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Western North Carolina The Mountain Region including Asheville
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Old 05-26-2009, 12:04 PM
 
4 posts, read 13,932 times
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We will be on a tour of this development the weekend of June 6th and have seen a number of useful comments about Black Mtn and The Settings in this Forum. We are considering building a 2,000 sq ft home with open floor plan, timber feel, etc. Would like lot with privacy and a view, but not willing to pay more than $140,000 - $160,000.

What info can you provide on The Settings based on your experience on topics such as below, or anything else useful:

Pricing of lots - flexibility, or lack thereof.
Locations within The Settings that are desireable, or to avoid
Resale of lots - I have not found any
Financial Stability of Developer
Slope Ordinance - impact on The Settings
Amenities - Delays in completing. Why hasn't pool area, exercise facility, etc been compled.
Builders - Experience with the "preferred" builders and cost per ft range
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Old 05-26-2009, 12:36 PM
 
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The last "progress report" posted on their website is last August.

Now I think a reasonable person would really take that as a great big WARNING that was the last progress, and that the developer if not bankrupt is not in a stable position.

I also think that "view" for $140-160K won't be found.
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Old 05-26-2009, 01:31 PM
 
9 posts, read 33,354 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigSteve46 View Post
We will be on a tour of this development the weekend of June 6th and have seen a number of useful comments about Black Mtn and The Settings in this Forum. We are considering building a 2,000 sq ft home with open floor plan, timber feel, etc. Would like lot with privacy and a view, but not willing to pay more than $140,000 - $160,000.

What info can you provide on The Settings based on your experience on topics such as below, or anything else useful:

Pricing of lots - flexibility, or lack thereof.
Locations within The Settings that are desireable, or to avoid
Resale of lots - I have not found any
Financial Stability of Developer
Slope Ordinance - impact on The Settings
Amenities - Delays in completing. Why hasn't pool area, exercise facility, etc been compled.
Builders - Experience with the "preferred" builders and cost per ft range
We have been looking at mountain communities for two years. We have looked in the Asheville, Boone and West Jefferson areas, Started looking at The settings of Black Mountain again today as I found out friends of friends are selling their lot. They decided on Hilton Head instead NC for retirement. They can have the heat and humidity and horrible traffic for six month a year on Hilton Head as far as I am concerned. Frankly, I can't remember why we crossed The Settings off our list over a year ago (without seeing the place) but it may have been that the largest lots were only an acre and I thought they were too expensive.

The financial stability of any developer needs to be explored in today's world. I have a realtor in Asheville looking for us and will ask what she knows about this place. When you go there, the most important thing to look at is infrastructure. Are all the utilities in to all the lots? Are all the roads paved? Also, how many lots have been sold? How many houses already built? Is the club house built and gate in place (apparently yes in this case.)

My wife and I found a super lot in a community in Waynesville which is about the same distance west from Asheville as the Settings are East. It is called Avalon and the developer is Ultima Carolina. The lot we like has great layered views, and is quite level for a mountain lot. However, there is only one house built there (out of about 80 lots) and as of two weeks ago, nothing new started. Utilities are in for most of the development and the roads while graded, are not yet paved. The clubhouse has not been started yet either and there is no gate yet. I don't want to wait five years or more to get a paved road and amenities. Also, I don't want to wait that long to get some neighbors and in the meantime, have a lot of construction traffic. One other red flag. The sales person has not bugged me for two months so I am thinking he is gone.

Last but far from least, you can always get a Dun and Bradstreet report for the developer. While this will not tell you when roads are going to be paved, you can find out the financials of the developer. I am going to pull one for Ultima Carolina and I will for any development that we are seriously considering.

We will be back in the Ashville area June 20-21 and depending on what I learn, we may just have to visit The settings.

Good Luck!
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Old 05-26-2009, 03:31 PM
 
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There has been exactly one resale of a Settings lot that I've seen in the local paper and that was about a year ago. There are plenty of Settings resale lots on the market in all sizes and prices - just check the Asheville MLS. I don't think that a lot of houses have been built up there as of yet but maybe others closer to the scene can comment.
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Old 05-26-2009, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Weaverville
765 posts, read 2,198,142 times
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Another important question to ask is are there completion bonds in place and current? These guarantee that even if the developer defaults and fails then the roads and other essentials will be completed. The hills around WNC are plastered with failed developments like this that did not have completion bonds. Local govts just weren't sophisticated enough to know that they should require these. Also take a good look at the landslide potential maps that the state is doing. The NC legislature just dropped the ball on passing a law to regulate development on these unstable slopes so its buyer beware unless you like a fast trip to the bottom of the mountain!
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Old 05-26-2009, 04:29 PM
 
9 posts, read 33,354 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cofga View Post
Another important question to ask is are there completion bonds in place and current? These guarantee that even if the developer defaults and fails then the roads and other essentials will be completed. The hills around WNC are plastered with failed developments like this that did not have completion bonds. Local govts just weren't sophisticated enough to know that they should require these. Also take a good look at the landslide potential maps that the state is doing. The NC legislature just dropped the ball on passing a law to regulate development on these unstable slopes so its buyer beware unless you like a fast trip to the bottom of the mountain!
Excellent Point. Do you know how these bonds work? If a developer fails and goes away leaving these bonds behind, How does the work get done? Who acts as a general contractor to make arrangements to get the roads, clubhouses etc. built? Would it be the HOA? Or does another developer step in? While the money is there, might it take a long time to get all the stuff done?
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Old 05-26-2009, 04:38 PM
 
9 posts, read 33,354 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigSteve46 View Post
We will be on a tour of this development the weekend of June 6th and have seen a number of useful comments about Black Mtn and The Settings in this Forum. We are considering building a 2,000 sq ft home with open floor plan, timber feel, etc. Would like lot with privacy and a view, but not willing to pay more than $140,000 - $160,000.

What info can you provide on The Settings based on your experience on topics such as below, or anything else useful:

Pricing of lots - flexibility, or lack thereof.
Locations within The Settings that are desireable, or to avoid
Resale of lots - I have not found any
Financial Stability of Developer
Slope Ordinance - impact on The Settings
Amenities - Delays in completing. Why hasn't pool area, exercise facility, etc been compled.
Builders - Experience with the "preferred" builders and cost per ft range
So I went to Real Estate Listings, Homes for Sale and Rental Property Listings – REALTOR.com® and put in Black Mountain, land only with a price range of 50k-200k. The first one to come up ( highest to lowest) is this listing in The Settings:
Black Mountain, NC, 28711 - MLS ID#407681 - Land real estate - REALTOR.com® (http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/Black-Mountain_NC_28711_1097303426 - broken link) You can cut and paste this into your browser

Bottom line: $200,000 for a quarter acre lot???? I don't think so! I will look some more in case this owner is a bit confused by the thin mountain air
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Old 05-26-2009, 04:59 PM
 
9 posts, read 33,354 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigSteve46 View Post
We will be on a tour of this development the weekend of June 6th and have seen a number of useful comments about Black Mtn and The Settings in this Forum. We are considering building a 2,000 sq ft home with open floor plan, timber feel, etc. Would like lot with privacy and a view, but not willing to pay more than $140,000 - $160,000.

What info can you provide on The Settings based on your experience on topics such as below, or anything else useful:

Pricing of lots - flexibility, or lack thereof.
Locations within The Settings that are desireable, or to avoid
Resale of lots - I have not found any
Financial Stability of Developer
Slope Ordinance - impact on The Settings
Amenities - Delays in completing. Why hasn't pool area, exercise facility, etc been compled.
Builders - Experience with the "preferred" builders and cost per ft range
Big Steve,

Given the price of $200,000 for a quarter acre, then I guess the lots that are .8 - 1 acre in the $330,000-$370,000 are a steal.

I don't think you are going to get a lot of privacy for your lot budget of 140-160k which is similar to our budget. There is only one way to determine how flexible sellers are and that is to make a very low offer and then let the seller counter etc.

I hope you are making the trip to this area for reasons other than only seeing the Settings. I am sure that the reason my realtor in Asheville has not mentioned this to us is that it seems to fit all of our criteria except price. One good point is that the development (according to one listing) has city water and sewers so you don't need a well and septic system.

Let us know what you find out but for now, I think The Settings still remains crossed off our list.
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:45 PM
 
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Default The Settings - Black Mtn

Thanks for the tip on completion bonds. I will definitely get a D&B if we are serious about purchasing. I am under the impression that several homes have been built, more under construction and design review. Full utilities are indicated as already in place, with all roads to be repaved later this year after completion of pool area.

Where have you found other lots for sale in MLS? Their website has one .56 acre lot at $129K and another .59 acre lot at $185K. I'll let you know what they look like after my visit. According to sales rep I contacted they want to close out remaining 43 lots so they can focus on their newer development in Valdese - Lake Rhodiss, thus price reductions.
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:08 PM
 
16,301 posts, read 23,949,270 times
Reputation: 8257
And maintaining the roads in the years to come and other infrastructure?

The mountains and Asheville area is supposed to be where everyone wants to move to, and they want to dump these lots cheap so they can focus on another development not in the mountains? Think about it
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