Renting Vs. Buying

Is Now the Right Time to Buy?

People choose to purchase a home for a variety of reasons. Space, privacy, proximity to family and friends, and a sense of community can contribute to the decision to buy a home. Tax breaks, transportation, amenities, and the opportunity to build equity are also factors. But the biggest reason cited by homebuyers is simply the desire to own. According to the National Association of REALTORS, 75% of first-time buyers are former renters. They prefer to build equity for themselves rather than for someone else.

What are your goals for buying a home? You might want a better home and neighborhood. You might want a different kind of living experience, such as moving from an apartment to a single-family home with a private garage and yard. Your family may be growing, so you have think about school districts and proximity to parks and other recreation.

Renting is a short-term convenience, and a great hedge when property prices are spiraling downward. But for long-term gains, tax benefits and building equity, owning a home is better. So how do you know if it's the right time to buy?

Only you know if you're in the right position to buy a home. Your lender will let you know how much home you qualify to buy. Your real estate professional can help you find neighborhoods and homes that are within borrowing limits. Compare the rent you're paying now with the monthly payment you'll be making including property taxes and hazard insurance.

Ultimately, you will know if it is the right time to buy if you can picture yourself living in your new home, comfortable with. your new neighborhood as well as with your mortgage payment.

To learn more about buying a property with Engel & Völkers Foothills, visit the link or give our office a call at 828.584.9999.

Homebuying Process

The Homebuying Process

Follow these steps

  1. Get prequalified - Your lender will look at your income, credit scores, revolving debts, obligations such as child support as well as the type of loan you choose. Other factors that impact how much home you can buy is the down payment; smaller down payments mean higher monthly payments. Last, the interest rate and terms (30-year, fixed or adjustable rate) will determine what you can afford in monthly payments.
  2. Make your wish list - Decide where you want to live and how many bedrooms and baths you'll need. Consider lifestyle - condominiums offer shared amenities, with little responsibility. Single-family homes offer more space and privacy, but much more exterior and yard maintenance.
  3. Hire a real estate professional - Your real estate professional should be expert in the area where you want to live and familiar with the type of home you want to buy. Your agent has house-by-house experience in your neighborhood and can offer the best advice on homes in your range.
  4. Select your home - No home is perfect, so don't let minor flaws influence you. Think long-term. Which home best suits the activities and needs of your household now and in the years ahead? Don't buy more than you need or can comfortably afford.
  5. Make an offer - Your offer depends on the current market. If a home has been on the market a long time, you can ask the seller for a price reduction, but if it's new on the market, the seller is unlikely to accept a low offer. Ask your real estate professional for advice.
  6. Get an inspection - A home inspection is a professional third-party opinion of the home's condition. The inspector will point out the age of systems, and large and small repairs that are needed, so you'll know what you're facing as the next owner.
  7. Get an appraisal - The bank appraisal determines the market value. If the home doesn't appraise for the purchase price, the bank will refuse to make the loan unless you renegotiate with the seller. If it appraises, the lender will move toward closing.
  8. Go to closing - Once final negotiations are complete, the parties to the transaction meet at the escrow office. This could be a title company, real estate attorney, or whatever is customary in your area. All paperwork is signed by both parties. The lender pays the seller, minus any liens against the home such as the seller's mortgage. Once all the disbursements have been made, you get the keys to your new home, according to your agreement.


Contact Engel & Völkers Foothills for assistance on your next real estate journey. Whether you're looking to buy or sell, trust the local experts. Our advisors offer their clients a wealth of knowledge and work to get them the most favorable deal.



Things to Consider When Buying a Home

Buying a Home is Kind of a Big Deal....

Finding and purchasing a home that will meet your needs is a significant and often stressful time. Our goal is to make this transition as smooth as possible. We are experts in the area, and once we learn what it is that you're looking for, finding your dream home is simple.

Before you start looking for a home, you should ask yourself a few questions:

  • Where do you want to live? Are there particular communities or neighborhoods that you like?
  • What kind of house would you like (need)? Are you looking for a particular style? How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you want?
  • Is a home office a necessity? Do you need a bonus room or flex-room?
  • Do you entertain often? Is a home suitable for entertaining something you're looking for?
  • Do you want a yard, pool, gated or guard gated community?
  • Have you determined your price range or consulted a lender to determine the best price range?

Searching for your dream home can be a time-consuming experience. Working with our professional team will make the process much more efficient.

Learn more today by visiting our buyers page.

For all your real estate questions, contact Engel & Völkers Foothills.


Hawksbill at Lake James

Hawksbill at Lake James

Land for Sale - Hawksbill at Lake James

Hawksbill at Lake James is a quiet, gated community with 46 lots on over 60 acres. Lot sizes range from 1.5-3.5 acres. The lots are served by city water, private septics and underground utilities. The area is nicely wooded and just 4 miles to Linville Public Access ramp and offers an affordable choice for living at Lake James. Minimum square footage of 1500 sqft and reasonable building requirements. Hawksbill offers easy access to the Fonta Flora State Trail for biking, running, or walking. Just 15 minutes to Morganton shops, restaurants and entertainment. VIEW AVAILABLE LOTS FOR SALE!

Engel & Völkers Foothills

3053 NC 126
Morganton, NC, 28655


Marion NC

Marion - Where Main Street Meets the Mountains

Downtown Marion, NC is a hidden gem that combines the charm of a small town with the breathtaking beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. As you step onto Main Street, you'll immediately be captivated by the warm and welcoming atmosphere that permeates the entire area. With a population of around 7,500 people, Marion offers a close-knit community feel that is both inviting and progressive.

Founded in the mid-1800s, Marion boasts a rich history that has shaped it into the thriving city it is today. In recognition of its commitment to preserving its historic downtown district, Marion has been designated as a "Main Street" city by the North Carolina Department of Commerce. This designation is a testament to the city's dedication to maintaining its small-town charm while also embracing growth and development.

Located just a short 20-minute drive west of Morganton and about 40 minutes east of Asheville, Marion is perfectly situated between the mountain and piedmont regions of North Carolina. Its convenient proximity to Interstate 40 makes it easily accessible for both residents and visitors alike. And with Charlotte just an hour and a half away, Marion offers the best of both worlds – a peaceful mountain retreat within reach of a bustling city.

One of Marion's biggest draws is its close proximity to Lake James, a stunning 6,812-acre reservoir known for its crystal-clear waters. Being so close to this natural wonder allows residents and visitors to enjoy a host of recreational activities year-round. Whether it's boating, fishing, swimming, or simply taking a leisurely stroll along the lake's shoreline, there's no shortage of outdoor adventures to be had.

But the fun doesn't stop at the lake. Marion also offers a wealth of other recreational opportunities that celebrate the region's natural beauty. The Joseph McDowell Historical Greenway, for example, offers scenic trails for hiking and biking, allowing nature enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the lush surroundings. For those who prefer a round of golf, the Marion Lake Club Golf Course provides a picturesque backdrop as you perfect your swing. And if you're in the mood for a breathtaking waterfall experience, Toms Creek Falls is a must-visit destination.

When it comes to the heart of Marion, nothing beats the vibrant downtown area. Main Street is lined with locally owned restaurants, craft breweries, bars, boutiques, and other forms of entertainment. Foodies will rejoice at the diverse dining options available, including the popular Crabby Abby's, McDowell Local showcasing local flavors, and Bruce's Fabulous Foods offering exceptional cuisine. And for those seeking a taste of the local craft beer scene, Mica Town, the first craft brewery in McDowell County, guarantees a refreshing beverage experience.

To truly embrace the downtown lifestyle, check out Refinery 13 and the Spillway Bridge & Company, where you can enjoy a variety of local drinks and entertainment. And if you're in the mood for some shopping, Flavors on Main is a must-visit destination. This unique establishment not only serves as a general store but also doubles as a fly shop and outfitter, making it the perfect place to find a one-of-a-kind gift or gear up for your next outdoor adventure.

The Miller Complex, located in the heart of downtown Marion, is a testament to the city's commitment to providing its residents with everything they need. This bustling complex is home to a range of businesses, including restaurants, a bakery, a skating rink, and even a gym. With so much to offer, it's no wonder that Marion is a hub of activity all year round.

In addition to its everyday attractions, Marion also plays host to several community events and festivals that draw visitors from all over. The Mountain Glory Festival and the WNC Bigfoot Festival are particularly popular, attracting thousands of people each year. These lively celebrations showcase the unique charm and character of Marion, giving visitors a taste of the city's vibrant spirit.

With its picturesque setting, friendly community, and abundance of recreational opportunities, it's no wonder that Marion ranks as one of the most affordable and desirable places to live, work, and play in North Carolina. Whether you're exploring the historic downtown, indulging in delicious local cuisine, or immersing yourself in the natural wonders that surround the city, there's always something new and exciting to discover in Marion.

To learn more about living in Marion or available real estate, contact us today to speak with a real estate advisor! View available properties in Marion, NC.

Engel & Völkers Foothills

3053 NC 126
Morganton, NC, 28655


Old Fort NC

Experience the Hidden Gem of Old Fort

Experience the hidden gem of Old Fort, North Carolina. This small town is a true embodiment of southern charm, beckoning visitors with its quaint atmosphere and warm hospitality. Nestled amidst nature's embrace and surrounded by a myriad of outdoor activities, Old Fort's future holds promising possibilities for all who venture here.

Old Fort's rich history can be traced back to the early days of settlement, making it a fascinating destination for history enthusiasts. The town's beautifully preserved buildings and historic sites pay homage to its heritage, allowing visitors to step back in time and get a glimpse of the past.

Beyond its historical significance, Old Fort boasts a thriving culinary scene, dotted with delightful breweries and restaurants that cater to every taste and preference. Whether you're in the mood for a locally crafted beer or a mouthwatering dish prepared with the freshest ingredients, Old Fort has something to satisfy every craving.

Conveniently located on the scenic I-40 corridor and nestled in the western part of McDowell County, Old Fort offers the perfect balance between a tranquil retreat and easy accessibility to larger cities like Asheville, NC. This prime location allows visitors to enjoy the best of both worlds - immersing themselves in the natural beauty of the area while also being within reach of urban amenities and cultural experiences.

Outdoor enthusiasts will find themselves in paradise in Old Fort, as the town is surrounded by captivating landscapes that beg to be explored. From hiking and biking trails that wind through lush forests to scenic waterways perfect for kayaking and fishing, adventure awaits at every turn. Nature lovers will revel in the abundance of wildlife and the breathtaking vistas that can be discovered in this picturesque corner of North Carolina.

Old Fort's close-knit community welcomes visitors with open arms, ensuring that a visit here feels like a home away from home. The residents take great pride in their town's heritage and natural surroundings, passionately sharing their knowledge and local recommendations with tourists. Whether you're seeking a tranquil getaway, an exhilarating outdoor adventure, or a taste of authentic southern charm, Old Fort promises an unforgettable experience for all who embark on its discovery.

To learn more about Old Fort, NC real estate view available listings online or give our office a call to speak with a real estate advisor!

Engel & Völkers Foothills
3053 NC 126
Morganton, NC, 28655


Morganton NC Activities

Spend a weekend in Morganton, NC!

Nature's Playground

Experience the vibrant town of Morganton, nestled in the heart of the North Carolina Foothills. Located in Burke County, discover the charm of downtown Morganton as you explore its unique shops, indulge in delightful dining options, and unwind at inviting bars. Immerse yourself in nature's playground, where you can revel in the great outdoors and enjoy the abundance of recreational activities. 

Whether you're a shopaholic, foodie, or nature enthusiast, Morganton has something to offer everyone. With its picturesque streets, friendly atmosphere, and a lively cultural scene, this small town has a big personality. As you stroll through downtown, you'll be captivated by the array of eclectic shops, offering everything from handmade crafts to vintage treasures. 

Take a break from shopping and sample the local culinary delights at one of the charming restaurants that line the streets. From Southern comfort food to international cuisine, there is something to satisfy every palate. And when the sun goes down, head to one of the laid-back bars for a refreshing drink and live music. 

But Morganton's allure doesn't end within the confines of its downtown area. Nature lovers will find themselves in paradise as they venture beyond the town limits. Surrounding Morganton are breathtaking mountains such as Hawksbill and Table Rock that invite you to lace up your hiking boots and embark on a thrilling adventure. Explore the winding trails that meander through lush green forests, leading you to breathtaking vistas and hidden gems waiting to be discovered. If fishing is your passion the pristine, Lake James is teeming with fish just waiting to be caught. Pack a picnic and find solace in nature's embrace as you enjoy a leisurely afternoon surrounded by beauty. Visit the nearby Lake Jame State Park or check out the Fonta Flora Trails. 

No matter what your interests or passions may be, Morganton has something for everyone. Its picturesque streets, friendly atmosphere, and lively cultural scene make it the perfect destination to satisfy your desires. So, whether you're seeking a day of retail therapy, a gastronomic adventure, or a serene escape into nature, let Morganton be your guide to an unforgettable experience.

If you’re looking to buy or sell in Morganton, Contact Engel & Völkers Foothills today! We’ve been serving Burke County and surrounding areas since 2003. Trust the local experts. View available Morganton properties. 

Engel & Völkers Foothills
3053 NC 126
Morganton, NC, 28655


Lake James NC Activities

Fun Activities to Enjoy at Lake James

Spend a day at Lake James and fall in love!

Lake James provides an array of exciting and relaxing activities for everyone to enjoy. Whether you choose to swim, boat, fish, hike, picnic, bike, or explore the surrounding state park, the possibilities are endless. Embrace the natural beauty and serenity of Lake James and create treasured memories that will last a lifetime. Lake James State Park, located near the lake, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and offers a variety of recreational activities that are sure to please everyone.

Swimming in the clean, clear waters of Lake James is incredibly refreshing, especially on a hot summer day. The pristine beaches and designated swimming areas provide a safe and enjoyable experience for both children and adults alike. Whether you prefer leisurely floating on an inflatable raft or engaging in water sports, the options are endless at Lake James.

Boating enthusiasts will find themselves in paradise as they navigate the glistening waters of the lake. From motorboats to kayaks, there are ample opportunities to enjoy a day out on the water. Fishing is also a popular activity here, with abundant populations of bass, catfish, and crappie waiting to test your angling skills. Cast your line and see if you can reel in the catch of the day!

For those who prefer to explore the surrounding areas on foot, there are numerous hiking trails available that cater to all skill levels. From leisurely strolls along the shoreline to more challenging treks through the nearby forests, the beauty of the nature surrounding Lake James is truly magnificent. Keep an eye out for the diverse wildlife that call the area home.

A perfect way to enjoy the picturesque scenery is by having a peaceful picnic with family or friends. Spread out a blanket, unpack a delicious selection of food and beverages, and let the tranquil atmosphere of Lake James enhance your dining experience. The well-maintained picnic areas offer a serene setting while you savor the beauty of the surroundings.

If biking is more your style, you can explore the region's scenic landscapes by cycling along the designated trails. Feel the wind in your hair as you pedal through the breathtaking scenery, taking in the sights and sounds of nature. The diverse terrain offers various biking routes, ensuring a memorable adventure for riders of all levels.

As you spend time enjoying the incredible activities at Lake James, you may find yourself falling in love with the area and contemplating a permanent move. Fortunately, Engel & Volkers Foothills is here to assist you every step of the way. With their expertise in the local real estate market since 2003, they are the go-to experts for buying or selling properties in the Lake James area. Contact us today and let them help you find your dream home or second home in this idyllic location. View available Lake James properties.

Engel & Völkers Foothills
3053 NC 126
Morganton, NC, 28655