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House auction to help benefit hospital pediatric unit

Some of the proceeds from the auction of a house in Candler will benefit the pediatric unit at Mission Hospital.

The seller has had a fruitful recovery and is offering $5000 of net proceeds at closing, to be donated in the name of the purchaser should they desire, to the Mission Hospital pediatric oncology unit in recognition of their caring and professional dedication to the needs of patients and the families of patients. This significant gesture affords the buyer a tax writeoff for the year 2010 in addition to their closing costs.

via ABSOLUTE AUCTION: 2 Family Home w/2-Car Garage on 2 Acres Near Asheville, NC.

A press release about the auction says the 2700-square-foot house on two acres was purchased for convalescence following treatment at Mission. The home has full separate living quarters on two floors, and will be sold with no reserve — highest bid will buy it.

The auction is being handled by Tranzon LLC, a national real estate disposition company with offices across the country. Details can be found at

It’s refreshing to see a house auction in this tough real estate market that isn’t being held on the courthouse steps as a result of foreclosure — and with proceeds benefiting a good cause.


Fees waived for new online auction service in WNC, Upstate

Iwanna will affiliate with Boocoo Auctions when it launches  across the country on Monday, June 21st, bringing a more affordable, local online auction solution for buyers and sellers in Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina.

Boocoo AuctionsCurrently in beta, Boocoo will waive all auction transaction fees for at least two weeks when it makes its public debut on Monday.

Local users can access the site at  Iwanna Blog readers can get early access this weekend by using the login: IWANNA and password: boocoorocks.

“With sellers’ fees that work out to be about 25% below the current major e-commerce sites, this should be a strong motivator to try because these sellers are extremely sensitive to their own profit margins,” said Kip Knight, a marketing consultant and former executive for Ebay North America.

“Boocoo’s emphasis on local services is smart because it is a large and growing part of e-commerce,” Knight said.

Soon after the June 21st launch, Boocoo will offer local companies the opportunity to bid for jobs placed by consumers and businesses in the community.  The service providers, (painters, carpenters, landscapers, etc.) will be able to respond to proposals from local consumers and businesses that have placed a “request for quote” on Boocoo for the service they need.

“It’s an exciting concept and one that will capitalize on the local media partners long standing relationship with service providers through their classified pages and service directories” said Tony Marsella, president of Ranger Data Technologies which owns Boocoo.

David White, a seller of over 20,000 internet auction items and a podcast talk show host, says Boocoo Auctions is  positioned for success.

“Many e-commerce sites fail due to lack of exposure and advertising. With the model has in place, this barrier to expansion, exposure and growth has been eliminated,” White said. will be offering more local auction transactions through the use of its 300 media partner’s websites, where users can easily access the auction site. According to a study for the Newspaper Association of America, newspaper websites attract more than one third of all internet users.

“The reach of newspapers and television in their market combined with their respective website audiences will provide the most powerful promotional platform available,” said George Willard Sr., founder and chairman of Ranger Data.

Home values keep falling in Asheville

The chief economist with says residential real estate values are continuing to decline across the country — including Buncombe County.

“The supply and demand picture continues to look challenging to say the least. …  Data on mortgage applications from MBA and pending sales data coming in now from local markets suggests that housing demand plummeted after the expiration of the first-time homebuyer tax credits at the end of April.”

via National Home Values Continue to Fall in April; Sales Likely to Dry Up After Tax Credit Expiration | Zillow Blog – Real Estate Market Stats, Celebrity Real Estate, and Zillow News.

Bank-owned properties, seriously delinquent mortgages and foreclosed homes are creating a “shadow inventory” that is depressing prices around the country. At the end of April, year-over-year home values declined in 81% of the metropolitan statistical areas that Zillow tracks.

Zillow data for Buncombe County (below) shows Biltmore Forest, Fairview and Black Mountain as sustaining the biggest YOY declines in house values.  Bent Creek, Swannanoa and Woodfin show actual increases in home values for the period ending in April.

According to the Zillow blog:

“Existing home sales will continue to stay robust through the end of June, when contracts that were signed by the end of April must close in order for buyers to receive the tax credits.  Expect them to fall off precipitously thereafter…”

Buncombe County Home Values - April 2010

New Camaro smokes sports car competition in sales

Chevrolet is gleefully reporting that the 2010 Camaro was the No. 1-selling sports car in America for the year ending in May.

“When the new Camaro went on sale, it was predominantly bought by Chevrolet owners, or Camaro enthusiasts who already owned a previous-generation. Today, about half of 2010 Camaro buyers are new to Chevrolet, some trading in performance cars such as Mustang or Nissan Z to purchase their Camaro.”

via At One Year, Camaro Leads U.S. Sports Car Segment and Wins New Chevrolet Customers… — DETROIT, June 3 /PRNewswire/ —.

Camaro may be the hottest sports car in the country, but in Western North Carolina it lost out to Mustang, Jeep, Subaru and BMW in searches during the same period — June 2009 through May 2010.

2010 Camaro

Guide to Summer 2010 is free – and maybe worth $1,000 to you

Summertime Guide 2010 Book Cover

Summertime Guide 2010 Book Cover

Iwanna’s Summertime Guide 2010 is now on the streets, better than ever in a handy 80-page guidebook to activities across the North Carolina mountains and South Carolina upstate.

The annual magazine is in a smaller size this year — a perfect fit for your car or your coffee table as you consider places to visit and things to do all summer long. Weekend getaways, outdoor festivals, a complete calendar of events, fun activities for the family, treks into nature and the most interesting places in the mountains and upstate are included in the publication.

The guidebook marks the launch the Summer Fun Photo Contest, in which Iwanna is giving away $1,000 in cash to the best picture of the summer. The contest is part of Iwanna’s Contest Central and is an interactive competition in which you submit pictures that fit the theme “See What I Did This Summer.” The contest begins Memorial Day and lasts through Labor Day.

You can find the guidebook anywhere Iwanna is distributed, including most convenience stores and many grocery locations. But you might want to find one quickly — only a limited number are available and distributors are reporting they’re going fast.

Asheville ranks 75th in most dangerous cities for drivers

The Asheville-Greenville area ranks worse than Los Angeles or Chicago on’s list of cities “most likely to boost your auto insurance premium.”

According to the study — based on insurance quote comparisons from the web site — Baltimore is the most dangerous place to drive, with 36.5% of drivers claiming a prior accident when searching for better auto insurance rates. The website tallies claims for everything from fender benders to vandalism and theft.

The safest city to set the car on cruise? Yuma, Ariz. at 17.2 percent. And bigger cities like Los Angeles (26.3 percent) and Chicago (26.1 percent) came in at No. 116 and 122 respectively.

via Lists Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities for Drivers

An spokesman said area cities break down like this from the 167 in the survey:

No. 39, Wilmington, N.C. (29%)
No. 49, Charlotte, N.C. (28.4%)
No. 75, Asheville/Spartanburg/Anderson DMA, (27.3%)
No. 94, Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (26.5%)

To compile the study, looked at more than 500,000 comparison quotes across 167 designated market areas over the last six months. Cities with less than 500 quotes were discarded. The average number of quotes per city was more than 3,000.

How to buy votes and feel really good about it is bringing legitimacy to vote-buying this election season.
Iwanna has partnered with the Asheville Tourists (affiliate of the Colorado Rockies) for two baseball-related contests to benefit charity.
The Video Scoreboard Contest is looking for baseball team videos — best plays, outtakes, bloopers, etc., which will be voted on by viewers. The winning video will be awarded a team party at a Tourists game this summer where the video will be played on the big video screen at McCormick Field.
The Baseball in Pictures photo contest will award the most popular baseball picture of the summer with season tickets to the Tourists next year.
Although registered users get one free vote in each of the contests, they can purchase more ballots to help move their favorites across the finish line.
All proceeds from the voting benefit the Asheville Tourists Childrens Fund.
Check out Contest Central at for even more contests, including the World Cup, Pro Golf and NASCAR.

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