October 2020 Issue

As homeowners adapt to remote work, it’s easier than ever to live full-time wherever you want and particularly in vacation properties and locations once viewed as seasonal retreats. Demand is surging for real estate in secondhome markets, as buyers seek year-round residences that are safe with lots of recreational activities. As agents, it’s our job to help clients appreciate that there are many other reasons for purchasing real estate on the Highlands/Cashiers Plateau besides using it solely for a second home.

Luxury buyers are choosing to move away from their primary residences in major cities to discover the lifestyle of which they’ve always dreamed. People are even more inclined when they know others are doing the same thing. Clients are coming from markets that are not ordinary feeder markets, such as San Francisco, Boston, New York, Chicago, etc.

Here are five factors to consider when deciding whether to make your second home your primary residence:

1. Visiting a resort is different from living in one. If you have a vacation residence you only visit occasionally, it may very well be part of a resort. And while that style of living may offer superb amenities and convenience, homeowners quickly discover they need more privacy when they live there on a more permanent basis. There are many private country clubs in the area that have resort amenities but also offer estate lots with private residences.

2. Learn what the local community offers to determine if you will be engaged and fulfilled year-round. Fortunately, this area has so many cultural activities for such a small mountain community that one can be active for 12 months a year. From all of the outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, golf, croquet, swimming, tennis, pickle ball, rafting and just plain relaxing, there is a plethora of organizations to meaningfully participate.

3. Decide if the weather is adaptable year-round. For the most part, this area is very temperate with cooler temperatures in the summer than the rest of the Southeast and warmer winter weather than most other mountain areas. An apt description of the Plateau is “Crossroads of the Natural Worlds” where the Arctic air meets the tropic air offsetting any extreme weather patterns.

4. Start meeting people right away during your home search process. Talk to people at the grocery store, the coffee shop, the art galleries and retail stores. No one is transferred here for their jobs, so everyone chooses this area for personal reasons and are anxious to tell you how they found this special spot on the planet and why they elect to stay.

5. Secondary markets are not as far away from family and friends as one might think. For buyers young and old, one of the biggest concerns moving to their second home full-time is the fear of separation from family and friends. When you are a drive away, chances are that you will have more quality time visits from your family and friends than ever before. You will be living the dream in a place that most people can only dream about living. The sizzle of being on permanent vacation provides a much sought-after lifestyle.

The local real estate market statistics show that volume year-to-date is up 78% and unit sales are up 55%. Many of these buyers are seriously considering declaring the Highlands/Cashiers Plateau their permanent home. This will only enrich the fabric of our community and assist in stimulating the local economy 12 months a year. To all of our new homeowners in the area, welcome. We are eager to share this paradise with you.

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