Building a custom Asheville home starts with purchasing the perfect piece of Asheville property.
There are many reasons to custom build a luxury home in Asheville, North Carolina. But though we all want to live near this amazing city, with mountains and rich culture, we don’t all want the same thing from the Asheville real estate market.
Before choosing a lot, you need to ask yourself a few questions:
1. Which amenities do I value most?
- Privacy, convenience, or accessibility to shops and restaurants?
- Stunning views, hiking trails, riding trails, and plenty of land?
- A good school district?
- Covenants that protect property, a gated community, a golf course, a pool, neighborhood pickleball and tennis courts?
2. What type and size of home do I want to build? Do I want a sprawling, single-level home or a multiple level home?
3. What’s my budget?
- For Bluestone homes, construction costs range from $1.5-4 million. Lots are usually in the $300-600,000 range.
While window-shopping the Asheville real estate market, you’ll also want to consider:
- Lot size
- Private roads and easements
- Utilities and internet
Utilities and Internet in the Asheville Real Estate Market
Local water options include city water and private or shared wells. Sanitation options include tying into the city sewage system or having a septic tank. You may heat and cook using a natural gas line or a propane tank. However, the location of your lot usually dictates which of these options are available to you.
Fiber, cable, radio, and satellite internet are all available in the area. You can get high-speed internet even in most rural areas near Asheville.
Considering Building A Luxury Home In the City of Asheville?
Do you thrive on urban energy, walkable neighborhoods, and a robust array of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options? Do you enjoy having your neighbors close enough for spontaneous porch chats?
Living in Asheville offers access to excellent schools and all the perks of a vibrant city (population 91,000) with a down-home feel. Purchasing a lot within city limits means that you’ll have access to city sanitation and water.
If you can’t find the perfect lot within city limits, you may want to renovate a historic gem in one of Asheville’s beautiful, wooded neighborhoods. These include Biltmore Forest, Kenilworth, Montford, Beaverdam, Grove Park or Lakeview Park.
Historic districts often come with specific construction regulations, so it’s a good idea to check with the experts before signing on the dotted line. You want to be sure you’re buying in a neighborhood that will actually let you build the legacy home you envision.
Want Asheville Real Estate, Without Asheville Codes and Crowds?
Seeking lots of space from your neighbors or land for horses and stables? Want more flexible building codes and rolling hills with long-range views? You may prefer to live near the city rather than in the city.
Many available lots are located just outside the Asheville city limits, within upscale or gated communities. Often these neighborhoods come with access to golf courses, swimming pools, clubhouses, or protected green space.
Within a 20 minute drive of Asheville, you can have your rustic dream home while still enjoying the dreamiest of cities.
Small Towns and Mountain Communities Just Outside of Asheville
Seven miles outside of Asheville, Weaverville has a population of about 4,000, with a thriving downtown.
Fairview is ten miles from Asheville. It’s nestled in the Black Mountains, in the Cane Creek area, with a population just under 3,000. There are good local schools, a few local restaurants, lots of farms, and a rural feel.
Hendersonville, population 14,000, is 20 miles south of Asheville. It offers the second largest downtown in the area, a farmer’s market, and plenty of local shops and restaurants.
Mars Hill is a 20 minute drive from Asheville. It has a population of about 6,000, a small liberal arts college, and a rural feel.
Marshall is a hamlet with 780 people, tucked between rocky cliffs and the French Broad River. Just 20 minutes from Asheville, the community is quiet and friendly, with a cheerful Main Street and historic courthouse.
Mills River is a small town of 6,800 a twenty-minute drive from Asheville, with excellent public schools. It’s minutes away from Pisgah National Forest, with its extensive network of hiking trails.
About a 35 minute drive from Asheville, Brevard has just under 8,000 people and is rich with mountain charm. It’s known as “the land of waterfalls.”
Tryon is 30 miles from three urban centers: Asheville, North Caroline and Spartanburg and Greenville, South Carolina. It’s an old railroad mountain townm with a cute downtown and a current population of 1,600. The Jazz Age writer F. Scott Fitzgerald once lived there, and it’s the hometown of Nina Simone. It’s also known for its equestrian culture and family vineyards.
Landrum, South Carolina, population 2,500, is about a 45 minute drive from both Asheville and Greenville. It has a historic downtown full of great antique shops, an Amish furniture store, and a farmers market.
Asheville Real Estate and Unrestricted Land
Unrestricted land is free of homeowners association restrictions. This land may still be subject to easements and county regulations, but you’ll have more freedom than if you build in a subdivision or development. A homeowners association may object to fences or an accessory dwelling unit. It may not allow a hobby you’d like to explore, such as raising honeybees or backyard chickens.
If you’re thinking of doing something a little (or a lot) extraordinary with your custom home and grounds, let us know. We’ve been working in this area for over two decades and can point you in the right direction, in terms of appropriate lots and parcels.
Protect Your Asheville Home With Covenants
Many Asheville lots come with a homeowners association and protective covenants. These covenants are designed to safeguard your property value and investment, your Blue Ridge mountain views, and the overall quality of your neighborhood. But they may also limit your architectural style or other luxury home choices, so it’s important to do your research before buying a piece of Asheville property. Covenants can govern lot size, house size, minimum and maximum square footage, and other structures on the property.
Asheville Real Estate’s Zoning Overlays and Natural Disaster Risks
Some parts of Buncombe County have zoning overlays that protect views and designate areas as “steep slopes.” These areas require specific permitting and certain types of construction may not be allowed.
The Buncombe County Stability Index Map identifies parcels that may be vulnerable to landslides. Flood information can also be accessed via the county’s GIS system.
Want An Asheville Home That Combines Privacy and Covenants?
You may want more seclusion than is offered by a typical subdivision or development, while still valuing the protection that luxury covenants provide. Some local developments combine one-to-four acre parcels with property-owners associations and neighborhood guidelines.
These include The Ramble Biltmore Forest, Couch Mountain, Sovereign Oaks, Town Mountain Preserve, and Versant in Asheville; Creston Community in Black Mountain; French Broad Crossing in Marshall; Champion Hills and Grand Highlands at Bearwallow Mountain in Hendersonville; South Cliff in Fairview; and The Cliffs Walnut Cove in Arden.
Asheville Property: Views Versus Cost
In the Blue Ridge Mountains, you’ll always want to consider views versus cost. It’s easier, faster, and less costly to build on flatter land, but slopes offer better views. And architecturally, you can do striking things with slopes.
But building on a slope requires precision foundation work, retaining walls, and high-tech grading to deal with drainage and other issues. Specialists, such as engineers, may be required. All of this can drive the price up.
Sometimes the best views are in the most out-of-the-way places. You may have to build a private access road or long driveway to get to your new home.
We can help you assess the cost versus value of building on a particular slope you’ve fallen in love with—before you actually close on the parcel.
Building an Asheville Home: Access to Utilities and Lot
Rural and mountain homes may not have access to public sewage, water, and gas services. The solution is often private wells, shared private wells, septic systems, and propane tanks. Additionally, you may have to build your own private road or pay easements on someone else’s private road to access your gorgeous, mountain lot.
Prior to purchasing a lot, reach out to the Environmental Health Office in the appropriate county, to have your lot evaluated for a septic permit. And check with the municipal water department and local gas provider to see if utilities are set up for your lot.
Get an Asheville Property Survey
If you are seriously considering a particular lot, order a boundary survey. Surveys will show encroachments, easements, topography, and earlier improvements made on the property.
Let Us Help You Choose The Perfect Lot for Your Asheville Home
We know the area and are experts in topography, maximizing views, solar orientation, natural landscaping, and driveway and utility requirements. We can help you choose the most appropriate site and assemble an amazing team to custom-create your luxury mountain home.