08/19/17 13:31 Filed in: Day Trippin' | Scenics
Highlands is a beautiful place to be all year long, but taking time to stroll around town and enjoy the diversity of shops, architecture and landscaping is an easy activity when the weather is great and the flowers are in bloom.
A mountain town at heart, the use of native stone, wood and planting ensures the feeing of "oneness" throughout the city.
Many of our structures are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and are a delight in themselves.
Shown here is the Church of the Incarnation. It is located prominantly on the East end of Main Street and founded in 1875.
The gardens around the church are open and accessable to all who walk by, and are a fabulous example of the gardening skills of the members.
06/29/17 14:35 Filed in: Day Trippin' | Scenics
As promised, the Mountain Laurel are starting to show their full potential.
One of the most abundant and prolific flowering evergreens in our area, Kalmia latifolia is found throughout the mountains of North Carolina. Its range is from Alabama up the spine of the Appalachains into Maine.
The flowers range from almost white to a medium pink depending on soil conditions and habitat.
Mountain laurel was first recorded in America in 1624, but named in the 18th century after Pehr Kalm who shipped samples to Carl Linnaeus the Swedish botanist.
The Rhododendron are a sight to see when driving the roads around Highlands and Cashiers - don't miss your chance!
06/05/17 09:37 Filed in: Day Trippin' | What's To Do?
In Highlands, it seems like it is always something - something to do, that is!
This weekend the Highlands Motoring Festival comes to Town for 4 big days of cars, food, touring and fun.
From Monte Carlo Night on Thursday to Cars and Coffee on Main Street, Sunday morning, Highlands Motoring Festival brings some of the most coveted, collectable and viewable cars to in the Southeast to Highlands.
Don't miss a single event this weekend: June 8 - 11, 2017
Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia) is one of the most common evergreen shrubs in the mountains of North Carolina.
This years bloom is far more spectactular than we have seen in decades. One visitor commented today that it is "more beautiful than Calloway Gardens when the azaleas are in bloom."
Mountain Laurel is often confused with its larger leafed cousin Rhododendron - of which Rhododendron maxima is our most prolific species locally. It usually blooms in late June and early July.
If you have the chance to come to the mountains in the next week or so, we promise one of the most breath-taking displays of Mountain Laurel in many years.
Of course, you can alway come back for the native Rhododendron too…
05/27/17 10:32 Filed in: Our Thoughts
Memorial Day is one of those days when the vast majority of Americans are celebrating with road trips, barbeques, golf or personal and family entertainment.
While getting together with family should be of the most important activity in our lives, remembering the true reason for Memorial Day and the lives sacrificed for our freedoms should be a part of this most sacred of days.
As we go through this Memorial Day weekend, let us all give thanks and a prayer to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces who sacrificed their lives to protect our freedoms - freedoms that the rest of us so often take for granted.
05/13/17 13:58 Filed in: Kids | Schools | Education
Highlands School has just been rated one of the BEST schools in the state of North Carolina and in the Top 1000 schools in the nation!
The school is a K - 12 school with a total enrollment of only 351 students for the 2016-17 school year. It has a 12:1 student - teacher ratio. Highlands School is ranked #29 in the State of North Carolina and #1 in Macon County where it is located. It is ranked #998 Nationally
Recent graduates have gone on to attend: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Wake Forest University, Georgetown University, Columbia, Elon University, Clemson University and other distinguished institutions.
When you think about relocation with your children, Highlands School
is certainly something to consider.
05/09/17 17:35 Filed in: Scenics | Day Trippin'
Spring is one of the most beautiful times of the year in the mountains of Western North Carolina and there are few rivals to the Rhododendron - one of the showiest, first hints that Summer is almost here. Our unusually mild Winter brought them out earlier this year than recent colder months.
Besides the hundreds of hybrids, there are over 1000 specie of native rhododrendron spread across the globe.
In the Highlands and Cashiers area (and a little beyond), there are 13 specie that can be found in the woods, along creek banks and on ridgetops.
Every time of year is beautiful in our area, but given the chance, don't miss the rhododendrons. The hybrids start about the first of May, the native varieties a few weeks later.
02/22/17 22:34 Filed in: Kids | What's To Do?
Thanks the generosity of Art and Angela Williams, Highlands has one of the most exciting, fun and fitness complexes in Western North Carolina.
Mr. & Mrs. Williams donated the money to pay for the upgrades to the existing pool facility, making it a facility to truely be proud of.
Highlanders and visitors alike now have a year around venue in which to exercise and enjoy themselves - even when the snow is flying!
It doesn't matter wheather you are coming for the weekend or here for the rest of your life, make sure you dip your toes in our new "swimmin' hole."
02/17/17 13:27 Filed in: Scenics | Day Trippin'
They start inside the city limits - waterfalls, that is.
Highlands is blessed with having numerous scenic and accessible “water features” that are beautiful throughout the year.
One of the most picturesque draws to anyone coming to Highlands are it’s waterfalls.
Numerous falls are easily accessible/viewable from Hwy. 64 West between Highlands and Franklin. With one (Bridal Veil Falls) accessed by driving underneath!
As you drive towards Franklin you will pass the spillway of Lake Sequoyah (above) and then about 1/4 mile further pass under and behind Bridal Veil Falls. After Bridal Veil comes the newly renovated parking and viewing area for Dry Falls. The US Forest Service has finally revamped the access and built a new elevated viewing platform at Dry Falls. Of course, you can still walk down the slippery steps and experience the spray from behind the falls.
As you travel further you will need to park along the road and “explore” some of the other falls which can’t be seem from the road but are only a few steps away. The next falls which are seen from the road are Quarry Falls - locally known as Bust-Your-Butt - where the kids love to jump into a pool at the bottom... must be a rite of passage for youthful testosterone! The last and largest falls on the Cullasaja River is Cullasaja Falls. Located in “the gorge”, parking is very limited along the road and a not the best spot for cars, but worth the risk.
We can not express firmly enough how dangerous these and all waterfalls are to the daring and unwary visitor. Numerous people are injured or die every year by slipping from waterfalls or being pinned by water pressure.
Have fun but don’t be a statistic!
02/17/17 13:22 Filed in: Real Estate | Finance
The other day I ran across a comment made by Eric O. Nelson, III Senior Mortgage Planner with Silicon Valley Capital Funding.
This has to be one of the most straight forward, broad thinking and honest comments about the current state of interest rates, the U.S. economy and inflation I have seen.
With Eric’s permission we are able to share his thoughts:
❖ ❖ ❖ ❖ ❖
When interest rates increase, it is usually intended to keep inflation (higher costs of anything you buy) from going up. However, inflation has been hovering around 1%, so the target had been 2% - and there is no reason for the increase from an inflation perspective.
The bigger issue of this was government debt, which at the rate of $85 billion of bond purchases monthly we were purchasing $1 trillion annually on this program. The mere thought of slowing down or eliminating this program (called Quantitative Easing) has sent the international markets plummeting for the past 6 weeks, and that is a much deeper concern.
If the cost of money goes up, then the cost of purchasing a home goes up. With so many markets seeing market value increases and multiple offers, it just got much tougher for buyers to afford their purchase. This is a major issue for first time homebuyers, who do not have the advantage of experience to know that these are still good rates.
Was the government premature in the tapering off of bond purchases? Certainly. Rate increases of this magnitude over such a short time will have long term effects, and in the next 60-90 days you will see a reduction or ripple effect from buyers.
IF the global economy continues to react negatively to this massive jump, then companies reduce their spending and hiring, and you could see a strong shift once again in higher unemployment globally.
The best move right now is for your fence sitting buyers to move quickly to avoid getting priced out of homes that they can no longer afford.