Home Safety During the Holidays: Keeping Your Family & Pets Safe

It’s that time of year again, when we’re decking our halls, trimming our trees, and spreading Christmas cheer. With an increased risk of fire or other safety issues during the holidays due to lights, candles and holiday cooking, we have put together a list, courtesy of FEMA and the Humane society of safety tips for keeping your family safe and pets safe over the holiday season!

1) A dry Christmas tree that is exposed to fire, a short in a cord or Christmas lights can be devastating- be careful to make sure that your Christmas tree is watered daily. Additionally, make sure to keep the tree away from heat sources that would cause increased risk of fire. Examples include baseboards, fireplace, space heaters.

2) Make sure that you blow your candles out. Approximately, 1/2 of all home fires during the holidays have started from candles. Precautions include keeping them away from anything that is likely to burn such as curtains, decorations that hang down or anything that could easily catch fire.

3) Christmas lights should always be checked before putting up to make sure there are not any shorts present in the cord or areas of the cord that have become worn. Replacing Christmas lights that are old and worn with new lights decreases risk of a fire, this includes securing loose strands and buying lights that have safety certifications. Most importantly, don’t forget to turn the lights out.

4) People have a tendency to throw items in the fireplace over the holidays that would not normally go in there, this increases the chance of an accident happening. Always protect yourselves and your family by throwing items safely in a receptacle bin and using a screen for your fireplace.

5) While the holidays can be considered one of the most exciting times of the year, they are also the time of year that an increase in cooking fires are reported. Most instances, can be a grease fire or oven fire, but make sure you know the facts: water can in fact, cause grease or an oil fire to splatter and spread. Baking soda, covering the fire, salt or a fire extinguisher are proven solutions for putting these fires out. If the fire is inside of the oven, opening the oven only feeds more oxygen into the fire and can cause it to spread. Try to turn off the oven completely and call for help.

In addition to increased risk of fire in your home during the holiday season, be careful to keep a close eye on pets who can easily digest unwanted items or get burned playing with your favorite holiday candle.

6) Christmas tree water- Pets are no strangers to drinking water from various sources inside the home, some, not so advantageous to their digestive tract. The water that is in the bottom of the tree can be plagued with unwanted chemicals or shavings that can cause your pet to get sick.

7) While poinsettias, holly and mistletoe are all part of us spreading Christmas cheer, one bite from our pets and they can be considered especially harmful as all 3 plants are poisonous if ingested.

8) Christmas decorations like our favorite holiday candle, tinsel, or even our Christmas lights can be troublesome should our four-legged family members get a hold of them. Burns and accidental ingestion are not uncommon.


The Holidays are full of joy and busy schedules. Making sure you and your family are safe looks different this time of year. We hope you are all enjoying this cold Winter season. The greatest gifts of all are the relationships with family and friends. Merry Christmas! We can’t wait to see you next year.

2023 Festival of Trees

Each year, we have had the privilege of participating in the Western Youth Network’s Festival of Trees! This is an annual fundraiser that benefits the children of the North Carolina High Country through the Western Youth Network. There are more than 120 wreaths and trees displayed in the area. We entered the event with our “National Parks and Wildlife” themed tree.

The generosity of a number of businesses adorn our tree and we couldn’t be more thankful for their gracious support. Donations to our tree include: a 4-person ticket pass to Grandfather Mountain, a $58 gift ticket certificate to Apple Hill Farm, and many goods and presents from Common Good Co in Boone! Our tree is also full of special ornaments that center around our theme. There are many trees to bid on this year, but if you’re hobbies include nature, hiking, camping, fishing, or you’re just an animal lover, make sure to take a good look at our tree during the bidding process.

The festival lasts throughout the month of November and includes events such as Wreath making, Hot Chocolate social, Festival Film, WYNter Wonderland Cookie and concludes on November 30th with a one- day fundraiser that raises $20,000 in one day for the Western Youth Network. All proceeds go to helping the children in the High Country! This is certainly a special time of year, especially with the generosity that surrounds our community. The Western Youth Network does the work of angels all year long.

Being able to support a foundation as admirable as the Western Youth Network is truly a blessing. They are such a bright light in our community. Real Estate is what we do, but our community is what we love and support.

Be sure to look-out for other Holiday blogs to follow! We can’t wait to see what’s in store for this Christmas season.

Fall Activities in the NC High Country

Autumn may be our favorite time of year in Blowing Rock. The weather starts to cool down, but doesn’t get too cold. The leaves change into an array of colors. Enjoyable for anyone, there are activities from easy drives on the Blue Ridge Parkway to vigorous hikes where the views are always worth it. Imagine snuggling up next to a fireplace with your hot chocolate or tea smelling the crisp fall air through the windows of the perfect log cabin in the High Country. Surely it doesn’t get better than that. Not only do we take in all things Fall, but this year, we’re counting on snow. We’ve heard theories about the Woolly Worms, Persimmon seeds, and foggy mornings this year: all suggesting that snow will have a big role in the weather in the upcoming months.


Autumn is a special time of year, where we get to enjoy the crispness of a new season and show our gratitude for the many blessings that we have. We have compiled a list of things that we
enjoy most about Fall and hope you will too! Maybe after doing all these things, we can help you find your piece of Autumn heaven here in the High Country.


Hiking during the autumn season- Favorite hikes include:

Watching college football and NFL – Whether it is cheering on our home team Appalachian State University or sitting down and watching our favorite NFL team, we love football season! Appstatesports.com/sports/football.

Mountain biking –

Kid’s Soccer. The Town of Blowing Rock Kinder Sports lasts year around with various sports for kids! Come out and join us! https://www.townofblowingrocknc.gov/government/parks-and-recreation-and-landscaping-/programs/kinder-sports

New River Corn Maze. With fun for the whole family you can explore the corn maze, visit the pumpkin patch or take a tram ride. http://www.newrivercornmaze.com/

Apple Picking – there are a ton of Apple orchards to choose from in the High Country! https://www.appalachiangrown.org/listing/show/395-coffey-s-orchard-at-coffey-grounds

Our favorite eats- Sweet potato & black bean tacos, Persimmon pudding, Pumpkin muffins, Pumpkin soup, Pumpkin Pie, Chili.

Carving Pumpkins- With Halloween just around the corner, we love pumpkin carving! Some of the best places for picking up your own Jack-o-lantern include: Harvest Farm, New River Farm and C&J Pumpkin Patch. https://highcountryhost.com/High-Country-NC-Mountain-pumpkin-patches-corn-mazes-2023

Taking a walk and enjoying the crisp air

Spending time with family


Taking the dogs to the parkway

Woolly worm festival http://www.woollyworm.com/

Drinking pumpkin spiced lattes from our favorite coffee shops

Thanks for reading! We always love sharing our High Country secrets with you.

Our Favorite High Country Summer Hikes

As Summer quickly approaches, we are all getting our hiking gear ready. Living up in the High Country guarantees a Summer filled with fun, sun, and plenty of outdoor activities. You’ll get the experience you’re looking for whether that is climbing our tallest summit or hiking to find the perfect river to cool down in! Hiking in the High Country is the perfect activity for the whole family and your pets! We’ve listed some of our favorites here. Check them out! You can find all of this information and more on Outdoorish.com and on the National Parks Service website!
  1. Rough Ridge Overlook Trail. Difficulty: Easy. At only 0.8 miles, this trail is easier than some. There is still some uneven terrain and can be steep in some places. You’ll know when you’re at the top when you reach the boardwalks built for the safety of the ecosystem!
  2. Crab Orchard Falls Trail. Difficulty: Moderate. As a 1 mile out-and-back trail, this is a perfect hike that is kid friendly and great for dogs on a leash. There are tons of pools, cascades, and rocks to climb year-round. You will most likely encounter other people and maybe some loose rocks.
  3. Linville Falls Trail. Difficulty: Moderate – Strenuous. While there are multiple different paths and overlooks, the main 1.6 mile Erwin’s View trail offers gorgeous waterfall and river views. Over four different sections of the falls trail show views from multiple vantage points.
Thanks for reading! We’ll make sure to add to this list with any new adventures we come across this Summer.

March Market Update from BHHSVP!

March can be a month full of sunshine, blooming flowers, and rainbows. It can also be a month surrounded by white snow, sledding, and icy mornings. Whether you’re sipping a sweet tea on the green grass or having a hot coffee in your cozy cabin kitchen, March is beautiful in the North Carolina High Country.

Winterfest Recap

We really enjoyed participating in Blowing Rock’s annual WinterFest in January. Our firm was a sponsor of the ‘Ice Stroll’ and proudly displayed a skier ice sculpture (which didn’t last long in the sunshine, but was very pretty while it lasted) in front of our office for festival-goers to admire. The festival offered food, drink, fun, and even a Polar Plunge in Chetola Lake – for those who were brave enough! Consider joining us next year if you’ve never been to Blowing Rock’s WinterFest, and please see below for photos of some of the highlights from this year’s festivities!

Thank you,

Pumpkin Spice and Real Estate Advice

Happy Fall everyone! Our agents have decided to share some of their favorite pieces of real estate advice, and a fantastic recipe for a homemade pumpkin spice latte. Each agent here at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Vincent Properties is knowledgeable, experienced, and ready to help you through today’s hectic market. Below you will find very valuable information that will help you regardless of whether you are in the process of buying or selling. Our agents have left small bits of advice that range from what lenders to use, to how to approach today’s market.If you have any more questions, please feel free to stop by or give us a call!



Jay, Fall Background, Real Estate Advice

Ben, Fall Background, Real Estate Advice



Now that you have read some great pieces of advice from our fantastic agents, we hope you feel more prepared regardless of where you are in your real estate journey. Now enjoy the Fall season by making your own homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte! The recipe listed below is our personal favorite,

and we hope you enjoy it!

Office Makeover!

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Vincent Properties is excited to announce that our front office recently had a makeover! We are thankful to Ashe County artist Alfredo Martinez for our beautiful new desks, and Vincent Properties is also sporting a new window display with light-up panels. We are grateful to have been able to update our office and elevate it with rustic and contemporary details. It’s still a work in progress, so stay tuned for the journey!


       Before…                                  After!


We still have a blank wall that needs some decor! What should we put here? Message us with your best ideas!

Tips to Being a Good High Country Neighbor

September 28th, 2020 is ‘National Be a Good Neighbor Day.’ Here in the High Country, we take great strides to be a united community, and that starts with being a good neighbor. Having healthy relationships with those around you can make your living situation better, and life happier. Although


Build Relationships with Your Neighbors

You can create a healthy relationship by connecting with your neighbors. The best way to do this is to start by introducing yourself first to seem friendly and approachable. One way to do this is by bringing over a goody basket. This is a great practice to start especially when someone new moves in. This will help your new neighbor feel welcome. Being involved in your local community is a great way to connect with your neighbors. Try attending neighborhood meetings or events.


Being a Good Neighbor During Social Events

Another great way to connect with neighbors is by inviting them to your social events for a chance to get to know them better. When hosting social events always try to be respectful to your neighbors even if they were not invited. When having guest park be sure they never block a neighbors driveway, road, or cars. You should always keep the noise level of your gatherings down especially late at night. If a neighbor does ask you to quiet down try not to argue or get defensive. It is best to apologize and try to keep the noise level down.


Curb Appeal      Curb Appeal

You want to avoid being the house that “drags the neighborhood down” by keeping a clean and appealing look to your home. Doing so will help the whole neighborhood look better.  This can be done by always maintaining curb appeal. Click here to see some of our tips on curb appeal!




It is always good to practice being a good neighbor to those around you! Live somewhere you are happy with not only your own home but your surroundings. Here at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Vincent Properties, we can help you find the perfect neighborhood to fit your needs.


Image 1- Image by David Mark  from Pixabay

Image 2- Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

8 Fall Tips For Your Home!

Can you smell it in the air? Or have you seen the little pops of color in the trees? That dirty 4 letter word that starts with F.  YES Ladies & Gents I mean Fall- is on it’s way! Now, don’t get me wrong, Fall, ahem, Autumn is a colorful time of year, and as one of the capitals of “Leafin’ Season”, the High Country is proud to be an authority on all things “Fall”.  We love the array of colors, that spread across  the tree tops, plus the tasty treats with pumpkin spice, nutmeg, and everything nice.  As it starts to cool down, we can all gather around campfires to stay cozy with no pesky bugs nibbling on you and who can forget- S’MORES?

If you are a homeowner though, Autumn is a transition point from Summer to getting ready for Winter. What do you need to do to make sure the house looks nice and being well maintained? Below are 10 fall updates for your home that will not break the bank, typically will only take a few minutes of your time, and make you rest easy when it comes to your property.

1.) Roof and Gutter Check

Having a roof over your heard is one of the main reason you bought a house! Make sure that it stays in shape by making sure it is ready to handle the heavy weight and moisture in the coming months. Furthermore, you need to check your gutters. Clogged gutters lead to bad irrigation around your property’s foundation. To take care of both of these, it is as simple as climbing up on a ladder and visually examining both the gutters and shingles.  If your roof is not to steep, you can cautiously walk on your roof to make sure there are not any weak spots or missing shingles, especially around your chimney.

Not comfortable with getting on a ladder? Or perhaps you already know there is a soft spot in your shingles? Then give our office a call, we can connect you with a local Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Vincent Properties approved Handyman or construction service.

2.) DIY Leaf Garland and Ornaments

Great one to share with kids! After collecting all your old fabric scraps, take a quick nature walk to gather as many different shaped leaves- or download a stencil. Using a fusible paper and iron, make stiff fabric squares. Once the fabric is not bendy, trace the leaves onto the fabric, and cut out the leaf shapes. Use bright embroidery thread around the edges to give it a more “handy” feel.  For ornaments, use a short piece of string, pierce the leaf either from the bottom (stem) or one of the points, and make a loop. Hang from windows and door knobs for a nice accents.

To make a garland, use a longer piece of string, and again, pierce the leaf where desired, but make to put a little knot to keep the leaf in place on the string (like a bead). String and hang up in door ways or on stair railings!

Photo by Andrew McCaul

3.) Check and Replace filters for De/Humidifiers & Furnaces

These filters are an integral parts to the functioning systems in your home. If they are clogged or damaged the machines may not work properly or cause a fire hazard! If you are unsure what kind or size of filters to get, simply pull out the old filter and snap a picture of the specs with your phone.  Show the picture to service rep at your local construction supply store or Lowe’s/Home Depot.

For your furnace, it a good idea to take a vacuum hose to your heat vents and their openings in each room of your house-especially if you have furry pups like we do!

With your dehumidifiers, make sure that your drainage pipes are cleared and insulated for cooler temps. If your humidifiers have been in storage, make sure to disinfect the tank before you use them.

4.) Plant Your Bulbs for Spring Flowers

Iris, Tulip, Daffodil, Hyacinth, and Lilies are great bulb flowers that you can plant this fall, and will grow on their own the coming sprin. Yay for low maintenance! BUT-make sure to plant them BEFORE the ground freezes. Oh- for all our foodie readers- don’t forget the garlic!

5.) Store Summer Tool & Organize Winter Tools

You aren’t going to be needing the weed-whacker, garden hoes, and lawn mower when the ground is covered in snow. But these hefty (and expensive) tools need to be stored properly. Click Here for 3 Easy Winterization Steps for your Lawn Mower. In turn you need to make sure that your snow shovels, snow blowers, and ground salt are accessible and fueled up.

6.) Fall Smells

As I said before, pumpkin spice and everything nice! Nothing beats walking into a home with an incredible smell! There are many ways you can achieve good smells- candles, oil burners, and plug-ins- but my favorite goes down a more genuine route. BAKING! Click here to read up on some great baking recipes that all feature…you guessed it.. PUMPKIN!

7.) Check Your Water Heater

Maintain the efficiency and safety of your hot water heater by cleaning sediment from the tank. You will need: A bucket, Plumber’s tape, Rags, and Slip Join Pliers. Learn the step by steps by clicking here!


You didn’t really think I would forget these guys did ya? Pumpkins are the staple of Autumn decor! Did you know most Christmas Tree Farms double as Pumpkin patches? The vines pumpkins help protect the Christmas Tree as they grow.  One of my favorite pumpkin patches is Frosty’s Christmas Tree Farm in Ashe County. They make picking out your pumpkins a fun, family event! Many other local produce stand will carry pumpkins in an array of sizes so you can adorn your porch steps, dinning room table and mantle! Is it too early to get excited for Jack-o-lanterns?

As the cooler temperatures come rolling in, we hope you and your home stay cozy and safe. We hope that you find these to will be helpful and maybe even a few of them to be fun! Please remember, Vincent Properties is here to lend a helpful hand for whatever life may bring and would love for the opportunity to be your neighbor, so feel free to give us a call! Happy Fall Y’all!



828-295-0700  |   info@bhhsvp.com