Balistreri Realty in Sapphire | Laurel Magazine

Issue: August – 2022

For Realtor Kathy Balistreri, helping others discover the magic of this corner of Western North Carolina is personal. To find out why she’s passionate about her profession and her community, call her at (828) 883-4848 or visit


In 1994 Kathy Balistreri, an interior designer and real estatebroker, and her realtor husband left South Florida with theirtwo children to take up residence in their vacation homeon Lake Toxaway. They had forged a deep connection with thearea on a visit in 1983, buying a lot on the lake and buildingthere five years later.It was a bold move. Kathy had deep roots in her hometown. Forthree generations, the family’s real estate business, BalistreriRealty had been integral to the growth of the Boca Raton andLighthouse Point communities. Kathy had grown up in thebusiness – working summers during her teen years.But the couple’s affection for South Florida had waned in the1990’s and they had begun to crave something different, a newexperience for their family.“Boca Raton was losing its small-town feeling. We wantedsomething simpler,” Balistreri said. “It was the right choice forour family.”For five years Kathy took a hiatus from work. She played golfat Lake Toxaway Country Club, got involved in the community,and helped her children settle into life on the Plateau. By theyear 2000, her children were both at UNC Chapel Hill, soKathy determined it was time to go back to work. She kepther Florida license and got her North Carolina license; thenlaunched her own business in Sapphire/Lake Toxaway in 2002.Having started selling real estate at the age of eighteen, (andduring her 4 years at Florida State) Kathy learned there is moreto being successful than just selling real estate… she realizedshe is also selling a lifestyle.Her interior design skills have proven to be an additional assetin assisting her clients find the right property – helping them tovisualize what they can do to an older home.Population on the Plateau has risen as more and more peoplehave left the big cities, putting down roots in rural areas,seeking a deeper connection to the land – all made possible bythe increasing viability of working from home.“Extraordinarily few homes are on the market, and that meanshome shoppers will really notice fewer options when they gohouse hunting,” said Balistreri. “And it means there’s morecompetition over the homes that do get listed. I have spent asmuch as four years with a client before finding a property,though the average is anywhere from two months to a year.”Balistreri sells and lists homes, businesses, and lots in all priceranges throughout the Plateau. She can be reached at (828)883-4848 or

Balistreri Realty in Sapphire