Balsam Preserve records best sales year since 2007

Jan 09, 2013
This is one of the four homes currently under construction at Balsam Mountain Preserve.

Balsam Mountain Preserve, a private residential community just outside Waynesville, experienced a strong comeback in 2012.

Balsam Mountain Preserve is a unique neighborhood where 3,500 of the community’s 4,400 acres have been placed in a permanent conservation easement.  There are currently more 70 homes in the community along with an Arnold Palmer designed golf course, equestrian center, pool and tennis complex, onsite restaurant, and miles of private hiking trails.

Balsam Mountain Preserve was originally developed by Chaffin-Light Associates, a South Carolina company that bought the property in 2000 and remained in control until it lost ownership in a foreclosure in 2010 to Trilyn, a New York based private capital lender.  Trilyn operated the club and community for nearly two years before selling to the Challenge Golf Group (CGG), based in Marshall, Texas

When CGG acquired Balsam in November 2011, there had been only two real estate closings for the year and club membership stood at 99 members.  A year later, real estate sales grew from those two closings to 27 since, and club membership has grown from 99 to 127 members.  Additionally, two more properties are under contract and are scheduled to close this month.

Bruce Fine, CGG’s eastern regional vice-president, cited four main reasons for Balsam’s turnaround.

“First of all, Balsam is blessed with an incredibly supportive group of existing property owners, and they make prospective purchasers feel welcome and confident in the future of the community," he said. "Secondly, our financial strength has allowed us to invest in marketing when most high-end communities have stopped altogether, so Balsam is viewed in the market as a viable place to invest capital.  Next, we poured significant dollars into infrastructure and club amenities last year, and the quality and condition of everything here is better than it’s ever been.  And finally, prices on homesites here are as much as half of what they were just a few years ago, and astute buyers who know they want a mountain home are recognizing that now is the time to strike before prices and interest rates start to inevitably move higher."

Fine said he is optimistic about the upcoming year.

“Families we worked with last year are finally starting to accept the current political and economic climate as the new reality.  Once they get over that obstacle, they realize that it’s time to move on with life and take advantage of the great opportunities that exist right now with real estate," he said.

January is usually a quiet month in the mountains, but with two closings scheduled for this month and property tours already starting, Fine is optimistic 2013 will be a great year.

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