Benefits of Building a Green Mountain Home

green construction

Western North Carolina offers some of the most visually spectacular land for sale in the NC mountains that you’ll find anywhere.  And when you’re building a mountain home in such an unspoiled environment, it makes good sense to consider incorporating materials, techniques and features that will make it as “green” as possible.

At The Coves Mountain River Club, we encourage and support efforts to create homes that are healthier, self-sustaining, and more cost-effective in the long run and use up fewer natural resources.

Here are some of the specific benefits you will derive from a taking “green” approach with your design.  It’s important to note that they won’t cost you any more than if you were building a conventional home.

Improved indoor air quality

  • The paints, adhesives, sealants and finishes used in the construction of “green” homes emit considerably less toxic waste, and there’s no residual effect that can cause smells, exposure to formaldehyde (a known carcinogen) and even respiratory illness.
  • A properly-sealed “green” home also has a more sophisticated ventilation system that constantly brings clean, fresh air inside.  There’s less likelihood of mold developing, so you’ll enjoy much healthier living conditions.
  • In addition, radon-mitigation systems can be set in the foundation.  They allow harmful radon gas from the soil to be vented to the home’s exterior, so your level of exposure is significantly reduced.  The Environmental Protection Agency believes that radon may be the second-leading cause of lung cancer.

People building “green” mountain homes near Asheville have begun to recognize that there are cost savings involved as well.

Return on investment

A green home is a durable home. For a homeowner, that means less work and expense to maintain the home properly, and components of the home won’t need to be replaced as often, if ever.  “Green” building options that that serve this purpose include:

  • Durable roofing materials – some with 40- or 50-year warranties.
  • Recycled-content decking – can last up to five times longer than traditional wood decking and never needs to be treated or painted.
  • Chemical-free pest controls – discourage termites and other pests by separating all exterior wood-to-concrete connections with metal or plastic fasteners or dividers and by locating all new plants at least 36 inches from the foundation.

Water and energy efficiency can save you as much as 70% on your utility bills. Energy efficiency makes a home more affordable to live in and more attractive to prospective buyers if you decide to sell. Homes with “green features” can command as much as 7% in the resale market. Besides saving on utility bills, a “green” home employs construction techniques that can reduce so2me costs during the building process.  Some of these are:

  • Creating a tight thermal envelope that’s sealed to reduce air leakage, designing and locating ductwork to minimize energy loss and choosing low-emissivity windows to help decrease heating and cooling requirements.
  • Installing a smaller HVAC system is made possible when there’s a high-quality thermal envelope, providing greater comfort and lower upfront and operating costs.
  • Framing with 2-by-6 studs spaced at 24 inches allows the use of more insulation, which can reduce wood use and labor costs.

Finally, there are a number of things that can be done to reduce water use and generate additional savings for the homeowner:

  • Installing Energy Star-rated appliances such as dishwashers and clothes washers
  • Using shorter hot-water runs, insulated hot-water pipes, low-flow faucets and high-efficiency  toilets that require 1.3 gallons of water or less per flush
  • Choosing high-efficiency irrigation systems such as low-flow drip systems, bubblers and low-flow sprinklers that minimize overspray and evaporation and reduce runoff

Lower Environmental Impact

Using renewable, clean energy sources and reclaimed materials also lessens our reliance on fossil fuels and other depleting resources.  For people looking for land for sale NC mountains properties present an opportunity to plan “green” homes that blend perfectly with their surroundings – both in appearance and in their respect for nature. 

Building a mountain home is a fun project, and we’ll be with you every step of the way.  Come by and visit us soon at The Coves Mountain River Club in Lenoir.  See all we have to offer and how much there is to do here.  You’ll soon understand why mountain homes near Asheville have become so popular with retirees who want to stay active.

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide which provides more information about living in the foothills.

Tags: Home Building | Lenoir

Tips on Selling Your Home Fast

homes for sale

Sometimes, what we really want is a quick sale, to move forward with our retirement, now that we’ve found the perfect place to live in the mountains. In fact, people from all over the country, like you, are heading Western North Carolina to follow their dreams of living in a beautiful NC mountain home, in friendly neighborhoods like The Coves.

Once the decision to move is made, selling your home can seem a little scary, but it’s easier than you think. Here’s some helpful tips for selling your home fast:

Choose the Right Agent

Finding the real estate agent that’s right for you can be a little intimidating, but it’s 100% possible. First, look around. Find someone who has a high selling rate in your area and is familiar with the landscape, and get some references. Ask an agent to provide a list of what they’ve listed and sold in the past year near your home, with the contact information. Former clients should sing the praises about their experience. In the modern age of real estate, a good agent should also be tech savvy and know how to give the home the best internet exposure possible. The right agent should also come with certifications, such as ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative) or SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist).

Price the Home Correctly the First Time

Check out Zillow to get an estimate of what your home is worth, then consult with your realtor and ask for a CMA certified market analysis). This will give you an idea of what homes are selling for around you. Once you have a good idea of the right price, considering shaving off 5 to 10 percent off. This will attract buyers with multiple bids quick, who may bid up the price over what its worth.

Hire a Photographer

The photos that accompany your listing should show your home’s best attributes, and from the best angles possible and in the best light. Hire a professional who specializes in real estate and knows what potential buyers look for.

Make Quick Fixes

Make all necessary repairs! Even something as small as rusted lock or a leaky showerhead can turn off a potential buyer. Consider tackling the easier tasks yourself – such as caulking windows or doors – and hiring a repair man for the bigger fixes – such as rebuilding or repairing a rotted part of fence or replacing light fixtures throughout the home.

Ditch the Clutter

One of the easiest ways to declutter a house, and one of the most important things to do when selling it, is to de-personalize it. Consider putting a big chunk of memorabilia, family photos, knick-knacks, and keepsakes in storage. The less personal a house appears, the more potential buyers can vividly picture themselves living there – and the extra space can make the home appear bigger.

Stage Your Home

What does that mean? It means bringing the home to ‘model’ like condition as if the home is being sold brand new. Paint your home in neutral colors, if it is not that way already. Companies specialize in staging and it’s worth every dime. Your realtor will know which staging company is worth talking with.

Simple changes can make a world of difference. Update your old fireplace screen. Resurface your old dishwasher with a stainless steel stick-on covering. Open all blinds and curtains in order to bring out the home’s natural lighting. Trim any trees or bushes, put flowers in the windowsills, and add a welcome mat. The goal is to make your home appear as inviting as possible.

Have Frequent Open Houses

After your home is staged to perfection, it’s time to show it off. Don’t be afraid to skip the newspapers to advertise online. Write colorful, descriptive ads with your agent and place them on social media and open house directories online. Create open house signs with balloons, put them at the busiest intersections closest to your home, and make sure to make arrow-shaped signs that will buyers in the right direction. Remove all vehicles from the driveway. Take your pets to the pet spa or the park.

Sometimes it’s best to let the realtor show the house without you, so that your agent can highlight the best features of the house without bias.

If you’re looking to buy or build your very own Western NC dream home, why not consider The Coves Mountain River Club. You’ll quickly discover why our residents treasure the amenities such as our mountaintop Pisgah Mountain Lodge with 360 degree long range mountain views. Sip wine or stroll through Evelyn’s Vineyard, and even plant their own fruits, vegetables, and herbs in Isabel’s Garden. Enjoy riverside hiking along the Johns River, or take a dip in Coleton’s Swimming Hole during the summer months.

The Coves offers a good selection of homesites for sale with a generous amount of land for sale in the NC mountains. Residents can choose from a private cul-de-sac to a river frontage on the Johns River and several home sites with breathtaking mountain views. There are many builder floor plans available that include everything from master suites, generous guest bedrooms, detachable garages, vaulted rooms with exposed timbers, and screened outdoor living porches. Homesites start $39,000, where potential residents can choose from 1.75 acres of land all the way to 19. Three-bedroom houses – 2,200-3,350 square feet – start from $289,000.

Selling a home can be intimidating, but with the right tools and the right agent – you’ll be out the door and onto starting your new life before you know it.

Call 828.754.0700 now to schedule a visit! 

Tags: Home Building | Lenoir

Cumberland Trace – Big Footprint Home, Affordable Price Tag

Many of the popular gated communities near Asheville NC may feature the Cumberland Trace design by MossCreek, a popular architectural firm in Western North Carolina. At The Coves, we know the home design offers an excellent option to buyers who desire a rustic home that blends beautifully with its surroundings using natural elements indigenous to the area. The home’s predesigned floor plan shortens the construction period, so your family can be settled into your new home more quickly. Using a popular predesigned floor plan also makes home building costs more predictable.

Notice how the dramatic use of exterior wood, stone and glass evokes an image of old-time mountain communities.  But don’t let that fool you.  The Cumberland Trace is as modern as today, with an eye toward making your living and entertaining both comfortable and fun. 

Well designed North Carolina mountain homes compliment the mountain scenery and changing climate. They cater to aging Baby Boomers needs which include a spacious open floor plan, and the master bedroom is conveniently on the main level.

The Cumberland Trace home is also available with either two or three stories.  By building several stories, you multiply the floor area without significantly adding costly square footage to the foundation and roof – the most expensive parts of any house. Multiple story homes also work well on mountain property providing easy access basements.

The two-story model has three bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms and a total of 1,630 square feet.  In the three-story model, there are five bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms.  The total square footage is 2,654.  And you can add a detached garage to either one.

At The Coves Mountain River Club, buyers can choose one to 20 acres or there are cabin home sites that are close to the community’s amenities.  Cabin lots have smaller footprints, and the landscape maintenance is provided for you.

If you’re exploring retiring to one of the gated communities near Asheville NC, be sure to consider our mountain community and let our design team show you how this rustic mountain home can work within your budget.

You’re probably already aware of how popular mountain communities near Asheville for starting a new life of adventure away from the stresses of the city.  But we’re far from being isolated. Here in Lenoir, we’re beautifully situated to take advantage of both small town culture and the Blue Ridge Mountains while still being within easy driving distance of whatever we may need in some of the nearby metropolitan centers such as Charlotte.

Located on five miles of pristine Johns River waterfront, The Coves is a paradise for those who appreciate a clear mountain fed-river and there are plenty of hiking trails to explore along the river. One of the many benefits of living in the foothills is the mild four season weather which means we’re rarely stuck indoors during the winter months. We’re close enough to enjoy winter sports at the higher elevations but we won’t have to deal with snow on a regular basis.

The Cumberland Trace and other North Carolina mountain homes in our community provide a pleasant surprise for anyone who thinks mountain living is quaint and old-fashioned.  At The Coves Mountain River Club, you can be as active and busy as you want to be.  Take a class at the local community college, learn the area’s fascinating history, attend one of the many local festivals, enjoy special events at our magnificent Pisgah Mountain Lodge…the list goes on and on.

Why not stop by to witness one of our indescribably beautiful mountain sunsets at the mountain’s summit when you’re in the area?  We’ll give you a guided tour while you’re here, and you’ll soon see why so many people have chosen to call The Coves Mountain River Club home.

Tags: Home Building | Lenoir

Smart and Attractive Ways To Use Reclaimed Building Materials


Reclaimed building materials – also referred to as recycled, vintage, antique, historic or just “used” – are simply those saved from a trip to the landfill by an architect or interior designer who sees their potential to be re-purposed for another application.

At The Coves Mountain River Club and gated communities near Asheville NC, it’s common to see reclaimed wood, tile and other items seamlessly incorporated into the design of new mountain homes.  The most obvious advantage is that they create a visual blend with the natural splendor of the surrounding property.  But there are more practical considerations as well.

Old lumber easily finds its way into cabinetry, furniture and architectural details.  But it’s particularly popular for use as siding, timbers and floorboards because it doesn’t require much maintenance.  The wood has already settled and shrunk into a permanent form and developed a tightness of grain that makes it considerably more durable.  Most comes from old barns, factories and warehouses, but other sources can be as diverse as coal mines, wine barrels and even boxcars.  And old fencing is valued for consistency, structural soundness and its low moisture content that minimizes the need for treatment.

From a cosmetic standpoint, it’s worth noting that reclaimed beams can be sawn into wider planks than newer lumber.  And, because the old wood has already expanded and contracted over many years in response to changes in humidity, it is likely to be more stable and can be used with radiant heating systems.  Some attribute the greater strength of reclaimed wood to the absence of air pollution prior to the 20th century and the fact that it was harvested from virgin growth timber that was hundreds of years old.

As you’re building a mountain home, you might consider the use of reclaimed slate, clay or concrete tiles for your roof.  There are several good reasons for doing so.  They’re fireproof, extremely long-lasting and environmentally-friendly.  Even with older material, the quality is likely to be very good.  They enhance the beauty of a property, adding character and style.  Little maintenance is required for a tile roof.  And they’re usually cost-effective compared to the alternatives.

When you use reclaimed building materials, you’ll be adding instant value and unique charm to your mountain home.  And, by choosing vintage instead of new, you’ll be helping to conserve our natural resources.

So where do you find these gems from years gone by?

The simplest approach is to find a company that sells them.  But if you’d rather do the work yourself, there are a number of options to investigate.  With some research, you should be able to find older buildings that are being demolished.  Salvage sites may have exactly what you’re looking for and at a very reasonable price.  Farm auctions are another good place to look.  And check the local ads or place your own, specifying what items you’re seeking.

But beware of imitations.  With the popularity of reclaimed material, it’s becoming more common for some sellers to try to pass newer wood off as antique.

It’s also important that the source of your reclaimed wood be able to verify what it might have been treated with over its lifetime.  You want to avoid possible harmful off-gassing of volatile organic compounds associated with lead paint, stains and other treatments – especially when the wood will be used inside the house.

Gated communities near Asheville NC such as The Coves Mountain River Club make every attempt to be respectful of the magnificent place in which we’ve chosen to live, and we encourage anyone building a mountain home to consider using reclaimed materials wherever possible.    

Whether it’s chimney bricks for a fireplace, a mantle made of an old post, or antique doors, hardware and fixtures…talk to our home design team and let us help bring your ideas to life. 

Stop by and take a tour, and we’ll show you how other homeowners have made good use of reclaimed building materials.  And, you’ll soon see why so many people have chosen to retire here. 

Our five miles of frontage on the Johns River, the splendor of the mountains and their foliage, the mild year-round weather, and the wealth of opportunity for outdoor activities make our mountain community a very special place in which to build a home!

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page Complimentary Magazine

Tags: Home Building | Lenoir

Dowsers – Skilled Ways to Find Gushing Water

dowsing for water

We are all aware of the importance of water in our every day lives.  Through the centuries and across the continents, people have developed methods to find essential water sources.  Dowsing is one of these methods, using a Y or L-shaped twig or rod.  In the late 1900’s those who headed across the country relied upon dowsing to locate wells on their property.  When the dowsing rods cross into an X, the water source is likely to have been found.

For those of us in modern day times, there are more reliable ways to find water sources for our homes in the North Carolina mountains yet you will still find dowsers in the mountains. Although it may sound a little hokie pokie but there’s actually a real science to it. Skeptics may dismiss dowsing but farmer’s in the draught stricken state of California rely on them.

From day to day, we don’t typically tally up how much water we’re using in our NC mountain homes.  But for those of us who have decided on The Coves as the best place to retire in North Carolina, we have a little homework to do along the way.  Most people use approximately fifty to a hundred gallons daily.  Multiply by the number of family members living beneath your roof, and you’ll see how quickly these gallons add up.  Showering, bathing, running the dishwasher, using the hose outside—all these activities mean we need a steady water source to rely upon.

Our real estate team and home builders help simplify the process by taking the budget, design, and lifestyle needs into account.  There are manageable steps to take into consideration when building Carolina mountain properties. 

When considering our water source, it’s important to understand the property and have a realistic understanding of your budget.  The well is of course part of the budget since most NC mountain homes don’t have access to public water.  The cost of drilling for water is usually calculated by the foot as well as what type of ground is being drilled. We always suggest getting an estimate in writing but remember, it is an estimate. Until the proper water pressure is obtained and final depth determined, you wont’ know the exact cost. Fortunately, our team is made up of seasoned professionals with years of home building (and drilling) experience.

It’s important to know that seasonal changes can also impact the well’s capacity. For the most part, keen geophysical, geological and hydrologic knowledge are needed as well as the ability to test for water at potential Carolina mountain properties.  Our professionals can help in the planning of your water system, and determine the peak demand of your future household. 

The peak demand is most often in morning and evening for a two-hour window.  This means if you estimate the water usage in your home will be 600 gallons daily, then the well system needs to be able to supply that amount in the peak period.  The amount of water that your well can supply is known as its yield, and taking seasonal change into account, the experts you hire will let you know the flow rate of your favorite property.  Higher flow rates are needed for homes that are more expansive with more family members, needs and appliances being used daily. 

Surround yourself with the right team of skilled professionals like us who understand the nature of building NC mountain homes from start to finish.  We will help you will create the affordable house of your dreams in the mountain of North Carolina.

If you are considering a dowser or would like to compare their findings before you drill, The Appalachian Chapter of America Society of Dowsers is where locals connect with dowsers.

Come to The Coves and we’ll share more of our home building secrets with you. It’s our pleasure to help! 

Call 828.754.0700 to schedule a visit.

Tags: Home Building | Lenoir

Popular Mountain Home Building Trends

Carolina mountain homes

Demographer William Frey of the Brookings Institution in Washington says that Baby Boomer retirees will soon be flocking south in large numbers, and it’s a good bet that many of them will be seeking NC mountain land for sale.  More than 76 million strong, they differ from their predecessors in one important way.  Although they may be done with the nine-to-five, they’re not yet ready for the rocking chair. Many are opening home based businesses, focusing on improving their health and are more engaged with their neighbors than ever before.

The Boomer Generation is more active, has a more sophisticated style, is not wed to the past, and wants to have choices that better align with their retirement lifestyle when the time comes to buy a home.  They look for modern appliances, energy-efficient doors and windows, spacious kitchens, an open floor plan with plenty of light, and layout and décor that’s both practical and reflective of their individual taste.  We find many have spent decades in “used” houses and are delighted with having the opportunity to design their own from the ground up.

Here are some of the mountain home building trends we began to see in 2016:

No More Formal Dining Rooms

Today’s retirees are seeking open, single-story floor plans, and the key word is “flexibility”.  They want multi-purpose spaces and not unimaginative rooms that are reserved to perform a single function.  Having tired of the rigid similarity of the houses they grew up in, they’re more likely to be impressed by an unusual feature such as a window seat or a built-in desk.  And rooms that can be adapted for a new purpose as their needs change are a big plus.

Outdoor Living Rooms And Fireplaces

Moving beyond the old concept of a home being contained within the walls that enclose it, today’s buyers want their Carolina mountain homes to have a seamless transition from inside to outside.  For casual entertaining, family gatherings or just to live more in harmony with the wonderful mild weather here in the foothills, Baby Boomers like having the ability to prepare a meal in the kitchen and enjoy it on the patio by a cozy fireplace.

Low Maintenance Homes

We’re finding that Baby Boomers want touch-screen thermostats, long-lasting and energy-efficient appliances, and time-saving conveniences.  Building materials are chosen with the same thought in mind.  Stucco, brick and siding require little effort to maintain.  And work-intensive lawns are being replaced with living patios, decorative landscaping, or flower beds.  Boomers would prefer enjoying the many things the mountain towns in North Carolina have to offer instead of working on their houses or yards.

Three-Car Garages

A golf cart soon becomes the preferred mode of transportation when you come to live at The Coves Mountain River Club.  They’re practical, environmentally-friendly, and just plain fun.  Of course, we have an excellent golf course right on the property, but you’ll find plenty of other places to go as well.  We’ve noticed that a lot of retiree home buyers have begun specifying a three-car garage for proper storage of their carts.

Dual Master Suites On One Level

A full 75 percent of Baby Boomers prefer a single-story home, and for seniors it’s 88 percent.  Those figures clearly reflect a desire not to have to climb stairs with the aching backs and bad knees that often come with age.  And two master suites on the first floor is a frequent request.  It’s an excellent arrangement for those who often have overnight guests, have spouses that snore or are sharing a house for some reason.

Small Offices In The Laundry Room Or Kitchen

It’s not uncommon for Boomers to continue working past the age of 65.  Many are transitioning from a traditional 9-to-5 job into part-time work, consulting, or even a second career.  So they need and want a space in the home devoted to whatever they’re going to be doing.  It can be an extra bedroom or just a corner set aside elsewhere for that specific purpose.  Even if the area only serves to keep bills and personal papers organized, it’s worth having available.

When retirees seek NC mountain land for sale, part of the appeal is their ability to design and build a home that not only takes full advantage of its land and natural surroundings but affords them the opportunity to make it uniquely their own.  Carolina mountain homes can be whatever you want them to be, and Baby Boomers have had a lifetime to decide what features work best for them.

The perfect lifestyle awaits you here in the foothills, where you’ll be surrounded by nature’s splendor, have a wealth of outdoor activities available to enjoy and be within easy driving distance of anywhere you want to go. 

When you’re visiting any of the mountain towns in North Carolina, be sure to stop by The Coves Mountain River Club in Lenoir.  Take a tour to see our unique and innovative Smart Builder floor plans, talk with our design team, and learn how we make building a home stress free. 

Now is a great time to look around.  Here’s the 7 top reasons to buy land in the winter.

Call us now to schedule a visit at 828.754.0700.

Tags: Home Building | Lenoir