By Jim Jones DRB Chair
While visiting their daughter at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, Jim and Susan Jones fell in love with the little town of Black Mountain, which prompted them to purchase two lots in The Settings development. The Jones’ didn’t start building right away though. “We wanted to live in Black Mountain for awhile before we started building our mountain home,” said Jim. “This gave us a chance to have an up close look at the financial state of The Settings and what it would take for The Settings to move forward and be complete.”
Jim and Susan chose to build their home in The Settings for reasons such as: the close proximity to Asheville, the development being centered in a real town (Black Mountain), and because they were impressed with the natural beauty, great roads and infrastructure The Settings offered them.
It was shortly after the Jones’ bought their lots in 2008 that the economy suffered a major downturn and the developer of The Settings went bankrupt. However, after doing careful research, Jim realized that The Settings was still in better shape than 99 percent of other like communities; all of the lots had been sold, the infrastructure was almost entirely complete and 98 percent of dues were being collected. All that was needed was for a core group of lot owners to lead the HOA takeover of the development, which was exactly what happened.
The Jones’ joined numerous other lot owners and worked for more than two years to get the developer to turn The Settings over to the Home Owner’s Association. Since this happened in October of 2011 all liens have been cleared and paid off, the common area was transferred to the HOA (including the clubhouse), all back taxes were paid, the water system was complete and in the process of being turned over to the town of Black Mountain and the roads were repaired. Jim reflects, “In the HOA we all wear many hats. For example, I am the head of the Design Review Board, a director on the board, assist in the realtor relations program, assist on the community signage upgrades, etc. We have an extremely talented and active group of lot and homeowners who are committed to the long-term success of The Settings.”
Jim says he now has complete confidence in The Settings as a financial, as well as a lifestyle investment. So, in the spring of 2012, The Jones’ decided it was time to begin designing their dream mountain home and they chose Living Stone Construction’s design/build team that includes John Petri (Petri Architecture) and Laura Kirkpatrick (I.D.ology). “I chose Living Stone because I’ve had 4 years to see just how great they are. I’ve especially enjoyed the design/build program because the architect, the builder, the interior designer and the client all work as a team from the very beginning, ” said Jim. Living Stone was also a clear choice in his mind because of the great client/builder communication that takes place. Jim explains, “There is a synergy you get when you have everyone together in one room. Not only is it more cost effective, you get a better product, better design, better build and better involvement with the homeowner. Overall, you get what you want at a price you can afford.”