Before signing an offer to purchase Haywood County mountain real estate, interested parties should consider that Haywood County is one of twenty-one Western North Carolina counties classified landslide-hazardous by federal officials.
Haywood County Real Estate Landslide Risk Map
Haywood County building sites are classified unstable because of the region's geologic features and water-reactive soils. When heavy rains are forecast, the National Weather Service issues Western North Carolina bulletins advising that landslides and slope failures can be expected.
Unpublished Haywood County Stability Index Hazard Map.
Risk models show that 49% of Haywood County land is unstable.
Moody Landslide Maggie Valley, NC
Photo: Moody landslide—Asheville Citizen-Times
No one is certain but authorities guess that on or around January 7, 2009 rain caused a portion of a Maggie Valley mountain lot to slip. The owners of the Bear Creek Road residence, Walter and Joyce Moody, were advised that the costs to repair the failed slope would be $400,000.
Walter Moody told the Asheville Citizen-Times:
Everything was done according to code. In fact, it exceeded code in many areas. Building inspectors signed off on everything, confirming that it met code. (Parts of the foundation) are anchored in bedrock. So even if the front edge of the home failed, the back portion that’s on rock would still stand. Also, the soil in front of the home doesn’t show the same degree of softness, and surveyors have looked for cracks and found none ... Is the house safe? Yes. Is it sellable? Not with the slide.
When we built this house we put our savings into it. But today, what we know is that it wouldn't have made any difference if I put my money in the stock market or I put it into this house because I am going to wind up with basically the same thing—and that's nothing.
Am I blaming this on anybody? No. But I have a concern. I have a concern we are going to see more of this, and there is nothing that you or I can do to stop it until it occurs.