About Mountain Real Estate

Mountain Real Estate is a boutique real estate agency that helps clients find or sell their dream home.

Our Story

Mountain Real Estate came to be from simple effective change – change triggered by a belief that expertise and being “where we need to be” is more important to serving our customers than any “brick and mortar” office location. Real estate has changed, and we’re changing with it.

Thirty years ago, we would drive you around looking at properties wasting gas and each other’s time until we finally found the right property – today, our search links and modern photography bring those properties to you, and no one knows what you want or like better than you.

Yesterday, we would bring you into the office to meet or sign papers – today, you can sign papers on your home computer or smart phone, and we can meet you where it’s convenient for you, not for us. If Covid-19 proved one thing, it proved that “business as usual” is not necessarily the “most effective way to do business”.

Our business model is simple: Invest in people, not buildings. Be professional, competent, and ethical. Make things as comfortable, and stress-free as possible for our clients, while hopefully making some new friends in the process. And, most importantly, provide service that inspires our clients to refer us and use us again.

At Mountain Real Estate, your dreams matter!

We take real estate seriously, we take our clients’ needs very seriously, and we don’t take ourselves too seriously. So, if your real estate needs involve WNC, give us a call. You’ll be happy with the results and maybe make a friend in the process.

Meet Our Team

Donna Hodges

REALTOR® / Broker / Broker-in-charge

Donna was born and raised in the Blue Ridge mountains. Her love for our mountains inspires her to protect them so that everyone can experience and learn to value the natural wonders of Western North Carolina. 

Before launching Mountain Real Estate, Donna was a postmaster for 26 years, served as a paralegal for a real estate law firm (that experience comes in handy), served as President of a local Rotary Club, and as an officer for the National Association of Postmasters. Donna feels she is successful in real estate because she strives to be Personal, Genuine and Authentic with her clients (who become friends). 

When away from work (yeah, like that happens), Donna enjoys hiking, gardening, and knitting, and especially loves dancing to beach and shag music.

We dare you to try to keep up with her!

Dan J. Hodges

REALTOR® / Broker / Team Leader 

Dan is originally a Winter Park Florida native who first came to the Blue Ridge Mountains at four years old. The family built a cabin in Cashiers the next year, and Dan spent formative summers and family getaways in western Carolina. Memories of those years instilled a love and appreciation for this mountain area that knows no bounds. He wants his clients to experience that same love for the area, and he works tirelessly toward that objective.

Dan attended UCF in Orlando for Business Management, with a minor in Marketing. Throughout the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s Dan owned and operated three successful electrical contracting firms, in three different counties, doing business with many governmental agencies; USAF, USN, NASA, US Army, and many subcontractors to those entities. Projects extended into multiple oceans, multiple states, multiple countries.

After that shocking period (pun intended), he experienced another life epiphany of sorts. Dan was bitten by the real estate bug in 1998, and he’s had real estate fever ever since. We’d challenge you to find anyone who knows the geography, history, and real estate of Western North Carolina more thoroughly than Dan.

For pleasure (and for Dan, real estate IS pleasure), Dan enjoys the simple, but important, things — family, photography, gardening, hiking, traveling, or simply taking care of his goats and chickens. But, his greatest pleasure is simply being with Donna, the best decision he ever made.

Mike Clary

REALTOR® / Broker 

Mike holds a marketing degree from the University of Georgia (GO DAWGS!) and enjoyed a successful career as both a sales and marketing executive for two food companies you may have heard of – Oscar Mayer and Land O’Lakes. He later founded, and ran, a successful marketing consulting business for twenty-five years. His varied corporate experiences included responsibility for eleven western states as a sales manager, national responsibilities over  marketing and promotions departments, positions on the management staff, and overseas  assignments assisting multiple Eastern European government transitions away from communist regimes. 

These roles forced Mike to relate well with people from every background and circumstance, and they are the basis for his core philosophies as a real estate broker: 

  • The right house doesn’t matter if it doesn’t fit dreams and desired lifestyles. 
  • A broker should represent buyers and sellers in the most friendly, professional, competent, and  ethical manner possible. Relationships matter. 
  • Do what is right for the customer. It’s about helping people achieve their dreams. It’s not about  another dollar in your pocket. 
  • Our primary role as a broker is to facilitate the process to owning the home, more so than  finding the home. Stress happens. Help minimize it. 

Mike has lived in eight states, three of them twice, touching both east and west coasts, as well as  the nation’s northern border. With so many relocations, Mike has felt personally most every emotion that a buyer or seller will feel during a real estate transaction (there is no such thing as a  stress-free real estate transaction). This valuable experience helps him anticipate and navigate any challenges his clients face. 

Away from work (is that a thing?), Mike enjoys golf, traveling, time at the beach or on a  mountain trail, and spending time with family, friends, and Snoopy, the family dog. But, mostly, he enjoys growing old with his wife, Carrie (though, according to her, he’s growing old, and she’s stuck on 29).

Kristin Waitschies

REALTOR® / Broker 

Kristin’s professional career, and connection to real estate, began with eighteen years at Harvey Builders in Houston, TX. Under her leadership as national marketing manager, revenue more than tripled during her tenure. 

Over the next five years, Kristin managed her husband’s home inspection business. So, the link to real estate continued. 

In 2020, Kristin and Robert (yes, Robert is her husband) took the drastic action of moving where they wanted to live without any plans and without any jobs. (Those of us who live here totally understand the draw of the mountains). Robert soon found a job as a home inspector, and Kristin recently joined the Mountain Real Estate team to pursue her passion for real estate, both residential and commercial. 

As a broker, she plans to leverage her business and marketing skills to help others achieve their dreams of home ownership. 

For relaxation and fun, Kristin enjoys the hiking or chasing waterfalls, as well as creative activities (such as gardening, herbalism, foraging/wildcrafting, crafting, making jewelry) that allow her to work with her hands. She is intent on learning to navigate rapids in a kayak.

Hear from Our Happy Homeowners

“Dan and Donna helped me get my home under contract while I was over 500 miles away. I trusted them to see what I could not see (FaceTime came in handy), and they arranged to have inspections done before I could finally see the home in person two weeks later. Never once did I feel like anything was slipping through the cracks.”

“Dan and Donna are not only incredibly kind people, but they are also incredible realtors. I also was a first-time homebuyer and had little understanding of the processes of buying a home, and they helped my wife and me from start to finish to get into our first home. I will recommend them highly to anyone looking to buy or sell a home!”

“We found that Donna and Dan were well versed in the Lake Lure market, were responsive to our requests, and gave us excellent advice during the negotiation process. We recommend them highly and would certainly use them again.”

“We worked with Donna, and I was so impressed. Donna understood what we wanted. She sent us homes as soon as they were on the market, often in minutes of posting. We bid on three houses before purchasing, but her advice was excellent each time. She was able to compare the salient points of properties. Donna knew what we needed to do for due diligence, and she found a company to complete the diligence report. I highly recommend her. We have now purchased a home, and she has been excellent in helping us with contractors. I would use her again in a heartbeat!”

Enjoy the home of your dreams

Complete the online form or call us at 828-508-6112.  

We’ll get back to you within 1 hour during regular business hours to schedule an appointment to learn more about your needs.