The Settings of Black Mountain is a beautiful gated community of higher end homes, lots with mountain views, and amenities fitting of a mountain neighborhood. In this post, we’ll look at what The Settings offers, the history of the community, and what makes this community so unique and desirable.
History of The Settings
First, a brief history of how The Settings was developed. The land that now makes up The Settings was once owned by renowned architectural engineer Rafael Guastavino. Guastavino is known for having designed many famous arches and vaults, including those in Carnegie Hall and Grand Central Terminal in New York. He was invited to work on the Biltmore Estate, and so it was that Guastavino discovered the Asheville area. He eventually purchased approximately 1100 acres, including what is today the Christmount neighborhood.
In 2003, the original developer of The Settings purchased just over 400 acres, and The Settings of Black Mountain was born. After the preliminary infrastructure was built, the first lot sales took place in 2005.
As with most new communities around this time, sales were strong until the Great Recession. The economic downturn led to the developer being unable to finish the neighborhood. Fortunately, several of the residents worked tirelessly to manage the community. In 2011, the Settings formed an owners’ association. Today, the infrastructure in all 3 phases of the subdivision is complete, the owners are in control of the neighborhood, and the community is debt-free.
All lots for sale in The Settings are re-sales, as all of the original developer inventory has been sold.
Amenities in The Settings
There are several features that really attract people to The Settings, and the amenities are certainly at the top of the list.
Located Close to Downtown Black Mountain
Location is probably the best The Settings’ best “amenity.” The Settings is located close to downtown Black Mountain, and you can even see town from many of the homes and lots. But the neighborhood is just far enough away to provide a sense of solitude. In fact, The Settings website uses the slogan “Where Convenience Meets Seclusion.” This is a great description, as The Settings is the closest gated community to Black Mountain amenities.
The Settings is located within the Black Mountain town limits and is subject to Black Mountain taxes.
Hiking Trails, Sidewalks, and a Playground
The Settings is a walker’s dream! You can walk to the clubhouse for a community meeting or cocktail, as well as take a short hike on one of the trails in the neighborhood. The community playground is incredible, and it’s located at the end of Fates Overlook Loop.
The Settings of Black Mountain also includes common areas, some of which include a North American Land Trust (NALT) easement. One hiking trail in the community, the Upper Mountain Trail, goes through this land all the way up to ridgeline along the southern end of the neighborhood. Hiking along this ridge will eventually lead to High Windy peak and the trail system of the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly.
The Settings Clubhouse
The Community Clubhouse is an incredible facility, and the residents in The Settings use it frequently. The clubhouse is used for association meetings, rehearsal dinners, book clubs, potlucks, and monthly “Drinks on the Porch.”
Amenities Near The Settings
As discussed earlier, The Settings’ location is convenient to Black Mountain while also just removed enough to provide a mountain feel. It’s this convenience to town that makes life here so convenient. Here are some popular amenities and necessities nearby.
- Black Mountain YMCA – 1.2 miles from The Settings gate
- The Village of Cheshire – 1.2 miles away, providing several restaurants and the Artisan Gourmet Market.
- Ingles (the nearest major grocery store) – 1.7 miles
- Downtown of Black Mountain – 2.2 miles
- Downtown Asheville – 17 miles (mostly interstate)
- Montreat trail system – 4.5 miles away
- Mission Hospital (Asheville) – 17 miles
- Lakey Creek Health Center (including primary care) – 1 mile
Building a Home in The Settings
Homes in The Settings are built using a style called “Mountain Architecture.” According to community’s Architectural Design Standards and Construction Guidelines, homes in The Settings
“…should take advantage of nature by bringing the outdoors in through ample windows and natural materials, and by extending indoor living spaces to the outside (outdoor living rooms) with porches, terraces, and other exterior areas. A home exterior should look as if it has grown out of the site. It can take advantage of the surrounding trees, boulders, and other landforms by incorporating them into the home and the outdoor living rooms and designing around them. These are often more rustic than the typical home, and sometimes have an “old world” appearance. Designed tastefully, this will often give the home a “rustic elegance.”
These homes are similar to the craftsman style that is so popular in the Asheville real estate market, but with additional rustic elements such as exposed rafters and wood clapboard siding. Ultra modern houses, log homes, and chalet-style homes are not allowed in The Settings.
Design Review Process
To help guide lot owners through the design process and to ensure conformity in the neighborhood, The Settings has a Design Review Board (DRB) that reviews and approves building plans. This is an 8-step process from initial concept to completion of the project, but only 5 steps take place pre-construction. Here are the 8 steps, and more detailed information is available in the Architectural Design Standards and Construction Guidelines. As this document is updated from time to time, be sure to contact us for the most recent version. We are happy to email you a PDF of this document to review with your builder or architect.
- Vision – The Vision process is really a matter of the lot owner reviewing the DRB documents, ordering a survey, and choosing a builder. For many lot owners, this process may be complete prior to actually closing on the lot.
- Planning – The main step in this process is the initial site visit by the DRB, along with the owner and builder. A liaison from the DRB is assigned to the building project.
- Preliminary Design – In this step, the lot owner submits the preliminary house design and site plan to the DRB. The DRB will then review the plans and make a documented response to the owner.
- Final Design – After receiving the response to the plans submitted to the DRB in Step 3, the owner will revise and submit the final design, as well as a preliminary landscape plan. The Settings DRB will review and respond to the owner.
- Pre-Construction – In addition to submitting a Construction Compliance Deposit and Road Use Fee, the owner will also be responsible for having the house site staked and trees marked. The DRB will review this at the site and provide a documented response to the owner.
- House Construction – During construction, the DRB liaison will be advised of the construction schedule, and the DRB will make periodic site inspections.
- Landscape – At this stage, the final landscape plan will be submitted to and reviewed by the DRB. Landscape construction will then be completed.
- Project Closeout – At the end of the construction process, a final inspection will be made by the DRB.
Utilities Available in The Settings
Utilities in The Settings are underground. Available utilities include electricity, natural gas, public water through the Town of Black Mountain, public sewer, and AT&T fiber optic.
What does it Cost to Build a Home in The Settings?
The Settings is one of the highest-end communities in Black Mountain, and the quality of the homes in the community reflects this. To comply with the Architectural Design Standards and Construction Guidelines of the neighborhood, homes must be constructed with high-quality materials and exhibit Mountain Architecture. Just as it is in other gated communities in Black Mountain and Asheville, building in The Settings is more expensive than building on a similar unrestricted lot.
Of course, the cost of construction is highly dependent on the topography of the lot. The Settings offers a variety of topography, from very flat lots to very challenging lots, as well as lots subject to streambank buffer requirements. All of these variables will affect the cost of construction. To keep costs down, it makes sense to choose a more level lot. Of course, lots with sloping terrain typically offer more of a mountain view, so there is usually a trade-off between topography and view.
In addition, The Settings maintains lists of Preferred Builders and Approved Builders. We highly recommend having a builder evaluate your lot prior to purchase. This is the best way to get a realistic idea of what your home will cost to build.
What are the Restrictions in The Settings?
As with most subdivisions, The Settings of Black Mountain has covenants and restrictions in place to maintain the quality of the neighborhood. These deed restrictions can be updated on occasion, so contact us for the most up-to-date restrictions. As many buyers in our market are interested in owning a vacation rental, it is important to note that The Settings permits leasing of homes for terms of no less than 3 months.
The Settings Real Estate
The real estate for sale in The Settings consists mostly of vacant lots, but also the occasional single-family home built as spec or on the market as a re-sale. There are no condos or townhomes in The Settings. There are 4 types of lots, and the main differences are the acreage and minimum square footage requirements for new construction. Here is the current inventory of real estate listings in The Settings.
The 4 types of vacant lots in The Settings are Cottage, Park, Estate, and Grand Estate lots.
- Cottage Lots
- Approximately .20 acres
- Minimum square footage – 1200
- Park Lots
- Approximately .40 acres
- Minimum square footage – 1400
- Estate Lots
- Approximately .60 – 1.30 acres
- Minimum square footage – 1800
- Grand Estate Lots
- Approximately 10 acres
- Minimum square footage – 3000
Single Family Homes
Homes for sale in The Settings are not as common as vacant lots, but they do come on the market from time to time. The Settings offers some of the most spectacular views in Black Mountain, while homes without views are sometimes situated near a babbling creek or nestled cozily among rhododendron.
More Black Mountain Gated Communities
The Settings is the closest gated community to the Town of Black Mountain, and the only one with public water and public sewer. But for buyers looking for something a little more remote or with larger average lot sizes, here are a few others to consider. These other communities also permit short-term vacation rentals.
Tour The Settings of Black Mountain
The Settings is a beautiful community, and it draws buyers from well beyond Black Mountain. We meet many buyers that originally begin their property search in Asheville. But once they discover The Settings and all of the things to do in Black Mountain, they are instantly drawn to the quality of life here.
To truly appreciate the natural beauty of The Settings, you really need to take a tour. Contact us to learn more about this amazing community!