Deer Ridge was Formed in 2005 to Serve the Needs of a Rapidly Expanding and Diverse Vacation Market in the Mountains of Western North Carolina

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Jim Kolisch

Jim Kolisch, President and co-owner, has over 20 years of property management experience. He and his wife Karen and two daughters, Kim and Kristy, were attracted to the outdoors of WNC as the entire family enjoys mountain biking, road biking, canoeing, kayaking, and hiking. Unfortunately, when he started visiting and vacationing in WNC he found locating a comfortable mountain vacation home was difficult, time-consuming, and often led to many unexpected surprises and complications.

Seeing a market niche that had not been filled, Jim and his daughter, Kristy Harris, Vice President of Operations and Broker-in-Charge, created Deer Ridge Property Management and the vacation home division in 2005. The foundation of the company is to provide complete guest and owner services, and total satisfaction with no surprises.

Kristy Kolisch Harris

Kristy Kolisch Harris, co-owner and Vice President of Operations & the Broker-in-Charge of the company. Her background in marketing and communications has contributed greatly to our extensive marketing campaign for our rental homes.

Kristy lives in Cedar Mountain with her husband, Billy Harris, the top real estate agent in Transylvania County 2013 & 2015. Their daughters, Emma & Lucy, and their two Labrador Retrievers, Pippa and Harley.


In 2017, Deer Ridge ceased accepting new vacation rental homes to the rental program and opted to downsize to managing properties that are company owned.


Our staff includes the following key personnel to meet your needs:

Karen Kolisch 

Karen Kolisch is in charge of our housekeeping staff and making sure our homes are ready for your arrival!

In her spare time, you can find Karen relaxing with her husband, Jim, at their home in Cedar Mountain. Or she will be spending time with her dog Finley and, of course, being a Nana to wonderful granddaughters.

Keli Barnhouse

Keli Barnhouse is the head of bookkeeping for our Property Owner’s Associations and vacation rental reservations. Keli’s love of numbers and organizational skills are a great asset to our office and clientele.

When Keli is away from Deer Ridge, she can be found volunteering, at the Ranger Station in Pisgah National Forest, the Brevard Visitor Center, and the Transylvania Heritage Museum; promenading through her grandparents’ pasture or populating her Instagram feed with random rural discoveries. She is grateful for the resonance that Transylvania County brings to Louis L’Amour’s quote: “The trail is the thing, not the end of the trail. Travel too fast, and you miss all you are traveling for.”