You should probably know something about me if I'm the person giving you Asheville North Carolina real estate advice – who may refer you to someone you'll want to represent you in a real estate transaction. My name is Patricia Spaulding, but my grandmother, and others along the way have pronounced it Pa-TREE-sha, so my nickname is Tree. You're welcome to call me either Patricia or Tree.
I’m not an Asheville native. It seems there are a lot of non-native Ashevillians here. We love this place and move here from all over... sometimes for the whole year and sometimes for part of the year. People from the north come in the winter to flee the freeze and people from the south come in the summer to hide from the heat.
I was born in Massachusetts and love New England. That would probably be my second choice place to live. Many years ago I drove all over northern New England looking for my dream property. It was a great adventure, but I didn’t find it.
I grew up in a creative, nature-loving home. My parents both loved the outdoors and my mother was a full-time artist. She actually moved here with me and really enjoyed living downtown in her own place. She was able to be more independent than she had been in years, getting around on her electric scooter. (No, that's not her on the segway to the right. That's me on a tour downtown!) She painted every day and sold her artwork at a gallery located in her building.
I began to travel a lot right after high school. When I graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a degree in environmental design, I decided to study something else that would be useful in work overseas. I’ve always wanted to save the world. I did graduate work in anthropology, linguistics, literacy and community development.
During that time, I was able to sample living in various part of the U.S. – Texas, South Carolina and Oklahoma.
Then, I lived and worked in Papua New Guinea for sixteen years, where I also raised a family.
We literally packed up and moved every one to four months, between our two homes there and visiting the States. On U.S. trips we lived in Rhode Island, California, New Jersey and Washington state. I became quite good at packing and managing the constant transitioning of my three children.
Finally, we headed back home to the States for good where we planted some roots in Virginia. It was time our kids realized they were Americans and time to be near our aging parents.
But, what kind of work do you get here with that kind of background? Well, for five years I co-directed an international peacebuilding institute. Then for a short time I worked for Rosetta Stone, the language-learning software company.
And then I heard about Asheville. Hmmm… should I add North Carolina to the list? No hesitation!
I hoped to find a “green”-built home. I’ve always loved well-designed, efficient homes. In Papua New Guinea we had solar electricity and hot water as well as a cistern that collected rain water. I suspected Asheville would be the place to find homes like that, but none of the Realtors I talked with knew anything about it. I was pretty disappointed, but determined to find a place.
My main priority was a house big enough to give my mother private living quarters and storage space for my kids’ things. They were on their own, but not settled.
As I look back at how we chose that home and others I’ve lived in, I cringe!
We didn’t have any idea how to do it – how to strategically find potential homes and choose the right one.
Who does? Well, I’m getting a bit ahead of myself…
We looked at a bunch of houses, picked one and moved to Asheville. Very soon after that I heard that the Asheville Board of Realtors was starting a new program to train Realtors who were interested in green homes! Ah-ha! So there were some green homes in Asheville after all.
Too late for us, though. We’d already bought a home, but I wondered if I might like to help others find what they were looking for here – especially green homes.
I immediately started real estate school. I studied and studied, did well on my exams and started the environmental real estate consultant training. I loved it!
I already knew a lot about green homes and sustainable planning, but I was fascinated to learn specifically about what was happening in the Asheville area. There are many certified green builders, a green building counsel, architects and landscape architects who are very environmentally-oriented, and people who do green retrofits of older homes. Click here for more on My Green Story. I could go on and on about the green scene here…
…but, since I began helping people find homes, one of the main things I’ve learned is how to be strategic. It’s nothing short of a miracle that the homes I’ve lived in have been pretty good places. Happy accidents! Not exactly what I really wanted or needed, but not horrible, either.
That’s not the way to do it, though. I want to help you do it right. If you’re going to spend that much money, you need to try to do it right.
So, let me help you. Let’s talk. Find out more about my strategy and how I recommend you find your perfect place. You've heard my story. Now tell me yours. Tell me why you want to move to Asheville and what kind of lifestyle you want. Let’s get you on the right track to living the life you want!
By the way, I'm no longer a real estate agent, but I can refer you to one or several for you to choose from who I respect. When you're ready, just let me know.
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