Friday, July 1, 2011

Great Article On French Drains

French Drains: When You Need Them

If you have a soggy yard or a wet basement, the solution may be an exterior or interior French drain, a channel that collects water and diverts it safely away.

Read more:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

8 Factors That Devalue A Good Home

An interesting article appeared this morning on Yahoo Finance. You may want to keep some of these factors in mind if you are thinking about selling your home.

Visit our website at:

Friday, June 3, 2011

Fun Activities in the High Country!

It sounds like it's going to be a beautiful weekend here in the High Country! Below are some links to some fun activities!

June 3rd - June 12th
Day Out With Thomas at Tweetsie Railroad

For All The Jan Karon Fans!
June 2nd - 5th
Mitford Days in Blowing Rock

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ways To Save On Your Energy Bills

Recently, Carolina Country featured an article about Whole-house fans - a fan which is mounted in a ceiling that pulls hot air from living spaces into an attic. The air is then pushed outside through soffit vents.

The fan is used as a supplement to your air conditioning unit (it is not meant to function as an A/C unit). Advantages include:

  • Reduction in your energy bills
  • Fan cools walls, floors and ceilings (delays the start of your air-conditioning unit until later in the day)
Disadvantages include:
  • Serious problems can occur if not installed or sized properly
  • Whole-house fans are not recommended for people who have severe allergies or breathing problems. Windows must remain open in order for the fan to work property.
To read more about the advantages and disadvantages of Whole-house fans, click on the following links:

Sources: Carolina Country, May 2011 Issue; AirScape

For the latest MLS listings, visit:

Friday, April 22, 2011

Frequent Questions on Home Purchases

In today's real estate market, several questions arise that may be holding you back from pursuing your dream of home ownership.

In the next several days, we will be listing questions and answers that hopefully will help you make the right decision.


Answer: "While price is the major concern for anyone selling a home, cost should be your primary concern as a buyer. That means you have to take into account what your monthly payment will be, considering not only the price of the home, but also the interest rate of your mortgage. Waiting for prices to bottom out while rates are increasing can wind up costing more over the life of the mortgage.

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the National Association of REALTORS®, PMI, and the Mortgage Bankers Association are all projecting interest rates will increase over the next several quarters. It's best that you meet with your mortgage professional to help you determine what an interest rate increase will cost you based on the expected size of your loan. That will help you make a decision."

Source: REALTOR® Magazine, 3 Questions You Need To Help Your Buyers Answer, April/May 2011 Issue.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Advanced Realty named "Best Real Estate Office in Watauga County"

Advanced Realty was nominated BEST REAL ESTATE OFFICE IN WATAUGA COUNTY in the 2011 Best of the Best People's Choice Awards!

Two of our Brokers (Vivian Woodard and Nena Alsaker) were also named finalists for Best Agents in Watauga County.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! Your support and confidence in our company is greatly appreciated!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Transfer Tax Option Repealed

The following link is an article from explaining the repeal of the transfer tax option.

For area listings and local information, visit:

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Creating Curb Appeal

Last week we talked about getting your home ready for showings. As you are preparing your home for the spring market, it's a great time to spruce up the exterior.

Curb appeal means to make a home visually pleasing when viewed from the street. This includes the exterior as well as the property. Below are a few tips on how to create "eye pleasing" curb appeal.

  • Pressure wash or freshly paint the exterior of your home
  • Touch up or clean the front door and all other doors including the garage door, trim, shutters
  • Clean and align gutters
  • Wash windows
  • Polish hardware
  • Repair outdoor lighting fixtures or replace burned out bulbs
  • Repair or paint porch, fences, gates
  • Reseal driveway and tend to walkways and steps
  • Tidy landscaping by removing weeds, trimming lawn and shrubbery
  • Replace worn door-mats
  • Replace weathered door bell
  • Remove out-of-season decorations and tone down ornate lawn or home adornments
Source: Move Magazine by Homes and Land Affiliates

Visit for area listings and local information.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Watauga County & Boone NC is the ultimate outdoor playground!

Discover why the high country is one of America's favorite outdoor destinations.....Watauga County & Boone NC is the ultimate outdoor playground!  
For information on Real Estate in the High Country or Homes for Sale in the Boone Area contact the sales team at Advanced Realty; your mountain property specialists!
Video courtesy of

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Getting Your Home Ready For Showings

Whether you are putting your home on the market or wanting to do some spring cleaning, below are tips on how to tidy-up and organize your home.

  • Steam clean existing carpet, clean tile and grout and polish hardwood floors
  • Scrub bathrooms and kitchen to the point of sparkle
  • Dust and polish all furnishings
  • Dust or wash blinds; wash or replace window treatments
  • Clean all appliances inside and out
  • Clear all clutter such as toys, clothes, paper, files or piles of anything
  • Organize items in boxes and create a separate space for storage - don't stuff the clutter in closets
  • Clean and organize drawers and cabinets
  • Don't forget the garage, basement and attic! While traditionally used for storage, make sure they are clean and uncluttered
  • Consider hiring a cleaning service on a weekly basis
  • Keep boxes and packing materials neatly in designated areas and don't block walkways
In our next article, we will discuss how to spruce up the curb appeal and making repairs to your home.

Visit for area listings and local information.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Advanced Realty Participates In The Broker Involvement Program

Advanced Realty is participating in the Broker Involvement Program, led by the National Association of REALTORS®.  This program allows REALTORS® to stay informed about national, state or local legislative issues. It is a way to be actively involved in public policy that affects the real estate industry.

When there is a call for action, we receive an e-mail notification along with a link, explaining the nature of the issue and what is at stake. There will also be instructions on how to send a letter to our Member(s) of Congress.

Advanced Realty believes in having a voice on behalf of our industry, as well as buyers and sellers.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New Home Sales Surge Sparks 'Cautious Optimism' In The Housing Market Recovery

The REALTOR® Magazine recently posted an article stating that new home sales rose in December (to the highest level in 8 months). It also states that prices were the highest since April, 2008. To read the full article, click on the link below:

REALTOR® Magazine-Daily News-New Home Sales Surge

For more information on Advanced Realty and to view our complete inventory, visit

Friday, January 28, 2011

So What's Going On This Weekend?

Don't miss Blowing Rock Winterfest this weekend! Events include the polar plunge, silent auction, chili cookoff, wine tasting, ice carvings, hayrides and more!

For more information, visit: 

Visit our website this weekend - check out our hot sheet for new listings and price reductions.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Great Reasons To Buy A Home!

From time to time, we will post an article that we think will be of interest to you.

The Wall Street Journal posted an article titled, "10 Reasons To Buy A Home." There are some great points, especially for those who are thinking about buying, yet hesitant with all the "doom and gloom" about homeownership.

Click here to read article:

Please contact a Advanced Realty agent for the local market conditions. You may also visit our website for area listings.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Home Again On This Cold Snowy Day

All of this snow that we've had has brought out some weariness; however, it has brought out the creativity in some, like our very own Carol J. Sommer!


Home again on this cold snowy day
Wishing it all would just go away!
Not amused by its cold, bluster or wind
The white fluffly stuff seems never to end...

Pretty to look at, but tough to behold
Many inches have fallen and it's pretty damn cold
Forced to stay in like a rat in a maze
Been pacing around for too many days!

Some think it pretty a wonderland too
If you were me just what would you do?
My fingers are frozen, my toes are still there
But I think that the frost has now covered my hair!

Perhaps it's the cold that has gripped the outside
That causes me really to stay in and hide
Too cold to go out, too icy and slick
I'm staying right here like a tight little tick...

All bundled up like Nanook of the North
Hunkered down for the duration for all that its worth
I trust that the snow will soon move away
To that end I offer HIP, HIP, HOORAY!

By: Carol J. Sommer

Come back and visit soon for upcoming real estate news and local events. Visit our website:

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

In Case You are Wondering What Happened To The Advanced Realty Land Rover...


A long time ago, back in the fall of 2006, I was sitting in my space in the parking lot at Advanced Realty when my world exploded.  It was late in the evening when all of a sudden, two cars came racing down Highway 105.  One of the cars lost control and came speeding into my space.  Along the way, it knocked down the beautiful maple tree that shaded me during the hot summer months, before it plowed into my side turning me 180 degrees in my parking space. It warped my frame and bent me so that I thought I could never be the same again. 

But my owners, Ada Webster and Vivian Woodard, cared enough about me that they wouldn't let me die.  They found someone that put me back together. All my major parts were taken off, rebuilt or replaced. It took years to get this done, but I was delivered back in my spot in the parking lot in November.  I have not had my "special" labeling put back yet because it has been too cold; however, I hope you will watch for me in the spring for my "coming out" party. 

It is my hope that I can again march in the local parades and show my new and shiny coat, as well as take the good folks in my office to special meetings and perhaps be out showing your property in the spring and summer.  My owners have decided to let me stay in the warmth of their garage during the cold winter months so that the salt and grime from winter weather won't damage me anymore.  SEE YOU IN THE SPRING!!!!!!
For more information on Advanced Realty, visit,

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Optimistic Outlook For The Local Real Estate Market

As the New Year begins, you may be thinking about buying or selling property here in the High Country. You also might be a little concerned with some of the “negative spin” in the real estate market. It is not as bad as you might think.

Local trends don’t always match national trends. A recent article from the Watauga Democrat features Carol Sommer-Isquith, Broker Associate with Advanced Realty. She points out the past and present market activity and her optimistic outlook for the local real estate market.

Some of Carol’s points include:

· A comparison of units sold in 2009 and 2010;
· The effects of increasing bank loan regulations;
· Foreclosures and what they mean for buyers, sellers, banks and appraisers;
· A comparison of cash and conventional loan transactions in 2010;
· How real estate is still a good investment.

We welcome you to view the complete article at:

We also welcome you to visit our website:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snowy Days In The High Country!

Snow, snow and more snow! The snow has tapered off for now, but this evening, we are expecting 3"-6". For more information on local forecasts, click on the following link for Ray's Weather:

While the weather outside is frightful, this may be a good time to catch up on some reading on changes to the NC Offer To Purchase Contract and the Exclusive Right To Sell Listing Agreement. There are a considerable amount of changes to the North Carolina contracts. If you are planning to buy or sell in the near future, it is very important that you familiarize yourself with the new contracts.

To view the changes, you may visit our website: We have sample forms that you can read and of course, if you have any questions, please contact one of our agents. We have had extensive training on the new contracts and we are ready to guide you through all of the new requirements.