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    Boone, Banner Elk or Blowing Rock, NC: Take Your Pick

    That’s your new address. When you have a mountain home at Echota, it’s not one High Country town—but all three.

    Echota. In the Cherokee language, it means, “a peaceful haven.” Perhaps no other real estate community is more aptly named. But unlike many communities that are incomplete or that only exist on the drawing board—Echota is very real. Echota is a community of elegantly crafted, mountain-style condominiums, townhomes and real estate. Today 500 families are already enjoying the maintenance-free luxury of Echota with ridgeline views of Grandfather Mountain or the Watauga River Valley. You’ll find Echota in the heart of North Carolina’s celebrated High Country, centrally located between Boone, Banner Elk and Blowing Rock.

    With so much to do and so much to see in the High Country, you’re always close to the fun, and the fun is close to you. The amenities at Echota rival those of some of the world’s finest mountain resorts. Every day, homeowners and their guests enjoy the use of two private clubhouses. Swimming every season at Echota’s indoor and outdoor swimming pools. Fishing in stocked ponds. And spending time together enjoying nature at the Riverpark. Best of all, Echota’s amenities are all complete—and debt-free.

    Chalakee, Echota’s newest neighborhood, embodies all the things that make Echota great—breathtaking views and outstanding value—plus innovative features including rugged timber frame construction, nine-foot ceilings and spacious decks with outdoor kitchens.

    Maybe you’ve been waiting for just the right time to buy mountain real estate. Or, maybe you’ve been looking for just the right place. A real estate community that offers the finest views, a variety of debt-free, resort-style amenities and of course, the right High Country location. The opportunity you’ve been waiting for is available today. The opportunity is Echota.

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      High Country Realtors Report Continued Sales Growth in Housing Market

      The local real estate market started the new year much as it ended the old — home sales continued to increase as prices remained flat.

      Realtor-assisted home sales in January hit a six-year high for the month, according to the High Country Multiple Listing Service, which tracks Realtor sales in Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties.

      The median sold price, meanwhile, was the lowest recorded for any month in almost five years.

      There were 74 homes sold worth $18.5 million last month, the busiest January since the first month of 2008 when 93 homes sold worth $30.32 million.

      Sales for the month were up 16 percent compared to January 2013, and 35 percent compared to January 2012.

      Prices continued to be held down. The median sold price for January was $173,500, a 20 percent decline from January 2013 ($220,000). It was also the lowest median sold price for any month since March 2009 ($164,000).

      There were 214 new listings added during the month, the second fewest since the end of 2012. At the start of February, more than 2,300 homes were on the market in Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties.

      In recent years, January has become the traditional low watermark for the year’s Realtor sales. The strong start to 2014 could indicate an especially busy year ahead, according to the MLS.

      “This is a great time to buy a home in the High Country,” said Sam Taylor, 2014 president of the High Country Association of Realtors. “Continued low interest rates, along with a high inventory of homes in the local market, have us optimistic that 2014 is going to be an even better year than 2013.”

      Local Realtors are coming off their fourth straight year of growing sales. They sold 1,299 homes in 2013, a 3 percent increase from 2012, and a 28 percent increase from 2011. In that same time span, the annual median sold price declined 10 percent, from $212,000 in 2011 to $190,000 in 2013.

      Nationally, existing-home sales were up 9.1 percent, according to the National Association of. That was the strongest performance since 2006.

      The national median price for the year was $197,100, which was 11.5 percent above the 2012 median of $176,800.

      “Existing-home sales have risen nearly 20 percent since 2011, with job growth, record low mortgage interest rates and a large pent-up demand driving the market,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.

      Mortgage rates remain steady.

      The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.23 percent during the first week of February, down from 4.32 percent the week before, according to Freddie Mac.

      When You’re Away, Let Others Play! Make a Profitable Investment in Echota with Foscoe Rentals

      Pete and Pat Floyd of Rock Hill, S.C., have been spending downtime in the High Country for years, purchasing a two-bedroom unit at Echota four years ago. When Chalakee opened, they purchased a one-bedroom unit with views of Grandfather Mountain and have been leasing both properties to vacationers through Foscoe Rentals. Click here to learn more.

      Top 3 Reasons That NOW Is The Time To Buy A Home

      According to a recent article on RISMedia, the top 3 reasons that now is the right time to buy a home are:

      1. Rising Home Prices: Home prices are inching upward at an accelerated rate. Since price is likely the most significant consideration most people have when buying, this is important. If prices continue to rise, and you buy now, your equity will begin to build as soon as you close. And home prices ARE projected to increase.

      2. Low Mortgage Rates: Yes, interest rates did go up a little in the last month, but they are still super low! And the gurus are projecting that they will go up even more over the next year. NOW is the time to get locked in.

      3. The Re-emergence of New Construction: Builders are building again, but not at the rate they built in the mid 2000s. Land costs more, materials cost more, labor costs more. New home prices are going up, too. Buying today may be your best option because the cost of new constructions isn’t likely to decrease.

      Regardless of what is happening in the market today, tomorrow, or a year from now, real estate is almost always a good investment for the long term.