By Julie McKinney

The Hickory Nut Gorge is alive and well!  Having survived what seemed a very long winter that began with the now infamous Party Rock Fire and the level of Lake Lure having been down twice the normal draw-down amount, residents and visitors alike are happy to be back to “normal” and ready to enjoy everything our beautiful surroundings and communities have to offer.

The past winter’s “drama” doesn’t seem to have hurt the local real estate market, and area real estate firms and brokers are busily gearing up for a strong summer selling season.  If the first quarter is an indication of what’s to come, sellers and buyers alike will be happy.  Since the beginning of the year, 48 single-family homes have sold in the Hickory Nut Gorge, another 32 are under contract, and 148 are active listings (from North Carolina Mountains MLS as of 4/9/17, covering the geographic band from Bill’s Creek to Gerton and areas just north and south, including Mill Spring and areas where Henderson, Rutherford and Buncombe counties come together).

In my research of market data for clients, and some for my own statistical curiosity, there is evidence that average selling prices are inching up and the number of days on market are coming down some. There certainly are reasons to be optimistic about this summer’s real estate activity.  In recent weeks, showing requests for homes on the market have increased, as have phone and internet inquiries from prospective buyers interested in relocating to our area or purchasing a vacation home on or near the lake.

If you own property in the Hickory Nut Gorge area and have been considering selling, it’s not too late to get in on the action for this year. Ideally, homes going on the market should be listed before the end of May to take full advantage of area visitor traffic.  Consult with a local real estate professional for assistance in determining a realistic listing/selling price (note:  key word “realistic”, based on recent comparable sales) to ensure your property gets the attention it deserves from prospective buyers.  You never know when someone casually comes for vacation and decides they want to own a piece of what the rest of us love about our communities.

If there are specific real estate-related topics you’d like to hear more about, don’t hesitate to send ideas or requests to and I’ll be happy to address them!

Julie McKinney, Broker at Keller Williams – Lake Lure Professionals Realty Group