Building a Cottage & Garage in the Blue Ridge Mountains: Buying the land.

Sunrise Property Blue Ridge Mountains

This is one of the first in a series of blog posts we’ll be working on over the next few years, as we continue our journey on building a cottage and garage on the side of a mountain in the southern-most Blue Ridge Mountains.

A few years ago, after living in a mountain home without garage or much storage space, we decided it was time to build one.  It was a perfect time to begin searching for vacant land in our Henderson County, North Carolina subdivision. Last year, in 2018, we found the right deal on land.  (We are building a guest cottage/cabin/apartment with garage underneath, but the jury is still out.)

I’ve personally been a party to at least nine different real estate transactions, while interacting with maybe a few dozen realtors.  I also once worked as a notary loan closer for a half decade. During that time, I had an opportunity to meet literally hundreds of Realtors, loan officers and mortgage brokers. I quietly listened to the terms negotiated at the closing table as I verified identifications and notarized their documents.  And we’ve owned a few rental apartment buildings in the past. The point is, while no expert, it’s not my first Rodeo when it comes to real estate.  I’ve found much of business, especially real estate, is smoke and mirrors, with demons and dragons salivating over potential profit of your transaction. (Yes, they’re really conspiring against you from behind closed doors to maximize their mutual profit.)

In all those transactions, I was completely and honestly happy with only a few Realtors.

When searching for our vacant lot, after contacting a few others, we ran across Tony Baron. Passing For Sale signs in our subdivision for several years was too much, I had to call.  One of the realtors I called was Tony Baron.  From our very first conversation, I knew Tony was genuine.  Tony’s interests seemed to go beyond his own bottom line.  After a brief negotiation by phone and email, we came to an agreement and decided to buy the property.  A few weeks later, we were closing on the sale.  Tony even caught a small undisclosed fee by the title company – at the closing table!  (Many realtors don’t even bother attending the closing, let alone paying attention to what is going on.) It felt like we were well on our way to our new garage apartment, little did I know it barely started.

After purchasing the new property, we found most all of the professionals involved with selling or building real estate were completely overwhelmed with work.  Surveyors, excavators, septic installers, well diggers, general contractors… they all had more than enough work.  It seemed Western North Carolina was no place for someone looking to build a modest garage with apartment, unless you wanted to spend $300 a square foot!  But Tony Baron has been an invaluable resource for the real estate market in general, not just the actual transaction.  Tony has been around the block as well, and he has helped us find the best Henderson County cabin builders, information on short term housing marketing, and even referred me to another realtor when he thought they could help better.

Review: Tony Baron, Best Realtor in Henderson County

When we need a Realtor, we’ll be calling Tony Baron.  Even now, a year after our transaction, when I write Tony asking if he knows about this or that, he replies within hours, even on weekends, evenings and holidays!

I’ll be writing more about our adventure, this beautiful property and land, interacting with various professionals, engineers (we already have septic installed, using North Carolina’s new Engineered Option Permit / EOP), construction firms, and builders. We’ve run across a bunch of Time Wasters already, and written about one or two.  But this isn’t that.  This is about Tony Baron, he is the real deal, and he’s worth writing about.

Are you looking to sell property in Henderson County, NC?  Call the best realtor for that, tell him the Virtual Lab Rat sent you.

Cell Phone 828-243-8965

Century 21 Mountain Lifestyles
640 Greenville Highway
Hendersonville, NC 28792




Grown up in Cleveland, Ohio, USA., previously lived in Phoenix, Arizona and Tampa, Florida areas, and recently co-located to Asheville, North Carolina area. Trained as an Army MP, but bit of a renegade career wise. Phil has owned successful businesses in insurance, private investigations, surety bail bond industries, and has experience in computer network engineering, hospitality advertising, asset recovery and repossession, and even a few years traveling most of the lower 48 states, Ontario and Northern Mexico as a commercial over the road truck driver. Career long entrepreneur, property investor and rental manager. Phil loves sharing his experiences of great food, travel, experiences and products.