The concept of “green” living has become quite ubiquitous today, both in the media and our everyday lives. Virtually everything has green possibilities and implications, from diapers to dry cleaning to dental sealants. Needless to say, going green is not the sole motivating factor behind the popular trend of creating new homes from pioneer homesteads, but it certainly is a big one.

“By building new houses from antique barns, cabins, homesteads and the like, we’re leaving a significantly smaller environmental footprint,” says Charlie Ball, developer for Whisper Mountain in Marshall, North Carolina. Along with wife Troy, Charlie is responsible for Whisper Mountain: a community of North Carolina mountain homes just outside of Asheville, which features some of these environmentally-friendly buildings, crafted from antique materials.

The basics of such an approach are rather simple: locate an antique structure in a state beyond repair—a farmhouse, perhaps, or a log cabin—carefully disassemble it, piece by piece, then use those pieces—the logs, the beams—as the basis for a carefully-constructed and new North Carolina mountain home.

“It may not seem significant, but such an approach is tremendously eco-friendly,” says Ball of the western North Carolina real estate for which he is responsible, as well as the trend as a whole. “By using less new lumber, you’re taking a smaller toll on our natural woodland resources. What’s more, by using antique materials, you are, in no uncertain terms, recycling. This doesn’t even take into account the fumes and emissions you’re reducing by not taking down trees with gas-powered chainsaws and similar tools.”

North Carolina Mountain Homes Offer Wide Appeal

But “greenliness” alone does not explain the appeal of Ball’s western North Carolina mountain property. More eye-catching, certainly, is the aesthetic beauty of those antique materials, and indeed, the NC mountain properties of Whisper Mountain are among the gems of western North Carolina real estate. The gorgeous North Carolina homes combine natural beauty, breathtaking views and a rustic setting; it’s a stunning combination.

Of course, many potential homebuyers balk at the concept of antiqueness with regards to purchasing a home—they often think they’re falling into a money pit, committing to a “fixer-upper” that will claim all their free time and weekends, and never truly be fixed up. To be clear, this does not in any sense describe Ball’s NC mountain properties, nor the trend to which he refers.

“These are new houses, period,” says Ball. “They are made with antique materials from pioneer homesteads, because those materials are strong and durable; they are unique and beautiful, and they are environmentally friendly. But these are all new homes. We don’t use any weakened, infested or damaged material. In fact, these homes are not just as good as new, because really, they’re better than most new homes, by virtue of the materials being used. It’s that simple.”

To that end, the North Carolina homes of Ball’s Whisper Mountain community feature state-of the-art comforts and amenities: sauna, spa, exercise room, and so on. To the casual onlooker, this may seem counterintuitive, even clashing, but in fact the juxtaposition is a winning one. By blending these materials, it is possible to build homes that appeal to a certain consumer: one who is Earth-conscious, one who appreciates the rustic aesthetic offered by antique materials, and one who is looking for modern luxuries and amenities. What else? One who is looking for a sound investment at a good price—something offered by western North Carolina real estate.

“Western North Carolina mountain property is one of the best buys in the market,” says Ball. “The prices of NC mountain properties aren’t especially daunting or prohibitive, yet we’re talking about a fast-growing economy here, located nearby the thriving city of Asheville with a solid arts community.”

Given these considerations, you’d be forgiven for forgetting the Earth-friendliness—the “greenness”—of these homes. But again, that doesn’t make them any less significant, for the homeowner or the land on which the home rests.