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  by Noelle Dumas

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  Asheville, North Carolina, home of Vanderbilt’s Biltmore Estate and the five star resort hotel, The Grove Park Inn, is now one of the most popular places to retire, relocate, or purchase a second home in the Eastern United States. In the early part of the 20th Century, millionaires and well-healed tourists chose Asheville as their getaway. West Asheville, once the downtown district, is undergoing an exciting revitalization. The quiet streets of Montford, close to present day downtown, have undergone an extraordinary facelift over the past five years, revealing well-crafted architectural and building techniques of early 20th Century America.
Asheville ranks high on the list for many who want to purchase new homes, buy existing homes, or invest in or renovate historic residential properties. Asheville Board of Realtors1 states (www.abr-nc.com) “In 2004 the average selling price of homes, condos and town homes increased by some 15 percent in the area served by the Western North Carolina Regional MLS, according to Regional MLS figures.” Geraldine Melendez, Director of the Home Buying Program for the Affordable Housing Coalition in Asheville stated, “Housing costs in Asheville have risen 85% in the last 10 years. This is the fastest appreciation rate in the state of North Carolina.”
Asheville is in the midst of a real estate boom, and is gearing up to gather more momentum, with no signs of slowing down progress. Just ten years ago, Asheville was a sleepy little mountain town on the cusp of the Blue Ridge and Smokey Mountains, with tourism and health care as main industries and a downtown district that was mostly boarded up.
 
     
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