06/01/08 - Two New Cabins available in Piney Mountain, and the “End of an Era”!

  Saluda, NC nestles in the eastern escarpment of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the shadows of the Great Smokey Mountains.  Since the turn of the century, Saluda has been the summer refuge for “flatlanders” from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.  In recent years, people from other parts of the south have traveled here to purchase mountain cabins, and mountain property in order to enjoy the clear trout streams, cool mountain breezes, and unspoiled mountain views.

  This historic mountain village provides respite from the hustle and bustle of our too modern world, and the mountains around us provide the chance for a select few to realize their dream of an affordable mountain vacation home in easy commuting distance from the population centers of the low country of our southern states.

  If you are not familiar with Piney Mountain or the Saluda Area,

Click on "About Saluda" and "Developments" Above.

Click on "Homes and Cabins" to see two affordable vacation cabins, and on “lots and acreage’ to learn about the

last developer lots in Piney Mountain!

June 2008.   Spring has sprung, we are on our way to Summer, and the beginning of our season here in the mountains around Saluda, NC. Our season begins on July 1st, and continues until Thanksgiving.

 Our real estate market remains quite small, and very active.  Properties listed at market price (as determined by a normal increase each year from 2004) are quickly sold.  Properties whose price is reflective of the run-up in prices that occurred in Florida, California, and other markets affected by “flipping” remain on the market.  Once they slip into that area, anyone foolish enough to buy for “investment” had better not be working with borrowed money, and should expect to hold the property for at least 10 years.

THE REMAINDER OF THE RED TYPE IN THIS INTRODUCTION IS A “BLOG” ABOUT WHAT HAS HAPPENED IN THE LAST TWO YEARS IN COMMUNITIES CLOSE TO SALUDA.  It has produced a false sense of property values that some owners and developers have bought into in the Saluda market.  If it bores you, please skip to the blue type below to learn more about me,  and “LandFinders”, or go to the buttons above to begin your tour of this site.

All around us are mega-developments, and more modest attempts by newcomers to the development arena, offering either a chance to return to nature, or paved roads, golf courses, private clubs, and locked gates.  They have been pitching “heat”, promising easy financing, rapid increase in value, celebrity owners, and dwindling supplies of vacant land.

   For the more affluent and naïve, prospective buyers are gathered together for a festive weekend with free concerts, gourmet food, and lots of pressure designed to coerce them into making a hasty purchase.  They are kept captive with no opportunity to visit local real estate offices, and return home without any real knowledge of the area they have visited.  Many of the people who attended closed sales events have purchased lots that will not be worth what they paid for them in many, many years. The “easy” financing went the way of sub-prime mortgages, and there were, already, thousands of vacant lots available in Western North Carolina in mature, well built out developments.  Never attend a sales weekend without first visiting the area in which the development is located. If that is not possible, at least look at local real estate magazines, and price lists for comparable properties. Get on the internet and look at listings in the local general real estate market.  If, in the course of your sales experience, you begin to feel like a second class citizen because you are hesitant to commit on your first visit, eat their food, enjoy their entertainment, and then…WALK AWAY.

A trip along US 64 from Hendersonville to Bat Cave and along Bills Creek and Cedar Creek roads below Lake Lure will reveal multiple gated communities with their gates standing open, and no staff in evidence.  A short drive in, the landscaping is gone, and so is the pavement.  Many of these developers “bonded” the completion of their infrastructure with the county government by supplying a bank guarantee of the funds required to finish construction.  People who bought lots on these unfinished roads, believing that the completion of the development was guaranteed, know little about the land business, and will probably throw good money after bad in legal fees. Never close on property in an unfinished development.  If the contract does not specify that all of the promised infrastructure that will make your property feasable must be completed prior to closing, WALK  AWAY.

Many of the more substantially funded developments have completed most of their amenities and their gates remain locked with staff in evidence.  However, only the model homes have been built, and the hundreds of investors who bought expensive lots on speculation are still waiting for the building boom, which will make their lots resalable.  Never buy a lot for speculation in a subdivision that does not have substantial home construction in progress. Never buy an expensive home in a subdivision with few or no owner occupied homes, and no substantial building in progress, even if you plan to move right in.


 Tom McHugh Broker-In-Charge (...and everything else)

tom@saludalandfinders.com  (828) 749-9326


SOME NECESSARY INSTRUCTIONS TO MY NEW AND OLD FOLLOWERS- I am a one man operation, ably supported by my lovely wife, Susan, who is not a real estate agent.  I am only in the office when I have to be. I am an independent real estate broker, not a Realtor, or a member of MLS-I will not have a "listing sheet", or a package to send to you.

  If I am not building cabins, showing property, or handling sales and closings along with property management duties, I am gone fishing, or otherwise enjoying my life.  In the past years the volume of email traffic has increased rapidly, and some of you seem to get irritated if you do not get an immediate response.  If in your need for a response-time is of the essence, pick up the phone.

Please do not attempt to make an appointment by email.

If an offering excites or intrigues you, pick up the phone.  In the last three years I have sold 12 mountain cabins, and 7 of them sold within two weeks of posting them on the website.  All of the lots that I create in any given year are sold in time for me to take a winter fishing trip.  I also advertise in the local real estate magazines, and once they hit the street, if a property has not sold by referral or by exposure on the website, it sells.

  The reason for this is simple-I have a large referral base along with people who stay in contact with me on a regular basis.  This, coupled with realistic pricing and the desirability of the Saluda area keeps listing times short.  It also helps that I have always focused on vacation property, and no other real estate office in this area does so.

  If you don't know Saluda, read the information  that I have provided, visit the Saluda website, and then come visit.  Calling or emailing without knowledge of what this laid back community has to offer is not productive.

  Please be aware that economical vacation homes are small.  If you are looking to move to Saluda for retirement, or to bring a family, to live full time, my listings and properties will not meet your needs, usually.  Read the property descriptions carefully.  I usually include an external measurement indicating the size of the cabin.  I try to be as accurate as possible in my descriptions so we don't waste each other’s time.

No, I don't have other listings that I haven't published.


I want to thank all of you for your continued interest.  Please continue to direct you questions by email, but understand, during the season (July-November) I am often  involved in projects that keep me away from this !!!#*# computer, so it may be a while before I reply. I do not check my emails every day.

Tom McHugh


Welcome to my website.  My name is Tom McHugh, and I created Carolina Mountain Land Finders, Inc. twenty years ago as a development company and real estate brokerage for the Saluda, NC market.

  In the past twenty years I have participated in the sales, marketing, and design of five major subdivisions in the Saluda area, and have sold hundreds of lots and cabins to folks who now enjoy the peace and quiet of our mountains.  I am now moving into more of a focus on winding down to retirement as most of the larger vacant land parcels in the Saluda area are either, not for sale, already developed, much too pricey to develop into affordable second home property, or part of the Green River Game Lands (a 12,000 acre tract owned and managed by the NC Wildlife Commission.)

  For those of you who have visited this site previously, you will find it much changed.

  When I first started in business, I swore that the most technology I would have would be an answering machine.  Well, mountain property in western North Carolina remains much the same after seventeen years-log cabins, rustic mountain getaways, big mountain views, pristine forests, bold rushing streams, and a slower pace of life.

  But, the way people look for it has changed drastically. So, welcome to the 21st century.

  I have taken over the maintenance of this website, and, as a result, you will find it less elaborate than it was before.  That’s because of my fledgling computer skills.

  Please follow the guides to locate property that you are interested in.  I will set it up as follows:

 About Saluda- This is a brief history of the evolution of Saluda to what it is today, and my involvement in this evolution.  If you are not familiar with Saluda, this will help you decide whether or not you want to visit, and/or  look for property with me. 

Developments- I will tell you about selected developments in the Saluda area.  I will describe the topography, road systems, covenants and restrictions, whether or not there is a property owners association, fees, and the general make up of the owners.  In the beginning you will find only those developments in which I have listings, or my own property for sale. Later, I will expand this category to include other developments, and other people’s listings.  To find information about specific offerings, visit the guides below. 

Lots and Acreage- In this category I will describe lots and acreage tracts that are available in the Saluda market.  I will refer you back to the development in which they are located for details on the property that surrounds them. (There are hardly ever-vacant land offerings in the Saluda market that are not part of a subdivided parcel.) 

Homes and Cabins-In this category I will describe and show photographs of homes and cabins available in the Saluda market.  When they are not my listing, I will state that in the write-up and indicate whether or not I have examined the property. 

Commercial Property-Rare in Saluda, but occasionally properties reach the market.  I will photograph properties, and describe them to the best of my knowledge. 

Thank you for visiting my website.  If you are interested in buying or selling property in the Saluda please contact me. 

tom@saludalandfinders.com    (828) 749-9326 

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