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 Renee K. CooneyRenee K. Cooney 

Renee K. Cooney, PLS, ABR®, SRES®
Owner / Broker / Realtor®      NC Real Estate Instructor  & Surveyor


Cell: (828) 371-4360

 Office: (828) 369-3000

Fax: (828) 369-3609

Legacy Properties by Renee

459 E. Palmer St.

Franklin, NC 28734





Heather Ball,  Broker Associate

 Cell: (330) 205-9885


Belinda Sanders,

Broker Associate

Cell: (828) 421-6509


Chelsie Pinkerton, Broker AssociateChelsie Pinkerton, Broker AssociateChelsie Pinkerton, Broker Associate

Cell: (828) 342-1457

Renee's Franklin, NC Real Estate Blog

10 Ways to Save Money in the New Year

Posted 1/6/2015


1. Unload Expensive Debt

It’s hard to direct money into savings when you’re still weighed down by high-interest rate credit card debt. That’s why paying off debt, especially credit card debt, needs to be a top priority in the new year. Start with the accounts that carry the highest interest rate, and work your way down from there.


2. Team up with Friends

If you have friends who share similar financial goals, like saving more money, then getting together regularly to discuss your progress can help keep you all on track. You can learn from each other’s mistakes and take inspiration from the progress you each make.


3. Educate Yourself

If you’re still not 100 percent confident discussing some aspects of personal finance, from compound interest to the stock market, then commit to familiarizing yourself with money topics by reading up on financial news every day. Even spending five to 10 minutes a day browsing the headlines and catching up on personal finance articles can help build your financial know-how.


4. Cook More

Money spent outside the home on food is one of the most flexible aspects of budgeting, and that makes it a prime category to cut back on when trying to save. Adding a few more low-cost meals to your routine, such as soups or pastas, could help keep your food costs in check.


5. Get Crafty

Enjoy the benefits of DIY culture and handmade jewelry. You can also save money throughout the year by fixing old appliances or mending clothes instead of buying new ones, making your own gifts and purchasing homemade items.


6. Stay Focused on Goals

People tend to be most excited about their new goals and spending plans early in the year, but you can keep the motivation going by writing out your goals and even creating a visual representation of them. If you want to travel to Australia, for example, keep photos of your potential dream vacation handy so you can pull them out when you’re tempted to spend money on something you don’t really need.


7. Get Help if You Need It

If you are overwhelmed by the financial management tasks in front of you, then you might want to consider working with a financial professional. Fee-only planners can help you set and follow financial priorities, from saving for a home to paying off debt.


8. Talk Money with Your Partner

Romantic partners have the potential to destroy or help build your finances. Make sure you’re on the same page early on by discussing money on dates or setting aside time to chat about shared goals and financial plans on a regular basis.


9. Become a Smarter Shopper

With apps such as RetailMeNot and BradsDeals and browser add-ons like InvisibleHand, it’s easier than ever to compare prices and always make sure you’re getting the best deal possible. Putting effort into comparing prices is especially important on big-ticket items, but discounts on smaller purchases can add up, too.


10. Protect Your Identity

Scam artists are getting more sophisticated, which means consumers have to as well. To protect your money, make sure you’re using hard-to-guess passwords for all your accounts, including email accounts, since they often contain financial information, and install two-step verification where possible.

Ten Things to do Before Year End

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Posted 11/24/2014

Meaning of Thanksgiving - The Real Celebration
For many of us, the meaning of Thanksgiving usually includes feasting, four-day weekends, football games, floats, family reunions, or a forerunner to Christmas festivities. The “first Thanksgiving,” however, was neither a feast nor a holiday, but a simple gathering. Following the Mayflower’s arrival at Plymouth Rock on December 11, 1620, the Pilgrims suffered the lost of 46 of their original 102 colonists. With the help of 91 Indians, the remaining Pilgrims survived the bitter winter and yielded a bountiful harvest in 1621. In celebration, a traditional English harvest festival, lasting three days brought the Pilgrims and natives to unite in a “thanksgiving” observance. 

This “thanksgiving” meal would not be celebrated again until June of 1676. On June 29 the community of Charlestown, Massachusetts proclaimed a day of thanksgiving for their good fortune. Ironically, this celebration excluded the Indians, as the colonists’ recognized their recent victory over the “heathen natives.” One hundred years later, in October of 1777, all 13 colonies participated in a one-time “thanksgiving” celebration which commemorated the patriotic victory over the British at Saratoga. It would take a span of over 150 more years to establish Thanksgiving as we celebrate it -- George Washington proclaimed it a National holiday in 1789, Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November in 1863, and Congress sanctioned it as a legal holiday in 1941.

Meaning of Thanksgiving - Expressions of Gratitude
The meaning of Thanksgiving has undergone numerous transitions -- an expression of gratitude for survival, a council’s recognition of its flourishing community, submission of the local natives, the defeat over the British, resulting in a collection of our nation’s traditions and values. Over the centuries, families added their customs to the Thanksgiving celebration, preserving that which they held most precious.

  • To gather in unity – It is refreshing and invigorating when people come together, in celebration of a common purpose. It is a reconciliation of differences as well as a time of healing. In sharing our victories as well as our struggles, we find strength and hope.
  • To teach the young – In stories retold, each generation brings purpose and significance to the richness of their heritage. Faded pictures, sentimental knick-knacks, even the prayer of Thanksgiving before the meal all form a Thanksgiving family legacy. 
  • To prepare the heart – In gratitude, we humbly reflect upon all the gifts (family, friends, health) that saturate our lives. By “giving-thanks” we choose to extend ourselves and give to others less fortunate. Out of the abundance of our hearts, we are able to offer our resources to help others.

- See more at:

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Posted 11/11/2014

Veterans Day is set aside to remember every man and woman who has taken up arms to defend our country. We honor every soldier, sailor, airman, Marine and Coastguardsman who gave some of the best years of their lives to the service of the United States and stood ready to give life, itself, on our behalf. Twenty-five million military veterans walk among us, and on this day, our nation thanks them all.

These are the hidden heroes of a peaceful nation: our colleagues and friends, neighbors and family members who answered the call and returned to live in the land they defended.

Our veterans are drawn from several generations and many backgrounds. They're Americans who remember the swift conflict of the Persian Gulf War; and a long Cold War vigil; the heat of Vietnam and the bitter cold of Korea. They are veterans in their 80s, who served under MacArthur and Eisenhower and saved the liberty of the world. And still with us in the year 2004 are a few dozen Americans who fought the Kaiser's army and celebrated the end of the Great War on this day in 1918. The last doughboys are all more than 100 years old. Our nation will always be proud of their service.

Some of our veterans are young men and women with recent memories of battle in mountains and in deserts. In Afghanistan, these brave Americans helped sweep away a vicious tyranny allied with terror and prepared the way for a free people to elect its own leaders. In Iraq, our men and women fought a ruthless enemy of America, setting the people free from a tyrant who now sits in a prison cell.

All who have served in this cause are liberators in the best tradition of America. Their actions have made our nation safer in a world full of new dangers. Their actions have also upheld the ideals of America's founding, which defines us still. Our nation values freedom -- not just for ourselves, but for all. And because Americans are willing to serve and sacrifice for this cause, our nation remains the greatest force for good among all the nations on the Earth.

Some of tomorrow's veterans are in combat in Iraq at this hour. They have a clear mission: to defeat the terrorists and aid the rise of a free government that can defend itself. They are performing that mission with skill and with honor. They are making us proud. They are winning.

Our men and women in the military have superb training and the best equipment and able commanders. And they have another great advantage -- they have the example of American veterans who came before. From the very day George Washington took command, the uniform of the United States has always stood for courage and decency and shining hope in a world of darkness. And all who have worn that uniform have won the thanks of the American people.

Today, we're thinking of our fellow Americans last seen on duty, whose fate is still undetermined. We will not rest until we have made the fullest possible accounting for every life.

Today we also recall the men and women who did not live to be called "veterans," many of whom rest in these hills. Our veterans remember the faces and voices of fallen comrades. The families of the lost carry a burden of grief that time will lighten, but never lift. Our whole nation honors every patriot who placed duty and country before their own lives. They gave us every day that we live in freedom. The security of America depends on our active leadership in the world to oppose emerging threats and to spread freedom that leads to the peace we all want. And our leadership ultimately depends on the commitment and character of the Armed Forces.

America has needed these qualities in every generation, and every generation has stepped forward to provide them. What veterans have given our country is beyond our power to fully repay, yet, today we recognize our debt to their honor. And on this national holiday, our hearts are filled with respect and gratitude for the veterans of the United States of America.

May God bless our veterans and their families, and may God continue to bless our great nation. Thank you.


Remarks by President George W. Bush
Veterans Day National Ceremony
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington, Virginia
November 11, 2004

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Posted 11/4/2014


This beautiful forest lies in the mountains and valleys of western North Carolina between Waynesville and Murphy. Elevations in the Nantahala National Forest range from a low of 1,200 feet along the Tusquitee River below the Appalachian Dam in Cherokee County to a high of 5,800 feet at Lone Bald in Jackson County. The Cheoah, Highlands, Tusquitee, and Wayah Ranger Districts form the Nantahala National Forest. Their headquarters are in several mountain communities, situated along the western recesses of the Appalachian Mountains. The Wayah District is located in Franklin,North Carolina. With the exception of Highlands, the other three districts have taken their names from the Cherokee Indian language. Cheoah is the Cherokee word for "otter," Tusquitee is Cherokee for "where the water dogs laughed," and Wayah is Cherokee for "wolf." Even the term Nantahala is a Cherokee Indian word meaning "land of the noonday sun," a fitting name for the deep valleys and gorges where the sun only penetrates to the valley floor when directly overhead at noon. With over half a million acres, the Nantahala is the largest of the four national forests in North Carolina.


Explored in 1540 by Spanish conquistador Hernando DeSoto, theDeer Nantahala National Forest was established in 1920 under authority of the 1911 Weeks Act, which directed that lands be acquired for national forests to provide for timber production and regulation of flow of navigable streams. Today the Nantahala National Forest is managed under the ecosystem concept for the sustainable use of natural resources such as air and water quality, wildlife habitat, forest products, biological diversity, outdoor recreation, wilderness, serenity, and more!


Unique plant communities and endangered species are found in various areas of the Nantahala National Forest, which also offers a wide variety of recreation activities from mountain climbing to whitewater rafting. The Blue Ridge Parkway borders the eastern edge of the Nantahala National Forest in Jackson County. There are over 200 miles of hiking and horse trails within close proximity of Franklin. While permits are required for overnight trail use in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, none are required for trails in the Nantahala National Forest. The Wayah Ranger District features 52 miles of the Appalachian Trail and 35 miles of the Bartram Trail. The Appalchian Trail stretches over 2000 miles from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Mount Katahdin, Maine. The Bartram Trail is named after the well-known naturalist, William Bartram.


Nantahala National ForestIn Macon County, North Carolina 152,400 acres of the Nantahala National Forest provide nearly unlimited recreational opportunities for people of all ages. Visitors can enjoy the beauty of clear mountain waters tumbling over waterfalls such as Dry Falls, Mooney Falls, Whitewater Falls, and others (for your safety, please view all waterfalls from established trails and viewing sites only). Much of the beauty of the Nantahala National Forest can be seen by driving the Mountain Waters Scenic Byway. For those who want to relish the sights, sounds, and fresh smells of the forest on a more personal level, a great number of trails of varying lengths and difficulties are waiting to be traveled.


For the novice or seasoned whitewater enthusiast, a thrilling trip by raft, canoe, or kayak down the Nantahala River Gorge may result in a memory that lasts forever. The Nantahala National Forest offers developed campgrounds and picnic areas for family use and fun, or visitors may prefer to simply camp or picnic within the general forest area. Breath-taking scenery may be viewed from mountaintop vistas such as Whiteside Mountain or Wayah Bald, the latter which is famous for its beautiful flame azaleas.recreation activities Hunters can pursue whitetail deer, wild turkeys, and other species during open seasons set by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.


While in Macon County, be sure to visit other nearby areas such as Joyce Kilmer Wilderness, just outside of Robbinsville, North Carolina. A figure-8 loop trail gently meanders through this ancient forest characterized by its huge yellow poplar trees. The nearby Cherohala Scenic Byway traverses rugged mountain terrain and provides exquisite distant views of the Joyce Kilmer Slickrock Wilderness areas. Of course, the Nantahala National Forest also offers nearly unlimited fishing opportunities within its many clear-water streams, rivers, or mountain lakes such as Fontana Lake, Santeetlah Lake, Lake Chatuge, and others.

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Gem Mining in Franklin NC

Posted 10/28/2014

Franklin, North Carolina is renowned as the “Gem Capital of the World” for good reason. Spanish Conquistador Hernando de Sota ventured through the area in the 16th century, searching for gold and other treasures. That exploration established a tradition in Franklin, which morphed into gem mining in the late 19th century. During that time several companies constructed mines to discover and capitalize on the source of Franklin’s ruby and sapphire explosion in the 1870s. Ever since, folks have traveled to Franklin in search of precious gems, and quite possibly, a chance at finding the next big one. That person could be you!

Franklin and the surrounding area have various gem mines for families and individuals to choose from. The weather of late is perfect for those looking to continue the gem mining tradition in a beautiful part of Southern Appalachia. Just don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty!

Below is a list of mines in the Franklin area. Contact them for operating hours and rates. Good luck and enjoy!

Cherokee Ruby & Sapphire Mine

Located in the Cowee Valley at 41 Cherokee Mine Road off Ruby Mine Road


Rocky Face Mine

Located three miles North of Franklin at 268 Sanderstown Road


Rose Creek Mine

Located five miles North of Franklin on Highway 28 at 115 Terrace Ridge Drive


Gold City Gem Mine

Located about seven miles North of Franklin off Highway 441 at 9410 Sylva Road


Cowee Mountain Ruby Mine

Located about five miles from Franklin, at the foot of Cowee Mountain at 6771 Sylva Road


Jackson Hole Gem Mine

Located near Cullasaja Falls between Highlands and Franklin on Highway 28 and US 64


Sheffield Mine

Located at 385 Sheffield Farms Road


Mason’s Ruby & Sapphire Mine

Located in Burningtown off Route 28 North


Old Cardinal Gem Mine

Located at 72 Rockhaven Drive


Mason Mountain Mine & Cowee Gift Shop

Located at 5313 Bryson City Road


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