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Western North Carolina The Mountain Region including Asheville
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:25 PM
 
Location: Iowa City, IA
12 posts, read 39,739 times
Reputation: 11

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I'm moving to Asheville in the spring, and I am drawn to Montford because of its proximity to downtown and its old houses. I have read a lot of mixed opinions about the neighborhood on this board, and I am wondering if you can elaborate why you feel a certain way? For the people who say it is dangerous or has a lot of crime, can you give some examples of why you don't feel safe here? Is one section better than another, or is it all pretty much the same? One last question: is anyone familiar with the builder Greencraft, Inc.?
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Old 12-03-2008, 05:02 AM
 
Location: Asheville, NC
187 posts, read 989,388 times
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I live in Montford at the North end, where it is supposedly "sketchy". I love it here, have never had any crime-related issue, have great neighbors, and can walk to downtown in 15 minutes. I would never want to live anywhere else in town, to be honest. Give it a day and you will get the standard response of how Montford is undesirable because there is a low-income development here. I can already hear Asheville Native tapping his keys to tell us of the evils of low-income housing... I live next to it, and it's a non-issue.

I work with Greencraft all the time, since I am a home energy rater for the various green certifications (Energy Star, HealthyBuilt Home, LEED, etc.). Greencraft builds an extremely good quality house. My certifications essentially guarantee that it was built correctly and will be at least 15% more energy efficient than a standard built-to-code house. Greencraft's houses are usually more than 25% more efficient based on the energy models I produce for each house. James (the owner) has done enough green construction that my inspections are really nothing more than a formality. He does it right the first time. There are also a few other fantastic builders that I work with that build in Montford, but if you are specifically looking at a particular Greencraft house, I would say go for it. The ones he built on Jane Street and Ritchie are top-notch.

Good luck - let me know if you have any particular questions about green residential construction. There's a lot to it, but bottom line is that I would not buy a new house anywhere unless it was at least Energy Star certified. It's that big a difference in quality from a standard house.
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Old 12-03-2008, 05:56 AM
 
Location: Iowa City, IA
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Thanks a lot for your reply. We are looking into possibly having Greencraft build a house for us on Gray Street in Montford. Thanks for the good reccomendation. I've read a lot of posts saying "don't walk alone at night" in Montford. Is there truth to this? Are there particular areas to avoid?
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Old 12-03-2008, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Asheville, NC
187 posts, read 989,388 times
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To be honest, I wouldn't walk IN the Klondyke development, but I've walked everywhere else in Montford at all times of day and have not had any problems. Ever.

If you end up building with Greencraft, or any other green builder, make sure you do both Energy Star and HealthyBuilt Home certifications on the house. They are very affordable and really do help to ensure that you get an energy-efficient and comfortable home.

James is a great guy and easy to work with - you'll love building with him! Good luck!
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Old 12-03-2008, 06:40 PM
 
Location: Iowa City, IA
12 posts, read 39,739 times
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If we end up pursuing this, we will definitely do that. It is a dream of ours to have an energy efficient home. Do you do general home inspections before people close on their house, or do you strictly determine the energy efficiency of new homes?

Its good to hear you've walked in Montford at all times of the day. We're really looking forward to walking downtown if we end up there.
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Old 12-04-2008, 05:56 AM
 
Location: Asheville, NC
187 posts, read 989,388 times
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The standard inspections for the green certifications are done several times during construction - typically at framing, insulation, and at final. We also do a duct blaster test to verify that the HVAC system is tight, and we do a blower door test on the whole house to make sure the house itself is tight. We test kitchen and bath fans for proper flow rate as well.

All of this information is used to update the energy model that we do in our office to give you an accruate depiction of how much energy your house theoretically will use. Very cool stuff.
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Old 12-04-2008, 09:25 PM
 
1,378 posts, read 3,688,531 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vandemusser View Post
I work with Greencraft all the time, since I am a home energy rater for the various green certifications (Energy Star, HealthyBuilt Home, LEED, etc.).
Ah, I've heard of your company. On a related note, I was wondering if you are familiar with Eco Concepts Development -- can you vouch for their quality homebuilding?

Thanks for any input.
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Old 12-05-2008, 05:07 AM
 
Location: Asheville, NC
187 posts, read 989,388 times
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Wow - I'm famous!!!

They do really great stuff as well. They're primary focus is cluster developments, such as Gaia in West Asheville. Smaller homes and townhouses with common green space, walking trails, etc. They do really cool, innovative green construction - radiant heat, solar hot water, etc. Their energy models are consistently some of the best I see. All of the Gaia development is somewhere around 40% more efficient than standard construction, actually. I know they also do single family homes elsewhere in Asheville. Same quality construction. Again, great builders - I can't speak highly enough of them.

Asheville is a real center of green construction in the country. For people in the market for energy efficient new homes, it doesn't get a lot better than Western NC.
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Old 12-05-2008, 06:20 AM
 
Location: Asheville
1,161 posts, read 4,030,582 times
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I used to live a few blocks from you, on Panola overlooking Montford Park. I loved living in Montford. I used to work in the evenings at the newspaper and rode my bike home in the middle of the night. If you decide to go for walks in the evenings up around Montford Park, instead of going the quick way to Montford Avenue, better to go north on Pearson a block and hang a right at Waneta to get over there, just my opinion. And I used to go to the cemetery for walks all the time, which is just a street over from you.

Check the elevation of your property in relationship to that intersection I'm telling you to bypass, water ponds down there in storms. If you're even with it, have them build the house up higher. There are a couple shops at that intersection, so that's how come I say bypass it at nights. But heck, I used to walk all up and down Montford Avenue day and night, because it's so beautiful, and that was my bike route, too.

I think if I had the cash, even tho walking to town would be my priority, too, I'd look over in the Grove Park Inn vicinity, too, which includes a lot of territory on both sides of North Charlotte St., before jumping all the way into your project. But that historic Queen Ann style with little turrets in Montford is just so charming. I hope you have them build you a circular tower part on your home, and a nice porch! Also, sighting the direction of the house is important, but I guess you know that.

I think your location is almost perfect. A block north of that intersection that goes to your street, and north of there, is ideal, since you did ask. And the community is very friendly, you get to know a bunch of people in a very short time, there's lots of folks renovating the area so they'll be like-minded to you, in your love for Montford. But these are all just my opinions from living there a number of years ago. GO FOR IT!!
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Old 12-05-2008, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Iowa City, IA
12 posts, read 39,739 times
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Thanks for the advice. I'm glad to hear its a mostly friendly neighborhood. What do you think about walking up Montford Ave from downtown to the Gray Street area late at night? Sorry if I sound paranoid, I'm just trying to get a full idea of what the area is like from people who have lived there. Also, thanks for the advice regarding the house elevation. I never would have thought of that.
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