here are a couple of my favorite green builders in Asheville.....Greencraft, Jade Mountain Builders, Sun Construction, Demos Builders. 
The first two have more of an arts and craft style while the last two are more modern. 

Give Haven a call if you want to talk about green building in Asheville.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A-B Tech: Global Institute for Sustainability Technologies

The Asheville - Buncombe Technical Community College Global Institute for Sustainable Technologies is offering it's first classes this spring. They include classes like 'Planning and Building a Green Home' , 'Passive Solar Workshop' and many more. There are so many great classes I just copied and pasted them all below. Come here knowledgeable folks like Ned Ryan Doyle, SEE Expo Coordinator and host of 'Our Southern Community' public affairs radio program on WNCW 88.7 discuss issues related to sustainability in our mountains. 

Full class schedule:

Energy: Reality 101New

A lively introduction to the interrelationships of energy, environment and economics and how the current problems point directly to the solutions all around us. Ned Ryan Doyle, SEE Expo Coordinator and host of "Our Southern Community" public affairs radio program on WNCW 88.7, offers an upbeat, informative road map for sustainable transitions based on regional and community efforts with existing technology. (3 hrs) No fee exemption

Total Registration Fee: $20.00
  • Thu, Feb 12, 06:00PM - 09:00PM
  • 128 Haynes, Enka Campus Course #: SEF-7395-352

G.I.S.T. Professional Development Workshop New

The A-B Tech Global Center for Sustainability Technologies presents a one-day workshop for professional development regarding design and construction for incorporating an intelligent renewable environment. The seminar is designed for architects, engineers, builders, designers and others in the construction industry and is open to the public. The registration fee includes lunch. Continuing education credits may be awarded for some industry professionals. (6 hrs) No fee exemption

Total Registration Fee: $125.00
  • Mon, Apr 06, 08:30AM - 03:30PM
  • 200 Haynes, Enka Campus Course #: SEF-7393-136

Green Collar Jobs New

This course is a basic overview of the potential jobs emerging in the "green" industry. Alternative energy, alternative fuels, organic food and clothing, green building, recycling and waste management are just a few of the areas growing at a rapid pace. The course will examine some of the skills and education needed to move you into the "green" business world. (3 hrs) No fee exemption

Total Registration Fee: $20.00
  • Sat, Mar 14, 09:00AM - 12:00PM
  • 209 Haynes, Enka Campus Course #: SEF-7385-344

Passive Solar WorkshopNew

This workshop will explore passive solar concepts in construction. The class will be a primer on components of passive solar design, NC tax credit options, and the many resources available. Students will learn passive solar strategies that can be used in home design, solar food dehydration, solar oven construction, as well as other applications. (3 hrs) No fee exemption

Total Registration Fee: $20.00
  • Sat, Mar 28, 09:00AM - 12:00PM
  • 155 Dogwood, Asheville Campus Course #: SEF-7388-343

Planning and Building A Green Home New

This seminar will cover the basics of planning and building a green home. It will cover the major green building programs currently available as well as strategies and resources for building a greener and more efficient home. (6 hrs) No fee exemption

Total Registration Fee: $25.00
  • Mon/Wed, Feb 23 - Feb 25, 06:00PM - 09:00PM
  • 128 Haynes, Enka Campus Course #: SEF-7391-351

So You Want to Be an Energy Rater? New

The building industry is turning "green" and more and more builders are building to meet Energy Star and other green certification programs. These certification programs require a third party inspector who is certified as a Home Energy Star Rater. This course will help you avoid the mistakes that many individuals are making when trying to get into this business. The course will review education and skill requirements, upfront cost, and potential income. (3 hrs) No fee exemption

Total Registration Fee: $20.00
  • Sat, Mar 21, 09:00AM - 12:00PM
  • 209 Haynes, Enka Campus Course #: SEF-7386-345

Solar Electric SystemsNew

As our society shifts toward clean and renewable energy sources, harnessing the sun's energy to produce electricity is increasingly promising. In addition to developments in photovoltaic technology, this course will explore system design and applications, the benefits of off-grid and grid-tied systems, net-metering and buy all/sell all agreements. (3 hrs) No fee exemption

Total Registration Fee: $20.00
  • Tue, Mar 24, 06:00PM - 09:00PM
  • 209 Haynes, Enka Campus Course #: SEF-7390-347

Solar Hot Water and Space Heating SystemsNew

Are you interested in going solar, but not sure where to start? Solar thermal systems offer the most cost-effective applications of active renewable energy technologies and are an increasingly important part of our clean energy future. This course will deliver an overview of system designs for providing hot water, as well as space heat, through radiant floor and other hydronic heating systems or forced-air systems. (3 hrs) No fee exemption

Total Registration Fee: $20.00
  • Tue, Mar 10, 06:00PM - 09:00PM
  • 209 Haynes, Enka Campus Course #: SEF-7389-346 

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Asheville Green Homes ...

all built by our partners the EcoBuilders. Give a call and we'll got set up some times for you to see these wonderful green homes in Asheville, NC.

Asheville Green Drinks

This week Asheville Green Drinks is all about home orchards. Come on out to BoBo's at 6pm Friday, November 21st to see more.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Country living in Dwell inspired home

This house is bronze certified healthy built home with a modern feel. The home features concrete countertops in the kitchen/bath. All the flooring in the lower level is concrete with bamboo floors on the second story. Kid friendly bath with two vanities and has a wall sized chalkboard in the kitchen for to-do list. It's 3BR/2.5BA with a spacious master. The garden tub in the master bath is a perk too.

Contact Haven for all the green details!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Map of green homes in Asheville, NC

Contact Haven(at) for more information about any of these homes or other conventional listings in and around Asheville, NC. It's a great time to buy ...

Asheville Green Homes - see a map of 11 great green built homes in Asheville, NC

Thursday, October 30, 2008

FOR SALE - 209 Westwood Place

GREAT, GREAT, GREAT house - in interest of full disclosure - it is our house ... but it is still the coolest house on the westside!
  • Fenced in back yard
  • approximately 900 square feet
  • New deck on back
  • Storage shed (large)
  • .21 acre lot
  • Mountain view from the front and back of the house.
  • Hate to leave but we need something bigger.
Call or email Haven for pricing and any other information.

View Larger Map

West Asheville keeps getting greener

A new infill project called Davenport Park brings many new green homes within walking distance of downtown West Asheville.

Learn more here:

and here ...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Tailgate Markets of Asheville

I've lived in Asheville for close to 8 years. I used to frequent the North Asheville tailgate market every Saturday, but somehow I got lazy and stopped going. Maybe it was because I didn't like getting up at 7:30 every Saturday to go shopping, who knows. This Wednesday afternoon I revisited the tailgate market world and learned there is just no excuse not to buy fresh veggies at such a great place. With so many tailgate markets in Asheville you don't have to rise in shine early on Saturday. You can go in the afternoon on Wednesday, Fridays or Sundays. Wednesday night I went to bed with a full belly of fresh Alaskan salmon, new potatoes and salad with homegrown carrots. Check out the link below to see when and where the markets are....

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Greening county government

Not to be outdone by the City of Asheville, Buncombe County is also doing it's part to reduce it's footprint. I just saw this link on the redesigned Buncombe County site today by chance. Follow the link to find out what the county is doing, what you can do, and many other helpful links for living green in Buncombe County.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Greening city government

With 65 buildings, a fleet of vehicles and tons of other equipment to keep our city running, it is not surprising that a city government like Asheville produces a lot of green house gas emissions. The City of Asheville however stays out in front of the curve by being one of the few cities in the Southeast with a position dedicated to cutting greenhouse gas emissions, energy use and pollution. Maggie Ullman, hired last January is doing simple things like ensuring lights are not left on and reducing some city employees 5 day work week to 4 while also asking each and every city employee to help her understand how their job could be 'greened up' a little or a lot.

The cities overall goal is to cut green house gas emissions 80% by 2050. An ambitious but honorable goal.

Read more about this city initiative in today's Asheville - Citizen Times

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Chicken Hill

The infamous Chicken Hill which sits right above the railroad tracks and a stones throw from downtown is finally staring to get revitalized. As a real estate agent, I've been in awe that this area is just now starting the process. I've always thought of it as a cool little niche. Not only does is it close to downtown but it has the rugged artistic charm of the river district. Now that there is the Wedge brewery what's not to love about the river arts district! More to come.....Did I forgot to mentioned that the revitalization has a green focus AND it's affordable? Hooray!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

World's Tallest Bike Attempt

Got a video of the second attempt to ride the world's tallest bike at LAAFF last weekend and thought it was worth posting.


In case you missed the Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival ... the best people watching event in all of NC ... here is a slide show.

If you weren't there, you missed bike jousting, people watching, belly dancers, people watching, live music, arts, people watching, good food, the world's tallest bike and much much more.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Asheville Property Mapping

Getting our map on ...

Do you need some custom mapping or GIS analysis in Asheville, Western North Carolina or the world? Don't hesitate to call ...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Monday, September 8, 2008

House of the week

68 Frances St. (in progress)
For Sale: Green Home in West Asheville, Certified to use 40% less energy than current building code requires - ( that's like 40% off your monthly utility bills) 1523 Sq/Ft, 3 Bedroom, 2 1/2 Bath, Contemporary Open Floor Plan with Hardwoods Throughout, Passive Solar Techniques, Ready for Solar Panels!

View Larger Map

Sunday, September 7, 2008

LAAFF - Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival

"All local and all original"

Today is the 7th annual Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival. Come on down to Lexington Avenue for one of the best looks at what is Asheville is all about. It will be full of local performance artists, other live street acts, live music - LOTS of live music, art, great food and more people watching than you can find anywhere in the state. This year promises to be great as Tall Bike Freak Micheal Mooney goes for the world record - again - riding a 43 feet tall bike, mountable only by crane.

In addition to all the normal GREAT stuff down on Lexington Avenue, this year local graffiti artists will be painting the support column under I-240. "This expansive mural portrays original images of local characters and uniquely Asheville scenes focusing on Sustainability, Arts and Culture, Community, and Asheville Saints. " - taken from the LAAFF myspace site.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Organicfest 2008

Celebrating everything organic in and around Asheville.

Organicfest is a FUNtastic celebration of everything organic and green! A festive day of live music, organic food and drink, organic and green goods, informative info on organic cooking, gardening, shopping and fun activities for kids of all ages!

Battery Park Ave, September 6th from 10am - 6pm.

more info:

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

House of the week - The Primrose Cottage

The Primrose Cottage (conventional listing)the rarest of historic commodities in the city, is a classic c 1913 English Cottage nestled in a park-like setting just below the GPI. Her delicate architectural details are a rare and wonderful treat for your most discriminating buyer. Surrounded by lush gardens & stone pathways, she features HW floors, an antique gas FP & most of her original period elements. A former Griffin Award winner. Oversized matching one car garage in back. Perfect second home for less than an avg condo. On the Nat’l Historic Register.

View Larger Map

Call or email Haven Hanford to set up a showing!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Goombay Festival

Just one more great reason to be in Asheville. This weekend was the annual Goombay festival (a word derived from a word that means rhythm).

The YMI Cultural Center's "Goombay!" Festival brings a variety of entertainment that delights every
festival-goer. From Steel Drums, African-America Dancers, local Gospel Groups,
and Contemporary Rhythm Bands, the activities are geared for families. (this
directly from the YMI site)

We forgot to take our camera so I only got a couple shots of the parade with my phone but I thought I would post them anyway.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Check out the global movement to reduce Co2 by 350 parts per million in the atmosphere. Take a look at the website to learn more.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

CFL in plain english

The Common Crafts folks are at it again ...

... the guy talking Lee LeFever is from North Carolina.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

National Center for Sustainability in Asheville

We all know there are a lot of concious people in Asheville and that is one of the things we love about it. Now, the National Center for Sustainability is here in Haywood Park Hotel. This has promise to bring even more green and sustainable businesses to down town Asheville.

Read about it here:

Monday, August 11, 2008

Local mapping applications to help in your real-estate search

We are lucky in Buncombe County to have some extraordinary GIS professionals working at the city and county GIS departments and building some great GIS applications - many in collaboration with other organizations like UNCA, NEMAC, and RENCI.

Buncombe County
City of Asheville - mapAsheville
  • Priority Places - An interactive mapping analysis application designed to strengthen quality economic development investment in the city of Asheville.
  • Crime Mapper - Provides access to crime related information and statistics by area
  • Development Mapper - Providing increased access to information concerning large-scale development activities
  • Simple Searches - Access the streamlined interface for basic users
  • Standard GIS - Tools for direct access to the advanced GIS user’s interface

Friday, August 8, 2008

Real-Estate in Asheville, North Carolina

Did we mention that Haven is selling Real-Estate in Asheville, North Carolina and focusing on Green Building?

If you are looking for a conscious and compassionate person that is easy to work with you should think about giving her a call.

You can get more information by emailing her at haven (at) or calling 828.230.0555. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Another reason to walk or ride your bike

A couple weeks ago we were thinking about how much it would help if everyone in Asheville walked about 3 miles a week instead of driving. This week I saw the Clif Bar's 2 mile challenge. Pretty cool idea... I think they had it first though I hadn't seen it when I made my previous post. Ride or walk once a week to fight climate change.
  • 40% of U.S. Urban travel is 2 miles or less
  • 90% of those trips are by car

Find out more here:

Please join and take the challenge - see just how much difference you can make.

Friday, August 1, 2008

GIS for Real-Estate Professionals

Check out this introduction to GIS for Real-Estate professionals offered by Haven through AB Tech Continuing Education.

This course provides a basic introduction to local GIS data sources and Internet map services with an emphasis on real-estate applications. Introduction to basic GIS concepts and utilize hands-on activities with GIS software and some free desktop mapping programs for utilization with local data sources.

(4 hrs) No fee exemption

Total Registration Fee: $15.00
  • Tue/Thu, Oct 14 - Oct 16, 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  • 108 Balsam Computer Technology Center, Asheville Campus Course #: SEF-7465-498

Monday, July 28, 2008

Walkable Neighborhoods

I did a post a couple weeks ago about walking instead of driving ... even if you just do it once a week. Today, I stumbled on to this website that scores neighborhoods based on walkability. Pretty cool ...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bele Chere

This weekend is the 30th year of the Asheville downtown street festival Bele Chere. Most of downtown Asheville is blocked off and over 350,000 people are estimated to attend. Bele Chere is always full of great music, local arts and crafts, children and many other events and it's free ... or mostly free - A couple of the big headliners will have a cover charge but there is plenty of free activities. See the official Bele Chere website at

Over the past couple of years Bele Chere has been working on 'greening' the festival. This includes a couple hundred recycling and composting bins, using corn cups (that look and felel just like plastic but are plant material) as well as recycling gray water and oil.

This year promises to be even greener with the new EcoTrips shuttle service working the festival with their electric cars. Call for reservations at 828.699.1623 or 828.699.1624

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Green meets arts and crafts

Great West Asheville green home. Check it out ...

more details here ...

call Haven if you are interested! 828.230.0555 or email haven(at)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

walk ...

once a week instead of driving - even if it's just 1.5 miles to the store. Just once a week. There are approximately 70,000 of us living in Asheville. That means .... 70,000 X 3 miles (1 round trip to the store)= 210,000 miles in one week. 210,000 miles x 52 weeks in the year = 10,920,000 miles in a year. How much does gas cost a gallon today? How many days a year do we have Orange level ozone around here? You can do that math.

In our family, we ride bikes and walk a good bit so I have learned the best ways around town and granted... we all know this isn't a very 'bike friendly' town.

At any rate, I saw this post a few days ago and it made me think about tools to aid in using less gas and therefore - GoogleMaps will now be providing walking directions - in select locations to what some have said 'random' users (I can't find it for anywhere yet) and I'm sure it will be beta FOREVER.

This kind of mapping applicaiton is nice in a town like Asheville with major roads, interstates and river going through the heart of it. At least we are small (all the more reason you should be walking or riding) and most of us know how to avoid the interestate but give it try the next time you visit a place you aren't so familiar with the Washington DC.

Google wasn't the first to do this ... you could always tell MapQuest to avoid interstates which is surely a lot of what the walking directions in Google does and has had walking directions for some time now.
Google's new 'walking directions' service will surely grow as they build the database of pedestrian trails in towns that aren't in the normal street databases their mapping application is currently based on.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Southern Living Idea House

The Southern Living Idea House was built by the EcoBuilders of Asheville. It's located in Whisper Mountain which is located about 30 minutes from downtown Asheville. The climate is about 5 degrees cooler and the views are spectacular. The house is a cool combination of a Madison County farmhouse with a modern flare. Did I mention the sweet green features? Check out the menu of green features.
  • 1550 gallon rainwater catchment system used to flush toilets
    and irrigation on native landscaping.
  • Solar hot water system with a tankless water heater
  • 10 solar panels provide 1.8 kilowatts of power that feeds directly to the local power company.
  • Energy Recovery Ventilator introduces measured fresh air mechanically. This also pressure balances the house and circulates indoor air, while HEPA filtering incoming air.
  • Low VOC paints and finishes used throughout.*

    *Thanks to Rob Moody for the points on the green features.

    So far, the green certifications include:
    1. LEED Homes either Silver or Gold.
    2. NC Healthy Built Homes
    3. Energy Star-50 HERS rating

Sustainable Development

"Sustainable Development" is a term that's been getting a lot of buzz over the past few years. I stumbled on this short video of Peter Head - Director of Sustainability at Arup - where he gives a great summary and overview of what we need to do to 'make cities work'. You will hear Peter talk about sustainable development and using a balanced approach to continue to meet the socio-economic demands of a city while addressing things like CO2 emissions. This is a great primer on sustainable development.

Make sure to check out the other videos linked on this page where he discusses future cities and ecological footprint.

There is also a great interview on today where Peter discusses China's first eco-city that Arup is playing a large role in.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Building up rather than out

With all the controversy over the Parkside Condos here in Asheville on a piece of property next to Pack Square in downtown Asheville, I thought this article in the Wall Street Journal this week was interesting. The article describes how Sacramento, California has been building more densely, instead of sprawling out for many years. This is even more important with gas over $4 a gallon- and only going higher. Sacramento is being watched very closely and seen as a model for other towns.

'For decades, backers of "smart-growth" planning principles have preached the benefit of clustering the places where people live more closely with the businesses where they work and shop. Less travel would mean less fuel consumption and less air pollution.'

... full article here

Obviously, the Parkside Condo project in Asheville has it's own polarizing issues (is it public or private land) and I'm not weighing in on 'good or bad' for that project here. I just thought it was an interesting segway into the discussion of building up rather than out and this very interesting article from the Wall Street Journal this week.

Make sure to check out the interactive map in the article!