Purchasing property in western NC

On purchasing property in western NC, this is a good rule of thumb:

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Funny…but good to keep in mind.  We live in a rural area, bordered by wilderness.  Quite an incredible environment in which to live, however if you are coming from an exquisitely groomed neighborhood development, you may be in for a bit of a culture shock.

When you are considering  a new property to purchase, no doubt you have walked around the accessible parts of the perimeter, and sat quietly in the woods listening to the breeze.  I suggest you come back and visit at different times of day and night, weekends and weekdays, if possible.  See what the night brings to this piece of land.  Can you hear highway noise?  Are there barking dogs?

Also you may consider searching for your prospective property on the county’s GIS website.  For Haywood County, NC the site is:  http://maps.haywoodnc.net/   and surrounding counties have similar sites that can be found through a typical internet search.  Search for your property of interest by owner’s name, or address, or the nearest cross street will get you close.  You can view the topography and figure out which direction is South, for example (in case you seek to use solar collecting technology on your new house).  You can see who your neighbors would be, when they purchased and for how much, where their structures are located, and how much land they own.

Don’t just peek at your potential neighbors online, go speak with them.  Western NC people are genuine and friendly.  Ask them about bear or elk or coyote activity in the area.  You won’t want to find out that you have bears when your trash gets strewn about the yard, or your toy poodle goes suddenly missing.  Ask them how well their gardens do, and what kinds of vegetables they grow successfully.  Ask them about winter access, and what was the biggest snowfall they experienced.

Also to consider is accessibility in building your new home.  Builders in western NC are fond of saying, “we can build anywhere with enough money,” and that may be true…but is it right for you?  Do you have deep enough pockets to build at a high elevation and/or on a steep slope?  Just because a parcel of land is available for purchase, does not mean that it is “buildable.”

As for myself, I own acreage next to a large dairy farm.  From time to time the odor is quite heady, but it never lasts.  Sometimes the farmer’s sons like to take target practice with some pretty large sounding guns, but they never do it at night or for hours on end.  In fact, the farmer and his family have generously offered to help us plow our road, help us take down large trees, give us fertilizer for our gardens.  In return we look out for stray cows, watch for gaps in the fence, and give them the respect that they deserve.

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